Roughly 20 minutes later, our fantastic crew gave us another surprise – they were going to swim to the beach with our lunch! Trust me, I didn’t believe it either until I saw it myself! After the table was set up and plates were distributed, everyone dug in buffet style. Some of us opted to stand and eat, others found tree trunks to use as chairs; I preferred to sit on the sand close to the water.
As soon as I caught my first glimpse of this beautiful beach, I knew that my time in the Philippines was going to be magical. That first glimpse of cute beach resting huts and swaying coconut trees spoke volumes. I simply couldn’t wait to get to shore and explore.
We had encountered choppy waves at the Small Lagoon, but it started getting a little bad by the time we reached the entrance of the Big Lagoon. Once we got there, our guide once again gave us two options: kayak or swim. However, this time, even the confident swimmers looked wary. One tour-mate even decided to just photograph it using his drone and not even bother venturing into the water. A few of us decided to brave it – with kayaks, but even that proved to be a bit of a challenge.
A short boat ride later, our Bangka set anchor at what looked like a tiny secluded beach. We looked back at our guide with surprised looks. What were we supposed to do? Where was the Secret Lagoon? He pointed to a rock on the left side of the boat, roughly 20 metres away. “Go. Swim.” That was all he said.
This dish was an explosion of soft crabstick, juicy shrimp, mixed seafood, grilled beef undercut, salted chicken, turkey bacon, supple tofu, fresh seaweed, tender mushrooms, bright bok choy, spring onion, eggs and succulent fish sandwich. The broth was spicy, the ingredients were unbeatable and the noodles were cooked to perfection.
Travel is supposed to be exciting, enriching and inspiring. Yet, unfortunately, with the multitude of travelers increasing ever day, touts and fraudsters have also now upped their game and prey on many innocent travelers. With this in mind, we have done our research and compiled below a list of travel scams which travelers/ tourists should be worried about. Make sure you save this and revise it again before your next trip to Vietnam!
With 2018 just starting up, the avid and restless traveler in me is positively bubbling with excitement at all the exciting travel possibilities that the new year has yet to offer. With that in mind, we have compiled a bucket list of all the amazing destinations that have caught my eye towards the end of 2017 – here’s hoping that this list what it should do – inspiring you to travel!
There’s no doubt about it – Nepal is a traveler’s dream! With visa free access, a mixture of history, culture, mountains and raging rivers, this country is on every traveler’s bucket list. And being the base for the stunning Himalayas and amazing Everest doesn’t hurt either!
Nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of the Eiffel up close. I stood there for a good five minutes just admiring the view, whilst Maggie busied herself taking photographs. There was an ice cream stand selling ice cream at inflated prices, but that didn’t deter me from getting one. Now that I was here at the Eiffel, for a short while I wanted to be a tourist.
Supposedly, King Bladud (father of Shakespeare’s King Lear) contracted leprosy and decided to leave and travel the countryside, while disguised as a swineherd. One day, whilst travelling the Avon countryside, Bladud noticed the pig bathing in warm spring water, subsequent to which they appeared to be cured. Deciding to take a chance and follow their example, Bladud himself bathed in the hot spring water and found himself free of leprosy.
A quick evaluation and several detailed discussions later, this is the conclusion we reached: the 1 and 2 star tours were not safe for a variety of reasons: it was likely that they would not deliver what they promise; the boats themselves were of questionable quality and therefore subject to accidents like fire or sinking (we witnessed one such incident firsthand ourselves!).
Birishiri, a small town located in the Northern region of “Netrokona” in Bangladesh. The buzz and attraction about this place is mainly because of the crystal blue water in one of the lakes there, which is caused by erosion of the ceramic hills surrounding the lake.
Located in the Sleman area in the cultural city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, this restaurant has quickly amassed a loyal following for their unique signature - they ONLY serve mushrooms. That's right, only mushrooms. To reiterate, ONLY mushroom based cuisine!
I booked a one-way bus ticket from London to Paris via Megabus ( less than GBP 20) and arrived at the London Victoria Megabus Terminal for my 10.30 p.m. bus, with decent time to spare.
The hotel is located snap bang in the center of the tourist district in Yogyakarta. Tamansari Water Castle and the Kraton are a short distance away, and restaurants and bars surround it aplenty. And, this is also the PURRRFECT base to explore the majestic Borobudur and Prambanam – both of which are UNESCO World Heritage attractions!
At this point I was tired and fed up of his attitude so, with my arms crossed and a “I don’t give a crap anymore” look, I told him firmly that he had two choices because I was not going to pay him – he could either take me back to the airport or else he could take me to the tourist police.
Once in a while an amazing opportunity comes along, and you just have to jump up at the chance. And, as luck would have it, I received an amazing chance to spend a wonderful weekend residing in a colonial bungalow snap bang in the middle of Duncan Tea Estate.
It's not always easy to fall in love with places. But Bichanakandi had just what was needed - the power to soothe the soul. And that too, just over the span of a weekend!
The sound of the anchor woke me up to my next beautiful morning in beautiful Greece. I headed up to the deck to (once again!) find myself completely besotted with the GORGEOUS blue sky and the GORGEOUS water! It was just so damn GORGEOUS! I mean, did I mention how GORGEOUS it was? I did? Good! Because, like I said … it was simply nothing short of GORGEOUS!
Curious, a little online digging revealed that this was a “love” hotel. Needless to say, paranoia and (ahem) the noise, kept me up till 6 a.m. The full length wall mirror opposite my bed didn’t help either!
What greeted me the moment I opened my eyes in the morning, was sunshine. Fantastic, fabulous, glorious sunshine. And the clearest blue sky I could imagine. I didn’t know it then, but amazing sunshine and clear skies were to accompany me during my entire 22 day trip in Greece.
The second island on our itinerary was the beautiful island of Hydra. Piece of advice – do NOT miss out on Hydra. The island is gorgeous and it simply mesmerized me with its beauty. There were several yachts parked at the marina, which meant that we had to park alongside another boat and jump across three boats and a barge to reach land. Not exactly ideal, when you are wearing a skirt!