If you’re in a bit of a rush and need top 5 recommended places to visit in Paris then you’ve come to the right place! On our 10 country tour, it was tough squeezing in the best places in just one visit, especially a major European city like Paris but Flixbus made it pretty convenient. Fortunately, we were able to visit all 5 places in 1 day just on foot, but obviously if you rent a bike or scooter it will be even easier to get around.
The sheer volume of art, fashion, and culture we experienced on our short visit were unforgettable. There’s no way you’ll get to do it all – museum-touring, shopping, cemetery-perusing, district-exploring, opera-attending – so plan your own itinerary accordingly and enjoy as many attractions as possible but on your own terms.
1) Notre Dame
This Parisian icon dates back to the 10th century and is located in the Seine river. Renowned as one of the best Gothic masterpieces in the world, with its intricate designs and abundant history, make sure to check it out!
2) Louvre Museum
The Palais du Louvre, better known now as the Louvre Museum, used to be a residence for Royalty 300 years ago. In 1793 this became home to some of the worlds most priceless pieces of art like the Mona Lisa. Open daily except on Tuesdays.
3) Arc de Triomphe
Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the creation of this monument as a symbol of French power to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806. Located on Avenue des Champs-Elysées which is known to be one of the most beautiful avenues in the whole world. If you can beat the crowd, you can get a picture standing where the road intersects.
4) The Pantheon
The Pantheon is located in the Latin Quarter in Paris and was originally constructed as a church but now serves as a mausoleum where distinguished French citizens are buried in its necropolis. This list includes people like Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille, Jean Jaurès and Soufflot, its architect
5) The Eiffel Tower
This 325 meters high tower is the emblem of Paris and was built in 1889 and was considered the tallest building in the world until 1930. This is an absolute must see if it’s your first time to Paris. If you want to dine in the Eiffel Tower make sure to create a reservation a couple months in advance.
5 Places to Visit in Paris Map
It was not only a very affordable and nice place to stay but getting to the local attractions was pretty easy also. We cabbed to the Eiffel Tower and then walked to the 5 places to visit in Paris listed above. We then took the rail system home from the Pantheon, it was pretty much a circular route, shaped like a square.
5 Places to Visit in Paris Video
5 Places to Visit in Paris
Thanks for reading my “5 Places to Visit in Paris” blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.
If you’re short on time and can spend at least 1 day in Zurich Switzerland it would be well worth the stop. We ended up in Zurich after heading south out of Germany, it was a convenient 4-hour bus ride from Freiburg im Breisgau using Flixbus.
Zurich is known as a global banking and finance capital but it’s also an interesting and beautiful city to explore. There are plenty of cafes to check out as well as churches and Lake Zurich. If you feel like shopping then you can head over to Bahnhofstrasse which is Zurich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues.
Bahnhofstrasse is one of Zurich’s top tourist attractions with all the worlds top luxury brands, it’s particularly popular with the ladies. Considered one of the most expensive streets on the planet per square meter.
Considered one of the most prominent landmarks in Zurich, the Roman era Grossmunster cathedral is characterized by its two twin towers and medieval architecture.
3) Alstadt (Old Town)
Alstadt is the Old Town in Zurich and is located on both sides of the Limmat River. This is an excellent place to get away from all the bustle on Bahnhofstrasse. Here you can find all sorts of cafes and riverfront restaurant nestled in with historic buildings and other quirky local shops.
The Fraumunster is a 9th century Church with stained glass windows and a history dating back to Charlemagne’s grandson Louis the German. You can also check out the recently opened crypt which dates back hundreds of years.
5) Lake Zurich
For a relaxed or romantic walk, you should take the scenic promenade on the East side of the river which leads you to the Lake. Here you can enjoy some food and drink while watching hundreds of boats out on the lake.
6) Limmat Cruise
Viewing Zurich by boat gives you beautiful views of the Old Town which sprawls along both sides of the banks. This trip will provide a new perspective of them as well as introduce you to many landmarks along the way.
The Niederdorf neighborhood is located around the Grossmunster and is considered the more exciting part of town. During the day its fun to poke around in the old shops, and during the night it’s a great area for drinks.
Overlooking the Limmat river where once stood a Roman fortress, you can enjoy unbroken views of the Old Town and noticeable landmarks otherwise obscured by other buildings at ground level.
9) St Peter
This incredibly old church can be spotted by its 86 meter wide clock face which is the largest in Europe.
10) Aelpli Milk
After all, that running around you might be in the mood for something new. How about checking out this unique little back alley bar with a live Swiss Folk band and try their special alcoholic drink called Aelpli Milk. Aelpli bar has history, so much so that it is one of the oldest bars in Zurich.
1 Day in Zurich Video
Thanks for reading my “1 Day in Zurich” blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.
If you’re planning on coming to Europe or are already there then I suggest visiting Slovenia if you end up around the Southeast. Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia and is a great place to spend a couple days if you are coming North from Croatia or Italy like we did or heading East from Austria. We used Flixbus to get there for cheap and also becuase they have Wifi so I can work on the move.
The river lined cafes in old town divide the historical section from the more modern and commercial life which can also be found there. I put together a list of things to do in Ljubljana for visitors coming for long or short term stay. There is plenty to see from the historic buildings, cobblestone roads, medieval canals and even a royal hilltop castle.
Below is a list of 10 things to do if you plan on visiting the chill city of Ljubljana.
1. Visit the Dragon Bridge
This bridge is one of the top recommendations from locals to visit. Built in 1901, it symbolizes the history and architecture of the town and was created to celebrate the Emporers’ 40th anniversary. The dragons are on the city coat of arms and can be found throughout the Ljubljana.
2. Preseren Square
Located near the old town and most widely recognized for its pink church and cobblestone plaza, this is a great meeting point and place to people watch. Depending on the time of year there may be festivals, concerts or other local activities being held here.
3. Ljubljana Castle
The impressive medieval castle which sits on top of the hill surrounded by the old town and can be seen from Ljubljana’s square has free entry into the courtyard and great views of the city below. This 900-year-old castle is a must see if you have the time and are looking for a nice walk, otherwise, you can take the train or funicular runway.
4. Central Market
This market is open 6 days a week and is closed on Sundays. Here you can find local covered and open-air vendors selling herbs, handicrafts, meat, fruits, vegetables, and other goods.
5. Robba Fountain
This ornate fountain symbolizes the city and can be found outside of the Town Hall.
7. Old Town
The Old Town sits at the foot of the castle and is on your way to Town Hall and Robba Fountain. If you are looking for a nice restaurant or a patio to have some wine or dessert then this is a good place to go.
8. Ljubljanica River Trip
The one-hour boat trip is an excellent way to get a different perspective of the town from the river, passing under all three bridges with commentary and historical facts provided during your tour.
9. Tivoli Park
Whether you are looking for a vast area of greenery, come to appreciate the arts or have a private picnic, Tivoli Park is a great place to enjoy time away from the busy city. The 2km park was originally landscaped in the 1800’s and has many crisscrossing nature trails for you to enjoy.
10. Triple Bridge
The three bridges that connect the old town to the modern city are located by Preseren Square and have many bars and cafes.
Thanks for reading my “10 Things To Do In Ljubljana” blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.
I spent 1 month traveling 4000 km to 10 countries in Europe and it was absolutely incredible! We used Flixbus to visit Germany, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Though we didn’t get to visit all 16 EU nations in this trip we still covered a lot of ground and saw many amazing places I honestly never thought I would ever see. Below I will list our Europe itinerary in order of first to last even though we arrived and left from Germany and also had to go through it again on our way back from the Southeastern countries we went to. In all, the ten countries we visited in our Europe itinerary made a figure 8 shape.
Our first two weeks we spend in Germany, spend a day in Colmar France before heading south to Zurich Switzerland. After that we did a day trip to the tiny country of Liechtenstein then we went over to Innsbruck Austria.
Venice was next on the list so we went south into Italy and then after a few days there we headed to Rovinj Croatia. I ended up throwing Ljulianja Slovenia into the plans since it was conveniently located on the way to Munich as visiting a friend in Germany was part of the plan before heading to Paris.
After an amazing time in Paris, we went North to Brussels Belgium where I highly recommend you watch your stuff if you plan on going out as theft and petty crime is rampant there. After Brussels, we went up North to the Netherlands to spend a few days chilling in Amsterdam. At this point, we were wrapping things up and spend our last couple of days in Frankfurt, tired from traveling and just wanting to relax.
If you’re wondering how we got around I used Flixbus to arrange all of my trips and hotels.com or Couchsurfing to find places to stay. We only used Couchsurfing.com a couple times and spent the majority of our trip in hotels but when you are in a crunch with bad arrival times and cannot check into a hotel it’s always nice to find a welcoming local to allow you to crash for a day. I host people in Thailand and really enjoy meeting other people from around the world and it’s particularly convenient being shown around by a local when you are away and out of your element.
After landing at Frankfurt in Germany we headed southwest to visit some friends in Freiburg im Breisgau, a small university town in the Black Forest region. This lovely town is known for its reconstructed medieval old town and its temperate climate. The Münsterplatz Cathedral was the only building left standing at the end of WWII and has been meticulously cared for ever since with a recent renovation and expansion of its tallest tower.
We ended up leaving and returning to Germany two more times on our way around the surrounding countries like Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. We would return to Munich for some beers on our way over to the countryside town of Seelbach located in the west. This was a great place to unwind for a couple of days after traveling over 2000 km and visiting 6 countries. In the end, we spent our last weekend in Frankfurt, relaxing before finally heading home.
One of my Favorite places in France was Colmar with its Half Timber Renaissance style architecture, cobble-street roads and medieval appeal made for an excellent day trip. Being located only a half hour drive over the German border and Rhine river, this town is renowned for its wine and vineyards.
Our next stop was Strasbourg, another city bordering Germany on the West, bring the old capital of the Parliament it had plenty of historic architecture and history. Although I was not super keen on the number of tourists in Paris, it really lived up to my expectations with its grand sites including the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Pantheon and Notre-Dame. Despite the partially overcast skies, I ended up with some pretty amazing drone pics and video and was super happy to have visited here finally.
We ended up spending two days in Zurich Switzerland, which is known as a global banking and finance center, ended up being a very enjoyable place to stay. From the historically significant buildings and schools to Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive streets in the world there is plenty to do and see here in a day or two.
We ended taking a day tour with Grayline from Zurich for $68 to check out Liechtenstein, the Swiss Alps and Heidiland. This tiny and narrow German-speaking country is located in between Switzerland and Austria, made up of small towns interconnected by a single trail with a total country population of only 38,000 people.
Innsbruck Austria is a beautiful little city surrounded by the Alps on one side and serving as a popular winter sports destination. The weather was perfect when we visited so we got to explore the town, eat some local food and learn some interesting facts like how their German is much different than the common German spoken by its larger ethnic and border cousins to the north. Unlike the French-German they speak in Switzerland, which is also hard to understand for most Germans, the Austrians speak a form of German only understood in the Bavarian region. Full of interesting history, good food, bier and beautiful outdoors Innsbruck was a great place to visit.
Considering the amount of time we had to visit all 10 countries meant I had to be selective about when and where we went. Given our geographic location and plans of returning to Germany before heading to France, Belgium and the Netherlands we ventured south from Austria Venice Italy. Out of the other places I would have liked to visit including Rome and Pisa, they were just too far south to throw in this trip without sacrificing time visiting other places we wanted to go on this trip.
That being said, Venice was absolutely Amazing! It was an incredible and unique location full of the classic Italian charm you would expect from stories and movies. To me, this place was comparable to Santorini in how everything was just so breathtaking and authentic. From the tiny intertwined walking streets with local Italian food in the air, cheap wine, and endless canals it made for a lovely 3 days. Gondola rides was definitely a unique experience going through the small canals and then returning via the large canal, you really get the full experience.
Some of my favorite footage were the images and video I captured with my drone flying through the canals and high overhead getting snaps of the island of San Marco and the surrounding areas. If your Europe itinerary doesn’t include Venice then you need to make some changes.
After Venice we headed to Croatia on a 4-hour bus ride, not able to head too far south to the more popular Dubrovnik in the south which gained its popularity for its filming locations in the Game of Thrones, we ended up visiting the small town of Rovinj.
With pebble beaches, cobbled streets and a hilltop church overlooking the old town, this fishing town is full of charm. If you’ree looking for a peaceful place to get away then visiting here for a few days will do the trick.
Ljubljana (pronounced lube-lee-yana) is Slovenia’s capital and largest city and was conveniently located on our way back to Munich Germany. Known for its river lined cafes, history and art museums, its expansive Tivoli park and hilltop castle.
The Slovenian capital provides the charm of a smaller town with the sophistication one might expect from a larger metropolis.
We ended up in Brussels Belgium where the selection of beer and chocolates did not disappoint. The city was beautiful, modern and clean and the old town square was marvelous. Even with the rain, this place was fun, from the Manneken Pis statue to the Delirium Bar, which is in the Guinness World Records for most beers in 1 bar, having over 4000 to select from. Unfortunately, my phone was stolen that night so I only had a couple of pictures. Guess that’s what happens when the bar wifi password at delirium is literally “bewareofpickpockets”.
10 countries later we finally made it to our tenth, and what better way to relax after traveling over 3500 km than with a glass of coffee and some cultural cannabis. The elaborate canal system and artistic heritage of Amsterdam make the capital of the Netherlands an amazing place to visit. Surrounded by positivity and open-mindedness, the Dutch city really made the end of our trip special.
However, this place is so popular that when we decided to stay another day all the reasonably priced hotels were pretty much all booked up so if you plan on staying for more than a few days I recommend being on top of those reservations beforehand. Amsterdam is a must visit destination for any Europe Itinerary.
From the crowded I am Amsterdam sign to the art museums, red light district and ganja cafes this place has something for everyone. The selection of food and interesting Dutch cuisine made the trip all the better. Whether you are biking or walking around, the tram system and countless things to see and do will keep you busy for the duration of your stay. You can even visit a Marijuana or Sex Museum while you’re there!
Europe Itinerary: 10 Countries in 1 Month Video
After our 4000 km backpacking Europe itinerary was completed, we were exhausted but full of so many unforgettable experiences and memories. I recommend anyone no matter how old you are to try and spend a month in Europe. The food, history, and culture are enough to experience with each country providing their own unique styles of architecture and vibe.
Thanks for reading my Europe Itinerary blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.
If you’re an expat or foreigner considering a Thailand to Cambodia Visa Run then I have some advice for you. I absolutely do not recommend a land crossing if you can help it. This typically takes a couple hours and can easily cause a lot of problems for you given unforeseen circumstances or “recent updates”. Border laws and immigration regulations change often and can be enforced at the discretion of the officers. These border authorities also have different standards than border control at airports.
I have been living in Thailand for over a year now and have been through immigration so many times. I did not expect to receive the run around I got at the Thailand to Cambodia border crossing post-Ban Laem. The last time I was in Cambodia I did a border crossing with the intention of staying for 1 month, which I did. This time, however, I wanted to do the infamous 1-day border crossing.
This has unfortunately become a highly scrutinized endeavor and if I were you I would strongly recommend just flying somewhere to get a free VOA (Visa On Arrival) stamp then flying back. Basically, since both Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia both require a Visa, that would suggest Malaysia or China. If you fly, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 18 months, then you will have no problem with immigration authorities.
So what ended up transpiring was an all-day nightmare of one unforeseen issue after another. The day started at 7am when my friend and I hit the road from Bangkok to drive to the Cambodian border. This trip takes approximately 4 hours. We arrived around 11am, I left my things in the car with the expectation of not going to need anything other than my Passport.
Thailand to Cambodia Border Crossing
Thailand to Cambodia Border
Upon making it to border check, my friend realizes she did not bring her passport and part of the new regulations. Not even Thai people need their passport to cross the border and can no longer do it without a Thai National Citizen ID anymore. At first, this did not appear to be that big of a deal, I would just simply go through the process and see her back on the other side. Unfortunately, this is not how things played out.
After getting stamped exiting Thailand, which actually ended up voiding the remaining week I had left on my previous extension, I continued on to begin the Visa Application process for Cambodia. Had I known any of this was going to happen, I would have just waited and flown somewhere to avoid overstaying a week on my Cisa before leaving on my upcoming trip to Europe.
Cambodia Visa Cost
I paid 1000 baht for my visa and 500 baht for the stamp. On my way out I ended up further discussing this with the Authorities who brought to my attention that you are now required to stay in Cambodia for 24 hours. They also insisted that the border agents would simply turn me away, especially with all the other Thailand Visa stamps I have accumulated in my Passport. SO, This was AWESOME, right!? I was NOT enthused, but I had to do what I had to do.
The only solution at this point was to get a taxi to the Siem Reap Airport for around 800 baht (3-4 hour drive or 5+ by bus). I then had to pay for a last minute flight from Siem Reap back to Bangkok with Air Asia. I need to mention that I was also hassled at the Siem Reap airport about my same day entry visit. At the immigration control portion of the airport, prior to going through security and into your gate, I was held up.
After asking me questions about my VERY short visit to Cambodia the officer took pictures of me and my passport then called his superior on the phone. At this point I had not eaten for 10 hours, was nerve-wracked and so stressed out. The LAST thing I wanted to do was freak out. After patiently waiting, he, fortunately, stated I can go, but not without joking again about how they could have made me stay.
Thailand to Cambodia Flight
I ended up waiting 2 hours for my flight then arrived to Bangkok 12 hours after the initial ordeal began at the border Thailand to Cambodia border. My friend had already made it back to Bangkok earlier and picked me up at the airport. We then proceeded to drive 5 hours to Pattaya, where we had plans reservation for the weekend in Koh Larn.
If you want my advice, always fly for visa runs, but if you absolutely have to go by land, then do it with a Visa Run Agency like Bangkok buddy. They have the connections and arrangement to get your Visa Stamped for you, all you have to do is go along for the ride. The experience is really organized, there are translators and also serve yyou anice breakfast while you’re waiting at the border.
There are several options when it comes to extending your Thai visa, and this all boils down to what visa you entered the country on. Most tourists enter the country without pre-applying for a visa. In this instance, you will receive a 30-day ‘visa on arrival’ (VOA) if you arrive by plane, or 15 days if you arrive by land at one of the countries numerous border crossings.
With a Visa Service you simply need to take with you $30, one passport photo, and a photocopy of your passport so you can purchase a Cambodian Visa during your crossing. Below is more information on a typical Thailand to Cambodia Visa Run service from Bangkok.
So I ended up spending my Saturday afternoon chillaxing between a couple palm trees at Surin Beach in my awesome new parachute travel hammock from Nomads Adventure Gear! This full-size double hammock was an excellent addition to my traveling adventure gear arsenal. Outside of purchasing tech equipment to create quality content, I also like to invest in quality traveling and outdoor equipment like this super comfortable taffeta parachute nylon hammock.
I was immediately pleased by the portability of this hammock for my future travel adventures, plus it has its own built-in bag for self-storage so you don’t have to worry about losing it. Plus, being located in the middle of the hammock on the side, it conveniently doubles as a holder for a beer or other miscellaneous stuff.
The taffeta material is so soft and quiet as compared to other cheaper nylon or plastic fabric hammock materials. Another benefit of this material is that it’s breathable, meaning it won’t cause you to get all sweaty and uncomfortable or if you’re wet it will allow you to dry off instead of pooling the water on the inside which usually also causes a mess.
Having met the owner in person and discussed his passion for his products and lifestyle, having summited some of the highest mountains in the world, he knows exactly what adventurers are into and also what they need in their gear. The entire material and design from the wiregate carabiners and special triple stitched straps. These straps are superior to other brand and particularly to a rope, which actually cuts into and can kill trees which have led to them being banned in many National Parks.
The bottom-line is if you are an adventurer and traveler like me and you want not only an amazing quality product but also one that’s environmentally conscious then this brand is the one for you. I also love that these are all backed by a lifetime guarantee and ship to 15 countries for free, including anywhere in the United States! (American Company).
Parachute Travel Hammock by Nomads Adventure Gear
“Everyone loves to watch a bumble bee. That fat little creature that manages to fly all around your backyard leaving you to ponder, “How on earth are they able to fly?” We are amused by these lovable bees so much that we have named a hammock after them.
Our Expedition Hammocks are all eleven feet long to provide that extra room for a good nights sleep whether in the backyard or on a thru-hike of your favorite trail. All Nomads Adventure Gear hammocks come standard with wire gate carabiners instead of being an upgrade. The wire gate carabiners don’t have sharp edges like other carabiners that can snag and tear your hammock keeping you from having to sleep on the cold hard ground.
Our hammocks are made from soft but durable 70D (1.9oz) taffeta parachute nylon you can rest easy knowing you are in a hammock that is made to last. Go solo or climb in with that special someone. This hammock has more than enough room for two.”
We only use wire gate carabiners. Most of our competitors offer wire gate carabiners as an upgrade. The average carabiner that most companies use will have a sharp edge on the bar in the gate. These edges can snag and tear your hammock. If you have hiked three hours into the wilderness to camp, and then discover a tear in your hammock due to the carabiner, that lifetime warranty doesn’t mean a thing. You’ll be sleeping on the ground that night. Our wire gate carabiners don’t have the sharp edges and thus reduces the risk to your hammock.
Our Hammocks Are True Double Hammocks
We want you to love our hammocks. That’s why we meet or exceed industry norms. There isn’t a legal definition of what can be called a double hammock. But there are industry norms. The industry norm for a double hammock is six foot or more. Our hammocks are a full six and a half feet wide. We are a true double hammock. That is 78” (2M). If you look closely at what many are selling as a double hammock you will see that they are calling a 55” (1.4m) wide hammock a double hammock. Oh, you will notice the difference. We give you that extra two feet because we know that double means big enough for two.
We Love Trees, and Hope You Do Too
We encourage responsible hammocking. Today more and more campgrounds, campuses, national parks, and city parks are banning the use of hammocks due to damage to trees. The use of ropes to hang a hammock can damage trees. Sure you can use ropes and in the morning look and say it was only minimal damage. However, most hammockers choose the same trees and eventually, everyone’s minimal damage produces a severely damaged tree. Our Trek Straps hug the tree instead of cutting into it like a rope. To promote responsible hammocking we neither provide ropes nor endorse the use of ropes. We love trees, and we hope you do too.
I wanted to make this Thailand Drone Insurance post and video as a follow-up to my NBTC Drone Registration and prior to my CAAT or Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand registration. This Insurance will be cover damage up to 1,000,000 Thai baht as require by Thailand’s drone regulation and includes drones that weigh 2kg or less. Hope this helps and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
1. Please fill in “The Insurance Application Form Plan A” as attached with this mail.
Scan clearly and save as pdf file, name: 1. Insurance Application.pdf
2. Please take photos of your drone on a clear background as follows:
2.1 Long shot from the front, to see the whole unit with propeller and battery.
Save as jpg file, name: 2.1 drone long shot.jpg
2.2 Close up shot serial number clearly to see them.
Save as jpg file, name : 2.2 drone serial no.jpg
3. Copy of receipt or proof of your drone purchases show the date of purchase,
Value etc, on a white A4 photocopy. With your signature.
Scan clearly and save as pdf file, name: 3. Receipt.pdf
4. Copy of your passport on white A4 photocopy with a sentence
” I assure that I have the ability to control unmanned aircraft perfectly” With your signature.
Scan clearly and save as pdf file, name: 4. Passport .pdf
5. Please email all documents to [email protected] with Transfer slip for insurance policy Plan A – 3,000 THB
Transfer to bank account name: Charoonsak Sukawatano
Siam Commercial Bank
Account number : 025-2-27861-1
6. After payment, please allow us 3-5 working days to process your insurance policy. Soft copy of your insurance policy will be sent to you first, by email at that time. Hard Copy will be sent by post-office to your address (in Thailand only) within 2-3 week.
The Big Buddha in Phuket is one of the coolest places to visit and one of the spots I like to bring my friends and couchsurfers that come to visit me. The 45-meter tall marble statue is perched on top of the hill with breathtaking views all around. If you plan on heading south of Patong then this is definitely a place you should check out. Whenever I have guests there are three trips I typically take them on. 1 trip takes us west to Patong and then North to see Patong, Kamala and Surin Beaches. I also know a local elephant over there too we typically stop to see. Another trip is North past the airport to the Soi Dog Foundation, and then to Bangla Road at night. The third and possibly most popular trip I bring people is South to Wat Chalong, Big Buddha, Nai Harn Beach, and then Laem Prom Thep for sunset.
There are several restaurants and cafes with excellent views in any direction, I recommend stopping to take some pics before getting to the very top where the Giant Buddha statue is. From the top of the hill, you can also see up to 3 of the bays in the area from various viewpoints around the temple statue.
Other than the views, there are also monkeys running around sometimes too but just like anywhere else in the world, you need to be careful taking pictures with these curious creatures because they have a tendency to steal stuff. You are also prohibited from feeding them here, which is good because, from my experience feeding monkeys at Monkey Forest in Bali, they can get pretty crazy and violent.
The temple usually has a Monk on the microphone singing their traditional Buddhist prayer songs on the loudspeaker to be heard from all around. The temple is still under construction so the actual prayer area under the statue is still being built. Another good thing about visiting here is that it’s free!
Big Buddha Phuket
I hope this helps for your future trip to Phuket, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or on my Instagram @nomadicnava.
After spending 10 days in Japan backpacking around I felt exhausted but at the same time overwhelmed with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I had successfully checked Japan off my bucket list as well as about 20 other items on my list. After many late nights and early mornings, a ridiculous amount of train rides and a couple night buses later I found myself heading back to the airport thinking if I ever had to do it again, I totally would!!
10 Days in Japan Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka Itinerary
My Japan Travel Itinerary I spent 3 days in Tokyo, 3 days in Osaka, 3 days in Kyoto and then 1 day back in Tokyo for a total of 10 days in Japan. I will briefly cover some of the main attractions in each city I visited but will also cover things like the cost of food, housing and transportation in my other post “How Expensive is Japan?”.
4 Day Tokyo Itinerary
I visited Tokyo Tower, Senso-Ji Temple, Shibuya Crossing, Godzilla, The Tokyo Skytree, Hachiko Statue and the Gundam Wing statue.
Since I was staying in the Seijo area my first night I stopped by Toho Studios where my childhood favorite Godzilla was created. There is also another more popular one not too far from Shinjuku station. It’s located on top of Hotel Gracery where you can see his head sticking out appearing to be smashing through buildings above you.
Senso-Ji Temple is an impressive and popular attraction and for good reason too. This beautiful 1500 years old Buddhist Temoke has been well preserved and is well known for its Kaminarimon Gate with the huge red chochin lantern. This place is truly buzzing with activity and sights to see.
The Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010.
When I visited there was a really cool fog which initially disappointed me until I realized how unique it looked from any pictures I had seen of it. The fog and clouds were perfectly inverted around the tower to project the tower light show outwardly into the atmosphere.
You can visit the observation galleria and deck areas for between 1000-3000 yen, depending on your age and the options you choose.
The Tokyo tower is another icon of the city, even as a kid I remember seeing Godzilla tear this tower down in many of the movies and still serves today as a popular and worthwhile attraction for tourists. The observation deck gives you excellent 360-degree views of the city so try and come for sunset if you. This is also part of the Mariokart circuit so you may see them pass you while you’re there. I saw them and it was awesome
Ueno Street Food
You might want to consider stopping at Ueno on your way back from the Tokyo Skytree where the air is full of the aroma of delicious foods from many local and international vendors. The Park and entire Ueno area surrounding the station is full of tonnes of options for foods and fun.
I ended up coming with my Chinese friend Tai whom I had met on couchsurfing.com because I had hosted her and our friend Sue a few months back at my place in Phuket. We also went out to Shibuya crossing which is where the party and all the good bars and clubs are.
Shibuya crossing is rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world with up to 1000 people crossing all over the place in this chaotic scramble of pedestrians which is truly interesting to see and experience first hand.
As if I didn’t already love dogs enough, this statue was erected after the legendary dog Hachiko who kept coming to Shibuya Station every day to meet his owner, even 10 years after his death before he too eventually passed away. This dog is the epitome of loyalty and fidelity and is the true embodiment of how dogs are and best friends.
There are also two movies that were filmed about this dog and his owner. The original “Hachi” movie was filmed in Japan while the American version later on by America was called “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” starring Richard Gere.
Gundam Wing Statue
My last but not least visit was to another childhood nostalgic spot where they have a giant life-size Gundam Wing statue. If you’re like me and grew up watching Dragonball Z, Robotech, Godzilla, Gundam Wing or any other Japanese Anime shows then you will want to make your way out to this full-size Gundam Wing Statue.
Located in the Odaiba bay area, you will also be able to do other entertaining things like the ferris wheel or get a view of the city from the other side of the water.
Osaka was an excellent getaway from Tokyo and is also the home of their famous dish “Okonomiyaki”. When I was here I visited Dotonburi, Nara Prefecture Deer, Todai Ji, Nigatsu do, Osaka Castle and Himeji Castle.
Dōtonbori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan, running along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba district. This place is teeming with food, drinks and fun!
If you want to visit the most beautiful of Japans’ Historic 12 castles then you’re going to want to visit Himeji Castle. Built like a fortress and surrounded by beauty, this white heron castle earned its place in UNESCO World Heritage and is a national treasure for Japan. It is the best surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture.
If feeding and petting tonnes of deer have always been on your dream list like it was mine then you are going to want to head out to Nara Prefecture. Here you can also visit Todai-Ji and Sigatsu-Do as well as many other cools places.
After seeing Himeji Castle first it kind of ruined Osaka Castle for me, although it is really cool on the outside and they even have Samurai walking around. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in WWII so what is there now is a replica and the interior is more of a museum. Himeji castle was 1000 yen for adults and Osaka was 600, If you have to choose between the two then definitely visit Himeji instead.
3 Day Kyoto Itinerary
Kyoto was the last leg of my trip but not the least. This place is where some of the best and most highly anticipated attractions are. I visited the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Nijo Castle, Golden Temple and the Kyoto countryside.
Arashiyama is an incredible experience. Literally walking through the bamboo forest was a unique experience anyone visiting Kyoto should have on their list.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Arguably the most popular attraction in Japan, this incredible display of Japanese architecture combined with Shinto influences creates a stunning spectacle comprised of hundreds of Torii gates winding through the forest paths. Known locally as a place for prosperity and good luck, individuals and business owners donate thousands of yen to have their name or business displayed on one of these famous gates.
Nijo Castle was my least favorite castle but is conveniently located in town so if you’re looking for an easier place for people to visit then this is a good spot to check out.
Kinkaku-Ji aka the Golden Pavillion sits beautifully on a small pond surrounded by a typical Japanese landscape and setting. Well worth the visit if you are in the area.
10 Days in Japan
After spending 10 Days in Japan backpacking around, sleeping on floors, trains, planes, and buses I was pretty exhausted and this trip definitely pushed me to my mental limits at times. From trying to learn and navigate the complex train system to speaking Japanese and hauling around my big bag this was an adventure for the books! If anyone has any questions please feel free to comment or DM me on Instagram @nomadicnava.
Himeji Castle is widely considered to be Japans most beautiful castle. It is known as the White Heron Castle as a result of its white appearance. The complex castle grounds and exterior aesthetics have been well preserved to maintain this original work of Art which has survived for hundreds of years and through many wars.
About Himeji Castle
This castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. Unlike many other Japanese castles, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country’s twelve original castles.
Himeji Castle had strategic importance as a defensive point to the west of the former capital city of Kyoto. The Castle was initially built in the early 1400s but its fortifications were continually improved over the years and was finally completed as it is seen today in 1609. The castle grounds are made up of over 80 buildings spread out and divided by multiple gates and paths.
The third or outermost section of the castle is where most visitors enter through the Oteman Gate, admissions in this area are free but you can only get distant shots of the castle from there. During Spring you can expect beautiful cherry blossoms. Further north you will come to the Hishi Gate which marks the entrance to the paid area. Admission to the Castle is 1000 yen.
The way up to the castle past the Hishi Gate is like a labyrinth of stone-walled pathways winding your way up to the top. At the heart of the complex stands the main keep, a six-story wooden structure. It is one of only a handful castle keeps in Japan that feature wing buildings, adding complexity to its appearance.
Entering the main keep through an entrance on the first floor will allow you to climb the narrow staircases which are how you get to each floor. As you climb upwards the floors become progressively smaller. The floors are generally unfurnished.
The topmost floor houses a small shrine and lets visitors peer out in all directions, down over the castle roofs, at the maze-like defenses below and out across the city of Himeji. You can also admire an up-close view of the fish-shaped roof ornaments that are believed to protect from fire.
Himeji Castle Information
It takes a solid hour to get to Himeji by train from either Kyoto or Osaka. The castle can be reached by walking about 20 minutes North from Himeji station or five-minute ride by bus (100 yen one way) or taxi (about 650 yen one way).
Fushimi Inari Taisha was the number one thing on my list of things I wanted to see during my 10-day trip backpacking in Japan and even a deadly 6.1 magnitude earthquake in 2km from me in Osaka was going to stop me from seeing it. This place is actually a collection of shrines and gates spread all over the entire Southeastern mountainside of Kyoto.
It is considered the single most impressive sight to see in all of Kyoto and one of the most popular shrines in all of Japan. The Torii Gates spread out for miles winding through the mountainside with small interconnected shrines throughout. The path starts North of the main entrance and Temple and are accessible at all hours, unlike the Temple which closes after normal business hours.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
It is considered the single most impressive sight to see in all of Kyoto and one of the most popular shrines in all of Japan. The Torii Gates spread out for miles winding through the mountainside with small interconnected shrines throughout. The path starts North of the main entrance and Temple and are accessible at all hours, unlike the Temple which closes after normal business hours. Due to the growing popularity of this place you can expect for there to be hundreds of tourists, mostly Chinese. So if you plan on getting solo pics in the Torii gates it’s going to take a while.
About Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha is known as the God of rice Shrine, you will see many large decorative bags of rice positioned around the head of the shrine. This shrine is believed to grant prosperity to business owners, patrons and merchants.
The shrine sits at the base of Mount Inari and includes many smaller sub-shrines. Every one of the famous torii shrine gates has been donated by an individual or Japanese business in hopes of receiving good luck and fortune. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on the back of each gate.
History of Fushimi Inari Taisha
The original shrine was founded in 711 making it one of Kyoto’s most historic landmarks.
The shrine was founded in 711 making it one of Kyoto’s oldest and most historic landmarks. The local folklore behind the origin of the shrine is based around a story of a rice cake which was shot into the air and then transformed into a swan and flew away, when it landed at the peak of the mountain the land there then became very prosperous and abundant in rick growth.
In 942, it was elevated to the highest rank for Shinto shrines and became and object of patronage among Imperial families. The main shrine structure was built in 1499 and is designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. It contains five shrines: a lower shrine, a middle shrine, an upper shrine and auxiliary shrines.At the shrine’s entrance stands the historically significant Romon (tower) Gate, the shrine’s main gate, which was built in 1589 thanks to donations from samurai warlord and ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
At the rear of the shrine’s main grounds is the Senbon Torii (thousands of torii gates), the entrance to the torii gate cover a hiking trail. It marks the start of two dense, parallel rows of gates that are the main reason most foreign visitors come to Fushimi Inari Taisha.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Foxes
After a few minutes of visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha you will notice that there are dozens of statues of foxes across the shrine grounds. Why you might ask? Foxes or kitsune in Japanese are regarded as the messengers of the gods much like the deer of Nara Park in Nara. Some of the stone foxes even have keys in their mouths. These are keys to the rice granaries which they protect.
68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku
Fushimi Inari hours:
Dawn to dusk
Non-smoking area: Yes
5min walk from Inari Station, JR Nara line
10min walk from Fushimi Inari Station, Keihan line
The Sinulog Festival is one of the most magical and amazing cultural experiences I have ever had! The entire island of Cebu shuts down and everyone congregates around the city center where people march, chant and follow the famous floats and parade. All over the place people are cheering “Viva Pit Senyor” while tossing handfuls of colored powders on people. The environment is full of fun and cheerfulness with smiles all around. If you have never been to the Philippines or to Sinulog in particular then we will cover some of the basics and background for this incredible annual festival.
What is the Sinulog Festival?
Sinulog is a magnificent festival celebrated by Filipinos and other fellow Asians for over 30 years! The festival is held on the third Sunday of every year in January in the city of Cebu. This festival has grown in popularity and recognition internationally and is considered by many as the “Mother of all Festivals”. The primary focus of the event is centered around celebrating “Pit Senyor” or “Santo Niño” (Child Jesus).
This event has embodied the religious belief and hopes of the people for hundreds of years. Historically speaking, after a failed Spanish expedition colonization attempt on April 27, 1565 by Miguel López de Legazpi he set fire to the coastal town of Cebu, destroying over 1500 homes and killing 500 people. According to local legend, the widely venerated miracle of “Santo Niño” or “Pit Senyor” is the result of the surviving Filipino ancestors finding a completely unscathed sculpture of the baby jealous under the burned remains of the Catholic Church.
What to Expect at Sinulog
“One Beat, One Dance, One Vision. Cebu – City of Culture” was the theme adopted for the 2012 Sinulog Festival. There will be music, there will be dancing, and there will be fun! With the celebration’s evolution, the Sinulog Festival has become a month-long tradition in Cebu. The most-awaited being the Sinulog Grand Parade which is held on the 15thday of January or third Sunday of the month.
With continued growth in popularity and international awareness, this festival has grown to include more than just dancing and costumes. There are historical art exhibits, beauty pageants, photo contests, fireworks, singing and dancing contests. This is a very impressive Filipino cultural experience. If you want to enjoy more than just the beaches and tropical islands and want to learn more about the history of the people in the Philippines then try to coordinate your trip for this time of year. As a result of the festivals fame the city of Cebu been recognized as the “City of Culture” by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The parade starts south toward the South of the city and makes its way to the Fuente Osmeña Cir near the city center. The entire city will be shut down and there will literally be thousands of people walking the streets. Pretty much everyone in the Philippines speaks English and they are all so happy and friendly. If you’re traveling alone like I was then you may want to make some friends like I did when I met the most beautiful girl in the world ; ).
City of Cebu
Being that I’m 1/4 Filipino, coming here has always been a dream of mine. I absolutely fell in Love with the Philippines and the people of Cebu but there was one girl in particular whom I will never forget, she stood out in a crowd of 10,000 people. Her friend was a fun animated little character yelling “Pit Senyor” at everyone until she lost her voice. No wonder the people of the Philipppines are considered some of the nicest people in the world.
The parade starts in the south of the city and makes its way to the Fuente Osmeña Cir near the city center. The entire city will be shut down and there will literally be thousands of people walking the streets. Pretty much everyone in the Philippines speaks English and they are all so happy and friendly.It also gets super crowded the closer you are to the parade so if you are with other people try and hold hands and form a chain to keep track of each other and also make your way through the crowds easier.
Due to widescale partying and crime, the post Sinulog festivities have been shut down by the Government. But after dancing, singing and walking all day going home was a good idea. Since there are so many people congregating in one area the Government also disables cellular communications in the City, presumably to deter terrorist attacks and ability to communicate. This makes it even more important to keep track of your friends.
Everything about this festival and the Philippines was so incredible that I am considering going again this January. If you have any questions leave a comment below or follow me on instagram @nomadicnava, and subscribe to my Youtube.com/nomadictravel.
Nan Lian Garden in Hong Kong is a remarkable attraction designed after the Tang Dynasty. The beautiful colors and structures here make for excellent photo opportunities. Just look at that… https://t.co/J9fFG30WIy
That one time I visited my family in the Philippines and got to participate in my first tinikling dance! This dance is a traditional Philippine folk dance which originated during the… https://t.co/POOdkhGBtV
Only in Thailand 🇹🇭😎🐘
This is probably my favorite sign Ive seen on my travels. While I was posing, a local drives up and jumps out of his car and says "Only in Thailand kap! 😂
One of my favorite places to visit in France was Colmar. Have you been here? What's your favorite French city?
Merry Christmas! 🎄🎅 🇫🇷
Check my blog post "7 Things to do in… https://t.co/J7Jz29sjWM
Sometimes you just wanna chill and watch the sunset. I hear Phuket is a pretty good place for that! 😌🌴🇹🇭🏝🌅
Check link in bio 🥂.
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👫 Tag a friend you would… https://t.co/VQfIuY2fIA
Nan Lian Garden in Hong Kong is a remarkable attraction designed after the Tang Dynasty. The beautiful colors and structures here make for excellent photo opportunities. Just look at that orange bridge and golden pagoda! ⛩ . Have you been to Hong Kong? 🇭🇰 .
Read my "3 Days in Hong Kong" blog post for more. . ✏Link in bio for more 👍🏼Follow @nomadicnava for more 👭Tag a friend you would go with ❤Double Tap if you like 🤳Turn on post notifications ... See MoreSee Less
That one time I visited my family in the Philippines and got to participate in my first tinikling dance! This dance is a traditional Philippine folk dance which originated during the Spanish colonial era. The dance involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. Watch the video on my blog post.💃🇵🇭 . That wasn't the only cool thing I got to see on the small island of Bohol! I also went to the chocolate hills, got to see the tarsiers, the world's smallest primates, and many other interesting attractions. . Check out my blog post "10 Popular Bohol Tourist Spots" . . 🏖 See link in bio 👉 Follow @nomadicnava 👫 Tag a friend you would go with ❤ Double tap if you like 📲 Turn on post notifications ... See MoreSee Less
Only in Thailand 🇹🇭😎🐘 . This is probably my favorite sign Ive seen on my travels. While I was posing, a local drives up and jumps out of his car and says "Only in Thailand kap! 😂 . What are yiur favorite cooky street signs from around the world? . Check link in bio 🥂. . 👉 Follow @nomadicnava for more 👫 Tag a friend you would go with ❤ Double tap if you like 📲 Turn on post notifications ... See MoreSee Less