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6 Lessons Learned from 3 Months in China

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China is a fascinating and rapidly changing country. Old customs and habits hang on as modern skyscrapers go up every second, the country becomes more of a global powerhouse, and people from around the world move there. Last year, my friend, Scott Young, best known as a learning hacker who learned MIT’s entire computer science program in one year, said to me “I’m going to travel the world for a year and learn languages.” I was thrilled with the idea! Today, he shares what he learned while living in China for three months and how the media portrays countries is often very wrong.

Recently my friend, Vat, and I finished a three-month stay in China. The plan was, with minimal preparation, to arrive in China and speak as little English as possible, in order to learn Mandarin Chinese.

We shot a mini documentary about the experience here:

The trip transformed my perception of China, and the unfair image it sometimes has in the West. In this article, I want to share the biggest lessons I learned about China, life and travel from that experience.

Once you’re interested in the local culture, people open up more

Originally Vat and I hadn’t planned on going to China at all. We were warned that China might not be the best place to go to meet friends because people were unfriendly to Westerners. Instead, we were told to go to Taiwan.

Some visa complications made it impossible to stay the full three months in Taiwan, so we switched to a three-month stay in China last minute.

However, from the first day I arrived in Kunming, I had my perceptions flipped. Far from being insular and hostile to foreigners, people came up to talk to me the first time I went out on the street. It happened to be all in Chinese, so I didn’t understand much, but it did cause me to rethink my assumptions.

As my Chinese improved, this continued throughout my stay. From my landlord introducing me to people who could help us learn Chinese, to getting to know the couple who ran a noodle restaurant nearby.

If you’re interested in other people, their culture and their language, they’ll be friendly to you. China isn’t an exception.

Don’t judge a country by its media coverage

Hating China is a popular pastime of Western media. Some of the accusations are at least partially true: parts of China are quite polluted, political freedom isn’t the same as in the West, the Internet is firewalled and some parts of China are quite poor.

I saw a very different kind of China. Kunming, where I lived for most of my stay, wasn’t polluted. I’ve had frank conversations with Chinese people about communism, Tibet and democracy. Some sites are blocked, but China has its own versions of YouTube, Netflix, eBay and Google.

China is still developing, but the economic growth means most people have seen their living standards improve rapidly in the last twenty years. People I spoke with were generally optimistic about the future.

Everything is food here

The relationship with food in China is fascinating, and I was amazed at the diversity of ingredients and flavors.

Western countries tend to simplify Chinese food down to chow mien, fried rice and General Tso’s chicken. That’s a bit like saying Western cuisine is just burgers and sandwiches.

Chinese food in China, on the other hand, is some of the most varied food on the planet. Not only does regional diversity mean food can change completely from province to province, but nearly every imaginable ingredient finds its way into some kind of Chinese dish. Chicken, pork, beef and vegetarian dishes are all options, of course, but where else can you eat fried insects, try stewed frog or shop at a Walmart selling live turtles?

Food is also an avenue for connection. In the West, each individual has his or her own plate, separate from others. In China, each person has a bowl of rice and eats directly from shared plates in the center. While this style of eating makes it hard to dine individually in some restaurants, it creates a communal feeling, making food more than just nutrition.

Chinese is both incredibly interesting and extremely difficult

I won’t lie to you, learning Mandarin Chinese was a struggle. Thousands of characters, with many almost exactly alike. For example, try and spot the difference between these two characters:

Chinese is a tonal language, which means that the intonation doesn’t just change emphasis but also what words mean. My friend went to a restaurant and attempted to order “shu? ji?o” (boiled dumplings) but instead ordered “shuì jiào” (go to sleep).

Finally, few English words borrowed into the language survive unscathed, often sounding completely different from their original. McDonald’s, which is available throughout China, adopts the Chinese name “Mài d?ng láo”.

While the Chinese language, like China itself, may seem daunting, it hides one of the most interesting linguistic systems on the planet. Chinese words have a tendency to be built up out of simpler pieces, like building a sentence out of Lego:

-panda = “bear cat” (xióngm?o)
-chameleon = “color change dragon” (biànsèlóng)
-pumpkin = “south melon” (nángu?)
-potato = “soil bean” (t?dòu)
-university = “big learn” (dàxué)
-movie = “electric shadow” (diàny?ng)

With great difficulties also come great rewards. Learning Chinese may have been mind-bending at times, but it also allowed Vat and me to interact with completely different people in China than an English-only perspective would allow.

Near the end of our stay, I conversed over tea with a tattooed Buddhist. Together we talked about Tibet, religion and cultural differences. That conversation would never have happened had I refused to learn any Chinese.

You can count to ten with one hand

The language differences extend even to simple gestures. The Chinese, for example, have a system of gestures for counting all the way up to ten with just one hand.

If you’ve only been counting to five with one hand, you’ve been missing out. The Chinese have a system for counting 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 all with just one hand. Months after leaving China, I caught myself using this method to count things while I held a book with the other hand.

One to five are what you’d expect, but see this video for six to ten:

The first time I saw this, I was in a store and the shopkeeper was telling me the price was 10 yuan, indicating it with forefinger and middle fingers crossed. I saw this several times before I realized they were telling me the price and not just holding out hopes that I’d come back to buy more.

China has the best places you’ve never heard of

Ask people which places they know of in China and most people will raise their hand for Shanghai and Beijing. The more geographically inclined might get Sichuan, Guangdong or Xi’an. But what about the tropical island of Hainan? The impressive winter festivities in Harbin? The bamboo forests in Chengdu?

It’s arguable that China has the same linguistic and cultural diversity as the entirety of Europe, except far fewer tourists. While, until the last few decades, China’s closed borders made travel in the country a daunting experience, China is full of great places you’ve probably never thought to explore.

I had never heard of Kunming, a “small” city of around seven million in the southwestern province of Yunnan, before researching places to live. It ended up being one of my favorite places I’ve ever lived in, with weather a perpetual spring, mountain temples, and lunch for under a dollar.

My advice: don’t settle just on Beijing or Shanghai as places to visit. Doing a little research online can turn up dozens of places that will offer the Chinese experience for less money and fewer tourists.

Everything you say is right and wrong all at once

I imagine that my American friends from Washington state would probably scoff at the generalization that they’re the same as everyone in Texas (and vice versa). Seattle isn’t the same as Houston. There are enormous variations in culture, food and even language across the United States.

Now imagine that instead of having a history of a few hundred years as a nation, you had a few thousand. Instead of one or two mutually unintelligible languages, you had dozens, possibly hundreds. Now quadruple the population and you have modern China.

The biggest lesson to learn about China is just how big it is. China is hard to describe because few generalizations are very accurate. Depending on where you go, China will be impoverished or opulent, polluted or pristine, densely packed or nearly isolated. As such, everything I experienced and have written about will be true of some people who go to visit China and false for others.

China began as the backup country when visa complications came up. It ended as a place I can’t wait to go back to.

I can’t sell China as being a perfect experience, free of worries. English is sparse. You need to watch out for pickpockets and scams in the bigger cities. Pollution can be bad. Internet can be frustrating. But, if you want an adventure and a chance to change your mind about the world’s biggest, oldest and possibly soon-to-be the most powerful nation on Earth, I highly recommend going yourself.

Scott Young writes about learning, travel and productivity at his blog, He tries to take complex things and make forming habits and learning easy and simple. You can click here to sign up to get a free copy of his ebook detailing strategies to learn anything faster.

The post 6 Lessons Learned from 3 Months in China appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

6 Lessons Learned from 3 Months in China

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Chiang Mai – Mae Hia – Bungalow in Ban Nai Fan for sale 6,500,000 THB

Chiang Mai - Mae Hia - Bungalow in Ban Nai Fan for sale 6,500,000 THBThis bungalow is located in Baan Nai Fun 2 residential area, at the foot of the sacred Doi Suthep Mountain, near the Royal Flora Exposition grounds and Chian…

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Bangkok to Pattaya Tours 4 days 3 nights

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Pattaya tours page offers sightseeing, leisure and island tour. Take a trip to Pattaya and some city orientation . Continue for Tiffany show and visit coral island. On last day, go shopping at four region floating market and continue to Bangkok.

Note: You can adjust this Pattaya Tours Program or change hotel the way you like.

Pattaya Tours : Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok – Pattaya (-/-/-)
Upon arrival at the airport and after clearing immigration and customs, meet with your guide with a sign marked “Customer name” and transfer to Pattaya.

Pattaya Cityis an internationally well-known seaside resort, Pattaya is also a vibrant city by night and by day. Pattaya offers a colorful potpourri of mixed nationalities from near and far. Pattaya has a vast range of tourism-related activities. Pleasures of Pattaya range from relaxing on the beach, to sea-based sports, to visiting the scores of local attractions in and around Pattaya / Chonburi.

In the evening, enjoy your night experience to visit Tiffany’s Show was voted no.4 in the TOPTEN BEST SHOWS to see around the world. The incredible, talents of the transvestite, transgender community, all drawn from the provinces of Thailand are showcased in a show full of exotic spectacular scenes playing 3 shows nightly every night of the year.

Accommodation in Pattaya

Day 2: Coral Island Tour (B/L/-)
Pick up from hotel at 09.00 am, then transfer to visit Koh Larn, a wonderful little island in the Gulf of Thailand. There are many activities here for visitors to enjoy, some include parasailing, snorkeling, jet ski, banana boat, swimming in tropical waters, and there is even a shooting range located here. Because the island is mountainous there are also some spectacular views for those that like to take a few snapshots. Koh Larn is also very suited for bicycling and hiking, many bicycling events have been held here.

Accommodation in Pattaya

Day 3: Free day (B/-/-)
Enjoy your free day at your leisure on your own.

Accommodation in Pattaya

Day 4: Pattaya – Four Regions Floating Market – Bangkok (B/-/-)
After breakfast, pick up from hotel and transfer to visit Four Regions Floating Market or Pattaya Floating Market opened to the public in November 2008 claimed to be to be the biggest floating market in the eastern region featuring 111 boutique-shops selling native food and specialties from all over Thailand. The market is divided into 4 separate parts; each represents each part of Thailand (North, Central, North-Eastern, and South) offering a special blend of differing traditions. The market covering an area of 100,000 square meters (67 Rai) was built at a cost of 350 million baht by local young tycoon Warida Sae-eung.

Then transfer back to Bangkok.

Accommodation in none

End of Services


Hotel list
Pattaya Tours : Destination Pattaya Tours : 4 star hotel name


Accommodate in hotel as listed or equivalence based on twin sharing
Round trip transfer
Meals as indicated on the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Sightseeing as the itinerary including admission fee as stated in program
English speaking guide escort during the tour.
Trip insurance

Domestic flight
Government VAT
Other meals than those mentioned in the program.
Personal items & hotel incidental charges.
Personal drinks at the meal.
Gratuities to the guide, driver and hotel’s porter.
Visa fee
Third language speaking guide charge extra 700 Baht/day
Immigration fee


Bangkok to Pattaya Tours 4 days 3 nights

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How to Change the “I’m Too Poor to Travel” Mindset and Say Yes to Travel

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changing your mindset and believing your can travel“Your advice is great if you are middle-class, your parents are giving you money, or you’re from the West. Your website can never work for me. I’m too poor to travel. This advice is only for privileged people.”

I encounter this line of thought frequently, and after two recently-published articles on Thrillist and Thought Catalog, I’ve heard it even more lately.

Every travel naysayer believes their situation is special, that they can’t manage what someone else did for “x, y, or z” reason. And it’s not just travel. We all make excuses as to why we can’t do something we desire. “The gym is too far away.” “Just one more cookie won’t hurt.” “I’m not tall enough to play basketball.” We believe we’ll never accomplish that great thing we aspire to because we lack the one secret ingredient to make it happen.

When it comes to travel, people think what’s holding them back is money. They imagine they can’t travel because, unlike me, they can’t tap the Bank of Mom and Dad, are burdened by their debt, and simply assume I’m just lucky and special.

People with this mindset remind me of Bob, who dismissed this website a few years ago because he didn’t believe I could travel the world without parental help. People like Bob shoot the messenger because it allows them to ignore the message and keep their worldview unchallenged.

By believing that everyone else is special, unique, or rich, they put up a psychological barrier that lets them ignore all the reasons why travel is possible.

Nothing about their circumstance prevents them from traveling except their own mindset.

Millions of people from all walks of life, circumstances, and age groups find a way to travel. When I started traveling at the age of 25, I believed I was doing something challenging and unique. Then, when I got on the road and saw 18-year-old English kids embarking on similar adventures, I realized I wasn’t as special as I thought. That realization made travel actually seem a lot easier and more attainable because if they could make it happen, someone older and with more experience could manage it too.

I understand there is some monetary requirement to travel. There’s a limit to how cheap it can be and how many free flights you can earn. There are always circumstances such as health, visa issues, or family that will keep someone from the road. Not everyone can (or wants) to travel the world.

But, in my experience, what keeps the majority of people home is not money but mindset. It is the false belief that their circumstances are different and everyone else who travels has money or privilege they don’t. They have bought into the belief that traveling is a luxury for those with means and, unless you’re on the inside, you’ll never be able to make it happen. Everyone and everything else that tells them otherwise is dismissed as “too easy” or “too good to be true.”

But let me tell everyone who believes this right now: “I’m too poor/unspecial/etc. to travel”: You’re not.

If you truly desire to travel, you will find a way. For some, it will take more effort and time, but you can do it.

If you wake up today and tell yourself, “I’m too poor to travel,” you’ll never look for ways to start traveling. You will only see roadblocks. You see only the reasons why you can’t travel – bills, flights, car payments, debt, family, or more. You never peer beyond those roadblocks and ask yourself “how do I overcome these obstacles like those other people?” The only difference between those on the road and those off it is that those on it kept saying “yes” to travel instead of “I can’t.”

Wake up today and say “Yes, I can travel too” and start looking for what you can do right now to make that happen. Start small. Each yes builds on itself and on the one before it. Look at your day-to-day spending. How much would you save if you bought a Brita instead of a daily bottle of water, gave up Starbucks, cooked more of your own food, or drank less? What if you gave up cable? Downgraded your phone plan? Walked to work? Sold off your unneeded stuff on eBay?

Find ways to supplement your income by becoming a local tour guide or Uber driver, or renting your spare room or couch on Airbnb. Become a house sitter. Start collecting frequent flier miles. Look for work overseas (it’s easy).

Starting small gives you small victories that help you to slowly realize you can do it. The more wins you have, the more you keep going. When I was planning my first trip, I first cooked more and drank less. Then I gave up going to movies. Then I sold my stuff and found a roommate. Then I found ways to car share to save on gas. Each step built on top of the last and I got more confident in my ability.

I woke up each morning I said to myself, “I can do this.”

changing your mindset and believing your can travelOnce I started saying yes, I created a habit and continuous cycle that keeps travel my focus and always within my reach. After years of doing this, I only see opportunity. I recently read The Power of Habit, on the power of belief in changing habits. People who didn’t believe something was possible never changed their habits. They would diet, try to get sober, or exercise more, but it would never work. However, once they believed they could change, once they found themselves part of a community that supported them, that’s when the mental change occurred and the new mindset took over.

I’ve met people on the road who traveled after earning minimum wage. They accomplished it because they woke up every day and asked themselves “What can I do today that gets me one step closer to being on the road?” It’s easy to say “Well, I make $9.75 an hour and have a kid,” but Michael worked on minimum wage and found a way. The lower your income, the longer it will take to save enough to travel, but longer does not mean never.

If you don’t believe you can travel, you never will.

You just need to change the mindset that keeps you from your goals and start looking for ways, no matter how small, to begin living your travel dreams.

“I’m too poor to travel” is a psychological belief that causes many to lack the confidence to believe travel is possible. They buy into the media hype that it’s all too good to be true. It’s easy to think we travelers are special and that my advice doesn’t apply to you. But I pay my own way: I worked overseas to keep my trip going, my parents have never helped me, and I still have student loan debt. I didn’t know anything when I started to travel. I had to figure it out along the way.

So did the dozens of readers from this site that also found a way despite many obstacles..

Not everyone is going to be able to travel, and I understand that. I’m not talking about the extreme circumstances; I’m talking about the middle majority. I’ve met people from all walks of life on the road and know that travel is not just for the rich, it’s for everyone.

If you want to travel more, you first need to believe you can. Stop saying no and begin to find all the ways to say yes and make your travel dreams come true.

The post How to Change the “I’m Too Poor to Travel” Mindset and Say Yes to Travel appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

How to Change the “I’m Too Poor to Travel” Mindset and Say Yes to Travel

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look no further offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

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Bangkok Airport Hotel 3 of the most popular Bangkok Airport Hotels – great deals, all hotels within 10 minutes of the airport terminal, 24 hour reception and transfer service – instant confirmation and secure payment.

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10 Common Fears That Stop You from Traveling Solo

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kristin addis doing yoga on a beachOn the second Wednesday of the month, Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse writes a column featuring tips and advice on solo female travel. It’s not a topic I can cover and, since there’s a lot of female travelers out there, I felt it was important to bring in an expert. This is her column this month.

If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever travel alone, I would have immediately said, “No way. That can’t be safe, it must be lonely, and I’d get so bored.” Before I started traveling, I was scared of even the idea of eating dinner alone!

Then I started to realize solo travel is not something people do just because they can’t find a friend to go with — it’s because they got tired of waiting for the perfect companion and just go. Then, as they find out there are many personal benefits to it, it typically becomes the preferred mode of travel.

However, before that happens, the biggest hurdle is getting over the fear – fear of being alone, unsafe, bored, and scared. I’ve experienced all those fears and talked to many potential travelers who have, too. Fear can hold a lot of people back. The following ten fears are common reasons female travelers tend to stay at home and why those fears are unfounded.

Is solo traveling even safe?

female traveler getting over hear fears and traveling solo
Yes, absolutely. Safety should always be top of mind but the ways to combat this fear are to be prepared, to be aware, and to be smart. You have survived on the earth this long because you have figured out how to keep yourself out of deadly situations. Keep doing that when you travel.

Traveling is just like being at home, you have to understand your surroundings and act accordingly. Adapt as much as possible by doing research on what to wear, how to carry yourself, and what is acceptable behavior. You already know the obvious stuff like not being flashy and not getting too intoxicated. There’s no magic formula apart from being aware of and respecting your surroundings.

Really? It can be safe even for a single female?

cooking food in india
Yes, with the right preparation and understanding of the culture and your surroundings, even traveling in India as a solo female can be safe. As female travelers, we have to be aware of more issues and concerns but we have to do the same anywhere in the world. Keep your head about you, follow cultural norms, and be alert. Every day millions of women travel the world alone. You’re just as capable as they are.

What if my friends and family don’t approve?

Your loved ones might worry about you. It would be completely understandable if one or a few weren’t entirely supportive, but they do this because they love you, and given this fact, they want you to be happy.

I didn’t tell anyone about my desire to travel for almost a year. It ate me up inside because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle it without the approval of people whose opinions meant a lot to me. It turns out I could have told them from the beginning, because they were surprisingly all very supportive.

As for the rest, there are always naysayers. Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, suggests keeping a physical list of a small handful of people whose opinions really matter. These people should be those who love you unconditionally, like family and best friends.

Ask them to trust your intelligence and ability to strike out on your own, and assure them that you’ve done your research and you are able to keep yourself out of obvious harm.

Everyone else with a negative opinion doesn’t need to be considered.

Won’t I be lonely?

overcoming being alone as a female traveler
This was my biggest fear and after asking my friends, cousin, mere acquaintances, and just about anyone, really, to join me, I realized that nobody else was at a stage in their lives to travel long-term. If I waited for someone to join me, I might end up waiting forever.

Then my first night in Bangkok, I ate dinner with people I met at a hostel. Five days later I was biking around Angkor Wat in Cambodia with five new friends.

The fact is you will meet people, a great many people, on the road. It will happen all the time. Promise.

Matt has written about how to make friends on the road and overcome being alone.

But I’m kind of the shy type.

doing a handstand and getting over being shy
I used to be kind of shy and awkward but I’m happy to say solo traveling has really helped that. The first time I really tried to be outgoing was when I walked up to a the only table with an empty chair in Laos and asked if I could join. Everyone eagerly welcomed me and it made me realize that making friends really is that easy on the road.

Most people have some element of shyness to overcome. Even if you think you’re shy and awkward, you’ll learn to lose it over time because travelers are friendly. Often, you won’t even have to be the one to start the conversation.

Many of us are also solo, and for this reason are typically very easy to meet and are open to interactions with new people. Traveling is a great way to get over shyness, even if taking baby steps.

As Matt has written, it’s do or die on the road and because you want to make friends and not be alone, you’ll find yourself making small talk to people and that can lead to great friendships and new travel partners.

Won’t I get bored?

meeting an interesting woman in China
If you’re traveling you will suffer from very little boredom. Even a long bus journey will be stimulating because of random things like stopping for emergency Jack Fruit, on-bus buskers, and a chicken or two, from time to time.

You won’t be starved for adventure if you’re really putting yourself out there, trying new foods, going new places, and taking local transport. In fact, you may schedule in days specifically meant for lounging inside just because you’ve been having so much fun you need a break.

But isn’t it preferable not to travel alone, if possible?

making friends on the road when you travel
No way! Would you believe me if I told you that I far prefer solo traveling to group or tour travel? It’s something absolutely everyone should do in life. For the first time you have complete freedom, can do anything and everything you feel like doing, and nobody is around to say no.

It also increases problem solving ability because you can’t pass off responsibility when things go wrong; it creates independence because you figure nearly everything out on your own, and cultivates fearlessness because you realize what you’re capable of. I could go on for hours on this topic alone.

Traveling solo also allows you to be who you really are, without the judgment and outside influences of friends or family. As famed travel writer William Least Heat-Moon said, “When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”

Besides, you’ll find travel buddies along the way as well.

What if I’m not brave enough for all of that?

You can still travel solo. Ease into it with a tour if you want so that you can get used to your new surroundings before breaking off from the pack, or start off with a group of friends. Plenty of people do that and eventually decide to travel solo once they realize how much freedom it will give them.

People are adaptable, we really are. You can do it. At least trust your abilities enough to try.

What if I get homesick?

two elephants in Asia that are a family
Homesickness is unavoidable and you will have down days on the road just like you did at home. Traveling is not a magic pill that fixes everything. That doesn’t exist. There’s nothing wrong with going home but everyone gets a little homesick. Have regular Skype calls with your friends and family and take photos with you to help ease the homesickness.

However, don’t forget why you went traveling in the first place. You wanted to see new places, try new things, and meet new people. It was meant to be different and far away.

Being homesick is just a temporary bump in the road. You’ll go back home eventually, and everything will still be there more or less as it was. Sometimes, traveling helps us appreciate home all that much more.

What if I come home early because I run out of money/miss someone/(insert reason here)

climbing a mountain in the Himalayas and conquering travel
You can avoid running out of money by planning ahead and earning on the road. Matt’s gone into great detail on how to save, how to budget, and what kind of jobs travelers can get abroad.

As for missing people, give yourself a chance to be independent. Naturally you’ll miss people but deciding to be present and appreciating what you’re experiencing goes a long way towards making it through these tough periods.

Lastly, if you do come home earlier than planned, at least you made it out there and got a taste of how the traveling lifestyle can be. You can then more intelligently begin again if you want to return to it, or conversely feel confident that you already did all that you wanted.

Making a big life change is almost always scary, but it’s also exciting because of the new beginnings that await you. Traveling, particularly solo, is one of the most incredible gifts we can give ourselves in life. Solo female travel isn’t anything to be scared of. Don’t let fear hold you back from living your dreams.

Kristin Addis is a former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and bid California goodbye in favor of traveling solo through Asia while searching for off-the-beaten path adventures.  There’s almost nothing she won’t try and almost nowhere she won’t explore. You can find more of her musings at Be My Travel Muse. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 10 Common Fears That Stop You from Traveling Solo appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

10 Common Fears That Stop You from Traveling Solo

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
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The No-Nonsense Guide to Data Security for Travelers

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Data security lock symbolOn the first Tuesday of each month, Dave Dean from Too Many Adapters gives us great tips and advice on travel tech and gear. This month’s column is on data security. It’s topic that worries a lot of travelers (especially folks like me who work online) so Dave is delving deep into the subject today.

If there’s a less sexy travel subject than data security, I don’t know what it is. When you’re planning your trip and up to your elbows in guide books, maps, and blog posts about deserted beaches and delicious foods, it’s not going to be backup strategies or file encryption that gets your heart racing.

And that’s a bit of a problem. If you’re going to be toting a smartphone, tablet or laptop around the world, protecting your data really matters. It doesn’t take a huge effort or cost to keep yourself safe – but if you don’t, you’re at serious risk of losing all of your trip photos, having your identity stolen, accounts hacked, and giving yourself a technology headache that’s far more painful than a night drinking at the local hostel.

Below are detailed ways to back up your memories the right way, protect your data, and avoid common security mistakes. By doing the following things, you’ll never be stressed about the technology and information you use and share on the road.

Public computers are bad news

Data security lock symbol
When I started traveling in the late nineties, Internet cafes were pretty much the only way to get online. I still remember sitting hunched over a broken keyboard in a sweaty little shop in Dar es Salaam, dust and fumes from the nearby road forming a murky haze as I battled with the slowest connection in the world to let my family know I was still alive.

Many of those dusty cafes have since shut down as travelers use their own devices and cheap Wi-Fi connects the world. From a security standpoint, that’s a good thing. Public computers are bad news. Those ramshackle old desktops in Internet cafes or the corner of the hostel common room may as well have a big sign on them saying “Please Steal My Data”. Why?

  • They’re typically full of all kinds of unknown software installed by staff and customers over the years.
  • Security and virus updates don’t get done – nobody cares enough to maintain things properly. I once scanned a hostel computer for viruses just to amuse myself, but stopped after it found fifty in the first couple of minutes.
  • It’s very easy to install key-logging software that will capture everything you type, sift through it for anything that looks like usernames and passwords, and send it off for others to use.

In short, if you have any other way of getting online, use it.

If you absolutely must use a public computer – it’s a dire emergency or you really need to print that boarding pass – there are a few ways to make it a little safer. These aren’t foolproof, but they’re a good start:

  • Don’t do anything involving money. This means online banking, Paypal and other financial services, as well as buying anything online that requires you to enter credit card details, are off limits. You’re just taking unnecessary risks by doing so.
  • Use 2-factor authentication for as many online services as possible. These combine something you know (like a password) and something you have (an SMS message, phone, fingerprint scanner, or special app) to create single-use passwords. Even if your account information is stolen, nobody else can use it to log in. SMS-based authentication systems can be a problem for travelers, especially if your phone doesn’t work overseas, so check out other options like the Google Authenticator app for your phone or tablet first.
  • USB sticks can help. If you travel with your own laptop or Android device and need to print something out, copy the file onto a memory stick beforehand and use that rather than logging onto email on a shared computer. You can also copy software you’re likely to need onto a USB stick, and use that instead of the dubious versions installed on the computer you’re using. Even just using a browser like Firefox Portable or Chrome Portable is a good start. Check out to see the range of portable software that’s available.
    Just remember to scan your USB stick for viruses regularly, from a device you trust.
  • At an absolute minimum, use the web browser’s Incognito/Private Browsing mode to avoid your details being saved, log out of all of the apps you use, and reboot the computer when you’re finished with it.

Public wi-fi is great but it’s not secure

Data security lock symbol
Cafes, hostels, airports, even parks and public spaces often offer cheap or free Wi-Fi that anyone can use. Sometimes it’s hard to know where a signal is even coming from, but if we can see it, you can bet we’ll try to use it.

That’s where the problems start.

By default much of your information is visible to anyone with the right tools as it moves across a wireless network. Networks that need a password aren’t much better than those that don’t — how many people have been given the details for your hostel Wi-Fi this month? When was that password on the café chalkboard last changed?

You have to assume that other people can connect to the network you’re using. Once they’ve done that, any data you don’t protect is at risk. Someone can literally sit drinking a coffee in the corner while their computer scans and saves your personal information.

So what should you do?

  • Always use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. In simple terms, a VPN lets you connect to a server somewhere else in the world and encrypts all of the information that passes between you and it. Good free options include TunnelBear and Cyberghost, which can also be upgraded to unrestricted paid services.

    I use Witopia PersonalVPN Pro, which costs around $6/month and has worked in every country I’ve tried it. Look for a service that can be used with both laptops and mobile devices, and specifically says it works in China. If it works there, it’s likely to work anywhere.

  • If for some reason you can’t use a VPN, at least protect your web browsing. Try typing ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ into the address bar — to access Gmail, for example, you’d type If a padlock appears beside the address, the data you send and receive from that site is encrypted. If you’re using Chrome, Firefox or Opera, it’s even easier – install the HTTPS Everywhere plugin and it’ll do this for you automatically.
  • It’s much harder to intercept cellular networks than Wi-Fi ones, so if you’re doing something sensitive and have access to reasonably-priced cell data on your phone or tablet, use it.

Backups are boring – but you need to do them!

Data security lock symbol
Backing up your data while traveling is boring. Let’s face it, there’s always something much more interesting to do….right up to the point where you lose the thousands of photos you’ve taken on your trip, or the phone number and email address of everyone you’ve met. Laptops get stolen, hard drives break, phones get dropped in the toilet, memory cards corrupt. Bad things happen, and you need to prepare for them.

There’s an old saying among geeks like me that data stored in one place doesn’t really exist. For travelers, this generally means copying new files to a different device as soon as possible, and to somewhere online not long after that.

There are many different approaches you can take, depending on the gear you travel with and what you need to back up. I’ll cover a couple of common scenarios, and you can find more detail here, here and here.

Travel with a laptop? Read this!
For those traveling with a laptop, backing up is straightforward if you follow a simple process. Before leaving on your trip, pick up a portable hard drive (they cost as little as $50 for a 1GB model). Each night, copy the day’s photos from your camera or smartphone, then plug your hard drive in and back everything up. Now, even after you delete shots from your phone or camera SD card, you’ve still got two copies of them.

Theft, fire, water and more can take out your camera, laptop and portable drive all at once — to be completely safe, you also need an online backup. Due to slow and irregular internet connections when traveling, these backups can take a long time to run – I started mine while travelling in Australia and New Zealand, and it didn’t finish until I got to Thailand four months later!

Free options like Dropbox, iCloud and Google Plus are fine for storing a limited number of photos, and I used them for a couple of years. Eventually though, I moved to a paid subscription with Crashplan – for around $5/month, I have unlimited online storage for any kind of file, and it runs automatically whenever I have an Internet connection. (Matt says: I use Crashplan. It’s saved my proverbial life on more than one occasion.)

If you’re using a Mac, the built-in Time Machine does a good job of managing hard drive backups automatically. If you only want to copy photos, documents and music to online storage, iCloud may fit your needs – you get 5GB of space for free, and can easily buy more.

For Windows users, there are dozens of choices – as mentioned I use Crashplan, as it deals with both hard drive and online backups automatically at a reasonable price. There’s a version for Mac too, if you need unlimited cloud storage or want to back up all file types.

Don’t travel with a laptop? Read this!
If you’ve decided not to carry a laptop on your trip, backing data requires a slightly different approach. The first challenge is copying photos from your camera to a smartphone or tablet – here’s how to do it for both Android and Apple devices, as long as you’ve got enough storage.

Once you’ve transferred your photos, it’s time to back them up to a different device. There are different ways to do this, but the easiest option is to buy a wireless hard drive (something like the Seagate Wireless Plus) that creates its own hotspot, then use the app it comes with to copy files backwards and forwards. Added bonus: this is also a great way of carrying around a large movie or music collection without filling up your smartphone or tablet.

The easiest part of the process is backing your shots up online – it’ll even happen automatically if you copy the files from your camera into the right folder on your phone or tablet. Those with Apple devices can just enable iCloud, while Android users can achieve the same thing with the Camera Upload feature of Dropbox. In either case, just pay for as much additional cloud storage as you need – it’ll be a few dollars a month in most cases.

Protecting your data when it’s out of your hands

Sometimes bad things happen no matter how careful you are. Laptops, tablets and phones are attractive targets for thieves. While you can’t always prevent someone stealing your gear, you can at least take a few precautions to stop them accessing your data as well.

Always use a PIN Code or Password
The first step is to always set up a PIN code or password on your device. It only takes a few seconds to do, and is a good deterrent to casual thieves. On your laptop, use a long password that doesn’t appear in a dictionary and isn’t easily guessable. If your phone or tablet supports PIN numbers longer than 4 digits use one – and if you’ve using a current model of iPhone or iPad, enable the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as well.

Enable encryption
If PIN numbers and passwords are good for keeping casual eyes off your personal information, encryption does the same thing for more determined snoops. Even if someone pulls the hard drive out of your laptop or manages to bypass your PIN number, your data remains protected. Without the right password, your information is just a collection of random characters. It’s easy to set up on most devices, and is or soon will be enabled by default on new iOS and Android devices.

  • If you’re using a Mac, enable File Vault.
  • For those running certain high-end versions of Windows 7 or 8, enable BitLocker. Going forward, most new Windows-based computers will ship with encryption enabled.
  • Encryption of most sensitive data is turned on by default if you’re using an Apple phone or tablet running iOS 8.
  • To enable encryption on recent versions of Android, go to Settings – Security – Encrypt Phone and follow the instructions.

Bear in mind that encrypting all your data can take several hours, so don’t start the process if you’re going to need to use your device any time soon.

Tracking and remote wiping
Software like Prey, Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager all offer various features for tracking down your stolen gear. They can report their location, take photos and video, sound alarms, display messages on the screen and more, and have helped reunite many people with their technology. Make sure they’re set up and working correctly before your gear goes missing!

If all else fails and you’ve decided that your gadgets just aren’t coming back, you can also tell any of the above software to remotely delete everything on your device the next time it connects to the Internet. At least that way you only need to mourn the loss of your technology, and not your personal information as well!

A Few Parting Tips

Data security lock symbol
As well as everything covered above, there are a few other basic tips that will help you keep your data safe on the road.

  • Use anti-virus software to keep the bad guys out. AVG makes a good, free anti-virus system that I’ve been using for years on both Windows and Android, and there’s a (non-free) Mac version available as well.
  • Update your device and software regularly. In other words, don’t ignore those annoying prompts to install security patches and new software versions – they’re there for a reason! Wait until you’ve got a decent Internet connection, then let them run.
  • Rather than using the same terrible password for everything, use a password manager to create unique, super-strong passwords for all of the different websites and services you use. I personally use Lastpass (free on desktop, a dollar per month on mobile), but there are several other options. I now only need to remember one master password – the one for Lastpass itself.

Keeping your data safe, secure, and protected when you travel doesn’t have to be hard work. Spend a little time and money setting everything up properly before you leave, and you’ll need to do almost nothing extra day to day. Backups start automatically, and only take a few minutes if you do them regularly. Staying safe on dubious Wi-Fi connections takes two clicks, and creating strong passwords is even easier. Encryption takes care of itself once you set it up.

And doing all that is better than having your identity stolen, your bank accounts hacked and watching every photo you’ve taken on your trip disappear off the back of a tuk-tuk.

Dave runs Too Many Adapters, a site devoted to technology for travellers. A geek as long as he can remember, he worked in IT for fifteen years. Now based out of a backpack long term, Dave writes about travel and tech from anywhere with half-decent Internet and a great view.  You can also find him talking about the life of a long-term traveller at What’s Dave Doing?

The post The No-Nonsense Guide to Data Security for Travelers appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Data Security for Travelers

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Falling in Love with the Land of Elves

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northern lights in Iceland around myvatnAs we stared up at the sky, patches of neon and dark green changed to light pink and back to green. They came out of nowhere, hung like curtains on invisible hangers, and danced a duet to an unheard symphony. They would appear, vanish, and reappear all over the sky. My companions, Lulu and Germaine (two friends from France spending the week driving around Iceland), and I stared, bewildered, as the Northern Lights danced above us. It was the first time we had seen them, and even though it was bitterly cold and we were too lightly dressed, we stayed out, shivering, for hours, watching nature’s brilliant ballet. Every night before this, we would run outside and then retreat back in defeat as it was too cloudy for the lights to be seen. But on this night the sky was clear, the stars shone around us, and nature finally let us see its mythic show.

I had high expectations for my visit to Iceland. I’d seen movies and pictures in magazines of land with jagged mountain peaks, desolate lava fields, rolling hills with grazing sheep, volcanoes, and glaciers that stretched for miles. I imagined a utopic country where friendly locals in tune with nature roamed a majestic landscape.

Despite the eagerness to visit Iceland these images caused, I put off this trip over the years. Something always came up. This year, upon reflecting on my list of things I promised I would do and realizing I accomplished none of them, I resolved to finally go and booked a ticket in June. And, as the plane descended into Reykjavik last month, I wondered, “Could the fairytale image in my mind live up to itself?

It could, in fact, exceed it.

And it happened right away.

Bragi and Nomadic Matt at the Golden Circle in IcelandFrom the moment I landed, I was welcomed and helped by kind strangers. There was Bragi, a Couchsurfer tour guide who drove me around the Golden Circle. Paulina, the smart college student who let me sleep on her couch, took me to an Icelandic play and her family’s farm, revealed a secret “local’s only” swimming hole, and went far out of her way to drop me in the eastern city of Vik to make catching a bus easier. Paulina’s friend Alga, who also opened up her couch to me at the end of the trip. Maria and Marta, who proved that Reykjavik’s nightlife is far crazier than anything New York can offer. Then there was the Couchsurfing host in Ayukeri who cooked dinner for me and his other guests, and the blog reader (who turned out to be a high-level government official) and her husband who introduced me to traditional lobster soup (delicious!).

Every step of the way I encountered helpful and excited Icelanders who sought to show off the best of their country. They loved nature, held die hard beliefs in elves and fairytales (over 50% of Icelanders believe in elves), and appreciated a good pint.

Seeing a local farm in Iceland with two Icelanders

After saying goodbye to my new friends in Reykjavik, I drove around the Ring Road (Iceland’s main highway) with Lulu and Germaine after hitching a ride with them in Vik. Forests morphed into fjords and fjords evolved into moonscape-like lava fields.

Over the next ten days, my love for Iceland became an obsession as I was constantly treated to bewildering landscapes and helpful locals. For such a small island, Iceland has a diverse range of landscapes and micro eco-systems. And as we traveled, hiked, and eagerly waited the Northern Lights, I couldn’t help but notice the silence. With hardly anyone or any animals around, the land seemed so still.

Hitchhiking through Iceland with two French friends

And it was the silence that affected me the most. Coming from NYC, I don’t know a world without noise. My day begins and ends with cars honking their horns outside my bedroom window. In Iceland, noise hardly exists and that silence helps you appreciate life. On one beautifully clear day in the north, a local guide took me to explore Game of Thrones film locations (yes, that’s a thing!). Since there was no one else on the tour, the guide took me off-road. We got out of the car and climbed a rocky hill. Below us, the ground opened up into a series of deep fissures in the ground. Around us was there was nothing but an empty plateau. Iceland expanded in all directions around us with volcanoes and mountains in the distance. There was no sign of civilization. I sat down. The guide sat down. We were silent. All we could hear was the sound of the wind whipping around our heads. When that died down, nothing but an eerie yet peaceful silence remained.

Everything was still.

My guide and I never looked at each other. I suspect he was as content as I was. Throughout the day, I got the sense that he had a deep love of nature and was probably happy just sitting there.

me near sulphur pools in myvatn

Afterwards, I sat relaxing in the hot springs near Myvatn, and before I knew it my two hour visit was up. I got ready to leave, thinking that time had gone by too quickly. That sums up my trip to Iceland: it went by too quickly. The eleven days I spent there were simply not enough.

As we drove home that day, my guide pointed out rocks shaped like a boat. “That’s a troll boat,” he said. “Years ago, the lake was being overfished by a troll so the locals stayed out extra late causing the troll to forget what the hour was. Suddenly, as the sun rose, the troll raced back to her cave so she wouldn’t turn to stone. Along the way, she dropped her boat. Somewhere out there is the troll, but we haven’t found her.”

“Do you really think trolls and elves exist?” I asked.

“I think these stories teach us to respect nature. Iceland is a harsh environment and it’s easy to spoil the land or get into danger. These stories teach us about balance. But, then again, I can’t prove these creatures don’t exist, you know? This land is special,” he replied.

a rainbow in iceland

He, like the other Icelanders I met who talked about the country, was right: there is something mystical and special about this place.

The post Falling in Love with the Land of Elves appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

Falling in Love with the Land of Elves

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How to Spend Four Days in Prague

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Prague from the powder tower
Prague is a destination that always seems to be in vogue. It’s been on the tourist map for a long time and the crowds show no signs of abating. Prague is a gorgeous, well-preserved medieval city coupled with a rich history, expansive parks, Vegas-style nightlife, and a hint of romance. The city holds a special place in my heart; it was the first city I backpacked through on my round-the-world trip in 2006. It was where I stayed at my first genuine hostel, the first place I was on my own, and the first place I went to where signs weren’t in English. I grew as a traveler here.

After many years away, I was happy to come back not once, but twice this year. A lot has changed— there are more tourists, prices are higher, the food is more international, and more foreigners live in the city. But the city’s essence — all the cliché stuff (cobblestone streets, quaint medieval houses, incredible charm) that makes Prague Prague — is still there and I was happy to reconnect with the city.

After spending weeks roaming the city, today’s blog post puts the best Prague has to offer into a manageable four-day itinerary. If you are looking for a way to organize your trip, this itinerary, like previous ones I’ve put together, will help you do so.

Day 1

Take a free walking tour
Walking tours are a smart way to orient yourself to a new city, learn some history, and hear about the main attractions. There are a TON of free walking tours in Prague, so you’ll have plenty of options. All the tour companies meet near the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square at 10am and last about three hours. They will give you an overview of the main sites like the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Jewish Quarter, and more.

My favorite company is New Europe. They operate free tours around Europe and tend to have upbeat guides and lots of historically accurate information.

Visit Prague Castle
a view of prague castle from the river in prague
The famous Prague Castle is the next logical place to visit, since all the walking tours end near this popular sight. The castle, which lords over the city, consists of multiple sections—St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, The Story of Prague Castle, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, the Powder Tower, and Rosenberg Palace. You can buy a ticket to any or all of these sights from the box office. The most famous structure is St. Vitus Cathedral — this is the large building you see when you look up at the castle from outside the city walls.

Walk around Petrin Park
view of Prague from Petrin Park
Petrin Park is the city’s biggest and most beautiful park with sweeping views of Prague. You’ll find a garden, a maze, and a lookout tower that looks like the Eiffel tower. What I love about this expansive park is how easy it is to get lost among the trees. Paths meander throughout and it’s a relaxing contrast to the crowds of the historic center. Keep in mind that this park is on a big hill and walking to the top can be strenuous. There is a funicular that can take you down (and up) the hill if you don’t feel like making the trek.

Visit the John Lennon wall
john lennon wall in prague
After Petrin Park, head down towards Kampa, a neighborhood by the river, and visit the John Lennon wall. Towards the end of Communism in the 1980s, students started writing John Lennon lyrics on this wall as a way to air their grievances. Today, the wall represents love and peace. Tourists are allowed to write or paint on it too.

Relax on the waterfront – It’s been a long day, so relax in Kampa with a satiating drink, some food, or a coffee. There are a number of appealing restaurants and cafes in the area. To get here, just keep walking towards the river from the John Lennon wall. You’ll cross a little bridge and there you are! You’ll find lots of places to eat, sit, and relax and when you’re done you can walk across the famous Charles Bridge back towards the city center.

Day 2

Explore the Old Town Square
the old town square in prague
Though you got an overview of the Old Town Square during your walking tour, today you can savor the square’s attractions in detail. Some of the highlights include:

  • Hanging out in the square – The people-watching is unbeatable as tourists, families, students, and touts pass through the square. Sit on one of the benches, eat a sandwich and enjoy! Moreover, there are a number of talented musicians — ranging from jazz musicians to Scottish bagpipe players and everything in between — that perform in the square.
  • Astronomical Clock – Watch the most over-hyped attraction in all of Prague! While the hourly chime that people line up for is anticlimactic, the detail and artistry of the clock make it one of the most beautiful in Europe.
  • Visit the churches – The beautiful Tyn and St. Nicholas churches ring the square. St. Nicholas is open all day, but Tyn is only open in the mornings and late afternoons.
  • Explore the catacombs – Under the Old Town Hall, you’ll find a series of catacombs worth exploring. They were the first level of the medieval houses that used to be in the square. Now, they are an exhibit (entrance through the tourism office) showcasing medieval life.

Explore the Jewish Quarter
headstones in the jewish cemetery in prague
The historic Jewish Quarter is one of the most popular attractions in Prague. Hitler saved it from Nazi destruction because he wanted to make the area a museum to the lost Jewish race. Now, the museums, synagogues, and historic graveyard in the area honor the history of what was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.

Explore Letenské sady
a view of prague from letenske sady park in prague
This park, across the river from the Jewish Quarter, features several walking trails, a café, and expansive views of the city. You’ll see a lot of art students painting the cityscape. Cross over to Chotkovy sady for beautiful gardens and rear views of the Prague Castle. It’s quiet with secluded paths that make for an intimate romantic stroll.

Take an underground Prague tourPrague Underground Tours runs an underground tour of the medieval houses in the city center. There are many catacombs in Prague and this tour, though short, provides detailed history about medieval Prague.

Day 3

Take a day trip to Kutna Hora
skulls at the sedlec ossuary in kutna hora
Kutna Hora was an important center for silver mining in medieval Bohemia. It helped keep the kings of Prague rich. Now the town is famous for its creepy bone church, Sedlec Ossuary, which contains 40,000-70,000 bones. Since the church takes only about 15 minutes to see, head into the historic city center to see some of Kutna Hora’s other attractions, including marvelous medieval churches, overlooks, well-preserved streets, and a large town square. It’s a small and quiet town that feels like Prague without the crowds.

Day 4

Explore Vyšehrad
Vyšehrad castle, prague
While Prague Castle gets all the love, Vyšehrad, located in the southern part of the city, was also one of the original castles of the kings of Prague. It was built around the 10th century and contains Prague’s oldest surviving building, the Rotunda of St Martin. Few tourists ever come here so you’ll get the castle and its views of Prague to yourself. It also offers good upriver views of the city.

Walk up the river back into town – From the castle, you can take a nice walk along the river back into the center of town. There are walking and bikes paths as well as places to stop, sit, and maybe read a book. It’s mostly locals around here, despite it being about 20 minutes from the city center.

Visit the Powder Tower
the powder tower in prague
Back in town, be sure to check out this medieval tower, one of the original thirteen city gates. Construction began in 1475 and, during the 17th century, the tower used to store gunpowder. It was heavily damaged in 1757 and most of the sculptures on it were replaced in 1876.

Wander the streets of Prague
a market in the city center of Prague
Prague is a stunning city. Meander its winding streets. Find random restaurants, markets, and churches. Sit and watch the people go by. Just get happily lost.

Other Activities:

  • See a concert – Prague is famous for its classical music and there are concert halls throughout the city.
  • Visit the Kafka museum – Love Kafka? He was from Prague and there is a museum dedicated to him.

Suggested Restaurants:

  • Country Life – Cheap vegetarian buffet that offers travelers great value for their money.
  • VinoGrafOff-the-beaten-path wine bar serving only Czech wines. Its small, candlelight setting is also a good date spot.
  • U MedvídkuTraditional Czech food with delicious soup and goulash. They also brew their own beer
  • Las AdelitasDelicious and authentic Mexican food for those with a fiery palate. The best I’ve found in continental Europe.
  • Prague Beer Museum – Despite its cheesy name, this place has a wide selection of beer and good food with large portions.

Prague has been one of my favorite cities in the world since I first visited in 2006. Though there is a constant mass of tourists, Prague’s magnificence will always make this touristy city one worth visiting. And hopefully this itinerary will help.

The post How to Spend Four Days in Prague appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

How to Spend Four Days in Prague

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Ultimate Hotel Package Deal in Krabi

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Experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Krabi with a relaxing short break in Ao Nang. The perfect setting for a romantic getaway combined with the best activities which Krabi has to offer. Sleep in a spacious Deluxe Room with view to the super-sized pool in the Nagapura Resort & Spa, which is surrounded by tropical garden and lush green limestone cliffs. Visit the world-famous 4 Islands, Koh Poda, Chicken Island, Tup Islets connected with a sandbar, and Phranang Cave Beach at Railay by traditional longtailboat. Another attraction on the mainland which you should not miss is the Jungle Trip, with a visit to the Tiger Cave Temple, the Emerald Pool, and the natural Hot Springs of Klong Thom.


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Teddy Bear Museum Pattaya

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Teddy Bear Museum was officially opened on October 5, 2556, It was origin from the Executive of Teddy Bear Island LTD, Mr. Kim Hyun Chol had the opportunity to visit Thailand many times over 10 years so he love Thailand, impress in a smile and feel the warmth from friendly welcome.

Thailand has many beautiful attractions. The most Thai people like to take a picture in the place they travel and keep an impression. Executives loved to take a picture too. He always carry a camera with him when he go outside the house. This simple reason make he get the idea to create an attraction for everyone to take a picture. It became the origin of Teddy Bear Museum under the concept of “travel treasure hunting with Teddy Bear” So, the museum has been designed as a dragon boat as large as 40 meters with a Koreans designer who build this Museum. There is also the first and only museum Southeast Asia which was located on an area over 2,500 square meters and was divided into 12 zones as follows. 1. Inca Zone 2. Dinosaur Zone 3. Fossil Zone 4. Africa Zone 5. Thailand Zone 6. Under the sea Zone 7 Eskimo Zone 8. Santa town Zone 9. Space Zone 10. Fairytale Zone 11 China Zone 12 Europe Zone


Travel to treasure hunting with Teddy Bear will ended but the cuteness of Teddy Bear is not ended. Before leaving the museum, people who want to buy a souvenir or gift, Teddy Bear Museum have Teddy Bear doll products, cute Teddy Bear and many other products for customers to buy at affordable prices.


Teddy Bear Museum Pattaya is the first and only museum in Southeast Asia. It is the new Teddy Bear Museum, which will offer all the difference happy and impression not the same as anywhere else in the world for all who visit. Enjoy with take the pictures of teddy bear, which has more than 2000. Dolls come in many sizes from small to large which each of them will fit into the concept of each zone. Meet 12 picture zones which each zone will have a different concept. You can feel the cuteness of those Teddy fully whether to hold or hug, temperature, light and sound that makes we feel like go into the world of Teddy really and there have a special show of Teddy Bear every Saturday and Sunday at Fairytale zone.
There are many highlights in the museums. Each zone will have a beautiful view for take a picture for an impressive collection especially Fairytale zone because of the large space to sit and relax, a slide for the kids to play together and also have a tree house, four dimension wells and many other places that can make an impression and a great experience for people who visit to our Teddy Bear Museum.
Do not wait to experience the love of those Teddy Bear at Teddy Bear Museum Pattaya.

Adventure Time  09.00 am.- 10.00 pm.

Children (Not exceeding 130 cm. height)




Teddy Bear Museum Pattaya

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