How to Spend 24 Hours in San Francisco

Friday, 9 October 2020

San Francisco is still one of my favourite cities in the world. No matter how many places I've travelled, there is something about SF that will forever hold my heart. There is so much to do, so much to see. I honestly feel like even if I lived there, I would not be able to take in all the incredible places the city has to offer.

I'm not going to lie, this post is going to cover a lot of touristy areas of San Francisco. If touristy places aren't your jam, make sure to check out some of our other posts on San Francisco. However, if you've never been to San Francisco, and you only have 24 hours to spend, I've come up with a fun itinerary that will allow you to hit some of the most iconic spots of SF. 

The Golden Gate Bridge

It does not matter how many times I've been to San Francisco, I always love catching a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. I highly recommend starting or ending your day here, so you're able to see the sunrise or sunset. If you're an early bird, get up and watch the sunrise over the bridge. You can grab an on the go brekkie and walk across the bridge. If walking really isn't your jam, go down to the beach and get some incredible views of the Golden Gate that most tourists skip out on. 

Treat Your Self at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Now I may not be the biggest chocolate fan, but I would never skip a trip to Ghirardelli. It's only about an hours walk from the Golden Gate Bridge so you'll definitely have earned some yummy chocolate. The gorgeous brick facade of the buildings sets a beautiful backdrop if you want to snap the perfect Insta photo. Make sure to take one of the chocolate tours, so you're able to try some of the chocolatey goodness. If you want a bit more of a rest, there are a few different restaurants but a lot of outdoor seating. Ghiradelli Marketplace is located relatively close to the water so you could always grab a treat and sit and people watch or continue your San Francisco tour. 

Eat Come Clam Chowder

From Ghiradelli Marketplace, I highly recommend walking through Fisherman's Wharf on your way to Pier 39. Fisherman's Wharf is one of the most iconic spots in San Francisco. You'll find a ton of souvenir shops, tons of fresh fish and crab, and some of the best clam chowder you've ever eaten. Hear me out on this one. So before I learned I was celiac but well aware I was allergic to seafood, I would always indulge in a delicious cup of chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. They are a must-have when in SF! If clam chowder isn't your thing, there are still many places to eat so you'll definitely be able to find something you love. 

See the Sea Lions at Pier 39

After indulging in some more incredible food (this 24 hours may be turning into an eat your way through SF itinerary), make you way down to Pier 39. 

Catch a Ride on the Historic Streetcars 

At this point, you're probably getting a little walked out. So now is the perfect time to hop on the historic SF trolleys and get a better view of the city. If you're lucky enough to snag one of the spots on the outside of the trolley, you'll not only get some incredible views but some stunning photos as well. 

Just make sure you plan your route before you head to your next spot. Not all the trolleys take the same route. And depending on where you're headed, you may have to transfer a couple of times to get to your location. Even if you have nowhere in mind, the trolleys are always a pretty cool experience. 

Roll Down (or Drive) the Crooked Road 

Now, pending you did your research and got on the correct trolley, you can travel to the base of Lombard Street. Lombard Street is one of the most iconic places in SF because it is one of the most crooked streets in the world. 

If you decided to skip the trolley ride, it is an easy walk from Pier 39. It should roughly take you a half an hour to reach the base of Lombard Street. From there, you can decide whether or not you want to hike up to the top of the street and roll your way down. 

Do Some Shopping at Union Square

Before y'all come for me, I know there isn't any real shopping AT Union Square. But getting to Union Square before starting your shopping spree is a bit easier than going to any specific shop. There are a number of shops surrounding Union Square but if you want more of a mall experience, simply walk down towards Market Street and splurge at the Westfield Shopping Centre and the surrounds shops. 

Heading towards Union Square also puts you close to Chinatown and Dragon's Gate. This way, if you're really not much of a shopper, you're still able to take in some of the rich cultural heritage of SF. Chinatown is actually the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. There is so much to do and see so you won't be disappointed stopping here. 

Catch Some Incredible Views at Coit Tower

Another great place to either start or end your San Francisco trip. This tower offers impressive panoramic views of the city. It's a bit pricey to get to the top; however, the views will help you to truly appreciate the beauty of San Francisco. If there is a line to get up to the top of the tower, you'll have plenty of murals to help keep you distracted. 

It is hard to get a true taste of just how incredible San Francisco is in 24-hours, but you can at least try. Have you ever visited San Francisco? If so, share your favourite part in the comments below!

And until next time...

Stay curious!

What to See When in Delhi, India

Friday, 2 October 2020

India is a country full of such rich culture and history. As it is an incredibly large country, one could easily spend months exploring. However, if your time is limited, you may choose to stick to Northern India. Even just exploring Delhi, one could easily spend weeks. It can be hard to figure out what to visit especially when your time may be limited. Here are some of my must-sees to help make your Indian holiday incredible. 

What to See When Exploring Delhi, India

Qutub Minar

As if India isn't filled with enough deep, rich culture, right in New Delhi you'll find the Qutub Minar. This tall sandstone tower is an incredible sight to see. Surrounded by other ruins, you'll have plenty to do and see. One can easily spend a few hours exploring this area. 

Qutub Minar Tower

While you're no longer able to go up into the tower, that doesn't mean you'll be unable to fully appreciate its beauty. Even standing at the base of the tower, you get the sheer impressive nature of this 72.5-metre structure. For it still to be standing today being built in 1199 is quite impressive. 

The India Gate

The India Gate is a beautiful war memorial standing in the middle of New Delhi. When you visit, you will definitely get some Arc de Triomphe vibes. It was built to commemorate those who perished fighting in the Indian armed services. At the centre of the memorial, you'll find an eternal flame burning.

India Gate at Night

I highly recommend visiting around dusk. The India Gate becomes lit with the colours of the Indian flag. There are a number of street vendors selling incredible food. However, if street food isn't really your thing, there are a number of incredible restaurants and shops located incredibly close to the memorial. 

Bahai Lotus Temple

This temple is renowned for its fascinating architecture. With its white marble exterior, it gives the Taj Mahal a run for its money. The building looks just like a lotus flower and it is just so exquisitely breathtaking. Words cannot adequately describe this building. Random cool fact: it is one of the first temples in Delhi to be powered by solar energy! Regular prayer sessions are held at the temple so just remember to be respectful when you do visit. 

Old Delhi

Visiting Old Delhi can often be a chaotic experience, however, it's like being transported back to another time. Here you'll find streets and alleyways jam-packed with shops, incredible food and so many people. In Old Delhi, you'll be able to explore the Red Fort, some incredible mosques or just marvel at the amazing architecture that lines the street.

Ruins in Delhi

Make sure you come hungry. Trust me, you'll want to try all the incredible different types of food lining the streets. There are a number of bazaars you should definitely visit as well. You'll absolutely be able to satisfy all of your shopping needs. You will come home with some incredible souvenirs. 

Connaught Place

After you've visited the India Gate, make you way over to Connaught Place. The architecture of the building is quite different from others in Delhi but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. There are a number of hotels, restaurants, shops, and offices in this area. Not sure where to start? You might want to visit the old cinema and catch a silent film. Or visit the Hanuman temple. Or if you're wanting a little bit of a break, take a seat on the giant stairwell and people watch after grabbing some food. 

Dilli Haat

If you didn't get your fill of markets and bazaars in Old Delhi, you must visit Dilli Haat. It is the biggest market in Delhi lined with tons of vendors, lots of incredible places to eat, and even cultural performances. Whilst there are permanent fixtures to the market, there are rotating vendors so each time you visit, you'll find something different. Here I was able to find some of the neatest handcrafted postcards I've ever seen. I was unable to find anything like them anywhere else on my Indian travels so I was very happy that I made the purchase. Trust me when I say, you'll find some very unique items at Dilli Haat. 

National Handicraft and Handloom Museum

This museum used to be called the Crafts Museum so you may hear it referred to by that name. For how centrally located the Museum is, it doesn't seem to be as popular as its surrounding sights. I'm honestly not sure why more people do not have the National Handicraft and Handloom Museum because it sure is impressive. One can easily spend a couple hours exploring and taking in the rich cultural history. There are thousands of pieces to view but there are also cultural performances so you're able to gain a greater appreciation for traditional Indian folk art and dance. 

Honestly, it can be hard to narrow down what to do when you're on a limited time frame. I wish I could have spent more time in Delhi so I could have explored a bit more but loved the time I had there. Have you ever visited Delhi? What were your favourite sights? If you've never been to Delhi, what would you most like to see? 

And until next time...

Stay curious!

8 Things to Do in Koh Larn

Friday, 11 September 2020

There are a number of stunning islands in Thailand. In fact, Thailand is quite infamous for its southern islands. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't incredible islands just south of Bangkok. If your trip to Thailand doesn't allow the time to go to the South Islands, do yourself a favour and book a trip to Koh Larn (sometimes called Ko Lan).

Less than 2 hours from Bangkok (depending on your mode of transport) Koh Larn is the closest island. Perfect for a shorter trip. As boats depart from Pattaya daily, it's easy to squeeze this island getaway into any holiday. But if the convenience isn't enough to convenience you to visit Koh Larne, here are my top reasons to add Koh Larn to your Thailand travel plans. 

Disconnect From the World

Koh Larn is definitely a different scene from Pattaya. One might think that because the island is just a short boat ride from the mainland that it would also be a party island, not the case. Whilst in the busy season there can be quite a few people on the island, its relatively quiet and a great place to unwind. 

The island shuts down relatively early. There normally isn't much open past 8 pm. So if you're wanting a disconnect, this is a great way to make it happen. Also, while there is internet and cell service on the island, power can be a bit unpredictable. When I was staying there, I got caught in a little storm and went without power for a bit. It wasn't a problem though. I was still able to get some incredible food and the forced disconnect from my phone did my soul some good. 

Relax in the Ocean

Ok so if you've been to Pattaya you know the beaches and the water might not be the most appealing in the world. Because of the location of the island, it's far enough away from the mainland to have some incredibly clear water and still inland enough that the ocean waves stay nice and calm. 

My recommendation: find a beach you enjoy, grab that inflatable neck pillow you brought on the plane, stick it around your neck, and float in the waters. The soft, gentle rocking of the ocean waves will be just the relaxation your soul is craving. Just make sure you have someone looking out for you. You don't want to fall asleep in the ocean. 

Swing in the Sunset

Everyone dreams of that picturesque holiday photo and Koh Larn does not disappoint. Now I cannot for the life of me remember where this beach is and I've tried finding the specific beach on the internet but even that has failed me. Don't quote me but I feel this swing is located at Ta Yai Beach. 

Regardless, you can ask the locals and they'll be able to point you in the right direction. If you want a magical photo, I highly recommend going around sunset. Not only will you get a wonderful sunset view but you'll get a photograph that will have people envious of your travels. 

Bike Around the Island

Koh Larn isn't the biggest island at only 2 square miles, it's pretty easy to see the entire island in a short period of time. The island itself is quite hilly. So if walking isn't your thing, try renting a pushbike or a motorbike. This will help you get from Point A to Point B while being able to take in as much of the scenery as possible. 

Visit the Monkey Beach

If you're anything like me, you love animals. And the chance to get a little closer to animals is like a dream come true. Nual Beach or the Monkey Beach is your opportunity to get up close with some wild monkeys. 

Nual Beach is famous for a group of monkeys that live on the hillside. Whilst you can feed them, you're probably better off just appreciating the monkeys for their cuteness. There have been 2 reports of the monkeys biting people but that was due to people just being dumb. Have some common sense, give the monkeys space, don't try to pat them or cuddle them, and you'll be alright. 

Hit Up Samae Beach for Water Sports

If you're wanting a little less relaxation and a little more adventure, Samae beach is the spot for you. This picturesque white sandy beach not only has plenty of space but also its the hub for water sports. Whether you want to try out parasailing, jet skiing, a banana boat ride or snorkelling, there are so many options for fun adventurous activities this beach. 

Relax on Tien Beach

If water sports aren't really your speed, Tien Beach may be the perfect spot for you. Whilst this beach can get a bit crowded, it is the perfect place to relax for the day. Hire out a beach chair and lounge in the sun. The water is calm enough to get in and go for a swim if you need to cool down a little. There are a few places to eat as well so you don't need to worry about travelling around the island to get food. 

Craving a little bit of adventure? There is a nice walk to the Tien Beach Viewpoint. It's an easy walk and gives you some gorgeous views of the beach. 

Eat Fresh at the Markets

There are some amazing places to eat in Koh Larn. I personally loved going down to Soul Sweet in the morning for a coffee and a treat but if you're sticking to the resorts to eat, you're missing out on some seriously good food. There are a number of local places to eat that are just incredible. If seafood is your thing, check out the market to get some incredible eats. 

Have you ever travelled to Koh Larn before? What did you think of the island? If you've travelled to any of the Thai Islands, what was the most memorable part of your holiday? Share your favourite travel stories in the comments below!

And until next time...

Stay curious!

5 Reasons to Visit Cambodia

Friday, 4 September 2020
Sometimes it can be challenging to narrow down where your next adventure will take you. I've travelled around a lot of South East Asia, but I instantly fell in love with Cambodia. In Cambodia, you'll find beautiful scenery, exquisite ancient architecture, and incredible food. Whether you love to relax at the beach, explore hidden temples, or party your booty off, Cambodia has a little something for everyone. In case you weren't quite convinced, here are 5 spectacular reasons why you should visit Cambodia:

The History
Cambodia has a deep, rich history dating back to before the first century. With influences in the language from ancient Sanskirt, religious influences from Hinduism and Buddhism, and a distinct clothing style which distinguishes them from other neighbouring countries, Cambodia should be high on your list of countries to visit. 

Whilst often synonymous with the Angkor Temples, you would be amiss to skip taking in the historically rich sights of Preah Vihear, Phnom Kulen, Kep, or Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. But no trip to Cambodia would be complete without seeing the Angkor Temples. So if you do go, I highly recommend the 3-day pass, just so that you have enough time to truly take in all the beauty and history. 

The Temples
I think the first thing that pops into anyone's mind when they hear Cambodia is temples. But Cambodia is more than just Angkor Wats. Oddly, before I went to Cambodia, I was really only interested in seeing Ta Prohm. I wanted to live out any Lara Croft, Indiana Jones explorer daydream I ever had. But there is so much more to see. 

Yes, make sure you spend time at the Angkor Temples but also make sure you see some the exquisite temples that exist outside of the Angkor Circuits. Temples like Sambor Prei Kuk, which is one of the oldest temples in Cambodia, or the Beng Mealea Temple, which is situated right near a waterfall. There is heaps to explore so try not to limit yourself. 

Friendly People
There are some places that you travel to where you just feel at home. Cambodia was one of those places for me. I didn't feel pressured or guilted into doing anything or spending any money that I didn't want to. The people I met were beyond lovely and helped introduce me to more of their culture. 

Travelling through Cambodia was what I love about travelling, the collaborative sharing and respect between peoples. Not only did I feel welcome, but I felt like I was able to appreciate the true beauty of Cambodia. 

The Scenery
I'm a big nature lover and Cambodian scenery does not let you down. Whether you're drawn to the beach, forests, waterfalls, or fields, Cambodia has a little bit of something for everyone. If beaches are your thing, check out Ream Beach. If a good hike is your jam, check out the River of a Thousand Lingas Hike. Do you like chasing waterfalls? You may want to visit Tatia Waterfall or Phnom Kulen National Park. No matter where you choose, you won't be disappointed. 

It's Inexpensive
It's no surprise that I am a budget traveller. I like seeing as many countries as possible for the lowest price tag. I understand that this is not everyone's ideal travel. Many enjoy high-end resorts and luxury travel. Thankfully, Cambodia can be a relatively inexpensive country to travel to. 

For countries with a similar or stronger dollar to the USD, you'll be able to get a lot out of your buck. But for the countries whose dollar isn't as strong as the USD, DO NOT STRESS! There are so many incredible inexpensive options in Cambodia. You can find accommodation for as little as $1 USD/night and eating at local establishments can run you as cheap as $0.50USD. Cambodia is affordable!

Cambodia definitely won over my heart and is a place I will continue to travel to again and again. Have you ever travelled to Cambodia? What was your favourite part of the trip? Share your Cambodia travel tips in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay curious!