Taroko National Park in Hualien County Taiwan is an incredible outdoor experience with sketchy narrow roads winding through the mountainside along deep crevasses and semi-tropical forests. After renting a motorbike in Hualien for 600 Taiwan Dollars ($20 USD), I took Google Maps to Taroko National Park. The trip from Hualien to Taroko is about 45 minutes on a motorbike. My Taroko Gorge Itinerary followed a recommended course of intertwining mountainside attractions of Taiwan’s most beautiful countryside.
My trip started shortly after exiting the main road leading me to Guanchang Temple. This Temple has a lying down buddha statue and various other enlightened displays.
Don’t forget to cross the footbridge and make the steep hike up to the scenic belltower with amazing panoramic views of the valley.
My next stop was The Eternal Springs Temple, located a short distance from Guanchang through the mountain tunnel and to the left. When driving out here it’s especially important to wear a helmet, not only because its a very damp area with tunnels driving through waterfalls, but also due to the high risk of rock slides and falling rocks.
One thing you may notice on your way through the Park are the many styles of interesting bridges found throughout.
If you’re a bridge enthusiast then there are plenty of unique and interesting bridges to take pics.
From hundreds of meters below to smaller more majestic ones, the variation in styles was quite interesting.
I’m definitely not recommending taking pics like this because I would hate to end up as one of those dead travelers going for the best crazy Instagram pic. Although this was certainly not one of them, I recommend being super careful if you’re feeling a bit adventurous!
Swallow Gratto was the next spot after passing through many tunnels and coming to a clearing where you can then dismount and explore on foot. Be cautious of falling rocks when walking on the trail. Park authorities provide hard hats for visitors free of charge.
This gorge is a popular spot for long distance biking enthusiasts, many different groups can usually be seen trekking through the wilderness on their bikes. Talk about an incredible workout! Seasonally you can expect to see thousands of swallows.
The tunnel of 9 turns and its counterparts are another unique endeavor you’ll encounter on your journey through the breathtaking scenery. The Grotto trail is interspersed with tunnels and overlooks the narrowest portion of Taroko Gorge where the river is most rapid.
Tanxiang was the next destination on the way to Baiyang Falls. This was a very peculiar deep mountain temple and town located well beyond the more popular Taroko tourist areas.
This is a great place to stop and admire a classic Buddhist temple topped with a hilltop pagoda.
Baiyang falls was the last stop on my deep motorbike ride into Taroko National Park but was well worth the effort.
At this point, it’s recommended to turn tail and head back to Hualien! At least, if that is where you are staying as I did. At the end of an exhausting and rewarding day like exploring Taroko, that sense of wander can easily become that much more appetizing.
Toroko Gorge Itinerary
Thanks for reading my “Toroko Gorge 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.
One of my favorite places in Taiwan was the decommissioned gold mining town of Juifen. This popular mountainside holiday destination is a particular favorite with the Japanese. If you’re into Anime and have seen the movie Spirited Away then you’ll definitely want to come here because it’s where Hayao Miyazaki pulled much of his inspiration from.
Although the tourist popularity has nothing to do with the actual story of Spirited Away, many parts of the film do tear off some huge Jiufen chunks as inspiration for the characters and places that Miyazaki created. Jiufen Taiwan is fun for wandering around the old town full of small shops and food or head to the mines, or the mountain peak viewpoint!
Jiufen Old Town
Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893. I spent a half day enjoying all the sites and smells there are to take in walking through the bustling business alleyways with interesting shops the entire way on either side.
The cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road is the recommended way to go from one end of the marketplace to the other. Boasting a wide selection of shops, cafes, and restaurants you can plan on spending at least a couple of hours if you really stop and take in the experience.
The souvenir shops and eateries that line both sides of the pedestrian-only pathways are home to Jiufens best-known specialty snack enjoyed either hot or cold. This tasty treat is a tapioca and sweet potato ball soup, it’s highly recommended! I had mine iced and will never forget it.
This place and Taiwan, in general, are so full of culture and history between the Taiwanese and Japanese which results in a variety of hybrid food options with something for everyone to enjoy. They even have a hilltop shop dedicated entirely to cats and cat merchandise!
Jiufen Taiwan Day Trip
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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.
Wondering how you take your marketing to the next level and become top Instagram Influencers? You’ve probably heard of the term influencer marketing and it actually isn’t limited to Instagram only, but being that ig is the #1 platform for influencer marketing we will focus on that while also covering other valuable information. Since influencer marketing is now considered to be one of the most effective methods of marketing, it’s advisable to take some of the recommendations we will cover into consideration.
How To Become Top Instagram Influencers
Take a look at some of these stats to help you understand this better:
69% of marketers consider influencer marketing effective
73% of marketers claim it’s a good source for lead generation
76% say it boosts customer loyalty
93% says it builds brand awareness
These stats show how important influencer marketing has become for businesses in almost every niche and you can use this information too brand yourself and make yourself more marketable. If you want to become top Instagram influencers or an influencer on any social media network then keep reading.
Instagram is the number 1 Influencer marketing platform, followed by Youtube, Snapchat (for now), Pinterest, and Twitter. As an Instagram Influencer, you have the ability to cater your image and ideas to your audience and clients. When you think of famous influencers that you may have seen on TV some good examples are Peyton Manning or Kylie Jenner, they are successful because they are well-known celebrities giving them the ability to influence peoples opinion on products and services.
The great thing about influencer marketing is that you don’t have to be an international superstar to become a profitable influencer marketer, you just have to be able to establish a following and engagement in your niche and then present that information to potential clients in a meaningful and marketable way.
Influencer Marketing Benefits
Companies are no longer denying the effectiveness of a good influencer marketing campaign so if you can leverage your audience and find the right products and services to partner with that are inline with your online image then chances are good that you can make it happen. Your presentation is important, you will need to inform the company of the value they will receive when choosing to work with you and remind them what other marketers already agree on.
It’s the most cost-effective channel for marketing
It helps you gain access to a larger audience base
It’s an effective way to win over a new target audience
It’s more authentic than traditional advertising
It’s effective for building trust
You can say these are plenty of ways in which your business can directly benefit from influencer marketing, but that they’ll only experience them all firsthand once you start working with you.
Why Become an Influencer?
Becoming a Social Media Influencer can be quite lucrative, not only can you get free products and services, but cash money and affiliate residuals as well. The benefits depend on the company and partnership plan you have set-up, but the potential is out there, you just need to start marketing. Today’s consumer market no longer pays attention to generic old-fashioned advertising and rely more on influencers who have credibility and who they can relate to.
If an Instagram influencer or Youtuber has a specific product the potential customer is considering buying, not only is a pre-purchase walkthrough from someone else who has the same product important but it also makes the experience more personal. Additionally being able to like and comment on with the possibility of the person responding to your questions or comments can further improve the companies product loyalty and brand awareness. This also creates a relationship between the customer and influencer for the company to leverage later for future promotions of similar products or services.
How Difficult Is It To Become an Influencer?
You know they say that failure is the best teacher, and I would rather fail and continue learning and improving than to never even try. There are many obstacles to overcome when attempting anything new, but that is also part of what makes new experiences and possibilities so exciting if there is a market for it and you can present yourself properly to the right people or businesses then its just a matter of time until you land your first gig.
This may be just a 5% discount where you get a percentage of the proceeds and not an all-inclusive weekend at a 5-star resort, but we all have to start somewhere and I guarantee once you get that first commission the reality and potential of your hard work will start to materialize.
With the right pitch and proper presentation, some of the most difficult challenges may not even be about finding the clients but more about metrics like:
Finding the right engagement tactics
Campaign performance measurements
Finding the right budget
Influencer Media Kit
An important part of the process of becoming an influencer is not only building an audience with engagement but about your own presentation. Eventually, once you start to have the pieces falling into place with your following you are going to need to take some time compiling information and making it presentable to potential clients. I used information from within my Instagram Analytics dashboard as well as this site called gabstats.com.
They will provide you in-depth information on your likes, followers, and engagements over a period of time you select so that you can present it in an easy and informative way. Make sure to highlight your audience reach and potential advertising opportunities for the products and services you are looking to promote.
Below is an example Social Media Influencer Media Kit that I created last night just for this article, I may also test it out by sending it to some hotels and services in Japan prior to my trip here in a couple weeks. Although I don’t have “1 Million combined likes or followers”, depending on my rates or what I am requesting as well as what the company is willing to offer in proportion to their perceived value I may still end up getting some pretty sweet deals and the only way I will find out is if I start marketing myself. Not only will this open me up to new possibilities but it will also help me then improve as I go and as I grow.
How To Become Top Instagram Influencers
I hope you found this information useful and I will be updating this information and the success of my attempts in future posts so make sure to follow along by subscribing to my blog and following me on Instagram @nomadicnava. I will leave you with these two quotes:
I have always been passionate about saving dogs and cats, helping any way I can and fully believe they should be treated with love and affection. Unfortunately, many people in the world do not share these sentiments which leads to neglect, abuse and sometimes even torture and other extremely unacceptable actions by humans. Thankfully, organizations like the Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket Thailand exist.
saving dogs at Soi Dog
I went for Volunteer Orientation and plan on helping out with their program when I get back from China. I took a couple couchsurfers from the UK who were staying for a couple nights and they loved it! Soi Dog Foundation was established in 2003 in Phuket Thailand to help the street dogs and cats who had no-one else to care for them.Soi Dog was created to provide a humane and sustainable solution to managing the stray population and to address their medical needs. Funding then, as it is now, came entirely from individuals who shared, and continue to share, the vision of the founders.
About Soi Dog Foundation
To improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. Soi Dog Foundation is a not-for-profit, legally registered the charitable organisation in Thailand.
Soi Dog spays and neuters street animals to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens being born into short lives of suffering, along with the rescue, vaccination, medical treatment, sheltering, and adoption of those that cannot be returned to their territory.
Every year, Soi Dog spays/neuters and vaccinates tens of thousands of street dogs and cats in Phuket, Bangkok, and other provinces of Thailand, and has to date sterilised more than 199,000 animals. We are conducting a series of mobile sterilisation clinics across the Bangkok metropolitan area, home to approximately 640,000 street dogs. This project will eventually comprise ten mobile clinics and will take an estimated seven years to complete.
Not only do they campaign for animal welfare by working with the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, but they are actively fighting the Asian dog meat trade and thanks to overwhelming support from people, the trade has been almost completely wiped out in Thailand. They continue to campaign for an end to the trade in South Korean, Vietnam, and other south-east Asian countries where it is prevalent.
Donate, Adopt, Sponsor or Volunteer
It’s actually difficult for me to look at some of the images and content I am referencing for this post to share with you but I have to fight back the tears and be strong for these animals to help promote their welfare and help end their senseless suffering. There are many things you can do, if you live in Thailand around any of their partner shelters or in Phuket like me then you can volunteer as much or as little as you can. If I could adopt here I would but my condo does not allow animals and I also travel too much. It has always been a dream of mine and my moms to own some property where we can rescue and house animals.
It’s amazing how sweet these dogs are, even after enduring so much hardship and abuse to still trust humans and let me get close to all of them was a truly humbling and heartwarming experience and I can’t wait to go spend more time with them. The main goal for volunteers is socializing with the dogs to make them more comfortable with humans, spend time with them walking and feeding them. If this is something you may be interested in then you can check out volunteering here or email [email protected].
International adoptions are common for the dogs and cats at the Soi Dog Foundation, making up over 50% of their adoptions annually. If you plan on adopting a cat or dog you just need to complete an adoption interview from an approved volunteer. Once you are approved, you can get your new fur friend by either travelling as cargo or as an accompanied baggage with a flight volunteer. You can see some of the incredible dogs who are ready for adoption here.
Soi Dog takes care of all the arrangements – you simply need to collect your pet from the airport. Their Adoptions team will walk you through the process. For more information on adopting as well as additional information for other countries not listed in this post then you can see more here.
Typical Travel Costs
(Excluding flight crate and blood tests where necessary)
Dog Cargo Cost: USD 695–1200; Timescale: around 1 month | Flight Volunteer Cost: USD 400–600; Timescale: 1–2 months
You can ensure that the hundreds of dogs at our shelter get the care they need and deserve by sponsoring dogs in the shelter. This helps cover operating costs to care for the hundreds of animals they rescue, treat, house and feed. When you join the Sponsor Club you will also receive regualr updates about the dog you are sponsoring and the progress you are helping the Foundation achieve. You can see more about sponsoring here or email [email protected]
You can also be a huge help by donating supplies for all the cats and dogs including toys, beds, medical supplies, food and more!
There are also various financial donation options you can take. For $12.50 a month feeds one of the dogs for an entire month, $25.00 can fund a life-saving surgery, and $50.00 can vaccinate up to 15 rescued animals.
You can also help the animals and promote your support by purchasing merchandise here, all funds go to the animals and facility costs to house and heal them.
If you want to visit for an orientation and walk-through of the facility here is information about the location and times. Soi Dog’s shelter is in Phuket, Thailand, and is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 12.00 and again from 13.00 to 15.30. Guided tours run at 09.30, 11.00, 13.30, and 14.30 and do not have to be booked in advance.
The Amazing founders of this incredible organization are a British couple named John and Gill Dalley who had successful careers in England and then moved to Phuket to retire. It was here that they were inspired to start and initially fund the groundwork for this entire movement. You can read more about them and the back-story of Soi Dog here.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post about Saving Dogs at Soi Dog Foundation. If you have any questions leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram @nomadicnava. I will also include a couple videos about the dogs and cats you can adopt from the time I spent with them on my first visit.
Nacpan Beach outside of El Nido on the island of Palawan Philipines and is considered to be the best beach in El Nido but also the most difficult to get to. Nacpan Beach is 16 kilometres from the town of El Nido and 12 kilometres from the El Nido airport. It is one of the nicest unspoiled beaches on the island. If anyone has been there before then you can attest to how terrible the road is on the way out, but I suppose that is one of the reasons why they collect entrance fees.
How To Get To Nacpan Beach?
When you finally pull up there is plenty of parking, two restaurants and a bunch of covered spots near the beach to hang out as well as a beautiful clean white sand beach. Although the prices for a motorbike rental are more expensive in relation to other countries in SEA, its a lot better than sitting on a trike one way, which is not only uncomfortable but also takes longer. Another thing I would like to mention is that most of the rentals I found are only for the day and not a full 24 hours like you would expect in other places like Thailand or Bali.
Trike: The price for 2 people is around 1000PHP and the trip will take you around 1 hour.
Motorbike: You can rent a motorbike and go to Nacpan Beach by yourself. Most people find it more convenient than hiring a tricycle. It’s also cheaper since you can rent a motorbike for around 600PHP/day, which is around $12 USD.
Inland Beaches and Waterfall Tour E: Another option is taking Tour E with motorbikes and a guide. You can book this tour here.
The most popular place to stay for backpacking beachgoers is definitely Mad Monkey Hostel at Nacpan Beach. They have fan rooms, food and drinks from their resto-bar. This is a laid-back place to relax and sink your toes in the sand while enjoying one of Palawans most stunning stretches of sand. You can also stay at Calitang Beach Resort or Jack’s Place, which are two more great places to stay if you want to be away from the hostel scene.
More About The Beach
Nacpan is located near a small fishing village and is known as the “twin beaches” because its southern point merges with the smaller Catilang Beach. This is a beautiful palm tree lined beach with green hills, white sand and beautiful light blue water. You can also take photos from the top of the rock formation where the beaches intersect.
If you’re only in El Nido for a couple days I would recommend taking an island tour one day like we did with Tour A and C, Then spend another day driving out into the “countryside” and out to Nacpan Beach to chill out for the day. Another amazing place you absolutely have to visit is Las Cabañas. I really enjoyed heading out of the Town of El Nido as I found it to be quite crowded, noisy from all the construction and a bit much, especially if you are just trying to relax.
Thank you for reading my post about Nacpan Beach, I hope you found some of the information useful. If you have any questions leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram @nomadicnava
If you are wondering how to get from Mandalay to Bagan in Myanmar (aka Burma), You have several options with varying levels of costs and comfortability. If you want to save money then you can take the bus, if you want to save time you can take the plane, if you want to be more comfortable and just enjoy the countryside then you should take the train. In this post, we will cover some the options you have for getting from Mandalay to Bagan.
mandalay to bagan
When I went to Burma it was a real eye-opener, as I had already been living and traveling in Southeast Asia for 9 months at the time I felt like I was pretty comfortable with things and didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. Burma however, was not the case for “Normality”, and if I were to compare it to another country I would say it’s like Cambodia in regards to the cleanliness of the cities and general lifestyle of the people. That’s ok though because there is a curfew anyways and most businesses close pretty early so don’t plan on having many late nights out.
After acclimating myself out of my Bali and Thailand mindset I ended up really enjoying myself going around sightseeing in the city before heading off to Bagan. I will cover some of the local things to do in Mandalay in another post but for now, I will cover some of your transportation options from Mandalay to Bagan.
Taking a bus from Mandalay to Burma is probably the most practical way to get there. You can either ask your hotel to order one for you and have you picked up on site or you can go to myanmarbusticket.com, get dropped at the bus station. All the departure times are listed on this site and you can get tickets for $8 USD. Depending on if you get JJ Bus or OK Bus services you will have some different options.
I know that you can pay for your ticket online at jjexpress.net and then in the comments leave your hotel and time or give them a call if you can. OK Bus only has a Facebook so I would recommend taking one of the other two options.
This trip is about 180 km and takes about 5 hours. The trip honestly isn’t that bad but as you will soon find out, the data sims in Myanmar only work in the cities so bring a book and don’t plan on being online much while on the road in between Mandalay and Bagan.
If you don’t have time to waste or just don’t want to be crammed on a bus or a slow train then flying might be your best option. You can fly to Bagan from Mandalay to Nyaung-u then take a cab to Bagan for around 10,000 Burmese Kyat. The plane only takes just over a half an hour but will cost you around $50+. One good thing is that the airports are very small so you won’t have to worry about arriving super early. You can check for flights and times here at flymna.com.
Taking the train to Bagan is another option, which takes up to 7 hours and can be rather bumpy but will provide a unique experience and views of the countryside. Unlike the bus, you will have more freed to move around and enjouy yourself than being crammed in the other option as they typically even load up with boxes and other goods to transport from one location to the other. If you want to book a train to get from Mandalay to Bagan then you can go here.
Cab or Private Driver
The last option I will mention is taking a cab or private driver, which can provide some benefits like being able to leave at any time, stop at multiple locations along the way and travel with as many or as few people and things as you like. A private driver can get you to Bagan in as little as 4 hours depending on the times and traffic but will cost you over $70+.
Mandalay to Bagan
Thank you for reading my post about how to get from Mandalay to Bagan, I hope you found the information helpful and that you enjoy your trip! If you have any questions you can leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram @nomadicnava and send me a direct message. If you want to read more of my blog posts you can find them here. Thanks!
How to Quit Your 9-5 and Make Money From Home Virtually Anywhere
“Quitting your 9-5 and becoming a digital nomad where you can make money from home virtually anywhere doesn’t have to be a terrifying and seemingly impossible experience”, says the guy who did exactly that over a year ago and has been traveling and living abroad ever since.
make money from home virtually anywhere
Now I’m not going to say its easy to do this or that it’s for everyone, but I am going to tell you that there is a remote chance that creating a life for yourself to live and work remotely is definitely possible.
When I quit my 9-5 job, broke-up with my girlfriend and left America in February of 2017, it was the result of finally deciding that those three things were not making me happy and that I needed, I WANTED change bad enough to risk it all and leave, so I did. I only had $5000 saved up and a 1-way ticket to Thailand. The fear was real but so was the reality of all the freedom I was now facing.
I spent my first couple months fully enjoying myself, traveling and just completely resetting my mindset and priorities. By the time I was in Bali I decided to start freelancing, something I had no experience in but was determined enough and had other applicable skills from previous work as well as hobbies that could be useful to someone online looking to outsource.
I began taking on small gigs on Fiverr, a site where you can post a wide variety of random projects for people to bid on doing for you, anything from web and logo design to tarot card readings. I also started occasionally writing content on Textbroker for customers. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of my trip through Vietnam that I landed an interview in response to an opportunity on Upwork, which has more steady long-term work options.
I ended up getting hired on by a new Marketing Agency startup in Virginia called More Prospects Now to do the “Monthly Marketing Reports”. This ended up being a fraction of the ever-growing list of responsibilities I ended up having but this also meant that my pay (in hours) and value were continually growing. I am now still with this company over 9 months later, went from working as a freelancer to a Remote Marketing Account Manager helping the company grow from 2 clients to over 12 and now making just as much if not more than I was making living in America with a much higher standard of living. I also really love my job and who I work for, which are other reasons you should consider quitting the 9-5 lifestyle.
So, if you want to know more about how you can quit your job and work from home virtually anywhere, I have also created this “How to be a Digital Nomad” guide which provides more useful information to help you transition from traditional work and into finding yourself some location independent work opportunities. You can also watch this video, I was recently interviewed by Digital Nomad Incubator about “How to be a Digital Nomad“.
Well, I hope you found this information useful and that it inspires someone to make some positive changes in their life, to pursue their dreams and overcome the fear of challenging societal norms. Becoming a digital nomad isn’t impossible, even if you are just working from home, the level of freedom you will get to enjoy is worth it! If you have any questions or comments you can follow me on instagram @Nomadicnava and send me a message.
Thanks for reading, you can find more of my blog posts here!
Las Cabanas El Nido might be one of the most beautiful places on earth, located just 5 to 10 minutes away from one of the most beautiful places on earth! Considering you actually have to pass by this amazing place on your way to get dropped off at El Nido, I am surprised that I have actually spoken to people like my friend who spent 5 days there and didn’t even know about it! What a shame, don’t make the mistake of missing this incredible place.
Las Cabanas Beach actually got its name from the Beach Resort which is the oldest resort in El Nido.
How To Go To Las Cabanas Beach?
Trike Taxi: The price for 2 persons is around 150PHP. The trip will take you around 10 to 15 minutes.
Motorbike: You can rent a scooter or a motorbike and go to Las Cabanas Beach by yourself but plan on paying 700PHP or more and this is not for 24 hours.
It’s really easy to find Las Cabanas Beach. Just get out of town and take the road following the coastline. You will know you’ve arrived when you see a bunch of tricycle taxis parked on the roadside!
When I first got a glimpse of this place it was on our bus into town and when I first laid my eyes on it I knew we were close to our destination and paradise. This is an amazing place to spend the day sitting at the beach with plenty of photo opportunities from the top and bottom of the hill. The beachside chilling is excellent…
and the sunsets are even better! I definitely recommend catching a sunset here before you go as the sun tends to tuck away behind Depeldet Island.
There are two small bars here too, one located at the bottom of the long stairs down from where the trikes drop you off, and another one located a couple hundred meters away called “The Beach Shack“. This place is cool and also throws some pretty fun Full Moon Parties! So if you are in town during the full moon then head down there, but don’t expect the same experience as the famous Koh Phangnan Full Moon parties.
Las Cabanas El Nido
Thanks for reading my blog! If you have any questions about my adventures in Southeast Asia or if you need help planning your own then feel free to comment below, on my contact form or send me a message on Instagram @nomadicnava
El Nido tour package island hopping may be one of the coolest and most beautiful experiences in my life. If you are planning on traveling to the Philippines, heading to El Nido on Palawan is a must visit destination. Although El Nido and Coron are a little difficult to get to, their natural beauty, beaches and islands are unbelievable.
el nido tour package a and c
I will cover traveling to El Nido from Puerto Princesa in another post as well as some of the cool places you can go to around El Nido on your own either by walking or on a motorbike.
We booked our tour package in advance online at elnidoparadise.com. The cost for Tour A is 1200 PHP, Tour B is 1400, or you can go on Tour A and C like us for only 2000 PHP. This is an all-day island hopping tour which includes snorkel, goggles and lunch. Once you pay online you will get your confirmation information and be advised to check-in in advance at the local office. You will then be advised to pay the local eco-tourism development fee which is an additional 200PHP. They will also tell you where to meet for the tour, either in the El Nido Pier Harbor or in El Nido Port Authority, where you will board on our bangka (traditional filipino boat) and start the tour.
Tour A and C was a full day of awesomeness, the weather and water was amazing and our tour guides were really good. This El Nido Tour Package goes to Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Helicopter Island, Matinloc Island, Secret Beach, Star Beach and Hidden Beach. Although we did not visit these places in this particular order. The time your tour leaves in the morning also dictates the order as you will see many boats leaving before and after you they try and not all go to the same places at the same time.
Seven Commando Beach
seven commandos beach
At Seven Commandos Beach, there is an awesome rope swing you can enjoy as well as snorkeling and some funny picture opportunities. This is not a populated area so its mostly trees, beach and tourists. It was named this after 7 soldiers who lived here and whose names can be read carved on the rocks. The stories varied but they either were shipwrecked or lived there by choice, can’t say I blame them for wanting to stay on a beautiful coconut tree lined beach!
seven commando beach
Helicopter Island is better known as Dilumicad Island, presumably because from a distance as you approach, it looks like a helicopter? Regardless of what your mind interprets of this tropical Rorschach Test, its beauty is undeniable. This is an excellent stop for sunbathing, pics and snorkeling.
approaching helicopter island
We had a quick 20 minute stop at Star Beach. This is a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear waters and coconut trees.
hidden beach el nido
Hidden Beach was one of the most difficult to access, especially if your tour boat has to park further away like ours did due to other boats who were there in advance. The rock formations are super sharp and the waves are very rough, I got a little scraped up but managed to make it. I was surprised if they let older people or young children swim in these conditions, however you do get a life jacket and I saw other tour groups form chain link style groups to travel together with a guide in the lead.
Once you get into the beach itself though its truly a beautiful site to see and hidden it is, although not anymore…I felt bad as there is clearly a big impact the tourism is having on the marine life here, practically walking on Nemo homes and coral was almost unavoidable.
hidden beach el nido
We stopped for lunch in a beautiful and shallow area on Matinloc Island where these guys on canoes paddle around selling beer and coconuts. Our lunch was delicious, made up of pineapple, fish, crab and vegetables. Our group was starting to get tired as the day and swimming fatigue was starting to set in so it was a perfect time to relax, eat and refresh.
el nido secret lagoon
Secret lagoon was another interesting swim in as you have to go through a small cave entrance into the little lagoon. Its a cool place to sit in the sun in the shallow water and relax.
Small Lagoon was probably my favorite place to visit on this tour. You can either swim or canoe around the lagoon but the main entrance is a small hole in the limestone rocks, once you get in there and away from all the boats and people you will find yourself in calm an peaceful waters, swimming between huge cliffs on either side that wind around a couple turns leading you to the back of the lagoon.
Big Lagoon was our last stop for the El Nido A and C tour package. You cannot swim here and the boat tour takes you all the way into the back of the lagoon where everyone takes turns taking pictures and then turns around to head back home. By this time I was exhausted from all the swimming throughout the day so just chilling on the boat and enjoying the views was a perfect way to end the day.
Thanks for reading my post about El Nido Tour Package A and C, you can check out more of my travel posts here n my blog! If you can’t already tell, the Philippines is absolutely stunning and was one of my most favorite trips so far. El Nido and Palawan are must visit destinations if you are in the area. If you have any questions leave a comment below or follow me on instagram @nomadicnava
If you’re looking for the best places to go in Bali Indonesia then check out some of my top recommendations accompanied by beautiful pictures and a video to help you not waste time deciding where to go. If you’ve never been to Bali or are planning on visiting this might help you either decide to come, or where you will go once you get here. The places I am listed are in no particular order, but they are my most favorite memories from the first time I visited this magical place. There is literally endless beauty from one end of the island to the other, a ton of places to visit from Denpasar in the South to Bulelang in the North.
According to Telegraph.co ,Time Inc. and Travel + Leisure Magazine, Bali has been named one of the best tourist destinations in the world. This should come as no surprise, considering when you merely mention the name to people who have never been there it naturally evokes a sense of wonder and elicits images of tropical beaches in paradise. Well, the imagination and reality of Bali’s beauty are fortunately both true! I have been traveling and working as a Digital Nomad for 6 months now, and I am really looking forward to returning to Bali which evidently has become a hub for other digital entrepreneurs like myself.
In this post I am going to introduce you to some of the best places to go in Bali Indonesia, not only according to other travel recommendations, or my local friends who showed me around but you can see it with your own eyes in the images and video below. My top recommendations to visit are Green Bowl Beach, Nyang Nyang Beach, Kuta Beach, The Cliff Temple at Uluwatu, Tirta Empul (holy water temple), Monkey Forest, Brahma-vihara Arama, The Secret Gardens of Sambangan, Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Jatiluwih and Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
Now it took a lot of effort to get around to all of these places, so depending on your time frame and where you are staying you will want to be selective about where you go. There are other waterfalls and places I went along the way but the places I listed above and will describe below are my must see recommended spots!
I will start off by mentioning that the only way I got around was on a scooter, which might seem scary to some but well worth it as compared to being stuck in traffic in a car rental, bus or tour group…and believe me, traffic in Bali is insane!! I will be returning in a couple weeks and am really looking forward to being able to drive on the sidewalks again, lol. So, I stayed at the beautiful ONE Legian hotel, located on Legian street right in the heart of Kuta and a short walk to Kuta Beach.
The ONE Legian Hotel
This hotel, location, and wifi were all excellent, I highly recommend staying here. Now on to the awesome Bali Destinations!
Green Bowl Beach
This place was hands down one of my favorite places to visit on the island. As you pull in try not to run over any of the monkeys laying around on the road, also don’t leave anything on your bike when you park because they will get into it!
Green Bowl beach is one of the most secluded beaches, you have to descend a few hundred steps down a steep staircase before you come down into an opening to the beach. I was immediately drawn aback by the beauty of the jet black sand mixed in with the pearl white and tan grains making up the shoreline.
You can move in either direction, to your left you can climb over some rocks or through the water to get to one of the two limestone coves. Here you can stand on the rocks being pounded by the waves in this beautiful picture with my friend Mita. If you go right, there is about 30m beach and a cave with a small shrine inside. We stayed until about 5 o clock when the tide was coming in, taking away most of the lounging area on the sand. Not too many people were here either, which was another benefit.
Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyang Nyang Beach has been one of Balis best-kept secrets. Fortunately it is not overcrowded with tourists yet, this 1.5 km long stretch of pristine beach is surely a sight to see as you descend the massive cliff hike down. The road out there is windy and off the beaten path. Once you get to the top of the cliff, you have to hike down very steep rocky cliffs. My flip flop actually ended up breaking on the way down, I had to walk half barefoot and the jagged and painful rocks until my friend Mita miraculously repaired my sandal with one of her hair pins! (It even lasted another two weeks til I was in Cambodia!)
Once you finally make it down the sketchy cliff (which you also have to climb back up) you will walk into a large opening where there are no more trees, wind blowing in your face and wave crashing ashore nearby. When you step foot on the beach you can look left or right and see the beach as far as your eye can see. I have some excellent pictures on my Instagram of people and the shoreline disappearing in the distance.
As I lay on the beach soaking in the natural beauty I was surrounded by, I found myself playing with a hermit crab, loving life as any problems in my life seemed to fade away in that moment in time. If you’re able bodied and adventurous, I highly recommend coming here.
If you’re staying in Kuta or anywhere on Legian like I was, Kuta beach is just a short walk away. By far the most well known and over populated places on the island, this is where many surfers come to get lessons before heading into more challenging or dangerous waters.
The Cliff Temple at Uluwatu
The Cliffe Temple at Uluwatu is an excellent sight to see in South Denpasar. This was about a 30 minute motorbike ride out of Kuta. The temple is located up on the cliff but there is a walkway all along the cliff side leading to a viewpoint opposite the temple.
This place is full of breathtaking views of waves crashing against the rocks and cliff walls below you. Monkeys are running around stealing peoples belongings like my sunglasses right off my head so be careful not to get your phone or other belongings stolen. The views are incredible, I would recommend anyone who is on the island for their first time to come here. You can even work in the other beaches I wrote about above as they are all located on or around the southern peninsula.
Brahma-vihara Arama is an awesome and peaceful meditation center also known as Vihara Buddha Banjar due to its location in the Banjar District of Buleleng. This is a budBuddhistmple Monastery in the mountains near Lovina in North Bali and has some incredible sites to behold.
This place is truly a spectacle, and was one of our last stops after a super long day of traveling, we were tired and beat from the heat and riding. Super happy we decided to stop here as will any of you who decide to visit. We got in for free which was another plus, although I’m not sure I can say you can expect that.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace
Tegallalang Rice Terrace is located at the village of Tegallalang, which is very much a tourist trap but well worth the venture. This is not too far from the Tirta Empul water temple, which is also conveniently close enough to the Monkey Forest which is the path we took when visiting all three in one day. I definitely recommend coming here for the scenic views and popular rice paddies pics.
The Secret Gardens of Sambangan
This was for sure one of my top 3 favorite places to visit. Located North of Git Git in Ubud this awesome tropical canyon trekking experience is well worth visiting. Comprised of 9 interconnected waterfalls along your path, its just absolutely gorgeous and super fun to swim and slide down into the pools of water. This was one of my most unforgettable experiences, but the hike in and out are very difficult, like any other less populated and promising places on the island.
Tirta Empul temple is a Hindu Balinese water temple located near the town of Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia. Many people come from all over the world to bathe in its holy water blessed by monks and long history of holy healing properties. I wished for good luck and fortune and I seem to be doing pretty well = )
Monkey forest is a must visit place on Bali. Its an awesome forest filled with a ton of monkeys! Sounds great right? We had a really good time but be careful busting out banannas bc these guys go NUTS! They jump all over you, which is ok, but some of them get really aggressive and violent! There were several monkey fights and I even got bit by one bad monkey who was upset I did’nt have any more to give him. So if you are coming with kids be careful. Otherwise, this was well worth the visit, other than being slightly terrified a couple times, lol.
Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot, a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography. I came during low tide, but when I go back I hope its high tide again so I can get some better pictures without all the tourists everywhere. The other picture is of Pura Batu Bolong which is a small shrine located just a stone’s throw from the famous Tanah Lot temple.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a water temple in the Lake Beratan area in Bedugul, Bali. This place is located 56 km from the center of Denpasar and is a very popular tourist attraction. I personally found it disappointed and overpriced, but could not leave it out of my list purely out of popularity.
Thanks for checking out this blog, post, please feel free to share this post or leave a comment below. Please follow me on Instagram.
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