The Places we call Home in Thailand

Places we call Home - ThailandArriving in Thailand was like a short break from travelling as we were in our second home country for a couple of weeks. We thoroughly enjoyed being cared for by my parents and having a home base. We were on the road for nearly a year by then and have packed and unpacked our backpacks in over a hundred places. Packing is done in a jiffy but the luxury of not having to live out of your backpack for a couple of weeks was welcomed. Everything went in the laundry, including our bags and our first aid kits and supplies were reviewed and replenished.

Eating out has become a normal daily activity so having home cooked meals was great. We chilled out and caught up with my parents but also visited Chiang Mai and Bangkok, two cities where we always feel at home in. Thailand accommodations are plentiful and cheap and finding a place to sleep was easy. Accommodations are always great value for money and we made our choices based on location. read more

Onmisbaar in de backpack

Met welke spullen we allemaal op reis vertrokken kon je eerder in een bericht van Jolanda lezen. We hadden geprobeerd een zo’n compleet mogelijke tas in te pakken zonder de tas ondraagbaar te maken. Nu, na bijna tien maanden onderweg te zijn, hebben we al een hoop spullen achter gelaten, naar huis gestuurd of weggegeven. Er zijn echter spullen waar we niet meer zonder zouden willen. Zie hieronder de items die we erg waarderen tijdens onze reis.  Lees verder

The Places we call Home in India

Places we call Home - IndiaThe choices and availability of accommodation in India is plentiful and divers. With so many visitors per year, largely backpackers, there was no difficulty finding budget accommodation. We started out in North India and trailed down to the south, so it was great to compare the different types of accommodations in this enormous country.

Visiting both North and South India, we noticed a few differences in the facilities of guesthouses and hotels. In the north, especially in Rajasthan, a beautiful option was staying in a (converted) Haveli. Havelis are old private mansions elaborately decorated with one or more courtyards and rich in Indian architectural heritage. After a couple of guesthouses, we noticed one very welcoming feature of our accommodations which was the rooftop. Rooftops became our favorite place to sit back and watch the everyday life on the streets. Read More

The Beach bestaat!

In de film The Beach uit 2000 gaat het verhaal over een groep backpackers die op een paradijselijk eiland in Thailand een eigen gemeenschap hebben gecreëerd. Ver van de lokale overheid verwijderd hebben zij hun eigen regels en leiders. Spanningen binnen de gemeenschap zorgen er uiteindelijk voor dat de utopie geen stand weet te houden en zo komt er aan deze door Jolanda en mijzelf al talloze malen bekeken film een einde. Zo gaat dat in Hollywood.

De strandscènes zijn opgenomen in een baai die Maya Beach heet op een klein eilandje voor de kust van het bekende Kho Phi Phi. We zijn er in 2006 eens geweest maar weinig herinnert er nog aan de film. Echter, in het land van de Bollywood lijkt de film nog steeds door te gaan, Lees verder

The Places we call Home in Sri Lanka

Places we call Home - Sri LankaOur search for accommodation for Sri Lanka started months earlier as for 2 weeks within our month in Sri Lanka we were going to travel with the 4 of us. Chris and Trudy, Lennart’s parents visited us around Christmas and New Year and we wanted to have extra nice accommodation and if possible family rooms to spend lots of time together. It also was the Christmas and New Year’s holiday and thus the very high season for Sri Lanka. Finding family rooms was a bit of a challenge as they usually were not advertised on the usual booking sites and so we searched for places we liked and hoped that they had rooms which could house us 4. As this turned into a bit of a family holiday, we searched for unique, special places with a higher budget than what we would usually stay for with the 2 of us. Read More

Reizen met de familie

Al voordat we in juli van het afgelopen jaar vertrokken, hadden mijn ouders voor de kerstvakantie twee weken Sri Lanka geboekt. Althans, alleen de vliegtickets want de invulling zouden we er zelf wel aan geven. In de weken voorafgaand aan de kerstvakantie werden via email de plannen gemaakt en de daarbij behorende hotels gereserveerd.

Na een aantal koude maanden te hebben beleefd werd het half december en vlogen we van Tokio naar Colombo. Een aantal dagen later haalden we mijn ouders op van het vliegveld en was er na ruim vijf maanden een weerzien. Het was een bijzonder moment om zo ver van huis elkaar weer te treffen en te beginnen aan een reis door een voor ons allen onbekend land.  Lees verder

The Places we call Home in Japan

Places we call Home - JapanVisions of sliding rice paper screens, tatami mats and creative use of limited space pops into mind when I think of a Japanese home. Obviously Japanese accommodation offers a huge variety of choices ranging from traditional homes to ultra modern hotels. Sticking within our price range we tried to combine clean comfortable hostels with occasional special treats of nights in a traditional Japanese home which costs more but was worth every yen.

After traveling for a couple of months and sleeping in basic accommodation with varying levels of comfort and hygiene, Japan was a lovely change in standard. Even the cheaper hostel chains which we stayed in were clean, comfortable and felt luxurious compared to the places we have stayed at before Japan. Read More

Can you visit Japan on a budget? Part 2: Food and Fun

Japanese Food on a BudgetNow to the important part.

Food

Food is a highlight all on itself in Japan. Japanese food is so much more than the sushi and sashimi it is famous for. Back in Holland, a sushi meal always counts as a treat as raw fish does not come cheap so having good sushi without breaking our budget was great. Food in Japan is extremely fresh and meals including sushi, sashimi but also yakitori’s and tempuras are prepared fresh every morning and throughout the day in shops, supermarkets and take away places. We were given the tip to wait till around 7 pm when all fresh meals gets discounted half price! We happily waited until the shop employees walk around with stickers slashing down the price. Some stores start at 20% off whilst other start right at 50% off. Seeing how locals hover around stores at this time of the day shows that this is a good deal as if it is good enough for the locals, then it is good enough for us. Read More

Can you visit Japan on a budget? Part 1: Accommodation and Travel

Japan on a Budget - Accommodation and TravelYes, you can!

Japan has been on my wish list since I was a child. Growing up in Bangkok is like having small bits of Japan fed to you. My favorite cartoons were Japanese, my favorite candy was Japanese and my love for sushi and everything made with green tea grew year by year. In Thailand, Japan is one of the top honeymoon destinations so finally we were visiting a ‘normal’ honeymoon destination.

However, as we are on a round the world trip, one of the things we take into consideration is our budget and Japan is rumored to be an expensive place to visit. Everyone’s question when they hear that Japan was one of our next destinations was how we were going to manage our budget as Japan is crazy expensive. On the other hand, other travelers who have actually visited Japan all agreed that Japan can also be done on a smaller budget. We did a lot of research online and found out that with some preparations and in our case some luck, we can stretch our yens in Japan. Read More

Vakantie van reizen

Reizen is geen vakantie, ook geen hele lange. In de aanloop naar onze reis werd ons wel eens gevraagd wanneer en hoe lang we op vakantie gingen. We gaan op reis, maar dat houdt niet in dat we de hele dag aan het zwembad liggen, cocktails drinken en bij romantische restaurants eten. Reizen is voor ons gedurende een lange tijd ons leven, waar ook soms administratieve klusjes bij horen, er dagen tussen zitten waarin we nergens zin in hebben of ons ziek of zwak voelen; net als thuis.

Het is een prachtig leven waarin we veel mee maken en waar iedere dag weer anders is dan de vorige. Saai wordt het nooit, er genoeg van hebben doen we ook nog niet. Lees verder