The Anti-Tourist

I like to beat new paths for myself.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Hong Kong; you will not be stuck for places to see or things to do. The densely populated and extremely vibrant destination ensures you can be on the move for your whole stay, and your senses will be on overdrive (make sure you have something to take photos with, you’re going to want to record these memories).

Central

Let’s begin in the middle. Crammed full of the infamous skyscrapers that define its skyline, central Hong Kong is where you’ll find the most hustle and bustle. There are bars, restaurants, and cafes around each corner, and the city center boasts a huge expat community, so you’ll be getting to know as many nationalities as you like.

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Tsim Sha Tsui

If you’re in the mood to spend your money, then Tsim Sha Tsui is the spot to visit. Aside from the beautiful harbor views, it boasts colorful markets and plenty of shopping malls for you to spend time (and cash) in. You can enjoy a swish lunch, or a pamper session at any of the luxury hotels that overlook the harbor; so book yourself in for a treat.

Wan Chai

Wan Chai is the perfect place to take note and record the changes and progression happening in areas of Hong Kong. Once thought of a downtrodden destination, the money, and construction invested in the district are ensuring that great changes are taking place, and at lightning speed!

Southside

For an eclectic mix of activities, finding hotel deals in Southside, and staying to enjoy them is an exciting option. Whether you’re in the mood for a huge, Disney-esque theme park in the shape of Ocean Park (both an assault and a delight for the senses), or you fancy a chilled out day checking out the incredible coastal and mountain scenery, Southside has it all.

Causeway Bay

If you have an issue with people invading your personal space; then Causeway Bay is not for you. If you love being packed into public areas like a sardine as you shop; it’s worth a visit (you’ll never forget it).

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Lamma Island

When you need to recover from your trip to Causeway Island, Lamma Island can offer you some peace and tranquility. Perfect for hiking and enjoying picturesque landscapes, the island will be a retreat for your mind and senses.

Lantau Island

This is where you’ll find the Big Buddha statue; making it the ideal stop for your Instagram account selfies (it’s also pretty breathtaking). There will be loads of other tourists milling around, but don’t let that put you off visiting this lovely fishing village area of HK.

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Image via pixabay

Mongkok

Loud and unapologetic about it, Mongkok offers an authentic Hong Kong experience. Crammed with every market stall imaginable, the sights, sounds, and smells can be somewhat overwhelming at times, but it’s worth a trip if you want to get into the nitty gritty of city life.

Sheung Wan

The up and coming neighborhood of Sheung Wan is a treasure trove of quirky shops filled with Chinese antiques and vintage discoveries. The busy district is another area that seems to be constantly evolving due to investment and interest within it, so it’s well worth a visit to appreciate all the changes.

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Image from pixabay
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One of the most amazing things about traveling to a destination is meeting other explorers. It’s hearing their tales, finding out their backstories, and sharing that fleeting bond before heading in your different directions. The other thing we love finding out about these kindred spirits is ‘what’. What brought them here in the first place? Sometimes it is the culture, or they are volunteering, or they ended up here while hitchhiking they way to there.

A lot of the time, though, it is a person’s amazing love for amazing animals that stirred their soul and made them take the trip. These are the tales we love hearing most because, well, we share this planet with some of the most amazing creatures and there is something special about hearing about or even seeing, a bond between humans and animals.

So, if this is what keeps your heart pounding and your body moving, traveling and exploring, then this list is for you, no matter what animal you care about most.

Pandas
There are only about a thousand giant pandas left in the world, and the majority of them are rolling about in China, or thereabouts. We’ve never seen a giant panda, but we met this amazing person recently who spent four weeks working with protected pandas in Chengdu, as part of a volunteer program. The chance to mingle directly with these animals was etched right across their face; the smile said it all.

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Elephants
These are about as close to mythical as any animal can get; so gracious and mesmerizing, gentle and breathtaking. The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal, but they are so one of the most vulnerable too, which is why so many choose to volunteer with elephants. Ivory poaching remains a big business despite the illegality of it. But it isn’t just poachers that are the threat, it is the expanding population of humans and human conflicts that are a threat too. This is what tugs at the heartstrings of so many travelers that have spent time trying to help vulnerable elephants, and rightly so.  

Whales
Seriously, who isn’t impressed with the awesomeness of whales? They are just so majestic, but they need to be seen in their natural habitat; not locked up in some small tank in the USA. The question is where? Well, pretty much every traveler we have ever spoken to about whale-watching has mentioned one of two places; Australia or Canada. If you really care about this giant of the ocean, please make sure you book a whale-watching tour with a company that cherishes the need to be eco-friendly. We’ve done enough damage as humans, try not to add to it.

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Orangutans
These are one of our favorite animals. There is just something about them, something so honest looking. Unfortunately, though, they are nearing extinction, especially in places like Sumatra where deforestation is so rife. That’s why we spend about an entire week researching how we could help, and the most hands-on experience you can get, one that is a real commitment to bettering the world, is a six-month program in Sumatra. Here the volunteers work alongside orangutans facing a seriously uncertain future and do their best to reintroduce them into the wild, hopefully for a happily ever after without but’s.

Monkeys

You have to go to Japan if you love monkeys because not only do you get to see them playing about in hot springs, you can also bath with them too. Yeah. In Yamanouchi, you can bath with a monkey in a natural spring. We know this isn’t saving the planet, or doing your part for an endangered species but, to the locals, these monkeys are godlike, which is why they are never chased away. Like we said, they are allowed to soak in the steamy waters. What could be more amazing than that if you love monkeys?

It’s such a great experience going to a place that hasn’t been discovered by most yet. Don’t get me wrong, famous places are still great to visit, and there’s plenty worth seeing out there, but it isn’t quite the same as being in an almost untouched corner of the world, where absorbing customs and cultures without the distraction of a Starbucks or Mcdonalds is much easier.



Chiang Mai

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Thailand is a magnet for backpackers, just turned eighteen, out to find themselves. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you might have outgrown it by now. There are so many tourists there, you could easily forget you were in another country. But Thailand is still an incredible place with a rich heritage; it’s a shame that it’s been ruined slightly. Fortunately, there are areas that are not so popular. Most of the tourists tend to aim for Bangkok, but Chiang Mai has just as much to offer, without the overcrowded streets and locals trying to rip off all the tourists.

Derby Creek

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One of the main attractions of camping is the peace and tranquility that you find out in the wilderness. Surrounded for miles on all sides by nothing but nature. Unfortunately, if you go camping in one of the more popular national parks you are more likely to be surrounded on all sides by other campers. If you want that peace and quiet, you’ll have to find somewhere else. There are plenty of smaller sites like Derby Creek that you can camp at; or if you want something a bit more comfortable, they are home to some of the oldest log cabins in the US, so camping doesn’t have to mean giving up your luxuries.  

Warsaw

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Krakow is fast becoming the new Eastern European hotspot now that Prague has embraced their tourism and started increasing prices. It has only emerged as a holiday destination in the last few years, drawing in travelers with its cheap beers and rich history, but already it is becoming very commercialized. However, Warsaw seems to have been largely ignored. As a city still dealing with the aftermath of the Cold War, it still has the interesting historical sights that Krakow does. The prices are also lower as it hasn’t become popular just yet. But if you are planning a trip, do it soon because it won’t be long before everybody else catches on.
Camping is a fantastic idea if you want to go traveling and see more of a particular country. It’s also one of the best ideas for traveling around your own country and exploring areas you didn’t know existed. As we mentioned in a previous post, there are plenty of pros and cons, and some people don’t like it.

However, one of the undoubted pros of camping is that it can be very cheap. In fact, you can go camping and hardly spend a penny. How? Well, check out the article below to find out:


Normally, a lot of camping trips are made expensive thanks to transport costs. You pay for trains or planes to get you from A to B. But, you can save money by making a small sacrifice regarding time. Instead of paying loads for fast transport, pay less for something slower. The best example of this is to pay for a camper van. You can rent one with your friends, and then drive yourself everywhere. This is great as you can save loads of money by splitting the cost between your group. Plus, you now have freedom to travel wherever the camper van can take you! It means you pay less and can also go to multiple places instead of staying in one place.


When you’re camping, it’s likely you’ll bring your own food supplies with you. However, sometimes, you can run out of supplies and have to go into the nearest town and shop for food. But, you can save loads of money on food if you don’t bring your own and start being clever. Go into the nearest towns and shop at market stalls. Why? Because you can barter with the stall owners and get fresh food for much less than a supermarket. It’s one of the classic solutions for food shortage, and you can apply it to camping along with another; forage for food. Channel your inner wild beast and go out foraging for fruit and veg that you can eat with your meals. It’s totally free, and you get to enjoy it proper fresh.


Last but not least, you can save loads of money on accommodation. In fact, play your cards right, and you can go camping without having to pay for your stay. Generally speaking, paying to stay in a campsite is already cheaper than paying for a hotel or hostel. But, if you camp away from campsites, you can stay places for free. All you have to do is look around for a nice place to set up camp. It could be in the woods, or near a forest - anywhere. As long as there are no signs saying you can’t camp, everything is fine. It’s a good idea to do this in groups of people as it makes the experience less scary. Camp on public land and you won’t pay a penny!

With just a few adjustments you can go camping and hardly spend a penny. It will be the cheapest travel idea you’ve ever had, and one of the most memorable too!
There’s a lot to love about Australia - from the nature to the city culture to the incredible climate. Sadly, the price tag isn’t something to be celebrated – Australia is undoubtedly an expensive country to take a vacation to. That said, you can help to lower costs by planning ahead and choosing your activities wisely. Here are just a few ways that you can travel round Australia on a budget.

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Fine-tune your flight
Pricing on flights varies throughout the year. The cheapest times to generally fly out are between September and November and between March and May. Breaking up the journey can also reduce costs – you could even stop twice on the way.

Some travellers may wish to take internal flights when in Australia (for example, from Sydney to Cairns). At one point, Quantas and Virgin were the only airlines you could choose between, but now there are new airline companies out there such as Jetstar which offer budget flights if you’re not fussed on comfort.

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Make use of public transport deals
There are plenty of public transport deals that can make getting from A to B easier. In Sydney you can take out a MyMulti Pass and get around the city centre for free, as well as being able to make a one-of excursion to the blue mountains. There are lots of cheap bus tours for more long distance travelling. These are ideal for backpackers. There are also some places in the outback that will provide cheap car hire.

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Go camping
The weather in Australia is generally perfect for pitching up a tent. Camping sites are very cheap – some are even free. For those that aren’t comfortable living out in the bush in such a rustic manner, youth hostels are the next cheapest option. Every city is full of these - in more rural areas they’re few and far between. As for hotels, you can get some very cheap ones on city outskirts.

Taste the street
Street food is generally advised when visiting Australia on a budget. Fine dining is very expensive and you don’t always get your money’s worth. Try going off the beaten track and you’ll find lots of great low end eateries. If you’re in Sydney, you’re certain to find a cheap Thai restaurant in The Rocks. Melbourne also has some top-notch affordable Asian restaurants, as well as many cheap coffee bars that also do lunch.

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Beware of booze
Alcohol costs a small fortune in Australia. It’s far too easy to visit a bar and get carried away, spending way over a hundred dollars. In most mainstream bars, the price of a beer will be upwards of ten dollars. You can save money by getting your own liquor from a shop. Alternatively, backpacker bars will often sell alcohol at a much cheaper rate, sometimes as low as four dollars (although you may have to be a guest with a room booked to get these deals).

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If you’re looking for fun and excitement, the bright lights of Vegas will certainly not disappoint. The glitz, the glamor along with the slightly taboo gambling and drinking is a fantastic way to let your hair down. Here are some things to consider to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your trip to Sin City.

Hotels

Hotels in Vegas are far more than just hotels. Each one is like a full vacation within itself- bursting with shops, restaurants, attractions and of course casinos. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding- will you go with the dancing fountains of the Bellagio or the white tiger habitat of MGM? The gorgeous glittering Cosmopolitan, or ride a gondola in the Italian-inspired Venetian? Spend some time researching and looking through what each of them has to offer if you look for Las Vegas hotel deals you might even be able to snag a bargain. If you’re worried about making the decision don’t be- pretty much all of the hotels in Vegas are ‘linked up’ meaning you can walk through and visit the casinos and attractions at any of them even if you’re not staying there.

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Casinos
Even if you’re not much of a gambler, you’re bound to have a flutter while you’re in Vegas! The casinos are out of this world, spend the evening playing at the machines and tables, and the waitresses will be round to hand you out free drinks while you play. There’s something for everyone, so even if you’re a total beginner, you can’t go wrong. Put in some money and press a few buttons- who knows you could win a nice chunk of cash!

Other Attractions
As great as the casinos are, there’s far more to Vegas. From white-knuckle rides and roller coasters to museums, shows, animal encounters and shops there’s something for everyone. You can book a helicopter tour to give you a bird’s eye view of the strip for a truly magical experience and something you will never forget. You can lounge by the pool and soak up some of Vegas’ tropical desert sun, or venture a little way away from the strip and visit one of the five National Parks surrounding the area. Ideal if you want to get out of the busy city for a while.

Dining
Each of the hotels offers incredible breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, so you’re never too far away from fantastic food. You can dine at any of the hotels even if you’re not staying there (although this of course won’t be included in the price) so there’s plenty to eat, and you’re sure to not get bored. On top of this, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants from simple chains to fine dining and celebrity restaurants if you want to sample some of the best food in the world. Again there really is something for everyone, probably not the best place for those watching their waistlines although there will be healthy options available.
If you are considering travelling the world, then you are not alone. Increasingly, more and more people turn to travel, for many people it even becomes a way of life (as regular readers of this blog will attest). But not all travel is made equal, and there are many ways of getting around the globe, some stylish, some less so, but all valid. However, it could be said that certain travelling styles are somewhat more real than others, and likely to give you more of a genuine experience. In this post, we are going to look at a few of the qualities which tend to mark out decent travel. Does your next trip look set to be a blast?

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If you really want to get the most out of travel, then going for longer, cheaper trips is definitely the way to go. If you do it this way, you will find that you can see much more, do much more, meet more people, and all the while save on your finances too. Some people like to go for a shorter time and splurge, treat themselves to different luxuries. That can be great fun, but for me better travel is that which lasts longer and involves fewer luxuries.



What’s the point in travelling if you don’t shake things up a bit? As it happens, world travel is always best when each trip is as varied as possible. Of course, you might have to limit it a little, as you can’t always afford to visit, say, three continents in one six month stretch. But if you want to get as much out of your travels as possible, it is still worth considering that you should try to see as much as you can in one go. Take a look at your next trip and ask yourself whether it is really as varied as you would like it to be.

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To achieve the many aims of good travel, it is often helpful if you travel in a way which is pared-down and simple. This means backpacking for most people, but if you are unsure about that then you might have other options, depending on your destinations and chosen locations. For backpackers, using decent resources like http://scoresurvival.com can help you to make the most of it and know what you are doing. Alternatively, you might consider travelling with someone who has done it all before. Either way, the simpler way is often the better way, as it affords you much more freedom on the road.

It is often overlooked because of everything else that you might consider, but if you want to enjoy your travels and get the most out of them then you need to set aside some time for fun. If you travel too seriously, you are essentially missing the point, so make sure that you don’t do that. Keep your spirits high and you will enjoy the whole process much more.
Toronto is home to more than 2.7 million people - more than any other city in Canada. But it’s not just the jobs that keep people in the city. Despite the freezing winter weather, this city plays host to over 200 different cultures meaning that any trip to the city is a truly global experience. Here’s why you should pay it a visit.

All You Can Eat Festivals

Festivals are a staple of life in Toronto, with one festival being held practically every week. Perhaps the most famous of all the festivals and marches is Pride which will be coming up in the next couple of months. To the surprise of many, the city is also home to a large Caribbean population, and there is a festival in their honor held at the end of August.

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If film is your thing, Toronto, like many other global cities, holds its own film festival once a year in early September. This is a splendid time to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities, many of whom will be in attendance at the show, promoting their new movies. The film festival is one of the largest in the world. Each year there are over 300 screenings of different films from all over the globe. You’re bound to find something new and exciting.

Great Accommodation And Restaurants

The Toronto brand might not be particularly famous - at least not as famous as New York or Paris. But the accommodation is arguably just as good, if not better. If you like having your own place, furnished apartments in Toronto are a great option and are close to the city center. The city has also seen huge amounts of private investment go into updating its restaurants. Up and coming like Against the Grain are making an impact, selling “free from” cuisine for fussy eaters and people with allergies. You can also head on down to the Leaside neighborhood where you’ll find a multi-million dollar redevelopment, housing dozens of restaurant outlets and grills. Here you can find steak frites, duck, cured trouted and kimchi tacos if that’s your thing.

The Toronto Islands

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Although Toronto is hundreds of miles from the ocean, it has a bit of a seaside feel, thanks to Lake Ontario, a giant lake to the south of the city. Lake Ontario plays host to the Toronto Islands, a series of islands in the lake that have been popular with tourists for decades. Ferries leave for the islands on a regular basis, and they’re an excellent opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city itself which can be overwhelming at times. Unlike the city, the Toronto islands retain their link to the past. Here you’ll find quaint, old cottages, hiking and biking paths as well as some beautiful beaches. The islands are also a great place to take children since motorized transport is banned here. It’s also a perfect place to sit back and take a look at the Toronto skyline. It’s quite incredible when viewed from a distance.