CLiCK ON A FLAG !
Thailand is a country that often makes you dream and there is something! This country offering a great diversity of landscapes and possibilities is very easy to live in addition to that life is really not expensive.
You must remember to take in your suitcase enough to cover your shoulders (vests) and legs (pants, long skirt) to visit the temples.
It is also essential to take mosquito repellent and solar cream for the islands.
The best time of year to travel to Thailand is during the dry season, from November to March.
You don't need a visa for a stay of less than 30 days.
Let yourself be tempted at every corner by the delicious street food of Thailand, whether it is the typical dishes or simple tasty fruit skewers.
It's obvious that I would return to Thailand quickly, to explore new islands and I hope this time to go to Chiang Mai in the real reserves which help the elephants.
I made this trip as part of my studies at Keyce academy in 2018, so I just share with you what we did in these 3 destinations during this wonderful stay, hoping that it inspires you for yours !
Visit an orphanage
KhaoSan Road District
Wat Pho Temple
Capital of Thailand, Bangkok is full of treasures to discover everywhere in the city. The visit to the klongs (canals) is by boat, you will see a market on the water but also many houses of all kinds! Bangkok is known by these klongs as the Venice of Southeast Asia.
In the historic center, Rattanakosin, you will find the Royal Palace as well as the Wat Pho Temple, which houses the famous reclining Buddha, two must-sees in the city! Also in the essentials, there is Wat Arun, a Buddhist temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, simply magnificent.
We also visited an orphanage in Bangkok to spend time with the children and especially to offer toys and stuffed animals that we had brought back from France, a very emotional moment!
For shopping, you have either the huge shopping center type like the MBK Center, or the day and night market type like in Patpong.
To party, head to the KhaoSan Road area, where you will find bars and nightclubs for more than reasonable prices.
To move around the city, it is absolutely necessary to test at least once (or two, or three) the tuk-tuk of Bangkok but beware, they are more expensive in travel even after negotiation than the taxis-meter therefore, you see !
KO PHA NGAN
Half moon party
Island discovery day by scooter
Boat and snorkelling day
After the bustle of a big city like Bangkok, what could be better than going to an island like Ko Pha Ngan to decompress and take the pill? Here, you can take advantage of the days to chill in the sun on paradise beaches, or rent a scooter to discover the island from top to bottom, or take a boat trip for snorkelling.
The island is also very famous for its famous Full moon party, known worldwide. This takes place every month at each full moon. Personally, I went there on dates that did not correspond to the Full moon party, we came across another evening, the Half moon party, which really has nothing to envy to the Full moon! I would rather recommend the Half moon, which takes place in the middle of the jungle in spectacular phosphorescent settings, with several scenes offering different types of music. It takes place every half-moon, twice a month. There are other evenings also on the island, such as Blackmoon culture (2 times a year, November and December), the Jungle experience (usually once a month), and the Waterfall party (2 to 3 times per month).
I recommend a visit to the Amsterdam bar, a cozy place in height with a breathtaking view of the island and the water stretching as far as the eye can see and the top of the top, it's to be there for the sunset of course.
KO PHI PHI
Walking tour of the island
Boat and snorkelling day
Monkey beach, Maya beach
The island of Ko phi phi of only 12 km2, is a pedestrian only island and that, it is damn nice! In all cases there are boat taxis. So on this island, you can bask in the pill on paradise beaches while sipping a coconut or discover the island on foot, up to viewpoints like Ao Lo Dalam. Highly recommended, take boat days to discover the surrounding islands like Maya beach and Monkey beach but also less known and tourist islands, and snorkelling in the beautiful turquoise waters.
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
- The Klongs
- Royal Palace and Wat Pho Temple
- Wat Arun Temple
- Silom district and its Lumpini park
- Indian quarter of Pahurat and Chinatown
- Party district : KhaoSan Road
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- Chatuchak weekend market
- Golden Buddha
- MBK Center
- Wat Saket
- Mariamman Temple
- Wat Yannawa Temple
KO PHA NGAN :
- local market of Thong Sala
- Haad Rin beach
- Mae Haad beach
- Phaeng waterfalls
- Ang Thong Reserve
- Full moon party / half moon party /…
KO PHI PHI :
- Bida Islands
- Ao Pileh Bay
- Monkey beach
- Maya beach
- Viking caves
- Ao Lo Dalam's point of view
- Ton Sai bay and beach
- Long beach
Urbana Sathorn Bangkok 5* (Bangkok)
Haad Yao Villa (Long Beach to Ko Pha Ngan)
Hotel Phi Phi Maiyada resort (Ko phi phi)
EVENTS IN THAILAND
First of all, some essential and quick information for the excellent preparation of your trip!
In first, be careful, to go to Conakry and more generally to Guinea, it is compulsory to have the yellow fever vaccine, which lasts 10 years or even for life now!
You will also need a visa, even for a stay of 15 days.
The best time of year to go to Guinea is between November and January. From June to September it is strongly recommended not to go there because of the heavy rains which flood all the roads and more.
To sleep, we were in the French University of Guinea in which there were two huge apartments. We weren't in a hotel the whole stay and the same for the food, we ate a few times outside at the Sheraton or at the Palm Camayenne, the rest of the time we had a cook at the school itself.
HUMANITARIAN TRIP TO CONAKRY
It was therefore as part of my studies at the Keyce academy in 2018 that I had the chance to participate in a humanitarian trip to Conakry, in Guinea.
Our goal ? Completely renovate a room in an elementary school to make a library!
We each had two 23 kg suitcases, which
allowed us to take a lot of educational
books to fill the library and a few toys.
After cleaning the room of all the dust,
redoing the ceiling and turning on the
electricity, we repainted the walls. On site,
companies have donated materials to
decorate the room such as shelves, tables,
chairs, floor mats, cushions, enough to
make the room really nice!
Once all this equipment installed and the books put in place, we were able to give the keys to the director of the school and some children were able to come and discover this new place, a very emotional moment which I will remember for a very long time! What is certain is that taking more and more trips to accomplish this type of action is one of my future goals!
But that's not all ! In parallel with this humanitarian action, we carried out a business game with students from the French University of Guinea. A business game is a competition between several groups of students on a specific project. Here it was a week-long work on studying a brand and proposing a new communication campaign on their product. For my part, I was manager of a team of 7 Guineans. It was a really very interesting exercise for me on a managerial and human level!
Finally, we still had a little time to visit the city of Conakry and we went for a day to the islands of Los. I liked to walk in the streets of the city with the Guineans, looking for beautiful memories to bring back like African masks or small statuettes, paintings or beautiful loincloth bags. I had the chance to have my hair done twice and to be able to make custom clothes in loincloth.
I think that a trip like this can change a life, change a person, it allows you to discover yourself, to open your mind, to live unique and touching moments, and above all to become aware of the luck that the we have to have the life that we lead in France or in developed countries. We don’t have the daily fights that they have to fight, and if it’s possible to help others while causing smiles, what are we waiting for?
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Great Fayçal Mosque
Sante Marie Cathedral
Port of Conakry
Camayenne Botanical Garden
National Museum of Guinea
Port of Boulbinet
The Los Islands
The beach and village of Tayaki
to sleep & eat
Hôtel 5* Sheraton Grand Conakry
Hôtel 5* Palm Camayenne
EVENTS TO CONAKRY
To start, two or three small practical details for your stay!
Tipping works as in France, that is to say that it’s not included in the bill but it’s recommended to give it if you have been satisfied with the service.
Don’t forget your driving license to go to Ibiza, of course the island is very well served by the transport network, but it’s much more convenient to rent a vehicle on the spot, especially since there is no need for an international permit.
As for a place to sleep, I have no particular address to give since I have always been hosted by locals on site.
When it comes to the best time of year to travel to Ibiza, it depends on your preferences. There is of course the high season in summer, when the heat is in full swing and the weather is idyllic but that is accompanied by the presence of many people, necessarily! This is when there are the most parties and organized events.
You can just as well go there outside of this period, more towards spring, to take advantage of beautiful heat but of the presence of less tourists.
Ibiza, party or nature?
My attachment to this island is a bit particular since 2 summers in a row I lived there a few years ago, the summer of my 17 years old and that of my 18 years old. Previously part of school trips to Germany and Italy, it was the first solitary trip I made, even if I joined locals on site, which helps to convince parents you imagine! Going back on a roadtrip to Ibiza this summer was a bit like going back to basics, but this time equipped with a drone to capture the most beautiful images possible of this adored island.
So what if we were talking about the island of Ibiza?
Let's start with a little G culture point to get to know this island better. Ibiza, by its other Catalan name Eivissa, is the largest island in the Pityuses Islands, but the 2nd smallest island in the Balearic archipelago.
Located in Spain, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza confronts several settings, activities and populations.
Ibiza .. aaah Ibiza .. this little island seen all over the world as THE meeting place to party from morning to evening but also all night!
Ibiza, or THE place of reference to see the most prestigious DJs, or THE mythical spot for hippies.
We are not going to lie, yes, Ibiza is rather expert in matters of party. First, huge nightclubs have taken up residence on the island, such as Amnesia, David Guetta the Pacha's club, the Ushuaia, or even Privilege, the largest box in the world.
Then, all summer long, you will be able to see all the biggest DJs of the globe programmed in the different places!
Finally, between the famous districts for the party, everything is organized to facilitate transport and movement between the before, the clubs, the bars and the after.
But beware, all this has a certain cost!
However, these tourist places being localized and concentrated in certain places, such as for example the main city of Ibiza, what about the rest of the island?
Quite simply, Ibiza is also an island rich in majestic landscapes and idyllic decor! You will meet its inhabitants throughout the rest of the island all year round, who will surely tell you how to avoid tourists in droves and discover exceptional landscapes.
The best is to rent a car or a scooter to move freely throughout the island and discover all of its riches! You should know that the island is small and crosses in length in just over an hour.
The diversity of nature that Ibiza offers makes it one of a kind, since it mixes sandy beaches, coves of all kinds, steep coasts, lagoon areas and a relief of hills and high plateaus dotted with pine trees.
Are you more of an early riser? You can then sit by the creek or on a beach to enjoy a magnificent sunrise in the northeast of the island, as on Figueral beach. Do you prefer to sleep fat? So for you it will be rather in the evening to the southwest of the island that you can admire a breathtaking sunset, as for example when the sun comes to caress the Es Vedra islet, an unmissable spot on the island!
During the day, what could be better than basking in the pill under the blazing sun, in a Mediterranean setting and bathing in turquoise water? Ideal in the aftermath of the evening to recover right? For the bravest, it is easy to go on an excursion to find corners just for you where the song of the cicadas and the lapping of the waves will be your only neighbors.
To plan somewhere in your schedule, a jump on the island of Formentera, an island famous for its turquoise water but suddenly quite touristy!
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
A day or more in Formentera
The Hippy Market Punta Arabi
Las Dalias market
Cala d´hort - Es vedra
Santa Eularia des Riu
Sant Llorenç de Balàfia
Cala d´es Portixol
Port of san miquel
San Marca Caves
Platja of its saltworks
Platja d'en Bossa
Nagai Restaurant Ibiza, Sushi & Fusion Cuisine
El deseo (bistro mexicano et mezcaleria)
C'an pilot restaurant
Ibirosa (extra ice cream!)
Can tothom beach restaurant
EVENTS TO IBIZA
So what will you choose? Party, nature or a cocktail of both ? 😉
First thing, you don’t go to the United States without your ESTA visa, which costs 14 dollars and which is obtained on the internet very quickly, it’s valid for 90 days. (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov )
Generally, Florida has a certain cost, I found life there quite expensive so you have to budget accordingly.
Regarding the best time to go to Florida, I will designate the spring and autumn to avoid people and have good temperatures.
For tips, French people are famous as stingy. It’s therefore often recommended to leave at least 15% of the bill. However, most of the time in tourist places the tip is already included in the overall score.
Miami Beach, Miami AND THE FLORIDA Keys
It is true that for many French people, the United States is present in their minds and stirs up curiosity, even to the point of becoming a dream for some. Everyone has their preferences for the destination, it’s in Miami Beach that I had the opportunity to put my luggage for ten days, and here is my feeling.
First, we can clearly say that Miami, Miami Beach, and all the riches that Florida offers are very distinct and different. I'm talking to you here about what I could see in 10 days knowing that obviously, I would have liked to do more!
Being housed in the heart of Miami Beach, this is the part that I really saw from all angles. The city is broken down into several districts, each one more emblematic than the other, which are surrounded by huge beaches as far as the eye can see. In the south of the island is the South pointe park, as its name suggests it’s the southern tip of Miami Beach, with a magnificent lush park, buildings with art deco architecture, and a long pontoon leading into water and allowing you to admire the east coast of Miami Beach, and more precisely South Beach, since this district encompasses the entire southern part of Miami Beach, logical!
I had heard a lot about the art deco district of the city, so I looked for it before I realized that finally, art deco is omnipresent on Miami Beach ..! You walk on a large avenue, you take a very small perpendicular street by chance and bim, you come across a work of art worthy of science fiction films. The style of art deco architecture is very widespread, which gives buildings colorful and warm!
For shopping enthusiasts, it’s of course at Lincoln Road that you will find your happiness on Miami Beach. A looong pedestrian avenue, stores in abundance, including major brands that have decided to set up there, but also art galleries like that of National Geographic, completely free, or the Juvia rooftop for a nice cocktail or eat a bite.
Finally, opposite the access to the beaches, there is the Ocean Drive district, which is mainly intended for people wishing to have a drink or eat! You can have a brunch there all day, but after dark, a festival of luxury cars and lights will be yours. Small concerts of all styles of music, tap shows, ladyboy shows, there is something for everyone!
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Miami is really a huge city, it has a multitude of things and places to do and see that are very diverse.
For starters, there's a skytrain, the metromover, which lets you visit Downtown Miami and make short trips around Brickell and more. With its many stops, it’s easy to use to visit the business district and this metro is completely free!
Again I’m going to speak to the shopping enthusiast, I highly recommend going to Bayside, day or night. Open-air shopping center, it’s very pleasant to walk around or have a bite to eat, and the shops are really nice! In addition, it’s also a port with many boat activities on offer such as visiting celebrity islands, speedboat or even a DJ night cruise.
For athletes, and for others too, I swear, it's really worth seeing it once in its life, you can't go to Miami (or the States) without going to see a basketball game! You will never watch a match like this in France again. Ah yes, because there, it’s really a level above at all levels: an atmosphere of madness, an indescribable show, permanent activities, rain gifts, in short, we don’t get bored for a minute! The real American show right? What is certain is that next time I will go back, and I hope to be able to discover other sports like ice hockey or American football!
Finally, I need to tell you about my big crush on Miami, the Wynwood neighborhood. If you want to explore it, you really need to spend at least a full day on it. This huge neighborhood is a real work of art accessible to everyone who is full of wonders. If you like street art, you won't know where to turn! Each building is transformed into a gigantic fresco, each building is a story meticulously told by mixtures of colors and shapes.
In love with nature, I end with what seduced me the most on this trip, the Florida Keys! But what is it, then ? The Florida Keys represent an archipelago of thousands of tiny, often uninhabited or very few islands. In fact, they form a natural barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Key biscayne & Virginia key
To go see these 2 islands, I decided to rent a city bike for the day from Miami. Yes I know, you have to love sports challenges ..! I did a full tour of the 2 islands dotted with many stops to see the magnificent landscapes I came across. At the far end, at the southern tip of Key Biscayne halfway, I was lucky enough to be able to climb up to the Cape Florida lighthouse and see the view from above, it was really impressive and ... dizzying!
What I will remember from this day is that the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes are incredibly beautiful. Does it often happen to you when you are on a bicycle that an iguana and a squirrel cross at top speed on the road? Or do you still eat in the parks with raccoons? It was just magic.
This island is the southernmost point of the United States, there is just 150km that separates it from Cuba! We can say that the atmosphere is reminiscent of the 50s / 60s, it's very nice and exotic with beautiful colorful houses on stilts. Key West is one of the most beautiful snorkelling spots in Florida, just on the catamaran trip I could see a dozen majestic turtles. At the time of the dive, a shark appeared among the many colorful fish, which earned me great fright you can imagine ..! Many other water activities are offered there such as jet skiing, and I personally embarked on a parasailing tour, an activity that I had wanted to try for a long time. With the parachute rising to an altitude of 100m, I enjoyed a breathtaking view of the island, while being fortunate enough to be able to observe a turtle swimming on the surface.
I find that the atmosphere on these islands had nothing to do with the rest of the United States and even the rest of Florida, these different islands really took me to another dimension, to another world, as if time stood still and let me admire what nature can offer us.
- Everglades National Park
- Orlando and all its parks
- Palm Beach
- Daytona Beach
- The Keys road to Key west
- Virginia Key & Key Biscayne
MIAMI BEACH :
- South Beach
- Art deco district
- Ocean drive
- Parking 1111
- Holocaust Memorial Miami beach
- South pointe park and Lummus park
- Mid Beach
- Lincoln road
- Little Havana
- Little Haiti
- Wynwood neighborhood
- Downtown Miami
- Bayside marketplace
- American airlines arena
- Brickell avenue
- Venetian Pool
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- Bayfront Park
Juvia restaurant & rooftop
Hostel South Beach Rooms and Hostel
EVENTS IN FLORIDE
A real moment of relaxation and breaths of fresh air that I would like to repeat in the future over the longer term and with new keys.
So when is your departure?
The city of Budapest results from the unification in 1873 of 3 cities formerly named Buda, Pest, and Obuda. Buda is the upper part located on the left bank, and Pest the so-called lower city, on the right bank of the river. Even today, we can clearly distinguish the difference between the two parts. The Buda side is more historic, green and calm than the Pest side, which is more dynamic.
The summer is very hot in Budapest and the winter is very harsh, so I recommend going to Budapest rather in the spring or autumn, so you will avoid too many tourists. Personally I went there in June, the temperatures were perfect but there were already a few people, it was still largely reasonable.
For tips, the service is rarely included in the bill, it’s advisable to leave between 10 and 15% of the total bill.
If you are a citizen of the European Union, you don’t need a visa for a stay of less than 90 days.
In order to make your life easier, I share the day-by-day itinerary I took during my stay in Budapest. In the proposed route, it's up to you to choose when your legs want to rest a little as well as when your belly wants to be full (very important).
The itinerary can be done entirely on foot between each stage, but it also depends on where your hotel is located. Bus and metro networks are very easy to use when needed. The Claudia Rooms & apartments was a whole apartment in very pretty and very modern airbnb. Claudia is very welcoming and available, but above all the apartment is wonderfully well located, close to the most famous bar in Budapest and a street of foodtrucks where the food is varied and excellent!
The content per day is in my opinion largely achievable without being pressed for time, in order to leave you all the time to enjoy the excellent lemonades on the terrace or small snacks here and there.
The city of Budapest was a wonderful surprise and I highly recommend it, I didn’t expect such a green and diverse city. It’s a very beautiful city that has lots of things to do and see!
Gellert Mountain with the citadel
Arriving in the middle of the day, I did this half-day program. If you have the whole day, you can largely add an activity or two.
So when I arrived I went to the Halles of Budapest to have a bite to eat after having collected the keys to my apartment in airbnb. There is also a large part reserved for small souvenir shops. Being the first place I visited I bought nothing but I had to go back later in the stay, simply because at the price of souvenirs, it was the most interesting in Budapest.
I went on with the Liberty Bridge in order to go to Gellert Mountain.
It’s a very pleasant walk which climbs up to the citadel and a panoramic viewpoint over Budapest which is just magnificent.
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
DAY 2 : BUDA
Buda Castle Hill + Budapest History Museum
Parliament and chain bridge at night
You can start the day by crossing the beautiful Chain Bridge, which was the first secure and permanent link between Buda and Pest.
Then you have to climb the hill of Buda Castle, which you can visit with the Budapest History Museum.
Between the castle and Matthias Church, take the time to stroll through the medieval Varnegyed district, a district with magnificent cobbled streets!
In the same place, you will quickly see the Fisherman's Bastion, a belvedere that offers a beautiful panorama of Pest.
At the end of the day, you can take the metro or a boat shuttle to get to the Houses of Parliament and the Chain Bridge at night, it's really worth seeing them in the dark all lit up! Right next to the Chain Bridge are some very cool tavern bars if you want to stop there or watch the sunset.
DAY 3 : PEST
Széchenyi thermal baths
Szimpla kert bar
Budapest central halls
Gellert Mountain with the citadel
Buda Castle Hill
Budapest History Museum
Shoes on the Danube
House of Terror
Szimpla kert bar
Daisy Island (margitsziget)
Gellert thermal baths
Basilica of Saint Etinne de Pest
Hungarian National Gallery
Museum of Fine Arts
Claudia Rooms & apartments
TO DRINK & EAT
Szimpla kert Bar
Il terzo cerchio
Csernak botond (brunch)
Before going to Vajdahunyad Castle, a short stop on the majestic Heroes' Square is recommended! You will then enter a huge park containing the next 3 steps. So first there is the magnificent Vajdahunyad Castle, in which there were many small food and activity stalls.
Once the tour of the Castle is over, you are directly in Varosliget Park, a huge green park which will allow you to completely disconnect from the urban side of the city of Budapest. A nice nature break before always going through the park, to the Széchenyi Baths. These are very impressive, and for me really worth seeing when going to Budapest. For a ridiculous price, you have access to heated outdoor pools but also a multitude of indoor pools whose temperatures vary. There are also saunas and steam rooms. A real moment of relaxation that went well with the visit of the park.
At the end of the day, go to a must-see place in Budapest, the Szimpla kert bar. Very famous, I strongly recommend that you go and discover the decor and the atmosphere of this magical place.
Shoes on the Danube
House of Terror
EVENTS TO BUDAPEST
First thing, I advise you to go early in the morning to the Great Synagogue because there is a
waiting line before even the opening of it! The sooner you get there, the less people and waiting.
After this visit, you can stroll through the Jewish quarter, while taking the direction of shoes on the banks of the Danube, which is a memorial dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Shoah.
Thereafter and not far from there, it’s possible to visit the Parliament.
Finally, I recommend a visit to the House of Terror, a museum that traces the history of Hungary torn between the different communist and fascist regimes. The museum is very interesting and above all very well done.
Have a nice trip ! 😊
For a long time not understanding this craze for the city of London, I was finally able to discover and understand why people fall in love with this British city.
For me, there is no better season than another to visit London, each with their own charms and advantages. However, in summer or in winter, bring a kway and / or an umbrella, it’s known that rain is frequent in London no matter the season !
For tips, it’s appreciated to leave 10% of the bill in restaurants.
I went to London with my mom, to whom I offered this trip !
How to offer a trip to London in an original way and make the pleasure last when the person unwraps the gift ? I'll explain everything just below !
OFFER A TRIP TO LONDON
As my mom loves travel like me, I had the opportunity to prepare for this 4 day trip to London with great joy. But how to offer it in an original way? I didn't want an envelope with 2 plane tickets (too short), or to announce it in person, so I thought long and hard to find a slightly funny setting.
I found a really big box, in which there was a smaller box at the bottom.
In the large box, I slipped wrapped and numbered clues, from the least obvious to the most obvious, so that she could guess what these objects represented. Of course, I also introduced objects that had nothing to do to confuse the issue and that it was not too simple. To fill the box and make her look for the various objects, nothing better than newspaper! All the indices were bought cheaply from home decor stores such as Gifi and do not require a big budget.
The clues were:
1. A rose, the emblem of the country
2. A box with an English Bulldog as a picture
3. A unicorn stapler to cover things up
4. A magnifying glass evoking Sherlock Holmes
5. A crown in reference to Queen of England of course
6. A Rolling Stones painting
7. Sunglasses to cover things up
8. A beautiful clock in reference to Big Ben
9. A bag of English tea
10. A Harry Potter Snitch Keychain
11. A red telephone booth, the famous one !
Once all this unpacked, normally the destination is revealed ! But there is still a little doubt, London okay, but what ?
This is where the second box inside comes in, the smaller one you remember?
In the latter first of all at the bottom I put the biggest dictionary I found, just to make it heavy and confuse the issue once again. Above the dictionary were 2 plane tickets to London, as well as the exact 4-day program (see details below).
There you have it, no more doubts, this is indeed a trip to London, and the unboxing of the gift was long, exciting and fun !
Whether it's an gift trip or not, here are the day by day routes we took during our stay in London.
Days 1, 3 and 4 can be done entirely on foot. For day 2, a metro between the Palace of Westminster and The Shard viewing tower is required.
Also, depending on where your hotel is located, it’s possible to have transport to reach the first point and to return from the last.
Covent Garden district
Avenue Picadilly Circus
The first day is actually half a day since we landed at 11:30 am.
Staying not far from Trafalgar Square, we could drop by to get to Covent Garden, where we were immediately immersed in the English atmosphere and where we ate our first meal. Once satisfied, we strolled through the famous streets and boulevards, from Leicester Square to Picadilly Circus Avenue, via Chinatown and Oxford Street.
Changing of the guard at 11 a.m. in front of Buckingham Palace
St Jame’s Park
Palace of Westminster
The climb to The Shard's observation tower
A passage through Tower Bridge
A tour of the Tower of London
The Sky Garden Bar
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Direction Big Ben to start the second day, which unfortunately was under construction .. and therefore on which we did not spend too much time. Not far from there is Westminster Abbey and depending on what time you get up, you can go directly to the Palace of Westminster (to be booked upstream), otherwise you can always come back after the changing of the guard at 11 am in front of Buckingham Palace via St Jame's Park. Be careful, you have to come a little before 11 a.m. to get a good seat and see well there because there are a lot of people !
Following the succession or the Palace, go to the panoramic tower The Shard, before passing by the famous Tower Bridge to visit the Tower of London.
Finally, to end the day well, you can go up for a drink or a meal at the Sky Garden, but be careful, you have to book very well in advance because this place is very popular !
Morning in Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market
Meal at Churchill Arms
Walk in Hyde Park
Visit of the Natural History Museum
For the 3rd day, I was really looking forward to discovering Notting Hill and its magnificent colorful houses ! A really cute district full of joy, I loved it ! We quickly find the Portobello Road market, very lively and nice !
The best thing is to get lost in all the small streets of Notting Hill to discover the most beautiful houses and be quieter (even alone) to explore, take nice pictures and take your time. It’s true that the main arteries of the district are very busy and it’s not the most pleasant and relaxing !
After having wandered around, you can descend towards the Churchill Arms, a must-see in London, to eat at the Thai restaurant (to be reserved beforehand !) or have a drink.
For digestion, a short (finally big) walk is essential in Hyde Park, where if you are lucky like me, you may meet little squirrels !
Lastly, I recommend visiting the Natural History Museum which is definitely worth it !
Avenue Picadilly Circus
Palace of Westminster
St James Park
St Paul's Cathedral
The Shard Scenic Tour
Tower of London
Sky Garden Bar
Portobello Road and its market
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Churchill Arms Restaurant
Natural History Museum
King’s cross station
Camden Town district
TO DRINK & EAT
Churchill Arms Restaurant
Sky Garden Bar
Caffè concerto London
Arrival by metro at King's Cross Station
Passage through the British Library
Walk in Regent’s Park
Camden Town area + meal at the market
Already the last day in London, another trip that goes by too quickly !
Our plane being at 7pm, so this last day is not too busy in terms of the program.
If your hotel doesn’t keep your bags for the day, you can, like us, find points specializing in this area that must be booked in advance on the internet, so that it’s not full. For my part, I booked at a point near King’s Cross Station, the first place to see of the day in addition to being the station where the train left to go to the airport.
A little disappointed with the famous Harry Potter caddy built into the wall in King's Cross station, I didn't expect that at all ! It's not on a train platform and the area is marked off for taking photos by a professional with a huge line-up, so we didn't spend too much time there.
Not far from the station is the British Library, which can be visited very quickly.
Then we strolled through Regent’s Park, before heading to Camden Town, an unusual place and really to do ! We ate there since there are many street food stalls present, before exploring the many shops and surroundings.
EVENTS TO LONDON
And that's the end of this Mother-Daughter trip at the top, hoping that all of this gives you ideas and inspires you !
First, some practical advice!
You don’t need a visa if the stay is less than 3 months. Vaccines against hepatitis A and B and typhoid are recommended but not required.
As for when to go to Marrakech, the winter is cold it can get down to 0 degrees at night in the desert, and the summer is very very hot. I therefore recommend going in the spring or in the fall, September being the ideal month for the still warm but tolerable temperatures, and not to get too crowded.
Beware of non-potable water, you have to buy water bottles !
From the airport you can take a taxi for around 20 euros to get to the center of Marrakech, so I advise you to book a taxi in advance for only 13 euros.
Here is a 5-day program full of discoveries in Marrakech all ready for you.
The route can be done entirely on foot each day between each stopover, but depending on where your hotel is, you will need to plan for a bus or taxi ride.
You can find a bus card at 50dh, or 5 euros, or take a ticket for 4dh.
There is also a red tourist bus, which costs 145 dh for the 24h pass or 190 dh for 48h.
Living close to Koutoubia, I didn’t need these transports and therefore I didn’t test them.
Each day, it's up to you to decide when do you want to get full.
Content per day is in my opinion largely achievable without being pressed for time, in order to give you plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings and fully soak up the city vibe.
El Badii Palace
Arriving early in the morning in the city of Marrakech and at Riad Catalina, I was able to start the visits quickly. I started my day with a visit to the Saadian tombs, before going to El Badiî Palace which .. I wasn’t able to visit ! Indeed, I had to reshuffle the days several times because of the fact that the El Badiî palace was privatized for weddings or events, to the point that I wasn’t able to visit it during the entire stay.
The Bahia Palace, meanwhile, was under renovation so the largest courtyard was missing from the visit. It was still a wonderful palace, with incredible architecture !
To end the day, I tried a first immersion in the souks to spot all the pretty things I was going to be able to bring back!
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Yves St Laurent Museum
Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam
Second day, meet at the Jardin Majorelle early in the morning, this is surely the visit I expected the most ! You have to reserve your seat in advance to cut the (very) waiting line and in any case, whether tickets have been booked in advance or not, you should come as soon as possible to have as few people as possible. At dawn, there are already people waiting impatiently ! Not disappointed with this magnificent garden with bright colors and lush vegetation.
Right next door, you can visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which can also be combined with the Majorelle Garden on the entrance ticket.
After this beautiful morning and a good meal, why not a digestive stroll at Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam? What to rest, stroll and enjoy the calm and the vegetation before going to the Koutoubia mosque. The latter, like all mosques in the city, are prohibited to non-Muslims. In this case, it is therefore a matter of simply gazing at the building from the outside.
For this third day, I had booked a day trip to the Atlas mountains and the Agafay desert, to get out of the city and discover the surrounding nature of Marrakech. This excursion cost me 37 euros, and here is the link :
This excursion was really great, it was a amazing day, with a very nice guide ! He only spoke English but it wasn’t hard to understand, if I was successful, anyone can !
We went to several beautiful spots, the meal was included and excellent, and the guide even took us to his house in his Berber village.
The only downside is at the end of the day when he brought us for a 15min camel ride, where I didn't find that they treated the animals very well .. if you are sensitive to the animal cause like me, know that there is no obligation to take this walk.
El Badii Palace
Yves Saint Laurent Museum
Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam
Dome of the Almoravids
Medersa Ben Youssef
The Secret Garden
Jemaa el-Fna Square
Place des Ferblantiers
Salat Al Azama Synagogue
The new town
The Palm grove
to eat & DRINK
Medersa Ben Youssef
The Secret Garden
Head to the Medersa Ben Youssef for the fourth day, a jewel of Saadian architecture !
After this visit, you can proceed to the Secret Garden, a richly decorated palace with traditional Islamic gardens, a truly relaxing and beautiful place.
Finally, you can end the day with a visit to the famous Jemaa el-Fna square, for a drink or a bite to eat, before strolling once again in the souks and relentlessly negotiating your memories before buying them.
EVENTS TO MARRAKECH
On this fifth and final day, I strolled the streets, bought some souvenirs (again) and tried a hammam with massage !
However, if I had to do it again, I would put the hammam session on another day, such as at the end of day 2 for example, or at the beginning of the afternoon of the fourth day, in order to plan another nature excursion in the countryside !
Now you just have to pack your bags, and hop direction to Marrakech !
For the record, 87 French people (including me, hehe) were selected to participate in an immersion program funded by the Chinese government, in partnership with the College de Paris network, of which my Keyce Academy school is a part.
So I left as part of an end-of-study stay after passing all the Master's exams, to study Chinese sociology and philosophy on site at Shanxi University in Taiyuan.
We were quite free in terms of our schedule, which allowed me to travel a lot through China, much to my delight !
We also made tours of Taiyuan and surrounding areas with the University.
Despite the Chinese lessons I had there, it is very, very, very complicated to interact with the Chinese people. She doesn't speak English at all, except in bigger cities like Shanghai, but even in Beijing, the capital, we struggled to talk. Which leads me to tell you that you shouldn’t go to China without a translator app with you, which will help you a minimum. I used Translator, which translates written, spoken and even menus.
Also, if you're going to China, get a VPN, there are free ones like Psiphon pro, or paid ones like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. I highly recommend ExpressVPN, it never failed me during the 3 months unlike NordVPN. Why a VPN ? Simply because China is blocking all the sites we are used to using : Facebook, instagram, whatsapp, google, EVERYTHING. There, a single application gathers everything : Wechat.
It’s quite complicated to install Wechat, moreover at the end of the installation the application asked me to be confirmed by a Chinese national, so I had to go to unknown people in the street to ask them ..not simple haha. So for a short stay, I think it’s not useful to install it, but if you are staying for the longer term, it’s really essential ! Why ? Because the Chinese people do EVERYTHING with this app. You will quickly notice that paying cash there bothers the seller more than anything else. Most of the time, payments are made by Wechat and it must be admitted, it's super convenient. Via this application you can also order food, order a taxi, be on a social network like facebook / instagram, run your washing machines, send money to people, chat like on whatsapp, call, play, in short ALL. Personally I had opened a bank account in China to receive the Chinese government scholarship, so it was very easy to switch money to the app and pay anywhere with it.
The easiest way to eat is to take a picture of what you want and show it off, it's the most effective way we've found to make yourself understood !
To count, don’t try to make numbers with your fingers to make yourself understood, they are not the same as us ! Here are the appropriate actions :
Regarding the time of year, I will say that it depends on what you want to see in China, spring and summer are necessarily more pleasant, but the autumn period allows for magnificent landscapes with unique colors. Winter is bitterly cold, but that's the price to pay if you want to see the Great Wall of China in the snow or watch the ice sculptures in Harbin ! Either way, it depends on where you're going.
Last thing and not the least, it’s necessary to have a visa for any entry into Chinese territory, here is a site which perfectly summarizes all the modalities :
After these few practical information, I will now try to transcribe to you as best I can these 3 months of visits, each more extraordinary than the last !
3 MONTHS IN CHINA : ITINERARY IDEAS
In order to get to the essential and make it as clear as possible, I'll share with you what we did, destination by destination and in how long. On most trips we were a group of 9 people.
It's up to you to adapt according to your own stay if you stay longer or shorter, and to see what you want to add or take away.
My TOP 3 :
- 1. Guilin / Yangshuo
- 2. Zhang Jia Jie
- 3. Datong
(And if I could add a fourth, it would be Shanghai!)
I won't say more here, I'll let you look just below!
Good reading !
Xuankongsi Hanging Temples
Ramparts of Datong
The wall of the nine dragons
Oldest part of the Great Wall of China: Yanmenguan
I booked a weekend in Datong for a group of 9 people. For 100 euros per person, there was round trip transportation in a private minibus from the University to Datong and vice versa, as well as all the journeys between the visits and a night in a magnificent hotel.
The tour points are all far from each other, I think the best way to see them all is to book a weekend like us with a driver who knows the area.
The driver picked us up very early in the morning from the University, first to take us to the oldest part of the Great Wall of China. A just incredible moment, you can imagine, repeating over and over again "Wow, friends, we're on the Great Wall of China there !! Come, let's take advantage of the present moment ! ". A very sporty walk to go all around the base, steps, steps, and more steps ! But when you are at the top with such a view, you forget everything, it's well worth it !
The icing on the cake : very few people on the Wall !
After this incredible moment and the meal, the driver took us to Yungang Caves, just as magical ! The place is huge and allows for a truly calming stroll. You will see a lot of temples and places of worship, as well as caves with Buddhas carved in stone of all sizes, a real feat. We had the chance to end the visit with the sunset, which gave warm colors.
After this incredible day, head to the Datong Hotel, with beautiful rooms and a huge delicious self-serve buffet, enough to spend an excellent night after a night tour of Datong town and its ramparts.
For the second day, we were early in the morning in downtown Datong just past the Nine Dragon Wall. The driver then took us to the Xuankongsi Hanging Temples, a real architectural feat ! Be careful, you don't have to be dizzy to go up to these temples, the passages are very narrow. The visit is impressive, but quite quick overall.
Following this visit we went to see Yingxian Pagoda, before the meal and stroll to discover the surroundings and shop.
This is how this fabulous, emotional weekend ends!
ZHANG JIA JIE
Zhangjiajie National Forest
Tianzishan nature reserve
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Besides the 2 days of travel where we did not actually make any visits, we only stayed 2 days in Zhang Jia Jie.
If I had to do it again I would come for a longer period, to have more time to do the Zhangjiajie National Forest, which is impossible to do all of it in one day, and also to explore the Zhang jia jie Grand Canyon.
So we made a first day at the Zhangjiajie National Forest where we had a blast ! It’s a surreal setting that surrounds us, we understand why James Cameron was inspired by these landscapes for his film Avatar ! The more you advance in the course, the more you immerse yourself in these wonderful landscapes.
We did the Bailong lift in the park, and I don't recommend it, it's expensive for what it is, not much going on, the descent is very very short and if you don't you are not in the first row in front of the window, you will not see a thing.
The visit to the park is long and takes all day. We had to cut short in order to get to the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge over the Grand Canyon. This infrastructure is the longest glass bridge in the world. Located 300m high and measuring 430m long, thrills are guaranteed ! A busy day that we will remember !
The second day, direction Mount Tianmen, for I didn’t know it yet, my worst fears of the whole trip to China. You really don't have to be dizzy to make this visit !
First you have 2 ways to get to Mount Tianmen, a cable car, or a bus. As the cable car was under maintenance, we had no choice to take the bus. And this is already where the adventure begins : a road of 99 hairpin bends to go up to the top, the bus going at full speed, first scare ! At the exit of the bus, 999 steps await you to go to the top. The visit of this Mount is a circular route that goes all around Mount Tianmen, on the edge of the cliff ! Almost all along, the path is a footbridge 1.50m wide hugging the side of the cliff, with, as if that were not enough, passages where the footbridge is made of glass ! There are also temples to visit, and a suspension bridge that moves as you pass. It was quite trying for me and I really had to overcome my fears ! I'm very happy I did it in the end, but I'm still scared writing it ! To finish you have the descent by bus of the 99 bends at full speed, always so scary ..!
The next day, we took the plane to Xi’an!
We just took a day's time to go to Xi’an to visit the famous Terracotta Army ! These statues were discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well. Since then, many archaeologists have worked to unveil this army, buried here just to accompany the First Emperor of China to his tomb. There are mainly soldiers, horses and chariots. Even today, the work isn’t complete and research continues, but you can still visit this impressive spectacle.
Fei lai feng caves
Pearl of the Orient
For our last stay we did a Hangzhou-Shanghai-Beijing combo to save a little time and avoid returning to Taiyuan between each trip.
Indeed Hangzhou and Shanghai are close and it’s easy to travel between the two by train very inexpensively.
We had 2 days there, arriving at the end of the day we visited the city center at night and went shopping on Hefang street, a very lively and unmissable street !
The next day, we explored the West Lake, partly on foot and the other part by boat, which is mandatory if you want to see the different islets of the lake.
After that and a good meal, we went to see Feilaifeng Caves and Lingyin Temple which are next to each other. It was a beautiful walk among the trees to discover the Buddha sculptures carved in stone on the cliff itself, as well as magnificent temples.
The next day, the majority of the group had not gone to Chengdu like me, so they wanted to go to the Hangzhou Zoo to see pandas as well as red pandas. Unfortunately, it was a very bad time for me, considering the living conditions of the animals, just scandalous for the most part. I don't want to dwell on this subject, but all I can say is that you should definitely not go to this zoo.
During the day we took the train to Shanghai, see you just below !
Arriving at the end of the stay in China, we unfortunately only had 2 short days to devote to Shanghai, otherwise I will really be staying there longer, it's a great city with a lot to do !
What I really liked about this city is the mix of the old and the new, the traditional with the modern and all the different styles of architecture that can be found there.
When we arrived the first evening we went to the Bund to admire the illuminations on the huge buildings of Shanghai, which immediately immersed ourselves in the atmosphere of the city. We continued by going to the Bar Rouge Rooftop, a must-see and famous place with a beautiful view of the buildings of Shanghai and the Pearl of the Orient !
The first day we went to Yuyuan Garden, a pure beauty ! I really loved this calm and relaxing garden, with a thousand and one wonders. Take the time to discover it, to lose yourself in it, to go back and forth, to land on it, and to admire it.
Following this visit, you can take a stroll in the Huangpu district, to have a bite to eat and shop. It's big enough and you will find a lot of memories ! But be careful, before entering this bustling district, you have two or three small stores that offer all the memories at 10 yuan, at low prices and very interesting compared to the prices offered everywhere else (in Shanghai or in other cities for the same article), so don't be fooled and maybe start with these shops !
To end the day, head to the Bund to see the golden hour reflected on the glass surfaces of the buildings in the business district, before heading to the Pearl of the Orient, a must-see in Shanghai.
This 468-meter tower is the 4th tallest tower in Asia and the 6th in the world. The visit takes place over several floors with one of them where the floor is made of glass (and yes, more!), enough to have some sensations !
After this rich and busy first day, the second day was much quieter with a visit to a park and the AP Plaza, the largest "fake market" in Pudong, which is located under the Science metro station. & technology museum from line 2.
GUILIN / YANGSHUO
Bamboo boat on the Li River
Yangshuo impression show
Longji rice fields
Sun and Moon Pagodas
Shi Xiufeng District
Here we are at my favorite destination in China, with wonderful memories in mind..!
Arriving at the airport, we met Jerry, a great guy from the tourist office who recommended and organized almost all of our activities during the stay for less and better than what I had found before the trip. He was really a great guy beyond his job, always available and very kind, a meeting that will stay in mind !
So we had 4 days there, that's already good, but if you can stay longer to see more, that's great !
After leaving our luggage at the hotel, we went out to explore Guilin City by night. The Guilin This Old Place Int'l Youth Hostel was ideally located, right next to the Sun & Moon Pagodas and all the beautiful scenery around them. While taking a tour of the city, we discovered some kind of market hall, which turned out to be the best place on the whole trip to China to eat, really ! All kinds of local and Asian dishes, excellent grills, smoothies and trays of fresh fruit, waffles and ice cream, in short, it was nice to find such good flavors ! It will be the place where we eat every night during our stay in Guilin.
On the first day, a driver picked us up in a private minibus from our hotel, to take us to a tea plantation. Being a big tea consumer, it was very interesting for me, especially the tasting with the explanation of all Chinese customs. We were taken care of all day by a driver and a tour through Guilin & Yangshuo.
We visited villages, bamboo boat rides on the Li River, ate, walked several magnificent and unmissable spots, to finally end the day at the Yangshuo impression show, a magnificent show in an unusual setting, by the troupe who made the opening and closing spectacle of the Beijing Olympics, a really good time ! That evening, we slept in Yangshuo in the charming Ladder inn hotel, in order to discover the very lively and colorful city center with all its super pretty light decorations !
The next day we had booked a tailor-made day by email with Trippest. We still had a private minibus all day to take us to all planned points. First again a little bamboo boat on the Li river in a different place than the day before, then the visit of Xianggong mountain, the most beautiful view of all the spots (well I think everything was so beautiful that force one is more sure), then finally a visit of the village Jiuxian before eating a good meal.
Then, the best time of the day, the scooter rental to discover the Yangshuo Valley through the fields ! We took small paths in the middle of breathtaking landscapes, a feeling of freedom and happiness that engraves memories forever ! We then returned to Yangshuo to spend the evening and sleep there.
The third day was entirely devoted to the visit of the rice fields of Longji, where it was necessary to make a little road to reach it ! Despite the rain, it was a day full of discoveries where we were able to see magnificent landscapes here again.
At the end of the day we returned to Guilin to sleep at the same hotel as at the beginning of the stay.
The fourth day was more chill, and for the afternoon when there was nothing planned we called our friend Jerry, who in 30 minutes sent us a driver to bring us to Mount Yaoshan, too loud this Jerry, I told you !
Mount Yaoshan is the highest mountain in Guilin with its height of 909 meters.
After a long and somewhat creepy ascent in a two-seater chairlift, you can enjoy a ride dotted with remains and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and plains. The little extra, you can go down a part of the mountain in a toboggan and if you are lucky like us, you will witness at the same time a magnificent sunset.
Last night in Guilin before leaving the next day, we took the opportunity to do some shopping, we stumbled across a market with very nice people, until we came across a Chinese who brought us to his tea store for a tasting and chat with us, a great time to end this colorful stay !
Giant Panda Research Center
Kuan alley and Zhai alley
Leshan Big Buddha
Sichuan Opera Show
We left for 4 days in Chengdu, or the city of pandas ! Everything here is made up of pandas, and it's very cute !
At the same time, that was the main reason we came to this city : the giant panda research center. So we started with this huge reserve, which takes a good part of the day, where you can see a lot of giant pandas but also red pandas, really too cute ! The park is very big and you are finally quite close to the giant pandas, you can see them really up close, which is quite pleasant !
As for the red pandas, there is a place where you pass squarely in the enclosure, they pass over your heads on walkways or trees, they are in semi-freedom and I loved it ! As we passed, two or three red pandas came running and having fun on the visitors' path, enough to see them very, very close for the moment, too cool! After that we went to visit the city of Chengdu including Chunxi road.
The second day was dedicated to Leshan, a very small town whose main asset is the 71m tall Buddha. It’s very beautiful to see and it’s a visit which takes place in 2 stages, first a visit by boat to see it from afar as a whole, and then a walking tour where a route will be indicated to make all around the Buddha, and a walk that goes further.
- Yungang Caves
- Xuankongsi Hanging Temples
- Mount Heng
- Huayan temple
- Shanhua temple
- Ramparts of Datong
- Nine dragons wall
- Yingxian Pagoda
- Drum Tower
- Oldest part of the Great Wall of China: Yanmenguan
- Ningwu Ice cave
ZHANG JIA JIE
- Mount Tianmen
- Zhang jia jie National Forest
- Zhang jia jie Glass Bridge
- Bailong Elevator
- Baofeng Lake
- Jinbian brook
- Tujia flok customs park
- Grand Canyon
- Tianzishan Nature Reserve
- Jiutian cave
- King Dragon’s cave
- Dayond town
- Puguang Temple
- Terracotta Army
- Xi’an city walls
- Big and small wild goose pagoda
- Bell tower
- Huaqing pool
- Drum tower
- Tang paradise
- Ancient city wall
- Forest of stelae
- Mount Li
- Daming Palace
- Xi’an Museum
- Huimin street
- Zhongnan mountains
- Famen Temple
- Qinglong temple
- Daci’en temple
- Hancheng lake
- Shaanxi Xi'an Botanical Garden
- Guangren temple
- Huangpu District
- Pearl of the Orient
- Nanjing Street
- Yuyuan Garden
- Shanghai World Financial Center
- Jin Mao Tower
- Shanghai Museum
- Shanghai Tower
- People's Square
- Fuxing park
- People's Park
- Longhua Temple
- Temple of the city god
- Jing’an temple
- Science and Technology Museum
- Epson teamlab
- Temple of Confucius
- West Lake
- Lingyin Temple
- Xixi national wetland park
- Leifeng Pagoda
- Yue Fei Temple
- National tea museum
- Hangzhou Songcheng
- Liuhe Pagoda
- Fei lai feng caves
- Hefang street
- Jingci temple
- Quyuan fenghe
- City god pavilion
- Baoshi Mountain
GUILIN / YANGSHUO
- Elephant Trunk Hill
- Reed flute cave
- Hill of the Moon
- West street
- Shiwai Taoyuan
- Yulong bridge
- Bamboo boat on the Li River
- Yangshuo park
- Lijiang guanyan
- Yueliang Mountain
- Yangshuo impression show
- Damian mountain
- Chaoyang marina
- Yaoshan Mountain
- Yulong River
- Longji rice fields
- Sun and Moon Pagodas
- Daxu Old town
- Xingping town
- Xianggong Mountain
- Laozhai Hill
- Shi Xiufeng District
- Giant Panda Research Center
- Chunxi road
- Kuan alley and Zhai alley
- Jinli road
- Qingyang temple
- Mount Qingcheng
- People's Park
- Chuanxi Zhuhai
- Wuhou temple
- Wenshu Buddhist Monastery
- Mount Emei
- Leshan Big Buddha
- Sichuan Opera Show
- Great Wall of China
- Forbidden City
- Summer palace
- Temple of heaven
- Beihai Park
- Ming tombs
- Yonghe Temple
- Beijing National Stadium
- National Museum of China
- Bell tower and drum tower
- Space 798
- Mao Zedong Mausoleum
- Beijing Botanical Garden
- Qianmen street
- Yuyuantan Park
- Longtan lake park
- Purple bamboo park
- Hongqiao market
- Mount Pan
- Olympic green
- Mengshan Giant buddha
- Chang’s mansion
- Jinci temple
- Yongzuo temple
- Qiao family compound
- Yingze Park
- Tianlongshan Caves
- Shanxi Museum
- Chongshan temple
- Fen River Park
- Juewei Mountain
- Jinshang Museum
- Taishan longquan temple
- Longtan Park
- Yingze lake
- Ancient streets of Taiyuan
- ShiPin Jie
- Museum of Lights
- Xinghualing District
On the third day we went to Mount Emei, one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China, 3099 meters above sea level.
We were supposed to sleep up there with a monk but weren't sufficiently equipped for the cold (plan to cover up depending on the season!) So we came back down after the visit but if you have the chance to do that can be a really great experience !
All along the ascent, as well as on the return, watch out for the very large monkeys who are looking to steal your food, don’t leave anything lying around, they are used to it and will not hesitate to take action if they spot that you have food.
At the top, you can admire a magnificent golden sculpture, as well as some temples.
This mountain normally offers a magnificent view above the clouds, but we didn’t have the chance to admire it due to the bad weather.
We went down last just before the site closed, and the monkeys had invaded the paths to do the trash, between that and the icy path on which you had to be very careful, it was a trip on the spot quite hot but ultimately amusing.
To end this stay in Chengdu, the last day was dedicated to the Kuan alley and Zhai alley for shopping, as well as a stroll in the lively People's Park !
And on the last night we attended a Sichuan Opera performance, where the specialty is changing masks in a fraction of a second.
Great Wall of China
Temple of heaven
Bell tower and drum tower
We went to Beijing twice during the 3 months, the very first trip and the last one, I didn't realize it before writing it down !
The two stays consisted of 2 days on site.
Compared to other cities in China, I didn’t feel that Beijing was the capital of the country at all. The city was less beautiful, less lively and less decorated than other cities in China.
The first trip, I had booked an excursion with a guide that included 3 essential places in Beijing : the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, linked below.
Excursion with get your guide:
These 3 tours were very interesting and it was convenient to have all transport included. The 3 places are full of architectural treasures and are must-sees in Beijing.
You will be amazed by the huge crowd in the Forbidden City, as well as the vastness of the place. The visit to the Temple of Heaven is quite short, and walking around the Summer Palace is very relaxing, especially at sunset as we were able to do.
The day before that day, having arrived early in the afternoon, we visited the shopping streets of Beijing, and it was pretty cool !
We went back a second time just to go to the Great Wall of China, Mutianyu section, and we were extremely lucky to have some snow on the Wall, which made for a wonderful show ! In addition, we were almost alone ! Another magical moment, etched forever.
There is also a toboggan descent here at the end of the tour and it's bigger than in Guilin, much to our delight.
It was clearly a great end to our last trip to China before returning to France !
TAIYUAN / SHANXI
Mengshan Giant buddha
Ancient streets of Taiyuan
Museum of Lights
EVENTS IN CHINA
Taiyuan (not to be confused with Taiwan), in Shanxi Province, was the city where my University was. So this is where I was staying and where I ended up with the Chinese government funded immersion program.
A rather beautiful city it must be said, with beautiful architectural works, but which you can still quickly get around.
You can visit the business district, stroll downtown to shop and the night market (where there are plenty of good deals!), or even stroll in Yingze Park, where you will be photographed such a celebrity by the Chinese population of this city who are not used to seeing Europeans.
One place I highly recommend is the Mengshan Giant Buddha ! There is a very nice walk to climb up to the Buddha and once at the top, the picture of the pink lotus flowers in front of him is really beautiful and original ! But it's not over, you can still climb up to be right in front of him and turning around, the scenery is downright pleasant.
On a completely different note, there is a light museum in Taiyuan which is really good ! I've always wanted to go to this kind of museum, and here is my wish come true ! It’s very well done and as it is not known, there is no one there, you will have the rooms just for you and that is a great privilege to enjoy it 200%.
The University has organized several tours for us in Shanxi Province, including the Shanxi Museum, Jinci temple, Chang’s mansion and Pingyao.
The latter, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, is an old and typical village that has preserved the vestiges and traditions of its history. It’s really very beautiful and I highly recommend this place.
Jinci Temple and Chang’s Mansion are two huge and beautiful places. Each of them is made up of large green spaces and real architectural gems. These visits were very enriching and great discoveries.
And there you have it, it's the end of an incredible 3-month experience that will be forever remembered !
Welcome to the article dedicated to Prague, Capital of the Czech Republic, nicknamed the "city of a thousand towers and a thousand spiers" !
First some practical information.
There is no visa required for European Union nationals.
Tips to give to the waiter represent between 5 and 10% on average of the overall rating, it may even happen that the waiter reminds you !
The tourist season runs from late May to September. It’s better to book your stay in April / May or September / October, to avoid the crowds and soaring prices, while having a pleasant temperature.
Be careful, outside of these months, during the winter period, many castles can be closed.
If you arrive by plane and want to get to the city center there is the 100, 119 or AE bus.
I had a short trip to Prague of barely 3 days, including half a day ! The proposed program is therefore quite short and if you want to go longer, I'll let you look in the must-see places what attracts you and that you want to add.
The route can be done entirely on foot between each stopover, but depending on where your hotel is located, the bus can be convenient.
It's up to you to decide when do you want to eat during the day.
Just one regret, as history interests me so much, I would have liked to have had time to visit the Terezin concentration camp, where excursions from Prague are organized. You can get there by yourself also for a lower cost so if you have more time than me, I highly recommend it !
Duplex The Rooftop Venue
I arrived at the Botel Albatros between noon and two, a boat hotel as the name suggests, which I highly recommend ! It’s not very expensive and it’s quite a change, it is original ! Indeed, your room is none other than a boat cabin and I was lucky enough to have one that overlooked the Vltava river. I even ate at the restaurant on the boat one evening and it was excellent !
So after finding my room, I went to Havleské triste, hoping to find something to eat. Luckily there were some excellent street food stalls which immediately immersed me in the country. I then toured the souvenir stalls before heading to Wenceslas Square, huge and filled with all kinds of shops.
At the end of the day, I stopped for a drink (or two) at Duplex the Rooftop, a wonderful place not to be missed !
St nicolas church
Saint Guy Cathedral & Prague Castle
To start the second day, I took a short ride along the river on the Lime electric scooter to get to the dancing house. It's just a matter of observing its unusual architecture so it's pretty quick. Then direction Charles Bridge to take it to get to the Lennon Wall. The latter is a magnificent piece of art in homage to John Lennon, I spent some time there looking at everything and trying to take some pretty pictures.
We continue exploring Prague with the Wallenstein Garden and St Nicholas Church, before heading to Strahov Monastery. Then you can visit St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle before taking a long walk in Letna Park.
Another great day full of visits and discoveries ! Ready for the third day ?
Illusion Art Museum
Old town square
Church of Our Lady of Tyn
Josefov district with the Spanish and Maiselova synagogues
Central gallery : Mucha, Warhol, Dali Museums
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
Duplex The Rooftop Venue
House of the Black Madonna and Cubism Museum
St nicolas church
Saint guy cathedral
Basilica of Saint George
Prague National Gallery
Zizkov transmission tower
Prague National Museum
Jewish Museum in Prague
Illusion art museum
Old town square
Mucha, Dali and Warhol Museum
Statue and museum of Franz Kafka
Saint Nicolas Church of Mala Strana
Church of Our Lady of Tyn
Jewish quarter with the synagogue
Third and last day already ! I highly recommend you to do the Illusion Art Museum, it’s really fun and original, with beautiful works inside. Best to go in the morning when it opens, that's when you'll have every piece in the museum almost nothing to yourself before the world arrives ! Right in front you can view the astronomical clock, you can even see it from the museum window and if you are lucky like me it will come alive the moment you are at the window, and there is no better point of view!
EVENTS TO PRAGUE
Then you can stroll through the Old Town Square and the surrounding streets, visit the Church of Our Lady of Tyn and then head to the Jewish quarter Josefov. In this neighborhood, there are two beautiful synagogues to see.
Finally, to end the day, I visited the Central Gallery, where there were 3 very enriching exhibitions on 3 floors, one on Mucha, the other on Andy Warhol and the last on Dali.
Have a nice trip !
Rome, the ancient capital of the world, still offers us today a real lesson in history and an often open-air spectacle of many vestiges dating from antiquity.
Since the time that I wanted to see this city, this is my wish fulfilled ! I don't know if I spent more time sightseeing or eating but what I do know is that these 2 aspects of the city are worth seeing !
The historical monuments and ruins scattered throughout the city are all extraordinary and of sacred architectural performance. The most fascinating and captivating for me will remain the Colosseum.
In terms of Italian gastronomy, what can you say that you don't already know ? I still dream of their pizzas, buffala mozzarella, pasta, tiramisu or even their chocolate ricotta, even if it has earned me many hours of exercise to catch up on my excesses.
Moving on to more essential information, at the restaurant, tips are not compulsory although they are greatly appreciated. Often the Italians are so kind, warm and welcoming that you will naturally want to give them some at the end of your snack.
I recommend going to Rome in the spring (or fall) to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures and to avoid the high season and its scorching heat and long lines.
I strongly recommend buying the Roma 72H pass. According to my calculations, it doesn’t save a lot of money but rather saves time and convenience.
By following the route suggested below, you will make the Roma pass 72H at 38.50 euros profitable (there is also a 48h version at 28 euros) and I advise you to buy it on the spot in a tobacco shop, at the station Termini, at the airport or in the museums directly.
The Roma 72-hour pass includes 2 free admissions to museums or tourist sites with skip-the-line advantage, and free access to all of the city's ATAC, metro, bus and tram transport network. You will also have many discounts (up to -50%) at other museums. The Roma spent 48 hours, allows you to take advantage of the urban network as well and discounts in museums but only contains one free entry with the skip-the-line advantage.
In addition to the magnetic card for museums and transport, you will find a map of Rome there.
In terms of transport, it’s quite practical not to waste time buying tickets for each trip.
For a stay of less than 3 months it’s not necessary to have a visa. Beyond that, a residence permit valid for 5 years will have to be obtained.
To make your life easier, I share the day by day routes that I took during my stay in Rome. In the suggested itinerary, it's up to you to choose when your legs want to rest a little and when your belly wants to be full (very important).
The route can be done entirely on foot between each stage, except for day 4 when it’s advisable to take a bus to the catacombs, and of course depending on where your hotel is located, the bus may be welcome as well. Content per day is in my opinion largely achievable without being pressed for time, in order to give you plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful culinary skills of Italians.
St Peter's Square & St Peter's Basilica
St Ange Castle
St Ange Bridge
Let's start the stay in Rome with a visit to the Vatican Museum which is really huge, here are some details to help you get to the point. First of all, you must book a ticket for the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel upstream before leaving, as this is independent of the Roma pass. When you arrive at the museum, you will have to exchange your electronic ticket on a terminal for a paper ticket, once this step is over, you are ready to visit this immense museum!
Once finished, let's head to the sumptuous Place St Pierre and its Basilica, there will be a bit of a queue to get in, but it's worth it !
Let's continue this day by going to St Ange Castle and then cross the St Ange Bridge just in front, before going along the Tiber to reach the Trastevere district, where many small cobbled streets lined with plants and colorful houses await you. You can stroll there as much as you want, as well as have a drink or eat on the terrace.
The second day begins, the long awaited moment for me : the Colosseum ! Thanks to the Roma pass and if you have not used it before for another entry, as advised, this entry will not have to be paid ! And it'll allow you to skip the long queue, and that's really cool ! I advise you to take an audio guide (1 for 2 is enough) to immerse yourself as much as possible in this place steeped in history.
Once this visit is over, which in itself is quite quick, you can go to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, again without paying with the Roma pass. Once inside, let yourself be seduced by the charm of the Roman remains, stroll through all these ruins that tell the story of Roman history.
Afterwards, you can go to the keyhole which is, to say the least, very surprising ! You will probably come across a line of people waiting in order to peek through a door lock, the result ? Yours to Discover.
Not far from there and to end the day, is the orange tree garden, a relaxing and rejuvenating place. The ideal is to sit on a bench while waiting to admire the magnificent sunset over the city of Rome.
Piazza si Spagna
Piazza del Popolo
TO TAKE IN THE SUITCASE
The Vatican and its museums
St Peter's Basilica
Saint Peter's Square
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza di Spagna
Castle st ange
Catacombs of Saint Callistus
Monument to Victor Emmanuel II
Baths of Caracalla
Campo dei Fiori
Basilica of Santa Maria
Baths of Diocletian
to eat & DRINK
Spaghetteria pizzeria l'Archetto
Centro Bar Restaurant
Cotto e magnate trattoria
Taberna Patricii and plebei
Head to the Pantheon for the third day ! No entrance fee to go inside, this is one of the best-preserved buildings in Rome and from which many buildings around the world have been inspired by its dome shape. Then, strolling through the small streets, go to Piazza Navona as well as Piazza Venezia, where you can admire the beautiful monuments or have a coffee on the terrace. Then, on the way to get to Piazza di Spagna, a stop at the Trevi Fountain is necessary, in order to admire this architectural performance which is only the end of an aqueduct built in 19 BC.
After these 2 stages, you can go through Piazza del Popolo to reach Villa Borghese, where you can rent bicycles to stroll through this huge 80-hectare park.
Monument to Victor Emmanuel II
Baths of Caracalla
Catacombs of Saint Callistus
EVENTS TO ROME
If you are lucky enough to stay a 4th day in Rome, I suggest you go to the Capitol followed by the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II for the morning, have a lunch break and then go to the Baths of Caracalla. You can continue with a visit to the catacombs of Saint Callistus, which are among the largest and most important catacombs in Rome.
This is the end of a trip that I have been waiting for a long time and in which I was not disappointed!
I now hope to return to Venice and do the Cinque Terre! :)
The borders have just opened again, Serbia is a green zone, so let's go for a surprise birthday weekend!
We had little time there, so we decided to devote the end of the day on Friday as well as Sunday in Belgrade, and on Saturday take a day trip with Serbia Excursions to discover the country.
It’s very easy and inexpensive to get from the airport to downtown Belgrade, taking the A1 bus for 2.50 euros. Be careful, you must be able to pay in local currency, which is the RSD. 1 euro = 115 RSD approximately. You can take the same bus back to the airport at the end of your stay.
Here you have to leave a tip, which is 10% of the bill of what you consume.
I recommend going to Serbia in May / June or around September / October for pleasant temperatures but not too hot, as well as to avoid the influx of tourists in high season.
Although Serbia is not part of Europe and is quite independent, you don’t need a visa for a short stay.
I don't really have an itinerary to suggest for this trip except for the day in Belgrade, so it's up to you to create it!
For Belgrade, the road can be done entirely on foot between each stage.
The content of the day is in my opinion largely achievable without being pressed for time, in order to give you time to stroll, to satisfy yourselves and to do a little shopping for those who wish it.
City center visit
Freshly arrived in Belgrade, we discovered our accommodation Amsterdam hotel, a very nice hotel with breakfast served on the top glass floor of the building, which offers a beautiful view of the city early in the morning, very pleasant! I recommend this hotel overall, the staff is very nice and the rooms are good, and we were able to benefit for 5euros from an hour of private spa (maybe covid measures?). However, the hotel restaurant is for my taste quite expensive for what it is.
Once the suitcases are settled, head to the city center for a stroll and soak up the atmosphere of Belgrade. The city center is very lively, with people and a lot of street performers. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful and the streets are all pretty.
We then came across the restaurant "Restoran Taverna", a very good typical restaurant, with adorable staff that day, very attentive to explain their dish to us, the menu not being translated into English, and very helpful, good advices.
Eight of Sargan
The second day starts with a meeting at 7 am with Serbia Excursions who pick us up from our hotel.
2 hours by car later we are at Drina's famous house, a small house built on the water by the children of the village. In the same place, we tasted an extremely excellent raspberry juice! Namely, Serbia is the first raspberry exporting country in the world.
The guide then took us to different viewpoints / spots to admire the beauty of the Serbian landscapes, before heading to Sargan Eight, a steam train tour in the mountains that lasts 2 hours and was really a very beautiful experience!
Finally, we went to Drvengrad, a typical wooden village built for the film Life is a Miracle by Emir Kusturica. Today it serves as a hotel for tourists.
Church of St. Sava in Belgrade
Saint Mark's Church in Belgrade
Belgrade Military Museum
Let’s go to Saint Sava Church in Belgrade for the 3rd day, which I couldn't wait to see! A pure wonder, and I don't know what was the most beautiful between the outside and the inside. We spent a little while around the church, being amazed.
We continued the day with St. Mark’s Church in Belgrade, which is also a beautiful monument and where we attended a wedding during our visit.
To get to Kalemegdan Park and the fortress, you have to cross the city center, perfect timing to land for lunch. We chose Submarine, an excellent burger restaurant, I recommend! The burgers are very well supplied and they make a very very good homemade raspberry