,

How to use Couchsurfing like a Pro?

So, you have heard about Couchsurfing but haven’t figured out how to make the best of it. Or you have used but not successfully get any host or meet-up. In this article, I’ll give you a complete guide on how to use Couchsurfing.

What is Couchsurfing?

To whom may not know about this, Couchsurfing is a useful travel application which connects travelers and locals. It’s based on the kindness of the host, or the enthusiasm and open-minded attitude of users. Couchsurfing is an alternative way of traveling on the budget because it’s not only about offering a free stay, but also about culture exchanging.

What can you do with Couchsurfing?

1. Staying at a local’s place

Couchsurfing is a great way to travel on a budget because you can save money on accommodation. You can stay at someone’s place after sending the request to them and get accepted. Depending on the host’s house description, you may sleep on the couch in the living room, or have a private room. During your stay, you can cook with your host and hang out with them if you’d like to 🙂

You can save a lot of money by making use of Couchsurfing. Just imagine that you visit Switzerland, you can save at least 30 Euro per night!

 

2. Hosting

If you’d like to meet travelers around the world, why not offer a place for them to stay? I think this is a great opportunity to meet many people and make new friends. Also, hosting travelers is the best way to contribute to a Couchsurfing community!

You can earn 3 months of verified membership by hosting travelers. So don’t hesitate to open your door and share your lives with others 😉

 

3. Meeting people

Traveling alone? No worries! You can meet up with locals or other travelers easily by Couchsurfing! Specifically, you just need to search for hosts or travelers who are coming to town, send a nice message to meet them in advance.

Also, you should public your trip so others can contact you easier. Many locals offer to show new people around their city in the free time as well. So take that chance and get to know more people!

 

4. Attending events

You can search for events in the city you’re visiting, or it will automatically appear when you public your trip. There are several Couchsurfing events such as weekly meeting, discovering the urban area, etc.

Search for events around you 🙂

5. Hangout

If you use the mobile version of Couchsurfing, you can turn on your location and use Hangout function. Just choose “Become Available”, then fill out what you want to do. You can see the distance between you and other, and also what they would like to do. If you’d like to contact them, press “Hello”.

Choose Hangout Now

 

Then “Become Available”

 

What would you like to do? Type and then press My availability

A group of people I met on Couchsurfing in Poland!

 

How to use Couchsurfing successfully?

1.  Create an account

The first step is to create a Couchsurfing account. You can either use Facebook or login by your email. It will only take 1 minute to set it up!

 

2. Upload pictures

I suggest you to at least 3 Couchsurfing pictures on your profile. If you want to host travelers, it will be better to upload pictures of your place as well.

 

3. Add friends

Your profile will look suspicious if you have no friend or just 1 or 2 friends. If your account is connected to Facebook, you can send friend requests to your friends on Facebook.

 

4. Fill up your profile

It’s important to let users know more about you, such as your interest, reasons that you are on Couchsurfing or countries you have visited. Write some interesting information about yourself will increase your chance to get hosted or host someone!

This is my account on Couchsurfing 🙂 Having a full profile will help you a lot!

 

5. References

Many people don’t like to host or ask someone to host if that person does not have any reference. Reference is very important on Couchsurfing because it shows the valuation and reliance of a person. If you just start using Couchsurfing, you can ask your friends to write some references for you first.

Having references will prove that you’re trustworthy!

 

 

6. Host/ Find travelers

Start to use it! Yes, you are ready to begin 🙂

Create a trip/ Host a Traveler/ Browse Events – Many things to do!

 

Is it safe to use Couchsurfing?

Stay tuned and I will tell you how to stay safe on Couchsurfing in the next article!


Do you enjoy reading?


, ,

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!


Do you enjoy reading?


, ,

Eat like an Icelander: 9 Icelandic food to try

It’s yummy time again! In this post, I’m gonna introduce you delicious Icelandic food that I tried during my trip. Iceland is famous for being extremely expensive, but it cannot stop us from trying its specialties, right? Let’s see what I discovered!

 

1.Skyr

I first knew about the name “Skyr” while I was on the plane to Iceland. It was a long 3.5 hours fly from Copenhagen to Keflavík, so I started reading the magazine that WOW air provided. (Note: WOW air provides cheapest flights to Iceland, read more at: How to find cheap flights?)

Skyr first caught my eyes with its appealing flavors with different choices from plain, strawberry, blueberry, mango, etc., as well as its amazing benefit. Not only contains high protein, Skyr is FAT-FREE!

How does it taste?

Skyr tastes quite similar to yogurt, but it has a thicker form. I prefer the one with mix flavor of blueberry and raspberry! It’s super tasty and healthy.

How can we eat Skyr?

Skyr is often served with milk, but trying it alone is also tasty. Skyr is popular in Nordic countries, so you can buy one in Danish supermarkets as well. You can read more about Skyr here.

Skyr – a healthy product from Iceland

2. Dried fish – Harðfiskur

During my road trip in Iceland, I noticed that dried fish is sold every where. You can either find it at the supermarket, or souvenir shop, or fish markets.

I tried it once at the flea market, and still remember the taste until now. I could feel the freshness of the sea with a bit salty, and I totally enjoyed the tastiness from different types of fish. Not only rich omega-3, dried fish products have lot vitamins and protein. You can surely buy it as a perfect souvenir thanks to its healthiness, lightweight and long-shelf-life.

This is at the flea market – Kolaportid. Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you want to try it? – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

3. Icelandic meat soup – Kjötsúpa

Having a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold outside is the best, isn’t it? Meat soup is one of the traditional dishes of Iceland, and every restaurant offers this meal. With the tasty flavor from the broth made of the root veggies – potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and lamb, Kjötsúpa comforted and warmed me up.

4. Smoked lamb – Hangikjöt

Don’t forget to try smoked lamb when you visit Iceland. Although smoked lamb is a traditional Icelandic dish which is usually severed on Christmas day, you can still find it in many restaurants.

5. Flatbread – Flatkökur

Yet another food to try on this list is flatbread, which is made of the mixture of rye flour and whole wheat flour. It is usually served with some butter and a slice of smoked lamb, or smoked salmon. I tried the one with smoked lamb, and that combination was totally delicious!

A nice Icelandic meal with smoked lamb on flatbread and meat soup.

I had this meal at Loki café, which is a nice restaurant served Icelandic traditional food with a beautiful view. The decoration was very unique and the service was good too! I totally recommend this place.

It is located opposite the cathedral

A nice view from the café

Stunning decoration at Loki café

6. Icelandic hot dog

There is a very famous hot dog chain in the heart of Iceland, Reykjavik named Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which means “The best in town”. It has operated since 1937, and famous for its lamb sausages. Many famous people have visited this stand, including Bill Clinton (2004). This place is selected as the best hot dog stand in Europe as well.

 

7. Icelandic bakery (Kleina)

Have you ever wondered how people have breakfast in Iceland? It’s very common to get some bread (Kleina), and drink cocoa milk! This was what I had with my friend in Iceland 🙂

A delicious breakfast!

8. Liquorice candy

Liquorice candy is so popular in Nordic countries, and Iceland is not an exception. There are various candy stores in Reykjavik, Iceland with different flavors. I think the taste is quite weird, but many people love it, so try it!

There are so many flavors to choose!

9. Shark meat

When I was walking around the flea market, one seller offered me to try shark meat. It was quite salty, and the taste stayed long inside my throat. Although I don’t support or encourage eating shark, trying it was one way to understand more about Icelandic food and culture.

This is also at Kolaportid, Reykjavik – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you dare to try? – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you want to try any of these? Let me know your ideas in the comment!


Do you enjoy reading?

,

A Complete Guide to Ba Na Hills – A little piece of Europe

With a stunning mountain view, Ba Na Hills has become a favorite destination for local Vietnamese as well as foreigners. Visiting Ba Na Hills, you not only enjoy nice landscape and cool atmosphere but also participate in various entertainments. In this post, I will guide you to enjoy the best of this place.

How to get to Ba Na Hills?

Ba Na Hills is located in Da Nang, Vietnam. Therefore, you need to fly to Da Nang International Airport, and then take a cab or sign up for a tour. My advice is to put your luggage in your hotel rooms first, then go to Ba Na Hills.

 

How much do you need to pay?

You can get a taxi to Ba Na Hills for 600 000 VND both ways, or you can go by any type of transportation.
The price to enter Ba Na Hills includes the ticket for all cable cars and theme park entrance ticket.

  • Adult: 650 000 VND
  • Children ( 1m – 1.3 meters): 550 000 VND

This ticket price does not include the price for Wax Museum (100,000 VND/ adult, and free for kids), as well as food and beverage. You can read more about the ticket price here

 

Eating

There are plenty of restaurants and food stands in Ba Na Hills. You can also choose buffet for 200 000 VND/ adult.

 

Tour

You can also book a tour to Ba Na Hills. A tour normally includes:

  • Pick-up and drop-off service
  • Buffet lunch
  • One bottle of water
  • Tour guide
  • Ba Na Hills Ticket

I also booked a Ba Na Hills tour for my family from a hotel I stayed. It cost me 920 000 VND/ adult. There are cheaper tours as well, from 780 000 VND/ adult, but I heard that there are more people in those tours. Below are the reviews from the tour I took:

Good points:

  • Do not need to line up to buy ticket
  • Know the way to get to the fastest cable car
  • Save money
  • Lunch is included

Bad points:

  • Transportation: Because it was a tour, the bus driver drove around the city for 1.5 hours to pick up all the passengers.
  • Limited time: You need to follow the time the tour guide listed. I think there is not much time to visit.
  • Food: A lunch buffet was not good in my opinion. There were not many choices, and the dishes were not delicious.

In brief, having a tour guide is much easier if you go on a vacation with your family. However, if you want to have more freedom, it’s better to consider going alone. It was tiring for my family to go after the whole group and could not spend much time exploring. If I go again, I will choose to go without a tour.

What to see in Ba Na Hills?

a) Cable car

Located 45 minutes from Da Nang city, Ba Na Hills has a scenic mountain view with a huge amusement park. In order to reach the top of the hill, you have to take the cable car. The fee is already included in your ticket.

Ba Na Hills’ cable car system is one of the most impressive ten cable car lines in all over the world. You should ask the staff for the fastest cable car line, which was used from 30/4/2017.  It shortens your waiting time, and it only takes 20 minutes to get from the foot of the mountain to the Garden. The view from the cable car is totally amazing!

The view from the cable car

 

b) Le Jardin d’Amour – Temple – Debay Wine Cellar

When you arrive at the station, take a walk to Le Jardin d’Amour to enjoy the beauty of flowers and statues.

 

There are various type of flowers in Le Jardin d’Amour

You can freely explore all the gardens, Linh Ung Temple, and Debay Ancient Wine Cellar as well.

A view of Linh Ung Temple

A look from the inside of Debay Ancient Wine Cellar. You can also taste wine here with 75,000 VND/glass

The French discovered Ba Na Hills area and built several works such as hotels, swimming pools, etc. However, everything was mostly destroyed during the war, and only Debay Ancient Wine Cellar was left. This place was built by French architects and was dug deep inside the mountain in 1923.

 

c) French Village

After that, you can take a short cable ride to the top of the mountain. You can enjoy the lunch at any restaurants, then start exploring around the French village.

It looks like Europe, right?

From another corner of the village

There were beautiful flowers around the French village as well

It was quite dark around 4pm

The village is not too big, so 30 minutes to 1 hour is usually enough for photos. There are free performances on the stages as well.

 

d) Fantasy Park

After visiting the French village, let’s go down to a free amusement park. There are 3 underground floors for games only. There are lots of free games, but the queue is very long to get in. You can also enjoy the massage on the 2nd floor.

These games are free to play

 

Tips to enjoy the best of Ba Na Hills:

  • Bring light: You need to walk a lot so it’s better to bring at least at you can.
  • Clothes: It’s not too cold on the top of Ba Na Hills, so if you are afraid, you can bring a light coat or jacket.
  • Shoes: Wear comfortable shoes or slippers. You need to walk a lot.
  • Ticket: You should book the ticket in advance because the ticket line is very long.
  • Time: It’s better to get there early from 8 am. It helps shorten the time waiting for the cable cars.
  • Don’t go in the summer or Vietnamese national holidays: It’s full of tourist. There are 10 000 – 20 000 people per day, so you will be stuck in the flow of people and cannot enjoy anything.

Is Ba Na Hills worth a visit? Locals say if you haven’t visited Ba Na Hills, you haven’t visited Da Nang. However, if you are used to seeing Europe and want something different, Ba Na Hills may be not your cup of tea. If you want to see the mixture between European architecture and Vietnamese temple, also hiding from the hot of Vietnam, don’t hesitate and just go! After taking a tour, I recommend going alone to explore freely.

So, hope you will have a great time at Ba Na Hills -:)


Do you enjoy reading?


The Liebster award

Hey everyone! How are you doing? I gotta tell you one really exciting new for me! I got nominated for the Liebster award for Bloggers last month 🙂

So, what is the Liebster award?

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. In German, Liebster means sweetest, kindest, nicest, and cute! It’s the great way to motivate bloggers for their work, and also help readers to know more about their favorite blogs.

 

Who nominated me?

I was so happy that Elle from Dressing Danishly wanted to dominate for the Liebster Award. She loves my blog, especially posts on Copenhagen.

Thank you so much for the domination. Here are my answers for your questions

 

1.Have you ever traveled anywhere you were disappointed by? Why?

Yes, I have. I dreamed of visiting Paris and expected to much about that city, but I was quite disappointed about that trip. I was there in February, and the weather was terrible. It was snowy, rainy, windy and foggy during my time there. The architecture was similar to Ho Chi Minh city, where I came from, so there was nothing much new to me. However, I think if I go back in the summer with the nice weather, I will have better image about Paris 🙂

 

2. If you could only visit one more country, where would it be?

If I could only visit one more country, I would choose Egypt. Egypt and its pyramids fascinate me with all the mysterious history and culture. I want to observe and go inside the pyramids. Riding the camel passing the desert is on my bucket list as well.

 

3. Do you prefer to travel by plane, train or bus?

I prefer to travel by plane because it shortens the travel time. I usually go very light with hand luggage only, so it doesn’t take the time to get on board.

 

4. Which city do you think has the best fashion?

I think Copenhagen. I remember the first day I visited Copenhagen, everyone seems like a model here! Not only tall and good-looking, Danes dress really well in my opinion.

 

5. Hotels v hostels: which team are you on?

I’m on hostel team. I use hostels mostly because it’s cost effective, and it’s easy to meet new people. Because I travel alone, it’s more interesting to meet new people and hang out with them.

 

6. If you were to write a book about travel, what would you call it?

– An adventure of a Vietnamese girl –

How does it sound to you? As a Vietnamese, it is very difficult to apply for a visa to travel abroad. Also, I’m from a very conservative and traditional family, so it’s not common for ”a girl to go everywhere”- according to my mom.

 

7. Are there any downsides to traveling?

There are a lot of downsides actually, mostly about homesick, missing my friends and family.

 

8. You’ve got a free one-way ticket to anywhere in the world: where would you pick?

I will go to Copenhagen 🙂 I’m in love with this city after living there one year.

 

9. Any nightmare stories you can share whilst travel?

In the first day in Italy, I slept over my bus stop and just realized when the bus was far away from the city. I had to walk 20 minutes to find another bus, and it was dark in the winter.

 

10. What are your blogging dreams for 2017?

Since my page reached 1000 views in 1 day, my blogging dreams are brought more informative news about traveling to my lovely readers, and also get 10000 views per month.

 

11. Where are you heading to next?

I’m going to explore more about my country! I’ve traveled many other places, so this is the time to see more of Vietnam.


Additional Liebster nomination requirements

10 randoms things about me

  1. I’m obsessed with ice-cream (love it too much).
  2. My favorite movie series is Games of Throne. I am traveling around and visiting all the filming set places. I visited the film set in Seville, Spain, and also to Dubrovnik to see the Kings Landing.
  3. Studying few words before going to a new place is always on my list.
  4. I am a mix of introvert and extrovert.
  5. My favorite place is the sea. I like stepping in the river and enjoy the coldness that the water brings.
  6. When I have free time, I usually stay at home and watch movies.
  7. Playing music instruments is one of my hobbies.
  8. I learned some martial arts to protect myself.
  9. Once I dreamed of opening a bakery shop.
  10. My favorite city is Copenhagen 🙂

 

My favorite blog

Since I live in many countries, making new friends is one of the most important things to do. In How I Make Friends In A New City by Page Traveller, Amy suggested many useful ways to meet new people in new places. I think this is very useful and necessary for expats and travelers.


Questions for My Nominees

1. What is the best memory that you have while traveling?

2. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?

3. Have you ever had something romantic while traveling?

4. Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone?

5. What is your favorite travel book?

6. What is your worst experience on the road?

7. What/Who inspires you to travel the world?

8. How do you save up to travel?

9. Do you have any advice for a new blogger?

10. Where do you think is the best place to go in the summer?


You can read more about the rules here

,

10 Amazing things I did for the first time in Iceland

When I first arrived in Iceland, I was so amazed by how beautiful Iceland is! Iceland is an incredible country with various things to discover. In this article, I would love to share 10 things that I did for the first time in this country. I hope you can find some inspirations to explore Iceland.

 

1. Take the road trip

With the famous Ring Road, Iceland is a popular place to do a road trip. It was my first time to rent a car and go around a country. I was traveling along the ring road from Keflavík to Southern Iceland. It was totally awesome to see how beautiful nature is, and to see the changes in the landscape along the road.

 

2. Hitchhike

Because Iceland is the safest country to do hitchhiking, I gave myself a try. It was very easy and simple. You just need to stand at one side, shake your hand and show a thump up. It took me less than 5 minutes to get a car there, and the experience was very nice! At first, I thought that it’s not safe to hitchhike, but Iceland’s drivers proved to me the opposite! They are very friendly and helpful. So give yourself a try if you go there.

 

3. Hike

Although I had visited many countries before, I didn’t do hiking. In my Iceland trip, I climb up the hills and mountains. Following the long steps, I saw many magnificent views that I couldn’t ever forget. It was totally worth the effort!

 

4. See the abandoned plane wreck

The feeling of seeing a plane wreck is unexplainable. After a long walk (around 3km) from the parking lot, I finally found an abandoned plane crash. It was so cool to walk inside, to see the effect of the crash and the time on the plane.

 

5. Live in the car

I literally lived in the car for 3 days. I ate in the car, drank in the car, slept in the car. It was so so cold to sleep in the car, especially because I didn’t bring a sleeping bag. I couldn’t sleep much because of the cold. However, it was a life experience when I could just drive everywhere I wanted and stopped at wherever I found beautiful.

 

6. Explore the Glacier and Iceberg in Iceland

I felt like I visited Antarctic when I saw the Iceberg and the Glacier. It was so amazing! You can even hear the sound of when the Iceberg was fallen as well.

7. Visit a volcano

Seeing a volcano was on my bucket list for a long time, and I did it when I visited Iceland! The volcano was just so huge!!!

 

8. Visit black sand beaches

I hadn’t known about black sand beaches until I did some research about Iceland. Because of the volcanic nature, the sand is black there. So amazing, isn’t it?

 

9. Observe midnight sun

It was so bright until midnight when I was there in May! The sun didn’t seem to come down. I heard that the night was even brighter from June to August. It was quite difficult for me to sleep because of the midnight sun.

 

10. Look through the waterfall

There’s a very special waterfall in Iceland, where you can go behind the waterfall, and look the view outside through the powerful waterfall! The view was so stunning when I got there. I watched the sunset from behind the waterfall, and it’s just beautiful as it’s like in the movie.


Do you like this article?


What amazing things that you did during your trip? You can share with me in the comment!

, ,

Eat like a local: Top 10 Japanese foods to try!

Lived in Japan for 2 years and worked in Japanese hospitality and tourism industry, I’m in love with Japanese cuisine and culture. Japanese culinary is not only special for its delicious dishes but also for the decoration and service. In this article, I will introduce 10 Japanese foods that you cannot miss.

1. Sushi(寿司)

Sushi is probably the first dish that people will mention about Japanese foods. It has become a symbol of Japanese cuisine, and you can find sushi restaurants in many places around the world.

Trying sushi in Japan is by far the most delicious place in my perspective. In Japan, you can try sushi from different prices, from Running sushi stores with 100 Yen, to expensive sushi dishes in luxury restaurants. If you have a chance to visit Fish Market in Tokyo, you should try the freshest sushi with the ingredients taken directly from the market.

100 Yen Running Sushi – Each dish is from 100 Yen (0.9$)

2. Ramen(ラーメン)

Ramen is a familiar dish to the ones who love Japanese culinary. It presents the beauty of Japanese cuisines and culture because it requires the patience in cooking, and also presents the beauty of each region.

Ramen and Gyoza

a) Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles are made of wheat flour, water, salt and salt water (Kansui).

b) Ramen soup

Ramen soup is not only sophisticated but also varied according to the creativity of the region. Salt, water (shio ramen), tunnel boned pork (tonkotsu ramen), Japanese soy sauce (shouyu ramen) and miso (miso ramen) are important ingredients to make a delicious ramen broth.
A ramen bowl will always contain vegetables (green onion, bean sprout), Chashu pork, dried bamboo (Menma) and Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg (Ajitsuke tamago)

c) Ramen in different regions

You can try different Ramen style in each part of Japan: Sapporo Ramen, Hakata Ramen from Fukuoka, Hiroshima Ramen, Kitakata Ramen from Fukushima, and Toyama Ramen.

d) Service

You can try a different way of ordering Ramen in Fukuoka. There are some machines placed outside the restaurants, and you can choose the dish and pay there. Then you just wait at the table for the waiter to bring a delicious ramen.
There’s a ramen theme park in Japan named Aqua City Odaiba. You can try different ramen in booth stands there.

 

3. Udon(うどん)

With the Udon noodles, Japanese cook can make different types of Udon. The most popular Udon is Cold Udon, Udon and Yaki Udon.

a) Cold Udon

With Cold Udon, Udon is put in cold water first and then put into a bowl, served with sauce and chopped scallions. You can choose the topping to make your dish more delicious.

b) Udon

The simplest form of Udon (Kake Udon) is served hot with Udon noodles and broth (Kake Udon), with thinly chopped scallions. You can choose different toppings to eat with, such as Tempura or meat.

It’s normal to order udon with rice as a set 

c) Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon, or Fried Udon, is stir fried with vegetables, sauces, and different ingredients according to your choices (meat, eggs, etc.)

 

4. Okonomiyaki(お好み焼き)

Another Japanese food that you should try is Okonomiyaki. It’s a Japanese style of pancake and made of eggs, water, flour, cabbage, and meat. You can choose the topping as your preferences but commonly are dried fish and okonomiyaki sauce.

 

5. Yakiniku(焼肉)

Yakiniku, which is a combination of 2 words: Yaki (Grilled) and Niku (Meat),  is generally used for grilled meat in Japan.

If you visit Japan, you can try Yakiniku buffet, where you pay for the buffet according to the amount of time such as 1 hour, 1.5 hours or 2 hours. Also, you can choose your favorite meats and vegetables based on your favorite choices. Sometimes in Yakiniku buffet, there are sushi, udon, ramen, soba, and free drinks as well. Eating the hot delicious Yakiniku in cold weather is one of the best experience in the winter in Japan.

 

6. Soba (そば)

Soba noodles can have yellow colors, or gray or green (if it’s made from broccoli). You can eat soba with some toppings or try Yakisoba (Fried soba). Ingredients for Yakisoba are usually Soba noodles, cabbage, meat (chicken, pork or beef), and sauce. Although it’s so easy to make Yakisoba, its taste is amazing.

 

7. Takoyaki(たこ焼き)

Takoyaki is Japanese octopus cake. You can make your own Takoyaki with Takoyaki machine, by mixing Takoyaki flour, eggs, water, and octopus. Furthermore, you can add green onion and cheese according to your preferences. Takoyaki is normally served with fried fish, Takoyaki sauce and chopped green onion.
On the other hand, you can just simply buy Takoyaki in Japanese restaurants. In Japan, you can find Takoyaki stands many places in the festival.

 My homemade version of Takoyaki

 

8. Fried food

a) Karaage(からあげ)

Karaaage is a Japanese version of fried chicken. There are various types of Karaage with different ways of cooking, but commonly is marinated and then coated in potato starch. Biting a piece of karaage, you can feel the crispiness outside and soft, juicy and yummy chicken inside.

Crispy and juicy chicken

b) Tempura(天ぷら)

Tempura is a common name for Japanese fried dishes of seafood or vegetables, and you can try it alone or with udon.

 

9. Japanese rice

With the same base, you can try different Japanese rice dishes such as Curry Rice, Tamago Rice (Rice with Egg), Takikomi Gohan (Japanese mixed rice), etc.
Japanese curry tastes amazing. When I first visited Japan, I loved this dish so much that I ate it every day. Takikomi Gohan is made of Japanese rice dish, dashi (Japanese fish stock), soy sauce. You can try with different vegetables, meat or fish.

You can also order a rice set like this

 

10. Japanese Bakery

a) Japanese Cheesecake

You can find cheesecake in every supermarket, restaurant or souvenir shop. Japanese cotton cheesecake is so soft that you can feel it melted in your tongue in your first bite.

b) Mochi(餅)

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake which is not only delicious but also cute. There are various types of Mochi such as strawberry mochi, matcha mochi, mochi ice-cream, but the most popular ones are with red bean.

c) Matcha related products(抹茶)

As a healthy and delicious green tea powder, Matcha is used in various products in Japan, especially in baking industry. There are matcha tea, matcha ice-cream, matcha cake, matcha caramel, matcha mochi, etc.

 

There are other Japanese dishes such as Gyoza (Japanese dumplings), Tonkatsu (Japanese deep-fried pork cutlet) as well, but I focus on introducing most popular Japanese foods in this article. If you have a chance, let’s try all those yummy Japanese foods!

You can also read more about Japan here!



What are your favorite Japanese foods? Please share with me in the comment 🙂

,

How to find cheap flights? – Best websites to use!

Many of my friends asked me how I could be able to afford my travel, especially when I mostly commuted by airplanes. Believe or not, I once got on the plane 18 times in one month. Am I rich? Nope! Most people think that it’s cheaper to travel by buses or trains, etc., but if you know how to find cheap flights, you can save a lot of money as well! In this post, I will introduce my favorite websites to find cheap flights!

1. Skyscanner

I guess many of you have heard about this site, right? It’s my favorite when finding flights. I like the feature that you can just select the whole month to find the best time with comparing all the choices. You can also just choose “Anywhere” as a surprising travel option.

However, the website doesn’t show all the cheap airlines, and sometimes the combination is a bit pricey. Therefore, I will just use it as one of the references when searching for flights.

Be careful when you book multiple flights through this website. Sometimes it says that you will take a responsibility to transfer on your own, so you have to make sure to pick up all the luggage by yourself, and prepare a visa if needed. I once booked multiple flights without knowing that I need a visa to transfer because my booking was with 2 different airlines. As a result, I lost my bookings and all the money :/

 

2. Goeuro

This website is very useful because you can find all kinds of transportation, including buses, trains, flights or even Blabla cars. It evaluates the Smartest options, the Cheapest options and also the Fastest options. You can also see the time needed for commuting as well.

 

3. Bravofly

I just discovered this website recently and used it as one of the options to find flights. You can also find hotels, cars or combination between flights and hotels here. Pretty convenient, right?

 

4. Kayak

This is one of the websites that I used to compare the price as well. The website is user-friendly and well-designed. If you sign up for an account, you may be able to find good private deals with up to 35% saving.

35% saving if you sign up!!!

5. Fly4free

This website provides various good deals with a good combination of flights and accommodation. You can read more about the description of each trip on their website, and book the trips with the links. If you are lazy to plan your trip or look for some travel inspiration, Fly4free will be your favorite website.

 

6. Momondo

Momondo is one of the best flight comparison prices. It provides cheap options for flights, hotels, car rental. You can find some trip inspiration there as well. I love the Trip Finder option. You can enter your budget, choose your favorite destinations or just randomly anywhere. You can also choose which type of places you would love to go such as cities, beaches, nature or skiing, etc.

 

7. Rome2rio

This website is amazing! You can find all the unusual paths through this one. The site lists all the options by plane, bus, train, ferry and automobile, along with the price and the time needed for transportation.

For example, in this search, I try to find a way from Copenhagen to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany.

Options from Copenhagen to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany


If you fly inside Europe

Sometimes I found cheap flights by checking directly in airplanes’ websites since some good deal do not show up in general comparison website. These are some budget airlines you would love to know! Most of them are only available in Europe.

 

1. Ryanair

Ryanair is my top website to find cheap flights. You can save lots of money with this airline. I have used it several times and these are my reviews.

Good points:

  • Incredibly cheap! You can find good deals starting from 5 Euro!
  • User-friendly website
  • You can bring a carry-on suitcase with a bag on board.

 

Bad points:

  • Hassle at the check-in if you don’t hold a good passport. If you travel around Europe, and you’re not EU resident, you will have to do a passport checkup at the check-in luggage point.
  • The seat is very tiny and not that comfortable. If you’re tall, you feel it very uncomfortable during the flights. However, I think it’s acceptable if you’re looking for a cheap option to go from places to places in a short period of time.
  • Expensive charge if you bring extra luggage. Therefore check out the allowance rules carefully before you fly.
  • Commercial, commercial and commercial. They play lots of commercials on the airplane and it’s quite annoying. It’s quite understandable that Ryanair tries to have more income from selling stuff on the plane.

 

2. Norwegian

I love using Norwegian service because it’s really good. You can have free wi-fi access on board. There is no hassle in check in part.

Sometimes the price is a bit pricey, but if you are under 26, you can use the promotion code: UNDER 26, and you can see lots of deduction from the normal price! It can be even up to 50% off!

 

3. Wizz Air

Wizz Air provides cheap flights as well, even cheaper than other competitors. However, it’s quite inconvenient if you have more than one piece of luggage. You will need to pay an extra fee if you bring more than “One piece of cabin baggage”. Read more here.

 

4. easyJet

I flew with this airline few times and nothing much to complain, except it was late with the boarding time. EasyJet is also one of the cheap options for flights, and the seat is quite small as well.

 

5. SAS

Some people will say SAS is quite expensive to fly, but it’s cheap if you book ” Young flights” for those who are under 26 years old. Also, the price of SAS is a bit similar with Norwegian. You can get free coffee or tea on the plane, and the service is very nice!

Finding cheap flights will take time, but it’s worth your effort. I hope you can find good deals based on the list of websites above. Did I miss any good websites? You can share in the comment so I can update the list!


Do you like this article?


How was your experience with booking through those websites? You are more than welcome to discuss with me in the comment ?

, , ,

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?

Do you love this article?


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 🙂