Travel Carry Bag Review: Eagle Creek Morphus™ – it’s 2-in-1!

Travel Carry Bag Review: Eagle Creek Morphus™ – it’s 2-in-1!

This guest post has been written by Eva Green.

If you have done any sort of traveling, then you understand the difficulty associated with finding the perfect travel bag. Shopping for something that can carry all of your belongings while also ably withstanding the rigors of travel is not always the easiest task.

More often than not, we find that purchasing two bags is the only way to accommodate everything we need in the way we want to carry it.

Before you cave to your impulses and buy an array of carry-on luggage for your business and personal travels, check out the latest version of 2-in-1 luggage from Eagle Creek. Meet Morphus.

What Is the Morphus™ Carry-On?

Is it an expandable bag? Is it a lightweight backpack? Morphus truly is several bags in one; more precisely, the front gear bag can be unzipped from the back shell to create its own full-function satchel. It can be worn as a backpack with its removable shoulder straps, rolled on its recessed wheels, or carried from any of its multiple handles.

The durable fabric on the Morphus is from Eagle Creek’s line of Bi-Tech Armor, helping to make it resistant to scratches, tears and rips. It also helps to keep it weather-resistant. The back shell of the Morphus is a hybrid polycarbonate with a recessed telescoping handle system. The entire bag weights a little less than 8 lbs., but can be separated into two smaller bags, with the wheeler portion weighing just over 5 lbs. Ultimately, the Morphus was built to be ultra-versatile and ultra-portable. Plenty of storage pockets, security straps, and space make it ideal for heavy travelers and explorers.

Ideal Situations for Using the Morphus™ Carry-On

Now that you know a little more about this innovative bag, you might be asking yourself how to best utilize it. This bag has been on some major explorations, and there are several situations in which the Morphus should be your bag of choice. Though you can take it with you on nearly any trip, here are some situations that the Morphus is perfectly suited for.

Weekend Trips.

Whether you are going out into the countryside or exploring a more urban setting, the Morphus can make your weekend trips hassle free. Since you do not need to bring as much with you for these shorter jaunts, the carry-on size of this travel bag makes it perfect for short trips. If you find anything you want to bring back, you have plenty of room to pack whatever mementoes you find.

Business Trips.

When you need to be able to bring work and home along with you, there is no better way to do so than with the Morphus. With this travel luggage, you can literally keep all of your work items in a separate bag so you do not have to bring additional storage bags for them. The backpack portion of the Morphus is perfect for laptops and tablets.

Shopping Trips.

For people who love to bring home gifts (for themselves or others), this is one of the best luggage sets you can find. Pack all of your necessities into the Morphus while it is in its singular bag format, and once you get to your destination, zip it into two bags. Now you can purchase items up to the size of what you brought.

Traveling Light.

The Morphus is at home with other travel backpacks, but could be categorized with other travel bags. That’s the beauty of this bag. The key point is that the Morphus comes ready to make the trip, whether as rolling luggage or carried on your back. It truly is a hybrid, because it is a backpack with wheels.

These are just a few ways for you to utilize the Morphus to its fullest potential. If for any reason you think you need more room, check out the 30-inch version of the Morphus. It includes all of the same features, but with more space than the 22-inch carry-on size of the smaller version. If you do not think you need all of the Morphus, you can simply disassemble what you need and take a portion of the bag to fulfill your needs. Simply put, the Morphus can be any bag you need it to be.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Australian Parties & Music Festivals to Include on Your List

Australian Parties & Music Festivals to Include on Your List

Aussies love to party and have a great time. So, if you’re looking for exciting events and festivals to attend for your next trip, look no further. From three-day music festivals to larger than life parties, Australia is the best place for it.

No matter what time of year it is, you’ll always find a festival, party or event that is worth checking out. For a hassle-free experience, look for a car hire in Melbourne, so you can save some cash and quickly go to any event you want.

To help you get started, we prepared a list of must-attend parties and events that you should include on your bucket list. If this list is too small for you, check out these amazing 20 transformational festivals in Australia.

Music Festivals and Parties in Australia –

Fairgrounds Festival

Fairgrounds Festival Australia - party flyer

Fairgrounds Festival Australia – party flyer

Make your way to Berry for a weekend of great music, bands, and family fun. You’ll find a wide variety of markets, enticing food and drinks, exciting field games, and a pool where you and your kids can take a refreshing dip. The festival takes place in the magnificent Berry Showgrounds on the NSW South Coast. The site is just a couple of hours away from Sydney.

Suggested post: 25 Funny Things that Happened When We Traveled the World for Music Festivals

Taste of Tasmania

The Taste of Tasmania - NYE

The Taste of Tasmania – NYE

For a week-long celebration of the state’s best selection of cheeses, seafood, berries, boutique beers, excellent wines and ciders, check out The Taste of Tasmania happening on the end of December in Hobart’s historic waterfront. Enjoy live entertainment, food tours, and a New Year’s Eve party you can attend to cap off the year.

Meredith Music Festival

This outdoor festival is a three-day affair that happens in a farmland located near the town of Meredith. You can go camping, dancing, enjoy lots of food and drinks, and watch a slew of eclectic artists performing live. So, head on over to the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre on Mount Mercer Road. It’s just a two-hour drive from Melbourne CBD.

Suggested post: That One Time I met my Soulmate in a Music Festival

Subsonic

For two solid days of the best house, techno, and everything in between, journey to Subsonic, held at the beautiful surrounds of River Downs, situated in the foothills of Barrington Tops. This music festival features more than 150 foreign and local talents, which are some of the best performers you will have the pleasure of seeing live.

Falls Festival

Falls Festival, Australia - flyer

Falls Festival, Australia – flyer

Happening in multiple locations, namely Fremantle, Byron Bay, Marion Bay, and Lorne, the Falls Festival is one of the most exciting, longest running music events in the country. It features an impressive line-up of hip-hop, rock, dance, electronica artists and bands from across the globe.

The Plot

One of the biggest music festivals you shouldn’t miss in Sydney is The Plot, happening in the beautiful and expansive Parramatta Park. This is a whole-day event that features plenty of up and coming Australian acts you shouldn’t miss.

Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford Folk Festival Australia - flyer

Woodford Folk Festival Australia – flyer

Happening on the end of December through early January, the Woodford Folk Festival is one of the country’s longest and family-friendly festivals. It goes on for six days with more than 2000 performers and 400 events that you can enjoy.

The programme includes a huge selection of activities ranging from folk and electronica performances, comedy acts, film festivals, dances, circus, cabaret, and so much more. The festival takes place in a rural valley located between the Brisbane Valley and Sunshine Coast Hinterland, just about an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane.

We’d love to hear from you. Did we miss anything? Have you been to any of them? How was your experience? Which one’s your favorite and why? How many events do you want to attend? Let us know in the comments.

3 Offbeat Places to Visit in Arunachal Pradesh [Northeast India]

3 Offbeat Places to Visit in Arunachal Pradesh [Northeast India]

Often called the Land of the Rising Sun, Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India shares it’s borders with Bhutan, China and Myanmar and is unlike most of India. If you are looking for wildlife, adventure, and peace – then you’re going to love Arunachal Pradesh.

Northeast India is a region which consists of 7 small states or also known as 7 sisters: Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram. Not only this, the Northeastern region also has one brother named Sikkim. These states are a part of the Himalayan region and offer a plethora of options for travelers to explore. This region is known to be one of the most treasured and eco-friendly regions in India.

Suggested Reading: Ladakh Road Trip Itinerary – India’s Iceland with Surreal Landscape

Whether you are a traveler who is looking to explore different and yet vibrant cultures, searching for beautiful vistas, or just looking for some mouth watering cuisine – Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India is the place to go. In this article, we will discuss 3 underrated and virgin places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh that are still out of tourist’s footsteps.

Offbeat Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh –

1) Fly or Trek to Vijoynagar

Vijoynagar in Arunachal Pradesh

Vijoynagar in Arunachal Pradesh

With more than 1.324 billion people living in only 3.287 million km², it is very hard to find places which are yet not touched by tourists and not littered. However, there are some small hamlets which most of us have no idea about – and one of them is Vijoynagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

Vijoynagar - Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Vijoynagar – Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

This is a small town or village, located just on the India – China border. This little town with a population of only about 45,00 is one of the remotest one in Changlang district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Surrounded by hills and valleys, this region provides everything a traveler might look for.

How to reach Vijoynagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Vijoynagar - Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Vijoynagar – Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Reaching Vijoynagar is not that easy and is an adventure in itself. There are no roads which connect this village with the outer world. There are only two ways of reaching Vijoynagar. The first is by Helicopter Sorties Service from Miao, but even the air service is available only on Tuesday and Thursday.

The second way of reaching Vijoynagar is by trekking to it. The trek to Vijoynagar starts from Miao and passes through dense forests of Namdapha National Park. But keep in mind, this trek is not for novice hikers. As it would take you around 5 nights & 06 days, to reach this village. The total distance is around 156 km.

In terms of accommodation, you there are guest houses where you can plan your stay:

  • Inspection Bungalow with 6 Rooms
  • Eco-Tourist Forest Guest House with 4 Rooms
  • Circuit house with 4 Rooms

Suggested Reading – Chandrataal – the Moon Lake in Spiti Valley in Himachal Tribal Circuit

2) Visit the Land of Oranges – Dambuk

Dambuk - places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Dambuk – places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Next on our list of places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is Dambuk – the land of oranges. Just like Vijyonagar, reaching Dambuk too is an adventure in itself. You have to cross dense forests and various water bodies & rivers just to reach this beautiful town in Arunachal Pradesh. Known for its beautiful orange orchards and swollen rivers, Dambuk is one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.

If you don’t like off-roading then this place is not for you. There are no paved roads and you will be driving on anything apart from roads.

If you are planning to visit this place during monsoon then the only way to cross this river is on elephant back – so be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime.

Beautiful Locals of Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh

Beautiful Locals of Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh

Dambuk was in news when the Arunachal government initiated Orange festival to promote tourism. And nowadays, people from all around the world visit this town to witness this amazing festival.

The Orange Festival is usually organized in December and one can not only enjoy various rock bands performing their heart out to fill the valley with their music but also witness off-roading vehicles, modified cars and jeeps engaging in a number of challenging tasks to try and win the off-roading tournament. There are various other events which run side by side like river rafting, bungee-jumping, paint ball and so on.

If you are looking for a peaceful time in Dambuk then it would be a good idea to not visit it during the Orange festival.

How to reach Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh

Dambuk - Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Dambuk – Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

To reach Dambuk, you first have to reach Roing. From Roing you can either take a bus or can book a taxi for your onward journey. And there are hotels and guest houses where you can plan your overnight stay. But don’t expect of any luxurious hotels here.

Suggested – 11 Hippie Villages in the Himalayas that will take you back to the 1960s

3) Kiss the Clouds at Anini

Anini - Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Anini – Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Anini a small village where clouds come to kiss the land. Mystic air, unexplored terrain making a perfect place to rejuvenate yourself and experience pristine calmness. Located in Dibang valley of Arunachal, Anaini is marked by beautiful valleys and pleasant weather making it one of the sought after tourist place. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Northeast India.

Visiting Anini is altogether a different experience. It is surrounded by tribal villages from all sides like Hunli, New Anaya, Ranli, and a few more. You can actually explore these villages and can experience different types of Arunachali tribes and their culture.

Anini - Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Anini – Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Anini is a perfect destination to visit if you’re looking for some peace, as the land is virtually unexplored untouched and ripe for tourism. Anini is quite is secluded, not crowded, and serves as an excellent destination to unwind. You can also travel to Roing, in order to visit the places of interest present there.

Anini is very near to Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a popular tourist hotspot. You can also take a walk through the lush green forests while in Anini.

How to reach Anini, Arunachal Pradesh

Anini - Northeast India

Anini – Northeast India

The best way to reach Anini is from Roing. Roing is well connected to other cities of Assam and Arunachal. From Roing you can reach either by government buses or by booking a cab. And if you are looking to stay there then there are a number of budget hotels to serve tourists.

Hope you enjoyed this list of offbeat places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh. Reaching these destinations can be a hard task but rewarding nonetheless. If you have visited Arunachal Pradesh and have a few suggestions for places to visit, just let us know in the comments section.

Tirthankar Bose is a solo backpacker from India. He has been traveling for last 10 years and has covered almost all of India. Follow him at ThePoorNomad Indian Travel Guide.

Tirthankar Bose

How to enjoy Manila on a budget?

How to enjoy Manila on a budget?

For us backpacker and budget travelers, the Philippines is not the cheapest country in Southeast Asia. Manila is the stepping stone to many travelers of the great adventures waiting ahead in this country. For most tourists it’s a necessary stop on the way. Also, the living costs in the city are higher, and temptations (for spending money that is) are many.

Something we noticed about a lot of tourists we met in the Philippines, is that they almost always said they hated Manila. Sure, it’s a chaotic place, overcrowded, noisy, polluted, ugly some will say, but it can be a lot of fun. The prices of Manila were a major issue for many people too, so we wanted to create a guide for future budget travelers, on how to enjoy this crazy city without spending much money (because you’re most likely to spend some time there anyway).

Manila on a Budget:

Save Money on Accommodation in Manila

Finding a cheap hostel in Manila is not the problem, but finding a decent one to sleep in is going to be difficult, and the same goes for cheap hotels. When we travel it’s safe to say that around 50% of the usual daily budget (exclude special activities: diving, bungee, etc.) goes for accommodation. Well, even if you’re staying in a cheap place, it’s still your home away from home.

In Manila, most have the worst experiences when it comes to budget accommodation. It’s just that the backpacker scene has only recently started to develop in the country. Up until recently it was harder to find decent cheap accommodation and only now that it’s getting better. Check these places out for your nights in the city.

Tambayan Capsule Hotel

Our Private Room at Tambayan Capsule Hostel, Manila

Our Private Room at Tambayan Capsule Hostel, Manila

What else can we say about Tambayan – the Tagalog word for “hanging out”? This is the place we stayed in Manila, and we loved every second of it. Moreover, we had some of the best meals we had in the Philippines. This place is also closer to Intramuros if you plan to spend some time there, and to the mall if you need some break from the heat. Go to our full review for more details about the hostel we fell in love with.

Z Hostel

This super modern hostel is among the best you’ll stay in the Philippines. It’s very clean, spacious, comfortable, and most of all FUN! The owners know how to make young people enjoy their stay. Beside of the café that sells great local food, there is the roof deck, where every night there is a party: house, techno, hip hop. Each night is different, but there is always a good crowd.

Z has mixed dorms, female dorms and private rooms. The prices start at 17 USD, and goes up to 52 USD for the private room. This hostel is not the cheapest, but for Manila it’s still cheap. Plus, even the dormitory beds are very big, with lights and electrical outlets. There is a small kitchen, but you probably won’t use it as the area around the hostel is abundant with restaurants and street food.

5660 Don Pedro St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City, Philippines 1210

Pink Manila Hostel

This one is located in Malate, the original backpacker area of Metro Manila. The beds may not be as spacious as the beds in Z Hostel, but this a very cool place none the less with its own pluses. Well if you like pink that is (we loved it, everything is painted pink, the bedsheets are pink, the lights are pink). Pink Manila Hostel is located in a safe residential neighborhood 20 minute walk from both the historical district of Manila (Intramuros) and Green Belt in Makati, a nightlife district with many clubs and bars.

It is very cheap too! Only 9-12 USD and 32 USD for a twin room (bunk beds). For that price you also get a large common area, a rooftop swimming pool, and free breakfast. On top of that, most of the nights there is something going on, like pool parties and movie night. That’s quite a deal for the price, and the pool is a big bonus, as you will find it very relieving on the hot humid evenings of Manila.

2551 Don Pedro St. Cor. Bautista St. Malate, Manila 1004

 

Try to strike a good deal on a hotel or look for an Airbnb

You can travel on a budget and still care a great deal about you privacy. Also, in some parts of town that are not used to budget travelers it becomes difficult to find a proper place to sleep. All of the cheap hostels you’ll find are going to be of very low level, dirty, boring, etc. In those case you better find a good deal on a hotel in Manila.

Airbnb is also on the rise in Manila, in all parts of the Metro. Staying in Taguig on a budget for instance can become difficult if you’re looking for a cheap hostel (part of Metro Manila that is rapidly becoming very popular). Nonetheless, many residents of Manila purchased apartments for investment in many of the new high-rises which are constantly being built in the city. With no one to occupy them, the owners started to rent them in Airbnb. The prices are usually cheaper than hotels, and you get to stay in a nice new apartment.

Where to eat great food in Manila on a budget?

Best Filipino Food - Pork Adobo - (Slow Cooked Braised Soy Vinegar Pork Belly Pot at Tambayan Gastrobar)

Pork Adobo – (Slow Cooked Braised Soy Vinegar Pork Belly Pot at Tambayan Gastrobar)

We already posted about delicious Filipino food, so you can get an idea of what does the local food looks like. Here we will tell you about a few places where you can find great food – filipino and international, for a very good price.

Chinese food

There is a great Chinese food scene in the Philippines, but the best Chinese food in the country is found in Binondo, the oldest China town in the world. It is close to Malate and it makes perfect sense to go there after a visit in the historical district. Keep in mind that it’s a hectic part of town, so listen to our advice on where you should eat.

Masuki Mami House

This small restaurant still make egg noodles in house. They serve the noodles in hot broth, for almost 100 years already. Side dishes are siopao and siomai, steamed Chinese buns and dumplings. Altogether you’ll end up paying around 4 USD for a meal there.

931 Benavidez St, Binondo, Manila

Dong Bei Dumplings

This small shop sells a variety of steamed and fried dumplings, and fried Chinese pancake. It all comes with chili oil, soy sauce and spicy vinegar on the side. The servings which are good for one are 2.5 USD each. But you can easily eat two servings just by yourself.

642 Yuchengo Street, Binondo, Manila

New Po Heng

Lumpia is a perfect snack if you don’t feel full yet. It is a fresh Chinese style spring roll (not fried), filled with cabbage, carrot, seaweed, tofu, lettuce coriander and peanuts wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, and served with a sweet sauce on the side. It will only cost you 1 USD. Just be sure you won’t miss this small canteen as it is tiny small.

531 Quintin Paredes St, Binondo, Manila

Sincerity Café & Restaurant

Their Chinese style fried chicken has made a name for itself, and yet remained very cheap too, 3 USD for half, and 4USD for a whole chicken. The other hose specialties are Kikiam with brown sauce (pork and shrimp sausage, 1 USD), and oyster pancake (4-5 USD).

497 Yuchengco street, Binondo, Manila

Filipino food

Don’t worry, because once you’ll get out of Manila you get so many options to eat Filipino food, as it is the staple of the islands and provinces, and for certain is the cheaper option. That being said, some of the best Filipino restaurants are in Manila, and some of them are really cheap too.

The Aristocrat Restaurant

This place has been operating since 1936, when Lola Asiang converted her ground floor into a restaurant. They grew ever since and now the huge main branch is in Roxas Boulevard, feeding people proudly 24/7. They sell many of the Filipino classics like sisig, adobo, kare-kare and more. This is one of the best Filipino meals you’ll have, and though the average price for a dish is 7 USD for a dish, the size is really good for two, or two dishes can easily feed three people. They have many locations in town, so check out the Aristocrat website for more information.

Dampa – fresh seafood in the wet markets

Seaside Dampa Macapagal is a fresh sea food market in Pasay city, sandwiched between Malate, Taguig, and Makati. It is a bit far off, but you should only go there in a group of 4 or more anyways, so a taxi/Grab/Uber is not going to cost so much each (only if you care about the budget, read on in order to understand). The system is like so: you buy the seafood, which is very cheap, in the stalls of the market; after that you take it to one of the restaurants around the market and they cook it for you the way you want for a fee.

Because most of the time you’ll buy more than you can actually eat, and that the cooking fee (“paluto” in Tagalog) is about the same for a small and large quantity, it makes sense to come with a small group. In any case you will not find seafood fresher than that. All of the restaurants are good and charge about the same price, but Hong Kong Master Cook Restaurant is supposed to be the best. Most of the restaurants are of Chinese or Filipino style. And another tip, haggle down the price!

Expect to pay 9-11 USD per person in a group of four (including cooking, sides and drinks).

Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, Pasay, Metro Manila

Quan Yin Chay

The name and location (Binondo) indicates that this is a Chinese restaurant. Quan Yin Chay actually offers both Chinese and Filipino dishes, but with one twist. The Taoist owner cook all vegetarian food (also without onion and garlic btw). It is a small cafeteria style eatery with delicious, fresh and healthy food, which is also very cheap. This is one of the few restaurant to serve vegetarian Filipino food, so if you are vegetarian (or just feel like it) give this place a try.

739 Ongpin St (at Salazar St), Binondo, Manila

Lechon Manok

This is the local name for grilled chicken that the Philippines is very proud of. Well it’s really delicious, and can be found almost everywhere in Manila, and even more so in the provinces. The famous ones are: Andoks, Baliwag, Sr. Pedro, Mang Inasal, and Chooks to Go. It cost less than 5 USD for a whole chicken, which is divine (both pricewise and taste wise).

International cuisine

I won’t point you to any specific restaurants here. I will just say that Manila boasts with many international cuisines. To most parts those tend to be a little pricier, but you will also find any American fast food chain you can think of, as well as some higher quality ones (Chili’s, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse…). You can also find Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Italian and many other cuisines easily.

Suggested: Vietnam Travel Tips – things you need to know before visiting

The only thing we are going to recommend on comes from a need that we found in many people including ourselves (mainly San). The craving for meet when traveling in Southeast Asia is something that many people feel after a while. Well in many of the restaurants described in this paragraph you will find a decent steak or burger, but If you want a cheap 100% beef quality burger, go to Brothers Burger. They sell good quality burgers for 5-8 USD, and have many restaurants scattered around Metro Manila. This is your go to burger joint if you need you fix of red meat.

Things to do in Manila on a Budget

Now that we got your accommodation and food covered, you will want to do some stuff beside sleeping and eating, in order to make you time in Manila enjoyable. Manila can also be a playground for the rich, but there are so many free and budget thing to do that are lots of fun. In this section we will tell you about some of our favorites.

Visit Rizal Park and Intramuros – the historical district of Manila

This part of town is a walled city the Spanish built upon arrival to the Philippines. They built it in methods they brought with them from Spain. It has a citadel inside called Fort Santiago and Manila Cathedral one of the oldest in Asia. Walking around Intramuros is FREE! After spending the time there (and there is much to see) you can go to Rizal Park (also free), and/or to Binondo for lunch.

Rizal Park, also called Luneta, was the execution ground of the national hero Jose Rizal, killed by the Spanish in 1896, that brought to the outbreak of the Philippines Revolution. It was name after him, and now it’s a very picturesque park with monuments for national heroes, that stretches all the way to Manila Bay. It’s an excellent spot for a stroll.

Art in Island 3D Museum

10 USD will take you all the way into a world of dreams and illusions (8 USD if you have a student card. This place is where that 3D painting are drawn directly on the floor and walls, and it will challenge your perception of depth and balance so be warned. The place is quite recent and all the picture were drawn by 18 Korean master artists.

Escape the heat in MOA (Mall of Asia)

Mall of Asia is the 4th largest in the Philippines and the 11th largest in the world, but it’s probably the nicest one in the country. It will be a good chance for you to buy some goods and souvenirs, or just go window shopping. You can watch a movie or believe it or not, ice skating! In a tropical country.

Drinking out and Nightlife in Manila

Going out in Manila is not so expensive, and a part of being a good backpacker is going out to drink every once in a while. Alcohol is dirt cheap in the Philippines, also in the majority of the bars. A beer in a normal bar will cost you around 1-1.5 USD, so little money can take you a long way. Going to clubs and parties more expensive than that, but also affordable (15 USD will get you in most places with a complimentary drink or two usually). Best areas to go out to are BGC in Taguig, and Green belt in Makati. Eastwood in Quezon City is a bit far off but has numerous bars and restaurants open 24/7.

Now, do you want to get out of Manila ASAP?

It isn’t the nicest city, we can say that for certain, but there is some kind of magic in its controlled chaos. There is really a lot for you do see and do, and it doesn’t even have to cost you that much, and as we said before, you are most likely to spend some time in Manila whether you like it or not. In that case, make the most out of it and ENJOY!

One Day in San Francisco – Things to do

One Day in San Francisco – Things to do

One Day in San Francisco is a guest post that has been written by Shelley Pittman. She blogs about her journey at www.a-toast-to-life.com.

San Francisco is a city full of exciting choices. Chinatown, Height Ashbury, Fishermans Wharf, cable cars, theaters, operas, a gastronomy paradise, or shop to you drop, how is one to choose? Or more importantly, with millions of tourists each year, where can you go that is not filled with long lines or crowds of people?

If you just have one day in San Fransisco and are looking for a list of things to do in this city, you have come to the right place. For your benefit, we have divided this list in 3 sections, with information about Golden gate park museums, gardens and lake. For information about hotels in san Fransisco and where to eat, you can scroll towards the bottom of this article.

San Fransisco Drone shot - Skyline at Sunset - Panorama

San Fransisco Drone shot – Skyline at Sunset – Panorama Photo by derviki [CCO] via Pixabay

One Day in San Francisco –

Visiting Golden Gate Park Museums in San Fransisco:

The Golden Gate Park is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with natures beauty and serenity It’s a day filled wonders, amazing art, breathtaking flora, quiet moments, unique creatures, and all in the middle of a big city. Bring a picnic to appreciate nature in it’s entirely and explore like a local. Your camera is a MUST.

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a captivating science museum complex that is home the San Francisco aquarium, a planetarium, a rain forest and other captivating and numerous fascinating displays to play with and learn from. Remember to visit their ‘ Living Roof’ that offers an excellent view of some of the park. This place is fantastic. You’ll want to spend the whole day there but save time for some of the other choices.

DeYoung Museum

Directly across the street from the California Academy of Sciences is this favorite art museum. This museum showcases a mix of contemporary art, History Sciences and a few pieces of Fine Art. They also have “guest” displays that change seasonally. Even if you do not have time to check out the exhibits, you should take the time to ride up to the top floor gift where an observation deck shows you an even better view of Golden Gate Park, at no charge.

How to Get to Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is located in the western half of the city, bordered on the north by Fulton Street and on the south by Lincoln Way. You can get there using several MUNI buses including the 5 on Fulton and the 71 on Lincoln (both of which you can catch near Union Square if you are staying at a centrally-located hotel). You can also take the underground MUNI N line to get quickly from downtown to just a few blocks away from the park. If you are driving then, you can look for street parking in or around the park or pay to park in the Music Concourse Garage located between the DeYoung and California Academy of Science museums.

 

Visiting San Fransisco’s Gardens

Japanese Tea Garden

There are more than fifty acres of exotic plants here from all around the world that have been organized by region. These five acres of lovely gardens, Buddhist statuary, replicas of old temple houses, lily ponds, half moon wooden bridges, and offer a serene place to sit down and drink a cup of tea. There’s a nominal entrance fee, and you can purchase tea and snacks inside of the garden.

Tulip Garden

On the west end of the park is a giant old windmill and a beautiful tulip garden. Check out the northern windmill here as well, which is one of two windmills established in 1903 that initially fed water to landscape the park.

Rose Garden

The Golden Gate Park rose garden is another popular spot with visitors. Late spring through early fall offer the best rose displays although a pruning demonstration each January is also interesting. Besides its beauty, this place is a wonderment of fragrant scents that instantly calms the mind.

Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers

This beautiful area is covered with more than 200 different flowers varieties which are adorned with quotes from the famous plays and poems of Shakespeare. A perfect spot to test your knowledge.

Conservatory of Flowers

This is one of the world’s largest indoor greenhouses built entirely out of wood and glass and both the exterior and interior of the building area eye-catching. This place is like visiting a tropical Island. You absolutely shouldn’t miss this indoor garden, especially if you like orchids.

Visiting San Fransisco’s Lakes

Stow Lake

Come take a paddleboat ride at this lake and feed the ducks. It’s a picture perfect backdrop. This lake is in the center of the park.

Spreckels Lake

On the north side of the park is where the model yacht clubs meets. If you are lucky, you may witness to them showing off their stuff when you visit. Sailboats in the park and in the bay.

Where to stay in San Fransisco

The streets of San Fransisco

The streets of San Fransisco by suyashdixit [CCO] via Pixabay

I have stayed at the Best Western Tuscany Hotel, now Hotel Zoe, numerous times and have always been delighted by their hospitality, cleanliness, convenient location and helpful concierge. Your front door opens onto a large sitting room before your sleeping area.

Their refined, elegant rooms and suites offer free Wi-Fi, desks, 40-inch flat screens, as well as minibars, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. The only downfall can be when you are on the street-side rooms; it can be noisy from the traffic, so either get a room higher up or away from the streets.

Free perks include daily morning tea/coffee in the lobby, evening fireside wine receptions, and an area shuttle. The cost for parking overnight is $42.00 and is an additional charge if you use this service. This traditional downtown boutique hotel is 0.2 miles from both the Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach and 6.5 miles from Golden Gate Park.

FYI: San Fransisco is very Uber friendly.

Where to eat in San Fransisco

Pescatore is a Tuscan-American restaurant influenced fare restaurant is bright, airy, open kitchen concept, a wood burning pizza oven, and has a beautiful bar area. I have eaten here many times, and their steaks were always perfectly prepared. Rustic yet chic is their decor. They have delicious Martini’s too! Their wine list offers a enticing bottle selection and a variety offered daily by the glass.

Their full breakfast offerings are varied, delicious, filling, and cooked to order. If you need to shop for that picnic basket, Traders Joe’s is located right behind the hotel.

The Franciscan Crab Restaurant is the place to go if you are in the mood for seafood. My favorite is to sit in the bar area, enjoy their specialty of the day and watch the boats go by. The whole restaurants seating has been designed so every table has a breathtaking view of the bay. And is within easy walking distance from the Hotel Zoe. Now you are in the Fishermans Wharf area, so stroll along the boulevard and witness the traveling musicians, Mimesters, freshly caught seafood in enormous bins, chocolate shops, Jelly Bellies, souvenirs, and characters of every variety.

Come experience San Francisco like a local. Visit a captivating park filled to the brim with beauty at its finest, eye opening insights into different worlds, abundance of calmness and a little oasis that is steps from the marine side of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, where seafood is the game. It’s a perfect to spend 24 hours in San Francisco!

Cover picture: by tbsdave [CCO Public] via Pixabay

Best treks in Leh Ladakh

Best treks in Leh Ladakh

This is a guest post by Eva Green

The magnetism of Leh and Ladakh lies in its beautiful hilly terrains and the deserted flat landscape that are dotted with a tint of blue because of the streams and lakes. Popularly known as the “Little Tibet,” the lofty peaks and high-altitude passes offer a range of outdoor activities for the adrenalin seekers such as rafting, jeep safari, mountaineering, motor biking, mountain biking and of course, trekking. There is something exciting and challenging for every thrill-seeker here of every kind. There is no denying that when it comes to trekking tours in India, Leh and Ladakh Treks emerge at the top.

The right best time for trekking in Leh, Ladakh is July and August as the possibility for storms and snowfall rises from September on. However, one can attempt the demanding Chadar ice-trek in February. Trekkers should go well prepared with an experienced local guide and the right equipment for trekking.

Too lazy to read the entire post? Watch this little video about Leh, Ladakh.

Markha Valley Trek

The colorful and challenging Markha Valley Trek is immensely popular. Enjoy the great views of Zanskar and Ladakh mountain ranges as you embark on one of the most sought after trekking routes of the region.

Markha Valley Trek is also known as the “Tea House Trek,” and the trek will take you through the Markha Valley and the Hemis National Park. You will love the experience of passing through Ganda La and Kongmaru La and spot blue sheep or the ibex or the patches of wildflowers on the way. You will cross the Markha River and the rocky canyons on this challenging trek.

The complete trek will take you about 11 days.

Love to trek? Read about these best treks in Asia

Lamayuru Alchi Trek

Another of the most popular trekking trails in Ladakh, the Lamayuru Alchi Trek is full of excitement. The trek is just perfect for those looking for a moderate level challenge as well as the spiritual zone of Ladakh. On the route, you come across significant Gompas and get to admire the rich cultural treasure of the “Land of Passes.”

Pray and meditate at any monastery and admire the unique beauty of Ladakh. Lamayuru is believed to be one of the oldest monasteries. You get the opportunity to cross four passes on Lamayuru Alchi Trek that starts at Lamayuru, namely Pritikingir La, Stakspi La, Kongske La and Panji La.

The whole trek will take about nine days.

Chadar Trek a.k.a. Frozen River Trek

Frozen River Trek follows a trekking trail on the frozen Zanskar River lined with high mountains. The name itself is enough to give a spine-chilling feel of the freezing temperatures.

The Frozen River Trek is indeed one of the most adventurous and best treks of Leh and Ladakh. The completely a winter trek has another name – “Chadar Trek, ” and one needs loads of mental stability and strong stamina to compete the winter trek in the harsh climatic conditions. Average day temperature remains around near to -15 ºC and can dip down to -30 ºC.

The trek would take about 13 days.

There are several other popular treks in Leh  /Ladakh such as Stok Kangri Trek, Nubra Valley Trek, Snow Leopard Trek, Rupshu Valley Trek, Lamayuru Padum Trek, Sham Valley Trek and the list could just go on and on. Ladakh also has some unbelievably gorgeous lakes such as Pangong, Tso Moriri, etc.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

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