adventure

The Rival Cities: Sydney vs. Melbourne

In this corner, we have Sydney, Australia, where the beaches and sunshine attract those looking for relaxing luxuries. Over in the other corner is Melbourne, the eccentric, artistic hub of Australia. When the two cities start competing your travel time, do you know which one would appeal to your senses more?

I have put together a comparison of Sydney and Melbourne for you to make the correct choice. Though, anywhere you go in Australia would be an awesome vacation, that much is certain.

Sightseeing
Sydney’s Finest:
The Beaches: Coogee, Bondi, Manly, Cronulla, Bronte, Tamarama, and Maroubra are just a few of those easily accessible from Sydney’s center. Others are within 30 minutes by ferry. Tourist Attractions: Sydney Harbor, Darling Harbor (and everything offered there), Sydney Opera House and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Murugan Hindu Temple, the Vat Khemarangsaram Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg, and the Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg, The Rocks Historic Area, Sydney Tower and Skywalk. Green Space: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Park, Putney Park, Wetherhill Park, and the Sydney Botanical Gardens (at the back of the NSW Conservatorium of Music), Chinese Garden of Friendship, and Hyde Park.

When you think about attractions, the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens probably come to mind. Or, you find yourself daydreaming about lounging on Manly Beach, a haven for backpackers. In short, everything you want to see in Australia is probably located in Sydney. From magical scenery to picturesque
beaches, there is something to be found no matter where you go.

 

Melbourne’s Finest:
The Beaches: None – but you do have a Yarra River cruise. Tourist Attractions: The Shrine of Remembrance, The Block Arcade, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Federation Square, Eureka Tower and Skydeck, Captain Cook’s Cottage Green Space: Port Campbell National Park, Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, Yarra Valley (Wine Country).

Compared to Sydney, Melbourne pales in comparison with things- to-do. That said, if you are not looking for an overabundance of tourist attractions, the quaint sights around Melbourne may please you more. Melbourne is more about sports and slightly more historical venues.

Education & Entertainment You may have noticed that I skipped museums and other entertainment sites in the “sightseeing” list. That is because, for the museum-goers and nightlife seekers, one city may trounce the other.

Sydney’s Finest:
● Sydney Opera House
● Rock’s Discovery Museum
● SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
● Australian National Maritime Museum
● George Street – where you can find designer boutiques through Strand
Arcade and the Queen Victoria Building
● Taronga Zoo
● Sydney Fish Market

Melbourne’s Finest:
● Southbank Promenade – cafes, restaurants, live entertainment
● The Arts Centre – made up of the Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, Hamer Hall, and the State Theatre
● National Gallery of Victoria – Australia’s oldest art gallery
● The Royal Arcade – Melbourne’s oldest shopping arcade, full of architecture and character
● The Block Arcade – Another place for fashionistas and architecture nuts.
● Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
● Queen Victoria Market
● State Library Victoria

So, while Sydney wins with glitz and glitter, Melbourne wins in terms of culture. You see, Melbourne has an international influence that is reflected throughout the city. The live entertainment on street corners and in Jazz bars, the cafes, the performing arts, and the prevalent food culture is mesmerizing. If you love food and engaging nightlife, Melbourne wins, hands down.

Melbourne | organicisbeautiful.com
Melbourne | organicisbeautiful.com

How will you ever choose between Sydney and Melbourne? The answer is in what you are looking to do. For those seeking nature and touristy adventures, head to Sydney. Others seeking shopping, nightlife, and an artsy-vibe should go to Melbourne. Either way, you are in for an amazing time, so why not go to both?

Street food | OrganicIsBeautiful

Tour Story in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, the Wicked City

Did you know that I lived 2 years in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Melbourne in 2016? I love every bits of it, food, people, sightseeing. This article is a quick screenshot of what you are missing!

Kuala Lumpur, the Wicked City
Kuala Lumpur, the Wicked City

My Kuala Lumpur tour has been long late as I planned it earlier this year to visit my friends there. But, never mind. The tropical city is one such place where you can travel all-round the year. It stands 7th amongst the top 10 magnificent cities of the world. And, if you are a foodie, you gonna love KL. The place is a foodie heaven, as you have ample of cafes, restaurants, eateries and street dining all around.

Dining

Get prepared to enjoy Durian. The food taste much better than it smells. Though it is forbidden in planes, hotels and taxis, but for all you Durian lovers, it is customary to enjoy a Durian Dinner. And, I personally love to enjoy this as my supper! The famous tropical fruit is just amazing.

Street food | OrganicIsBeautiful
Street food | OrganicIsBeautiful

Small dried fish curries when prepared with Nasi Lemak carry a yummy taste. I have tried this sumptuous national dish and I warmly recommend it for all. 

You cannot ignore the street food of Kuala Lumpur.

 Do not be scared to taste it. It is warm and there are no chances for you to get sick. The same goes for beverages. I have enjoyed it several times and never had an upset stomach. You certainly don’t have to compromise with your health.

Basically, in Kuala Lumpur, you say hello to spice in food 😉

Rice with Sambal | OrganicIsBeautiful
Rice with Sambal | OrganicIsBeautiful

Just like the food of KL, the etiquettes and local habits of this nature friendly city are amazing. Regardless of the openness to the global influence and urbanity of the city, KL is still conservative. Chiefly, any behavior which attracts attention to the people concerned is generally avoided.

OH yes, exposure is a big no-no. You cannot show off your flesh in the public. The dress code os quite conservative and you’re bound to follow the standards. Even at places like beach and while pursuing sports, there are minimum standards to be compiled with. And, yes, when I entered my friend’s house, I had to remove my footwear. Your body language counts a lot. Yes, while greeting someone, you got to use both your hands. And another thing, you cannot touch someone’s head.

The public display of affection is a big no-no! Holding hands is fine, but you kissing are literally prohibited in the public!

But, how can you ignore the beauty of the nature’s paradise. The places of attraction of KL are simply stunning. The major iconic attractions of the city which define its tourism are Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves and Colossal Buddha. Right from the organic Lake Gardens to i-City Shah Alam, you’ve places which are mesmerizing and eye-dazzling.

Petronas Twin Towers

Designed in 1998, the towers stand at 452m high. The design and look of the tower is inspired by Islamic art and architecture with a contemporary viewpoint, replicated by glass and steel façade.

Kuala Lumpur Wildlife | OrganicIsBeautiful
Kuala Lumpur Wildlife | OrganicIsBeautiful

Batu Caves

One of the best attractions of KL, this limestone hill comprises of three major caves and some smaller ones too. They are beautiful and exotic.

Menara KL Tower

The most known and famous landmark of KL, Menara KL Tower was made in 1994. This shimmering tower spindle apex is seen from almost all places of Kuala Lumpur.

Oh, alright… I personally had a great trip to the city and would love to recommend this tourist destination for all nature lovers.

Have you visit Brunei?

Lots of Love,

Amanda ;)OrganicIsBeautiful Signature

7 Reasons Why You Should Try Hitchhiking

1. Saving Money On Transportation

This was the reason why I first started hitchhiking, traveling on a shoestring and using public transportation don’t go well together. If I can get a flight from Portugal to Germany for 20€ I’m not paying more than that for a boring 200km, three hour bus ride to the next destination.

2. Saving More Money!

This might sound crazy to people who are concerned about the “dangers” of hitchhiking, but during some rides I have been offered food, money, drinks, accommodation and even marijuana and alcohol, usually they are just really into helping me and making sure I enjoy my adventure, some people have also driven off their paths just to drop me off exactly where I wanted them to.

Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful
Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

Of course this situations don’t come very often, specially if you are hitchhiking with someone else. Although it feels amazing to be treated in such a nice way by a stranger you should be very grateful just by the fact that they decide to pick you up, so don’t expect anything else from the people who give you a ride.

3. Overcoming Your Fears.

When it comes to hitchhiking anyone who has never done it before tends to have enough misconceptions about it to keep themselves away from doing it unless encouraged by someone else.

The exact same thing happened to me, that’s why I want you to go out there and do it, after a few rides your opinions about hitchhiking will change drastically and once you overcome that fear you will feel more confident and even more determined to overcome other mental barriers that you may have.

Emotions are Contagious

4. Meeting Really Nice People

This is why I love hitchhiking! You will meet lots of different people and have many conversations with complete strangers. You can share your stories and at the same time discover more about the local culture or about someone else’s life, isn’t that great?

Of course not everyone is interested in hearing what you have to say or share with you their lives but countless times I’ve had really indulging conversations and learned much from this people and it also helped me overcome social insecurities.

5. Practising Your New Language

Please! Make sure you learn or at least write down some keywords or phrases from the local language. It’s easy to learn a new language and you can even practise for free with people who give you a ride by trying to introduce yourself, explaining where you want to go and even talk a bit about yourself in the local language.

If you and the person who give you a ride have any language in common it’s always funny to have a quick conversation in the local language, if that’s not the case be creative, talk with gestures or pictures, point at things, make an effort to break the language barrier.

You Are Your Own SuperHero

6. Save The World!

Every time someone picks you up the same amount of CO2 is emitted but more people are getting from point A to point B, this is what I call economizing. Can you imagine if more and more people start hitchhiking? Not only to travel on a budget but to actually do it on a daily basis. There would be less and less pollution, traffic jams and people would trust more on each other.

7. Experience True Freedom And Adventure

Hitchhiking is more than just sticking your thumb up and waiting. It’s the freedom of choosing where and when you want to go and never knowing where and when someone will take you there! It’s embracing the unknown! There are absolutely no certainties when it comes to hitchhiking, you never know what type of person or car will pick you up, how long you will have to wait or where they are going. This is what I call adventure!

When you don’t know what to expect you are living life in the present and experiencing everything in detail, you appreciate more the good things and easily ignore whatever doesn’t suit you.

the mount Rinjani
Learn about my hike in Indonesia last year on OrganicIsBeautiful

I have countless good memories from hitchhiking: getting invited for lunch in a hill by the beach, having really funny or interesting conversations, getting rides on cabs for free, pretending to be moroccan on a police checkpoint and many more that are yet to come.

Thank you Lucas for this amazing post, you can find the original article in their website.

What about you? What are your thoughts on hitchhiking? Please Share with me your adventures!

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The Philippines Experience

philippines 2
The philippines – Organicisbeautiful.com

The Philippines is a famous island archipelago with more than 7,100 islands. People also know it as the “Pearl of the Orient”. It boasts wonderful beaches, diverse wildlife, good climate and incredibly hospitable people. I have stayed in the Philippines for only 10 days and I left with extraordinary experiences and happy memories.

EXPERIENCES: GOOD AND BAD

Being colonized by the Spanish, Americans, and Japanese, the country is a melting pot of many cultures. The East-West influences transcend to the people, their food, language, and belief.

I personally had no problem with conversing with the locals because the majority of them know how to speak English. This gave me an opportunity to have a proper conversation with them. Almost everything in the Philippines is also cheap. If you are looking for a decent place to stay, clean and affordable hotels can give you a competitive rate. Accommodation options such as AirBnB and some travel hostels are also available. Aside from lodging, the food is superb. I was able to choose from a lot of options. There are fresh seafood, organic vegetables and fruits and even Western cuisines if you are not into the local cookeries. The options are limitless.

The unpleasant experiences that I had are with transportation. The country is still developing. With that, transportation is not as expansive and efficient compared to Western standards. I experienced horrible traffic jams, particularly in EDSA. I saw extremely packed minivans – people sitting like sardines. For budget airlines, delays are a normal scenario. But the thing that bothered me the most is the drivers. I have never encountered drivers that are so rude and reckless. You have to be very mindful not to be run over by passing vehicles.

philippines
The philippines – Organicisbeautiful.com

CHALLENGES AND HOW I OVERCAME THEM

I have noticed in my travels that some locals will take advantage of tourists or foreigners. The Philippines is not an exception. Some locals will charge you double or triple the price for souvenirs or other merchandise. There are also a lot of taxi drivers trying to rip off foreigners to pay exaggerated amounts in fare. Of course, this is avoidable if you are vigilant. I personally did my research on the price range for certain products and services before my trip. With proper preparation and good planning, you will not be a victim of those who wants to take advantage.

4 years living overseas, feedback and tips.

Another thing I experience is the terrible diesel exhaust in the metro. Since transportation is mainly in the form of buses, cabs, and jeepneys, putrid smoke is unavoidable, especially in the cities. I personally think if you are going to the Philippines for a vacation, avoid urban areas. If not, wear a facemask to prevent inhaling all the fumes from the vehicles.

Petty crimes are rampant in the area. The number of security guards everywhere proves this. I had to blend in the crowd in order not to be a target of thieves aiming for valuables. The key is to be alert. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoid sketchy areas and people, finally, just be on guard.

CONCLUSION

The Philippines is such a great place to explore. You just have to find what suits you and your budget. Like many places, it has its pros and cons. Just make the most out of your trip and enjoy the moment. As they say, life is a journey, not a destination!

Did you enjoy my article? Have you already been in the philippines?:)

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London | OrganicIsBeautiful

3 Places to Go to Relieve Brexit

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There are many people who have been asking me about any two to three places that can be best to relieve stress. Today on OiB, I will discuss the 3 places that one can enjoy post the Brexit situation so that the stress regarding the same can be relieved well.

The world is full of many places that can be visited anytime to relieve stress. If you want to relieve stress post-Brexit then my three picks are certainly the following

A photo by David Marcu. unsplash.com/photos/VfUN94cUy4o

  • Le Mas Candille (France)

They say the first step to relieving stress is the way through food. If you have the ultimate foodie experience, then that is the best way to attain a good balance overall. This is why French cuisines are the top names that have tastes of all kinds. French has a lot of gourmet styles. Mindful eating can be well dealt here.

The Le Mas Candille is a luxury hotel that is a Michelin star restaurant too. It has great delicious cuisines while you can kickstart with awesome starters, entrees, and desserts as well.

  • Ananda in the Himalayas (India)

If you want to have a spiritual relaxation experience, then this place is also very good for you. With no WiFi and unnecessary contacts at hand, this mental detoxification process is the best of all for the mind. The gigantic Himalayas have a great spot for relaxing the mind even though the views are too breathtaking and scary for some people.

This is just like a wellness journey while the relaxation spa is a true addition as well. There are many varieties to choose from. These include Rose facials, Reiki, Ayurved, Yoga treats, aromatherapies, salt scrubs, and many others to take advantage of.

A photo by Xochi Romero. unsplash.com/photos/mBnZuVCGW-4

  • Restival Arizona (USA)

If you are looking for the place to disconnect and then regain the energy from, hen this options are truly the very best for you. The Restival Arizona event is about to take place from 12th September to 17th September. It is present in the traditional Navajo homeland and has four sacred mountains in it that define the Dinetah. This festival and retreat is not just a normal vacation but is full of six days that are beautiful to the core.

There are lots of curated workshops and activities going on throughout the whole festival. One can learn the Navajo Tribe’s old and ancient culture, wisdom as well as heritage and traditions through these. It is just like unplugging from the rest of the world, its problems, unwinding your inner self and then restoring your physical strength and mental strength at the same time as well. It also creates the perfect balance and setting for a brilliant environment while re-imagining the world from a fresh and newer vision is a great start thanks to the Navajo community’s creative people.

These are a few personal experiences that have been gathered to make you feel hope for freshness in life. You can also follow the trail to let us know how you felt and share the experiences with the people dealing with the same now. Make sure you comment below for the same.

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