If you had asked me few years ago about Central Asia, my mind would have fumbled for country names; images of how a Central Asian city might look, thoughts about their local cuisine or even customs and clothing. But today, Central Asia is slowly coming into its own, and generating a rising awareness amongst travelers. Commonly referred to as the “Stans”, the countries that make up this region are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The five ‘Stans are located in Central Asia, and share borders with India, Russia, and China. What you’ll find in these five ‘Stans are a mix of desert, mountains and grassland landscapes. These countries were formed under Stalin’s rule but now 20 years post independence, they are emerging with identities of their own. Welcome to the lands of the five ‘Stans: Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Vietnam is a country filled with natural beauty. From its rice terrace fields to amazing limestone formations in the north, the country boasts incredible diversity. Vietnam is home to Buddhist pagodas, floating markets, world wonders, and bustling cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In short, Vietnam has everything for the discerning traveler, including some of the best cuisine I have experienced. Here are top ten things to do when in Vietnam.
Plan your upcoming travel to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to witness a magical floating world. Comprised of more than 1600 limestone pillars making up hollow caves, and several small floating islands across the emerald waters, it is not surprising to hear that Ha Long Bay is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. Be sure not miss this gem of Southeast Asia.
Though Vietnam will undoubtedly dazzle visitors at any time of the year with its delicious culinary specialties, luscious green landscapes, and cultural experiences, the country experiences huge regional and seasonal differences. The country’s narrow, snaking shape, which expands over 600 miles from the Red River in the north and the South China Sea at its south end, splits Vietnam into three separate climates: 1) a humid subtropical climate to the north; 2) a monsoon climate in areas closest to the South China Sea; and 2) a tropical savanna climate to the south. So, while Northern Vietnam experiences distinct winter and summer seasons, Southern Vietnam divides its year by its rainy and dry seasons.
So, the best time to travel to Vietnam depends largely on your destination! Continue reading below to find out the optimal time to visit each region of Vietnam!
Whether you’re headed for a gap year or a truly special romantic getaway, Southeast Asia ticks a lot of boxes. In recent years, this region has rocketed to the top of traveller’s bucket lists; so here’s our top ten most instagrammable spots in Southeast Asia to inspire you! If this doesn’t spark the wanderlust in you, I don’t know what will!
Japan is often referred to as the “land of the rising sun” and is best known for its efficient transportation system, especially the famous bullet trains. Japan is an interesting country to visit because of the combination of the old and the new that you will find as you travel through this place. So is Japan a good destination for a solo traveler? If you’re traveling to Japan alone for the first time, here are 15 tips you need to know.
Throughout the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Japan, the world’s largest and most populated metropolis has plenty of food options to offer. While Tokyo offers a ton to see and do, most can agree that the main attractions are the restaurants and the main activity is eating as much as you can. Here are some of the top restaurants in Tokyo.
Packing is one of the necessary evils of traveling, and it can be a stressful process to try to think through every single item that we may need in a foreign country, especially one that’s as far away as Japan. Where do we even start to pack for a Japanese getaway? Luckily, there are several resources that we can use to make packing easy and painless! Read below to find an important list of packing essentials for your Japan vacation!
With its seemingly endless number of activities and year round festivals, there truly is no bad time to visit Japan. From the snowy ski slopes of Hokkaido to the warm beaches of Okinawa and the bustling cultural centers of Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan has something unique to offer every type of traveler. However, due to expensive flights and long travel times, Japan is often a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many travelers. So, deciding the best time to visit is absolutely key to planning your dream Japanese getaway. Keep reading below to discover your ideal time to travel to Japan!
Once the capital city of the powerful Japanese empire, Kyoto is now a popular tourist destination located in the southern-central region of the large island of Honshu. Known as one of Japan’s greatest ancient cities, Kyoto is a booming cultural center full of beautifully ornate shrines and temples, historic landmarks, sprawling bamboo forests, lively theater performances, and delicious cuisine. Kyoto’s cultural importance has drawn visitors to its city for years, and its rich historical, cultural, and culinary traditions make Kyoto an ideal spot to soak in all the best that Japan has to offer. Keep reading below to see the best things to do in Kyoto, Japan!
Southeast Asia. The countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar are home to some of the most unique culture, deep history, and heartwarming people. All of these countries are also home to some of the World’s most stunning temples - in particular temples of Angkor (Angkor Wat) in Cambodia and the Ancient Temples in Bagan Myanmar.
Early in the morning at 5:00am hundreds of monks wake up, leave the temples, and walk through the city streets collecting their morning alms (sticky rice and other simple foods) that is give to them from the local people as a part of a special alms giving ceremony. The monks walk in a single file line down the main streets that lead to the royal palace, where locals kneel by the curbside with their heads bowed and their feet tucked away - showing respect for the monks who are passing by.
Around the world, there are millions of people who struggle because they lack a basic necessity that some of us take for granted: the ability to build a livelihood and provide for their families; simply put, a job. I’m not talking about a fulfilling career or high-paying salary, but the security of being able to feed yourself and family at the end of the day.
I am in Bukit Luang with my friend Lillix, the man who talks to monkeys. Lillix grew up in a small village in the jungles of Indonesia, and from a young age, learned to love the jungle. Ever since he was six years old his father would take him to explore the most remote parts of the jungle to help him develop an appreciation for its beauty and importance.
When you think of China, famous landmarks like The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China are bound to spring to mind. And these sites should absolutely be on your bucket list, but don’t limit yourself! China has so much MORE to offer! With a diverse landscape this country has an infinite number of spectacular sites, from mountain ranges to beaches, city skylines to traditional water towns.