If you’re looking for a splash of nature and beauty combined, then there’s no doubt the Philippines will take the throne for that. The Philippines is made up of 7,000+ islands, all featuring picturesque views that nature lovers and adventurers will love. So when it comes to choosing hiking trails, you will have a hard time which one to choose in this country.
To help you with that, we have tailored twelve best hiking trails in the Philippines for you to choose from. So before packing your bags, take a look at these twelve hiking wonders down below and opt one that you think is the best for you.
- Located in Batangas, Mount Batulao is perfect for first-time trekkers/hikers. It has a moderate terrain that is easy to walk on without putting too much work on your body. You will also walk past by green mountaintops before reaching the summit.
- Once there, you will witness a panoramic view of the coastal towns in Batangas. So get your camera’s ready and always take the shot once you’re at the top. Keep in mind that the entire journey will take up to eight hours back and forth. There are also plenty of campsites around the area if you want to take a rest for a while.
- If you’re up for an adventure to one of the Philippines longest mountain range, then there’s no other place than the Sierra Madre. The trail is moderately challenging but should be easy enough for those who have experience in mountain trekking.
- The trail features picturesque scenic views surrounded by a lush forest that’s been habited by different kinds of birds and wildlife. Once at the top, feast your eyes on the Sierra Madre mountain peaks that surround the summit.
- Another popular mountain trail in Batangas is the trail of Mount Maculot. Adventure awaits as you scramble along the boulder field as you make your way to the top. Most people choose this trail for the Rockies, but if you dare to go further, then get ready for a real challenge.
- It’s a hard way up to the summit. However, you will be rewarded with the spectacular view of the Taal Lake once at the top and paired with a beautiful exquisite bird’s eye view of Batangas as well.
The Masungi Georeserve
- Want to get some fresh air and escape from the congested nature of Manila? Then this hiking trail is for you. This trail is compatible for all ages (well, if you want to include your kids with you then go on) and you will be walking on a suspension bridge and admire the scenery while you’re at it.
- The lush forest surrounding the area along with a beautifully formed limestone in the area will give you a feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- A mountain with the highest peak in Luzon, you say? Mount Pulag gets the place for that. It’s also one of the most beautiful and best hikes in the entire Philippines. Climbing to the top of the mountain will approximately take five hours.
- Once you reach the top, you will walk into a sea of clouds that are surrounding the area. It’s like heaven on earth once you get there. Be sure to wear proper clothing when hiking in this area as it can get unexpectedly colder at different times.
- This mountain has a rough history because of its violent volcanic eruptions. Back on June 15th, 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted like hell, spreading waves of ashes into the atmosphere that made people evacuated their homes that is near the area. However, since you’re an aspiring adventurer that’s not afraid no matter what happens, Mount Pinatubo will take about three hours to reach its peak.
- The volcano’s crater is now filled with vividly-blue waters that formed a lake, great for taking photos. Want to take a break? Do it beside the lake or have a picnic while you’re at it.
Mount Pico De Loro
- Want a challenging hike? Then look no further than Mount Pico De Loro. The trail up ahead is very steep and can be slippery in some conditions, making it a dangerous yet fun-filled hike for veteran trekkers.
- Once you’re at the peak, you will see the scenic views of Cavite. Want to take it to the next level? Make your way up to the Parrot’s Peak and experience a view like no other. Note: Not advisable for the faint of heart.
- A balance of challenge and easiness is what the Tarak Ridge is here for. Once at the mountain, take a break at the Papaya River and get some rest as much as you can. Because from here, the path will get tremendously tricky as you go along.
- Once you reach the summit, you will be greeted with a spectacular view of Manila Bay and Bataan.
- Just like Mount Pulag, you will experience a cloud walking experience when you’re at the top of Mount Maynoba. However, you must hike the trail early most probably before sunrise to witness this cloud nine experience.
- For those who want an easy hike while enjoying the scenery along the way, Daguldol is the best place to go for that. At the top, you will be surrounded with a scenic horizon with a seacoast at the bottom that’s framed by a forest.
- Who would have thought that the world’s smallest active volcano can be a perfect destination for mountain trekkers? Yes, that’s Taal Volcano for you. Reaching its peak, you will see a bird’s eye view of the Taal Lake and its vast sea down below.
- Last but not least, the best hikes can be achieved at the highest mountain in the entire Philippines, which is Mount Apo. The mountain trail is covered with a thick coat of moss due to the amount of rain that is imminent on the area.
- The hike can be dangerous yet fun at the same time and are only intended for experienced hikers. Once you reach the summit, you will see picturesque views of the countryside along with its ample amount of lakes that surround the area. Definitely worth the climb!
Berlin has been splashing with creativity, especially when it comes to dining. Wherever part of the city you were, you will find plenty of restaurants, eateries, and food corners. In this article, we tailored the top nine best restaurants that are scattered around Berlin. So if you’re planning to visit Berlin anytime soon, then take time to read the article so you’ll find the best place to grab some grub.
- Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm (TF), 10am – 10pm (SS)
- Business days: Tuesday-Friday, Saturday-Sunday
- If you want to try the best hummus in Berlin, then there’s no place none other than Kanaan. And it’s not sales talk. Try it for yourself, and you will surely come back for more. Their rich hummus, paired with falafel and pita bread is their best seller to date.
- Opening hours: 9am – 7pm (SS), 8am – 7pm (MTWThF)
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Fancy having avocado on toast or grilled cheese sandwich? Then Aprilkind is just the place for that. Aside from their exquisite dish, the atmosphere of the place steals the show where you can find wooden crates, upcycled bookshelves, and dangling light bulbs, making you feel like you’re in the steampunk era. Not to mention, the eclectic music that plays on and on accompanying you while you munch on your food. Tip: If you plan to visit the place on weekends, make sure to arrive as early as you can since the place can fill up quickly.
- Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm (SMTWTh), 6pm – 12am (FS)
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Going into Bar Raval, you will feel the Spanish atmosphere as soon as you step inside. Their best seller patatas bravas’ makes you feel like you’re really dining in a traditional tapas bar in Spain. Their long wine list serves plenty of choices for you to choose from. All are ranging from different price ranges, whatever suits your budget.
- Opening hours: 5 pm – 11 pm
- Business days: Tuesday – Saturday
- Get a slice of Italy in Berlin by visiting the La Bolognina, a restaurant that gives you plenty of pasta and pizzette dishes. Despite their minimalist menu, the flavor and texture is the real deal here. The restaurant is also small in size, perfect enough for couples who want to dine and just hang around for a while. Just like others, make sure to arrive early before anyone else to get yourself and your lover a table for two.
- Opening hours: 11am – 4pm (SS), 6:30pm – 11pm (TWThF)
- Business days: Tuesday – Sunday
- If you want to go fancy, then Nauta is the place for you. They offer Nikkei cuisine, which is a combination of culinary dishes from Japan and Peru. Talk about combining the best of both worlds.
Bagel, Coffee & Culture
- Opening hours: 10am – 7pm (Sunday), 8am – 7pm (MTWThF), 9am – 7pm (Saturday)
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Looking at the name itself, you will definitely know that they sell bagel and waffles. The “Londoner” is their best-selling bagel of all time which is made from ingredients such as eggs, cream cheese, and lox. Want to take your drinking session to the next level? Then try their homemade ginger shot; a sweet and tangy beverage with a spicy kick that can give your body its much-needed boost up. The atmosphere of the place brings it all, featuring artwork by local artists that are eye-candy.
The Greens – Coffee and Plants
- Opening hours: 12pm – 6pm (SS), 10am – 6pm (MTWthF)
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- If you want to chill at a place with a cozy atmosphere, then head over to The Greens. It’s a welcoming Oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Inside, you will find myriads of plants surrounding the walls, which act as décor. What’s even surprising is that these plants are for sale. When it comes to drinks, you should try out their chai latte, a drink made from turmeric, beetroot, and matcha. This works best with a pair of vegan banana bread that comes in two flavors; coconut and pomegranate.
- Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (SS), 12pm – 10pm (MTWThF)
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Valladares is a special place for Vegans because it is a restaurant that takes vegan dishes to a whole new level. The place has comfy sofas, bright high-ceilinged rooms, and also vintage decors that will take you back in time. However, the prices are a bit over the top, but the food selections are surely a bang for your buck. Don’t miss out with their best-tasting falafel bowl, as well as their smüsli dish.
- Opening hours: 12 pm – 11 pm
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- In case you don’t know, Berlin has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. Which makes it the home of various Vietnamese restaurants. The one that shines among all of them is none other than Cát Tuòng (which translates to peace and happiness, not a cat). The name speaks for itself because as soon as you enter the restaurant, you will feel the cozy atmosphere that no other restaurant can achieve. They have cozy wooden stools paired with rounded cushions for extra comfort, and also verdant herbariums that adorn the grey slate walls. Not to mention, Buddha statues that sit at the top of the shelves behind glowing candles and fruit offerings. Their dish uses natural ingredients all served in Vietnamese-style cooking.
If you’re a person that treats street foods as the holy grail of snacks, then Beijing is just the place for you. What you’ll find in this Chinese capital is a plethora of halal street snacks and various bars to drink your hearts out. Here are our top eight pics of the best street food eateries in Beijing!
- Opening hours: 5:30 am – 9 pm
- Business Days: Monday – Sunday
- The Huguosi Snack bar has hundreds of franchise across the entirety of Beijing. What you’ll find is Beijing’s best, ranging from the sweet pea cakes down to salty beef buns. The snack bar was founded back in the 1950s where the government has opened a fair for street food vendors on the Huguosi Street.
Daxing Hutong Miancha
- Opening hours: 6 am – 12:30 pm
- Business Days: Monday – Sunday
- Miancha, also known as flour tea, is best bought at the Daxing Hutong Miancha. This eatery has been in Beijing for years, where it is run by a couple who captured the hearts of many because of their original brown porridge recipe for Miancha. It’s a bit of a challenge to find the eatery because it is well-hidden in the streets of Nandaxing Hutong. However, the aroma coming from the inside of the eatery serves as a guide for newcomers.
Bai’s Halal Snacks (Qingzhen Baiji Xiaochi)
- Opening hours: 8 am – 8 pm
- Business Days: Monday – Sunday
- This eatery is located in the Niujie neighborhood of Beijing. It offers a wide range of halal snacks, especially ones that are found from the traditional Beijing street foods. The locals also recommend this place because their snacks taste better than Huguosi Snacks, which we mentioned earlier in this article. Their best seller is the glutinous rice cake that people are fighting in line for.
Wenyu Cheese Shop
- Opening hours: 12 pm – 12 am
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Cheese is treated special in Beijing. Locals believe that cheese is a kind of imperial court dessert that’s made out of milk, sugar, and rice wine. If you want to have a taste of this kind of dessert, then the Wenyu Cheese Shop is the best place to go for that. Be sure to arrive early as people will be racing to the shop. Survival to the fittest at its finest.
Baoguang Xunrou Xiedi Huoshao
- Opening hours: 10 am – 11 pm
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- One of Baoguang’s best seller is the xunrou xiedi huoshao (smoked pork sole bun in English) and is loved by many. It got its name because of its insanely huge size of the bun that looks exactly like a sole of the shoe. The “sole bun” is also best eaten paired with a sliced porn knuckle and pork intestines.
Lao Ciqikou Douzhi
- Opening hours: 6 am – 9 pm
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Douzhi, also known as mung bean milk, is a notorious snack because of its sour taste and smelly nature. However, it’s one of the snacks you don’t want to miss. If your one of the exotic kind, then this snack is for you. Although some people can’t finish a whole cup of it, it’s up to you if you want to dare to go further. Lao Ciqikou Douzhi also has other snacks as well such as iaoquan, lvdagunr and meat pie that’s best paired with douzhi.
- Opening hours: 5:30am – 10pm
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Here in Laohuihui Snacks, you can have a taste of traditional Beijing snacks such as the lvdagunr, wandouhuang, and aiwowo. Not to mention, the one they call “Chinese dirty bread” the famous steamed roll tanghuajuan.
- Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm
- Business days: Monday – Sunday
- Bingtanghulu, also known as the candied hawthorn, is a tasty treat that was loved by children, and also by adults too. Although Bingtanghulu is sold by a lot of Chinese vendors across the country, the best tasting one can be bought at Helude. You can also have a peek on how they made it, ensuring every piece is well-crafted for customers.
Wimbledon has become a traditional sport in London and become one of the oldest yet known sport in the world. Since 1877, Wimbledon has its distinctive set of rules and regulations that sets it apart compared to the usual tennis tournaments across the globe.
What we’re talking about here is the requirement of wearing only white from top to bottom. Yes, you heard that right. You must wear white to participate in such sport. Wearing other kinds in different colors is considered inappropriate. So what’s up with the color white on this sport?
- This “white-only” rule is dated back in the 1800s where colored clothing produces obvious sweaty patches on the players. Back then, this was seen as inappropriate. In 1963, Wimbledon adapted the “predominantly in white” rule before evolving into the “completely white” in 1995. In 2004, the white-only rule stepped a little further by including all of your accessories to be in white as well. Say goodbye to colored socks and visors; white has taken over the entirety of the sport.
The rule was stringent that even famous participants are forced to change to white during the game. In 2017, Venus Williams, a five-times single champion in Tennis, was forced to change her pink bra into a white one because colored clothing violates the rules. The same thing goes for Anna Kournikova, where she was forced to change her black shorts into white ones in a match on 2002. The worst part is she doesn’t have a white one on her own, forcing her to borrow a pair of oversized white shorts from her coach, tearing the logo on it to avoid conflict with her sponsorship deal of a particular sports brand.
Not just women, but the white-only rule affected men as well. Take Roger Federer as an example, where he had to replace his orange-soled sneakers into a white one. On the other hand, Andre Aggassi, who’s known for his colorful wardrobe, refused to play at Wimbledon because he wants to have the freedom to wear what he wants. Listed below are the guidelines for the Wimbledon dress code:
- No solid mass of coloring
- Bold colors should only be kept to a minimum
- Fluorescent colors are not allowed
- The back of the shirt should be totally white
- Preference for shorts and skirts should be completely white
- Items such as hats, socks, shoes, and others should be entirely white
It’s vacation time, and there’s nothing better than spending time to venture in the great outdoors. And of course, since you’ll mostly spend your time outside, finding the best sun protection is a must. Sounds easy on paper, right? However, finding the best sun protection is not all rainbows and butterflies. Sure, there are myriads of SPF creams or sunblock’s lying around for you to choose from but opting for the right one is not an easy task.
Luckily, you stumble upon this article today. What you’ll find below are some tips on how to get the best sun protection for your skin. You don’t want to look as red as a lobster. So what are you waiting for? Hop on the train and let’s take a look at these tips down below.
Greasy Sunscreen is a No Go
- Don’t you hate it when you’re using a greasy sunblock and take a picture of yourself, and you end up looking like a varnished statue? Yes, all those picture-perfect memories will just end up in the recycle bin. So before you go, do yourself a favor to buy a sunscreen that won’t make you look like a varnished doll. The La Roche Posay is your best bet if you want a non-greasy sunscreen. The best part? It has an SPF protection of 50+ for that ultimate sun protection.
Cloudy Days? Slap on that Sun Protection
- From the word “sun,” it means you have to use it only the sun, right? Wrong! Even when it’s cloudy, applying sun protection is still a must. Just because there’s no sun shining outside, doesn’t mean that your skin is protected by the clouds. The truth is you don’t need to be in direct sunlight for your skin to be damaged.
Apply Sun Protection Even When It’s Cold
- If ever you’re traveling during winter, you should know that there is a thing called “Albedo effect.” Which means the sunrays can bounce into the snow directly into your skin. Ever noticed you got a sunburned chin even when you’re just skiing or snowboarding? So what are you waiting for? Slap on that sun protection to every exposed part of your body before you go.
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
- Sun rays can get intense, especially during 10 am to 2 pm of the day. This is where the sun is positioned directly above you. Compared to the time before 9 am or the afternoon, the sun is angled across the horizon as it is still rising/setting. So cover up your skin with as much SPF as possible.
Wear Proper Clothing
- One of the most basic tips of all is to protect yourself by wearing the right clothing depending on the destination you’re going or the activity you’re doing. There is some clothing out there that uses a unique material that can protect you from UV rays even when you’re underwater (if you plan on going to the beach or something).
There’s a Wide Range of SPF Products Out There
- Don’t just limit yourself on sunblock. With just a little research, you will find a plethora of SPF products that are available both offline and online. SPF lip balm, SPF makeup, SPF hair products, you name it!
SPF 30+ Is The Real Deal
- If ever you’re going to opt for SPF products, it’s always wise to choose one that has SPF 30 or above. Using higher SPF products will ensure your skin is protected as possible.
Check the Label
- Expiration dates are everywhere, and SPF products are not an exception. So before adding it to your shopping cart, always keep an eye on the expiration date to avoid any trouble. Don’t forget to follow its instructions once opened.
Base Tans Are a Bad Idea
- If you’re using base tans’, you’re probably feeling confident by now that you’re protected by the sun. This is one common misconception when it comes to sun protection. Basically, base tans’ gives you a false sense of protection when you’re under the sun. So don’t waste your money on getting yourself a base tan as a mean of sun protection.
Apply Sun Protection Even When You’re Packing Light
- Packing light isn’t an excuse that you don’t have to pack your set of SPF products. Make use of space wisely. Only pack small bottles of toiletries so that you’ll have more room for your SPF products. Cramming a load of things on your pack will just add unnecessary weight that will make your travel experience less of a breeze.
Who doesn’t love Paris? Stunning architecture, myriads of art galleries all filled with exquisite artwork, and of course, it’s the home of the famous Mona Lisa painting. But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why Paris should be included in your travel bucket list.
If you’re planning on going to Paris to your next holiday venture, then this article is for you. Below is a week-long guide to make your Paris vacation worthwhile. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?
Monday: Architecture Galore
- In Paris, most major museums are closed on Monday. This is your chance to visit the lesser explored areas in the city and witness the beauty of their building and landmark’s architecture. The Eiffel Tower is the perfect starting point since it’s not crowded in the morning. Next, head up into the Notre Dame and feast your eyes on its gothic and cryptic architecture. Once there, head into the archeological crypt that’s tucked beneath the forecourt of Notre-Dame. Inside the crypt is a guided tour of the architectural development of the Île de la Cité.
- If you’re done admiring the remarkable history of these sacred places, get your much-needed solitude at Paris’s popular bookstore “Shakespeare and Company” where you can rent or buy a wide range of books for the bookworm inside you.
Tuesday: Take Your Time on the Dreamy Streets of Montmartre
- Want a peaceful and calm place to stroll around? Head into Montmartre and witness its picturesque neighborhood and take pictures that are upload-worthy. Take a visit to “Place du Tertre” if you want to buy artsy souvenirs for your loved ones. Don’t forget to visit the famous Sacré-Cœur that’s located at the top of the hill. Climbing onto its 222 steps, you will then see a remarkable scenic panoramic view of Paris.
- Remember the movie Amélie? A French romantic-comedy film back in 2001? This is where they filmed the movie. Fancy visiting art galleries? Then head into the Musée de la Vie Romantique and Espace Dalí and witness Dali’s surrealistic artworks that can blow your mind away.
Wednesday: The Day of Art
- Your Paris vacation will never be complete if you don’t visit its myriads of art galleries. Paris is known as the city of art, and Wednesday is the perfect day to spend time exploring its art establishments.
- Morning is the perfect time to visit the Louvre where the place isn’t crowded just yet. Inside, you will see Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. Next stop, head into the Musée d’Orsay and take a look at its stunning collection of art and striking Beaux-Arts architecture.
- Don’t end the day without visiting the Centre Pompidou. Inside, you will see hundreds and thousands of pop-up artworks that are very eye-candy. Don’t forget to take pictures so you can share it with your friends.
Thursday: Indulge in the Beauty of the Sun King’s Palace
- Take the train and visit the Château de Versailles that is located southwest of the French capital. Spend your entire day strolling and exploring this vast location where you can admire the palace’s exquisite architecture and its immaculately sculpted gardens that span up to 800 hectares of land. Now that’s a huge place to explore on.
Friday: Dive into History through the Latin Quarter of Paris
- Feeling nostalgic? Head into the oldest neighborhood in Paris that’s located at the side of the River Seine. Once there, you will experience its historic charm that takes you back in time in the good old days of Paris.
- The Les Arènes de Lutèce is the ancient Roman area in the neighborhood which is built in the 1st century where you can see its vast amphitheater that was used for gladiatorial combats back in the day.
- Finish the day by visiting the Jardin des Plantes and find solitude in its botanical wonders after a long day of traveling back in time in Paris’ historic neighborhood.
Saturday: Scavenge for Vintage Treasures at the Parisian Flea Market
- Be one of the locals by bringing yourself home some collected vintage treasures that you can buy in the Parisian flea market.
- One of the most famous flea markets in Paris is located at the Porte de Clignancourt, which is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. Too expensive for your taste? There are other lesser known ones such as the Marché aux Puces de Vanves as well. It’s best that you arrive early into these areas as people will be racing their way to shop for such items.
Sunday: End the Week by Visiting the Champs-Élysées
- The last day of your Paris vacation is probably the day where you have to spend the most out of it. And there’s nothing better than visiting the Champs-Élysées where you can shop, explore, and have a final look around before you go.
- For the fashionista’s, in here you will find boutique shops such as Gucci, Chanel, Dior, and a whole lot more. For the artists, be amazed by the stunning architecture of one of the most famous monuments of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, which is the second biggest arch of the entire world.
- At the end of the Champs-Élysées, visit the Place de la Concorde and unleash your inner archeologist by exploring the Luxor Obelisk, a 3000-year old Egyptian monument that is preserved up to this day.
- Finish the day by visiting the LIDO’s Paris Merveilles. Myriads of performances are performed here such as sword-swallowing, dancing queens with sparkling outfits, and more. It’s the perfect final destination before ending your vacation.
Picture yourself in a situation where you traveled in a place such as Beijing. No food on hand, only money, and clothes. Looking at the bright side, Beijing has myriads of 7/11 stores lying around. Off course, there are also groceries that also provides ready-to-eat foods, but if you’re on a budget, then you’re left with 7/11 as your only choice.
Beijing has over 200 7/11 stores (based on a study conducted in 2017). Making it the most go-to convenience store in the country, overtaking its rivals Family Mart and Lawson which also provides similar goods as 7/11. So what does 7/11 has to offer that can guide your tummy for a week? Let’s take a look at them down below.
- The start product of 7/11 is probably Oden, a one-pot dish where you can choose your own ingredients at your own disposal. The dish originated from Japan with plenty of choices to choose from such as eggs, meat, radishes, tofu, and more. It’s a delicious meal that can keep your tummy warm, perfect for a cold night.
- These cute Japanese rice balls is another tasty treat that has several flavors to choose from, such as grilled eel, beef, tuna, and more. The nori used for such dish is a high-quality one, hence the price. Although the flavors are labeled on Chinese, you can approach the staff to let them translate it for you. Useful for those people that are allergic to some specific kind of ingredients.
- 7/11 has a variety of pastry selections for you to choose. What’s best is that they are way cheaper than what you can find at some pastry shops around the city. Purchase them along with certain drinks or selected items on 7/11 for an additional discount.
- For the health-conscious, cast your worries away as there are healthy food options in 7/11 such as salad. What’s even better is that all of them are priced wisely that won’t hurt your wallet. From mashed potatoes down to vegetable tuna salad, they all come at a price that’s 20 yuan or less.
- Want the usual lunch or dinner meals that you used to prepare at home? 7/11 got you covered with that. They have a special section that has cooked Chinese dishes from the traditional scrambled eggs down to mapo tofu. There are plenty of dishes to choose from depending if they are available. Best eaten with rice, but there are also other staple choices to pair it with such as baozi or steamed buns.
- Fancy drinking coffee? Or just chill with alcohol? 7/11 has them all from tea, coffee, soft drinks, and of course, alcohol. They have the usual selection, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the like. There are also Japan exclusives such as oolong tea, jasmine tea, Japanese beers and ciders, imported wines, and more. Why spend bucks on expensive bars when you can just shop at 7/11?
- Want to eat something while watching Netflix? Or munch on crisps while enjoying the afternoon stroll? 7/11 has plenty of snacks ranging from sweets to sour selections, or a little mix in between. There are also, again, Japan exclusive snacks as well but are a little bit pricey so better stick to the usual.
There’s nothing better than traveling to a faraway place away from stress and problems you had at home or work. And if you haven’t been to Italy yet (and is planning to go to), then this article is for you. Want to have a safe and smooth trip to Italy? Then here are seventeen things that you should keep in mind before you pack your bags. Continue reading down below to find out.
Learn Basic Italian Phrases
- This tip is a must, especially if you’re visiting foreign countries where English is not their primary language. That’s why it is crucial to learn basic Italian phrases starting from learning how to greet people down to asking for directions. You can learn on your own online as there are free sites in the web that offers basic language learning courses. Or just head up to YouTube and search away.
Keep Your Belongings Secure
- Pickpockets are everywhere, let alone Italy. That’s why it is essential to secure your belongings away from the eyes of prey. Stop showing off your expensive Jewelry. Pickpockets know how to grab them quickly out of your hand or neck in a blink of an eye. It’s best to keep them inside your bag and only wear them in places where pickpockets are at bay.
Don’t Trust Too Easily
- Being a traveler, it’s easy for people to trick you by helping your way around, or do good things in exchange for something. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being polite and interacting with people, but you should know how to limit your trust to someone, especially when you’re not in your country. Gypsies are real, and most of them are actually thieves in disguise. They beg on the streets, walk with you, and then suddenly the next thing you’ll find is a bag with nothing inside them. So keep your distance, walk with someone you can trust, and always say “no” when a suspicious stranger offers you something.
Italians and Espresso = Love
- In Italy, no matter where you go, their coffee is always espresso-based. This is because Italians like to drink espresso so much. Most of us will just order a coffee over the counter and just grab-and-go for you to drink outside while walking. In Italy, that’s a rare sight to see. Italians love to take a single shot of espresso at the counter before they get on their way. There was also a rule that cappuccinos should only be taken before 11:30 am. So don’t be surprised if you can’t buy one past that time of the day.
Buy and Validate Your Train and Bus Tickets
- It’s easy to trick tourists in Italy, especially when it comes to transportation. So whenever you buy a ticket for a bus or train, always take time to validate them as soon as you enter the authorities. This is to ensure you are not taking multiple rides by using one ticket.
It’s Illegal to Buy Fake Designer Brands
- Italy is known for its love for fashion. Wherever you go, you will find myriads of boutiques and fashion stores such as Prada, Gucci, Dolce &v Gabbana, and more. In your home country, it is probably okay to purchase fake designer brands, whereas, in Italy, it was considered illegal. To stay away from trouble, only buy original designer brands in Italy despite its hefty price tag.
Always Check Both Ways Before Crossing the Street
- Italian drivers like to drive feeling like their inside a fast & furious movie. So do yourself a favor and keep an eye on the road and always look both ways before crossing the street. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want your final destination to be in Italy, right?
Wear Sturdy Shoes
- It’s always a relief to wear shoes that we are comfortable with. Not in Italy though, where the need to wear sturdy shoes is a must-have. This is because most of the streets in Italy have uneven pavement, narrow sidewalks, potholes galore, and cobblestone walks. Making it a recipe for disaster for those wearing shoes that are not sturdy enough.
Currency Exchange Desk Who?
- In Italy, it’s not necessary to exchange your money in a nearby currency exchange center. What you will do is head straight to the ATM where you can grab local currency in minutes without all the extra fees. Tip: Keep your money out of sight, especially if you’re withdrawing large amounts.
Northern and Southern Italy: Know the Difference
- Just like some countries across the globe, Italy is composed of two parts where cultures are different from each other. In Northern Italy, people are more stylish, refined, modern, and just living the dream. On the other hand, people in Southern Italy are traditional, hospitable, and are one of the blue collar types. This is more noticeable by the food that is offered from both regions.
Substitutions is a Big NO at Restaurants
- When you ask for one, it is considered an insult to the chef. Food in Italy is taken seriously and should never be altered. If you’re allergic to something, then ask the server immediately if they have other healthy options. Don’t be an entitled tourist that demands a specialized dish. Keep that mentality at bay.
Drinking in the Streets is Legal
- In Italy, it is okay to drink in the streets. Fancy having a stroll under the midnight sky? Then grab your bottle of wine and drink it to your heart’s content. You can also share your beverage to people too if making friends is your thing.
Don’t Expect for Amazing Service
- Tipping is nowhere to be found in Italy, unlike in any other countries. So if you stumble upon a restaurant, expect that the servers will do their jobs the way they want it.
Smoking is Perfectly Fine
- Whatever nook and corner you turn your head into, in Italy, you will find people that smoke everywhere. So if you’re a smoker, then feel free to light your stick to almost anywhere, except indoors, of course.
You’ll be Charged Double if They Sense You’re a Tourist
- Yes, it happens all the time, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Most establishments in Italy are relatively small, that’s why they rely on tourists for a quick cash grab. So don’t be surprised if you’re charged double for that piece of pizza you ordered.
Keep a Mosquito Spray On Hand
- Mosquitoes are everywhere in some parts of Italy. Protect yourself by having a mosquito spray with you, or use a mosquito-repelling lotion to keep them at bay. Be smart and don’t let your body be a fiesta rack for mosquitoes.
Forming Lines Isn’t a Thing in Italy
- Yes, you heard that right. In Italy, people like to race their way who will get their first. Unlike Asian countries, where discipline is the priority even in establishments. The best thing you could do is to be patient and learn how to stand your ground. Why not fight your way as well?
Ice cream (or gelato as they call it) is one of Italy’s icon. In case you didn’t know just yet, every single town or city in Italy are all filled with ice cream parlors in every corner. It’s like Italy is the world’s ice cream capital of some sorts. And I’m not joking! Head into Instagram, and you will find myriads of travelers that are posting different ice creams they have tasted in the country.
Italians are considered as the world’s best ice cream makers these days. What’s impressive is that these homemade ice creams are produced in small batches. This is because almost anyone in Italy knows how to make ice cream that mass producing is not an option anymore.
However, all good things also have their bad sides, of course. There are ice cream parlors in the country that will make you come back for more, and there are others that make you wish you shouldn’t have visited that one in the first place. So for the sweet tooth out there, this article is for you. Listed below are some tips to find the best ice cream shop/parlor in Italy to satisfy your cravings. Let’s dive in!
Check the Ingredients
- When it comes to checking ingredients, the first thing you should do is to check its color. Take pistachios as an example. If pistachio on ice cream is more green in color, then there’s a high chance that it is a low-quality ingredient where they just added coloring into it to make it look promising. Real pistachios are more light brown in color instead of green.
- In most cases, some cheap ice cream parlors use alternative ingredients and add artificial flavoring into it to make it taste natural or real since customers won’t notice it anyway. The point is, high-quality ice cream shops use real ingredients. With that said, check the ingredients!
Consistency is Key
- A good ice cream/gelato can’t be piled high. The reason behind this is that high-quality ice cream/gelato doesn’t have much air in it (unlike ice creams that are sold on the streets). And in cases where it’s piled high, it deforms its shape and falls back flat, unlike lower-quality ones where their shape is maintained.
Tubs = No
- Ice cream inside tubs is a sign that it’s made commercially and in huge batches. No offense to commercial ice creams but the reason you visit Italy is that you want to taste their homemade ones which are perfectly made and with care.
- Instead of tubs, look out for ice creams that are contained inside small cylinder containers. They are the ones that are made directly from the hands of the maker instead of the machine-made ones that are inside tubs.
Keep an Eye on Seasonal Fruits
- If you want to get the best tasting ice cream in Italy, then choose ones that are made from seasonal fruits. Of course, you can buy ones that are out of season, but they’ll end up tasting sour instead of sweet.
- So avoid buying one if the fruit ingredients are made from out-of-season fruits. They taste bad, and you’re just wasting money in the first place if you do. Unless if it’s okay with you, especially if you like to explore where your taste buds can take you anyway.
Do Some Taste Test
- Don’t hesitate to ask for some taste test before buying one. Your taste bud is your best weapon when it comes to this. If you’re satisfied with such, then go for it. If not, know that Italy is filled with ice cream parlors for you to choose from.
- After all, do what makes you happy. If you’re okay on buying one that’s made from artificial ingredients, then go on! This is great for the budget-conscious that doesn’t mind what ingredients are used. However, if you have the cash and energy to explore Italy to find the best ice cream they have, then be ready for it.
Tokyo is one of the most visited destinations by travelers for years. It’s pretty self-explanatory why Tokyo thrives to the top of the most traveled places in the earth. You got delicious and exotic Japanese cuisine, fashion-filled streets, and a late night fun you don’t want to miss, what’s not to love?
Most of the time, Tokyo has been the pit stop for people who are on their way to Japan. However, the city deserves a lot of attention because of the beauty it has to offer. It’s a mixed bag between positive and negative. On the positive side, Tokyo is safe, clean, and very convenient. Taking a look at its cons, you will experience that Tokyo is crowded, congested, and most of all, expensive.
However, don’t let this stop you from visiting such. In this article, we are going to list the top eleven reason why Tokyo deserves your love and attention. So for the travelers out there, let’s begin!
You’ll Be Amazed by its Best yet Strangest Museums
- In Tokyo, you will be greeted by its plethora of fun-filled museums (which are often weird) than any museums around the world. Here’s a list of some of them!
- Tiny Kite Museum – A museum filled with kites from floor to ceiling, with some of them dating back from the Edo period.
- Parasitological Museum – A museum where various parasites are showcased for the sake of fun. You can also bring one home as well, but be sure to keep an eye of it.
- Ghibli Museum – A special museum from the creator of Ghibli films Miyazaki Hayao. It’s a museum with a tiny cinema where you can watch some of its short films. There’s also interesting exhibits as well such as ink bottles, kaleidoscopes, sketches of strange creatures, and more.
Witness the World’s Most Unforgettable Public Transport System
- Japan’s public transport system in Tokyo will bring mixed feelings of joy and confusion. You will think, “why are the crew dressed up as a flight attendant?” or “why do cats have hats?”. This is the fun part of Japan, where they can be quirky at some times, with public transports, not an exception. You will probably enjoy riding this as the transport zigzags across the labyrinthine Tokyo station. However, avoid going to the Shinjuku Station, especially at rush hour where over 3.5 million people are passing through it day by day.
Sumo Wrestling at Its Finest
- Most sumo tournaments are held in Tokyo compared to other countries that are spread across Japan. Head down to the sumo hall in Ryogoku as early as you can where there are still plenty of seats for you to sit on, or stand around the ring as close as you can. As the day progresses, the hall starts to fill up, and the fights get harder and enjoyable, whereas the wrestlers get bigger and bigger.
Tokyo is the Most Diverse Place in Japan
- If you stumble upon cosmopolitan Tokyo, you will experience diversity at its finest thanks to different cultures surrounding the area with a mix of Japanese people. Want to grab some grub? Check out the Shin-Okubo and get a taste of their warm hottoku pancakes filled with cinnamon and melting brown sugar. Want to experience curry the Indian way? Head to Nishi Kaisai to get one. Don’t forget to get yourself some steamed buns at Yokohama, Japan’s biggest Chinatown.
Trendy Styles for Everyone
- If you’re more into fashion and design, then you will definitely love Tokyo. You will be greeted with myriads of boutique stores, fashion centers, all featuring the best fashion trends around paired with an interior design of the stores that match everyone’s taste.
Dine Like the Kings
- Who said you could only dine like a royalty in England? Well, you can do that one on Tokyo as well. The best part? All of these royalty-like food choices come at a price that won’t break your wallet. They are extremely affordable that you can’t believe your eyes if you check out their prices.
- Fancy munching on street food? Tokyo got you covered! There are several streets around the city where you can find plenty of street food stalls and eateries where you can eat to your heart’s content. Here are some of them:
- Omoide Yokocho – if you want some bustling street-food utopia
- Togoshi Ginza Shotengai – don’t miss their crispy croquettes
- Nakamise Dori – mocha and dango are the best tasting in this place
- Takeshita Dori – for the sweet tooth who loves to munch on crêpes and ice creams
Drink All You Can
- Are you a fan of alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskey, wine, sake, or vodka? Then you should know that Tokyo has got it all for you. There are plenty of bars in Japan that serves deliciously-prepared hard drinks while listening to live music at the same time. For drinks on-the-go, you can grab a quick one at their vending machines, which also had alcoholic beverages in-a-can.
Modern and Ancient Combined
- Tokyo is like a mixed bag of the past and the future. To start, Tokyo has towering skyscrapers, bullet trains, and hell even a robot restaurant that looks straight from your dreams. However, despite of its modern nature, the ancient culture of Japan can still be seen in Tokyo. What’s even surprising is that the best of both worlds are just next to each other. For example, the pastel colors and Lolita fashions of Harajuku are squeezed up against the expansive grounds of Meiji Jingu. Meanwhile, in Bunkyo, the metal-and-concrete edifice of St Mary’s Cathedral is just across the road from the oasis of Chinzanso garden, where you can see the thousand-year-old pagoda that was preserved for ages.
- Because of its diversity, there’s no doubt you’ll see lots of people from the LGBTQ in Tokyo. And what’s best is that they are treated equally with respect, which is a big plus for those LGBTQ couples or solo travelers who want to experience a taste of Tokyo. You’ll find plenty of gay bars in the city and some LGBTQ-friendly places where you can hang out with your fellow LGBTQ family.
Finding Treasure at Unexpected Places
- The best part about Tokyo is that fun is everywhere. Not only on the streets but literally everywhere. If you get lost in Tokyo, instead of worrying, you will be amazed because you’ll discover something new. Making you appreciate the place even more. All the coolest bars, boutiques, venues, and more in Tokyo are found in unique unexpected places.
Experience the World’s Biggest City
- And there’s no other place than that to be Tokyo. At first, it can be a bit overwhelming because of the number of people. Congested, crowded, noisy, makes you feel like you’re inside a jungle. The best place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city is by heading over to the iconic Tokyo Tower. Want to go further? Then there’s the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck for you. If you have the cash, then don’t miss Park Hyatt’s 52nd floor where they have a New York Bar for you to chill and pass the time. There’s nothing better than having a glass of wine while looking over at the horizon as the city lights are dancing around down below.