Travel Guide: Best of Nepal

best of nepal

One of the most visually stunning countries on earth, Nepal has been a traveller’s mecca for decades. From the world’s highest mountain to the chaotic cities, Nepal has everything for the curious explorer. Although the country suffered through a devastating earthquake in 2015, Nepal is back on its feet again and there’s never been a better time to go. This best of Nepal guide shows you the essential stop-offs.

 

Kathmandu

Travelling into Nepal, you will more than likely be flying into Kathmandu. A beguiling mix of old meets new, where livestock lumbers alongside traffic, the capital of Nepal might startle you at first but its best to just go with the flow. Must-dos in this city always include visiting some of Kathmandu’s best temples – start with Swayambhunath, a Buddhist stupa on a hill from which you can look out over the city. Also head to Pashupatinath, one of the most important Hindu temples in the world.

If you want a good neighbourhood to wander around, head to Thamel. Many travellers come here so there’s always a lot going on and it’s a good place to get your bearings. This is also a great place to visit in the evenings if you want a lively scene.

 

best of nepal

 

The Himalaya

Perhaps the number one reason why people choose to travel to Nepal, the Himalaya mountain range offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. This is, of course, home to Mount Everest, the highest in the world, but also dozens of other big-hitters on the mountaineering scene.

A trek to Everest base camp is worth it if you have the time, as is the well-heeled Annapurna Circuit. Many people also head to Langtang Valley to go hiking, a slightly more under-the-radar destination for trekking just north of Kathmandu.

There really are an endless number of hikes you can complete in Nepal, no matter what skill level you’re at. The best thing for you to do when planning a trekking trip to Nepal is to so a little research beforehand, then talk to people in Kathmandu once you’ve arrived. Local guides will be able to recommend something that suits you perfectly.

 

Pokhara

A little more laid-back than Kathmandu, Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city. Set on a lakeside with mountain views from almost everywhere, Pokhara is a good place to visit if you need to rest for a few days after lots of hiking, or just want to chill out for a while regardless. If you do feel like pumping up the adrenaline here, take on some paragliding, parasailing, or white water rafting. There’s never a dull moment in Pokhara!

Travel Planning Guide: Looking Ahead to Your 2017 Trips

travel planning guide

It’s January 2017 and we’re looking forward to the year ahead. With a whole 365 days in front of you there are endless opportunities for adventure and thrilling trips. But how do you go about planning them all? This travel planning guide will help.

 

Check public holidays

Public holidays are like a little free pass from the government. These extra days off are prime time for going out on an adventure, so they should be used wisely and effectively. Make a list of all the public holidays in your country for 2017 and have a think about where you could go in those three or four days. It might just be a quick trip to a city nearby, or catching a flight over to a budget destination in Europe – whatever it is, remember there’s a lot you can do in this short space of time!

 

Plan one big trip

Every year deserves one big travel experience, where you use up most of your allocated time off work and go somewhere new and exciting. Perhaps you finally take that flight to New York, get round to booking that safari in Africa, or find a paradise escape in Southeast Asia. This is the year to do it!

Start looking at flights to see when the prices are most affordable for you, and start saving your pennies now. In the meantime, buy guidebooks, read features online, and learn everything you can about that destination. This is the big one to look forward to, and you should enjoy that unbeatable feeling of anticipation!

 

travel planning guide

 

Make the most of the weekends

Most of us have two days off per week and these shouldn’t be disregarded in terms of travel. Sure, you can’t go that far away from home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a meaningful travel experience.

Make plans for seeing more of your own country, taking advantage of the cheap internal flights most of us don’t use as often as we should. Look up interesting places to stay where you can escape to for a night, and talk to friends about it so you can gather together some travel buddies. Become a weekend warrior!

 

Discover more of your home town

Many of us are guilty of wishing for the faraway when we don’t even know our own home towns like the backs of our hands. Make 2017 the year you also dedicate time to understanding more of your home, using your evenings and spare time off discovering parts you’ve never set foot in before.

And don’t forget, people are what make a place exciting, so also push yourself to make new friends. Go on adventures with these new people to understand their perspective of the place you both call home. When you think of travel in this way, you realise that the sky’s the limit and you can have a travel experience almost every day!

 

What are your travel plans for 2017?
What might you add to this travel planning guide?

Top 5 Things to do in California, USA

One of the most exciting states in the USA, California has everything, from big cities to some of America’s most stunning landscapes. See it all with this things to do in California guide.

 Hop from city to city

California is home to some of the most exciting cities in the USA. Los Angeles and San Francisco probably spring to mind, but don’t forget Cali’s other cosmopolitan treasures, such as San Diego and San Jose. Strung up the coastline, these cities make for a perfect Californian itinerary, where you can jump from one to the next to discover the most exciting places this state has to offer.

What’s more, flights to LA and San Fran are some of the most affordable in all of North America, as they are busy transport hubs for west coast.

Visit a vineyard

Anyone who loves wine will know that California produces many different varieties and there is an extensive wine country here. Over 20 million people visit California’s wineries each year, testament alone to how integral they are to this state’s culture.

Just north of San Francisco, Napa Valley is one of the most popular wine regions in California. This is where people go to escape from busy city life on romantic weekends away in luxury accommodation, and where you can try some of the best Cabernet Cali has to offer. Nearby is also Sonoma County, which spans over more than a million acres. Cheers to that!

things to do in california

 

Stop by the national parks

There are a whopping 13 national parks in California. While these are all worth checking out at some point in your life, you’d be hard pushed to tick them all off on one trip! Unmissable CA national parks are Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia. All of these have their own unique things that make them special, and contain some of the most stunning natural wonders in the state.

Yosemite in particular is considered one of the best national parks in the USA. The giant rock faces here are thought to have been carved out by glaciers three million years ago, and are a mecca for avid rock climbers. Here you can also go hiking, rafting, fishing, kayaking, and spot some incredible wildlife.

 

Relax on the beach

That stereotype they have about California beach dwellers rings true when you visit certain parts of the state, in particular spots like Malibu or Long Beach. There are stunning patches of sandy shores all the way down the coastline, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to which beach to pick.

No matter where you’re staying on California’s coast, there will always be a quality beach nearby. Try to make it to Laguna Beach or Santa Monica if you want to see some of the most popular shores here, plus San Gregorio State Beach, which in the past has been voted the best in the CA.

 

things to do in california

 

Drive California’s Pacific Coast Highway

There are a few different coastal drives in California, but topping the list for many is is Pacific Coast Highway. Taking you along some of the most jaw-dropping parts of California’s shorelines, this route starts in Monterey and ends in Morro Bay, around 123 miles.

The road winds along with the area cliffs, and takes you through Big Sur and Point Lobos State Reserves, plus much more. It takes around five hours to complete straight through, but we suggest you take your time and make a few stop-offs along the way.

 

What would you add to this things to do in California list?

Top 5 Responsible Travel Tips

responsible travel tips

The United Nations has declared 2017 the International Year of Responsible Tourism, so there’s no better time than now to focus on being eco-friendly on your next trip. These top five responsible travel tips will help you get started.

 

1. Go local

And do this in as many ways as possible while you travel. Hire local guides and shop in local stores so that you support the communities around you. This practice is imperative for ensuring your travelling is as sustainable as possible, and bringing a positive impact to the local people in the destination you’re visiting.

 

2. Don’t support animal cruelty

In the last couple of years, many stories have come out about animal cruelty and tourism, such as the Tiger Temple in Thailand and the mistreatment of elephants. While wildlife experiences may be high on your bucket list, these shouldn’t be undertaken at the expense of the animals, whereby they’re drugged or exploited for human gain.

If you want contact with beautiful wildlife as you travel, do so in a way that allows you to see them in the natural habitat, or a space where they are allowed to live as they would do in the wild. Witnessing these creatures is an honour and as humans we should respect the privilege by letting these animals be.

 

responsible travel tips

 

3. Travel closer to home

While we all want to jet away as far from home as possible sometimes, lengthy flights have a huge impact on our planet’s carbon emissions. Instead of the long-hauls, decide to take shorter flights this year to places slightly closer to home. Be mindful of the repercussions your travel have on the planet.

If you are going further away, look into getting around by a green method of transport – either by bike or by foot, for example – instead of driving anywhere. And at the very least, get around via public transport so your being in a different place doesn’t add to transport emissions at all.

 

4. Leave no trace

This is the golden rule of outdoor adventuring and should be in the forefront of your mind as you’re out in the wild world. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘take only pictures, leave only footprints’, and that phrase should certainly apply to your travel this year.

When you’re out on a big hike, make sure you don’t leave any little around or disrupt the natural world around you. Try to be as wasteless as possible with what you buy, making sure you recycle (as you would do at home) whenever possible.

 

5. Respect other cultures

In the same way we should respect wildlife as we travel, we must also respect other people and their way of life. Whenever you travel you’re a guest in someone else’s country, and you need to make sure you’re aware of their customs and follow them.

If you need to dress modestly, always carry a shawl or something with you to cover up. Some holy places may require you to take your shoes off or cover your head. These are the little things you can do as a traveller to show your respect.

 

What are your best responsible travel tips?

 

Travel Guide: Best of Myanmar

best of myanmar, things to do in myanmar, myanmar highlights

Myanmar is one of the most mysterious countries in Asia. Having been closed off to tourists for a long time, Myanmar is far less discovered than its Southeast Asian neighbours, leaving plenty for intrepid explorers to find. This best of Myanmar guide shows you the most exciting things to see and do in this fascinating country.

 

Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, is likely where you’ll first come into when you fly to Myanmar. The city serves as a fitting launch pad for the rest of the country, and is a good place to help you get to know the Myanmar way of life. Stop by some of Yangon’s best temples, such as Shwedagon Pagoda or Sule Pagoda, which are beautiful, shimmering structures that will tell you more about Yangon’s history. Some of the city’s holy places are thousands of years old, giving you a glimpse into Yangon’s, and country’s, interesting past.

If you like markets, visit Bogyoke Market in Yangon, which is in a colonial style building that houses hundreds of stalls selling handmade products from all over Myanmar. This is a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs to remind you of your time in Myanmar.

 

Bagan

Since Myanmar re-opened its border, pictures of hot air balloons gliding over the sun-drenched temples of Bagan have spread far and wide over the internet. This site has become one of those bucket list experiences for travellers in Southeast Asia, and for good reason.

There are more than 2,000 temples at Bagan, around half of the original number that were here before an earthquake tore them away hundreds of years ago. These remnants of a civilisations gone by are one of the essential things to do in Myanmar, and as they haven’t been on the radar for very long they are relatively untouched by tourism.

best of myanmar, visiting bagan

 

Pindaya Cave

You’ll find Pindaya Cave deep in the heart of Myanmar. The most striking thing about this cavern is that it’s filled with thousands of Buddha statues – the earliest is thought to date back to the mid-18th century. This is a spectacular sight to behold, and makes you think of how many Buddhists have made their way here to leave their own statue in the cave to add to the collection. To reach the cave, walk 45 minutes from nearby Pindaya town centre, a peaceful stroll that will take you through some beautiful natural scenery.

 

Inle Lake

Fishermen holding giant basket nets, perched one-footed on the edge of a boat, is an iconic picture of Myanmar. This unmissable sight occurs on Inle Lake, a 13.5 mile long freshwater lake in Myanmar’s Shan Hills. Here you can stay in bungalows on stilts, visit Buddha temples that look like they’ve emerged up from the water, and witness a rural life preserved in time.

best of myanmar, inle lake myanmar

It’s a peaceful, poignant spot in Myanmar that has not yet been overrun with tourism, so go while you can to see it before people arrive in droves. Stay here for a couple of days to immerse yourself, and get to know the local people around you.

 

What would you most like to do from the best of Myanmar guide?

4 Essential Tips if You’re Thinking of Living Abroad

living abroad, living abroad tips

One of the greatest travel adventures you can have in life is living abroad. This could just be for one summer or maybe even a couple of years, but experiencing life in another country on a long-term basis is a special experience. These tips for living abroad will give you some sage advice on how to make the most of it and make living abroad a success.

 

1. Take time to pick your location

Living abroad is not a decision you should rush into quickly. This especially applies if you’re selling everything back home and moving your entire life elsewhere. If you end up not enjoying the new city or place you’re living in, it can become very disheartening. We don’t recommend that you just book flights to New York City then just hope for the best!

Take some time to choose where you want your new home to be, researching and paying a short visit to that new place if possible. Look into how much living costs are, what job opportunities are in the area, and which neighbourhoods you might like to fine an apartment in. Try to look at that place from every angle so you can make an informed decision before you jump in with both feet.

 

2. Join Facebook groups to connect with other people

Once you know where you’re living, have a look around on Facebook for any local groups to join. This will help you to connect with people before you’ve moved there, and if you have any questions there might be some good samaritans in the group who will be kind enough to answer them.

Search for groups that are centred around your interests so you can meet people who share your passions. That could be anything from a fitness group or reading club. Having people to chat to before you’ve moved there will help you out greatly when you’re settling in, and give you a few contacts before you’ve even arrived.

 

3. Arrive in summer

The warmer, summer months anywhere tend to make a place more lively and full of energy. If you arrive in your new home in deepest, darkest winter, you might find it very quiet and there perhaps might not be as many people around.

In summer, you’ll find that people want to be out and about, and there will more likely be lots of festivals and events on too. If you arrive right in the middle of this, you’ll be swept away with the excitement of it all and that will help you to meet new people and feel happier in your new home.

 

4. Push yourself

Living abroad isn’t always easy. As a foreigner in an unfamiliar place, it can become lonely and there will be moments where you second guess your decision. To avoid becoming overwhelmed by these feelings, make sure you’re always pushing yourself out there to meet new people and try new things.

You have to make the effort to carve a place for yourself in this new location, and sometimes you have to go way out of your comfort zone to do so. However, always stand safe in the knowledge that this will pay off, and no matter what happens when you push yourself you can always say you gave it your best shot. Live in the moment and go for it!

 

Have you ever thought of living abroad?
Where might you choose to live?

Travel Guide: Top 5 Things to do in Lisbon

things to do in lisbon, lisbon highlights

Portugal’s capital city is lively, often sun-soaked, and full of beauty. Comparatively few make it over to the far western edge of Europe than they do to other big cities on the continent, such as Berlin or Barcelona, but large numbers of travellers are starting to buck that trend. This things to do in Lisbon guide shows you the city’s best bits.

 

1. Discover Alfama

One of Lisbon’s oldest districts, Alfama is a great place to get your bearings when first travelling to Lisbon. The small, winding, and charming streets here are sure to sweep you away, and there’s plenty to do in Alfama come day or night. Stroll around and get lost for a while, stopping by little cafes and diving into shops. Admire the beautiful architecture synonymous with Portuguese culture that can be found all over Alfama.

Don’t miss the Feira da Ladra (thieves market), held at Campo de Santa Clara in Alfama on Tuesdays and Saturdays, or the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, a viewing platform from which you can take in sweeping views over the city.

 

2. Visit the Belém Tower

When researching your trip to the city, you’ll often see the Belém Tower on lists for things to do in Lisbon or in image searches. This iconic monument, perches in the banks of the river, was built in the early 16th century as a fortress and a starting point for many great voyages across the seas. During this time the Portuguese were great explorers, so this tower is a symbol for this golden age.

Once in the tower, you can take in the spectacular views over the river and marvel at the detail in the monument’s make-up. It’s clear to see there are many Moorish influences in its construction too, offering another glimpse into Portugal’s rich and varied past.

things to do in lisbon, lisbon highlights, belem lisbon

 

3. Eat at the Time Out Market

Lisbon is full of quality restaurants, but few offer as unique an experience as the Time Out Market. In this bustling hall, you can try cuisine from around the world, and dine on it on one of the many communal tables arranged in the building’s centre. A couple of bars and wine experts are dotted around too, so you can graze here for hours while soaking up the lively atmosphere. By far one of the best foodie experiences in the city!

// Related: 24 Hours in Porto, Portugal

 

4. Take a ride on the Santa Justa Lift

Located in the city centre and originally designed to take people from the Baixa district up to the Carmo Convent, the Santa Justa Lift is one of the most intriguing things to do in Lisbon. This gorgeous structure was built in 1902, and its neo-gothic flourishes made it a roaring success and talk of the town when it was first built.

Today, it’s as stunning as ever. Even if you don’t decide to take the lift itself, make sure you swing by the landmark to take a look at the lift’s breath-taking design.

 

5. Listen to some fado

Fado is traditional music from Portugal, version of which originated in Lisbon. Listening to some of the quintessential music is one of those Lisbon experiences that visitors shouldn’t miss. There are fado bars all over the city that will connect you with these beautiful tunes – take a walk around Bairro Alto or Alfama at night to take your pick of the live performances, and have a bit to eat and drinks while doing so.

Be careful when choosing your location – many places are crafted just for tourists and don’t offer the authentic experience. Seek out the backstreet bars that show you the real deal.

 

What would you do from the things to do in Lisbon guide?

Travel Inspiration: Where to go for a Digital Detox

digital detox

Digital detoxes are all the rage at the minute. More and more people are looking to cut off from their inboxes as they travel and disappear for a while. There are lots of destinations around the world that are ideal for this, but these five are among the best.

 

1. Cuba

Despite the lifting of the US embargo in recent years, Cuba still remains relatively untouched. A solid internet connection is hard to come by here, making it an ideal place to forget about your work ties for a while and just immerse yourself in this fascinating country.

With world-class beaches, lots of protected natural scenery, and passionate, fiery locals, there’s something beautiful around every corner and Cuba. Trust us, you won’t even want to turn on your cell phone while travelling here.

 

2. Antarctica

The giant continent at the bottom of the world was for many years unreachable, but in the last decade travel to Antarctica has opened up hugely. As nature rules above all here, technology is something you leave way behind you when you step off South America and venture into the abyss. Surrounded by colossal glaciers and millions of penguins, who’s want their phone buzzing in their pocket anyway?

 

3. Botswana

The plains and deltas of Africa offer a great opportunity for witnessing the natural world at its most raw and an endless array of wildlife. Here in Botswana, safaris will take you across spectacular landscapes, such as the Okavango Delta, where you can glide through the shallows in a canoe and spot lions, elephants and buffalo, plus hundreds of bird species soaring above your head. Travelling to Botswana is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that will make you put down your gadgets and tune in to the jaw-dropping world around you.

 

digital detox

 

4. Mongolia

The nomadic people of Mongolia are inspiration to us all for what it is to live using the world around you as opposed to what we can find scrolling through the web. This fascinating country is another place that’s been off-the-radar for many years, but more and more people are finding Mongolia to be a place destined for adventure.

Settle yourself into a traditional Mongolian yurt during your time here to experience this unique way of life. Dive into the museums of Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital, to learn more about Mongolia’s fascinating past, including the days of Genghis Khan. Head to the Ölgii Eagle Festival, one of Mongolia’s top cultural events, where there are eagle-hunting competition plus horse and camel races.

 

5. Patagonia

The vast expanse of land across the southern tips of Chile and Argentina, known as Patagonia, has for several decades been the number one stop for keen explorers. There are outdoor adventure opportunities abound here – hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing, and more – which will allow you to disconnect and get lost for a while.

Fly to Santiago or travel to Buenos Aires and head south, to the land of snow-capped peaks and shimmering lakes, some of the most inhospitable but simply stunning scenery on the planet. Goodbye phone, hello nature.

 

digital detox

 

Where would you go for a digital detox?

Travel Guide: Best of Cambodia

Firmly on the tourist trail of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is one of this region’s most magical countries. With history dating back thousands of years (and the landmarks to prove it), plus friendly people, a lively culture, and incredible nature, adventure can be found in every corner of Cambodia. Here are some of the country’s best bits.

 

Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s bustling capital is the classic picture of Southeast Asia that you see in your dreams: busy streets with traffic whizzing by, smells of street food floating through the air, and shimmering palaces abound. Phnom Penh makes a good place to start when travelling to Cambodia; spend a few days here pottering around the Royal Palace, National Museum of Cambodia, and sampling from the varied food scene.

 

Angkor Wat

UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous landmarks in the country, perhaps even this continent, Angkor Wat is one of the main reason people visit Cambodia. Travellers arrive in droves at sunset or sunrise to witness magical golden light kissing this beautiful collection of ancient structures, and lots of people also choose to hire bikes to glide around the complex too.

Angkor Wat can get very crowded, so think carefully about the time you choose to visit and expect lots of other people around. You can organise tours in nearby Siem Reap to help you make the most of your experience here.

 

 

Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap is a freshwater lake just south of Siem Reap and to visit it is to witness rural Cambodian life. The floating and stilted villages clustered around this body of water give a fascinating insight into Cambodia as it has been long before travellers caught onto this country. There are also dozens of waterbirds that you should look out for here, skimming their way across the shallows.

However, as it’s so close to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, tourism is rapidly taking over this part of the country, and the villages closer to Siem Reap might not show you an authentic picture of humble fisherman life here. For more of a chance of seeing this slice of Cambodia as untouched as possible, head as far as you can away from Siem Reap, to the villages at the southern end of the lake. It’s worth the trek, we promise.

 

Kirirom National Park

The national parks on Cambodia’s southeastern shores are some of the most beautiful parts of the country, and slightly more off the beaten path. One of the best is Kirirom National Park, where you’ll find a relatively undisturbed part of Cambodia. Here you can hike the many walking trails to find lakes and waterfalls, or go mountain biking if you’re looking for more of a thrill. There are also elephants, leopards, and other wildlife species living in the depths of the forest here. Stay here for a couple of days in the lodge or resort to feel cut off from the world and in the heart of nature.

 

What would you do from this best of Cambodia list?

Thai Lion Air Summer Promotion

To ring in the summer months, Thai Lion Air have put on some fantastic deals on flights. Between now and February 26th, you could grab airfare from as little as 680 baht for travel between February 27th and June 30th. What a great way to celebrate the arrival of summer! Book now before it’s too late.

Domestic flight offers list with flights from Bangkok:

Bangkok – Chiang Mai (DMK – CNX) 780 baht

Bangkok – Chiang Rai (DMK – CEI) 580 baht

Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani (DMK – UBP) 580 baht

Bangkok – Udon Thani (DMK – UTH) 580 baht

Bangkok – Hat Yai (DMK – HDY) 780 baht

Bangkok – Krabi (DMK – KBV) 780 baht

Bangkok – Surat Thani (DMK – URT) 580 baht

Bangkok – Phuket (DMK – HKT) 780 baht

Bangkok – Nakhon Si Thammarat (DMK – NST) 780 baht

Domestic flight offers list with flights from Hat Yai and Chiang Mai:

Hat Yai – Udon Thani (HDY – UTH) 980 baht

Chiang Mai – Surat Thani (CNX – URT) 980 baht

Chiang Mai – Hat Yai (CNX – HDY) 980 baht

International flight offers list with flights from Bangkok:

Bangkok – Singapore (DMK – SIN) 1,675 baht

Bangkok – Jakarta (DMK – CJK) 2,275 baht

Bangkok – Yangon (DMK – RGN) 995 baht

Bangkok – Guangzhou (DMK – CAN) 2,395 baht

Bangkok – Ho Chi Minh City (DMK – SGN) 1,295 baht

*Listed prices were relevant at the moment this article was created. If you cannot find listed price, please, try to change dates within promotion period.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Fare are effective for booking during 22 February – 26 February 2017.
  • Fare are effective for travelling during 27 February – 30 June 2017.
  • Fares shown in promotion is stated as one-way and inclusive of all charges.
  • Free baggage allowance 15 Kg (Domestic Route) Free baggage allowance 20 Kg (International Route) // Free sport equipment allowance 15 Kg // Free seat selection .
  • This promotion is applicable on Thai Lion Air flights only.
  • This promotion is subjected to availability of seats.
  • Passenger(s) will be charged with a rebooking fee of THB 750 and the price difference if a change in travel date or time is made 4 hours before departure.
  • This promotion can not rename and re-route.
  • ***Thai Lion Air reserves the right to change any terms and conditions of this promotion without prior notice.***

Travel Tips: What’s the Best Luggage for You?

best luggage

With so many modern styles on the market, it’s hard to know what the best luggage is for you. The nature of your trip – length, level of adventure, and how far away it is from home – will largely dictate the kind of bag you take with you, but it also comes down to personal style. And how good you are at packing! Check out these best luggage tips to figure out what will be more suitable for your adventures.

 

Suitcase

This classic style of luggage has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades. You can now find suitcases that are lightweight, durable, and simple to wheel around, making your travels easier than ever. These are among the most hard-wearing luggage around, especially firm cover suitcases that are in no danger of getting damaged by luggage handlers at airports. Some people don’t favour the traditional suitcase though because they can get under your (and other people’s) feet and be a pain to drag around.

Best for: Breaks to a single destination, road trips where they neatly pack into the trunk, and travellers who struggle to carry heavy loads

Not suitable for: long trips where you hop between countries

 

Backpack

Cherished by adventurous travellers, the backpack has also evolved hugely over the last few years. As backpacking has become more and more popular, and increasing numbers of people choose to hop on a flight to Thailand to explore Southeast Asia or go travelling around Europe, a broader range of backpack sizes and styles has been created. You can not get backpacks with pockets all over the place and secret compartments.

The drawback for some people with backpacks is that they’re slightly cumbersome to carry. This, of course, depends on how little you manage to pack inside you backpack, but if you’re going on a longer trip and need more things, lugging around a backpack can get a bit tiresome.

Best for: young people, multi-country trips, outdoor adventures

Not suitable for: bad backs!

 

best luggage

 

Duffel bag

A duffel bag if often thought of as something in between a suitcase and a backpack. It’s got all the flexibility of a backpack, which means you can cram a lot in a duffel bag, and some of them come on wheels so you can switch between carrying your bag and pulling it along whenever you please.

The drawback of a duffel bag is that these aren’t quite as common so you might not find the right style you want. As they’re not often used for outdoor purposes, a duffel bag also might not be as durable as a suitcase or backpack – their fabric is more prone to tearing.

Best for: carry-on luggage – lots can fit in a duffel bag, travellers who want the versatility of carrying or pulling along

 

Not suitable for: trips that require durability and waterproof luggage

 

Carry-on only

Masters of luggage packing choose to only take a carry-on piece with them and not much else. The clear benefit of this is that you can enjoy the freedom of having minimal luggage to take around with you. With no heavy baggage weighing you down, your travels feel much smoother (especially when it comes to a stress-free airport experience).

If you’re not good at packing light, however, this option can be difficult. It’s sometimes not even worth the stress of trying to cram your things all into one small bag – just bite the bullet and check in a hold bag on your flight and save  yourself the bother!

Best for: quick city breaks, ninja packers

Not suitable for: long-term trips

 

What is the best luggage for you?
What do you prefer to take away with you?

New Lion Air flight routes to Chengdu, Chongqing and Khon Kaen

We’re excited to announce that Lion Air have launched three new flight routes from Bangkok Don Mueang Airport. Starting now, you can fly from Don Mueang to Chengdu or Chongqing from just 1,595 baht, and from March 17th there’s a daily flight to Khon Kaen from as little as 580 baht. Book now to be among the first on these great new journeys!

Bangkok – Khon Kaen (DMK – KKC) 580 baht

Bangkok – Chengdu (DMK – CTU) 1,595 baht

Bangkok – Chongqing (DMK – CKG) 1,595 baht 

Terms and Conditions

  • Fares shown in promotion is stated as one-way and inclusive of all charges.
  • Domestic fares are effective for travelling 17 March 2017 onward.
  • International fares are effective for travelling 01 March 2017 onward.
  • This promotion is subjected to availability of seats.
  • This promotion is applicable on Thai Lion Air flights only.
  • Domestic flights free baggage allowance 15 Kg. // Free sport equipment allowance 15 Kg. // Free seat selection.
  • International flights free baggage allowance 20 Kgs. // Free sport equipment allowance 15 Kgs. // Free seat selection.
  • ***Thai Lion Air reserves the right to change any terms and conditions of this promotion without prior notice.***

Travel Guide: Best of Bali

best of bali

One of the most beautiful parts of Indonesia, Bali is one of those places that doesn’t disappoint. With beautiful beaches, fascinating spiritual culture, and lush, tropical inland, anyone travelling to Bali has a wide range of things to do. This best of Bali guide shows you some of the highlights. 

 

Visit the temples

There are beautiful temples scattered all over Bali, giving it that spiritual vibe that so many people come here to experience. They’re not all the same either, so making the effort to visit a variety of different temple is worthwhile during your stay in Bali.

The Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is among the most breathtaking as it’s perched out on Bratan Lake. When the light is just right here, the reflection of the temple onto the still waters below makes a simply stunning scene. Also don’t miss Besakih Temple, often called Bali’s ‘mother temple’ on the side of Mount Agung and one of the largest complexes of holy sites in Bali, and Goa Gajah, a temple and cave known as ‘Elephant Cave’ dating back to the 9th century.

 

best of bali

 

Hit the beach

Most people when visiting Bali come here to relax on pristine sands – and we don’t blame them. Bali’s coastline is undeniably beautiful, with an endless number of beaches for you to explore. Highlights include Crystal Beach, which has beautiful white sands and very clear waters great for snorkelling, Padang Padang, surrounded by dramatic cliff scenery and the setting for the popular film Eat, Pray, Love, and Balian Beach, where surfers come to ride the incredible waves.

 

Stop by the museums in Denpasar

A trip to Bali doesn’t have to all be about the beach. Learn more about Balinese culture and history at the collection of museums in Denpasar, the region’s largest city. Start at the Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali, a museum of art and history with over 1,000 items to peruse through to learn more about Bali.

Also swing by the Museum Le Meyeur in Sanur to look through a collection of more than 80 paintings from this famous artist. This gives you an insight into Balinese art, all in the setting of a beautiful building also showcasing the region’s unique architecture.

 

best of bali

 

Head to the hills

Bali’s central highlands are a sweeping mass of hills, prime for exploring and getting to know a special part of Balinese life. Hire a driver to take you up into the mountains for the day, stopping off at the rural villages and being led up to where you’ll find the most beautiful views.

If you’re into hiking, there’s no better place to do it in Bali than in these mountains. Summit Gunung Batukaru, which will take you most of the day but lead you through gorgeous tree-lined trails, past Pura Lahur Temple, and up to mind-blowing panoramas on a clear day at the top.

 

What do you think is the best of Bali?

Book Nok Air flights from just 845 THB

Nok Air have a fantastic sale on until March 13th! Book flights from Bangkok Don Mueang to destinations across Thailand and Asia from as little as 845 baht. Tickets purchased through this offer can travel any time between now and September 30th 2017, so grab this deal while you can!

845 THB:

Bangkok – Phitsanulok 

Bangkok – Udon Thani

Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani

Bangkok – Khon Kaen

Bangkok – Krabi

Bangkok – Surat Thani

Bangkok – Nakhon Phanom

Bangkok – Nakhon Si Thammarat

Bangkok – Loei

Bangkok – Trang

Bangkok – Chiang Rai

945 THB:

Bangkok – Hat Yai

Bangkok – Roi Et

Bangkok – Buri Ram

Bangkok – Nan

Bangkok – Chiang Mai

Bangkok – Sakon Nakhon

Bangkok – Phrae

Bangkok – Lampang

Bangkok – Phuket

Chiang Mai – Udon Thani

1245 THB:

Bangkok – Yangon

Bangkok – Ho Chi Minh City

Bangkok – Hanoi

Bangkok – Chumphon

Bangkok – Ranong

Bangkok – Mae Sot

Terms and conditions:

  • Promotional price start from 845 THB net / one way / person. (all inclusive) for Phitsanulok, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Surat Thani, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Loei, Trang and Chiang Rai Routes
  • Promotional price start from 945 THB net / one way / person. (all inclusive) for Hat Yai, Roi Et, Buri Ram, Nan, Chiang Mai, Sakon Nakhon, Phrae, Lampang, Chiang Mai–Udon Thani and Phuket Routes
  • Promotion price start from 1,245 THB net / one way / person. (all inclusive) for Yangon, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Chumphon, Ranong and Mae Sot Routes
  • This promotion ticket can be booked during 6 – 13 March 2017
  • This promotion ticket can be used for traveling during 13 March – 30 September 2017
  • Promotion price must be booked before traveling date at least 7 days
  • Free 7kg. carry-on baggage
  • Free premium water onboard
  • Free advanced seat selection
  • For Fly’n Ferry and Fly’n Ride routes, promotion will be applied to air ticket only  [ Koh Kradan, Koh Lanta (Saladan Pier), Koh Lipe, Koh Mook, Koh Nangyuan, Koh Ngai, Koh Phangan (Tong Sala Pier), Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui (Nar Ton Pier), Koh Tao, Amnat Charoen, Krabi (Ao Nang), Mukdahan, Phang Nga, Phang Nga (Khao Lak), Sukhothai, Chiang Rai (Chiang Khong), Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Si Thammarat (Khanom), Nakhon Si Thammarat (Thung Song), Sakon Nakhon (Sawang Daen Din), Satun, Satun (Tammalang Port), Surat Thani (Khaosok), Surat Thani (Ratchaprapa Dam), Surin, Uttaradit, Vientiane Laos, and Pakse Laos
  • Reserves for Nok Promotion class only
  • Promotion seats are limited on each flight and may not be available on some flights
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other Nok Air promotion
  • Any changes of itinerary must be made at least 1 day before an original booking departure via Call Center 1318. Passengers making change must pay for change fee and any applicable fare difference; which may surplus between the original price paid and the normal price available for the new flight at the time of change. Payment must be made by credit card only. In case that a new fare is less than an original price, we reserve the right not to remit an exceeding amount of the decreased fare.
  • For any other regular fares, the booking and payment can be made at all channels as normal practice.
  • Other terms and conditions remain in accordance with Nok Air’s general terms and conditions.
  • Nok Air reserves the right to change any terms and conditions of this promotion without prior notice.

5 of the Best Hiking Destinations in the World

best hiking destinations

For outdoor lovers, going on long hikes is one of the best parts of travel. While you can find beautiful walks all over the planet, some places are a cut above the rest, offering mesmerising views for those travelling on two feet. These best hiking destinations take the prize and attract millions of avid trekkers each year.

 

1. Patagonia

Land of soaring peaks, colossal glaciers, and bluer-than-blue lakes, Patagonia is hiker heaven in South America. Spanning across Argentina and Chile, this jaw-dropping part of the world is where nature takes over and there are incredible views at every turn.

Among the best hikes in Patagonia are the Fitz Roy Trek, which takes you through the massive Los Glaciares National Park, and Torres del Paine’s W Circuit. While these are the big hitters, there are thousands of walks across Patagonia that will suit any skill and experience.

 

2. Nepal

Home to Mount Everest, the planet’s tallest mountain and unimaginable goal for most avid hikers, Nepalwill always find itself on lists of the world’s best hiking destinations. While the large majority of us will never summit Everest itself, there are hikes all over Nepal that are more suitable (and budget-friendly!) for everyday hikers.

Fly into Kathmandu and head into the hills to complete the Annapurna Circuit, walk across Langtang, or settle on making it to Everest Basecamp, a popular hike for those who know they won’t be able to complete the entire thing. With so many mountains, you could spend a lifetime walking in Nepal.

best hiking destinations, hiking in nepal

 

3. USA

From the Pacific Crest to the Appalachian Trail, the USA is full of gorgeous long-distance hikes. This country is diverse in its landscape, with a dry arid south but a rainy north dense with forest, meaning there’s something for every taste here.

There are top hikes in every state, but many dedicated hikers will fly to LA to go trekking in California for all its national parks – don’t miss Yosemite – and or to nearby Arizona for some walks through its mighty canyons. That said, the sky really is the limit for hiking in the USA.

 

4. Austria

Slap bang in the middle of Europe and home to beautiful mountain ranges, Austria’s hiking opportunities are endless. In winter this is a popular skiing destination, but when summer comes the snow melts to reveal thousands of walking trail across the hills.

Travel to Innsbruck in the country’s far west to hike through Tyrol, one of the most popular parts of Austria for walking. There are short or long distance hikes here, including high alpine walks or more easy strolls that you can complete with the family. In total, Tyrol is home to 24,000km of marked trails in total, so it’s fair to say you’ll have plenty of choice!

best hiking destinations, hiking austria

 

5. New Zealand

New Zealand is paradise for outdoor lovers and among the any activities you can do here is, of course, hiking. There are hikes across New Zealand’s North and South Islands, from coastal ambles to crossing mountain passes. Rest assured all are accompanied by spectacular views and natural settings.

Lord of the Rings fans will want to hear to Tongariro National Park to walk among the dramatic landscape to feel like you’re in the movie. Fiordland National Park will also connect you with some incredible scenery, specifically the Kepler Track which takes around four days to complete.

 

What do you think are the best hiking destinations?

Fly to Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen or Hanoi with Lion Air!

To celebrate the launch of their three new routes from Bangkok Don Mueang to Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen or Hanoi, Lion Air are offering some fantastic prices! Fly to Phitsanulok or Khon Kaen from just 695 baht, or Hanoi from 1,375 baht. Hurry – these top deals end on March 26th, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Bangkok (DMK) to Phitsanulok (PHS) – 695 THB

Bangkok (DMK) to Khon Kaen (KKC) – 695 THB

Bangkok (DMK) to Hanoi (HAN) – 1,375 THB

Terms and conditions:

  • Fare are effective for booking during 22 March – 26 March 2017.
  • Fare are effective for travelling during 22 March – 31 May 2017.
  • Fares shown in promotion is stated as one-way and inclusive of all charges.
  • Free baggage allowance 15 Kg (Domestic Route) Free baggage allowance 20 Kg (International Route) // Free sport equipment allowance 15 Kg // Free seat selection .
  • This promotion is applicable on Thai Lion Air flights only.
  • This promotion is subjected to availability of seats.
  • Passenger(s) will be charged with a rebooking fee of THB 750 and the price difference if a change in travel date or time is made 4 hours before departure.
  • This promotion can not rename and re-route.
  • ***Thai Lion Air reserves the right to change any terms and conditions of this promotion without prior notice.***

How to Feel Fresh After a Long-Haul Flight

long haul flight

Air travel can leave you feeling wiped out and lethargic, especially flights that take six hours or more. Follow these tips to help you feel tip-top after hours on a plane. 

 

1. Stay hydrated

We all know that drinking plenty of water is essential in everyday life, but it’s even more imperative when you’re taking a long-haul flight. Your body needs to be at maximum hydration to function properly and cope with the stresses of flying.

This means not only drinking lots of water while you’re on the plane, but the day before and after your flight too. If you can make sure you’re plenty hydrated before even stepping on the flight, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

 

2. Stick to the your new sleeping pattern

In order to get ahead of any jet-lag you might experience in your new destination, try to adjust your sleep schedule before you leave and on the plane. This will help speed up the time it takes you to get used to the new times, and you won’t feel like a zombie when you arrive. Even if you just tweak your sleeping times by just an hour or two in favour of the new time zone it will help you greatly.

 

3. Upgrade your seat

Book extra leg room on your seat or upgrade to business or first class if you can afford it. These little improvements in the luxury of your flight will help you to feel more comfortable and relaxed on your journey. Booking extra leg room on economy tickets is easy to do and can be done after your initial booking of the ticket, sometimes even days before your departure.

If you’re in business class anyway you could ask for a free upgrade when checking in, in case there are any spare seats going in first class. This doesn’t always work, but you may as well ask just in case!

 

long-haul flight

 

4. Eat well

The best foods to eat before and during a long haul flight are low in salt, sugar, and heavy fats. These will only make you feel sluggish and tired after being in the air for so long. Instead, opt for lighter food such as fish or fresh fruits and vegetables. Granted these are hard to find on a flight sometimes, but if needs be bring along your own snacks and pass on the free food if it doesn’t look very appetising.

 

5. Freshen up in the bathroom

Washing your hands and face and brushing your teeth are quick and easy ways to feel good on a flight. All that recycled air and being in such close proximity to hundreds of other people can leave you feeling a little grim, so keep up with your usual routine in the bathroom every few hours to stay fresh.

 

6. Bring a good travel pillow

On many long haul flights you’re given a pillow, but these are often quite flimsy and don’t do the job effectively. Investing in a good travel pillow, one that curves around your neck to give proper support, will help you sleep far better on a flight. Most good airports will have shops where you can buy one of these if you forget to pack one in your carry-on suitcase.

 

How do you stay fresh on a long-haul flight?

Tokyo Travel Guide: the best of the Japanese capital

tokyo travel guide

One of the world’s greatest metropolises, Tokyo is a city for city lovers. There’s so much to do here you can barely pack it into one trip, but it’s worth pounding the pavements to try and see as much as possible. Follow this Tokyo travel guide for the best bits. 

 

Soak up some history

While Tokyo is undoubtedly a forward-thinking city as a technology hub, but its historical and religious sights shouldn’t be missed. Travel to Tokyo to learn more about Tokyo’s background at places such as the Sensoji Temple, a Buddhist site that’s one of the oldest in the city, the Imperial Palace, which used to be one of the largest fortresses in the world, and the Tokyo National Museum, the go-to place if you want to learn about this city more in-depth.

 

Go shopping

Whether you’ve got money to burn or you just want to peruse for pleasure, you have to spend at least one day in Tokyo wandering around its famous shopping districts. The sheer size of these areas and the shops in them will blow your mind, and it’s fun to take photos in them even if that’s all you’re there for.

Don’t miss Ginza, Tokyo’s most affluent shopping areas with mega-superstores dominating the streets but there are also quirky shops here that show off some of the best craftsmanship in Japan. If you want something wild, wacky, and young, head to Shibuya where you can watch the teen collective of Tokyo walk by in their fashion-forward outfits.

 

tokyo travel guide

Walk through the parks

There is a lot of green space in Tokyo, where you can get away from all the city chaos and breathe in some (relatively) fresh air. Visit the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden to stroll through English, French, and traditional Japanese gardens, one of the most beautiful leafy spots in the city.

Another popular park is also Ueno, located next to the station of the same name and a top spot for cherry blossoms in the spring. This quintessential picture of Japan is unmissable if you’re in town at the right time of year. so make sure you visit a park during these months to take some pictures of the beautiful sight.

 

Visit Mount Fuji

As Japan’s highest mountain, you’d think Mount Fuji wasn’t accessible from Tokyo but as it’s just a short train ride from the city it makes for one of the best day trips. You’ll need to be a dedicated climber to summit this peak, as it makes for a gruelling ascent and is often clouded over at the top restricting the views across the landscape below, but it is nevertheless an achievement for an adrenaline junkie. Alternatively, head out to other places around Mt Fuji, such as to Mt Ōyama, so that you actually get views of the mountain as opposed to clouds and very sore legs!

 

tokyo travel guide

 

What would you add to this Tokyo travel guide?

Travel Guide: Best of Mexico

best of mexico, playa del cardem

A land of ancient history, buzzing cities, and incredible beaches, Mexico is big, bold, and beautiful. This best of Mexico guide takes in the best things to do and regions to visit in this mind-boggling country.

 

1. Mexico City

Travel to Mexico City to start of your trip in the country’s heady capital. While this metropolis, one of the largest cities in North America, can be daunting at first, pair you exploration with a bit of common sense and there’s nothing to fear here.

Tick off the historical sights such as the National Museum of Anthropology, Zócalo (the city’s breathtaking main square that has links to the Aztecs), and the National Palace. Also don’t miss the Frida Kahlo Museum, a space dedicated to this infamous Mexican artist, housed in a striking blue building.

best of mexico, mexico city guide

 

2. Playa del Carmen

Playa de Carmen is among Mexico’s best beach destinations. Treasured by travellers for at least the last few decades, there’s always something fun and exciting to do here, whether that be lying back on the white sands, strolling down its shopping avenues, or grabbing a drink in its many bars.

There’s always a lively atmosphere at night here, making it one of the best places in Mexico if you want to be out in the evenings and relax by day. Life moves at an unhurried pace in Playa del Carmen – an ideal destination if you want to break away from your hectic everyday life back home.

 

3. Oaxaca

 

Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities. There are deep cultural roots here, with archaeological sites dotted all over the outskirts of the city, making it one of the best places to come if you’re into history. Around these are also mountains and beautiful landscapes, ideal for outdoor adventurers.

That said, the centre of Oaxaca itself should not be missed. The city is quickly developing a strong foodie scene, bustled along by its own traditional cuisine that’s inherant to the surroundings. Make sure you spend time both in and outside Oaxaca during your stay.

 

best of mexico

 

4. Chichen Itza and the Ik Kil Cenote

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Chichen Itza is a must-do on any trip to Mexico. These fascinating Mayan site is thought to have been here for around 1,000 years, revealing many things about this intrinsic part of Mexican history.

Explore the complex of ruins for a day, and on your way back to your base stop by the Ik Kil Cenote. One of Mexico’s most visited and beautiful cenotes (essentially an underground pool of water), Ik Kil  is less than 5km from Chichen Itza so easily accessible after your day of soaking up history. And a relaxing way to finish it off!

 

5. Puerto Vallarta

Fly to Puerto Vallarta to find one of Mexico’s best resort towns, a sun-drenched paradise on the west coast of the country. This is another place that’s perfect for relaxation, where you can spend your days snorkelling in the clear waters, ambling through markets, and walking along the city’s breezy boardwalk. Top sights here include the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a significant landmark for Puerto Vallarta, and the city’s peaceful botanical gardens.

 

What would you choose from this best of Mexico guide?