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Backpacking in Thailand and Vietnam

Backpacking in Thailand and Vietnam

Backpacking in Thailand, thanks to the many sights, the beautiful scenery, and reasonable prices, is one of the most popular choices among backpackers worldwide. The relatively good infrastructure and a rational number of Thais speaking English makes the land accessible to tourists. Each year, more visitors come to Thailand because it is a very beautiful place to visit.

Many backpackers start their journey through Asia in Thailand, so they can get used to the climate and also to prevent a major culture shock. This is a good start, especially for novice backpackers.

Excellent Locations In Thailand:

Bangkok

    Beautiful sights, interesting nightlife, many backpackers and more.

    Chiang Mai

    Not only is the city itself great, but its beautiful surroundings are worth a visit or two.

    Things to do in Thailand

    Thailand is widely known and admired for  Buddhism.The magnificent temples that can be found almost everywhereI are among the finest temples in the world. While backpacking in Thailand, you’ll undoubtedly see some beautiful sights, experience the people and culture, and encounter monks confidently practising their faith.

    Towns

    Most backpackers begin their journey through Thailand – and Asia – in the capital Bangkok. Bangkok, can be described as the backpacking mecca of the world; most backpackers in Bangkok gather on and around Khao San Road. The locals have responded well to the increasing visits and tours with hotels, souvenir shops, and cheap restaurants and bars. However, our favourite city is Northern Chiang Mai, where there prevails a friendly atmosphere and lots of beautiful sights to see and fun adventures to embark on. From Northern Chiang Mai you can also visit the wonderful village of Pai, a wonderfully relaxing destination.

      Islands in Thailand

      There are lots of islands in Thailand; from uninhabited islands to popular tourist islands. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and a good base from which you can visit the beautiful small islands in the region, like the southernmost island of Thailand: Koh Lipe. The Phi Islands which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful in Thailand, located near Phuket. Thre is also the famous island of Koh Samui to visit, around which you will also find the party islands, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

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      Arrange for your travel

      Ready to pack up and head out on this adventure? Here are some tips you should follow before you go:

      Savings and Credit card

      Of course, before you think about going on such a fun adventure you already saved up for the trip, I still need to remind you that you will need money. It is advisable that before you leave, you should apply for a credit card. This is better than having to carry cash around.

      Airline ticket

      Plan ahead and compare flights to make sure you get a good deal.

      Backpack

      Backpacking through long distances usually requires packing lightweight essentials to make your journey, easier, smoother and as adventurous as you intended it to be. This is known as lightweight backpackingFind the right pack for your trip through Asia as well as the appropriate items to pack. And read up on interesting backpacking hacks.

      Volunteer work

      Thailand is one of the nicer Asian countries to volunteer. There is a great combination of friendly people, beautiful scenery, and many possibilities to have some fun. You can volunteer, especially in Chiang Mai and some less known (and less touristy) places, where there are projects available. Interested in volunteering? Think of Singburi, Umphang, and Wang Nam Keo.

      Airfare

      Many backpackers start their journey in Thailand— not only because it is a great country, but also because it is easily reachable from the Netherlands. Moreover, you can also fly cheaply from Thailand to other countries in Asia and save some money.

      Nothing will prepare you for the beauty of the country — the Sam mountain to Halong Bay through the sacred temples, Vietnam has much to offer:

      Things To See And Do In Vietnam

        Explore Saigon And Hanoi

        The two biggest cities in Vietnam and yet so different: Hanoi, much more traditional, and Saigon, the city that moves. I find the first more charming, although, there is downright more things to do in the second. However, as some of my friends have disagreed, this remains a personal choice.

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        If you’re in Saigon, I highly recommend you test the ice durian at Bach Dang if you are passing through the city and also have a look at the Museum of Traditional Medicine (IOTF).

        If you go through Hanoi, you can not miss the Tran Quoc Pagoda on the shores of West Lake. You can also make a trip to the puppet show on the water. The theatre is located north of Hoan Kiem Lake.

        Halong Bay

        Halong Bay really needs no introduction.

        This is the Vietnamese tourist site par excellence. I must say it is something to dream about. Yes, during your trip, you will be constantly surrounded by other boats so it’s best to take a 2-night stay, which will allow you to go a little further into the bay and enjoy more quiet scenery. Do not miss Halong Bay Land; it attracts less crowds and offers beautiful landscapes.

        Make The Trek In The North

        Also in the north of Vietnam, Hanoi is the gateway to the various treks and hikes. This is an opportunity to meet some of the ethnic minorities of Vietnam. I suggest you go for a ride to the Ba Be National Park, where a wonderful lake is located; this will offer you a change of scenery and a new experience.

        Hue And Graves

        Discover the imperial city situated in the middle of Vietnam. You can discover its citadel, which is river perfume pagoda (Thien Mu) and tombs. Day visits are organised, and you can also rent a bike and go exploring.

        Hoi An And Cham Islands

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        Located right next to Hue, Hoi An is a small charming town. You will discover the Japanese bridge, its local markets, its old houses, beaches and many other things, like the city lanterns. The opportunity to discover places in a completely different atmosphere at night can be fun and exciting. The streets are lit by candlelight (on the 14th day of each lunar month) and the illuminated harbour holds a medley of colourful lanterns.

        If you’re in Hoi An, take the opportunity to spend a night on the Cham Islands and start each morning (early) by going on a speed boat. Guests can enjoy deserted beaches and a life without electricity.

          Enjoy The Beaches Of Nha Trang

          You want sun and relaxation? Nha Trang is the seaside resort of Vietnam par excellence. Although many would say that it has lost its soul (large hotel beachfronts), it is a city that you should not miss.

          I recommend you rent a motorbike and browse its surroundings; you will have the opportunity of taking in its breathtaking landscapes.

          Do not forget to take a turn towards its hot springs (Thap Ba Hot Springs), where you will have the opportunity to take a mud bath.

          Make The Sky Surf In Mui Ne

          If there is a good spot to indulge in it’s Sky Surf it’s Mui Ne.

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          With nice hotels, favourable wind and great sailing schools every 500 meters, you will not have any excuses. You can rent boards or take lessons (about 100 euros for 3 hours).

          Take the opportunity to also take a ride on the sand dunes where you can go sledging and ATVing. Even better if you have photos to show your friends. In short, it’s a good time and experience to spend a few hours from the Saigon bus.

          Make An Excursion On A Motorcycle To Dalat

          The more mountainous southern city, Dalat, is famous for its flowers and hinterland. So take the Easy Rider motorcycle services and go for a day trip (15 to 30 euros). Enjoy the scenery and the pleasure of a motorcycle ride. As a bonus, you can sip Vietnamese coffee and find out about What’s with the Weasel Coffee.

          Discover Phu Quoc

          The largest island of Vietnam opens its doors. With its sandy beaches, some almost uninhabited, you’ll really feel like you’re on a deserted island. If you love fresh water, know that you can take a dip in the waterfalls as well.

          Happy Backpacking! Happy Adventure!

          Image Credit: Bangkok via Bangkok.com; purple beach via Jonny Clow; food via Harvey Enrile; beach via Auskteez Tran

          Featured photo credit: To Be Frank Magazine via tobefrankmagazine.com

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          Kyra Taylor

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          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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