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Best of Indonesian Travel, 2017

If you’re looking for one last travelling experience to indulge upon in the year 2017, then let that be a travelling experience that takes you through Indonesia. You should do so because, whether it’s bustling cities or serene nature that you prefer to see when you travel, Indonesia has it all to offer. For advice on exactly where you should head to whilst travelling Indonesia, and what to do whilst you’re there, make sure to read.

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The Province of Bali

There are a host of beautiful islands to head to on our planet, but none are more beautiful than the Indonesian islands. And, none of these 17,508 Indonesian islands are better than Bali.

Bali is the most recognised Indonesian island and is probably one of the most recognised places in Indonesia in general, and it is so for good reason. It is so because it offers fun for the whole family, no matter how old they are. For children, for instance, there are a host of different activity parks that will keep them entertained for hours on end. There is the Waterbom Park, located on the world famous Kuta street, that is home to a plethora of water rides that allow children to have wild and wet fun like no other place in the world. And, there is the Treetop Adventure Park, a park that is dedicated to getting children (and adults) as close to nature as possible in as fun a way as possible. This park is home to a number of different courses and circuits that allow those that follow them the chance to move from tree to tree in as a safe a way as can be.

But, Bali isn’t just about waterparks and treetop assault courses that will keep the children entertained for days and day, it’s about things that provide fun for adults, too. Specifically, it can provide all you inquisitive adults out there who love finding out about different cultures a chance to, well, find out about Bali culture and Indonesian culture in general. For instance, there is the town of Udud that plays hosts to forests filled to the brim with many different monkey species that call this corner of the world their home; there are many Hindu temples to explore around and learn about (would you expect anything less from a place that is known as the Island of the Gods?); there are the foothills of Mount Batur, an active volcano, to explore; and there are locally farmed rice terraces to take a look at. Basically, there are a host of things to look at that, when looked at, will provide you with an insight as good as any into Indonesian culture.

Bandung, Bali

Bandung is a regency found in the wider reaching province of Bali, but deserves its own credit simply because of how much it has to offer for nomads of all travelling dispositions.

For instance, some of the most interesting Dutch Colonial architecture to be found in all of Indonesia is plotted in Badung, which means this is a great place for historians, especially those concerned with the history of European Colonialism in Southeast Asia, to visit. And, there are just as many cultural attractions to be found here, too, so that those who aren’t as keen on history can enjoy themselves just as much. There is, for example Jalan Legian which offers much in the way of shopping and nightlife, and Pandawa Beach that offers even more in the way of tranquility and relaxation. It is for these reasons, and the fact that it is much cooler in relation to other parts of Indonesia, that makes Badung a hotspot for travellers. In fact, these reasons make Badung not just an ideal place to travel to but they make it an ideal place to move to for those who truly wish to relocate to Southeast Asia, too. If anybody wished to do just, then they would have to access a trustworthy site such as https://rumahdijual.com/bandung/ in order to find themselves the perfect Badung residence. And, once they’d found this perfect residence, they’d have to book themselves a one way flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport!

Sumatra, Sunda Islands

Indonesia is known as The Emerald of the Equator, a name given to it by Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker, because of its abundance of beautifully natural and lush rainforests. And, there is no place in Indonesia that is famed more for its rainforests than Sumatra.

The rainforests In Sumatra, that have been given UNESCO World Heritage credibility and now come under the prestige title of being national parks, really are a sight to behold. There is the forest known as Gunung Leuser, the forest known as Bukit Barisan Selatan and the forest known as Kerinci Seblat, and upon a visit to any of these forests you’ll be able to see a host of native things. You’ll be able to see flora and fauna that is only found in this specific part of the world and nowhere else in Southeast Asia, let alone in the world. And, you’ll be able to see specific types of animals that also cannot be found anywhere else in the world either. Yes, you’ll see tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, cuckoos and orangutans, but you’ll types of these animals that are native to this part of the world, and hence have the term Sumatran prefixing their name. So, you won’t just see a tiger (at a safe and controlled distance, by the way), you’ll see a very specific type of tiger called the Sumatran tiger!

Sumatra isn’t just a place to visit for those of you out there who have horticultural tendencies or just love seeing types of animals that you’ve never seen before. No, there are many other things to do in Sumatra that don’t include trekking through a rainforest. You could, for instance, visit the infamous Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman mosque and take in the sight of its minaret, white walls and black dome for yourself rather than just looking at pictures of it on postcards. Or, you could pay a visits to the extremely sad but extremely poignant Tsunami Museum. Here, you would be able to see just what devastation the not-so-long-ago Tsunami caused on this part of the world; the walk down the tunnel that mimics Tsunami waves is something that can’t be missed upon a journey here. Or, those of you who like to live on the wild side could not only journey up the volcano known as Gunung Sibayak, but could take the forest path that leads to it; this is a path that is deemed to be that dangerous that a professional guide will have to go with you if you do decide to take it!

Indonesia is a great place to travel to now and will undoubtedly continue to be a great place to travel to for years to come. It is a place where culture can be felt immeasurably. It is a place where history and the modern day is celebrated fervently and in equal measures. It is a place when young and old can have the experience of a lifetime. It is the only place where specific types of wildlife can be found. It is one of the only places where a true Southeast Asian travelling experience can be experienced safely and without much restriction. Truly, it is just a place that must be visited in your lifetime!

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Why It’s Time For A Trip To China

China has the most spectacular and varied natural wonders, and couple with the richest culture and impressive architecture, you’ll never get bored on a trip to China. Here are just a few reasons to make it your next holiday destination.

1.  The Culture

China has a rich culture. Its language is complex, it’s martial arts are impressive, and even its tea, opera, porcelain, and medicine are something to be admired. With a history spanning thousands of years, here are a few things you have to experience when you book your China tours in 2018:

  • The food – in China, the food has special meaning and distinctive culinary styles. The emphasis is always on fresh ingredients, colour, and presentation.
  • The festivals – there’s lots to celebrate, with most festivals taking place on meaningful dates.
  • Beijing opera – this is a natural treasure that dates back hundreds of years.

2.  Natural Wonders

China is arguably more spectacular than any other country in Asia. There’s Everest, Taklamakan, Jilin’s Rime, Yangtze gorges, tropical beaches, forests, and so much more to explore. From the seven natural wonders of China to national parks, and giant pandas, you couldn’t possibly get bored exploring this country.

3.  The Architecture

China has numerous, and rather huge, modern and ancient architectural feats that exceed any other country in number and size. There are canals, palaces, the Great Wall, giant Buddhas, pagodas, dams, railways, tunnels, and so much more.

More Reasons to Visit China

If ever there was a time to visit this incredible country, it is now. The country is in the midst of an impressive facelift. In China, though, tradition counts, and you can visit amazing places like the Forbidden City, the Terracotta warriors and, of course, the Great Wall.

Go Hiking

In China, you’ll find some seriously impressive hiking trails. Whether you hike along the Great Wall, the Yellow Mountains, or Tiger Leaping Gorge, you are promised impressive scenery.

You Can Save in China

It’s easy to stick to a budget when you’re traveling around China. Lodging prices are set to suit all wallets, and transportation is cheap, too. The public transportation system is exceptional.

Local food is also highly affordable, not to mention delicious. Be sure to try food from different regions of China, from lamb and naan bread to Beijing duck, Sichuan spicy food, and a ton of other flavours.

While the food may be unfamiliar, and you may not hear much English spoken, you can rest assured you are in for a spectacular experience.

Get Ready to Go to China

China is a massive country with something to see, do, explore, experience, and taste for all ages and all budgets. If you’re looking for a trip you will never forget, now is the time to book your China adventure.

 

 

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The Asian Adventure: Thai Up Those Loose Ends Before You Go!

The area of southeast Asia has long been a popular place for budget backpackers and those wishing to experience a totally different culture to what they are used to. There’s a good reason for that – you can stretch your cash so much further in this corner of the world than in others. It’s an absolute must to include Thailand on your list of places to visit when you choose to roam the globe, especially as you can travel through Thailand for a good few months on the same budget you’d spend in the USA in 2 months!

 

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There are a lot of guides out there for different types of travel, whether that be solo travelling adventures or group travelling with https://www.gadventures.com. There are a lot of loose ends to get tied up before you go globe-trotting, and we think we’ve got them down pat for you. Before you set foot on a plane to Thailand or any of the southeast Asia area, you need to read this list:

 

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  1. Visas. Jet-setting across the globe is fun, but the fun soon stops if you haven’t got the right visas in your possession. The requirements will vary from country to country in SE Asia, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you can just show up with your passport for a stamp. This is an important loose end you need to tie up before you go anywhere, so have a look here at the requirements for Thailand!
  2. Manners. If you were raised right, you would have been taught that each culture and country has their own customs. A beach holiday in Phuket may be your goal, but it doesn’t mean you should just show up with packed bikinis. Thailand is a modest country, so do your research before you get on the plane. Learn where you can and cannot wear shoes and immerse yourself in the culture. It pays to be polite!
  3. Insurance. Before you plan to go anywhere, you need to look at travel insurance and how you can make sure you don’t get taken advantage of abroad. Wherever you go, there will always be someone somewhere who will see you as a tourist and sometimes this comes with extortion (that tuk-tuk may not NEED to go around the houses, but they will!). Check out this link for information on most common scams you could come across while abroad.
  4. World Differences. When you travel from a developed country to another not-so-developed area of the globe, you could find yourself feeling a little shocked and out of place. Accommodation may not be what you are used to and the locals have really been through the mill. Be prepared to step up and take notice of your surroundings.

Your travels are going to become a part of who you are and who you want to be. Going to Thailand for the scenery is a nice idea, but make sure you are well-prepared to see things you didn’t anticipate. You’ll love each experience as long as you are ready for them!

 

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A Gaijin Friendly Guide to Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. It’s the city of bullet trains, skyscrapers, fashion, street food and fun, where the traditional meets the contemporary and the bizarre meets the brilliant.

 

It’s also notoriously difficult to navigate for tourists.

While in many ways it’s a city at the bleeding edge of business, technology and couture there’s an almost impenetrable sense of etiquette and complex tradition that can bamboozle most gaijin (foreigners). In this kind of culture it’s important to know the right way to behave and the most tourist-friendly places to visit to help you get the most out of your visit without falling afoul of the difficulties some tourists tend to encounter.

 

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Cheap flights to Tokyo are getting easier to come by, so a Japanese holiday may well be more affordable and accessible than you’d previously thought. Before you start packing, though, here are some useful tips for a gaijin in Tokyo.

  • A little Japanese goes a long way. Most Japanese people haven’t spoken English since their schooldays. Showing some willingness to attempt their language will be very ingratiating.
  • Remember that ‘gaijin’ is not an insult, it’s a far more nuanced version of the English ‘foreigner’. If someone refers to you this way, smile and be polite. Chances are they’re not trying to offend you.
  • Learn the local etiquette. There’s WAY too much to learn here but always removing your shoes before going indoors, purifying yourself on the way to a shrine, never blowing your nose in public, never pointing with chopsticks and never ever tipping your waiter (it’s considered an insult) are a good place to start.

 

A note for vegetarians and vegans

It’s surprisingly hard to subsist on a plant-based diet in Tokyo. While you’ll find plenty of items on your menu that seem perfectly safe but beware of dashi, a fish stock that finds its way into most soups and sauces. Vegetarianism and veganism are unusual concepts to many asian cultures so be sure to explicitly mention that you don’t eat meat of fish including dashi.

 

Essential locations

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There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo it’s difficult to know where to begin. Shinjuku is no doubt at the top of your list and the thriving skyscraper lined district really is spectacular to behold with its ultra-chic department stores and legendary nightlife but this district really is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

You should also make these essential stops on your itinerary. All of them encounter tourists on a regular basis so will likely be friendly and welcoming (so long as you observe the customs and etiquette).

  • The Imperial Palace– A must for anyone with an interest in Japanese history. The walled palace is surrounded by walls and moats and is lined with beautiful 17th century parks.
  • Senso-ji Temple– The city’s most famous temple is thronged by shops selling traditional handmade carvings, masks and kimonos. Built in 645 AD its appearance has remained unchanged despite it having been rebuilt numerous times. While the pagoda itself is currently closed for renovations it reopens to tourists in September 2017.
  • Ueno Park– The quintessential Japanese park, Ueno is a gorgeous oasis in the bustling centre of Tokyo. The cherry blossom lined gravel paths lead to a huge range of attractions including the reed fringed Shinobazu pond with its Bentendo temple, 17th century Toshogu Shrine and the Tokyo National Museum.

 

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