Sleeping bags were once a travel staple - but can you still use sleeping bags in hostels? What about taking a sleeping bag on an airplane? Do backpackers even need sleeping bags now?
It wasn't that long ago that backpacking and hosteling were synonymous with wholesome youths trekking between Alpine villages, porting external frame packs with large rolled sleeping bags strapped on top, using sleeping bags in hostels. Looking at old travel guides makes me think that every traveler was an aspiring mountain climber!
Times have certainly changed, both for budget travelers and for the sleeping bag, once a ubiquitous travel staple! The sleeping bag's role in travel isn't quite as clear cut anymore. Readers have been asking sleeping bag related questions - like if sleeping bags count as carry-on - and I'm happy to help.
Yangon is a city of gold and an amazing travel destination.
Most travelers to Myanmar make Yangon their first stop, not their last, but we've been bucking the norm for a lot of our trip. With more and moretransportation options opening up in other cities, we were able to make the most of our limited time and not double back on our tracks. Yangon has plenty to offer visitors and, while you could easily spend a week or more exploring the city at a leisurely pace, it is compact enough to see a lot of the major sites in two days, which is exactly what we plan to do!
Snorkeling and Exploring Sydney with EcoTreasures
If you're looking for an amazing day trip from Sydney, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful destination than Manly Beach. We're talking gorgeous blue waters, endless white beaches, and amazing views - plus a great food scene! But I must confess, my first glimpse of Manly Beach was not an encouraging sight.
On the day of my visit, the high winds and rough waters were pretty intimidating. I bet they were heaven for the crowd of seasoned surfers but as someone who was there for a snorkeling experience, I have to say I was feeling pretty nervous. I was concerned about getting in over my head (literally and otherwise) but I put on a brave face and continued on down the path. For I wasn't in the Manly area for an ordinary visit. I was scheduled to meet up with Damien from EcoTreasures for a guided nature walk and snorkel session at nearby Shelly Beach.
"Warmly welcome and take care of tourist" - this is the train ride of a lifetime! Read all about our experience on the overnight train from Bagan to Yangon in Myanmar.
Less than 12 hours after enjoying the BEST travel experience of our lives, we were off to catch the overnight train from Bagan to Yangon. An overnight train seemed to an efficient and economical way to get across the country without losing a precious day of sightseeing to transit and we were excited to try something new.
Our expectations for the train were very modest. We had done considerable research, learning a lot from The Man in Seat 61 and Lesley Leep Phoography We had watched Anthony Bourdain’s Burmese train trip on the Parts Unknown series and had taken to heart a passage from Lonely Planet, in which a local resident advises that the train is “not as bad as you think, not as good as you hope”.
Travelling to Bagan: Expect Temples, festivals, massages, golf & more!
A trip to Bagan has been on our list of "must dos" ever since we first heard about Myanmar. The incredible archaeological and spiritual sites are unparalleled and the plains of Bagan are home to the largest concentration of religious buildings in the world. Over 2200 temples and pagodas remain from over 10,000 that were built starting in the 11th century, when Bagan was a thriving kingdom. Built on fault lines, the surviving structures - some up to 1,000 years old - remain as an impressive testament to faith and community.
Traveling by boat from Mandalay to Bagan is one of the nicest ways to get around Myanmar. Join us as we talk about our journey sailing down the Irrawaddy.
Thousands of travelers stream into Myanmar every year, anxious to catch of glimpse of the ancient temples and famous hospitality that for so long have been kept in isolation. Unfortunately, transportation routes have not kept pace with the flow of visitors and it still takes considerable time to travel between cities that are quite close to one another.
This was the transportation dilemma we faced before deciding to include boat travel in our plans. We needed to go from Mandalay to Bagan, but the expense of flying was out of the question and neither the lengthy bus nor ancient train offered a comfortable or efficient option (as we would find out later in the trip!) That left the Irrawaddy River. As such we decided to travel from Mandalay to Bagan by boat and it made for a decidedly slow but relatively pleasant commute.
Mandalay has an impressive history. We went in search of the top Mandalay attractions. See how our Mandalay sightseeing adventures actually turned out in the end!
Mandalay – the city of Kipling and Orwell, an ancient royal capital, a place of incredible beauty and history - no wonder it's no longer a secret! Over a year ago, when we started to draft an itinerary for this trip, the country known as both Myanmar and Burma was untouched, almost unheard of, to the average traveler. How much can change in a year! After topping everyone’s list of where to travel in 2013, tourism has exploded here, with the guidebooks barely able to keep up. Myanmar has hosted its first international literature festival and marathon in decades, hotels and guesthouses are cropping up on every corner – this is the place to be! Here are the Mandalay attractions we wanted to see and - because it's us - a realistic look at how our Mandalay sightseeing actually turned out.
There's nothing like seeing the sunrise over the ancient temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon.
I try to never lose track of how fortunate I am to travel and I always remind myself how lucky I am that my work as a travel writer introduces me to extraordinary locations, experiences, and people. Never has this been more in focus than during my hot air balloon ride over the spectacular ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar. Without a doubt it stands alone as the most incredible, breathtaking travel experience of my life and I'm so happy to share my memories with you here.
Our Viator excursion was anything but what we expected.
In a recent post, Istanbul in an Instant, we spoke of our excitement to be in Istanbul for the day and our desire to experience a little bit of everything. We were very much looking forward to taking part in Viator's Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise, which promised a city tour, a boat tour, and a tour of the spice market. Unfortunately, nothing went as planned or expected.
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