The most famous attraction in all of Chiang Mai is this one! Doi Suthep, it was the most beautiful thing I ever seen! It’s 12km outside of Chiang Mai and there is multiple ways to get there. I ended up splitting a Songkran ride with someone to my hostel for a round-trip! Be careful the timing you go because, we went late and getting home.. YIKES if you do not have a driver set up. There is also a beautiful mountain that overlooks the whole city! You must go
2. Be Fashionable At Nimmanhaemin Road
Nimmanhaemin Road is the trendiest part of Chiang Mai, full of fancy bars and restaurants it is the place where all the up and coming citizens of the area hang out. I woudnt say its “Backpacker Haven”, but it is a trendy spot if you like that vibe Check it out!. There is also a shopping Mall close by
3. Take A Trip Down The San kamphaeng Road
This is the ‘Handicrafy Highway’ 10km stretch of different locals who make a various degree of pottery crafts, silverware, sculpting, wood carving and silk production. Always support those local business.
4. Visit Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park: home to the highest mountain in all of Thailand, LITERALLY, THE WHOLE OF THAILAND!! an extension to the Shan Hills and made mostly from granite. In this park you will be amazed by the birds and overall scenic view.
5. Eat Khao Soi
If there is anything, that I miss about Thailand it is Khao Soi! Since im home due to COVID i need to try remaking it! (I am about to youtube a video and deter off this haha). Northern Thailand is famous for many things but its greatest export surely has to be Khao Soi. It has a coconut and curry flavored soup filled with yellow egg noodles and chicken,(if allergic to nuts I suggest you miss this) sitting on top of the soup are crispy fried egg noodles giving a real mix of textures to the dish. At the side you typically, get some sort of preservatives, but man this bowl is EVERYTHING.
6. Shop Again At Warorot Market
If you’re looking for a market that doesn’t inflate the price this is it. Local’s shop here and so prices are fairly low. They are only open in the morning. So if you’re not an early bird this market is not for you.
7. Cat Café
Popular in China and Japan, Chiang Mai now has its very own Cat Café and there is many!. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a Matcha Latte with a furry friend!
8. Chiang Mai’s Very Own Grand Canyon
I’ve never been, but i heard good things about it. There is an entrance fee, so just be mindful of that when you budgeting your day. I suggest going with a group of friends from the hostel to cut down prices.
9. Have Fun Bartering At The Night Bazaar
Chang Klan Road is just another road during the day, but at night the whole place lights up as the stall holders drag out their stalls and get set up for the night. I had an absolute blast here! with my friend the road is extremely long, so just check prices along the way!
10. Make A Visit To Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Sing is a Buddhist temple and monastery that was founded in the 14th century.
11. Hail a Songthaew
Chiang Mai is home to the Songthaew. I call them the red Taxi. Hailing one down was my equivalent to hailing down a Taxi in New York City, living my best Serena Vanderwoodsen Gossip Girl dream. Its the easiest and cheapest way to get around and it a ‘hop on, hop off’ type of vibe. You also get better prices versus riding a Tuk-Tuk which is a money grabber in my experience.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading! And you know me here’s an extra!
Bonus: Try A Traditional Thai Massage From An Ex-prisoner
All over Chiang Mai you’ll find reputable massage parlours thats a given. However, on my tours around the world I like to always experience different things. This being one of them, try getting a traditional massage from a female Ex-prisoner. It’s incredibility difficult to find a job after serving your sentence and The Woman’s Jail, creates workshops and trainings to help support these women post-sentence serving. I enjoyed my massage thoroughly here.
Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in my next post xoxo
Trogir, is located between Zadar and Split and is the perfect place to go for a day trip or too spend 1-2 days. With it being a small town, you avoid the inevitable travel crowds and not surrounded by tourists coming off cruise ships. It is the best place to enjoy the atmosphere as the locals do. If you’re a lover of photography, this is the place for you.
At every corner in Trogir, you find beautiful architecture, stunning sea views, high views to see the city above. Not to mention Trogir’s Old Town was voted best city-island in the world by National Geographic in 2015.
Today’s post is a mixture of a #photojournal in my series. Check out Zadar, Croatia’s here. And also a ‘What to Do in Trogir’.
Enjoy the Sea Views
At the tip of the town, lies Kamerlango Castle. A 14th-century fortress, this castle still stands proud at the waterfront. The structure was built by the Republic of Venice to guard the city and control access to the harbour.
The Cathedral Of St. Lawrence
The Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church that was constructed in the Romanesque-Gothic style, which can also be found in other parts of Dalmatia. This church is also listed as a UNESCO site, as well as the whole town, in 1997 as a world heritage site because of its Venetian architecture.
I didn’t get to go (over- beaches). But this is a must see place .
Local Farmers Market
Located 100 meters from the bus station you’ll find a beautiful market with local vendors selling all types of goods and trinkets.
Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in my next post, xoxo.
It’s not as bad as you think. I remember talking to my friend Alexis laughing at her because I couldn’t believe she was staying in a hostel. I felt so scared for her! and I had so many questions. So i decided to re-visit this conversation and share my knowledge with you all. I also decided this would bring me to starting my “Hostel Series” which I review hostels and share photos. I am telling you all, that you’d be surprised at some of the places I stayed.
I think every traveler should try staying at a hostel at least once in their lifetime. Even if you have a luxury-hotel budget, hostels are a cool and unique experience that can result in some amazing memories. I for one have made, memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve met loads of backers that were not on a tight budget, but actually chose to stay in hostels because they prefer it and honestly, you end up having more fun in my opinion. And you read that right, they prefer hostels to luxury hotels and apartments.
No- hostels are not glamorous. And yes, you may have to say goodbye to privacy. But hostels truly are of one of a kind experience and are absolutely worth a try. **That being said, many people have had awful experiences so just be sure to do your double checking.
There are a few things any first-timer should know before staying in a hostel. Here is a basic guide to staying in a hostel for the first time:
WHY STAY IN A HOSTEL?
The hostel experience is one that is completely different from any other type of accommodation. I will say again and again, hostels are the best way to meet people while traveling. This is ideal for solo travellers- as a hostel is a space where other solo travellers congregate, so you will meet like-minded people from all over the world. Hostels are definitely the most social form of accommodation. You are literally living with other travellers, sharing showers, essentially a university lifestyle on the go.
BENEFITS OF STAYING IN A HOSTEL:
It’s cheap. Obviously, hostels are much cheaper than hotels and most other forms of accommodation. This makes your travel reduce in overall fee, keep in mind sometimes you pay for what you get for. This makes hostels the perfect place for budget and/or long-term travellers. Depending on the location, a hostel bed will cost anywhere from $10-$80 a night, give or take.
Travel Longer. You can easily travel for longer periods of time when you stay in hostels. You know those people that just seem to be traveling constantly, and you wonder how the hell they can afford that lifestyle? Well, unless they are rolling in cash or are a travel influencer collaborating with hotels and tourism boards, they are most likely staying in a bunch of hostels (AKA MEEEEE). But, I just love hostels and its not only for singles you can bring families to there is many kinds of options in terms of ‘bed setting’.
You can wait until last minute to book. I remember being in Cinque Terre, and moving onto Venice I had no clue where to stay. I decided I would use Hostelworld, as a way to find a quick overnight place. If your super last minute (not me) you can book in the morning for the afternoon. The only problem is, sometimes if you’re going to a popular city the option for ‘girls only’ may be booked quick. That being said, there will always be room.
NOTE: hostels in major tourist cities do sometimes book up during peak season. Try to book at least a few days in advanced if you are visiting during this time.
Activities. Most hostels offer activities to bring the guests together and create a sense of community. Hostels may offer free walking tours of the city, day trips to nearby areas, pub crawls, etc. Usually, these activities are either free or super cheap, so it is a great way to see the area and make friends who are also staying in the same hostel.
Meeting People: It is way easier to make friends in a hostel than any other type of accommodation. This is my all time favourite part! You end up meeting people who become your family for the short time your there together (see below) the photo on me and two girls who adventured around Zadar, Croatia.
HOW TO CHOOSE A HOSTEL:
Most major tourist destinations will have tons of hostels to choose from. That being said, it can be overwhelming to choose which hostel to stay at. Below you will find my top tips for choosing a hostel.
Read the reviews. This is the first thing I do when choosing a hostel. I will usually check out the reviews on Hostel World, Google Maps, and Booking. My biggest thing when it comes to a hostel is cleanliness, security, and location. One review I look for in particular is those from Black women/ Women of colour. If those factors got low ratings, I will avoid that hostel all together. Even, if I wasn’t Black I wouldn’t want to stay somewhere where people are treated based on their race/ethnicity.
Location, location, baby. Location is always one of the first things I look at when booking a hostel. I prefer to be as centrally located as possible, especially when I am traveling solo. Make sure you have a general sense of the area you’re staying in. It’s best for first timers to pick a place that is within walking distance or close to transportation.
What type of room do you want to stay in? Do you want a female only dorm? Bed curtains for privacy? Single beds? A private room? How many other people are you comfortable sharing your room with? Knowing what type of sleeping situation you want is a major part of choosing a hostel. I typically went with 6 Mixed-Bed or 6 all Female, depending on what my mood was at the time of booking.
What type of experience are you looking for? Do you want a social party or one that is quiet? Mad Monkey hostels are known for parties, that being said I stayed in one Hostel in Pai that was super small (10 beds) and it was the best partying experience I ever got.
WHERE TO BOOK A HOSTEL
The hostel website: Third-party apps get a percentage, so I strongly recommend booking your hostel directly through the hostel’s website, if one exists. *Travel Tip* It is usually cheaper on the website of the hostel to book with.
Hostel World: Although I think it’s best to book directly through the hostel’s website, I always look at Hostel World first just to see an overview of my options. I also use this app to read reviews right away which has been very helpful for me. Hostel world is a great tool to use to compare reviews, location, and pricing among the hostels in the area. I typically used this form on my first backpacking journey.
Hostel Bookers: An alternative to Hostel World. Check out both websites to compare prices, and check out different hostel options.
Booking.com: Booking isn’t just for hotels – you can also find hostels here!
Airbnb: Yes, you can find hostels on Airbnb! Sometimes it may be someone’s apartment that they have converted into a small hostel. You can use my code to receive up to 75$ CAD off your first stay and $20 CAD to use towards an experience worth 75$ or more!
GETTING SLEEP IN A HOSTEL
Well, you CAN get sleep. But, if you are a light sleeper I recommend booking a private room. OR investing in some really good head phones. Shop my Amazon store for all your back-packing needs.
Top Bunk vs Bottom
This really depends, I’ve done both. Typically, I like the bottom and when there is no curtains available I hang my towel/ the hostel towel up and create this barricade which allows me to have privacy to change/ read or journal at night.
If sleep is a priority for you, do not, I repeat, DO NOT book a party hostel. Party hostels are usually easy to point out, based on reviews, pictures (if there are a ton of pictures with giant groups of people, wearing pub crawl t-shirts, and shot gunning beers or doing shots, then yeah, odds are it is a party hostel.) A lot of party hostels will have written on their website, “If you a good night’s sleep is your priority, then this is not the hostel for you.” Etc. Here is a perfect example of a party hostel-it is pretty obvious.
Bring earplugs. These are a life saver for light sleepers.
It’s also a good idea to wear an eye mask if you are sensitive to light. Lights can commonly go off in some dorms so this keeps you sound asleep.
MEETING PEOPLE IN A HOSTEL
Making friends is super easy in a hostel. However, you do have to put yourself out there a little bit. For all my shy/introverted readers, this may mean getting out of your shell a little. The common room in a hostel is the best place to meet fellow travelers. If there is a group of people talking, just go up to them and say “Hey what’s up, my name is _____.”. Eventually, you end up meeting friends that you can go and travel with.
Another great way to meet people in a hostel is to go on a pub crawl or event the hostel is hosting. This way you meet people who are staying in your dorm/ the hostel.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW:
Shower shoes are a must. You will be sharing a bathroom with a bunch of strangers. Always have a shower shoe to avoid foot fungus and other things.
Search reviews: For my sisters, try to search for reviews from Black women/ women of colour. This will help you gauge the environment.
Laundry: Almost all hostels offer laundry services or you can find a nearby place that can do it for it and some places even deliver.
Some hostels require a small rental fee for towels. Research this on the hostel website before you arrive, just so you won’t have any surprises.
Many hostels will accept cash-only payment. Make sure to have cash on you when you arrive (most will accept payment at various times)
Peak seasons will always be more expensive. Try avoid visiting certain places during their peak seasons (Google search)
Hostels can be the most amazing experience! Just remember to try and have the most fun while staying there.
Thank you so much for reading, don’t forget to like/ leave a comment. It means so much to me and I’ll see you in my next post.
Thanks to COVID the travelling world has been halted/changed forever. I for one, am very nervous about the travelling industry and what this means for hostels/hotels. I know things wont go back to the way they were but, hopefully they will become better! These are some things I’ve been doing to keep myself sane during these unprecedented times.
Ways to Ease Your Wanderlust During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Plan your next adventure
While nobody knows how long this is going to last and how long there will be restrictions on travel, nothing stops you from having fun planning your next adventure. Perhaps order yourself a scrapbook and make a wanderlust book. Make lists of all the places and things that you would like to see, print off some pictures and place it in a journal! This will help you narrow down where you want to go!
Eat international food
Satisfy your appetite for wanderlust! If you can’t go to the destination of your dreams, bring the destination of your dreams to you! I would recommend searching for family owned businesses that specialize in their country cuisine this can really satisfy your ‘belly wanderlust’.
Sort out the practicalities
Why not get everything ready so that when you can travel again, after the covid-19 pandemic has passed, you are prepared to go straight away. Perhaps your passport needs renewing – why not see if you can do that now?
And let’s say (because this is the truth) COVID doesn’t disappear research what other countries are doing to keep their residences safe and see if this aligns with your worries. This is a great time to research and see if the country you’re planning to go has proper safety protocols in place.
Watch Must See Video’s
This is a great time to research “MUST SEE VIDEO”. Where people post the top must sees in specific places. Have you seen my ‘5 MUST SEE’S IN VENICE?’. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Read travel blogs
That might have brought you to me. Well, if that’s the case WELCOME and thank you so much for reading and following my blog. By reading travel blogs, you can always find new information such as, new places to visit or new destinations you would of never have considered to visit before.
During this time I have been reading a lot of travel blogs, this is the perfect way to get a hit of travel and ease your wanderlust. Stay tuned for my new series I started with ‘Photo Journaling’ places in the World.
Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in my next post! Leave a comment below what you’ve been doing!
Check out my latest posts below and take a read, xoxo