A Stay At The Boutique Puri Mas Resort In Lombok

Puri Mas Beach Resort & Spa is an award winning boutique hotel located close to Senggigi beach in Lombok. The resort is split in two with a beach resort that has 45 rooms and villas with a beachfront location, and then there is the spa resort which has only 2 villas and is located 10 minutes away inland. Both resorts are adults only and no children under 12 are permitted, so it makes for a romantic and peaceful getaway. This hotel is honestly the best place we have ever stayed!

It’s such great value for money, we paid just over £50 per night bed and breakfast, obviously, this can vary depending on the season and which room type you opt for etc.

There are various options of room types at the beach resort, we chose the cheaper option which is the quirky garden room, it was huge and so well decorated. We had a beautiful bedroom with four poster bed, a small open air lounge and the best bathroom ever – which was also open air, so you could literally shower or have a bath under the stars but in private. All the furniture in the room is traditional Indonesian wood furniture and everything in the room feels of really good quality and well made.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The room and all the grounds of the hotel were just so well thought out and well kept. The gardens were beautiful and the whole place was extremely tranquil! The infinity pool is stunning and overlooks the beach and ocean. The gardens have carp ponds, spice gardens and yoga areas. The hotel offers its guests lots of inclusions such as welcome drinks, breakfast, internet, yoga classes, shuttles between the spa resort and there was also water sports equipment available on the beach.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

We only stayed in Lombok for 3 nights but had the best stay at Puri Mas, we loved it so much we have recommended it to several friends who have also stayed there, and all came back raving about how great the hotel is. You cannot fault the place, the staff provide excellent service, tasty food, beautiful traditional Indonesian styled accommodation and well kept gardens and grounds all at pretty affordable prices – what more could you ask for?!

We stayed at Puri Mas Beach Resort and Spa and ate around the pool a few times, and had breakfast every morning in the hotel. The food was always fresh and delicious and the service was great. The hotel offered both traditional Indonesian dishes but also western food. We also visited the spa resort one night for a beautiful dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary. If your staying at Puri Mas I really would recommend booking a dinner at the spa to eat in one of the Javanese pavilions. The spa resort is simply stunning and set with a backdrop of lush greenery, the grounds are full of flowers and plants with so much attention to detail.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The beach resort drove us 10 minutes down the road to the spa resort which is absolutely stunning! We booked the set Indonesian menu and ate outside in one of the Javanese pavilions which we had to ourselves. The attention to detail by the staff was incredible the table was decorated beautifully with flowers and leaves. The food was all really fresh and tasted amazing, and the staff were attentive and looked after us so well. After our meal, they drove us back to the beach resort. The whole meal was just flawless and so inexpensive, this was a real highlight of our trip!

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The hotel also offers a shuttle service into Sengiggi which is great to venture to in the evenings for some dinner and drinks. The hotel is also happy to organise tours or days out for you too.

If you’re looking for somewhere that is luxurious and full of authentic Indonesian charm with a beachfront location and with the option of a serene spa at affordable prices then look no further than Puri Mas Resort. !

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Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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24 Hour Layover Guide To Hyderabad

Hyderabad is somewhere I knew very little about, and when I thought about travelling to India it was somewhere that never even crossed my mind. I was lucky enough to get a layover in Hyderabad with work, and was so surprised at how much I fell in love with this vibrant city.

This South Indian city which is the largest city and capital of Telangana state is very much under the tourism radar, which makes it the perfect place to explore as it isn’t spoilt by mass tourism. Locals are extremely friendly and love coming up to talk to you, finding out where you are from and getting a selfie with you.

The city has plenty to see and do with historical palaces, monuments, temples, and many markets and bazaars. It’s also where the Biriyani rice dish originates from so that is an absolute must try while in Hyderabad! It’s also well known across India for its bangles, and many Indian women travel to the city to purchase their bangles for special occasions, events and weddings etc.

Hyderabad is also a business hub in India and well known for its IT sector and pharmaceutical companies based there, so it doesn’t attract many leisure tourists, but more people travelling for business trips.

India is somewhere that has a piece of my heart, and when I’ve been to India before I’ve always had such a great time, and Hyderabad was no exception! We had such an amazing time roaming around the city and meeting the lovely locals. If your strapped for time and there for a layover or a work trip, here is what you could easily squeeze into 24 hours in the city.

Sights & Activities

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple set upon a hilltop which overlooks the city, the temple was built back in the 1970s and took almost 10 years to finish. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is built with white marble. We visited towards the end of the day and got some amazing views over the city and the sunset. We didn’t enter the temple as it was getting quite late so just walked around it and admired the views. The temple is free to enter and you can spend between 1 to 2 hours exploring it.

Birla Mandir HyderabadBirla Mandir Hyderabad

Charminar & Laad Bazaar

Charminar is a monument and mosque in the centre of the city and is an iconic landmark of Hyderabad. The structure was completed back in 1591, the reason as to why it was built is still a bit of a mystery and has many theories as to why it created. One belief is that this structure was created by the sultan at the time to celebrate the end of a plague that gripped the city, another theory is that it was built in honour of the sultans wife as well as many other speculations.

The large four pillared monument can also be entered for a small fee, and you can climb the stairs to the top. We decided to just wander around the outside of it as it was a hot day and all of us were pretty tired from working the flight over and hadn’t had much sleep. I would like to go back and visit Charminar and next time walk up to the top.

Charminar is located in the heart of the old city in a large open square surrounded by the Laad Bazaar which is famous for selling traditional Indian bangles along with many other stalls and vendors selling a whole range of items. Wandering around you can see lots of craftsmen creating the traditional bangles and you can purchase them in a whole range of styles and colours. There is so much hustle and bustle in this area and so much going on, but this area of the city is a must if you really want to see an authentic side to Hyderabad.

Charminar HyderabadCharminar HyderabadCharminar HyderabadLaad Bazaar Hyderabad

Chowmahalla Palace

Entrance Fee: 200 INR

Chowmahalla Palace is one of Hyderabad’s top attractions, the construction of the palace began in 1750 and was completed in the mid 1800s. The grounds are comprised of 4 palaces which are Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Afzal Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. There are also courtyards, gardens and fountains in the grounds, as well as lots of artefacts and antiques which can be viewed. The palace was built by the Nizams which were a monarchy in Hyderabad which ruled the Telangana state for almost 2 centuries from the 1700s to the 1900s. We spent just over an hour exploring the palaces and the grounds. No trip to Hyderabad would be complete without a visit to one of India’s most famous palaces.

Chowmahalla Palace HyderabadChowmahalla Palace HyderabadChowmahalla Palace HyderabadChowmahalla Palace HyderabadChowmahalla Palace Hyderabad

Chowmahalla Palace Hyderabad

Mir Alam Mandi

Mir Alam Mandi is a wholesale food market and sells lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a whole range of traditional spices and cookware. This area is a great place to visit to view a traditional way of life, and if you want to purchase some spices to take home this is the place to come. The area is so colourful and vibrant and we really enjoyed exploring the streets around this district seeing the variety of stalls and what they had on offer.

Mir Alam Mandi HyderabadMir Alam Mandi HyderabadMir Alam Mandi HyderabadMir Alam Mandi Hyderabad

Food & Drink

Hotel Shadab

Hotel Shadab is well known across the city for its traditional Hyderabadi biryani, we went upstairs to the air coned restaurant which feels like stepping back in time to the 1970s. With its brown patterned tablecloths and old fashioned grandfather clock by the stairs, but don’t let the decor put you off, honestly I had one of the best Indian meals of my life in there!

The food was incredible and service was warm and friendly, we had to wait 15 minutes for a table as the place is popular with locals. We had to try the biryani so ordered a vegetable one to share as the portions are huge, and ordered a few sides to share. We chose the paneer 65, gobi manchurian and mixed raita and they were all out of this world delicious. I also had the Kashmiri coconut naan which was also incredible. We had so much food and in total it came to about £5 each when we split the bill. You must visit this restaurant as the food is amazing and such good value, and honestly I can’t stop thinking about how tasty the food was there!

Hotel Shadab Hyderabad

Transport & Getting Around

Hyderabad is a really easy and cheap city to get around although there is quite a lot of traffic it is nowhere near as bad as other cities in India. There a public buses and also an air conditioned metro rail, which runs on elevated tracks above the city. There is also plenty of taxis and tuk tuks which are readily available.

I was recommended a man called Sadam by some of my colleagues, he’s a tuk tuk driver and is really reliable and really well priced, and you can just WhatsApp (+91 863 9641629) him what you would like to see and do and he will put an itinerary together for you and make suggestions.

We paid roughly £10 each plus a small tip for the day and he came with 2 tuk tuks for all of us and took us everywhere around the city. We had such a good day with him and he walked us around the markets and sights to make sure we didn’t miss a thing.

Tuk Tuk HyderabadTuk Tuk Hyderabad

Top Tips

When visiting India try and go as prepared as possible, as some of the streets can be a hard to navigate and sometimes there can be a slight language barrier, so go armed with google translate, guide books, maps.me app etc. I always have maps.me downloaded as it’s a great app that works offline and when I’m walking around or in taxi I always check it to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.

Other tips for India would be to always carry a scarf or pashmina for ladies that would like to enter various temples, also dress modestly when exploring India, such as long maxi dresses, or loose fitting trousers and T-shirt etc.

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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A Day Trip To Ayutthaya From Bangkok

Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand when it was the kingdom of Siam, from 1350 it was a prosperous city and international trading port, until it was destroyed in the 18th century by the Burmese. It is located approximately 50 miles north of Thailand’s capital – Bangkok.

This once important city of global diplomacy and commerce, is now an archaeological ruin and now forms a large UNESCO world heritage site. The area of Ayutthaya is vast and is a huge archaeological site full of ruins, temples and buildings.

You could easily spend a few days exploring this former capitals ruins and the surrounding area. However anyone who is limited on time then there are plenty of options of day tours or you can get to Ayutthaya easy enough from Bangkok. It is a long day on the tour probably about twelve hours in total but so worth it!

We honestly loved Ayutthaya and seeing such an interesting historical site was just amazing, and would really recommend venturing out of Bangkok for the day to visit the many sites and excavations.

Sights & Activities

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

Entrance Fee: 100 THB / or included in price of tour

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace is also referred to as the summer palace, and is just 20 minutes from Ayutthaya and located along the Chao Phraya River. It was constructed in 1632, but fell into disuse during the late 18th century, until King Mongkut began to renovate the grounds back in the mid 19th century. Although the palace is full of Thai style acrhitecture there is also some European influence shown in several of the buildings around the palace as well as several statues and sculptures dotted around the area, these were added in during the restoration, which were inspired by palaces from England and France.

The palace is spread out over a huge area and features small canals that run through the grounds to the river. The gardens of the palace are full of grassy lawns, water features and beautiful ornate buildings. Today the palace isn’t really used by the royal family and they only really use the palace for special occassions and royal banquets. The palace is immaculately kept and is a tranquil and peaceful place to visit, even though its a tourist attraction many tourists seem to skip the palace and just visit the archaeological ruins in Ayutthaya, however a lot of tours from Bangkok include the palace as an add on. We paid a little bit more for our tour and we stopped off at the palace before returning back to Bangkok.

You can also reach the palace easy enough by train from Bangkok if you didn’t want to opt for a tour. Honestly though when visiting Ayutthaya I would recommend a visit to the palace preferably at the end of the day as its a great place to wind down after a day of sightseeing.

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace AyutthayaBang Pa-In Royal Palace AyutthayaBang Pa-In Royal Palace Ayutthaya

Chedi Phukhao Thong

Chedi Phukhao Thong is surrounded by rice paddies and just outside of Ayutthaya in a small village, the temple was established back in 1387 and over the centuries with various invasions the temple changed hands several times, and so parts of the buildings were added to and modified. Today as the structure stands it incorparates both Thai and Burmese styles, you can climb half way up the stupa which provides views over the surrounding areas.

This temple is much quieter in comparison to many of the ruins in and around Ayutthaya. Since we visited the Chedi Phukhao Thong it has under gone some restoration work, so looks drastically different to when we visted, as it has been freshly painted white and renovated to perfection to give you a glimpse of what it would have looked like hundreds of years ago. This was our first stop on our tour as it is slightly out the way,  thats what makes the place a good place to visit as its not overrun with tourists.

Chedi Phukhao Thong AyutthayaChedi Phukhao Thong Ayutthaya

Wat Lokaya Sutha

Wat Lokaya Sutha translates to Temple of the Earth, the temple and monastery are one of the main sites of Ayutthaya. One of the highlights of these temples ruins is the 42 meter long reclining Buddha which is still in fairly good condition. There isnt much known about the temple and monastery but as its in close proximity to the Royal Palace ruins it is thought the temple would have held some form of importance.

Its founding date is also unknown but is believed to date back to the very early days of Ayutthaya. As well as the large recling buddha the site has plenty of other archeological ruins to see such as ruins of assembly halls, chedis (Thai stupa) and prangs (Buddhist spires/towers). Wat Lokaya Sutha is a must when in Ayutthaya as its crazy to see how many ruins there are dotted around this one area, the site is free to enter and most tours will stop here too. The site is also close by to other major historical locations such as Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.

Wat Lokaya Sutha Ayutthaya

Wat Mahathat

Entrance Fee: 50 THB / or included in price of tour

Wat Mahathat is one of the most important temples of the Ayutthaya kingdom, the name translates to The Temple of the Great Relic. This large royal monastery and temple was once the centre of buddhism in Ayutthaya, and was located close to the palace. The site was created back in 1374 and the site has many features and intricate details. The temple stood in this site for about 500 years before the invasion of the Burmese which saw much of Ayutthaya destroyed and turned to rubble. Today the ruins are all that stands but some are more preserved than others. It has a similar ruins to that of Angkor in Cambodia, many of the ruins are out in the open and the grounds are absolutley beautiful with so much to see and explore.

The main image associated with this well known site is the Buddha face entwined in the roots of a banyan tree. You cannot visit Ayutthaya without visiting Wat Mahathat its an absolute must, and was by far our favourite area to explore, the temple were incredible. I would imagine most if not all tours stop here as its one of the most recognised sites of the ancient capital.

Wat Mahathat AyutthayaWat Mahathat AyutthayaWat Mahathat Ayutthaya

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet & The Royal Palace (Wang Luang)

Entrance Fee: 50 THB / or included in price of tour

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is another major site in the ancient capital and is most famous for its distinct pagodas which appear on many of the photos of the old city, and are an iconic image for Ayutthaya. The temple was constructed back in 1448 by King Borommatrailokanat who ordered the construction of the temple for his own personal use. The temple was also used for royal ceremonies. The pagodas were constructed after the death of the king to hold his remains and various other kings of Ayutthaya. Over the years smaller chedis were added to the site to hold the ashes of other members of the royal family.

There was a large 16 meter high gold buddha which stood on the site, but when the Burmese invaded in 1767 all the gold and valuables were taken, when Bangkok was identified as the new capital city of Thailand in 1782, the king arranged what was left of the Buddha to be moved to the Wat Pho which is a famous temple and tourist attraction in Bangkok.

Ayutthaya was founded back in 1350 and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet sits on the original site of the wooden palace, a new palace was built a little later just north of the temple, and was adapted and expanded over the years by the various kings. Today nothing much is left from the Royal Palace (Wang Luang) just a grassy area which has some outlines of some of the old walls of the palace. If you go to Ayutthaya’s historical centre there is a display of what it would have looked like. Close by is also Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit which is an active temple that houses one of Thailand’s largest bronze Buddha images, when visiting Wat Phra Sri Sanphet make a stop there too, as both can easily be visited in the same morning or afternoon.

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet & The Royal Palace AyutthayaWat Phra Sri Sanphet & The Royal Palace Ayutthaya

Transport & Getting Around

Most people tend to visit Ayutthaya from Bangkok on a day trip, however some people spend a night or two there and explore, depending on how much time you have I would recommend booking onto a day tour from Bangkok as it’s really straight forward to do! We booked our tour through our hotel it cost us about £35 per person and included pick up and drop off in Bangkok, and all the entrance fees into the various sites and lunch. We had plenty of free time to explore on our own and as we got driven to each place we didn’t have the hassle of having to get from one place to another.

However if you are on a budget there are trains that run from Mo Chit Station in Bangkok and takes about 90 minutes by train to reach Ayutthaya, there are also buses available too, and once there you can explore many of the sites by foot or there are several places to hire a bicycle and bike around. If the hot weather is too much for you, you could also flag down a taxi or tuk tuk to take you between each of the sites once in the city.

You can also get a taxi to Ayutthaya from Bangkok however it isn’t much cheaper than taking a tour and you won’t get the entrance fees and lunch included so by the time you pay out for everything else it works out about the same cost as one of the tours.

Top Tips

Many of the sights in Ayutthaya are outside and exposed so make sure to wear light and comfortable clothing, but also clothing that covers your shoulders and knees as many of the sights are temples so dress modestly. Take plenty of sun cream, a hat and sunglasses to help with the midday heat and plenty of drinking water.

There are still elephants available for tourist rides in Ayutthaya, please avoid this at all costs! The elephants have to endure a process called Phajaan also known as the crush, where they take baby elephants and brutally torture them for days and weeks at time to break the elephants spirit, so that they can be controlled by humans. It’s a really traumatic practice and unfortunately until tourists realise what actually happens to make these elephants allow people to ride on them the practise will continue. I personally have ridden on elephants in the past before I knew what they went through, and now personally I would never ride on one again as it’s truly heartbreaking what they must under go.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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3 Days In Bohol & Panglao Island

Bohol is an island and province in the Philippines and situated in the Central Visayas region of the country. The province of Bohol consists of the main island Bohol along with several other smaller islands that surround it. Bohol is a great place to visit, for such a small island it has a huge variety of things to see and do. Bohol is most famous for its quirky geological formations, coral reefs and its most recognised little primate – the Tarsier.

The island of Bohol had a short stint of independence at the turn of the 19th century, so many of the locals still refer to Bohol as the Republic of Bohol. When visiting Bohol you can see the island is steeped in history and has been influenced over the years which appears in its Spanish colonial architecture.

Bohol has something for everyone whether you want to go jungle trekking, cave exploring, wildlife spotting, admiring history and architecture or chilling on beautiful paradise beaches, this tiny province in the Phillipines really does have it all.

Sights & Activities

Babclayon Church

Entrance Fee: Museum 50 PHP / Church is free to enter

Babclayon Church is the oldest christian settlement in Bohol and second oldest church in the Philippines. Located only 4 miles away from Tagbilaran City which is Bohols Capital. It was created back in 1717 and was built using coral stone. It has undergone some major renovations over the years as its encountered various damages over the years, but endured most of its damage from the 2013 earthquake.

The church is also part of the UNESCO world heritage, next to the church is an old convent that is home to the church’s musuem which houses lots of religious artefacts and antiques. We visited after going to the Loboc River as it’s not too far from there, and had a wander around the outside and inside of the church.

Babclayon Church Bohol

Bilar Man Made Forest & Eco Park

Bilar Man Made Forest and Eco Park is a stretch of man made mahogany forest, and a lot of visitors stop by on route to the Chocolate Hills and Loboc River. The Forest has huge trees which cover the sky completely when stood underneath, the forest can be viewed from the main road or the viewing platforms set in the forest. The forest is so dense and thick that it is much cooler under the trees than outside of the forest which is much warmer.

The reforestation plan was started back in 1953 to combat the huge deforestation that occurred after locals sought refuge during World War II, the damaging slash and burn farming method destroyed much of the original forest. You can’t miss the man made forest you are bound to drive through it at some point on your trip.

Chocolate Hills

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP to enter viewing deck

The Chocolate Hills is Bohols most iconic sight and attraction, the hills cover a vast area in the centre of the island and consists of atleast 1260 hills, but there are many more that are spread out. The hills are covered in green grass which turns brown during dry season, which is where they get their name from.

This unique geological formation has a viewing platform in Carmen Town which gives you a 360 degree view of the hills, which seems never ending. The hills vary in height from 30 meters to 120 meters, and are sometimes considered the eighth wonder of the natural world. The site is also part of UNESCO world heritage. The Chocolate Hills is a must as not only is it one of Bohol’s top attractions, but also one of the top places to visit in the the Philippines.

Chocolate Hills Bohol

Loboc River

Entrance Fee: 550 PHP for buffet lunch river cruise

The Loboc River is one of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever been to, the rivers source is located in the town of Carmen in the centre of Bohol Island, and takes its course through Loboc and to the south of the island where it then meets the Bohol Sea. The scenery around the river is so green and tropical, with lots of palms, coconut trees, banana groves and vegetation surrounding the river on each side, there are small boats used by locals which you will see passing, as well as local children swinging from trees and jumping into the river.

The river is a popular tourist attraction and has lots on offer for visitors such as standup paddle boarding, paddleboard yoga, bird and firefly watching, river crusing buffet lunches and cultural displays.

When we visited we decided to book on one of the river cruises which serves up a traditional filipino buffet lunch. The river cruise is a great way to see the river and float along on a floating restaurant, they also have local musicians playing traditional Boholano songs, and the leisurley cruise takes you to Busay Falls. Just by the falls is a small floating cottage where a local rondalla group (filipino music which was introduced by the spainish) performs dances and music.

I would really recommend the lunch cruise along the river as the food and the views were amazing and it was a really relaxing and peaceful part of the day.

Loboc River BoholLoboc River BoholLoboc River Bohol

Mag-Aso Falls

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP

Mag-Aso Falls are twin waterfalls which are 25 feet in height and surrounded by wild plants and trees, and located about 30 minutes drive away from Tagbilaran City. The waterfalls are a really nice and quiet place to come and visit as its not one of the most popular tourist attractions.

You can swim in the pools of the waterfalls, however when we visited it had been raining heavily and we were advised to not get into the waterfalls as it may be dangerous as it had higher levels of water. I’d suggest asking at the entrance if its safe or not to get in. Theres loads of stairs and rails to get down to the waterfalls and it is a lovely walk down through the forest. When we visited we were the only ones there, and it was so nice having the area to ourselves to admire the scenery.

Mag-Aso Falls Bohol

Panglao Island

Panglao Island is located to the south of Bohol Island and less than 10 miles away from Tagbilaran, its known for its popular beach resort of Alona Beach. This small paradise island is connected to Bohol island by a road, so is easily reachable. The island has beautiful pristine beaches which attract both local Filipinos and overseas visitors.

Just a few minutes away by banca boat from the beautiful beaches are colourful coral reefs and world famous dive sites. As well as stunning beaches on offer the island is also home to several other sights and attractions such as Hinagdanan Cave, Bohol Bee Farm, Nova Shell Museum and the Saint Augustine Church to name a few. I would really recommend visiting all of these and they can easily be done in half a day!

We loved stepping down into Hinagdanan Caves, it’s a beautiful small cave with a lagoon pool and a real natural treasure! The Nova Shell Museum was also really interesting and a great place to stop at, it showcases all of the shells that are found around the island. The Bee Farm is an absolute must for lunch, if you want healthy organic food with great views it’s the perfect spot!

We visited Panglao for the day but actually wish we had booked accommodation on Panglao and based ourselves there instead of Tagbilaran. If you are planning a trip to Bohol, I would really recommend basing yourself on Panglao Island as the rest of Bohol is easily accessible from there.

Read more about Panglao Island: Best Places To Visit On Panglao Island

Panglao Island

Philippine Tarsier Foundation

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP conservation fee

Tarsiers are the worlds smallest primate and have been around for millions of years, they are tiny with long tails, huge eyes and they can rotate their heads by 180 degress. They are the only primates which are entirely carnivorous and feed on insects, lizards and snakes. There are a five types of tarsier species which used to inhabit many of the worlds rainforests, but today can only be found in certain parts of the Philippines, Indonesia and Borneo.

The tarsiers that can be found in the forests of Bohol are the Tarsius Syrichta species, there are several so called sanctuaries dotted around the island of Bohol, however a lot of them allow visitors to hold them and have their photos taken with them. These places are not sanctuaries and are doing more harm than good, as tarsiers are timid and can be easily scared so handling them can be detrimental to their mental and physical health.

Always do your own research prior to visiting any animal or wildlife sanctuaries to check that they are legit and your not investing your money into nothing more than a tourist trap. I have made mistakes in the past and visited animals in other destinations without researching prior to the visit, and then later realising the animals were mistreated or were not being cared for in the correct way, and as an animal lover was heartbroken when I found out that I had paid into such a cruel system.

If you would like to see tarsiers then make sure to visit the Philippine Tarsier Foundation non profit sanctuary and conservation program which covers 167 hectares of protected timberland area and covers three areas – Corella, Sikatuna and Loboc. We went to Corella and a guide took us through to some of the woods where we could spot some tarsiers living wild in the trees and bushes. You are allowed to take photos but the flash must be off, and you have to be really quiet and you are not allowed to touch them. This was a real highlight of our trip to Bohol.

Philippine Tarsier Foundation

Sevilla’s Twin Hanging Bridge

Sevilla’s Twin Hanging Bridge are two bamboo constructed bridges which hang over the Sipatan River and located in the town of Sevilla, each bridge has a one way system you cross over on one, and walk back over on the other. Originally these bridges were just made of bamboo and rope, but as its tourist numbers have increased steel cables have been added for extra safety. Originally the bridge was used by locals to cross the river, but today is one of the islands top attractions as it has views over the river and the surrounding greenery.

Sevilla's Twin Hanging Bridge Bohol

Shiphaus

Entrance Fee: 20 PHP

Shiphaus is a pretty quirky attraction and located not too far away from the Chocolate Hills. This strange building is shaped like a shipping vessel and its owner is a local ex mariner captain. It was created back in 2011 and has some hotel rooms which you can book into which continue the nautical theme. There is a roof deck and all staff are dressed in sailor uniforms, when we went they also insisted that we dressed as sailors too, I left the photos out of this blog as they were so cringey! The staff pretty much had us doing one of those cheesy couples photo shoots, it was all part of the fun I guess. If your visiting the Chocolate Hills its worth going to as its something a bit different.

Shiphaus Bohol

Tagbilaran

Tagbilaran is the capital city of Bohol, its the only city on the island and the hub of commerce. The city is busy with traffic and people, there is a variety of malls, shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a few sights such as St Josephs Cathedral which showcases Spanish colonial architecture. There are also a few statues and monuments one of the most popular ones being the Blood Compact monument which depicts a friendship treaty between the natives and the king of Spain back in 1565.

While in the city also take a wander into some of its museums such as the National Musuem of Bohol which house lots of Bohol memoribilia and historical information and artefacts. I would suggest going into Tagbilaran one afternoon to have a browse, but dont expect to be blown away by the sights as there are much nicer areas all around the island. We went into the city shortly after we arrived in Bohol to grab something to eat and had a walk around to see what it had to offer.

Food & Drink

Bohol Bee Farm Resort

Bohol Bee Farm Resort is located on Panglao island and is an absolute must visit, this gorgeous organic farm has the most beautiful restaurant built onto a small cliff overlooking the ocean, and serves up fresh organic dishes. Before your food is served they provide squash bread and pesto and mango spreads which were amazing. I ordered the honey glazed chicken which was delicious and beautifully presented with flower garnishes.

There is a cute gift shop selling souvenirs and locally made products and produce, and a small ice cream shop. We had a look around the gardens and went down to the sun deck which provides stunning views of the sea. You can also stay overnight as there are suites and chalets available to book. There are beehive tours you can go on at selected times too. I would really recommend visiting for lunch and to wander around the resort, it really is a lovely relaxing spot to visit.

Bohol Bee Farm Resort

Garden Cafe

The Garden Cafe is a Tex Mex and American food restaurant with a cowboy theme, which may seem a little out of place in the Philippines, but this restaurant employs deaf waiters and chefs and the menus provide a beginners guide to sign language. Its a great little place to come and visit for comfort food, while also providing job opportunities for the hearing impaired.

Gerarda’s

Gerarda’s is a family run restaurtant in Tagbilaran and is well known by locals, it serves traditional Filipino food in a traditional setting. The service was friendly, and we saw lots of locals coming in for big family meals. We tried a few dishes and the waiter recommended the Binagoongan Baboy which is a Filipino pork dish, all the food was really tasty and filling. If you want to try some typical Filipino cuisine this is the place to come!

Payag

Payag is another authentic Filipino restaurant which is set in a Spainish styled home in Tagbilaran. The restaurant is famous for its chicken inasal which is chicken marinated with several ingredients such as lime and coconut, its basically Filipino barbecue chicken. We opted for some lechon which is an extremely popular pork dish in the Philippines and some sizzling gambas. All the food was delicious and fresh and the setting was traditional and homely. Payag is another great place to go if you want to try a variety of Filipino dishes, and are staying close to the city.

Payag Bohol

Accommodation

Ocean Suites Boutique Hotel

Ocean Suites Boutique Hotel is situated next to the Blood Compact Monument in Tagbilaran, and is an ocean facing hotel with an infinity pool. Unlike other areas in South East Asia, I have to admit you don’t get as much bang for your buck or nowhere near the same level of accommodation in the Philippines. So make sure you set your expectations as I found accommodation in the Philippines to be similar or a little more expensive but without the same high standards of other places such as Indonesia, Thailand etc.

Ocean Suites Boutique Hotel was a lovely hotel however, and the public areas were clean, slick and modern. The rooms are a bit more basic, nice enough but nothing particularly special. I wouldn’t quite call it a boutique hotel unless referring to the public areas. The location was great though, and not too far from the city centre, and the hotel had amazing views over the ocean and you could see Panglao in the distance. The hotel also has a bar and restaurant which serves tasty food and drinks and had a relaxing atmosphere.

The cafe area in the hotel was fantastic and served the most delicious cakes, and was nice to sit and have a drink and cake after a long day exploring. The staff were really friendly and helpful too. If you want to base yourself in Tagbilaran then I would recommend booking into Ocean Suites.

Personally if I were to return to Bohol in the future and knowing what I know now, I would suggest looking at accommodation options on Panglao Island. I didn’t realise how close and accessible the island was prior to going to Bohol, but as it’s connected to Bohol by a road it is extremely easy to reach all of Bohol’s main attractions, and after a day of exploring you can sit on the beach with a drink and watch the sunset!

Ocean Suites Boutique Hotel Bohol

Transport & Getting Around

There are several options to reach Panglao you can get a flight to Panglao International Airport which only opened back in 2018, it’s a small airport and there are just a several flights going in and out daily from Manila, a few other places around the Philippines and direct flights from Seoul in South Korea.

It’s now much easier to get to the island, we visited when it still had the older airport at Tagbilaran, and there were no flights from Cebu that we could find. So we took the ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran. The ferry is easy, regular and cheap and takes about 2 hours and costs less than £15 each. We went with Oceanjet ferries and booked in advance.

Bohol is pretty easy to navigate around and there is a variety of options to get around the island. When in Tagbilaran city everything is within walking distance, however when exploring the rest of the island I would suggest booking a driver for the day or booking onto a day tour for ease, and to go and see all the main sights.

We booked a driver for two days, one day we got driven all over Bohol and the second day we went to Panglao. It’s really affordable to do and personally would recommend this rather than booking a tour group, as you can spend as little or as much time as you want in certain places, and have more flexibility. When going short distances just hop in one of the many tricycles zipping about the streets.

3 Day Itinerary

  1. After arriving grab lunch explore Tagbiliran and it’s sights and attractions.
  2. Visit Bohols main sites; Philippine Tarsier Foundation / Bilar Man Made Forest & Eco Park / Chocolate Hills / Shiphaus / Sevilla’s Twin Hanging Bridge / Loboc River / Babclayon Church.
  3. Start your day at Mag-Aso Falls before heading over to Panglao Island then visit Panglao Islands top attractions; Hinagdanan Cave / Bohol Bee Farm / Nova Shell Museum / Saint Augustine Church / Alona Beach.

Top Tips

My best bit of advice for visiting Bohol would be to base yourself on Panglao Island, I really wish that’s what we had done. It’s so close and convenient when exploring the rest of Bohol, but you have the beautiful beaches to chill out on after a day of sightseeing.

When visiting Bohol avoid the so called Python Sanctuary at all costs! When we were driving around the island our driver took us there, we hadn’t done any research prior to going and as the driver said it was a sanctuary we agreed for him to take us there, which now I regret! The place is like hell on Earth for the animals living there. Monkeys are kept in tiny cages and the conditions are just heartbreaking, as soon as we stepped in we decided to leave straight away. I emailed several animal charities afterwards to see if I could get these animals help, but didn’t have much luck! Seeing the animals kept in those conditions still haunts me to this day, and made me feel so helpless, and I’m so annoyed that we paid into this awful place!

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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Best Places To Visit On Panglao Island

Panglao Island is located to the south of Bohol Island and less than 10 miles away from Tagbilaran, its known for its popular beach resort of Alona Beach. This small paradise island is connected to Bohol island by a road, so is easily reachable. The island has beautiful pristine beaches which attract both local Filipinos and overseas visitors.

Just a few minutes away by banca boat from the beautiful beaches are colourful coral reefs and world famous dive sites. As well as stunning beaches on offer the island is also home to several other sights and attractions.

We visited Panglao for the day but actually wish we had booked accommodation on Panglao and based ourselves there instead of Tagbilaran. If you are planning a trip to Bohol, I would really recommend basing yourself on Panglao Island as the rest of Bohol is easily accessible from there.

I would also recommend allowing some time to visit other close by islands, we didn’t have enough time to visit them but really wish we did. I’ve heard it’s better to book a private tour boat, and head to Balicasag Island and Virgin Island to spot wild dolphins, snorkel, dive or swim and stroll along Virgin Islands pristine white sand bar. You can book to see these islands on a half day tours.

Panglao Beaches

Most people visit Panglao island for its beautiful beaches, marine life and slower pace of life. There are plenty of beaches to choose from all around the island, I always recommend when staying on any beach always walk along the beach as you always stumble across something new such as another area of natural beauty, a cool restaurant or little beach shack, you can’t beat a good beach walk. Here are just a few of Panglaos beaches to explore;

  • Alona Beach: Is one of the most popular beaches with tourists, and has lots of resorts, cafes, restaurants, bars, dive shops and water sports all available along the beach front.
  • Danao Beach: Is a mix of white sand and rocky shores and has a more natural feel to it, it’s not too far from Alona Beach either.
  • Doljo Beach: Doljo Beach is a long stretch of white sandy beach lined with palm trees and isn’t very developed and isn’t too far from Momo Beach.
  • Dumaluan Beach: This beach is similar to Alona Beach and is not far from it, but it is much quieter. This beach is a great place to base yourself as it’s a good alternative to Alona Beach and you get the best of both, close enough to all the amenities in Alona but the quieter more serene beach of Dumaluan.
  • Momo Beach: Momo Beach is one of the quietest beaches and hasn’t got lots of hotels and resorts, it’s a great escape for people that want to get away from tourists.
  • Panglao Beach: Panglao Beach is only a small stretch of beach but a beautiful one, and doesn’t have many resorts along the beachfront.
Alona Beach Panglao

Bohol Bee Farm Resort

Bohol Bee Farm Resort is located on Panglao island and is an absolute must visit, this gorgeous organic farm has the most beautiful restaurant built onto a small cliff overlooking the ocean, and serves up fresh organic dishes. Before your food is served they provide squash bread and pesto and mango spreads which were amazing. I ordered the honey glazed chicken which was delicious and beautifully presented with flower garnishes.

There is a cute gift shop selling souvenirs and locally made products and produce, and a small ice cream shop. We had a look around the gardens and went down to the sun deck which provides stunning views of the sea. You can also stay overnight as there are suites and chalets available to book. There are beehive tours you can go on at selected times too. I would really recommend visiting for lunch and to wander around the resort, it really is a lovely relaxing spot to visit.

Bohol Bee Farm Resort Panglao

Hinagdanan Caves

Entrance Fee: 25 PHP / Bathing Fee 100 PHP

Hinagdanan Caves are small tucked away caves and can only be accessed by some small ladder steps which has to be done in single file. We loved stepping down into these beautiful caves with crystal clear lagoon and limestone stalactite and stalagmite formations. With the caves growing popularity there are several souvenir shops and cafes located nearby. These caves are a must visit, I would recommend going early to avoid the crowds, and wear shoes that have good grip as it can be quite slippy in the caves. There’s a small entrance fee to enter the caves, and an extra cost if you wanted to swim in the caves lagoon.

Hinagdanan Caves PanglaoHinagdanan Caves Panglao

Nova Shell Museum

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP

Nova Shell Museum this quirky little museum is a really good place to visit its really interesting and a great place to stop off at. It showcases all of the shells that are found around the island and other areas of the Philippines. It’s only a small museum and doesn’t take much time to look around the huge variety of seashells. I would really recommend adding the museum to your Panglao itinerary, as it’s a really sweet and eccentric little space.

Nova Shell Museum Panglao

Saint Augustine Church

Saint Augustine Church is great place to stop at to admire some of the islands history. This Spanish baroque style church has mural ceilings, a watch tower and ruins. It’s interesting to see and learn about the church’s history and understand about the Spanish colonisation in the Philippines.

Saint Augustine Church Panglao

Transport & Getting Around

There are several options to reach Panglao you can get a flight to Panglao International Airport which only opened back in 2018, it’s a small airport and there are just a several flights going in and out daily from Manila, a few other places around the Philippines and direct flights from Seoul in South Korea.

It’s now much easier to get to the island, we visited when it still had the older airport at Tagbilaran, and there were no flights from Cebu that we could find. So we took the ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran. The ferry is easy, regular and cheap and takes about 2 hours and costs less than £15 each. We went with Oceanjet ferries and booked in advance. From Tagbiliran you can grab a taxi easy enough that can take you to Panglao.

We booked a driver for the day and visited Panglao, it’s really affordable to do and personally would recommend this rather than booking a tour group, as you can spend as little or as much time as you want in certain places.

1 Day Itinerary

  • Hinagdanan Cave
  • Bohol Bee Farm
  • Nova Shell Museum
  • Saint Augustine Church
  • Alona Beach

Top Tips

My best bit of advice for visiting Bohol and Panglao would be to base yourself on Panglao Island, I really wish that’s what we had done. It’s so close and convenient when exploring the rest of Bohol, but you have the beautiful beaches to chill out on after a day of sightseeing.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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What To Do In Baku

Azerbaijan is a country which is wedged in between Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, the Caucasus Mountains and sits on the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan was once part of the Soviet Union and this can be clearly seen in some of its architecture that still stands today.

Baku is Azerbaijan’s capital city and situated on the Caspian Sea. Baku is famous for its oil refineries, hosting the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and its medieval old town. This Eurasian City is a real melting pot as there has been many influences over the years, and you can really see where east meets west, it has modern architecture mixed with its beautiful old town. The culture has lots of Middle Eastern and Arabic influences mixed in with a Russian and Eastern European vibe.

I really fell in love with this quirky city and I can honestly say it’s like nowhere I have ever experienced before! There is so much to explore and if you fancy a city break with a difference it makes a great long weekend escape, or if you booked a twin centre trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia it would make an excellent cultured getaway.

Sights & Activities

Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum

Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum is a strange sight to behold the building is shaped like a rolled up carpet, and the museum celebrates the art and technique of carpet and rug weaving, which is Azerbaijan’s national art form, and a huge part of the countries heritage. The museum houses the largest collection of Azerbaijan carpets and rugs, as well as showcasing the tools and techniques used to create the carpets. Entrance into the musuem is only 7 manat which is equivalent to about £4 per adult.

Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum

Baku Boulevard & Bulvar Park

Baku Boulevard is a promenade which runs along Baku’s seafront which over looks the Caspian Sea. The promenade is a national park and was created back in the early 1900s. The Boulevard has the biggest Azerbaijani flag and it’s the biggest flag in the world.

Along the promenade there is plenty to see, eat and do with restaurants, cafes with outside seating, a puppet theatre, mall, ferris wheel and a Carpet Museum. Try and walk along the seafront in the morning to take advantage of it’s fresh sea air and peacefulness. If you more active it’s also the perfect place to go for a jog, run or hire a bicycle and cycle the length of it. There is also a little man made Venice on the promenade where you can take a boat ride.

Bulvar Park is a mall situated along Baku Boulevard with lots of shops, restaurants supermarket, cinema, bowling and a foot court. I have popped into this small several times on trips to Baku as their is a good choice of cheap places to eat in the foot court and also the supermarket is a great place to pick up some local Azerbaijani food and snacks to take home.

Baku Boulevard and Bulvar ParkBaku Boulevard and Bulvar Park

Flame Towers

Flame Towers are three skyscrapers in the shape of flames to symbolise Baku’s history of worshipping fire. They consist of residential apartments, serviced apartments, offices, shops, observation decks and a hotel. The trio of towers were completed back in 2012 and are some of the tallest buildings in the country, and are now a symbolic icon of the capital. At night they are lit up and perform a light show in a variety of colours and transition between moving images of the Azerbaijan flag, fire and water.

Fountain Square

Fountain Square is located just by Nizami Street and is a public square and is home to several fountains, sculptures and statues. Its a popular area as it’s a great meeting point in the city, and also surrounded by restaurants, cafes and shops. On a warm day it’s the perfect place to sit and people watch.

Maiden Tower

Maiden Tower is the oldest structure in Baku’s Old Town, and many experts believe the tower was finished in the 12th century, along with many other buildings in the walled city. However no one is entirely sure when it was built, or the purpose of it. There is a difference in appearance of the stones that form the foundation, and the first three stories suggests the original structure may date as far back as 600 BC.

There is museum inside the tower which houses lots of information all about Baku and it’s history, and you can also climb to the top of the tower for excellent views over the city and the bay of the Caspian Sea. There is small entrance fee of 10 manat which is about £5 per person. When in the Old Town you can’t miss Maiden Tower.

Maiden Tower

Nizami Street

Nizami Street is the most central part of Baku and and is home to a huge array of shops, entertainment facilities, pubs, restaurants and cafes. Even though the area is a commercial hub of the city it has elegant style and beautiful 19th century buildings which line the street, as well as pretty street lights and chandeliers that hang over the street above. Try and visit the street both during the day and at night to see it all lit up.

Old Town (Icherisheher)

Baku’s Old Town also known as Icherisheher is the cities historical core and is the oldest part of the city. It’s steeped in history and ancient architecture, and an absolute must visit when in Baku. Baku Old Town is a city within a city and surrounded by a curved wall which would have once been protection for the city, originally there were just two main gates to enter, but today there are several openings where pedestrians and cars can pass through.

It has grand palaces and mosques, sunken ruins of old hammams and caravanserais. There are lots of stalls and shops with silver merchants and carpet vendors who have been trading their wares there for centuries. The Old Town is part of UNESCO world heritage and some parts of this old city date back to the 12th century, although there is some evidence which shows some areas may even date back to as early as the 7th century.

The Old Town is my favourite area in the city, you can stroll around the old streets for several hours exploring, browsing traditional trinkets in the small shops, stopping at small authentic tea houses to have a glass of tea and some freshly made baklava. The Old Town is what most people come to Baku go visit, it really is a special place to see.

Baku Old TownBaku Old TownBaku Old Town

Food & Drink

Hilton Baku

The Hilton Baku is a large fancy hotel set overlooking the Caspian Sea and has a revolving bar which provides incredible views over the city especially at night when the city lights up and you can see the Flame Towers light show in the distance. Even if you don’t stay at the Hilton I would highly recommend visiting the revolving bar for a cocktail in the evening and to see the city lit up.

Old Garden Restaurant

Old Garden Restaurant is situated on the edge of the Old Town and is a stunning restaurant set in what looks like some old ruins, you step down some small steps into a garden area that is set out with a pathway of Persian rugs which lead up to the restaurant. You can choose to eat inside or outside in the garden area, or just stop by for a drink.

The menu is reasonably priced and the staff are friendly. I stopped there in the late afternoon and had a tea, it’s such a peaceful place to go and relax, I stumbled across this place before I headed back to get ready for my flight home and wish I would of had the time to stop and have something to eat as the place had a really lovely ambience.

Old Garden Restaurant BakuOld Garden Restaurant Baku

Transport & Getting Around

Baku is a really easy city to explore, I found the best way to get around the city centre was by foot, you can also hire bicycles too. There are plenty of public transport options too though, such as buses and metros which link the city together and connect the suburbs to the city. There’s also an option to purchase a preloaded city transport card similar to that of London’s Oyster card, Baku’s card is called Bakikart. There are also taxis available, the main ones being Baki Taksi which are dark purple London style cabs, and run on a meter and aren’t too expensive and a good option if your just flagging a taxi down and haven’t booked one in advance.

Top Tips

Baku is an amazing place to visit and I never once felt unsafe as female wandering around alone, however something to be aware of if you are a solo female traveller is that you will have men approach you wanting to chat. I was approached several times by various men every time I visited the city. I’m a pretty confident and outspoken person so I was polite back but made sure to end the conversation quite quickly by not giving much back or if they were trying to flirt would tell them I’m married, however if your shy and timid I can imagine this would be quite intimidating. My best bit of advice is just to be polite, and end the conversation or tell them you have a boyfriend or husband even if you don’t!

Azerbaijan is a real melting pot of cultures but as it has quite an Islamic influence and many Muslims I would recommend to cover yourself and not wear anything too revealing, out of a sign of respect but also to avoid any unwanted attention. Every time I visited Baku I was always pretty well covered and unfortunately still got unwanted attention. Don’t let this put you off though, as I have always really enjoyed visiting the city and met some lovely locals too, it’s just something to keep in mind so your prepared.

I have also heard about a lot of scams in Baku, and again something to be wary of, I didn’t experience this myself but have heard that some restaurants might add a bit extra on to the bill for tourists so just make sure to check you bill before paying, and if there is a discrepancy then let the waiter know so they can amend it, like all cities there are always going to be scammers so just go with your wits about you, like you would anywhere in the world.

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xxWhat To Do In Baku - Pinterest Pin

Day Trip To Bintan Island From Singapore

Bintan is an Indonesian island located in the Riau Archipelago, and it is the largest island in the province. Bintan is only a short 1 hour ferry ride from Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal. It’s a great escape from the city and a lot more accessible than you might think.

The Island is diverse and is a great add on to any trip to Singapore, you can go to Bintan on a day trip, or spend a few nights there and unwind. Bintan has it all from luxury resorts, white sand beaches, water sports, golf clubs, mangroves and historical sites and villages.

I can’t recommend Bintan enough it’s so easy to get to from Singapore and while there you can enjoy paradise beaches, beautiful sunsets and meet some of the friendly locals at Lagoi Bay.

Sights & Activities

Lagoi Bay

Lagoi Bay is a new purpose built complex and is in the heart of Bintan Resorts. The area is still quite new and very pristine with several restaurants serving up local cuisines and delicacies, and there are a few small souvenir shops too. Lagoi Bay is great for families as there are several small play areas, a children’s train and a petting zoo as well as the gorgeous beach which was full of locals and their families having a day out. There are a few other small attractions around Lagoi Bay such as a museum and a lantern park to name a few.

We were really glad we visited Lagoi Bay for a few hours as there’s lots to see and this is where many locals come and visit too. I don’t think many westerners come to Lagoi Bay as we got stopped frequently by locals wanting to talk to us and practise their English and wanting photos with us, all the locals we met were so sweet and friendly and we loved chatting with them.

All the resorts and the ferry terminal run free and regular shuttle buses to Lagoi Bay, so if you can try and peel yourself away from the sun lounger and go down and see everything that Lagoi Bay has to offer you won’t regret it! When we visited it still seemed fairly new so there were still quite a lot of empty shop fronts, but I reckon in a few more years Lagoi Bay will have lots more small businesses and visitors.

Lagoi Bay BintanLagoi Bay BintanLagoi Bay BintanLagoi Bay Bintan

Nirwana Gardens

Nirwana Gardens is a gorgeous resort located on its very own private beach called Mayang Sari and situated a short 10-15 minute drive from the Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal. The resort is huge it has just short of 250 guest rooms, with swimming pools, shops, bars and restaurants all available for guests and day visitors to use.

Both times I have visited Bintan I have come to Nirwana Gardens as the beach there is stunning, and they have a small stand at the ferry terminal where you can organise going to the resort for the day. They have a day pass which works out at approximately £12.50 per person, and that includes your pick up and drop off at the ferry terminal, full use of their private beach, swimming pools, restaurants, bars and changing facilities as well as WiFi access and they provide you with a beach towel, and your met with a welcome drink. It’s such great value for money and a great place to base yourself for a day of relaxing.

If lounging around on the beach isn’t your thing then there is a range of water sports available at an extra cost on their private beach. I took my snorkelling mask with me for the day and went in the sea for some swimming and snorkelling which was a great way to cool down from the sun.

Nirwana Gardens BintanNirwana Gardens BintanNirwana Gardens BintanNirwana Gardens Bintan

Food & Drink

Spice Restaurant

Spice Restaurant is part of Nirwana Gardens Resort just set back from the beach. The first time I visited Nirwana Gardens we didn’t leave the resort as we accidentally missed the first ferry so didn’t have very long on Bintan. We had a gorgeous lunch at Spice Restaurant and a beautiful view over looking the beach even though it was raining it was lovely to be under cover watching the weather, and by the time we finished lunch the sun came out so it was perfect timing. Spice Restaurant serves up Indian and Indonesian dishes and a good selection of cocktails. It would also be a romantic place to come for dinner and to watch the sunset.

Waroeng Cek Bakar’s Masakan Khas Melayu

Waroeng Cek Bakar’s Masakan Khas Melayu is located in Lagoi Bay tucked between the plaza and the beach, it has both indoor and outdoor seating and serves up local Indonesian flavours, as well as several Singapore and Malaysian dishes. There was plenty of choice and being vegetarian I found plenty of dishes to choose from too.

As well as having a large menu serving up delicious Asian cuisine this cafe is also great to stop by for a cold drink or ice cream. The staff here were also super friendly and we chatted to them after our meal, they couldn’t do enough for us. We really enjoyed our lunch there and may have over ordered on the food as we were all starving by the time we got there. The food there was really delicious but also so cheap. If you visit Lagoi Bay make sure you pay this place a visit.

Indonesian Lunch Bintan

Transport & Getting Around

Ferry

The easiest way to get to Bintan from Singapore is by taking one of the regular ferries which is run by Bintan Resort Ferries and leaves from Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore and goes direct to Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal in Bintan. There are several ferries that go back and forth daily. I would advise however if you are going for the day to get up early and get the first ferry out and then return either by the last or second to last ferry back, to make sure you get the most of a full day there.

If you can try and prebook your tickets to get your more desired ferry times, however we turned up on the day and managed to get the last few seats heading out, and we booked the last ferry coming back as the second to last was full, but in the late afternoon we asked Nirwana Gardens to call to see if they had any cancellations for the slightly earlier one, which luckily they did and it was only £2.50 to amend the booking.

Make sure you allow plenty of time both ways at the ferry terminal as you have to go through immigration and customs at both ends, so allow for at least 30 minutes before your ferry departure. Something else to note is that Bintan is 1 hour behind Singapore so it’s great arriving to Bintan as you haven’t lost any time, however going back to Singapore you loose an hour.

Getting the ferry over to Bintan is really easy and not as complicated or as expensive as you might think. Tickets are normally around $70 SGD return which is about £40 per person. All you need to do is take is your passport and day bag, and for any cabin crew wanting to visit on a layover take your crew ID and the crew gendec paperwork, so that immigration can see your on a layover in Singapore, and won’t cause you any issues getting back in or leaving Singapore when your due to fly home.

Shuttle Bus

Bintan Resorts and Lagoi Bay run regular complimentary shuttle bus services from the ferry terminal to the hotels and Lagoi Bay as well as putting on shuttles between the hotels and Lagoi Bay. They also have shuttle buses running in Singapore from Singapore Changi Airport to Tanah Merah ferry terminal.

Top Tips

My best bit of advice is if you have time maybe stay over night in Bintan, and try and get out and see more of the island as there are several island tours available which I’m hoping to do on a future trip. If your on a budget and visiting for the day you can skip the resort and head straight to Lagoi Bay on the free shuttle bus from the ferry terminal and spend the day at the Lagoi Bay beach.

While visiting Bintan don’t just stick to staying in a resort head out to Lagoi Bay even if it’s just for lunch and to mix with the locals, they are honestly some of the most friendly and sweet people I have come across on my travels, and they genuinely showed an interest in where we were from and wanting to practise their English.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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Amazing Places To Visit In Singapore For Free

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your trip. Singapore has so many free attractions and places to explore. If your on a tight budget or just can’t justify making big splurges, then read this blog for lots of Singapores top free attractions and places to go sightseeing in the city.

Arab Street & Haji Lane

Arab Street (also known as Bussorah Street) and Haji Lane are neighbouring streets and located in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood. Arab Street has the famous Masjid Sultan Mosque one of Singapore’s most popular attractions, which stands proudly overlooking the palm lined Arab Street. There are plenty of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants along Arab street, as well as shops. It’s a lovely street to wander and there are plenty of photo opportunities.

Step across to the parallel bright and colourful street of Haji Lane which is filled with artsy wall murals, hipster cafes and independent boutiques. There are some gorgeous shops to browse, but if retail therapy isnt your thing, there is plenty of street art to admire along Haji Lane.

I would recommend visiting both streets in the morning to avoid the crowds especially if you want to take some good photos. Check out Selfie Coffee on Haji Lane where you can not only get your morning coffee fix, but can get your selfie photo printed on top it! It’s a great spot for people watching outside, and something a little different for your coffee break.

There is lots to see on both of these streets, and it’s easy to spend a morning or afternoon in this area. Just a stones throw away is the Malay Heritage Centre too, which has lots of information on the history and heritage of the Malay community in Singapore. The centre isn’t a free attraction, however it’s only a few Singaporean dollars to enter if you did want to visit.

Masjid Sultan MosqueHaji Lane

Botanical Gardens

Singapore’s Botanical Gardens are world famous and are the first and only tropical gardens to be placed on the UNESCO world heritage site list. The gardens have over 150 years of history and are set across 82 hectares, the gardens are popular with both Singaporeans and visitors. There is a huge array of plant life on display and a variety of gardens to explore such as the Ginger Garden, Rain Forest Garden, Trellis Garden, Healing Garden and many more, but the main draw of the Botanical Gardens is the National Orchid Garden.

All the gardens are free to roam around, the only exception is the National Orchid Garden which does charge a small admission of only $5 SGD, which is definitely worth it! The orchard garden was by far my favourite in the botanical gardens, along with the ginger and rainforest gardens. You could easily spend a full day in the gardens as there is so much to see. If your limited on time I would suggest maybe selecting a few gardens that you think you would enjoy, or at least go to the Orchid Garden you won’t be disappointed at the vivid colours of the orchid flowers, they are simply stunning!

Botanical Gardens SingaporeBotanical Gardens SingaporeBotanical Gardens Singapore

Bugis

The area of Bugis has lots of places to go sightseeing, it’s located not too far away from Arab Street and Haji Lane which are in Kampong Glam. Other attractions to visit are;

Chijmes is a great place to pop your head into especially at night when the area is lit up beautifully with twinkly lights. It was once a convent back in the 1800s but has been converted into a beautiful area for restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s also located just by Raffles Hotel, so if you don’t want to spend money on food and drinks come to the area for just for a wander around these colonial heritage sites. You can also shop until you drop at Bugis Junction and Bugis Street, or if your on a budget why not window shop at Bugis Junction and browse the stalls at Bugis Street?!

Chinatown

Chinatown in Singapore is a great place to explore at any time of day or night, the colonial buildings and shop houses are beautiful to look at. During Chinese New Year there are lots of displays and decorations that line the streets too. There are lots of temples and shrines to go and visit for free in Chinatown such as;

The two most popular temples are the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple which are both grand and with lots of intricate detailing. There is also lots of market stalls, shops, restaurants, hawker centres and Chinatown Street Market.

Chinatown SingaporeChinatown Singapore

Emerald Hill Road

If your doing a bit of sightseeing around Orchard Road take a break from the restaurants and shopping, and wander down Emerald Hill Road the terraced houses are some of the most sought over in the city and are prime real estate. These beautiful ornate terraces take you back to days gone by, its a nice sight to tick off and won’t cost anything. You only need 20 minutes or so to wander this pretty street, just be mindful that people do live in these properties.

Emerald Hill Road

Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park is a a must for any history fanatics, the 18 hectare park sits on a hilltop and is steeped in historical landmarks and artefacts. Some of the main sites are the fort gate, remnants of a fortress, maritime corner and a military complex from WWII. The park grounds are lovely to walk around even if your not a history buff and there’s also a spice garden and some sculptures to look out for too.

Gardens By The Bay & Garden Rhapsody Light Show

Gardens By The Bay is one of Singapores top attractions and most recognised landmarks, the main feature is the Supertree Grove which is in the centre of the gardens. The gigantic trees are really impressive and are great to walk around, they are surrounded by lots of other gardens, sculptures, plants, play areas and ponds which are all completely free to look around! The only attractions that charge admission in the gardens are the Cloud Forest Conservatory, Flower Dome Conservatory and the OCBC Skyway.

Depending on your budget I would recommend paying to go up the OCBC Skyway as it’s only $8 SGD, and you get the most incredible views over the gardens and Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Keep an eye out for the local resident otters that live close by in the Marina by the gardens, they can be spotted frequently swimming and playing in the water.

Make sure not to miss the Garden Rhapsody Light Show which is on twice every night at the Super Tree Grove at 19.45 and 20.45. It’s a stunning music and light show which is free for all to sit and watch. The light show is magical and a must in Singapore!

Gardens By The BayGarden Rhapsody Light Show

Geylang & Joo Chiat (Katong)

Geylang is one of Singapore’s more seedier areas and known as the red light district in the city, however the area is pretty untouched and unmodernised and still has a certain charm to the district. It’s a melting pot of ethnicities and full with traditional eateries, bars, shops, temples, mosques and more. Visit the Sri Sivan Temple which is a stunning Hindu temple. When in the area visit Geylang Serai Market which is one of Singapore’s oldest Malay settlements and is one of the biggest and busiest wet markets in Singapore. The market is a social hub for the community and provides a unique Malay culinary experience, try the Piseng Goreng (banana fritters) they are a real sweet treat!

Joo Chiat is also known as Katong, this neighbourhood is the heart of Singapore’s Peranakan community. The community are descendants of Chinese settlers who married locals and have created a blend of cultures between Chinese and Malay traditions. This area of the city has lots of colourful shop houses, hidden temples, workshops and local eateries. Seek out the beautiful multicoloured houses on East Coast Road and Koon Seng Road. There are also some small temples to visit called Kuan Im Tng Temple and Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple which if your in the area are great places to go and see.

While in the area pay a visit to Kim Choo Kueh Chang which is a traditional Peranakan shop serving up rice dumplings and other traditional rainbow sweet treats preserving the communities traditions since 1945.

Koon Seng RoadKim Choo Kueh Chang

Little India

Little India is one of the most colourful neighbourhoods in the city, the small narrow streets are filled with spicy aromas. This area is a complete contrast to other more sanitised areas of the city. There is plenty to see, do and eat in this vibrant district. The good thing about Little India is it is one of the smallest neighbourhoods in Singapore so everything is easy to find and most attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Little India is great for delicious eats, make sure to visit in time for lunch or dinner as there’s some amazing food around. If your wanting street food check out the Tekka Centre. Theres lots of sightseeing to be done in the area, I would recommend walking along the Buffalo Road which is a busy street full of bright buildings, Indian produce shops and stalls selling flower garlands. Stroll into the Little India Arcade to pick up some keepsakes from your trip and to browse the beautifully made Indian wares. One of the most popular sights in Little India is Tan House which is a rainbow coloured building. Little India is bursting with temples, which are so bright and colourful with beautiful designs, such as;

Little India SingaporeLittle India Flower Garlands

Marina Bay, Spectra Light Show & Merlion

Marina Bay is a popular landmark in the city and world famous for its stunning and futuristic architecture surrounding the waterfront. Go down to the waterfront in the evening and splurge on a cocktail in the Marina Bay Sands hotel for spectacular views, or grab a cheap drink from Gluttons Bay Streetfood market and wander around the waterfront to see the skyline lit up at night. Make sure not to miss the Spectra light and water show which is on every night at 8pm and 9pm. There are plenty of places to sit around the water edge and watch the 15 minute light and water display. While your down at the waters edge take a walk along to see Singapore’s mascot the Merlion, this large statue and fountain is a must see when down at the waterfront.

Marina Bay

MacRitchie Reservoir Park & Treetop Walk

Singapore is a green city and there are so many hiking trails and parks to explore. The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is popular with Singaporeans and nature lovers, it’s a great day out and offers lots of recreational activities such as hiking, kayaking and canoeing. It’s a huge nature reserve with pristine forest and has lots of native wildlife, and it sits on Singapore’s first reservoir. There is a choice of hiking routes so plan your route before you go as it’s bigger than what you would expect.

There are lots of long hiking routes in the nature reserve but if your short on time and still want to experience the park then spend a morning hiking the Treetop Walk which is a suspension bridge which sits up above the canopy providing views over the forest, be cautious with the macaques and try and stay away from them as they weren’t very friendly. The hiking loop to the Treetop walk and back takes about 3 to 4 hours and is an easy walk, just go prepared with plenty of water and allow time.

Mac Ritchie Reservoir Park Treetop WalkMac Ritchie Reservoir Park Treetop Walk

Raffles Hotel

The world famous and one of the most iconic places to visit in Singapore is the Raffles Hotel, this is a must on any visit in the city as it’s steeped in colonial history. Most people come from all over to visit the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling which is Singapore’s signature drink and was invented there. However if you want to visit but don’t like the cocktails price tag (approx £15 per drink), then you can still visit the front and walk around the building to take photos and admire the colonial decadence, also visit Chijmes across the road to discover more of Singapore’s colonial heritage.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is located to the south of Singapore and can be easily reached by cable car, MRT, driving, walking, Sentosa Express and cycling. The island is linked to the mainland and is a resort island full of hotels, theme parks, beaches, trails, museums and more. Once on the island there is a whole range of free activities to do, my personal favourite on Sentosa are the three beaches which are Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach.

Personally I love Palawan Beach as it has a suspension bridge across the water to the southern most point of continental Asia, and feels like a lagoon rather than the sea. Siloso beach is great for grabbing a spot of lunch, Coastes is my favourite as it’s a lovely beach bar and restaurant and not too badly priced for a salad. Tanjong Beach is good for beach bars and clubs, I would recommend walking along all three and seeing which one takes your fancy, you can also get the free beach shuttle bus which runs between all of the Sentosa beaches.

It’s a great place to come just for a bit of beach time as it has lots of facilities and amenities and the beaches are really clean, however if beaches aren’t your thing then check out some of Sentosas other free attractions;

Sentosa Island

Southern Ridges

Southern Ridges is one of Singapore’s top attractions and connects the jungle to the city. The wave like walkway provides gorgeous panoramic views over the jungle, skyline, southern islands and out to the South China Sea. The whole trail can take between 3 to 5 hours depending on your pace and how often you stop there is also a canopy walk and forest walk.

Tiong Bahru

Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore and is a mix of new and old buildings. The neighbourhood is steeped in history and over the years has been regenerated, and is now one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city. It’s a great place to come for a coffee and quick bite in one of its hipster cafes, and do a spot of retail therapy in one of its niche shops. It’s a great place to spend a lazy morning wandering around.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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Bangkok’s Must Visit Markets

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and is a city bursting with markets, street stalls and night bazaars. There are so many iconic markets in the city and always new ones popping up. You can’t visit Bangkok and not sample at least one or two of its markets. They are lively, colourful and vibrant hubs of activity and culture, you won’t be disappointed.

I would always recommend checking online or asking staff at your accommodation the opening times as some markets are open every day and others only open certain days and they can start at different times, so always check before travelling to one. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Bangkok on many occasions both on holiday and with layovers with work. Every time I’m in the city I try and seek out a new market to shop and explore.

Artbox Night Market

Artbox is one of the trendier markets with lots of stalls set out in shipping containers, neon lights, ball pits, live music and street food. It’s definitely a market to visit for the gram pic, as well as having some amazing stalls selling lots of fashion items, vintage wear and handmade creations. It has a slightly more upmarket feel compared to other markets in the city. There’s plenty of seating so if you wanted to grab some food and drinks and make an evening of it, this market is a great place to do just that!

Artbox Thailand

Chang Chui Plane Market

Chang Chui Plane Market is the place to visit if you love wacky art installations, this quirky market has a plane in the centre which has been made into a restaurant and bar. The rest of the area is made up of buildings that have all been created with recycled materials.

The market has an artistic vibe with stalls and boutiques selling handmade creative items and fashion accessories. There are also several small restaurants and stalls serving up food and craft beers, some nights there is live music too. The market is great for families as there are slides, swings and a lot of crazy street art and statues. The market is situated close to the Khao San Road, so it’s definitely a must visit when near the old town. I would recommend exploring Chang Chui Market and then hitting the Khao San Road afterwards.

Chang Chui Plane MarketChang Chui Plane MarketChang Chui Plane Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak is Thailand’s most famous and popular floating market. Located about one hour from the bustling capital, it’s the place most tourists want to visit, don’t let that put you off though, as it’s a great place to come and experience history and culture and get an insight into a local life. Aim to get to the market early to fully experience it at its busiest and to see it in all its glory.

Personally I would recommend booking onto a morning tour, there are lots of tours available from Bangkok and all pretty reasonably priced, the guide will make sure you don’t miss anything and also provide you with information and facts about the market. Some of the market can feel quite commercialised like many markets in Thailand, however due to the popularity of this market there are tons to explore and food sellers selling a variety of food and fruit which really makes the market colourful.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Khao San Road

You have most likely heard about the famous Khao San Road, it’s the backpackers hub for South East Asia. Yes it’s tacky, touristy and full of stalls selling creepy crawlies to snack on (I never have) it can sometimes get a bad rep. However if you go with an open mind and anticipate the mass commercialisation and manage your expectations it’s a great place to visit. There’s something about the Khao San that always draws people back, myself included.

I love the fact there are people from all over the world and from all walks of life and there is something for everyone along the Khao San Road. I can honestly say I’ve had some of the best nights on the Khao San.

I normally start the night off by grabbing some cheap street food, then browsing the hundreds of stalls and shops to treat myself to another pair of comfy elephant trousers (don’t judge!). After I’ve normally shopped and bought tons of new clothes, and trinkets, I grab a bucket of booze and sit and have a foot and leg massage, then after a massage I hit a few bars and before I know it I’m dancing in the street making friends with everyone and anyone. I’ve never had a bad night along the Khao San and normally stay until the early hours partying before jumping in a tuk-tuk back to my accommodation.

If you want to start the night off eating at restaurant I would suggest going to one of the side streets next to the Khao San Road such as Rambutri Road and some of the quieter lanes for a much calmer dining experience. If your on a tight budget then stick to the food on the Khao San as it’s the cheapest in the city!

Khao San RoadKhao San RoadKhao San Road

Maeklong Railway Market

Maeklong is a traditional Thai market selling fruit, vegetables and homewares. You probably wouldn’t buy anything there to take home with you, however it’s a great place to visit for the local experience. It’s famous for its market but more famous for its location set on train tracks and a few times a day the train passes straight the market with locals having to pull back their produce and canopies. Some stalls that are low to the floor the train just glides straight over missing the produce by a few inches.

It’s incredible to watch, but make sure to be careful as it can be dangerous. Try and go in the morning and grab some breakfast or lunch at the market and browse the stalls and watch the train.

The market is about a one hour drive from Bangkok and you can either book a tour, taxi or you can even take the train from Bangkok that will take you straight through the market and you can get off a few minutes walk away and wander back to explore the market itself.

Maeklong Railway MarketMaeklong Railway Market

MBK Centre

MBK Centre is a huge indoor mall and is well known in Bangkok, it’s next to the upmarket Siam Discovery. MBK offers a huge choice for shoppers, although it’s not quite a market I thought I would include it in this blog as the ground floor is mostly market styles stalls selling clothing and handbags. There are also plenty of places to eat, and as you go up the floors there is plenty of shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to shop especially if your visiting during rainy season or if you prefer shopping with the comfort of air conditioning – MBK is a good indoor option.

Neon Night Market

Neon Night Market is a lively night bazaar with a large array of stalls selling fashion, quirky homewares and has lots of food and drink stalls. There are neon lights everywhere (hence the name) and this market is probably aimed more at the younger crowd, but don’t let that put you off as there is lots to browse around, and the market is centrally located in Pratunam.

Neon Night MarketNeon Night Market

Patpong Night Market

Patpong is a popular night market amongst tourists and is a vibrant and chaotic market set in the built up area of one of Bangkoks most popular nightlife districts. The market is surrounded by go-go bars and sells everything from fashion items, fake designer goods, souvenirs and much more all for cheap prices, just make sure you bargain with the stall owners and don’t accept the first price offered for a product but also don’t offer to little for an item. If your looking for a lively night or just fancy a few drinks, browse the market before finding a bar for a cocktail or two.

Rod Fai Ratchada Night Market

Rod Fai Night Market is located in Ratchada and is also referred to as the train market as it’s located by a train station. This market is a must, it has everything and something for everyone with an artsy vibe thrown in for good measure. It has lively bars and live music in one corner, and lots of stalls selling street food and snacks, there’s places to pull up a seat and grab food. There are stalls selling literally something for everyone, as this market is popular with Thai people the prices are much cheaper compared to other markets in the city.

This has to be one of my favourite markets in the city I found lots of items I liked and there were plenty of stalls offering customisable fashion items, such as sandals that you could choose how you wanted them customised with pom-poms, tassels and trims etc. Just note that the market isn’t on every night so check opening times prior to going.

Rod Fai Ratchada Night Market

Sukhumvit Street Market

Sukhumvit Street Market isn’t much to write home about, however if your staying in this area especially around the Nana or Asok BTS skytrain stations, then I would suggest having a wander along the stalls in the evening. Stalls lines the whole of this road, it’s a good location as it’s so central. You can pick up souvenirs, and knocks offs every night of the week. However unless your staying local to this area I wouldn’t come out your way for it, as there are much better night markets in the city to venture to.

Victory Monument Night Market

Victory Monument is a great area to explore at night and hunt down some bargains, there’s tons of stalls that spring up in the evening and lots of places to eat and drink. There’s some good outside seating areas with live music too. Have a browse around Victory Point Bazaar which is underneath the Victory Monuments BTS skywalk, where you can see lots of stalls and food vendors and locals going about their evening.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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Zapangi

Seoul’s Coolest Cafes

Seoul has a serious cafe culture! But not just your average box standard cafe, I’m talking quirky eccentric out there niche cafes! Seoul has every type of cafe you can imagine. There are lots of themed cafes and seeking them out and taking regular refreshment breaks is one of the reasons I love the city so much. Here is a small guide to some of the weirdest cafes I’ve visited in Seoul.

Bau House

Bau House is a dog cafe situated in Hongdae, the drinks are nothing to write home about, but the real reason you come to visit Bau House is to pet all of the cute dogs both big and small. There is such a mix of dogs in the cafe and there is plenty of space to play with the dogs and lots of seating. It’s costs KRW8000 which is about £6 and this includes your entrance and a drink of your choice, with a selection of hot and cold drinks.

Bau House

Blind Alley

Blind Alley is another one of Seoul’s animal cafes but this one has raccoons, there are several raccoon cafes dotted around Seoul. This one is located in the heart of Seoul, not too far from the Hongdae area and also close to Seoul’s main palaces and tourist attractions. There is a good selection of drinks, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits, you do have to dine in though if you want to enter the racoon room.

Blind Alley

Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 (Cafe 2D)

Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 named after its location and also known as the 2D Cafe. It is another one of Seoul’s themed cafes, and was designed to create a 2D optical illusion, which makes you feel as though you have crossed over into a comic book illustration. It’s located in the student area of Hongdae, and can get quite busy so try and head to the cafe either first thing when it opens or in the evening. There is also a small rooftop which is hidden away so be sure to have a wander up there too.

2D Cafe2D Cafe

C. Through Cafe

C. Through Cafe has to be one of the girliest cafes in all of Seoul, with hand drawn cream art drinks on offer, beautiful decor and the best tiramisu I have ever tasted. This is definitely on of my favourite cafes in Seoul! This small and quirky cafe is tucked away in Itaewon-dong.

It’s not the easiest place to find as I couldn’t find the cafe on any of my maps apps so the easiest way to find the cafe is to get to Noksapyeong underground station, when you exit the station you should be able see a pedestrian bridge which crosses over the main road, walk over the bridge and then take a right and follow the road around to Rocka Doodle and carry on past there a little further on, the cafe is on the left side.

There is a good selection of drinks on offer but honestly order and experience the cream art drinks they are delicious!

C. Through Cafe

Moomin Cafe

The Moomin Cafe is a cafe and shop all themed around the Scandinavian cartoon The Moomins. If your a Moomin fan like myself then this cute cafe is a great place to visit. They sell lots of Moomin cookies and cakes, there’s also lots of Moomin memorabilia for sale too. The cafe is situated in Hongdae and is situated just by to the Studio Ghilbi shop tucked around the corner from it.

Moomin Cafe Moomin Cafe

Pink Pool Cafe – Hongdae

There are several Pink Pool Cafes around Seoul, they are set in the Stylenanda shops. I have visited the shop in Hongdae and Myeong-Dong, however I prefer the flagship cafe in Hongdae. The cafe is a lot bigger and grander and is so girly and pretty. It serves up a larger selection of drinks and cakes too. I opted for a heart cake which was filled with jam, and the peach cream soda both were amazing. It’s not the cheapest cafe, for a cake and drink it cost me about £10. Try and get to the cafe early if possible as I did have to wait for a table, and the cafe can be really popular. If you love the colour pink and love cake then the Hongdae Pink Pool Cafe is the place for you!

Pink Pool Cafe - Hongdae Pink Pool Cafe - Hongdae Pink Pool Cafe - Hongdae

Pink Pool Cafe – Myeong-Dong

In the Myeong-Dong Pink Pool Cafe it’s on the top floor of the Stylenanda shop, and is set out like a pool area with tiles, umbrellas, pastel pink tables and chairs and even has a shower style fitting room. The roof terrace is up another flight of stairs, I took my peach tea up there and sat on the large frilly floor cushions. There is also blankets to keep warm too, and it’s really nice to be up there away from the madness of the busy street below.

Thanks To Nature

Thanks To Nature has to be one of Seoul’s weirdest cafes, it’s a lovely little cafe down some small steps hidden away from the busy streets of Hongdae. This cafe has a difference though as it’s home to 2 resident sheep which are in a pen out the front of cafe. For the price of a drink you can go in and pet the sheep and also buy feed from the counter to feed them. Seoul has lots of animal cafes but this definitely has to be the strangest one of them all.

Thanks To Nature

Zapangi

Zapangi is one of Seoul’s coolest cafes, it’s about a 10 minute walk from Mangwon underground station. From the outside of the cafe it looks like a bright pink vending machine, but behind the vending machine door is the chicest cafe and has a slight Scandinavian style with white tile bricks and plants, and some neon lights.

What I really loved about Zapangi was it’s ultra feminine drinks and snacks, this cafe is definitely aimed at girly girls. There are cakes served in cute metal tins decorated beautifully. I opted for one with a mermaid tale poking out the top of the cake and chose the Aurora hot chocolate which was decorated with pastel buttercream and pearl like sugar balls. If your a sucker like me for anything decorated pretty this will be right up your alley.

You pay a little more here for the drinks but they were delicious and great for anyone with a sweet tooth. My cake and drink l cost KRW17,000 so about £12 which is more than the average but your paying more for the decoration and the experience.

ZapangiZapangi

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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