Archive | October, 2016
October 26, 2016

Preparing for a trip around Southeast Asia

Viking

southeast asia

With the winter weather getting a lot of us down, many people are looking forward to their summer holiday. If you’re sick of the bog-standard hotel chain full of lager louts and cheesy entertainment, it’s time you spread your wings and headed further afield. Yes, it’s time to wave bye-bye to the package holiday, and hello to Southeast Asia.

Made up of beautiful countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to name but a few, here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect Asian escape.

Planning your route

The first thing you’ll need to decide when it comes to your Southeast Asia vacation is where exactly you will be going. Will you be spending all of your time in one place or will you be exploring the region to see everything it has to offer?

If you are planning to visit more than one location, it will pay you to fly into Bangkok Airport. From here, you will be able to get a connecting flight to your chosen destination. Usually these flights will be reasonably priced.

What to pack

When it comes to packing, you’ll need to take into consideration when you are travelling. If you are visiting between April and May, you can expect hot and dry conditions. However, from May to around October, it is monsoon season in much of the country. The cool winds arrive in November. (Some areas of Thailand have a different monsoon pattern – check it out here)

If you intend to travel during monsoon season, it is recommended that you take a waterproof jacket, to avoid getting soaked. As the weather will still be incredibly humid, you should choose a thin, non-insulating one to prevent you from getting too hot. An umbrella would also be handy too.

Whether you’re visiting the metropolis that is Bangkok or are simply enjoying the region’s magnificent landscapes, you won’t want to forget all of the sights you see. That’s why you should invest in a high-quality digital camera or at least have a smart phone with a decent camera.

In the monsoon season, mosquito bites can be common. As a preventative measure, invest in an insect repellent with a high DEET factor to keep the bugs at bay.

What to do

The activities you partake in and the sights you see will be influenced largely by the type of holiday you are after. If you’re looking for a lively nightlife and bustling party scene, head to Bangkok for some of the best bars and clubs the region has to offer. Or, for a one-off experience, take advantage of one of Thailand’s many full-moon parties on the island of Ko Phangan.

If you’re looking for a more cultural experience during your Southeast Asia trip, head to Thailand’s Chiang Mai. Here, you’ll find a plethora of exquisite Buddhist temples. Likewise, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the largest and oldest temple ruins on earth, won’t disappoint.

For more inspiration on must-visit Southeast Asia attractions, take a look at this post on the Reader’s Digest website.

October 25, 2016

Hitting the Adventure Trail in Turkey

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Smoking a shisha pipe in Istanbul and lying on a beach towel in the sun are just why reasons why choose Turkey as an holiday destination. There’s much more to the country than this especially if you’re an adventurer, natural athlete or aspiring fitness fanatic. And if you aren’t, you’re missing out!

What to Pack

Take some supplies with you so that you’re ready to rock and roll when you get off the plane. A first aid kit is a must, as is some Factor 30+ sun cream to protect your complexion. A hydration kit which includes mineral salts and a water bladder is also a good idea. This will come in handy for hot afternoons of beating the pavement. Also, some comfortable, high-quality cycling kit will come in handy, and so will some general purpose hiking boots and polarized sun glasses.

Evliya Celebi on Horseback

The ancient Roman and Ottoman roads to the north west of Turkey pass through some remarkably beautiful landscapes, including hill forts and quirky villages which are concealed from the main tourist traps. This takes you as close to the authentic Turkey as you can get. Approximately 650 kilometers, this journey was originally a pilgrimage undertaken on horseback by the enlightened Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi. The route takes 25 days to complete on horseback, and if you’re up for it there’s no shortage of tourist operators who will give you a leg up onto the back of a pack horse so that you can do the same.

Mountain Biking in Cappadocia

This central mountainous belt in Turkey features lunar-like volcanic rock cones and spires known as “fairy chimneys.” It’s perfect for gung-ho mountain bikers and stunt riders who want to put their abilities to the test. Depending on how fast you ride, the Cappadocia route takes between 3 and 10 days to compete and is graded at medium difficulty level. Along the way you can sleep in underground cave venues and country hotels.

A Drive through History on the Aegean Coast

This glittering part of Turkey is a popular playground for the rich and famous, but there are also plenty of historical sites to satisfy curious travelers. Some of these crumbling ruins feature in ancient epics. Here you can visit the Temple of Artemis, the Doric temple of Athena, the ancient city of Pergamon and the landscape surrounding Mount Mykale.

Kayaking in Bodrum

The ceramic coast in Bodrum offers some of the most exquisite seascapes in the world. The quiet coves and deep inlets all call out for swimming, kayaking and scuba diving adventures.
Whether you prefer an underwater adventure or to see Turkey by bike, horseback or simply relaxing in a rental car, you have all kinds of opportunities to enjoy a real slice of Turkish rural life. What are you still sitting around for? Get yourself on over and grab a slice of the action!


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