6 Reasons To Still Love Thailand

Thailand. Once a tropical and far away destination but nowadays, more than ever, a super touristic country where real adventure and authenticity seem to be disappearing and mass tourism seems to be taking over. Some travelers don’t even bother going to Thailand any more, but for me, even after three times, it is still one of my favorite Southeast Asian countries. Why? I’ll give you 6 reasons why to still love Thailand.

1. The People.
Thailand is known as the land of the smile and even though ginormous amounts of tourists have found their way to the land once known as Siam, the Thai people still remain friendly. Of course you have the general exceptions such as the merchants on Khao San Road who don’t even let you try something before buying it, but the (big!) majority of Thai people I met remain respectful, friendly, humble and do everything with a big smile.

Bangkok, love Thailand
Bangkok

2. The Food.
Okay, this one is a SUPER big cliché, but so true! I tried fresh Spring Rolls in Vietnam, ate Khmer Amok in Cambodia and love a portion of Indonesian Gado Gado, but, let’s be honest, nothing beats a Pad Thai. Thai food is so versatile, so full of flavor and even as a vegetarian you are treated to mouthwatering dishes day after day after day. And yes, food is definitely a reason for me to go to a country and that’s why I love Thailand ;)

3. The convenience.
Traveling around Thailand is easy. Did I say easy? It is super easy! Every hostel has a travel desk and in every town you’ll find heaps of travel agencies. Whether you take the bus, boat, minivan and TukTuk, everything is well planned out and you’ll always arrive on your destination. Flying is sometimes even cheaper than the train or bus (you can, for instance, fly from Bangkok to Krabi for 20 Euros) and vehicles like minivans are often of good quality. Believe me, if you’ve seen what I traveled with in countries like Cambodia you’ll never complain about a Thai minivan again…

Love Thailand
Traveling through Thailand by boat

4. The Islands.
There are so many islands in Thailand that you could easily stay for 2 months, and there is something for everyone. If you like to go partying you go to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Phangan, if you want to relax I’d recommend Koh Lanta (check our tips on Koh Lanta), if you want to get your PADI or want to go snorkeling then Koh Tao is the place to be and if you’re looking for something different then Koh Chang is where you should set sail to. And what all the islands have in common: they are beautiful.

Krabi, Love Thailand

5. The Temples.
What can I say? I love temples, and Thailand has many of them. Some people say that “after you’ve seen one temple you’ve seen them all” but I strongly disagree, especially in Thailand. In Bangkok you can’t miss the reclining Buddha and Wat Arun, whereas in Chiang Mai Doi Suthep is a definite must-go-to. But also walking into the smaller, less well-known temples that aren’t mentioned in travel guides like the lonely planet are worth wandering around.

6. The Sunsets
Yes, there are pretty sunsets everywhere, but the last few I saw during my most recent visit to Thailand were out of this world. Whether you’re in a busy metropole like Bangkok or chilling on an island, Mother Nature will treat you to some of her best sunsets ever. Order a cold Chang, get comfortable and watch the day turn into night.

Sunsets in Krabi Thailand,
Sunsets like no other

I could go on about the weather, the parties, the adventure, how the Thai people speak English and so on but I think I made my point about why I love Thailand: this country is still more than worth visiting. Enjoy! 

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

How to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is undoubtedly Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. And this is no surprise since Angkor Wat is the biggest religious monument in the world which dates back to the early twelfth century. These days almost 5 million tourists yearly make their way over to Cambodia to wander around the temples of Angkor themselves, making it a very popular but very busy place to visit. You better think again if you ever dream of having these temples all to yourself, but there are a few tricks to avoid the big crowds and wander around in peace…

1. Watch the sunrise and leave a little early
Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat is a definite must-do when you’re visiting these temples. Not only is it a truly magical experience when a new day presents itself by rising up against the temples, but it is also a great way to arrive at the temples early. If you want to have a good spot without hundreds of iPad and Selfiestick waving Chinese tourists in front of you, walk right instead of going straight ahead at the famous ‘sunrise temple spot’. You won’t be right in front of the temples, but you will share the view with just a dozen of other tourists. When the sun is up and you captured enough Instagram-worthy shots, head back to your Tuk Tuk driver before everybody else does. Doing this you’ll arrive at the other temples as one of the first, having the temples (almost) all to yourself :)

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

2. The further away, the better!
Ask your Tuk Tuk driver to bring you to the popular temples that are further away first. Many Tuk Tuk’s and tour buses follow a certain route, creating the perfect opportunity for you to do the exact opposite thing :) Also, if you see tons of big tour buses standing outside of a temple, ask your Tuk Tuk driver to take you to another temple which appears to be less crowded first.

no crowds at ankor-wat

3. Go back at the end of the day
Wandering around the temples of Angkor is extremely beautiful, but also extremely tiring and HOT! If you decided to watch the sunrise you will probably feel very tired around 12pm, making you want to go home and take a nap during the hottest hours of the day. If you buy a one-day-pass this pass is valid for a whole day, so you can come back to the temples in the late afternoon, when most of the crowds already have disappeared. Make sure you don’t go too late as Angkor Wat closes at 6pm.

Angkor Wat takes you back in time

I hope the three tips above will help you explore this ancient Kingdom in peace and quiet. Enjoy :)

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

Did you know Cambodia is one of the world’s cheapest countries to live in? Check which countries made it to the top 5!

WX191DV28C

4 Recommendations On Beautiful Java

Java is the most populated island of Indonesia and it has a great deal of sights which are worth a visit. You can easily travel the whole island by train, if you have the time off course, because the length of the island is about 1000 km so it does take you quite a few hours to get across. These are some of the sights I would recommend visiting:

The Dutch Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia with about 9,6 million citizens. A lot of people say Jakarta is too crowded, dirty (because of the smog), hot and therefore not necessarily worth a visit. But I like to think otherwise. Yes, it’s crowded and chaotic, but once you get used to that you will see this city has some great things to offer. Especially when you are interested in some (Dutch) history, Jakarta is an interesting metropolis. You can still see the Dutch influence for example in the buildings on Taman Fatahilla square. In the Jakarta History Museum you can get a glance of live in the earlier Dutch East Indies.

header-photo-prambanan-java
Inpressive Prambanan

When you are interested in some (Dutch) history, Jakarta is an interesting metropolis.

Borobudur
Borobudur is one of the most famous sights of Indonesia. Yes, it’s full of tourists, but since it’s the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you cannot skip a visit. The temple is designed as a mandala and has nine platforms in total, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. The temple represents the Buddhist cosmos. Next to a lot of tourists, the temple is also visited by many pilgrims. A pilgrim must walk every platform 7 times, clockwise and from bottom to top. This way, he or she will reach Nirvana; an ultimate state of soteriological release and liberation from rebirths.

highest-platform-of-the-famous-borobudur, Java
Highest platform of the famous Borobudur

Prambanan
Prambanan is probably just as famous as Borobudur, but this sight belongs to a completely different religion. It’s the largest Hindu temple of Indonesia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The compound consists of more than 200 temples, but the three main ones are the Trimurti temples; the largest one (47 metres) is dedicated to Shiva, God of Destruction. The two temples next to this one are dedicated to Brahma, God of Creation and Vishnu, God of Preservation. Like Borobudur, visitors should officially enter each temple from the east side and circumambulate clockwise.

The Ijen Volcano
While a lot of people visit Mount Bromo, the most famous volcano of Java, I decided to visit another volcano during our holiday in Indonesia; Ijen. Ijen is one of the few volcano’s with a crater lake. This lake contains a huge amount of sulfur, which supports a mining operation. Miners walk down the crater about twice a day to load the sulfur in baskets and carry it up to the crater rim and down the mountain by hand. This is a very labour-intensive operation, not to mention a very smelly one. When visiting the Ijen volcano, you should wear old, very old clothes. Even after washing them for about 10 times, I could still smell the sulfur! But you will see this is all worth it when you climbed Ijen and are standing at the crater rim and see the sunrise or sunset. The view is just indescribably amazing. And if you have the guts, you can even walk down the crater when it’s dark and see the so-called blue fire, which actually is ignited sulfuric gas.

sunset-at-the-top-of-ijen
Sunset at the top of Ijen, Java

In my next blog, I will continue my trip through Indonesia and give some insights in the interesting culture of Bali.

Love,

Dionne

*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

Amsterdam Event Calendar for February 2017

Hello February! Lot’s of markets, dinner and other cool events this month, enjoy!

Thuishaven Wintercircus
When? 26th of February at Contactweg 68

What? Techno in a tent
This edition will be pretty awesome because Joris Voorn is the headliner this Sunday. Other DJ’s are Ici Sans Merci and Tim Engelhardt. Tickets are sold out but always last minute available if you check on their FB Page.

Secret Rooms at Volkshotel
When? 26th of February at the Volkshotel
What? A Theatre Festival inside the Volkshotel
Once a year, Volkshotel transforms into one big stage where bright, new theatre makers go wild. Expect a festival where you might bump into a little band in the elevator, join a theater-genius in an intimate hotel room or get lost in the smokey basement. Tickets are between €7,50 and €12,50 per show. Available online at www.volkshotel.nl/secretrooms

16722628_1750160824999837_5550134253725532402_o

The Morning at ZOKU
When? 26h of February at ZOKU
What? Winter wellness
On the 26th of February we once again invite you to join us for The Morning, a new breakfast experience where locals, travellers and other like-minded folks meet over a delicious three course breakfast. After the sell-out first edition at The Hoxton, The Morning crew will prepare another epic feast, this time at the stunning Zoku Amsterdam. Ticket are 20 euro and include three courses, one juice, unlimited coffee, tea and water. 
www.billetto.nl/nl/events/the-morning-zoku

16252540_367553153621950_1087653907582159037_o

Go With The Glow Pop-Up Restaurant
When? 27th of February at Thirty5ive Wine & Foodbar

What? Meatless Monday has never been so sexy
You may have heard of the Go With The Glow girls before. These sexy vegans are hosting a pop-up vegan lunch every month and this time they have a pop-up restaurant at Thirthy5ive wine & food bar. Enjoy the choice of 2 juice vegan burgers including salad and wedges, made by ROOTS. Add a ice cold beer and you will never miss meat again! (at least on Monday!) To order your spot for 20 euro, visit the Facebook Page.

16797685_1795593894097340_8061929533592867494_o

Club Crescendo Pop Up
When?
24th of February, Stadhouderskade 5
What? Good Italian food with friends
The Amsterdam event venue People’s Place organized in the months of February, March and April, a three-piece pop-up evening dinner – dance style: Club Crescendo. An Italian menu with amazing wine, live music and a DJ at 10pm. The Pop-Up will be there on the 24th of Feb, 24th of March and the 21st of April. Do you want to join this exclusive Italian feast? Send an email to clubcrescendo@peoplesplaceamsterdam.nl to reserve your table! For more info go to their website.

Enjoy this February in Amsterdam! 

Love,

Wander-Lust

Private slopes and more in Zillertal, Austria

I can ensure you that I’m not a morning person but while getting up at 5:30 am for the private slope at Hochfügen, Zillertal, I only snoozed once (very proud of that). Leaving my cozy bed at Das PostHotel – Zillerseasons to get ready for the untouched slopes and a heavenly white view.

Hire a Private Piste
The private slope is limited to a maximum of 30 people so take the title ‘private’ very serious. Standing 2.133m high with my head in de clouds, ready to take a jump in the powder snow on our very own red slope. The experience is amazing; nothing can be compared to skiing down the smooth white sheets while the world is still asleep. Creating that very first track, the silence that embraces you and nobody that (in my case) overtakes you. Truly an amazing experience, one of those try-before-you-die things. But, if you are a beginner be sure to check the type of slope before setting your alarm at 5:30 am. To be honest, going down a red slope on the third day of skiing was a little bit too ambitious for me. I have absolutely no regrets but for now I’ll stick to the blue beginner slopes to keep myself from a heart attack. The private piste hire is available from 7.30 – 8.30 am from €40 per person.

Private piste Zillental
Virgin slopes are guaranteed!

Luckily for me, Zillertal offers 132km of Eva-proof blue slopes. The confident skiers out there can take it to the next level with the 238 km of red slopes. Zillertal is also a perfect destination for snowboarders because of the small amount of flat connections between the slopes.
There is another 65km of black slopes for the experienced skiers and snowboarders. The real daredevils can try their luck on the Harakiri. Beware, cause with an average gradient of 78 percent this is the steepest slope in Austria. I kindly turned down the invitation this year, but who knows what the future will bring.

img-20170131-wa0019

skiing in Zillental

Those 435 km of slopes Zillertal has to offer will keep you from getting bored for sure. But there is more to Winter sport then stroking the slopes with your skis or snowboard. And no, I’m not talking about après-ski cause we all know how much fun that can be. Zillertal changed my opinion on which ingredients a laid back vacation had to include. Forget lying on the beach all day, working on your tan and following those yoga classes at Bali.

Winter sports is the new mindful vacation this world has to offer and will surprise you with the diversity of activities. Although I enjoyed skiing to the fullest, it wasn’t exactly a relaxing experience for me as a beginner. I’m not even talking about the muscle pain or bruises on my butt, cause that’s just part of the deal. The blame is to my inner voice who kept on shouting “DON’T DARE to fall in front of this cute ski instructor!” Well, bye bye inner peace… Here are my favorite activities that can clear your mind while still exploring the area and enjoying the nature:

Cross Country Skiing
It’s still quite a workout but that way you can order another plate of Keizerschmarren without any guilt feelings (at least I did). You use different muscles then with skiing, what makes it a perfect alternative if you suffer from muscle pain. Next to that it’s a really calm way to explore the area but way more fun than walking. Pause to take some photos, enjoy the view or to catch your breath. And once you are at the top of the mountain, you only have to slide down again. I took the Gamsstein Cross Country path near Hochfügen. The access to the area is free so grab those skies und gehen!

Langlaufen in Pill, Zillental

Toboggan Run
In Gerlosstein you can find the longest toboggan run in the Zillertal Valley, 7 km of sliding fun. The cable car will take you to an altitude of 1.650 m and after that you actually don’t have to do anything… perfect winter-sports- activity right? Just sit, enjoy and somehow find a way to steer around the corners. The best part; you’ll even find bars along the toboggan run for some Glühwein to warm you up.
Tip: Check the weather condition before planning a toboggan run. If there is too much snow you will loose your speed and will need a lot more Glühwein to stay excited.

Gluhwein in Zillertal

My verdict: Zillertal is a great place to discover and enjoy the diversity of winter sports. It offers a great amount of slopes, modern lifts and Austrian hospitality. Next to skiing there are plenty activities to add some variety to your trip. Choose from snowtubing, funparks, cross country skiing or rent your very own private slope. Whatever you choose, I can ensure you that you won’t get bored. Find more info about the area here.

Read my previous article, A Beginners Guide to Wintersport and find out where I had the best High Tea at 2600m!

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

These are the 10 most visited cities in the world

In at number one is Hong Kong! Yes, this expats city has topped the charts with 26 million international arrivals in 2015. The report was published yesterday by the Euromonitor’s annual rankings. It beat Bangkok, which saw 18.8 million international tourist arrivals. One thing is for sure, Asia is a popular Continent! Here is the full list of the most visited cities!

1. Hong Kong 26.7m
2. Bangkok 18.7m
3. London 18.6m
4. Singapore 16.9m
5. Paris 15m
6. Macau 14.3m
7. Istanbul 12.4m
8. New York 12.3m
9. Kuala Lumpur 12.2

Euromonitor rankings only has 2015 as the most recent year available to be able to create a comprehensive list. Expected is that Istanbul and Paris will vanish of the top 10 list due to the recent events in 2016. Asia will probably still top the list when the new report comes out next year. Hong Kong is doing so well not only because it’s a perfect layover between many Asian countries but the city is vibrant, has a growing food culture (not just in Chinese food) and 70% of the city is green and great for hiking. Read our DimSum report about Hong Kong.

Elke in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong 

The cities with the largest growth are:

  1. Osaka, Japan – 52 per cent rise in visitor numbers
  2. Kyoto, Japan – 48%
  3. Chiang Mai, Thailand – 40%
  4. Tokyo, Japan – 35%
  5. Agra, India – 28%
  6. Delhi, India – 26%
  7. Mumbai, India – 26%
  8. Milan, Italy – 18%
  9. Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 17%
  10. Pattaya, Thailand – 17%

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Love,

Elke

Top 5 Travel Instagram Accounts You Should Follow This Year

Instagram. We love it. We love visually strong websites and blogs and Instagram instantly takes you to a moment. A picture really says a thousands words and these 5 Instagram accounts really prove that. We discovered some new amazing travel Instagram accounts this year that we think you will love.

1. @TARAMILKTEA
With 580K followers, this Sydney based traveler is living it up. Her pictures are truly mesmerizing and she makes our jaw drop every time. Her specialty has to be Japanese style food. Lot’s of color which reminds you of the Harajuku style. All her food photo’s are so perfectly styled and ordered and it looks like she has spent hours on it. Fascinating. Besides her foodie pics, she does a pretty good job of visiting the most amazing places. 


Perfectly organized

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. tara-milk-tea
Source: @TaraMilkTea

2. @POLABUR
Originally from Russia, Polina calls Amsterdam her hometown now. We’ve actually met her a few times and she’s a lovely girl too! Besides traveling she posts the most incredible pictures with a slightly pink filter which makes it that extra special. From Moscow, to Austria, Australia and back to Amsterdam. This girl has been all over the world. She has a lot of Russian fans and her account grew rapidly over the last year. 

polabur

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. polabur-amsterdam
At the Amsterdam Dam Square. @Polabur

3. @TRAVEL_INHERSHOES
Her name is Aggie Lal and she is one talented girl! Her Instagram account is to die for  but you should also check out her video’s that she is posting on her YouTube channel. It will make you want to pack your bags immediately. She describes herself as a Polish born, Australian educated, Los Angeles based adventure traveler, writer, blogger and photographer. Watch this girl. 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts travel-in-her-shoes 

4. @DOYOUTRAVEL
Ok, time for some men in this list! Yes, this one is a good one and a real traveler. He’s probably one of the most re-grammed person when it comes to travel photo’s and no wonder that he’s made it to our top 5 travel Instagram accounts list. Jack Morris travels the world with his girlfriend (@gypsylust) who has a crazy beautiful Instagram account of her own. He lives on the road and visits a new country almost every week. Dream off to his photo’s and it’s OK to be jealous, we are too. 

do-you-travel

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts gypsylust
Jack’s girlfriend @gypsy_lust

5. @WEARETRAVELGIRLS
Empowering indeed. This Instagram account features the most incredible pictures of women along their adventures and travels. Be inspired and get to know the women behind the photo’s. Who knows, you might get featured one day! 

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts we-are-travelgirls

Love,

Wander-Lust

Start 2017 by adding these destinations to your bucketlist

Let’s start 2017 fresh and positive! We believe that traveling makes you richer and makes you appreciate all the beauty in this world. Let’s start by adding these destinations to your bucketlist and putting your travel plans on paper. Where will you go this year?

The Philippines
I’m happy to say that I’ve finally managed to cross this country off my bucketlist because it had been on there for a while. I flew over to Manila last December to continue my way over to Cebu, Bohol and Palawan. So why visit The Philippines this year? Unlike Thailand, this country doesn’t have a lot of tourist, yet. But The Philippines are becoming more popular with couples, friends and backpackers. It’s Asia, so it’s cheap and there are more than 7000 islands for you to enjoy. The people here aren’t ruined by tourism and almost everybody speaks English which makes it much easier to communicate. Planning to go this year? The best time to visit is between november and March when the typhoon season is it’s lowest. For tips about where to go and what to do check out my articles about The Philippines.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Elke relaxing in the Philippnes

Iceland
This country may not have the long stretched beaches you are longing for but this year it’s time for something a bit different maybe? Iceland is a place full of untouched nature. Located in the North-Atlantic ocean close by the Arctic Circle, Iceland has a lot of options to feed your wanderlust. Many bloggers have visited Iceland last year and all of them were stunned. You may not know this but this country enjoys refreshing summers and surprisingly mild temperatures in winter. Visit the amazing Blue Lagoon or the Gullfoss waterfall located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. Check out WOW Air for cheap tickets to Reykjavik.

Iceland

Colombia
For the world mostly known for the Farc (a guerrilla army) and drug trafficking by the cartel of Pablo Escobar (in the eighties responsible for 80% of the drug traffic to the US). But there is so much more to this country: a stunning countryside, a passion for salsa, amazing beaches and an artistic heart. Grab your backpack and start exploring this beautiful country that is so worth adding to your bucketlist this year. To read more about Colombia and get some inside travel tips, check out Jolien’s story here.

Colombia
Photo by Jolien Klazinga

Let’s make 2017 the year of new chances and exiting travel destinations

Papua New Guinea
Visitors should note that travelling in PNG is challenging to say the least. Paved roads are rare to traveling is quite bumpy and sometimes you’ll need to cross a few rain-forests and rivers. The weather can be quite unpredictable so it’s difficult to say when it’s the best time to go but May to October would be your best bet. But once you get there you will be rewarded with the most amazing rugged ecological beauty, little known dive sites, stunning peaks and sleep in real rainforest villages where you’ll meet the tribes. The best part of this country has to be the amazing Raja Ampat, located just off the northwest tip of West Papua. Raja Ampat is a cluster of over 1,500 small islands which lay in the province of Indonesia. Get your diving gear ready because Raja Ampat is called the amazone of the ocean. To get there you must fly over to Sorong in West Papua (flight go from Bali for example) after that you’ll have to make your way to Waisai, which is the capital of Raja Ampat.

Liss Connell
Raja Ampat. Photo source by Liss Connel

Oman
We haven’t been but we sure wanna go! With more and more flights going to Oman, the opportunity is bigger than ever. This Arabian jewel has lot’s of luxury accommodations available to make this trip unforgettable. Oman is not just for couples or adventurers though. A family futuristic theme park is set to open this year called the Majarat Oman. Check the best rates to Oman via Skyscanner.

oman
Find oasis in Oman Source

Canada
If we must believe the Lonely Planet’s judgement, Canada is the number one destination for 2017. Why? “Canada is always popular with us,” said Lonely Planet‘s Canada destination editor Alex Howard, in an email. “But there are several things going on in 2017 that made it number one. First, it’s the country’s biggest birthday party in recent memory with the sesquicentennial next year, and they won’t be shy about celebrating. Also, international travelers can expect their money to go further due to the weak Canadian dollar, so now is the time to start planning a trip.” Sounds good to us!

Canada

Are you adding any of these destinations to your bucketlist this year?

Love,

Wander-Lust

10 signs Australian summer is here

The heat, the flies, the joy, the red skies (and skin) and Tim Tams for life. Australian Summer has arrived. If you’ve ever been in Australia during summertime, you’re very likely to relate to the 10 signs below…

1. Santa what are you doing here?!
Oh right, Christmas is in the middle of summer instead of during the cold, dark days. It feels so surreal seeing the first Christmas decorations appear in shops whilst you’re swapping your jeans and shoes for shorts and ‘thongs’ (the Australian word for flip-flops). Have you ever seen a Christmas tree at the beach?

2. Chocolate or chocolate milk?
When you’re craving Tim Tams and you discover that these delicious cookies turned into fluid, melted chocolate because you forgot to store them in the fridge… Oh well, I guess I’ll grab a spoon!

3. Air-con becomes your best friend
When it’s so hot outside you just don’t know what to do with yourself, and sitting in an air conditioned room is the only way you can get by. Yup, Australian summer is here!

australian-summer-1

 

If you think: “ahh, a nice little breeze to cool off!” you better think twice.

4. The wind makes it worse
One day the temperature rose to 38 degrees and it was very windy that day. If you think: “ahh, a nice little breeze to cool off!” you better think twice. It is literally like someone is pointing a blow dryer straight at you. Aaah, make it stop!

5. F*ck off, you filthy flies!
Flies. Flies everywhere. Their favorite spot? Your eyes! As soon as the days get hotter they make an appearance, zooming and annoying the shit out of you. At first you keep hysterically flapping your arms around to get rid of the little bastards, but after a while you give up and accept that if you want to be outside, you’ll always have a bunch of flies accompanying you.

FliesAustralian Summer
Damn you flies.

6. Red is totally your color!
No matter how many times you reapply, no matter the factor of the sunscreen and no matter the amount of time you spend in the sun: You. Will. Burn. I’m quite the sun addict myself but even I cannot stay in the Australian sun for too long. You literally feel its rays burning your skin. As soon as the lobster-like bodies start popping up you know it’s summertime.

7. Mmm, ice cream!
I love coconut ice cream. And pineapple. Oh, and lemon! And frozen yoghurt! If you’re after some refreshing ice cream during an Aussie summer, make sure you don’t get a cone but get a little cup instead. Otherwise it’s a battle between you and the heat, and you’re licking for life before the sun melts your scoop of ice away.

australian-summer-ice-cream

8. Get in the car!
“AAAAHHH, sauna! Quick, turn on the air-con! No, no, that doesn’t help, I’m melting! Let’s open the window! Nooo, the blow dryer breeze again! Okay, air-con attempt number two. Water, I need water. Ok, that’s better… The air-con is starting to work… hallelujah!” Ever wondered why you see so many white cars in Australia?

9. A cold, refreshing shower
Aaaand think again. The water in the pipes has been warmed up by the sun, which gives you the delight of being soaked in hot water. You can let the shower run for a bit before you step under, but with all the bush fires around, water is precious…

10. Summer is really summer!
Coming from a fairly cold country like The Netherlands, where we only have a few ‘hot’ (over 25 degrees) days a year, I happily cope with the 9 struggles listed above. Australian summers are filled with sunny days, long nights and (if you’re careful) beautifully bronzed skins.

australian-summer-red-skies

How many of these points can you relate to, and what is a typical Australian summer -struggle for you? :)

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

11 tips for a City Trip to Barcelona

Oh how we love Barcelona! The city that has a beach and some of the best food cultures in Europe! We’ve written a few articles about this vibrant city but we’ve never actually given you a small city guide which will make your stay even better. (we hope!). Enjoy our 11 tips for a city trip to Barcelona!

FOOD
Let’s start with some amazing food spots because one of the things you want to do when you find yourself in Barcelona, is eating. A lot. Besides the traditional Tapas and Paella, there are more restaurants and cafes to make you wild.

  1. Surfhouse Barcelona The perfect spot for the kids of Barcelona. The food is healthy, tasty and pretty. The vibe is just like you can imagine from a place like this. It may feel like you’re in California for a minute because of the surfers vibe. Book activities such as paddle surf , beach workouts and surfing of course. Also keep an eye out for their mobile food truck that you will find around Barcelona. www.surfhousebarcelona.com
  2. Blai Tonight It’s not big, it might be a bit too popular but we still think you should try it. Blai tonight is located in the Poble Sec area and has been voted as one of the top 10 places to go when it comes to your value for money. Their famous Pinchos only cost €1,50 and if you do it well, you can eat for only 10 euro per person including your drink! Facebook
  3. Trópico Just check out their Instagram account and your mouth will begin to water. Inspired by tropical destinations, this hotspot is something you cannot miss out on. www.tropicobcn.com
  4. Candendê Breakfast and Brunch for champions! They prepare your eggs in the best way possible and they serve some killer pancakes and bagels. www.candende.com
  5. Flax & Kale We know this isn’t new but we needed to add it on the list. Get your phones out because every dish is Instagramable! (is that even a word?) 80% of the food they serve is plant based and their slogan is Eat Better, Be Happier, Live Longer. Well, that never hurt anyone, right? www.teresacarles.com

Surfshop Barcelona
Pretty food at the Surfhouse Barcelona Source

Flax & Kale Barcelona
Still popular and not without reason. Flax & Kale Source

DRINKS & DANCE
After some good food Barcelona offers a great nightlife. As a first time visitor you may run to the Las Ramblas but we would advise you to avoid this tourist area and visit some other places where the cocktails and atmosphere are great.

  1. El Row If you feel like a real crazy party with confetti, attributes and costumes, you must visit an El Row party. Originated from Barcelona, this infamous techno club is now making waves all over the world with parties in Amsterdam, Dubai and New York. Some of the best DJ’s play at the club and during the summer months there are several events so keep an eye out on the website. www.elrow.es
  2. La Terrrazza This club and bar is tucked away in the Olympic village, so you must know that it’s there. This outdoor club hosts parties and plays good music until the early hours. www.laterrrazza.com
  3. Dry Martini Cocktail Bar This is one of the most famous cocktail bars in Barcelona if not in the world. It first opened back in 1971 and was famous for their dry martini’s. They now serve exiting and innovating drinks you should try out! You can find bars in Europe, USA and Asia. www.drymartiniorg.com
  4. Pulitzer Hotel Rooftop or Grand Hotel Skybar It’s hard to make a choice between these two because one is cozy and tropical (Pulitzer) and the other (The Grand Hotel) has an infinity pool. Both are great for evening drinks! www.hotelpulitzer.es / www.grandhotelcentral.com
  5. Makamaka Also great for food but maybe even better for cocktails! Ironically a couple of Dutch guys were involved in this project back in 2012. It’s where the locals and travelers meet. Start sipping on the cocktails early before heading into town! www.makamaka.es

La Terrazza Barcelona
Summer parties at La Terrrazza Source

infinity-pool-grand-hotel-barcelona
The Skybar at The Grand Hotel Source

STAY
There are many good options in Barcelona but we love El Born. This little Barcelona maze is a barrio perfectly located near the beach, the center of the city and Parc de la Ciutadella. Its filled with bars, little shops and locals.

  1. AB Apartment Barcelona If you’re looking for a place to stay, this is the website you want to look at. Full with apartments in all different shapes and sizes throughout the city, it’s perfect for a city break or holiday period. It’s the home from home and all apartments include a kitchen, allowing you to prepare your very own home-cooked meals, or even try some Mediterranean inspired dishes! Bonus: when you book here you’ll also get great discounts on many top attractions and activities throughout the city. www.apartmentbarcelona.com

barcelona-apartments-731-0
One of the AB Apartments in Barcelona

We hope these tips for a city trip to Barcelona will make your stay even more enjoyable!

Love,

Wander-Lust

*We’ve collaborated with AB Apartment Barcelona for this article.