Experiencing Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, a melting pot of old and new, tradition and business, temples and neon lights, was one of the primary reasons why we travelled to Japan. When we were looking at accommodation (two months in advance) we almost cut down our days in the city due to the high prices and lack of availability. But we stuck to our plan of spending a week there and booked a small, cute and modern private apartment conveniently located by the largest JR station. We used credit card reward points to offset the price and justified it due to the fact that our trip was nearing it’s end and we were running short on places to splurge. Continue reading
After visiting Hiroshima, one of the most devastated cities from WWII, we headed to Kanazawa, a city that managed to escape any damage during WWII. Kanazawa, a castle town founded in the late 1500s, also boasts escaping any significant damage from natural disasters and while it used to be a powerful and strategic city, it never fully industrialized. Consequently, it is one of the few Japanese cities where many of its buildings are still original and is home to many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts. Continue reading
Growing up, my family hosted home-stay students from around the world who were studying English in Vancouver. Soo Yeong lived with my family in 2002. Years later we reconnected through Facebook (the magic of social media!) and I reached out when we were travelling through Asia. Dan and I were unsure if or for how long we wanted to visit South Korea for but shortly after talking with Soo, we booked our flights to Seoul. Having her as our personal tour guide and local friend was probably one of the main reasons that our stay in Seoul was so fantastic! No matter how many “travel like a local” blogs you read, you never really experience a city ‘like a local’ unless you are with one. Continue reading
Given that in 2012, Boracay was awarded ‘best island in the world’ from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure (it came in 2nd in 2013, with Palawan – our previous destination – in 1st); we thought we should probably pay it a visit. The centre of the action in Boracay is a 4km, postcard-perfect stretch of sand beach aptly named ‘White Beach’ and lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, and dive shops. White Beach has been hailed by Yahoo Travel, BMW Tropical Beach Handbook and many others as one of the world’s best beaches. It is immensely popular with beach-loving tourists from all over Asia – most commonly Korea, Taiwan and China. When we found a one-way flight on sale for 25$, combined with a cheap Airbnb, well, we didn’t really have a reason to say ‘no’ to checking out another slice of paradise. Continue reading
From Thailand, our goal was to get to Singapore – in the most scenic way possible. I mean, why take a direct train through Malaysia when you can island hop from Thailand?? So of course that’s what we did. The ferries between islands cost a significant bit more than the buses on the mainland but we decided it was worth it to see the Malaysian islands of Langkawi and Penang before finally landing on peninsular Malaysia and busing to Kuala Lumpur.
After 142 days of not staying in any place longer than a week and almost a year since we started our around-the-world trip, we arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we had booked an entire apartment (through Airbnb) for a whole month! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to unpack my bag, wash everything we owned and hang up all the clothes – yes, we even had a closet! I was suddenly no longer restrained to what I could fit in my luggage and decided I deserved some Christmas shopping. Note: A month later, as I attempt to squish everything back into my luggage I may or may not be regretting the shopping. Continue reading
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “How do you afford travelling for so long?”. Pre-trip savings are obviously our main resource, but being smart with that money during our travels is what makes the real difference. After one year of travelling around the world, we have picked up many simple travel tips on how to save money, here are eleven of our favourites: Continue reading
We spent over a week in Siem Reap and got to see a bit more of the city than the typical one to three night stopover meant only for visiting Angkor Wat. The touristy part of the city is quite small; almost everything is within walking distance. And walking is exactly what we did, due to the fact that tuk-tuks charge absurd prices just to take you around the corner. Continue reading