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Best Amusement Parks around the world according to Travel Bloggers

Do you remember the awesome feeling on the roller coaster at the park? Do you miss having an ice-cream while watching shows? Amusement parks are perfect places to spend good times with family and friends, with various activities to enjoy. In this article, I collaborate with other travel bloggers to share our favorite amusement parks and what to do there. I hope you will enjoy the reading.

1. Canada’s Wonderland – Vaughan Ontario

by Janine Good from Fill My Passport. Check out her Facebook and Twitter!

If you need an adrenaline rush or are looking for a great day out this summer, you need not look any further than Canada’s Wonderland. This ultimate theme park in the northern part of Toronto is the perfect mix of rides, shows, games, food, and water fun.

Leviathan

You can ride the Leviathan- the highest roller coaster in Canada, before feasting on a classic funnel cake of ice cream and strawberries. Or how about buying a bucket of rings to toss for a mega plush prize before grabbing a selfie with Snoopy?

Leviathan

Don’t forget to try yummy funnel cake of ice cream and strawberries

Waterpark

Hot and sweaty? Head to Splashworks, the official waterpark in the complex! It is the cure for the humidity with new water slides, splash pools, and the famous lazy river. Forget your swimmers? No problem! Buy a lovely swimsuit at one of the many boutiques on site.

Events

Canada’s Wonderland really has something for everyone. This year enjoy many planned events to celebrate Canada 150 including fireworks, shows, specialty concessions, and more. Grab a season’s pass and enjoy over 40 rides and the ultimate thrill in the city all summer long.

Halloween Haunt

Heading to Toronto in October?  Be sure to experience Halloween Haunt – Wonderland’s official spectacle for the ghoulish holiday.

Halloween Haunt

Go through corn mazes, haunted houses, spooked up rides, zombie parks, and more. Yes, you get that rare opportunity to play bumper cars with creepy clowns! Pick up a candy floss as you run away from clowns and ghosts. Don’t want to be a scare target? No problem! You can actually buy an immunity necklace to ward off the evil spirits ☺

It’s time for bumper cars!!!

Canada’s Wonderland seriously has something for the inner child, inner adrenaline junkie, and inner scaredy-cat in all of us. You really do need to go. And when there, you seriously need to try the funnel cake… think of it as your reward for enduring a creepy haunted house, a death-defying ride, or just because you’re hungry. You will be happy you did.


2. Disneyland California – the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure

by Allison from Seekingneverland. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

I know what you’re thinking. Disneyland is for kids. Well if you are anything like me, you know that is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, Disneyland parks might be just as much for adults as it is for kids. California Adventure and Magic Kingdom are always changing rides, dining options, shopping, shows, and more providing countless entertainment options for adults who still love the stories they grew up with. I honestly can say I get a different experience every time I visit.

To give you a quick rundown of everything Disneyland California has to offer, let me tell you what a typical two days look like. Yes, you can successfully see everything in two days, which includes Magic Kingdom, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney.

 

Here’s what to do and see at Disneyland California as an Adult:

a) Downtown Disney:

I always stop at Uva Bar for a few drinks. I love their Phil Collins drink. Then I jump around Downtown Disney checking out any new stores or enjoy some live music at the House of Blues. On Magic Kingdom day, I usually take lunch at Earl of Sandwich. Since they don’t sell alcohol and have overpriced fast food, I step out and spend my lunch at Downtown Disney.

Having a beer at Disneyland

b) the Magic Kingdom

First things first, I always walk in and grab a map then go straight to the Indiana Jones ride for my fast pass. Although I’ve been to Disneyland countless times, I still like to grab a map and explore one land at a time; shopping for new odds and ends, seeing what changes have happened, etc. And Yes, I grab a churro at just about every churro stand. If I find myself tired and needing to rest, I take the train around the park, sneaking in kisses with my boyfriend in every dark tunnel! With so many renovations coming to Magic Kingdom (i.e. Star Wars Land), who knows what exciting adventures are in store for us adults.

 

c) California Adventure

Get there early and as soon as the park opens run your little heart out and grab your fast pass to the Cars ride. I also recommend making a reservation for dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant or spend your afternoon wine tasting at Mendocino Terrace. Between beer, wine, and more churros, find time to ride the super fast roller coaster, as well as, the Ferris wheel for some relaxation and views of the park. California Adventure really comes alive at night with their World of Color Show. Did I mention their new Guardians of the Galaxy Ride? If you loved Tower of Terror like I did, you are sure to love the new Guardians of the Galaxy Ride even MORE!

Enjoying some drinks at California Adventure


3. Knott’s Berry Farm

by Family Travel Writer, Susie Chadwick from Photo Jeepers

If you’re getting priced or crowded out of visiting other Southern California theme parks, perhaps it’s
time to visit Knott’s Berry Farm. My family has loved having season passes to Knott’s Berry Farm and
visiting frequently. The parking is easy and close, the passes are cheap, there are fun rides for little kids,
and thrill rides for bigger ones. Something for everyone!

Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets

If you live within an hour drive of Knott’s Berry Farm, I highly recommend getting a season pass. With
options for less than $100, the Knott’s season pass is a great deal. Add on parking if you’ll go more than
a handful of times.

Insider Tip:

  • A big benefit of a Knott’s Berry Farm season pass is an early admission on select days. The park opens up to 40 minutes early on certain days during the summer. Check the Knott’s Berry Farm Facebook page to find out when early entry days are.
  • Knott’s Berry Farm season passes are for a calendar year. Don’t buy your pass on a weekend or holiday in January. Avoid lines and get a free visit by buying your pass the fall before!
  • It’s never crowded if you go early!

Must-Do Rides and Shows

Knott’s is great for roller coaster fans! My family’s favorite rides at Knott’s are Silver Bullet (54” height
requirement) and Montezooma’s Revenge (48”).

Time to have fun!

Camp Snoopy is also fun, especially for little kids! Pigpen’s Mud Buggies is always my four-year old’s first request. And the whole family enjoys the Calico Railroad, especially the Christmas-themed version. The Snoopy on Ice shows is fantastic. Everyone we’ve seen has been a high-quality production, and
it’s a great break from the heat and crowds.

Soak City

For about $20 more, you can add water park admission to your Knott’s season pass. The water park is
pretty typical – slides with height requirements, a few splash play places, a lazy river, and a wave pool.
Life jackets are required for everyone under 40” (including infants), and like the theme park, there is
something for everyone.


4. Cedar Point

By Kris from Nomad By Trade. Check out Kris’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well!

Cedar Point, located on a peninsula jutting out from Ohio’s Lake Erie coastline, is known for its record-breaking roller coasters. Their collection of seventeen coasters (including a couple of kiddie ones) is unlike any other.

Specifically, Cedar Point is constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for thrill seekers and has built quite a collection of mind-blowing steel coasters. Four of their current coasters held the world record for the tallest roller coaster at the time that they opened. Millennium Force, opened in 2000, is still consistently ranked as one of the top steel roller coasters in the world and was the first to break the 300ft mark. While making the trip to the top of the lift hill, riders are treated to stunning views of Lake Erie and on very clear days the Canadian coast can be spotted way off in the distance. When you’ve had enough rides, you can take a break on the mile-long beach or hit the newly rebranded Cedar Point Shores water park right next door. A day at Cedar Point is a must-do for any thrill-seeker.


5. Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark

by Ha from Expatolife. Check out and follow my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Do you know which country has the oldest parks in the world? The answer is Denmark! The oldest park is Dyrehavsbakken in Klampenborg, and Tivoli, which is located in the heart of Denmark – Copenhagen, takes the second position.

Tivoli is a place that you cannot miss if you have a chance to visit Copenhagen. The park is located near the Copenhagen central station and always crowded with lots of visitors and locals. There are different types of ticket, which allow you to enter only, or including all the attractions, or half-a-year ticket. I chose the day pass ticket which includes everything, and I totally recommend to avoid the long waiting line.

What can you do there?

a) Rides

Just like other parks, Tivoli also has various thrilling games to try such as rides, roller coaster, etc.

One of my favorite game – Amusement ride in Tivoli

Trying roller coaster with a nice city view?- Why not? 

b) Beautiful landscape

A nice walk around the lake is a must-do at Tivoli

c) Show

At the weekend, you can enjoy different shows in Tivoli. There are lots of Danes go to Tivoli this time to enjoy the show with their season pass as well.

The Voice was filmed during my visit

If you’d like to know more about Denmark, don’t hesitate to check out this article: Top 10 Most surprising things about Denmark that you should know


6. Ba Na Hills in Vietnam

by Ha from Expatolife. Check out and follow my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Are you interested in seeing something different in Vietnam? Visiting Ba Na Hills – A little Europe in Da Nang, you can enjoy the European architecture and Vietnamese one at the same time while hiding from the hot and humid of Vietnamese weather.

Believe or not, this place is in Vietnam

What to do there?

a) Cable car

Amazing view from the cable car

b) Le Jardin de Amor

Beautiful gardens are here for you to enjoy

c) Temple

A view of Linh Ung temple 

d) Debay Ancient Wine Cellar

e) French Village

French Village with lots of performances every day!

f) Fantasy Park

Located just 45 minutes by car from Da Nang city, Vietnam, Ba Na Hills is a must-visit-place if you have a chance to visit the middle of Vietnam. You can read more about this lovely amusement park in this article: A Complete Guide to Ba Na Hills

What is your favorite amusement park? Share with me in the comments!


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Vietnamese Pho in different countries around the world

Whenever I ask my international friends about which Vietnamese food that they’ve had, they answer firstly “Pho”. Phở or Pho presents as the most well-known Vietnamese traditional food around the world. I love eating Pho and I’ve been trying it in many countries when I travel. Do you want to see how Pho is served in different countries? With help from my friends and from my own experience, I present you pictures and reviews about this delicious cuisine around the world 🙂

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

I visited this restaurant not long ago and WOW, they served one of the best Pho I’ve ever had in my life. The broth, the rice noodle, the meat and herb, all created the perfect taste of this dish. At some point, I thought that I was back to my home country, surrounded by my family members, and together enjoyed Pho.

One bowl of Pho cost me 99kr ~ $14.5

I was not surprised when I knew that this restaurant was run by Vietnamese family because the taste was so similar. The restaurant is also on the top when you search about “Where to eat Pho in Copenhagen”

Name of the restaurant: Pho Ha Noi

Address: Vester Farimagsgade 6, 1606 København V

Website: http://www.phohanoi.dk

Open time:

  • Monday – Saturday: 12 – 11 pm
  • Sunday: 3 – 11 pm

Note: When I got there, they asked me if I had reserved the table, I didn’t do that but I still had a seat. Maybe I was lucky. However, to be sure, you can reserve by calling them: (+45) 33 91 18 19

 

2. Tokyo, Japan

In the summer of 2016, I was wandering around Tokyo with my 7-kg-backpack and a super hungry stomach. Even though I already ate tons of sushi and Japanese food, I was still hungry.

After passing by many restaurants, I stopped by a lovely Vietnamese restaurant named Vietnam Garden. I tried their Pho and it was delicious. At that time, there were lots of Japanese and foreigners at the restaurant, but the staffs were really nice and served professionally. I love the design of the restaurant as well.

Pho cost me 800 Yen ~ $7.2

Plus point: The restaurant provided free wi-fi and air-conditioner. I felt like melting already after walking around in the sunny day of June.

Name of the restaurant: Vietnam Garden

Address: Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, 渋谷区Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−3, NTTドコモアネックスⅠ

Phone: +81 3-3341-9889

Open time: Daily 11:30 am – 3pm, 5 – 10:30 pm

 

3. Paris, France

a) Pho Bida Viet Nam

Because Paris has one of the biggest community of Vietnamese living abroad, I thought it would be nice to try Pho here. I just randomly picked one restaurant to try, and I was happy with my choice.

The portion came big with the decent price. Pho was delicious with yummy broth and fresh vegetable.

The big size cost 9 Euro ~ $9.8

Bad point: The size of the restaurant is pretty small, so it took long time to wait even I just came alone and it was not a peak time. While waiting, I talked to some French people, and they said the restaurant was their favorite. Also, because this place was really crowded, the service was not that good.

Good point: They have home delivery! The price is cheap compared to other Parisian food.

Address: 36-38 Rue nationale, 75013 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 53 79 01 61

 

b) Song Heng – By Amanda

Check out and follow Amanda’s Instagram @wellfedtraveller

” I walked two hours for Pho. It’s so hard to find good Vietnamese food in Europe. The tiniest with lines winding around the block and they only had 2 dishes on the menu – Pho and Bun Bo. So worth the walk.” – This is what she shared with me about this place. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

 

4. Utrecht, Netherlands

I was wandering around Utrecht at the evening of one November day and found this restaurant by chance. I actually came here first because of the bubble milk tea, but finally decided to try other Vietnamese food as well.

The restaurant is quite small, more suitable for takeaway. I don’t remember the price though, but it was affordable compared to an expensive country like Netherlands. Pho was very tasty and enough to make you feel full.

5. London, England – By Amanda

Check out and follow Amanda’s Instagram @wellfedtraveller

Amanda is an Australian/Vietnamese. She was born in Sydney and now living in London for 2 years. To her, Mien Tay in London is the best one. She has been to all the other popular ones in London but Mien Tay is most authentic.

 

6. Ha Noi, Vietnam – By Romix (向旭)

“What do you think about this one?”, I asked.

“Marvelous!I had this for breakfast after a long journey, after that I felt refreshed! The chicken soup is clear, transparent but definitely tasty, and the chicken is well cooked also kept its original taste. And I can actually saw the whole process of making it, looks so simple but I guess it’s difficult. First of all, it’s made of love  “, she answered. 

 

7. Prague, Czech Republic – By Sarah Reichenbach

Sapa, not in Northern rice fields but one of the outskirts of Prague: one of the biggest authentic Vietnamese markets outside of Vietnam. The broth of the Pho is clear, the meat tender, the noodles fresh and the soup is served with tons of herbs! I will go out on a limb here and say it was as good as the ones we had in Vietnam!

 

8. Bratislava, Slovakia – By Martina Bušovská

It is from Bratislava, Slovakia. At Vietnamese bistro/restaurant near my university. They have few variations but this one is my fave. I am eating it often when I want something comforting and not heavy for my stomach. I have never eaten Pho anywhere else though, so I can’t compare but this is very good.

9. Montreal, Canada – By Chieh-Yi Chou

I had this on the trip to Canada. The restaurant is in China Town in Montreal. Interestingly there are many pho restaurants in “China” Town. In North America, I have been seeing people having Pho with Sriracha, which I seldom do.

 

10. Jakarta, Indonesia – By Krishna Sadhana

We have an entire franchise of Pho restaurants in my country. There’s even one near my apartment in Jakarta. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat there…since my parents would go “You’ve come all the way back to Jakarta just to eat Pho?”, but I will do it next time!


 Pho looks quite different around the world, isn’t it?

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How is Pho like in your country, or somewhere in the world that you’ve tried? Where did you have the best Pho?

Feel free to comment below 🙂

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4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney (Day 4)

Hello all my lovely friends, thank you for following my series of travel on a budget to Sydney. I felt very missing Sydney when coming to the last day, so I dedicated the whole day enjoying it. As you know Sunday is the best day to travel in Sydney due to the weekend cap: 2.5$ only for wherever you go. How to get the most of this hot deal? Let’s discover it through my last memorable day in Sydney!

Check these out if you haven’t read about my previous days


Summary my trip

  • Trip: Melbourne to Sydney Budget: 500 – 600AUD (flight ticket and accommodation, Adele concert ticket, eating, shopping, and transportation included)
  • Length: 3 Full days and a half day (4 nights at Hostel)
  • Requirements: Walking ability + good health conditions + Food sharing + Modest shopping + Early wake-up and late comeback
  • Places covered: Harbour area, CBD area (Shopping streets, Mary Cathedral, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park), The Rocks area, Royal Botanic Garden (Macquarie’s chair), Sydney Fish Market, The Star Casino, Darling Harbour, The Market City ( The paddy’s Market), The Melbourne Contemporary Museum, Harbour bridge walking (30-1 hour) Harbour night view, Manly Beach, Coogee to Bondi Beach walk ( 3-4 hours), The Rocks + the rocks Sunday market
  • Places I ate: It’s time for Thai food, Vietnamese Bread – Destination Roll, Peters Sydney Fish Market, Cafe Cre Asion, The Pancakes on The Rocks
  • The note includes my itinerary, my tips, my recommendations.
  • Good for: travel on budget, nature lovers, photos taking, eating lovers.

Day 4th – last day (Sunday)


As you may know, the transportation fare in Sydney is expensive. However, on Sunday you can get a very good deal with only 2.50$ for all the places.

For that reason, we decided to go to Manly Beach from Circular Quay by ferry. Normally, it will cost you nearly 6$ one way for the ferry riding.

In order to avoid crowding ( because Of Sunday deal), we woke up early and hopped on the ferry at 8:45 am. Still, there were already many people at that time.

From ferry

Go to the front of the ferry so you can take many beautiful pictures :) 

It took us 30 minutes to reach Manly beach ( haha now I know the reason for this funny name).

We spent nearly 2 hours wandering around, taking photos and having breakfast at a random restaurant. (10-15$) depending on your choice. However, I had butter bread and milk at the hostel to save money before going.

Manly Beach Sunday morning

The beach is very amazing with high waves and many surfers who are very MANLY!!!

6 packs and fit body men are everywhere!!!

There are also some local markets where you can check out. At 11:30, we went back to Circular Quay to have lunch at “The pancakes on the rock” – 5 to 10 minutes walking from the Circular Quay.

 
On the way walking there, we came across The Rocks Sunday Market which sold a lot of different types of vintage products and stuff. You also should have a look at them as well.

The Rocks Sunday Market

Here is my friend wearing a super giant hat selling there

I came to the restaurant and needed to queue around 5 minutes. However, normally you might be expected to wait for more since the restaurant is very famous! 

We shared one of the recommended pancakes here, which is the “Devil Delight Berry Pancakes” – 13,50$. However, you can choose anything on the menu according to your preferences. The price varies from 10 to 30$ but the portion is kinda large for Asian girls like us by the way.

Devil Delight Berry pancakes – 13.50$

Review for the pancakes:

I really love the smell of it. It is not too sweet and especially the pancake is very soft and hot inside. Really tasty! I recommend the restaurant for everyone.
Since it opens 24-hours, you may come at a different time of the day. It’s so very great, isn’t it? In the menu, you can find the Breakfast set which is available all the day and the price is less expensive than the dinner set.


After around one hour having lunch there, we went back to Circular Quay and took the bus to Coogee Beach, where we walked from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach.

Coogee to Bondi Walk

 
Normally, people walked from Bondi to Coogee however, we want to catch the sunset moment at Bondi so we did it reversely on purpose.

We started the walk at Coogee from 2:45 pm and we reach North Bondi at 6 pm roughly.

 
On the way of walking, we stopped at different places to take photos, rest, drink water and go to the toilet as well. I really recommend those with good condition and walking ability to do the walk because you can see all the amazing view of the ocean from the height. It was such an amazing experience that I have never had.  

When we reach Bondi, we sat on the bench and waited for the sunset time then came back to city central

Sunset at Bondi Beach

 

End of last day


 

Wrap up

 
I don’t ask you to follow all the things I wrote here. If you want to follow, you may be aware of the health condition and some certain aspects. Personally, I am a fast walker (maybe 2 or 3 times compared to a normal pace and all my friends say that ), so I obviously can save time and money by walking fast to different places.
Besides, I AM KINDA STRONG and furious, so you can feel tired and uncomfortable of covering up all the places I went to.
So, just consider my note as helpful tips for your next trip. I hope you enjoy reading it and please give it a comment or share as you wish to let me know you think it helpful. 
Due to the time limitation, I couldn’t go to several places as I wish to go like “The Blue Mountain”, “The Taronga Zoo”, “National royal park”..etc. Maybe I will save it for another trip in the future. Who knows?

Sunrise at Sydney airport


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4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney (Day 3)

To me, traveling is not only getting the most for yourself, but also for other people back home. Therefore, buying some sort of souvenirs is always a MUST in our to-do-list. On the 3rd day, you can find where to go for budget shopping in Sydney. You can also find out how to spend the rest of the day viewing the Sydney from a spectacular view.

If you haven’t read about my first and second day of this trip, click on each picture and check it out!


Summary my trip

  • Trip: Melbourne to Sydney Budget: 500 – 600AUD (flight ticket and accommodation, Adele concert ticket, eating, shopping, and transportation included)
  • Length: 3 Full days and a half day (4 nights at Hostel)
  • Requirements: Walking ability + good health conditions + Food sharing + Modest shopping + Early wake-up and late comeback
  • Places covered: Harbour area, CBD area (Shopping streets, Mary Cathedral, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park), The Rocks area, Royal Botanic Garden (Macquarie’s chair), Sydney Fish Market, The Star Casino, Darling Harbour, The Market City ( The paddy’s Market), The Melbourne Contemporary Museum, Harbour bridge walking (30-1 hour) Harbour night view, Manly Beach, Coogee to Bondi Beach walk ( 3-4 hours), The Rocks + the rocks Sunday market
  • Places I ate: It’s time for Thai food, Vietnamese Bread – Destination Roll, Peters Sydney Fish Market, Cafe Cre Asion, The Pancakes on The Rocks
  • The note includes my itinerary, my tips, my recommendations.
  • Good for: travel on budget, nature lovers, photos taking, eating lovers.

 

And now, the 3rd day of my journey begins! 


Third day


I went to the Market City which takes 10 mins walking from my hostel, so I didn’t spend money for transportation.

You can buy different souvenirs there for friends and families. Since my weight for luggage is limited, I can’t buy many things. In some shops, you may bargain to get a good price, some may not. Just try to make a deal with the sellers to see if you can get the good price.

My friend instead went to the Glebe market to see the antique stuff and then we met up near my place. We went around that area to places in CBD, near Sydney Tower, shopping arcade, Commonwealth Bank building

Here, I really recommend to go and see the Commonwealth Bank building, which is located at the street named Martin place. This is the most expensive building in Sydney and is made of all marbles and very luxurious looking.

However, the bank only opens on weekdays, so we couldn’t go inside on Saturday. It was a bit regretful. Around this area, you can find many brands stores such as Zara, Forever 21 ( which doesn’t have in Melbourne as you may surprise) …

After that, we went to “Halal Chinese noodles bar” near the George Street to have a meal.

My friend ordered a bowl of beef noodle and the portion was a lot to her to finish so I recommended ordering a smaller one, or a la carte type of food to share with friends. Then again, this eating place is optional since it is Halal food restaurant. You can easily find many different restaurants in this area such as Korean food, Thai food, or Japanese food.

After that, I went to the Melbourne Contemporary Museum and spent around 45 minutes here.

It closes at 5 pm, so you should come earlier. You might find a bit deep and hard to understand the arts but still a good experience.


Harbour bridge


I went to the north side of the Harbour Bridge by train to Milsons Point Station. From there I walked back to the Harbour area through the bridge.

 As you may know, you can spend 200$ on climbing above the bridge, but I rather save it up by walking through and see the view from the height.

Sydney Harbour from the Bridge

 

Harbour through Bridge

There are many people walking as well and it wasn’t arduous to walk. The view of the Harbour from the Bridge is amazing and breath-taking .

 

It took me roughly 30 mins ( my speed one again ) to finish walking from the north side to the other end. Then I kept continuing walking following the path to Royal Botanic Garden where I saw the whole harbor area from the height at a different angle.

Opera House under the young moon

Tips:

You better cross the bridge during the sunset time, so you can see clearly the Sydney Opera House under the moonlight, and skylight of sunset. Or else, you should come to the Macquarie chair at the Royal Botanic Garden to see the view during the sunset. However, you may be aware of the closing time which is 5 pm. 

I walked about next 30 mins and then came back to the Opera House to enjoy the night view there.

 
 

It was so peaceful and romantic when sitting the bench and looking at the view. You better grab some snack and spend time there.

 

I went inside the Opera House to have a look and went to the famous toilet. Haha. It was beautiful and worth checking out if you may wish

Tip:

Come early since it may close at 10 pm.

Sydney Opera House restroom

 

End of day 3


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4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney (Day 2)

How’s going all my traveler guru? I hope that you guys all enjoy reading my 1st day in Sydney and here I am again with the summary of my 2nd day in this lovely city. Where is the best place to have breakfast for the first morning in Sydney? Where to go in the nice and chilly weather to have another look at the harbor FREE and more important, the best place to eat for lunch time. Everything is included in “4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney Day 2  🙂

Check here if you want to read about my first day in Sydney 🙂


Summary my trip

  • Trip: Melbourne to Sydney Budget: 500 – 600AUD (flight ticket and accommodation, Adele concert ticket, eating, shopping, and transportation included)
  • Length: 3 Full days and a half day (4 nights at Hostel)
  • Requirements: Walking ability + good health conditions + Food sharing + Modest shopping + Early wake-up and late comeback
  • Places covered: Harbour area, CBD area (Shopping streets, Mary Cathedral, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park), The Rocks area, Royal Botanic Garden (Macquarie’s chair), Sydney Fish Market, The Star Casino, Darling Harbour, The Market City ( The paddy’s Market), The Melbourne Contemporary Museum, Harbour bridge walking (30-1 hour) Harbour night view, Manly Beach, Coogee to Bondi Beach walk ( 3-4 hours), The Rocks + the rocks Sunday market
  • Places I ate: It’s time for Thai food, Vietnamese Bread – Destination Roll, Peters Sydney Fish Market, Cafe Cre Asion, The Pancakes on The Rocks
  • The note includes my itinerary, my tips, my recommendations.
  • Good for: travel on budget, nature lovers, photos taking, eating lovers.

 

And now, the 2nd day of my journey begins!


Second day – Morning to 4 pm

( I went to the Adele concert so there is no plan for evening)


Waking up at 7 am, I had breakfast at a cafe called ” The Cafe Cre Asion”, which is just 5 minutes walking from my hostel.
I found this cafe with the highest reviews and ratings on Zomato app, so I gave it a try. I can say it is the most expensive breakfast that I ever had in my life. However, I think it is worth the money because the food is tasty and filling, so I didn’t feel hungry until dinner.
I ordered a “toast with peanut butter and avocados adding” and a “Carrot cake”: 16.50$ for everything. A better option is to order a scramble eggs toast and matcha latte (only 5$) because it is the most popular drink here.

“Toast with peanut butter and avocados adding” and a “Carrot cake”: 16.50$

Then, I went to the Royal Botanic Garden by train from Museum station to Circular Quay, then walk to the place.

At first, I was a bit lost since the place I wanna head to is located at a different gate, and the Garden is huge. Therefore, I needed to walk back to the main gate at Macquarie St.

My friend and I registered a free tour at the Tourist information booth in the Royal Botanic Garden at 10:30 am.

The tour took us 2 hours of walking around one little corner of the huge garden. The guide gave us much information about different kinds of trees, the history, and some fun facts.
However, you might get bored since the tour is academic and biologically oriented. I don’t really recommend if you are not interested in knowing about different plants, trees, and biology.  You can spend time at your own pace walking around the garden taking photos instead.
 
In the Royal Botanic Garden, you must go to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, where you can see both Harbour Bridge and Opera House from the right side. It is very nice and scenic to view from this angle.

Harbour area from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

Next, we want to have lunch at the Seafood Market which is the most recommended place if you are seafood lovers.

You can find a variety of fresh and affordable seafood here. It is a bit expensive when coming to seafood eating. So, be aware of your budget if you don’t want to be broke there since everything is so mouth-watering!
 
 
After going around to different restaurants in the area, we decided to buy food from the Peter’s. My friend ordered a set of Lobster combo: 42$. The portion was too much for one person. Because there is only one lobster, it is unable for me to share with her. I ordered a la carte: one chilly grilled prawn skewer, one mashed cheese oyster, and one grilled shrimp: 17.50$
 
Tips: Don’t order a big combo if you are unable to share it with anyone else. Better to choose a la carte to save money and try different dishes based on your own interest.
 
Overall, it was a fascinating experience when eating and covering your hands above the food because of the invasion of many birds flying around and start stealing your food. However, I did enjoy eating there so much. We viewed the scene of the wharf, boats, sky and birds.

After eating brunch, ( and brunches for me ), we took the train to The Star Casino to get inside a bit

The Star Casio – The 2nd largest in Australia

Both of us are not good gamblers, so we are not willing to play any lots there. You should bring your passport or personal identification to be checked at the entrance.
 

We went inside around 10 mins, then went back and headed to the Darling Harbour on foot. ( 20 minutes in normal – lazy pace).

Darling Harbour

On the way, there are many benched so you can rest. The scenery is beautiful and worth taking pictures.

After that, we walked back to the Central area, where I took the train to go to the concert ANZ Stadium to enjoy Adele concert.

My friend instead went to “KOI dessert restaurant” which is a place of fine dining with very high rates of fancy eating. You might be aware of your budget if you want to spend money on eating at this restaurant. It can cost you around 60-70$ for a set of 3 different kinds of deserts.

I myself don’t really recommend it for those who are not into fine dining and not willing to overspend the budget. Another option for dessert restaurant for sweet-tooth people is: “One tea lounge grill” if you like Matcha and Japanese dessert. I haven’t tried the food there but one of my friends did and she rated it very high. You can check it out.

End of day 2


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4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney (Day 1)

If you are a travelholic, Australia or specifically Sydney is surely always on the list of the top must-come-destination! However, as you might be aware, Sydney, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world, can deter you from getting the most of this lovely city. So, how can you still enjoy the beauty of Sydney without harming too much your wallet? Let check out the “4 days travel on a budget to Sydney” written by Trang Le – a traveling lover currently living in Melbourne.

Summary my trip

  • Trip: Melbourne to Sydney Budget: 500 – 600AUD (flight ticket and accommodation, Adele concert ticket, eating, shopping, and transportation included)
  • Length: 3 Full days and a half day (4 nights at Hostel)
  • Requirements: Walking ability + good health conditions + Food sharing + Modest shopping + Early wake-up and late comeback
  • Places covered: Harbour area, CBD area (Shopping streets, Mary Cathedral, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park), The Rocks area, Royal Botanic Garden (Macquarie’s chair), Sydney Fish Market, The Star Casino, Darling Harbour, The Market City ( The paddy’s Market), The Melbourne Contemporary Museum, Harbour bridge walking (30-1 hour) Harbour night view, Manly Beach, Coogee to Bondi Beach walk ( 3-4 hours), The Rocks + the rocks Sunday market
  • Places I ate: It’s time for Thai food, Vietnamese Bread – Destination Roll, Peters Sydney Fish Market, Cafe Cre Asion, The Pancakes on The Rocks
  • The note includes my itinerary, my tips, my recommendations.
  • Good for: travel on budget, nature lovers, photos taking, eating lovers…

 


First full day: Thursday 10th March, 2017


I flew from Melbourne to Sydney with the early morning flight at 8 am. After arrived at the hostel around 10 am, I had first breakfast in Sydney with Vietnamese bread at the store next to my hostel: 5.50$ for any rolls. It is quite good and the price is affordable. 

5.50$ – taste good with affordable price

Then, I went on a tour called “Free walking tour – CBD Tour” at 2:30 pm until 5:00 pm and “Free walking tour – The rocks” at 6 pm until 7:30 pm.
 
 

The tour includes almost all the main attractions at Sydney CBD and Harbour area
The ending point of the first tour is also the beginning of the 2nd one which is in Harbour area ( Circular Quay). There was about less than 1 hour in between the tours. Therefore, you might walk around the Harbour area to Opera House and take some pictures with Harbour Bridge, Opera House,… 

 

Harbour Bridge

 

The Rocks area

Personally, I did really enjoy it since it is free, and I haven’t joined any informative tour like this before. Especially there are so many places to go around Sydney and you might spend a lots money on transportation which can be made in a walking distance.
  • I think the tour is very good for people who are new to the city. You can have an overall review of all the places around CBD, then you can come back later to any places that you are interested in. They covered all of the main iconic places in CBD Sydney, explained the history then gave some fun facts. I really recommend it for those who are interested in listening to stories and histories, as well as knowing more about what locals think.
  • However, you shouldn’t go with the tour if you prefer walking randomly on your own preferences, taking pictures… The tour is designed to give a brief introduction to Main points in Sydney for you to come back later.

After finishing the tour, my friend and I decided to have a meal at a Halal Thai food restaurant “It is time for Thai”. It is also the place we ate at the last day in Sydney. Since she is Muslim, we preferred eating here. So it is optional if you want to give it a try.

Tom Yum Kung and Thai style fried rice – 28$

 

Chicken Green Curry with Roti – 13.50$

 

Thai Fried Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce – 6.50$

Personally, I think the “Green chicken curry with Roti” – 13.50$ and Tom Yum Kung are very delicious. I love the smell of coconut and the spicy-sour flavor for Tom Yum. Some friends might know I am a spicy eater, but it is not that spicy though. Therefore, I recommend them to those who are into Thai food and spicy food.

End of day 1


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7 Things you should try in Fukuoka

Last week, I had a short 2-day trip to Fukuoka with my friends. Although it’s not my first time to this most populous city of Kyushu area,  Fukuoka surprises me every time with its charming and beauty. If you have a chance to visit Fukuoka, here are  7 things you definitely should try.

 

1.Motsunabe

With the history of more than 1000 years, Motsunabe is a Hakata’s well-known specialty dish. It’s a kind of hot-pot made of beef or pork offal (mostly beef intestines), lots of veggies like cabbage and garlic chives, and filled with soy sauce based soup. It is the perfect food to eat during cold weather.

The restaurant where I ate Motsunabe is called Rakutenchi. It’s a small yet one of the most famous places for this dish, so you should check it out!

Address: 2-5-23 Hakataekimae, Hakataku, Fukuoka

It may look kinda “too green”, but it tastes better than it looks.

 

2. Shrines

During my trip to Fukuoka Prefecture, I had a chance to visit the two most famous shrines there which are Dazaifu Tenmangu and Kushida Shrine.

Dazaifu Tenmangu is located in Dazaifu city, and it is one of the main shrines in Japan dedicated to Tenjin- the “God” of literature and scholarship. The shrine is very large and includes several structures, so it would take you around 1 hour to visit all the places.

On the contrary, Kushida shrine is located right in the center of Hakata, and since it is a village shrine, it is much smaller than Dazaifu, and this spot will only take you 20 minutes to visit. As the oldest shrine in Fukuoka city, it attracts lots of foreign tourists so you can get the information sheet and even the omikuji (paper fortunes) in English.

 

3. Canal City

My favorite place for shopping in Fukuoka!

Canal City is a major shopping complex at 2.5 million square feet, including about 250 shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, game center, theater, etc. It even has a canal flowing inside (which explains its name), and a large fountain that has a water show every 30 minutes.

Because the mall is so large, it may take you a whole day to discover everything. If you come to Canal City before May 18th, you can also enjoy the 3D projection mapping show with the popular anime “One Piece” theme, which is quite epic you won’t want to miss it.

 

4. Ohori Park

A beautiful scenery park with a large lake., many trees and resting spots. Local people come here to exercise, run on the track around the lake, or their dogs for a walk or simply go sight-seeing.

Although it’s a famous spot in Fukuoka, everyone there is so quiet so the atmosphere is always peaceful and dreamy, and the natural scenery is beautiful as a picture. You can also pay 190 yen to visit a Japanese garden in the park, which worths the money I believe.

 

5. NHK Fukuoka

As some of you may know, NHK is the Japanese national public broadcasting organization. It has a kind of “museum” in Fukuoka, which is located very near to Ohori Park.

You can visit the studio of some TV shows, collect the stamps of NHK mascots, see the gallery about the history of NHK, and even experience becoming a news reporter and get on the air! Even if you can’t care less about Japanese TV, you will have a lot of fun there and you know what’s the great part? It is free of charge!

The model of a news studio where you can get on-screen for real

6. Ramen

Of course, no one visits Fukuoka without trying the well-known Hakata Tonkotsu ramen. The broth of Tonkotsu ramen is made by melting out the pork bone, which gives it a strong and unique taste.

Hakata is known as the best place in the country to enjoy this food, and you can find ramen shops anywhere there. Two places I would recommend are Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor of Canal City, where you can try different types of ramen from different locals in Japan or Ippudo Ramen in Amu Plaza (Hakata Station).

 

7. Line Friends Cafe and Store

Line Cafe in Fukuoka is the third one to be opened in Japan. It is located in the vibrant area of Tenjin.

The first floor is a souvenir shop where you can buy lovely items inspired by the famous Line characters like Brown or Cony. The second floor is a cafe that sells drinks and cakes also inspired by these characters, and extra seating areas on the third floor. Even if you don’t buy anything, you are free to visit and take pictures, so this place is often crowded with people. Believe me, you will just scream “Kawaii~~” to everything there!


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5 Best places to go in Vietnam during Tet Holiday

“Tet” is coming in a corner. For those who do not know what Tet is, it is Vietnamese version of the Lunar New Year, and it is considered the most important celebration of Vietnamese culture. The whole country is most lively and cheerful during this time, and you don’t want to miss this chance to travel around and learn more about Vietnamese traditions. Here are 5 best places to go during Tet holiday

 

1.Mộc Châu plateau

200 kilometers apart from Hanoi, Moc Chau is a well-known destination for backpackers. The best time to go to Moc Chau is from the end of January to February, when plum blossoms and sakura bloom everywhere, making the plateau looks like a white heaven.

Credit: VivuTravel.net

 

2. Tam Đảo

It is quite hot in Vietnam this winter, and if you miss the feeling of those cold winds blowing to your face, why don’t you come to Tam Dao where the weather is always cool? Visiting the Van Pagoda, Silver Waterfall, Sky Gate… and enjoying local dishes like chayote, Hill chicken, man pig… sounds like a good plan right?

 

3. Sapa

Another Northern destination! If you come to Vietnam and you don’t visit Sapa, it’s such a pity. The breathtaking mountainous scenery of Hoang Lien Son range, the terraced fields on rolling hills, the villages of Highland ethics, the colorfulness of brocade fabric… You just don’t want to miss it.

Credit: Stephen Lucket

 

4. Hoi An

My personal favorite place! Used to be a South-East Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, it seems like Hoi An is left by the modern world and still sleeping in its glorious past. With the well-preserved ancient architecture, it makes you feel like you are coming back to hundreds of years ago. It is a small town, so you should spend around 1 to 2 days here.

Credit: Nguyen Viet Dung

 

5. Đà Lạt

With no doubt, visiting the “City of flower” in the blooming season is a great plan for your Tet holiday. You can hire a motorbike and wander around this city to enjoy its quiet beauty and of course, flowers.

Credit: Khanh Hmong

 

Some tips for traveling during Tet holiday

  • Don’t travel during the first days of the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese people stop all the business activities and spend time with their family during those days, so all the stores and restaurants will be closed. You should travel before Tet, or from the 4th day onward.
  • Because it’s the holiday season, the price for foods and transportation may be a bit more expensive.
  • There are some big festivals celebrating Tet holiday with thousands of people joining. However, I don’t recommend you to go there. It will be super crowded and chaotic, which may cause you in trouble. Just imagine something like the Black Friday in America.

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