If someone asks me: “which places are worth to visit in the Southwest of Vietnam?”, then I can give him the right answer and I am sure that everyone will agree with that: FLOATING MARKET.
Floating market not only attracts tourists by its specific culture, it is also abundant in tropical produce which is showed and sold in boats and canoes.
Cai Rang is one of the biggest floating markets and it is one of the most exciting attractions in Can Tho. Floating market is a cutural speciality of Mekong Delta which attracts many tourists, especially foreigners.
Specializing in selling kinds of fruit which are specialities of Mekong Delta, it is also a wholesale market which sells both wholesale and retail kinds of fruit and agricultural products. This place focuses on goods in big quantitities.
If local and people and neighbor usually carry agricultural products in medium canoes or junks to sell there, trader usually use big boats to buy fruits and sell all over in Vietnam, even in Cambodia and China.
Located on Cai Rang River and far away about 6 kilometers from Can Tho City, Cai Rang floating market is one of the interesting destinations which tourists cannot miss as coming to Can Tho.
Only takes about 30 minutes from Ninh Kieu Quay by boat, tourists can enjoy floaty feeling on canoes, mix with bustling atmosphere of market, find out the life of families with many generations living on boats, enjoy the sweet and delicious of local specialities which are granted by nature, as well as make friendship with plain, friendly and sentimental Western people.
Coming to Cai Rang floating market, tourists will be surprised at selling style. The kinds of goods will be hanged on bamboo spray; it is called “cay beo”. For instance, if people sell pumpkins, they will hang one pumpkin on “cay beo”.
Therefore, salespeople don’t need to advertise goods by shouting as other markets on land and it’s easy for tourists seeing in distance. Coming to Western in general and Cai Rang in particular, tourists are unforgettable and really want come back to enjoy, experience and relive this special feeling.
Cai Rang floating market usually starts very early in the morning and finishes at about 8 or 9a.m. Tourists can come at about 7 or 8 in the morning because market is in the busiest and most crowded at this time. Market does not focus and has little activity on Lunar New Year (1st and 2nd days), Double Five festival (on 5th day of 5th lunar month).
Established in 18th century, Cai Be floating market is the border of 3 provinces: Vinh Long, Ben Tre, and Tien Giang. This most long-standing market not only attracts tourists by crowded boats, it also attracts them by water-color painting with serial gardens, towns along the river looming in napa trees (water coconut trees) and cypresses.
There are many rich and copious produces from fruit, poultry, seafood, household commodities, and fabrics. If tourists want to buy gifts for relatives, they can choose sweet tangerines, coconut candies, or coconut soaps – a famous speciality of Cai Be. Tourists just go on a sightseeing tour of Cai Be floating market because it starts very early at 2 o’clock in the morning and finishes at 8 o’clock in the morning, therefore.
Far away about 75 kilometers from Vi Thanh City, Hau Giang and about 30 kilometers from Can Tho City Center in the South, Phung Hiep floating market is on Phung Hiep seven corners – which gathers of 7 branches of river, it is also called Seven Corners Market.
The same as Cai Be and Cai Rang, Phung Hiep floating market also musters up hundred of boats and canoes which transport goods, specialities not only in region, it also transports produces to the Northern and in oversea markets.
Coming to Phung Hiep floating market, tourists can enjoy specialities of the Western and buy arts and crafts famous items of Hau Giang. The most special thing in Phung Hiep is snakes market with all kinds of different high-grade snake wine. Besides, it also has tortoises, turtles, geckos, iguanas, and so on.
Phung Hiep floating market is sure to make visitors pleased both in beautiful scenery and specific culture of Mekong Delta.
Far away about 2 kilometers from city center, Long Xuyen floating market is not as famous as other floating markets, but tourists will recognize the generous attitude of hick people in the Southwest.
Long Xuyen floating market has a lot of kinds of farm products such as vegetables, melons, cabbages, squashes, potatoes, etc. and all kinds of fruit such as bananas, pomelos, oranges, tangerines, and so on. Besides, tourists can go to market during the day, do not have to take advantage of morning time like the other floating markets.
Coming to Long Xuyen floating market, tourists have experience of people’s daily lives on boats as well as enjoy the crowded atmosphere of boats in business. Tra On floating market - Vinh Long
Far away 250 meters from Tra On rivulet mouth, Tra On floating market is in lower section of Hau River with the length of 300 meters. Especially, market often opens according to the tide, if tide is rising, market is crowded.
Tra On floating market is the wholesale market. Specialities are distributed wholesale. Agricultural products are yams, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, bitter melons, and so on. Fruits include Tan Thanh thick-skinned oranges, Hoa Binh star apples, Luc Si Thanh durians.
One more special in Tra On floating market is coloring canoes selling with beautiful flowers. Coming to Tra On, tourists should not miss the speciality of this place, “ca chay” is processed in different ways which there is no any place can compare.
Coming to floating markets in the Southwest, tourists will have floaty feeling on canoes, mix with the crowded atmosphere of markets and enjoy specialities, all make tourists want to come back again.
From The Blog...
If you love the outdoors and religiously travel to the mountains during the winter and spring seasons to camp with your family, it is important to invest in camping supplies and equipment that will make your endeavor all the more enjoyable.
While some families will rent cabins and sleep in a nice cozy bed each and every night, others prefer to have the true outdoor experience and invest in a tent and heat insulating sleeping bags. While you may be a true camper, you do not have to freeze during your vacation.
With new and innovative camping propane heaters, campers who do not want to take the fun out of camping can still take the chill out of the air. Understand the benefits of propane camping heaters and make a wise investment that will keep you warm and cozy through the dark and cold nights.
Outdoor propane heaters are great choice because they do not require power from a electrical source. The portable propane camping heater can be used in a variety of different scenarios including camping, outdoor barbecues, evening outside on your patio and more.
Not only are they easily portable, they also are very efficient in taking the chill out of the air on cold nights where you would usually wear layers and bundle up in clothing. Using radiant heat, the propane camping heater generates heat in the inner chamber by utilizing propane fuel and metal meshing.
More modern technologies allow camping propane heaters to heat the surrounding objects without allowing heat to escape into the intermediate air. In a camping environment this is perfect because the heat will serve its purpose without escaping.
While propane is one of the oldest forms of heating and can be witnessed throughout history, modern technologies has made these type of heater far more efficient. Now, outdoor propane heaters can raise temperatures in surrounding areas up to 20 feet away. This means that even a family sized tent can be heated with one single outdoor heater.
When you are shopping for a heating unit, it is important to find a unit that is constructed of durable and long lasting materials such as stainless steel. These materials are rust resistant and will last over time for years of outdoor endeavors. When you are comparing heaters, there are a variety of different styles including: tabletop, free standing, hanging, fixed and more. For environmentally-friendly heaters, find electric-propane units that do not emit pollution into the air.
While consumers can purchase heaters at their local retailers, discounted heaters can be found for less online. With wholesale pricing and excellent quality, camping propane heaters online are far more affordable and even more convenient.
Compare the products offered by a variety of different quality sporting good manufacturers for consumer ratings and pricing. By using the resources you have available at your fingertips, you can find the best heater for your needs that falls within your budget. Invest in a heating unit and eliminate the chill in the air on your next outing.
Budapest and Zagreb are roughly only 345 km apart, but although the distance is insignificant, the difference in architecture and culture couldn’t be further apart.Budapest is a massive lively capital with enormous buildings and an age old splendour that reminds you of forgotten imperial times. Zagreb on the other hand is a small city that doesn’t breathe the pretentious air that most capitals do.
For these reasons alone, skipping a trip between Budapest and Zagreb is a really bad choice. So… read on and let me help you choose the perfect means of transportation:
There is a daily direct route between Budapest and Zagreb. Tickets can be booked online on the website of the Hungarian Railways, but they must be collected in the train station. A ticket will set you back about 29 euro.
Looking at the timetable there are two direct trains:
|Departure time||Departure station||Travel time||Arrival time|
Attention: The 14:45 train that leaves from Budapest-keleti requires you to changetrains due construction work. You will have to get off in Dombóvár. A bus will be waiting to transfer you to Kiskorpád where another train will be ready to resume the trip to Zagreb. It is unclear how long these roadworks will last.
As far as I know there is only one bus company that drives directly from Budapest to Zagreb and that is Orangeways. During the summer months a bus leaves every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. All the other months it’s only Friday and Sunday. The bus always leaves at 6:00, so get up early! It takes approximately 5:30m and you will arrive around 11:30 in Zagreb. Tickets cost 18 euro and can be booked online at the Orangeways website.
This may seem a little over the top, but this kind of service isn’t necessarily a bad option. Primarily focussed on people travelling in group, booking a private shuttle can be a cheap and fast (travel time is between 3 – 4 hours) option.
There a numerous companies that offer shuttle services some more shady than the other. Here is a shortlist of two reliable companies:
Let me know in the comments if you used any of these services or discovered new companies that operate a route between Budapest and Zagreb.
I’ll start by saying that I’m a big fan of Airbnb. It’s my go-to site when I’m looking for accommodation. In recent years I even preferred it over classic hotels. I discovered Airbnb a couple of years ago while I was browsing the web, read: I was procrastinating.
It immediately won me over because of its beautiful design. As a designer I have a weak spot for well executed interactive web-design. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air if you compare it to the often sluggish hotel booking platforms used by other websites.
Airbnb is often regarded as a discount option compared to a normal hotel. I’ve read reports that it’s about 20% cheaper if you book a private apartment and 50% cheaper when you’re staying with someone in a private room. I’m not really sure about it being cheaper, but one thing is certain: you get more bang for your buck.
Most of the time besides a bed and a bathroom you also have access to a kitchen and a washing machine (important if you’re on a long trip!). Not to mention that most of the time the interior design is more pleasing to the eye than the standard hotel room with fitted carpet and a musty smell.
Before figuring out how to use Airbnb on a budget you have to know what you are willing to spend of course! I’m aware that this differs from one person to another, but I will use myself as an example throughout this blog post.
From my experience a standard hotel room in a three star hotel usually ranges from 50 to 150 euro depending in which city you’re staying. A private hostel room goes between 30 and 50 euro again depending on where you’re staying.
These are estimates but I found them to be more or less correct. Taking that into account I made the total illogical decision to not spend more than 60 euro per night on an Airbnb apartment. That’s 30 euro each if you’re travelling with a friend or a significant other.
I know it makes no sense, but it gives me a restriction to work with and it’s good for my bank account. Now do your own math and come up with a budget. It can be any number, but don’t expect to find a lot of places for 20 euro per night.
The first thing you should do to book with Airbnb on a budget is altering the price range slider. Put the maximum on the budget you came up with earlier. Do it with conviction and do it fast, before you know it you’re scrolling through beautiful penthouses and lofts (dream on hobo). After that I filter the results so that only private apartments show up. If you’re on a city trip don’t forget to zoom in to the city center. Some places can look cheap until you realise they’re 10 km from the center.
The places that catch your attention will again differ from one person to another. For me it’s places in historical buildings, apartments with beautiful pictures and ditto interiors or if I’m visiting a country with a warm climate: a terrace or a garden.
If I can’t find anything within my budget that fit these criteria then I include private rooms in my search query. This happened to me in Barcelona. I couldn’t find a private apartment that fit my budget and I ended up booking a room in Xavier’s apartment. It was in the middle of the Borne district. Literally two steps away from the Picasso museum and to top it off he had access to a private rooftop terrace. Priceless. Normally I shouldn’t be able to afford a place like this. You can check his place out here.
Did that budget of 60 euro seem rather low to you? Think again! Want to know why I think Airbnb isn’t necessary cheaper than a hotel? Read on! There are a few extra costs that will be included in the final price.
This is the most obvious extra cost. Because Airbnb has to cover expenses and needs to save up for the CEO’s seaside villa, they charge you for every booking through their system. After all Airbnb is a company and its goal is to make money. The amount that they charge depends on the overall price of your reservation. The higher the price of the accomodation the less they charge and visa versa. You can expect to pay between 6% – 12%.
Some properties charge a cleaning fee. The first thing you should do is analyse it. How much are they charging? Is this amount fair in relation to the size of the apartment? Do they expect you to clean up certain things regardless of the fee? Sometimes home owners try to use this fee as a sneaky way to overcharge you ‘while still coming up in search results of low-end priced apartments.
Also be extra courteous if your host doesn’t charge you a cleaning fee! Make sure you wash the dishes, make the bed and look to it that the bathroom and toilet are clean.
Some countries or cities charge their guests a tourist accommodation tax. If this is the case then the home owner will tell you about this somewhere in the apartment’s description. This fee isn’t collected by Airbnb, therefore it’s not included in the total amount that you have to pay. This tax is usually paid on arrival in cash. So make sure you got some local currency with you.
To give an example: The city of Rome charges 3.5 euro per night per person. At first sight that amount seems peanuts, but if you stay 3 nights then that will cost you 21 euro extra! Unfortunately small numbers add up quickly.
Most home owners won’t include breakfast. This means that you have to make your own. While if you stayed at a hotel it would probably be included in the price. How much you will spend on this will depend. Some of you will go out to get breakfast, which is more expensive, and others will make use of the kitchen to prepare it. Pro budget tip: if you’re making breakfast why not make a lunchbox for noon?
Keep these tips and hidden costs in mind. A budget of 60 euro may seem low, but it easily adds up. Usually when I’m in the last stage of booking that 60 euro room suddenly costs 70 – 80 euros per night. Imagine what the room would have cost if you didn’t set a budget! (I can hear my piggy bank scream already).
One last thing. Most of my friends don’t know what Airbnb is. So when I introduce them to the website I give them a personal link. This link will credit me 24 euro if they book a room and in return they get a 24 euro discount on their first booking. If you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, right?
Anyway, don’t feel obligated in any way to use my personal link! It’s just a suggestion. I wish you guys happy travels with Airbnb!
From The Blog...
Thailand is one of those unquestioned destinations for backpackers. It’s been that way for decades. The combination of climate, affordable cost of living, and the variety of sights and attractions all make for an ideal destination for budget travelers. In this post, we will offer some general tips for visiting the land of smiles.
Tourists and backpackers flock to certain areas and overwhelm them. Phuket may be beautiful, but know that you won’t be the only one enjoying it. In fact, there will be a veritable united nations style representation of the world soaking up the rays there.
But there are many nearby spots like Ko Lanta that don’t see as many visitors. On the opposite side of Thailand, islands like Ko Tao are generally more quiet and less touristed than places like Ko Samui.
Thailand is a land of delicious street food. On every corner and every roadside, you will see carts piled high with fruits and juices, noodles and fried delicacies, and everything in between.
You can eat whole meals for a dollar or two and you will come away satisfied with both the quantity and the quality. Try to avoid tourist restaurants and instead follow the locals to the popular food carts around town. You will not be disappointed.
Many budget travelers will opt for hostels, because that’s where most backpackers congregate, but guesthouses offer great value and often a cultural experience as well. Typically, guesthouses are smaller and family run, and you may have an opportunity to interact with the family on a regular basis.
This could also mean that you could profit from home cooked meals. Alternatively, take a look at our post on finding free accommodation over here.
Riding on an elephant is a popular tourist activity in Thailand, but the abuses of these large animals are well documented. You don’t need to ride an elephant to enjoy your time in northern Thailand.
Instead, research responsibly run tour outfits that will let you go on an excursion that does not involve elephants. Or, visit elephants at a sanctuary where you can see them up close, but cannot ride on them.
Thai culture is averse to public displays of emotion and anger. Often, people will smile even if they are not necessarily overtly happy. This has to do with deep rooted elements of the culture, some of which relate directly to Buddhism, which is widely practiced here.
If you take things lightly and focus on composing yourself and taking a breath before reacting to every little thing, you may find that you are smiling and laughing a lot more than you thought you would. This is one of the best valuable lessons a visitor to Thailand can learn.
Feel free to share your own tips on traveling to Thailand in the comments below.