The Anti-Tourist

I like to beat new paths for myself.

Have you ever been walking around, reading, chatting with friends, when suddenly someone says something that hits you right in the feels? It can be the smallest, silliest thing, but suddenly your brain goes back ten, fifteen years, and you're reliving whatever memories that thing brought up. (Does this happen only to me? Please tell me it's not just me)

That feeling is what Te fit-Tazza is presenting with its beautifully minimal depictions of Malta. Founded only last year by Andrew and Craig, Te fit-Tazza (the name itself is evocative of the only way you should drink tea - from a glass accompanied with half a dozen pastizzi) has so far produced its first series of this sort, together with a set of "elements" - the little things that instantly take you back to simpler times, and represent Maltese identity like nothing else.


As everyone knows, our islands are plentiful in identity and culture, and over the years we've amassed a number of things that scream Malta. It was relatively easy, therefore, for the guys at Te fit-Tazza to get inspired by their surroundings and produce a unique product that is instantly iconic and inherently Maltese.

So far, Te fit-Tazza has blessed us with the most modern and minimal depictions of Malta I've ever seen - their Series 1. From Filfla to the Valletta bastions, the portraits are all exquisite depictions of Maltese landscapes, and would blend in perfectly in the most stylish of homes. Priced at 60 Euro per piece, they're surprisingly affordable too. 


My favourites though have to be their Elements of Malta. Smaller (and cheaper!) portraits of the little things that make our nostalgic hearts burst, they're equally minimal and beautiful, with an added touch of fun. They represent the small things that sometimes go unnoticed, but are little gems of pure Maltese nostalgia. I can already picture them dotted around my house!  



You can tell that both elements and series are a labour of love - the prints are printed with the highest quality standards, yet both Andrew and Craig decided to keep their prices down to give everyone the chance to purchase them. Customer service is also quick and efficient, and they ship worldwide! Christmas presents for my uncles in Australia = sorted. 


All this is why I'm so happy to announce that I've been working with Te fit-Tazza to give you guys the chance of owning a complete set of elements for yourself - the Tal-Linja set! Winners will be getting three elements, unframed, depicting the different buses Malta has had over the years, making a perfect set to own and cherish. The prints are all 30cm by 30cm, printed on Decor Smooth Art 210gsm paper, and together are worth 90 Euro. Find the blue, green and yellow tal-linja on their shop here.  


 Participating is easy - just follow the steps below: 

1. Like Te fit-Tazza on facebook and follow on Instagram
2. Like The Anti-Tourist on facebook and follow on Instagram
3. Share this post with your friends
... and that's it! The giveaway will run for one week (until the 27th of September) and is open worldwide, and the winner will be announced on The Anti-Tourist facebook page, so keep your eyes peeled :)
This is your chance of owning a slice of Maltese nostalgia forever - what are you waiting for? 

The Anti-Tourist would like to thank Te fit-Tazza for sponsoring this awesome giveaway! 
Vietnam is one of those immensely complex and beautiful countries that keep you coming back for more - there's just no way you can explore all the beauty and different facets of this Asian country all in one go, especially if you stick to the beaten path. Which is why today I'm delighted to write about a little niche company that offers travelers around Hanoi the opportunity to explore the area like, and with, a true local - the Recycle Tour Company.

Dien Nguyen Duc is an incredibly friendly Vietnamese photographer living the simple life in Hanoi. He started the Recycle Tour Company to show travelers the real life in Vietnam, by both opening his own home to others, as well as traveling alongside them to different areas around Hanoi. He and his brand represent true Anti-Tourist spirit, eco-tourism and full sustainability, which is why I can't recommend them enough!
Among the services the Company offers, travelers are given a 'local buddy' - someone who travels with them, showing them every aspect of Vietnamese life, from sleeping on a bus to biking around mountains and trying street food to even learning some Vietnamese!
Dien also offers a number of tours to different areas, catering to a variety of tastes. From Sapa to Ha Giang, Cat Ba to the iconic Ha Long Bay, Cao Bang, and our very favourite, the Y TY Eco Local Tour in the Bat Xat District. Hoi An tours in the heart of the city are also available. The tours are described in great detail here, together with all prices in Vietnamese Dong. I love that the Recycle Tour Company are so upfront, with no surprises at the end and incredibly affordable rates. The tours take you from taking the local bus to your destination, any activities, home stays and meals with locals, and any other events, depending on the region.
From walking along rice terraces, to bathing underneath waterfalls, while learning about Vietnamese culture and enjoying great company, I already want to pack my bags and go!
You can contact Dien here for any additional information, and give their page a like here to stay tuned on all updates and general wanderlust vibes from Vietnam!

Disclaimer: The Anti-Tourist was commissioned to write for the Recycle Tour Company - opinions however remain, as always, my own. All photography credit and copyright goes to Dien Nguyen Duc.
Asia is known as a travel-friendly continent, offering amazing food, unique cultures, fun atmosphere and a population that's generally very open to travelers. Southeast Asia in particular is known as a common travel spot due to how cheap it is and how diverse it is from other places around the world.

If you’re thinking of travelling to the world’s largest continent but have never ventured so far, here are some great countries to start from.

Thailand




Thailand has become a must-visit spot for every traveler in Asia. Bangkok has been hailed as the world’s most visited city, with visitors from all over the world traveling for the beautiful sights, great entertainment, cheap food and accommodation.

Thailand has over 5,000 miles of coastline, so there are plenty of beaches and islands for you to check out. There are also great tourist spots. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a grandiose piece of Thai architecture from the 1700s. Khao Yai National Park lets you see elephants, monkeys and other exotic creatures you probably wouldn’t see at home.


Malaysia




Full of beaches, rainforests and a range of cultural influences, Malaysia is an underrated travel location. If you stay in the Malaysian Borneo you can hike through rainforests, scuba-dive in the ocean or see orangutans out in the wild.

The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is particularly impressive - you can see some breath-taking landmarks such as the Petronas Towers above and indulge in some mouth-watering Asian food.

There are plenty of places for tourists to stay in Malaysia. Whether you choose a fantastic 5-star pool villa in Malaysia or a humble hostel with other like minded travelers, it’s a wonderful country to visit.


Japan




In terms of culture, Japan has to be one of the most unique places in the world. There are crazy vending machines for pretty much everything, and cheap gaming arcades with games for both kids looking to have fun and adults looking to gamble are also common.

The sights in cities like Tokyo and Yokohama are some of the most colourful in the world. Japan also has a huge consumerist culture, with shops you won’t find anywhere else, so you might be spending a lot on souvenirs!

Visiting Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you can even stay there for cheap in one of their unique capsule hotels. This one I'm particularly excited about since I'll be visiting Japan for the first time next October! Tips from more seasoned travelers are highly appreciated.


Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka is a terrific island nation off the coast of India. It is hailed for having some of the world’s best beaches, as well as Arugam Bay being a surfing capital.

When you’re bored of all those beautiful beaches, you can try some delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. They are known for great curries and seafood, so Sri Lanka is a fun spot for any foodies (can you tell I travel for food by now?). It also boasts some terrific views and a range of wildlife.


The Philippines




Gorgeous islands, pristine oceans and a fascinating volcano make the Philippines another great tourist spot.

You can marvel at the Chocolate Hills or kayak through the beaches in Boracay. There’s plenty going on, with cheap restaurants and live shows and music ever-present across the big tourist spots. Philippines is a wonderful place to visit and well worth the cheap costs.

Have you been to Asia, or are you actually living there right now? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
It's useless denying that Europe has an issue with migration. For the past few years, it's all our politicians have been talking about. Some try to promote the concept of integration and multiculturalism; others, unfortunately, strike fear and provoke hatred in the hearts of many for their own agendas.

Is there one solution to this crisis? I sincerely doubt it, but over in Ljubljana, a tiny restaurant is making a huge impact.

Skuhna, in the heart of the city, may look like a normal restaurant, but it began as a social enterprise with the aim of integrating immigrants in Ljubljana by creating job opportunities, and allowing them to learn about the Slovenian way of life. What was the best way of doing this? By combining the one passion we all share in common: the love for food. 

Noting the culinary skills of many migrants, especially when cooking traditional dishes from their countries of origin, and the lack of African food in Ljubljana at the time, the founders of Skuhna decided to combine supply and demand and open the restaurant. It was a huge success, and today, Skuhna offers a different menu every day, depending on the different chefs coming in to cook at Skuhna. Needless to say, after trying out Tuesday's dish I wanted to stay for a whole week to try out everything! 


Through their work, the people over at Skuhna are spreading the values of respect, tolerance, responsibility, awareness and diversity to both locals and immigrants. They are showing the world that having a team with members coming from all over the world is a recipe for success. 

The restaurant is now also serving as a cultural hub for talks, music sessions and workshops to take place, offering a venue where Slovenians and minorities can connect and interact freely. 

I've never been happier to eat out then here at Skuhna, and I would recommend it to anyone - which is why I'm sharing it with you, of course! You can find Skuhna at 56, Trubarjeva Street - check out their Facebook page for opening hours and their ever changing daily menu! 


Holidays should be all about taking time off, but sometimes it can turn into quite the stressful event. One sound idea to make sure your trip works out is to look for a destination that's a bit different from any holiday you've taken before, and crucially, different from where everyone else is going. Something that stands out and is a little bit unusual, that excites the imagination while allowing scope to relax. In North America, there are plenty of such destinations, but you have to know where to look.

1. Cochrane, Ontario: Polar Bear Paradise
Nature is a weird and wonderful mistress.  It provides us with stunning scenery, exciting climates and a world of attractions. Taking the chance to pose for a photograph with a real live polar bear? Don't worry, it's safe, as you're separated by plexiglass. These majestic creatures are a joy to behold. In a world of climate change, Cochrane's conservation facility is doing great work in keeping their numbers up.
2. Mexico's Island Of The Dolls
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If you like your holidays a little weird, then Isla de las Munecas is something you really must see. Flocks of people are attracted here to see the Island where one man hanged a doll from a tree to ward off evil spirits. More dolls joined that one, until there were dozens of them around the Island. The story of Don Julian Santana, who placed that first doll, is a chilling one. As a place to visit, this is one that will make for many stories.
3. Revelstoke, Canada
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Revelstoke's Enchanted Forest is a monument to a husband and wife's artistic vision. Its wooden sculptures and dry stone walls are all crafted from nothing but natural resources, using hand tools. Doris and Ernest Needham, who bought the forest and constructed the attractions, have now passed on. Their artistic vision lives, though.
If the weird and wonderful attractions of Canada interest you, then a quick visitor's visa can be obtained online. A quick visit to official-canada-eta.com is all you need to get the ball rolling.
4. San Francisco's Wave Organ
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If you're looking for offbeat trips in the USA, then San Francisco is always a worthwhile place to look. Along with Alcatraz and Lombard Street, your penchant for the bizarre can find real satisfaction with the Wave Organ. Built 30 years ago, it is an acoustic sculpture that makes use of the sounds of the sea to create an ethereal, beautiful experience.
There is real beauty in the unusual, and if you're tired of the same holiday experiences, these are just a few locations worth checking out. All are close enough to more conventional tourist spots if you feel like you want to come back down to Earth!


Every year, the European Commission announces a city to be Europe's Green Capital, with the aim to promote both the city and a sustainable way of life. This year, the torch has been passed on to Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city, and few cities deserve this title more. 


Ljubljana is an incredibly beautiful city with a historic city centre that is lined with baroque buildings all along the Ljubljanica river. On top of a hill, an ancient castle overlooks the city. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is bustling but not chaotic, and more importantly - the city is clean


Within the city centre, no cars are allowed, bar ambulances and a few electric vehicles that are on call for residents, especially older people, to go to and from their homes in the centre. Electric taxis and bicycles are also available for anyone to use. Outside the no-car zone, parking is tucked away underground. 

Trash is rarely seen around either, and bins are tubes that lead to underground recycling collection points. The river too is clean, which is quite a rarity for rivers running through capitals. It is so clean that water fountains are dotted all around the city, and offer free fresh water for thirsty travelers. 


Ljubljana's care for the environment is one of the many things making the city an amazing destination, so a word of advice for anyone who intends to visit: please, please keep it that way. 

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Before visiting Ljubljana, there wasn't much I knew about the little Slovenian capital - though not for lack of trying. I couldn't seem to find much info about any must-sees or iconic landmarks, and to be fair, there really isn't much, but in Ljubljana, this makes the city even more awesome.

In Ljubljana, your itinerary won't be packed with a million things you have to do or see, leaving you burnt out. All you have to do is walk around and enjoy the city life, and in a gorgeous city like Ljubljana, it's all you could really ask for. Read on to see why I think this city is seriously underrated, and why you should put it on your bucket list!

1. Its stunning architecture


Walking around Ljubljana's city centre feels like going back in time. Most buildings are baroque and the work of Slovenia's master architect, Joze Plecnik, who also designed the famous Tromostovje, or Triple Bridge (above). This bridge crosses the Ljubljanica river, which flows through the town centre. You'll find most of the old city to the east bank of the river, while the commercial core lies on its west bank.


2. It has a fairytale castle 

Ljubljanski grad, or Ljubljana Castle, towers beautifully over the city from atop a large hill. It's easy to reach either by funicular or a short (but steep) hike up - word of advice, avoid the latter on particularly hot days! The castle itself is very pretty and has been there for ages, but don't forget to look around and enjoy the view from the top, with the city below you. 


3. Its friendly, relaxed atmosphere


Walking around in Ljubljana feels like stepping into the world's most civilized street party. From food markets to open air libraries and people just chilling by the river, you'll feel at ease whatever you do. Despite it being a busy capital, there's no feeling of urgency or chaos, unlike other European capitals I've visited. Ljubljana likes to sit back and relax. 


4. It's a fun melting pot


Sharing borders with Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy, Slovenia is multi-cultural and multi-lingual - and its capital is just that. That means that with minimal language barriers, everyone is able to co-exist and share lifestyles easily, creating a truly diverse society.

Of course, diversity of people gives you diversity of food, and we all know my priorities! From African to Italian, Austrian to Croatian, you can find almost anything on Slovenia's streets - but more on that below. 


5. Glorious (and cheap!) food


As I said, food sits quite high on my travel priority list, and I have to say Ljubljana exceeded all my expectations. From the legendary cacao, the first recommendation locals will give you, to the mouthwatering dishes at Skuhna and the weekly Open Kitchen, good food is easy to find and incredibly affordable. 


6. The balance between nature and city life

Anyone who lives in a busy city, especially a capital, will tell you that every once in a while you just need to get away from it all. Well, in Ljubljana that get away is around 15 minutes away - if you'd ever need to get away! The city is charmingly overrun by nature - from the leafy Tivoli Park to the hills surrounding the city and the willowy river bank, there's hardly any pollution at all in this city, which is probably why it's this year's Green Capital of Europe


7. Its edgy, alternative district

Metelkova City is a self-declared autonomous cultural district in the heart of Ljubljana. It's definitely the place to be at night, with its converted military barracks now housing a dozen bars and nightclubs, as well as being a space for underground artists to roam free. During the day, it's a chillout zone covered in beautiful art, as well as a small museum with the history of the district. 


I've completely fallen head over heels in love with Ljubljana, and could quite easily go on and on about its beauty, but I'll leave it to you to discover. To those who have been - do you agree? Did you enjoy the Slovenian capital as much as I did? Comment down below or tweet at me, I'd love to know what you think! 
First things first: where and what is Bela Krajina, I hear you ask? 

Bela Krajina is a small region in south east Slovenia, on the border with Croatia. In fact, it's easier to reach by flying into Zagreb airport (Croatia) rather than Ljublijana, and then just cross the border. The region is completely composed of beautiful landscapes, quaint villages and small towns, so avoid it if you're after that bustling city life. Do not, however, miss this region if you want some peace and quiet. 

Now that we've settled that and where you'll be staying when in Bela Krajina, here's our top 5 things you must do, in between relaxing and enjoying the beautiful feeling of doing absolutely nothing. 


1. Hike to Kolpa's spring  

The River Kolpa is this region's lifeline, and it's a clear, unpolluted body of water that comes to the surface in the northern part of the Krsko plain. The river surfaces from underneath the 30m tectonic wall of rock. This rock is a stark white and creates a beautiful contrast with the green landscape. This place is little known, so you're assured to have it for yourself - it's the perfect spot for a picnic, so go prepared!


2. Taste local liquor and home made pralines


The Berryshka distillery on the outskirts of Kočevski Rog is a real treat to discover. A family run business, you'll be shown around the whole place, from where the fermentation of the berries takes place, to the bottling of the tastiest liquors you'll ever taste. They currently offer a vast range of flavours, but our firm favourites were the blackberry and the walnut liquors. Even better than the liquor alone? They give it to you in a chocolate shot glass. Let me repeat that: chocolate. shot. glass.



3. Taste locally produced wine


The Suklje vineyard has been around since 1895, and has steadily grown, producing a number of different wines, from rich reds to light whites. Also a family run business, they invite visitors into their first vineyard and farm to taste their spectacular wine and enjoy the stunning surroundings. What we really loved about this visit was the friendliness of our hosts, together with their obvious passion for wine making and the region.


4. Make your own traditional egg, and see linen made


In the little village of Adlešiči, Nada Cvitkovič produces beautiful products made out of white linen, and draws the prettiest Easter eggs I've ever seen. Both products are traditional for the region, and Nada invites visitors over to learn about these local traditions - as well as make the eggs yourself! This visit makes for a fun hour, and I'm pretty sure kids will love it, especially the part where they get to paint their own Easter eggs to take home! 


5. Visit the town of Metlika


Metlika is a really, really quiet town in the region, and when I say quiet, I mean almost-deserted kind of quiet! Don't feel alarmed though, the town is completely safe and makes for a very pretty walk around. Check out the Bela Krajina Museum at Metlika's town centre, which is a gorgeous castle at the centre of the town. You won't need more than an hour to explore this town, but it's definitely worth seeing if you're around. 


Getting around: Renting a car is definitely the best way to get around in Bela Krajina and explore all the little hidden spots. Big Berry also offers all these activities and many more when staying at their resort too, so that's a huge plus! Get started on your next summer vacay, asap :) 

Disclaimer: The Anti-Tourist was invited over by Big Berry to discover the Bela Krajina region: opinions, however, remain my own.