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There are many tourists coming in and out of the kingdom of Thailand, but there are expatriates, too — those that have decided to leave the borders of their homeland to teach English. That means travelling to Thailand is nothing to be afraid of. If you are only a few hours away from your flight, and if you do not have a list of things you want to do in Thailand, there are 15 things recommended to do while travelling around this beautiful country.
- Go on beach hopping.
Patong Beach, Railay Beach, Maya Bay, Hua Hin Beach, Kata Beach, Lamai Beach, Sairee Beach, and the list goes on and on. It is a home to beautiful beaches and you have to try, at least, three of them and be relaxed and amazed. Their beaches are unlike no other.
- Visit the Grand Palace.
Your Thailand visit wouldn’t be complete without setting your two feet on the Grand Palace. It is the home of the Thai king, the whole administrative staff of the government, and the Royal court. It boasts of beautiful architectural design from one dynasty to the other.
- Pay Khao San Road a visit.
If you are looking for a place to buy cheap souvenirs to bring back home or simply want to experience shopping like a local without breaking the bank, Khao San Road is a must-go-to place for you. Khao San is famously called the “center of the backpacking universe”.
- Eat street food.
If you have ever been eating their world famous Pad Thai in restaurants from where you are living, you will be amazed how a pad thai tastes like when it is cooked by a local right in the streets of Thailand. Aside from pad thai, there are other street food must-try.
- Ride a tuk tuk.
It is called by many names in many parts of the world, but it is famously called tuk tuk in Thailand. It is a vehicle used for transportation that is very Southeast asian is look and feel.
- Visit the King Cobra Village.
Be amazed at how entertaining these trained snakes are. It is quite scary at first glance, but the snakes there are bred in captivity to perform for tourists.
- Buy from the floating market.
You’ve seen this in photos and there is definitely no way that you should miss this. Hop into the boat and make your way into their canal and shop like how you would in your local market. It’s all so affordable, and there are people who are willing to cook for you after buying from the market.
- Go white in Wat Rong Khun.
It is privately own Buddhist temple commonly known to tourists as the White Temple. It is breathtakingly white and beautiful, and you can’t find a lot of white temples around the world.
- Learn Muay Thai.
There are Muay Thai camps in Thailand that you can be part of. It is quite an experience as nothing feels more authentic than learning this art from where it was originated.
- Go on a jungle trek.
Discover Thailand’s wildlife. Go on a trek and experience the other natural beauty they offer aside from the beaches. It’s an adventure worth trying.
- Eat insects.
Not everyone would give this a try, but for a full Thailand experience, pick a stick of insects and give it a chew. You will be amazed how tasty they are. It is easy to find one because it is mostly sold in the streets like a typical street food.
- Buy Harem pants.
Be a local. Buy Harem pants. It’s like a jogger pants for Thai people. Best part of it is how refreshing it feels when wearing it.
- Visit Ayutthaya.
Once a royal city, now it boasts of beautiful temple ruins. Ayutthaya is a World Heritage Site. That alone tells you that this place is a must to visit. It gives you an experience not only your eyes would be thankful but, as well as your soul.
- Go to Wat Arun.
Famously called as the Temple of the Dawn. It is a Buddhist Temple. If you’re lucky enough to visit it early in the morning, you will see the first light of the morning reflecting in the temple and it looks magnificent.
- Build a community.
Thai people are one of the most hospitable people in the world. It is not so hard to find a new friend in this country. If you want to make your Thailand experience a memorable one, it is best shared with people. Build a community – big or small. It makes you feel that Thailand is your new home.
There are a couple of hundred things you can do in Thailand. If you are going to work as one of the growing numbers of ESL teachers in the country, there is definitely no need to worry. You have a community willing to take you around and help you make your Thailand experience worth it. If you are just going around for a tour, it’s impossible that you will not enjoy every second of it. That’s how beautiful this country is.
Edinburgh is, undoubtedly, one of the gorgeous cities in the world. I also had a chance to visit this beautiful city. Its cobblestone streets, stunning buildings, and rich history can impress any traveller. Edinburgh is also one of the sought after destinations for weekend getaways, pub crawls, and there are lots of hidden gems to explore.
But, the city’s only downfall is that it is quite costly. Yes, I won’t include Edinburgh in the budget-friendly destinations. While some attractions of the city are unavoidably inexpensive, you can visit various free museums, historical sites, reasonably priced restaurants & hotels, and a huge variety of outdoor activities to offset the costs of its costly attractions.
So, here are the six ways you can save your money on your holiday.
Enjoy Sampling The Drink
If you really love scotch whisky, then it is advisable you should book a tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience. But, here is the sad part, this tour will cost you £14.50, are you saying it is costly, indeed it is. But, wait you can still taste the national drink of Scotland. All you need is to visit one of the whisky bars here. Bow Bar is known to have an insane variety of single malts on offer and Whiski Rooms brags off a combined restaurant and bar. It has a specialist Whisky Shop as well.
Avoid Travelling By Taxis
It is quite costly when it comes to travelling from one place to another from a taxi. So, if you are on a budget, then make sure you avoid at all costs. If you still looking for any other alternative, then you can take the services of Uber. Trust me, the service is good and moreover, it is cheaper than other cabs you will find in Edinburgh. This will certainly help you in saving some quick money.
I really liked the fact that Edinburgh is amazingly compact, this makes it a walkable city. Now, this means you can explore the city by foot, especially when all the major attractions are located within neighbouring New and Old Town. If you want to use the public transportation, the buses are the inexpensive and convenient option.
For a single ticket, all you need to pay is £1.50 and the price for a day ticket is £4.00, the best part is that it includes unlimited travelling by trams as well. If you are looking to use transport for a number of days, make sure you have opted for weekly passes, this will surely help you save money.
Make sure you visit one of the popular and historic pubs here, but the prices for pints and cocktails are quite high. But, you don’t need to worry as there are various bars and pubs where you can enjoy cheaper pints and cocktails specials.
If you are visiting New Town, make sure you have visited Lucky Liquor, this is the place where you get to enjoy a beer at £6, The Basement has some of the best collection of inventive cocktails and it starts at £5.52. Rose Street is quite famous to have some of the best pubs, The Black Cat being one of the reasonably priced. Here, you can enjoy affordable pints and you also get to enjoy live music on Monday and Wednesday.
Sandy Bell’s is a must-visit in Old Town. This is a folk bar and its traditional music makes the whole ambience pleasant. Enjoy your pints at around £3.54. Banshee Labyrinth is quite popular amongst the tourists and locals alike. It has seven rooms, two jukeboxes, three bars, and huge underground dance floor. The mixed drinks and pints will cost you less than £5. It is said to be one of Edinburgh’s haunted bars as well. Enjoy international bottled and draught beer at The Hanging Bat by paying just £6.
Cheaper Accommodation Options
Finding reasonably priced accommodation in Edinburgh is quite easy. The price for a hostel dorm room starts around £30 per night. If the hostel is not what you are looking for, then there are cheaper hotel options like Motel One and Cityroomz, charging you £90 per night.
If you want to cut down on the costs related to accommodation, then you can go for the options like HomeAway and Airbnb. If you are a student, then the University of Edinburgh offers dormitories, of various types & sizes, to the students. You will be staying at Pollock Halls and you have to pay a reasonable amount, even during summers.
Avoid Visiting In The Month Of August
The Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and it takes place in in the month of August every year, the festival goes for three weeks. The festival is attended by the tourists and art lovers from around the world, owing to this, the prices for the accommodation increase dramatically. If you have plans to visit Edinburgh during August, then, if possible, reschedule your visit to save on accommodation.
The post is by Sophia Jones tries to live her life like the sun – setting her sights high and vowing to always rise up again. Always game for an adventure, Sophia loves widening readers and her own expectations of our vast, beautiful world. She currently writes for sites like alwaysreview etc
Snorkel gear can be picked up at any of the beachy shops in Kenting town. The area around sail rock is popular with snorkelers. If you want to go scuba diving, check out Taiwan Dive for classes.
Rent a Scooter
Most places in Taiwan require a Taiwanese driving license to rent a scooter, but in Kenting, its legal for tourists to rent electric scooters. These surprisingly powerful little bikes can get you over all the hills and to every beach in Kenting for about 800 NTD a day. You can read about the best places to scooter to in Kenting over on my blog.
Be a Beach Bum
You’ve got plenty of white sandy options in Kenting to fulfill your holiday needs of reading a book and splashing around in the ocean. From Baisha Bay to Kenting Town Beach you’re sure to find a quiet spot to relax in the sun or play in the water.
Hike in a National Park
Kenting has two main parks, Eluanbi, which is the Southernmost tip of Taiwan, and Kenting National Park. Both parks have great views, fun hikes, and picturesque gardens to while away an afternoon in.
Explore a Cave
Kenting National Park is also home to two caves: the fairy cave and the silver dragon cave. Both are bigger than they initially seem from the outside and are fun (and refreshing) to explore on a hot summer’s day.
Learn to Surf
Jialeshuei is the famous surfing beach in Kenting, but other Kenting other beaches are also good for beginners.
Afei’s Surf Hostel is a great place to check out if you want lessons. Even if you don’t want to surf, I can recommend Afei’s as a lovely hotel to stay at.
Snack Your Way Through a Night Market
Kenting Night Market basically shuts the roads down in Kenting town in the evening as tourists and foods stands fill the main road. You can get typical beach food like ice cream and corn dogs or you can branch out and try some wild hog meat and stinky tofu.
Explore Taiwan’s History in Hengchun
Hengchun is an easy scooter ride away from Kenting and it’s a great place to head to for some interesting architecture and Taiwanese history. Walk from historic gate to historic gate down narrow roads and get a feel for what Taiwanese life was like a hundred years ago.
Stand on the Edge of a Cliff
Fongchueisha and Longpan will get your blood pumping if you bike to either of these two look out points for a stunning, cliff-side view down to the rocky waters below.
Stare at Fish from a Glass Bottom Boat
Kenting, Taiwan has a lot to offer the sun-loving vacationer. With cheap food and plenty of sights the South of Taiwan makes an excellent holiday destination.
Are you looking to organise a perfect getaway for girls? Girls need an opportunity where they can get away from their routine schedule and have a gala time. But, it seems that their schedule is so busy that it is not feasible to plan out a weekend getaway.
But, it’s about time that I handpick 7 key tips for the perfect girl’s getaway. Go on use this tips and have the time of your life.
Leave The Planning To 1-2 People
Well, it is my personal view that not more than two people should be involved in making the planning. It is quite easy to mess up things when more than two people are trying to make a plan. Dividing the tasks will surely help you out in catering to different things such as accommodation.
Have A Budget
Make sure you are upfront about having a budget but at the same time also concerned about other people’s price ranges. Discuss how the spending will be made. The best and practical way is to allow only two people to shop for the groceries. Let them do all the spending and keep the receipts with them. At the end of the trip, pay them back, trust me this is simple and a hassle free way of doing things.
Go For A Signature Drink For The Weekend
I can understand that grocery shopping for a bunch of people can be quite overwhelming. The best way out is to decide unanimously the signature drink, for the weekend, beforehand. Make sure the lead organiser is made to go shopping for the ingredients of that drink. Make everyone to participate in making the drink, I am sure you will love this. For our weekend, we decided High Plains Margarita (little yellowish in colour).
It is a quite a popular drink, so we didn’t have trouble finding its ingredients – 1.5 oz Patrón Silver, .5 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange, 2 Slices charred pineapple, .5 oz Fresh lime juice, .25 oz Yuzu juice, .25 oz Simple syrup, 6 Sage leaves, 2 for garnish, 2 dashes Lime bitters, and + Chipotle salt rim.
Choose A House Instead Of A Hotel To Stay
My idea of a perfect weekend getaway is to rent a house with my best buddies. Searching hotel rooms is easy but when it comes to a house, you need to specify in your search. Indeed, you will find a wide variety of houses on the internet, but even this should be decided unanimously. Make sure you have checked for the nearby grocery and shopping stores (I will discuss on this).
Instead of staying in a hotel, when you are living and sharing a house together, you all will have a great opportunity to bond. See other possibilities you get to explore when you are together including – making dinner, enjoying coffee, and just having fun hanging out together. You can also indulge in playing exciting indoor games, staying up till the late hours of the night.
Plan The Itinerary For Some Days
The vacations that require you to stay at one sole place at a particular time definitely feels over structured. But, if there is no plan at all, then you will easily end up wasting the whole weekend. I suggest, making plans for one of two days and leave other days open. Trust me, this will help you to enjoy some flexibility, but still ensure that you make the most of your trip. Our planned days really went well, we enjoyed relaxing by the pool, watched movies, and unwind together.
Have A Throwback Activity
So, whether you are playing twister or making s’mores, having everyone participate will surely give you a chance to all you girls to strengthen the bond. It certainly helps you to take you out of reality and all the stress of your everyday lives. When you are together, definitely, you have lots of things to discuss and do, you won’t even notice how the time flies.
A true girls weekend getaway is never complete without referring about shopping. Like I have discussed in the third point, ask the concerned person about the nearby shopping malls or boutiques. Go on dress up like queens and enjoy shopping at all the shopping outlets and hip boutiques. Shopping is also one of the effective and tested ways of building a bond, so make the most of it.
Bangkok is one of the most visited, preferred and singled out tourist destinations amid travelers around the world. Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. Bangkok used to receive more visitors than any other city in the world due to its diverse attractions. If you are in Bangkok, it will not take long time to realize why more and more tourists are interested to visit this charming city. The city is packed with both old-world charisma and modern attractions. It is a beautiful city that can is alive with noisy, crowded, bright, exhilarating, and funny. Here are top 5 attractions in the city that let the visitors to experience Bangkok completely:
Visitors can experience the splendor of Bangkok by visiting the temples of the city. The temples in the city help the tourists to understand the religion, culture, traditions, beliefs, customs as well as architecture of the city. You can witness many temples right through the city including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (the most iconic temple of Bangkok), Wat Saket, Wat Traimit, Loha Prasat, Wat Mahatat, Wat Suthat, Wat Benjamabhopit (Wat Benja), Wat Prayoon, etc.
- The Grand Palace
One of the most effective ways to explore or experience the beauty of Bangkok is visiting The Grand Palace. The visitors are always enthralled by the opulence of the architecture and the exquisiteness of these sites. Grand Palace is certainly the city’s most famous landmark. It was built in 1782 and it reveals the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. At present, the complex is the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
- Khao San Road
Another great means for the visitors to explore and experience Bangkok is walking through Khao San Road. Khao San Road is a short and just 410 meter long. It is Bangkok’s backpacker hub and you should visit the site in order to experience the actual local life of Bangkok. Khao San Road is packed out, noisy and filled with a lot of fun. At Khao San Road, every tourist can find numerous budget guesthouses, mid-range hotels, internet cafes, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, swanky bars and clubs, restaurants, massage parlors, tattoo shops, etc. The region is globally famous as a hub of dancing, partying, the traditional Thai New Year (Songkran festival) of 13–15 April and water splashing.
Bangkok’s Chinatown presents a spectacular experience to the travelers. Chinatown is in one of the oldest spots of Bangkok. Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong district is the center of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Chinatown’s Sam Pheng Market is an old business hub. Current Chinatown now includes a huge area around Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road. Well-known for its markets and many gold shops, Chinatown is alive with the local population, many busy, more or less hectic market areas consisted of a chain of roads, alleys and small streets. As a result of the blend of Chinese and Thai cultures, Bangkok’s Chinatown is unique and charming.
- Parks, Beaches and Museums
Parks, Beaches and Museums in Bankok help the tourists to experience the diversity of Bangkok. There are in fact several parks situated around the city and it provides the visitors to the Bangkok with pure air and many outdoor activities in green, landscaped places. Some of the famous parks in Bangkok include Benjakitti Park, Benjasiri Park, Chatuchak Park, Lumpini Park, Queen Sirikit Park, Rama IX Park, Romaneenart Park, Rot Fai Park, Sanam Luang Park (The Royal Field), Santichaiprakarn Park, Santiphap Park, etc.
There are many beaches to choose from in Thailand, and many of them are near to Bangkok. Here are a few beaches that are closer to Bangkok, such as, Hua Hin, Koh Samet, Ko Lipe, Pattaya, Pranburi, Cha-Am, etc.
You can find a number of Museums in Bangkok and it can offer you a premier and complete look into Thai culture. Here are some of the museums in Bangkok that display the most transcendent, and strangest, collections of remnants such as the Bangkok National Museum, Museum of Siam, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), Bangkokian Museum, Vimanmek Mansion Museum, Jim Thompson House, Erawan Museum, Bangkok Doll Museum, Bang Khun Thien Museum, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok Corrections Museum, Bangkok Folk Museum, etc.
The post is by Susan Taylor, a freelance writer and she retired from position as a professor in order to continue freelance writing career. She currently working for a professional thesis writing service online and it lets her to aid students around the world with solving their academic paper writing troubles.
Croatia is a very tourist friendly country and it has unique landscapes and impressive historic constructions. There are over 1000 islands in Croatia and five of them are really special and they provide a unique vibe and a special experience for all their visitors.
Hvar is one the best islands in Croatia. With its magnificent Venetian-style architecture, Hvar has been a favorite destination for many people from across the world. Walk through Velo, the old hill town and later visit the marvelous Stari Grad Plain which dates back to 385BC. Visit the Franciscan Monastery and Museum in Hvar and experience beautiful views of artwork and historical architecture. This museum overlooks a gorgeous cove and a garden with a cypress tree that is said to be 300 years old. Visit Hvar’s fort up on a hill built in the 16th century, be part of lavender festival and have a great time.
Korcula is an island known for its dense forests with several vineyards, olive groves and stone quarries. Korcula’s many winding streets are an excellent example of the work of the island’s legendary stone workers. While in Korcula, sail to the wooded Badija (an island monastery) or go to Lumbarda that is rich in vineyards and beautiful sandy beaches. Have you heard about the legendary dance called Moreska? This is Korcula’s traditional combat sword dance that has been performed by generations on the island.
Kornati is more than just an island, it is actually a nautical paradise, featuring 140 distinct islands. Most of these islands are part of the National Park, for their unique sighs and natural wonders. Many tourists visit these islands daily and the only way to reach them is by sea. That’s why, a ferry is available for daily trips, from the mainland to the islands and back. Other tourists are more up for a more unique experience and decide to rent a boat from a local charter. This provides a unique experience and the possibility to really enjoy the trip, as much as the destination. The blue waters and the amazing forests, will make any person feel like he’s an explorer and he just discovered these places.
These islands represent a huge treasure for Croatia and for the whole Europe. It’s impressive to see how history blends in with nature and with the modern constructions. The overall feeling is intense, and that’s why, more and more people decide to visit them every year.
The Philippines is becoming a hot destination for tourists because of the low prices, friendly people, and especially the beautiful country and beaches.
It can be a little intimidating traveling to Asia, when you find out that Asia has over 2,100 different languages spoken their!
The Philippines is a big part of that problem because it consists of over 7,000 islands and many of them have their own dialect that they speak with.
I learned this the hard way the first time I traveled to the Philippines I landed in Manila and jumped into a taxi with my friend. I was ready to see the country and had been studying the language for weeks.
I started talking to my taxi driver name Bong, and quickly found out that the words I had been studying were not going to help me get to the beautiful beaches of the Philippines I had been hearing about!
I soon learned that I did not need to know a lot of Tagalog words, just a few essential phrases to help me travel the beautiful country! Once I picked up the basics I was able to get around without a problem.
Thankfully the team over at HomeAway put together this graphic to help other travelers get around the Philippines more easily.
What phrases or travel tips do you think everyone should know?
Traveling has several benefits. That’s why you should consider getting this on your bucket list. Those who travel more are said to be happier. You also get to experience new things that may not be possible if you constrain yourself in one place.
If you’re an entrepreneur, one of the things that might be stopping you from seeing the world is the business that you have to run. It’s understandable that you would want to be hands on in running your company. You might find it exciting that there are now a lot of business people who are traveling the globe and managing their business at the same time.
Yes, that’s all possible, especially communication and all other business matters can be done over the Internet. In fact, there are even businesses with employees from all over the world connecting and working with each other online. If they can do it, you too can certainly do the same.
The thought of managing your company while going from one place to another might be thrilling, and it really is. However, you should also be prepared for the challenging things that may come your way. If you are aware of these challenges and know how to manage them, travel and business can work together well.
The infographic that we created would prepare you for the issues that you might face when traveling while managing your company.
Learn from the information on the graphic below to make things more convenient:
As a diving instructor living in Indonesia, one of the best diving spots in the entire world, I meet lots of people who would love to go on a dive but are nervous about the health and safety aspects. I meet even more people, unfortunately, who are so keen to start diving that they completely ignore the health and safety aspects, potentially putting themselves in danger.
My job isn’t just to take people on the trip of a lifetime – it’s also to imbue them with a healthy respect for the ocean and everything that lives within it. Here’s my advice, one that I dispense daily in the course of my work, written down to help out beginners to the wonderful world of diving.
Find a quiet spot to dive
If you’re a beginner diver, you don’t want to be overwhelmed with crowds the first times you dive. Those same crowds might also scare off the marine life, therefore cancelling out the very thing you came for.
My favourite diving spots of all time are Padang Bay which has amazing dive sites, and Nusa Dua which is great for those who love isolation. Moreover, those amazing locations are just scratching the surface of all Bali has to offer – but you really should do some research before you book your diving trip.
To be a diver, you really have to be quite physically fit. Cardiac-related deaths make up at least a quarter of all diving deaths, so please don’t become a part of the statistic.
Undergo a physical examination before taking up diving as a serious hobby, and absolutely ask your doctor if there’s anything at all in your health records that could make diving an overly dangerous experience for you. Even if you’re given an absolute all-clear and told you’re healthy, you still have to listen to your body at all times and never get complacent in your health. If you have a cold or the flu or are even just tired from partying, don’t dive. And don’t dive if you’ve been drinking. Just don’t risk it.
However, bear in mind that it’s not impossible to scuba dive if you’re disabled. There are many centers and resources for disabled people who want to try diving.
Plan ahead and stick with your buddy
Before you go diving, you should have planned out every last detail, including how deep you’ll go and how much air you’ll have in your tank when you ascend. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, ask your diving instructor. Never be afraid to ask us questions in fact – it’s what we’re here for.
You should have a diving buddy who goes under with you (It’s best if this is someone you already know, but it doesn’t have to be). You should pre-arrange hand signals with them beforehand, as obviously you won’t be able to converse underwater. Keep your diving buddy in sight at all times; don’t swim off the second you spot something interesting. If you do lose them, slowly ascend to the surface to regroup.
Go slowly and relax
It can be scary diving for the first time, but you simply have to relax your body and, if needs be, remind yourself that diving accidents are incredibly rare. If for any reason you start to panic, alert your buddy and your dive instructor and slowly start ascending. That ‘slowly’ is very important when it comes to diving – ascend too quickly and the nitrogen bubbles forming in your blood will make you sick with decompression illness or ‘the bends’. That’s one thing you absolutely, definitely do not want.
Ascend at 30 feet per minute max, and you should be fine. Then, take some time to rest before diving again.
Diving is fun, the best kind of fun in the world in my opinion, but it’s not a sport for the careless or arrogant. Always follow your instructor’s advice – it’ll save you ruining your holiday with a spell in hospital instead of underwater.
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”
– Francis Bacon
I fell in love with Southeast Asia after reading “The Beach” and “The Tesseract”, both by Alex Garland. Both novels weren’t part of the reading list, which was quite unfortunate. I could compose an essay in an hour or two, but it didn’t matter. The chance to travel to that part of the world came.
I was excited with my trip, along with my course-mates. I dreamed of a Robinson Crusoe moment in a desert isle, but the closest thing to that was Ha Long Bay. Colin, one of my three travel buddies in this trip, remembered our module on Ian Fleming and James Bond. We did went to Andaman Sea, where “The Man with the Golden Gun” was shot, but that would be another tale.
What was it about Southeast Asia that the likes of Graham Greene have used as backdrop for their novels? It was different from what I’ve seen here at home, or the continent for that matter, but that wasn’t the reason. It would be the destinations, but there was more. In other words, it was anything but dull. It was also unique.
Below were my five must-see places:
1. Wat Rong Khun (Chiang Rai, Thailand)
Designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, this temple war arguably the main attraction in northern Thailand. Compared to the other monastery temples (wat), White Temple was unconventional, which drew lots of tourists. I would recommend spending half an hour looking at the wall paintings, a mixture of Buddhist images and pop culture. So imagine the likes of Harry Potter in the presence of Buddha’s solemn face, which seemed quite awkward at first. Eventually, I warmed up to it.
2. The terraced fields of Sa Pa, Vietnam
This town in northern Vietnam couldn’t be in a better location, as locals would be greeted with the panorama of Phan-Xi-Pǎng (Fansipan), the highest peak in Vietnam, every morning. It looked splendid on a sunny afternoon, but the countless terraces were the ones that tourists shouldn’t passed up. It would take a day or two for trekking, which might not be enough. Several ethnic groups lived there, and my interaction with them was priceless. Be warned that souvenir shops were ubiquitous in the village of Cat Cat, and the some of the locals were too persistent (in selling their items).
3. Angkor Thom (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Not that Angkor Wat was unattractive, but Angkor Thom had an august appearance. One needed an imagination, as all that remained were ruins, which looked gorgeous from certain angles. The Bayon Temple was my favourite, its solemn faces good enough for a postcard.
4. The temples of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
One must go the distance in able to see the Buddhist and Hindu temples in Yogyakarta, located in central Java. Borobudur, a pyramid-like temple, was a sight to behold. The summit looked like a page from a fairy tale, where tens of bell-like structures were arranged circularly. Not far behind were Prambanan and Ratu Boko, more reminders of a mighty civilisation that once flourished in this part of Asia.
5. Ho Chi Minh
East meets West, past meets present. This former capital of Vietnam had many landmarks that revealed its storied past. I visited the French section twice, where one of Gustave Eiffel’s creations could be found. I was referring to the Post Office, its remarkable interior had an old map of Saigon.
Lee Smyth studied Film and Literature, had a stint in dissertation writing services, and did freelancing jobs in writing and proofreading. He would pursue a graduate degree next fall. Check out his blog and Twitter account.