Surprise Your Taste Buds in Thailand – 5 Must-Try Thai Dishes

If you are heading to Thailand in the near future, keep in mind that you are going to have to eat. While there are McDonald’s restaurants and other fast food in Thailand, that’s a terrible way to experience the local culture. The cuisine in Thailand is something that you simply won’t find anywhere else on earth; the Thai food in the United States is often a poor imitation of what actual Thai cuisine tastes like so don’t forget to try these five amazing dishes during your next visit to Thailand.

Red Pork Noodle Soup

First up is Red Pork Noodle Soup, one of the most delicious Thai dishes that you will ever eat. You won’t be able to find this in the restaurants in Bangkok, but you can find it throughout the market at street vendors. The way that it is made might give you pause (the broth sits for a really long time) but it is absolutely delicious. The broth is made of boiled pork bones and onions, and it is combined with noodles, slices of red pork, sprouts and bok coy. You can eat it with sugar, fish sauce or even chili. You definitely need to check it out at least once while you are in Thailand.

Spicy Beef Salad

Beef salad is pretty amazing on its own. You can find it in restaurants throughout Thailand and it is made of succulent strips of beef that is combined with a whole bunch of things to give it a unique flavor like coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili and onions. This salad can be enjoyed on its own but that’s definitely not the best way to eat it. As your Thai friends will tell you, you must experience spicy beef salad with warm delicious bread and covered in fish sauce. You can even make spicy beef salad at home if you want to fondly remember your time in Thailand.

Som Tam

Som Tam is one of the most prevalent foods in the Thai diet and you will find it being sold everywhere around you among the street vendors. The way that this dish is made is with shaved papaya fruit combined in a mortar and pestle with things like sugar, fish sauce, lots of chilies, peanuts, tomatoes and more. It is really spicy and if you can’t handle it, then get it made without the chilies. Even so, the mortar has a bunch of chili seeds already present when they start making yours, so you will get a little spice regardless.

Banana Pancakes

These aren’t your dad’s banana pancakes and you will be surprised just how prevalent this dish is within the marketplaces that you visit. The Thong Lor market in Bangkok has dozen of stalls selling this stuff. What is actually consists of is friend dough that is much more similar to a scone than a pancake, which is filled with chopped up banana and then topped with chocolate, or sugar mixed with condensed milk.

Krathong Tong

Our fifth dish on this list is the absolutely amazing Krathong Tong. This is an appetizer that you won’t be able to resist once you taste it for the first time. Fried appetizers have become more and more common in Thai cuisine and this is one of the best things to come from the Portuguese cuisine that has introduced them to the area. You probably won’t be able to find them unless you visit one of the nicer restaurants in Bangkok but they are very thin fried shells filled with chicken, corn, carrots, potatoes and a delicious, creamy mystery sauce.

Christmas in Peacock Lane

After living in Portland, OR, for many years, I finally got to visit this place that becomes magical during the holiday season. It’s in a neighborhood in the SE Portland which becomes pedestrian only area for the last two weeks of every December.

This is an old Portland tradition since 1920. Every house here are fully decorated with extravagant Christmas lightnings and ornaments. My girls had a blast walking in front of every house and checking out all the different themes and dazzling scenes.

The event is absolutely free, but we had to park couple blocks away from Peacock Lane. It does get crowded pretty quickly as soon as it gets dark.

Check out the pictures of Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon…hope you like them.

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Holidaying In Sydney In Winter: 5 Fun Things To Do

When the rest of the word waits for the stifling summers to go away and pleasant weather to set in, Australia marvels on the winter season with a plethora of fun things to do, specifically in the sprawling city of Sydney. One of Australia’s biggest cities uniquely divided on either side of the harbor and connected with the world famous Harbor Bridge, Sydney has a lot to offer in winter season.

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Image Source: http://sydneysocial101.com/festival-101-winter-garden-brings-magical-winter-wonderland-to-cathedral-square/

So if you were thinking to get a breather from the summer engulfing the better part of the world and looking for some cool winter essence, head to Sydney and do the following fun things.
Whale Watching
Going to Sydney inevitably implies at least one whale watching session, without which a visit to this city is incomplete. You can hop on to one of the many whale watching cruises, designed especially for this purpose. Whether it is a slow moving vessel meant to relax, stand back and watch the whales in all their intimidating glory or the high-speed vessels that increase the thrill exponentially, options are numerous.
Visit ‘The Rocks’
For tourists with a quirky taste for old style pubs and cafes, historic architecture and arts and craft mini-shops, The Rocks has a lot to offer. During the weekdays, you can marvel on the artistic exhibits of artists from all over the country along with small clothing shops; while on the weekends you can enjoy the Rocks Markets that has up to a hundred stalls of different items from food to crafts to clothing and souvenirs. Totally accessible by a number of transportation options and located centrally, The Rocks is a favorite among tourists to Sydney.

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Image Source: http://firstdegreepr.com/2014/06/30/how-to-beat-the-winter-blues-sydney-style/

Shop at Queen Victoria
Located right in the middle of the central business district, Queen Victoria Building satisfies both the shopaholic and the history buff in you. The building itself is nothing like the typically modern shopping malls. It is rather a 19th century building, designed in the fashion of a cathedral. The typically arched ceilings like those in a cathedral and figurines gracing the entrances, Queen Victoria Building offers a unique shopping experience.

Relax at Darling Harbor
Stroll along the harbor at the suburbs of the Sydney business district and experience the essence of whole of Sydney in this one place. Whether you are in for some shopping, entertainment options, parks, art exhibition centers, museums, hotels and spas, or a peek into the wildlife, you will get everything at the Darling Harbor along with breathtaking views of the skyline of Sydney lining the harbor.
Hit the Centennial Park
Centennial Park will let you soak in the peaceful eastern suburban essence of Sydney along with a lot more. In addition to sprawling and open gardens, Centennial Park also has a number of historic statues and old buildings, and avenues. Also, there is a huge variety of flora and fauna, including rare plantings unique to Australia as well. Visiting Centennial Park is like peeking into the Victorian Era outdoor environment. Visit to Sydney in winters is incomplete without going to this park, which is one of the landmarks of this country.

This is a guest post article from Oz Whale Watching. Book and have a memorable whale watching experience today.

Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We are only human, and we are prone to make mistakes. When you are traveling, the results can be a little more dramatic than they normally would be, though. We aren’t in our normal environment and don’t have all of our friends and family around us. So if things go wrong, it can prove to be expensive or mean you have to end your travels. So here are some common mistakes that people make when they travel. Then you can know what to look for and make sure you avoid them.

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Not Getting the Right Visas and Travel Documents

One easy mistake people make, is that they don’t get the right travel documents that they will need. Certain countries need certain pieces of information about you before hand, to allow you in. Take the United States of America, for example. You need to get a pre-clearance ‘visa’ if you are going to be there for under 90 days. So you should apply online, somewhere like www.official-esta.com. If you arrive and don’t have this filled in, the chances are very slim that you will be allowed in. So check this kind of thing as soon as you have booked flights.

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Not Having Enough Time Left On Your Passport

A lot of people think that if their passport is in date, then it will all be fine. But some countries require there to be a certain length of time left on your passport. The US needs you to have at least six months left on your passport. Countries like the United Arab Emirates need you to have at least three months left on the passport. So you do need to bear this in mind. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get a new passport before you travel if needed. You can find more information on a site like www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Overpacking

When you are traveling, you don’t need to pack as light as possible. There will be certain restrictions on your method of transport. Plus the fact that you will have to take the luggage around with you. So you don’t want it to be too heavy. So only pack what you know you will use. If you’re not sure, then leave it behind. It is always good to have a little extra space in your suitcase to take things back with you.

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Not Using a Budget

When you are planning a trip, you will no doubt have a budget. The worst thing that you can do is to not stick to that budget. If you run out of money, then things can be pretty disastrous. So set a budget before you go and check on how you are doing at the end of each day. You don’t want to miss out on doing something, just because you ran out of money.

Missing a Flight

When you need to catch a flight, you need to allow plenty of time. You need to be at the airport often around two hours ahead of the flight. But you should take into consideration traffic and times of transportation to get you there. If you miss a flight, it can prove rather costly. Not all travel insurers will cover for it either. So plan ahead and allow plenty of time.

Home and Abroad: Bring Father Christmas To Life This Winter

Christmas is always a magical time, and it’s even more exciting when you have children who still believe in Father Christmas. From his jingling bells to his big round belly, and his team of reindeer to his promise of presents, Santa Claus is kids number one favorite man come Christmas! Bring Kriss Kringle to life in as many ways you can this Christmas, and reignite the magical spirit of one of the favorite months of the year. Let’s take a peek at how you can bring Santa into your home both home and abroad.

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Picture source: Hu.Wikipedia.Org

Father Christmas In His Own Home

At Journey Around The Globe we love making magical memories, and those that you can share with your children are all the more special. Take your children on a spellbinding trip across the globe to Santa’s workshop, and give them a true winter wonderland experience. If you want to see Father Christmas in the North Pole or in fact in his home in Finnish Lapland, then it’s time to take a winter holiday that will beat all others. In Lapland you’ll be greeted with a bewitching snowy landscape, reindeer sledding and cozy log cabins. All perfect for creating the true spirit of Christmas. In Finnish Lapland, your children will get to make snow sculptures, bake cookies and take snowmobile rides. They can even spend an afternoon searching and visiting Santa in his own home. Nothing beats meeting this magical man more than seeing him in action in his magical winter workshop. For the adults, there are roaring log fires, cross-country skiing and warm Finnish saunas. And for the kids? Copious amounts of snowy fun for an experience of a lifetime! They will be able to take husky rides, join in with Christmas crafts, visit the reindeer farm and eat their dinner in a restaurant made from ice. Take them across the globe this year for a white winter they will treasure forever.

In Your Own Home

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Picture source: Pexels

Christmas Eve is always such fun when you have children. As the suspense builds up, they’re barely able to contain their excitement. And they will want to stay up all night waiting for an appearance from Father Christmas. Luckily most will burn out by midnight, and you can get on with the Ho Ho Ho duty of bringing Father Christmas into your home. Be sure to make Christmas cookies with your children on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa. Let them have fun decorating with glitter and sprinkles too. Make sure you also go shopping for carrots and milk too. Help them pen a letter to Father Christmas to leave out that night. And make sure you have one written by the man himself to leave in return for them. Get your children to make reindeer dust out of glitter and oats and tell them it’s to lure the reindeer into your home. Leave trodden snow footprints outside their bedroom doors and by the Christmas tree. Make these with flour, talcum powder or fake snow. Get some jingle bells and give them a little tinkle just as your children are falling asleep. And make sure to leave half eaten cookies and carrots for them to find in the morning. If you have a fireplace also leave a few coal marks so, they can be sure Santa has been.

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