Underrated activities that tourists may forget they can do

July 12, 2019 0 By Janice

-Words by Janice Chan of VentureSeekr-

Image by RAWPIXEL.COM

What mistakes do people often make when planning a trip (& how to avoid it!)

No one wants to have an unpleasant experience when they go on holiday, the benefits of planning in advance may help to reduce stunned times. However, sometimes planning may fail which could limit your availability. Following are lists of reminders you should be aware of:

 

  • A wide options available 

Try not to book the first attractive option that pops up in the initial stages of any research regardless of what you’re searching for. The more research you do when seeking accommodations, flights, transportation arrangement, etc., the better you’ll understand your available options. Websites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Trivago will do price comparison for you, giving you a wide range of options for the best price and selection.

 

  • Make it simple yet substantial 

Never over plan your schedule. Rather hitting 5 attractions point per day, gather a list of places you’d like to go and prioritize them. Rushing from one place to another, and another, may waste your time on traveling. I’d recommend 2 to 3 attraction points maximum per day depending on the nature of the activity. Enjoy the time to look around and take selfies for your Instagram! 

 

  • Purchase suitable travel insurance - A MUST!

No matter how much you hate accidents, it’ll still happen sometimes. Medical emergency support from overseas could be very expensive. Buying a travel insurance can save you from expensive medical bills, in which it could cost $200,000 or more, depending on the country you’re staying. 

 

  • Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance

Airport may be crowded on a certain day and you’ll never know. There may be long queue from front desk checking in to security check. Leave 2 to 3 hours before departure time could save you from missing flights. 

 

  • Bring your identification!

Better be safe - Make photocopies of your travel documents including passport, itinerary, prescriptions, and important phone numbers. Learn more about the local situation, e.g. weather, law and order, and obtain visas if necessary. Do check the number of the country’s emergency contact, as well as write down the details of your own emergency contact persons on your travel document.


 

Underrated Travel Activities and Places that Tourists Forget they Can Do

 

Vietnamese cooking lessons @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the most populous city in Vietnam. Often family-run market stalls offers the best pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup) and pork rolls. If you’ve already visited the Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, and would like to stay indoors to get away from the heat, you can always book a cooking class to DIY your own Pho. While many of the major hotels offer generic cooking lessons, a smaller-size class is a far better option. You’ll be paired up in teams, each group along with a chef will bring you to source ingredients at a nearby market before cooking. Classic dishes such as summer rice rolls, rice noodle soups and many more can be taught. With the skills you learnt, you can cook Vietnamese dishes whenever you want when you’re back home missing the Vietnamese cuisine. 

See saigoncookingclass.com for private, full-day and half-day classes.

Image by Micelle Krozser @ burst.shopify.com

Stay a night at Iban longhouses @ Sarawak, Borneo

Everyone who has been to the longhouse in Borneo said it was a sui generis and unforgettable experience in life. However, not everyone likes the “back to basics” experience. Borneo is a special island in which it is composed by 3 different countries - Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia, with the Malaysian part being divided into the two states of Sarawak to the west and Sabah to the east. The Indonesian portion is known as Kalimantan and Brunei’s section is between Sabah and Sarawak on the coast. The Iban is a group of former headhunters that is found throughout Borneo but is particularly concentrated in Sarawak. The whole village lives under one roof with families making their homes in the different rooms. Longhouses may contain up to 100 individual families and you’ll have to expect there’s only little privacy. The people here are known for their hospitality and generosity. Dancing, drinking and partying is the way of their interaction although they could be a little bit shy when first met. To arrange a stay, you can try to contact Sarawak Tourism Board; they can help with making arrangements. 

 

Glamping @ Yuen Long, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a dynamic and vibrant city. “The city that never sleeps” - is a well-known nickname for it. It is packed with people everywhere and it is sometimes hard to find a quiet and peaceful spot. Mingle farm is a top secret place in Yuen Long where you can go glamping in a transparent bubble-shaped tents. It is different from ordinary pitch-a-tent type of camping but what they do offer is 5 different camping options instead - AEcoSphere, BOX, Caravan, Wild Camping, and Fantasy, each with an unforgettable experience. Activities at the Mingle farm include barbecues, outdoor training, archery, kite flying, tree-top adventures, herb planting, organic gardening and more. 

Visit their website for more booking details. 

 

Our Lady Of The Rocks @ Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Montenegro is a country next to Croatia in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic Sea. I believe many people have not heard of this country before. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor. Our Lady of the Rock is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor.  It is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is the only building on the islet. It possesses a rich collection of stone monuments. It is only 2 hours away by car from Dubrovnik (Croatia). So why not rent a car or book a day tour for a visit to Montenegro!

Photo by Faruk Kaymak on Unsplash

Ko Phayam @ Ranong, Thailand

Ko Phayam is an excellent getaway for those who want to explore an island less touristy than others in Thailand. It is widely thought to be one of prettiest and undiscovered of Thailand's islands. It takes two hours from Ranong to Koh Phayam by boat and 45 minutes by speed boat. The lack of cars in this kangaroo shaped island will make you feel like you’re truly in another world. Only small roads with motorcycles and bicycles for cruising around. The two main bays are Ao Yai (the sunset bay) and Ao Khao Kwai (the Buffalo bay). Both bays have long curving white sandy beaches - walking along the beach is possible at any time. There is a dominant bar in the north named Hippy Bar, which is a must see spot if you’re visiting Koh Phayam.

Planning on a low budget trip? This is where it is. And remember...Shhh...

Keep this place a secret…

Image by Waranont Joe on Unsplash

Sunrise over the clouds @ Mount Batur, Bali

Mount Batur volcano is located on the island of Bali and the Kintamani District. It sits at 5,600 feet above sea level and it’s the most active volcano in Bali with the most recent eruption in 2000. The sun rises in the early morning hours offers an incredible colour show that you shouldn’t miss. Most travel agencies offer trekking sunrise tours and they normally starts at 2am in the midnight. It sounds very tiring but you’ll be able to trek through the jungle under a blanket of stars. The trekking journey takes around 2 hours from the starting point, which is located at the bottom of the mountain, up to the peak. The Mount Batur sunrise trek is not a “secret” trek for the people in the know and it is very popular among nature loving tourists. But it's totally worth walking to see the beauty above the clouds.

Photo by Juan Cruz Mountford on Unsplash

10 interesting 2019 facts you may want to know when you go visit these places (AKA ranked #1 in the world) 

 

Qatar - World’s RICHEST

Qatar is the richest country in the world with a per capita income of $134,620. They earn large revenues from oil and natural gas. With a relatively low population of two million, Qatar results in a large GDP per capita, where most residents of the country enjoy a very high standard of living. Petrol in Qatar is extremely cheap. It costs more to buy two Starbucks lattes than to fill up your Grand Cherokee!

 

Portugal - World’s FRIENDLIEST

Being an expat living in a foreign country can sometimes be challenging. Language barrier, getting used to new food are some social and practical challenges of living abroad could face. According to Forbes, the Portuguese are the most friendliest country in the world, almost each and everyone is very welcoming to outsiders! “People look after each other”, a Dutch expat said. 

 

Monaco - World’s LONGEST LIFE EXPECTANCY

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world with an area of 2.02 km square. With a small population of 39,102, it has the highest life expectancy in the world, with citizens living an average of 89.52 years.

 

Switzerland - World’s CLEANEST and HYGIENIC

The studies of Environmental Protection Index shows the conditions of health and hygiene conditions in various nations across the globe. According to countriestoday.com, Switzerland is considered to have the cleanest environment among other countries, with an EPI of 87.42. The most common medium of transport is bicycles, which has helped to lower the pollution level caused by vehicles. More on Switzerland: In addition to the world’s cleanest country, Swiss people loves delicious chocolates manufactured by the top Swiss brands in the country. The Swiss consume 19.4 pounds of chocolate per capita per year, making it the highest consumption of chocolate in the world.

 

Finland - World’s HAPPIEST

According to the World’s Happiest Report 2019, Finland is considered to rank the first for the second year in a row. This report measures 6 factors including GDP per capita; social support; life expectancy; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and corruption levels. Finland scores high on every factor but particularly strong on generosity. More on Finland: Day for Failure first started in Finland 2010. This is a day when people will be encouraged to throw away the shame associated with failing, whether the failure is personal or professional. Every year, October 13 is the International Day for Failure. 

 

London Underground, United Kingdom - World’s OLDEST METRO SYSTEM

London Underground, nicknamed as the Tube, is the first metro system in the world which began its operations in 1863. It is also the world’s third longest metro system, spanning 402km with 270 stations across its 11 lines. Although it is called “underground”, there are only 45% of the Underground is actually work in tunnels. Side note: Unless you’re super fit or in an emergency, do not try to climb the stairs in Hampstead station, the deepest on the whole of the network, with the highest number of 320 steps, equivalent to a 15 storey building!

Image by Flickr

Shanghai, China - World’s City with the LARGEST POPULATION  

Shanghai is China's most populous city as well as the largest city proper in the entire world. It has an average population density of 2,059 people per square kilometer, although this number increases to 3,854 people per square kilometer in urban areas. The name for Shanghai means  “Above the Sea,” which alludes to the city’s location along the Yangtze River Delta near the South China Sea. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Mandarin since learning English is compulsory starting from primary schools in Shanghai. 

 

Hong Kong, China - World’s City with the HIGHEST number of SKYSCRAPERS

You may initially think New York, Dubai or even Shenzhen are cities that will rank the first. Surprisingly, Hong Kong has beaten the rest of the world with a number of 355 buildings which are higher than 150 m (492 ft). Hong Kong is approximately 1,108 sq km, which is about 110 times smaller than New York. This city, however, is packed with people and buildings - you’ll hardly see any fields filled with livestock in the middle of the road. If you need a relaxing getaway, this may not be the best place since this is a city that never sleeps!  

 

Tokyo, Japan - World’s City who has the MOST MICHELIN STARS

Yeah! Japanese food is always one of my favorite cuisines. Whether you’re a high quality eater or food lover or even a food blogger, this is the place where you should go! According to the 2019 Michelin Guide, it announces that Tokyo has a total of 308 Michelin stars distributed on 230 restaurants. FYI - the rating systems works like this - one star signifies "a very good restaurant", two stars are "excellent cooking that is worth a detour", and three stars mean "exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey". With the wide options of restaurants to choose from, let’s say goodbye to picky eaters! 

 

Jackson Township, United States - World's TALLEST ROLLER COASTER

If you’re a big fan of heights or amusement parks, you should go and challenge the tallest roller coaster on earth! Kingda Ka is a steel accelerator roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Side tips: No matter how magnetic you’re to your phone, I’d suggest you not to bring it on a roller coaster, especially on volatile thrill rides! If not, grab a Catalyst phone case for full impact protection.

Image by Flick

Your next adventure starts here. Capture the most of your trip and maximize the use of your handy smartphones.  Keep your device safe and protected - Catalyst offers the best shock protection and water protection cases. 

 

The Catalyst Impact Protection Case for iPhone XS features a grippy rubber bumper, lanyard attachment, rotating mute switch and clear case back that showcases the logo on your iPhone. The design has an angular modern form that perfectly fit for the new iPhone, as well as additional drop protection from an innovative truss cushioning system that is combined with a proprietary rubber polymer blend. It increases the impact protection to 9.9 feet (or 3 meters) while a raised bezel protects the screen. The open port gives unobstructed access to the charging port and the rear camera is sealed and protected to keep out dust and debris. This slim, protective case protects your iPhone from scratches and drops and is also fully compatible with Wireless Charging.

 

The Catalyst Waterproof case for iPhone XS is an evolution of their high-performance waterproof and drop proof cases. With 33 feet (or 1 0 meters) waterproof protection and 6.6 feet (or 2 meters) drop protection, this case has become the industry leader in slim everyday waterproof cases. Catalyst is known for having superior acoustic performance and engineering that features patented True Sound Acoustic Technology™ and rotating mute switch. The hard-coated dual optical lens on their case fully seals the phone away from snow, dirt and dust. An integrated screen protector provides a good touch sensitivity while the clear case showcases your iPhone's stylish design and fully supports Wireless Charging. The protective case has an oversized lightning port that fits most charge cables and this water resistant case will protect your iPhone from scratches. This case has the highest waterproof specifications on the market, however it gives you so much more than protection.

 

Visit https://www.catalystlifestyle.com/ to get yours now! 

#LoveCatalystCase

 

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