29 June 2016

Mary Magdalene | This Beautiful Cathedral Deserves a Spot on Your Warsaw Itinerary

Cathedral of Mary Magdalen - Warsaw

I have been dreaming about visiting Russia for a long time now, and part of that dream includes seeing Russia's famous onion dome churches. As Russia is not on the cards until next year, with our exciting visit to Poland's Warsaw last month, I had the Russian Orthodox Church St Mary Magdalene on my must-see sights while visiting the capital. St Mary Magdalene is truly a gem. Constructed between 1867 and 1869, it was originally built for the large population of Russians that were living in surrounding areas of Warsaw and those moving to Poland from Russia.

The five-domed building has golden interior with beautiful and intricate detail on the inside and is surprisingly small on the inside. What makes it special is that it was the first stand alone Orthodox church to be constructed in Warsaw. Before that, there were only private chapels around the city. Built on a carefully chosen land that saw incoming and departing passengers from the railway station across the road connecting Warsaw to the central Russian lands. When Poland gained independence in 1918, the new government started a program against Orthodoxy in Poland that would see most Orthodox chapels and churches destroyed. In a bid to make the country fully Roman Catholic, all but two of the Orthodox churches were spared, one being the Mary Magdalene Church. In 1921 it then became the Metropolitan Cathedral.

26 June 2016

Poland | A Weekend Guide To Visiting Warsaw

Poland like many countries in its region of Europe has many beautiful and colourful cities and towns waiting to be explored. When we visited Warsaw at the end of May, I was expecting it to be cold like the weather we were running away from in London, but it was beautifully sunny and warm. The perfect start to a getaway weekend we were looking for.  The city is friendly and easy to get around, which makes it easier to jump right into exploring almost as soon as you arrive. The city was also preparing to host the NATO summit 2016 in July, where all the big wigs from around the world will be coming. From Obama, Cameron to Merkel and Hollande, all will be coming to talk politics and all sorts right in the heart of Warsaw. Certainly, glad were getting in before they were because otherwise there would be no hotel, let along a tent to sleep in. We had a couple days of blissful walking around the old and new town of warsaw; from hunting out its unique viewpoints to checking local eats and shopping spots. What better way to entice you to consider this cute city than  to  not only show you but give you a weekend guide to visiting Warsaw. Even  better,  I also made a video below taking you along for a little sightseeing in Warsaw. For more tour options in the city also check out Warsaw city tours, at Expedia that range from walking tours to cooking classes.

Grab a Bite in Warsaw's Colourful Old Town

22 June 2016

Bangkok | Views Of The City From The Back Of A Tuk Tuk

I am  going to take you for a ride around Bangkok. Hold on to your Tuk Tuk seat. I took these pictures on our last day in Bangkok as we were taking off to visit Phuket that evening. My, what a last day it was! Having been to Cambodia and parts of Bangkok, we had a few incidents where people would ask for a tip for even giving you directions. Listen, Mr Local Man, Bee may be travelling like she doesn't care(see what I did there), but make no mistake she works for every penny used for these trips and does not pluck money from the rich foreign tree that you thing she has in her backyard. I say that because on this day my faith in reconnecting with locals had been restored after many a mishap.

18 June 2016

Thailand | 9 Experiences You Need To Have In Phang Nga Bay

Thailand is gifted when it comes to picturesque scenery, which makes it an awesome destination  for memorable adventures. One such place one must visit when in Thailand is Phuket. More specifically Ao Phang Nga National Park. It's one of Phuket's best places for sea kayaking. You can explore islands, caves, lagoons and take in beautiful and unique landscapes that will create indelible memories for you and friends. With plenty of wildlife from lizards, rare hornbills, kingfishers. What's even more wonderful about this is that its suitable for all ages. So bring your kids, friends and gran for an adventure of a lifetime as I tell you about 9 experiences you need to have in Phang Nga Bay. There are various tours heading to Phang Nga Bay. You can book most of these in advance via Expedia or Viator.

1. Stop By Wat Suwan Khuha - Temple Cave

Before heading to catch boats and see the islands. The first stop is checking out the Temple Cave. Located in a limestone cave, housing a beautiful 15-meter reclining Buddha image. The caves are decorated with Thai-style tiles, you will also find a small grotto there.

15 June 2016

Top 13 Places To Visit In New Delhi

Just the very thought of India warms me up a little. When we visited it was so hot, and thinking about traipsing around in the sunny city provides solace considering my current weather situation in London right now. New Delhi is one of those places that is filled with temples, tombs, and historical places. This, considering its history with Mughal Empire in addition to British involvement in the country. There is plenty to see and do in Delhi and one would spend a lifetime exploring the city's mixes. A reach mix of origins, whether that’s in its people that have come from all over India to make a name for themselves or the Persian influence in the architecture and style of buildings that have stood the test of time, to the history of the Mughals and their fight to stay relevant. Prepare for the traffic in the city when you visit,  which means that exploring may be a lot slower than you think. There are taxis, rickshaws, and trains in the city, although I found it easier to have the hotel book the taxi for me as I wanted to make sure I was using registered taxis while exploring. When you visit New Delhi do not miss out on the following places below.

12 June 2016

7 Ways Combining Travel and Learning A New Language Will Make You A Better Traveller

Homestay learning and travel

How many people around the world dream about visiting London's Big Ben, shopping on Oxford Street, walking on Tower Bridge and riding along our London Underground system?! Millions if not billions of people have London, and the UK as whole on their travel wish list. How many of those people actually know about UK's homestays that help you learn and improve your English? Whether visiting as business traveller, student or even solo traveller The Language List's English homestays have got you covered!!! Before you even ask, no, this is not a sponsored post. I just love sharing new ways to improve your travel experiences. 

9 June 2016

That Time I Rented A Car and Driver - Fell Asleep and Ended Up on The Wrong Side of Bangkok

Each time I think back on our exploration of Thailand while on a  month long birthday celebration trip I burst into laughter. As someone who plans most of the trips that my boyfriend and I go on, I thought for my birthday month of December I would let my hair down a little bit and not plan quite to a 'T'. So a few things that I had on my list as things that I didn't want to miss out on before leaving Bangkok had been added to the itinerary but not really booked. This was so that we could go with the flow as much as possible.

I had seen pictures of Erwan Waterfalls before I visited Thailand and knew that they were a good drive out of the city, so you either have get up and drive at stupid o'clock to avoid the traffic in Bangkok. To allow for getting out there with enough time to explore before heading back, if you are not staying overnight. I had done enough research to know roughly how long it takes to get there and seen enough pictures to know if I was heading in the wrong direction. Quite good with my barings like that. The joys of an overplanner.

7 June 2016

Grand Palace Bangkok | A Must-See For Anyone Visiting Bangkok (+Tips!)

And here I thought I had seen all the gold I could possibly see when I visited Dubai, where by the way, they have ATMs with gold bullion. Well, visiting Bangkok had a whole host of surprises for us. More specifically the Grand Palace of Bangkok. Built in 1792 during the reign of King Rama I, to be the royal residence of the Thai King. It comprises several  buildings including the Royal Chapel of  the Emerald Buddha as well as offices and living areas. For about 150 years, Bangkok's Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court but the administrative seat of the government in its entirety. Thai Royalty stopped residing full-time by the 20th century but the Grand Palace still remains an important building, used for ceremonial purposes mainly and very much the seat of power at the heart of Thailand.

As a must see when visiting Bangkok, prepare for the crowds and add to that the heat and you have one sweaty visit. To avoid that though either visit early in the day of after 2pm when the heat is not as intense and the crowds, although still there, are perhaps not as crazy. Before you even enter the premises, you can see some of the gold leaf buildings peeking from the high walls.  The internal buildings are a mix of styles combining European architecture, traditional Thai roof tiles and spires, as well as a neo-renaissance style. The attention to detail is just amazing! I can just imagine how long the it took the workers to build, carve and sculpt. From the tiles, to the statues that are clad in colourful outfits if not plastered in gold leaf. As beautiful as it is it makes you think about how we as humans place so much importance on material things. It is quite thought-provoking and definitely worth a visit when you visit Bangkok.

1 June 2016

Ocean View | A Day Out On Sydney's Bondi Beach

Sydney's most visited beach and Australia's world famous beach. You cannot visit Sydney and not make it to Bondi Beach. Waves upon waves of the Pacific come gushing in and its mesmerising just standing there listening to the waves crash in foaming swells. Surfers breaking waves like child's play. If the waves or winds are all too powerful for you can drop by the famous Bondi Baths that have become a landmark of Bondi Beach for many years.   What I also learned while exploring the city is that Sydney as many saltwater baths by the ocean which makes swimming in the ocean a lot safer. They are all dotted around the coast and not as busy and popular as Bondi Baths but bear in mind that not all will have life guides around like Bondi Baths.

Bondi Beach is usually crowded but as I was visiting at the end of the season, it was so busy with just enough sunshine to make it look inviting but shortly after we were all ducking for Bondi Pavilion cafes and gelato shops to escape the rain. Come rain or shine tens of thousands of people walk this stretch of the beach to take  in the views, walk the coastal route, jog or sunbath on the golden shores. Bondi Beach is not famous for no reason, it's absolutely beautiful and not only that, I love that the city center is not too far.  You could be sunbathing one minute and burning plastic with a little retail therapy within minutes. 

While exploring the area don't pass on checking out other beautiful beaches nearby like Tamara, Bronte, and Coogee which can all be easily accessed via the coast walk.

Getting Around: Bondi Beach is only about 30 minutes drive from Sydney CBD. Tour buses actually stop by the beach so  if you are doing the city tour you can actually get one of the buses from CBD and get on and off by the beach. You can also use Uber or any of the tax services to get to the beach. Will be  sharing more pictures from explorations of Sydney CBD soon.