A Comprehensive KL Travel Guide

Kuala Lumpur is not just the sultry capital of Malaysia but much more than that.  Within the vibrant mix of domes and skyscrapers, colorful, food-stall-lined streets and a skyline punctuated by minarets, is the essential mix of India, Tamil, Malay, Thai and Chinese cultures. It is indeed a melting pot of many nations and one of the few capitals in the world where one gets a collision course of varied experiences because of the diverse multi-ethnic groups. Just look for one of those best budget Kuala Lumpur hotels and get ready to navigate the city and enjoy a wild night out or the delicious Malaysian cuisine or look for the top bargains in the city. Make the make the most of your visit to Malaysia!

When to go

As the city is persistently hot, the best months to visit are from December to February and March to October when the temperatures are lower.

Where to Stay

Kuala Lumpur caters to all kind of tourists and travelers with all kind of budgets. Browse Traveloka Malaysia to make bookings at some of the top hotels with impressive city views, quality facilities and impeccable services for an enjoyable stay and great memories.  The costs for the budget hotels start from 50-55 MYR per night for a basic room with free breakfast and WiFi.

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What to do and see

There is plenty to do and see in Kuala Lumpur and here are some spots that you should visit:

  • Merdeka Square & Kuala Lumpur City Gallery – It was here that the Malaysian national flag was hoisted for the first time. City Gallery is a museum of the past.
  • The KLCC Park – Relax in the beautiful park and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It even has a public swimming pool.
  • The Petronas Twin Towers – The towers are the famous landmark and remain the second highest twin towers in the world.
  • Bukit Bintang – Filled with locals and tourists, it is one of the most popular shopping districts of Kuala Lumpur.
  • Masjid Negara – It is modernly designed national mosque which has 73 meters high minaret, and it can house about 13,000 worshipers
  • Orchid Garden – Feast your eyes on the beautiful orchids and enjoy the magnificent view at the skyline of KL, away from the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur.
  • Chinatown – Take a walk in the Chinatown along the Petaling Street and shop for all sorts of items and enjoy delicious Chinese food.
  • Kasturi Walk – Another popular with locals and tourists, one can take back beautiful souvenirs from here as well as try a variety of the Malaysian cuisine
  • Brickfields – Little India has several stores with Indian goods and serves all kind of Indian dishes.
  • Batu Caves – A short distance away from Kuala Lumpur, explore the caves with limestone cliffs inside and filled with Hindu shrines and temples.

Where to eat

KL is best explored on foot if you want to see all the action and so not want to miss out on the city’s best dining spots. Enjoy coffee at the traditional neighborhood Kopitiam or taste the freshly cooked food at the hawker stalls. The average cost of street food is wells under 10 MYR per dish. Do try out Malaysia’s national dish, Nasi Lemak made of sambal paste, coconut rice, and fried anchovies. Curry Laksa is another favorite Malaysian food which is a noodle dish but of Chinese origin. Penang noodle soup, Prawn Mee is made with a spicy shrimp soup. Roti canai is flaky and fluffy and is a flatbread which is Indian influenced. Some other must-try dishes include Bak Kut The, Chili Pan Mee, Chicken Rice, Roasted Pork Rice and Hokkien Mee.

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7 Top attractions in San Diego

San Diego is one of the earliest towns in California and is located not far from the Mexico border. Founded in 1769, the enchanting town lures hundreds and millions of visitors every year because of its pleasant climate, plenty of sunshine and enchanting natural beauty. The city boasts of Spanish Colonial-style architecture as well as museums and gardens. There are miles and miles of beaches and a lot to do and see in San Diego. Whether one is on a family holiday or traveling solo or are looking for a romantic getaway, the town will not disappoint you. There is never any shortage of music festivals, road races and sporting events in San Diego. Look for San Diego beachfront rentals for a fantastic and affordable stay and enjoy easy access to many of the top sites and attractions in town.

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[Photo courtesy of pixabay/pexels.com]

Here are some of the prime tourist attractions in San Diego.

Take a tour of USS Midway Aircraft Carrier

San Diego is the perfect place if looking for military ties. The 972-foot-long aircraft carrier is a major tourist attraction and makes sure that you just don’t skip this one. The tour appeals to visitors of all ages and genders. The USS Midway was the longest-serving U.S. Navy carrier and remained the largest ship in the world from 1945 to 1955. The impressive ship could carry more than 4,000 people. Apart from the aircraft carrier, there are other aircraft on display.

Explore the Balboa Park

The 1,400-acre site of the Balboa Park encompasses museums, gardens, and historical buildings. With plenty of green space, it is easy to note the predominant architecture is Spanish-style within the natural surroundings. Some of the highlights of the place include the famous San Diego Zoo, the Museum of Natural History and the San Diego Museum of Art. Balboa Park was originally constructed for temporary use, and today it has become the city’s most-loved park. There are trees, lawns, and fountains and one can easily find several picture-perfect spots to capture in their camera. Individuals of all ages and interests enjoy being in the park. One could ride a bike, take a walk, ride a carousel or see a Shakespeare play.

Go to the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo first showcased its animals in 1916. It was a Kodiak bear named Caesar. Today, the zoo has come a long way and topped the lists of the zoos. The animals here are kept in the most natural settings possible. The Giant Pandas are the most popular inhabitants of the zoo. Other than that, one can see warty pigs, koalas, albino boa constrictor and California Condors. The 100 acres of the zoo also houses more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals. There are more than 700,000 exotic plants in its prominent botanical collection.

Visit La Jolla, the prime beach town

La Jolla means “the jewel” in Spanish, and as one of the most upscale prime beach town in San Diego, the location of the beach indeed makes it shine like a gem among the beaches. Visitors can enjoy lovely ocean views and dine at excellent restaurants. They can kayak, surf, or tide pool-hop. Or, one could simply walk along the cliffs and overlook the waters. Backed by the steep slopes and surrounded on three sides by the sea, you will simply get captivated by La Jolla’s natural beauty. Enjoy that abundance of activities, museums and art galleries, and a slew of outdoor activities. Families can picnic, and the beautiful beaches are the biggest draw for locals and visitors.

Sky View of City during Sun Set

[Photo courtesy of picjumbo.com/pexels.com]

Stroll around the Seaport Village

Seaport Village is indeed a delightful place to spend an afternoon. The village is situated right on the waterfront and is one of the city’s must-sees. The area boasts of unique shops and restaurants, and one can enjoy their food at picnic tables, benches, and waterfront patios that can be found throughout the area. Enjoy the outdoor performances that are held regularly in the afternoons. Take the stroll along the waterfront of the Seaport Village, which has fun-filled pleasures for the whole family. There are free shopping shuttles that pick up at the cruise ship terminal and drops off on Harbor Drive. The waterfront shopping and entertainment complex is spread across 14 acres and is enough to keep one busy for hours.

The Coronado island

Coronado is actually a peninsula and is a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego Bay. Its beaches are named among the best in the country, and it is indeed an enjoyable experience to be in the lively little downtown. Coronado Walking Tour is indeed one of the best things one could do in San Diego. Coronado Cruise Bike Tour is both fun and adventurous as it takes you along many picturesque spots. Another fun activity is to go for stand-up paddle boarding is, which is the newest and most fun ways to enjoy Coronado Island. You can also tour the island on a Segway.

San Diego Museum of Art

San Diego Museum of Art collection covers a broad spectrum of works from around the world. In fact, there are artworks that date back to 7,000 years ago. The architecture of the museum with finely-chiseled terracotta and silversmith work is based on Platero style. Artworks from famous Spanish painters adorn the façade. One also gets to see art from the Americas as well as Asian art and European art.

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Reasons to Choose San Diego for Your California Vacation

There are several incredible cities to choose from in California if you’re looking for a break. Whether you live there or you’re visiting from out of state, deciding which place is best for you can be tough. LA and San Francisco are huge attractions, not just in the US by globally too, but there are other cities to choose from. San Diego is another excellent option, which is still large and has a lot to offer. It’s great for everyone from families to couples looking for a romantic getaway or even solo travelers. Take note of these fantastic reasons to choose San Diego for your next trip.

San Diego Skyline

Enjoy a Relaxing Spa Experience

The San Diego area is well known as being a destination for spas. A spa experience is a great way to relax if you need a break, and there are spas available at different price points and offering a range of things to do. You might want a spa where you’re going to be pampered, or perhaps one where you can engage in some fitness activities. Anyone looking for a luxury spa in San Diego can find several resorts like the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Rancho La Puerta is supposedly the world’s first fitness spa – although it’s over 30 miles from San Diego, in Baja.

Take a Wine Vacation

Wine lovers can’t take a vacation in California without checking out some vineyards or wine merchants. San Diego County has over 50 wineries, so you won’t run out of places to visit and wines to try. You can just enjoy the local wines by having them with your restaurant meals, enjoying a glass or two at a bar or buying a few bottles to take home. But if it’s all about the experience for you, you could also take a wine tour or go on a tasting. Try a winery tour by train if you want to experience something different.

San Diego, Cityscape, Bay, City

[Photo courtesy of sanguin2/pixabay.com]

Explore Areas Outside the City

Not everyone wants to try and get around a sprawling downtown area when they’re on vacation. If you prefer to be a little more out of the way, it’s easy to get outside of the city proper in San Diego. Staying at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla, you’re close enough to all the action but also out of the way. La Jolla is a lovely seaside location, with plenty of places to eat, shop, and more. It’s only 12 miles from downtown San Diego, so it’s simple to get closer to the action if you want to.

Head to the Beach

One of the best things about San Diego, compared to other coastal cities in California, is that it’s easy to get to the beach – and it won’t be too crowded. If you head to Border Fields State Park, in the south of the county, you might even get the beach to yourself. You can enjoy lounging on the beach and sunbathing, but some people would much prefer to get out on the water. If you want to learn to surf, you can take a two-hour lesson at Mission Beach.

San Diego and the surrounding county have a lot to offer. It could be the perfect place for your next vacation.

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Moving Abroad for a New Perspective

We’re rapidly approaching the new year, and you might be considering your new year’s resolutions in advance. This is brilliant! Most of the time, we come up with resolutions out of thin air as the clock chimes midnight, only to have forgotten them by the next day. By planning ahead, you get to the venture more thought and yourself time to become settled on it. So, where should you start? Maybe you could try more exercise? Perhaps you could kick a bad habit… Resolutions are supposed to change your life in a positive way. So why not go for something bold? Something to remember. Something that will truly make a difference! Well, changes don’t get much bigger than moving abroad, and there are so many positives that can come hand in hand with the new perspective that this experience will provide you with. So, whether you plan to move for a couple of months or make things more permanent, here are a few places to consider and lessons that they might teach you.

Indonesia

If you’re looking for culture, Indonesia is home to culture en mass. This Southeast Asian nation is comprised of thousands of small, volcanic islands and is home to almost as many different ethnic groups. By visiting the different areas, you will expose yourself to numerous languages, cuisines, rituals, and other social and cultural phenomena. Perhaps start out with Jakarta – the region’s capital. Located on the island of Java, Jakarta is the centre of Indonesia’s economics and politics. With a population of over ten million individuals, you’re bound to meet some interesting people, perhaps making true friends for life! A huge lesson that moving to Jakarta will teach you is patience. When you visit many of the world’s major cities, you often romanticise the spaces. Jakarta, on the other hand, is relatively noisy, polluted, and can prove overwhelming at first. However, once you have settled in, you will begin to unearth its many charms. If you are looking for somewhere a little more rural, you may want to consider another place. Rural Indonesia can be extremely difficult to integrate into, especially if you are used to the privileges of a Western lifestyle such as easy to access healthcare. Instead, opt for a smaller city. Why not consider Bogor? This is near enough to Jakarta to realistically be considered a suburb, but it is also the third largest city in Indonesia itself. It has a higher elevation than Jakarta, and thus the climate is a little more desirable. While temperatures will still be warm, there will be lower humidity. Despite being a city, Bogor is an extremely natural place to live. It has a beautiful botanical garden and a presidential palace with sprawling lands that play host to herds of tiny deer. Take a look at the types of housing available to you in the area at rumahdijual.com/bogor/perumahan-murah.

Italy

For years, films and the media have portrayed Italy through rose-tinted spectacles. So is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Well, the only way to truly know is to try it out yourself! There are numerous benefits to living in Italy. But let’s start with one of the most obvious: the food. The Italian food that we serve up in our restaurants doesn’t have a patch on the original. Delicious pizzas, pasta, and other traditional dishes will make you question how you ever survived on anything else. Italy also has astounding supermarkets, with full spreads of fresh fruits, vegetables and cheese. What’s more? The country enforces strict food standards laws, ensuring that use of preservatives and colourings are kept to a minimum. The downside? While goods that are made or grown in Italy are cheap, everything else that is imported tends to have a relatively hefty price tag. Now, for accommodation. You’re going to want to know where you’re living, after all. Housing in Italy tends to be old and relatively small. It’s also pretty expensive. But your money does tend to go towards good service. Properties are generally well maintained, and when something breaks, landlords tend to be some of the fastest to resolve the problem. In terms of transport, the roads are pretty dangerous. Confusing rules and numerous erratic drivers can frequently result in problems, particularly if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings. Public transport links, on the other hand, are brilliant, with services connecting everywhere between the North and the South for an affordable fare. The lesson that living Italy is likely to teach you is that for every negative aspect of life, there’s a brilliant one that more than compensates for the first’s faults.

New Zealand

It seems like increasing numbers of people are opting to move to New Zealand. So what’s drawing them to this relatively small country in the South Pacific? Well, like its neighbour Australia, New Zealand is renowned for its laid-back ethics. The country is renowned for its ethos of life being for living and this is reflected in the balanced lifestyle that most of its inhabitants take on. The country is forward thinking, well developed and well connected. It has a whole host of career opportunities and chances for advancement. However, great emphasis is placed on ensuring that you only work allotted hours before returning home to spend quality time with your friends or family. You are entitled to over twenty days off every year to kick back and relax and do whatever takes your fancy. Did we mention that your commute is likely to be shorter, as there’s less traffic? You can expect to leave your workplace and be home at a decent hour! Along with the country’s low crime rates, uncrowded communities and easy-going ways, it’s not surprising that the people living here tend to suffer from less stress. Besides the general lack of pressure, there’s also astounding scenery to sink back into. Search for images of New Zealand and one thing will strike you in particular: how pure and clean everything looks. You can revel in nature, visiting waterfalls, natural lakes, and mountains without having to travel excessively far. Believe it or not, there are also rainforests, black sand beaches, white sand beaches, planes, geysers, mud pools, and hot springs. The profound diversity of the landscape is immense for such a relatively small place. So, if you’re currently stressed and overworked, open your eyes to the fact that life doesn’t have to be lived in this way to be productive and rewarding.

When it comes to getting a new perspective on the world, you may have to take a step outside of your comfort zone. Sure, you know these places exist. You can read about them all day if you like. But to get a real taste for how different life can be in different places, you’re going to have to take the plunge and experience different countries, landscapes, and cultures yourself. A holiday may well be a good taster, but really consider living in each of these places for an extended period of time. Not only will you learn a lot about others, but you will learn so much about yourself in the process too! Every country or city you come into contact with will have a different lesson to endow you with. These are just three different places that we’ve listed. There are so many more out there! So, do your research, book your flights, and throw caution to the wind. Make your new year’s resolution to spend a long period of time in a country other than your native one!

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Finding Culture In California

When we travel, many of us seek a little culture. The whole purpose of going away is to experience new things. Yet, all too often, we miss the most striking features of our destinations. This is especially the case with areas such as California. Here, people are usually more concerned with soaking up the sun or spending time at Disney.

The good news is, if you are after culture in California, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There’s a multitude of cultural activities to keep you busy. If you can drag yourself away from Disneyland, you’ll be amazed by what you see. To give you an idea, we’re going to look at the what, where, and how of Californian culture.

What to see?

Admittedly, it doesn’t get much better visually than Disney. But, if culture is your aim, it’s worth taking your eyes away from the excitement. First on your list should, of course, be the Hollywood sign. Located in Los Angeles, this is a must-see if you’re in the vicinity. In fact, you could go as far as to say that this is the most culturally iconic piece of Californian history. Erected in 1923, this has been the guiding light for some of the most iconic figures in the movies. The sign led them to their dreams, so let it lead you to yours.

If architecture is more your thing, take a trip to the astounding Hearst Castle in San Simeon instead. This 20th-century historical landmark is a sight well worth seeing. Opt for a guided tour to get the full grasp of what life was like in 1865. It’ll be an experience straight from the history books.

Where to stay?

There are also some fantastic cultural options for accommodation. Why not stay in San Diego’s 1906 Lodge for a little history? While the building has now been restored, it’s easy to see what life would’ve been like. Or, you could opt for somewhere like the Hotel Royal Long Beach California. Dating back to 1923, the hotel still has its art decor roots, providing both a historical and artistic experience for anyone who stays.

If history doesn’t appeal, why not opt to stay in a local Airbnb? When it comes to culture, this is always a safe bet. If you take time choosing, you can ensure you end up in a home owned by locals. What better way to get a real sense of Californian Culture?

How to eat?

When getting cultural, it’s always best to eat what the locals do. And, given that Californians eat more seafood per capita than the rest of America, it’s worth heading somewhere like Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach.

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Don’t fear if you can’t stomach eating seafood, though. Fast food is also big business. Why not head somewhere like El Segundo’s Hopdoddy Burger? Here, you’re sure to have a retro burger experience which you won’t forget in a hurry. Whatever you choose, remember that, when in California, it’s worth doing as the Californians do!

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Barcelona – The City of Dreams

As destinations go, Barcelona must be one of the most well known in the world. So find affordable flights to this fantastic place on the Mediterranean coast of Spain and have a blast!

Your visit should start at the Tourist Information office in the Plaça de Catalunya right in the heart of the city. Not only does this have all the maps and guides you need, but also has a lovely shop with items a bit more out of the ordinary than the normal tourist giftware. From here its just a few steps to the famous La Rambla, a long street lined with unusual market stalls which stretches right down to the sea. Be sure to visit the wonderful La Boqueria market about half way down – a real foody heaven and quite an experience if you haven’t seen one before. At the end of La Rambla you will arrive at the Port Vell area with yacht marinas, a fishing port and Maremagnum – a shopping mall and nightlife complex which also houses Europe’s largest aquarium (and unlike other shopping malls in the city, this is also open on Sundays and Public Holidays). From here it is possible to walk along the promenade, alongside the marvellous sandy beaches, to the Olympic Port. There are many restaurants all along this route.

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Barcelona is of course famous for its Gaudi connection. Back at the Plaça de Catalunya, a short walk along the Passeig de Gracia will take you to Casa Batiló. You can stand and admire this amazing building from the outside, but for a fee it is also possible to visit the inside of the building. A little further away, still within walking distance (but you can of course use the metro if you wish) is the absolute must see Sagrada Família. This fantasy church, which was begun in 1882 and has an anticipated completion date of 2026, is breath taking. If you want to visit the inside, be sure to purchase your ticket in advance and so short cut the long queues. Another Gaudi experience is Parc Güell, a short way out of the city centre, which houses the famous lizard sculpture and serpentine seating.

Montjuïc is a hill on the south west side of the city and was the setting for many of the summer Olympics in 1992. As well as various attractions such as the castle, well kept gardens and Joan Miró museum, it is a pleasant place to walk and take in the magnificent views. You can reach the topmost section by cable car.

There are also of course wonderful shopping experiences in the city , with all the usual designer shops and many individual boutiques. With something for everyone, Barcelona lives up to its name – the city of dreams.

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Unmissable Sights in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is now firmly established on the backpackers’ trail – and with good reason. A dizzying mix of cultural landmarks, exotic flavours, stunning landscapes and bustling cities await anyone who ventures to this part of the world. But with so many countries to choose from and sights to take in, it is pretty much impossible to do everything in a single trip. So, if you are looking to take a trip to this part of the world but you are unsure what you should do, this is the guide for you. Here, we will take a closer look at just some of the sights that make Southeast Asia such a rich and vibrant place to visit.

Hanoi

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[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

The capital of Vietnam consists of a maze of narrow streets and hundreds of motorbikes continually whizzing past. The heartbeat of the city is found in the Old Quarter, where you can take a seat at one of the streetside restaurants and watch the world go by. Of course, history is always just around the corner, and there are plenty of reminders of the Vietnam War, as well as the Colonial era which came before. The city provides the perfect introduction to the country before you venture to see the other wonders that Vietnam has to offer.

Phuket

No trip to Southeast Asia would be complete without venturing to a couple of the idyllic islands situated off the coast of Thailand. And the biggest and most popular of all of these is Phuket. Sure, it has become very tourist heavy over the years, but there are still more than enough charms to hold your interest for a few days. Luxury resorts have sprung up all over the island, and it has become something of a haven for spa treatments. And you can’t miss out on experiencing the world-famous nightlife. When you are tired of Phuket, you can simply hop on a boat to visit the other islands, all of which have their own individual charms.

[Shwedagon Paya (Myanmar’s holiest pilgrimage site), Yangon]

Yangon (Rangoon)

A former capital of Burma (now known as Myanmar) Yangon is one of the great destinations of Southeast Asia which has yet to become overrun with tourists. In fact, the whole country has only recently opened its doors, though solo travellers are still few and far between. The political situation is still tumultuous, so you should check the official advice before journeying here. The golden Shwedagon Pagoda is the standout attraction of the city which is surrounded by lush parkland on all time.

Singapore

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[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

The city-state of Singapore provides the perfect introduction to the region, and it has a very east-meets-west feel about the place. Alongside the towering skyscrapers, you will find ancient temples and peaceful gardens. With many job opportunities for people across a range of sectors, people from all over the world call this place home so take a look at renting a house in Singapore if you want to join them. Though things are a lot pricier than the rest of the region, you will also get a great sense of luxury and modernity. It is just about worth eight dollars for a beer at one of the rooftop bars with such awe-inspiring views across the city!

Luang Prabang

While a lot of people only choose to spend a short amount of time in the capital of Laos, Vientiane, there is no doubt that you will want to spend longer in Luang Prabang. Famous for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, there is a wonderfully tranquil feeling throughout this city. Green mountains loom on all sides, while you can also travel over to some nearby waterfalls to experience the power of nature. In many ways, this could end up being everything you dreamed Southeast Asia would be.

Angkor Wat

Possibly the most dazzling collection of temples that you will find anywhere in the world, Cambodia’s Angkor site contains all manner of historical relics which are just waiting to be discovered. Towering above the rest is the incredible Angkor Wat which is best-appreciated at sunrise when the light bounces off the river in front. You can either travel around on foot, by bike or by hiring a tuk-tuk for the day. The latter is the best option if you are planning to travel to the further away temples as they are located several kilometres away. Other highlights include Bayon, which has over 200 faces carved into the temple, and Ta Prohm, where towering trees rise up from the ruins.

Bali

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[Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto/pexels.com]

With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia certainly has plenty of choice for travellers. But, by far and away that most popular one of them all is Bali. In many ways, this is the ultimate tropical paradise and it is no wonder so many couples choose to visit for their honeymoon. Many of the most luxurious resorts in the whole region are located right here. For fans of scuba diving, there is a high level of marine diversity and plenty of coral reefs to explore. In the background, lush rice terraces climb up into the hills, while there a few great beach towns to enjoy an evening out.

Ha Long Bay

With its karst limestone scenery jutting out of the water, Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s premier attractions. Each tiny island is a different shape and size, some of which contain lakes and grottoes on the inside. Many travellers spend the night on a boat so they can sleep under the stars and wake up early for sunrise. Another popular activity is to go canoeing around the islands so you can explore them at your own pace.

Bangkok

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[Photo courtesy of imagesthai.com Thailand Free Images/pexels.com]

A world away from the islands of the south, Bangkok is a hustling, bustling megacity which parties all night, but still wakes up looking a million dollars the next day. Grand palaces and temples mix in with the tower blocks, while tuk-tuks whisk people around from one place to the next. While you are here, you should make sure that you don’t miss out on the floating river markets where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and traditional Thai snacks.

Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia once held the undisputed crown of being the prettiest city in Southeast Asia. Though it is still suffering from the after-effects of war and revolution, there is still plenty to enjoy on a visit here. Of course, many travellers decide that they have to pay tribute to the country’s tragic past by paying a visit to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. But this is a place that is very much in recovery mode, helped significantly by the tourism boom of recent years.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s capital is a very cosmopolitan place indeed, packed with creatively designed skyscrapers including the Petronas Twin Towers, which act as a symbol of the city. Other interesting sights include the Islamic Arts Museum, Bukit Bintang pedestrian bridge and tunnel, and the huge bird park.  

This overview gives you just a flavour of Southeast Asia and its diverse array of natural and manmade attractions. To experience the region in detail, you would need months or even years, so you need to plan your itinerary carefully, Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a good starting point. There is a great deal of distance to cover, so you need to decide on your priorities and what appeals to you the most. If it is your first time, it may be worth concentrating your attentions on just one or two countries.

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The Must-Do’s Of Malaysia

There is nothing better than planning a vacation. Sitting and trawling through the travel websites for the most far-flung places that offer the biggest adventures and cultural experiences is all part of the fun. If there is one place that should be on your list to visit, it’s Malaysia. It’s a beautiful place to visit and one that welcomes everyone with open arms, regardless of background and culture. If you’re going to travel to Malaysia, there are some must-do’s that absolutely have to be on your bucket list of places to visit, and we’re going to walk you through each of them in turn.

Kuala Lumpur, Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia, Klcc

[Photo courtesy of peternguyen11/pixabay.com]

Kuala Lumpur

Starting in the cultural melting pot capital, Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be wide-eyed and amazed with what you can find. You will be able to visit shopping malls that have so much more than just the standard shops and boutiques, but rollercoasters winding their way through them. You’ll walk down the street and see monkeys hanging around in the trees above you. Kuala Lumpur is a place you’ll find the Petronas Twin Towers, which has an amazing skybridge running right between the two giants. You can head to the top and go onto the bridge at certain times during the day, and you can read more about it here. The fact that all the shops and museums for the capital are all in the one area makes your days out so much simpler to plan. With everything so close it makes it so much easier to rent a house nearby for your whole stay. Hotels are wonderful, but seeing as Malaysia is food paradise, it can be easier to self-cater!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Food Culture

One of the biggest reasons to visit the far corners of the world is the food. Most people expect restaurants abroad to be better when they’re pricier, but the thing about Malaysia is that the street food is just as glorious as the food you find in the best restaurants. Whether you’re hungry for traditional Malaysian cuisine, Chinese, Indian or Thai food, there are food courts that hold so much flavour you won’t be able to choose just the one dish. Head over to Penang; the south-east peninsula has the best food in the area. The amalgamation of different cultures means you have so much for your taste buds to discover.

Batu, Malaysia, Asia, Temple, Lumpur, Travel, Cave

[Photo courtesy of maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com]

History & Culture

We mentioned earlier that Malaysia is a place that welcomes everyone, and it’s absolutely correct. The acceptance is immense, and you’ll find temples built beside mosques with churches on either side. You can head to Malaysia to experience Ramadan, the Indian Holi festival and even Christmas. The art scenes are vibrant, and Penang has so much to offer those who are seeking out a little culture and excitement.

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[Photo courtesy of epSos.de/wikimedia.org]

Beaches

It’s not all about the capital in Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur has so much going for it. Malaysia may not be known for the beaches it has to offer, but that’s what makes it so great. These little secret spots of tranquillity are simply breathtaking. Langkawi Island is in the Northern Malaysia region. It’s talked about as ‘the Jewel of Kedah’ and is something to be awed by. It is made up of nine different islands and it is covered in wildlife, so not only are you able to sit by the tranquil and clear oceans, you can enjoy animals in their natural habitat. If you want white sands, Perhentian Island is the place to visit for a truly awesome snorkelling experience. Get under the water and into the quiet and watch a whole world unfold before you, with ancient sea turtles and marine life of all colours.

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[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /wikimedia.org]

Cup Of Tea

Malaysia is one of the many places in the world that has famous tea plantations, and The Cameron Highlands is the place to go to enjoy some. The flora and fauna here are eye-wateringly beautiful, and you get the chance to try authentic tea right from the plant. It’s not an experience one should miss out on, and it can show you the sheer diversity of the landscape in Malaysia.

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[Photo courtesy of Dcubillas/wikimedia.org]

Mountains

Kinabulu National Park is somewhere for the adventurers among you to sink your teeth into. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, which means it’s a popular destination for visitors every year. You can climb the heady heights of Kinabulu, which has its peak at 4,095 meters high. There are over 6000 species of plants and almost 400 species of birds, so you bird-lovers out there should ensure you bring your binoculars with you!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Caving

Malaysia is a place thriving with UNESCO sites, and you can see them all listed here. One of the places you should absolutely try to get to, is Gunung Mulu National Park. It’s in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and it’s got the largest cave chamber known to the world. It’s said you could fit over forty 747 aircraft in there. The natural beauty that are caves gives you the chance to view the world from a different angle, and the only way to get there is a short flight. Take yourself out of the malls and the built-up areas and get stuck into nature. Bring the right equipment and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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[Photo courtesy of Morio/wikimedia.org]

Sports

The sports enthusiasts among you will already be well-versed in the motorsport names that visit Malaysia every year, but for those of you who don’t you need to get your research done! F1 Grand Prix season sees Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso arrive in style. The weather may be unpredictable to track, but you can get yourself tickets to beside the track in March and watch some of the driving greats make a name for themselves up close and personal.

There’s nothing so beautiful as visiting a country as diverse as Malaysia. The sheer variety of things to do and places to see means that you could spend weeks there and never get bored. Get yourself online and start planning!

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Explore The Hidden Side of Miami

Miami has a luxurious haven for holidaymakers from all around the country and across the globe since the late 19th century. Originally known for its picturesque beaches and ubiquitous sunshine, it’s now best known for flaunting its glitz, glamour and celebrity aficionados for all the world to see. While we all know about the opulent excess of Miami beach and the star-studded artificial island known as star island, these popular tourist traps are really just the tip of the iceberg. To get to know the ‘real’ Miami, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort or knowhow, just take a slight detour away from the sun drenched coastline and you’ll find a series of vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods that are alive with the Latin influence that permeates much of Florida.

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Miami is a place so distinctive, a master perfumer tried to bottle its scent in the early 2000s. Its streets are rich with a musky scent made up of orange blossoms, sea salt and tobacco, that can’t help but carry with it feelings of adventure and discovery.

As much fun as you can have with beachfront cocktails and boat rentals Miami is a city of contrasts. Scratch the glitzy surface and you’ll find a real sense of community and celebrated diversity in Miami. The ancestry of each neighborhood resonates richly in its architecture, its art and its culinary prowess, with each neighborhood wearing its influence very much on its sleeve. For example, Little Havana is home to the city’s Cuban population whereas West Indians made their home in Little Haiti, while the district of Wynwood has always been a haven for the artistically inclined. In this post we’ll look at some of the ways in which you can avoid the expensive tourist traps and enjoy the food, architecture and culture of Miami like a local.

The Food

Whatever your taste, you’ll find food to fall in love with in Miami. Though, understandably Miami is associated with some of the best seafood in the world, you can still eat like royalty even if you’re vegetarian, vegan… or just plain don’t like fish.

The southern states are synonymous with soul food, and you’ll find some of the best in the world in Miami. In historic Overtown you’ll find a taste of southern tradition with a host of barbecue joints and soul food restaurants serving up fried catfish, barbecued ribs and split sausages grilled to crispy perfection.

If you’re one of a growing proportion of people who choose not to eat meat, seafood or dairy for health or ethical reasons, you’ll still be able to sample Miami’s multicultural delights through your palette with a range of vegan and vegetarian restaurants to suit all tastes. Indeed, the iron rich soil makes Florida home to some of the most delicious tropical fruits anywhere in the world, which is used in many cakes and desserts throughout Miami. Full Bloom near the beach is a great place to find Latin and Mexican inspired vegan cuisine and a range of delicious tropical fruit based desserts while if your taste buds favor the French inspired, Eden in Eden is a cafe that offers a range of French influenced foods such as dairy free crepes and gluten free quiches as well as nutritious juices and smoothies.

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The Feel

Like many magical spots, Miami has a certain feel to it that’s partly the smell of the sea air combined with the food smells wafting on the breeze and  partly the myriad design elements and architecture that reflect the city’s diverse cultural lineage.

There’s a striking interplay between the man made and the natural throughout Miami with the city’s designs complementing and in some cases incorporating the flourishes of the surrounding plant life from palms to the fetching sea grape trees with leaves so huge and distinctive that locals refer to them as ‘postcard leaves’.

Check out the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden which is not only a masterpiece of modern design but home to some of the areas most naturally beautiful flora. If art deco is right up your street then check out the Art Deco District near south beach where you’ll find some striking examples of the 20th century style resplendent in sweeping balconies and nautical affectations including the odd port hole here and there.

Culture vultures owe it to themselves to spend some time in The Miami Design District, a hub not only of creative endeavor but high end retail where you can sample the myriad artistic triumphs of the district’s two free- access contemporary art museums before some retail therapy in some of the area’s swanky boutique stores.

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Keeping The Summer Spirit Alive

When the summer waves it’s last goodbye, and colder weather draws in, it can feel sad to let the long days and summer breezes go. However the days will become shorter, nights will be much colder and crisp leaves will fill the forest floor. But don’t fret; you don’t have to let the last ounces of warm weather go without a last hoorah. There are some great ways you can still keep that summer spirit alive and make the most of every ray of sunshine.

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[Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto/pexels.com]

Fresh Fruit For Breakfast

The one thing which we all love to do in the summertime is start the day with a smoothie bowl or a bowl of fruit and yoghurt. It’s refreshing, light and makes you feel invigorated for the day ahead. Just because the season has changed doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy fresh produce which is available in stores. Make yourself a big bowl of fruit and enjoy the morning sun.

Woodland Walks in The Sunshine

Being outdoors is a surefire way to feel like you are making the most of your day. Why not plan an impromptu hike at the weekend, take in the sights beside a lake and relish the sunshine on your skin. It might not be the right weather for wearing shorts or a dress, but just wrap up in a few extra layers, and you’ll feel toasty and happy.

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[Photo courtesy of /maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com]

Jet Off Elsewhere

It might be the end of summer for us, but in the southern hemisphere, it is just beginning. If you really want to keep that summer spirit alive, book some cheap flights and jet off to a tropical beach somewhere. You’ll get to have one last wear of that bikini and make the most of cocktails by the pool.

Keep You Decor Light and Bright

At the first sign of foggy weather and a chill in the air, many of us switch out the bright cushions and pastel decor in aid of a room filled with tartan and scented candles. Keep summer alive in your home by ditching the thick blankets and furry pillows and sticking with that summer colour scheme. Light some fresh seaside and fruity scented candles and leave the spices for later in the year.

Brave The Beach

It might be a bit, okay very, windy outside, but that’s no reason not to take a trip to the coast. No matter the season, the beach clears the lungs and makes you forget about the world. It’s the ultimate relaxing sensation…Even if you have to keep pulling your hat back on.

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The Great Outdoors

There’s nothing more indicative of summer than making s’mores over an open fire and sleeping under the stars. Camping is the ultimate way to relive those adventurous summer days and keep the spirit of the warmer months alive. Grab a tent, PLENTY of blankets and some simple supplies to make a weekend away which is reminiscent of that summer haze.

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