Things To Do In Mui Ne
Red Sand Dunes:
White Sand Dunes:
Yeah!!! I was thrilled to learn about the Vietnam Sand Dunes in Mui Ne. At first, I thought it would be a small portion of the land which will be covered with sand. But, my thought soon vanished when I reached the place. I booked a trip from my hostel, it was an early morning trip as I wanted to watch a sunrise. The cab or jeep was historical in itself. The vehicle model was pretty vintage. The thrill of sitting on such a vehicle is something. I sat in the front & out journey to the sand dunes started. The driver had to pick a couple from a hotel. However, there was a huge miscommunication & we lost valuable time. It was 5:45 am & we were yet to start from the place. Finally, we were able to find the couple & started our journey. The sun was ready to break the shatters & sun in full flow. We could see light taking its course from the far. We rode till 40 mins before we took a left turn to the site. The red sand was just in front of us.
Red Sand covered the place for miles it seems. The light has totally muscled the darkness. However, the sun was yet to come out of the horizon. But, we have to walk to the hill to watch the beautiful sunrise. The distance itself was about 1 Km. First time in my life I touched the sand dunes with my bare foot. The softness of the sand can only be experienced & one more thing I experienced was walking on the sand which is a tough job. The power to climb the small hills is tough. After a difficult walk of 10 to 15 mins. I realized that walking on the already made path by other people is a better option than walking on a new path. So, I tried to walk on the footprints left by the other people. So, at least for this particular instance, the quote which states travel the untraveled route was not true :D. I continued walking & soon reached a relatively high point compared to the landscape. And just in the time, I was able to witness the sun shining fully. The image of sunrise is one of the beautiful sites one can ever imagine. Further, the location added to the beauty of the place. The redness of the sand can now be felt & its color was only getting bright. I sat there silently & enjoyed the view. I clicked few photos but I mostly sat quietly at the place & enjoyed the sceneries. After watching the sunrise, it was time to head back to the other points.
Red sand dunes are the prime attraction of the place. After that, we headed towards the white sand dunes, it got its name due to its color. No guessing required here. The place is not as big as red sand dunes. But, one thing is worth remembering which both these places are located a few km’s apart. So, one can say that nature has its way of showing magic & saying, Humans, you still need to grow. After the white sand dunes, it was time for the fairy stream. A walk over the flowing water, first I thought that it would be only for few meters only. But, once I started walking it took at least half an hour to reach the end of the stream. The stream crossed several beautiful places. It might seem childish at first to walk on the stream. However, after a few meters, you will start to enjoy it. The constant tickles of the water & beautiful surrounding landscapes add to the beauty of the place. After all these activities, I felt walking on stream & watching a sunrise from the red sand dunes are the things worth doing while staying in Mui Ne.
I only stayed here for one night, hence I can’t write much about it. However, like every coastal city, there are hardly any pubs or clubs here. But, one thing that keeps night happening is the live music. The restro on the beach, where people sit & enjoy the music in slow music. Live music in an open area has its charm, especially in the place like this where the city gets silent at 8 or 9 pm. These bars are the best options available to the tourists. Apart from these experience, there is nothing much to do. I went to one place, which had beach access & live music. The guy who was singing was perfect in his art. The songs he chose were of the best qualities & I enjoyed the place.
Sandy beaches don’t have much of a say here. As most part of the coastline is covered with concrete. However, there are few patches of sandy beaches which can be accessed by anyone. It is worth noting that most of the sandy beach has private access. The water is muddy & maybe not appropriate for a dip. But, don’t get disheartened as there are other places where one can swim.
Mui Ne is one of the towns which is perfect to relax. No rush, not crowded & coastline. A perfect getaway from the hustling & bustling city like Ho Chi Minh. The calmness in the air is much appreciated. This was my experience of the place.
I have earlier written articles on the following topics. If you want to gain some experience, do read some of these.
Also, I mostly rely on the following websites to satisfy my basic needs
Agoda & Booking For Hostel Booking
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Ho Chi Minh City is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam & managing activities is often necessary to fully utilize the time. As people usually visit one place for one time (until & unless is worth going again & again), thus shortlisting the activities is important. To cater to this need, here is the guide to THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH.
The following activities are based on my experience & my knowledge; if someone differs it’s totally cool.
The foremost activity in Ho Chi Minh is surely the Cu Chi Tunnels. If you wanna taste the conditions during the war & what all it takes to fight a war. Then, this place is perfect. The tunnels are engineering marvel & should be on the list of every traveler visiting Ho Chi Minh. A half day tour to this place is worth visiting & if you have enough braveness in you; do try crawling in the tunnels I bet it will surprise you beyond your expectations. Click here to know more about Cu Chi Tunnels.
Vietnam has to suffer a lot due to invasions from the western countries. At one point during the time they were struggling to stay afloat. However, with the focused mission, the people of Vietnam were able to overcome one of the mightiest powers of the world. But, every war has its side effects & it is the people who feel them. War Remnant is one such museum which will present the war. I personally was emotional while walking through the sections. I would recommend visiting this place to get the feel of the war.
South Vietnam was ruled by Republican party while North Vietnam was ruled by a communist party. The war was raged due to the difference in the ideologies of the two groups. Reunification Palace or Independence palace was the place for the president of South Vietnam. While proving the dominance over the population North Vietnamese crashed the gates of this Palace to put the final nail on the coffin. The tank is still placed in the garden & is a major tourist attraction.
One of the architectural attractions of the city is the Cathedral Notre dam which is a copy of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. However, the version is a bit minuscule in front of the real Notre Dam. Just adjacent to this place is National Post Office of Ho Chi Minh. One of the oldest post offices, which is still functional. If you want to fancy to send a post to any part of the world. This is your place. A great place for a half day tour.
Ben Thanh Market is probably the most visited market in the Ho Chi Minh city. A place which holds hundreds of shops is a place to go for a local shopping. There are shops for literary everything. The market is open even in the night & night shopping is one of the activities promoted by the local people. Along the market, there is a small street to comfort your tasting buds. A street food market. The variety of foods & tastes are explicit. A haven for the foodies a must place to visit.
A vibrant place for the young souls. This place is a must visit for parties. Based on the theme of Khao San Road in Bangkok. On either side of the road, there are numbers of restaurants, bars, pubs & what not. A place which starts to party at 11 pm at night. Get your dancing shoes on & visit this evergreen street.
Ho Chi Minh is in love affair with coffees. Coffees are sold at every corner or literary at every shop. There are tons of shops with varieties in the taste. Once in Ho Chi Minh tasting a coffee is often essential. Do try some of the best coffee shops & sip your worries away ;).
These are a bit luxurious outing for the most. Climbing to the top of the building & enjoying few drinks during the evening is one of the most done activities by the travelers. If you have enough cash in hand. This activity should be on your list.
These are some of the things to do in Ho Chi Minh from Mark My Adventure to help you plan your trip in a better way. Apart from the above-mentioned activities, one can also try Mekong Delta which is at some distance from Ho Chi Minh (roughly 5 hours journey).
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Amsterdam is known for its vibrant culture & its unbarred grass consumption & traveling here comes with some “EXPENSE“. Budget is the foremost constraints which everyone thinks before the start of the journey. So, catering to those need; I will share tips & trades to cover Amsterdam on budget. I have already shared fun Things to do in Amsterdam & Amsterdam Travel Guide.
Visa cost involved is covered under the topic “Schengen Visa For Indians“.
Cheapest flights to Amsterdam can be searched on either by Skyscanner or Jetradar.
Other than, the main costs like visa & flights, rest of the cost involved are birfucated in following headings.
Accommodation is an important factor which needs to be catered. There are many options available from luxurious hotels to decent dormitories. The best way would be to try for COUCHSURFING; if lucky enough one can find free accommodation. However, it is tough to find hosts. There is one other option which is hostels; hostels are the cheapest accommodation option available. However, the reason hostels are cheap is that one has to share a room with other people. The number of people depends upon dormitory one choose. The best website to search for hostels are booking.com & hostel.com. In my case, I had a friend who lives in Amsterdam, thus my accommodation cost was nil.
There is a trick in booking hostels. If you will book a hostel near the central part of Amsterdam (which is the most crowded place in Amsterdam), then one needs to pay a hefty sum. The average price of dorm rooms starts from 20 Euros near central Amsterdam.
Dorm room at some distance from central region will come at a cost of 15 Euros. However, the cost of dorms also depends on peak season, if there is a peak season expect to pay more than the normal rates. Find some of the cheapest hostels in Amsterdam from here.
The best way to roam around the city is by buying CITY CARDS. Best vendor for providing city card is “Iamsterdam“. The card is available for 3, 4 & 5 days & if allows free unlimited public transport, these cards are very helpful if one is in for lots of site seeing. Best mode of commutation is bicycles, but the only thing which can hinder is right-hand drive; if one is not used to such driving than it will prove difficult to adjust to the driving. It is easy to find bicycles on rent, expect to pay 10 Euros per day for renting a bicycle for a day.
For a single journey one need to pay approx 3 Euros for an hour of journey. However, this is pretty expensive, that is why city cards are used instead of buying tickets.
Night commutation is available in the city, thus one can rely on public transport for traveling. However, there are only limited buses are available at the night times. Thus, check timings before plannig anything late night. Also, the charges are different during the night when compared to day. Hence, don’t get surprised if bus charges you more.
The cost of card starts from 54 Euros.
Dutch food is not something to look for. But, BAKERIES definitely are, try bakery products here. Other than bakery products, fries are other must thing to have, one can choose from different dips to enjoy fries. The best way to keep the price low on food is by buying food from supermarket & cook it your self. If too lazy to do so, expect to pay 2 or 3 Euros for a burger & THIS IS THE MINIMUM YOU NEED TO PAY. My advice would be to cook food your self.
I know most of the people are here for grass thing & I feel it is more hyped. Avoid buying grass from coffee shops. The starting price is somewhere from 10 Euros.
Drinking alcohol at bars & pubs would escalate cost. Further, there is an entry charge in pubs & bars. The best way to keep this price low is by buying alcohol from market & drink minimum at the bars & pubs. Usually cost of beer glass starts from 3 Euros.
There are lots of fun things to do in Amsterdam. But, every great place has some price attached to it. Covering each & every places will shoot up the cost. If planning for lots of site seeing, I will recommend buying City cards, museum cards etc from IAmsterdam. It will keep the cost low & also help you skip lines at some of the places.
Entry charges for museum starts from 7 Euros
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Here is the extra information of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. There are many activities, which one can do in Amsterdam. However, it becomes that more important to identify few activities & do them. Doing all the activities is costly as well as time-consuming. Hence, streamlining activities becomes a necessity. I trust in doing those activities only; which I really want to try (Traveling for self, not for others 😀). So, here is my guide to THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM.
In my previous posts, I have covered topics like Travel Guide to Amsterdam, Schengen Visa application. Continuing on my voyage of discovering Amsterdam. Here are the things to be done while traveling to Amsterdam. The recommendation is based on my personal experience.
Some will feel this is a waste of money. However, canal trip is ultimate to see the things which are hard to find out. I did canal tour with commentary (yeah! there are 19 languages in which one can listen to the history of the place). From crooked building (Moving buildings or dancing building) to the smallest bridge (It is assumed that; If you proposes below that bridge, you will be together forever with that person). Little stories like these are hard to find in any blogs & with the canal tour, I was able to know all this. I would surely recommend canal tour to know the place in a much better way. I enjoyed the tour. Sitting on a boat & covering places was a great experience for me.
Amsterdam is not big radius wise & best way to cover the place is by bicycles. There are many vendors which provide rental bicycles. Hence, finding bicycles won’t be a problem. Most of the people in the city commute through cycles only. Perhaps it is the most used transport mode. I had a cycle & explored the city on my own. It was fun to take random streets & explore it. The only thing that will matter will be your strength to ride cycle. Each street is beautiful in itself. The view while crossing canals are an exclusive experience. At the start, it was difficult to adjust to right-hand drive. However, once you get used to the rules. It was fun. To my surprise, I saw signals for cycle riders as well. PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtake you at a brisk pace. Ride on your own risk :P.
PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtakes you at a brisk pace. Ride at your own risk :P.
The most famous part of the Amsterdam is its age old Red Light Area. People who want to explore their kinky side should visit this place. As the name suggests the place has everything related to above 18. A huge number of crowd visit these places during the day as well during the night time. Crowded through out the day, this place has some surprise packages like Prostitute Museum & sex museum.
Amsterdam has lots of museum. Some of them are must visit, I personally liked Van Gogh Museum especially his most famous work of Sunflower painting. He used one paint brush to paint an entire painting. It was amazing to see the detailing he did. His life was short but his work speaks for him. Other than Van Gogh there is history museum & Rijiskmuseum are other ones. Museum Lane is a place to visit. If you are lucky enough you can see few people performing on some musical instruments.
Amsterdam has cleanest of air & sky I have ever come across. The best thing to do in summer is to do outdoor activities. If one is sports enthusiast head towards parks. The lush green parks are amazing. The soft grass & clear sky will encourage one to try some activities. I visited Vondelpark & was excited on seeing people practicing kick boxing in open ground. Few people were cycling rigorously. This is not all one can also see few people smoking up ( Very common in Amsterdam). On a clear day, parks are the best places to be in.
There is one zoo, if traveling with kids, the best way to spend some quality time. I saw lion, he was not the strongest Lion but the way he roared it is something. I read somewhere that Lions have strongest of roar & once I heard him roar I could sense the intensity when Lions are in full flow. Amazing creature. Gorillas were the other creature who demanded my attention.
This place is not talked about much, but it is worth a visit for some quiet time if one is from Asia than Rotterdam would be dead in terms of crowd :D. The major attraction of Rotterdam is its cubicle house, Erasmus bridge & some of the unique structure. Rotterdam is a wonderful place to spend a day & enjoy its unique structures.
In Amsterdam party becomes much more important. The young crowd starts pouring in from 11 pm (still early as per the standard). The best place to party would be Leidseplein there are many pubs & bars located in line here. Expect to pay entry fees on weekends. One thing that can upset you is its music. Most of the clubs play Dutch music. So if looking for an international English. It would be tough to find. However, if you get one don’t leave that place; crowd starts to build around 11 or 12 pm so don’t get upset to see few people. There was one unique thing I experienced which was called smashing in which people push each other for fun.
Perhaps, 90% of people would know Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops. Smoking up is legal here. Thus, one can smoke up anywhere he or she wishes. The liberal culture made it possible to implement this. The fragrance of grass can be sniffed every where. Walk into any coffee shop & decide for yourself. There is a proper menu to choose from (Already in love with this place ??).
Truffles are other things which are famous here. Finding a truffle shop is tough. There are various types of truffles available. Smart shops are the name given to the truffle shop.The shop owner will ask about the expertise level & will suggest accordingly. I would recommend doing as shop owner say to avoid any mishappening.
PS: When having a truffle make sure you are on empty stomach & not mix with anything else. Also, Parks & open spaces are a preferable place to eat it.
Heineken beer factory is a nice place to know all about the beer manufacturing. If one is a true beer lover. This place is a must visit.
Probably the most visited area in Amsterdam is central. The place has some of the brilliant architects. Madame Tussauds is located here. One can witness lots of street performances here. Spend a good afternoon here. This place surely is the most crowded part of the city.
The cheapest destination for shopping would be Primark. The quality of the clothes are good & the rates are very reasonable. Even, Zara is cheaper in Amsterdam. All shopaholics there is hidden opportunity to trace.
The best way to spend evenings would be sitting in some cafe near canals & have few drinks with your friends. The blissful feeling of sitting near flowing water, the calmness in the air & sky & few conversations to remember are the things to do.
Other than listed activities, there are few more places you can cover like Jordan, Anne Franke House, Hauge, Haarlem etc. There is so much to see in the city.
So what are you waiting for. Pack your bags & explore this beautiful city.
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Here is extra information on Amsterdam.
Bali is a prime island of Indonesia. Traveling to this island is must for anyone who loves adventure and nature. Traveling to a place, the big question arises in everyone’s mind which is “Expenses“. Working in a corporate world, saving enough & traveling abroad to spend holidays can take a toll on a budget. If you are like me who wants to explore the world without breaking the bank then this post is for you. I traveled to Bali on a shoestring budget. This post will help you to complete Bali on Budget.
The expenses involved in a place depends broadly upon few factors like food, accommodation, site seeing & commutation. All the expenses fall into these categories. I will suggest the minimum amount as per my experience.
Bali is divided majorly into three regions, South Bali, Capital area & northern part. South Bali is by far the most modernized & developed one among the three. South Kuta & Seminyak are known for luxury & parties; thus cost of staying there are very high compared to rest of the place. Capital part is more of a marketplace where it is easy to find budget accommodation, I stayed at Hostel Morotai, the reason being it offered me a place at IDR 60,000 per day. It was the cheapest with a great rating. I got rented motorbike from the hostel only. The north of Bali is way cheaper than South & central part. But, there is not enough development compared to rest of the Bali. Here is the list of staying options in Bali.
Bali has decent food outlets, it is easy to find McD, Pizza hut & fast food shops. The cost is same as it is around the world. The best way I found out to keep the cost of food low is through buying grocery from the supermarket & eating on streets. The average cost of a plate of veg noodles is IDR 18,000. There are lots of option to eat on street. There is no dramatic change in the taste of food.
Bali has several sites & each site has something new to offer. There are entry fees which are minimal & affordable. Entries to most of the beaches are free. The places where entry fees are valid are waterfalls, temples, zoos & rice fields. Depending upon the interests decide upon the activities you wish to take. It is not absolutely necessary to visit each & every site. Choose site as per your liking.
An option of Uber is available in Bali. However, the prices are very high. I would suggest to rent a motorbike & roam around the place. The places are well connected & GPS works quite well here. I did the same I rented a motorbike which costs around IDR 60,000 per day excluding petrol. The price of petrol is also low & the best thing is benzol (Petrol) is available at the local stores as well. Thus, there is no scarcity of petrol while on the roads.
Thus, the cost for a day’s living in Bali will add up to IDR 4,50,000 considering the facts mentioned in above points.
Please note that the price I have mentioned is excluding activities like scuba diving & snorkeling or any other activities. There are few guided tours like Mount Bromo & Ubud whose costs are not included in my assumption. I went to Bali in 2016. Thus, there might be some fluctuation in the costs.
Minimum amount required for a week stay in Bali works out to be IDR IDR 30,00,000 to IDR 45,00,000 for general activities.
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An overseas trip is always difficult to plan. Money is one of the major concern while traveling abroad. But, never let money define your happiness. This I learned during my trips that; money is just a catalyst in your happiness. This post is for all those budding travelers who love traveling but are doing it because of financial constraint. This is a guide to the budget trip to Bangkok & also minimum amount required for a week stay in Bangkok.
The major components of expense are accommodation, food, sight seeing & commutation. Usually, accommodation cost is pretty high in case of 2 or 3-star hotels. The best way to keep cost low is to stay in hostels. The cost of hostels starts from 125 THB for a day at a decent place.
Food: Plate of noodles cost 30 THB on streets. There are many restaurants which offer food at a nominal rate. It is easy to find bread and butter for 10 THB which can be a good breakfast. A glass of juice is 30 THB which is very fulfilling.
Commutation: Private taxis & cabs costs are usually on a higher side. On shoestring budget, it is best to use bus services. Buses are very frequent & cheapest mode of transportation. The cost of a ticket is 2 THB for shortest distance.
Site seeing: The cost of sites can not to compromised. So, pay the full amount at the sites.
If I calculate the cost for a day it will work out to be around 250 to 300 THB. This is the minimum amount as per my assumption. The rates I considered is of 2016. This cost is valid only if you spend decently.
So, for a 7-day trip minimum amount one needs to have is around 1,750 to 2,100 – THB.
I travel to different places to get the feel of the place. I live like a locale. So, I spend money decently. This is the minimum expense to be kept in the mind. There is no upper limit to expenditure.
Thailand offers VOA (Visa on Arrival) for Indians. This makes it one of the most favorite place for Indians. I chose Thailand as it is easy to get a visa on arrival. The process was simple & hassle free. Here is my guide to Thailand visa for Indians.
There are few pre-requisite that need to kept in mind while applying for visa on arrival. VOA is generally valid for 15 days only & purpose of traveling should be tourism only.
It is necessary to submit all the mentioned documents at the counter to have a trouble free entry.
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has a proper board mentioning direction for the booth for Visa on Arrival. This information is for first-time solo traveler. It becomes very uneasy to get down on unknown land. Just keep calm, follow the instructions & submit all the necessary documents.
I reached the airport at 4 in the morning & it took me around 20 mins to get a visa. The process was simple. Just fill the form, stand in a line & wait for your turn. The list of required document is also mentioned at the counter.So, cross check documents prior to submitting them.
Make sure you have a hard copy of everything as you need to put all the documents in a folder & submit it to the authority. After submitting the documents, authority will check your application & once everything is checked. They will give you a token number; once your token number comes, get your passport STAMPED.
For more details, you can visit the following website.
So the big question