Floating market

Activities in Bangkok

Bangkok is well known for its nightlife. A large number of nightclubs as well as bars have sprung up in the city to cater to its burgeoning foreign tourist arrivals all year round. Clubs like Bed Supperclub, Route 66, The Dubliner, The Londoner, House of Beers, Viva & Aviv, Iron Fairies, Ba Da Bing Bar are popular with foreign tourists.

Bangkok is also known to be a shoppers’ paradise. Shopping in Bangkok is actually very affordable because you have to pay in Thai Baht and not in dollars. There are many street markets in Bangkok that sell faux accessories, delicious street food as well as antiques. Some of the well known markets are Chatuchak market, Klongsan Market, Klong Toey Fresh market, Bangkok Farmers’ market and others. If you want to visit some malls while in Thailand, Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery are as good as they come.

Small shelter

Exploring Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is certainly more family-friendly compared to Bangkok. It may be a bit off the beaten path but if you want to glimpse the real Thailand, you must go to Chiang Mai. It is easy to travel in Chiang Mai. The city has a very relaxed pace of life so it is quite idyllic. The locals are friendly and there are many places where you can have many adventures. In Chiang Mai, you can ride an elephant, visit a night Safari and go swimming or picnicking at waterfalls.

The picturesque Mae Sa Valley is just 30 minutes away from the city. There is a multi-tiered waterfall here that is visited by many tourists. The Chiang Mai-Lampang Road Elephant Conservation Center is 70 km away from the city and is a nice visit for a day’s outing. There are daily elephant shows at the camp between 10.00 am and 11.00. You can help the trainers bathe the elephants and even feed them with your hand.

The Perfect Day: Sunrise to Sunset in Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is type of laid back, barefoot, chilled out island paradise where you can spend the entire day sleeping in a sunlounger and dipping your toes in the surf. There is no rush here, it’s made for relaxing and enjoying a slower pace of life. Lee and I found it to be the ideal break from the hectic pace of Manila and a great place to slow down and enjoy ourselves.

We had many perfect days on Boracay – it’s not that hard to do. Here’s what an idyllic day on this island might look like:Head over to the eastern side of the island to catch the sunrise at the famous kitesurfing spot, Bulabog Beach. This side of the island is much quieter and less developed. The sunrise will light up the sky with a fiery orange hue as the rays of the powerful sun flood across the peaceful blue sea.I often prefered to have a liquid breakfast while on Boracay in the form of a refreshing fruit smoothie. There are several fruit smoothie shacks along the length of the beach serving up fresh blends of mango, pineapple, banana and other mouthwatering tropical fruits. A smoothie is healthy and refreshing in the heat and it is quite filling too.As you walk down the beach on Boracay you will notice volleyball nets set up with people playing barefoot in the sand. The games are pretty casual, so someone is likely to invite you to join in. Also, many of the beach resorts will provide beach volleyball equipment such as nets and balls, so ask at the front desk of your resort. It’s a fun and laid back sport and great exercise too.

(If you are as clumsy and uncoordinated as I am, you might just want to sit on the side and watch the game while enjoying a fruit smoothie.)It goes without saying that Boracay offers superb seafood. One of the best places to go for a freshly cooked seafood meal is Talipapa Market, which is located on the main road of Station 2. The way it works is that you choose your fish from the market then the restaurants will cook it and provide other side dishes and drinks. Check out this great guide to having a seafood feast at the market.Of course, you could spend the afternoon just lounging on the beach and no one would hold it against you. That’s how chilled out Boracay is. However, there is also a great selection of watersports activities to enjoy here.

The snorkeling is amazing, as the water is calm and clear and there are an abundance of colourful tropical creatures living beneath the surface. You can take a boat trip to some of the different beaces and reefs around the island. There are also kitesurfing and windsufing rentals available, as well as waterskiing, parasailing and glass bottom boat tours.My favourite time to walk down the length of White Beach was at sunset. This beach faces the west, so it offers a perfect view of the spectacular sunset colours. As I walked along the edge of the water I watched the sun sinking slowly below the horizon and the sky turn shades of peach and lavender while listening to the music from the bars and the sound of people laughing and talking on the beach.When we were in Boracay we dined at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos restaurant, which offered an all you can eat ribs and beer night. For three hours, we could feast on sticky, juicy barbequed ribs and cold beer – which was wonderfully hedonistic. We dined on a table outside, our feet in the sand and a fresh breeze coming in from the ocean. I don’t even want to know how many ribs we ended up scarfing by the end of the night – washed down with delicious chocolate banana rum milkshakes.