I make my way to Chowrasta in search of Penang’s famed street food and I’m confronted by this scene – a thick and long row of stalls with a colorful and curious assortment of fruits, fabrics and figurines; the cacophony of hawkers and musical trishaws; and droves of people and motorbikes and cats whizzing past.
Tokyo is an expensive city –it’s reliably always in the top 10 most expensive cities of any survey, both for locals and travelers. And while a lot of travelers shy away from visiting Tokyo because of this intimidating fact, there are affordable alternatives in the city that you can check out.
Here are 10 hotels in Tokyo that don’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s not all hostels and capsule hotels here! You can still stay in Tokyo in style even with a small budget.
It started with the smell of roast pig.
As we walked down the meandering pathway from our pension to the old town, I stopped in my tracks. The sweet smell of garlic, herbs, and smoke wafted from a window, bringing with it the memories of fiestas, weddings, and summers spent with cousins and grandparents in the countryside. Roast pig had always been the star of every happy occasion, and now it heralded another one. Giddy with excitement, I declared to my boyfriend even before I set foot into the old town: “I love Cesky Krumlov!”
Siargao, a small island in Northern Mindanao, used to be almost exclusively a surfer’s paradise. I remember hearing about it for the first time over a decade ago from an old college classmate who happened to be a surfing enthusiast, and thought she was just saying “Surigao” with a twang.
In the last few years though, a surfer somewhere let out the secret that ultimately changed the island’s fate: there’s more to Siargao than surfing! And so the island’s tourism picked up. Despite what the island purists may claim – that its popularity has led to its ruin – I think Siargao is taking its sudden fame in stride. I’d even go so far as to propose that if you’re visiting the Philippines for the first time, Siargao is the perfect “gateway” island.
Planning a trip to Seoul? Chances are, you have about 5 tabs open on your browser right now and probably pulling your hair out with all of the choices and information out there. Believe me – I’ve been there. There is no shortage of guides and blogs on Seoul and you have the city itself to blame.
If you think online information on Seoul is overwhelming, you should go to, well… Seoul! From the moment you land on Incheon and venture into the heart of the city, you’ll be bombarded by all sorts of curiosities and novelties and choices, choices, choices!
If you’re on a diet, forget about it. You’ll be eating your way around the city in no time. Not really planning to shop? Friendly (albeit unfashionable) tip: wear blinders. Thinking of taking it slow and having a relaxing trip? Wear your most comfortable shoes anyway, as you’ll be drawn from one street to the next and before you know it, you’re in the middle of an art village on top of a hill and you just want to keep on going.
Seoul’s vibrancy and life is just so infectious and there’s just so much you can do that the trip-planning stage can be so overwhelming. So here’s my part in helping you plan your little holiday and making it less of an information overload: I made a fun and quick quiz (5 minutes tops!) that will help you decide where to stay in Seoul!
If you’ve only ever been to Tokyo before, you’ll find a different side of Japan in Osaka. Compared to Tokyo, Osaka’s rhythm seems to be at half-time and its mood way chipper. The streets are filled with friendly faces and booming voices… and the mouthwatering smell of hearty, savory food. Welcome to Osaka!