Krabi is a great beach getaway in Thailand and has comparatively less crowded beaches than Phuket. Not only does this town have stunning beaches of its own, it also has easy access to the famed Koh Phi Phi islands. Check out all the things to do in Krabi for a perfect relaxing vacation.

Things to do in Krabi Thailand

1. Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach
Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach

Aonang is the tourist favorite when it comes to beaches in Krabi. The sandy part of the beach is not extensive enough for leisurely sun bathing. It’s also too close to the road and noisy. However, the beach strip has some great shops and restaurants. There’s a “The Coffee Club” cafe right across the street which, though expensive, has some good coffee options and provides an excellent atmosphere to relax and watch the sunset.

2. Relax on Nopparat Thara beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Relax on Nopparat Thara beach
Relax on Nopparat Thara beach

In my opinion, Nopparat Thara beach is the most scenic beach in Krabi mainland. Here, you can see up close the jagged limestone cliffs that are a feature of Krabi and Phi Phi beaches. Most of the tours that take you to the Phi Phi islands also take off from here. Due to this, the beach can get a bit crowded. However, there’s plenty of sand and sea for everyone.

3. Visit the Tiger Cave Temple

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit the Tiger Cave Temple
Visit the Tiger Cave Temple

Tiger Cave temple is 21.8 km from Aonang beach and can be reached within 40 min if you rent a scooter. The main attraction here is not the cave temple itself but the Buddha statue located at the top of the hill. Be warned, this is a very tiring climb. Steep steps, 1237 of them, lead you up to a gorgeous view and a huge Buddha statue. Remember to carry a water bottle with you, you will need it. Also, since this is a temple, remember to cover your legs and shoulders and wear suitable clothing.

4. Rent a scooter

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Rent a scooter
Rent a scooter

The best way to see Krabi is by scooter. The rentals are cheap just 250 Baht/24 hr. for a 110 CC scooter, 450 Baht/24 hr for a 180 CC scooter. You can find the rentals near Aonang beach on Muslim road. Rent the 180 CC bike for longer trips for eg: Emerald Pool. Usually the scooter rental place will ask to keep your passport/ money as deposit which they’ll return when you hand back the scooter without any damages.

5. Go snorkelling in Phi Leh Lagoon

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Go snorkeling in Phi Leh Lagoon
Go snorkelling in Phi Leh Lagoon

Krabi has excellent opportunities for snorkelling. Especially, near the Phi Phi islands, the water is brimming with colorful fishes. There are plenty of tours that take you snorkelling. The best one is the full day tour from Get Your Guide that takes you to Phi Leh Lagoon and other places for snorkelling. The Phi Leh Lagoon is a gorgeous setting to do some snorkelling. The lagoon is surrounded by mighty limestone cliffs on all sides, save for the opening through which the boats enter. Take your joy of snorkelling to the next level by jumping off the boat and diving into the clear water of the Lagoon.

6. Enjoy the night market

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Enjoy the night market
Enjoy the night market in Krabi

The night market is located close to the Nopharrat Thara beach. Food and clothes stalls encroach the road reducing the number of lanes on the road. Also, there’s no clear demarcation, so be careful of oncoming traffic. You will find a variety of Thai delicacies both of the sweet and savory kind. My favorite was the cream filled crispy crêpe. If you are an adventurous foodie and have a cast-iron stomach, there’s another kind of Thai speciality you may want to try – fried insects! You will find barbequed scorpions, fried maggots, spiders, beetle and grasshoppers.

7. Soak in the warm water of the Emerald pool

Things to do in Krabi: Soak in the warm water of Emerald Pool
Soak in the warm water of Emerald Pool

The Emerald pool is a natural hot spring in Khlong Thom Nuea. It’s located 72.3 km from Aonang beach and it takes around an hour and half to reach. The Emerald pool is not the only hot spring in the area. There’s also a the Blue pool which is actually the feeds the Emerald pool. However, unlike the Emerald pool, the Blue Pool is not suitable for swimming as the temperature of the geothermally heated water in this pool can range from 30 to 50 degree Celsius. If you are visiting the Emerald pool, plan to visit it early in the day as the hot spring is very popular among tourists and locals and can get very crowded later in the day.

8. Visit the quiet Tub Kaek beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit the secluded Tub Kaek beach
Visit the secluded Tub Kaek beach

If you are looking to get away from the tourists then head to Tub Kaek beach. While it’s not one of the prettiest beaches in Krabi it’s certainly secluded. Some of you may recognise this beach from ‘The Hangover 2’ movie. Honestly, I did not. I came to know about it’s stint in the movie only later. I didn’t go looking for this beach. I found it on the way to the Tab Kak Hang Nak nature trail and wondered why many more don’t know about it. On the other hand, if lots of people knew about it would probably lose it’s charm and become crowded like the others. So I am probably doing it a disservice by writing about it.

9. Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail

Things to do in Krabi:  Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail
Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail

Tab Kak Hang Nak nature trail is located not far from the Tub Kaek beach. The nature trail is in a forrested region of Krabi and is ideal for a leisurely hike. I couldn’t complete this hike because I didn’t have proper footwear on and the trail is not a very smooth trail. However, I have been told that the hiking trail is relatively easy and can be completed within a couple of hours. The trail starts off with a small creek, where I spent most of my time and ends with a waterfall and an amazing view at the top of a cliff. I hope you are better prepared than I was and enjoy the trail.

10. Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach
Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach

Railay Beach is another picturesque beach located to the south of Aonang. The peculiar thing about this beach is that its not accessible by land. The beach is surrounded by high limestone cliffs that make construction of roadways and railways impossible. The only way to get to this beach is by boat. You can hire a boat at Aonang beach that charge 100 Baht/per person for one way before 5 pm. After 5 pm, the fare increases to 150 Baht/person.

11. Meet the Macaque monkeys at the Monkey Beach

Things to do in Krabi : Meet the Macaques on Monkey Beach
Meet the Macaques on Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach is a beach on Koh Phi Phi Don. You have to take a speed boat/ boat from Krabi that takes you there in two hrs. As the name suggests the beach is visited by Macaque monkeys who live in the adjoining forest area. Can you see the monkey in the picture above. It’s almost camouflaged into the background. Beware of these monkeys though; they are aggressive and can attack and bite. So, even though they appear cute and you may be tempted to pet them, you shouldn’t. There’s a clear notice on the beach asking the visitors not to feed the monkeys. The reason being that if they get used to having food readily available, they’ll lose the ability to hunt for food in the wild. Also, beware of your belongings, especially if they contain food, I have seen a monkey open a bag and steal a bag of chips from it and later eat it.

12. See the Viking Cave from afar

Things to do in Krabi: See the Viking Cave entrance
See the Viking Cave from afar

The Viking Cave, named so because it has some of Viking boats on the wall, is a cave in the uninhabitaed Koh Phi Phi Leh. The cave is also home to swallows that build their nests using their saliva. These nests are edible and are said to have medicinal properties according to Chinese medicine. Unfortunately, you will not be able to see the Viking paintings or the swallow nests as the cave is closed to tourists. So, all you can see is the cave opening from outside as shown in the picture.

13. Enjoy the pristine beach of Maya Bay

Things to do in Krabi, Thailand : See Maya Bay from afar
See Maya Bay from afar

Maya Bay, of “The Beach” fame, was the reason many people flocked to Koh Phi Phi islands in the first place. Unfortunately, this resulted in irresponsible tourists leaving a lot of plastic bottles on the pristine beaches of Maya bay that has led to the destruction of coral life. So, to recover from the damage, the government of Thailand has indefinitely closed the Maya bay to tourists. So, just like the Viking cave, you will be able to see this beach from afar only. Hopefully, one day people will be able to feel the powder soft sand of the Maya bay again.

14. Visit Bamboo Island

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit Bamboo beach on Bamboo Island
Visit Bamboo beach on Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island is a tear shaped island also known as Koi Mai Phai. The island boasts some of the best snorkelling locations and white sand beaches. To get to this beach, you can catch a speed boat from Ao Nang which will take you there in 45 min. However, this is a crowded beach. A lot of tour opertors stop at this island for snorkelling tours. The result is the same as Maya Bay. Irresponsible tourist leave behind their plastic bottles which harms the coral life. So, if you visit these islands remember to pick up after yourself.

15. Have lunch on the Koh Phi Phi Don

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Koh Phi Phi Don
Have lunch on Koh Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Islands has two main islands – Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh. Koh Phi Phi Don is inhabitated whereas Koh Phi Phi Leh isn’t. Take a ferry/ speed baot to Koh Phi Phi Don and explore the island. There are some great restaurants and cafes near the Tonsai Pier. Sit back, relax and enjoy island life to its best.

Chao Phraya River - How to use the express boats
Chao Phraya River – How to use the express boats

The Chao Phraya river express boats are an easy and cost-effective way to see Bangkok as the river zigzags its way through some of the most important tourist attractions. Before you head out though, read about how to identify the right one for you.

How to use the Chao Phraya river express boats

There are a number of boats on the Chao Phraya river that cover different routes and stop at different boat stops. The routes covered by the boats are primarily identified by the color of the flag the fly. They are also named so – orange flag, blue flag, green flag and yellow flag express boats. There are also some other boats that have no flag. These are either ferry boats or special shuttle boats belonging to some hotels.

See the map below for the different routes/stops covered by the different colored boats. If you are a tourist, the orange flag express boat and the tourist boat (blue flag boat) cover all the stops that you need to visit.

Map of Chao Phraya River express boat routes/stops

Map of Chao Phraya River express boat routes/stops
Map of Chao Phraya River express boat routes/stops

Central Pier and Nomenclature

The Central Pier, at Sathorn (Taksin), divides the Chao Phraya river into northern and southern parts. Except for the three stops to the south, most of the stops are located north of the Sathorn. The boat stops are numbered and those that lie to the north of the Sathorn started with ‘N’ and those to the south start with ‘S’.

Chao Phraya express boat schedule – routes, fares and frequency

Chao Phraya river express boats - routes, service time and frequency
Chao Phraya river express boats – routes, service time and frequency

If the picture above is not clear, I repeat the basic information about schedule, routes, fares and frequency below:

Local Line : No Flag

Route: Nonthaburi (N30) – Wat Rajsingkorn (S3)
Service: Monday – Friday
Time: 06.45 – 07.30 hrs., 16.00 – 16.30
Frequency: 20 to 25 min

Green Flag Express Boat

Route: Pakkret (N33) – Sathorn (central pier)
Service: Monday – Friday
Time: 6:10 to 8:10 hrs.
Frequency: 15 min.

Route: Sathorn (Central Pier) to Pakkret (N33)
Service: Monday – Friday
Time: 16:05 to 18:05 hrs.
Frequency: 20 min

Yellow Flag Express Boat

Route: Nonthaburi (N30) – Sathorn (central pier)
Service: Monday – Friday
Time: 06.15-08.20 hrs.
Frequency: 8 to 10 min. (check frequency per hour in the image above)

Route: Sathorn (central pier) – Nonthaburi (N30)
Service: Monday – Friday
Time: 16.00 – 20.00 hrs .
Frequency: 20 min.

Orange Flag Express Boat

Route: Nonthaburi (N30) – Wat Rajsingkorn (S3)
Service: Everyday
Time: 5.50 – 19.00 hrs. (Mon – Fri), 6.00 – 19.00 hrs. ( Sat, Sun and holidays)
Frequency: changes hourly from 5 to 20 min. see the detailed information in the picture above.

Route: Wat Rajsingkorn (S3) – Nonthaburi (N30)
Service: Everyday
Time: 6.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Frequency: changes hourly from 10 to 20 min. see the detailed information in the picture above.

Blue Flag Boat -Tourist Boat

Route: Sathorn – Phra Arthit
Service: Everyday 9:30 -16:00

How to pay fare on Express boats?

Chao Phraya Express boats fares
Chao Phraya Express boats fares

For all the boats except the tourist boat, you can pay the fare onboard the boat or buy the ticket from the counter before boarding. If you buy the ticket before boarding, keep it safe with you and show it to the conductor when asked.

Some routes are charged based on the distance (See info below). For the tourist boat, tickets can be bought at Sathorn (Taksin) or Phra Arthit.

If the picture above is not clear or didn’t load, I repeat the fare information below:
No Flag Boat : 9 / 11 / 13 Baht (charged based on distance)
Green Flag Boat : 13 / 20 / 32 Baht (charged based on distance)
Yellow Express Boat : 20 Baht
Orange Express Boat : 15 Baht
Chao Phraya Tourist Boat : 50 (one stop, one way)/ 180 (unlimited hop-on hop-off day pass)

There are some point to point boats that just take you across the river. You can find one at the temple – Wat Arun. These boats are very cheap and cost about just 4 Baht per person one way.

How to see Bangkok’s Tourist Attractions By Express Boats

As mentioned before, if you are a tourist, the orange flag and the tourist boat (blue flag) are the most important to you. These cover most of the tourist spots.

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat
Chao Phraya Tourist Boat

The tourist boat is ideal; it’s less crowded as it’s not used by locals and it has an english speaking guide on board. The Day Pass works as a hop-on hop-off ticket. So, you can hop-on and hop-off the blue flag boats as many times as you like. However, it’s expensive compared to the orange flag boats.

The orange flag express boat stops at all the stops on the tourist boat and is much cheaper. However, it may be crowded as locals use it too. The boat doesn’t necessarily stop at every stop unless there’s someone who needs to get off. So, before your stop arrives, make sure you head to the back of the boat and indicate to the guy with the whistle that you need to get off.

Tourist Attractions and the Express Boat Stops

The important stops for a tourist and the attractions you can see at these stops are listed below:

  1. Sathorn (central pier) – shuttle boat to ICONSIAM mall. The orange boat also stops at ICONSIAM just before Sathorn.
  2. Ratchawongse (N5) – Chinatown
  3. Pak Klong Taladd (N6) – Flower Market
  4. Tha Tien (N8) – Wat Arun. you can catch a cross-ferry to see Wat Pho and Grand Palace
  5. Tha Maharaj (N9) – Some of the best Bangkok temples such as Grand Palace, Wat Pho. Take a cross-ferry to see Wang Lang
  6. Thonburi Railway Station (N11) – Siriraj Phimukhsthan museum, Royal Barge National museum
  7. Phra Arthit (N13) – Khao San Road

I hope you found this guide on how to use the Chao Phraya express boats helpful. If so, please don’t forget to share it with your friends visiting Bangkok.

Bangkok temples are a place of beauty and splendor. Its no surprise that millions of tourists visit Bangkok every year to get a glimpse of the golden Chedis and marvel at the intricate gold mosiac work and architecture. If you are planning to visit Bangkok, then here’s a list of best Bangkok temples to visit and some not so well-known temples that are great as well.

Wat Phra Sri RattanaSatsadaram or Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok Temples - Grand Palace
Bangkok Temples – Grand Palace

Wat Phra Sri RattanaSatsadram, also known as Wat Phra Kaew is the temple of the Emerald Buddha. This famous temple is located inside the Grand Palace complex. The main attraction is the big golden stupa known as Phra Siratana Chedi. Apart from the Chedi, there are about 30 smaller buildings and structures inside the Grand Palace complex that are noteworthy as well.

Entrance Fee to The Grand Palace / Wat Phra Kaew :

500 Baht (approx. $15 USD)

Opening Hours:

08:30 am – 3:30 pm

Scam Alert:

There are lot of scammers around the Grand Palace. If anyone (especially a tuk tuk driver) tells you that the Grand Palace is closed and they’ll take you to a better place, please ignore them. Go to the Grand Palace and check for yourself. Don’t fall prey to these scammers.

Wat Chaeng or Wat Arun

Bangkok Temples - Wat Arun
Bangkok Temples – Wat Arun

Wat Arun is on the banks of Chao Praya River and can be accessed by a Ferry if you are staying on the other side of the river. The main attraction at Wat Arun is not the temple but the giant spire beside the temple. There are steps to climb the spire and walk around the narrow ledge that wraps around it. There are more steps to get to the top of the spire. Unfortunately, this is closed to the public.

Entrance Fee to Wat Arun:

100 Baht (approx. $3 USD)

Opening Hours:

08:30 to 17:30

Cost of ferry to cross river:

4 Baht

Wat Prachetupon or Wat Pho

Bangkok Templesv- Wat Pho
Bangkok Templesv- Wat Pho

At Wat Pho, you’ll find a very large statue of Buddha in a reclining state. It’s so large that it’s difficult to capture a picture of the Buddha Statue in its entriety. On the other side of the Buddha statue, for 20 Baht, you can purchase a bowl of coins. The ritual is to drop these coins into the 108 bowls lined up against the wall. It’s meant to bring you good luck. Other things to note in Wat Pho are the Buddha statues lined up inside another temple just as you enter.

Entrance Fee to Wat Pho:

100 Baht (approx. $3 USD)

Opening Hours:

08:30 am to 06:30 pm.

Wat Bowwoniwet Vihara

Bangkok Temples - Wat Bowwoniwet Vihara
Bangkok Temples – Wat Bowwoniwet Vihara

Compared to the temples listed above, this is a small temple. If you are visiting Bangkok for only a few days then you may skip it. However, if you are here for longer and looking for a reprieve from the crowds then visit this temple. Without the onslaught of tourists, this temple maintains its calm environment. Especially, if you visit the temple during the early hours of the morning, you can hear the monks chanting. It will instantly release all your day to day stresses.
The temple itself is also beautiful with a double Buddha statue.

Entrance Fee:

Free

Opening Hours :

9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Wat Chana Songkhram

Bangkok Temples - Wat Chana Songkhram
Bangkok Temples – Wat Chana Songkhram

This is also a small temple located right opposite the famous Khao San Road. Though it is situated near a very busy street, it’s rarely visited by tourists. Just like Wat Bowwoniwet Vihara, if you are craving some peace and calm, you can visit this temple. The best part of the temple is the gateway that overlooks the temple on the other side away from Khao San Road. This gateway is really beautifully with stairs on both sides that lead you to a viewing platform where drums are kept. From the viewing platform, you can see Wat Chana Songkhram on one side and a quite peaceful neighborhood consisting of old houses on the other.

Entrance Fee:

Free

Opening Hours :

8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

When I visit a country, I like to learn about the country’s culture and traditions. The clothes worn by the people of the country, especially their traditional dresses or traditional attire, is defintiely a part of it. Read on and learn about the traditional dress of different countries around the world and how and when they are worn.

1. Traditional dress of India – Sari or Saree

Traditional dress of India - Sari.
Traditional dress of India – Sari. Image credit: @Suffix (Pixabay)

India is a country with many sub-cultures and traditions. Hence, you’ll find a variety of dresses that are considered as “traditional” relating to each sub-culture. However, the Sari is predominantly accepted as main the traditional dress of women in India.

A Sari is worn with a blouse and a Sari skirt. The Sari skirt is a full length skirt worn underneath the Sari for the purpose of holding the Sari around the waist. To wear a Sari, tuck one end of the Sari in the Sari skirt just below your navel. Then, wrap the Sari around the body once till you arrive at the navel again. Here, fold the Sari into 3 or 4 vertical pleats and tuck it into the Sari. Pull what is left around the body and drape it on the chest and shoulder.

A Sari is not only worn during special festivals and ceremonies, it’s also worn everyday by many. What distinguishes the “special occasion Sari” from the everyday one is the material from which it’s made. Saris worn for special occasions and weddings are usually made from silk and have gold embroidery in them whereas the Saris worn everyday are made from cotton or nylon that are more comfortable to wear.

2. Traditional dress of Thailand – Chut Thai

Traditional dress of Thailand - Chut Thai
Traditional dress of Thailand – Chut Thai

The traditional dress of Thailand is Chut Thai. Its also the national dress of Thailand which is worn on formal occasions by the members of the royal family.

A Chut Thai has three parts – a pha nung, a blouse, and a sabai. A pha nung is a strip of cloth thats wrapped around the waist and a sabai is a strip of cloth draped on the chest and shoulder. A jeweled belt at the waist helps hold the dress in place. As shown in the picture, it is sometimes accessorised with a crown.

If you want to try out the Chut Thai, there are shops in Bangkok that rent it out for a photo shoot. I spotted one at Wat Arun and of course had to try it out. This experience is definitely worth spending 100 Baht on.

3. Traditional dress of Panama – Pollera

Traditional dress around the world - Pollera, Panama
Traditional dress around the world – Pollera, Panama

Considered to emanate from sixteenth century Spanish dress, the Panamanian Pollera is worn during traditional festivals and private celebrations.
Mainly made of cotton and wool, the two-piece dress consists of a shirt and long skirt. It is predominantly white with colourful flower-patterned adornments. Gold jewellery worn around the neck and on the head complements the dress and an array of tembleques (non-jewel ornaments) completes the headdress.
An interesting feature of the Pollera is the set of pom-poms, one in front and the other at the back. The colour of the shoes always matches that of the pom-poms.
The Pollera is very expensive as it is entirely crafted by hand and can take a year or more to complete. Women would commonly own two Polleras during their lifetime, one as a girl before turning 16, the other during adulthood.

Image and content submitted by Chris from TravelHippi

4. Traditional dress of Scotland – Kilt

Traditional dress around the world - Kilt, Scotland
Traditional dress around the world – Kilt, Scotland

There are many reasons to visit Scotland from the castles to the ceilidhs but best of all….the kilts. The tartan used to create your kilt will reflect your clan or family name, however in modern times the majority of kilts are hired not owned and therefore vary in colour and style depending on the occasion.

Worn by both men and women – although predominantly men – they can be seen at graduation ceremonies, weddings, Christmas parties and even at football matches if the Scotland team are playing.

There are numerous accessories to accompany the kilt such as the sporran – a fur “pouch” worn around the waist, wool socks worn to the knee, lace up brogue shoes and the sgian dubh (pronounced skee-in-doo) a small knife tucked into the sock. Despite the numerous add ons, there is one item traditionally removed when wearing a kilt – underwear. Known as being a “true Scotsman” it is common to not wear underwear when wearing a kilt, which after a few drams does result in some giggles!

Image and content submitted by: Lauren from faramagan.com

5. Traditional dress of Chile – Chilean Huaso Attire

Traditional dress of Chile : attire of the Chilean Huaso
Traditional dress of Chile : attire of the Chilean Huaso

The “Chilean Huaso” attire is one of the most relevant in Chile, mainly used in the central zone of the country.

The man is dressed in cloth pants and shirt, including in the outfit items such as spurs to dominate the horse, a waist belt of generally red color, a hat called “chupalla” and, most importantly, a traditional blanket similar to a poncho but with square terminations.

The women wear a dress of beautiful colors and flowered stamp, black heels and a white handkerchief on the belt.

Both suits are mainly used between September 16 and 19 when the country celebrates the Independence Day. Those days the “cuecas” (traditional songs of Chile) sound everywhere and people dance dressed as Huasos. However, still many people in the countryside use this attire every day.

Image and content submitted by: Alejandra from Universo Viajero

6. Traditional dress of Qatar – Abaya and Thobe

Please note no photo due to local sensibilities

Ever wondered what Qatar traditional clothing or the Qatar National Dress looks like. The national dress of the Middle East is actually pretty standard across countries and is a national dress rather than a religious dress as often mistaken!

For women the national dress it is usually the abaya –a black robe worn over clothes alongside the black headscarf known as the shayla. You will see some older members of the Qatari community wearing a batoola – a golden metal face covering but this seems to have fallen out of fashion with the younger generation!

For men it’s the thobe! A white robe, that always looks pristine with a gutra (Headscarf)! Both will be worn by locals in the country everyday of the year.

Content submitted by: Leona from wandermustfamily.com

7. Traditional dress of the Cheese-Porters of Alkmaar, The Netherlands

Traditional dress of the cheese porters of the Netherlands
Traditional dress of the cheese porters of the Netherlands

In The Netherlands there are plenty of traditional attires, which all depends on the region and event. One of the traditional attires is the attire of the men at the cheese market in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.

The men who carry the cheeses wear long, white pants and a white blouse that is tucked into the trousers. To distinguish which group of cheese carriers they belong to they have a coloured band on their hat. Some colours are that are used are red, white and blue. You’ll see these kind of suspenders as well, those are to connect to the platforms with the cheeses they carry.

The cheese market in Alkmaar was held every, single week years ago, but nowadays it has turned into a small tourist attraction. Here you will experience a market where you can discover the way cheese was sold many years ago.

Image and content submitted by: Manon from visitingthedutchcountryside.com

Shangai Transit Without Visa
Shangai Transit Without Visa

Recently, I flew from Toronto to Bangkok and had a 13 hour layover in Shanghai, China.
After booking my tickets to Bangkok, I went about researching the transit requirements through Shanghai. I was pleased to find out that – if you are transiting through Shanghai from Country A to Country B, then you may be eligible for a 24 hour transit without visa for citizens of most countries. Citizens of select countries can also get a 144 hr transit without visa.

Important points about Shanghai Transit Without Visa (TWOV)

  1. The 24/144hr entry permit into Shanghai is at the sole discretion of the immigration officer. There is a chance that your visa may be denied.
  2. Have printouts of your e-ticket/itinerary showing onward travel ready for the immigration officer’s perusal.
  3. Before lining up for the visa, get your biometric information receipt from the fingerprint machines and your arrival/departure card.
  4. For the 144 hr layover, remember that you can move around only in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Travel to other parts of China using this permit is not allowed.
  5. In case of the 24 hr visa, the 24 hrs are counted starting from your scheduled arrival time
  6. In case of the 144 hr visa, the counting is not done based on hours but days. So, your permit time is counted from 0:00 the day following the entry date
  7. The rules of TWOV are always changing. So, confirm with the airline or embassy before you leave.

Transit Without Visa Process At Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Most flights through Shanghai Pudong International airport don’t transfer your luggage automatically through to your connecting flight. So, you have go through immigration to pick up your bags and check-in again to your connecting flight. So, make sure you allow adequate time in between your flights and confirm with your airline in advance.

Upon arrival to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, foreigners have to give their biometric information. When you walk towards immigration, there are Fingerprint scanners along the corridor. Scan your passport and give your fingerprints and photo as instructed by the machine. Depending on passport, the machine automatically translates the instructions in your native language. After completion, the machine gives you a receipt. You have to give this receipt to the border control agents.

Next, head to the immigration section. There’s a separate section for 24 hour/144 hour visa free transit. Before lining up, fill in the arrival/departure card. This card has a blue header, the card with the yellow header is not for the 24/144 hr visa.

Have your connecting flight information e-ticket or itinerary ready for the border control agent’s perusal. Remember, some websites are restricted in Shanghai due to China’s firewall, so you may not be able to access your flight information, hotel booking information online. So, it’s better to carry a printout of the itinerary or download it on your phone for offline access.

Depending on the length of the line, you may have to wait an hour or more. Hand in your passport, connecting flight information, arrival card and fingerprint receipt to the border control agent. On approval, the agent will stamp your passport with a 24/144 hr visa-free stamp. He/she will also give the departure section of your arrival card back to you. Keep this with you safely. You have to give it to the officer at passport control on your way out of Shanghai.

Please note, your entry into China is at the sole discretion of the immigration officer. So, for whatever reason, he/she may deny your entry into China and allow you to remain air side at the airport.

If your layover is during the day, you can go to downtown and see the city. If your layover is during the night, then you can rest up at the Airport Hotel located inside the airport which is very convenient for a traveller.

Have a fantastic time on your Shanghai Layover!

Disclaimer: Before you read the article let me be clear, the experience I talk about here has nothing to do with the real Tourism Authority of Thailand and they are in no way connected to this. They are legitimate. This experience is about a travel agency and a bunch of scammers making you believe that you are be interacting with the Tourism Authority of Thailand when in fact you are not.

It’s just day number 3 in Bangkok and I have already been scammed!

I had heard before coming to Bangkok that scams are quite common here but I never thought I would fall for it. So here’s what happened.

My husband and I were walking from our hotel, near Khao San road, to a temple nearby. We were using Google maps for directons to the temple.

A Friendly Stranger

A stranger passing by noticed this and beckoned us. We ignored him at first, but then he approached us and asked us where we wanted to go. His English was very good and he seemed very friendly. After giving us directions to the temple we were looking for, he advised us about all the places we should visit while in Bangkok. He even taught us how to say “thank you” and “hello” in Thai. We were very pleased with how warm the locals seemed. That was the beginning of the scam.

The stranger then mentioned that it was “Lucky Buddha day” today, a special day which happens only once a year. On this day, entrance to certain temples is free and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) offers 20% discount on hotel and travel bookings. He advised us to book our hotels through Tourism Authority of Thailand only as they are the best source of information and cheap deals. He also asked us to take a tuk tuk that would take us around to some temples and Tourism Authority of Thailand at just 40 Baht as part of the “Lucky Buddha Day” deal.

We thanked him and were about to set off on our own. However, he insisted that we should take a tuk tuk as the walk up to the temple is quite long and immediately called a nearby tuk tuk. He spoke to the tuk tuk driver in Thai and told him where to take us and how much to charge. We felt this was a bit weird but we couldn’t decline as he was being so nice to us. This was the second mistake.

Tuk Tuk Ride and More Friendly Locals

The tuk tuk driver took us to three temples. The temples were not as impressive as other Bangkok temples we had already seen. However, the temple didn’t charge any entrance fee so we just shrugged it off.

In the second temple, there was another “friendly” stranger who approached us. He asked us where we were from. He also talked about the Lucky Buddha day and the deals at Tourism Authority of Thailand . However, he said that the Lucky Buddha day happens every week. This should have been our clue that something is off but we were too daft to notice. After we told him that we were visiting from Canada, he proceeded to tell us about a friend in Calgary who visits Bangkok often. He then told us that his friend had once been scammed by Booking.com and that’s why he now always books his trip through Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). This reinforced the idea that we should always book through TAT.

We thanked him for the information and left the temple. The Tuk Tuk driver then took us to another temple where surprise there was another friendly stranger who said almost the same things. Looking back, I don’t know why we didn’t connect the dots. We assumed that the locals are very friendly and helpful. I blame lack of sleep and the heat for our slow brains.

Fake Tourism Authority Of Thailand and the Lucky Buddha Scam

The tuk tuk driver then took us to the what was supposedly TAT but in reality was a seedy travel agency.

On entering we were greeted by a friendly travel agent who was also fluent in English. We told him that we were looking to book accommodation in Phuket for a week. Fortunately, our other accommodation had already been booked in advance on Booking.com. Only, the one week in Phuket was unplanned and our journey from Bangkok to Krabi was unplanned.

As per our request, he looked for cheap accommodation near Patong Beach. He finally showed us a room for 480 CAD for 6 nights. we thought it was a reasonable price to pay and approved the amount. He then proceeded to book our train tickets from Bangkok to Krabi. That cost us 200 CAD.

While we were waiting for the confirmation to come through, he proceeded to tell us about the different tours from Phuket to Phi Phi islands. He said it’s better to book it in advance since the tours now take only 60 people per day. I don’t know if that information is true. We enquired about the price and he quoted around 240 CAD for both my husband and I for a one day tour. From my earlier research, I knew the tickets on GetYourGuide.com was way cheaper than that. So we declined.

Realization Of the Scam

For a while, we were not even aware that we were scammed. It’s only when we arrived back at our hotel and had our internet connection, we realised that the room that we had booked in Phuket was available for a much lower price on Agoda.com. The room actually cost 326.84 CAD. Now, you may say that the price difference may be due to the fact that he booked on a different website. Well… no. The hotel confirmation document he gave me said that he had booked it on Agoda.com as well and had a Agoda Booking ID. So, we had been overcharged 153.16 CAD on the same hotel room.

Regarding travel to Krabi from Bangkok, the travel agent told us that the flights were completely booked. So, we booked train tickets. However, this is not true either. When I came back to the hotel, I found several flights available at just $112 for two passengers. The flight just take an hour to go from Bangkok to Krabi. Now we are stuck with train tickets which takes 14 hrs with a transfer in between. I don’t even know if this train ticket is legit. Only time will tell. If the tickets are fake, I would have lost another 200 CAD.

If the train tickets are legit, I looked up online and the train tickets cost around 66 CAD per person. So it comes to 132 CAD in total. So, again I had been overcharged around 68 CAD. So the total overcharge is about 221 CAD.

People will argue that the overcharge is not a scam. The travel agent simply charged commission for his services. This is the normal procedure in most travel agencies. Also, the amount that I was overcharged was not much and just 221 CAD.

To this, I will say I don’t mind the overcharge so much. As a travel blogger I understand that travel agents need to be paid for their services and the information they offer. What I don’t like is the elaborate way in which this was orchestrated – like giving the impression of friendly strangers, the fake Lucky Buddha day, the travel agency masquerading as Tourism Authority of Thailand. This is what makes it a scam. If you are still in doubt, Google “Lucky Buddha Scam” and you’ll see how many people have been fooled by this.

I have to say one thing in the travel agent’s defense though. He actually provided us some information and printout maps of Bangkok. He showed us what places to visit and how to get there. So, we are grateful to him for that.

My impression of Bangkok is a bit tainted right now. However, as someone advised me, I shouldn’t judge an entire place by one horrible experience. I will take it as a life lesson and try to love Bangkok again.

Lessons for future travels and advice on how to avoid travel scams

  1. Not all friendly strangers are good peeople.
  2. Stay alert when visiting Asian countries like Thailand and India. I am including India in the mix because I am aware of such things happening in my home country too.
  3. Do your research before you travel.
  4. If your spidy senses tell you something is off, trust that instinct.

If you are a seafood fan, then this article is for you. Check out the best seafood dishes around the world as suggested by my fellow travel and food bloggers.

1. Grilled Octopus – Greece

Best  seafood dishes in the world - Grilled Octopus, Greece
Best seafood dishes in the world – Grilled Octopus, Greece

Octopus is one of my favorite seafood dishes and it can be eaten many ways; octopus sashimi, octopus salad or boiled octopus. The best octopus I have ever tried is the Greek Island specialty of Grilled Octopus.

Octopus has been eaten in Greece since ancient times and thus after years of experience they are experts at preparing it. The octopus is caught fresh daily, hung out to dry in the sun and then grilled on charcoal. The outside is blackened with a nice crunchy texture and the inside is chewy and juicy. The octopus is prepared so perfectly and so flavorful that it needs minimal dressing, and is served with a simple wedge of lemon.

Image and content submitted by: Arielle Abroad

2. Fischbrötchen – Hamburg, Germany

Best seafood dishes around the world - Fischbrötchen in   Hamburg, Germany
Best seafood dishes around the world – Fischbrötchen in
Hamburg, Germany

Although Germany is best known for its sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels, German cuisine has much more to offer than that. In Northern Germany, seafood is a kitchen staple thanks to the region’s proximity to both, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. However, no dish is as iconic as the famous Fischbrötchen.

Fischbrötchen are a kind of sandwich popular in the city of Hamburg. A Fischbrötchen usually consists of a dinner roll stuffed with fish. Most commonly you can find Bismarck herring or souses herring, although varieties made with
fried fish or shrimp are also common. You can find Fischbrötchen most easily at the harbor in Hamburg, where locals and visitors alike gorge on this popular fast food.

Image and content submitted by: Jacky from nomadepicureans.com

3. Lobster – Puerto Nuevo

Best seafood dishes around the world - Lobster, Puerto Nuevo
Best seafood dishes around the world – Lobster, Puerto Nuevo

Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula has not always been known for its gastronomy, but at the turn of the century things began to change. Whenever we think of Baja cuisine we picture giant lobster and giant handmade flour tortillas. The best part of Baja cuisine is definitely the freshness. In spanish, “Del Mar al Paladar” means from the sea to your palate which is basically the motto.

Puerto Nuevo, just a few miles South of sunny San Diego, California is lobster heaven. It’s a small town known specifically for its delicious lobster. One of our favorite places to eat at is called Villa Ortega’s. The view and food will make eating in Puerto Nuevo a unique seafood experience.

Image and content submitted by: Michelle from travelfunfam.com

4. Paella – Spain

Best seafood dishes in the world - Paella, Spain
Best seafood dishes in the world – Paella, Spain

Paella de Marisco or the seafood paella is Spain’s national dish. It is the best seafood dish in the world because of its rich flavors. It’s made from fresh and carefully chosen ingredients cooked to perfection all in one pan.

This amazing seafood dish that represents Spanish coastal flavors, consists of fresh seafood and paella rice cooked in a wide pan or a paellera.

The dish can be made with a variety of ingredients, as it has evolved in many years. Mussels, shrimps, fish, clams, and lobsters are great choices for the Paella de Marisco. Garlic, onions, and bell pepper are sautéed in the pan for a couple of minutes. Tomato is added until it has a sauce-like consistency. Seafood broth with saffron is poured into the pan, and then the paella rice is added. The next step is adding parsley and seasonings and stirring for 3 minutes. Then the cooked clams, mussels and shrimps are added over the rice. The last step is to let it simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until rice is done.

The goodness of an authentic Paella de Marisco can be tasted anywhere in its home country, Spain.

Image and content submitted by: Karolina & Patryk from karolinapatryk.com

5. Pulpo a la Gallega – Galicia

Best seafood dishes around the world - Pulpo a la Gallega, Spain
Best seafood dishes around the world – Pulpo a la Gallega, Spain

On our last trip to Spain we spent quite a lot of time walking through Galicia – northern province boarded with the sea. There we had a chance to try different food including famous local dish – pulpo a la Gallega or Polbo á feira (its local name) which means “fair-style octopus”.

Melide – a small town in Galicia is where the dish comes from. Octopus is the main ingredient of the dish; first it’s boiled in a big copper pot for about an hour, then it’s left in the pot for another 20 minutes – it must be ready but not overcooked otherwise it gets tough and chewy.

When it’s ready it’s cut into small square pieces (2×2 cm) usually only tentacles are served, seasoned with salt, herbs and paprika and sprinkled with olive oil. The dish is served with white bread and local red wine (usually young wines). Special places that serve mainly pulpo are called pulperias and can be found in many Galician cities and town. Traditionally pulperias are not fancy restaurants rather local eateries. Nowadays many restaurants in Galicia serve pulpo a la Gallega as a starter.

Image and content submitted by: Campbell & Alya/Stingy Nomads

6. Taglioni with lobster – Venice, Italy

Best seafood dishes around the world - Taglioni with lobster, Venice, Italy
Best seafood dishes around the world – Taglioni with lobster, Venice, Italy

Often it’s the simple dishes are the most tasty and memorable. At Osteria Al Bacco in Venice’s Cannaregio district they make a pasta and red (tomato) sauce dish with lobster that I have been thinking about for the past 4 years.

Taglioni with lobster is the combination of home made pasta, just the right amount of fresh tomato sauce and pieces of just caught meaty lobster. The dish is topped with a whole langoustine for effect. Lobster can be easily overpowered when smothered in sauce but in this case the balance is just right. I can’t think of anything better than having a long lunch on the canals in Venice eating pasta with lobster.

Image and content submitted by: Katy Clarke from untoldmorsels.com

7. Brazilian Shrimp Soup – Brazil

Best seafood dishes around the world - Brazilian Shrimp Soup, Brazil
Best seafood dishes around the world – Brazilian Shrimp Soup, Brazil

Also known as moqueca de camarao, brazilian shrimp soup is common in the northeast region of Bahia, Brazil and is considered a fall and winter dish.

A traditional moqueca recipe, is slow cooked in a terra cotta dish and each home has its own version. But in Bahia it most commonly reflects the Afro-Brazilian influence and always includes chile peppers, palm oil and coconut milk.

Image and content submitted by: Ayngelina Brogan from Baconsmagic.ca

8. Scallop Carpaccio – France

Best seafood dishes around the world - Scallop Carpaccio, France
Best seafood dishes around the world – Scallop Carpaccio, France

Scallop carpaccio is a light dish that makes for an excellent starter. The idea behind this dish, as the name intimates, originated in Italy. To be enjoyed at its best and most delicious, scallop carpaccio requires high quality ingredients to be prepared just minutes before the dish is served.

Chef Marc Meurin, who holds two Michelin stars for his Le Meurin Restaurant, at Le Chateau de Beaulieu at Busnes in northern France’s Pas de Calais department. Chef Meurin and his team select scallops from the region and cut them after they have spent 20 minutes cooling in a freezer, so that they slice thinly and evenly. The sauce features oil from black olives and is seasoned with spices including Sichuan pepper corns. The flavour of the scallops zings but is not overpowered.

For lovers of gourmet cuisine this is a dish worth travelling to taste.

Image and content submitted by: Stuart Forster of Go Eat Do

9. Chilli Crab – Singapore

Best seafood dishes around the world - Chilli crab, Singapore
Best seafood dishes around the world – Chilli crab, Singapore

Singapore Chilli Crab is one Singapore’s most iconic dishes, and alongside the Pepper Crab, the island nation’s best known seafood dish.

The origins of Singapore Chilli Crab go back to the 1950’s, when Cher Yam Tian added chilli, instead of tomato sauce, to her family crab recipe. They loved it so much that Cher and her husband started selling it from a pushcart alongside the ocean.

And it was a big hit, and these days the dish can be found in restaurants and hawker stalls all over Singapore.

Despite the name and the look of the dish, Singapore Chilli Crab is not overly spicy. The mud crab is stir-fried in a thickish sweet and savoury tomato sauce with just enough chilli to ensure a medium heat.

The crab is served with the shell on, usually with a plate of fried mantou, and eaten with the hands. It’s always a messy experience, so large bibs and lots of napkins are always provided.

Image and content submitted by: Markus from the roamingfork.com

10. Portuguese Bacalhau Bras – Portugal

Best seafood dishes around the world - Bacalhau Bras , Portugal
Best seafood dishes around the world – Bacalhau Bras , Portugal

Bacalhau Bras, a Portuguese cod-based dish, is one of the best seafood dishes I’ve tasted in the world. Bacalhau is salted, dried cod and for Bacalhau à Brás, as it is also known, the cod is shredded, mixed with onions and thinly chopped or shredded fried potato and it is all bound together with scramnled egg.

The bacalhau must first be soaked to allow for removal of the skin and bones. Once the Bras is cooked, it is usually served with a salad and black olives. And believe me, although it can sometimes resemble a scrambled mess, it tastes delicious and makes for a great lunchtime meal.

Image and content submitted by: Cath from Passports and Adventures

11. Sushi – Japan

Best seafood dishes in the world - Sushi, Japan
Best seafood dishes in the world – Sushi, Japan

We can’t talk about best seafood around the world without mentioning sushi, arguably one of the most iconic, ubiquitous – and delicious – of Japan’s cultural contributions.

Sushi is usually prepared with a base of vinegar flavored rice combined with a variety of ingredients, such as raw or cooked fish and other seafood and vegetables, with a touch of wasabi, a spicy, green spread applied to the rice. Sushi is frequently served in sushi bars accompanied with sake, Japanese rice wine. Although created in Japan, this is a dish that has found its way around all over the world from Asia to Europe to Africa and the Americas.

Image and content submitted by: Talek Nantes from travelswithtalek.com

12. Fish and Chips – UK

Best seafood dishes in the world - Fish and Chips, UK
Best seafood dishes in the world – Fish and Chips, UK

This seafood favourite is synonymous with British takeaway food, where fresh deboned fish is smothered in a batter paste, and deep fried to give a full and fluffy batter. The battered fish is then served with big thick double deep-fried potato chips, and often with the optional flavourings of salt and vinegar and red sauce or brown sauce.

However this may be slightly different when eating fish and chips at restaurants, where they often offer an optional squeeze of lemon and a mayonnaise-like ‘tartar sauce’ fused with capers. There are also often three popular fish options on offer at chip shops, with cod, plaice and haddock, and as a seafood favourite, they are almost always best found through the seaside towns and villages of Britain and the U.K.

Image and content submitted by: Allan Wilson from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

13. Cazon en Adobo – Seville, Spain

Best seafood dishes around the world -  Cazon en Adobo - Seville, Spain
Best seafood dishes around the world –
Cazon en Adobo – Seville, Spain

When travelers think about eating in Spain they usually focus on the trifecta of paella, patatas bravas, and sangria. But there is so much more to Spanish cuisine than these three dishes.

In Andalusia, in Southern Spain, there is a fascination with fish, due to its enviable position along the Mediterranean. One dish that is not well-known outside of Andalusia is Cazon en Adobo.

Cazon is a white fish, normally a dogfish, which is marinated and tangy. The marinade keeps the fish super soft. Then, it is breaded and fried. A seamingly simple dish, but almost addictive. It can be found at most tapas bars in Seville and around Andalusia. It is one of the best tapas to eat in Seville, particularly because it is one that many people have never heard of before.

Image and content submitted by: Amber Hoffman from withhusbandintow.com

14. Shrimp Pad Thai – Thailand

Best seafood dishes around the world - Shrimp Pad Thai, Thailand
Best seafood dishes around the world – Shrimp Pad Thai, Thailand

Many people are familiar with the tasty dish pad thai, but most people enjoy this dish with chicken. However, while in Thailand last year I discovered shrimp (also called prawn) pad thai and it is so tasty!

While in Bangkok, I not only got to eat shrimp pad thai, but make it in a cooking class! This is a noodle-based dish is combined with egg, veggies and, of course, shrimp. The thing that really sets this dish apart is the sauce which includes amazing flavors like peanut, lime, soy sauce, and chives.

Some of the best pad thai is served on the street and often times for less than $1. How can you not enjoy that? (Side note: we dyed our noodles with flower petals in our cooking class, they’re not typically purple.)

Image and content submitted by: Paige Wunder from fortheloveofwanderlust.com

15. Fish Curry in Goa – India

Best seafood dishes around the world - Goan Style Pomfret, India
Best seafood dishes around the world – Goan Style Pomfret, India

For a country normally famed for its delicious vegetarian curries and snacks, the seafood of Goa is a breath of fresh air and mouth-wateringly good to eat. After all, what could be better than a tasty meal with a beach-side view? In fact, Goan cuisine is often considered incomplete without fish, which is a staple of the local diet.

Fish curry in Goa comes in the form of either “shrimps curry” or local fish such as pomfret or kingfish. The Goan fish curry is sour and spicy in taste, and although recipes vary, include coconut and kokum – both characteristic of Goan cuisine. Our favourite place for a fish curry in Goa is Anandashram in Fontainhas, Panjim for their shrimp curry thali, or Dropadi on Palolem Beach for Fish Curry with a view!

Image and content submitted by: Ellie & Ravi of Soul Travel Blog

16. Gang Som Crab Curry – Southern Thailand

Best seafood dishes around the world - Gang Som Crab Curry, Thailand
Best seafood dishes around the world – Gang Som Crab Curry, Thailand

Gang Som is spicy curry dish typically found in the South of Thailand. It is recognisable by its intense orange colour as a result of the turmeric used. The dish is generally made with seafood; either fish or crab. Other ingredients include lime, chili, garlic and shrimp paste.

One place in particular to find Geang Som Curry is Koh Mook, Trat Province. However, it is also common to find the curry across other southern provinces such as Satun and Nakhon Si Thammarat. It is one of the most popular southern style dishes sold in Bangkok.

Image and content submitted by: Josh Shephard – The Lost Passport

17. Black Sea mussels – Bulgaria, eastern Europe

Best seafood dishes around the world - Black Sea Mussels, Bulgaria, eastern Europe
Best seafood dishes around the world – Black Sea Mussels, Bulgaria, eastern Europe

Black Sea mussels are the best kind of mussels I’ve tasted during my travels, and they’re even tastier than the Welsh mussels I usually eat while at home.

I first tried them when I went to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, eastern Europe last year. While Sunny Beach is perhaps best known as one of the tackiest tourist destinations in eastern Europe, as I soon discovered, it’s also home to a flourishing food and drink scene.

We managed to get a kilo of plump, juicy Black Sea mussels for just 15 Leva in our favourite restaurant in Sunny Beach, Djanny’s – that’s around £7.50! Doused in white wine with tonnes of garlic and parsley, they were so delicious that we polished off the whole platter within minutes – and used some bread to mop up every drop of the sauce, too!

Image and content submitted by: Kacie Morgan from therarewelshbit.com

Every winter, from December to March, I look to get away from my house and visit new places either to bask in some warm sunlight or to huddle up in a cozy cabin in a ski location. So, I asked my fellow bloggers to give me some winter vacation ideas for both warm destinations and cold snowy destinations. Here’s what they suggest.

1. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Medellin, Colombia

Best places to visit in winter - Medellin, Colombia
Best places to visit in winter – Medellin, Colombia

Tropical Colombia is divided into five regions, each with its own climate depending on the altitude. Temperate Medellin, otherwise known as La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera (‘The City of Eternal Spring’), is one of the best places to visit in winter.

The winter months in Colombia’s second-largest city (December through February) present fairly low rainfall and warm temperatures in the mid to high-20s.

Medellin’s climate is perfect for growing flowers, coffee and fruit all year round—fresh produce never goes out of season, so you’ll always be able to find orange juice carts and overflowing stalls at the Minorista Market. Sunny winter mornings are perfect for walking around downtown, exploring Comuna 13, the city’s street art hub, and hanging out in the many outdoor plazas. If you get caught in a winter shower, make a beeline for the Museo de Antioquia or Casa de la Memoria, two of Medellin’s finest museums.

Winter is also a great time to venture into the hills for more outdoor activities, including paragliding, hiking and birdwatching in Parque Arvi, and visiting nearby coffee farms. During the winter months, tourists can participate in local religious festivals, including the day of little candles (Medellin Christmas Light Festival) and Christmas itself.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Emily Lush from Wander-Lush

2. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Best places to visit in winter - Sao, Paulo, Brazil
Best places to visit in winter – Sao, Paulo, Brazil

Hearty food, cultural hub, and warm weather, Sao Paulo is the perfect escape for this winter. The city isn’t the capital of Brazil, but here is where everything happens. From renowned and unique museums to lively beer cafes, Sao Paulo has a lot to keep you entertained.

Well, you might have heard that Sao Paulo is the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, and in the middle of this massive concrete jungle, you can still find lovely parks to relax and enjoy a picnic, such as the Ibirapuera Park.

If you’re a foodie, know that Sao Paulo has excellent eateries from diverse cuisines around the world. I’m not exaggerating. Japanese, Italian, French, you name it! You can even find some trendy places for delicious desserts, such as ice cream burgers or churros with mouthwatering toppings.

Sao Paulo is a world on its own, so if you’re looking for an offbeat destination to visit this winter and escape the cold, be sure to learn some words in Portuguese.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Bruna from Maps ‘N Bags

3. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Muscat, Oman

Best places to visit in winter - Muscat, Oman
Best places to visit in winter – Muscat, Oman. Pic credit: @eismannhans (Pixabay)

Oman in the Middle East is one of the most naturally diverse countries in the region. Due to its versatile topography, the country witnesses all the four kinds of weather in the year, which is very unlikely to happen anywhere else in the Middle East.

Muscat, the capital city of Oman is a coastal city, which gets extremely hot during the summers but moderately chilled and pleasant during winters. The best thing about winters in Muscat is that the temperature does not drop insanely low to make life inconvenient. Rather, winter is the most loved weather in Muscat.

As the winter days in Oman witnesses a temperature of 15-25°C, it is perhaps the best time to enjoy all the outdoor activities in the city. The best thing to do during the winter in Muscat is to enjoy a day at the beach! Yes, in Oman you can totally enjoy an afternoon at the beach in winter as the extreme summer heat can adversely affect your health if stayed out for a long time. You can easily get a nice tan in a pleasant but not cold breeze at the beach.

Winter vacation idea submitted by: The Sane Adventurer

4. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Las Terrazas, Cuba

Best places to visit in winter - Las Terrazas, Cuba
Best places to visit in winter – Las Terrazas, Cuba

While many people go to Cuba in colder months to escape the snow for a warm beach, they are missing out on some of the best parts of the county.

Las Terrazas Cuba is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that has an amazing story. Located in the Sierra del Rosario mountains, the land was ravaged after years of deforestation to build coffee plantations and then what was left was destroyed by hurricanes.

In the late 1960s Fidel Castro decided to rebuild the land and give countrymen somewhere prosperous to live. They planted 7 million trees over ten years and completely changed the landscape.

Today, it is a small community where many Cubans come to spend weekends along the river. There are many hiking trails, a 6-line canopy tour, horseback riding and row boats for the lakes. It’s a tranquil spot far from Spring Break and only 90 minutes from Havana.

Travelers rave about this off the beaten track spot, with a range of accommodation from camping to homestays to the local hotel. It’s an experience not to be missed.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Ayngelina from BaconisMagic.ca

5. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Gran Canaria, Spain

Best places to visit in winter - Gran Canaria, Spain
Best places to visit in winter – Gran Canaria, Spain

Gran Canaria is one of the best places to recharge our batteries in winter.

The weather on this Spanish island is perfect in winter months. The possibility of sunbathing on the beach while it is minus 10 degrees in our home country is one of the best feelings on vacation!

It is especially pleasant in the south – the temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius and there is no unbearable heat. It is just perfect! If you are sun lover, choose Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, San Augustin, Puerto Rico or Puerto de Mogan as your destination.

The biggest attraction in the south of the island are dunes in Maspalomas. It is ideal place both for beach goers and those who love long walks. We can really break a sweat walking on the high dunes!

If you are up to long walks you can hike from Maspalomas to Faro lighthouse. It is one of the oldest lighthouses on Canary Islands – it started working in 1890! If you still feel like walking, there is Paseo de las Meloneras promenade which is one of the most beautiful sidewalks I have ever seen.

Gran Canaria is also a hiker’s paradise. There are many picturesque trails suitable for all levels of experience. The most popular place in the mountains is Roque Nublo. Majestic 80-metre high rock is considered the most important natural monument in Parque Rural del Nublo.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Joanna from overhere.eu

6. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Madrid, Spain

Best places to visit in winter - Madrid, Spain
Best places to visit in winter – Madrid, Spain

Madrid lies further south than a lot of Europe, so during the winter months it’s still blessed with some half decent weather. The skies can still be blue, and the sun is still bright.

Being the nation’s capital, you will find a plethora of top class museums, Centro/Centro or the Palacio de Cibles as well as the Telefonica Building. Both museums have a mix of standard exhibitions – check out the vintage phones in Telefonica as well as the architecture and original fixtures and fitting from the Centro/Centro when it was the hub for all things communication – think telegrams and postal service.

You could spend weeks in Madrid just visiting the eateries – one of the more notable places to hang out on a chilly winters day is San Anton Market, you’ll find this little gem of a place in the Chuecca District.

If you want to venture a little way out of the Madrid, then catch the regular train to nearby Toledo. Toledo was the old capital of Spain, you’ll find the ancient city sat upon a hill surrounded by moats and thick walls. Its picturesque cobbled streets are great to submerse yourself in a bit of Spanish history. In December Toledo is heaving with locals, city dwellers and tourists visiting the Christmas Markets. If you come outside of this time during the winter, you’ll have the luxury of pretty much having the place to yourself.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Becki Rendell aka Backpack Becki

7. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Porto, Portugal

Best places to visit in winter - Porto City, Portugal
Best places to visit in winter – Porto City, Portugal

Actually, Porto is a city to visit all year round. Elected last year (2017) Best European Destination by the European Consumers Choice, the city is a charming place.

Porto is an old city with a true genuine identity, capable to seduce every traveller. There are a lot of things you can do, for couples, solo travellers or even families. In winter time there are seasonal events.

The winter in Porto is not so cold as many others European cities so, don’t even expect snow. Some others reasons are the prices are cheaper, fewer crowds, good food, good wine plus incredible architecture.

In winter time you can enjoy a visit to Port wine caves and have a tasting tour. Don’t forget to go shopping, please use and abuse of local retail shops. There are so many good products you can buy, search for the Portuguese ones at A Vida Portuguesa.

Porto is also known for the comfort food, like francesinha, a must try sandwich. Another good dish for winter warmer is bacalhau, typical Portuguese, with lots of different recipes.

There are plenty of things to do indoor in Porto, like visiting museums like Serralves or Soares dos Reis; go for the old churches like Porto cathedral, Clérigos Church or St. Francis Church and watch a concert at Casa da Música.

At winter everyone in Porto goes for the brunch. Seasonal markets are a crescent reality in the city, you can shop handmade products or even Christmas gifts. There is always something for everyone in the city of Porto. It’s definitely one of the best European city for a winter break.

Photo and winter vacation idea submitted by: Sandrina Ferreira from thewisetravellers.com

8. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

Best places to visit in winter: Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Best places to visit in winter: Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is incredible anytime of the year but becomes just that extra little bit more special in winter. Especially since the beautiful beaches along the Pacific Coast, in the Guanacaste Region, boast excellent weather at this time of year. Blue sunny skies and temperatures hovering in the high twenties are the norm.

Our favourite among these beaches is Playa Avellanas. It is a little slice of paradise. There is very little infrastructure in the neighborhood, just a handful of accommodation and dining options and lots of ocean, coast and jungle to explore.

The first thing you’ll need to do in Playa Avellanas is enjoy some much needed beach time. The beach is long, quiet, and never crowded. It is perfect for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. There is a restaurant right on the beach too. It is named Lola’s after its famous pet pig you’ll find lounging around the property.

If you want to be a little bit more active there is great surf just offshore and at nearby beach Playa Negra. There are stand up paddle boards for rent in the area, kayak tours available to the nearby Estero Venado Junquilla, and lots of places to practice yoga. Otherwise take a horseback ride of the beach, visit the bustling town of Tamarindo nearby, or take a canopy tour. You will never run of things to do in Playa Avellanas in the winter!

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Oksana & Max from DrinkTeaTravel.com

9. Winter Vacation Ideas (Warm Destination) – Cape Town, South Africa

Best places to visit in winter: Cape Town, South Africa
Best places to visit in winter: Cape Town, South Africa

A great destination to visit in winter is Cape Town, South Africa. Being a country in the southern hemisphere the summer season falls during a northern winter, making it an ideal escape for a winter break.

The city attracts sun, sea and adventure seekers like bees to honey during summer months and it’s easy to see why. With an average temperature of 26C it has amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery, rich culture and history, and above all friendly people.

There’s plenty to see and do in the Mother City; wine tasting, endless beaches, hiking, cage diving with great whites, visiting the Instagram-able Bo Kaap district and listening to Acapella singers at the V&A Waterfront.

A must-do is Table Mountain. A five-minute cable car ride will take you to the 1,089m summit for sweeping views of the city below. Cape Town also has an exciting and delectable food scene that can be easily explored through a multitude of food markets and restaurants that suits all tastes and budgets – it’s foodie heaven. This photogenic, English-speaking and Uber-friendly city is perfect for a winter getaway.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Sharon from What The Saints Did Next


1. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Lofoten Islands, Norway

Best places to visit in winter: Lofoten Islands, Norway
Best places to visit in winter: Lofoten Islands, Norway

The Lofoten Islands in northern Norway are easily one of the most spectacular places in the world in winter. Many people think to visit only during the warmer months when the sun doesn’t set and the landscape is colorful and green, but there is something simply magical about the dark winter days and snow covering this dramatic and raw landscape that just leaves me captivated.

Most tourists in Norway flock to Tromso during the winter for activities and northern lights, but you can actually do the same stuff in Lofoten, and it is slightly warmer. In Lofoten, I was able to go on a RIB safari, go snowshoeing, and enjoy delicious, winter food all without heaps of tourists surrounding me.

I saw the northern lights while there, too, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. While I would never say to skip Tromso and places north of it, I highly recommend adding Lofoten to the list of places to visit in winter as it will definitely not leave you disappointed!

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Megan Starr from meganstarr.com

2. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Banff, Canada

Best places to visit in winter: Banff, Canada
Best places to visit in winter: Banff, Canada

Banff is a gorgeous mountain town in Alberta, Canada. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Banff is a incredible place to explore during the wintertime. Known for its world-class ski and snowboarding conditions, you can count on a long season with lots of fresh powder.

If skiings not your thing, opt for a dog-sled ride through the mountains all the way to the border of British Colombia, or take a winter hike through Johnston canyon to the magical frozen waterfalls. Nearby you may see ice climbers, and you can even try it yourself!

Banff is also home to the world famous Lake Louise, which becomes even more picturesque as the snow falls over the mountain and the water freezes, offering visitors a chance to skate around the lake. After all the fun in the snow, warm up and relax in the Banff hot springs or by a fire in one of the cozy chalets in the town of Banff. There is no shortage of amazing activities to do in Banff during the wintertime.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Lora from explorewithlora.com

3. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Reykjavík, Iceland

Best places to visit in winter: Reykjavík Iceland
Best places to visit in winter: Reykjavík Iceland

While looking for the perfect winter holiday most of us start by considering somewhere warm, tropical even. Likely your mind won’t go straight to the frozen landscapes of Iceland. However, not giving the land of fire and ice a chance is a big mistake!

The hip & happening capital city of Reykjavík comes alive in the winter. Stargazers and hearty tourists get to enjoy the sites without the lines & waits they’d experience in the summer and the Christmas and new year cheer flows freely amongst the locals and tourists alike.

From seeking out the northern lights near Reykjavík to exploring the ice crusted waterfalls or even soaking in Icelands Hot Springs, Winter in Iceland makes for an amazing European escape you won’t soon forget!

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Patrick Horsfield from Adventographer Travel & Photo Blog

3. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Stockholm, Sweden

Best places to visit in winter: Stockholm, Sweden
Best places to visit in winter: Stockholm, Sweden

Bitterly cold temperatures aside, we had a fantastic time visiting Stockholm in winter.

Stockholm is built on 14 islands, meaning that walking through the city you will enjoy stunning views of the canals. Stockholm is very well connected, with bridges, viaducts and footpaths everywhere, meaning you can explore the whole city centre on foot. We would definitely recommend this, as the architecture is stunning. Just make sure you wrap up warm!

Despite being cold, we experienced clear blue skies and winter sun. The reflections on the water made for some awesome Instagram shots!

After a few hours exploring on foot, it will probably be time to head inside and warm up a little! Check out one of the many different museums on offer. Our favourites were by far the Vasa Museum, and the ABBA museum:

Vasamuseet – This was a great experience. Today the museum has the entire Vasa warship on display. The ship is almost completely well-preserved, despite spending over 300 years at the bottom of Stockholm Bay! It’s quite a sight!

ABBA Museum – No visit to Stockholm is complete without a visit to the ABBA museum! The museum is extremely interactive, with karaoke booths, and even a stage where you can perform with holograms of the band! We had a blast here!

To warm up even further, head to a local café for Swedish ‘fika’. This is a very traditional concept – essentially a coffee break with family or friends, with an emphasis of taking time, slowing down and spending quality time catching up. And it’s not fika unless a sweet treat is included – usually a cinnamon bun, or the local ‘princess cake’!

Yes, it may be freezing, but don’t let that put you off! It’s one of the most beautiful cities we have visited, with so much on offer. Grab your hat, scarves and gloves, stick some ABBA on your iPod, and check out Stockholm in winter!

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Sion and Ben from theglobetrotterguys

4. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Central Oregon, USA

Best places to visit in winter: Central Oregon, USA
Best places to visit in winter: Central Oregon, USA

Central Oregon has some of the best winter weather in the Northwest. Whereas Portland and Seattle are often dreary and wet, the high desert climate keeps Central Oregon sunny and relatively dry. Nearby mountains with crisp snows are perfect for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing.

Bend, Oregon is a hot spot for families, vacationers, and outdoor adventurists. Its craft breweries, popular restaurants, and trendy shops draw crowds in both summer and winter. Nearby Redmond, Oregon is a bit more off-the-beaten-path with an up-and-coming revitalized historic town center. (Redmond is also home to the area’s one commercial airport, which cuts out a 3 hour drive if you were to fly into Portland instead.) Many visitors also enjoy staying in one of the area’s resorts, like Black Butte Ranch or Sunriver.

If you enjoy staying active and love a crisp, white winter, definitely check out Central Oregon for your next trip.

Winter vacation idea submitted by: Michelle C. from roamredmondoregon.com

5. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Maastricht, Netherlands

Best places to visit in winter: Maastricht, Netherlands
Best places to visit in winter: Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastricht is one of the most beautiful cities in The Netherlands and always a must visit. However, during winter Maastricht becomes even more charming. There’s a big Christmas market from mid- December until mid-January. There’s are choirs singing Christmas carols, plenty of stalls to find the best souvenirs and there’s even a Ferris wheel that will give you the best view of Maastricht. But that’s not all. Maastricht has more to offer than just that.

Maastricht is also very famous in The Netherlands for its charming streets, having a hilly surrounding, great cafes and incredible regional food. Exploring regional food is a great thing to do, no matter what time you are here. Wandering through this medieval city during winter, with the Christmas decorations is a true dream.

Drink a great coffee and observe the city and its people. One of my favourite things about Maastricht is people. They are warm and friendly. They will help you if you have questions and they are happy to share the best spots in the city with you. During winter you can find them usually in small coffee shops, museums and great boutiques. That’s another thing I love about Maastricht. It’s quaint, has great museums that are best to visit during winter and you can do some wonderful shopping.

All in all, that makes Maastricht a great city to visit during winter. But also, don’t forget to visit Maastricht no matter what time you are in The Netherlands.

Winter vacation idea and photo submitted by: Manon from visitingthedutchcountryside.com

6. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – London, UK

Best places to visit in winter - London, UK
Best places to visit in winter – London, UK

London is a great city to visit all year round but I especially love to visit London in the winter! The great thing about London in winter is that there aren’t the hordes of crowds that visit London in summer and there is a great mix of indoor and outdoor activities that you can do that suit winter weather!

In December you can experience of wealth of Christmas markets and winter wonderlands and see the beautiful lights of regents street! But my favourite December activity is to go skating outside London’s natural history museum!

After Christmas, away from peak season you can visit all of the main London sights uninhibited! Places like Buckingham palace, the changing of the guard and the Tower of London are virtually empty by comparison to in the summer season! And if it gets too cold or windy for you you can seek respite in one of London’s many world class museums or perhaps dip into a traditional London pub for a nice warming pie and pint! To me London Is the perfect winter city break!

Winter vacation idea and photo by : Leona from Wandermustfamily

6. Winter Vacation Ideas (Cold Destination) – Belgrade, Serbia

Best places to visit in winter: Belgrade, Serbia
Best places to visit in winter: Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is an amazing city to visit year-round, but there are many things to do in Belgrade that make it perfect to visit in winter. My favorite is to visit the Hotel Moskva. One of the most beautiful and famous buildings in the city, many tourists will walk by it during their time here. However, it’s a real treat to go inside and escape the cold. They have many great desserts to choose from, but I would suggest ordering the Moskva Schnitt, which is their namesake cake made from cherries and almonds. They will even suggest which wines to pair with it!

Belgrade is also a great museum city, with many great institutions to choose from. A visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art is a great idea any time, but especially on Wednesdays when it’s free. The National Museum in Belgrade just completed a major renovation and has reopened after being closed for years.

The city is also a great food city. You can dine at restaurants as nice and delicious as in western Europe, but for half the price. My personal favorites for a modern take on Balkan cuisine are Manufaktura and Ambar.

If you need to keep warm, start your night with some Serbian rakia. It will warm you right up!
Winter vacation idea by : Stephanie Craig from Sofia Adventures.

Phuket is generally known as a beach and party destination. This is true to some extent, especially Patong beach is known for its night market and bars with raunchy entertainment. However, there’s a lot more to Phuket other than partying. Here are some of the best Phuket tours that will make you see Phuket in a whole new light. What’s more these tours pick you up right from your hotel anywhere in the island making it very convenient for you.

Things to do in Phuket – Best Phuket Tours

1. Phi Phi Island Tour

Phi Phi Island Tour is one of best phuket tours and is a must-do for any visitor.
Best Phuket Tours – Phi Phi Islands. Pic Credit: Mariamichelle (Pixabay)

Phi Phi Islands gained world-wide fame when it was featured in “The Beach” movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio. Ever since, crowds have flocked to see the pristine white sand beaches of Phi Phi Islands and the Limestone cliffs. However, due to the huge influx of tourists, the coral life on Maya Beach has become endangered. To protect it from further harm, the government of Thailand has indefinitely suspended access to this particular beach. However, you can still see the other islands and beaches through this tour.

1. Deluxe Phi Phi Island Tour By Speed Boat And Lunch Buffet – Full Day

About the tour

Duration : 8 hrs.
Pick up location: From your hotel in Phuket.
Tour Highlights:

  1. Pick up at 8:00 AM from Hotel
  2. From Phuket marina, go by speed boat to Bamboo Island. Time to snorkel and swim
  3. Next stop is Monkey beach where you can interact with the macaque monkeys that frequent the beach
  4. Lunch at beachside restaurant in Phi Phi Don Island
  5. After lunch, discover the Viking Cave on Phi Phi Lae Island.
  6. Swim in the Pileh Lagoon surrounded by limestone cliffs.
  7. End the day with a visit the famous Maya Bay. Note: If Maya bay is still closed for protection of coral, then the tour will take you to Rang Island

2. Wat Chalong, Big Buddha and Phuket Town Tour

Top Phuket Tours : Big Buddha, Phuket Town and Wat Chalong.
Top Phuket Tours : Big Buddha, Phuket Town and Wat Chalong. Pic credit: @rduxenneuner (Pixabay)

Take a break from the tourist locales of Patong and Karon and get a taste of authentic Phuket in Phuket Town. This town is a treat for the eyes with its colorful pastel buildings. Also included in this tour is a visit to the religious temples and the iconic Buddha statue. The tour signs off with a taste of local rum. More details of the tour below.

Phuket Highlights: Small Group City Tour with Rum Cocktail

About the tour

Duration : 8 hrs.
Pick up location: From your hotel in Phuket.
Tour Highlights:

  1. Pickup from hotel at 11:00 to 11:30 AM in the morning
  2. First stop is the Phuket Town. Explore and learn about the Sino-Portugese architecture that is prominent form of architecture in this town.
  3. Have lunch at your own expense
  4. In the afternoon, visit Wat Chalong the famous Buddhist temple. Climb up the three stories of the temple to see different Buddha statues.
  5. Then, make your way to see the giant marble statue of Buddha as shown in the picture.
  6. After, a visit to the giant Buddha head to the southernmost tip of Thailand, Laem Promthep, and watch the sun set.
  7. The trip ends with a visit to a local rum distillery at Chalong where you can taste a rum cocktail made at the distillery

3. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Top Phuket Tours: Visit to the Elephant sanctuary.
Top Phuket Tours: Visit to the Elephant sanctuary. Pic Credit: @Nickharder(Pixabay)

Say NO to caged animals in zoos and visit Elephants in their natural habitat at this sanctuary. Enjoy half a day of feeding and fun when you play with these gentle giants while learning more about them. Details of the tour given below.

Phuket Elephant sanctuary Tour

About the tour

Duration : 6 hrs.
Pick up location: From your hotel in Phuket.
Tour Highlights:

  1. There are two time slots for this tour: 6:30 to 7:30 AM or 11:00 to 11:30 AM. Pick one that’s convenient.
  2. At the selected time, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Elephant sanctuary
  3. On arrival, you are given food to feed the elephants. You will have ample opportunity to feed, take photos and interact with the elephants
  4. Join the elephants as they take a dip in the mud spa that is good for your skin too. Make sure you pack an extra set of clothes to change into.
  5. Then, follow them to the river where they bathe. You can take this opportunity to clean yourself and swim with the elephants.
  6. Following the swim/play time in the river, you can change into dry clothes and bid adieu to the elephants
  7. You will be served snacks and fruits on the way back.
  8. End the trip with a visit to Naithon beach where you can relax and unwind

4. Siam Niramit Show

Best Phuket Tours: Siam Nimrit Show Tour.
Best Phuket Tours: Siam Nimrit Show Tour. Pic credit: @sasint (Pixabay)

Get an introduction to Thai culture, tradition and religions through the dance performances at Siam Niramit show. You also have the option to add a dinner buffet and hotel pickup and drop off to the experience. Admission tickets are included in the price.

Siam Niramit Show

About the tour

Duration : 6 hrs.
Pick up location: From your hotel from selected areas in Phuket if option is chosen.
Tour Highlights:

  1. You are picked up and dropped off from/to your hotel, if you choose the option.
  2. On arrival, enjoy the 3 acts of Siam Niramit show, featuring dances depicting Thai culture, history and tradition.
  3. Enjoy a buffet of Thai and international cuisine if you chose the option while booking the tour.

5. Muay Thai Boxing Tour

Best Phuket Tours: Muay Thai Boxing Tour.
Best Phuket Tours: Muay Thai Boxing Tour. Pic Credit: @tacofleur (Pixabay)

See Muay Thai boxing upclose held at Bangla Boxing Stadium. If your hotel is in Patong Beach, you may prefer to skip the hotel transfer and just buy the tickets for the matches. Either way by buying the tickets here, you avoid the queues.

Muay Thai Boxing

About the tour

Duration : 4 hrs.
Pick up location: From your hotel in areas given in the tour if you choose the option.
Tour Highlights:

  1. Skip the line and choose your seat to see the Muay Thai Boxing at Bangla Boxing Stadium
  2. Pick up and drop off from selected areas if hotel transfer option is chosen
  3. Choose VIP option if you want to see the action up-close

Japan offers many diverse experiences for a traveler even though it’s a small island. You can take your pick from sprawling modern cities, quaint villages, culturally rich destinations, snow-capped mountains, beaches and islands.
No matter what you are looking for, I’m sure you’ll find it here in my list of the best places to visit in Japan.

Best Places To Visit In Japan

1. Tokyo

Best Places to Visit in Japan: Tokyo
Best Places to Visit in Japan: Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the top cities in the world and a delight to visit. Despite the language barrier, living and traveling in the city feels very smooth and convenient thanks to the excellent transit facilities and courteous locals. Tokyo is known for delicious sea food, fashion and Anime/Manga culture. Popular things to do here is to visit Takeshita street in Harajuku, Electric Town in Akihabara, dazzling night life in Shinjuku, Ginza, Senso-ji Temple, Meji-Jingu and many more. For a more detailed list, see my post on the top things to do in Tokyo.

2. Kyoto

Best places to visit in Japan: Kyoto
Best places to visit in Japan: Kyoto

If you want to experience the cultural and historical aspect of Japan, then Kyoto is a must-visit. Kyoto is somewhat of a contrast to Tokyo. While Tokyo is modern, well-organised and futuristic, Kyoto is slightly chaotic in terms of traffic and geared towards traditional Japanese culture. Hence, instead of skyscrapers, it’s dominated by temples and shrines. You will frequently see people, including some tourists, dressed in Yukatas and Kimonos. This is also where you’ll see Geishas roam the streets and where you can actually interact with them at tea ceremonies and dance performances.

3. Nara

Best places to see in Japan: Nara
Best Places To Visit in Japan: Nara

Nara makes for an easy day trip from Kyoto as it’s just an hour and a half train ride away. Like Kyoto, Nara has many temples but it’s popular for something else – deer. In Nara, lots of deer roam freely in the streets without fear of humans. You can approach them, pet them and even feed them cookies which you can purchase from the street vendors. The deer of Nara are also known to bow their head imitating you when you bow yours. A word of caution when you are petting the deer – they are known to have ticks which carry Lyme disease. So, take appropriate precautions.

4. Kii-Katsuura

Best Places to visit in Japan: Kii Katsuura
Best Places to visit in Japan: Kii Katsuura

Kii-Katsuura in the Kii peninsula is part of the ancient pilgrimage route – the Kumano Kodo trails. Here you’ll find Kumano Nachi Taisha, Daimonzaka and the Senjudo Pagoda set against the backdrop of Nachi Falls as shown in the picture. If you are visting Kumano Kodo from Tokyo or Osaka, then see my post giving you complete directions on how to do that.

5. Kawaguchiko

Best places to visit in Japan: Lake Kawaguchi
Best places to visit in Japan: Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the five lakes from where you can see Mt. Fuji. It’s the most popular and the second largest of the five Fuji Lakes. This place also serves as the base from where you can climb Mt. Fuji. Apart from Mt. Fuji viewpoints you can go boating on the lake and visit other minor attractions located around the lake.

6. Arashiyama

Best places to visit in Japan: Arashiyama
Best places to visit in Japan: Arashiyama

Arashiyama is located in the outskirts of Kyoto and is easily accessible by trains from Kyoto station. The most popular thing to do here is to visit the bamboo groove and Tenryu-ji Temple. You can also ride the Sagano scenic railway which is very beautiful during the cherry blossom season when the cherry trees lining the train tracks are in full bloom.

7. Osaka

Best places to visit in Japan : Osaka. Pic Credit: sharonang (Pixabay)
Best places to visit in Japan : Osaka. Pic Credit: sharonang (Pixabay)

Osaka is another major city in Japan next to Tokyo. The main downtown area is in Umeda where you can shop, dine and see many skyscrapers such as the Umeda Sky building. Minami, in the south of Osaka is another popular shopping spot in the city. Besides shopping, you can also visit the Osaka Castle, Universal Studios, Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka Aquarium and Shitennoji Temple.

8. Mount Aso and Komezuka

Best places to visit in Japan: Mount Aso and Komezuka. Pic credit : @DeltaWorks (Pixabay)
Best places to visit in Japan: Mount Aso and Komezuka. Pic credit : @DeltaWorks (Pixabay)

If you are feeling brave and adventorous, then go see an active volcano at Mount Aso. This mountain is located on Kyusu island in Kumamato Prefecture. Since it’s an active volcano, when the conditions get dangerous, visitors are prohibited from entering the area. So, please check the volcano’s condition here before you make arrangements to visit. Also, if you suffer from respiratory conditions, then its better to avoid this visit as the gases from the active volcano can have adverse effects on your health. You can get to the volcano through as bus from the JR Aso station or by car. The picture shown here is not of Mount Aso but Komezuka, which is a small inactive volcano and can be seen on the way to Mount Aso.

9. Itsukushima or Miyajima Island

Best places to visit in Japan: Miyajima
Best places to visit in Japan: Miyajima . Pic credit: @theerab (Pixabay)

Itsukushima Island, also known as Miyajima, is one of the most scenic islands in Japan. It is especially beautiful in the fall when the maple trees on the island change color to a brilliant crimson. It’s also known for the giant Torri gate as shown in the picture. This Torri gate gets partially submerged in water during high tide and you can walk right up to it during low tide. Just as in Nara, you can spot deer roaming freely along the beach and near many temples and shrines.

10. Mount Koya

Best Places to see in Japan: Mount Koya. Pic credit: @Silsilvia (Pixabay)
Best Places to visit in Japan: Mount Koya. Pic credit: @Silsilvia (Pixabay)

Mount Koya or Koyasan is a religious retreat for members of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Tourists can experience the quiet life of the monks by living overnight in one of the temples. You can also take part in the day to day prayers, meditation and sutra copying rituals of the monks. Book a Shukobo, acommodation in one of the temples, in advance as they are limited and in much demand. Remember to take adequate cash on your visit, as credit cards are not accepted at these places.