Author: mountainmanpioneer

Spending Easter in Sydney

Once a year, the country comes to the town of Sydney and the city folk get to experience some country life. 

Even though, many people think of the Easter time show to be of a children's playground, full of expensive voyages and screaming youngsters, there is another side to the Sydney show far more suited to adults.

 

Here is Why You Should Consider Spending Easter in Sydney:

The Grand Parades

Every year more than 1200 creatures are on show within the Grand Parades, and many more animals are on display in the animal pavilions ranging from alpacas to bees. Learn about the farming methods and produce associated with these kinds of animals.

 

The Sydney Regal Competitions

The spine of the Easter show is the Sydney Regal Competitions. Everything from martial arts styles & crafts, frogs & reptiles to wood chopping and cake making  are judged at the show.

Look at the pavilions to see the winners or watch one of many scheduled judgings. A favourite is usually the District Displays Competition, where farmers from designated regions get together to display their fresh produce in the most creative method they can.

If you happen to be there on the last day of the show, all the remainders are  auctioned away at bargain prices. Along with the animals and competitions - there is a range of entertainment and also shows enjoyable for all age groups - everything is described on Australian's Sydney Royal Competition's blog.

The key arena is a great spot to stop for lunch capture, some of the action, or go through the day’s program to determine what else will be on. A day at the Easter show can be turned into weekend with a stay in one of Sydney’s many hotels.

 

Look at the Hoopla Festival inside Darling Harbour

While staying in a comfortable Sydney accommodation spend the days free of charge at the Hoopla Festival within Darling Harbour.

This annual event brings the circus to town and runs for 5 days and 4 nights over Easter Saturday and Sunday. Hoopla is a weekend of tight ropes, trapeze, fire eaters as well as daring stunt challenges, with free events from 12am to 5pm daily.

For as little as $5 the fun continues through the night with crazy activities to give you a night to remember. If you are planning on staying in the city, don’t let it sit too late, as Sydney hotels will be booked early over Easter.

 

Do the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

As long as it is not raining, Easter is really a great time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The high humidity of summer is long gone and generally Sydney experiences warm enjoyable days, ideal for strolling and getting outdoors. 

The famous Bondi to Bronte wander is without a doubt the most popular stroll in Sydney. The actual walk is 6 km long and winds along the coast with many spectacular vantage points and photo opportunities along the way. Team the walk with a city stay in one of the luxury resorts in Sydney.

 

Sydney, with its numerous sights and Sydney accommodation options is the ideal playground for an Easter getaway. Pack the bags and make way for the city to enjoy Easter in Sydney.

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Budget-Friendly Destinations To Spend Your Gap Year

Once you decide to take a gap year and travel abroad, the first thing that would surely strike you is the budget.

So here's a list of the most budget-friendly destinations that are absolutely perfect choices for backpackers and gap year travelers who are bitten by the wanderlust bug!

 

Budget Friendly Destinations For Gap Year Travelers

Thailand

To say the least, 'The Land of Smiles' undoubtedly tops the chart when it comes to the most popular gap year destination. With an average budget of $20 per day, one can manage the stay, food, and transport easily in Bangkok. And there are ample options for those who wish to go slow and stay for a little longer in this beautiful Southeast Asian nation.

From attending Thai Boxing classes to exploring the floating markets, volunteering for the elephants to gaining some cookery skills - Thailand has the best to offer the gap year travelers and backpackers who are looking for an exclusive experience. It's not just that - you can go for some adventurous water sports, chill by the beaches and indulge in island hopping as well! One can never go wrong while backpacking in Thailand.

 

India

There's a reason why India will always be a backpacker's paradise - it's gorgeous and inexpensive at the same time! A country that is so diverse, it's often said that a lifetime is not enough to explore India's vastness.

From the mighty Himalayas in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south, and from the great Thar desert in the west to the Seven Sister States in the east - you'll just fall short of time to tick off everything that you have on your 'India bucket list'! You just need to 'Eat Pray Love' your way through this awe-inspiring country. Start your trip from the bustling capital city of New Delhi and spend a few days there.

Feel the culture shock and soak in the chaos before moving to another place. You can visit Varanasi and Rishikesh (which are the religious hotspots), Jaisalmer (to experience the bliss of desert camping), Mumbai (from where Bollywood originates), Goa (the beach capital and hippie paradise of India), Pondicherry (the French colony) and Calcutta (popular as 'The City of Joy'). Oh, and how can you miss witnessing the beauty of the Taj Mahal while you are in India!

 

Nepal

If you’re looking for something a bit more spiritual, then head towards Nepal, where Lord Buddha was born 2500 years ago. Termed as 'The Most Budget-Friendly Destination' by the Lonely Planet in 2017, this Himalayan hamlet will sweep you off your feet with its panoramic beauty and peaceful aura.

The capital city of Kathmandu is nothing short of a religious hub where you'll find hundreds of temples and even more sadhus, showering you with blessings. Don't miss the sunrise at Bhaktapur and a boat ride in the serene village of Pokhara. Animal lovers will surely have a treat while exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chitwan National Park.

If you wish to contribute towards the Nepalese society, then be a part of a volunteering project and make a difference. Adventure enthusiasts and mountain lovers shouldn't miss the chance of going for an Himalayan trek.

 

Cambodia

For all those wanderlustful souls, exploring Cambodia needs no second thought! While backpacking across this mysterious land, you'll stumble upon beautiful islands, breathtaking beaches, visit incredible temples, and savor the taste of delicious Khmer food.

Cambodia topped the chart for housing the world's most popular UNESCO Heritage Site, the ruins of Angkor, and you'll know it's essence only when you'll visit the land.

But Cambodia isn't just about Angkor, but the country witnessed a dark past during the Khmer Rouge and slowly pushed itself out of it, towards the light of development. In the current decade, Cambodia is one of the most favored destinations among travelers from all across the world, who are keen on a cultural immersion at a pocket-friendly budget.

It’s truly a magical land where you can buy a can of beer for just 25 cents, rent a bed at a backpacker's hostel for a dollar and a delicious meal for just $2 - are you tempted already?

 

Peru

From one UNESCO Heritage Site to another, the land where the Inca Civilization once flourished is undoubtedly a gem for backpackers. A perfect destination for gap year travelers, Peru has so much to do that you'll surely fall short of time and feel like doing as much as you can, at one go!

From the lush Amazonian forests to the Andean highlands and the mysterious Nazca Lines to the ruins of the Sacred Valley and the gorgeousness of the Rainbow Mountains, exploring Peru will be an unpredictable and unforgettable adventure.

Start your journey from the capital city of Lima and head towards the Arequipa. Move to Cusco later and go for a hiking to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu. You can also enroll in a Spanish Language Learning course, that'll add more to your Peruvian expedition. Spend adequate time in the country, knowing about its glorious past, observe their culture and lifestyle and join their celebrations to feel the true essence of life.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is often mistaken as an expensive country to be explored in Latin America, travelers prefer to head towards the affordable neighboring destinations like Panama and Nicaragua!

But the truth is that Costa Rica isn't as expensive as you think it to be. With its incredible biodiversity, options for adventure sports, series of active volcanoes, refreshing natural hot springs and beautiful beaches, you just can’t skip visiting this land of Pura Vida (Pure Life)!

If you are looking for a gap year experience in Costa Rica on a shoestring budget, then you need not worry much! You can easily manage your accommodation in $7 - $10 a night (even better if you can find options for Couchsurfing), and eat at the “sodas,” or local Tico restaurants which are away from the main tourist hubs!

You shouldn't miss exploring the capital city of San Jose, the endearing beach town of Montezuma, and the volcano parks of La Fortuna. Chalk out your itinerary so that you can get some time to spend amidst nature and made good use of your camera to click some amazing shots of the scarlet macaws, jaguars,  howler monkeys, sloths, and the rare glass frog.

 

Turkey

What exactly comes to your mind when you think of Turkey?

A country that forms a bridge between Asia and Europe, Turkey has emerged as one of the most popular backpacking destinations due to its spectacular landscapes and an immensely unique history. One can easily travel across the country with a daily budget of $15 - $20. The capital city of Istanbul has an old world charm and it's the perfect place to absorb Turkish culture and savor the cuisine.

Explore the historic towns of Göreme, Pamukkale, and Selçuk, spend adequate time in the coastal areas of Kekova, and get amazed to witness the jaw-dropping beauty of the ruins of the ancient Roman Empire. Walk down the local Turkish markets and pick up souvenirs on your way back home!

 

Albania

A cheaper alternative to Greece and Italy, Albania has all the best things that a Mediterranean country has to offer. The country has a remarkable array of unique attractions, from stunning mountainous landscapes to forgotten archeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still for centuries.

Start your trip from the capital city of Tirana, and hike up the Mount Dajti to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. Make your way through the Albanian countryside and chill on the horseshoe-shaped beach of Saranda.

Don't forget to binge on Balkan burek (a flaky pastry filled with cheese or meat and onions) and make amazing memories while exploring this Adriatic paradise!

 

So, now that you know the list of the most affordable places, get started with your research work and have an adventurous gap year abroad!

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Happening Places to Visit in Hong Kong

One of the most amazing and thrilling places in the world to live and travel is Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong city is so fast moving that many people have compared it with New York. Some also say that a minute in New York is a second in Hong Kong, so just imagine the pace of life in this gleaming city of skyscrapers.

With more than 7 million residents living in this wonderful land, it is not hard to see why this place is so lively and buzzing.  Hong Kong shows you its extreme energy the moment you arrive and honestly, it never lets its energy die.

Here you can shop stylish and branded clothes, try out the delicious dim sums, go on sightseeing trips and visit different and happening restaurants and bars. 

Hong Kong has countless street markets that are painted with different colors and buzzing most of the times. The landmarks and skyline of the city is a thing one must not skip.

While we understand that it is impossible to do everything in Hong Kong, there are a few important and interesting things that you must try.

 

Places to Add to Your Hong Kong Itinerary

1. Incredible Views of the Star Ferry

Are you dying to get the best views in Hong Kong city? If so, you can get some of the most wonderful views of the iconic Hong Kong skyline along Victoria Harbour.

This is the view that you see in almost every Hollywood movie or a big budget Bollywood movie featuring the city.

By boarding the Star Ferry from the Tsim Sha Tsui terminal, you can go sailing to Central. If you're looking for an incredible and cheapest way to travel then this ferry costs only $2.50 during weekdays and $3.40 on weekends.

Tourists often add this attraction to their Macau holiday packages.

 

2. Take a Tram to the Peak

Do you love traveling in tram or wish to travel in one someday?

If yes, the tram in Hong Kong will fulfill your wish. There is this historic Peak Tram that runs  from 7 am until midnight, which gives passengers enough time to take in all the beautiful views of the city that can be seen down below moving as the tram moves.

One can also see Hong Kong's famous mountain range. You can board from Garden Road terminus in Central at just $45 for a to and fro ticket.

 

3. Meet the Giant Panda

Do you love the furry and giant animals that are naturally painted with black and white color? f you love the cute giant pandas, then this is going to be a great experience for you.

Hong Kong's very popular aquatic theme park has two absolutely amazing and adorable giant panda bears. You can see them in their natural habitat munching on fresh bamboo and you can also take selfies with them.

Other than this, you can also meet and interact with the two adorable penguins, dolphins, and seals.

 

4. Symphony of Lights at Victoria’s Harbour

If you want to see the perfect synchronization of lights and music, then it can't be better than the one Hong Kong has.

You must attend the Symphony of Lights, which is the World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show. The music and light show portrays the life and history of Hong Kong

 

5. Disneyland and Ocean Park Tour

Whether you're with kids or alone, you must visit the Disneyland of Hong Kong.

You can watch colorful and magical shows and your favorite Disney characters moving around. It's so popular that you'll surely find it to be part of most of the Hong Kong tour packages.

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Beautiful Waterfalls in Coorg, India

Coorg, often referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’, is a stunning hill station in Karnataka endowed with mystic hills and aromatic coffee estates.

Madikeri being the headquarters, is also one of the top places to experience Coorg Tourism.

This mesmerizing hill station is blessed with several tourist attractions in the form of waterfalls, viewpoints, temples, trekking destinations, wildlife sanctuaries & aromatic coffee plantations.

Of these, waterfalls are a must-visit attraction included in all Coorg Packages. These gorgeous waterfalls look spectacular during monsoon and attract tourists from all over the country. 

Here are several waterfalls that will add great interest to any Coorg itinerary.

 

Waterfalls That You Must Visit in Coorg

Iruppu Falls

Iruppu Falls is a spectacular waterfalls formed over Lakshmana Tirtha River in Coorg district of Karnataka.

Situated in the Brahmagiri Hills between Srimangala & Kutta, it is one of the famous waterfalls in Karnataka and also top place to visit during Coorg Tour.

Locally known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, it cascades from a height of 170 feet through several stages.The picturesque surrounding of the waterfalls attracts a large number of tourists and makes it one of the must include in every Coorg Tour Package.

 

Abbey Falls

Abbey Falls is a captivating waterfall situated in Madikeri town.

It gushes down from a height of 70 feet, the falls is one of the popular Coorg Tourist Places and also one of the most visited waterfalls in Karnataka.

Earlier known as Jessi falls, Abbey Falls is located between the dense coffee  and spice plantations. There is a hanging bridge just opposite to the falls, where visitors can get a wonderful view of waterfalls.

The misty spray of water cascading down to a small river provides a mesmerizing view.

 

Mallali Falls

Formed on the Kumaradhara River, Mallali Falls is one of the gorgeous waterfalls in Coorg and also one of the most scenic waterfalls in Karnataka.

Situated in the northern region of Kodagu district, the falls gushes down from a height of 200 feet. The surroundings of the waterfall provide a spectacular view of green forest, valleys and mountain ranges.

It is the best place for trekkers with mesmerizing beauty around. Monsoon season is the best time to visit the falls, when water rises high and flows with full speed.

 

Chelavara Falls

Chelavara Falls, situated near Cheyyandane village, is a natural waterfall formed by a small stream. Cascading down from a height of 150 feet, it is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Karnataka and also one of the best places to visit in Coorg.

It is locally known as Embepare, as the rock over which the water cascades is shaped like a tortoise.

This waterfall is seasonal and it offers heavenly views in rainy season.The enchanting natural beauty and the tranquility of the place attracts tourists and nature lovers.

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San Francisco Fast Food Guide – $8 or Less!

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Food

San Francisco is known worldwide now to be one thing — expensive!

Why spend too much of your hard earned money on a single meal when you can find delicious and satisfying food for less than $8? Believe it or not you can still grab a good meal for under $8.

Learn more about great and wonderful San Francisco food that varies from Mexican to Vietnamese to Italian to Greek and much more! Many of the city's best cheap eats are simply neighborhood spots, serving up their own versions of affordable fare.

Here are San Francisco's best cheap eats spots that'll satisfy your wallet (and your tastebuds).

 

Here are the spots to visit below:

1. Mexican food in the Mission:

Grab authentic tacos and the Mission style burrito at the classic Spot called  Taqueria El Buen Sabor. Everything is well under $7 USD with exceptions.

 

2. Egg Tarts in Chinatown:

If you are into egg tarts, a kind of custard tart found in Hong Kong and especially here in the city then come here. Egg tarts under $5.

 

3. Banh Mi Sanwich:

Vietnamese food is getting popular, so enjoy tasty and affordable food like the Banh Mi. Delectable meaty, spicy, and veggie options for under $7 USD.

 

4. Greek Yogurt:

Get a little taste of Greece in the Mission at Souvla. This surprising and odd dessert is under $5 USD.

 

5. Single Origin Chocolate:

Free artisanal chocolate from various parts of the word at Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission.

 

6. Coffee:

This is coffee with a view at the coolest intersection in San Francisco's Little Italy at Reveille Cafe. Coffee is expensive but, under $5.

 

7. Italian style Sandwiches:

Molinari's Deli in North Beach is an institution and it is still a good deal. The best sandwiches featuring prosciutto and provolone to the Italian Combo.

 

8. Kouign Amann:

This is a crusty cake made with laminated dough that is very rich. This treat is only available in B. Patisserie bakery in Laurel Heights.

 

9. San Francisco Toast:

The popular or ridiculed expensive toast of San Francisco can be found for $4-$6 at Trouble Coffee near Ocean Beach. This toast is life changing and very rich.

 

Have you been to San Francisco? Let us know if you have tried any of these treats?

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37° 46' 37.8768" N, 122° 27' 30.978" W
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