Looking for the best hotels in Bagan? We asked top travel writers for their recommendations for the best hotels, guesthouses, inns, and hostels that Bagan has to offer.
Bagan is synonymous with magic. This small community in Myanmar was once the capital of a mighty kingdom. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries were built. Today, some 2,200 structures remain, the greatest concentration of religious sites in the world. It is an absolutely essential stop for all travelers in Myanmar and you'll never regret adding an extra day or two onto your Bagan itinerary.
Since our visit in 2013, the travel industry has grown exponentially in Bagan, with hostels, hotels, and guesthouses springing up seemingly overnight. Eager for my readers to have the best possible experience in Bagan, I asked my fellow travel writers to weigh in. Here you'll find their reviews of different properties - from $20 to $200 + a night - to help you make the best possible decision based on your travel style. It's time to pack your bags!
Guest blogger Nicole shares her secrets for where to find the best meals in Bagan.
You’ll find everything you need for a fantastic meal in Bagan from French, English, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and - of course! - Burmese cuisine (you have to try the tea leaf salad)! You will find most of the restaurants in Nyaung U, a few in New Bagan and just couple in Old Bagan. Here are my picks for the top restaurants for each region of Bagan. So hop on your e-bike and get ready to explore Bagan and the cuisine.
Guest blogger Cris from LookNWalk takes us on the perfect Budapest self guided walking tour for beginners.
The amazing capital of Hungary, Budapest is an enchanting city and a great hub for your Central-Eastern European explorations. Whether you have a couple of days or couple of hours on your hands to explore, setting out on a do-it-yourself Budapest self guided walking tour is a rewarding experience and the perfect way to get your bearings. (By the way, in case you made your way here looking for info on a free walking tour, Budapest has a lot of them. You can see some valuable reviews here
Budapest literally speaks the tale of two cities: Buda and Pest. The city-center is rather compact, making it ideal for walking, and great public transportation makes it easy to get to places further away. This self-guided tour focuses mostly on Pest and starts in Elizabeth Square (which is easily reachable via Deak F. Ter metro stop). (It's also just a short walk from Ryan and Vanessa's beloved hotel, Hotel Moments Budapest. If you want to know where to stay in Budapest, you'll want to read their review here!)
Travel writer Emma Higgins spent a year traveling solo around Ireland and the UK... and didn't shy away from taking some walks on the wild side.
Travel writer Emma Higgins went on a journey through the UK and Ireland for the whole of 2015. Emma travelled around her native land from the Hebrides in Scotland to the far corners of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and eastern England. Her book, A Year in the UK & Ireland, which is out now, is a collection of twenty long-form stories about her voyage, with beautiful accompanying photography aimed to inspire you to see the British Isles from a new perspective.
We sat down with Emma to talk about her incredible adventure!
"Just how much is a Gondola ride in Venice?"
Have you ever seen a news report about a ferry that tragically capsizes, unable to bear the burden of its oversized load of passengers and parcels? Thankfully, I've never faced a travel crisis that dangerous but I did have a moment of genuine fear and intense claustrophobia in the most unlikely of boating destinations: Venice!
We emerged from the train station and approached the water bus 'stations' - aka the vaporetto terminals - with enthusiasm and confidence. Not only would we ride to our hotel in comfort using water borne public transportation, we'd also have a classic Venetian sightseeing experience for a fraction of the price of a gondola! After all, I had looked into how much a gondola ride is in Venice and I was shocked. More on that in a minute.... I thought I was a genius for picking an alternative plan. A vaporetto ride costs just a few Euros. Brilliant plan, right?
Alas, our brilliant plan wasn't as unique as we imagined - everyone else had the exact same idea! It was peak time (early afternoon) in peak season (a weekend in August) - and those boats were PACKED. We let the first water bus (aka the vaporetto) pass, alarmed by the amount of passengers bursting its seams, certain the next boat would be better. Ha!
Chef Mehra took us behind the scenes and into the tandoori room at his prized restaurant.
Most chefs are notoriously tight lipped when it comes to sharing their culinary secrets but Chef Nitin Mehra of Ottawa's East India Company couldn't spill the beans even if he wanted to. The exact recipe for his restaurant's famous garam masala is a secret guarded so tightly that there's only one person on earth who knows the exact formula - his mother. Technically, it's not even her recipe. She inherited it from Chef Mehra's great grandmother on the day she passed away.
If you get goosebumps just thinking of how close that recipe came to being forever lost, you're not alone. Talking with Chef Mehra gave me amazing insight into the careful crafts of the culinary world, the passion and discipline that are poured into every sauce, and the role that family, tradition, community, and care play into making good food taste great.
Nicole has transformed her life and business to live the ultimate travel fantasy - and she knows you can do the same!
I spent too many years of my life working 60-80 hour weeks doing a job that brought me zero fulfillment or happiness. I hated being stuck in the same old routine day after day. I hated working within the same four walls and not having any freedom at all to do anything I wanted. Hell, I had no free time at all to do anything fun – minus the few vacations weeks each year.
I lived for those weeks away that felt more like moments. It was the only time I ever really felt happy or even alive. The day I made the decision to leave it all behind and travel full time was truly a life-changing event. I’ve now been traveling the world for four years and I’ve set up “office” in 45 countries…and I couldn’t be happier! I’m finally living my life for me and I report to no one!
Guest bloggers Illia and Nastia from Crazzzy Travel share their best Galapagos travel tips for saving money on food, accommodations, and tours on the beautiful islands.
Note from Vanessa: Hi everyone! We're so proud to feature this guest blog post from our friends Illia and Nastia. We haven't been to this part of the world but we know that many of you are dreaming about it (as are we!) We're so happy we can share these Galapagos travel tips from some real travel pros so we can all get a grasp on what to expect in terms of Galapagos travel cost predictions. Happy planning and dreaming!
There is a common misconception that Galapagos Islands are an extremely expensive place to go. To a certain degree it is true. However, you can considerably cut your costs on accommodation, food, and tours. Galapagos budget travel IS possible! Here are some tips which will help you to save big and go to Galapagos Islands on your next vacation.
In honor of Pancake Tuesday, we asked our travel blogging friends to tell us: where are the best pancakes around the world? Don't read on an empty stomach!
In the summer of 2010, we embarked on a 2 week road trip to Eastern Canada. I was determined spend less than $1,000, which meant a lot of camping. I came up with a plan to prep the majority of our food in advance, freezing it Ziploc bags and finalizing the cooking at the campground. Sounds like a great plan, right?
Everyday we had whole wheat caramelized banana pancakes for breakfast. I would take the frozen batter out of the cooler to thaw at night and, in the morning, I simply had to snip the edge of the bag and squeeze the pancake batter into the waiting hot pan. I thought (and still think!) they were delicious but the novelty soon wore off for Ryan who even today will shudder if they're on the menu more than once in a trip. Happily, his hesitation doesn't apply to other pancakes and their culinary brethren around the world!
Pancakes are a hot, hearty meal that's both comforting and familiar and yet curiously exotic no matter where you go. And they're always affordable! I asked my travelling friends to share their favourite pancake spots around the world and they didn't disappoint. Stay tuned for an amazing recipe at the end - and Happy Pancake Day!
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