9 Reasons Why You Should Visit My Top 9
Good afternoon my loyal followers, I hope you are having a good week. Thank you for staying tuned as I continue this '9 Reasons Why' series. In this episode, I will be talking about my top 9 destinations and the reasons why I believe you should visit them. Hopefully the below gives you a real mix of holiday styles such as city breaks, beach getaways and more adventurous options to ponder over. The below are in no particular order - I love each and every one of them. Enjoy!
New York - Just wow! You will see an individual post on New York elsewhere on my blog but I cannot shout about this city enough. New York is just magical at any time of the year. I am a big fan of city life. I love the chaos, the lights and the overall way of life in a big city. As you walk around New York, which by the way is by far the best way to see this city, you will feel dwarfed by the skyscrapers that shoot up like green shoots in a field - they are huge! There is so much to see and do in New York. I would recommend at least 3 nights/4 days which should give you ample time to explore and take in the main sights but you could easily fill a 5 night stay if you have the time. If you've ever wondered what it may be like to step onto the set of a film, New York is the place to take that leap. It will blow you away and if you are a fan of all things loud, colourful and awe-inspiring, you have to go. I want a full report when you return and an invite next time!
Brussels - I first visited Brussels a few years ago after a recommendation from a friend at work. I am certainly glad I listened to his recommendation as Brussels is a fantastic city. If you are UK based, then Brussels is perfect for a weekend break and a cost-effective one at that. Being approximately 1 hours flight, you can leave in the morning and arrive in the Belgian capital for lunch. Brussels is famous for many things including its very strong beer, waffles and chocolate. Another delicacy are the triple fried chips - perfect after a couple of those 'very strong beers'. Brussels is another city that is best explored on foot. There are many small shops, restaurants and bars which circle the Grand Place (a very grand square with beautiful architecture). At Christmas, the Grand Place is home to a huge tree and many market stalls fill the cobbled square beneath. It is a great city and has so much going for it. You must find out for yourself and pay Brussels a visit.
The Maldives - Now if you have been lucky enough to stroll across white sands, dip your feet into turquoise blue sea water and gaze down at tropical fish as they swim around your toes, it sounds like you have experienced an amazing beach experience in idyllic surroundings. Now times that by 10 and you have The Maldives. I remember walking out onto the beach for the first time whilst on the island of Kuredu. I was completely blown away and quite frankly, speechless. The sand was in fact, pink, the water in front of me appeared glass-like and for a moment it felt like I had finally discovered utopia. The Maldives are so much more than a beach lovers paradise. There are water sports a plenty, some of the best diving in the world and other activities that you can take part in if you wish. The hospitality that you will receive in The Maldives is some of the warmest I have ever experienced. The Maldivians will welcome you with a smile and treat you like royalty. If you are after a romantic getaway or the ideal honeymoon destinations, The Maldives should be your first port of call.
Malaysia - I love the Far East and Malaysia was my first experience of this beautiful part of the world. I visited back in the year 2000 for 10 days covering the capital, Kuala Lumpur and two beach destinations, Langkawi and Penang. Everything about Malaysia made me smile. The people, the food, the culture and the landscapes drew me in and I was completely mesmerised during my whole stay. Kuala Lumpur is the vibrant capital which entices many visitors each year. Its a busy city with street food on every corner and business men and women darting from A to B. The majority of flights arrive into KL with small domestic flights then covering the small islands of Langkawi and Penang in the north. Langkawi is a beautiful island and a lot quieter than Penang. The beaches are gorgeous and I was lucky enough to stay at the wonderful Datai hotel. With monkeys swinging from tree to tree and surrounded by tropical rainforest, it was completely unique. Penang has many beautiful beaches and a bit more going on in the evenings than its neighbouring Langkawi. I would highly recommend an evening visit to Penangs capital, George Town. It is a small, vibrant city that has many restaurants and bars and is well worth a visit. Whilst in Malaysia, you must take the plunge and sample some of the many varieties of street food on offer. Be careful though, some of it is very spicy!
Singapore - Now, with the risk of upsetting many an Australian with this comment, I have always said that the highlight of my trip to Australia, was Singapore on the way over. Now that's no disrespect meant to my Australian friends, it probably just proves how much I loved Singapore and backs up my love of all things Far East. I must say, the one thing that surprised me about Singapore was how clean it was throughout the whole city. I then learned that apparently there is quite a hefty fine for dropping litter and the likes of chewing gum on the floor so it then made sense. Singapore is a lush, green and vibrant city with amazing food on offer all over the city. The noodle dishes are out of this world and come highly recommended. There are many things to do in Singapore including city tours and a sample of the famous 'Singapore sling' cocktail at the beautiful Raffles hotel (the birth place of this potent alcoholic delight) but one place you must visit is Sentosa Island. This is Singapores beach resort and is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are visiting the Far East or travelling even further a field, please make Singapore your stopover choice. You will not be disappointed.
China - In 2008 I visited China whilst working for Wendy Wu Tours in London. Firstly, what a fantastic company and I believe that they are now the market leader to China which is fantastic - I thoroughly enjoyed the years that I spent with them and would highly recommend travelling with them to China (booked through me of course). I was lucky enough to be given a place on a 'Majestic Yangtze' tour which was a 10 day tour covering Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu and the mighty Yangtze river. I was completely blown away by China. I love Chinese history so that immediately played its part in the enjoyment that I got out of the tour. Seeing the terracotta warriors in Xian and meeting the man who discovered them will live long in my memory - it was a sight on a scale I will never forget. China is famous for many things but its giant pandas are some of the most loved creatures in the world. Chengdu is home to these adorable animals and is a must visit for any wildlife fan. As I sailed down the breath-taking Yangtze river, gazing up at the high gorges around me, I felt humbled to have visited such an amazing country. It's a country that should be on everyone's hit list!
Abu Dhabi - I visited Abu Dhabi quite recently and it came recommended by quite a few of my friends and colleagues within the travel industry. I had already visited Dubai quite a few years ago and half expected it to be similar. I much preferred Abu Dhabi. It seemed a lot more organised, cleaner and less spread out. However, you are able to visit Dubai from Abu Dhabi so the two are easily combinable. Whilst in Abu Dhabi my friend and I visited Ferrari World which is a must for any car fan or fan of F1 racing. We also went out and experienced some of the nightlife on offer which was great! The majority of bars however are located in the hotels as drinking is against the local culture so do bare this in mind and also take Ramadan into consideration when booking your trip. Abu Dhabi is great for a stopover on route to another exotic destination and perfect for a 3-4 night stay.
Italy - This country just keeps on giving and giving. I have travelled Italy for many years now and keep on discovering new and unique places along the way. Mountains, lakes, cities and beaches, it has it all. The north and south of the country are very different indeed. The mountainous north is home to the Italian lakes and a number of great cities such as Venice, Verona and Bologna. If you have never visited the Italian lakes, you have to. It's as simple as that! The south of Italy is beautiful and the Amalfi coast and her rugged coastline pulls in tourists year after year. The likes of Positano and Sorrento are simply beautiful and well worth a visit. In my opinion, Italy is home to the best food in the world. You will not be disappointed by the many culinary delights on offer wherever you visit in Italy. I could go on and on for hours covering so many hidden gems in this beautiful country but there is no better way to discover what Italy has to offer than to visit yourself.
Thailand - Another beautiful and diverse country in the Far East. Thailand has so much to offer visitors and is not only for the backpacker. I visited Thailand some time ago but absolutely loved it. I spent a few nights in the capital Bangkok before moving up the coast to the beach resort of Cha-am. Bangkok is a busy, full on and colourful city. It has nightlife in abundance and never sleeps. The city itself is full of life and friendly smiles and it is home to the famous Patpong market where you may stumble across a show or two like you have never experienced before - believe it or not, the shows in Bangkok have now become a tourist attraction! Thailand has a number of amazing beaches such as Koh Samui, Phuket and Phi Phi Island and these are normally twinned with Bangkok to make up a perfect two-centre holiday combining a city and beach. Whilst in Bangkok, I would definitely recommend a trip outside of the city to the floating markets and the Grand Palace - both are an amazing experience that you will never forget.
Thank you all so much for reading as always. Your continued support via my blog and other areas of my business really is priceless. Please do continue to offer my services to friends, family and colleagues. I would be more than happy to help with any future plans.