Tag Archives: Adventure

Penroads: Connecting Solo Travellers

It’s always fascinating to hear of tales of friendship sparked by solo journeys to faraway lands. But what if you aren’t a social butterfly and need a little extra help in making friends with other travellers? The Penroads application does just that.

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We realised that we could start making friends before, or even while planning, a trip. Here’s how to do it: simply key in your travel destination, arrival and departure dates, and the app will show you a list of travellers whose travel plans coincide with yours. All it took us was a few seconds and we had a list of potential friends and travel buddies awaiting our trip.

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With this app, we embraced the concept of social travelling and could make plans with people we’ve never met in the flesh- yet. The app’s chat room function enabled us to make contact with our new found friend(s), where we can then discuss travel itineraries and plan for activities together.

So join the community with us to seek out adventures with other soloists travelling to your destination!

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

All you need to know about Shine Festival 2015 in 2 minutes!

If you’re in Singapore, chances are, you’ve probably heard about Shine Festival happening tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know in just 2 minutes (or less)!

  1. Party away

Shine Festival a youth festival slash open street party and urban playground, hosted by the National Youth Council. This free 3-day event will feature both international and local celebrities, meet-and-greets, as well opportunities for participants to get involved in performances and competitions. More on these activities in a bit! But first, be prepared to…

  1. Ditch the car

Or at least, don’t expect to be able to drive along Orchard on Saturday (11 July)- it’ll be closed from 6 to 11pm. The area affected is the segment between Scotts Road and Bideford Road as well as the carriageway of Mount Elizabeth in the direction of Orchard Road.

For Friday and Sunday, it probably won’t be a good idea to drive either since there’ll be much competition for parking spaces as the festival will be ongoing.

Now, onto the highlights of the festival…

  1. Turn it up

A large part of this festival will be on music and dance. You’ll get to see the likes of Shigga Shay, Arden Cho, Charlie Lim and many more. Plus, you can sign up for the show choir competition too!

  1. Urban Sports

Marvel at freestyle football, slacklining, freerunning and more. Also, pick up a few tricks from Football Freestyle World Champion himself!

  1. Get Artsy

There’ll be a 3D art installation, an interactive tunnel, a graffiti competition with Shigga Shay, and more for the creative and artsy folks out there!

  1. Local Talent

Get to see 987 stars and djs, pick up a tip or two from them, and don’t forget to hang out with the Night Owl Cinematics crew!

Here’s an infographic of all of the activities and locations:

shine festival

For specific timings of competitions and activities, visit this link here: http://www.singaporestreetfestival.com/schedule.php

Have fun!

Image courtesy of: greatdeals.sg.

Visit travelog.me for more places to go when in Singapore!

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

4 Tokyo Shopping Districts for the Uninitiated

1. Shinjuku

img 7012 tokyo shinjuku sanchome kosaten - shopping dining business and entertainment district crossing

With lights, sounds, and throngs of people, the Shinjuku area looks perpetually busy- chaotic, even. A renowned shopping district that is among the country’s largest, this is perhaps the best place to start your exploration of Tokyo’s shopping and fashion culture. Department stores, electronic stores, book stores, etc.; you name it, Shinjuku probably has it.

2. Shibuya

shibuya-109

This is THE place to be if you are young and trendy. With countless fashion stores, the youth of Japan head to Shibuya for their fashion buys. The most popular department store in the area? The Shibuya 109. This building is the place to visit when you’re visiting the area, especially for fashion-conscious females. With floor after floor of women’s boutiques, this is the place of every shopaholic’s dream.

3. Harajuku

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This is the influential fashion district where trends are set by Japanese teens experimenting with cosplay or kawaii lolita dresses, especially along the well-known Harajuku Bridge. So give yourself a Japanese-style makeover with the many boutiques along Harajuku, offering a variety of apparels just as diverse as the fashion choices of teens along the street itself.

4. Ginza

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A large upscale shopping district, this is probably the place for the hip and wealthy. But don’t let that throw you off- as much as haute couture reigns here with elaborate branded boutiques (think Prada and Dior), this area has equally many stationery and down-to-earth craft stores. This mix of stores makes Ginza unique; a district that allows you to experience both the high fashion flamboyance, as well as the dedication of local craftsman.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): photopassjapan, japlanning, Harajuku foursquare, Ginza foursquare.

Visit travelog.me for more places to go when in Tokyo!

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

Phuket Photo Essays You Should See

For those planning to explore Phuket, here’s a compilation of photo essays that capture various sides of the Thai province that is well-loved by travelers.

From Fly See Stay:flyseestay

This photo essay mainly captures the beauty of nature in Phuket with shots of the clear waters and limestone cliffs, along with images of floating villages and the locals there. Oh, and the author sneaked in a picture of the notorious Patong area as well.

Full photo essay here: Fly See Stay

Best Beaches in Phuket >>>

From Bowdy Wanders:bowdywanders

With many pictures of the places of worship and the beautiful details in their architecture, this photo essay shows a side of Phuket that is different from the ‘sun, sand and sea’ stereotype, although some pictures of the latter is included as well.

Full photo essay here: Bowdy Wanders

Viewpoints in Phuket >>>

From Notes From A Big World:

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Perhaps not the prettiest or most professional of pictures, but this photo essay that focuses on Phuket’s transportation system is worth viewing nonetheless, as it captures the vehicles that locals use, providing insight to their daily lives.

Full photo essay here: Notes From A Big World

5 Things To Do In Phuket >>>

From Monkey Abroad:

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This photo essay is very ‘real’- compiled over a period of 6 months by a foreign teacher who lived and worked in Phuket. It shows everything from the beaches to the temples to the nightlife, and is probably the closest to how the locals would see the province.

Full photo essay here: Monkey Abroad

Explore Phuket Nightlife at Patong>>>

Ever been to Phuket? Which was your favorite photo essay? Share your travel stories in the comments below!

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): Fly See StayBowdy WandersNotes From A Big World & Monkey Abroad.

Visit travelog.me for more places to go when in Phuket!

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

Discover Beijing’s 798 Art Zone

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The 798 Art Zone in Beijing wasn’t always this artsy. During the war times of decades past, this used to be a military factory district where weapons used to fight the Cold War were constructed.

Now, the complex has been re-purposed for constructions of a decidedly less lethal type- with cafes and galleries springing up to create a hip creative cluster that is perhaps the first of its kind in the Beijing art scene.

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Beijing Tokyo Art Projects (東京画廊), or B.T.A.P., was one of the original pioneering galleries that established itself in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. Since its inception in 2002, more galleries have appeared in the district and gradually, the 798 Zone rose as a top spot for art-lovers to gather and to admire art.

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B.T.A.P. was started by Yukihito Tabata, with the intention to bring together artists from China, Tokyo and Korea to introduce them to a wider audience, at a time when Chinese contemporary art rose to prominence in the East Asian art scene. Plan a visit while in Beijing and check out the B.T.A.P. website for their upcoming exhibitions and list of artists.

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The 798 district isn’t just about Asian art though; exploring the area will yield a diverse art scene with Western influences too. The Italian-founded Galleria Continua is one example.

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With a mission to promote international contemporary art, Galleria Continua was one of the first non-Chinese galleries to establish itself in China in 2004. The gallery’s represented artists range from British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor to Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei to Kosovar Albanian contemporary artist Sislej Xhafa. For the full list of artists and exhibition shows, details are on Galleria Continua’s website.

at cafe

As much as the 798 Art Zone is known for its art, its cafe scene is not to be disregarded either. With cafes being prime hang-out spots for the young and trendy all around the region, the various cafes along the streets of the 798 district add to its hip and vibrant charm.

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At Cafe (爱持咖啡) is one of the cosy coffee joints around the 798 area, providing cafe fare and a nice chill-out spot for tired travellers. Bricks, greenery and cushions decorate the interior, and there are magazines at the shelf below the counter for browsing as well.

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If you’re hungry, grab a bite at Timezone 8, a popular cafe and restaurant in the 798 zone that serves well-loved Japanese food. Sushi, anyone?

timezone

From the terrace to the brick interior and artwork-adorned walls, this establishment not only offers good food but plenty of Instagram-worthy backgrounds too, making it a great place to end your exploring with a delicious meal and a few photos in memory of your artsy travels.

P.S. Want to discover more artsy hipster districts? If the 798 zone is Beijing’s hipster hotspot, then Sheung Wan is Hong Kong’s. Read about it here: Explore Sheung Wan, HK’s Hipster Hang-out.

Visit travelog.me for more places to go when in Beijing!

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): Davidmcb@devianartMask9, Tokyo Gallery, artaddict.net, slash-parisvisitbeijing, bendibao, tripadvisor, and lumdimsum.

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

 

Make it Your Resolution to Visit One of These Top Destinations in Asia in 2015

Wondering where to head to in 2015? Our Travelog local experts have gathered their top eight South East Asian destinations to visit in the coming year to satisfy your wanderlust and travel needs.

1.  Singapore, Singapore
Hotel – Marina Bay Sands
Local Delicacy – Chili Crab
Attraction – Sentosa Island

singapore

Recently crowned as Lonely Planet’s top place to visit in 2015, Singapore has more to offer as they are celebrating their Golden Jubilee this year. Join in as they commemorate this memorable milestone and relish the food, shopping, culture and atmosphere.

See All Singapore >>
SG50 Events Not to be Missed in 2015 >>
Top Things to do in Singapore in 2015 >>
Singapore Hotels to Check Out in 2015 >>

2.  Bali, Indonesia
Hotel – Ayana Resort and Spa Bali
Local Delicacy – Babi Guling (suckling pig)
Attraction – Seminyak

bali indonesia

Famous for its endless white beaches and bright blue seas & skies, Bali offers much more than meets the eye. Indulge in sumptuous seafood or wander around the many cultural Indonesian sites and check out what else Bali has to beyond the beaches and nightlife.

See All Bali >>
Top 10 Must Visit Places to Visit in Bali >>
10 Hidden Beaches in Bali >>
7 Unique Hotels in Bali so Cool You Will Want to Stay Forever >>

3.  Penang, Malaysia
Hotel – Armenian Heritage Street Hotel
Local Delicacy – Char Kway Teow
Attraction – Batu Feringgi

penang malaysia

Penang has been gaining popularity over the past few years and for good reason – cheap accommodation, delicious food and famous street art. Don’t be the only fella at the party who hasn’t visited Penang, hurry to Malaysia in 2015 to enjoy the current buzz and excitement.

4.  Mount Everest, Nepal
Hotel – Hotel Everest View
Local Delicacy – Lechón
Attraction – Sagarmatha National Park

mount everest philippines

Want to strike off something crazy on your bucket list in 2015? Climbing Mount Everest has to be the most incredible feat you can achieve in the New Year.  Join a tour group (the cheaper option) or go on a solo adventure to scale the highest mountain.

5.  Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Hotel – Thai Garden Inn
Local Delicacy – Gang Keow Wan (Thai Green Curry)
Attraction – War Museum at the Bridge

kanchanaburi thailand

Kanchanaburi, situated in Northern Thailand, is famous for its amazing nature (we’re talking cool waterfalls and a diverse range of flora and fauna), historical attractions and tiger and elephant farms. Kanchanaburi has still got some way to go before it hits the tourist trail, so head there in 2015 to beat the crowds.

6.  Luang Prabang, Laos
Hotel – La Residence Phou Vao
Local Delicacy – Chicken Laap
Attraction – Wat Sen

Temple in Luang Prabang Royal Palace Museum, Laos

Lesser known that other Laos cities, Luang Prabang is one of SEA’s hidden wonders. Located just 300km north of Vientiane, Luang Prabang is filled with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mountains, cultural and historical buildings, artifacts and not to forget, scrumptious Laotian food.

7.  Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hotel – Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
Local Delicacy – Green pawpaw salad
Attraction – Angkor Wat

angkor wat cambodia

Home to the popular Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a popular resort town – a gateaway from the capital of Cambodia. Siem Reap reveals the true natural beauty of Cambodia with its untouched rural areas. However, prices here may be a little higher than the rest of Cambodia, so do take note of that.

8.  Ngwe Saung Beach, Myanmar
Hotel – Ocean Blue Beach Hotel
Local Delicacy – Shan-style ‘tofu’ noodles
Attraction – Rakhine Mountain Range

ngwe saung beach myanmar

We definitely have to include another beach destination to the list, especially with the harsh winters in many countries all around the world. Ngwe Saung Beach is a little known wonderland with pristine beaches and exotic food. It is definitely a viable alternative to touristy Bali.

Still not sure where to go in 2015?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Asia.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) USC Marshall School of Business,  iLove-IndonesiaOnly Penang, Explorers Web, Go PixPic, Luxury Travel, Intrepid Berkeley Explorer, Travel Myanmar.

Still not sure where’s next on your bucket list for 2015? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

13 Travel Bloggers in Asia to Watch Out For in 2015

2015 is a new year so we’ve come up with a new list of travel bloggers who blog about Asia. For those of you looking to have your next holiday in Asia, these are the blogs you should be reading to get suggestions and recommendations on where to go, what to expect and even help on planning your itinerary, if you’re really stumped. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find someone to inspire you on your next trip in our list for 2015!

1.  Live Less Ordinary

Live Less Ordinary

Quite the explorers, Allan and Fanfan have documented their lives and travels onto their very own blog. Allan, originally from Northern Ireland, has settled in Thailand and married a local girl, Fanfan. They haven’t chosen the life of an expat – going to expat bars, hanging out mostly with fellow expats – instead, they’ve immersed themselves thoroughly in the Thai culture. Their most recent adventures include relocating entirely to rural Thailand and figuring out their lives there. Each post comes with a healthy dose of humour and genuine excitement. They’ve become quite the Asia travel experts, so be sure to add them onto your must-read lists if you’re looking to travel to the continent!

Visit Live Less Ordinary >>

2.  Bowdy Wanders

Bowdy Wanders

Quite the coffee aficionado, Bowdy is a filipino born world traveller who seems to have a penchant for visiting cafes. So much so he has an entire section of his blog dedicated to them – what better way to discover a city’s culture than by soaking up the atmosphere while savouring a delicious coffee? He’s also quite the culture vulture, Bowdy explores each country with the intention of bringing across their very own unique cultures while peppering each post with tips and tricks on getting the best deal. Be sure to check his gorgeous photographs as well which certainly helps in the visualisation of each destination that he writes about.

Visit Bowdy Wanders >>

3.  One Travels Far

One Travels Far

Stacey Kuyf is no ordinary girl. Having quit her job at the age of 21 to pursue her dream of travelling, she’s made the world her oyster and moulded herself into quite the adventurer. Self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, she’s jumped off cliffs, rafted down rapid rivers and gone deep below the earth’s surface into the depths of the ocean. Her adventures inspire fellow adrenaline seekers to do the same while providing interesting thoughts on the different aspects of the Asian culture that she has experienced. Having been an au pair in America, backpacked across S.E.A and stayed in one of the most populated countries in the world – China, her blog teaches you how to stay alive while having the most fun in all sorts of situations no matter how far you travel.

Check out One Travels Far here >>

4.  Bangkok Girl

Bangkok Girl

Quite the expert on the hidden gems of Bangkok join Anna, a British expat, who has moved her life to the City of Angels. While she vacillates between the UK and Bangkok, she talks mostly about the latter – the best places to eat, quirky fun nights out and an honest and heartfelt account of what it’s really like living as an expat abroad. For those who are looking to relocate to Bangkok, her blog will prove one of the best guides you can have to give you a glimpse into what life might be like (especially for women).

Visit Bangkok Girl here >>

5.  Happy Asia

Happy Asia

Here’s another Bangkok dweller cum Southeast Asia explorer. Having recently moved to Bangkok from the UK for just half a year, Richard has been penning his adventures. From the shock of going from the cool climate of the United Kingdom to hot sweaty environment of Bangkok, being overwhelmed by the choices of food available and slowly but surely adapting to life in a foreign land, he brings his reader on his journey towards a new life. Each post is also peppered with humorous anecdotes which definitely left a smile on our faces!

Visit Happy Asia now >>

6.  The Blond Travels

The Blond TravelsFor female solo travellers, here’s another blogger to be inspired by! Jo (or The Blond, as she calls herself), recently made the decision to head to Thailand and start life anew there. Her posts are personal and very much about her self discovery in Thailand as a teacher, an expat and her as a person. With a good sense of humour she talks about her experiences with the change in culture and how she’s slowly adapting. For Polish readers out there, Jo is Polish and sometimes writes posts in her native language as well! Certainly an inspiration to many women out there trying to find themselves in a foreign land.

Check out The Blond Travels here >>

7.  12 Hour Difference

12hr

For those looking to experience Hong Kong, Aaron provides a rather humorous perspective on what it’s like for a foreigner living there. Culture shocks included, he writes about his misadventures and very interesting experiences even when just walking down a street. From eating a crab penis to getting hit by an old lady on the bus, he manages to transport his readers into his Hong Kong. For those who are interested in getting tips and tricks as a freelance writer, sign up with Aaron who has a whole section dedicated just to this alone!

8.  Adventures Around Asia

Adventures Around Asia

Richelle is a Seattle-born China-based adventurous young lady. While balancing her studies, she writes about her travels and can be considered somewhat of an expert on travelling in China. Giving tips and tricks on travelling on a budget and providing insight on the quirks of a different culture, her blog makes for an interesting and informative read especially to those looking to make China their next destination.

Visit Adventures Around Asia here >>

9.  Global Gallivanting

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Anna has been travelling since 2012 and has penned (or typed) her perspectives onto her inspiring blog. As a female solo traveller, she accords a whole section to travel tips for females looking to travel the world albeit on their own and also provides the quintessential tips for cost efficient travelling. Often bringing out the cultural aspect of a country, read as Anna takes on Asia (and Australia), providing a very human touch to each country she visits.

Check out Global Gallivanting today >>

10.  The Happy Passport

The Happy Passport

Having swapped her unfulfilling actress lifestyle for a ‘happier’ one, Rebekah exudes positivity and a sense of adventure through her travel blog. With a humorous take on travelling, each post is filled with adventure that goes beyond just seeing. She experiences the depth of each culture by making friends with the locals and really getting the best (and sometimes worst when it comes to some gastronomic experiences) out of each travel opportunity. As a solo female traveller, she gives aspiring ones to do the same by showing how travelling can be both exciting and safe.

Visit The Happy Passport now >>

11. HoneyTrek

HoneyTrek

Mike and Anne took a 675 day honeymoon across 33 countries and 6 continents, coming back as well seasoned travellers they offer their perspectives, as well as advice, on how to get the most out of your travels within your budget. From the most relaxing of holidays to the most adventurous, they’ve probably done it and shared their stories on their wonderful blog.

Check out HoneyTrek here >>

12.  Rambling Feet

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A self declared ‘motorsport maniac’, Nicholas has been documenting his travels on his blog that tells us stories mainly from his hometown of Singapore but also is familiar with New Zealand and Europe. Consisting of interesting articles taking you on the path less travelled, you can also expect to read articles about his experiences in different motorsport events across the globe.

Visit Rambling Feet today >>

13.  My Chiang Mai Everything

MyChiangMaiEverything

Having relocated to Chiang Mai, Amy and her fiancée Andy, have pretty much become locals themselves. Providing a refreshing and genuine voice to life in Chiang Mai, each post will leave you with a smile as they write about an adventurous day out, a café they’ve found or even just a normal day in their life as English teachers in this part of Thailand that they’ve made their home.

Visit My Chiang Mai Everything today >>

Still looking for inspiration on what to do and where to go when travelling in Asia in 2015?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Asia in 2015.

Click here >>