Unknown and Uncontacted Tribes in India

A trip to India is a trip to a unique and different country. The Indian society surprises the traveler who decides to travel to India for the first time and traps completely in a kind of spell in which millions and millions of people are hopelessly trapped. India is not a half-way destination. Only on a trip to India can you discover if the magic of this place will conquer you forever.

Much of India is rural with many contrasts with the Himalayas to the north, a vast desert to the west, huge and subtropical beaches in the south and a marked tribal culture on the central and eastern borders. One of the most interesting aspects of these groups are their totemic beliefs. According to their religion it is forbidden to exert violence against totemic animals, which are respected with great veneration. They believe in the gods that inhabit nature so they also revere their mountains and forests.

Tribes are the traditional social division of any region. These inhabitants are often linked to each other by blood or religious ties. In India, tribes are mostly referred to as Adivasis which is a generic term. Generally they are not very advanced in terms of education, technology, living standards and facilities enjoyed.

In the Indian subcontinent, the nature of tribes and their way of living and adapting have changed considerably. In this modern era, the tribes have been reduced to a very small number. Their way of living has also changed significantly. Today, we don’t see the people who belong to a certain tribal ethnicity the way they lived some centuries ago.

The Constitution of India recognizes a lot of communities of tribes in Schedule 5. There are as many as 645 tribal communities in India, out of which, some are very popular.

Uncontacted Tribes in India

Nagas - A group of many tribes!

The Naga people are probably the most popular and widely-known tribal community in India. The Nagas group consists of a number of tribes such as Rengma, Sema, Angami, Sumi, Chang, Sangtam, and many more which collectively form the Naga Group. Each of these tribes has their own language and they are mostly derived from other ones, like Tibeto-Burman. They are basically the ethnic groups originating from the North-Eastern part of India, like Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, etc. These tribes are also spread in Myanmar, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Back in the 19th century, many Christian-Protestant communities succeeded in converting people from this community into Christianity. However, this conversion was not very widespread as the people had a sense of resistance towards foreign cultures and succeeded in maintaining their own.

Lambani Tribe - The most colorful people!

The Lambani is a tribal ethnicity from the western part of India, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to be precise. However, it can be found in the northern parts of Karnataka as well. People from this tribal ethnicity speak a language which is familiar and said to have come from Rajasthan.

People of Lambani tribe of India can be distinctly recognised due to their clothing. Women wear clothes and fabrics that are overly decorated and have a lot of ornaments all over their body. These ornaments include bangles, bone-made rings, bracelets and necklaces.

On the other hand, men have a type of coarse turban-like headgear. The tight breeches that they wear extend up to the knee or a few inches below it.

Another significant thing about the Lambani tribe is that they keep travelling from place to place, earning their livelihood by sell clothes along the beaches or local markets.

Kalbelia Tribe - The Dancing Tribe

The Kalbelia tribe is known to have wandered from places to places all through the ancient and medieval ages. The traditional occupation that these tribal people do is catching snakes to trade their venom. And due to this, they are often referred to as saperas.

However, the recent enactments in law have forced the Kalbelia tribe to dive away from their traditional occupation and earn a livelihood with their art. In the present day, the Kalbelia people perform a specific type of dance, called the Kalbelia dance, in joyful occasions within their community.

15 Famous Food of Delhi You Better Don’t Miss

Delhi, the capital city of India, is not just known for its rich history and monuments, but also for food. Ask any Delhiite and they will tell you all about the scrumptious food their land has to offer. As said, to know a place, one needs to know its food and this goes the same for Delhi. To know the hidden layers of the beautiful city, travelers head out on a food hunt, understanding the culture Delhi envelopes. Are you a foodie at heart?

Delhi, the capital of the country, is a very good place to visit. The crowded Delhi is not only popular for roaming but also for different types of food items. Especially the street food here is so delicious that you will become a fan of it. Daulat ki chaat or Mughal kebab are all more than one. The secret of the cuisine here remains a mystery to the people even today.

By drinking Nimbu Paani of Ved Prakash Shop near Chandni Chowk Metro Station, your fatigue and thirst are overcome within a second.

So let us tell you about some of the famous street food of Delhi, which you must test in Delhi. Along with this, we will also tell you where all these street food can be tasted in Delhi.

Famous Delhi Food

Here is all about the best Indian street food and the famous dishes of Delhi, you must try on your next visit to treat your taste buds. Keep reading!

1. Rabdi Falooda

Giani Di Hatti shops are about 50 meters from Fatehpuri Mosque. Here you can taste the Rabdi Faluda with delicious sweets. You will not find sweets like here in the whole of Delhi. Here, ice is fed from the top with fruit and milk inside the Rabdi which calms the heat of Delhi. You must also taste the Gajar ka Halwa and Moong Dal Halwa here.

2. Golgappa or Pani Puri

If you have ever watched the Dangal movie, then you will feel familiar with this one culinary. Who hasn’t had Pani Puri while in India? It’s one of the must haves while on a trip to India. Don’t underestimate the size of these spicy water balls, in most cases you’ll be served 6 pieces of Pani Puri along with 1 masala Puri for a single plate.

Yes, Golgappa or Pani puri is one of the favorite North Indian snack made of a type of puffed bread which is punched in the top. Then pieces of red onion, celery, and water or seasoning sauce are added. Puri is stuffed with spicy water (Pani). It feels unique and refreshing.

The combination of the crunchiness of the dough with water is what makes this dish a true delight.

3. Nihari

If you want to eat delicious Nihari, then you have to go to Kallu Nahariwala for this. The shop is near Jama Masjid which remains open from 6 am to 7:30 pm. For non-vegetarian lovers, the place is a heaven.

4. Samosa

Similar to pastel cakes in Indonesia, Samosa has various fillings, such as potatoes, peas, peanuts, and other spices. The shape of the pyramid is a characteristic of this food item. In India, samosa is usually a vegetarian dish. But in other countries, the contents for samosa have been modified according to the taste of each place. For this reason, we can now find samosas with cheese filling, noodles and also minced meat.

They’re inexpensive, delicious and hot, filled with chicken, potatoes, and spices. One can never go wrong with a hearty samosa. Many countries like USA, Australia too have this dish served in any Indian based restaurant located in the city, but it can never be compared to having it from any local street vendor in Mumbai, Delhi or any other Indian state which is famous for serving it.

5. Momo

Momos saves a place in the list and it is too obvious. Though most popular in the regions of Assam, Darjeeling, and Sikkim, Momos are amongst the famous Delhi foods and you bet they are tempting. Besides being found in India, this dish can also be found in Nepal and Tibet. Momo is believed to have originated from Tibet and was spread to other areas around there by Tibetan traders in the past.

Momo is one of the most loved and most popular dishes among the Nepalese. The bite-sized dumpling is the common afternoon snack dishes in Nepal. Made with a spoonful of stuffing wrapped in dough, Momo is prepared with a combination of ground meat, vegetables, paneer, cheese, tofu or any vegetable and meat combinations.

Momo can be served steamed, fried or steamed-fried with dipping or Achar made with a blend of spices and flavors. Momo is served in various shapes, sizes and with all kinds of filings. Momo is served in various shapes, sizes and with all kinds of filings. Some of the common varieties of Momo are Steamed Momo, Fried Momo, Chilly Momo, Jhol Momo and Kothey Momo.

Served both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties, these succulent dumplings come with a hot red sauce. You can enjoy it as street food snacks in your cocktail parties or simply get on the street side and cherish the delicacy, especially in winters with soup. Heavenly!

The best known places for momos are Nagaland Food Stall in Dilli Haat, Majnu ka Tilla in North Campus, Kamla Nagar Market and Sikkim House in Panchsheel Marg.

6. Chaat

Undoubtedly, chaat is one of the most famous dishes of Delhi and it has to be on the list. Yes, there are many other cities famous for their delicious street food, but Delhi is no less than a competition to them. Every form of chaat is available in the city. You can activate your taste buds with the spicy aloo tikki, papri chaat, raj kachori and just keep naming them.

There are lots of different versions of chaat, but basically it’s like crunchy snacks with potato, spices, some something fresh like mint, coriander and something sweet and tangy like tamarind etc. It’s an awesome mix of spices, sweet, salty, tangy, and textures, crunchy, soft, fresh, cold, and hot.

If you just want to have papri chaat or gol gappe, Delhi has vendors at every corner and there is no doubt it won't be fantastic! That green chutney, yoghurt and meethi chutney on top is the best part of the dish.

7. Daulat ki Chaat

Delhi has this ethereal dish called daulat ki chaat found in the narrow by-lanes of Old Delhi, particularly in and around Chandni Chowk. Folklore has it, that it’s a very ancient dish, probably as old as the city of Delhi itself, having undergone bit changes in it’s recipe, texture, and the process of making. This is a melt in your mouth soft fluffy subtle winter dish, rich In flavour enjoyed only during November to January.

If you want to lick your fingers, then try Daulat ki Chaat. No one has known the secret of the process of making this chaat till date. Here, spices of chaat are prepared overnight. After this, saffron and silverwork are applied in milk here in the morning. When you eat the Daulat chaat, you can feel the wonderful taste of it.

This lightly-sweetened-with-a-touch-of-salt confection has its heritage firmly rooted in the Mughal era. It’s like the lightest, airiest, most foamy, most ethereal souffle or meringue you would have ever eaten. Actually, souffle and meringue aren’t in the same league. Daulat ki Chaat is luxurious. While eating it one feels like one is enjoying something of high value, something regal, but it is surprisingly just humble old milk.

The charm of Daulat ki Chaat is its very ephemerality. One realizes the labour that went into it, and the fact that it will soon be gone and another tryst with it will be hard to find. The vendors themselves don’t stay in one place - they move about with their wares on a bicycle, and the dish is all gone in a matter of hours.

While eating Daulat ki Chaat, one is given a very important lesson in humility and mortality - and that is why it needs to stick around and not be lost in the pages of history.

8. Kebab

True, kebabs found its origin in Turkey, the grilled meat chunks tastes no lesser delicious when marinated in Indian spices and Delhi proves that quite honestly. Kebabs are one of the various other things Delhiites thank Mughals for. If you are a non-vegetarian and got the advantage of being a foodie, do treat yourself with the Karim's delicious seekh kebab near the Red Fort and Sutli Kabab at Kale Baba ke Kebabs in the front lane of Jama Masjid.

Alkakori Alkauser in RK Puram, Galouti at Kainoosh, Salim's Kebabs in Khan Market, Ghalib Kebab Corner in Nizamuddin and MI meat shop in Meherchand are some of the famous eateries for Kebabs in Delhi. For best galauti kebabs you can visit Rajinder Da Dhaba at Safdarjag Enclave and Ganesh and Karol Bagh will introduce you to their majestic fried fish pakodas.

By reaching here, you can get the perfect taste of Mughlai food. Every dish has different prices here. Kareem's famous dishes are kebabs, mutton korma, chicken mughlai, brain curry, chicken jahangir, etc.

9. Paratha

For a healthy start of the day, Parathas serve to be the best breakfast for Delhiites. From plain butter parathas to the varieties of stuffed parathas (aloo, mooli, onion, gobi, keema and you name it!), there are places serving delicious parathas anytime you want it - morning, evening or for a tummy filling dinner.

Ask any locals or students to know the best places serving parathas in Delhi and Chandni Chowk's Parathe Wali Gali and Moolchand ke Parathe would be on top of their lists. Near the end of this street, near a shop, you will see a list of various varieties of all parathas. After seeing this list, you will not be able to decide which parathas to be tried.

These shops were built around 1872. Whoever comes to Delhi definitely eats parathas in this Paranthe Wali Gali. Paneer Paratha, Gajar Ka Paratha, Aloo Paratha, or Pyaj Ka Paratha are all served with different kinds of vegetables, yogurt, and pickles.

10. Chole Bhature

Here is some free advice. Have this delicious Punjabi dish on an empty stomach to enjoy it to the fullest. Chole Bhature has to be on the list for its mouth-watering, spicy and rich taste. Every Delhi food joint have this food delicacy on their menu for its popularity among Delhiites.

If you could not make to it for the breakfast, have hot, crispy bhature and rich, spicy chole for dinner or just as a snack in the evening. Paharganj's Sitaram Diwan Chand, Chache di Hatti in Kamla Nagar and Lajpat Nagar's Baba Nagpal Corner are some best known places for yummy Chole Bhature in the city.

If you are in Noida, do stop by Sagar's Special Paneer Chole Bhature in Sector 18 or for a pav bhaji, misal pav or South Indian vada pav with coconut chutney.

11. Butter Chicken

For all the Chicken lovers out there, here is something you need to know about one of your favorite dishes - Butter Chicken. In Delhi, this delectable non-vegetarian dish was first originated in 1950s by Kundanlal Gujral at the Moti Mahal Restaurant in Daryaganj. However, Moti Mahal is not the only one stop point for Butter Chicken today.

The dhabas in Delhi serve you the real version of butter chicken, try out Rajindar da Dhaba in Safdargunj Enclave. Some other well-known places for butter chicken are Kainoosh and Gulati at Pandara Road. You can best enjoy the famous Delhi food with naan or rice.

12. Chole Kulche

Chickpeas in a thick gravy served with a flat bread. People who love their Chole Kulcha REALLY love it. This is a Punjabi quintessential breakfast! Lotan Kulcha Wala has its branch in Daryaganj and another in Chawri Bazar. These shops are famous for Chole Kulche. In the Chole here, you will get a great taste of sour and chili with an excellent combination.

You have to pick it up a little early to taste their Chulche Kulchas. The shop remains open only from 7.30 am to 10.30 am.

13. Aloo Paratha

A potato-stuffed flatbread which is packed with savory flavors served with pickle, curd and green chutney. It's a known fact that North India is crazy about parathas. Butter laden and nothing short of spectacular. Aloo paratha is Indian bread stuffed with masala aloo. It is a calorie rich dish and keeps you full for a very long time. It is eaten with curd which helps in digestion.

14. Dahi Bhalla

There is a shop of Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala behind the Paranthe Wali Gali. People line up to eat Dahi Bhalla of this shop. Its taste is very different. This shop remains open from 10:30 AM to 11 PM all week.

15. Kulfi

Like Food is incomplete without a dessert, so would be our list of Delhi's famous food without a mention of the most-loved dessert Kulfi. Finding its name origin from Persia, Kulfi is a creamier and denser version of ice cream and is believed to be first introduced by the Mughals in some place in North India.

Be it a house party with your friends, kitty party or a wedding, it is only the yummy Kulfi stick that completes the dinner. You will definitely find a Kulfi stall in Delhi weddings. Look out for the best Kulfi corners in the city such as the Defence Colony Market, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh's Roshan di Kulfi and some more.

If you want something more special, take a halt at Chandni Chowk and visit Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfiwale that introduces all new version of the dessert by adding real fruits like custard apple, mango, etc. to the mix before they freeze it.

The shop is located near the Chawri Bazar metro station. At this place, you can enjoy all kinds of kulfis. The famous stuffed mango kulfi here costs Rs 200. This shop remains open from 9 am to 10:30 pm.

16. Aloo Tikki

Literally meaning potato croquette, Aloo tikki, one of the famous foods of India is made from mashed mashed potatoes, and then deep fried. The fried boiled potatoes are then blended together with green chilies, shallots, radishes, and other spices. It tastes like rujak, with a denser texture. In Bengal it is eaten with puffed rice.

17. Pakora

These fries are made from vegetables, such as spinach, which is fried in flour and can be eaten directly or with green chutney. Although it looks similar to fried foods in Indonesia, but it doesn't taste as good as bala-bala, et al. The texture is also not too crisp. But if you are lazy to cook yourself, the pakora can be a substitute.

18. Dahi Puri

Don’t confuse it with Pani Puri. This delicacy consists of curd, sev, ragda and a couple of other fillings. It’s delicious! It has puri, stuffed with mashed potatoes or chickpeas, turmeric, chili powder, sweet tamarind sauce and spicy green sauce, and finally, sweetened yogurt (dahi) is generously poured over the rind, and the final product is garnished with sev (chips of fried potato) and a little bit of chopped cilantro.

Delhi’s food scene is a huge entity in itself and it requires multiple visits for the real food lovers to relish the majestic cuisines of this city. Planned your trip to the capital city of India? Now that you have the knowledge of the most famous dishes of Delhi, do plan your food hunt before you reach!

12 Hotels in Las Vegas With the Best Shows

For many people who have never set foot in Las Vegas, the hype is all there to savor. No mindless drinking and getting married at a whim! No slot machines! And certainly no getting home penniless. But this is not to say that you need not be there to experience Las Vegas. Having a life defining experience that matches up to the many stories you have heard from your peers all boils down to preparation.

Yes! In as much as it may seem like a bold and boring word, it certainly makes up for it when adequate preparation leads to a great time. Yes, we've seen it in so many movies that getting married in Las Vegas is a cliché, but the truth is that it's a fun and unforgettable experience. Surely that's why every year a few thousand couples get married in the chapels of the Capital of Sin, some with a singer-impersonator Elvis, others with a serious minister.

But Las Vegas also offers more exclusive weddings, from outdoor ceremonies in beautiful places such as the Red Rock canyon to sophisticated parties in casino complexes on the Strip, such as the Bellagio, with its artificial lake and dancing fountains. You have to apply for a marriage license in advance. Visit Graceland Wedding Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi got married.

Look at Vegas Weddings, the only window for express weddings from the car, with a beautiful mini-cathedral. Have some tapas in La Cave, between arches in Spanish style and by candlelight. The luxury restaurants and bars have cozy tables, and chapels specialize in carrying out fast weddings everywhere. The best time to visit Las Vegas is in late April, May, September and early October. Temperatures are milder in the desert and it does not snow.

Ok, you're already married. It's time to think about the best honeymoon in Las Vegas and celebrate it in style. The capital of marriage, offers a good number of activities to inaugurate married life altogether. Go on a gondola ride through the Venetian canals or by a lake under the moonlight. If it is mentioned in the hotel reception that it is a romantic trip, you can get extras such as jacuzzi or rose petals on the bed.

As you can see here, there is no better place to celebrate for newlyweds than Las Vegas. In addition, it is the starting point for a romantic road trip through the canyons and deserts of the southwest USA.

Hotels in Las Vegas

Remember that many of the attractions of Las Vegas are located within the hotels. It is therefore widely considered as one of the best hotel destinations in the world owing to its postmodern architectural brilliance and savvy attractions.

1. Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower

The Stratosphere Hotel with a 350 meters high tower is the best viewpoint in Las Vegas and three unforgettable attractions like Big Shot, X-Scream and Insanity, the Ride. If you are keen on witnessing the immeasurable skyline of Las Vegas then you have got to visit the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. Standing proud at a height of above 1,000 feet this tower is truly a phenomenal gem of Las Vegas.

The feeling of standing on the podium up above 1000 feet in the sky and seeing the vast and engaging spectacle before your eyes will surely leave a lasting impact on your life.

2. New York-New York Hotel

New York-New York Hotel has an impressive facade of the New York skyline. Right in front of the New York Hotel is the roller coaster, which can reach 100 kilometers per hour, or the High Roller, the largest panoramic Ferris wheel in the world.

3. Luxor Hotel

Do not miss staying at a themed hotel on the Strip. They are gigantic and will surprise you with their shops, theaters, swimming pools, discos, chapels for weddings, casinos. Among the most spectacular are the Luxor Hotel, inspired by ancient Egypt with its great pyramid. Located on the southern tip of the Strip, the hotel is surrounded by two bays, Mandalay and Excalibur.

A pristine location, it doesn't come as a surprise that it was built at a cost of USD 375 million. When you plan to take a break and travel to Las Vegas, Luxor Hotel is not just a pipe dream, but one to be realized when you finally get to be wowed by its many luxuries. With hardly a few months from celebrating its 25th anniversary, Luxor Hotel & Casino has come a long way.

From a position of detached objectivity sort of a like a fly on the wall it is easy to downplay that. But like they say, you need to see it to believe it! Spread out over 120000 sq.ft., this expansive hotel and casino boasts of over 29 retail stores, 4 swimming pools, a salon and nurture spa, 4407 rooms, 87 tables and 2000 slot machines. And that's just a tip of the iceberg, as locals are accustomed to saying.

Consisting of a staggering 30 floors, you forget that you're on the other end of Las Vegas Strip when you realize that you can see quite a great deal of surrounding areas from your hotel balcony. So many delightful treats await you on arrival that trying to take on everything at once can be likened to charging an elephant.

You have the world famous Criss Angel performing his heart wrenching acts of magic once a year. Then there's the LAX Nightclub, which was officially opened by Britney Spears and just recently hosted Christina Aguilera. And top all of that, you have the cream of the crop. The Luxor Sky Beam, which is the strongest and one of the longest beams of light shoot out from a pyramid into the universe.

Visible from as far as 275 miles, this is a must see for any Star Wars fan. It is therefore fitting that a resort like Luxor Hotel and Casino was featured in a host of movies and popular television shows, like Hangover, Fear Factor and CSI, as well as having its maiden appearance in a the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

4. Four Seasons Hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas is a luxury hotel located between floors 35 and 39 of the Mandalay Bay resort. The hotel is a 30-minute walk from Town Square of Las Vegas, 15 minutes' walk from Monorail MGM Grand train station. The property is 5 km from the McCarran International Airport.

It has 424 elegant and sophisticated rooms with a maximum capacity of four people, which are equipped with marble bathrooms with rear lighting mirrors, work area with ergonomic armchair, iPod docking station and tea and coffee service, among other amenities.

This pet-friendly hotel has an elegant swimming pool, as well as a spa where clients can treat themselves to beauty treatments and massages with products from the best brands. The spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas emulates the desert environment in the colors and materials with which it was designed. There is also a gym and a business center that has specific spaces and means available 24 hours a day.

Weddings at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas have a banquet room and pastry services, florist, as well as event organization. In the section of restoration they are the Veranda restaurant, whose specialty is Italian cuisine and the Charlie Palmer Steak, specialized in meats. In addition to shows, it has an aquarium in which there are sharks and crocodiles.

Both have separate bars serving light dishes and drinks in an elegant atmosphere. There is also a social lounge with outside terrace overlooking the pool. In addition, guests of the Four Seasons Hotel can enjoy the facilities of Mandalay Bay, which has a casino and an artificial beach with waves, sand and other attractions. Finally, the Four Seasons Hotel offers its clients the possibility to visit the Valley of Fire by helicopter.

5. The Venetian

In the Venetian you can take a gondola ride through canals like in Venice. Madame Tussauds in Vegas is a place where the people can find their favourite Hollywood Stars amazingly built wax statues. The figures here are very lifelike. Many people can find this to be a little eerie as well, however, the major focus in this museum has always been on making the statues of people who have been closely associated with the city of Las Vegas.

6. Caesars Palace

Situated right in the middle of the strip, the Caesar Palace is a huge complex where you can choose to entertain yourself in innumerable ways. Many big shot celebrities have performed and have graced the stage with their sheer presence in the past here. Some of the names include Celine Dion and Elton John.

However, before checking-in don’t forget to see the ticket prices and timings. Caesars Palace will transport you to ancient Rome. Relaxing in Qua Baths & Spa is perfect for future brides or honeymoon couples.

7. Paris-Las Vegas

This is a famous hotel and casino, located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The highlight point of this hotel is the miniature model of Eiffel Tower which attracts a great number of tourists on an annual basis.

Paris-Las Vegas has a 100-meter-high Eiffel Tower. Tour the Eiffel Tower Experience to spend the honeymoon in the city of light. From here, one can see a complete 360-degree view of the city’s skyline. There is also a mock hot air balloon integrated with neon and flashing lights.

You can take a break by having a beer in Budweiser Beer Park. This bar and grill is located in the Paris Las Vegas hotel and offers more than 100 types of beer and games of darts and billiards.

8. Circus Circus

The entrance of Circus Circus imitates a large circus tent.

9. Waldorf Astoria

Toast at Mandarin Bar & Tea Lounge overlooking the Strip.

10. Wynn

Have a romantic date in Parasol Up and Parasol Down, two memorable places to taste craft cocktails. Room service menus include champagne, gourmet chocolate, and non-family-friendly treats in case you need a little push.

11. The LINQ Hotel

Situated on the far end of the Linq Promenade the High Roller Ferris Wheel stands at a height of around 550 feet. It takes about thirty minutes to complete a full round wherein the tourists get to watch some really incredible views of the city.

12. Planet Hollywood

Go to Spa by Mandara, where couples can choose the "Paris for Lovers" treatment package, with a Jacuzzi for two.

20 Monsoon Travel Tips for the Budget Traveler

Ah, the monsoon! Downpours, waterfalls and the open road. While many adventure junkies look forward to this season for the myriad activities and trips that are unique to this season, monsoon travel is fast becoming popular. Still considered off-season by popular standards, this season presents numerous opportunities for everyone.

Monsoon Travel Tips

Too many options dragging you down? We have a handy list of travel tips and tricks to ensure you have a magical monsoon break.

1. Plan Ahead

While just loading up a car/bike and taking off might seem like the perfect getaway, travelling during the monsoon might require a little more preparation. The monsoon brings with it uncertainty in the form of traffic diversions, alternate routes and sometimes the occasional blocked access route.

Figuring out the best routes and planning out the most scenic one/with the minimum disruptions would go a long way in making your trip one to remember. For those looking at setting off for the mountains or waterfalls that abound during the season, it is advisable to look up alternate routes in the event of roads being blocked/landslides etc.

2. Check Expenses

Looking to make your monsoon trip within a budget? While you should not cut back when it comes to supplies and medicines, technology can go a long way in helping you save on other expenses. Looking at refueling along the way? Keep track of daily changing fuel prices through handy apps. Here you can receive alerts on petrol and diesel prices based on the city you are in.

Check real time petrol price and rein in those ever-mounting petrol bills. Avoid time and fuel-wasting diversions by tracking traffic in real time, so you can get to your destination in the quickest and most convenient way possible.

Also, do make sure you track your overall spending on the trip so you don't go over budget. Personal finance features on mobile applications can help you keep track of every expense on the road. Tracking expenses for the duration of your trip can help you keep a check on unnecessary expenditure. It will allow you to enjoy your vacation without worrying about going over budget.

3. Keep Updated on the Weather

Regularly keeping track of the weather along your route and at your destination is another handy tip. It could go a long way in making that vacation a memorable one. With the monsoon being unpredictable, there could be a chance of cave-ins or traffic disruptions along your route. To avoid being stuck in traffic jams or having to turn back midway, monitor the news or use a weather app to track climate. It is also advisable to avoid accident-prone areas as far as possible.

4. Waterproof Luggage

Thinking of setting off on a monsoon trek, or visiting a waterfall? No matter what your activity or travel plan, ensure you have waterproof and quick drying clothing so you are comfortable throughout your trip. Trundling through a winding road dripping wet can ruin even the most diehard traveller's day.

So stock up on those quick drying clothes and invest in waterproof covers for your essentials and electronics. Look out for water resistant bags or covers for your regular luggage, if you are not looking at buying new gear. For those travelling with electronics, dry bags are an excellent way to keep electrical items safe and dry when on the road.

5. Pack for the Season

Despite heavy romanticism of rains, it starts pouring very very heavily in short period of time and it's advisable to keep at least a small umbrella handy all the time during June-October. Don't forget it in typical spots like restaurants, trains and autos.

Seems like a no-brainer, but packing for the season and location is a must when you are looking at monsoon travel. Based on your planned location/locations and activities, packing appropriate clothing makes a world of a difference. You won't be lugging around huge suitcases, totes or backpacks, for one, and you will be prepared.

Wet weather usually entails a sticky, muggy climate and swarms of mosquitoes in most places. So keep those bug sprays and disinfectants at the ready. Another essential for monsoon travel is protective gear-raincoats, ponchos, and umbrellas. Keeping warm and dry is always preferable to getting soaked and spending the rest of your travels sniffling.

6. Handy Spares

Whether you are riding into the sunset or planning a drive, carrying along spares is a must. Since the season sees fewer travellers, finding help along the way might prove difficult. So remember to carry essentials wherever possible. Spark plugs, cables and a spare tyre for a four-wheel drive are some basic spares that will ensure you are not stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Make a checklist of supplies and spares that you would require so as to avoid missing out on anything. Rechargeable batteries and portable charging stations are also must-haves. It can be picked up at most electronic shops and added to your travel tool kit.

7. Sturdy Shoes

A wardrobe essential for monsoon travel, carrying or wearing a sturdy pair of shoes can make or break your trip, especially if you have activities planned. Flimsy flip-flops or fashionable boots should be left behind in favour of comfortable sandals or quick-drying shoes. With rain always on the horizon, surfaces will be slippery so ensure your shoes can grip slick surfaces.

Investing in a pair of rubber-soled shoes or sturdy rain shoes will tide you over for the duration of your trip and beyond. Carrying shoes based on the activities you have planned is also advisable. Planning a trek? Look for lightweight waterproof trekking boots that can double up as rainwear shoes as well.

8. Medical Kit

Another no-brainer, a first aid kit should be one of the first items you load up on that bike/car before you set out. It is advisable to take a fully stocked first aid kit and some seasonal additions in the form of insect repellent, seasonal medication in case of allergies and plenty of disinfectant for those errant scratches.

You can either buy a fully stocked medical kit or make up one based on your individual requirements.

9. Take Advantage of the Lower Prices

One of the main advantages of traveling during monsoon is that you get better prices on accommodation, tours, and plane tickets. This applies to long term apartment rentals, too. You can find plenty of great offers and find out how much money you can save by booking during the rainy months.

Likewise, as there are fewer tourists, you will get the ticket prices for regional flights and boat trips reduced. Therefore, if you would like to see more and stretch your budget, you can do that during the winter. From eating out to luxury hotels, you will get a discount on everything. Even your haggling skills will go further at the market.

10. Get a Stable and Comfortable Base

It is important that you have a set base where you start off on an adventure. It has to be in a big city, such as in Jakarta. So if the roads are flooded and you can't get out of the city, you can still fend for yourself and see some of the sights on foot. You can rent a room in the center or an apartment, and stay dry on the days when it is simply impossible to get out and explore.

You might need heating in your apartment, as the temperatures drop when the heavy rain comes and the sun is covered by clouds.

11. Engage with a Local Tour Operator

If you would like to know what you can see and do during the monsoon, you will have to ask a local. International tour operators will try and sell you the most expensive tours and trips without considering the season.

If you contact a local agency, however, you will not only get better prices and customer service, but can also customize your trip to the weather. Some of the smaller local companies will include the price of private transfer from one place to the next, too. So you can avoid getting wet while waiting for a taxi or the train to get to where you want to be.

12. Get a Car or Private Transfer

It is much easier to get a private transfer company to be ready to pick you up whenever you need them than trying to figure out how locals get around. You can get the transfer cheap from a travel agent or contact a company directly, if you have already designed your itinerary and know where you want to go and when.

Even private taxi to and from the airport can be cheap, but if it is prearranged, it is even more affordable. Don't forget to haggle, as companies will be in a fierce competition with each other when there are not many tourists around.

13. Pack Loads of Waterproofs

You should invest in waterproof kits and have a spare one in your backpack every time. Unfortunately, normal umbrellas will not do much during the monsoon alone. You will need waterproof over trousers and jackets with a hood to protect your health. Pay attention to your shoes, as well. Most of the time you will have to face roads that have inches of water on the surface, and puddles that are simply too big to jump over.

A waterproof high ankle boot or Wellington boots will be necessary. Have an extra pair of socks and a poncho handy, just in case you are facing a torrential downfall. Remember that it is not very cold, only damp during the monsoon, so you only need light layers.

14. Don't Camp; Book Hotels

While most of the time it is best to explore the breathtaking places on foot and camp under the stars, this is not recommended during the rainy season. The ground can become very muddy, and landslides are very common. Instead, you should ask your local travel agent or other places to get your accommodation booked upon arrival.

Get the transfer arranged, and avoid the risk of a chest infection when traveling during the wet season. Take a portable hair dryer or a small heater with you, so you can dry your clothes when you arrive at your accommodation.

15. Improve Your Immune System

Before you set out on your journey, it is recommended that you start taking vitamin and mineral supplements to improve your immune system. Visit your clinic before you travel so you can get all the vaccinations to kick in before you arrive.

You might even get an immune boost supplement or injection, so you can prevent the weather and related illnesses from ruining your vacation. If you are not fit and healthy, it might also be a good time to step up your exercise routine, so you can walk the trails and deal with the challenging terrains.

16. Be Prepared for Migraines

All year round, the air is very humid, and this is true during the monsoon. If you suffer from headaches related to the weather, it is important that you take loads of painkillers and homeopathic supplements. Whatever works for your migraines at home will come handy, but you are likely to need a larger dose.

While you might find similar products, you will have no guarantee that they will work for you. Check with your travel company and airline to make sure you are not taking too much medication, though, or you can get into trouble at the airport.

17. Plan Indoor Programs

The monsoon season might be a good time to explore some of the museums and temples. While you might not be able to go on a hiking trip in the forest, you can still visit some of the zoos and animal sanctuaries. If you would like to take the opportunity to get closer to nature, you can also become a volunteer at a national reserve, and have your accommodation and food provided.

This is a good way of seeing more of the country without having to go on wet hikes and walks. In the night you can enjoy the traditional dance.

18. Boat Trips

To take in the natural beauty of the islands and the rock formations, volcanoes, and green spaces, you can book yourself a cruise trip. You will have your own dry cabin and only have to leave the cruise when you feel like it. If you are generally not suffering from seasickness, this can be your idea way of exploring the different islands.

Choose a boat trip that offers a covered deck, so you can sit outside staying dry and take in the scenery.

19. Be Aware of Regional Differences in Rainfall

The monsoon spread and strength will change when you move from one island to another. You have to ask locals and monitor the situation so you can avoid being stuck on an island or getting your trip plans canceled. Moreover, the monsoon changes from one year to the next. It is important that you listen to weather forecasts, as well as local people.

Some of the lower regions of the islands are more likely to flood than others, but if you choose your accommodation on the hillside, you might face landslides and have to plan an escape route.

20. Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

One of the main health risks of traveling during the monsoon is getting mosquito bites. The humid air and the swollen waters will attract the animals and help them breed. If you are booking a hotel or private accommodation, you need to make sure that you have adequate repellents and mosquito nets on the windows.

It is also a good idea to take some repellent with you every time you venture out, as you don't want to end up with a new strain of malaria that your current vaccination doesn't provide protection against. Cover your arms, hands, and ankles, as well as your neck, as those are the areas mosquitoes are most likely to attack.

It is possible to make the most out of your trip during the monsoon season. However, you need to arrive prepared and adjust your plans according to the predicted and past rainfall. If you don't mind getting wet and want to save money, you might start planning your perfect rainy season and avoid the crowds this winter.

Remember to pack a spare flashlight/torch for emergency purposes, as well as a spare set of batteries. Keep these tips in mind and make the most of your monsoon break, without breaking the bank.

15 Tips And Tricks To Help You Travel Without Stress

Traveling offers you the chance to see the world, do things you have never done before, and, of course, get away from the stresses of work and everyday life. Unfortunately, as amazing as traveling can be, it can cause you a lot of stress itself.

Whether you realise it or not, going on vacation takes its toll, both physically and mentally, from the moment you start planning until way past you return home. This is especially true if you are not used to planning trips and traveling the world. Thankfully, you do not always have to deal with exhaustion, worries, and frustration. In fact, you can have uninterrupted fun and relaxation.

Going on vacation essentially means taking time off from your work and daily life. There is a fine line between every other trip and a vacation. The purpose of travelling may be due to attend a business meeting, participate in a competition or conference or even for studies abroad but going on vacation typically means a stress-free holiday or to enjoy life with your own ideas.

It has been scientifically proven that vacationing has physical and psychological benefits. Going for a vacation not only opens your mind to new ideas but also raises your professional and personal proficiency. Travelling is a key point for having a healthy life and blossom of new ideas. It not only reduces the stress but also improved productivity.

Regardless of whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it’s safe to say that you have some trouble getting enough sleep. This is unfortunate as then you are not well-rested and might have difficulties following business meetings and truly exploring the city you are visiting. To help you out, we’ve gathered some essential tips and tricks for ensuring you get a good night’s sleep when on the road for a long time so that you can have a stress-free travel experience. Take a look.

Tips And Tricks To Help You Travel Without The Stress

To help you with that, read these useful tips for the budget traveler for a solo vacation to relieve stress.

1. Deal with jet lag in advance

In case you are traveling to a faraway destination, you will be faced with jetlag. The best way to prevent jet lag is to deal with it in advance. Therefore, start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before you leave so that you go to sleep and wake up just like you would at your destination. Match the time zone you will be in by turning the lights on during the night or closing the blinds during the day. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before your trip.

2. Make sure you are comfortable

If it takes a long time to reach your destination, you might be sleeping on the plane, train, bus, or in the car as well. While all of these transportation methods come with their own limitations when it comes to legroom, the timing of the bathroom breaks you can take, and the overall comfort of the trip, something that goes for all of them is the fact that you should dress comfortably.

Plan ahead when it comes to what you will be wearing. You want loose clothes and layers as then you will be able to put them on when the AC gets a bit chilly and take them off when you need to. Footwear is also important as you’ll probably want to take your shoes off to feel more comfortable so put on those that can easily slip off or loosen the laces.

When trying to settle in for the night, don’t cross your legs as that will restrict your blood flow and do your best to keep your spine aligned.

3. Invest in various sleep accessories

Other than wearing comfy clothes, there are other useful hacks that you need to know about if you want to make the trip as pleasant as possible and get the necessary sleep. For one, you can invest in a sleep mask that will block out the light and earplugs that you can use to block the noises around you, like the engine and crying babies.

Then, a travel pillow is something that you cannot overlook either. Luckily, there are many different types that you can look at before you pick the one that will fit your most common sleeping position when traveling. They can even work wonders in your hotel room if you don’t like the pillow you are provided with.

On the other hand, if you need body pillows to sleep and have enough space in your luggage, you can easily bring your own as hotels usually don’t offer these.

4. Look for apps and devices that might help

If simply shutting out the noise is not enough to put you to sleep, even when you are not traveling, you have to look for some alternatives. For example, certain people travel with a white noise machine, which you can easily use in your hotel room when you need lulling to sleep. On a smaller scale, you can easily download a white noise app to your phone and plug in noise-canceling headphones if you need to sleep on the bus or plane.

On the other hand, some individuals prefer listening to audiobooks and podcasts before they go to sleep, which is also something you can find an app for. Plus, there are also apps that help you track and improve your sleep.

5. Stock up on healthy drinks and foods

When on the road, you need to stay hydrated. The best way to do this is by simply drinking water. Caffeine and alcohol might be tempting but excessive amounts will interfere with your sleeping habits. Water, on the other hand, will keep you hydrated and prevent sickness. While it is especially important for air travelers due to low humidity in the cabin, everyone should drink enough water during their trip.

What is more, you should also pack some healthy snacks that can help you sleep better. Various protein and granola bars, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, beef jerky sticks, peanut butter, and carrot sticks are just some of the foods you should consider packing. Finally, if you have issues falling asleep when on the road, you might need some sleep aids in the form of both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

You can consult with your doctor if you need something stronger but try using melatonin first as it can prepare your body for rest.

6. Packing Hacks

Packing is something that can cause you a lot of stress if you are not careful. You can pack way too much and way too little at the same time, leaving you with a bag of things you do not really need and a house full of things that you did. Because of this, it is important that you write a list. This way, you can check things off as you go, so that nothing vital is forgotten.

Travel wallet with all documents and boarding passes, pieces of paper and pens will be useful, too. Having some chewing gum or candies can help your ears during sudden changes of the cabin pressure.

7. Make Luggage Stand Out

Everyone's heard the holiday horror stories, where entire families have gone on vacation together, and every single one of them has had their luggage lost or stolen. Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about the airline losing your luggage, besides buying travel insurance for travellers, but you can keep people from taking your bags by accident.

All you need to do is make it stand out some way, such as by adding a colourful bow or ribbon to the handle.

8. Rest The Night Before

Traveling can be an exhausting experience, which is why you need to make sure that you are properly rested before you go. There is no point in saying that you will sleep on the plane because, with turbulence, other passengers, and your family, this might not be possible. Instead of staying up all night packing, planning, and worrying, you need to get a good night's sleep. If you are struggling to do this, here are some tips to help you.

9. Lock Up Your Home

Nothing ruins the buzz of a vacation like coming back to a ransacked house. If you want to avoid this stress, then it is crucial that you lock your home up properly before you go. This means checking every single window and door.

You should also ask someone you trust to check in on the property and ensure and looks lived in, by moving the post from behind the door, opening and closing the curtains, and turning lights off and on at different times throughout the day.

10. Enjoy A Stress-Free Vacation With A Travel Insurance Policy

To ensure a relaxed, enjoyable and tension-free vacation, it is crucial to cover your trip using the travel insurance. But planning and going for a vacation comes with its own set of challenges. The risk of uncertainty can ruin a vacation. However, travel insurance plans can significantly help in managing the perils of travelling and minimizing the risks that come with it.

Travel insurance plans cannot stop or restrict a mishap but can cover you against travel related financial losses, helps to tackle medical emergencies, unforeseen expenses and various other risks that you might encounter during initiation of the trip. In simple words, you can say that leaving for a vacation with a backup plan known as travel insurance.

It allows you to be well prepared for any contingencies that you may face while travelling in an unknown location. Incidents such as loss of luggage, loss of wallet, loss of passport, cancellation of flights are covered under a travel insurance policy. This insurance policy provides cover to both domestically or internationally.

The insurance provider may also provide round-the-clock support for any mishaps and make alternative arrangements for a smooth travel experience. Travel insurance provides a traveler with the much-needed assurance that their investment on a vacation is used to the best and any unforeseen travel related contingency is taken care of.

Various companies offers various policies under the travel insurance plan. But it is to be suggested that before taking any plan must check the features and benefits you get for yourself. The following are some of the instances in which travel insurance can significantly minimize your losses and mitigate the risks associated with it.

11. Learn to Communicate in the Local Language

It is always useful to learn a few phrases in the local language, especially if you are going to a place where not many people understand English. At the very least make sure you know how to say things like I need help, where is the hospital or the police station? or what time does the bus/train arrive? etc. Also, make sure you know where your embassy is and how you can reach them.

12. Stick To Your Budget

Holidays can be incredibly expensive, and unless you are careful, you will end up massively overspending, leaving you without any cash to last you the rest of your time away. Because of this, it is crucial that you plan your budget carefully and try to stick to it your entire trip.

You should plan for your travel before 2 months so as to get the cheap travel tickets of airlines, buses and other transport. You will get benefit for your hotel bookings, too. There are going to be days where you spend a little more than you were supposed to, but that just means you will have to spend a little less the next day or dip into your emergency fund if you really need to.

13. Stay Somewhere Like Home

Simply being away from your home comforts is enough to put you on edge, so you should try to find accommodation that is like being at home. If possible, you might even want to consider buying a property abroad. This way, your apartment will be just how you like it. If your budget does not quite stretch to this, then make sure to bring some home comforts with you, like your favourite dressing gown and slippers.

14. Plan To Do Less

Don't pre-plan your itineraries. As you plan your holiday, you will probably start writing down a list of things you want to do while you are away. These could include places you want to visit, activities you want to try, or restaurants you want to eat at. Of course, you should try to do as many fun things as you can, but avoid putting too much on your plate.

Cramming every day with back to back activities will exhaust you, and you won't enjoy your trip away. You need to give yourself some time off too. Sometimes, you will get to know best places after reaching the destination. Also, local transport taxi will be available at lower price than that of pre-booked taxi for sight-seeing.

15. Sort Out Your Routine

Many people view a trip away as a chance to escape from their regular routines. They stay up late, sleep in, and eat whenever they feel like it. Unfortunately, while this does work for the few, most of us suffer when we try to do this. The body runs on cycles, and, as such, loves a regular schedule.

Because of this, it is crucial that you sort out your routine and set regular times to sleep and eat. If you do not, you will end up tired and irritable, which could ruin your trip.

There you go, some of the essentials for ensuring you get a good night’s sleep when traveling. Prepare for the new time zone, make sure you are comfortable and have all the necessary accessories, and stock up on healthy snacks. Traveling offers you the chance to relax and get away from everyday stresses. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, it can become a stress itself.

If you want to go on vacation without the bother, then remember the tips and tricks listed above.

7 Top Things to Do in Singapore

Thinking of traveling to Singapore? Once a colonial trading post, this city-state has evolved into one of the world's greatest financial hubs. It is also fast becoming one of South East Asia's must-visit travel destinations. Whilst a lot more expensive than its neighbors, Singapore has a growing number of tourist attractions that have made it an exciting and unique metropolis.

Singapore is the most happening in place for tourism in Southeast Asia. It boasts nature, islands, scenic beaches, heritage, and culture. People from across the globe visit here for long-term vacation. It has one of the modern tourist facilities and amenities. The best season to visit this place is throughout a year. The tropical climate prevails here, which is bearable by people of other climatic zones. It is a tourist-friendly place.

You must check your affordable Singapore Thailand tour package includes the below-mentioned things to do once in Singapore. An all-inclusive package is the best to book. You must see it includes a local guide. Singapore Thailand tour package is cheaper to book through an online channel. You will get some discounts and offers on your accommodation and flight tickets. Combined with a tropical climate, it is the perfect vacation spot.

Things to do in Singapore

Here is a Singapore travel guide and blog with few cool things to do in Singapore.

1. Explore the Singapore river cruise

Singapore's Central Business District is where most of the commerce goes on, but it is also a popular spot for tourism. It is here you will find some of the city's most impressive skyscrapers including the Marina Bay Sands Hotel - three skyscrapers with a ship on top! It is possible to take a tour along the Singapore river in which you can learn about some of the landmarks along the way.

There are various river tour companies operating along the banks that focus on the CBD area. You can also take a walk along the riverside where you will find lots of street entertainment, particularly around the Marina Bay area. One thing that shocks most people is how clean the pavements are around this area.

Although this may have something to do with Singapore's zero tolerance approach to littering and you can get fined thousands! Hotel prices can be expensive in the Central Business District due to the views and attractions on one's doorstep. If you are on a budget, you could be better off looking for accommodation on the outskirts and traveling in.

Similarly, if you are traveling to the city for work and looking for a studio apartment for rent in Singapore, you might be better off looking for properties outside this area where you are likely to find more affordable rental rates. Transport links into the Central Business District are very good and relatively cheap (so long as you stick to trains and buses - taxi fares can be steep).

2. Grab a bite near Chinatown Heritage Centre

For people who love to eat, Singapore hidden gems are the cheap food away from the city centres, in the heartlands hawker centres. In order to get by with food, the best places are street vendors as they are considerably cheaper than supermarkets and offer authentic good food. Here, you can find the popular chicken rice at $2.50, fried noodles from $2, and good food at more affordable prices. The variety of food is amazing as well.

Singapore's Chinatown is a great mix of old and new and well worth a visit simply for the sights and sounds. However, if you want to make your visit to Chinatown complete, you will want to taste some of the local cuisine here which is renowned for being some of the best in the city. Many of the locals stick the Hawker Centres.

In Singapore, eating is not cheap, but I've known Din Tai Fung for years but I have to say that the difference was noticeable especially in the portions. Every time that I tried Chinese food in my part I promised myself not to do it anymore. I was able to taste dumplings both of meat and vegetables and then rice with prawns although there were also vegetarian options at Din Tai Fung.

You must reach Telok Ayer Street to explore China Town. This is the place to shop electronic, China products, gift items, leather accessories authentic arts and crafts of China. You must bargain to get the best price for your shopping. You can also taste a variety of Chinese foods from this market.

No Chinese new year is complete without pigging out on bakkwa, sweet, smoky pork/chicken jerky grilled over charcoal fire. And it’s gotta have those charred edges; they sell like hotcakes in Malaysia and Singapore during the Chinese New Year.

Ketupat is a rice cake wrapped with leaves. Kolak is often consumed during Ramadan. Kolak is the most popular dish for iftar (evening meal eaten by Muslims after fasting during Ramadan). It’s a dessert consisting of banana, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves. A variation in which banana is added, is called kolak pisang (banana kolak).

The most common banana used for kolak pisang is plantains (pisang raja) or pisang kepok (saba banana). The bananas are cut into wedges and then boiled along with the coconut milk and sugar.

Other variations may add ingredients such as tapioca balls or sweet potato balls and well known as kolak biji salak (snake-fruit seeds kolak, although there’s no seeds added). Unlike kolak pisang in which coconut milk and ingredients are cooked together, bolak biji salak usually is cooked in palm sugar syrup. The coconut milk is cooked separately, and it is added before serving. Kolak is usually served warm or at room temperature.

3. Try a Singapore Sling in Raffles Place

On the topic of cocktails, Singapore has long been famous for its bar wizardry. One of its most signature beverages is the Singapore Sling - a gin-based cocktail which can be found across the city. The Raffles Hotel, a historic hotel in the city, happens to be the birthplace of this cocktail. Most people go here to try an authentic sling.

That said, there are plenty of cool bars throughout the city where you can still taste this iconic cocktail. Smoke and Mirrors is one bar worth visiting situated atop the National Gallery with incredible views of Marina Bay. Another great bar worth visiting is Flagship.

Whilst its traditional pub feel may make it the last place you would expect to get a cocktail, the bar actually serves a mean Singapore sling with its own unique addition of pineapple syrup. You must try your luck and spend a night once in Singapore in its casinos. You are interested in gambling or not, you can taste delicious food and drinks from the casino.

Yet you can try some slot games. This is also a part of Singapore nightlife. The Marina Bay Sands and the Sentosa Island are the best places to land in a casino. It will be better to stay in a casino hotel and enjoy a casino at your wish 24-hours. You can also try a cruise casino in Singapore.

4. Ride the Singapore Flyer

This giant Ferris wheel found in Marina Bay offers some of the best views of the city to be found. It was the largest observation wheel in the world, surpassed by Las Vegas High Roller. Its capsules are able to carry 27 people and are air-conditioned, making it a great escape from the muggy city heat.

You must go to Raffles Ave to take a ride on this iconic flyer of Singapore. Its magic is it is a high-end flyer. You will be in an AC capsule and you will not get any dizziness due to its superior bearings and suspension. You will reach a top height of 165-m on this flyer. You can have a glimpse of this city skyline.

Operating until 10:30 pm, it is possible to even take in the city sights at night if you get a late night ticket. You can buy tickets for the Singapore Flyer online or purchase them from the counter at the attraction. Combo tickets may include access to the Gardens By The Bay giving you two attractions for the price of one.

5. Drive in the Formula 1 Marina Bay circuit

Racing enthusiasts may also want to pay a visit to the city's formula one track. The Marina Bay Street Circuit has been a fixture for every Grand Prix since renowned for being one of the most challenging city circuits (more so that Monaco according to many of the F1 drivers).

Throughout most of the year, it is possible to walk the circuit for free. However, for a more thrilling experience, you can also drive on the track in a supercar. Accompanied by a professional driver, it is possible to hire out a Ferrari, Mclaren or Lamborghini and drive around the track. You don't need any racing experience, although you will want to bring along your driving license and book at least 48 hours in advance.

6. Enjoy a day out at Universal Studios

The US isn't the only place where you can pay a visit to the Universal Studios theme park. Adventures at one of the universally famous amusement parks in the world are a gateway to a lovely time with your family and it is more magical with your special someone. Dreams do come true at Universal Studios with an eclectic stream of activities so exciting and wholesome, there is something for everyone.

Singapore has its very own version with 24 movie-themed rides and attractions to choose from. You can take a boat trip through Jurassic Park and ride a Transformers-themed roller coaster. It is the perfect attraction for thrill-seekers and movie buffs alike.

As with all big theme parks, you can expect long queues throughout most of the year (weekends are generally busier, as are bank holidays). It is worth paying extra for an express pass. These tickets allow you to enter a faster queue, which could allow you to get on more rides. There are combo-ticket deals online that can allow you to also visit the Singapore Zoo and Wild Wild Wet Water Park.

Board thrilling rides like the Transformers' ride or the Egyptian ride with your spouse for an adrenaline-pumping experience that makes for a perfect bonding moment. The pride of Singapore boasts an array of tasty eateries on top of musical shows and interactive adventures, all super interesting in magnitude and fun.

Hotels near Universal Studios can be more expensive, but the convenient access could be more worthwhile if you want to get the most out of your visit. This is the amazing theme park, which is the best to visit by all age of people. This is a busy place in the Sentosa Island. The weekends are full as this is a local picnic spot. You cannot see one similar theme park of this kind is its magical attraction.

7. Relax on the beaches at Sentosa

The island a short ride from the center of Singapore city is Sentosa, a breezy, beach landscape that entices people from all walks of life with its paradisaical attractions. Find Ibiza like party music drifting from swanky bars fringing the shores, ready for tourists to jump right in to catch some chill vibes.

Sentosa Island with its fabulous beaches, water park, amusement park and Universal Studios can keep your kiddies occupied for days. Sign up for Singapore tours that include Sentosa Island's many amusements. You won't regret it. There are go-Karts and zip lines in Sentosa, and you can even experience sky dive stimulated adventure.

Beaches welcome anyone for a relaxed time with your spouse whereas beach volleyball and water sports at Adventure Cove Waterpark are sure to get your heart racing. Surprise your spouse to taste the bubbles from exhilarating heights at the Singapore Flyer. Tremendous views of the wide expanse of Sentosa and the city of Singapore makes the meal incredibly delectable and your experience mystical.

Once in Sentosa Island, you must visit Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore's highest observation tower. It is advisable to go in the day and night time to see the beauty of this city in daylight and in the night with city light. The best part of this tower is you can view the Malaysian region from this place.

Many people are surprised to learn that Singapore has beaches. The truth is that few of Singapore's beaches are natural. Most were wiped out centuries ago with the construction of the city's harbors. However, there are still some beautiful man-made beaches to be found on the island of Sentosa that are perfect for soaking up the city's year-round sunshine.

Built using imported sand from Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, these beaches are rival to other Southeast Asian shores if you can get past the fact that they are artificial. Here you will also find a number of luxury hotels in Singapore and lively beach bars that could be perfect for a tropical beach holiday combined with a city break.

Palawan Beach is the most family-friendly strip featuring a pirate-themed waterpark and scenic suspension bridge. Siloso Beach meanwhile is the best beach for bars and watersports as well as being a popular picnic area. There is also Tanjong Beach, which is one of the more secluded spots on the island better suited for those that want to relax with a book.

This is the most visited beaches by families taking a tour to Singapore. This is popular for children-friendly beaches. It has shallow and silent seawater. This is a scenic beach too. You can take a sunbath and take a dip in the sea. It is the best place for taking postcard size photos.

All in all, there is plenty of opportunities to hit the beach in Singapore. You can even take a day trip to the nearby Indonesian island of Batam for some extra beach outings.

Stay away from the city area and town centers, because the prices there are exorbitant. Instead, travel to the residential areas, where there are a lot of cheap massages, pedicure and manicure shops. But should you want something cheaper, look at free massage chairs in the Airport transit areas or paid massage chairs from $2 in most shopping centres.

Hope you find our Singapore visitors guide useful.

6 Not-To-Miss Cultural Festivals in Rome

When we plan to travel to Europe alone or with friends or family, every itinerary will share one common destination, and that is Rome. Rome is the capital of Italy, and it needs no introduction. It is one of the oldest city in Europe and is full of historical sites that date back to ancient Roman civilization.

For so long the most important city in Europe, there’s no better place than Rome for history buffs to head. Here you’ll find buildings that have been standing for over 2000 years, and art from some of the world’s most influential painters (the Renaissance started here after all). While it’s a tourist mecca, and you may find it hard to get a true Italian experience, the aura of the place will more than make up for it.

Go to Rome if you’re interested in ancient history, you’re a fan of Renaissance art, you want to see the spectacular headquarters of Catholicism – the Vatican.

A city known for its delicacies like pizza, pasta, gelato you name it and you have it. However, food and drink aren't the only things Rome has to offer you. It also has highlights of art and history in form a museum also famously known as Galleria Borghese to Colosseum. But visiting Rome to see these magnificent historical sites is not the only reason to go there.

You can enjoy different world famous cultural festivals in Rome that are celebrated all around the year. Romans are known to be exuberant and persistent fun-chasers. They do not need any excuse to be happy and celebrate each day. Apart from that, there are multiple things to do, foods to try at exotic restaurants, and different bars in the city. In ancient Rome, there were more than a hundred days in the year that were celebrated by the people.

Though some of the days are not celebrated now, and with time have perished with the fall of Roman Civilization. But some are still celebrated and have integrated with the modern society. People of Rome are very traditional, and although the total number of festivals have reduced with time, they still value their culture and traditions.

The importance of each festival depends on its significance. Religious festivities are considered important and the whole city celebrates them with a mandatory public holiday. The weather of the city also affects the festivities and their dates. For example, Rome experiences the perfect weather conditions between August and October.

For this reason, these dates have the most number of events, festivals, and cultural celebrations. If you plan your trip in these days, you will not only cover the magnificent landmarks this city is famous for in the whole world. You can also attend maximum festivals that Romans celebrate and get amazed at the landmarks, events, and cultural significance of Rome.

There are some festivals in the city of Rome that are attended by people from all over the world. Rome is also one of the most important Christian cities in the world, so it is visited by millions of people each year who want to do a pilgrimage in the Vatican City. Are their cultural events in Rome? In order to guide our readers to the cultural events taking place in Rome, we have listed cultural festivals that this city hosts.

Cultural Festivals in Rome

When you are visiting this ancient city, try not to miss these amazing festivals in Rome. They will make your trip even better, and you will leave this city with amazing memories.

1. Roma Fringe Festival

Roma Fringe is a festival that is celebrated on a national level. It is actually an international theater and performance festival that celebrates different performers, artists, and theaters. It takes places from 30th August to 23rd September, or around these dates, at Villa Merced Rome. You can attend it by buying a ticket for 6 euro per person.

Last year, more than 150 events were planned for this festival so you can expect around the same number of events for this year as well. You can also expect a fresh roster of shows as well. Enjoy this festival and make the most of it create wonderful memories for yourself.

2. Taste of Roma

A Taste of Roma is a festival of food celebrated in Rome. It provides a great chance to local innovators, foodies, chefs, and organizers to take part in a celebration and promote themselves, their food recipes to not just the citizens of Rome, but all the people visiting from all over the world.

It is one of the biggest food festivals in the world and the whole city participates in it. Tickets cost 16 euro per person and it takes place over a 3 or 4 day time period. Last year, it took place from 21st to 24th September over the weekend. The foods presented and made at this festival are delicious, and you can enjoy yourself even more if you are a foodie.

3. Romaeuropa Festival

Not to miss in Rome, Romaeuropa is a festival that is organized by Fondazione Romaeuropa. Considered as one of the most important and prestigious festivals of Rome, it promotes dance, arts, theaters, music, and other cultural foundations of this city. Although there are different tickets and passes available in multiple parts of the city, we recommend you to buy them in advance.

People wait anxiously all year long to attend it and if you get late in acquiring them, you may get them later with extreme difficulty.

4. Testaccio Street Food Festival

Testaccio is a well-organized festival that takes place in Testaccio Village, not far away from Rome. This festival takes place all over the summertime. People spend their time near slaughterhouses in purpose-built areas. People slaughter animals in this festival and make their barbecues, and other food items.

They dine and celebrate together and organize music nights, discos, and other social events. The theme is always different each year, so research a bit about the year you plan to visit this festival so that you can maximize fun and memories.

5. Natale di Roma

Rome is a very special city in the world. It even has its very own birthday, and the whole city celebrates it. Rome was born around 753 BC. It is one of the oldest human settlements still in existence. Even the old city is preserved to some extent. A city with such historical and cultural significance is always important to the history of the world.

6. Easter

The city of bon vivants is for those who cannot get enough of the good food and cultural experiences. Easter is not only a perfect time to eat authentic gelato but is also the most important Catholic feast. See evocative Easter procession at the Colosseum, which is led by the Pope himself.

How to go to Rome?

Going to Rome has never been difficult at any time. But in modern times, traveling there has become so much easier. You can fly to Rome from anywhere in the world and reach in a few hours. Before embarking on your journey to this great city, we recommend you to book your airline tickets, hotel accommodation and other travel related details from a renowned travel agency in the UK, or anywhere you are coming from.

In this way, you can enjoy a pre-planned trip, along with other savings.

So travel to Rome on 21st April and join different events and functions taking place all over the city to commemorate its birthday. You can enjoy historical enactments, plays, fireworks, gladiator fighting (acting), and much more.

9 Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia

South and Southeast Asia are some offbeat options for experiential travelers, because they promise untold stories to be listened to. Although well known for their tourist centers and warm welcome, they have a lot left to be seen and shared by locals! That is why we have compiled this list of some life-changing experiences from across Southeast Asia.

When the Western independent travelers opened hipster routes on Southeast Asia, they went with the mainland SEA routes. This route later became popular that the tourism industry in these places grew quick accordingly. Like the Silk Road in Asia and Gringo Trail in America, the Banana Pancake Trail is not actually a physical route, it is merely an abstract path which commonly used as a metaphor of the Western travelers’ well-trodden path.

Banana Pancake Trail expands west to reach South Asia, passing Myanmar reaching Nepal and India, as well as Maritime Southeast Asia, reaching Indonesia and Philippines in occasions. These trails are used by many guidebooks such as Lonely Planet as the rule of thumb to experience Southeast Asia in one continuous journey. And in the era before the internet, the book became a blueprint of a standard trip plan.

Recently, some guides put Malaysia and Singapore into the route, however in the past, that was absolutely not the case. The first thing that we should have in mind is that Southeast Asian countries in Western travelers’ eyes do not stand as independent destinations, rather than a unified agglomeration.

Thailand-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia route is considered as more exotic than Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore route. With Bangkok being travelers’ main region hub for decades, going to the north or east makes more sense for the first-time travelers than going to the south.

Dream trips are selected Asian islands - a beautiful blend of fabulous nature, culinary pleasure and total relaxation. Why do so many of us thirst for travel? Is it our desire to explore other cultures from the inside out or just to add another stamp in our passport? Is it to mingle with people from far away countries who may speak different languages? Is it to worship different gods and eat different foods but are just like us in so many ways?

For those with exploration and adventure in their hearts, it is easy to understand the appeal of Southeast Asia. The region offers not only warm weather, friendly locals and pleasant conditions. It also offers some of the most extraordinary areas of natural beauty on the planet.

It boasts of some of the most diverse, fascinating and beautiful flora and fauna in the world. If you love animals, appreciate nature, crave adventure and yearn for a vacation that nourishes the mind and the soul, the region is an ideal choice for you. Thailand is beautiful, Philippines is fun, Indonesia is adventurous, Malaysia is comfortable, Myanmar is exotic, Singapore is sophisticated, Vietnam is bustling, Cambodia is inspiring.

The Southeast Asian region is home to an incredibly wide variety of food that are steeped in history. From French colonial-inspired bánh mì of Vietnam to Malaysia’s beef and chicken satay with peanut sauce; from Filipino's uber delicious Adobo Chicken to Singapore's famed chicken rice to spicy Thai tom yam kung - this is one collective cuisine that embraces an abundance of flavours and tastes to delight any palate.

Truly, Southeast Asian food could be the next gastronomic revolution.

Thailand is of course the most visited and has been at the top of most peoples searches. It is more developed than most of the other countries on this list but in some way they are all similar. All of the countries on the list are very affordable.

You can find a hotel for $10 a night or even cheaper if you don't mind to stay in a dorm room for $2, of course you can find plenty of western style hotels for similar prices as you would find in Europe or other places. Food cost around $1 for 1 meal for street food, for example spicey chicken over rice, similar prices in any of the above countries.

Tuk Tuk rides in Cambodia can be had for $1 to $2 across town, and in Vietnam for similar prices. Bangkok has better consumer and tourist shopping areas but be warned some are discount prices while others malls with prices similar to the USA, but you can also find things like a pair of shorts for $3 and a nice wallet for $3. If you are near the beach its a bit more tolerable, and the humidity is high.

Cambodia has some great reefs and clear water for snorkeling as does Bali and the Philippines. Here i would give the nod to Philippines because of the sheer number of islands available for boating, beach, snorkeling and other watersports like windsurfing. Phuket in Thailand is also a beautiful island but some would probably say over-touristy, while Cambodia’s Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanleom are underdeveloped but equally beautiful to visit.

Life Changing Experiences In Southeast Asia

If you want a vacation that allows you to grow as a person and expands your mind even as you relax and unwind, you could do worse than add any of the following best places to visit in Southeast Asia to your travel bucket list.

1. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is a popular tourist destination for solo travelers. If you are looking delicious street food, amazing nightlife, beautiful temples and visit old cities with rich culture Taipei is the best destination for you. AND the people from there are insanely friendly and generous. AND, since the island is small, you can get to other cities and sites really easily by taking the train. How could you resist? Definitely a place to visit if you’re traveling solo.

Located in the north of the island of Taiwan, the capital of the country, Taipei, is today one of the most modern cities in Asia. Considered one of the five most famous museums in the world, National Palace Museum houses more than 650,000 works of art from almost all periods of China's five thousand-year history. The museum building is built in the style of the palaces of Beijing.

It has unique works of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, of painting, calligraphy, and all kinds of artistic objects that show the richness and beauty of Chinese culture and art. It is a sanctuary of art that has become a must for anyone traveling to Taipei. There are places of rest and coffee shops, as well as two old-style Zhishan and Zhide gardens that make the visitor appreciate even more the spirit of Chinese art while travelling in Taipei.

The Taipei 101 skyscraper, until recently was the tallest building in the world. From the 85th floor observatory it offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Taipei and its surroundings. Despite its height, it gives the impression of great flexibility, and It is a harmonious blend of traditional Chinese architecture with typical elements of Taiwan.

The 101 skyscraper shopping center houses several banks, shops of the main international brands, bookstores, several Asian and Western restaurants, as well as small coffee shops and tapas and refreshment stands. It is located in the center of the commercial area of Xinyi, and being surrounded by the World Exhibition Center, the International Congress Center, financial centers, five-star hotels, department stores, cinemas, nightclubs.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Building is a majestic construction built in memory of the late former president. The night markets have become the main attraction of tourists visiting Taiwan. Shilin night market is the largest of its kind and also the most visited by students to buy clothes and food at affordable prices in the city of Taipei. The temple of Confucius honors the most famous master of China.

The Jianguo Flower and Jade Market, located under the overpass of section 3 of Xinyi Avenue and Jinan Avenue, is only held on weekends and holidays. Yangmingshan National Park is located north of Taipei, in the central area of ​​Datun volcanic areas. Famous for its thermal springs, Beitou is an area north of the city of Taipei, surrounded by green hills and close to the Shamao Mountain.

From Taipei Main Station, you can go to Songshan Station and from there take the train to Jiufen Old Street. The journey is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Jiufen is a small town in the mountains of northeastern Taiwan, known as the little Hong Kong. Its charm is its mountainous landscape with views of the Pacific, traditional buildings, and the hundreds of lanterns that are scattered throughout the town.

Walk (and eat) on Jishan Street, go to one of their teahouses, and admire the landscape from a high point. It has unique surprises of this city, such as peanut ice cream wrapped in dorayaki or a kind of pancake.

All tourist attractions can be reached via train, and no entrance fees. Visit the Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall, Longshan Temple, Sun Yat Sen, Martyr shrine, and hike elephant mountain all for free. Shopping is also popular in Taipei. Ximending is fomous for its shopping malls. It is often called as the Shibuya of Taiwan. You can also visit Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world.

If you want to experience the vibe of old Taiwan, visit Shifen and Jiufen. It is also a popular tourist destination in Taiwan. Light a lantern in Shifen for good luck and visit the old city of Jiufen!

2. Hualien, Taiwan

Most of the tourists arrive here to visit the Taroko Gorge, but Hualien is also the beginning of the trip through the less urbanized and more autochthonous Taiwan. From Taipei there are trains that surround the east coast of the island. There are many different types of trains and schedules, so it's easy to get close to the station window and find a train ticket for the same day.

The center of Buddhist studies is a mixture of university, temple and hospital surrounded by tranquil gardens with small samples of how people lived in the city centuries ago, when the place was mostly inhabited by the aboriginal Amis tribe. The market of stones show there the stone works that characterize the artisans of the Amis tribe of Hualien.

Some stones have curious shapes like a pig's foot. In the evening, free traditional dances are held which, despite having lost their original aura, are a good approximation to the aboriginal culture of Taiwan. Taroko : is the most spectacular mountainous landscape in Taiwan. Guangfu and Shoufeng is full of rice fields, coast and small aboriginal towns.

In Hualien there are trains to the tiny town of Chongde. A few kilometers away from the town station there is a beach area from which you can see the cliffs of the coast. On the clearest days the views are spectacular, but even if the weather does not go along, the visit is worth it.

Dongdamen night market in Taiwan is located on an esplanade next to the sea and there is a pedestrianized shopping area along which the old train line ran. Apart from a couple of bars, the other alternatives are the shopping center, a small cinema and three dumplings stores that remains open 24 hours a day.

They serve the fried dumplings with a truly appetizing sauce with a soy sauce base - which provides the salty taste, but it needs thinning out with hot water to reduce the saltiness and make way for some sugar sweetness, the zesty sourness of rice vinegar and finally spiciness from the addition of chili oil with lots of chili flakes and garlic.

3. Taichung, Taiwan

Although Taichung is the third largest city in Taiwan, and cannot be found on all travel itineraries, this city is a great stop on your route to the south while travelling to Taiwan. With the high speed train (HSR), Taichung can be reached from Taipei in about 40 minutes. The HSR train station in Taichung is located far from the center and, therefore, you will have to take a taxi or the shuttle buses that will take you to the city.

For example, visit Rainbow Village, an artistic village just outside the city center, for which 'rainbow' is almost a euphemism. The colorful buildings are painted by Mr. Huang, a Chinese war veteran who wanted to save the people from ruin in this way. And it worked!

The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best museums in the region and offers a good insight into the contemporary Taiwanese artistic world. You will find exhibitions of local and international artists, and it is also worth visiting the surrounding sculpture garden.

In addition, Taichung is a base for hiking in the nature reserves that can be found in the city. For example, follow the accessible hiking trails in Dakeng or the beautiful mountains around Dasyeshuan. One hour and a half by car from Taichung is Sun Moon Lake, a beautiful natural area around the largest freshwater lake in Taiwan.

This area can be explored by boat, bicycle or bus that makes several stops around the lake (tip: buy a day pass instead of individual tickets), in this way you will see much more. Sun Moon Lake is ideal as a day trip from Taichung, but if you have time, spending the night in this area is a magical experience.

Taiwan's most famous beverage, bubble tea, was invented according to several sources in Taichung. Try the original recipe with the manufacturer Chun Shui Tang. Do you prefer coffee? Taichung is known for its countless trendy cafes. Several streets in Taichung are full of night markets as dark as night, of which the Fengjia night market is one of the most popular and large. Go on an empty stomach, because there is so much to try!

4. Tainan, Taiwan

The city of Tainan is undoubtedly an essential visit during a trip to Taiwan. Located in the south of the island, Tainan is an essential city for those who want to know what traditional Taiwan is like. Forget the ultra modernity of the capital Taipei or Kaohsiung, here you will have the impression of discovering a new country, another Taiwan.

The main wealth of Tainan is the number of temples it houses. They are absolutely impressive and the religious activity in them is usually intense. In fact, attend the celebrations of the main Buddhist festivities. After long cultural days, discover the nightlife. Do not forget to sit at the table of a small street restaurant. Tainan cuisine has the reputation of being the best in the country.

Taiwan’s most famous dish is arguably Buddha Jumps Over the Wall. The rich and elaborately prepared soup has a complex taste involving dozens of ingredients with their own flavour; and a variety of cooking methods includes decocting, frying and boiling - it is a delicacy from the Fujian province of China.

The pot is simmered for 5 hours with a slew of ingredients (recipe varies) such as abalone, shark’s fin*, sea cucumber, scallops, bamboo shoots, bamboo fungus, chestnuts, spare ribs, fish maw, ham, pork knuckle, quail eggs and Shaoxing wine plus additional ingredients such as gingko, wolfberries, and monkey head mushrooms (aka lion’s mane mushroom). A mini size potion for 1 person can costs up to US$100 at a specialty restaurant.

Rural Taiwan can sometimes look like rural Japan (with villages that look like Japanese villages) but it’s uniquely Taiwanese. Some places really had great scenary with Chinese temples. Overall, you do see some old houses, lots of plantations, it’s relatively clean and quiet and it’s truly traditional. People at the rural places are really friendly.

But if you’re a Foreigner traveling to rural places, you might sometimes encounter language problem if you do not know Mandarin or Taiwanese Minnan (Hokkien). Rural places in Taiwan tend to speak more Taiwanese Minnan rather than Mandarin.

5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan

This is a travel guide to Kaohsiung in Taiwan. Take a high-speed train to Kaohsiung. At the HSR station, buy a ticket for Zuoying Station, in the northern area of ​​Kaohsiung. Depending on the train you take, the trip will last from an hour and a half to two hours, with a good view of the west coast. From Zuoying you can take the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), a subway system that goes to different points of the city.

You can buy the tickets at the counters destined to it or in automatic machines. The price depends on the distance you are going to travel. Mark the desired destination and it will tell you how much money to insert (it is easier if you have coins, since not all machines accept bills or credit cards). You will obtain a blue chip with which you can pass the winches.

The main part of the city is located around the harbor area and the Love River. The Tuntex Sky Tower or 85 Sky Tower is the tallest building in the unofficial city and icon of it. You can go up to the 74th floor and enjoy the views of the city, beautiful but not like from the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower.

There are several parks in the city and its surroundings, but Lotus Lake, near the Zuoying station is surrounded by numerous statues, temples, pavilions and trails, which offer good photos and a quiet night walk. The Love River area is popular at nightfall, as are the various night markets in Taiwan that come to life at sunset.

The Maolin National Scenic Area is in the rugged Central Mountain Range that serves as the backbone of the island. The main attraction, apart from the magnificent mountainous landscape, is its location as a highlight to see the purple crow butterflies, which abound at certain times of the year.

In the immediate vicinity is the Duona suspended bridge , which is exactly what its name suggests. This huge pedestrian section crosses a beautiful gorge, where you can take impressive photos. Although Mandarin Chinese is the official language , most of the signs are also in English, so it should not be difficult to find streets, buildings and orient yourself on the subway.

6. Luang Prabang, Laos

North of Laos, at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Kha rivers, is one of the most beautiful and most charming cities in all of Southeast Asia: Luang Prabang. The Buddhist temple Wat Xieng Thong, is one of the most important monasteries in Southeast Asia. Travel to Luang Prabang night market, one of the most charming places in Laos.

In the Tat Kuang Si waterfalls, there is also the Asiatic Black Bear Rescue Center, which houses about 20 specimens rescued from bile farms or from the clutches of hunters and traffickers. There are explanatory murals in which you can read much more about the bears, their circumstances and the reasons why they ended up there and, although it is not a very large place, the animals are in good condition.

Luang Prabang is the ideal place to enjoy gastronomy as it is full of restaurants suitable for all budgets. Eating good and cheap is also possible, of course, either in more modest places or on the street and here are some examples: In one of the alleys that lead to the night market they set up a vegetarian buffet every night in which there are many dishes to choose from. If you don't mind eating on the street, this is a very cheap place.

Tired of rice and missing bread? Well, you can't leave Luang Prabang without trying one of those sandwiches, the famous baguettes that they prepare at street stalls .

7. Phonsavan, Laos

If you come to Phonsavan in Laos is for one reason only: Plains of Jars in the province of Xiengkhouang. There are several esplanades where a kind of stone cubes are kept, of which the origin and purpose are unknown. From Luang Prabang you can go by minivan or by bus. Depending on your taste, you can visit the Mining Advisory Group (MAG) - a humanitarian organization that recovers the remains of the conflict for the benefit of local communities around the world.

There are still thousands of unexploded bombs threatening in the fields, and impeding the normal development of the country. It is estimated that 30% are still undetonated (these are the so-called UXO: Unexploded Ordnance). Today they continue to kill and maim many Laotians who work in the fields and are caught by surprise.

Observe the local daily life of the ethnic groups and visit a small monastery in Ban Xiengdi through areas that were important battlefields during the American war. Continue the tour with Muang Khoun - the only place located in the old provincial capital that was not destroyed by the US bombing.

8. Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng is especially popular among backpackers in Southeast Asia for its majestic beauty. After the United States’ wars in the region the town remained a sleepy hub until the idyllic vistas of Vang Vieng began to be discovered by tourists. But the tourists didn’t come alone, they brought their tourist dollars, pounds, euros and whatever else currency have you with them. Vang Vieng is where backpackers party hard and pay a price.

9. Brunei

Brunei is a very small nation on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, which aside from on its coastline is entirely bordered by Malaysia. The Sultan’s Mosque is absolutely beautiful of course. The seat of the nation’s government is Istana Nurul Iman.

This gargantuan palace is the largest single-family residence in the world, with 1,788 rooms, a banquet hall which seats 5,000, a garage containing 110 cars, and a stable of 200 ponies. In terms of floor area, it’s nearly thrice the size of Buckingham Palace. The palace is located a few kilometres southwest of the Bruneian capital, Bandar Sewi Begawan.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the capital (Bandar Sewi Begawan) is the area named Kampong Ayer (a neighbourhood who has houses above water), nicknamed Venice of the East. The entire settlement, is built on stilts above the Brunei River. It has existed for centuries, and was even written about by the famous Antonio Pigafetta, who sailed with Magellan. Visit the Kampung Ayer, and try Nasi Katok, a rice delicacy from Brunei.