Top Places to Eat & Drink near Seminyak, Bali


One of my absolute favourite things about exploring a new country and culture is trying the local cuisine. I've had the pleasure of visiting Indonesia's most popular island twice (and will be going back for the third time in May) and I can't get enough of the rich and bold flavours of Indonesian food.
I've previously written a Bali Travel Guide & Tips post if you're heading there for the first time yourself and would like more information on Bali.
This post is specific to places near Seminyak as that is where I have spent the most time and where the majority of my favourites happen to be. I have only spent two full days in Ubud and less than that in the Canggu, Uluwatu and Nusa Dua areas.


About Balinese food

For visitors, finding Balinese food that's done well isn't always easy. The heavily Westernised southern parts of the island have swapped most of their local eateries for Australian-owned beach bars and fast-food chains. You can be sure to not miss out on your smashed avocado toast or flat white if that's what you're after.
There is also a large influence from all across Asia so you can easily find really good Indian, Vietnamese and Thai food for example, as well as plenty of other options such as Italian and Mexican.
While there are a few restaurants bringing traditional Balinese flavours into a fine-dining setting, for true authenticity you need to venture beyond the popular tourist haunts and into the traditional warungs (small family-owned restaurants) to explore the local delicacies.


Bali is Indonesia's last remaining Hindu island and its cuisine is unique and laden with ceremonial significance. The spice pastes that form the base of most Balinese dishes- loaded with coriander seed, galangal, turmeric and candlenut- are echoes of India and Java, remnants of the Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit kingdom that ruled the island from the 13th - 16th century.

Pork, chicken, duck and fish take the centre stage, cooked over wood fires, grilled over coconut husks or slow-braised. Being Hindus beef is never or rarely consumed.
Fruit and vegetables are usually raw, chopped with coconut in dishes such as lawar, or pan-tossed in coconut milk and stirred through broths and light curries. Rice is almost always the centre of the meal, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a Balinese person who doesn't fire up their plate with some form of sambal (spicy chilli sauce) or fresh chillis.

As I have only visited twice, I am no expert and I am sure there are a hundred delicious places I haven't yet tried. Below, however, are a few places that are absolute gems and I would highly recommend to others, as I have thoroughly enjoyed the food there and each place I have gone back to at least twice.
Starting with suggestions of traditional dishes that are a must-try that I personally love, followed by top places to eat and then places to drink- as there are some fabulous spots to enjoy a cocktail or two as well.


Must try foods:

Nasi Goreng

One of the most popular Indonesian dishes- Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, is simply a meal including stir fried rice. But it's so much more than a typical rice dish- the flavours are so bold and tasty. I particularly love mine with freshly chopped chillis added. Usually, you can choose it to be stir fried with seafood, chicken or just vegetables. A typical Indonesia meal comes with all sorts of extra accompaniments, as below- prawn crackers and a side of vegetables are very common. 


Sate skewers

Sate or “satay” are marinated, skewered and grilled meat and served with a spicy or peanut sauce. Bali’s own speciality is sate lilit, made from minced beef, chicken, fish, or pork which is mixed with coconut, coconut milk and a strong blend of vegetables and spices.
It is wrapped rather than skewered around bamboo, sugar cane or lemongrass sticks, then grilled. It is so incredibly delicious and one of my absolute favourites.


Babi Guling

Babi guling is a local favourite- a spit-roast pig stuffed with rich traditional spices and vegetable mixes and slowly rolled over a coal fire. Once a communal treat served only during special celebrations and ceremonies, it can now be found widely served at many local warungs specialising in this dish. Served on top of rice, the meat is juicy and tender and the crispy brown skins are prized.



Pepes and Tum

Pepes is an Indonesian Sundanese cooking method using banana leaves as food wrappings. The small package is sewed with thin bamboo sticks at both ends, and either steam-cooked, boiled or grilled. It is most commonly used to prepare fish, chicken, tofu and vegetables. Tum takes on a different form, with the wrapping folded and stitched at one top end, and usually steam-cooked. The banana-leaf wrapping provides a special flavour which is incredibly aromatic and tasty.
Below to the right is a grilled Pepes of fish from a Balinese cooking class I did.




As mentioned, there are so many other delicious Balinese and Indonesian dishes, these are just my particular favourites that I would highly suggest others try while in Bali!


Top places to eat

Warung Padmasari

Technically in Legian- the area between Seminyak and Kuta, Warung Padmasari is still very close to Seminyak, being only two kilometres away. Friendly and fast service together with all local and traditional Balinese food is the emphasis of this little warung and the prices are unbeatable. There are some great selections on the menu including traditionally fried and grilled chicken with sambal varieties to go with them, as well as spring rolls, samosas and curries.
My partner and I ate here three times in a week, it was that good- and the average price for a two-course meal and two beers and water each was literally around $12 AUD all up... we gave them a very good tip!



Made's Warung

Another excellent warung we loved was Made's Warung which is located in both Seminyak and Kuta (although in my opinion, the Seminyak location is much bigger and better).
We also ate here three or four times over the two trips we've done so far and I'll certainly be going back for the next trip!
It's one of the most established warungs on the island and is frequented by the prime minister as well as a global range of clients. The kitchen is enormous and when you see the menu you'll see why- it covers every single taste from traditional Indonesian to Thai, Malaysian and Western and they have dedicated chefs for each.
We only went during the day for lunches, but in the evenings they have free shows of Indonesian dance for you to enjoy.
In particular, I recommend trying babi guling here, the red and green Thai curries are the best I've had outside of Thailand and a freshly squeezed watermelon juice always goes down a treat on a typical sweltering hot day.

Babi guling
Thai red curry

Kopi Pot

Again in Legian, but still near Seminyak, Kopi Pot "coffee pot" is one worth dining at.
Set in lush Balinese gardens, it offers a retreat from the bustling Legian main road.
On the menu you can find a selection of tasty dishes from around the country together with international selections if you prefer. Besides having delicious food for a good price, it's also a great place to sip some Balinese coffee or an ice cold Bintang.
In particular, I highly recommend the deep-fried spring rolls, the sate lilit (charcoal lemongrass fish skewers) and the tongseng kambing (spicy lamb stew originating from Java). Prepare for flavour explosions in your mouth!





For a special occasion or those wanting a more upscale dining experience, there are plenty of highly impressive restaurants, especially found around the Seminyak area.
The following listed below I especially enjoyed the experience of each. The menus offer traditional Indonesian dishes in a fine-dining context as well as fusions of other Asian cuisines.
There is a dress code and you have to usually book in advance by at least a couple of days. Each place has a fantastic atmosphere and stunning surroundings, so it is of course, a lot more expensive than you would find at a local warung (but still cheaper than you would find in the likes of Australia and New Zealand). However, for the great service, cleanliness, top quality food and experience, it's worth it and it's always nice to treat yourself if you're away on holiday and to have at least one fancy meal out in my opinion.
If you're after that the following are all fantastic options:

Ku De Ta
(Also a great cocktail, sunset and nightlife venue).

Ginger Moon

(One of the top rated restaurants on the whole island).

Bambu

(Amazing food and service with an incredible ambient setting).

Sarong
(You have got to try the ginger espresso martini- it's to die for).

Delicious feast at Sarong

Top places to drink

Potato Head Beach Club 

One of the most popular spots to catch the sunset with a cool cocktail- the Potato Head Beach Club has fast gained popularity as one of the most happening venues in Seminyak. The signature main venue resembles a stadium, it's home to three restaurants, two bars, an infinity pool and an enormous lawn perfect to view the infamous sunset overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Get in early to bag a lounger or beanbag by the pool or head to the second floor with plenty of table and chairs available. Sip on unique cocktails from a coconut husk or a giant shell and sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquil views.




Frankenstein's Laboratory

The latest addition to the ‘most unique’ bars in Bali is Frankenstein’s Laboratory, where you can experience the Halloween atmosphere throughout the year- not only in the month of October. Zombies, vampires, monsters, mummies… and humans, all mingle together in this ghoulishly themed spot for fun. It's decorated like a freaky lab and has nightly entertainment by the Dancing Dead Cabaret which is always amusing.
It's a whole lot of fun where you can enjoy 'eyeball' martinis, cocktails that come in IV bags, and shots in the form of injections.




Motel Mexicola

Motel Mexicola is a colourful and quirky Mexican bar and restaurant which hosts regular house parties with live Latin music that will transport you ‘south of the border’.
There’s a laid-back upstairs area where you can take a cosy seat, sit back, and enjoy the view over the courtyard below. If you're craving a margarita, a lively atmosphere and even a taco or two before (or after) some tequila shots- this place is for you.



Mirror Bali Lounge & Club

This place is especially cool as the venue’s interiors and overall design is like a Gothic cathedral, but with glittery mosaic-like wall decor. Mirror Bali Lounge and Club is a hip place to party on Seminyak’s main Petitenget route. The stained glass windows and towering ceilings along with the laser lighting all add to a fun party vibe to dance the late evenings away to industrial, deep bass, house and hip-hop music.
Recommended for party-goers and night owls.




There we have my top places to eat and drink near Seminyak in Bali, and particular foods to try while you're there. I hope you found this post helpful and do let me know in the comments if you have any top places of your own to add- I'd love to read them!
Writing this has got me so excited for my next trip to Bali, which I have no doubt will be filled with more new excellent places and delicious dishes to try.

Happy travels,
Pin it! :)



Hotel & Wedding Destination Review: Pacific Resort Rarotonga


I can't believe it has already been three months since I got married in Rarotonga!
The time certainly has flown by, I can imagine it will be one year before I know it.

It was about time I wrote about the wonderful Pacific Resort, who made our wedding day and the months leading up to it such a breeze, as they took care of absolutely everything.
The communication, special touches and their experience all made them the perfect choice as a wedding venue (as well as a fabulous resort to stay at) and I couldn't recommend them more if you are looking at having a tropical destination wedding yourself.
It really was the ultimate dream wedding location and my now husband and I couldn't be happier that we chose to have it with them.

I have already written a post on How to plan a Destination Wedding: My Experience which goes into more detail about why we chose Rarotonga to get married in and Pacific Resort as a venue and all the details that go along with planning.

I'll begin with details of the hotel, and it is in my opinion probably one of the very best you can stay at on Muri Beach, before moving on to it as a wedding venue.


Pacific Resort: First Impressions

We arrived late in the evening and although there were five or so couples from the same flight as us checking in at the same time, it was a very quick and painless process.
The friendly porter took our bags for us and showed us to our room. The lush pathway was well lit with flaming torches and I already knew I was going to love the place.
It was 10:30 pm when we arrived at our room (which was huge and looked amazing) and we quickly realised there was no room service available which we were counting on. We hadn’t eaten on the plane as it wasn’t included and we were planning on having dinner once we arrived (as it was still 6:30 pm Australian time we were on).
But as it was a Sunday, there was absolutely nothing open on the island- no hot food to be found or even a packet of chips or peanuts around the hotel. So sadly we went to bed rather hungry, but they did have a drinks fridge in the lobby, so we had two beers each first- which I’m not sure helped or not! Never mind, we were very much looking forward to our breakfast the next day. It was completely our own fault for not realising how late we would be arriving and not travelling with snacks!

In the morning we woke up to the stunning views of crystal clear aqua waters from our room. After a delicious continental breakfast we checked out the pool area and walked around the gorgeous resort. The frangipani and palm trees and tropical vegetation gave it such a relaxing and luxurious feel. The beachfront and lagoon views were so incredible!
I couldn't get over the colour of the water. We were so ecstatic to be there.

The welcoming entrance
The muesli, yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast was the best!
Stand-up paddleboards and kayaks to use at your leisure
The beachfront Barefoot Bar
Tranquil sunset from the beachfront

The Room

As it was our wedding we splashed out and booked the Beachfront Suite which was an incredible room with a dream view. Located on the first floor right on the beach, it had all the facilities you could want for. To the right of the main door was a kitchenette with cooking facilities and the modern bathroom leading after that was kitted out with fresh flowers and complimentary toiletries.
Ahead was a wide open-plan space with a super king bed, a desk and chair, sofas and table. Our favourite feature of the suite was our own personal balcony, which had two chairs and a small table and comfortable bean bag sofas to relax on. That's where we spent most of our time when we were in the room because the views were so stunning- I wanted to soak it all in and enjoy it for as long as I could.
Also included in the room was air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a safe and a large wardrobe with fluffy bathrobes and slippers. The only thing it didn't have was free WIFI- and that's because you cannot find free WIFI anywhere on the whole island. (We purchased a local sim-card pre-loaded with data upon arrival at the airport).

Relaxing on the balcony!
Amazing balmy views
The Beachfront Suite room (picture by Pacific Resort as I forgot to take one myself!)

Beyond the Room

Pacific Resort offered many facilities and activities free of charge. At the Beach Club you can use snorkelling equipment, kayaks and stand up paddle boards as you please.
You can swim or kayak across the lagoon to the Motu (island) ahead and visit there.
On the beachfront you can find loungers, sun umbrellas and beanbags to relax and catch some rays.
They have a Kids Club that runs daily, a nice pool where you can find fresh clean drinking water. Their Sandals Restaurant and Barefoot Bar are both excellent and even visitors that are not guests of the resort come to eat and drink here because they have delicious food and a great reputation.
Located directly across the road is the Pacific Village Salon which offers hair, beauty and spa services (where I went on my wedding day and got my nails done prior too).
There is a convenience store two minutes walk up the road as well as the Muri Night Markets and other shops and places to eat; Pacific Resort is in an excellent location.
To get around the island you can hire a scooter at the resort or the local bus that goes around the island twice an hour stops directly at the resort as well.

Enjoying a spot of snorkelling and kayaking
Enjoying the tranquil views on the beachfront
The pool (photo again by Pacific Resort as I forgot to take one myself...)

Fantastic Staff

Every single member of staff we encountered was highly professional, warm and friendly and made our stay that little more special. Everyone you passed around the resort greeted you with a friendly smile and "Kia Orana."

There are a few special people in particular I would like to mention. Veronica- the Wedding & Events Sales Agent, was our first point of contact in the months leading up to the wedding and helped us to organise and plan everything. As well as the numerous emails back and forth, we had two skype calls with her and she always made us feel so at ease and took care of every request. She answered all of our questions and made the wedding planning process so smooth. We were constantly changing our minds about things in the lead-up and she didn't mind at all! She was wonderful to work with.

Leilani- the Operations Coordinator, was who we met with at Pacific Resort. We had a pre-wedding day consultation with her and she showed us around the property to the ceremony and reception locations and ran through the schedule. She also took us to the Justice office for the marriage licence, to the florist and to meet with our celebrant. 
Leilani was so lovely and made us feel very confident that our day was going to be amazing. She was even the one to come get me when the time had come and I was to walk down the aisle, and she was there for most of the reception as well, making sure everything was running without a hitch. We didn't even notice her there to be honest- she was like an angel in the background!

A couple of bartenders get a special mention too- Rupene who worked our wedding was incredibly friendly and I loved his smile. He also did very generous pours! Aside from that night, he was just as lovely during the rest of our stay too, always chatting to us.
Anal also went out of his way to make our stay extra great, as did the matrie d' who unfortunately I didn't get her name.

Other special touches from the staff included a lovely surprise gift the day after the wedding.
On our final night we asked the reception staff if we could have a late checkout the next day as we had a late night flight. It normally costs an extra $250 but they waived it for us- special treatment for the wedding couple I guess! We got to stay in our room until 6 pm and we were very grateful for that.

Our lovely gift included a sun hat, sarong, bottle of wine and flowers

Lead up to the wedding

I go into more detail about the planning process in my previous wedding post linked above in the first paragraph, and once we arrived in Rarotonga all of the extra things needed to be done were taken care of spread out over the space of a couple of days.
Meeting with the coordinator, being walked through the locations, sorting the marriage licence, choosing our flowers, going through and changing our vows with the celebrant- it was all simple and hassle-free.
I had made gift bags for the guests and we handed them and the seating plan over the day before the wedding to take care of. They set up, decorated and arranged everything themselves- it was all included in the package. It was such a weight off and so nice not having to worry about doing that myself!

Getting our marriage licence

On the big day

The day did go fast- I think that is unavoidable! But it was a very enjoyable one and certainly one of the best days of my life.
In the morning we had breakfast at the restaurant as usual and then went our separate ways. Luckily Gareth's dad was also staying at the resort so he met up with him and his best man there in his room and they went to lunch and got ready together in the afternoon.
My maid of honour joined me and we went together to the salon across the road. We started on our hair and makeup (with some obligatory champers!) and an hour later my two sisters and mum who were also getting their hair and makeup done there also joined us.


I was very pleased with my hair. It was simple, delicate and pretty, which was exactly what I wanted. However, to be honest I wasn't too impressed with my makeup.
I didn't get a trial done so it was my own fault really. I wanted a really natural, pretty and glowy look, but I didn't feel that after my makeup was done. I had to ask for my eyebrows to be washed off (as I felt I looked like Mr Bean with those eyebrows!). They were just too bold and dark for my liking- I wasn't used to it. She also went for a very strong smoky eye which was too dark and quite messy. I took most of it off back in my room. I also added some extra touches that I thought she would have done- such as mascara on my bottom lashes, white eyeliner and highlights. It was a bit disappointing because it did cost a lot of money and I even had to pay extra just for being the bride.
But I was very happy with my hair, I was able to fix my makeup and everyone else's hair and makeup looked really good on them, so I'm glad about that. I would still recommend them. The ladies that worked on us were very friendly and did try their best for what we wanted- I would just strongly suggest doing a trial first if you're the bride.

After the salon we had an hour or so to finish getting ready in my room. When we arrived our beautiful freshly-made bouquets were waiting for us.



After squeezing into my dress and walking in circles with my bestie, the time had come and Leilani came and fetched us! I was a bundle of nerves by then. (Not about getting married- it was more the other people there that would be staring at me- I'm not the centre of attention kinda gal).
Apart from thinking to myself "Don't trip" and "Suck in" I also noticed the path I was walking down was so beautiful and perfectly groomed. There were fresh flower petals scattered everywhere and flower posts leading my way up to the guests waiting at the beachfront location. It was so pretty!



I joined Gareth and the rest of the bridal party under the beautiful handmade floral archway and the rest of the ceremony was a blur! As soon as it ended we were immediately presented with a drink (which I needed and gladly took).


We had group photos taken on the beach before heading to the reception area. The string band was sitting just outside the marquee and they sounded so lovely- we are very glad to have chosen that as an extra. It really added to the tropical and laid back vibe we were hoping for.



The bar was open and platters of food were being served around. The tables were so wonderfully decorated. It far exceeded my expectations and I was so grateful they took care of everything themselves.

This was only half of the marquee area. To the left was the bar, DJ area and plenty of space for a dance floor


The enormous cake that we ordered through Pacific Resort's supplier was such a stunning centre piece! I accidentally chose the largest size and it was much bigger than I thought- but it did look very impressive (and tasted amazing too).



There was a large lawn area for the guests to hang around outside the marquee as well.
The whole reception area was very large and private from the rest of the resort which was just perfect.

Gareth and I were then whisked away to do some location shots with the photographer.
We were given a bucket of beer on ice and a platter of food to take with us which was so very thoughtful and welcome (as I hadn't eaten lunch except for a banana and it was about 5 pm by then).
Our photographer Melanie Cooper, also originally from New Zealand was so easy breezy and wonderful to work with. Highly recommended if you are in need of a photographer in Rarotonga. I'm still waiting for the wedding photos, but I'm sure I'll get them soon.

Then it was reception time! The string band had finished and our playlist we created had begun (starting with easy going music). I was immediately asked and given a drink of my choosing by Rupete, the lovely barman.

My seat and a much-needed mojito
We had our speeches and then it was time for dinner. We had selected the gourmet buffet option which was beautifully presented in a large canoe. The food was better than we could have hoped for- it was all so fresh and very delicious. They catered for all of the different requirements we asked for (some gluten and dairy free etc.) without a problem. Everyone told us they loved the food- and there was so much of it! The dessert as well was perfect and we were so happy and satisfied.
The bartender all night long was awesome and smiley- he had great customer service and made us whatever we wanted.
The rest of the night was party time where we cranked the music, danced and enjoyed the evening. I loved the fairy lights hanging off the sides of the marquee which made an excellent backdrop for photos.
Unfortunately the music had to stop by 10:30 pm which we found quite early. But to be frank a lot of people said it was a good thing because things could have gotten messy!
I suppose with an open bar since 4 pm there were a few merry people by that stage.
It had been such a wonderful day and Pacific Resort helped make it truly epic.


Tips

Do have skype calls and ask any questions you have in the lead up to arriving. They have the answer to everything and want your day to be as amazing and special as you do, and will try their very best to make it happen.

Don't bother with sky lanterns- it's usually windy and didn't work for us! We tried to finish the evening with them as a surprise but it was quite a fail.

I would highly recommend you don't book one of the drinks packages which are very expensive- just have an open bar. We literally saved thousands of dollars this way.

Get a trial makeup done prior to the day if you're the bride!

You have to try the Ika Mata (Rarotongan raw fish salad) at Pacific Resort- best I had on the island! For other recommendations of places to eat and food to try I have a post on: Best Places to eat in Muri, Rarotonga.

Make the most of the happy hours twice a day. The cocktails and local beer are delicious!



The Details

Hotel: Pacific Resort Rarotonga

Location: Muri Beach, Ngatangiia District, Cook Islands

Reviews: Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor with 4.5/5 stars out of 1,044 reviews.

Price: Depends on the time of year but Standard Studio Rooms start at $200 NZD a night. For wedding packages and prices download their Wedding Pack.





Final Thoughts

I honestly can't thank Pacific Resort enough for everything they did to make our wedding day as incredible as we could have possibly imagined. Gareth and I couldn't stop gushing about how happy we were and that our guests had told us they really enjoyed it too, which was exactly what we wanted- especially as they had come all that way just for us.

We were so glad we chose to have a destination wedding, as it was only our closest friends and family that came which I think made it so much more enjoyable and special for us.
It was more personal, completely stress-free and quite simply- easy. I'm not the kind of girl to plan a wedding myself. I haven't been dreaming of it since I was a little girl. So having professionals take care of it all for me and all I had to do was chose where, when, what food and entertainment I wanted (okay it was a little more work than that, but you know what I mean)- it was just perfect.

Again, if you are looking at a destination wedding yourself- I couldn't recommend them warmly enough. Even if you aren't getting married and want to stay in a fantastic resort in Rarotonga, for a special occasion or just to treat yourself- your stay will be one you will never forget. Their genuine friendliness, hospitality, little extras as well as being in a stunning location all make for the perfect beach getaway.
Our time there was absolutely magical and if I had to go back and do it all again- without a doubt it would be at Pacific Resort. That's how you know you made the right decision!


If you would like to see more photos from my trip check out my travel diary post and I also made a video for YouTube from my incredible week there:



I hope you found this hotel and wedding destination review helpful.
Please get in touch or let me know in the comments if you have any questions at all about getting married in the Cook Islands.
Rarotonga is such a paradise and we were incredibly sad to leave. We absolutely cannot wait to return and stay again with the amazing Pacific Resort.

This post is not sponsored; it is as always my genuine thoughts and opinions.

Happy Travels,
Pin it! :)

The Benefits of Backpacking


There are some really great benefits of backpacking, which is why so many people do it every year. It's a great experience to have at least once in your lifetime. To be able to wander freely with no rigid plan and do as you please every day is a priceless and fun way to discover a new place.
If you’re thinking of making the trip, but need that final push- here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to give backpacking a go:


You Meet The Best People

A lot of the time when you go backpacking you tend to stay in places that you might not otherwise have entertained, like hostels with huge rooms that you’ll be sharing with people you’ve never met before.
This might seem like an intimidating prospect if you’ve never done it before, but the truth is- you’re going to have the time of your life.
I have made the best of friends on my solo travel adventures. My only advice is if you're a female and not comfortable with sharing a room with the opposite sex, then book a hostel that has female-only dorms.
The best thing about backpackers’ hostels is that everyone is there for the same reason – because they love travelling and seeing the world, and because they’re looking for a little adventure, just like you.
If you want to, you can still spend most of your time by yourself, just you and your guidebook, but if you’re looking for some people to go exploring or partying with, then other backpackers will be the ideal companions. It's such a great opportunity to connect with people through all walks of life from all over the globe.




It Encourages You To Be Independent

There’s no better way to learn real independence than by travelling by yourself. If you’re young, you might not have been away from home much by yourself before, so going backpacking will help you figure out that you can sort out everything by yourself, and that you know how to spend time alone without feeling as though you’re about to get eaten alive by your own thoughts.
If you're going travelling- chances are you’ve worked hard to save money, you’ve checked out sites like thebackpackerlifestyle.com to figure out what exactly you’re going to need, and you’ve realised that actually- you can do anything you want to.
It's a wonderful and very freeing feeling and really helps you to grow more confident. Travelling solo through Europe certainly helped me to become a more confident person. You learn so much on the road by yourself and you grow stronger. There are bad times as well as the good but it's all experience and afterwards I felt that no matter what life threw at me I could deal with it. If you go in with a positive attitude and mindset then those little things that do go wrong won't bother you.




The Costs Are Low

One of the best things about backpacking is that- especially if you go by yourself, it’s easy to keep your costs down. If you’ve never learned to budget before, then now is absolutely the time to start. Make sure that you don’t go over the amount of money that you assign yourself for each week – ending up in financial dire straits is not the best way to spend your awesome backpacking trip.
Although you should be aware of how much you’re spending, you should also make sure that you aren’t too stingy – you should fully experience the places that you go to and treat yourself to some great meals and sightseeing trips. Not wanting to fork out the money to go whale watching or something else equally cool is the sort of thing you’ll regret for the rest of your life.
But overall while you are backpacking you can get cheap accommodation, if you eat locally then food and drink costs will be low, and transportation costs are low if you make the most of local public methods like buses and trains to hop from place to place.
Depending on where you travel to is also a big factor. Places like South-East Asia and Eastern Europe are a haven for budget travellers as you can literally live comfortably on $20-$40 a day.




You Can Choose What You Do

Another excellent benefit of backpacking is that you can decide exactly what you want to do. You have the freedom to choose where you want to travel to, whether it's hopping around Europe, stomping through cities, soaking up history and culture or spending days on a beach in Thailand. Although it’s important to have some sort of a plan (you don’t want to run out of money before you’ve paid for your flights home!) you can afford to be flexible and see where each day takes you, instead of assigning each day a number of activities like you might if you were going on a regular holiday.
Going backpacking gives you the time you need to really explore the rest of the world – it’ll broaden your horizons and you’ll return home at the end of the trip feeling brighter and more inspired. That, my friends, is what it's all about.




You Will Learn Something

This is a solid guarantee and the first reason to get out and see the world. You will learn something that you never knew before, and whether it’s something about yourself or the outside world, backpacking is an opportunity to soak up stuff that you would never find by just sitting at home.
You might discover that you have a gift for reading maps and signposts in German or that your new favourite food is a bowl of Vietnamese noodles- whatever it is, it’s worth the trip.


If you need one more benefit from backpacking it’s this- it’s fun. Even the parts you don’t enjoy at the time, waiting around for that bus, a rude receptionist, the rip-off bar – that’s all going to be part of the laughs when you get back home and tell everyone about it.
Just enjoy the journey!

Have you ever been backpacking or are you wanting to in the very near future?

Happy Travels,
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*This post contains affiliate links and images that are not my own.

Top 10 Reasons To Visit Japan


There are many great reasons to visit Japan, being home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, unique fashion sense, crazy Tokyo nightlife and wasabi Kit-Kats just to name a few.
If you are looking for inspiration for your next break away- here are a ten top reasons to visit this modern, yet cultural and exciting country:


1. The delicious food

Japanese cuisine is healthy, fresh and often cooked right in front of you. You will not only find the best sushi in the world but sashimi, donburi, ramen, udon, kobe beef, soup- the list goes on! Don't forget to slurp when you eat your noodles.
The amazing food is said to be one of the reasons the Japanese have a life expectancy of 87 years, whilst the average age for western nationals is just 75.
There are more noodle shops in Tokyo than any other city in the world and Japan is the country with the most three-star Michelin restaurants.
As if those weren't reason enough- you can also get your hands on almost any kind of soft-serve flavour in the world, including plum, bitter melon, miso, wasabi and squid ink! 




2. How cute everything is

Japan has a kawaii (cute) culture- almost all major companies in Japan have a cute mascot that represents the company. Even the Japanese police have a mascot!
It's a huge prominence in pop culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys and personal mannerisms. If you like cute stuff too then you will have a field day here. Ask for an ice cream sundae- you'll get a teddy shaped one.




3. How stunning the temples and shrines are

All of the beautiful ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are reason enough to visit Japan. They are considered to be among the most numerous, famous and important religious buildings in Japan.
One of the best-preserved cities, Kyoto offers 2,000 Buddhist temples and shrines within the limits of the Kansai Region city, while Nara is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. All historically significant, visiting these will give you an opportunity to really experience the peaceful nature of the Japanese.




4. To see the country covered in cherry blossoms

Between February into early May, the country's iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) capture the attention of visitors alike as their beautiful pink flowers blanket the country in soft, colourful beauty. Everyone wants to be outside in Spring to catch this magical view.
The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival is usually held every year from 23 April to 5 May, dates varying,  so it is worthwhile planning your trip around that!




5. It's amazingly clean

You won’t see any rubbish or cigarette butts on the ground, the streets actually smell nice and the bus drivers wear white gloves. Japan is so clean you could apparently safely lick the sidewalks, and they will probably taste like nori.
The Japanese have a culture which strives for perfection, and it is reflected in their respect for their surroundings. Tokyo is even so clean to the point where it almost looks brand new!




6. To see Mount Fuji

Japan’s tallest peak Mount Fuji is an active volcano about 100 kilometres south-west of Tokyo. A pilgrimage site for centuries, it’s considered a sacred mountain and an icon of numerous works of art. To see it with your own eyes is surreal- is there a mountain more stunning and picturesque? Be sure to visit in the colder months to see the scenic peak in a layer of snow.



7. To experience the weird and wonderful

There are a lot of things about Japan that can't be explained. The country is steeped in bizarre tradition and unusual ancient practices that have somehow translated to modern day. Robot restaurants, karaoke bars, Cosplay, naked festivals, capsule hotels and cat cafes… why else would you want to visit?!
There are vending machines for everything- from live lobsters to underwear, they make cartooned versions of everything, they have the weirdest flavours of food ever, they have bizarre and strangely addictive music videos. They even have toilets that talk to you and play you music...



8. The land of Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon & Pokemon

Dating back to the early manga and films of the 1950's, the Japanese pop culture movement has taken off since the 80's and 90's around the world to become one of the most influential sources of entertainment in the world alongside the United States.
Pop Culture is astoundingly huge in Japan and you can expect to find Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon and Pokemon, just to name three of the thousands of iconic characters- everywhere you look.




9. Ancient Japanese culture

In Japan, even with Tokyo- known to be amongst the most powerful cities for technology, you will still find a culture which has a love affair with the modern whilst staying extremely faithful to its roots. It's a culture that truly withstands the test of time.
Japanese culture is thousands of years old but it is still as rich and prevalent as ever, wherever you go in the country. Kyoto is one of the best cities to view Geisha history and culture in particular, especially in the Gion district. Samurais, Japanese gardens, tea ceremonies, Kimonos, Geta, eating and sleeping on the floor. Be sure to experience the amazing culture of the Japanese people while you're there.



10. It's safe

An excellent reason to visit Japan is that it is a safe country to travel around. Even with such a large number of people- it is still one of the safest countries in the world.
Japan is considered as the safest in Asia- with only 1.4% of the population having been victims of assault, according to a report by Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
You can walk through crowds and crowds of people and still have your wallet and your cellphone at the end of it. In fact if you dropped something you would probably have someone running after you to try return it to you. The people for the most part, are very decent and upstanding citizens.



Japan is one of the mega-countries of the world and welcomes tourists from all over.
The Japanese people are incredibly friendly, with some of the best hosting skills in Asia.
Before you arrive do research and master some basics of the language. It's always polite and often very helpful to learn a few common words.
If you are new to visiting Asia you may find it more challenging to negotiate yourself in busy towns and on the super efficient travel networks. Tours of Japan is a great option to help guide you through the country in the first few days and help settle in easily.

I hope I've inspired you to visit Japan! I've barely scratched the surface on the many reasons to visit this wonderful country.
Have you ever been or are you wanting to go?

Happy Travels,


*This post is a collaboration and contains images that are not my own.

Halong Bay | Bhaya Cruise Review


Halong Bay was a place I had always dreamed of going to. I had very high expectations- heck I was there for my honeymoon! And you know what- it totally lived up to and exceeded them all.

It was without a doubt the most incredible place I've ever been to.
The surroundings of the UNSECO World Heritage Site were so ancient, magnificent and beautiful- I couldn't take my eyes away from the towering limestone islands topped with rainforests.
Sailing through the tranquil emerald waters was surreal, it was so incredibly peaceful, which was just what we needed.




If you're wanting to do Halong Bay- you want to do it right. There are so many options out there so it can be very difficult to narrow them down and make the best decision for which company to go with.
My now husband and I did hours and hours of research going through all the top rated cruises on Trip advisor and comparing them all.
We decided to go with Bhaya Classic Cruises on their Legend Halong Private charter vessel and we are so so thankful and happy we did because our trip was truly unforgettable.



We chose the three day, two night cruise and the whole experience from start to finish was amazing, I couldn't recommend them more if you are wanting a more personal and exclusive tour.
Most other cruises you can choose from are packed with people. These are for the young and budget travellers and fair enough if you want to go there and are on a tight budget.
For us- Vietnam was our honeymoon trip and after first visiting Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which was amazing but very hectic and busy- Halong Bay was our relaxing and chill time to ourselves that we wanted to spend in an incredible place.


How to get there

There is an optional shuttle transfer from Hanoi which we opted in for which was $50 US for two people. We were picked up early morning in a luxury van which was very comfortable- there was even wifi!
It took almost 4 hours to drive to Halong Bay with a 20-minute rest-stop break in the middle with facilities. You get taken straight to the Bhaya office where you meet the crew so it's a very easy process.



The boat

Legend Halong are a private cruise tour, so there were only two other couples on board with us- one from Florida and one from Singapore.
Our deluxe cabin rooms were very authentic and comfortable, with air conditioning, a large en-suite and our own private balcony to view the amazing surroundings.
Aside from our rooms, there was a dining area with tables where we ate our meals and couches to relax on. I loved that it was decorated for Christmas and New Year since we were there mid-December.
Upstairs was a large open-top sundeck where you could relax on loungers, bean bags, couches or at a table. This was where Gareth and I spent a lot of time enjoying the scenic view with a beer in hand, especially at sunset.



The view from our own cabin balcony





The activities

The first afternoon we spent on a traditional bamboo boat ride around Dark and Bright Lagoon. We could choose to kayak if we wished but four of the six of us chose the bamboo ride. The local boat owner took us around through many beautiful caves and bays.
There were no sounds other than the splashing of the paddle on water. It was so pleasant and tranquil and incredible seeing the limestone islands right up close.

Aboard the bamboo boat








Late afternoon before anchoring for the night we visited a Pearl Farm where we learnt all about pearls and how they were grown there. I never knew how they were made before so I found it very interesting.
Gareth even bought me a pair of beautiful black pearl earrings from the store (as they were a very good price) to match my black pearl necklace I got in the Cook Islands.

Approaching the Pearl Farm

In the evenings we had free time to spend as we pleased but there is optional squid fishing which we were keen to try. We all gave it a go with bamboo rods but unfortunately it wasn't squid season, however we did catch a couple of small fish.

On the second day in the morning, we had the option to wake up early for a Tai-Chi lesson on the sundeck.
I had never done Tai-Chi before, nor anything like it- but I thought this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience it surrounded by such incredible scenery.
It was very relaxing and to be honest a really nice way to start the day! I was glad I got up early to do it as it was pretty special.

After breakfast we visited Bo Hon Island to see 'Surprise Grotto.' It was a small hike to the top of the island where we had incredible views over the bay (see header picture) and we could enter inside to the large and protected caves.
It was absolutely stunning inside and we really enjoyed walking around and seeing all the different formations which were accentuated with colourful lights.









After lunch in the afternoon we visited Ti Top Island which has the highest point you can view over Halong Bay. We could choose to hike to the top- which was a huge mission, but so worth it for the stunning views. My legs were absolute jelly after that but I was thankful for the exercise with all the delicious food we had been eating.
Afterwards we could swim at the beach there if we wished.





The six guests at the top!

After we had recovered from the hike we spent the rest of the afternoon kayaking through the area Ho Ba Ham. We kayaked through caves and even pulled up onto a small beach where we could visit a temple. (Unfortunately I didn't have a waterproof camera so there were no photos of this).

Those were the main activities we took part in and it was great being active and getting out and about in Halong Bay. The whole itinerary was very enjoyable and a perfect mixture of adventure and relaxation time.
All of these activities are optional and there are also spa services on board if you choose.


The food

All meals are included and we ate like kings the entire time- there was so much food. There were about five courses for both lunch and dinner (three for breakfast!) and every day was different. A fusion of Vietnamese, it was all incredible.
Every dish was lovingly prepared and very tasty. They have their own chef on board so it's made fresh daily.
There is complimentary tea and coffee whenever you please and chilled water and drinks to purchase, as well as a very nice wine selection.
There is a happy hour every evening at 5 pm with two for one drinks. We happily sat at the bar for hours in the evenings with the other guests and shared wine and stories.

On the second evening there was a cooking demonstration of traditional cuisine and fruit carving which we could take part it. We learned how to make Vietnamese spring rolls with a dipping sauce which is one of my favourites so I was thrilled about that!


Oysters for appetisers!

Fantastic crew

The friendly crew really made the trip extra special. Every single member of staff was so genuine and warm- you were always greeted with a smile.
Cuong and Manh especially went over and beyond in their service, they were so kind, helpful and always keen for a chat about the history of Halong Bay.
We were very impressed by the crew and how welcome we felt.

All of us and the crew
Loved their motto- Yes We Smile

Tips

If you're a big water drinker like me then bring a couple of 1.5 litres of water with you.
There is no fridge in your room but it's handy to have and to brush your teeth with.
There is of course water to purchase on board but they only have small bottles so I always had to grab four bottles at a time.

One thing I wish I had (but sadly don't own yet) is a GoPro or waterproof camera. It would have been perfect for swimming and kayaking and getting more incredible shots.

It says there is free wifi- but it didn't work for us. However, I'm actually really glad of this.
It was so nice to really switch off for a few days and be in the moment. So my final tip is for you to do that too. No TV, no internet. Just you and the epic surroundings. It's pure bliss.






The Details:

Cruise: Bhaya Legend Cruise

Location: No. 08, 09, 10, Tuan Chau International Port, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam.

Reviews: Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor; 5/5 stars from 257 reviews.

Price: Prices vary depending on the season but start at $224 US for 3 days, 2 nights.

Our boat

Final Thoughts

Halong Bay was truly the most epic few days of my life- I didn't want it to end when it did!
It has inspired me to venture out and see more of the incredible sites this world has to offer.
The Bhaya Legend Cruise was a little more expensive than other boats you can find- but they aren't private and to be honest it is worth every single penny for the fantastic service you receive.
Everything from the immaculate rooms, delicious food, itinerary and activities make this cruise so enjoyable and special.
If you're wanting to book a cruise in Halong Bay then I give my full recommendations to Bhaya. Our honeymoon was exactly what I had dreamed of and I couldn't thank them enough for our incredible time.

Here are a few more photos from our wonderful trip below.













If you haven't yet been to Halong Bay I hope I have inspired you to visit! We loved our time in Vietnam and we can't wait to return again. Have you been or are wanting to go?
Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Travels,
Pin it! :)

This post is not sponsored- this is my honest opinion and recommendation.

Why You Should Study Abroad (& My Experience)


Studying overseas in a foreign country may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a university student. I studied abroad in Germany 2015 and it was the greatest year of my life. I changed and developed so much as a person, I got to travel all through Europe and met so many incredible people along the way.
If you are thinking about going on an exchange- go for it! Here are five reasons why you should along with snippets of my own experience.


1. Experience a new way of life

You will have the opportunity to properly experience a new way of life.
You're not only visiting that new country and place- you are actually studying and living there, so you get to have that real experience.
You will take in a brand new culture and fully immerse yourself in it. You'll discover incredible new foods, customs and traditions of the locals. There's no better way to develop and learn language skills and get a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history.

Enjoying the delights of Germany!

I studied abroad in Konstanz (at Universität Konstanz) which is in the south of Germany, right on the border of Switzerland. The history of the medieval city astounded me- the first traces of civilisation dates back to the Stone Age!
The city was the most beautiful place I've ever been to- and I'm from New Zealand! Konstanz was one of the few towns left untouched during WW2 due to their close proximity to Switzerland, so the gorgeous Old Town with its incredible buildings and architecture all remain.
Konstanz sits on the crystal blue Bodensee (Lake Constance) of which the Rhine branches off and is surrounded by snow-capped Alps- it is such a magical place and I loved every second of my time there. I really enjoyed using German in every day life (most shop keepers didn't speak English) and learning the differences between southern Germany to the rest of the country.

The beautiful Lake Constance at sunset
Gorgeous architecture


2. You get to travel!

It's the perfect opportunity to see the world. Take that leap and dive into it headfirst!
You get the chance to explore your new country and travel to neighbouring countries as well, especially if you're studying in Europe and Asia with plenty right on your doorstep.

At Konstanz University we got the option to arrive a month before the semester started where we could do an intensive German language course (to get up to scratch- it really helped!) and had the opportunity to take part in loads of trips and activities organised by the university's fantastic international team.
I signed up for every single one and we started by exploring our new city and were taken on a historical walking tour of Konstanz. Throughout the month we visited across the lake to neighbouring Meersburg where we toured their 5th Century castle, to Reichenau, through the Black Forest to Freiburg- all nearby places in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Seeing Neuschwantsein Castle was a dream come true!
Throughout the semester there were plenty of other organised excursions too, including hikes in Switzerland and Austria. My favourite was the trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. I also managed to get away to Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin on days off with friends or by myself.

Internationally, we could literally walk to Switzerland in less than 10 minutes, and France and Austria were only a couple of hours drive away. I absolutely loved having all these countries on my doorstep!
I went to Switzerland (a lot), France, Italy, London and then travelled all over Europe for two months after the semester ended before heading home.

Feuersee and Johannes Church in Stuttgart


3. Personal development

Being on your own in a foreign country is something everyone should experience.
You will be faced with all sorts of challenges- a new living situation, education system, possible language barriers. But you will learn and overcome all of these, and find new interests you may not have been exposed to before.
Being in a new place by yourself might be out of your comfort zone, but it tests your ability to adapt to change and challenging situations which is a great life skill to have.

A new challenge for me university-wise was group work. That was definitely something I wasn't used to and hadn't experienced since maybe Year 9 (age 13).
Group work was required for almost every single paper and credit, so you had to heavily rely on your team and in turn not let them down (which was a lot of pressure!). However, I grouped with some brilliant and hard working German students and we all worked together very well, so I was quite lucky that we all pulled together and got top marks.

The view of Konstanz University

Travelling solo was completely new to me and it really helped my personal development.
Being totally independent and taking charge made me much more confident.
You learn a lot about yourself- what you like, what you don't like, and you get to do exactly what you want without pleasing anybody else. It's a wonderful and freeing feeling which is fantastic to experience.

Lake Constance with the Imperia statue and Alps in the background


4. Make lifelong friends

One of the best opportunities you get from studying abroad is meeting new people from all over the world. I met the most wonderful and kind-hearted people from Estonia, Belgium, Chile, Norway, Turkey, The United States, Sweden, Ukraine- the list goes on and on.
Not to mention the wonderful Germans who I found very friendly and excited to meet us as well. You're thrown into this exciting time with a great bunch of people who are in the same situation as you. You get to travel with them in your time off and have the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships which is invaluable.

I am typically a pretty shy person and quite happy to keep to myself. But on my exchange I was determined to be more outgoing, make new friends and change my ways. I said yes to every invite and opportunity. I hung with my German classmates at BBQs, went on excursions and weekend trips, hung out and partied with my fellow internationals and made real friends whom I miss dearly! 

Regular hang-spot on the Rhine
Typical night out at the local club Berrys


5. Career opportunities

Studying abroad shows that you are driven, independent and open-minded.
When you finish your exchange program and return home, you'll return with a fresh new perspective on culture, language skills and education, all of which are very attractive to future employers.
Many students create ties with their host country and find they love it so much they decide to seek work there. A local experience and education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.

For me- it led to this very blog! I wrote a small blog for my friends and family while abroad about my adventures in Germany and Europe, and when I got home I missed writing (and travelling!) so much- that I decided to create a proper blog which ignited my dream of becoming a professional travel blogger. I've only been at it for less than a year now but I couldn't be happier pursuing my dream career and writing to inspire others to travel and live out their own dreams.

Gorgeous view from the Konstanz Münster

I look back on my student exchange so warmly and Konstanz will forever have a place in my heart. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to study there and I'm forever grateful to Victoria University of Wellington and the Baden-Württemberg scholarship for making it possible, and of course to Universität Konstanz for the fantastic semester and making us international students feel so welcome.

If you get the chance to go on a student exchange then I recommend it 100%! It will change your life, I guarantee it.

Have you studied abroad? If so where did you go and how did you find it?
If not- where would you like to go?

Happy travels,
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*This post contains some images that are not my own.

Five Reasons To Visit Dubai


Once just a barren wasteland, Dubai, with their international airport only opening in 1979- is now one of the fastest growing and most incredible cities on the planet.
With so much to see and do it’s little wonder that over thirteen million tourists come to visit every year, yet there are still so many out there that don't know too much about this fantastic place.
What is it about Dubai that tourists and travellers love so much? Here are just five reasons.


1. The Attractions

There’s an enormous variety of attractions and things to do in Dubai, so there’s plenty on offer for those wanting a bit of an adventure, a dose of culture or simply to relax.
One of the most popular attractions would have to be the luxury shopping, in particular at the iconic Dubai Mall.
Here alone you can find you can find an Olympic sized ice rink, an indoor ski field, water parks, a zoo, aquarium, cinemas, not to mention the shopping itself.
Other top attractions include skydiving with the most incredible view you could imagine, riding a camel, exploring local markets, going on a sunrise or sunset desert safari and relaxing at the beach. Taking to the waters on a yacht cruise is an especially exciting way to spend the day and see tremendous views of the city.

Riding a camel is one of those must-try experiences!
Indoor skifield at the Mall of Dubai
A sunset safari is a thrilling activity

2. The Food

One of my favourite things about exploring a new place is trying the local food.
Due to the strong focus on tourism in Dubai- there are quite literally hundreds of eateries to choose from! You can find any type of international cuisine; so there’s something for everyone. Dine in a luxury restaurant or keep it casual and call into a cafe to grab a bite. There are all sorts of markets as well offering delicious street food which are well worth sampling. Dubai’s cuisine takes inspiration from all over the middle east as well as Asia, so if you want to eat like a local be sure to sample popular local dishes.
There is no pork since it’s a religious Muslim destination, but they have chicken, beef, lamb and even camel meat on offer!
Popular local dishes include Shawarma- Dubai's take on a meat kebab, usually served with fries, Falafels- deep-fried balls of chickpeas or fava beans, Meat Skewers, Hummus- accompanied with pita bread, and Machboos/Kabsa- a spicy rice, meat and vegetable dish.

Falafel, pita and hummus
Local sides and a selection of skewers

3. The History

Dubai might be an incredibly glamorous tourist destination now, but under the surface it has a rich history and fascinating culture. Dubai is a religious place whose culture is rooted in Islam, which touches all aspects of everyday life.
Tourists are charmed by the courtesy and hospitality of the Arab people, who are known for their warmth and friendliness. You can explore and learn more by visiting the many beautiful museums, galleries and the mosques which are open to the public.

The Dubai Museum
Sheikh Zayed Mosque

4. The Architecture

Dubai is known for some of the most ultramodern and breathtaking architecture you will see anywhere in the world. It's one of the places when you fly over (and lucky enough to have a window-seat) your mouth is quite literally hanging open looking down!
The Burj Khalifa dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline- at 830 metres, it is the tallest structure in the world.
Here you’ll find an observation deck to view the incredible city sights, luxury hotel rooms and world-class restaurants. The whole building is surrounded by beautiful parks and at its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music.

The Burj Khalifa



5. The Weather

Last but not least is the incredible weather! Dubai has a tropical desert climate making it the perfect destination for those who like their vacations warm and sunny.
Dubai has plenty of fabulous resorts on offer if beach and seaside vacations are what you like. The gorgeous weather means spending time outside relaxing on the beach and swimming with that stunning skyline in the background.
The coldest month is January which averages at 19°C, with the warmest month being August, averaging at 36°C.
Just offshore on artificial islands is Atlantis, The Palm- one of the most popular resorts in the world with water and marine animal parks and perfect views of the Arabian Gulf.

The infamous Atlantis Resort
Dubai beach


I hope you're inspired to stopover in Dubai the next time you're travelling through the UAE, even if just for a couple of nights to help break up that journey. It's a fantastic place whether you're looking for relaxation, adventure, culture, shopping and food or all of the above!

Have you ever been to Dubai? What did you think of it? I'd love to know!

Pin it! :)

*This post contains affiliate links and images that are not my own. 

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