I’ve said that there’s a time and a place for different kinds of trips before. While others may fill theirs with shopping and sun-tanning, I prefer to fill mine with enriching and exciting things (like driving Mario karts on public roads). Sometimes it involves getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, so here are five ideas for activities to consider trying when you travel.
Is it better to be a traveller than to be a tourist? I don’t buy that nonsense. There’s a place and there’s a personality for every kind of travel, whether it’s going solo, a trip with friends or a package tour. How do you figure out the right style of travel for your trip? I have a few pointers:
‘Tuk-tuk, sir? Tomorrow you go see Angkor Wat sunrise?‘
That’s the call of tuk-tuk drivers waiting for business in the temple town of Siem Reap. It’s also one of the most popular and spectacular things to do. Getting the most out of the DIY experience requires planning, however. Forgoing it will only result in stumbling, scuffles with rude tourists, photos of their selfie-sticks and plenty of frustration.
In this post, I’ve put together five tips that will ensure you get the best out of this magical phenomenon and lose the least sleep – all for just $7 more.
What’s a restless tourist to do in Shiraz on a Friday night? The quiet in the old part of the city was a bit unsettling; everything east of the Vakil Bazaar on Lotfali Khan e-Zand Street seemed to be closed. Armed with my compact camera, I headed out of the hotel and into the chilly street, towards the only place that I knew to be open: the Shah Cheragh mosque.
The dome of the mosque and its minarets was unmissable above the apartment blocks. I thus followed it down the side lane, where a signpost in English confirmed that I was heading in the right direction. It opened into a parking lot; a discreet gate beckoned from the opposite end. Equally discreet was the guardhouse next to it.
There was a time when I did not travel the world the way I do now – on a solo trip, planned independently and on a lean budget.
My adolescence did not involve hopping from one country to another, long stints as an exchange student or anything that set me apart from other kids in Singapore. Travel meant occasional family trips to Australia and one-off school visits to China and Thailand.
All of them were organised by the adults or guides who were paid to make the arrangements, and the people at our destinations spoke or wanted to practise languages that I understood. I never read up on the places beforehand or felt the need to do so.
That changed in 2006, and this is how the travel bug bit me. [Read on]
Sat in a minivan in Guanajuato with two Mexican families, I waited for the driver to finish his introduction in Spanish. Surely, an English version would follow.
A minute passed. There wasn’t one.
I then turned to passengers for a translation; I just about made out ‘no’ and ‘ingles’ in the replies.
What did I get myself into? [Read on]