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How to Sail the British Virgin Islands for Free

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boats sailing the british virgin islands at sunsetThe British Virgin Islands often foster images of intrepid sailors and adventurers living their own version of a Jimmy Buffett song – sailing the seas, relentlessly drinking rum, stopping at hidden beaches, and exploring deserted islands.

Standing behind the wheel with the wind whipping at your hair as the sails of your boat take you from island to island sounds wonderful to many of us.

But, after imagining that scenario, we think, “It would be great, but it’s unrealistic and I couldn’t afford it. It sounds too expensive!” I used to believe that. After all, the British Virgin Islands are home to mega yachts, mega resorts, mansions, yachting races, celebrities who own islands, and big corporations hiding from the tax man. These islands are no place for those without gigantic bank accounts.

But I came here with a dream – to sail around the British Virgin Islands on a budget. That’s no easy task when charter boat rentals cost thousands of dollars per week. Sure, you can take a ferry between the main islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada) or take day sailing tours, but that won’t get you to the outer islands and definitely isn’t the freedom sailing conjures up, is it?

Luckily, I found a found a way to live the dream.

Within two days of landing on Jost Van Dyke, my friend and I were throwing our stuff onto a boat to sail around the BVIs. We met Bill and Geoff in a bar one evening. They were describing their sailing trip down from North Carolina. We told them about our plans to try to sail the islands on a budget. They seemed normal enough and our plans lined up, so we asked if we could tag along.

boats sailing the british virgin islands at sunset

And that’s how we got our ride. Some conversation, rum, laughs, and asking for a lift.

The BVIs see countless people who rent charter boats, hire captains, or sail their own boats around for as long as the wind can carry them. Each night, these folks moor in a harbor, take a dinghy to the nearest bar, down strong rum drinks, and socialize. Boats are isolating and these bars provide welcome social interaction after a day confined on a boat.

And this is where you’ll find your chance to live out your Captain Ron dreams.

You could say that we just got lucky. That we found the right two guys and this couldn’t happen again. However, my friend and I had many offer to take us to the next island or around for the day. At every port, when we mentioned our plans, people would often say, “Well, if you need a lift, we’re happy to have you. Just bring some beer.”

It was shockingly common. I expected great difficulty in finding rides-how many people want strangers on their boats? Apparently, a lot. Most of the people have extra space on their boats and everyone is very welcoming, hospitable, and helpful. I think between the small island population and the camaraderie that comes with boating, people here are very willing to help strangers.

So how do you do it too? How do replicate what I did? Here are my five tips:

boats sailing the british virgin islands at sunset

  1. Avoid asking on the main islands - Don’t ask for rides on Tortola or Virgin Gorda. This is where people pick up their boats so they are just starting or ending their trip (never a good time to ask) and there are few good bars to meet others at. Stick to the smaller islands accessible by ferry.
  2. Profile people - You can increase your odds of success by knowing who is most likely to say yes. Lots of couples? They may give you a ride to the next island but not much more. Groups who chartered a boat? Same thing. Young people? Yes, they’ll be very likely to help you out, especially in return for beer. Two guys drinking alone? Yup, they probably have extra space, especially if they have their own boat.
  3. Strike up a conversation – Sit at the bar and you’ll find this is easy to do. Everyone pretty much says hello to each other, and no matter where I was, others boaters often made the first move. After a day on a boat, people want to talk.
  4. Casually mention your plans - Work your plans into the conversation naturally and see how people react. Do they think it’s a cool idea? Gauge their reaction before you ask for a ride. I found that boaters in the area are the adventurous type and, if they feel you are on a good adventure, they will want to help.
  5. Start small - Ask for a ride to the next island. Giving someone a ride for a few hours is easy. Committing to carting extra people around for a week, however, is a bigger barrier and more likely to get you a no. But that one island lift may turn into two or three so start small and see how it goes.

Give yourself plenty of time to find someone to sail with. If you’re on a tight schedule and have to get around the islands quickly, this isn’t going to work, as it may take a day or two to find a willing boat or to line up with someone’s schedule. You’re then at the mercy of the boat owner’s pace until you get to another major island where you can get off and connect back to the ferry system that connects the main islands in the BVIs.

Moreover, don’t forget to offer something in return. If you have sailing experience, all the better, but most people will take beer and food in return for a lift, so offering that can go a long way.

The BVIs are expensive and, if you plan to visit on a budget, finding a cheap sail around the islands is critical. You can take day tours for about $100 and ferries go between the main inhabited islands, but the only way to really see the island chains properly is to sail them.

And the only way to do that is to find a lift.

Note: Sorry families, this advice won’t work for you! If you’re traveling with more than two people, it’s going to be hard for boats to accommodate you and they’re going to turn you down!

I always dreamed of sailing around the British Virgin Islands. I’d heard of opportunities to work on boats, but since I don’t know how to sail, that wasn’t option and charter boats are out of my budget (many save up all year to afford their rental). I needed a third way and found it. It was shockingly easy to find rides on boats and this makes the oh-so-expensive BVIs much more affordable for those looking to explore these beautiful islands on budget.

boats sailing the british virgin islands at sunset

But more than saving money, this method make new friends along the way and that experience is priceless.

The post How to Sail the British Virgin Islands for Free appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.


How to Sail the British Virgin Islands for Free

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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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Bangkok..Constança Mundo a fora

Bangkok..Constança Mundo a foraOutubro de férias para conhecer um pouquinho de Templos e receber massagens divinas. Na próxima irei as ilhas e praias que dizem ser o máximo. Ana Karina foi…

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Cave Rai Ra Inspired Package

Cave Rai Ra Inspired Package

Let’s  experience our  Cave Rai Ra Inspired Package”  a time honored system of balancing mind,body and spirit with our combination of yoga and massage.

 Package includes:

·   Meditation                                   5  mins.

·  Balancing Yoga Massage              90 mins.

·Relaxing Herbal Tea & Light Snack  10 mins.

· Relaxing Massage                         45 mins.

                                              (2.30 hours)

*Refreshment Warm Herbal Tea* 

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Rai Ra Inspired Package

Rai Ra Inspired Package

Let’s  experience our  Rai Ra Inspired Package a time honored system of balancing mind,body and spirit with our combination of yoga and massage.

   Package includes:

·  Meditation                                      5  mins.

·  Balancing Yoga Massage                 90 mins.

· Relaxing Herbal Tea & Light Snack   10 mins.

·Relaxing Massage                           45 mins.

                                                 (2.30 hours)

*Refreshment Warm Herbal Tea* 

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az3_1_2

Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park

Bangkok Travel deals

CARTOON NETWORK AMAZONE

The world’s favorite kids’ channel is bringing guests the ultimate in family entertainment! Cartoon Network Amazone, the world’s first Cartoon Network themed waterpark is set to make a huge splash on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, in late 2014.

Set amid 14 acres of lush coastal plains with ocean views and incredible evening sunsets, the waterpark is located in the burgeoning resort hotspot of Bang Saray, just 90 minutes southeast of Bangkok International Airport.

With 10 entertainment zones to discover, guests can spend an entire day exploring the irrepressible world of Cartoon Network. From powering up with Ben 10 on all-new high-speed water rollercoasters, or going vertical with Jake from Adventure Time, there is an exhilarating splash landing for guests of all ages. For the little ones, Cartoon Network’s characters, such as Gumball, Darwin and The PowerPuff Girls await them at Cartoonival, the world’s largest aqua playground with over 150 water attractions!

When it comes to dining, Cartoon Network turns an ordinary meal into a culinary delight with the best of local and international cuisine, all freshly prepared in the Cartoon Network Foodville show kitchen. In the evening, dazzling live shows featuring acrobats and digital light displays will signal the perfect finale to an incredible family day out.

Amazon Falls, the Thailand based developer of Cartoon Network Amazone, is collaborating with Turner Broadcasting Asia Pacific, the owner and operator of Cartoon Network, to animate the guest experience like never before. You’ve seen it on screens. Now get ready for some real-life Cartoon Network splash hits and awesome adventure!


Operating Hours : The Park opens at 10:00 am and closes at 06:00 pm and the last admission is 05:00pm.

Located on Thailand’s east coast in Bang Saray Bay, 20 minutes from Pattaya City and a two-hour drive from Bangkok, the sprawling water park features 10 themed zones that include high-speed water rollercoasters, a beach-inspired wave pool, and Cartoonival, billed as the world’s largest aqua playground with 150 water features.

From:
฿1,060.00

To:
฿3,510.00

Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
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New Products from Main Website Store

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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vana_nava_hua_hin_5_1

Vana nava Waterpark Huahin

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Location:Huahin
Daily Opening Hours
Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
will be open till 21:00 Every Friday, Saturday and long weekend.

Vana Nava Hua Hin, Asia’s first Water Jungle is located right in the heart of Thailand’s most renowned resort town of Hua Hin. Claiming to be the first ecologically and community aware waterpark in the region, Vana Nava Hua Hin has literally transformed an empty plot of land into a tropical jungle, with over 200,000 living species from across Thailand in its 20 Rai (3.2 hectares) property. Combining state of the art technology and modern facilities with 19 very exciting rides and slides from the World’s best, WhiteWater West industries, exciting Vana Nava Hua Hin is set to make a very big splash in Thailand’s tourism industry.

From the largest slide in Thailand, the Abyss, to the tallest man made mountain with waterfall in Asia, Vana Nava Falls, we have it all.
With year round events, day and night entertainment, a wide range of dining options and a whole lot more, Vana Nava Hua Hin is uniquely positioned to become one of the best family leisure destinations in the region. Moreover, as the only waterpark in Thailand that adheres to the strictest international safety standard and lifeguard provision,

Vana Nava Hua Hin can ensure a “fun without fear” experience to all our visitors. Also, thanks to a proprietary RFID and data management technology that allows our customers to pay cashlessly, share and order photos captured within the park, our visitors can enjoy the day without having to worry about cash, cameras or mobile phones.
All of our buildings have been craft fully designed, topped with an iconic roofing structure in order to create a great, never felt before ambience. Together with other interactive facilities such as LED lighting in all the pools, game arcade, shops and massage pavilion, Vana Nava Hua Hin promises to deliver a splashtastic fun to thrill and chill seekers of all ages.

From:
฿600.00

To:
฿2,200.00

Vana nava Waterpark Huahin

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

New Products from Main Website Store

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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HTTW50bookcover

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: The New Edition (and Special Offer)

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how to travel the world on 50 a day, second editionIn 2013, I published my first book, How to Travel the World on $50 A Day. However, information constantly changes in travel – tips get dated and new ways to save always emerge, which is why with great excitement, I’d like to announce an even bigger and better second edition of the book is on its way to a bookstore (and Urban Outfitters) near you. I’ve updated and revised existing content and added over 100 new pages of tips, tricks, and stories that will help you save money. I also added new sections on China, India, and Japan! There’s a lot of information and detail in the book you’ll never find on this blog!

I’m really proud of this edition and love it even more than the first one. On January 6th, 2015, you’ll be able to find this second edition in a store near you, but today I want to announce an amazing pre-order giveaway for my book. I’m offering the following special pre-order packages, featuring copies of all my other books, travel discounts, free hostels, flights, and more, to people who order the book right now (or, at least, sometime before the end of the year). The packages are listed below and all you need to do to claim your bonuses is e-mail me a copy of your receipt at matt@nomadicmatt.com.

I’m very excited about this new edition and, in the coming weeks, I’ll be announcing a lot of events (including a four month book tour) around its release but, for now, here are the pre-order specials!

The Basic Set (Cost: $11, Value: $60)
Purchase one copy of the book and get:

  • How to Build a Travel Blog ebook (Value: $9.99)
  • How to Teach English Overseas ebook (Value: $19.99)
  • 27 Ways to Be Master Traveler PDF (Value: $5)
  • 50 Inspiring Travel Books and Movies PDF (Value: $5)

Order your copy from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo

***BEST VALUE*** The Fiver (Cost: $55, Value: $204)
Buy 5 copies of my book and get ALL THE ABOVE plus:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking ebook (Value: $37)
  • How to Make Money with Your Blog ebook (Value: $27)
  • $75 USD off a round the world ticket from Airtreks (Value: $75)
  • $15 off Walks of Italy or Walks of New York tours (Value: $15)

Order your copies from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo

The Quarter Life Crisis (Cost: $275, Value: $556)
Buy 25 copies of my book and get ALL THE ABOVE plus:

  • 1 hour planning call with me (Value: $250)
  • A moleskin notebook (Value: $10)
  • Rolf Pott’s inspiring book Vagabonding (Value: $10)
  • Benny Lewis’s Speak from Day One language course (Value: $97)

Order your copies from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo

The Fifty Shades of Matt (Cost: $550, Value: $915)
Buy 50 copies of my book and get ALL THE ABOVE plus:

  • 3 nights at any hostel of your choice in a semi-private room (Value: $100)
  • One free Context Travel tour (valid for one person only) (Value: $50)
  • A “Keep Calm and Travel On” T-Shirt (Value: $9.99)
  • 1 extra hour of planning with me (Value: $250)

Order your copies from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo

SUPER BONUS! The Centennial (Cost: $1100, Value: $1700)
Buy 100 copies of my book and get ALL THE ABOVE plus:

  • Lunch on me! I’ll come to your city and we’ll have lunch… on me. (Limited to those within the United States) (Value: $150)
  • 5 nights at any hostel of your choice in a private room (Value: $300)
  • One round-trip US domestic ticket (Limited to the first 10 people) (Value: $400)

Order your copies from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo

To use a poker term, I went “all in” and, as you’ll see in the coming months, I invested a lot into this edition of the book. If I’ve helped you save money on your travels and realize some of your dreams, this is your chance to give back and help me realize one of mine. Even if you don’t need the book, you can gift it to someone and help them to experience the wonders of travel that have brought us so much. Lots of people make a new year’s resolution to travel more and this book can help make that happen!

So I thank you in advance for any and all of your support of my book release. With your help, let’s make this book number one and help more people broaden their travel horizons.

P.S. – If you are in the NYC area, I’ll be hosting a holiday party on December 18th. Come down, meet other travelers, swap good stories, and enjoy an open bar! You can find out more and RSVP here.

The post How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: The New Edition (and Special Offer) appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.


How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: The New Edition (and Special Offer)

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

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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hitchikingchina1

What Hitchhiking Alone as a Female in China Taught Me About Hospitality

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Kristin Addis hitchhiking around ChinaOn the second Wednesday of the month, Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse writes a guest column featuring tips and advice on solo female travel. It’s an important topic I can’t cover so I brought in an expert to share her advice. This is her column this month.

It was February in China and, with the town of Lijiang’s elevation in Yunnan province, still very much a cold winter wonderland. Standing outside waiting wasn’t how I wanted to spend the morning. But Ya Ting had such enthusiasm for the idea of hitchhiking that opting for the bus just seemed boring at this point. She had been hitchhiking around China for months and considered it such a casual and obvious option that it took the fear right out of me.

China had been on my bucket list ever since studying Mandarin in Taiwan seven years prior. I knew from conversations with friends that traveling around China would not be as carefree and easy as in Southeast Asia. What I didn’t plan on was spending about a month without coming across another foreigner, hitchhiking over 1,000 miles, and learning more about Chinese culture and hospitality than I think possible from traveling by bus or train.

Kristin and ya ting hitchhiking around China

Ya Ting had taken me under her wing after hearing me speaking Mandarin in a hostel dorm in Lijiang. She was fascinated by my fluency and wanted to travel together, which was how we ended up on the side of the road with looking for a ride to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Within in twenty minutes, we had our first ride. I guess it wouldn’t take hours after all. He couldn’t take us all the way, and ended up dropping us at a freeway crossroads. I figured that would be the end of our luck, but almost immediately we got another ride.

Hitchhiking turned out to be more of a study of anthropology than a scary, irresponsible joy ride. It was astonishingly easy and drivers turned out to be incredibly nice and normal. As a new hitchhiker, I expected creeps and serial murderers I’d have to fight off with mace. In reality, they came from all normal walks of life – members of minority village tribes, university students, and businessmen returning home from a work trip.

Not once did I feel threatened or unsafe.

Our most noteworthy encounter was when a 20-something kid picked us up. He couldn’t take us the whole way so his uncle bought us lunch and a bus ticket for the rest of the journey. It’s as though he felt obligated to help us find a way to complete our trip. It brought tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes. This was the first time I understood the importance of generosity and the high esteem that guests hold in China. It was a selfless act that would repeat itself in the weeks to come.

The green countryside of a river basin in China

Ya Ting’s theory had been we were so getting so lucky because we were a local and a foreigner together, and that had sparked intrigue. She didn’t think we would get so lucky once we split up. After a few weeks traveling together, we said good-bye and I would test her theory.

I stood behind the tollbooth on a heavily trafficked highway onramp in Sichuan province, casually lowering my thumb each time a police car drove by. I was well-aware of the challenge before me. Ya Ting was no longer around to do the talking nor did I have someone to lean upon if something went wrong. Now I was just a strange foreigner on her own who suddenly had to manage to converse with a borderline-conversational Mandarin ability.

At first, a few cars slowed down for a closer look, only to speed off. Then others simply weren’t going in my direction. Minutes stretched on and I was feeling defeated. After about thirty minutes (or an eternity depending on who is counting), a kind duo picked me up and took me the entire 8 hours to Chengdu. They hosted lunch on the way, and, as I had come to learn was typical of Chinese culture, refused to allow me to pay for any of it. I was amazed at the kindness still extended to me now that I was just a foreigner on her own and no longer had Ya Ting’s dynamic personality to help me along. This reinforced my belief that people weren’t being friendly because of Ya Ting but that Chinese culture dictates a hospitality we don’t often see in the West.

Sunset at a temple in china

A week later, two business partners returning from a trip from Tibet picked me up. They drove about twice as fast as the busses and, in between white knuckling in the back seat and eating the occasional slice of yak jerky (delicious dehydrated beef-like meat and Tibetan spices), we discussed the topography of California as compared to Sichuan province.

They stopped partway for a lunch of the famous Ya An fish, which the driver, Mr. Li, had selected from the fish tank, along with some six other massive dishes to be split amongst three people. He explained that the fish had a double-edged sword inside its head. Given my perplexed expression he elected to show me, calling over the waitress and asking her to break the fish’s head open.

I was all but convinced I was going to have to eat fish brain until the waitress triumphantly pulled out a sword-shaped bone from the fish’s head. She then cleaned it and fashioned it into a bracelet. It simultaneously became the most sharp and lethal yet genuinely interesting piece of jewelry anyone had ever given me. It felt like my heart grew two sizes it that moment.

kristin addis hitchhiking around China

China smashed many of my perceptions. Before this, I never understood why anyone hitchhiked. Getting into vehicles with strangers seemed dangerous and stupid. In reality, it taught me about kindness, improved my language ability immensely, and provided an insider’s view as a foreigner in China. From eating meals with locals, to sitting in their cars, to hearing the music they liked most, or whether they preferred bagged chicken feet to dried fruit, I witnessed Chinese life in a way that almost nobody else gets to see. Without hitchhiking, I may never have understood the generous and communal nature of Chinese people.

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 What Hitchhiking Alone as a Female in China Taught Me About Hospitality appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.


What Hitchhiking Alone as a Female in China Taught Me About Hospitality

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

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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hongkongfood1

16 Delicious Restaurants in Hong Kong

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cooking food at a street stall in Hong KongWandering the crowded streets of Hong Kong, one always finds street vendors serving delicious noodles, roasted ducks hanging in the windows of restaurants, fish tanks full of tonight’s dinner, and trendy restaurants next to decades old dim sum establishments. Smells of rice, fried chicken, and noodles fill the air as you move from restaurant to restaurant. Food is the grease that keeps the wheels of this city moving at a lightning fast pace.

And, as my flight began its final descent, I drooled over the thought of all the food I was going to eat during my visit. I was in Hong Kong last month to eat my way through the city in preparation for an upcoming city guide. It was my fourth visit and, within hours of landing, I’d eaten three meals.

Over the course of the next four days, I gorged myself every waking hour in order to create a robust list of suggested restaurants for future travelers. I’m pretty sure I gained about five pounds during my visit. But the food in Hong Kong is worth all the extra time at the gym. I can’t imagine the city without it. Though my upcoming guide contains an even greater list of places to eat, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today:

Mak’s Noodles (77 Wellington Street, Central)
Mak’s is famous for its wonton noodles and is one of the best noodle shops in the city thanks to their tasty broth, healthy sized portions, and cheap prices (less than $5 USD). All their food is homemade and the service quick. I’ve been twice and slurping down those noodles is one of my new favorite things to do while in Hong Kong.

Kong Restaurant
Located on Nathan Road, the fried rice and chicken dishes make this restaurant worth a stop. I loved their pineapple rice, which arrived in a big portion and heavy on the pineapple (yum!). If you’re looking for a quick, light, and cheap lunch, this place is a good choice. Sadly, their noodles are mediocre in a city known for noodles (Mak’s is better).

Tsui Wah (15-19 Wellington Street, Central)
This popular chain restaurant serves both Hong Kong and Western dishes, though it’s famous for its Cantonese dishes such as fish ball noodles, curry beef brisket and crispy condensed milk buns. It’s always crowded but makes for great hangover food. If you go during peak dinner or lunch hours, expect a long wait. You can find locations all over the city.

Aberdeen Fish and Noodle Shop (G/F, 148 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok)
I stumbled across this noodle and soup shop located near the Ladies Market in Mong Kok while searching for lunch one day. The shop was filled with locals — I didn’t see one Westerner there and judging by “are you lost?” looks from the other patrons, I don’t think they see many Western diners. The fried noodles were delicious and super cheap ($2.50 USD) and they serve a tasty fish ball soup. Service is slow, so be sure to flag down the staff when you want something. The restaurant will also seat various parties together to fill the table, so don’t be shy about sharing a table with strangers.

Yokozuna (466-472 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei)
This is one of the best and most consistently good ramen places in Hong Kong. The restaurant only seats 24 so expect a wait for a table. But, for your patience, you’ll be rewarded with broth and noodles made fresh, flavorful, and served quickly. As a ramen lover, this place gets two thumbs up from me.

Butao Ramen (69 Wellington Street)
Another world class ramen restaurant. This small establishment is famous for its slow-cooked pork bone soup and “King Black”, a squid ink ramen soup. The regular ramen with basic pork and noodles are richly flavored. They serve a delicious miso flavored ramen, too!

Sushi Mori (16/F, Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay)
Located on Wellington Street (and in a building with a lot of restaurants I didn’t have time to try), this sushi restaurant isn’t cheap, but their $45 USD lunch special gives you a lot of superb quality fish, big portions, and an appetizer and dessert. They even use real wasabi (what you eat at most places is just colored horseradish). Sushi is always a splurge but if you want to splurge and make it worth it, I recommend this place. It’s incredible.

Shang Hai HK Restaurant
This tiny restaurant tucked away in Jardin’s Bazaar on Causeway Bay offers some of the tastiest chicken and rice in Hong Kong. Big portions are served by friendly staff on shared tables. I return here every time I’m in the city. Not only is it delicious, it’s cheap (under $5 USD).

Kam Lung Gourmet
On the same street and a couple of doors down from Shang Hai HK, this place also served delicious noodles and succulent pork. It’s inexpensive, popular, and open late. It’s a nice little hole in the wall restaurant.

Tim Ho Wan (Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui)
This is the world famous dim sum restaurant located in Mong Kok. Its three Michelin stars mean that everyone wants to eat here and, as a result, wait times can be up to three hours long. The food is worth a wait! (To avoid lines, come in the morning – dim sum is a breakfast food anyway.)

Chom Chom (G/F Block A, 58-60 Peel St, Central)
If you’re looking for good Vietnamese food in Hong Kong, check out this place in SoHo. It serves amazing pho with richly flavored broth in healthy sized portions. It’s a popular place among the Western expats that live in the city.

Din Tai Fung (G/F, 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay)
Another very popular dim sum restaurant in Causeway Bay (they actually have multiple locations around the city and the world) that is packed all the time. They are famous for their soup dumplings and steamed pork buns (I loved both). The food comes quickly, the servers are friendly, and you feel like you’re in banquet hall because it’s so large.

Lan Fong Yuen (G/F, 2 Gage Street Central)
Located in the Graham Street market area, this tiny restaurant is famous for its milk tea and sandwiches. But come here and get their noodles and BBQ pork – they’re flavorful and more filling. It’s a popular stop with both locals and food tours.

Tuk Tuk Thai (G/F, 30 Graham Street Central)
Also located on Graham Street, Tuk Tuk offers the most traditional Thai food in the city. Their curry, papaya salad, and rice all taste like they were made in Thailand. Be sure to stop here if you enjoy authentic Thai food (and something a little spicy).

Lin Heung Tea House (G/F, 160-164 Wellington Street)
Located in SoHo, this dim sum place is popular with local Chinese and seems to have its fair share of regulars who just sit around and shoot the sh*t. It reminds me of a local suburban coffee shop where old timers go. It’s a traditional place so waiters come around with carts of food and you take what you want. Definitely don’t expect an English menu, but locals and waiters will help you when they see your confused face looking at all the dishes.

Mr. Wong’s (10 Shamchn Street, Mong Kok)
A place popular with foreigners in Mong Kok, Mr. Wong’s doesn’t serve the best food in Hong Kong but he does serve up unlimited food and beer at one price. It’s one of the most enjoyable experiences, with travelers and expats sharing stories and beer with each other and Mr. Wong himself! This restaurant is all about the experience. It’s my favorite value place in Hong Kong.

Note: All Chinese restaurants serve free tea with your meals.

This list is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg for a city with thousands of restaurants (I’ll share more as well as food markets in my upcoming city guide) but if you only have a few days and are wondering where to eat, here are some places to keep you busy and full.

P.S. – If you are in the NYC area, I’ll be hosting a holiday party on December 18th. Come down, meet other travelers, swap good stories, and enjoy an open bar! You can find out more and RSVP here.

The post 16 Delicious Restaurants in Hong Kong appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.


16 Delicious Restaurants in Hong Kong

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hongkongtodo2

How to Spend Four Days in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong's beautiful skyline from above at the golden hour
Hong Kong. Its name inspires visions of a chaotic, jam-packed city with soaring skyscrapers, thick smog, endless noodle stands, big finance, and wild nights out. It’s one of my top five favorite cities in the world and I relish any chance to visit. The fast pace creates a sense of permanent change and the crowds, the multi-culturalism, and the food keeps me continuously coming back. Oh, the food! I could sit bent over a noodle bowl all day long!

Hong Kong is a busy city of eight million inhabitants with one of the biggest hub airports in the world. Hong Kong can be overwhelming for many visitors, especially those not used to crowded places. And, with so much to do here, one can scratch their head on where to start in order get the most out of their trip.

This four-day itinerary will help you organize your trip, steer you off the beaten path, and show you why Hong Kong is one of the most on-the-go cities in the world.

Day 1

Visit the Hong Kong Museum of History – In order to understand a place, you must first understand its past. This museum lets you do just that. It provides an excellent overview of Hong Kong’s long and complex past. There are exhibits relating to the archaeology, social history, ethnography, and natural histories of the region. It’s big, so allow about two to four hours for your visit. Admission is free on Wednesdays and there is an audio tour available for HKD$10.

Walk through Kowloon Park
The central water fountain in Kowloon ParkHead to Kowloon Island’s gigantic park that features a swimming pool, a fitness center, little ponds where you can watch ducks and other birds swim, a Chinese garden, an aviary, and plenty of rest areas where you can relax to escape the oppressive Hong Kong heat. It’s one of the best places to people-watch in the city.

Visit the street markets in Mong Kok
The crowded chaotic street markets in Mong Kok, HK
This area of Hong Kong has the largest and busiest markets in which to soak up the busy atmosphere, sights, and sounds of Hong Kong. The crowds and sellers really exemplify Hong Kong’s busy, on the move essence. The two best markets for inexpensive souvenirs are the Ladies Market (bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs) and the Temple Street Night Market (flea market).

Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront – Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and take in the breathtaking skyline view of Hong Kong Island. While you’re here, make sure to visit the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s answer to the Hollywood “Walk of Fame” where you can see the stars of Chinese and Western actors alike. There are shops, restaurants, and, at night, a large outdoor market serving traditional Cantonese food alongside knockoffs and souvenirs. Come ready to haggle.

Take the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry crossing the river to Kowloon Island
The best way to get across the harbor from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island is via the Star Ferry, which showcases a fantastic view of the city skyline for only HK$2.20. It’s one of my favorite activities to while visiting.

Day 2

Ride 360 Ngong Ping
The 360 Ngong Ping cable car at dusk
This cable car runs a little over 3.5 miles, spanning from Tung Chung across the bay towards the airport and then onward to Lantau Island. The cable car gives you a panoramic view of the whole airport, harbor, and city before it travels through the surrounding mountains. The ride lasts about 25 minutes and takes you to Lantau Island, where you can visit the Po Lin Monastery. The area is a bit touristy but the ride and monastery provide worthwhile views of the city and little islands that dot Hong Kong.

Take a food tour – After spending the morning riding the cable car and enjoying a killer view of Hong Kong, spend lunchtime taking a food tour. Hong Kong is a food-filled city and you’ll find a diverse range of food from around the world. Without help, you’ll never find all the hidden local favorites. The following three companies offer the best value tours:

Rent a junk boat
Large junk boat with big red sails in Hong Kong
Junk boats – those classic boats with the large sail you see in any movie about Hong Kong – are a fun way to sail around the harbor on full-day and half-day trips. You can rent out a boat with a large group of friends (15 or so people) or join a group trip. Here are some recommended companies that offer affordable tours:

Day 3

Walk the Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Red front doors of the temple on the Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Located in the New Territories (the city’s less visited northern district), this trail will lead you past some of the most important ancient sights of the Tang clan — the walled Hakka village of Tsang Tai Uk, the Fu Shin Street Traditional Bazaar, Che Kung Temple, Man Mo Temple, and the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Another option is the Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail. It begins at the Taoist temple complex of Fung Ying Seen Koon and passes the walled villages of Ma Wat Wai and Lo Wai before ending at the 18th-century Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall.

This part of Hong Kong is often skipped by tourists and the trails, meandering through the city’s more rural region, are quiet and a welcome break from the giant metropolis of the downtown area.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Dolls depicting Chinese historical scenes at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum
This museum showcases the city’s history and love of art. There’s a large exhibit about the New Territories and an opera house for performances. It fills in some of the blanks left from the Hong Kong History Museum and gives you a look at the artistic culture of the city. It’s also located near the beautiful Sha Tin Park and Shing Mun River, making the surrounding area just as interesting as the museum!

Che Kung Temple – Just down the road from the Heritage Museum, this temple is dedicated to Che Kung, a general during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279) in ancient China. The temple complex here is always filled with people so be prepared for crowds. The traditional architecture and intricate sculptures make this worth visiting after you see the Heritage Museum.

Day 4

The Peak Tram
The red Peak Tram going up Hong Kong Island's tallest mountain
This tram takes you to the top of the Peak, Hong Kong Island’s largest mountain, at 1700 feet. You ride a funicular to the top where you enjoy spectacular 180 degree views of the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, and the surrounding hills. It’s the best view of the city.

Hong Kong Museum of Art – This museum is a fascinating and intriguing place that exhibits Chinese ceramics, terracotta, rhinoceros horns, and Chinese paintings as well as contemporary art produced by Hong Kong artists. It’s part art museum, part Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Experience the nightlife at Lan Kwai Fong
Nightlife and bars in Hong Kong
LKF is the main nightlife and party area in Hong Kong and is filled with tons of bars, clubs, sheesha, and cheap drinks. Nights out here are wild – the street is always crowded, people get very drunk, and shots get handed out like candy. It’s rowdy but, if you want to see Hong Kong’s wilder side, this is the place to do it.

Other Suggested Activities

  1. Day trip to Macau – The gambling mecca of Macau is an short boat ride away. For HK$150, the 60-75 minute boat ride from Hong Kong’s ferry terminal will take you to this former Portuguese colony where you can wander gigantic modern casinos, stroll historic streets lined with Portuguese-inspired houses, and dine on egg tarts, a famous local specialty.
  2. Take a cooking class – Hong Kong is full of food. Why not learn how to cook some of it? This Hong Kong expat website has a list of twenty schools.
  3. Go hiking – Hong Kong may be a densely packed city, but there is also scenic hiking in the outer mountains and islands. There are a lot of trails (especially in the undeveloped parts of the New Territories). This link to the Hong Kong tourism board lists all the trails.
  4. Visit Disneyland and Ocean Park – If you’re on a family trip, or if you’re a backpacker in touch with your inner child, head to Disneyland or Ocean Park for a fun-filled day. Hang out with Mickey Mouse and shake hands with sea creatures. You can see Giant Pandas at Ocean Park, which justifies the whole visit.

In a city of eight million people, there are countless things to see and do. One could fill weeks exploring Hong Kong’s many islands, markets, restaurants, sights, and nightlife. Though impossible to condense a city so vast into a four-day itinerary, this list can help you experience the most Hong Kong has to offer in a short period of time.

P.S. – If you are in the NYC area, I’ll be hosting a holiday party on December 18th. Come down, meet other travelers, swap good stories, and enjoy an open bar! You can find out more and RSVP here.

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


How to Spend Four Days in Hong Kong

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

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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