Why The Philippines Should Be Your Destination

I have been traveling for a long time now, have visited various corners of the globe, and have met with many other fellow wanderers. I tend to get asked a lot for recommendations. I have many recommendations. I try to recommend different places based on who is asking. But one destination that always comes up in my list is that little (relatively speaking) archipelago in South East Asia, The Philippines.

 

Of course, it is not enough to simply say that you need to include the Philippines in your itinerary. You need convincing reasons, and I have a few of them that would really make for a strong case. For instance:

 

The Friendliest People You’ll Ever Meet

 

Filipinos are very friendly, hospitable people who are as welcoming as they are curious, and tend to see tourists and foreigners as guests that must be respected, as opposed to outsiders who must be eyed with suspicion. If you visit the country, chances are you will find a lot of happy and smiling locals who are fond of singing and dancing when there is the slightest excuse to do so.

 

Many Filipinos are English Speakers

 

Many Filipinos are either bilingual or multilingual, capable of speaking English and at least one of their local languages. This means there is really no need to learn an additional language just to get around. Majority of the people that you will meet will have no problem talking to you. As mentioned above, they are very hospitable and will go out of their way to make tourists comfortable, that means speaking in English even if they are not fluent in the language, just to make you feel more at home.

 

Biggest Shopping Malls in Asia

 

If you like to shop around while touring a foreign country, you’ll love the Philippines. The Filipinos treat shopping as a family activity, and being a tropical country with warm climate all year-round, they enjoy malls due to the air conditioning. So it’s only natural that the country will be home to some of the most expansive and beautiful malls in the region. In fact, three malls from the country – SM City North Edsa, SM Megamall, and SM Seaside City Cebu – are in the list of ten largest malls in the world.

 

Some of the Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

 

Since the Philippines consist of 7,107 islands, it is only natural that it is teeming with scenic and paradise-like beaches. One of the top beaches in the world, the White Beach in Boracay, is in the Philippines and is a must-visit for any tourist. People who enjoy beautiful sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, it won’t be hard to find the right one in the Philippines.

Philippines

The Best Nature Has to Offer

 

Finally, the Philippines is a great destination for nature lovers because it is home to a very diverse sampling of flora and fauna, and some of the most stunning natural wonders such as the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, or the Rice Terraces in Banae. The Country is also host to several dozen volcanoes, and even more unspoiled wonders of nature such as caves, lakes, and waterfalls. If you want to be closer to mother nature, the country will give you ample opportunity.

Visiting Thailand for the First Time

When first-time world travelers ask around for ideal places to visit, Thailand is usually included in the recommendations. This is for a very good reason. There are a lot of beautiful countries in Southeast Asia, but Thailand is one of the most tourist-friendly ones out there. The country is rightfully the gateway tourist spot for many backpackers and travel adventurers, as the country is full of exciting surprises but still very approachable for novice travelers.

 

However, as with any travel destination, it is not smart to just jump in with both feet without any preparations or considerations. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when visiting Thailand for the first time. These include:

 

When to Visit

 

Technically, you can visit Thailand any time of the year. But depending on your preferences or predisposition, there are specific months where that will make your time in the country more fulfilling. Most tourists visit Thailand in the period between October to April, so if you want to mingle with a lot of fellow travelers, this is the ideal time. Tourists can expect some rain and really hot weather over the summer months, which could be uncomfortable for people (especially the elderly or those with health problems), but this is also the time when you can get a lot of discounts and bargains on tours and hotels. There are also specific months that you must target if you want to experience certain holidays—Loi Krathong or the Lantern Festival in October and November, or Songkran around April.

 

What Do You Wear in Thailand

 

Thailand is a tropical country with a warm climate all throughout the year, so there’s really no need to carry heavy, warm clothing. But do take note of the fact that there are temples in the country that require men and women’s shoulders and knees to be covered. This also applies to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

 

While the country does have rainy seasons, you can easily buy an umbrella or a coat if needed from their markets. Basic amenities like these can be found at convenience stores, particularly those that are near tourist spots. In terms of fashion, you will be surprised at the brands that you can buy at Bangkok’s malls. They have popular names from the west all the way to the east. If you want locally-made clothes, the markets are also a great place to visit. Assuming that you have a knack for bartering, you will find a great many deals on decent clothes.

 

What to Expect in Terms of Activities and Places

 

And then we get to the important part: what kind of things can you get up to when you visit Thailand? As expected of a country with a warm climate and a large number of islands, your best options for a getaway in the country are beaches, islands, luxury resorts, and all the good things that come with it. These include the best fresh seafood you will ever taste in a long time, and an overwhelming amount of options for outdoors activity ranging from water sports to rock climbing, and everything in between. Thailand also has a bustling nightlife and a veritable smorgasbord of street food, for travelers with an exotic taste.

Thailand Temple

Whatever you need to do, Thailand is the perfect place to cut your teeth as a world traveler. It has everything that you’d want in terms of fun and education, and it’s also welcoming to people who still have a lot to learn. Consider making Thailand your first stop before venturing out into other popular tourist destinations.

Tour Adelaide Without Breaking the Bank

Tourists who want to see the very best of South Australia will naturally point to its capital city, Adelaide, as a great starting point. There’s a lot of sights and sounds to experience, and being the fifth most densely populated city in the country means that there’s also plenty of people to meet, both in terms of local and fellow travelers. Unfortunately, Adelaide isn’t exactly the destination for people who want to travel the world on the cheap. Staying in Adelaide for a while can cost you, so what happens when you run out of funds – do you pack up and go home?

 

No. There’s plenty to do in Adelaide even if your wallet is already stretched thin. Here are some tips on how you can make what little money you have last in South Australia’s capital city:

 

Free Bus Ride

 

There are two free “city loop” bus services in Adelaide, which allow commuters to ride to and fro in opposite directions without paying anything. Any traveler that wants to get to meet the city in its purest form will do well to take these buses as they offer a close encounter with the city and will even let you rub shoulders with other travelers and helpful locals.

 

Pedal Pushing Tour

 

Adelaide also has the “Adelaide Free Bikes” program, which allows people to rent a bike along with a helmet and other accessories, in exchange for nothing but a valid photo ID as deposit. Pedaling your way around the city not only gets you a scenic tour, but also gives you some much needed exercise!

 

Appreciate Art and History

 

Adelaide’s Central Business District has two important cultural hotspots: the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. Travelers can visit and take in all the culture of the city’s storied history without spending anything, as long as they resist the temptation to stop for coffee or lunch at one of the cafes (which, admittedly, will be difficult test of willpower.) These museums are also great for meeting other fellow travelers. While I was the South Australian Museum, I met a wonderful young lady who lives in California and whose father provides general contractor palm desert services and needs to everyone in the city and surrounding cities they live near. It was great to meet a fellow travelers and exchange small talk. We plan to stay in touch in the future.

 

If All Else Fails, Walk

 

Last but not the least, you can’t beat the joy of simply strolling and hiking. And Adelaide City Countil offers a downloadable “Adelaide City Explorer” self-guided walking tour on their official site, free of charge. It consists of 19 themed trails that will take travelers through historic pubs, public art, and the best sights that the city has on offer.

Adelaide

Planning a Trip to Peru: Avoid These Novice Mistakes

Peru is a popular destination for tourists who prefer experiencing a diverse climate that ranges from arid to extremely freezing, and everything in between. This is because Peru has both sea level Pacific beaches alongside steep mountains such as the Nevado Huascaran. If you wish to join the mad dash for Peru, there are a few things you have to avoid doing if you don’t want to look like a complete amateur.

Planning a Trip to Peru

Don’t Ignore Lima

 

Most tourists tend to rush immediately to the former capital, Cuzco, because they want to see Machu Picchu. But in their rush, they forget all about Lima. Why is this such a big mistake? Because Lima is one of the largest cities in Peru and home to around 30 million people. You will miss a huge chunk of what the country has to offer if you don’t include this city in your itinerary—Lima is home to the wonderful Miraflores district, which is the go-to place if you’re into scenic beaches, and you’re also going to miss the Erotic Gallery at the Museo Larco, which is one of the few museums that celebrate sexuality and turn it into a tasteful art form. It’s definitely nothing like you’ve seen, even if you’ve watched countless hours of www.hgtv.com/

 

It’s Not All About the Incas

 

While it is true that many Incan ruins, such as the aforementioned Machu Picchu are a must if you want to experience the rich history of Peru, it is a sore mistake and frankly an affront if you think that the Incans are the only interesting thing about the country’s past. Peru is also proud of other significant cultures such as the Moche and the Paracas, and they too have a part in the country’s rich history.

 

Bring Cash, Preferably in Small Bills

 

For something that’s a little more practical in terms of usefulness: bring cash in small bills. Many businesses in Peru accept credit cards, and they will even put up signs advertising the fact. But sometimes they will also refuse cards and ask for nuevo soles in small denominations, because merchants need it to ensure that they can make change. Many Peruvian merchants will also accept foreign currency, particularly US Dollars, so if you find yourself stuck with a store that doesn’t accept credit cards but have no access to local currency, you may want to ask if they will accept your money as is.

The 3 Most Important Things to Remember When Visiting Japan

Despite not being part of the otaku subculture, I have spent a lot of time in Japan. It is one of my favorite countries to visit, and over time I have learned a lot of things that will help one make the most out of their stay in this small, but very beautiful and culture-rich country. Here are a few practical things you might want to keep in mind:

 

Get a JR Pass

 

If you ever plan on staying in the country for more than a week and visiting different places, you could save a lot of money and headache if you get a Japan Rail Pass. It’s going to cost roughly $250, but this gives foreigners access to any JR line in the country for a whole week. This includes several of their high speed trains.

JR Rail

 

Cash is Important

 

Japan is very big on cash. Many establishments that you would normally expect to take credit cards, such as food places, sometimes don’t. I have even visited a McDonald’s that doesn’t take credit. And of course, many of them post signs outside (in English) that they don’t accept cards, so it’s not like you’ll be blindsided.

 

Learn a Little Bit of Japanese

 

Learning a new language is a tall order, and the Japanese are very modest and will try to converse in English if they know that you don’t speak their language, but English is not as widely spoken in the country compared to, say, the Philippines. You should at least learn how to ask if they can speak English (Eigo o hanashimasu ka?) if they reply with “iie” (no),. then you’ll save a lot of time going back and forth.

Planning a group trip to Israel

Going on holiday to Israel is one thing, but to plan a group trip to Israel with your friends and family is something completely different. There are so many things that you should consider, and you need to make sure that you are making sure that everyone is having a great time. These are some tips about how you can plan a group trip to Israel and make sure that everyone is satisfied and happy.

Start planning early

The one thing that you need to do, is to start planning early. The earlier you start your planning, the better and more organize your group trip is going to be.

You need to look at transport, accommodation, food, activities and places that you can visit. The more research and planning you are going to do, the better the results are going to be and the more fun everyone is going to have.

Make sure about everyone’s budget

You need to make sure about everyone’s budget. You don’t want to organize something that someone can’t afford. This is going to cause conflict and some really unhappiness. This is why you should get to know what everyone can afford and work from there.

Without knowing their budgets, you might organize something that is too expensive and that no one can’t afford. Or, you will not have some money left for spending.

Organize activities for everyone’s tastes

When it comes to organizing activities, you need to make sure that you are considering what everyone likes to do. Because everyone is paying their share, it is just fair to ensure that you organize activities that everyone will enjoy, and not only something that you will enjoy.

You need to make a list of the things that your friends and family like to do, and ensure that there is something for everyone. This will make sure that you and your friends have an enjoyable holiday or tour.

Getting some group accommodation might be better than booking a hotel.

When it comes to group accommodation, you need to make sure that you are considering to book accommodation that is perfect for groups. To book hotel rooms might end up expensive and you aren’t going to get the group tour feeling. There are many different accommodations available that are ideal for groups. It is cheaper and has the right atmosphere that is relaxed and enjoyable for groups.

Organizing a group tour to Israel isn’t that easy that you might have thought. And, if you don’t really consider these tips, you might organize something where someone might not be satisfied with. It can also cause some conflict if someone doesn’t do activities that they prefer. Take your time and make sure that you are doing your planning as soon as possible and make sure that you are considering everyone’s budget.