The Nakasendo Way is hardly a secret (it’s listed in the top 25 things to do in Japan by Lonely Planet), yet it doesn’t feature on many first-time visitors’ itineraries. If, like me, you love being active and want to get a taste of rural Japan, a visit to Magome, one of Nakasendo’s prettiest spots, should be near the top of your list.
The messenger of the Gods paused, looked up and proceeded to headbutt a small child who fell to the ground in shock, tears running down her face. It definitely wasn’t the type of behaviour I expected from a divine being!
Japan frequently appears on many travellers’ bucket lists. It’s a country rich in history, tradition and natural beauty. Arriving in Japan for the first time can be a little overwhelming – a different language, culture and a LOT of people. To help anyone planning their trip I’ve put together some essential tips for first time visitors to Japan from my recent travels.
The death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej last week, following a 70 year reign, has shocked the entire country. While the King was unwell for many years, his passing stopped the nation and brought people together in grieving for a figure considered almost holy to Thais.
Ok, first of all, an admission. I didn’t realise I would be spending Chinese New Year in Bangkok. To be honest, I didn’t even think about it when booking my flights. A few friends planned a trip to Thailand and, in a particularly spontaneous moment, I booked a ticket.
I secured my helmet in place and tested the brakes. I don’t know a great deal about bikes but as long as the brakes work, I am usually happy. We made our way outside the shop and clipped our water bottles onto the frames and piled on sunscreen.
Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island, isn’t on many first time visitors’ bucket lists. While tourists flock to Phuket for their package holidays and backpackers do the obligatory island hopping on the “Banana Pancake Trail”, Koh Chang’s white sandy beaches are still relatively unspoilt.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” – Henry Miller
MBK Center, Bangkok, Thailand
The MBK Center is one of Bangkok’s most famous and popular shopping malls with hundreds of retailers, two food courts, numerous restaurants and a cinema multiplex.
I first stopped over at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport 2 years ago on my way back to London from Australia. With Chinese airlines gaining prominence and offering some of the most attractive deals to Western customers, more and more holidaymakers are choosing to fly to South East Asia and beyond with airlines such as China Southern.
Those that have been following my updates on Facebook would know that I have become somewhat of a keen cyclist on my latest trip to Thailand. Not because I cycle at home – I don’t even own a bike – but because I like being active on my travels and think that exploring on two wheels is one of the best ways to get a feel for a place.