Travelling to Pakistan, as it is a Muslim country, means you need to be more thoughtful about how you conduct yourself in the host country.
Do: Respect the country’s laws
Whilst you may not be of Pakistani origin yourself, please try to follow the customs of their religion and culture. A classic example is not to take photographs of residents without their permission. In Islamic culture, photographs are considered graven images which are forbidden in Islam. Especially so, taking pictures of the eyes.
Modest dress is highly recommended and you should ideally dress modestly at all times. Both men and women should cover their legs and shoulders in public places. During the holy month of Ramadan or if you wish to visit holy areas, you should be especially considerate. Women’s heads must be covered with a scarf or something similar when entering mosques or other holy places and also when travelling to more rural areas of Pakistan.
Importing pork or alcohol to Pakistan is illegal. Co-habitation by an unmarried couple and homosexuality are also illegal.
Do: Get yourself an international driving permit
Remember that if you want to drive in Pakistan, you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Whilst the idea of driving all the way to Pakistan is an interesting one, it won’t work if you don’t have your international driving permit. The IDP is a valid document of the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic and all countries signed up to it. It is also recognised in many other countries.
Do: Check your country’s government website for travel advice to Pakistan
Unfortunately, with the rise of terrorism, some government websites have issued strong advice about travel to Pakistan at certain times. This is a great shame, for Pakistan has some great places to see, eat at, and enjoy.
If you do travel to the country, you can be promised to be treated well, especially with Pakistan’s associated roots to Pashtunwali – a code of conduct which promotes love, forgiveness and tolerance. This is what has Pakistani citizens cooking for you as soon as you walk through the door – you are treated with true hospitality as a member of the family.
Do: Get value for money
The Pakistani Rupee (PKR) is a way to get more for your money than many other countries. Do enjoy the food there which is largely at lower prices, including Espresso Shahbaz, when online ordering.
Many Pakistanis and visitors now order takeaways once a week, or more often, rather than cooking every day. Other ways to get value for money include buying cutlery, rugs, textiles and cotton, the top ten things to import from Pakistan this year (from 2013) gives other such examples of cheaper goods. The economy largely operates on a cash-only basis, so try not to take too much cash out at once.
Don’t: get bitten by mosquitoes
These critters are very infuriating if you are not prepared for them. Make sure you pack protective clothing, tweezers, insect repellents, nets and a first aid pack. The mosquitoes in Pakistan are many and also there are lots of species. Aslam Khan first listed 92 species back in 1983, but a significant number have been recorded since. More recently, Pakistan has had to deal with the Zika virus and pregnant mums-to-be should be wary of travel and seek medical advice.
Don’t: travel alone
Try to avoid travelling to Pakistan on your own. Especially if you are a woman. Muslim laws dictate that women need a male chaperone (Merham) if they are to travel abroad and it is safe advice to follow for non-Muslims too. You need to be aware of the risk of street crime and the active black market for passports and credit card fraud. The regions of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have high crime rates and lawlessness.
Don’t trek: or climb, unless experienced
There are several zones known as closed zones near the Pakistan and Afghanistan border and near the Line of Control between Pakistan and Kashmir.
The Himalayas and other mountains may sound enticing but you should only travel across them into the northern mountains if you are experienced at trekking. The mountains are very high and could cause the less able trekker some harm.
Don’t: travel in the monsoon
The Monsoon season in Pakistan lasts from late June to early October. In the Sindh and Punjab provinces, heavy rain can cause serious floods. Therefore, you should be mindful of forecasts and news reports. You should also be mindful of the thought of travelling with the threat of an earthquake. Unfortunately, in October 2015, a sizeable earthquake hit the country and caused many fatalities.
Hospitality, food, cheap goods and great places of cultural interest: why not consider holidaying in Pakistan this year?
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, is an archipelago of more than 99 islands; embodying everything great about Malaysia and its East Asian Location. From sun to sea, and the sand you can walk on, it’s the perfect place for any beach lover to find themselves escaping to. Yet that’s not all Langkawi has to offer.
From the luxurious hub of the St Regis Langkawi Resort, the rest of the archipelago is completely at your disposal. Take a swim at one of Langkawi’s best beaches, or simply laze around on their sands. Alternatively, go a little deeper and strap on an air tank for diving, or higher and cross the Langkawi Sky Bridge. Plus, there’s so much more.
Here are the top things to do in Langkawi. From the sand and sea of beaches to the haunting heights of the Langkawi Sky Bridge, and more.
Laze or Swim on Langkawi’s Beaches
Langkawi Beaches might not be the most famous in the world, but they sure to pack a punch where it counts. Due to Langkawi’s unique Archipelago formation, Langkawi is home to several incredible beaches throughout its 99 islands. Not all of the beaches have the clearest water, yet all of them do tend to stay cool year-round, meaning they’re perfect for taking a dip in the afternoon to cool down – especially during the summer.
Pantai Cenang Beach is one of the most popular. Located on the western coast of Langkawi, it offers endless white sand and clear water to swim in. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants, bars, and other attractions along the beachside. Just be careful about visiting during summer – it tends to get busy very quickly. Tengkorak Beach is another favorite, which even has picnic benches for families coming here. Located in the north of Langkawi, it’s worth the visit – especially considering the legend of Tengkorak.
Visit the Kilim Geoforest Park
If you’re looking for landscapes which don’t involve as much sand, the Kilim Geoforest Park is the perfect spot to venture to from where you’re staying. Located on the northern tip of Langkawi, the Kilim Geoforest Park takes up over 100 square kilometers and the area is known for its Karst landscapes and unique natural rock formations. You’ll also find plenty of wildlife here, including fabulous otters and unique breeds of lizards.
One of the most common ways to enter and explore the Park is by boat. Cruises can cost between RM200 and RM500. You’ll take a tour through the park itself and then head into the Limestone Caves, where you can actually feed stingrays. Pretty cool.
Experience Scuba Diving
If you’ve never been scuba diving before, now is the time to start, regardless of where you’re staying on the island. With some perfect reefs and locations for popping on an air tank and submerging yourself, Langkawi is the perfect place to engage in this unwater experience.
The best place to go scuba diving in Langkawi is the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Located around about 30 km south of the main island of Langkawi, the Coral Garden here is known for being incredibly beautiful and exciting to witness. Normally, visitors to the park need to obtain authority from the government before venturing into its depths, but there are tours which can avoid this.
Cross the Langkawi Sky Bridge
One of Langkawi’s unique attractions, this 125-meter-long pedestrian bridge offers a high almost like no other. Towering 700 meters above sea level, you’ll find yourself walking a thin line between a fear of height and a walk of bravery.
The bridge itself hangs from a single support structure, around which is bends (and flexes), creating a somewhat unnerving sway to the bridge. The view is incredible though. You can look out across the Langkawi Archipelago for seeming miles and miles. Beautiful blues and dark greens can be found everywhere.
The bridge costs RM35 for a standard adult ticket, which can be bought from the ticket office. The bridge is open between the hours of 10am and 8pm.
Visit the Mangrove Forest
Another by-boat tour of an incredible part of Langkawi. The Mangrove Forest is one of Langkawi’s most fantastic and immersive natural areas. After you board the tour boat and head into the forest, you’ll find yourself surrounded by trees and plant life on every side. The thing passages of water you’ll make yourself through are, at points, only just wide enough to accommodate the boat your sitting in. Make sure to duck and watch out for low hanging branches!
Make a Purchase at the Ayer Hangat Night Market
Located at Ayer Hangat in Langkawi Island, this Friday night exclusive is one of the island’s best shopping experiences for those visiting. From local souvenirs and gifts to unique food and treats you’re able to pick up, this is perfect for any shopping-loving travelers out there.
The market officially kicks off at 5 pm and continues until late. Whilst there are a lot of bargains to be grabbed here, make sure to remember that a lot of the stock is imitation and you’re not going to find genuine Prada or Gucci here. Regardless, if you’re happy with what you see, why not invest the tiny amount they’re asking. Just make sure to bargain!
Explore Langkawi At Your Own Pace
Langkawi is a paradise. As a part of Malaysia with beauty comparable to some of the nicest places in the world, visiting here almost always makes you want to stay for longer. It’s the type of place you imagine a person retiring to, or simply just moving to after they’ve amassed enough money.
Whilst the area does have specific dry and wet seasons, they don’t tend to influence the actual temperatures and climate all that much. This means that pretty much year-round the conditions in Langkawi are perfect for pretty much any activity you can think of.
So, prepare yourself for one of the best trips you’ll ever have. A trip filled with relaxation, sun, beaches, and a lot of boat rides.
Pakistan is a land of extremes – baking hot deserts, towering mountains and crushingly busy cities. Another extreme Pakistan lays claim to is seeing extremely few travellers each year, and being extremely underrated!
All these extremes make it the ultimate adventure travel destination. So what are you waiting for? Here, in no particular order, are Pakistan’s eleven most exciting adventure experiences!
1. Driving the Karakoram Highway on a motorbike
The Karakoram Highway is often called the eighth wonder of the world because of the terrain it traverses. In its 1,300 kilometres it crosses three mammoth mountain ranges, several raging rivers and one of the world’s highest national border crossings! It’s often called one of the world’s best road trips – but why do it in a car?
Grab a motorbike, a helmet and some friends and get ready to drive across the roof of the world!
2. Camping in the Karakoram National Park
Once you’ve reached the roof of the world, why not stay the night and admire the view? If you’re lucky you might even spot a marco polo sheep or a snow leopard.
Passu is my favourite place in the world! - YouTube
You’ll need a permit, lots of gear and a local guide (the region is notoriously remote), but nothing quite stops a conversation like the phrase “I went camping in the Karakoram Range last month”.
3. Hiking to Ansu Lake from Lake Saif-ul-Malook
The alpine Lake Saif-ul-Malook is one of Pakistan’s hottest summer tourist spots, and it’s no doubt a stunner. But if you really want to escape the crowds you’ll need to hike a further 4 to 6 hours to reach Ansu Lake. Named Ansu (“teardrop”) for its distinctive shape, it’s perched high in the Himalays at 4,250m above sea level – a whole kilometre higher than Saif-ul-Malook!
Lake Saif-ul-Malook (left) and Ansu Lake (right). Image credit: wasilm88.
The return hike can be done in a day, but don’t hike without a local guide.
4. Driving through the desert to the Derawar Fort
Pakistan is not all snow capped mountains and plunging canyons. Drive a couple of hours in a jeep or 4×4 from the desert city of Bahawalpur, out towards the Indian border, and you’ll come across the huge Derawar Fort in the middle of the Cholistan Desert.
Once a rampart for the local royal clan, it is now eerily quiet except for the chols (nomads) and their camels who give the desert its name.
5. Trekking along the Passu and Batura Glaciers
If a day’s hike to and from Ansu Lake wasn’t enough, then gear up for an expedition to Pakistan’s most remote corners. The 57 kilometre Batura Glacier is the world’s fifth longest non-polar glacier, and a magnet for serious trampers. The four day trek is no walk in the park though – this takes some serious preparation.
Passu Lake at the base of the Passu Glacier.
Nearby is the shorter, and arguably more beautiful Passu Glacier – you can reach its snout in just 20 minutes from the highway – maybe a more relaxing option!
6. Scuba diving near Charna Island
Scuba diving? In Pakistan? Betcha didn’t expect to see this one here. Charna Island is the most accessible of a bunch of spots along Pakistan’s coastline where the underwater world teems with sealife. It might not rival Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of natural beauty, but it’s dramatically cheaper and just an hour from Karachi. You can learn to scuba dive here – Pakistan is definitely one of the world’s more unexpected places to get PADI certified.
7. Getting lost in the Walled City of Lahore
Who says all adventure has to be had in the wilderness? The Walled City of Lahore is a world unto itself – twisting alleyways and hidden gardens, exuberant locals and colourful traditions – this is Pakistani society in a nutshell!
The Walled City of Lahore.
Just don’t turn up with an agenda – there are plenty of diversions along the way, and lots of chai to be had with new found friends – and you will get lost at least once.
8. White Water Rafting down the Naran River
Back in the mountains, the main service town for Lake Saif-ul-Malook is Naran, situated next to the Naran River. A few kilometres up the road is the drop off point for the white water rafting trip of a lifetime! The rapids aren’t terrifying, but the views are unparalleled.
Rafting on the Naran River.
9. Negotiating the jeep track to Fairy Meadows
Fairy Meadows and the view of Nanga Parbat is an attraction of its own, but the only way to get there (other than hiking) is the precarious jeep ride along the side of a mountain.
The road to Fairy meadows. Image credit: Omar Usman Khan (left) and Imrankhakwani (right).
Often referred to as one of the most dangerous roads in the world, most travellers spend the trip either cowering on one side of the jeep or gaping in awe as the skilful drivers master the unforgiving trail.
10. Exploring the far flung villages of the Chitral Valley
Chitral is not just any valley, it’s one of Pakistan’s least touristed yet most hospitable regions. You can walk into some villages and be the only foreign traveller that’s visited in years. The unique culture and stunning environs only add the the allure.
Villages in the Chitral Valley.
On arrival in Chitral you’ll be assigned a police guard (free of charge) to escort you around – just to smooth over any cultural misunderstandings that might arise in such an isolated place.
11. Crossing the Hussaini Bridge – and living to tell the tale!
Travellers call it a terrifying experience of a lifetime, locals call it the way to work. The iconic suspension bridge swings and sways in the mountain breeze as pedestrians dash (or stagger) from plank to narrow plank.
Don’t look down! Hussaini Bridge.
The waters of the Hunza Valley gush below while the Cathedral Range looms in the background – unforgettable!
Swinging and Swaying on the Hussaini Bridge - YouTube
And there you have it! Pakistan is off the beaten track, and it isn’t the ideal destination for everyone, but for those with an adventurous spirit, it might just be your next favourite hotspot!
Tim Blight is the founder of travel blog UrbanDuniya.com. He loves travelling (48 countries and counting), photography, city life and coffee. He splits his time between Australia and Pakistan, and has written two books, including the successful Pakistan Traveller – the world’s most comprehensive travel guidebook to Pakistan, and is now in its second edition. Fully updated for 2017, the book is available in two paperback and and two ebook formats through UrbanDuniya.
How often do you catch yourself dreaming of working abroad? How often do you catch yourself thinking what life would be like if you packed up and headed off into the sunset?
It’s not too late. It’s never too late. However, before you quit your job to travel, you’re going to need a plan. Sure, the world is your oyster, but some parts of the oyster are more accessible than others. Firstly, you’re going to need to figure out where in the world you want to go. Then, you’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to survive.
That probably going to mean getting a job. Luckily for you (especially if you’re under 30), there are a lot of places around the world where getting a work visa is easy. Just in case you’re not in the know, here’s our list of the easiest countries to get a work visa from.
Cambodia is one of the countries with easy visa requirements for everyone. Moreover, it’s increasingly becoming an attractive destination for those looking to live abroad somewhere exotic. The food is great, the history is great, and it’s definitely one of the easiest countries to get a job in.
The main visa you’ll find in Cambodia is the ‘business visa’. This can be renewed indefinitely and you don’t even need a company to sponsor you. However, to work legally, you’ll need a work permit. That being said, this hasn’t ever really been enforced.
If you’re looking for the easiest country to get a job in, China should be towards the top of your list. Historically, the country has been mainly for those looking to teach English or something comparable. However, increasingly there are more diverse employment opportunities on offer. Once you’ve found employment, getting the visa is simply a long process of paperwork and fees..
This can take a while, but as long as you have a job in China and your employer is sponsoring you, you’re almost guaranteed to be accepted, making China one of the easiest countries to get a work visa in. Bear in mind that gaining Chinese citizenship is incredibly hard; just in case you were thinking about it.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore also offers great opportunities for those looking to live and work abroad. The Singapore working holiday programme lasts for 6 months and is open for students and graduates. It may only be a short time, but even being given 6 months in one of the world’s largest financial centres is worth it. That 6-month head start will give you the opportunity to find further work, expand on your skill set, or figure out where you would like to go next.
Whilst Singapore might only be one of the easiest countries to get a work visa in if you’re a student or recent graduate, it shouldn’t be shrugged at. In fact, one-third of Singapore’s population are expats, meaning it might just not be so hard to find a full-time job there after all!
If you’re a U.S. citizen, then you’re in luck, because New Zealand is definitely one of the easiest countries to get a work visa for you. For everyone else, it might be a little trickier, but it’s still certainly doable. New Zealand allows for young people to travel here for 12 months on a working holiday, letting them experience what the country has to offer.
In fact, at the moment New Zealand is somewhat struggling to cover a large number of positions in some areas due to what some have perceived as them being ‘dull’, mixed with the low population. Take, for instance, this incredible opportunity out in New Zealand’s North Island might. The position offers an annual salary of £190,000 and 3 months holiday. If you’re willing to work in areas which the country needs people (one of those is hairdressing), then get yourself out there and working.
Up there with New Zealand, Australia is great for young people looking to live and work abroad. Jobs are plentiful and beaches are seemingly everywhere. Combine these two things and you’ve got the perfect environment for working on your beach bod. Then, of course, there is the tropical reefs and exotic islands.
Australia is currently looking for foreigners who are willing to work in the sectors of sales, marketing, healthcare and media. There are also farming jobs available during part of the year for those who are only looking to earn enough money to fund their travels.
If you’re looking for somewhere in Europe, Germany should be towards the top of your list. If you’re a freelancer with a successful list of clients, they’re definitely the best country for a work permit. The visa itself is actually called an “artist visa”. It will cost you €110, a lot of paperwork, and a plan as to how you’ll make sure you can survive.
Once you arrive though, and as long as you can prove you’re able to support yourself, you can stay indefinitely.
What Is the Best Country for a Work Permit?
We can’t say what the best country is, it’s really about what you want. However, if you want to experience an amazing culture off the beaten path then we definitely recommend Cambodia. Time’s running out though on the country’s leniency to work permits, so it might be a good idea to hustle.
Also, remember to take care of your passport. Your work visa might get you into a country, but it only works when it comes with the Passport. Get yourself a proper Travel wallet and make sure that everything stays safe and protected within, i.e. your passport.
Other than that, you’re all set to have a great experience abroad. Keep an eye out for opportunities in your favourite destination and you’ll be there before you know it.
In today’s blog post, a fellow travel blogger Victor of Victor’s Travels is going to guide you through Jeju Island, one of the largest islands off the coast of the Korean Peninsulas. Victor’s Travels is a rapidly growing travel blog curated by Victor Eekhof himself, 30-something Dutch world explorer. The blog is all about traveling on his own terms and not following the masses. It’s for people who are happiest with a big backpack on their backs and a smaller one on their front; people who walk where others take a cab, or take a bus where others take a plane.
Victor absolutely loves to go where not many people would think to travel. Places like Mongolia, North Korea, Antarctica or Venezuela. He shares his experiences visiting these places and how you too can visit them, including prices, insider tips and (alternative) routes. His favorite blog post is Full-time travel, is it really the dream? that you should definitely check out (together with Victor’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) if you want to travel full-time like him.
Jeju, the Volcanic Island off the Korean South Coast
Jeju island is an uncommon holiday destination for Western people that might just surprise you! The island off the south coast of South Korea is just a cheap domestic flight away (flights from Seoul usually cost around €50 return) and a great place to visit if you’re interested in Korean culture and enjoy the outdoors. It’s an easy place to be: the hiking routes are clearly signposted, there is an efficient bus network connecting the whole island, there is Wifi everywhere and the food is great. In this 5-day itinerary, I will give some suggestions on things to see, dishes to try and places to stay. Special thanks to Heather and Ben, my British friends living on Jeju island, for providing me with these amazing tips during my stay and for their help in putting together this article.
How to Find Your Way in Jeju Island
If you are (like me) quite dependent on Google Maps to navigate in foreign lands, Jeju island and Korea, in general, might be a bit of a challenge. The first thing you will notice is that Google Maps won’t show any directions for driving or getting there on foot. The reason for this is that Korea has strict rules for exporting map data to anyone outside of the country, to prevent it falling into the wrong hands (*cough* North Korea *cough*).
Another tricky part of navigating in South Korea is finding shops, cafes, restaurants, and other establishments. You won’t find many of them (especially outside Seoul) without using the exact Korean characters. The best workaround I could find is to try to look for the shop/cafe/restaurant on Google search. Often a blog post will pop up with the Korean name of the place next to the name written using “our” Latin alphabet. A copy paste of the characters into Google Maps and good chance you will get a hit. Instagram is another good place to find the name in Korean characters, especially for cafes and restaurants. People often post their food/drinks online and name the place using hashtags in both Korean and Latin characters.
Note: A lot of the Google Maps markers I linked to in this itinerary might look like they are building sites or like a completely different business. This is because Google’s maps and street view images of South Korea aren’t updated regularly (for the reasons read the previous few paragraphs). However, I have physically been to all of the places I mentioned, so I know they exist and can be found at the locations I put the markers.
What to Expect from This Itinerary
Two friends of mine have been living on Jeju island for over a year now teaching English to Korean kids. I was able to stay at their place for two weeks and explore the island based on their tips. Being my ever-so-active self I followed practically all of them, which resulted in a surprisingly fun and versatile stay. You will enjoy this itinerary to the fullest if you are into hiking, sharing food, relaxing on the beach, having the occasional coffee and croissant splurge and discovering (Korean) culture.
GOOGLE MAPS WITH ALL PLACES ON IT:
Arriving in Jeju City
This is the day your plane arrives at Jeju airport near Jeju city. Take the Airport Limousine (don’t get any big ideas, it’s just a coach) to Seogwipo, Jeju’s second biggest city on the other side of the island. I liked this city as a base for my daily endeavors; it has less of a city-feel to it and most of the highlights on this itinerary are easy to reach from there.
DAY 1 in Seogwipo: Coffee and Traditional Markets
Wake up and brush your teeth; it’s time to explore Seogwipo! The second-largest city on Jeju island has much more of a beach vibe than Jeju city, and its compact size makes it easy to get around by foot. If you love a cup of coffee you’re in luck: so do Koreans! In fact, having a cup of coffee is deeply embedded in Korean culture and is considered a social event mostly scheduled for late afternoons or evenings. Fun fact: Seoul has a higher coffee-per-capita than Seattle and San Francisco!
It’s easy to find a cup of coffee as there are loads of places in Seogwipo. One of my favorites is Paik’s coffee (빽다방), where you can get an Americano for 2000 KRW (around €1.50). Most places are open from around 9:30 AM to around 10 PM.
Paik’s coffee Seogwipo (서귀포빽다방)
Opening hours: 9:30 AM to around 10 PM
GOOGLE MAP: (Google maps doesn’t show the name but it’s definitely there)
Browse the Cozy Maeil Olle Market
Another great part of the Korean culture on Jeju is the many markets, where anything from clothes to fruit and seafood is being traded. In this itinerary, you will visit two of my favorite markets, the Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market, and the traditional 5-day market. The Maeil Olle Market (서귀포매일올레시장) is a collection of covered passageways with individual stalls selling mostly food.
The Maeil Olle market is open from 7 AM to 9 PM, but as the stalls open and close whenever they want there is a chance that most of them will be closed if you arrive closer to the official closing time. Be sure to get some Jjinbbang (찐빵), which are Korean steamed buns either filled with meat (pork, beef) or sweetness (mostly soy bean).
Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market (서귀포매일올레시장)
22 Jungjeong-ro73beon-gil, Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea
Open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM
Kimchi and Oranges at the Traditional 5-day Market
The traditional 5-day market can be found in different locations around the island and has peculiar business hours. The market has a long tradition, starting as early as 1906. In times without large department stores, the market days gave people the opportunity to exchange information about fishing and farming.
Next to doing their shopping, of course. The markets can be found in Hallim, Daejeong, Seogwipo, Hamdeok, Sehwa, and Pyoseon. In Seogwipo, the markets open on days that have a 4 or a 9 in them, so the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th and 29th of every month. Conveniently, the market is also open on all weekends. It’s a great place to get the famed Jeju island oranges and see plenty of stalls with typical Korean vegetable and seafood stalls.
Seogwipo 5-day traditional market (서귀포향토오일시장)
18-5 Jungsangandong-ro 7894-gil, Seogwipo-si
Operates on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 24th, 29th of every month, and every weekend
Opening hours: 9 AM to 6 PM
Soban: an Amazing Korean Dining Experience
Soban (소반) is one of my favorite places to on Jeju island. This quirky little place has tight opening hours (Mon – Fr 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM and 6 PM – 8 PM, closed on weekends) and only seats 20 people spread over 6 tables. You can imagine that it is often full, so you might have to wait a little bit before you can sit down. Your best bet is to arrive close to the opening time; I was the first one there but when I left all tables were occupied.
The food is simply fantastic and the staff is very friendly and the owner even speaks some English. Korean cuisine is known for its combinations of little dishes with different vegetables, mushrooms and kimchi (this is a whole different category in Korea).
For our group of 4, we got 12 plates of food to share (sharing food is a big thing in Korea), each with their own taste-explosion on the first bite. I have to stop writing about this place now as I think I just dribbled a bit on my keyboard.
Seogwi-dong 260-26, Seogwipo-si Jeju-do, Korea
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM and 6 PM – 8 PM, closed on weekends
Only 6 tables (20 persons) so it fills up quick
The History of Jeju’s Stone Grandpas
Perhaps the most common sight around Jeju island are the cute statues resembling a grandfather with a hat on. They are called “Dol hareubangs” and are the mascot of the island. In old times (and perhaps even the new) they were considered to be gods offering both protection and fertility and were placed outside of gates for protection against demons traveling between realities.
It’s no secret that India is an incredibly spiritual country, and with spirituality comes festivities. Every year, India is home to some of the biggest and best festivals in the world. For some, locals flock to the streets to engage in incredible events which might see people covered in color (Holi) or scrambling to form human pyramids meters high (Govinda). For others, locals might be expected to stay at home and celebrate with family. Yet there’s always more to them than meets the eye for the several defining festivals of India which are both unique and amazing.
That’s why you should plan a trip to India, to experience them for yourself. However, we know that these festivals are spread out across the year. So, take a look below and find one which catches your eye. Then all you’ll have to do is book up your travel plans and look forward to experiencing one of the defining festivals of India.
Diwali – The Celebration of Light
Diwali’s nickname is the ‘festival of lights’. It is the biggest celebration of the year in India and is really a time for families to come together and be with each other. Because of this, the best place to be during Diwali, if you want to celebrate it properly, is with an Indian family. However, if you’re not able to make it there, then you can always head to the streets to celebrate it as well.
The festival is about the conquering of evil by good and celebrates it with lots of lights being lit. Streets, houses, markets, and more are made as bright as possible during the 5-day long festival.
If you head to Varanasi, you’ll be able to see a constant barrage of fireworks and firecrackers being lit and sent off into the sky. During the night, you’ll be able to see the fireworks reflected off of the surface of the Ganges. It’s an incredible sight and an amazing thing to do during the festival. Alternatively, you can always head to the illuminated markets of Jaipur, where a dazzling display of lights will welcome you into the festivities.
When to be there: October 17, 2017
Holi – The Festival of Colours
One of India’s most colorful festivals. Holi is literally about throwing colors at everyone and then watching them throw colors back at you. Why do people do this? Because it’s supposed to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Because of the whole ‘throwing colors at each other’ thing, this festival is often dubbed the ‘festival of colors’ or even the ‘festival of love’.
Whilst the Festival is technically an ancient Hindu festival, it is often observed by other religious groups as well, such as Sikhs, Jains, Newar Buddhists, and many non-religious people. This is because when it comes to the day of Holi, the streets are covered in the paint powder the people throw at each other, and it’s practically impossible to avoid.
If you want to get involved in this festival, head to any city in India and join in with the festivities. Holi is definitely one of the defining festivals of India, but it isn’t the only place to celebrate Holi; several other countries including Nepal and the Philippines do as well.
When to be there: March 8, 2018
Navratri – A Divine Ceremony
Navratri is the name given to the 9 days preceding Dussehra. During these 9 days, people dance in order to honor the mother goddess. These dances aim to give thanks in preparation for celebrating Lord Rama’s defeat of the demon king Ravana. This festival is one of the country’s most spectacle filled events and is definitely something which should be seen at least once in a lifetime by outsiders.
The dances performed are known as garba and dandiya raas. They consist of the locals dressing up in bright colors and traditional clothing, to dance around in circles with each other. In many places, they’re more than happen to let others join them in the celebration, just show up. It is a time for happiness.
Some of the best places to see this festival are along the Ganges river. Here, huge statues and idols to the goddess are often built by people and then submerged in the water. People dance around the water and celebrate the submerging. It’s quite the event.
When to be there: September 21-30, 2017
Govinda – The Birthday of Lord Krishna
Also known as Krishna Janmashtami, this celebration is in honor of the birthday of Lord Krishna, and is possibly one of the more active festivals in India. Festival goers are expected to form tall human pyramids. From which they can then reach clay pots filled with curd. Once they have reached them… That’s right, they smash them. Locally, this is known as the Dahi Handi and is celebrated on the second day of the festival.
Obviously, one of the best places to experience this festival is in Mumbai. The festival also involves fasting by the locals, along with many visits to temples to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna and offer prayers.
When to be there: September 2, 2018
Yugadi/ Ugadi – Ushering in the New Year
As the Indian New Year, Yugadi is one of the country’s biggest and most important festivals. It is defiantly one of the most defining festivals of India. The day is all about new beginnings and new things. People will usually start the day by putting on fresh clothes which they haven’t worn before, and then visit temples to pay their respects. People also use the day as an excuse to clean their homes from top to bottom, making sure that they’re the cleanest they can be.
What makes Yugadi so great though, is the food. Enormous quantities of the stuff is cooked and consumed by the locals. A special dish known as ‘Pachadi’ also makes an appearance. What is it? Well, you’ll just have to visit India during Yugadi to find out. What we will say though, is that it’s one of the most incredible blends of sweet, salty, bitter, spicy and sour you’ll ever taste.
When to be there: March 18, 2018
Explore India through its Culture
Put some time aside to explore India through its festivals and celebrations. You’ll be able to see the country in a way you wouldn’t otherwise see it. Just make sure that you’re ready to eat a lot of great food or do a lot of physical activities!
In today’s blog post, we feature a fellow travel blogger – Tiffy, a.k.a. asiatravelbug – who is going to share with us some interest insights on how you will be treated during your visit in Japan. This girl is a real travel planning freak, an ex-finance manager and currently a digital marketing ninja. Traveling has kept her sane from all the hustles and bustles of corporate life. Despite being a nervous flyer, Tiffy’s wanderlust has led her to visit Japan for 6 times (and counting). Her favorite cities are Kyoto and Tokyo and would choose to visit Japan over Paris in a heartbeat! Follow her journey on Asia Travel Bug for some more Asia travel tips. For now, sit back and enjoy your read!
It is always nerve-wracking when traveling to a new place, especially one with such a rich and beautiful culture. You want to get the most out of your Japan experience and make sure to follow the customs and traditions so you can make connections and learn the ways of the great people who live there. Here is some real advice from people who have traveled to Japan before. It will be important for you to know what to expect while on your trip.
For one, you may be greeted with a loud and boisterous yell upon entering the place you are planning to eat. This is a good thing, although it may startle you the first time it happens. This is actually their way of letting hostesses and staff know of your arrival.
It means they are ready and happy to serve you. While it is not wrong to nod in approval, it is also not necessary. You will get great service once you sit down, but you will not need to tip. In fact, you do not tip in restaurants, taxis, or salons as it is not necessary since the wages are livable. They might even try to give you your change back!
Eating and Payment
Slurp your ramen noodles and don’t be embarrassed. Unlike in other countries, slurping your noodles in Japan is actually a compliment to the chef. Also, ensure to eat everything on your plate as it is considered very rude to waste food in Japan. When the check is dropped on your table, don’t wait for the waiter or waitress to come back for it, but pay on your way out.
If you are traveling to Japan, you will be expected to use chopsticks. There are some important guidelines when using these unique utensils to eat your food. For one, you should always use chopsticks that match. You should never leave them sticking upright in a bowl of rice, and don’t stab your food. You also should never pass food to someone between chopsticks, which seems like a very interesting rule.
The reason behind this is when loved ones die, there is a tradition in Japan that the body is cremated. After the cremation, the family of the deceased picks out the bone pieces large enough and passes them to one another. If you pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks, this will remind others of the times they did this after their loved one’s death. You don’t want to remind them of that, as it is always difficult to lose someone you love.
Communicating with Locals
While English is spoken in many areas of Japan and the language is taught in schools, some locals will be eager to practice their skills on you, but others will not. The people of Japan are very eager and willing to help you, giving them a kind reputation with tourists, but some are nervous to speak in front of you. Just as you may be hesitant to try out some of the Japanese you’ve learned because you may not be fluent, they also feel the same way.
If you need to get around by asking questions, you can use a translating app or look for someone who may be familiar with the area and comfortable speaking English. It wouldn’t hurt for you to learn some of the languages prior to your trip as well, as the effort is always appreciated. If you are looking for areas where people will most likely speak English, consider going to a place where most tourists head, such as train stations, to ask your questions.
Going to the Bathroom
You will find the seats are warmed, there is usually an automatic flush feature, and there are even rinses and scents. Public toilets in Japan typically have tissues. However, you should try to remember to bring pocket tissues because some public toilets may not have tissue rolls available especially those located in high-traffic tourist areas. You do not want to get stuck without toilet paper. At least if you do, there are rinses and scents, which will be better than nothing.
Wear or Carry Around Nice Socks
Many places in Japan will have you take off your shoes. Just like in other places where wearing shoes in the house is considered rude, it is considered extremely rude and disrespectful in Japan. Houses, temples and other establishments may have you take off your shoes upon arrival. This means that you should always be wearing socks or have some with you as going barefoot is seen as equally rude and insulting as wearing your shoes inside.
The happy medium—wearing socks. Make sure your socks match, are nice and don’t have any holes. That would be so embarrassing!
When Traveling by Foot or by Train
If you are traveling by foot or train and enjoying your Tokyo itinerary, always watch the locals and pay attention to what the norm is.
When using escalators in Japan, it is very important to remember that there’s different escalator etiquette across different regions. Remember to stand on your left in Tokyo and stand on your right in Osaka.
When traveling by train, pay attention to signs. While there may not be too many “Ladies Only” cars, you might encounter a train or two on your visit that has this rule. The signs are usually in English and in Japanese, so you should be okay. Again, pay attention to what people around you are doing. Also, when on the train, do not talk loudly to those with you. In addition, do not talk on your phone unless it is a super quick conversation. Texting is better. Anywhere you travel to in the area, be aware of your volume as it is considered rude to speak loudly out in public.
Gestures to be Aware of
Another piece of advice is not to point, as this is considered very rude. If you notice someone walking with their hand pointing away from their chest like a shark fin, that means they want you to move over so they can walk by.
Another signal is if you are finished at a restaurant and you want the server to take away your plate or drink, wave your hand in front of your nose as if you are signaling something is stinky. While this might be rude in other places, this is a natural signal in Japan.
This seems like a lot to remember, but it will help you during your trip to get around successfully. A few other things to consider are making sure to bring cash or have an ATM card that can take money out of foreign machines. Credit cards are usually not accepted in most stores and restaurants. Keep in mind that there are hardly any trash cans out in public, so you will have to bring a bag with you or keep trash in your purse or pocket until you return to your hotel. Accommodations in your hotel may be small, but modern, and it is the most money you will spend while there. Japan is not as expensive as you might think.
Traveling to Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It is so worth it to see the beautiful culture and history. If you are considering your trip to Japan, go for it, as you will enjoy every moment.
For the past few years, Donald Trump has been bombarding us with promises to build a wall along the Mexican border with the USA. So just for a bit of fun, we’ve put together a selection of famous, infamous, unique and downright weird walls around the world that you can visit on your travels.
We’ve also included how successful they were/are and – in our humble opinion – whether or not they’re a good thing. Maybe the US president can visit one to get inspiration! But here at Etramping, we’re not big fans of building walls at all. As travelers and in general life, we prefer to build bridges instead.
The Great Wall of China
First up to bat we’ve got the Great Wall of China, which needs little introduction. It’s an enormous divide running some 21,000 KM (13,000 miles), and it was built to keep out the marauding, nomadic tribes of the Eurasian Steppe. You’d also want to keep out screaming barbarian types who liked nothing more than killing and plundering – probably because they were bored and it was a fun thing to do. It’s definitely the oldest and longest entry in our famous walls pageant.
Success rating: Not bad at all. China was only invaded twice since its construction.
Is it a good thing? Today it rakes in over 10 million visitors every year, so for the Chinese tourist economy, it’s definitely a good thing!
Hadrian’s Wall, England
Staying with the ancient walls we move to England to see what kind of effort the Romans have come up with. Hadrian’s Wall was constructed under the rule of Emperor Hadrian, who was very imaginative when it came to the naming his walls. Built for similar reasons to its Chinese counterpart, the wall was designed to keep out unruly barbarian hordes in Scotland, and work began around 122 AD. Running around 80 miles from coast to coast, today the wall is a popular attraction for walkers and hikers.
Success rating: It did its job up until the Roman legion left and nobody was there to defend it.
Is it a good thing? Yes. Hadrian’s Wall is a popular attraction in the north of England, and is pretty much the first thing mentioned when you open a history textbook in a UK school!
The Western Wall, Israel
Also known as the Wailing Wall, this ancient, limestone construction is located in the old city of Jerusalem. Erected by Herod the Great, it attracts thousands of people each year who come here to pray, and is one of the holiest places of worship, with many coming from far and wide on a lengthy pilgrimage. Apparently, you can write a prayer or a wish on a piece of paper and leave it in a crack in the wall, and every few days someone collects them and buries them in the Mount of Olives cemetery. A beautiful tradition – whatever your faith or religion.
Success rating: It’s not a military wall and as such not built to keep people out or in. But as it’s stood for thousands of years, we’d say that’s pretty successful!
Is it a good thing? For the many peoples of faith that visit annually, what gives people hope surely isn’t a bad thing.
The Berlin Wall, Germany
Over to Germany now and we examine the notorious Berlin Wall that stood from 1961 to 1989, dividing the city into east and west. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), it was erected to prevent mass immigration from the communist eastern bloc and was pretty effective at its job too. One side prospered over the next three decades, while the other wondered what a banana looked like. It thankfully fell in November 1989, there’s not much left of it, and Berlin has never looked back to become one of the coolest cities in the world.
Success rating: Extremely. It segregated an entire city for thirty years.
Is it a good thing? Not when it was up, but now that it’s down – it has played its part in the formation of a truly epic capital.
The Lennon Wall, Czech Republic
It’s all about peace and love on the Lennon wall in Prague in the Czech Republic! Beginning in 1980 after the famous former Beatle was assassinated in New York; this normal wall has become a shrine and memorial to John Lennon, attracting some beautiful art work, song lyrics, and inspirational quotes. It’s a constantly evolving work of street art, promoting peace, love, and unity that we’re sure the man himself would have been proud of.
Success rating: Much like similar memorials, many people draw a great deal of strength from the sentiments therein, so we say it’s a success.
Is it a good thing? It’s definitely one of the nicer walls in the world!
West Bank Barrier, Israel
Back to Israel and a stark contrast is possibly the most controversial inclusion in our list of walls, the West Bank Barrier. It’s considered to be security and protection to Israeli’s, but a violation of human rights to Palestinians. We perhaps wouldn’t exactly call it a tourist attraction – although people do visit – but it certainly has caused a stir since its conception in 1992. Featured famously in music, art, and film, the barrier is never far from being the topic of heated debate. We hope in the near future that differences can be settled on both sides and there will be no more need for such constructions anywhere.
Success rating: Depends on which side of the fence you sit on.
Is it a good thing? See above comment – a matter of opinion.
Walls of Troy, Turkey
Possibly the greatest city that ever existed, the story of Troy has long captivated the imagination of the world. Part architectural site and part mysterious legend and work of fiction, nonetheless the once commanding and now crumbling walls of Troy have become a popular visitor attraction on the west coast of Turkey. Once believed to have reached almost to the heavens, these impenetrable walls supposedly fell only because of the cunning of the Greeks, and a certain large, wooden horse.
Success rating: Pretty good unless you come bearing gifts.
Is it a good thing? Some might be disappointed they’re not as massive as Homer’s Iliad led us to believe!
Gum Wall, USA
Situated in Seattle you’ll find one of the most unique and unhygienic entries in our list – the Market Theatre Gum Wall. One of the newest contenders in our battle of the walls, it’s a wall of chewing gum, which began around 1993. Punters visiting the theater would stick gum to the wall upon leaving, and it became something of a tradition. So much so that the wall of gum was several inches thick in some places, running for 50ft at 15ft high – before they were forced to have it cleaned. That’s a lot of gum! No sooner had they cleaned it off than is sprung up again, and once more become a popular landmark and tourist attraction. If you’re in Seattle, stick around and check it out!
Success rating: Various. Some people think it’s fun, others think it’s disgusting!
Is it a good thing? The sugar in the gum is slowly eroding the theater brick work – so probably not!
Walls around the world come in all shapes and sizes, all heights and lengths and all uses and requirements. Some are meant to keep us apart, and others are meant to bring us together, but we know which type we prefer! As a traveler, walls can often be a problem when you’re trying to get in somewhere, so hopefully, we see less of the ones trying to keep us out, and more of the ones we can paint on!
Do you have a personal favorite wall we might have missed off? The quirkier the better!
We can bet our bottom dollar (or dong – the currency of Vietnam), that if you mention the name of this misunderstood and mysterious land around the world, the first thing that people think of is the twenty-year conflict that ravaged the country. That and the hundreds of Vietnam War movies it spawned, including the Robin Williams cult classic that is as funny as it is poignant. While the war will always leave a scar on the region – and indeed many attractions are a result of it – there is so much more to Vietnam than its darker past.
After all, this is the country that inspired Cez to realize that a desk job was not for him and he wanted to travel the world instead. So to encourage you to visit Vietnam, we’ve put together a list of the must-see attractions from this stunningly diverse culture.
Ho Chi Minh City
More commonly abbreviated to HCMC, the capital of Vietnam is perhaps more famously known as Saigon – star of stage and screen for its role in the Vietnam war. Now named after Ho Chi Minh – a revolutionary communist leader – the city has a colorful history reflected in its attractions today.
A must see is the War Remnants Museum, housing some incredible educational exhibitions relating to the conflict, and the famous Cu Chi Tunnel, a network of underground tunnels used to hide Vietcong fighters and villagers.
It is now the most visited attraction in the city – but not for the claustrophobic! But it’s not all doom and gloom in the city, as you’ll enjoy some delicious food on the streets of this vibrant, multicultural metropolis. See if you can work up the courage to try the spiders – but you simply can’t miss HCMC if you’re visiting Vietnam.
Cez believes that Tam Coc is the most beautiful place in Vietnam, and he’s certainly got a good case, with its dramatic rock formations, caves, and river systems. Translated into English, the name literally means three caves, and is one of the country’s most popular destinations with locals. You won’t find that many western tourists here, but that is likely to change – so see it when it is still relatively unspoiled. The whole region is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it consists of three, natural caves sitting on the Ngô Đồng River. You can hire boats with local women as guides to explore the limestone Karst system and the surrounding paddy fields for a really authentic Vietnamese experience. It is simply stunning and not to be missed.
Tam Coc is actually located in the province of Ninh Binh and is accessed from the area, but don’t overlook the rest of this gorgeous region in the north of the country. We visited this sumptuous scenery during our Vietnam cycling trip when we covered most of the country from the back of a saddle.
Make sure you visit the Bai Đính Temple complex, which is home to the largest Buddha statue in Southeast Asia. Phát Diệm Cathedral is reputed to be the most beautiful church in the country and took 24 years to complete. The Trang An Grottoes are a larger cave system than Tam Coc but nowhere near as beautiful, and don’t miss the nearby 15th Century Bich Dong Pagoda – located here because of the beauty of the landscape. Beautiful photographs guaranteed.
Ha Long Bay
It was a tough ride for us to Ha Long Bay, mainly because of the heat, but it was so worth it and no visit to Vietnam would be complete without it.
Like Tam Coc, it is also a UNESCO world heritage site and consists of thousands of caves, islands, and grottoes dotted into the sea that transforms the area into an ethereal paradise.
Perhaps the best way to experience the limestone pillars and karsts is with a paddle in your hand sitting in a sea kayak, or from the deck of a traditional Junk – but be aware that scenery this stunning will always attract the tourists – so you’re not going to be alone!
The third largest city in Vietnam is also home to its friendliest Nationals, arguably one of the most hospitable places we’ve ever experienced in all our travels. When you’re not enjoying the warm welcome, make sure to cross the famous Dragon Bridge, a 666-metre long crossing that literally looks like an enormous dragon making its way over the River Hàn! It even lights up and spits fire during the weekends! You won’t be able to miss Da Nang Cathedral if you tried – because it’s colored bright pink! Built by French Catholics, you’ll find great views from the top of the city from the bell tower.
If you’re still hankering after nature, make the 7 km trip to the Marble Mountains, for a further fix of marble and limestone caves, peppered with Buddhist pagodas. Check out the surrounding villages for marble sculpture souvenirs – a specialty in these parts.
We’ve not yet mentioned beaches, and if you’re visiting Vietnam – you need to mention beaches. Nha Trang isn’t going to be for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a quieter experience, but the stunning setting, beautiful sandy beach, and brilliant blue waters are worth a look alone.
It’s not all beach bar and nightlife though, and if you’re not all “pagoda’s out”, visit the Long Son Pagoda to see a 79ft, white Buddha. There’s some modern dining to be found too, with the center enjoying a recent renovation. Nearby, you can take an excursion to Monkey Island. Have a guess why it’s called that?!
Although it’s been a while since we first cut our teeth on travel adventures together and completed our cycling adventure there, Vietnam still lives long in the memory, and we’d go back in a heartbeat. From the hospitality to the cuisine, the culture to the landscape, the activities to the sights, this country has an abundance of attractions to suit every traveler and is likely to be one of the most inspiring places you could visit. If you’ve not been you need to go, and if you have been, you need to go again!
Who has been to Vietnam and do you have any top picks for places to see that we should have included?
Due to Malaysia’s location in Asia, cultures and people from across the continent (and the world) have been making their way into this beautiful country for centuries. The result is seemingly a smorgasbord of style and multicultural modernity. The Renaissance by Marriott is an entirely apt name for a hotel in a city like Kuala Lumpur, where cultures seemingly fuse together to create new forms and styles every day.
We went to take a look around Kuala Lumpur and the Renaissance by Marriott hotel, so we could share our experiences with you. To summarize, the hotel not only offers a great location, with access to a bunch of the city’s main attractions, but the inside also exudes luxury and class. Keep reading to see what else we thought about this luxury escape.
A Classical Greeting
You’ll see the hotel’s class as soon as you see the hotel and you’re immediately drawn in by the main entrance. Standing out from the rest of the building, the traditional stone pillars looks like they belong in ancient Rome, whilst the large entrance lobby highlights the luxury experience you’re about to encounter.
Looking upwards, you’ll find a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling, whilst black marble and a classical aesthetic continue to pervade everywhere you look.
The staff are friendly and provide a warm welcome, helping you to get setup and know where everything is. Of course, the hotel is situated in a great location for exploring the city. The Petronas Twin Towers are within walking distance, at just over 1 km. You’ll also be able to easily pick up a local taxi and head over to either Kuala Lumpur’s famous Chinatown, or down towards one of the city’s many other attractions.
Once you sign into the hotel and have put your bags in your room, you’ll find you have access to one of (from our experiences) the best-equipped gyms in Asia. You’ll find a huge array of different exercise machines. There must be something here for you, no matter how you normally work out.
There is a host of treadmills available (it’s unlikely you’ll ever find none of them free), a huge assortment of weights and barbells, along with some other really professional equipment. If you want to make sure that you still have access to exercise equipment whilst you’re out traveling, the Renaissance by Marriott is the place to go.
Olympic Sized Swimming Pool
On top of a brilliantly equipped gym, you’ll find the hotel also provides access to an Olympic size swimming pool. The pool twists through the hotel’s gardens quite elegantly. After the sun sets, you can see the garden’s lighting reflecting off the pools clear, blue water. Palm trees decorate the area, whilst sun chairs and a tropical-styled pagoda overlook the swimming pool. It’s a slice of paradise inside Kuala Lumpur’s cityscape.
If the Renaissance by Marriott doesn’t have enough swimming for you, then head over to Aquaria KLCC for an opportunity to dive with sharks (certified divers only). It’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget, and it’s within walking distance, at just 1.5 km.
Malaysia is known for its incredible views. Usually, these take place over the ocean, or at least large bodies of water. Kuala Lumpur, however, offers a different type of view. Heading into the Renaissance by Marriott’sLifestyle Club Lounge, the view is incredible. From the hotel windows, you’re able to see the Petronas twin towers (and several of the city’s other main attractions).
If you do decide to head over to the Petronas twin towers, as already said, it’s only a short walk. Head east and you’ll be able to go up to the tower’s observation deck. Make sure you don’t plan this on Mondays because it’s closed then, but any other day of the week (except holidays) and you’re golden. The towers stand a total of 442 meters tall, and it will cost a standard adult RM85 to get up there. Make sure to book your entrance ticket in advance as only a limited number of visitors is allowed at a time (we had to go twice because all tickets were sold out on our first attempt).
Comfortable and Classy Rooms
Back to the hotel and the rooms themselves are incredibly well presented. A savvy Urban traveler aesthetic seems to inhabit the whole living space, with sleek lighting, sophisticated furniture, and a tasteful coffee maker.
A highlight of these newly renovated rooms is certainly the bathroom with its halo-mirror and brand-new appliances. The beds are super comfortable, with Marriott making them feel extra lavish.
Lying on the bed, it’s easy to just sink in and find yourself lost in your thoughts and the comfort…
Heading out in Search of Kuala Lumpur
Elsewhere in Kuala Lumpur, there’s still a lot to do. Especially if you want to experience the city’s rich food palette! You can head into the city center to experience some of the best dining the city (possibly country, depending on your tastes) has to offer. The Dynasty Restaurant is particularly popular (and close: Eastwing 1st floor ), serving up classic Chinese cuisine with a twist.
For lunch, the all-time favorites are Chinese dumplings or Dim Sum (pro-tip: try the fluffy Charsiew Pau or the crispy Golden Yam Puff). For dinner, we would recommend to treat yourself to an amazing Beijing Duck or other Chinese specialties from the a la carte menu. Alternatively, for a really unique experience, you can head to TEMPTationS, an Asian Malaysian fusion all-day dining restaurant. This place seems to keep the same aesthetic as the Renaissance by Marriott Hotel; classy, sleek, and sophisticated and surprises with a wide array of Malaysian flavors.
Elsewhere, you can visit the Kuala Lumpur city park, go for a stroll, and see the locals going about their daily business. You’ve also got access to the Kuala Lumpur Tower Mini Zoo. Here you’ll find a range of exotic birds, which you can hold and pet to your heart’s content.
Once you’ve finished your stay in the Renaissance by Marriott, you can always head out somewhere else in Malaysia. Might we suggest a visit to Langkawi island?