It can be hard to stick to a budget while travelling, but once you know the basic tips to keeping your money under wraps, you’ll be wondering what to spend your spare cash on.
Don’t Go to Popular Places
You may have already guessed this, but the more popular a destination is, the more expensive it is to travel around there. If money can be made out of more people, why wouldn’t the prices be hiked up?
It’s like going to a theme park in peak season. There are cities all over the world that haven’t been discovered as much as their more popular cousins, so try these out before heading off to do exactly the same stuff in just a different, more expensive place. Take a look online for countries that you haven’t heard of or haven’t considered taking a trip to. These can often be the hidden gems that you never knew you were looking for.Continue reading “The Cheap Guide to Travel”→
No matter which country you visit, the best way to see the sites is by going on the road.
While flying from one destination to another is quicker and probably more convenient, you miss a lot when you’re high above the mountaintops whereas if you drive, you can see more of the country. Hire a car and explore the roads less traveled.
Manali Leh Highway, India
The Manali Leh highway is one of two ways to reach the Leh-Ladakh region, but it’s much more than just a road on a map. The Manali-Leh highway is also considered to be the most difficult motorable terrain in India, offering all the thrills of an adventure road trip if you plan carefully enough. The snow-capped mountains, distant valleys, and the cool mountain breeze set the scene for your amazing 478 km road trip. This is a popular highway, so you’re likely to make friends with cyclists, motorists, and maybe even a few hitchhikers on your pitstops.Continue reading “Roads Less Traveled”→
You’ve been home for about a week or less since your last vacation, exploration, adventure or whatever you want to call it, and you’re already craving the next big adventure. Still, with only a limited amount of money and so few ideas as to places you could visit that you haven’t seen before, you might be running a little dry on ideas for adventurous trips, whether it’s a solo excursion or one to do with family and friends. Continue reading “Adventurous Tips For Trips With A Twist”→
If you’ve got a spare couple of weeks and you fancy getting off the beaten track and hitting the road, there can’t be many better European road trips than the Romantic Road through Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Named because of its original use by Roman soldiers as they marched through Europe, it’s a popular honeymoon destination by complete coincidence. The stunning scenery, beautiful castles, and interesting cities make it the ultimate road trip.
1. You’ll fall in love with the scenery
When you think of Germany, you might not think of tree-lined roads, great, towering castles, and beautiful river views, but with the Romantic Road, that’s exactly what you get. Located in southern Germany, it’s off the heavily beaten tourist track of the north, although it’s not surprising that it’s growing in popularity. The medieval cities, churches, and castles dotting the dramatic, hilly landscape make the route truly unique.
Bali was the last stop of my solo backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, and my biggest dilemma when I arrived was choosing among the plethora of Bali tour packages offered. What made it more difficult was that I can’t find any group tours that a solo traveler can join, which means I need to go on a private tour.
With dwindling travel funds, I couldn’t afford to take multiple Bali tour packages and had to settle with just one. But which one? I figured I’d just get the one where I’d get to visit its famous landmarks.
north west bali tour package
The tour I got focused on Bali’s north west side covering sites like Taman Ayun, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, and Tanah Lot.
The driver picked me up from the hotel at 10:00am, and within an hour, we reached our first destination – Taman Ayun.
A few minutes walk from the parking lot, we entered a manicured garden. I then learned from my driver that Taman Ayun literally means ‘temple in a beautiful garden’.
We walked further and entered an elevated split gate – a distinguishable Balinese doorway – to reach the Pura Luhuring Purnama which is the holiest courtyard in the temple complex.
It was already lunch time when we left Taman Ayun. And since I haven’t had pork for almost a couple of weeks (I came from Malaysia before coming Indonesia), I asked the driver if we can drop by one of the warungs along the way so I can eat babi guling.
I was expecting it to be similar to our (Philippine) version of lechon, but the spiciness caught me off guard. I’m not a fan of spicy food, so I wasn’t able to finish the meal. 🙁
Also, I probably got ripped off because I paid IDR50,000. I later learned that babi guling usually only cost around IDR25,000-IDR30,000. -_-
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Moving on, about an hour and a half away from Taman Ayun is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.
Located 1,231 meters above sea level, it was the perfect respite from Bali’s humidity. It was even a bit foggy when we went.
There’s an expansive and well-maintained park, but I find it quite odd that it looks like a mini zoo (with bats and python you can take a picture with for a fee) within the temple grounds.
On a clear day, the lake is mirror-like; beautifully reflecting the temple and the surrounding hills.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
When our car pulled up at a parking space in front of a restaurant overlooking the paddies, I thought to myself “Wait, this is it?” You see, I’m from The Philippines and rice terraces are not exactly a novelty in my country, so I found it quite underwhelming.
I was also kind of expecting that we’d go in the actual Jatiluwih, and not just admire it from afar. Needless to say, there was nothing much to do here, so I asked if we could go to Tanah Lot.
COFFEE TASTING at sari amerta luwak coffee (one bali agro)
Because it was still early, the driver suggested that we drop by a coffee farm first for coffee tasting. He said there was no pressure to purchase.
We did a short tour of the coffee farm first before the coffee tasting. Then I was presented with a dozen sampler of their products.
I actually liked a couple from this bunch and was planning to bring home some, but got turned off by the price. I decided to just buy one from the supermarket close to my hotel. :p
Not too far from the coffee farm is Tanah Lot.
This Hindu shrine is perched atop an outcrop in the sea, but devotees doesn’t seem to mind the crashing waves and ‘guardian’ sea snakes (according to my driver).
We were supposed to wait for the sun to set, but there were too many people so I asked the driver if he has any suggestions. He said we could go to Seminyak Beach.
Seminyak Beach is lined with posh hotels and high-end restaurants, so it’s less crowded than the rest of the beaches this side of Bali.
While Philippine beaches are far better than Bali’s (yes, I’m biased), there’s no denying that their spirituality, culture, and way of life is unlike any other in the world.
I know I’ve barely scratched the surface, so I am aching to see more of what the Island of the Gods have to offer.