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10 Festivals to Check Out in Asia This March

If you are spending time in Asia this March, and you’re not quite sure what to do or where to go, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Asia in March, so you can arrange your itinerary around festivals, concerts, events and celebrations in the area.

Bali

1. The Bali Spirit Festival

The Bali Spirit Festival is in Ubud, and it’s an annual celebration of dance, yoga, and music. The festival runs over 4 days and 5 nights in the cultural centre of Bali, and will have an interesting mix of both local, indigenous Indonesian culture, and international performances.

balispirit

The festival also includes more than 95 workshops, so you can meet teachers and gurus from a bunch of different fields. This is the place to go if you’re hoping to “find yourself” in Asia, and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with 4,500 other people who are hoping to do the same.

Find more things to do in Bali >>

Vietnam

2. The Perfume Pagoda

theperfumepagodaThe Perfume Pagoda is located about an hour from Hanoi, and the site itself dates back over 2,000 years, to when a Buddhist Monk decided to meditate in the area. The site is now where this religious festival is held, and the festival officially begins on the 15th of February, continuing through the whole month of March.

Expect to see hundreds of thousands of pilgrims making their way to the festival, which is the most famous Buddhist site in Vietnam.

China

3. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival

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China has an overwhelming amount of festivals, especially early in the year. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival is celebrated from the 26th of March to the 20th of April, and has been running since 1991. Chinese music is played by local ethnic folk musicians, and there are plenty of other entertainment options such as pig races, acrobatics, picnics, and of course the chance to take photos of the gorgeous peach trees-the main draw to the area.

Find more things to do in Shanghai >>

4. The Zigong Lantern FestivalFestive-Chinese-New-Year-Lantern-Design-2015-With-Zigong-Lantern-Festival

The Zigong Lantern Festival is also on, and runs for around a month, from early February to mid-March. The festival has been going strong since the Tang dynasty, and tourists are drawn to the thousands of traditional lanterns made of silk, glass, paper, porcelain, and bamboo.

5. Baiyun Temple Fair

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Visitors to Beijing will want to check out the Baiyun Temple Fair, which runs from mid-February to early March. You’ll get to try plenty of local snacks, browse the folk handicrafts, and enjoy the painting exhibitions. This is an important fair for Taoists, and has become increasingly popular with locals, who play games and watch the Peking opera, dragon dancing, kung fu shows, and stilt walking.

Find more things to do in Beijing >>

Hong Kong

6. Hong Kong International Film Festival

00221917dec40ed68f1c07If you’re stopping over in Hong Kong in late March, be sure to check out the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The festival is also a big deal to the Chinese, who have the opportunity to show films that they wouldn’t be able to show in China.

7. The Hong Kong Arts Festival

HKAF 2012 2 The Hong Kong Arts Festival also runs throughout March, and includes numerous performances from China and overseas, including ballets, operas, and symphonies.

See more things to do in Hong Kong >>

Thailand

8. Pattaya Music Festival

PATTAYA-INTERNATIONAL-MUSIC-FESTIVAL01If you’ll be down south, be sure to head to Pattaya for the Pattaya Music Festival, which will feature every type of music that is at the front of the Thai Industry. Music fans will love this festival, and Pattaya gets crazy at the best of times.

9. The Bangkok International Jazz Festival

7eee4ecb6595160eaaad14e90adf3The Bangkok International Jazz Festival also draws jazz lovers from around the world, and you’ll usually find it in CentralWorld Square, over six days. Enjoy world-class artists, and take some time to do some shopping in the city while you’re there.

Find more things to do in Bangkok >>

India

10. Holi Festival

Holi-Images-Holi-Celebration-Holi-Festival-Of-Colors-Holi-Colors-Holi-Colours-Free-Images-3During the full moon in March, Holi is the festival of colours, and is when both children and adults welcome Spring by throwing coloured powder at each other. Dyed water is also thrown from buckets, shot from syringes, and poured into balloons and tossed at people.


Article contributed by Stacey Kuyf, onetravelsfar.com.

Visit travelog.me for more information on things to do when living or traveling in Asia.

Need more information to help you find the best things do this  month in Asia?

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Festivals of Colour USAUltimate Bali, Event-Carnival, Travel Chinesecio, Jenniferrana.comBeijing Tourism, China Daily, PR Web, All About Jazz, Wikipedia.

4 Bars You Should Visit if You Want to Drink Like a Local in Chiang Mai

There are a lot of bars in Chiang Mai. In fact one would need to spend all of his life to visit them all. In the city centre all of them are targeted at tourists, where backpackers mix with the expat crowd. There you will also encounter sex-pats with their ladyboys and young Thai wives. But, Chiang Mai has also places, which are frequented mostly by Thais. Some of them are hidden in small streets, away from the tourists areas, and are hard to find if you are here only for a few days. However, there are a couple of places that are easily accessible, have wonderful atmosphere, and yet are omitted by those visiting the city. Here are 4 of them.

1.  Sudsanan

Location: Sukhaphiban 9, off Hauy Kaw Road

You would never think that the dirt road, full of holes, can lead to one of the nicest bars in Chiang Mai. It is hidden away, but once you get there you will come back again and again.

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This wooden hut has a chilled out atmosphere and is popular among locals of all ages. They have a live band playing almost every night, but the music is very acoustic and not loud, so you can easily have a conversation without shouting over each other.

They also serve Thai food, which is tasty and not pricey at all – around 60-90 Baht per dish. During the weekend they have an outside barbecue.

2.  Seven Pounds

Location: Te Wan Road

This is one of my favourite bars. It is a tiny place, with a garden at the back, all decorated with random objects. There is a bath tub in the corner, where they used to grow flowers, and now it is left with growing weeds and empty bottles of wine sticking out of it. There is a dentist chair, old telephones and TVs, and really cool ancient chandeliers. This is a place, which a hipster would love.

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The bar is very quiet during the week. They have a live band during the weekend, which starts playing at around 9pm. The music here is mostly rock and it is much louder than in Sudsanan. Come here if you enjoy a glass of beer and some noisy music .

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3.  Kamrai Shop

Location: Nimmenhamida Road, it is on your right if you come from Maya Shopping Centre

It is not really a bar, but an alcohol shop, where people come to meet with friends over a drink. The great thing about this place is that it is not only in a great location, but also offers alcohol at retail prices.

I would say that the owners try to attract the ‘middle class’ customers, so they do not sell cheap Thai whiskey. All you can get here is beer, wine, vodka and a good selection of rum and imported whiskeys.

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You can buy the alcohol to take away with you, or you can ask for a glass and drink it at one of the tables outside.

The shop doesn’t have a kitchen, but you can order food here and they will deliver it to you from the nearby restaurant.

The bar is noisy and lively, but there is no music playing. It is ideal for a drink before a night out.

 4.  The Bus Bar

Location: 11 Kampagdin Road, Across from Imperial Mae Ping Hotel

Looking for a place for a romantic date? Or maybe you would like to have a nice, quiet drink in a place, overlooking the Ping River? Look no further! Bus Bar is a place you are looking for!

It is a cool spot for many reasons. First of all, it really IS a bus bar. They sell drinks out of a double dekker bus, which you can also climb and spend the evening there, if you like. Second reason is the location – it is just by the river and next to an iron bridge (during the night you will see some young Thai couples making out, away from their relatives’ prying eyes) and the views and the atmosphere are quite romantic.

They sometimes have a singer, who usually sings some rock ballads, and if he is not there then they play all the classic rock and pop songs.

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On Wednesdays you can come here for the Couchsurfing meet up. It starts around 7pm.

Learn more about Chiang Mai >>


Article & images contributed by Joanna Szreder, theblondtravels.com

Still looking for things to do in Chiang Mai? Check out this article onThe Ultimate Guide to 24 Hours in Chiang Mai : Backpacker’s Edition.

More useful resources :

Countdown to Valentine’s Day With These Six Romantic Getaways in 2015

We are popping the question on Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015!

Whether you are a fan of beach, countryside or city destinations, hotels and resorts across the globe offer exceptional escapes that will make your romantic retreat memorable. The most cherished Valentine’s Day gifts come not only in heart-shaped boxes but also in unforgettable experiences.

Choose from any of these exotic destinations and make this Valentine’s one to remember.

6.  Bali, Indonesia

bali

Bali, meaning “heaven”, evokes your dream of the most splendid sights: towering volcanoes curled in a deep canopy, long white sandy beaches, and green turquoise water along curving coastlines. Ranked as one of the ‘World’s Best Islands’ according to Travel & Leisure Magazine and Lonely Planet.  Bali is exactly what you are looking for on your voyages of love. Spend time together lying on the pristine sand seashores or participating in watersports and beach activities to makes your trip more active and interesting. Rafting, surfing, cycling while savoring this beautiful island, the friendly, open locals and the stunning sunsets are among the best things you can do to warm-up your love on the Valentine’s Day.

See all Bali >>

5.  Inle Lake, Myanmar

inlelake

Inle Lake is the iconic destinations for couples looking for a quiet but charming getaway on Valentine’s Day 2015. Float on the small boats on the tranquil water, watch the splendid sunrises and sunsets reflecting the red-yellow waterway or slowly contemplate the exceptional floating gardens and floating homes of the Intha people. The feeling of take-back-time indulges your love into the slow rhythms of life, simple yet unique. The one-leg rowing technique of Intha fishermen is beyond your expectations and will complement this amazing Valentine’s Day Getaway in 2015.

4.  Bangkok, Thailand

bangkok

Defining the essence of a superb Valentine’s Day, Bangkok, the busy but charming capital of Thailand offers you a retreat of peace and comfort with a romantic twist. You will definitely want to take a canal tour to see the enchanting Chao Phraya River and beautiful canals of the city. Most of these extraordinary boat trips start at the eastern bank of the river, through the backwaters of Thonburi, the glorious Royal Barges National Museum and a unique floating market. Don’t forget to reward you and your loved one with a traditional Thai massage at least once during your visit to Bangkok. Reach the sky and walk in the clouds at the 61st rooftop of Banyan Tree Hotel, kindly recommended by our friends at Exotic Voyages.

See more on Bangkok >>

3.  Maldives

maldives

If you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an intimate and significantly beautiful setting, the Maldives is the world’s best destination for all these things. Spoil yourselves with a dinner under the millions of stars with candlelight and natural wind, relaxing in a bungalow to watch the endless green turquoise water, doing beach activities such as surfing, fishing or even diving to see the vivid underwater world. A boat trip as if nature plays with the colors of the setting sun just to ensure that you remember each moment and this love for the rest of your life. Velassaru, Maldives, one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015 offers one-of-a-kind exclusive dining experiences.

2.  Hanoi, Vietnam 

Hanoi, Vietnam

Visit enchanting Hanoi and welcome Valentine’s Day with a true Vietnam experience and the best that Hanoi has to offer. Take a morning or evening cyclo along Hoan Kiem Lake, through 36 old Quarter streets to watch the daily life of Hanoians. Seeing Hanoi come to life in both its ancient and modern ways. At Exotic Voyages, we highly recommend you try a café in Hanoi. The unique décor and exceptional quality of coffee in each shop will give you a true taste of Vietnam. Walking along the Long Bien Bridge and watching the sun slowly sets behind the Red River presents the perfect end to any day. You are definitely in for a retreat as you visit Hanoi with your loved one in some of the luxury hotels at the centre of Hanoi.

1.  Shanghai, China

shanghai

Tianai Lu or Sweet Love Road in Hongkou District is the ideal place to take a romantic stroll. Here young couples often look at walls adorned with well-chosen love poems and aphorisms from famous poets of love. Ride the ferry wheel at Jinjiang Amusement Park and observe Shanghai from a birds-eye view. Shanghai is not only a place steeped in history but also a charming destination, good enough for even the most hard-to-please dates for Valentine’s Day 2015.

See all Shanghai >>


Still not sure how to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Bali Island Experience, BookingYourTravel.com, Girls See the World Travel Club, Top Viral Media, China.org.cn.

More interesting posts on celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved one:

Best Places in Asia For Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just round the corner so here at Travelog we’ve come up with a list of the eight cities across Asia where you can best see the festivities and experience a century old tradition come alive in modern settings!

Beijing-CNY

1.  Beijing, China

Beijing is where the biggest of all Chinese New Year celebrations take place across the world. With thousands of years of tradition waiting to come alive during this period, Beijing holds one of the world’s most colourful and interesting celebrations. Many temple fairs are set up during this festive period which showcases martial arts demonstrations, lion dances, folk performances. There will also be special sales and loads of festival food. Most people spend this period spending time with their families and visiting temples to pray to the gods. However, as it is after all China’s biggest public holiday, you can be sure that Beijing’s Chinese New Year celebrations will not be disappointing. Oh, and be prepared for an endless array of fireworks!

Find out more >>

Penang Malaysia

2.  Penang, Malaysia

Penang, particularly George Town, is where the festivities begin. Listed as one of the UNESCO heritage sites in Southeast Asia, George Town literally lights up during CNY. With lanterns hanging all over, a warm reddish-orange glow floods the streets as people celebrate with performances, delicious food and happy smiles! The renowned Kek Lok Si Temple would probably be the biggest light source in the area as it often lights thousands of lanterns and bulbs, illuminating the century old temple in preparation of the festivities.

Shanghai

3.  Shanghai, China

Shanghai, just like Beijing, will see tons of people flocking the streets of this Chinese city. However, unlike Beijing, Shanghai has its own charm and unique character. The Longhua Temple, the oldest in Shanghai, will see 108 Buddhist monks invited to climb the pagoda to strike the bell as a symbolic welcome of the new year while chasing away evil spirits. The Yu Yuan Gardens holds the city’s most famous lantern show – locals dress up in traditional garb and walk around the gardens holding ornately decorated lanterns as they revel in the festivities with delicious food and interesting merchandises that are for sale. To catch spectacular fireworks, head to The Bund which also has many party spots for you and your friends to get a drink and unwind.

Find out more >>

Hong Kong

4.  Hong Kong, China

With a full 15 days to celebrate age old traditions and cultural festivities, Hong Kong is no stranger to the Chinese New Year get up. Locals will flock to temples around the city to pray for good fortune in the new year, as do most places. However, in Hong Kong, the holiday kicks off with a fabulous parade along Tsim Sha Tsui with dozens of floats and performing groups. Fireworks are a definite must as well and you can catch the spectacular display of pyrotechnics along Victoria Harbour. And to make the holiday even more exciting, promotions, discounts and sales pop up all over giving locals to tourists alike, a wonderful shopping spree to stock up on new clothes for the new year.

See more >>

Bangkok

5.  Bangkok, Thailand

Home to the largest population of Chinese in Thailand, Bangkok naturally holds one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in the country. Being predominantly Buddhist, most of the Chinese would take a day off to visit temples and give offerings in hope of a blessed year ahead. From red lanterns strung across streets, to loud music and lion dances as well as street performers, Bangkok is bustling more than ever during this period. Not to forget rows of stalls selling a variety of street food that will provide much needed relief as you’re out immersing yourself in the festivities. Do check out Nakhon Sawan, 220 km north of Bangkok as they have one of the grandest celebrations. One of the highlights would be the acrobatic performers who climb a 10m pole to retrieve the money affixed at the top!

Learn more >>

Singapore

6.  Singapore

Singapore’s official colours may be red and white but during CNY, red and gold is strewn across the streets especially in Chinatown where huge statues and pretty lanterns line the roads. Although fireworks are not so common during CNY as compared to other countries in Asia, the Singaporeans still have a good time during this season. From lion dances to street bazaars and acrobatic carnivals and shows, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Not to mention all the delectable Chinese New Year goodies which are only available during this period. As Singapore is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, Chinese New Year will lead up to one of the grandest parades ever to be held – Chingay 2015, themed “We Love SG”, so if you’re in town for CNY be sure to extend your stay to catch it!

Find out more here >>

Taiwan

7.  Taiwan

When we think of Chinese New Year in Taiwan, we think of lanterns, lanterns, lanterns. They vary vastly in shape and size and patterns but all bring joy and light to the people of Taiwan and its visitors. The culmination of celebrations ends with the biggest lantern festival where paper lanterns are lit and released en masse into the skies. People often write their wishes on the paper lanterns and send them up towards the heavens in hope of them coming true. The best place to catch the lantern festival would be in Pingxi. The sight of all the lanterns being released at once is truly one to behold.

Ho Chi Minh

8.  Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Considered one of the most important celebrations of the year, Chinese New Year or Tet as it’s called in Vietnamese is one of the most celebrated festivities. Tet is well known for its gorgeous flower displays where they would be arranged in the likeness of the animal that represents the coming year. A good place to catch the flower displays would be Nguyen Hue Flower Street. If you’re not so into flora, try the entertainment parts such as Dam Sen Park or Sui Tien Park. With music shows, games and activities, these parks transform into a mini carnival of sorts for everyone to revel in the festive spirit. Ho Chi Minh definitely comes alive during Tet with multiple performances along the streets, flowers blooming and lots of activities for one and all to take part in.

Still not sure where to celebrate this year’s Chinese New Year?  


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) CPCSSchoolsWonderful MalaysiaShanghai HighlightsHK MagazineWikalendaContinental People10kBlessingsFengshui and VoyagestoAntiquity.

Still not sure where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Asia this year? 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

global gallivanting

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

ramblingfeet

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 >> 

11 Invaluable Tips for Tackling Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market

Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market is famous for its bustling atmosphere, the huge variety of goods (ranging from animals to clothing to art) and how cheap everything is there. What’s a trip to Bangkok without going to Chatuchak? In order to help you make the best out of your trip to the Chatuchak weekend market, here are 11 tips for you.

1.  Familiarize Yourself With the Map

Chatuchak Market Map
Chatuchak has 27 sections and more than 8,000 stalls. To save time and not risk getting lost, look through the map and circle the sections that you want to visit the most before planning your route for the day.

2.  Directions to Chatuchak

directions to Chatuchak
Chatuchak Market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT) about 5 minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT). However, taking a tuk-tuk is really cheap in Bangkok, so just hop onto one and you’ll definitely reach Chatuchak in no time (without getting lost).

3.  The Vintage Section

Chatuchak Vintage Section
If you are into vintage clothing, do check out Section 5-6. The variety of clothing, accessories and second-hand leather goods at dirt-cheap prices will surprise you. Do not purchase anything from the first few stores you see at the start of the section, the real 100-baht deals are hidden away from the front.

4.  Bring a Trolley Bag

Chatuchak Market Getting Around
With all the amazing deals in Chatuchak, you’ll definitely be buying truckloads of goods and lugging them around the market is going to be a chore. Bring a simple trolley bag that you can throw your clothes in and just wheel your precious goods around with ease.

5.  Replenish Your Energy

Chatuchak Market Food Stalls
The food in Chatuchak is delicious. From the famous coconut ice cream (look for the stall that not only sells ice cream, but also offers free coconut water), to the typical Bangkok street food to the mixed rice style stalls around, you’ll never go hungry while shopping.

6.  Keep Yourself Hydrated

Chatuchak Market Food and Drink
The tropical hot weather will leave you parched and in need of water. Our suggestion would be to bring a bottle of water so you can hydrate yourself wherever, whenever. However if you forgot to bring water, you can just purchase ice-cold bottles of beers, soda and mineral water from the vendors along the open main streets.

7.  You’ll Never See the Same Store Twice

Chatuchak Market Clothes Stores
If you are hesitant about buying something, don’t put it on hold and think that you’ll come back. The complicated layout of Chatuchak will ensure that you’ll never find the same store again – or you’ll spend hours looking for that same store. So if you really like something, just buy it!

8.  After Hours

Chatuchak Market Late Night
If you still want to continue shopping after the market closes at 7pm, the pedestrian walkways right outside the market comes alive with clothing and accessories stall till late. The goods offered are cheaper than the market but there’s less variety and less food stalls.

9.  Bargain, Bargain, Bargain

Chatuchak Market Retail
As with all the other shopping centres and markets in Bangkok, you have to bargain as much as possible. Do not show too much interest when you’re asking for the price and be prepared to walk away but do not expect a crazy 50% discount. The best you’ll get is a bulk discount.

10.  Shipping Companies

Chatuchak Market Shipping Companies
For those who simply bought too much, there are shipping companies like DHL and TNT available around the market. They will collect your purchases and send them back to your hotel so that you can continue shopping without any baggage.

11.  JJ Mall

Chatuchak Market JJ Mall
If you get tired of braving the crowds in Bangkok’s intense heat, head down to the 4-storey JJ Mall that’s only a 10 minute walk away. The mall is air conditioned with food courts, clothing stores (though slightly more expensive), actual restaurants and massage parlors. It’s a terrific place for cooling down and relaxing after a day of shopping.

Find more information on things to do in Bangkok, visit Travelog.


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Chatuchak.org, TripAdvisor, A Pair and A Spare, Keryhi.Can.Boleh, Uncle Tehpeng, Eat and Treats (6 and 7), BlueBalu, Alex in Wanderland, Man on the Lam, Global Travel Mate.

The Ten Best Budget Hotels in Bangkok

Bangkok is a wonderland filled with rainbows and unicorns for the budget traveler with its cheap and incredible food, shopping and nightlife. And these low prices apply to Bangkok’s accommodation as well. A night in a budget hotel includes all that you can ever wish for – amazingly comfortable beds, mouth-watering breakfasts and not to forget, free WIFI.

Here’s a guide to the top ten budget Bangkok hotels that cost less than fifty dollars a night.

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1.  Budacco Hotel

Just a stone’s throw away from the Pratunam morning market and Platinum Mall, Budacco is a little colorful haven tucked away from the busy, noisy Bangkok streets. With 48 spacious rooms in 6 different color styles and impeccable service standards, this is a shopaholic’s ultimate resting point.

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2.  IMM Fusion Sukhumvit

This unique Morrocan-styled hotel is perfect for the budget traveler looking to unwind after a day of exploring Bangkok. IMM Fusion is one of the few budget hotels that actually have a beautiful swimming pool with many cozy lounge areas.  Though it may not be centrally located in Sukhumvit, cheap transportation in Bangkok makes this a minor, negligible concern in comparison to the wonders IMM Fusion offers.

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3.  Citin Pratunam Hotel

Looking for a one stop budget hotel in the Pratunam area that will cater to all your needs? Citin Pratunam is your answer. They offer the most comprehensive services, from the newly opened Citin Spa to the complimentary tuk-tuk service; all you need to do is check-in and enjoy the rest of your holiday – fuss-free.

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4.  Dang Derm Hotel

Dang Derm is the perfect destination for those seeking convenience and comfort. Not only is it located in Khao San – the most popular street market, but it is also within a 10-minute radius of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.  The hotel’s facilities and services are also in accordance with the highest standards.

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5.  Tune Hotel Asoke

Located in Sukhumvit, Tune aims for convenient service at a discount price. Do not worry, this does not mean discounted facilities, Tune’s beds are said to be made by the same manufacturer who produces beds for 5 star hotels. On top of their excellent facilities, Tune is a short walk from popular mall, Terminal 21 and the nightlife centre of Nana.

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6.  Best Western Klassique Sukhumvit

Another Sukhumvit gem, Best Western is ideal for those looking for an authentic retreat in Bangkok. Away from the tourist spots (though still easily accessible by the cheap public transport), the hotel is surrounded by local night markets and restaurants. You’ll be able to experience living like a Thai local, the only difference is that you’ll be sleeping in luxury every night!

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7.  Lemon Tea Hotel

The concept of Lemon Tea Hotel is ‘Casual, Easy, and Fresh,’ much like drinking a glass of lemon tea. Sticking true to its values, the hotel is cozy and clean with exemplary service. What sets it apart is the impressive minimalist style that’s great for photo opportunities. Get ready to whip out your camera and spend hours just photographing this picture-perfect hotel.

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8.  Check Inn Chinatown by Sarida

Check Inn is a little sanctuary situated in the heart of one of the most vibrant areas of Bangkok – Chinatown. Among the frantic shopping and delicious street food stalls and restaurants, Check Inn is hidden away from all the hustle and bustle. Get a good night’s rest here and enjoy all that Bangkok has to offer.

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9.  Asia Hotel Bangkok

Situated in Siam – one of the most expensive areas in Bangkok, Asia Hotel has the splendor of a 5 star hotel with the price of a budget hotel. The prices here are actually just a little out of our budget for cheap hotels but we couldn’t resist recommending it. Where else can you pay little more than $50 a night for entertainment (we’re talking about the famous lady cabaret show in its in-house theatre), two swimming pools, gyms and spa? Be prepared to be dazzled by Asia Hotel.

Find out more about the Asia Hotel Bangkok here.

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10.  Ziniza Place

Ziniza Place is an oasis for families who are looking for luxury without the hefty price tag. The best part of Zinizia is its location – close to Bangkok’s finest shopping malls, restaurants and famous tourist spots. Its close distance to the Chatuchak Weekend Market at Bangsue station only adds to the benefits of staying in Ziniza. Stay close to the action and retreat swiftly back to your hotel for a relaxing time whenever the children start getting tired.

Find your budget Bangkok hotel here, or find more things to do and places to visit in Bangkok here.


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Budacco.com, Asia Web Direct, Citin Pratunam, Dang Derm, Tune Hotels, ebookers.com, Lemon Tea Hotel, Check Inn, Asia Web Direct and Ziniza.