Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking

Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking

Mount Batur an active volcano standing tall at 1717 in Bali Indonesia with an amazing views and easy to trek even for beginners

About Mount Batur

Mount Batur is located in Batur village, Kintamani, Bali standing tall at 1717 m above sea level but there even a higher point you can climb to 1820 m.

Since this is a very active volcano, it’s last eruption was in year 2000, but nowadays it’s mostly green and easy to trek.

We suggest you go to there to catch the morning sunrise with amazing views over Mount Agung which last erupted in January 2018 and Lake Batur.

Despite many saying the trek is easy, i considered it’s easy but dangerous to do it alone, the trek splits in 3 parts, part one is very easy taking on a road and though normal bushes, part two is made of volcanic ash and volcanic lava with dangerous spiky corners and part three from camp to top of the mountain is purely only volcanic ash and hard rocks.

The volcanic ash is very slippery especially if you don’t have good shoes, I’ve personally seen few people that couldn’t go down off mountain because they were slipping and they needed assistance.

The spiky rocks and volcanic hardened lava can sometimes make your trek hard also depends on your shoes, I’ve seen two guiz actually hitting their back because they slipped on the lava.

Finding a location to stay it’s not gonna be hard but if you want to find the cheapest hotels to book a location for as low as 10$ you can use Agoda – Bali Hotels or TripAdvisor – Ubud Hotels,or receive €34 for your first booking AirBnb, also if you need the best Travel Insurance



Mount Batur
Mount Batur Lake
Mount Batur Lake
Mount Batur Trek

How to get there

Starting in 2018 it’s illegal to go there by your own and you can only do it with a authorized guide for different prices, i’ve seen from 300.000 IDR  (20$) up to 700.000 IDR (50$) for the same thing it depends where you book it from.

The tours usually include pick-up from Ubud or Sanur, then they take your for a morning meal and coffee and also give you a prepackage food to take with you on the mountain to eat it when you get there.

Most tours also include a few other stops to a coffee plantation and hot springs at the bottom of the volcano, i suggest you take the tour that includes the hot springs because after a long day of trekking it’s perfect stop in hot springs.

Take notice there are tourist hot springs where you need to pay to enter and free hot-springs where locals go so make sure you don’t pay for free.

The camp or Submit it’s located at 1717 m and it’s the place where most of hikers stop but if you arrive early you can go even higher to the next point which takes about 30min – 1 h to reach.

At Submit you can see plenty of monkeys and a chicken but also be careful with the volcanic sulfur that it’s invisible to the eye. 


Mount Batur Distance
Mount Batur Distance

What to bring

Most tours will give you everything you need including a Headlamp, but you should bring your own because we’ve noticed a lot of people that middle way will shut off and you’re going up on mountain during the night.

Good Shoes – as previously noted you will need really good shoes with you because the terrain is made between hard ground to slippery volcanic ash and spiky rocks. For summer hiking we recommend these two hiking shoes:


Blouse and Pants – When you start the trek it’s gonna be hot but as soon as you start going up the weather is going to get very cold, trust me put it in your backpack you will want it at 3 – 10 degrees on top of the mountain. For this kind of trekking we recommend these two:


Water and Snacks – The trek will take anywhere between 2 hours to 4 hours it all depends on the group that you are with and how many stops you gonna do and there is nothing you can do about it unless you hire a private guide.

Backpack and Camera – Well pretty explanatory why you should bring it. Our suggestion is this backpack:



Usually, on top of a volcano you wouldn’t expect to see animals, but here you will discover some monkey families who would enjoy to eat your breakfast, but the big boss here is a black chicken which that teaches the monkeys a lesson when comes to food.

Mount Batur Monkeys
Closer to caldera you can find some hot points, we are pretty sure your guide will show these points and if you have some fresh eggs you can boil here also it’s perfect for a breakfast on top of Mount Batur.
Mount Batur Sulfur

Tour description

02.00 – 03.00 am: Pick up time (depending on location).
03.45 am: Arrival at starting point of Toyabungkah village.
06.15 am: Arrival at the summit of Mount Batur (sunrise point).
07.00 am: Continue our trek around the entire crater.
08.00 am: Begin our descent to the finishing point of our trek (Toyabungkah village).
09.00 am: Arrival at Toyabungkah village and board car.
10.30 am: Stop at hot springs (optional).
13.30 am: Stop at a Balinese Coffee plantation (optional).
14.30 am – 15.00 pm: Return arrival at your hotel (depend on location).



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London City Guide – London Travel Tips

London City Guide – London Travel Tips

London is the capital of UK and the most visited city in this country. Tips and tricks for a city break you might need to know if you travel on budget

Why Go To London

London is considered one of the capitals of fashion in the world, but if you are here you can skip all fashion stuff and expensive experience like shopping.

It’s full of history, art, churches and, of course, food. If you don’t have a plan London could be a huge hole in your budget if you are impulsive and not careful.

London Weather

We recommend April or May, the weather is just perfect, not to hot and not to cold. Temperatures vary from 2- 7°C(35-45°F) in January to 20-30°C(69-87°F) in July.

Rainfall does not vary that much thought the year with an average of 6 rainy days per month.

London Local Transport

With a vast network of subway, buses and tram lines there is no place hard to reach. Ticket prices are 1.5€ valid for 90 minutes after stamping for a single journey.

One Day Ticket is 4.5€ and Two Day Ticket costs 8.25€ but you can also use RicaricaMi a rechargeable card that you can buy from almost any store at 2.5€ first time including one single ticket.

If you plan to go outside the city, we recommend using FlixBus


Main language spoken is Italian, and around 30 percent of the people do speak English, mostly in tourist areas.


Type L (three-prong plug), Type F (two-prong plug) and Type C (Europlug two-wire plug) we suggest having a travel adapter, if you are not from Europe.


Main currency is Pound (£) with ATM’s available almost every street corner. Cash is preferred and tipping is customary with 10-15% off the bill.

Must Try Food

London is well know for a lot of Michelin-stared restaurants, most British food is Fish & Chips and a mushy peas.

Let’s not forget about the English Breakfast, that ussualy is made out of eggs, toast and sausage with a sweet tea.

But as a must try on top of the list must be Laverbread minced with seaweed, Cullen skink and Steak with kidney pie, but let’s not forget about desert which we recommend to try Black pudding made from onions, pork fat, blood and oatmeal.

More tips can be found at the end of the article.

Must Try Drinks

While in London you must try the English Tea usually served in afternoon at any restaurants or you can find it under the name of English Breakfast.

Other British beverages include Ginger Beer, Cider(alcoholic fruit juice), Pimms (alcoholic punch made with fruits) and Dandelion(roots of dandelions and burdock leaves) 

But you should try the non-alcoholic drinks such as Blood Orange Punch, Smoothies and Lassi

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How to get there

From Europe is pretty easy to fly here. Plenty of low-cost airlines have flights here, so if you catch a promotion, a discount, just take it! A plane ticket with carry-on baggage could be really cheap, like 10 euro.

So, in our opinion it’s perfect for a city break here, perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

If you have more time to spend you can also take an international bus like Flixbus. Prices are pretty good and you don’t have limits on your baggage.

Of course, take more time to get here but is perfect if you want to visit different cities around like Venice, Rome, Florence and so on. You can also use ride-share apps like BlaBlaCar for a cheaper ride.

You can spend good time in cars with locals and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful then guides.

Where to stay

London has multiple options of finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget.

If you don’t have worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on or

It’s a huge city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them.

Getting around from airports

Around London are six airports: City Airport, Heathrow, Luton, Stanstead, Gatwick and Southend, while only three of them you will probably arrive at so we will focus on them.

As soon as you arrive we suggest you buy yourself an Oyster as soon as you arrive at any of the airports, it will make your travel much cheaper and faster. They cost £5.00 + £5.00 minimum and you get a credit of £5.00, and when you return the card you will received the initial £5.00 back.

From Heathrow

Is about 20 miles (32km) west of central London, with a few options which you can take to get into the city:

  1. Rail – this would be the fastest option with only 25 minutes of travel time and a price of £10.00, it runs every day from 6:00 to 23:30.
  2. London Underground – With a travel time of about 50 minutes with a price tag of £6.00 or £4-£5.00 with Oyster card runs everyday from 5:00 to 23:30 and 24 h from Friday to Saturday.
  3. Heathrow Express – with a journey time of 15-20 minutes but with a high price tag of £25.00 or return £37.00 it might not be worth it if you are on a budget, they also run everyday from 5:00 to 23:50.
  4. Coach  – With a travel time of about 40 – 60 minutes but with a small price of only £6.00 it will be the best option for you on budget, they run from 4:30 to 10:30.

From Gatwick

Gatwick is 30 miles (48km) to the south of central London, with a few options to get into the city:

  1. Gatwick Express – takes about 30 minutes and with a price of £20.00 might be a good option but there is no service between 00:30 and 03:30 from London and between 01:35 and 04:35 from Gatwick
  2. Thameslink – With a travel time of about 40 minutes and a price of  £14 (peak) or £8 (off-peak) it runs from 6:00 to 1:20.
  3. Coach  – With a travel time of about 70 – 90 minutes but with a small price of only £5.00 it will be the best option for you on budget, they run from 4:30 to 10:30.

From Stansted

Stansted Airport is located 35 miles (56km) to the north east of central London, with a few options to get into the city:

  1. Stansted Express – Journey time is 45 minutes and price of £17.00 or £29.00 return it runs from 6:00 to 23:30.
  2. Coach – with a journey time between 30-60 minutes for only £5.00 and it runs 24 h/day it’s the best option.

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Like all in Europe, you must be prepared for the long line of waiting on major places to visit. My advice is to book your ticket online or from the previous day to avoid the queue at ticketing.
In other words, let’s start!

1. Big Ben

Actually Big Ben it’s not the real name of this iconic clock tower, the actual name is Queen Elizabeth II Tower, but why is it called Big Ben, well nobody knows for sure but most likely it’s because of a reference to Benjamin Hall.

It was built in 1859, when The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire and it was decided that a new building should be constructed for the House of Parliament and it should include a tower and a clock.

Unfortunately starting from 2017 until 2021 renovation started and the tower will mostly be hidden under scaffolding, but as work progresses it will be uncovered bit by bit.

If you would like to visit the inside tower and you are not an UK resident, you have no chance there is no exception to this law, but if you are from UK, you must be at least 11 and wear sensible footwear, but also be able to walk the 334 stairs up to the top.

Duomo di Milano

2. Palace of Westminster

The royal palace was built in 11th century as a primary residence for the King of England, until a fire destroyed the complex in 1834 but it was completely rebuilt afterwards in a Victorian Gothic style designed by Sir Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin.

If you would like to visit the palace, you can do it by taking one of the guided your that include the Westminster Hall, the Royal Gallery and all major areas of the Palace.

Unfortunately there is no other way to visit it without a guided tour, the palace opens at 9:15 and closes at 14:30, so make sure you either pre-book your ticket online or be there as early as you can to be in one of the guided tours.

The tours are opened for everyone for a price of £25 for adults and £11 for children under 15 years old, the tour runs for about 1 hour and half but you can also opt for an afternoon tea on the riverside terrace.

If you UK resident you can request your MP for a free guided tour, but since there is such a high demand for them there is a wait time of about 6 months. 

Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster

3. The London Eye

The Eye is one of the most visited attraction in London, built in 1998 it’s the highest Ferris wheel in Europe standing tall at 135 m, making it the perfect place to take breath-taking panoramic pictures of the city.

We recommend going during evening when the best view of the city it’s more spectacular and weirdly less crowded, the wheel takes about 30 minutes to rotate.

London Eye is opened every day from 10:00 to 20:30 with a price from £27 for adults and £22 for children, or if you want to skip the line and buy fast track tickets, prices start from £37 for adults and £32 for children.

The London Eye

4. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 and became royal residence when King George III purchased it in 1761 but in the year 1836 became the official London residence of UK’s sovereigns and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

With 775 rooms, of which   19 State rooms, 52 Royal bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms it’s a massive estate 108 m long and 120 deep.

If you would like to visit you can only do it in the summer from 21 July until 30 September when you can tour the 19 State rooms, decorated with treasures from Royal Collections, Rembrandt other paintings.

The opening hours are from 09:30-19:30 from 21 July to 31 August and in September from 09:30-18:30 also admissions end 2 hours before closing.

You can go directly and take a your for yourself for £11/Adults and £5.50/Children but you can also take a guided tour for £24/Adults and £13.50/Children or a Family Ticket for a price of £61.50

Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

5. Tower of London


The Tower used be known as a place of torture, but also an armoury and a fortress, built in 1078 first known as the White Tower, destroyed and rebuilt in 1208.

This is where nowadays the priceless Crown Jewels are held with a lot of other history artifacts, swords, armors, legends and a lot of bloody tales from the long history.

The tower is opened from 09:00-18:00 Tuesday – Saturday and 10:00-18:00 Sunday – Monday with a ticket price of £20 for Adults and £13 for Child.

Tower of London

6. Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge was built in 1894, it’s 244 m long and 65 m height, it’s crossed by over 40.000 people every day. There is no price to enter also you can cross it just by walking and visiting the inside museums.

Inside you can discover behind the scene of the bridge like machinery rooms and hydraulic systems that raises the bridge for river traffic.

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge

7. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has been the site of royal coronations since 1066, and has been a working facility for religious services since the 10th century.

In 2011 was the venue for the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, it’s also the main place for coronation of kings, queens, soldiers and others also hosting over 450 tombs and monuments

If you would like to visit you can do it for free if you have a London Pass or you can pay £22.00 for adults and £9.00 for children, but visiting times are a bit strange so here we go :
Monday-Friday: 9.30am-3.30pm
Wednesday Lates: 4.30pm-6.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am-3.00pm (May to August)
Saturday: 9.00am-1.00pm (September to April)
Sunday: Open for services


Westminster Abbey

London’s Chinatown

Quite literally a Chinatown within London, most of the shops or the people you will meet here is Chinese (or at least has Chinese origins, the so-called “second generation”), the place is filled with cheap small shops and restaurants.

To reach the Chinatown just set your google map to Gerrard Street, or you can take the metro to either Piccadilly Station or Leicester Square Station

The whole road is covered with a lot of green spots and is very pretty to see while strolling, if we want to talk about the food we found here the closest Chinese experience.

Rice with pork
chinese buns
noodles with pork

Outside of city

St Albans is located in the north of London, about 40 km drive or you can take the train from St Pancras, 20 minutes, from £12 return.

It’s a very popular tourist attraction with many cultural and artistic treasures, Roman remains and the beautiful medieval architecture

Hever Castle 40 minutes away by train via Southern train from London Bridge for a £20 return price ticket, you can have a picnic on the castle grounds or near the Hever Lake.

Leeds Castle it’s a bit further, about 1h  by Southeastern train from Victoria, from £21 return, you can visit the maze museum  but the castle grounds are so beautyful it’s worth comming.

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Tokyo City Guide – Tokyo Travel Tips

Tokyo City Guide – Tokyo Travel Tips

Travel in the city with largest population in the world

Why Go to Tokyo

The city also know as the largest metropolis in the word with a population over 40.000.000 yes that’s right 40 million, it will take you few days to visit the most important spots.

Most of the tourist areas are in Tokyo Prefecture, which is split in 23 City Wards(districts) also known as ku (区), with the most popular ones being Shibuya, Shinjuku, Minato, Chiyoda and Sumida.

 Tokyo Weather

We recommend March to May but also October and November, the weather is just perfect, not to hot and not to cold. Temperatures vary from 0 – 10°C(32-50°F) in January to 24-32°C(75-90°F) in July.

Rainfall does not vary that much thought the year with an average of 6 rainy days per month.

 Tokyo Local Transport

With a vast network of subway, trains and bus lines there is no place hard to reach. Ticket prices start at 170 yen, 200 yen, 240 yen, 280 yen and 310 yen depending on the distance you travel.

One Day Ticket is 600 Yen or two day pass for 900 Yen only available for Metro Lines, so Toei Subway, Toei Streetcar, Toei Bus, Nippori-Toneri Liner as well as all JR lines will not be available to use.

There is a Combo Ticket for 1600 Yen that allows you to use all the above.


Main language spoken is Japanese, and around 20-30 percent of the people do speak English, but only about 15 percent can have a conversation in English mostly in tourist areas.


Type A (two-prong plug) so if you are from US you can use your electronics but if you are from Europe we suggest having a travel adapter 


Main currency is Yen (¥) with ATM’s available almost every 7-eleven shops for international travelers. Cash is preferred and tipping is not required and please do not leave a tip is considered rude.

 Must Try Food

While in Japan you must at least try some Japanese food like sushi, ramen, tempura, okonomiyaki and miso soup.

But as a must try on top of the list must be Yakitori, Onigiri and Soba Noodles, but let’s not forget about desert which we recommend to try Mochi and Daifuku.

More tips can be found at the end of the article.

 Must Try Drinks

While in Japan the legal drinking age is 20, there is no selling of alcohol and cigarettes to minors, but they plan to drop the legal age to 18 in 2022.

Most popular drink is Sake, but what is it exactly, well in Japan sake is considered any alcoholic drink including beer and wine but for rest of the world sake is a alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice wine.

There is also a sweet beverage made out of sweet fermented rice completly nonalchoolic or low alchool content called Amazake

Other favorite drinks you should try are Soy-milk drinks, aloe drinks  and of course the favorite green tea

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Must Know Before

If this is your first time in Japan and don’t want a VISA, they will provide a 90 days visa free for tourists and business for 68 countries full list here.

While there are many airports in Japan, your first stop will probably be Tokyo at Haneda airport, located only 30 minutes from central Tokyo or at Narita Airport a bit further away with approximately 60 min to get into the city.

Before going towards the city you need to buy a Suica or Pasmo card, they are prepaid IC card which can be used to buy Metro, JR, Bus tickets but so much more.

There is no difference between them it’s just who sells them. Both can be used in all major cities in Japan to buy tickets, food from shops and vending machines and a lot of other things.

Buy them as soon as you get into a station by going to a vending machine properly marked and select English from the menu, select Purchase New, deposit ¥1000 and that’s it.

Out of ¥1000, only ¥500 are usable the rest of ¥500 will be returned when you take the card back to any station on departure, it’s very easy to add more money based on needs.

Where to stay in Tokyo

If you are looking for a place to stay in Tokyo, we suggest you look first for an Airbnb and if you are a first time user you can get some money towards your first trip.

Staying in Tokyo close to city center or in one major touristic locations it’s gonna be very expensive so we recommend looking for a place a bit further, even if you will make about 30 min to get to city the price it’s gonna be 4 times cheaper.

One thing you must know is that transport inside Tokyo is pretty expensive if you don’t have any direct metro. If you are looking for a hotel we recommend using Agoda.

From Haneda

Keikyu Railways(15 min)

With only ¥410 price Connects Haneda airport to Asakusa subway line wich will take you to different parts in the city.

Tokyo Monorail(15 min)

With a price of ¥490 will drop you at Hamamatsucho Station where you can switch to JR Yamanote Line and go anywhere in the city.

Bus(30-60 minutes)

Just outside the terminal, there are multiple bus companies that go in different locations of Tokyo each with different prices starting from ¥500 to ¥2000.

Taxi (20 minutes)

Taxi is by far the most expensive way to get into the city with a price tag starting from ¥4500 to ¥10.000, the only advantage is that they are usually always a taxi waiting for you outside the airport.


From Narita

Keisei Limited(60 minutes)

The cheapest option to get to central Tokyo with a price tag of just ¥1000 and departs every 20 minutes.

Narita Express or NEX(60 min)

Not the fastest option to get into the city but at 130 km/h it costs ¥3000 price and takes about 1 hour to reach central Tokyo where you can switch to one of the many lines of Tokyo subway.

Keisei Skyliner(40min)

This is the fastest option to get in central Tokyo with a price of ¥2500 price directly to city center.

Sobu Line JR(1h 30min)

With a price of ¥1300 will drop you at Tokyo center, it’s slow as is a commuter train and stops to almost every station.

Bus(20 minutes)

There are multiple bus companies going to different sections of the city with price ranges from ¥1000 to ¥3000 depending on company and comfort.

Taxi (90 minutes)

We would not recommend taking a taxi from Narita as the prices will go up from ¥10.000 to ¥20.000.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – 東京都庁

If you want a free 360 view of Tokyo, then this is the place we recommend, building is located in Shinjuku and to come here, you can arrive by taking the JR line to Shinjuku station.

We suggest to go in a day with clear sky because that way you will be able to view the famous landmarks such as Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower and few other places we will let you discover.

The building has two towers, The North and South Observatory desks, the South Observatory is opened from 9:30 to 17:30 with a cafe shop and a souvenir shop with all kind of crazy stuff, but a bit overpriced.

The North Observatory is opened from 9:30 to 23:00 and operates as a café during afternoon and a bar at night but again the view comes with a price even if the entrance is free the drinks are double even triple the normal price, but for a night view of Tokyo is well worth the money.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Tokyo View
Tokyo View
Tokyo Metropolitan Shop

Nakamise – 仲見世

Located in Asakusa neighborhood, if you want to arrive here just take the metro to Asakusa station.

Just at the entrance is the famous lacquered Kaminarimon Gate, the symbol of Asakusa perfect location to meet locals dressed in kimono and take pictures with them.

If you are looking for a place to buy souvenirs then here is the right place for you, the prices are just perfect considering you are in Tokyo, but in the end  it’s  the perfect one stop shopping.

During the day the place is very crowded, but the street is easy to navigate and leads to Hozomon gates and senso-ji further north.

Nakamise kimono
Nakamise Shop

Imperial Palace – 皇居

The Imperial palace was built on the sites of former Edo castle, which dates back to the fifteenth century and then rebuilt in the year 1888, but destroyed again during WW2 and rebuilt afters in same style. Today is the residence of Japan Imperial Family.

The palace is surrounded by a moat and stone walls right in center of Tokyo, so to arrive here just take metro towards Tokyo Station.

To visit the palace you can do it from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 by joining one of the three guided tours. To register for the tour you have to go Kikyomon Gate and talk to one of the tour guides wearing a green band on left arm and pick up a ticket with hour desired to join.

The tour is free and takes about 90 minutes so please don’t pay tour agencies to get a spot. Once you selected an hour, just be there 15 minutes before and bring the passport they won’t let you in without it.

The tour will start by taking the people inside the waiting room, where the passport is checked and noted in the system and then a bit of history tour via a projector will be explained for about 30 minutes. There is also a souvenir shop and a few vending machines if you need some water.

Actual tour will take about 40 minutes on a rush mode with about 100 other tourists, at least if you are on the first tour of the day, the rest are not so crowded. Pictures are somehow allowed inside but there will be spots where they will make sure to tell you not to take pictures for some reason.

Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace Outside
Imperial Palace Park

Tsukiji Fish Market – 築地市場

Tsukiji Market is a large wholesale market for fish, vegetables and fruits in central Tokyo, unfortunately the inner market will be closed on OCT 6 2018 and will be moved in Toyosu, and will be renamed as Toyosu Market starting OCT 11 2018

The Market consists of an inner market and outer market. The inner market is where most the famous tuna auctions are taking place, and the outer market is where shops and restaurants are.

This is the most favorite places to eat fresh sushi especially if you want to try the best. The market is opened from 5 in the morning to 14:00, we suggest going as early as you can because after 10 it will be mostly empty.

 fresh sashimi
Tsukiji Fish Market

Meiji Jingū – 明治神宮

The shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken and it was completed in 1920, but sadly was destroyed in WW2 and completely rebuilt the same way shortly after.

The peace and tranquility offered is a much needed escapade from the bustle of Tokyo. It’s also a great place to take photos of newly wedded couples in their traditional costume.

It’s split in 3 main locations the Meiji Shrine, Treasure House and the Inner Garden. While Meji Shrine and Treasure house have no entrance fee, the Inner Garden has a ¥500 price to enter.

The main shrine is opened from 05:00 to 21:00 and the Inner Garden from 09:00 to 16:00 while the Treasure House is unfortunately closed at the moment due to renovations and will be reopened late 2019

Meiji Jingū

Sensōji – 浅草寺

Sensoji which is also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple it’s a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa neighborhood and easily reached from Asakusa metro station right after Nakamise market.

It is one of Tokyo’s most popular temple and usually always very crowded, so you will have to navigate though a lot of people so we prefer to go there early in the morning or late in the evening. The temple was complete in 645, making it the oldest temple in Tokyo.

Before you enter you will pass thought  Kaminarimon  also known as Thunder Gate, then it’s followed by the main temple Asakusa Shrine.



Tokyo Skytree – 東京スカイツリー

It is mainly a broadcasting tower but also has a restaurant and an observation deck for visitors. It’s also known as being the second tallest building in the world standing tall at 634 m after Burj Khalifa (824 m) overtaking Shanghai Tower by only 2 m.

Visiting might be a big hassle, always very crowded from buying tickets to the main observatory deck. Prices will differ depending how long you prefer to wait there is a skip the line pass for tourists only.

Normal ticket price to go up cost ¥2,060 and if you want to skip the 3 hours line and go straight up price will be ¥3,000 to get to floor 350, but if you want less people and better view you can pay extra ¥1,000 to go to floor 450 also for even better view. Buy Tickets 

At level 344 there is also a restaurant with the best view in the world, in order to get to the restaurant you have to make a reservation up to 1 month in advance and pay ¥2,060  fee. Sky Restaurant 634

Tokyo Skytree
Skytree view

Disneyland – ディズニーランド

If you are a Disneyland fan then this should be the place to come, it’s like every other Disneyland but with a Japan accent to it, very long queues, but most move quite quickly with staff ensuring that everything was done efficiently and orderly.

The price for 1 day pass is as follows Adult – ¥7,400, Junior – ¥6,400 and Child – ¥4,800 you can buy tickets here 

Tokyo Tower – 東京タワー

Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba district.  Standing tall at 332.9 metres, it is the second-tallest structure in Japan.

Mainly tourist visit it because it looks exactly like Eiffel Tower in Paris only it’s 10 m taller then the one in Paris, we suggest going during evening or night to get the best view.

It has two observatory desks, a main observatory(150 m) and a special observatory(250 m) with a price tag of ¥900 to go to main observatory and  ¥2,800 to go to the top. Buy Tickets Here


Hachikō Statue – ハチ公

Hachikō Statue is based on a real story of an Akita dog that came to Shibuya Station every day to greet his owner, but after the owner died in 1925 Hachikō  continued to come to the station every day for almost 10 years until he died of old age.

The story became a legend and even got it’s own movie adaptation called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.

Statue now stands near the famous Shibuya crossing in one of the most popular rendezvous points where everyone meet even thought it’s always full of people.


Shibuya Crossing – 渋谷交差点

It’s very easy to find it, just take the metro to Shibuya station and get outside and done you arrived, also know as the busiest crossing in the world with sometimes over 1000 people crossing it at once, it would be a shame to come to Tokyo and miss it.

Shibuya Crossing

Akihabara – 秋葉原

Akihabara is also known as Akihabara Electric Town, but it’s actually a shopping district for electronic goods such as computers and video games. Its also well known place for Otaku cultures and the best spot in Tokyo if you are a nerd for all things Japanese.

There are hundreds of shops with all kind of Japanese things, i’m pretty sure that if you are looking for something this is the place to find it.

One last thing Akihabara is well known for is Maid Girls that are all over the street inviting you inside to different shops, cat cafe, owl cafe and much more.

Akihabara owl cafe

Ichikawa – 市川市

Ichikawa is not one of the places you will find in a must see in Tokyo, it’s situated 20 Km from city center and it’s considered village area.

We suggest to come here just to see how a normal Japanese people live and how different is from all the craziness in  the city, locals here are very friendly with beautiful Japanese style buildings all over, narrow streets and full of hidden gems.

Just take the metro to Keisei Yawata Station and start walking around and discover the normal way of how Japanese people live.


Cherry Blossom Festival – 桜の祭典

We all know why Japan is so beautiful, the Cherry Blossom festivals, taking place in different locations of Japan based on when different type of cherry tree bloom.

They start blooming from late January to late March, and in Tokyo only there are hundreds of places where to see them.

Hanami or also known as “flower viewing”, It’s the custom in Japan of having parties under sakura trees when they bloom in early spring.

sakura tree

What to eat


You are in Japan and of course you will eat Sushi but where, well we recommend looking for a Kaiten-sushi also known as conveyor belt sushi where plates of sushi revolve around the restaurant on a conveyor belt.

If this is your first time eating at thins kind of place it’s easy just take a seat and start eating, the price will be calculated based on the color of the plates so look around for a price guide. They will also offer different things for free like water and tea right on your seat just do it yourself.


We found the best ramen not in fancy restaurants but in backstreet alleys of local food where they didn’t even speak English for around 300 – 500 yen but made with love.

As you probably know ramen comes with different flavors Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork bone-based), Miso Ramen (Soybean-based) and Shoyu Ramen (Soy sauce-based) you should at least try them.


A fried snack made from seafood and vegetables, you can find it almost anywhere with different sauce.

Miso Soup

Hands down the most traditional Japanese soup made from miso paste (fermented soybeans) and dashi (the consomme) inside a soup base with pieces of tofu and seaweed

Udon and Soba Noodles

Udon noodles are made from wheat while Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour which gives them a more brownish color, both of them are cheap and popular and usually served with a soup base.

Green Tea

This is Japan’s most famous drink because of the history with Geisha, there are plenty of tea houses around Tokyo and it’s the most common tea found in Japan, also the most common thing found in sweets as a flavor.

We want to thank you for reading this and we hope we helped you get a small taste of Tokyo life. Safe Trip well, with Tokyo being the safest place in the world i think have fun is better word.

Kare raisu
Crab Soup

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Houtong a cat village for cats lovers

Houtong a cat village for cats lovers

If you are in Taiwan and you are a cat lover you can find there cheap cat cafes but if you want more there is also cat village: Houtong Cat Village

Taiwan is an amazing country if you are a pet lover. When we were in Japan I wanted an experience with cats but was a little bit expensive, but here in Taiwan my dream come true really cheap. Cat cafes and cat purridise: Houtong Cat Village! Here you can have one of  Taipei day trips. The timing of our trip in Taiwan wasn’t the best because in January and February it’s raining season and it’s not so good for outdoor activities. We love this cat purridise but we didn’t all the beauty because of the heavy rain.

How to get there

By Train – From Taipei Main Station, take a northbound train (except Keelung-bound trains) towards Ruifang Station. Either continue on a local train or Chu-kuang train one station further to Houtong, or transfer to the Pingxi Line and purchase a One Day Ticket for the Pingxi Line, NT$52. Afterwards, continue on to visit Shifen Waterfall and Pingxi. By Bus – From Ruifang train station, cross the street and take Bus 808 or F808 to Houtong town area.

About Houtong Village

Houdong Cat Village is a Taiwan tourist attractions, a village in Ruifang District, New Taipei, Taiwan famous for its cat population. It was once a rich small mining town in Ruifang, renowned for a well-preserved culture surrounding its railway, which was built during the Japanese rule of Taiwan. As the coal mining industry began to decline in the 1990s, the area also declined, but things started taking a turn for the better from 2008, when  a local cat lover named Peggy Chien  start offering abandoned cats a better life. Their efforts wasn’t in vain because people saw their pictures online and start heaving interest about.  This is how Houtong became a center for cat lovers as word spread, and the number of cats living there increased – thus reviving a declining village, and transforming it into a tourist destination.

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Industrial Village

Even the mining industry is dead they didn’t forgot about that part of their history. When you arrive by train you will discover the village spit in two part. The down side, near Keelung River contains the old coal processing machinery, restaurants, visitors’ information center and an amazing riverside walkway that leads to the former miners’ dormitory. The visitors’ information centre it’s about coal mining industry, there they have a mock-up of mine and processing machinery, tools the miners used to have it and a gallery of pictures about that life that used to be.

visitors' information
On the left side of visitors’ centre you can go to riverside walkway. Because the weather wasn’t so friendly we only spent a few minutes for some picture. Advice: better visit when is not raining. I bet is nicer!
riverside walkway

Cats zone

Still on down side there are plenty of cat souvenirs, restaurant but cats are hinding from rain but we know already where they are. We found them welcoming us in train station. The only one who wasn’t hinding from rain was two stray dogs. They are welcome to village also but the cats are the stars.

sleepy cat
cats shelter
The commercials places like souvenirs shop and food court where ready for everybody despite of raining. Sellers are happy to serve you in specially on these weather. You can buy whatever you want, even for your cat city toys, until you will go to cat purridise zone.
sweet store
You must not miss upside zone, walking zone on the hill, full of cat cafes, cats and their shelters. The black covered “cat bridge” behind the station leads to the other side: the cat village itself. You can find here a few cats hiding from rain but they are happy to be pet. Walking there during raining is a little bit sad because everything looks closed and is not. The alleys are full of painting, figures, “warnings”, but no cats. But don’t worry cats are safe, you will found them in cat cafes sleeping. What can they do during this rain?
cat bridge
cat figures
cats signs
cats signs corridor
cat shelters
Walking in rain is not a pleasant activity so we had to find a cat cafe. First time all of them looks close but they just lock the doors because cat were tempted to get out. If it happens to you also must knock the door and owners will open gladly for you. So don’t worry about that. We chose a random cat cafe. At that moment we were the only costumers but after us plenty of other costumers came, so definitely a cat atract. All the cats from that cat cafe were in sleepy mood, lazy or just watching the rain from the window. The atmosphere from there was so chill, perfect for a rainy day. Cats were so cute and fluffy. They didn’t ask for our attention but they enjoyed being pet and sitting in your lap. What a day, drinking a hot chocolate with a cat in your lap. While drinking our chocolate we were thinking about our cats from home.
focused cat
oreo cat
cat wall
cats chat
We left from Houtong Cat Village really happy and a little sad because of the weather. If you are a cat lover this experience will never forget. It’s amazing how  a village with no more opportunities change so much only because  someone had compassion with stray cats. Maybe Houtong Village has nine lives like cats. We prefer to be a responsible as a pet owners, with nature, and we try to help stray animals as much as we can, but is so difficult doing that while are you traveling. Here cats are in paradise and we are so happy for them. We recomand do the same, be kind with them! Adopt, don’t shop!
cats figures in train station

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Top things you must do in Shanghai

Top things you must do in Shanghai

Shanghai should be your first place to visit for your first time in China, due to good food, amazing places to visit and tourist friendly atmosphere


Shanghai is now considered one of the biggest transit hubs in China, while this might not be your first time arriving here, we will focus for new travelers that never been in Shanghai.

If you don’t have a VISA you can pick up a transit visa valid for either 144 hours or 72 hours depending on your needs directly at the airport and you don’t have to pay for it online as i saw multiple website doing this for a pretty hefty fee so you should head directly to official website to get a visa if you want to stay more then 144 hours.

If you want to transit thought Shanghai you will need to have a valid ticket for an onward flight, and not only a simple reservation of a ticket they will check it. Also you must have a place to stay that must be filled on Visa Form with valid phone number.

Once you arrive in Shanghai you will have to fill an Arrival Card and a Visa Form then head to visa official check you will be done in about 3 minutes.

After you are done you will have to know two more things, you cannot leave Shanghai area and you have report to closest police station your hotel is near. If you don’t go to the police station to register they will start calling for you so do it don’t hesitate.

Depending on how long you want to stay in China you can acquire one of this three types of tourist visa: Single Entry (valid for 3-6 months), Double Entry (valid for 6 months), Multiple Entry (valid for 6 or 12 months) at a price of 140$ for US Citizens for all three types and 30$ for everyone else for 3 Months, 60$ for 6 months and  90$ for 12 months.

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You Should Know

Now depending on how long you have to spend around you might get to see more then what we will tell you about, but in our consideration most people will visit during transit visa so we will focus mostly on things you get to do in 3 – 5 days.

Before you go, there is one important thing that you must know China has blocked almost every single international website, so if you intend to use Google don’t bother. Lately they seem to have unblocked Chinese Google Maps

Other websites and Apps blocked are Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Yahoo and many more. We tried to prepare some VPN’s before we left and we found out that none of them worked even though they said it will. Full List Here

We sugest you donwload Baidu it’s just like google in case you need to check something on the fly while you are there.

If you want to get in contact with people please install WeChat app before you go in China, it will be an all in one App to use while there.

What to Do

Ride the Maglev

From the airport you have the option to take the Maglev towards the city, it’s considered the fastest train in the world reaching speeds up to 430km/h but that only happens sometimes during the day and in rest it will go maximum 300km/h but with a ticket price of only ¥50 (US$8) or round-trip for ¥80 (US$11) it’s well worth and cheaper then an taxi.

Once you reach at the end station of Maglev you can switch to city metro by switching the stations which are one near another.

Walk around Zhujiajiao

Or better known little Venice of China, it’s one of the most beautiful local place we’ve saw. You can rent a boat to stroll down the canal or you can just walk around the bun and see the old style Chinese buildings with arched bridges of which the most famous is Fangsheng Bridge that stands tall at 5.9 m and 70 m long.


While walking you can eat some amazing food like sticky rice and and pork chops for almost nothing and it was really good. But let’s not forget about the awesome sweet potato
Sticky Rice
Sweet Potato

This bowl is Lotus roots ,chinese people believe eating lotus roots is good for the joint.

If you want to spend some RMB to have some memorable photos, there are plenty of shops where they will rent you old style Chinese clothes to take pictures. They will charge per picture and size or if you want JPG photos it will cost more.

But just to take pictures they only charge 5 RMB / picture or less then 1$ with a minimum of 5 pictures.

And if you interested to buy chinese traditional costume ” Cheongsam ” as a souvenir  , there is plenty at the shop and remember to bargain the price.

Chinese Style Photography

Jing’an Temple

Jing’an Temple is one of the most famous buddhist temple in Shanghai which is located at West Nanjing Road built in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280)

To go in you will need to pay 50 RMB, unless you are lucky and go in a day when there is no fee. We recommend taking your time and spend around 2 hours so you can see the monks during prayer and have plenty of time to visit everything.

Visit during a weekday in order to avoid big crowds and bring some coins if you want to pray or make a wish. The local will start pray from outside the temple then inside the temple. Because they believe the god on the sky is the biggest and main one

Jing'an Temple
Jing'an Temple
Jing'an Temple

Oriental Pearl Tower

Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower stands at 468 meters, the third tallest building in Shanghai as of 2017 and has 4 floors used for observation decks, which offers 360 degree views of Shanghai.

The main observation deck also known as Sightseeing Floor, there is a glass floor on the margins of the deck at 259 meters, you can stand on it and it would look down at the floor like you would be floating in the air.

The highest observation deck is at 351 meters, known as Space Capsule, to access this location you need to pay a fee cost 220 yuan

Oriental Pearl Tower

People’s Square and People’s Park

People’s square it is the major transport hub that attracts tourists to metropolis West Road, the main street with malls giving native fashion and natural philosophy with food stalls, kebabs and scallion pancakes.

You can walk around here all day long and still have plenty of things to do second day, also if you want you can also visit the Shanghai Museum if you want to get a feel of old Chinese culture. There will be a long line every day so expect to wait for at least one hour to enter but it will take full day to visit everithing.


“DimSum” is very typical chinese dishes,various choice come with small bamboo bowl.

The Bund

Taking a romantic walk on Shanghai’s bund is a good feeling especially in the evening, you can also take a boat called “Dong Fang Zhi Zhu” means Eastern Pearl to roam around the waterfront for  5 RMB. Special Thanks to Carla and Gary for showing us around.

Shanghai Bund

The Food

The first thing you will notice is that the food is sweet, and yes it is a bit sweet at least the one that we ate.

During breakfast usually you will find noodles and dumpling soup, noodles are default plain with some vegetables while the dumplings can be filled with either meat or vegetables.

One special thing you might notice is that some restaurants offer food that it’s still cooking in front of you and have to wait until it’s done, it’s normal part in dinner where you must first eat something light until the main dish is ready.

Shanghai Bund

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