Ávila: a town for everyone

Ávila is a Spanish fortified city located in the autonomous community of Castile and León, and is the capital of the Province of Ávila.

It is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain.

If you are in Madrid on holidays and you still have days ahead, this city is highly recommended to visit, as well as its neighboring city Segovia. For these two cities, it does not take more than a day to visit all its secrets.
It is advisable to leave early in the morning and return late at night.
To go to Ávila from Madrid, there are daily buses on this page. Another quick and also economical alternative is to use Blablacar. For less than € 8 you can go to Ávila in 1h30m.

What to see in Ávila? These are the most recommended places to visit in this little city

1. Visit the Cathedral of Ávila

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/h97VpmyUrEWcDshz5

Austere Romanesque-Gothic cathedral built into the city walls, with a striking stone interior.

2. Walk by Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesus

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/De2o2xCjLCdJNDQq9

Located in the heart of Avila, it’s just in front of Puerta del Alcazar

3. Walk over the walls of Avila at Puerta de la Adaja (Adaja’s Gate)

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BWUaeuj4a6eixJb86

There are several entrances to the walls of Ávila so depending on where you are, you can entry to the walls from several points.

SCHEDULE

From October 27 to March from 10.00 to 18.00 31. Closed Monday,
From march 29 to June 30 from 10.00 to 20.00. monday open
From July 1 to August 31 from 10.00 to 21.00. monday open
From September 1 to October 27 from 10.00 to 20.00. monday open
Last access Gate of Álcazar: 30 m. before closing. The house of Las Carnicerías, the gate of El Carmen and the gate of El Puente 45m before closing

PRICES

General Price: €5.00
Reduced Price: €3.50
Free: Tuesdays from 14:00 to 16:00 except public holidays and eve of public holidays. BIC monument

More info here if you want to buy tickets online

4. Visit the Roman bridge of Ávila

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Tet7y12itY6iz5qx8

Beautiful bridge located near the walls at the South of the city next to Adaja’s Gate. This Roman bridge was built in the early-1st century A.D

5. Visit the highest Viewpoint of Ávila (4 postes)

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/UUo438Lgn62Qd7Jm9

Here you will find the best views of Avila and its walls. Perfect for sunset and end the day

Ávila still have few more places to visit so if you have more time ahead do not hesitate to drop by the following places!

6. Palacio de Polentinos

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9cZv3mhBV9AFxgMF8

7. Plaza Mercado Chico

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JubjzNFEzoYBFXgN9

8. Basílica de San Vicente

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CAhJMUjth8tVfeGG9

Hokkaido: living Sakura

Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan. The Tsugaru Strait separates it from the great island of Honshu although they remain united through the Seikan tunnel. The largest city of Hokkaido is Sapporo, its capital.

Hokkaido has several seasons for tourism: winter to enjoy its ski slopes, July to see the fields booming, or as in my case, early May to see the cherry blossom. Hokkaido is not the most popular or desired place to see the Sakura trees but I must admit it was worth it. There were hardly people, low season, pleasant temperature, sunny days, although sometimes the air rose with small rains. But it has been one of my best trips ever made alone along with my camera.
The time needed depends on how you are going to move around and if you are only going to see cities or not. In my case, were 8 days.
The chosen route was: 3 nights in Sapporo, 2 nights in Hakodate, 1 night in Sapporo (transit), 3 nights in Asahikawa. Maybe if you move by car you don’t need so much time, so it depends a lot on transportation
What places to see in Hokkaido no matter is Sakura season or not?

  1. Sapporo
    • Maruyama Park
    • Mount Moiwa
    • Nakajima Park
    • Sapporo TV Tower
  2. Otaru
    • Otaru Canal
    • Fukamizaka
    • Ryugu Shrine
    • Temiya Park 手宮公園
  3. Hakodate
    • Bay Area
    • Motomachi Park
    • Catholic Church Hakodate Motomachi
    • Hakodate Orthodox Church
    • Mount Hakodate
    • Cape Tachimach
    • Goryōkaku Park
  4. Asahikawa
    • Tokiwa Park
    • Asahikawa Forest Park
    • Furano & Biei

Sapporo

1. Walk at Maruyama Park

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/26Qk6gZSdjNipf5X6

Perfect place to walk and see its Shrines and highly recommended if you want to see Sakura trees! Great to spend a couple of hours and relax. To get here take the metro line Tozai to Maruyama Koen Station, exit 1

2. Go up to Mount Moiwa

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nbZex9mefAA8wpsw6

If you visited Maruyama Park before, this small mountain is about 40 minutes walking distance or also accessible by tram.
The views from the top are incredible, you can see almost all Sapporo city.
To get here, you must take the tram to Ropeway Iriguchi and follow directions to the cable car to buy the ticket to the cable car. The cable car leads to two different destinations and the price of the ticket varies depending on each one. The first stop is Moiwa Chufuku Station and the second is Moiwa Sancho Station. Sancho Station can also be accessed by walking through a small path at the top of Chufuku Station.
During this season the queue to get the ticket was quite short!

3. Walk in Nakajima Park

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/ECrxgfTwKBwiMm7EA

Another park located in the city center for a walk or boat ride.

You can get to this park by metro Namboku line to Nakajimakoen Station or get off at Susukino Station and walk to enjoy its traditional streets.

Near this park there are hundreds of restaurants. You cannot miss to try the Miso Ramen, typical dish of Sapporo!

So if you are still around and it is time for lunch, this local restaurant is really great and is about 10 minutes walking distance from the park up to the North

Recommendation: https://goo.gl/maps/c7b2zPnD9S6DBuJA8

4. Enjoy the views from the top of Sapporo TV Tower

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/33XnwJCAuJWsAVie8

Famous TV tower built in the 1950s, with an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.

To get here you can by subway Namboku, Toho or Tozai lines to Ōdōri Station.

Opens every day from 9am to 10pm

Otaru

If you are staying in Sapporo, you can get to Otaru by train JR Hakodate Line departing from Sapporo Station. Cost: ¥740

1. Walk along Otaru Canal

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/H4J48gdA7JmrnZKd8

Perfect for a walk along its canal or boat ride. This canal runs through the entire town until almost reaching the Temiya park surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops.

From the Otaru Station you can reach here by walking

If you are looking for places to eat, there are some alleys near the canal that are quite popular! It is worth taking a look at the risk of queuing to get seated!

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/PYfdcKJMN8tXYPJC8

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2. Visit the popular street of Fukamizaka

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nEkrmvLV1RYYBh6u9

This street is quite popular for the Love Letter movie. Highly recommended to pass through here in winter with the snowy streets. The rest of the year you don’t see anything in particular

3. Visit Ryugu Shrine

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/wJBqi5eSdxM5MpP66

This Shrine is found only few meters away from Fukamizaka Street

4. Visit the Temiya Park 手宮公園

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/6tDD2PD2uH9vxB877

Personally, one of the pearls of Otaru and not so popular. The Sakura are incredibly beautiful in this park. To get here you have to walk along the canal and climb a hill. It takes roughly 30 minutes but it is totally worth it. From the top of the park there are views of Otaru and is full of picnic areas. Ideal place to come with family or couple or even for photography!

Hakodate

To get to Hakodate from Sapporo, you can take the JR Train from Sapporo Station or take a bus. The journey takes about 4-5 hours and reaches to Hakodate Station. The bus Station is right in front of the Train Station. You can get the train tickets directly from the vending machines or in case want to travel by bus you can book a bus ticket through this website. The buses are more affordable, provides big and comfortable seats and are individual! The seats are all separated from each other.

Once you arrive in Hakodate, is recommended to buy a ticket for 1 or 2 days for the tram. This would save us time and money when using this service, since the tram is quite traditional.

1. Stroll & eat at the Bay Area

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/8GXsE4Z8aTqAMiPY6

Popular place for food, snacking and stroll through the harbor. From here you can walk to the Midori no Shima park to have fantastic views of the Bay.

2. Walk to Motomachi Park

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/kmZQ8WK4DmJiweqKA

Popular place for its picturesque streets and houses/shops

3. Visit the Catholic Church Hakodate Motomachi

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/ERSWS1PcvH342MZD8

Small, historic Roman Catholic church featuring Gothic architecture & a bell tower.

4. Visit the Hakodate Orthodox Church

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/5VvmQot8VvaR9QiP9

Right next to the Catholic church is this circa-19th-century Russian Orthodox church with dramatic night lighting & a bell tower.

5. Go up to Mount Hakodate for Stunning Sunset

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zEneqoSvFbsXhApJ9

Place that cannot be missed if you visit Hakodate. The views of the city are stunning. Is recommended to go up an hour or even more in advance before the sunset as it is incredibly crowded and barely are free spaces. You can buy tickets from the cable car station

6. Visit Cape Tachimachi for another stunning Sunset

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zMuLBvUFqFKmfbti6

Very unpopular place among tourists and well known among locals, a hidden pearl! The place is quite remote but easily accessible by tram. To do this, get off at Jujigai Station in case your tram has no destination Yachigashira Station
Once you arrive at Yachigashira Station, walk about 15 minutes to here as shown in the image below.

Likewise, if hunger calls you, there is a Lawson next to Yachigashira station!

Cape

7. Walk in Goryōkaku Park & Go up to its Tower for 360 Views

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Xt4qtJqqZ1PhXtph7

100% recommended place to enjoy a beautiful day in the park. The sakura trees here are amazing and cover practically the whole park.
It is also recommended to climb the park tower, as it offers fantastic 360º views of the area

To get here, just take the tram to Goryokaku-Koen-Mae Station and walk to the park. There are indications along the way.
And in case hunger calls again, there is a fantastic restaurant right next to the park called AJISAI. Normally it is always full but the queue is quite fast. Shio Ramen is the typical dish of Hakodate! Must try!

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Asahikawa

To get to Asahikawa from Sapporo, it is possible by JR train Lilac-Kamui (express train) at about ¥ 4,810. The journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes and the views from the train are amazing.
The final destination is Asahikawa Station, right next to it there is an AEON mall that will be your best friend if you are here for a couple of days.

Right in front of the mall is the busiest and most popular street in the area, full of restaurants, shops, cafes … impossible not to find food here!

This city doesn’t offer many things to visit but it’s a great area to visit Furano & Biei! If you do not have a car, the train is your best transportation and Asahikawa is the best place to stay and move around

1. Relax at Tokiwa Park

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/s7kUsLwrmnRZvD1f6

This spacious, serene park with 2 large ponds, swans & cherry blossoms is a popular place to walk.

2. Walk in Asahikawa Forest Park

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/1PoQyEbRsh4kpccC6

Ideal to spend a morning if you have no more plans to do. The sakura trees are really amazing at this park!

3. Explore Furano & Biei

If something is really worth seeing, it is Furano & Biei and their incredible fields and flowers. Although during the Sakura season the flower fields have not yet blossomed, the views and landscapes are really amazing.
To visit these two places by train, I would recommend visiting Furano first and not missing Tomita Farm. This farm offers beautiful lavender fields that bloom from June.

Furano

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/azbj2VstSSMUX1Va9

To get here, take the train and get off at Lavender-Farm Station or Naka-Furano Station. You can pay directly to the driver or buy tickets at Asahikawa and Furano station.

Biei

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/SmSQGt3J8eAdgFFCA

Once you finish watching Furano, take the train to Biei Station.
In this place there are several places to visit, such as Mild Seven Hills, Zerubu Hills or Hokusei-no-oka Observatory Park. To move around is recommended to rent electric bicycles or motorcycle/car. There is a rental shop right next to the station at this location.
If the night is not coming yet, I would recommend visiting Mild Seven Hills and Zerubu Hills. If you have lack of time as was my case, Mild Seven Hills is the perfect choice.

Along the road on the way to Mild Seven Hills there is a farm where you can taste very popular ice creams!

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Mild Seven Hills offers several points with incredible landscapes. Simply walk or move around and enjoy the nature

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Yangshuo

Yangshuo, a county and resort town in southern China’s Guangxi region, is known for its dramatic karst mountain landscape and outdoor recreation. The town is set amid pinnacles like Bilian Feng (Green Lotus Peak), which has a hiking trail to the top. Tour boats offer cruises on the Li River past picturesque countryside from the town of Guilin to the north.

What to see in Yangshuo? Endless activities. These are the ones that I have been able to enjoy so far

Before starting it should be clarified that to get here there are two train stations and can be somewhat confusing:
-Guilin train station
Xingping train station (known as Yangshuo station)
If you arrive at Guilin, you would have to take a bus to Yangshuo and it would take approximately 2 hours.
If you arrive at Xingping, just take a taxi to Yangshuo as it is 30 minutes away. The advantage of getting to Xingping is that once you arrive, you can take advantage of it and go to Li River for a bamboo ride, climb to Laozhaishan peak for an incredible view of the area and visit the old town. If you carrying a lot of stuffs, a taxi to Yangshuo is approximately 80 yuan

1. Li River boat ride

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Li River is located in Xingping on the outskirts of Yangshuo.
The boat ride is one of the most popular tourist attractions. To get a ticket it is possible from the ticket window just at the entrance of the river or in an office located in the town near the selected area in the image below. Xingping also offers countless hikes along the river

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2. Hike up to Laozhaishan

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Also located in Xingping, Laozhaishan is located next to the entrance to the river. Just go through the market on the left side facing the river to get there (follow the toilet direction but once you find the crossing, turn left).

The top of the mountain offers stunning views of Xingping
The climb is slightly hard in several sections but its duration is about 35-40 minutes

3. Stroll at Yangshuo town

Visit Yangshuo town is another of the most recommended activities. For shopping, food or just to see its old town transformed into a tourist attraction

4. Nighlife at Yangshuo town

Being increasingly popular, the nightlife in Yangshuo calls the attention in some of its bars. Nothing else to say…

5. Hike up to the TV Tower

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This is not one of the most popular hikes but it is worth its 45 minute climb. This mountain is located just at the entrance of the town about 15 minutes away walking from the old town and offers stunning views of Yangshuo. To get here is a bit confusing since there are no updated maps of this area. The entrance is right in one of the alleys that I mark in the image below (as reference, you could see the TV Tower right in front of the alley up to the mountain peak). Then just follow the streets up. As soon as you enter the alley, turn left and keep going up all the streets, always going up.

mapyangshuo

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You will have to continue walking up through the streets until you see the entrance to the hike as shows the image below

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Highly recommended to climb during sunset

6. Hike up to the Moon Hill

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This mountain is located on the outskirts of Yangshuo, at the South. To get here you have to take a taxi / didi or rent a motorcycle/bicycle. Didi/Taxi here is quite affordable and let us save a lot of time. The address here in chinese is 月亮山景区 or if using Didi english version, just type Moon Hill
Once arrived, there are two routes: Moon Palace and Dresser
-Direction to Moon Palace reaches up to the hill
-Direction Dresser reaches to a kind of picnic area that personally has better views of the hill than from any other place around, being perfect for photographs

Moon Palace

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Dresser

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If you visit the Moon Palace area, don’t forget to help the locals by buying them a drink. They hike up here daily to make a living

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There are hundreds of activities to do here. Countless hikes, bike routes, towns to see, … but it takes a lot of time to do them all!

Hong Kong

As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is situated on the southeast coast of China and offers plenty of places to visit inland and city outskirts

For nature & hiker lovers, Hong Kong is surprisingly amazing for these purposes despite is really an overcrowded city.

What to see in HK? I will number some recommended places accordingly to my own criteria and experience. I’m still exploring Hong Kong nowadays and I will continue updating my list

Please note that the list below is not sorted by relevance 🙂

1. The Peak

Victoria Peak is a mountain on the western half of Hong Kong island. Highly recommended for stunning views of Hong Kong, especially at night! To get there take the bus 15C from Central Pier 8 or take the Peak Tram from MTR Central Station exit J2. Alternatives, bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus near MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D or Minibus 1 from the public transport interchange at MTR Hong Kong Station Exit E

2. Quarry Bay

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One of the most popular places in Hong Kong for photography lovers, worth to take a look! To get there take the MTR to Quarry Bay Station and walk along King’s road towards Tai Koo until finding Montane Mansion (left side of the road). Further ahead on the road is located the other mansion with the red & yellow colors.

3. Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping is a highland in the western part of Lantau Island. It hosts Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. Besides these 2 popular places, Ngong Ping Village is worthy to see and several meters away The Wisdom Path.

To get to the Big Buddha platform you have to climb its 270 stairs!

To get there take the MTR to Tung Chung Station. Once you reach to Tung Chung Station, take the exit B towards the bus station and grab the Bus 23. You will see some indications along the way to the bus station. The journey will take around 40 minutes and it costs around 17.20HKD (during holidays 27HKD). Alternative is by cable car on the way to the bus station (exit B and walk straight ahead)

More info here

4. Explore Tai O

Located in Lantau Island, Tai O is a fishing village in the western coast of Lantau island. With its unique design and traditional stilt houses, is one of the last authentic places in Hong Kong that still remaining.

To get there take the metro to Tung Chung Station. Once you reach to Tung Chung Station, take the exit B towards the bus station and grab the Bus 11. You will see some indications along the way to the bus station (Tai O direction). The journey will take around 50 minutes

More info here

5. Hike Lantau Peak

Lantau Peak or Fung Wong Shan is the second highest peak in Hong Kong and the highest point on Lantau Island, with a height of 934 meters above sea level.

The hike takes about 5 hours to complete and starts at Pak Kung Au and ends in Ngong Ping. To get there take MTR to Tung Chung Station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au after 15-20 minutes of bus ride.

More info here

6. Hike Sunset Peak

Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan 大東山) is the third highest peak in Hong Kong located in Lantau Island and stands at a height of 869 metres (2,851 ft) above the sea level. The second highest peak is Lantau Peak located right in front of this mountain.

The hike takes about 4 hours to complete and starts at Pak Kung Au and ends at Nam Shan. To get there take MTR to Tung Chung Station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au.

More info here

7. Visit Lamma Island

Lamma Island or Pok Liu Chau (博寮洲) is located to the southwest of Hong Kong and it is the third largest island. The main village is Yung Shue Wan with plenty of shops and restaurants. This village is perfect to spend few hours strolling around, to enjoy the local food or just to walk from Pak Kok San Tsuen 北角新村, Pak Kok Kau Tsuen 北角舊村 to Yung Shue Wan crossing by Tai Peng San Chuen. This walk is really pleasant and easy to finish within 1.5h hours

To get there take the MTR to Central pier 4, and grab a boat to Yung Shue Wan. The other side of the island is Sok Kwu Wan which is so far unexplored for me. There is a boat every half an hour and costs about 16HKD. The ride takes about 30 minutes and the approaching views of the island are really nice

More info here

8. Visit Sharp Island

One of the most popular island and famous for the BBQ activities, fishing, swimming and kayaking. There is a hiking trail from Kiu Tsui Port that cross the whole island to Hap Mun Bay Beach

To get there take MTR to Diamond Hill Exit C2 and then take the bus 92 to Sai Kung town. Once arrived, take a boat at the Public Pier to the island. Alternative, from Sha Tin Bus Terminus take the bus 299X to Sai Kung Town and then take a boat. Alternative B, from MTR Choi Hung Exit B take the bus 1 to Sai Kung town and then the boat to the island

9. Visit Cheung Chau island

Little island full of seafood restaurants and a good beach. The streets are packed with little shops, stalls and souvenirs. Worth to have a look and try its famous Mango Mochi!

To get there take the MTR to Central and get a ferry from Central Pier 5. The fast ferry takes about 40 minutes and the slow one takes about 1 hour

10. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park 中山紀念公園 is located in Hong Kong Island, facing Victoria Harbour. This Park is one of the main checkpoints for many locals and foreigners to enjoy peacefulness. Great pace to read a book or do outdoor exercises

To get there take the MTR to Sheung Wan Station Exit D. Turn right and walk about 5-10 minutes.

More info here

11. Nan Lian Garden

This garden was designed with hills, water features, trees, rocks and wooden structures and it’s an ideal place for a walk, photography and relax. Its design is really beautiful and well conserved, surrounded of greenery and peace.

To get there take MTR to Diamond Hill exit C1. Then simply follow the indications towards Nan Lian Garden.

More info here

12. Hike to Lion’s Rock Hill

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Lion Rock Hill is a mountain located between Kowloon Tong and Tai Wan of the New Territories in Hong Kong

If you want to have one of the best views of Hong Kong island, can’t miss to hike this mountain! To get there take the MTR to Won Tai Sin Station exit B. From there, you can start the trail towards Sha Tin Pass Rd until reaching to Lion’s Pavilion.

More info here

13. Hike Kowloon Peak

Kowloon Peak or Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山 is a mountain in the northeast of New Kowloon, Hong Kong. The height of the mountain is about 600 meters and it’s situated in Ma On Shan Country Park

The ascent is pretty easy and the path is rocky with steps. The hike takes no more than 2-3 hours and from the top you will have stunning views of Hong Kong

To get there take the MTR to Choi Hung Station exit C1/C2. From Choi Hung Station there is a long way to the starting point of the ascent, so you can grab a taxi to Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山, which costs about 35HKD and 10 minutes.

More infor here

14. Hike Plover Cove Reservoir

Within this reservoir there is a hiking trail that starts at Wu Kau Tang Village next to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail and ends at Tai Mei Tuk village. There are several sections within Wu Kau Tang but the longest trail is thru Ma Tau Fund > Tai Tung > Luk Wu Tung > Tai Mei with a total duration of 7-8 hours and 18km though uphills & downhills. The last 5km are on road and takes about 2 hours, so basically are 13km of uphills and downhills. So if you are fit, this hiking trail is really great with stunning views of the Reservoir and Sai Kung

To get there take MTR to Tai Po Market and exit B to Tai Po Market Station Public Minibus Terminus. Take minibus 20R for around 20 minutes to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail on Bride’s Pool Road. It is the last stop
Also from Tai Po Market Station Bus Terminus, take 275R to Bride’s Pool Bus Terminus on Sunday and public holidays.

Return: In Tai Mei Tuk can take the minibus 20C or bus 75K to Tai Po Market

More info here

15. Hike Dragon’s Back

The difficulty of this hike is pretty low and may take about 3-4 hours, so is not a bad choice to spend a day in family here and enjoy of one of the most stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea.

To get there take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan exit A3. Right in front of the exit there is a bus terminal. Take the bus 9 towards Shek O Road. The cost of the journey is about 7HKD and takes 20 minutes. Once you can see the people alighting, just follow them!

More info here

16. Victoria Harbor

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Victoria Harbor is the most popular attraction in Hong Kong where you can enjoy the views of the harbor, skyscrapers and the avenue of stars. Highly recommended at night with the price of overcrowding.

To get there take MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui exit E and follow the indications to Victoria Harbor

17. Walk up to Gardens Hill

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Located in Shek Kip Mei, the top of this little hills offers you stunning views of this neighborhood as the image above. Highly recommended to walk up during sunset time and wait for night views

To get there take the MTR to Shek Kip Mei exit A or Sham Shio Po exit D1 and find the indications to Gardens Hill

Enjoy your time in Hong Kong! 🙂

Phuket: An expected Journey

Phuket is the most popular island located in the Southern of Thailand, one of the main tourist spots which offers a large diversity of activities, such a diving, snorkeling, sailing, yachting, swimming, sun bathing, surfing…

To get around the island most likely you’d need to rent a motorbike or car. Alternatively the public transport is not a bad option whether you just want to sit and rest and keep yourself safe from the hilly roads and its poor vision.

Rent a motorbike may cost about 150-200 bahts/day, slightly cheaper if you rent by weeks instead. For your info, both drivers and pillion passengers are required to wear helmets, this rule is sometimes ignored by locals, and tourists riding around without one are more likely to be taxed 300-500 baht by the police if caught. You must carry a valid driving licence with you, or you’ll be slapped with a 500 baht fine.

Rent a car may cost 1000-1200 bahts, and may be arrange through your hotel for both motorbike and car rentals.

HOW TO GET FROM AIRPORT TO PHUKET TOWN

At the airport you may grab a bus from the old terminal to Phuket Town. The bus stops in Ranong Road, since in this road there’s a mini bus station. The journey takes about 1 hour and the costs is about 100 bahts. From this bus station you also can get to all beaches by taking a local bus

For more info about the bus schedule, click here

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EXPLORING AROUND

During my visit, we rented a motorbike the first day to make a tour around the island to check the main spots. It was a really nice experience to explore the island by motorbike and see which of all spots are really worthy to visit any other day during holidays

The first stop was Rawai Beach in the South of the island. The journey from Phuket town takes about 40 minutes generously.

Unfortunately the high tide covered the beach and the views were not as beautiful as show in the photos

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Leaving Rawai beach we reached to the next spot, Promthep Cape. The journey from Rawai to here took about 10-15 minutes

Promthep Cape is a frequented tourist spot but worth to have a look. Its sea views are well enough to spend 30 minutes. There is a parking where to keep your car or motorbike and many shops and stalls right in front of the parking

Once the motor has started, we headed to the next destination: Yanui Beach

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This beach was freaking crowded and really tiny. We didn’t spend much time on this place due to the inconvenient location and because it was not as nice as I read previously. The engine was not stopped for this place, so we run away as quick as possible to continue our tour

The road around Yanui Beach is a bit dangerous and with a poor visibility due to its curves and slopes, besides there are many buses on this area. So better be careful if you are renting a motorbike

Continuing the tour, we skipped Nai Harn beach and Ao Sane beach due to our tight time. Was getting dark and we were in the middle of nowhere amidst these crazy roads.

Decided to skip these beaches, the next destination was a bar near Karon View Point. A break after a long day journey has to be compensated with a soft drink with sea views (no alcohol while driving!)

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Finished the short break, we decided put end to this tour and back to Phuket town to visit the night market. Roads are dangerous during day time, I can’t imagine how is gonna be at night. From Karon View Point we headed to Phuket town coasting the island. The journey took about 1h 30 min but can be shorter if you go through the island instead

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NIGHT MARKETS

Phuket has several night markets. We only had enough time to visit 2 of them. On this markets you may find all kind of food and snacks, from bugs to delicious BBQ seafood

Phuket Walking street market

This market is located in  Phuket Town at few minutes walking distances from the Ranong Road (Bus station road)

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Malin Plaza in Patong Beach

This is one of the most frequented markets in Phuket and worth to have a look at least once. It’s a bit far away from Phuket town but if you are renting a motorbike won’t be a problem. Otherwise, there are buses passing by there and taxis are easily to spot

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For the rest of my days in Phuket, we visited the most recommended beaches within the island: Surin beach and Bang Tao beach

BEACHES

Surin Beach

This beach was really beautiful and white, far away from the town and with clean waters. We grabbed a bus from Ranong Road to this beach and the journey took about one hour. You may find frequent traffic jams which may delay your journey. Very common in Phuket, so get use to it!

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Bang Tao Beach

Personally this was definitely the best beach ever seen in Phuket so far. Its remote place makes it very quiet and not overcrowded. This beach is next to several resorts and is easily to find restaurants around.

We grabbed a bus from Ranong road to Bangtao beach. The bus dropped us near Mcdonald’s next to the main road. From the main road we had to walk to the beach. May it take about 20 minutes walk but it worth! To come back to the main road, better grab a taxi, easy to hire in one of the resorts next to the beach

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Our last day was spent strolling around Phuket Town, shopping and trying some local food within the area. The stroll was really pleasant and we could discover some spots that we missed during my planning

So in short, Phuket is not a bad place for 4-5 days if you really like to explore around and make tours driving. I guess there are much better places in Thailand if what you are looking for is relax and peace. These 2 words cannot be find in Phuket. Since is one of the most visited places in Thailand, wherever you are, you will be amidst the crowds most of the time.

Another thing is that if you are not keen to rent a motorbike, its remote places will be Phuket really tiring. Moving around takes hours and the traffic jam make it unbearable.

Between Phuket and Krabi, definitely I’d prefer Krabi. Best connected and easy to get everywhere

Hope this brief guide has been helpful and you may enjoy a trip in Phuket!