Tips to Immerse Yourself In the Local Culture While Abroad

Vacations are an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizons and explore more of the big beautiful world. When we visit places that are wildly different from our own home, it may be strange at first and difficult to adjust to, but once you get past that initial hesitance, you’ll realize that the best way to enjoy your holiday is to allow yourself to be fully immersed in the country’s culture. You’ll feel far more cultured and you may even discover something you never even knew you would enjoy. Vacations are a chance to try new things and what better place to start than a country where everything feels new. If you want to try it out for yourself, here are some tips on how to immerse yourself in the local culture while you’re abroad.

Food

One of the most exciting way to introduce yourself to a different culture is by trying its cuisine. Whilst many cultures offer more extreme dishes like fried bugs or escargot, if you’re worried you may not have the stomach for them then there are always more tame options that offer up a delicious alternative to foods you may be used to. You may discover a new favourite dish that you can even cook yourself to impress your friends and family with. The world is full of flavour, you only need to step outside your comfort zone to find it.

Language

One of the best ways to understand a new culture is by interacting with the locals. If you want to impress them, why not try and learn some of their local languages. Even if you aren’t fluent they’ll appreciate the effort and may even offer you a drink or something on the house. If you’re unsure of where to start with learning a new language, check out ponly for some great conversation starters that will get you talking in no time. Having some basic knowledge of the language may also help if you find yourself lost or if you’re looking for something specific.

Avoid Tourist Traps

One of the biggest mistakes travellers hoping to soak up in a new culture can make is by feeding into tourist traps. When you go to a popular tourist destination you’ll probably find lines upon lines of shops selling the same trinkets for wild prices. Whilst they may look appealing and rare initially, once you see the same bottle opener in the 4th shop in a row, you may start to think it may not be as worthwhile as you initially thought. Instead, look for shops that sell things you won’t find on every strip. Instead of filling your suitcase with mass-produced touristy garbage, you may discover actual artists that can give you one of a kind souvenirs that you will actually want to treasure.

Explore

When you’re abroad, it can be exciting to go off the beaten track. Bouncing off the last point, if you explore your chosen destination, you may discover hidden opportunities or spots. Why not look on sites like Groupon to see if there are any vouchers for some awesome activities in your chosen destination. You may end up doing something you never would have done before. If you ask some of the locals, they might be able to tell you some of their favourite restaurants. They will almost definitely be different from the garishly patriotic restaurants sporting the ‘real and authentic’ slogan – which more often than not are designed to trick tourists into believing they’re getting the most accurate cultural experience when in reality they’re most likely just getting ripped off.

Do Your Research

If you want to get the truest cultural experience, it’s worth doing your research before you go. Look into the destination’s history and traditions and you can co-ordinate your trip around that. Many countries have events at certain times of the year, such as festivals or parades. There is no better chance to get a feel for the place’s culture than by witnessing it for yourself. By researching online, you may even discover places you can visit that maybe aren’t as well known. You may end up saving money and have a far richer experience if you allow yourself to step away from the places claiming to be authentic and discover the country’s authenticity for yourself.

Our Review of Vietnam’s Only 6 Star Hotel: The Reverie Saigon

Situated at the very center of District 1 – Ho Chi Minh’s cultural and commercial heart – The Reverie Saigon is just a short walk from the best landmarks in the city. From the French colonial Opera House and the neo-classical Post Office to the Ho Chi Minh Museum the Reunification Palace, you won’t ever be bored at the Reverie Saigon.

Inside Style

As for scenery, the hotel sits upon a picturesque, tree-lined boulevard called Nguyen Hue (this translates as “very alive at night”) and is surrounded by brasseries, art galleries and chic boutiques. As for the hotel itself, it sits at the very top of Times Square Tower, the 3rd tallest building in Ho Chi Minh city and the 5th tallest in Vietnam. Similar to the more famous Times Square in New York City, the tower projects a dazzling display of light into the streets.

On the inside, however, the hotel gives you a visual experience like no other. It’s extravagant and bold design is like an architectural fantasy in which Liberace meets Versace, filled with decorative opulence and luxury furniture. There are huge sparkly mirrors, there are mosaics on almost every inch of the ceiling. There’s so much marble inside that one has to wonder there is any still left in Italy.

All of this, of course, results in a very hefty price tag, regardless of how short a stay you might be having. However, if you’re in Vietnam and played the lottery recently, then visit xosovui for xsmt results and if you’re lucky you might win enough for a weeks stay. If not, you better start saving as it can cost up to $400 per night at this luxury hotel.

The Coolest Things to Do in Vietnam in 2020

If you’re looking for a new vacation destination, then look no further. Full of beautiful locations, great food and unbelievable prices, it’s no surprise that so many people have been choosing to travel to Vietnam for their next vacation. If you’re planning your trip or even if you’re still on the fence, here are some of the coolest things you can do in Vietnam in 2020.

Decorate Your Own Lantern at Hoi An

Part of the Vietnamese New Year celebration, each year Hoi An is transformed into a colourful masterpiece. For a full week, one particular road becomes the home for an unbelievable number of lanterns. Tourists are also encouraged to design and release their own beautiful lanterns. It’s probably the closest you’ll come to recreating that scene from Tangled.

Visit the Cao Dai Temple

Vietnamese churches are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and this one is no exception. Filled floor to ceiling with beautiful colors and surprising artwork. This temple is home to one of the most interesting religions, Caodaism, a combination of a surprising amount of other religions you may not suspect. It’s worth a Google. Prayers can take place up to 4 times a day. To help you keep an eye on your timings, why not check out these watches from galle, a popular Vietnamese watch seller to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to witness one of these sermons for yourself.

Cross a Bridge Held Up by the Gods Themselves

An absolute marvel in engineering, this bridge towers an eye-watering height above the beautiful Ba Nang province. But it isn’t the bridge itself that has made this attraction one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam. The bridge is seemingly ‘held up’ by a pair of god-like hands carved entirely from stone. An absolute must for your Instagram.

 

5 Ways to Spice up your Group Holiday

Going on holiday with your friends is always either the best time of your life or a complete and utter disaster. There is rarely a nice in between, as sometimes people fight over what they want to do or where they want to go. If you’re planning a group holiday and trying to think of some fail-safe activities to do to keep everybody in the group happy, this list may just have some ideas that you’re interested in.

Make a bucket list

Each person in the group could come up with an idea or activity that they want to do whilst on the holiday. This will give you a set plan for what to do as well as letting every person in the group pick one thing they would like to do. This way things stay fun whilst keeping everybody happy.

Create an activity bingo sheet

Like the first idea, if everyone creates their own bingo sheet filled with different events or incidents, for example, whether someone will fall over or spend too much money. Then as the holiday goes on you can check off the things that do happen and if anyone correctly predicts a line, they can win a prize.

Get matching outfits

This idea may be a bit embarrassing but it’s always a laugh to match with your friends. You could try wearing matching t-shirts or you could buy some of these personalized wristbands. This idea is perfect if one of you has a bad habit of wandering off on your own, as if this happens at least you’re all easily identified.

Explore

Whilst it can be very easy and fun to stay within the resort you’ve booked, especially if it is all-inclusive, you never know what kind of sites and opportunities you and your friends are missing out on. Rent a car and go out for drives, find quiet beaches or other hidden treasures, or book a tour and learn more about the area. Group holidays don’t have to completely revolve around alcohol!

Get a taste of new cultures

Any country you travel to is likely to have their own unique culture, you and your friends should try to push yourself to try new foods that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to try. If that means you have to dare your friends to try snails in France, it’ll definitely be a fun experience.

The Essential Checklist for Traveling Abroad

There are a lot of things that you need to remember to do and sort out before traveling abroad. If you forget to bring or do something important, it could cause a lot of problems for you when traveling or once you arrive in your destination country. That’s why it’s a good idea to create an essential checklist of everything that you need to do before going and everything that you need to pack. To help you put this together, here is a list of some things you might want to include on your checklist to get you started:

 

Travel Documents – one of the most important things that should be done well in advance of traveling is to ensure that you have all of your travel documents in order. These may include your passport, or a visa if it is needed for the country that you plan on traveling to. Also, checking that you and your travel companions all have up to date health insurance is important. Remember to bring necessary identification that is handier to carry around than a passport, such as your drivers license, as you don’t want to risk bringing your passport with you everywhere as it might get lost.

 

Travel aids – having everything that you might need if you run into trouble whilst traveling is also important. These can be maps or language and a travel guide as if you get lost and don’t know the language of the country you are visiting you may need the aid of a translation book to help you.

 

Banking – knowing exactly how you are going to pay for everything and whether you will have enough money during the trip is very important. If you aren’t sure how to handle your banking while abroad, or whether or not it’s a good idea to bring your regular debit or credit card, Revolut is a great option for you, reviews for which can be found at Plutuspocket if you want to do your own research.

 

Equipment and appliances – something that you likely aren’t going to forget to bring but should have a spot on your checklist anyway is your mobile phone and charger. Also, have a camera, memory card and charger are handy for saving memories and capturing special moments of your holiday. Other things to remember are plug adaptors if the country you are going to has different plug sockets and also headphones to keep you occupied on the trip.

 

The basics – lastly, include a section on your checklist to remind you to pack all the necessary clothes and toiletries. Do you have enough pairs of underwear and socks? It is also easy to forget to pack pajamas or enough suitable pairs of shoes. Travel-sized toothbrushes, shampoos, and soaps are also important in case the place you are staying in doesn’t provide them. It might also be a good idea to have a medicine bag, will all medications that are needed, as well as any other health-related things that might be useful.

 

Top 5 Things to Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is city full to the brim with character, color and spells the trip of a lifetime to anyone who decides to travel there. From the sights, the reputation it’s not hard to see why hundreds upon thousands of people venture over to the Netherlands just to experience this widely cultured city. Yet once you get there, what is there to do? Well here’s just five (though there’s so many more) things you can do whilst you’re in, as the kids call it, Dam.

Cycle, cycle, cycle

If you haven’t heard comedic stories of the number of bikes you see around, then I don’t know what to tell you. Amsterdam is a bike city, with over 800,000 of them wheeling around the packed streets. They are a part of the city itself, the sound of the tyres spinning, and the wind in your hair as you zoom passed the buildings and the humble streetwalkers. If this description has got you excited to be cycling around you can rent a bike in Amsterdam and discover every little part of the City for yourself.

The Ice Bar

This bar has been the centre of attention in many a Facebook and Instagram photo. With the subjects wearing large coats and woolen hats with their glove-wrapped hands gripping a drink. The attraction is based on a very unique concept. It looks very aesthetic with everything looking like it’s made out of ice. Which to its credit, it is! Everything is kept at a consistent temperature of -10 degrees (Freezing) meaning that if you’re planning on wearing your shorts, I would urge you to strongly reconsider. This one though you cannot just walk in. You can book a ticket and it’s not too expensive for such a fun time.

Food

If you’re always hungry like me, you’ll be interested in the cuisine that can be found around the city. One key staple is the Herring carts. This fishy delicacy is served raw from vans, and before you go it’s worth doing some research as there is a specific way one should throw down this strongly tasting sea creature.

If you don’t have the stomach for that though, you may want to look at a more structured food tours around the city. One to look out for is the Hungry Birds tour where you will be transported around and given the opportunity to try all sorts of Danish street food.

…And drink

After a big lunch, breakfast or dinner, you’ll have to wash all of it down. Heineken offer the Heineken experience, where you can find out how a small brewery became what it is today. You’ll also see how it is brewed. It also includes 2 free beers if you want to try what you’ve just been taught about, as well as a free map to all the secret gems in Amsterdam, so you can do your own, slightly tipsy, exploring.

Canals

Another thing that Amsterdam is famous for is its canals, so you would be remiss to not jump on for a boat tour. There are many places that offer canal tours as well as a combined offer of the Heineken Experience as well as a canal tour (if you can stomach it!) There are also different qualities of trip included a luxury options, so whether you’re treating yourself, a significant other, or your best friend you can find a boat trip that is just right for you.

These are only 5 of the many, many, many attractions in this wonderful place so look out for any we missed.

 

Surprise Your Partner with a Stay at One of These Hotels

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

The Emirates Palace of Abu Dhabi was first opened in November 2005 and is perhaps the most luxurious hotel in the Middle East. The hotel boasts suites that are furnished in gold and marble so if you want to truly treat your partner this is the place. With its own private two-kilometre beach and two spa facilities, relaxation is never too far away. This hotel would be especially good for impressing a new partner, and you can check out this blog post for some potential questions and talking points that you can impress them with while lounging in the jacuzzi!

 

The Westin Excelsior, Rome

Rome is the city of romance so where better to take your partner. If you do go to Rome you may as well go all out, so where better than the five star The Westin Excelsior. The hotel is situated in the heart of the Italian capital, this hotel holds sophisticated and classical Italian suites for a fair price. Not only will you be centrally located in Rome, but you’ll also be walking distance from the Via Veneto and the Villa Borghese. This 5-star hotel is also just half a mile from Via Nazionale and the Spanish Steps. The rooms also have 316 air-conditioned rooms with LCD tv’s and premium bedding. So, if you are going on a romantic getaway then the Westin Excelsior is the perfect hotel for you. You know what they say about “when in Rome!”

 

Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is the true example of Middle Eastern decadence. Often called the seven-star hotel, the Burj can offer you some of life’s greatest luxuries. With a shuttle service of helicopter or Rolls Royce and an on-site restaurant that can offer you a beautiful view of the whole of Dubai, this is a great choice if you want to go all out in treating your partner.

 

The Plaza, New York City

It is said that New York city is the city that never sleeps but if you and your partner do find yourselves feeling tired The Plaza is your best bet. First constructed in 1907 The Plaza remains an icon of the New York skyline. It is on the other end of the luxurious scale when compared to the previous Middle Eastern hotel, offering a more classical version of hotel luxury. Right in the heart of Manhattan the hotel offers a beautiful view of the New York skyline, it is simply the finest hotel on the American east coast. There are countless things you and your loved one can get up to in the Big Apple, and it’s always better do it with a bit of style.

 

Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas

To take this passage to a honeymoon hot spot, situated in the tropical Bahamas the hotel gives guests exactly what the name would suggest- a little taste of paradise. This hotel situated on Paradise Island opened over 20 years ago and is a marvel of modern engineering and art. It also aims to give you a taste of Bahamian culture through an immersive programm which expolores the history, art, people and food of the Bahamas. The hotel is like a piece of heaven giving you and your partner the opportunity to truly get away from the stresses of life and relax in the tropical sun. The resort holds over 141 acres and is the perfect location for you and your partner to just getaway.

 

Palms, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not perhaps the first place you would think of when taking your partner on a trip, but the Palms can match any other hotel in this passage when it comes to luxury and romantic energy. This hotel is also partnered with venues in Las Vegas, such as the Pearl Theatre. This particular venue is set to host Billy Idol in July – can you think of a better way to treat your partner than a stay at a luxury hotel and a Billy Idol concert? The Palms also offers 25% off if you stay for over 4 nights, making it one of the cheaper five star hotel options.

The 7 Best Winter Travel Destinations

Missed out on a summer vacation this year? Perhaps a winter getaway is what’s needed. Here are the top places to visit for travellers wanting to relax in the colder beauty-spots of Europe.

7. Alta Badia, Italy

Located in the Italian alps, Alta Badia is simply perfect for ski and snowboarding lovers. After a hard days graft, travellers can then indulge in South Tyrolean specialities and the finest of Italian wine in the cozy wooden huts among the mountains.

6. Bergen, Norway

Start the day by flying up the funicular bullet rail for an unbelievable view of the city, take enough Instagram photos until your heart is content, and then ski back down any of the seven justifiably famous mountains for a perfect winter day. Or, simply relax at ground level in the adorable fishing village and buy some gorgeous Norwegian sweaters at the Oleana textile factory. Either way, Bergen is a great place to spend a winter evening, or two.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

For culture lovers, Prague is one of the best cities to visit for a winter holiday. From beautiful gothic architecture to the Christmas markets that are bustling in the centre of the Old town, Prague is infinitely rich in history and culture.

Walking tours are also available, allowing you to see important landmarks like the Prague castle and the astronomical clock, among other things that will excite your curiosity.

4. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is the perfect winter destination for Christmas lovers, with the Christmas markets taking over the city during the festive period. Travellers can also of course visit famous attractions like the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Holocaust memorial.

3. Jasná, Slovakia

If affordability is what one is after, Jasná is the perfect winter getaway for skiing on breath taking slopes and hiking among beautiful scenery for prices that don’t break the bank.

2. Abisko, Sweden

Due to the darkness of this northern city, it is one of the best places to view the aurora borealis. This isn’t the only attraction however, winter-lovers can also go cross-country skiing and husky mushing.

1. Reykjavík, Iceland

Whether it’s the Northern Lights, the thermal baths or simply the beautiful glacier walks, Iceland is undoubtedly the top spot for a winter getaway. In Reykjavik, numerous guided tours are available, ranging from 2 days to 12 days, that will allow you to experience the best of this breath taking and mesmerising country.

The 3 Most Expensive Hotel Suites You Can Stay In

Everyone enjoys spending a night or two in a hotel as it gives the guest a chance to feel pampered, with freshly made beds and room service just a phone call away. Whilst many find luxury in these simple things, there are a lot of people who can afford to splash out on extremely extravagant hotel suites. If you can afford it and want to know what the most expensive hotel suites are, this is a list of the 3 most expensive hotel suits that can be stayed in.

1. The third most expensive hotel suite in the world, The Mark Penthouse in The Mark Hotel in New York will set you back $75.000 a night. This hotel suite comes with 5 bedrooms and even more bathrooms, taking up the top two levels of the hotel. On top of this, the suite has an extraordinary view of New York city, so beautiful that it almost might make you forget the huge daily price.

2. Second on the list of the most expensive hotel suites in the world, comes the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson, costing $80.000 per night. This hotel suite in Geneva, Switzerland justifies its price tag through the inclusion of a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the opportunity to have your own private chef and butler. Other amenities offered include a Jacuzzi as well as a grand piano.

3. The most expensive hotel suite in the world comes at a price that may make those of us on a basic wage want to learn more about manifestation magic in order to be able to afford it. At a price of $100.000 a night the Empathy Suite at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas offers not only a view of the Strip but was recently renovated by Damien Hirst.