Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Here are the suggested things to do:

  1. Old town square – it has remained relatively untouched since the 10th century and here you will find on the best preserved medieval mechanical clock in the world.
  2. Prague Castle – Entry to the grounds of the castle are free although many buildings such as the St Vitus cathedral, Basillica of St George and Golden Lane can be visited with a combined entry ticket.
  3. Stroll across Charles Bridge.  The bridge was commissioned in 1357 by Charles IV to replace an older bridge that had been washed away by floods. Although completed in 1390, with the striking statues added in the 17th century, the bridge did not take Charles’ name until the 19th century. You will enjoy the musical performances by buskers, paintings by artists and other vendors.
  4. Admire the Lenon wall – Although Prague is a long way from Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles, fans should certainly check out this shrine to one of the most famous bands of all time. The wall has been covered in John Lennon and The Beatles graffiti, lyrics and quotations since the 1980s and is very popular among tourists and young fans wishing to pay homage to the group.
  5. Petrin Hill – For its gardens, views of the city from the miniature Eiffel Tower, unusual church of St Michael and mirror maze. You can walk up or ride the funicular railway to the top.
  6. The narrowest street in Prague – you actually do have to follow the pedestrian traffic light! 19.6inch wide gap nestled in Prague’s oldest neighbourhood, Mala Strana. IMG_9749
  7. Wanceslas Square – one of the main city squares and the centre of the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague, Czech Republic. Many historical events occurred there, and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings.
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  8. Kampa park – you will find the random row of yellow penguins and other art sculptures. If you keep on going across the park, it eventually links to island in the middle of the river where you enjoy the views of Charles bridge and the town.
  9. Dancing houseIMG_7994
  10. Spotting art all across the city – some stranger than others. King Kong Balls is what they call this one.
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  11. Chimney Cake – Good food coffee and bakery was highly rated so that’s what I tried but you can find this everywhere! IMG_9791
  12. Prague hotdog – I wasn’t a fan but again you can find it everywhere as a convenient on the go food
  13. Key specialities – Roast pork knuckle and roast duck with cabbage and dumplings.IMG_9726

Tokyo, Japan

The last time I visited Tokyo was during a school trip back when I was 12! All I could really remember was sticker photos, Disneyland and Universal Studios. This time I got to do my own research on what to do and had the privilege of having many friends take me around too. Here are my top recommendations in Tokyo/from Tokyo:

  1. Watch a Sumo fight in Ryogkoku. Check when sumo season is on, I was lucky it was tournament season but when I tried to get tickets on the spot, it was sold out! So pre-booking is vital.
  2. Harry’s Hedgehog cafe Harajuku (you can hold em!) 30min or 1h time slots with unlimited free drinks from the machine.
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  3. Takeshita Street Harajuku is my favourite because it has everything. Shops, cool cafes such as the Owl cafe, vintage shopping, and street food (plenty of crepe and unique desserts). Kawaii culture came from there so you will also find maid cafes.5AA4836E-114C-4239-9ADE-6CADE8FC494B
  4. Ichiran Ramen. You will start to realise Japan can be quite anti-social when it comes to amazing food places. Booth and bar stool culture where you just eat and then go. They are so efficient that you pre-pay for what you want from a machine before you enter.
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  5. Enjoy a free city view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku15195ADA-D520-4E43-B21A-2FE95A4F5061
  6. Shibuya Crossing and the view from the Mag building where you pay 300yen to go up and 1000yen extra if you want the drone type shot!C80A2BD4-A26E-460E-A2AB-E9468F263949
  7. Consider trying the Robot restaurant
  8. Visit Sensoji, Asakusa – the older temple with traditional shops all around 

  9. Meiji Shrine in the city forest near Harajuku station 

  10. Tokyo Tower
  11. Rainbow bridge and Giant Robot 

  12. Team Lab – Borderless or Planet exhibition. Pre-buy tickets to avoid lines. E9F8602F-6A66-4475-8822-F2AAA97CD6C5
  13. Hachi statue, a very common meeting spot in Shibuya8863933B-B642-4F49-90C0-4AC38B860117
  14. Dancer’s collection for all your Hip Hop gear
  15. Sky tree885C85C7-709A-403C-9C87-D82398F5943E
  16. Akihabara – all your tech in one place
  17. Don Quijote – 24h shop with everything! They have branches all around
  18. Kura, Genki, Uobei and Sushi Ro for good sushi
  19. Geisha/Samurai show
  20. Bonus if you can catch cherry blossom season
  21. Day trip to Mount Fuji

 

Extra: My food list

  • Melon breadEB7A3296-4469-4CE1-9D27-F94A59FE4B95
  • Katsu Curry
  • Katsu Don
  • Ramen
  • Tsukemen
  • Yakitori
  • Crepe (they are everywhere especially in Takeshita)A071727F-B6A6-4F6E-9C72-468A60ADE22B
  • Rainbow toastie00C7E095-ECAC-490B-A07F-F7D2C8877FDE
  • Anura Soba – my fave! 

  • Cheese hotdog
  • Train Sushi
  • Takoyaki (Originated in Osaka)AF3CF433-AE0C-468B-9066-744CE7A5436F
  • Wagyu beef
  • Chicken Karaage
  • Gyudon (beef bowl rice)
  • Tsukiyaki
  • Okonomiyaki C27D61C9-B0F6-4132-9964-7CB06318270B
  • Monja (only in Tokyo)
  • Gyoza
  • Tamago DE95E859-622E-4C65-BA53-B0A8B69920C8
  • Chawanmushi
  • Daifuku D5E16C6C-10BD-496A-BB1A-0611AFCFD21F
  • Mocha (handmade, red bean inside) A8B91988-68A7-485B-9A32-E39617A3E0B9
  • Dango (plain mocha on skewer)
  • Taiyoki (fish shape waffle)
  • Piyanee Thai Milk Bubble tea (amazing bubble tea in Shibuya near H&M) 540A9E0C-2127-4E00-81BF-CA3A2D15C6BB

North Island, New Zealand

Kia Ora (hello,welcome, goodbye, have a safe journey)

I’ve just come back from my 10 day road trip from Wellington to Auckland and thought I would share my entire itinerary here. I definitely could have spent longer at each destination due to the many hikes so i’ll be back!

Day 1: Arrived in Wellington and picked up our JUCY car rental from the airport to drive ourselves to the city centre not far away. Climb up Mount Victoria for a 360 degree view of the city and enjoy the play area there too (definitely adult friendly). Take the Wellington cable car up and walk back down to the city through the Botanic Gardens. AirBnB 120 The Terrace.

Day 2: Drive from Wellington to Cape Palliser where you will see a large seal population along the sea front near the light house. Climb the steep steps to reach the lighthouse and enjoy the views. Return up the road to the start of the Pinnacles hike (funky rock formations from Lord of the Rings). Drive to Whanganui and visit the near by beach for sunset. Accom: Whanganui Backpackers (a motel).

Day 3: Visit Whanganui National Park for the Atene Viewpoint Walk. Another highly recommended option which we didn’t do is the ‘Bridge to nowhere’. Then drive to Tongariro National Park for plenty of hike options! We did the 2h Taranaki falls loop track from Whakapapa Village (the largest ski area). If you have a full day, definitely do the Tongariro Alpine track which takes around 8hours. This was my favourite park out of all the hikes I did so I definitely want to come back to do it one day. Have dinner in Taupo and watch sunset by the lake. Accom: A Plus Samurai Lodge Backpackers (not the cleanest but it’ll do for the hike day)

Day 4: Drive to Taupo lake view point before heading to Wai O Tapu geothermal pools and geysers. The entire highway passes thermal pools so you’ll see plenty of steam along the way as you drive. Wai O Tapu is the most well known and the lady Knox geyser show starts at 10:15am so don’t miss that. Before heading to Rotorua, stop by the blue and green lake viewing point and lake Tarawera viewpoint, they are along the way. When in Rotorua, definitely try out luging! We then did the Maori village cultural show and dinner, and stayed the night in Rotorua Motel.


Day 5: Drive from Rotorua to Mount Maunganui and hike up of course! Then drive to Coromandel area for Ha Hei beach, walk to Cathedral Cove and then hot water beach (visit during low tide only). Stayed the night in Coromandel in the most amazing cabin ever (find Viv on AirBnB 75 Harbour View Road). I would go back to Coromandel just to stay in this accommodation again.


Day 6: Drive to Hobbiton  for the tour and then to Hamilton, stopping by the massive garden they have created. You could spend a whole day here if you wanted, appreciating the design and  gardens of the world. AirBnB 80 Beerescourt Road Suite (really cozy accom again)

Day 7: Drive to Waitomo Glow worm caves (no photos allowed) for the short tour then to Auckland, stopping by Mt Eden crater before dropping off the car. This was my favourite drive day in terms of awesome views along the way, other than the Tongariro national park drive day. Accom for the next three nights: Grand Central apartments (15min walk to city centre)
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Day 8: Walked Auckland’s main high street: Queen street and competed in Battle of the Year at night. Didn’t do much this day due to the competition.

Day 9: Ferry to Rangitoto volcanic island for the summit hike. There are specific ferry times so make sure you pre-book for the trip there and know when the last ferry is to get back! 36NZD return.


Day 10: Chill day, walked the city and played an escape room before flying back to Sydney. Try Giapo ice cream!

My first legit road trip and I loved driving those country side roads  I would do it all over again.

 

 

Miami, Florida USA

Miami is an international city at Florida’s southeastern tip. It is famous for its beach, Cuban influences and trendsetting nightclubs. Miami City and Miami Beach (South beach which is the South side of Miami beach, being the most popular) is governed differently! Here are my recommendations:

  1. Miami South Beach, Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road for an entire line of shops

  2. Wynwood Walls – Unique outdoor destination featuring huge, colorful street murals by artists from around the globe. Great for break dance shots!
  3. Brickell shopping mall and surrounding restaurants – Brickell is the city’s financial center, where glittering business towers and luxury condos tower over Biscayne Bay. Rooftop bars and surf ‘n’ turf grills cater to the banking and business crowd, while the art galleries and fashionable boutiques in the Brickell City Centre attract chic locals.
  4. Bayside Marketplace wraps along the bay with plenty of shops and food. I tried hooters for the first time lol
  5. Everglade’s Tour – Experience South Florida’s delicate ecosystem with an exhilarating airboat ride! See alligators, birds, crocodiles, and other exotic wildlife in their natural habitat.
  6. Joe’s Stone Crab

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Next time I go back I have to visit Little Havana!! Didn’t have enough time as I needed to board my cruise ship. Miami Port is where loads of cruises depart from 🙂

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is a resort town in northwestern Cambodia and the main reason tourists visit is to see the ruins of Angkor. There are so many sites and recent historical events to Cambodia which is why hiring a tour guide would be the best way to really understand what you are looking at as well as to get to know the country better. This is the company I used (link) and my tour guide Mr Chet was absolutely incredible. You could ask him anything about world history and he also knew the best spots to take photos which is always helpful considering how packed the place can get.

Note: The temples can and will flood if it rains, so make sure you don’t go during their rainy season. Our guide told us there are major issues with the drainage system sadly.

  1. Visit Angkor Watt and all the other temples such as where Tomb Raider was filmed. Definitely worth catching sunrise and seeing the reflection in the waters at Angkor Watt.13516460_10155240966043849_5538501040491788683_n13521946_10154194303037159_5237467394466484476_n13501577_10155238291248849_361577087993809525_n13521888_10154187896477159_4493892656580829320_n13494934_10155240975358849_8697230333085399707_n13510938_10155238291823849_7385750362683323995_n
  2. See the monks wondering around or meditating. I love how their orange garment stands out.
  3. Dine at Crystal Angkor restaurant while watching a really relaxing traditional dance show. 13517537_10155237092853849_8141448254792395640_o
  4. Stay at Lotus Blanc Resort and try their Damnak fine dining restaurant. Did you know Cambodia is famous for its dining and has a wide range of cuisines? 13509150_10155237095118849_2361018783711579675_n13509044_10155237093558849_7663625544931416472_n
  5. Travel around by ‘tuk tuk‘, visit Angkor National Museum and shop at Angkor’s night market in Siem Reap. Buy comfortable clothes and art work for super cheap! 13450906_10155237094868849_6706515383436222658_n13434921_10154187905282159_7243914447856779269_n

Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the capital and is a great place to visit for one day before heading on to other parts of Norway. Most attractions are walkable from the central train station where you will most likely arrive from after taking the airport express train (23min journey). Due to the poor weather while I was there, I was unable to visit Vigeland Sculpture park (recommended) which is a short bus ride away, but here are top 5 recommendations:

  1. The Royal Palace. You can see the changing of the guards as well as explore the palace gardens for free. When you turn your back to the building, you get a good view of the city centre. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer but all visitors must follow a guided tour to see the interior, which you may wish to join: https://www.visitoslo.com/en/product/?TLp=18164418424022_10156583249073849_8723159526648555855_n
  2. Nobel Peace Centre. I didn’t capture an image of the building or any of the stories inside as they were quite emotional. The first floor was all about the Syrian conflict and the upper floor about Colombia as well as recognising the many Nobel peace prize winners.
  3. Try find random sculptures all over place as you walk around the city
  4. Akershus Fortress. You can get really good views from here as it is slightly higher up and it is free to visit. There was an outdoor play going on during my visit so be aware that certain areas may be blocked off.19105949_10156583248623849_8110186694398871741_n
  5. Opera House. How often do you get to walk on the roof of a building! I love how the buildings creeps out of the water. Of course, I wish there weren’t cranes and grey clouds in the background, but cities are always developing. 18920698_10156583248883849_2164418277962155657_n19030345_10156583266363849_1822733906589811179_n