When I setup my first blog, I didn’t have any knowledge of websites, coding and the internet in general. I had to look up instructions on different websites and it took forever to complete.
The process is very easy, you just need to know what to do. Since I wanted to start a new website anyway, I figured I’d document the steps as a help to others who want to do the same. Continue reading »
One of the strangest places I’ve been during my travels has to be the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South-Korea. I had no idea one could even visit this notorious area.
The DMZ is a 2.5 mile wide strip of land that stretches across the Korean peninsula, separating the South and the North. Installed at the end of the Korean War, it is meant to serve as a buffer zone, to prevent hostilities between the two countries that, officially, are still at war. Continue reading »
Imagine having a close encounter with more than a handful Sea Turtles, a giant school of Jackfish, a few Frog fish, a Moray eel and a Sea Krate in a time-span of less than an hour. This dive has certainly been one of my favorites!
Balicasag island is a 30 minute boat ride away from Alona Beach, located in the province of Bohol in the Philippines. The best diving that Alona Beach has to offer is around this island. Continue reading »
The island of Bohol features a surprising number of unique highlights, given its small size. It’s home to the world’s smallest mammal, the Tarsier, it features over 1000 cone-shaped hills, the Chocolate Hills and it hosts one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
During my stay in Alona Beach, I decided to rent a car and a driver for the day to check out what this island in the Philippines has to offer. My friendly driver Larry arrived spot-on at 9am in the morning and off we were! Continue reading »
The main reason I came to Malapascua Island was to dive with the Thresher Shark. The island is the only place in the world where Thresher Sharks can be seen pretty much any day.
I really enjoy diving with sharks. It’s quite a thrill to see these scary looking predators swim towards you, turning away only after coming almost within a few meters. For some reason I’m not scared of sharks. I get so excited when I see one that I forget that they could kill me if they wanted to. Continue reading »
Over the last few years I’ve stayed at hundreds of resorts, hotels, hostels and B&B’s. I normally don’t review them on my blog, unless I think it’s an exceptional place and I would naturally recommend it to my friends, like the Travellers Oasis in Cairns, Australia.
Ocean Vida Beach & Dive falls into this category as well. The resort is located right in front off the main beach in Malapascua Island in The Philippines. I loved it so much, I ended up extending my stay twice! Continue reading »
This month I’m doing a tour around Asia. After a short visit to Hong Kong to catch up with friends I flew to The Philippines, starting off in Butuan, where I flew like a bird on Asia’s longest zip-line.
I have now arrived in Malapascua Island, a small island located just north of Cebu. I wanted to go to this island for quite a while, for several reasons. Continue reading »
Although I’m not against checking out touristy destinations featuring famous highlights, I also really enjoy going to less well known off-the-beaten-trek places. I like to just stroll around, take in the atmosphere and experience normal, local life.
My visit to Butuan, The Philippines, definitely falls into the latter category. As it turned out though, there is something really cool to do here: it features the longest zipline in Asia. Continue reading »
Airplanes have always intrigued me, so to fly the biggest commercial airliner in the world, the Airbus A380, is an exciting event for me! On my way from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, I flew with Emirates from Amsterdam to Dubai, the first leg of my itinerary.
The A380 is the only airplane with two full-length decks: the lower deck where the economy seats are located and the upper deck for first and business class passengers. That is, Emirates’ A380’s are designed this way. Continue reading »
One of the main reasons why I love to travel is to satisfy my curiosity. I want to know what other places look like, how people live their day-to-day lives and what the local habits are. I love to just stroll around and take in the atmosphere.
This is why I much prefer to stay with locals rather than in a hotel or hostel. So when I get the opportunity, I will literally travel half-way round the globe to take advantage. When my sister-in-law’s family invited me to stay with them in Santiago de Chile, it wasn’t long until I booked my ticket. Continue reading »
Together with cheese, wooden shoes and tulips, the windmill is one of the things Holland is most famous for. Tourists flock from all over the world to catch a glimpse of these historic buildings. But the windmill is not just a pleasure to the eye in our typical, flat landscape.
Windmills played a crucial role in the development of our country. Windmills were used in various ways throughout the history of Holland. They were used to create land, build ships and produce flower, oil and even mustard! Continue reading »
It was my first ever visit to Mexico, so I was super exited. A friend was getting married and invited me to join him for a bachelor party.
Ever since I watched Desperado, a great movie featuring Antonio Banderas, I wanted to visit Mexico. I imagined myself walking into a small bar in the middle of nowhere, wearing a cowboy hat. I’d sit down at the bar and sip on a tequila with a few locals, while enjoying a performance of a sexy Selma Hayek look-a-like signing to the tunes of a local Mariachi playing the guitar. Continue reading »
Do you know where the 2nd world war started? Or, to be more precise, where the first shots were fired? I knew it was in Poland, but I had no idea where exactly until I visited the city of Gdansk.
Just outside the city lies a small peninsula named “Westerplatte.” This was the scene of the first battle of world war II. It now functions as a memorial site and it hosts a small museum. During my visit to Gdansk, I took the short boat ride to this historic site to find out what happened exactly. Continue reading »
One of the best things about traveling is engulfing yourself in local delicacies. Finding a good local food joint is not that hard these days. There are all sort of websites and apps to point you in the right direction: tripadvisor, foursquare etc.
But sometimes you find yourself in a situation with no internet access. Darn, now you have to resort to more traditional ways to find a good place to eat. But don’t worry, base your judgement on the signs below and you’ll separate a descent place from a tourist trap in no time! Continue reading »
Every time I’m asked to turn off my electronic devices for take-off or landing, I ask myself this question. And to the passengers around me. The answer is usually something along the lines of “never really thought about it,” or “It’s not been proven but they ask you to turn it off anyway, just in case.”
Imagine electronics do pose a danger to the aircraft’s systems. If this would be the case, would airlines really want to depend on the willingness of their passengers to simply comply with the request to turn it off? Continue reading »
In Hong Kong Asian and Western culture clash, creating a unique mix. After spending two months in this city this year, I consider Hong Kong definitely one of my favorite cities in the world.
You would think with millions of people stacked on a little island, getting around could be difficult. Surprisingly, it’s not. The city center is quite walkable and Hong Kong has one of the most efficient and affordable public transport systems in the world. In addition, taxis can be found everywhere. Continue reading »
I’ve had my fair share of weird drinks during my travels. I’ve tried Kava in Fiji, beer mixed with coke in Germany and Kierewiet (made from Marijuana) in Holland. But coffee made from the poo of an animal?
It sounds disgusting, but believe it or not, this is how the world’s most expensive coffee is produced. It comes from Indonesia, where it’s called “Kopi Luwak,” which translates to Civet Coffee. Continue reading »
Would you like to go on a one-day hike passing by a volcano, two glaciers, multiple waterfalls, a roaring river and fairytale like green valleys? If so, consider going to Iceland and do the Fimmvorduhals hiking trail.
It takes you between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull (don’t worry I can’t pronounce this either) and ends in the magnificent valley of Þórsmörk. I did this awesome hike during my trip to Iceland and it was the best hike I’ve ever done. Check out the video to see what it was like! Watch the video »
My trip to Iceland is almost over. In one week I’ve hiked up a volcano, walked on a glacier, saw geysers, waterfalls and lava fields, learned about the history of the country, saw some awesome sunsets and went whale watching and visited three small towns.
It made me realize how much this country has to offer and what a great destination it is, especially in the summer. In fact, I’m already planning my next visit! Here are seven reasons to visit Iceland in the summer. Continue reading »
When you think of dangerous animals in Australia, the crocodile, the snake and the shark come to mind first. But did you know the most deaths amongst tourists are actually caused by a very different animal?
The Drop bear is truly an assassinator in disguise. It cleverly mimics the behavior of one of the cutest animals on the planet: the Koala bear. But don’t let its friendly appearance trick you. Underneath it’s soft, fluffy fur lives a ferocious killer. Continue reading »
When I first heard of The Yacht Week Croatia, it didn’t take me very long to make the decision to go. Cruising around the Croatian islands on a sailing yacht with a bunch of friends and about 50 other yachts with people from all around the world? Sounds like something I might enjoy!
To get an idea what The Yacht Week is about, check out the official trailer. Watched it? Ok, so now you want to go as well. Good news, I’ve written an extensive guide that will help you get the most out of it! Continue reading »
The first thing Bear Grylls (Ultimate Survival, Discovery Channel) does after he is dropped off in some remote spot in the middle of no-where is “getting his bearings.”
This is exactly what I do when I arrive in a new city, like today in Split, Croatia. I want to know where I am, how the city is set up and what the surroundings look like. No better way to do this then to find a good vantage point! Continue reading »
After a few years on the road I usually manage to avoid tourist traps. This time I was completely caught off guard though. A painful mistake that wasted about half of my day.
I was staying in Bali with two of my buddies, Andreas and Vincenzo. We wanted to check out some cool spots on the islands. A friend of Vincenzo had recently visited the island and recommended a taxi driver to us. He had taken him around the island before and he had a great day. Continue reading »
When visiting Port Villa, the capital of Vanuatu, a visit to Hideaway Island is well worth it. The only way to reach the island is by ferry. It’s free, but you have to pay a small fee once you reach the island.
Being a marine sanctuary, the main activity is snorkeling. Although some of the coral around the island has died, there is still plenty left. You can visit the island for the day or stay in the islands only resort. There are private rooms available as well as shared accommodation for backpackers. Continue reading »
Hong Kong is known for it’s amazing mix of international cuisine. I’ve spent two months in this vibrant city and I have had some of the best food in my life here.
Pretty much every cuisine is represented in the city and there is an excellent choice for every taste and cuisine. Creating this list of top five picks wasn’t easy. That’s why I’m very confident that you’ll enjoy every single one of my picks! Continue reading »
If you have the chance to travel to China, consider making a stop in beautiful Yunnan, one of China’s southwestern provinces filled with ethnic and geographic diversity. One of Yunnan’s best travel destinations is the ancient city of Dali, located south and west of Erhai Lake in the center of the province.
A fertile plateau with the Cangshan mountains to the west and Erhai Lake to its east, Dali is known as a place with perfect Feng Shui. It is home to Bai and Yi minorities, and is a popular stop over with foreign backpackers and Chinese tourists alike. Continue reading »
When traveling to China, a visa is always required. The easiest option is to apply for a visa in your home country before you leave. But there is an alternative available: you can get your China visa in Hong Kong. This is very handy when you make the decision to visit China while already traveling abroad.
Getting a visa for China is actually very easy in Hong Kong. There are two ways to get your visa: apply yourself at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or have a visa service agent do if for you. Continue reading »
A Week on the Road in Cuba
One of the most interesting countries I’ve ever visited has to be Cuba. After spending a week relaxing in a resort in Varadero, I decided it was time to see the real Cuba. I rented a car and took off. My route would take me to three cities in central Cuba: Santa Clara, Trinidad and the capital Havana.
This trip took place in 2005, in the pre-iPhone and car navigation era. I used a paper map to find my way around! It was a challenge, but after consulting a few locals I managed to drive off in the right direction. Continue reading »
A visit to Vanuatu: The Espiritu Santo Dive Getaway
One of the things that I love most about traveling and an independent lifestyle is that it enables me to jump on adventurous options when they present themselves. During my stay in Australia’s Gold Coast, a friend told me about an island group in the South Pacific called Vanuatu.
He informed me about a special four-day dive getaway to one of the islands, Espirito Santo, that was on offer. It was organized by Air Vanuatu, dive shop Aquamarine, and The Espiritu Hotel. Continue reading »
Trakai Castle – A Medieval Stronghold in Lithuania
When in Lithuania, a visit to Trakai Castle is mandatory. The castle is located in the city of Trakai, about 20 km from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. It’s situated in the Trakai Historic National Park.
The park consists mainly of forests and lakes, well over 200. The castle itself is located in the middle of the biggest lake, lake Galvė. The castle was of great strategic importance during the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and it has seen many wars. Continue reading »
Queen’s Day turns King’s Day
Today, April 30th 2013, is just an ordinary day in most parts of the world. But in The Netherlands, it’s a very special day. Today is the last time Queen’s Day will be celebrated. That is, for the foreseeable future at least.
After reigning the country for 33 years, Queen Beatrix has decided to resign and her son, Willem-Alexander, will be inaugurated today. Starting next year, the national holiday will be held on April 27th, the birthday of the new King. It will be known as “King’s Day.” Continue reading »
Waya Island: A Week In Paradise
Since I started traveling abroad I’ve always wanted to visit the South Pacific Islands, in particular Fiji. This island group is so isolated, it almost seems unrealistic to travel there, especially with a home base in Europe.
Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands. About 110 are inhabited, most very scarcely with a few small villages. The main island is Viti Levu, home to the biggest city, Suva, and the main airport, Nadi. Continue reading »
My main reason to head down to Palawan, an island in the Philippines, was to visit the Palawan underground river, located in the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park, about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princessa. The river was known as the world’s longest underground river until the discovery of a even longer river in Mexico. Still, the visit proved to be more than worth it! Continue reading »
Kava Ceremony in Fiji
During a Kava ceremony the traditional Kava drink, which originated in Fiji, is consumed. It is made from the ground Kava root and water and served lukewarm in traditional wooden bowls.
In Fiji, Kava drinking is a daily ritual and an important social event during which stories and jokes are told and conflicts are resolved. The drink has an interesting side effect… Continue reading »
Similan Islands: A Diving Adventure
I was traveling in Asia when I met up with Christophe, a former colleague and good friend. He had taken three weeks off to join me for a trip to Thailand and Malaysia.
Christophe shares my deep passion for scuba diving. Accordingly, the question wasn’t if we would go diving, but (1) where and (2) for how long. I had heard enchanting stories about a group of islands in the Andaman Sea, just a few hours off the western coast of Thailand: The Similan Islands. Continue reading »
15 Dinners in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is well known for its unlimited variety of foods. From little roadside stalls to high end restaurants and everything in between, Hong Kong has it all. Its food is heavily influenced by Cantonese cuisine as well as other regions of China, Japan, and South East Asia. Due to its past as a British colony, Hong Kong also hosts a wide variety of international restaurants as well.
Over the next two months, I will have 15 hand picked dinners. Each one will be documented in this post. While it will be impossible to sample every available cuisine, I will do my best to get a good representation. Continue reading »
Having traveled to over 50 countries, I’ve learned that it’s wise to check country entry requirements before hopping on a plane. One that I often forget, is that most countries require the visitor to have a confirmed outward plane ticket.
When I arrived at Fiji immigration, I was well prepared. I had even made a screenshot of the confirmation on my iPhone in case the immigration officer would ask. Besides, it’s Fiji! Known for it’s super friendly people, who would expect trouble here. Right? Continue reading »
One of the things I love about traveling is meeting new people. I often share interests and passions with my fellow travelers. This time wasn’t different. I got along with Nicholas really well from the start.
We met during my trip to Waya Island, Fiji. We were staying at the same resort. Nicholas had been traveling for a few years, working at different hotels around the world to support his travels. Continue reading »
There aren’t many options when it comes to public transportation in Shanghai, so a taxi is often the best way to get around. With around 50.000 taxis in the city, it’s easy to find one and they are very affordable. However, there are a few things that could prevent you from having an enjoyable ride. Most cab drivers speak little or no English and not all cab companies are reliable.
Here are three things you should know to ensure your taxi ride will be a smooth one! Continue reading »
When I told my Australian friend that I was planning a visit to Cairns, he suggested that I stay in a big backpacker retreat named Gilligans. Although I value his opinion, I decided to take a quick peek at Tripadvisor to check out some reviews.
I quickly realized that this wasn’t the hostel I was looking for. Reviewers described music from the attached nightclub blasting every night until 3am combined with drunk, shirtless guys throwing up in the hallways. A good place if you want to party, but that wasn’t my reason to visit the city. Continue reading »
One of the things I love about Latin American culture is the hospitality of its people. There is nothing better than arriving in a foreign land, staying with people you’ve never met before, yet feeling completely at home.
So what is it about Latin people that makes foreigners feel so comfortable? I believe it’s a unified desire to encourage a laid back experience for guests. All cultures place a high value on hospitality, but Latins do it with an ultra relaxed approach, lulling you into a calm state. Continue reading »
Good morning! I just woke up to the majestic view of the sun climbing over the Australian East Coast. Not a bad way to start the day, but the view isn’t what excites me most at this moment. It’s the fact that I just enjoyed a normal seven-hour slumber. Nothing special, right? Wrong. To me, this is a very sweet victory! Here is why:
Last night, I traveled from London to Australia, crossing 10 time zones in 20 hours. If you’ve ever traveled from Europe or the US to Australia, you know that jet lag is an indomitable beast. Continue reading »
During my ski trip to Valmeinier, France, I decided go take a ride with a little lightweight aircraft. The weather was perfect and it turned out to be a super sweet ride with great views and scenery! I attached a camera to the plane and created this video with the footage. Hope you like it! Watch the video »
Arnhem, back to my roots
When you become a world traveler, you may forget to appreciate the beauty of your hometown. Being back at my parents place in Arnhem, a small town in the east of The Netherlands, I decieded to walk around the neighborhood and take some pictures. It was a cold day in the middle of winter and ground was covered with a thick blanket of snow. I strapped on my trusty boots and headed out the door. Continue reading »
Surfing in Corralejo
I had only slept a few hours when my dad woke me up at 3.30 am. We had to make an early morning flight with Ryanair to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands. Our final destination was the little town of Corralejo, the surf capital of the Canaries.
I was pretty new at surfing. I had taken the odd lesson over the last few years, but hadn’t passed the beginner stages yet. When we arrived at our first surf spot, I was a little worried. Continue reading »
Siargao Island Adventures III
Two friendly Australian couples from Hong Kong were also staying at the resort. We all got along well from the start and decided to explore the area together. The next morning, we congregated in the hotel lobby, rented a boat, and ventured off to visit the nearby islands.
Our first stop was a small pristine island called “Dako Island.” It was inhabited by a small community who lived off of coconut plantations and canoe manufacturing. While the men were busy carving canoes out of trees, the children played on the sandy beaches with home-made wake boards. Continue reading »
Siargao Island Adventures II
After we settled in our new environment, we decided to go on a reconnaissance mission using the islands main means of transportation: the motorbike.
Typically, I shy away from driving these vehicles as I have met too many expats and tourists with scars, mutilations, brain damage and other motorbike accident related injuries (which in Thailand they call “natural tattoos”). On this island, however, traffic was sparse so I threw caution to the wind and mounted my bike. Continue reading »
I was traveling around Asia when I got a message from my friend Johan. He had been working tirelessly for years and finally had some time off. “I desperately need a holiday,” he told me. “I want to relax and decompress, somewhere away from all the tourists. I need a quiet, peaceful place.”
The light bulb in my head flashed. I immediately thought of Siargao Island, a remote island in the Philippines. Continue reading »
I was having dinner with some friends in a middle-eastern type restaurant in Shanghai. It was my last night there and I was heading to the airport straight after dinner. My next destination was replete with sun, beaches, and excellent surfing conditions. I was going to the Philippines. The meal was delicious and the atmosphere was captivating. Between the tasty kebabs, the sexy belly dancers, and my vivacious friends, the evening was sublime. Nothing could ruin it. Or so I thought. Continue reading »