Tag Archives: budget

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 :

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:

The Ultimate Guide to 24 Hours in Chiang Mai : Backpackers’ Edition

If you’re on the backpacker trail and have got 24 hours to kill in Chiang Mai, make sure you use our ultimate hour-by-hour guide to a day best spent in Thailand’s largest and most significant northern city.

by Amy, MyChiangMaiEverything

 8:30: get ready

Wake up, dress in comfortable clothes and pack a map, water and a top that covers your shoulders. Head down to the common room to enjoy coffee with your fellow travellers and smile – you’re about to have an awesome day!

9:00: eat breakfast

Wander outside till you smell something delectable. Eat a cheap Thai-style breakfast with students and tuk tuk drivers at the roadside. You’ll probably find rice porridge (jok), barbequed pork skewers with sticky rice (moo ping khao niao) or freshly fried Thai-style churros dipped in thick green pandan and coconut sweet custard (pa thong ko sangkaya). Afterwards, head to one of Chiang Mai’s many coffee shops for a strong brew. An excellent choice is Akha Ama, which serves coffee grown by hill tribe smallholders in the nearby mountains.

If you don’t have your own transport, hail one of the red trucks that act as taxis in Chiang Mai. They’re called songthaews and the price to anywhere inside the moat or just outside it is 20 baht per person for one journey. State your destination and simply get in the back if they agree to take you – don’t ask how much or you’ll be charged the tourist price. When you get out, pay your 20 baht and say thank you – girls say “kob khun khaa” and guys say “kob khun khrab!”

10:00: visit a temple

Hop on your motorbike or hail a songthaew and head up the mountain to Doi Suthep temple (this journey will cost more than 20 baht – don’t forget to haggle the price down!). The air up there is gorgeously fresh and on a clear day you can see all of Chiang Mai below you. Before you enter the temple make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered and remove your shoes. Wander around and take in the splendour of golden stupas, opulent Buddha statues and sonorous chanting. Light incense and candles, hear the tinkling bells and kneel in front of a saffron-robed monk to receive a traditional Buddhist blessing.

12:30: paddle in a waterfall and mini-hike

On the way back down the mountain, stop off at the lower falls of the gorgeous Huay Kaew waterfall (Huay Kaew nam tok) to paddle in the stream. The lower falls are behind a popular shrine and small food market that can be seen from the road. If you’re lucky a Thai family on a day out might offer you some fruit or tasty home cooked treats and ask you to join their picnic. There’s a lovely forty minute hike through the forest that starts at the bottom set of falls and climbs to the upper falls, following the stream. Drink lots of water! When you reach the upper falls, hail a songthaew down the rest of the mountain to go get lunch.

13:45: eat lunch

For a healthy meal in a relaxed atmosphere, head to Bird’s Nest on Singharat Soi 3, a popular café amongst the backpacker and digital-nomad crowds. Bird’s Nest chefs try to use only organic food, depending on availability. A delicious avocado and home-made pesto wrap will fill you up and a cold mint, lime and honey shake will refresh you – divine.

Eat street food if you’re on a strict budget. There are a lot of tasty choices on the way back to the Old City along Suthep Road. If the menu is in Thai, point at what you want and say “ow nee, kha / khrab”, which means ‘I’d like this, please!”

If you haven’t tried the big flat rice noodles, kale and egg cooked in soy sauce (pad see ew) yet, try it. It’s the ultimate Thai comfort food. When you’ve finished, order a cha yen – traditional Thai sweet iced tea with tamarind juice, lime and optional milk.

15:00: chat with a monk

Ever chatted with a monk? Go to Wat Chedi Luang in the centre of the Old City. After looking around the magnificent temple grounds and reading the spiritual advice tacked on to the trees, head over to the ‘Monk Chat’ sign and… chat with a monk! You can talk (in English!) about pretty much any aspect of life with him and get a personal insight into Buddhist beliefs.

16:00: re-engergise in two blissful hours

Thai massage is energetic, like doing assisted yoga. It’s definitely worth investing in a two hour massage – you’ll feel amazing afterwards. It can be hard or soft depending on your preference. A polite “raeng raeng” means ‘harder, harder!’ and “bow bow” means ‘gently, gently!’

You can be massaged by a convict! For a unique massage experience, head over to the Women’s Correctional Institution Training Centre. These women are being trained in a sustainable vocation so that they can be masseuses when they’re released, rather than returning to a life of crime. Their massages are really, really good. It’s popular, so it’s a good idea to go early on in the day and book an appointment. Unfortunately you can’t make a phone booking.

Other great budget options are Green Bamboo Massage, and Lila Thai Massage.

18:30: eat dinner

For delicious cheap Thai food, head to North Gate and order food from one of the many stalls. Street Pizza is a seriously cool pizza place, popular with Thais and travellers alike. Vegetarians will want to check out Anchan in Nimmanhaemin, Imm Aim in Santitham or Pun Pun. Alternatively, head to the market early and pick something up as you wander around – there’s plenty to eat.

19:30: shop

There are two main night markets to choose from: the Night Bazaar is open every night and the Sunday Walking Street market is on, you guessed it, Sundays. Both are big and colourful with plenty of beautiful, strange, impressive and unique things to buy: handicrafts, furniture, clothes, accessories, fairy lights in a hundred different designs and art work. Prices are almost always negotiable so barter! Personally I prefer the Sunday market because you don’t have to dodge traffic. Even if you’re not all that into shopping the markets are still worth a visit for the great social vibe and all the different Thai food available.

Look out for the ‘ancient ice cream’ stalls for a tasty and cheap way to cool down. A fresh coconut, chopped open with a machete in front of you and served with a straw is ultra-hydrating and deliciously tropical.

21:30: watch Muay Thai boxing

Spend an hour or two cheering on the boxers at a muay Thai boxing stadium for around 400 baht. There are four places to choose from: Kalare Stadium, Thapae Stadium, Kawila Stadium and Loi Kroh Stadium. Kalare is more authentic and best for real fights, followed by Kawila. Thapae and Loi Kroh have more ‘show fights’ – like guys beating each other up in blindfolds. Have a beer, make a few bets and get loud! Ask your guesthouse for exact fight dates and times.

If you don’t want to buy roses or bracelets from the ladies and kids that walk around between fights, say “mai ow” firmly. It means ‘I don’t want it’.

23:00: drink

Get a songthaew to Ratchawithi Road and pick a bar. This is a great place to make friends before the partying starts. Be warned: Chang beer is cheap but gives you one hell of a hangover – the notorious Changover! Try Singha, Leo or Beer Lao instead.

23:30 – 00:00: party

Head to the infamous Zoe area on Ratchawithi Road, fondly known as The Square of Despair. The bars play music to suit many tastes, like pop, dance, ska, reggae and metal. Some of the bars have live music, others have DJs. There are often special nights with guest bands playing a set. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest nights.

God knows what time

When all the Zoe bars have kicked out, spill out into the row of food stalls. Tacos Bell is a firm favourite for drunken eats. Ask around to see where everyone’s headed next!

Still looking for ideas of things to do Chiang Mai?

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

Click here >> 


Image courtesy of Four Seasons Chiang Mai.

 

Article contributed by Amy – MyChiangMaiEverything.

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

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.

An Hour-by-Hour Guide to 24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur

You’ve got 24 hours in Malaysia’s capital city and you want to engage your senses and immerse yourself in Malaysian culture.  Here’s a hour-by-hour schedule of the must-see places and things to do if you’re in Kuala Lumpur for just a day!

8am – Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin TowersStanding at a majestic height of 451.9metres, the Petronas Twin Towers is without doubt Kuala Lumpur’s most famous icon. Take a walk along the Sky Bridge – the world’s highest bridge between two towers, and enjoy a birds’ eye view of the city allowing ample photo opportunities.

Going up the tower is definitely not for the faint hearted but those who experience vertigo, not to worry! Some people say the best views are of the tower itself in all its futuristic glory. Just Google ‘Petronas Towers’ and you will find yourself looking at some pretty creative selfies taken with the skyscraper, which could serve as photo inspiration.

Tickets are required to go up the tower and are issued on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. So it is definitely recommended to head there first thing in the morning as it sells out pretty quickly. The tower is as beautiful on the inside as it is out and going to Kuala Lumpur without even walking past the highest standing tower in South East Asia, is definitely a ‘no-no’.

10 am – Kompleks Budaya Kraf: Craft Complex in Kuala Lumpur

Kompleks Budaya Kraf: Craft Complex in Kuala Lumpur

Explore Malaysia’s ultural heritage through art. Situated within walking distance of the Petronas Towers, this craft complex provides a glimpse into Malaysia’s colourful culture. Tranquillity surrounds as artists scatter throughout the building working on intricate wood pieces, batik painting, pottery and more.

If you fancy yourself a little go at the artwork, try your hand at Batik Painting and take home your very own handmade souvenir. The Batik Painting is suitable for all ages and would make for an interesting and colourful experience both for solo and group travellers.

The artists are often more than willing to talk about their craft and share about Malaysian culture. Approach them with an open mind and it will be filled with fascinating lessons and educational stories of who, what and how the Malaysian people came to be, all told through the story of their craft.

1pm – Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor

Located in the heart of the city centre, lies a bustling street that would make any self-proclaimed foodie go into a frenzied excitement. Kuala Lumpur is a foodie’s haven and it comes in the form of Jalan Alor.

Stall after stall of Malaysian cuisine es flank the street and you would be spoilt for choice. From the very simple ‘fishball noodles’, to a spicier ‘curry laksa’ and to the more exquisite ‘drunken chicken noodles’, you’re likely to find anything you’re craving for here.

Be adventurous and be hungry when you’re in Kuala Lumpur and on their renowned food street. Pop into a stall and see, smell and taste what Malaysian delicacies they offer. And if you’re feeling especially hungry, don’t just stop at one stall, surely you have to try more?

3pm – Masjid Jamek 

Masid Jamek

Kuala Lumpur is a largely Muslim Country and it’s no surprise to see several mosques around. However the largest and most spectacular of them would be the Masjid Jamek.

Nestled in between palm trees, this mosque, the oldest in Malaysia, provides a soothing sense of serenity and tranquillity. Step in only to be awed by the design of this religious building – take note of the intricate details and be amazed by the sheer size of this architectural beauty.

It’s a small cost to get into the mosque and both women and men are required to cover all exposed area of skin by wearing long sleeves, pants or skirts as a show of respect. Definitely a must see for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle to do some quiet reflection and ready yourself for more buzz from the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.

5pm – Chinatown

China Town Kuala Lumpur

Although a largely Muslim city, Kuala Lumpur also has a huge Chinese population. Chinatown was therefore created to cater to the Chinese residing in the city. Today’s Chinatown is alive with sights and sounds and smells as people peddle their wares at cheap prices.

For all those who love a good bargain, Chinatown is a definite must-go. From cheap watches, to branded goods (although not the real deal) and even illegal DVDs, it will definitely pique the interest of any avid shopper who can’t resist a deal. It’s recommended to bargain, and if you’re good enough, some peddlers may let their wares go for as low as 50% off the original price!

Even the avid shopper gets peckish but in Chinatown, stalls are scattered along the roads and you can easily pick up a quick bite. From ‘chee cheong fun’ (rice noodles with a sweet or chilli sauce) to small bowls of dumpling soup or even just a cup of traditionally made coffee could perk you up for round two of shopping.

8pm – Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur

After a full day of shopping, eating and engaging in cultural activities, end off your experience in Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Bintang!

For the hungry, Bukit Bintang is littered with trendy cafes to stylish bars so wind down with a drink or if you’re up for a hearty dinner, pop into one of the many food stalls that line the street.

For the shopaholic, satisfy all shopping needs here. With 9 major malls all within walking distance, surely it’d quell all urges to shop after. From premium outlets, to trendy boutiques and even a night market that sells cheaper goods, get ready to shop till you drop.

And lastly for the culture vulture, soak in the atmosphere that oozes a mix of languages, smells, sights and smiles. Where locals interact with foreigners, where a myriad of voices fill the busy streets and it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, walk around and take it all in.

Warning: As with all crowded streets across the world, be wary of pickpockets and keep your belongings safe!

For more information on things to do and places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, click here.


Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of Petronas Twin Towers, TripAdvisor, Wonderful Malaysia, Malaysia Land of Nine Kings, Visit Malaysia, Old Penang Hotel.