Top 10 places to see the Northern Lights

Who doesn’t have seeing the northern lights on their “kick the bucket” list?

If you’re wondering where on earth is the best place to see the aurora borealis, check out this list of TP bloggers who have successfully experienced the natural light show in the sky.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Dc314 went on a Northern Lights bus tour in Reykjavik

Dc314 went on a Northern Lights bus tour in Reykjavik

“As we are heading back, and midnight approaches, the right side of the bus could see the northern lights. The bus pulls over in the middle of nowhere and everyone gets out in the street. We saw the dancing white light in the air, and it was actually pretty cool. We got to see it for about 30 mins. Then we drove a little more and hopped out of the bus again. I was able to take a few pics, but unfortunately I am not able to hold a camera still for 10 seconds without a tripod, so they are a tad blurry (you can get the idea). Interestingly enough, the lights are green in the pictures, instead of white. At about 1 a.m. we head back to the city. We finally went to bed and called it a night, very tired but very happy to have witnessed this natural phenomenon.” – Dc314

2. Svolvaer, Norway

Everardt snapped this picture while searching for Moelje in Norway

Everardt snapped this picture while searching for Moelje in Norway

“When I came outside I happened to look up in the sky and there were 2 pale green bands of light in the sky. All of a sudden there was some electrical activity and I just managed to get my camera out in time to photograph the northern lights.” – Everardt

3. Iqaluit, Canada

Yours truly in the northern tundra

Yours truly in the northern tundra

“On our way home, I look up in the sky and it is FILLED with green and grey colours. The northern lights! On my last night in Iqaluit, the sky is clear enough to see it! It’s not more colourful than in Yellowknife, but it’s a LOT more monstrous. It just fills up the entire sky with dancing light. It lasts for about 30 or 45 minutes and just abruptly as it began it stops.” – starlagurl

4. Tromso, Norway

Jimborussell in Norway

Jimborussell in Norway

One of the workers rushed into our tent and excitedly pronounced that the Northern Lights could be seen outside. I was outside in a flash and stood there gaping at the sky for about an hour. The lights were quite faint, but definately visable. They covered a third of the sky at their most intense, and fluctuated and moved slowly in large waves which seemed to point downward from the heavens in a way I find very difficult to explain. They didn’t last all that long, but were amazing. – Jimborussell

5. Fairbanks, USA

Margiewilson spent a week enjoying the wilderness in Fairbanks

Margiewilson spent a week enjoying the wilderness in Fairbanks

“The afternoon was great, but the evening was better than we could have ever have imagined. We were told that the night would be a good night for the Northern Lights, so we could hardly wait to see them. Around 9 p.m., the first line of Lights were showing but they came and went. We went outside and another band of light was showing around 10 p.m. A group of us were outside in awe of the lights and we were all trying to get pictures of the lights. The lights started dancing around in the sky and we were mesmerized by them. We watched for a while, then went to the room and watched from the balcony. The lights were very active that night, there were some other people watching from their balcony and when the lights went dancing again one man from Russia started screaming and jumping around on the grass saying it was a miracle. And I think it was. What a wonderful way to end the day. We will never forget the sight and we are so thankful that we were able to experience the colors in the lights.” – Margiewilson

6. Tok, USA

Neeterb and her dog in Alaska

Neeterb and her dog in Alaska

“As we prepared for bed, Warren came in and said he thought we were going to see northern lights. Back outside to stand with our necks craned to see the display that seemed just for us. To the naked eye, the lights appeared faint and white. I wasn’t able to get pictures with my camera, but Warren did. The lights, to the camera, were actually green. Absolutely astounding and another checkmark off my list of things to see in Alaska.” – Neeterb

7. Yellowknife, Canada

Lolly's fiancee proposed under the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

Lolly’s fiancee proposed under the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

“We found a dock on Great Slave Lake and watched the northern lights until they disappeared and the sky started to lighten again around 1am. It was then that Senica proposed to me on bended knee – how romantic!! What a beautiful setting on such an auspicious day – the highlight of the trip, literally!!” –

8. Cantwell, USA

Docn saw a glimpse of the Northern Lights amidst a herd of caribou

Docn saw a glimpse of the Northern Lights amidst a herd of caribou

“After cooking myself dinner and resting for a bit I headed back to the dog sled jump off point to check out the norther lights…which were amazing. Even cooler though was the fact that as I was standing there checking out the lights I started to hear what I thought were footsteps…quadraped footsteps…then out of the corner of my eye I saw what was making the noise…Caribou…they were all around me…apparently they were crossing the road where I was parked…I couldn’t get any pictures because it was pitch black…but they were everywhere!!!” – Docn

9. Edmonton, Canada

Nancydeb visited the West Edmonton Mall and saw the Northern Lights in the same day!

Nancydeb visited the West Edmonton Mall and saw the Northern Lights in the same day!

“We did get to see the green haze of northern lights one night when we were in Edmonton. I was surprised they were visible even in town with all the street lights but there they were, so that was pretty cool.” – Nancydeb

10. Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hannahfoster with the standing stones in Callandish, Scotland

Hannahfoster with the standing stones in Callandish, Scotland

“The second night we were high up on the hills on the Ilse of Skye and that view was pretty awesome too. The night we stayed there we could see the Northern Lights. They weren’t that spectacular because we werent quite far north enough but still it was a pretty glow in the sky.” – Hannahfoster

Featured blogs Hot places

10 funny signs from around the world

Traveling around the world as an Anglophone can be pretty funny. Most people try to speak English, but they don’t all quite get it.

This worldwide phenomenon has spawned such websites as Engrish.com among many others. Here at TravelPod, we’ve got our own assortment of funny signs. Some of them more coherent than others…

1. “Don’t throw coins in crocodiles mouths”, Bangkok, Thailand

"It might cause them death"

"Please don't throw coins in crocodile's mouths. It might cause them death"

“I have a hodge-podge of various new pictures to upload, from Lauren and Halloweeen, to a festival, and most notably from when we went to the zoo! The pictures will pretty much explain themselves, and there are a lot of pictures of animals so I thought that I would give everyone a Thai language lesson with it too.” – Schipper

2. “This place danger” in Gyangze, China

"This place danger. Take devious route."

"This place danger. Take devious route."

Our final activity was a hike up the Gyantse Dzong – an old fort in the middle of town. We had the fort to ourselves not a tourist or Tibetan was there. We took it slow going up (man can we feel the altitude here – or we’re really out of shape!) but the view was worth it – we could see the entire town, the monastery, and the Himalayas in the distance. Not a bad way to see the sunset! – Carlaandmike

3. “Guests are requested…” in Broome, Australia

"Guests are requested not to leave meals unattended unless they wish to share them with the seagulls"

Rachandstu found this sign at a bar on the beach in Broome, Australia

“To celebrate being in a town, we went out for dinner at a bar on the beach where we sat with our pizza and drinks – (a glass of cold wine for Rachel – what a novelty!) and watched the sunset.” – Rachandstu

4. “Passengers Attention” – Beijing, China

Lucy_and_adele found this warning sign in Beijing, China

Lucy_and_adele found this warning sign in Beijing, China

We climbed enough steps to do us a lifetime. The older section of the wall was really cool. All rubble and broken steps. when our legs couldn’t handle much more, we went to get the cable car back to the car park. They were out of order, of course! – Lucy_and_adele

5. “Be cautionary to fall into water” – Shangri-La, China

Fredtrip found another example of Engrish in Shangri La, China

Fredtrip found another example of Engrish in Shangri-La, China

I was positively surprised by Shangri La. Few tourists here, colder weather (we are at 3200m), a lot of Tibetans and a pleasant living old city.
The city was originally called Zhongdian but some locals decided to change its name to make it more attractive to tourists. New name comes from James Hilton’s 1933 bestseller: Lost Horizon.. – Fredtrip

6. “The top of an… wha?” – Jeju City, South Korea

Jknoff22 thought this sign was amusing

Jknoff22 thought this sign was amusing in Jeju City

“If you can’t read it, it says, “The top of an election is a clean election.” Now say it as a Korean would, changing the “l’s” to “r’s” and you have an enigmatic yet very funny sign.” – Jknoff22

7. “Smoke is billowing” – Hachioji, Japan

Tothemoon found this strange sign in Japan

Tothemoon found this strange sign in Japan

I’m glad the trip ended up much better than it started, but I kinda don’t ever wanna go on vacation again. – Tothemoon

8. “Premarital sex” – Telluride, USA

78ers found this sign humorous in Telluride, USA

78ers found this sign humorous in Telluride, USA

“On our way back out to the main road, we drove on a little half gravel/half paved road through a really beautiful area. The road passes the town of Dunton- apparently it’s actually a privately owned ghost town, so I don’t think you can walk around it or anything. But the whole stretch of road was really nice, Silas and I were sort of hating the people who live there!” – 78ers

9. “The grass is smiling at you” – Beijing, China

Bizarreirishsta found this sign in Beijing's Olympic Village

Bizarreirishsta found this sign in Beijing's Olympic Village

“After our day at the Summer Palace, we made our way to the Olympic Village. We had enough time to get to it and have a snack before it started raining. It didn’t rain much, but just in spurts. The Bird’s Next is quite the architectural design, but definitely more impressive from a distance.” – Bizarreirishsta

10. “Fartshumper” – Olderfjord, Norway

Marksadventures loves Norwegian signs

Marksadventures loves Norwegian signs

“This is the only photo worthy of being shown today….another funny Norwegian sign!” – Marksadventures

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Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh

Having just come back from a trip to Pittsburgh, I thought I’d give a round up of the best sights to see in case anyone else is planning a similar trip. I made it to most of these points of interest and can vouch for them wholeheartedly. Hope you have a fun time in Pennsylvania too.

1. PNC Park

Dcashman's kids at a Pirates game

Dcashman's kids at a Pirates game

“We drove back over to PNC Park, over a bridge. The main bridge is blocked off before game time for pedestrian traffic. We got in and went right down behind centerfield. Right next to the Yankee bullpen. The team was warming up and was interacting with the fans. We saw most of the pitchers including Mariano Rivera, Daryl Rasner, Edwar Ramierz and Andy Pettite. Daryl Rasner signed Hannah’s ticket. They were really nice. Mike Mussina warmed up right next to us. The game started and the yanks got off to a 4-0 lead. After 2 1/2 innings it started pouring as thunderstorms approached. Everyone retreated into the concourse where we intermidetly waited and went back out to seats 2 or 3 times as the rain stopped and started for the next 2 hours. After all that waiting the game was called. It was sad but at least we got to see a little of the game and the beautiful ball park.” – Dcashman

2. The Duquesne Incline

Jeremystravels spent a romantic evening with his girlfriend at the Duquesne Outlook

Jeremystravels spent a romantic evening with his girlfriend at the Duquesne Outlook

“One of the other things we did was went up to the Duquenese Lookout at night to view the city of Pittsburgh from the surrounding hills. According to some lists this is one of the most romantic spots in the country [top 10]. I couldn’t complain.” – Jeremystravels

3. The Cathedral of Learning

Lagalag1 outside the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh

Lagalag1 outside the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh

“We drove to the university area of Pittsburgh, Oakland. We went to see the Cathedral of Learning,especially the Nationality Classrooms. The cathedral of learning is a 42 story Gothic building. There are 24 nationality rooms. Each room is designed ethnologically as the country (ex–Russian, Norwegian, Hungarian, Syrian etc).” – Lagalag1

4. Carson Street and the South Side

Crashhopper's friend's son, Andrew in Pittsburgh's South Side

Crashhopper's friend's son, Andrew in Pittsburgh's South Side

“Then we grabbed a bite to eat in this cute area I think is called the south side where all the bars are in the city by Duquesne. It was an artsy area.” – Crashhopper

5. Kayaking on the Allegheny

Jenn_and_dave went for a three mile kayak in Pittsburgh

Jenn_and_dave went for a three mile kayak in Pittsburgh

“After a short introduction to kayaking and how to paddle correctly we were in the water (the Allegheny River). We paddled three miles to a boat ramp next to Pittsburgh’s new baseball stadium. We then jumped back into our kayaks for the 3 mile paddle back. Along the way, Dave and Ben saw a rope swing and decided to dock their kayaks. Yahoooo yells Dave and Ben as they swing through the air like escaped chimpanzees and falling into the river below.” – Jenn_and_dave

6. The Andy Warhol Museum

I loved the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

I loved the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

“The Andy Warhol Museum was just as I expected it would be. A big giant loft space, full of pop art. It was like heaven on earth. My favourite art, all in one place. All from Mr. Warhol, but to top it off, the temporary exhibit was Shepard Fairey, the guy who made that famous Obama stencil, and also the guy who did the Obey Andre the Giant stencil and designed some White Stripes album covers and Smashing Pumpkin’s Zeitgeist. Awwwwesome. I could’ve easily spent a few hours just there.” – Starlagurl

7. The Frick Art & Historical Centre

The Frick Historical & Art Centre in Pittsburgh was quite interesting

The Frick Art & Historical Centre in Pittsburgh was beautifully preserved

The house was marvelous. Built in the late 19th century, it had a children’s playhouse just as big many regular houses are today. There was a stable (which now houses a museum of automobiles), a greenhouse and lots of fancy stuff inside the house. Most of it was kept as it originally appeared when Henry Clay Frick lived in it back in the day So he had all the latest trends in convenient living. Electricity, one of the first “paging” systems for his staff, flushing toilets, aluminum on the ceilings, you know.. all that awesome stuff. Our tour guide was pretty amazing. It wasn’t that she was in “period” character, she just really talked like somebody from the early 19th century. You could tell she just lived and breathed this house. I WISH I had a video, just of her. I should have asked her to talk to me outside…. After a tour of the rest of the grounds on our own, and a visit to the art gallery, (which had a really great photography exhibit on an old children’s hospital) we were off to the strip district for a kind of walking lunch tour. – Starlagurl

8. Primanti’s in the Strip District

Must eat: a sandiwich at the original Primanti Bros.

Must eat: a sandiwich at the original Primanti Bros.

“We stopped in at Labad’s for some hummus, then onto Primanti Bros. to try their famous sandwich with the french fries in it. This time, it was moderately delicious, the coleslaw was a lot more vinagery. I wonder if going to the actual original restaurant made the difference?” – starlagurl

9. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Dinosaur bones at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Dinosaur bones at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

“We had a couple of hours to go through the Carnegie Museum, which I was pretty excited for. We saw some dinosaurs and Steph and I made a new 5 year old friend while hanging out inside a giant plastic Blue Whale heart. We asked him where his parents were, he simply said, “I don’t have any parents.” Oh boy… So I sort of kept an eye on him until the people who actually were his parents showed up. So the whale exhibit was good, even if it was a bit smelling of fish.” – starlagurl

10. Carnegie Museum of Art

Really nice modern art at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Really nice modern art at the Carnegie Museum of Art

“After that, we went to the art part of the museum, which was also good. I especially liked this piece where children’s books were made to look like a flock of birds taking off into the sky.” – starlagurl

Hot places

Pittsburgh TravelPod meetups

On my latest foray into the good ol’ U.S. of A., I met up with a bunch of awesome TP bloggers in Pittsburgh! VisitPittsburgh was kind enough to provide me with airfare and a hotel room during my stay there.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t all get together on the same night, so I met up with everyone in the area individually.

Here’s a run down of the awesome bloggers I met in Pennsylvania:

Jeremy, aka Jeremystravels, was only in town for Halloween weekend. He’s a frequent forum poster and just came back from a whirlwind tour of Egypt.

We met up for my first taste of the famous Primanti’s sandwiches and then joined his girlfriend Angie at Clearstory Studio for an amazing hipster-tastic costume party.

Jeremy and I at Primanti's on Halloween

Jeremy and I at Primanti's on Halloween

Jeremy and his girlfriend Angie all ready for the Halloween party at Clearstory Studio

Jeremy and his girlfriend Angie all ready for the Halloween party at Clearstory Studio

On Monday, Erwin aka mrshyguy and Allison aka jessnallie came out to enjoy the nighttime view of the Pittsburgh skyline at the Grand View Saloon. Erwin is a new member of TravelPod, just checking out the scene. Allison is quite the frequent blogger herself, writing about the trip she took with her daughter to New Zealand earlier this year.

Allison, Erwin and I at the Grandview Saloon

Allison, Erwin and I at the Grandview Saloon

Allison and I at the Duquesne Incline outlook at the top of Mt. Washington

Allison and I at the Duquesne Incline outlook at the top of Mt. Washington

And then there is Ray, Mr. Roundtheworld.

Later on in the week, I met up with Ray who happened to be in the area on his big giant American road trip to Florida. He has been a TP blogger for the better part of the last three years, writing and posting about all his adventures in Asia and Australia.

He picked up a shiny new TP water bottle and we shared some beers with my Couchsurfing host, Arunan at BBT (Bloomfield Bridge Tavern)

Ray at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ray at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ray with my Couchsurfing host at BBT

Ray with my host at BBT

TravelPod Buzz

Chris Guillebeau’s 9 overrated tourist destinations vs. 9 alternatives

Chris Guillebeau came up with the 9 most overrated destinations and then offered alternatives to each of them.

I wanted to put them to the test, so I checked out what TravelPod bloggers thought about all 18 places.

1. Niagara Falls (Thumbs up)

Donhad thought Niagara Falls was "worth the trip"

Donhad thought Niagara Falls was "worth the trip"

“We had a whole day to do all the main tourist stops …..including a trip behind the falls, the Niagara experience (a movie in the round that rains and snows on you as you watch it). Up the space needle like tower for photos, a walk along the rapids, and of course the Maid of the Mist boat ride (WOW ….and in the front of the boat).” – Donhad

Alternative: Victoria Falls (Thumbs up)

Flolafol taking in the scenery of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Flolafol taking in the scenery of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

“Swimming in Devil’s pool, a natural pool right by the edge of the Victoria Falls, white-water rafting the Zambezi, relaxing in a great chilled backpacker, spending time with wire Zimbabwean artists teaching me how to make my own wire baobab… the program in Zambia was hard !!!” – Flolafol

2. Grand Canyon (Thumbs up)

Jimandlaura thought the Grand Canyon was impressive

Jimandlaura thought the Grand Canyon was impressive

We entered the national park around 4pm, paying $25.00 for the privilege, and stopped off at ‘Grand View’ overlook for our first sight of the Canyon. Wow…it was as awesome as it looks on the telly! It certainly dwarfs the likes of Zion Canyon. – Jimandlaura

Alternative: Sedona (Thumbs down)

Bobnkaren thought the intense tourism in Sedona was "painful"

Bobnkaren thought the intense tourism in Sedona was "painful"

“It causes almost physical pain to see stupid retail shops built so near these breathtaking cliffs. It’s criminal. It just shouldn’t be. Arizona caved on this one–this should be a national park, not the purview of the wealthy.” – Bobnkaren

3. Bahamas (Thumbs up)

Hecqs really enjoyed Bahamas' Exuma islands

Hecqs really enjoyed Bahamas' Exuma islands

About 40 miles south of Paradise Island and an hour boat ride via IslandWorld Adventures….. We reached Saddleback Cay, a part of Exuma Islands. This is another out island adventure ….. I will say the best so far I had from Nassau. Lemon shark feeding shoreside in a clear aquamarine water… we were also greeted by the local stingray….. and a little historical tour of the island….. and a moment on a sandbar…. – Hecqs

Alternative: St. Kitts & Nevis (Thumbs up)

Ri-anne.cruz loved the seaside views at Frigate Bay in St. Kitts

Ri-anne.cruz loved the seaside views at Frigate Bay in St. Kitts

“First he showed us the town of Basseterre– a gracefully revived town and capital of St. Kitts. After decades of sleepy existence, this elegant and graceful West Indies town was restored from its shabbiness. Now with careful and sensitive restoration it revealed all the original charm and preserved its Caribbean architecture.” – Ri-anne.cruz

4. Paris in the summer (Thumbs up)

Gilmoregirls was impressed by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Gilmoregirls was impressed by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

“Arc de Triumph more impressive than I expected. Decided as this was our last nigh in Paris that we would have dinner on the Champs Elysse and this was a good decision. Waiter was the typical French stereotype, suggesting what Madam would enjoy and being very attentive. Happily food and atmosphere lived up to expectations.” – Gilmoregirls

Alternative: Paris in the winter (Thumbs up)

Clandybar found great discounts and shorter lines in Paris in February

Clandybar found great discounts and shorter lines in Paris in February

“We only stood in line for about 10 minutes at the tower, then we were up the elevator and on our way. It was just as exciting as I imagined it would be. Great views! We had sun for the first part of the afternoon but the sky got grey by about 2:30 p.m. We made it up to the very top of the tower – a bit chilly in February but totally worth it. We were lucky that we didn’t wait until Saturday as the top level was closed due to bad visibility.” – Clandybar

5. Las Vegas (Thumbs down)

Alvrez got lost amongst the Las Vegas lights

Alvrez got lost amongst the Las Vegas lights

“Afterwards we decided to show the kids the neon of the Las Vegas Strrip again, but instead got hopelessly lost (yes, even with the GPS working properly!!) and eventually gave up and went back to the hotel to bed.” – Alvrez

Alternative: Any American Indian casino (Thumbs up)

Modernoddyseus squinting at the bright lights of the American Indian casino

Modernoddyseus squinting at the bright lights of the American Indian casino

“Casinos are only fun if you make them fun. Or, if you win. Then they´re really fun. Otherwise, casinos are just a bunch of dull people who mistakenly think they´re not just throwing their money into a hole in the ground.” – Modernoddyseus

6. Dublin, Ireland (Thumbs up)

Magicwoman82 in Dublin with a Bulmer's

Magicwoman82 in Dublin with a Bulmer's

“I am just back from 6 days in Dublin and I had a wonderful time. Many of you might now that I am madly in love with Ireland (and yes with you too Fernando 😉 ) and that I have lived there for 6 months back in 2007.” – Magicwoman82

Alternative: Smaller towns in Ireland

Neason's friend, Elaine hanging around in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland

Neason's friend, Elaine hanging around in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland

“This weekend a guy in my class invited all the 3rd years up to his parents house in Northern Ireland for his birthday… The house was amazing, it used to be lord someone’s summer residence and was a very impressive Georgian manor. There were 11 bedrooms (used to be 16 but they merged some ’cause it just wasn’t necessary to have 16 bedrooms in a 5 person household), at least 3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, 2 lakes, stables, gate house and a big fountain in the courtyard. And it was all furnished in antique/period furniture. – Neason

7. The Pyramids (Thumbs up)

Brianporter felt more than a sense of accomplishment in Egypt

Brianporter felt more than a sense of accomplishment in Egypt

“Few countries can match Egypt’s wealth of ancient monuments and temples; the relics of Pharaonic culture have been drawing visitors for centuries. On arrival in Port Said, we felt a sense of accomplishment, that we were about to set foot in a country that most dream of visiting. There is universal fascination with the ancient Egyptians who established a magnificent and enduring civilization that flourished from around 3000 BC to 30 BC, ruled by approximately 30 dynasties. Pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, King Tut and Cleopatra. How can you top that?” – Brianporter

Alternative: Jordan (Thumbs up)

Rose of Boydandrose floating in the Dead Sea

Rose of Boydandrose floating in the Dead Sea

“We arrive at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea whose shores are at 420 m below sea level. It is now 3 PM and the sun is already starting to drop into the horizon. We change into our bathing suits for a quick dip in the Sea. It has a dark sandy beach leading up to the water, then a fairly rocky bottom for the first 2.5 m and then it is sandy again. We walk about 10 m into the Sea and then sit down in the water. Instantly, it feels like you are on a tire tube (except there is no tire tube). It is one of the most interesting phenomenons we have experienced. There is no way you can sink.” – Boydandrose

8. Singapore (Thumbs down)

Stevewade eating Indian in Singapore

Stevewade eating Indian in Singapore

“We are exhausted but the second we arrive we decide we need to explore. A bite to eat (tasty as fuck duck red curry!) and a beer (well a jug of tiger) later i’m down 80 quid. We decide to go to a bar full of hookers even though we’ve no money and no desire to shag hookers which was retarded. Cream’s bank card doesn’t work in any ATMs so I’m funding his trip it seems, the hookers wouldnt believe him when he said he had no money, but it was genuine. I didn’t realise Singapore was like that, the bars are full of them and they are mostly ugly and demand drinks (nae chance!). It was all a bit weird actually, I felt akward and just wanted to enjoy my pure blonde.” – Stevewade

Alternative: Malaysia (Thumbs up)

Stevewade enjoying a party in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur

Stevewade enjoying a party in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur

“This place was way off the beaten track not another tourist in sight and certainly no white people. On the way we came across this bizzare ‘shop’ which had a long rectangular pool, around this pool were families with fishing rods fishing for shrimp, what they catch they take home to eat. Was so surreal. We also saw lots of local eateries and what we’re told is a Malay pastime, lots of people gathered in a restaurant eating and watching a film. When we reached the house we found inside a multicultural group of people from all over the world who either lived there permanently or were stopping off on their travels including a couple who have been cycling round the globe for the past 4 years. We got everyone on the rum and cokes, got tanked, talked about shit, played a great card game that involved matching patterns and grabbing a stick which was rowdy fun and we found out what everyone’s favourite dinosaur was thanks to probably the strangest opening question from a newly arrived couchsurfer. An unforgettable night and then the couchsurfer stayed with us and this morning we had a traditional breakfast in china town, me eating fried duck and rice, G chinese rice porridge wqith chicken and spices then toured round KL seeing the sights, twin towers, KL towers etc, both mightly impressive.” –Stevewade

9. Dubai (Thumbs up)

Jring stretching to reach the top of the famous Burj tower

Jring stretching to reach the top of the famous Burj tower

“On the face of it Dubai is very materialistic with a strong divide between rich and poor but beyond that there is plenty of culture to be had away from the luxury resorts.” – Jring

Alternative: Oman (Thumbs up)

Tobyh on the edge of Wadi Ghul in Oman

Tobyh on the edge of Wadi Ghul in Oman

“Well, it turned out to be about three hours round-trip, but was one of the best hikes I had done for a long time. The trail almost immediately passed over the rim of the canyon, and then hugged the edge of the canyon as it slowly descended, with spectacular views of the other side of the canyon, and the peak of Jebel Shams itself above. Not for the faint of heart, the trail was barely more than a goat path about 30cm wide, with a sheer drop off to our right – looking down, the bottom of the canyon was about 1000m below! I kept my eyes on my feet. Eventually the trail ended at an abandoned village of primitive stone huts, where some adventurous people had, incredibly, created steep agricultural terraces on the canyon side. A bit ghostly in the absolute silence of the canyon, we then re-traced our steps back to the start, stopping frequently to admire the awe-inspiring views.” – Tobyh

Uncategorized

10 Friendliest Countries in the World

The Tripbase.com blog comes up with some interesting travel lists all the time. Today’s list highlighted the most friendly countries in the world.

I wanted to see what TravelPod bloggers thought about the people in these places.

Turns out all of them passed the real traveler test. All 10 bloggers found friendly people wherever they went.

1. Ireland

Ilya with Niemh, the newborn baby

Ilya with Niemh, the newborn baby

We spent some time at Kevin’s parents’ house in Athlone, which was pretty quaint. We met his sister, 2-week old niece, and his aunt, Carmel. They were all very friendly–Carmel even offered to let us stay with her the next time we are in Ireland! – Ilyaandrebecca

2. USA

Cayenne92 loved the staff at Kings' Land hotel in Hawaii

Cayenne92 loved the staff at Kings' Land hotel in Hawaii

Overall, I would say good job. Maybe a couple days of operation to iron out the kinks and clean up the dust. But they are in the right direction. The staff here is very friendly and accommodating. – Cayenne92

3. Malawi

One half of Kirstyandsye on the train to Malawi

One half of Kirstyandsye on the train to Malawi

One thing instantly noticeable after crossing the border was that people in Malawi are noticeably more friendly and laid back. Everybody says ‘hello’ and theres far less agro in places like bus stations and markets, people are quite happy to let you decide when you want something rather than stuffing it in your face and telling you you do. Maybe its cos there’s much more of a beach-type life because of the lake, maybe its to do with the missionaries or maybe its that there reggae music playing wherever you go – whatever it is, its dead refreshing. – Kirstyandsye

4. Fiji

Hotel staff preparing Spoonski's dinner

Hotel staff preparing Spoonski's dinner

I have to say the people in the villages were very friendly and seemd content despite the fact that by our standards they are living in very poor conditions. Anyone who visits Fiji and is cocooned in their luxury resort will get the wrong impression of the country. – Spoonski

5. Indonesia

Lisa_nz's friend in Indonesia

Lisa_nz's friend relaxing in Indonesia

Having found this fantastic room at such a good price was great, but we also found the people in the area some of the most genuinely friendly that we have come across in Bali. There was no one around trying to sell us stuff, other than the odd snorkel trip. Alan went for a walk quite early one morning and met a family along the way. They invited him in, offered him fruit and were quite happy to chat. They didn’t speak any English, and his Indonesian is fairly limited – but they managed. – Lisa_nz

6. Vietnam

Bebabui drinking with the village elder in Dalat

Bebabui drinking with the village elder in Dalat

The City of Dalat is a bit run down outside of the city centre but downtown is really very nice and much cleaner than the city of Sapa. It has a fabulous lake and a golf course, pretty lakeside cafes and restaurants, friendly people who smile constantly and traffic that is half decent. The gardens are welll maintained and there are benches dotted along the park where we can sit peacefully and enjoy the view. – Bebabui

7. Samoa

Johannajulien loved the staff at Malaetia's Resort in Samoa

Johannajulien loved the staff at Malaetia's Resort in Samoa

The absolutely best thing about the place were the friendly and hospitable owners, Sung and his wife Otilia, who invited us for their family Sunday meal and cooked meals for us twice a day even when the meals were not included in our price! – Johannajulien

8. Thailand

Haz14 enlisted the help of some friendly Thais to find his way to Kanchanaburi

Haz14 enlisted the help of some friendly Thais to find his way to Kanchanaburi

We successfully managed to negotiate our way out of Bangkok and to the bus terminal by metered taxi (although I pretty much had to turn the meter on!) and despite initially boarding the wrong bus, we managed to enlist the help of a couple of friendly locals and head for Kanchanaburi, home to the Bridge on the River Kwae made famous by the events of World War Two and the film of the same name. – Haz14

9. Scotland

Scenicroute2009 making dinner with new friends in Scotland

Scenicroute2009 making dinner with new friends in Scotland

The locals here are super friendly for the most part. We went into a local pub the first night. It was race night and the pub was crowded with people placeing bets. People came up and introduced themselves, even explaining how the race night worked. The next night we went to a pub that had karaoke which was a blast. I danced with men in kilts and they taught us some Scottish songs. – Scenicroute2009

10. Turkey

Helman's new friends made him tea on the bus

Helman's new friends made him tea on the bus

In fact we didn’t actually arrive to Sanliurfa until 1pm although the bus reached the local otogar (bus terminal) at 8 in the morning. Why? Well it turned out that the people here are extremely friendly, a lot of them speak German or want to practice their English or simply want to have a small chat with a foreigner (there are not many tourists coming visiting here). And Manuel`s blond hair does attract a lot of attention, even from people several hundred meters away (they come running from everywhere;) So until we found a place to stay we had at least 15 conversations with strangers in the street and got invited for tea 3 times. – Helman

Featured blogs

Best 16 Museums in the World

Virgin vacations put out this list a while ago of the best 16 museums in the world.

I believe this list is a little American-centric, but I decided to put it to the test and see what real travelers thought about each one anyway.

1. Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Dan of Dan-and-dee with an elaborate tomb in the Louvre

Dan of Dan-and-dee with an elaborate tomb in the Louvre

To be perfectly honest, we both enjoyed the outside of the Museum (ie the architecture of the buildings), more than the inside, the pyramids alone were spectacular and a lot less people to move between for a photo, or even just a glimpse!Dan-and-dee

2. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Jimandlaura

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Jimandlaura

Took the subway uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wow, what a place. We loved it and we only scratched the surface. Particularly liked the modern art (Hirst, Pollock) and the ancient Japanese silk prints. You could spend a week there and still not see everything. Great cafe too!Jimandlaura

3. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

The ceiling in the Vatican Museums

The ceiling in the Vatican Museums

The museum was extended in 2000 for the millennial year celebration of Christ’s birth, and the renovations included a large spiral ramp leading to the entrance to the museums. We had fun by challenging the group to run up the spiral ramp while they took the escalator.

We saw a number of interesting sculptures while waiting in a courtyard to enter the first of the museums. One was of a pine cone from 1 AD or 2 AD, that was a symbol of fertility and was first made as a Roman fountain. In the courtyard, we also learned about the story and significance of the Sistine Chapel. The chapel is used as the place where the cardinals choose the next Pope. It was named after Pope Sixtus IV.

As we walked through various parts of the museums, I was surprised to see some art from Ancient Egypt and Greece, even including two marble sculptures of Diana the fertility goddess and Diana as the goddess of the hunt. Worship of Diana was notorious in the New Testament. It seemed to me as though the presence of the artwork indicated the idea that the church acknowledged and saw itself as the fulfillment of many earlier traditions and religious practices. My interpretation could, however, be incorrect.

I was awestruck by the tapestries depicting various events in Christ’s life. The tapestries were housed in a darkened room and one of them gave the impression that Christ’s eyes were following you as you walked past. Another interesting room was a room of ancient maps.Woodsfamily

4. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Ruthperelstein on the terrace of the Uffizi Gallery

Ruthperelstein on the terrace of the Uffizi Gallery

Tuesday we visit the Uffizi Gallery. This is another place where you have to have a reservation. It does make it less stressful and you do beat the lines, which are long and full of grumpy tourists.

The Uffizi Gallery has the greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere, including Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. It is beautiful. The time periods this museum are not my personal favorites but again the sculpture knocks us out.

Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name “uffizi” (“offices”). There is also a corridor that extends for the end of the building along the Arno river and through the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace that is no longer used by was the way the elite could travel without stepping a foot into the dangerous streets.Ruthperelstein

5. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Juliana of Paul-jules at the Prado Museum in Madrid

Juliana of Paul-jules at the Prado Museum in Madrid

We got to our hotel, and headed out to the Prado museum immediately. It is one of the best museums we have seen on the trip. It has a large number of El Greco paintings. He has become one of our favourite artists. It also has many by Raphael, Reubens, and Durer.Paul-jules

6. The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Fishtails04 found the State Hermitage overwhelming

Fishtails04 found the State Hermitage overwhelming

The State Hermitage, located in the former Winter Palace of the tsars, in St. Petersburg, houses one of the finest art collections in the world, with more than three million pieces – it seems that Catherine the Great liked big numbers in more than just her lovers. And that’s the problem really: it’s estimated that to walk through each of the galleries would total about twenty-five kilometres – i.e. it’s just too big to cover in an afternoon. It’s also too excessive in style for me to really enjoy: all busily decorated floors, marble pillars, highly decorated ceilings, heavy furniture, dark portraits of gloomy monarchs, imposing sculptures, huge crustal chandeliers, and gold and gilt opulence. As the guidebooks says, “One must visit the Hermitage on a visit to St Petersburg…”, and it was worth it to gain an appreciation of its scale, but I felt something of a failure when, after an hour and a half, I’d had enough and, with that sense of panic I experience in large department stores when I can’t see a way out, started frantically searching for an exit.Fishtails04

7. J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, USA

Inside the J. Paul Getty Center with Jeznkez

Inside the J. Paul Getty Center with Jeznkez

At length the road wound up through the hills and we arrived at the J. Paul Getty Centre, which is a gigantic art museum, housed in a purpose built series of monoliths amid the verdant grounds. The museum is perched on a hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, looking over L.A. and out to sea.

We had nowhere near enough time to do justice to the whole four buildings, each of which contains different styles of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, but had a good look around and enjoyed the peaceful and exquisitely conceived gardens, interwoven with sculptures and water features. The whole complex is constructed from Travertine (1.2 million square feet of it) which is a fossilized, textured stone that reflects the bright Californian sunlight, imparting the whole place with a luminous, ethereal glow. Overall an incredibly successful public space and a great example of modern architectural design and realization. And all free of charge!Jeznkez

8. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

Londonpenguin at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Londonpenguin at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Our long walk ended up at the Musee d’Orsay. I headed straight for the Impressionists upstairs, and leisurely made my way back down. Happened upon the Salle des Fetes, which is a glorious burst of gold, crystal and mirrors. I also found the Art Nouveau rooms and was really enjoying them when the announcement came over the loudspeaker that the museum would be closing in 15 minutes, which was half an hour earlier than we had been told. Slightly disappointing, but it was definitely worth going back to.Londonpenguin

9. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

The Enemans standing in front of a fountain at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

The Enemans standing in front of a fountain at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

The style of the buildings downtown is such a far cry from anything else you’ll see. There were times when I thought even the Greek Gods would be impressed. I was surprised to see how brand new the art gallery looked, despite having been open for sixty years. The marble floors were pristine and the walls were un-scuffed as if it had been built last week. I was particularly anxious about the Ansel Adams beach photography gallery on display for a limited time.Jeneman

10. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Mamakarpus at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

Mamakarpus at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

I really wanted to see the Pompidou Centre, so we went looking for that. It took us forever to find it, it was so annoying. We kept looking at the map backwards, so we were wandering around forever. Oh well. We eventually found it and it was pretty cool. It’s a modern art museum. I honestly didn’t care about going in to see the art, but I wanted to see the building and the fountains right beside it. So I was happy.Mamakarpus

11. Tate Modern, London, England

Laohallo's friend at the Tate Modern in London

Laohallo's friend at the Tate Modern in London

After borough markets we headed over to tate modern which is a modern art museum. Im blaming Tammy for picking this tourist attraction. Lets just say the art is very strange and modern. It was a good laugh though.Laohallo

12. Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA

Julesjb found this statue in MoMA's sculpture garden

Julesjb found this statue in MoMA's sculpture garden

After that I then went across to Manhattan to see the MOMA (Museum Of Modern Art) which was amazing. All my favourites were there including Cezanne, Magritte, Picasso and Dali. I also saw a few Jackson Pollack’s which I thought were very impressive in terms of scale and use of paint.Julesjb

13. British Museum, London, England

Harmony at the British Museum in London

Harmony at the British Museum in London

It was spectacular and we could not believe the size and the amount of artifacts, especially since it was free to get in! We saw the Rosetta Stone, a massive Easter Island head, many beautiful Greco Roman sculptures, and much much more.Mikeandharmony

14. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA

Ineednewears found solace in this room at the Guggenheim museum

Ineednewears found this to be one quiet place in the Guggenheim museum

Who would have thought that on a windy, rainy, cold Friday evening dozens of people were willing to queue underneath the semi-permeable dripping roof of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in their damp clothes and soaked shoes just to get in for close to free (for some, pay-what-you-can comes frighteningly close to nothing). I pictured a Friday night at the “Gugg” along the lines of a Friday night at the library or much like a sheep pasture with but a few bodies scattered around in the far corners, but what I got involved much more arm-against-arm rubbing and additional queuing as the spiral-shaped interior, seven-levels high, filled up.

I complained not about the crowds but about the barriers along the spiraling platform being too low, and constantly feared toppling over to free fall and be torn open by one or more of the suspended cars on my way down. Ineednewears

15. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA

Toddfamily had a "Rocky moment" at the Philadelphia Art Museum

Toddfamily had a "Rocky moment" at the Philadelphia Art Museum

The next day we spent the morning on a bus tour of the city and ended up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We really enjoyed this museum too and were once again lucky to join a tour with a very knowledgeable guide. We met Mark at the front of the museum afterwards and had a little Rocky moment on the front steps – those of you who know the first Rocky film will know this scene!Toddfamily

16. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Traveled loved the Chicago Art Institute

Traveled loved the Chicago Art Institute

We took the Metro to Union, then walked down Adams to the Art Institute. We saw more exhibits in one day than I recall seeing on any of my previous visits. We started off in the European area, then lunched at the cafe, which was surprisingly satisfying, and finally we took a couple more hours to walk through the American and photography exhibits. One my favorite works of the day was one that probably does not receive the attention it deserves, located in the corner of the same room as “American Gothic” by Hopper, called “Nightlife” by Motley. But of course, I also loved almost everything I saw there.Traveled

Featured blogs

10 most expensive cities in the world

The Telegraph.co.uk came up with a list of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. Here’s what TravelPod bloggers thought about the price of living in each of these cities

1. Tokyo

Karana enjoying the expensive food in Tokyo

Karana enjoying the expensive food in Tokyo

Guess we must be in a business part of town, but you would never know this is a city of over 20 million people, as expected though it is dreadfully expensive. The hotel where we are staying has some shops downstairs and fancied a t shirt until I read the price tag of 238 euros. That means about $400! – Karana

2. Osaka

Globalwanderer found that Japan's transportation system is expensive

Globalwanderer found that Japan's transportation system is expensive

Public transit such as subways and local trains aren’t very expensive, however, travelling long distances in Japan can very VERY expensive! If you can believe it, a round-trip ticket from Japan to Korea is actually CHEAPER than a ticket from Osaka to Tokyo! – Globalwanderer

3. Moscow

Aubrey of Meandher in Red Square

Aubrey of Meandher in Red Square

Many of the restaurants charge for meals by weight scales are at the side of the till. In general Moscow was more expensive than St Petes by about 20% to 40%. – Meandher

4. Geneva, Switzerland

Sponger42 in front of the UN building in Geneva

Sponger42 in front of the UN building in Geneva

We arrived in Geneva late in the evening and set to work searching for the cheapest lodging in town. It wasn’t difficult to find it–the City Hostel Geneva. Unfortunately, it was still Swissly expensive, Swissly unhelpful, and–as an added bonus, Frenchly snotty. – Sponger42

5. Hong Kong

This is what Andreadd got for $1,700 a month in Hong Kong

This is what Andreadd got for $1,700 a month in Hong Kong

Now I know that real estate in Hong Kong is ridiculously expensive and VERY small — from slightly larger than a walk in closet at about 150 SqFt (15 sq m) up to the more ‘spacious’ 500 sqFt (50 sq m) options. I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a place for 500 sq ft smack in the middle of Central on Hong Kong Island for ‘only’ USD 1700 per month!!! – Andreadd

6. Zurich

Dfryda on the lake in Zurich

Dfryda on the lake in Zurich

Having thought that Venice was expensive I was reminded about how expensive Switzerland is, not only do they have their own currency they also have there own values!! Our hotel was expensive and didn’t include breakfast (none of them seemed to) – Dfryda

7. Copenhagen

Simru12 riding a fake sea tortoise in Tivoli Gardens

Simru12 riding a fake sea tortoise in Tivoli Gardens

One word here. EXPENSIVE. After exchange, the average entrée was around $50. We ended up at the Promenaden, which is a B-B-Q buffet. Decent steaks and chicken wings, but Jeff said the ribs weren’t great. – Simru12

8. New York City

Dandw could not find a cheap burger in New York City

Dandw could not find a cheap burger in New York City

Later we took a little trot down 5th Avenue visiting Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and browsed around the way too expensive stores (check Whitney’s new kicks). We stopped for dinner at “Burger Joint” (literally a hole-in-the-wall burger joint with wood floors and tables located behind a curtain in the tres expensive Parker Meridian hotel) which was rated as the best cheap burger in the city. Somehow, our two “cheap” burgers and shared order of fries with two drinks topped $23. – Dandw

9. Beijing

Jbaxter got bartering down to an art in Beijing to save money

Jbaxter got bartering down to an art in Beijing to save money

All the main stores in the center of the town were more expensive than Australian stores so I thought i’d give that idea away until Europe, but after vising the markets I got a sweet deal on a great camera. I found the best way to do it is to go to a stall you don’t intend on buying from to check everything out, look at what they give you and after i’d figured out it was all the standard retail stuff I went to a nother stall to see what sort of price I could get them down to. – Jbaxter

10. Singapore

Radiojohn on a night safari in Singapore

Radiojohn on a night safari in Singapore

Singapore was like the opposite of all that we had experienced in Asia. Clean, well maintained and expensive. There is a joke that you will see on many posters and magnets in Singapore which says :Singapore is a FINE city” with the emphasis on FINE. Why? Because Singapore has laws, and lots of them. Eat or drink on public transport and you are breaking the law, chew chewing gum in public and you are breaking the law, spit in public, litter or jaywalk and you will be breaking the law and slapped with a hefty fine and possible even corporally punished(rattan cane). – Radiojohn

Hot places

5 best nude beaches in the world

TripAdvisor recently released its yearly list of the best nude beaches in the world. Most of them are in North America, why is that? Surely there are other nudist beaches elsewhere in the world…

1. Haulover Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Yyztrvlr's friend blowing up an air mattress on Haulover Beach

Yyztrvlr's friend blowing up an air mattress on Haulover Beach

We spent little time lounging on Miami Beach but instead headed north to Haulover Beach where we were able to spread out and still be amid a huge crowd but didn’t feel as though we were going to be stepped on by every passer by. – Yyztrvlr

2. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada

Deepfin went totally nude at Wreck Beach

Deepfin went totally nude at Wreck Beach

You can be nude at Wreck if you want, so I was. It’s actually kinda weird if you are dressed because so many people are in their birthday suits. And you get this guy walking by with nothing but a little hip sack and a cooler selling beer. And another person going by selling special cookies. It’s such a cool place. And there is so much to look at. Excellent for people watching. Deepfin

3. Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Lovin_apples swimming in the background, nudist in the foreground

Lovin_apples swimming in the background, nudist in the foreground

Everyone tends to kick back, have a couple of drinks, head down the beach, take their clothes off and laze around in the sun all day. Paradise beach especially has a really relaxed atmosphere, with tunes pumping out from the bars, beds and couches and deckchairs spread at different intervals along the high side, with loungers and thatched style umbrellas lined up closer to the sea. Lovin_apples

4. Orient Beach, St. Maarten, Caribbean

Advertisement for a nude beach in St. Martin

Advertisement for a nude beach in St. Martin

Orient Beach is the most famous NUDE beach on St. Martin and it is located at the Northeastern side of the island (French side by the way). The beach is okay but a little too crowded, the water is nicely blue but still a little muddy; however, people on the beach are not all that beautiful. While there are many bars and restaurants along the beach, they are all quite expensive. There was a band playing reggae music in one of the beach bars but songs they played are those cheesy Caribbean staples. I was sort of ready to leave after like, 40 minutes.Whk2006

5. Black’s Beach, San Diego, California, USA

Larrykrista exploring San Diego

Larrykrista exploring San Diego

We visited San Diego’s nude beach. How does a game of naked beach volleyball sound? Worn out from all the activities, we decided to head back to the hotel pad and relax before going out tonight. Larrykrista

Hot places

5 “germiest” tourist attractions

The public’s latest obsession with washing and keeping generally good hygiene (due to swine flu, of course) hasn’t really affected the time-honoured traditions of travelers.

TripAdvisor.com has surveyed tourist attractions around the world and singled out the five most “germ-filled” of them all.

Here are some recent blogs from TravelPod members who weren’t squeamish at all:

1. Kissing the Blarney Stone in Blarney, County Cork, Ireland

Ssarkar88 did not improve her story-telling skills by kissing the Blarney Stone

Ssarkar88 did not improve her speaking skills by kissing the Blarney Stone

On our last day, we ventured to the Blarney Castle! We climbed the tight staircase to get all the way to the top of the castle, where we kissed the Blarney Stone. They say those who kiss the stone get the “gift of gab” but I don’t think my storytelling abilities have improved much!Ssarkar88

2. Wall of Gum in Seattle, Washington, USA

Paulleck1975's friend Graham contributing to the wall

Paulleck1975's friend Graham contributing to the wall

We headed to see possibly the most disgusting grim tourist sight in the world. Just around the corner at the top of Post Alley is a theatre and the wall outside is covered with previously spittled gum. Bleeuuuurrrgghhhhhh! Paulleck1975

3. Oscar Wilde’s Tomb, in Paris, France

Lavish48 kissed Oscar Wilde's grave without flinching

Lavish48 kissed Oscar Wilde's grave without flinching

At Oscar Wilde’s grave, it’s customary to leave a lipstick kissmark on the memorial, so the large stone tomb is covered in little red and pink kisses, although there is an old sign on it asking to not deface or mark it up. – Lavish48

4. Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy

Tbassplayer washed his hands thoroughly after taking this picture

Tbassplayer washed his hands thoroughly after taking this picture

We did something that all tourists do, but we’ve refrained from up to this point. We fed the pigeons! We spent one euro each on a little bag of corn kernels and the pigeons were so excited that they would land on your arm and eat right out of your hand. Naturally when we saw a girl with one on her head, Karla had to go back and buy another bag and stand around until a pigeon landed on her head. I did the same thing. For the moment, our opinion of the flying rats improved. We still washed our hands immediately after. All and all, it’s probably the most fun we’ve ever had for two euros. – Tbassplayer

5. Handprints and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Cowboyjim74's wife with prints of the cast of Harry Potter

Cowboyjim74's wife with prints of the cast of Harry Potter

We strolled down 10 or 12 blocks in Hollywood looking for the names we recognized from television, radio, music and the movies. We eventually ended up in front of the Kodak Theater and then Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where many famous stars have left their hand and footprints.Cowboyjim74

Hot places

10 ruined travel destinations

National Geographic came up with this list a while ago, citing the most ruined destinations resulting from extreme popularity.

Let’s see what our bloggers had to say about them:

1. Cancun, Mexico

Sarzmc in Cancun

Sarzmc in Cancun

The colour of the water was amazing – I can see why hotels were constructed there in the first place. However, now they really wreck it – not only are they all jammed up against one another, they also haven’t left much actual beach to lie on! Sarzmc

2. Santorini, Greece

Deannekristen in Santorini

Deannekristen in Santorini

The ferry cruises by the youngest part of the volcano on one side and cliffs on the opposite side. The cliffs are hundreds of feet high and have a shear drop off. Apparently, a portion of the center of the island slumped into the earth when the volcano erupted last. – Deannekristin

3. Orlando, Florida

Disney World in Orlando

Disney World in Orlando

I really like Orlando and there’s tons to do, but it all costs a lot of money so if you’re broke you will get bored (and I’m always a tad broke since I travel way too much).Bashleyf

4. Kuta, Bali

Elopfamily at Kuta beach

Elopfamily at Kuta beach

I would guess a lot of visitors would find it touristy and tacky but with the beautiful beaches, combined with our Fat Yogi’s oasis, it is a perfect place to relax after all of the driving we did in Australia.Elopfamily

5. Dubai City, UAE

Danharriet in Dubai

Danharriet in Dubai

The entire city appears to be under construction. Every where we looked there was a new building project under way. – Danharriet

6. Myanmar

Tomandlizzie in Myanmar

Tomandlizzie in Myanmar

On arrival at the Thai-side border town we got stamped out of the country and jumped on a boat to Kawthoung, Myanmar. A busy port town mostly full of people extending their visas.Tomandlizzie

7. Antarctica

Ahdumb boarding his Antarctic ship

Ahdumb boarding his Antarctic ship

We didn´t see any polar lights, but we did have amazing nights with all the stars out when the clouds were cooperating. – Ahdumb

8. China Beach, Vietnam

Markrob in Vietnam

Markrob in Vietnam

The traffic from China Beach to the competition was horrendous. We have never seen such a mass of people, said to have been perhaps 1.5 million.Markrob

9. Costa Rica’s Over-Developed Coast

Panf007 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Panf007 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

It used to be one of the best surf spot in Costa Rica, now like many other Pacific Coast cities, big resort development has spoiled Tamarindo a little, but it is still one of “hot spot” for any traveler. Panf007

10. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Robthebruce at the top of the crater

Robthebruce at the top of the crater

We spent the better part of the day driving around the crater seeing all kinds of animals and birds.Robthebruce

Travel news

Top 10 most disappointing tourist spots in the world

eTurbo News recently listed the 10 most disappointing tourist spots in the world. TravelPodders seemed to disagree with all but one of the 10 on the list. Here’s what they have to say:

1. The Eiffel Tower – TravelPod verdict: Not so disappointing

Jcharwell's dinner in Paris

Jcharwell's dinner in Paris

“I then headed to the Eiffel Tower lawn to enjoy some vino and watch the sunset. After a bottle of wine and a spectacular view, I headed for the top to the Eiffel Tower.”Jcharwell

2. The Louvre (Mona Lisa) – TravelPod verdict: Not so disappointing

Mona Lisa at the Louvre

Mona Lisa at the Louvre

“A week or so ago, I had he pleasure of finally seeing Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. Admire from afar, like a true beauty, is all that one can do – but it was amazing none the less.”Klauridsen
3. Times Square: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Times Square with Kristenjohn

Times Square with Kristenjohn

“We had a wander around all the streets, we went to M & M World, possibly the best place on Earth!!”Kristenjohn
4. Las Ramblas, Spain: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Kwt1981 in Las Ramblas

Kwt1981 in Las Ramblas

“We all loved the area around the Museum of Modern Art, Las Ramblas -artsy, small winding cobblestone streets, shops, cafe’s, old, young – fantastico!” – Kwt1981

5. Statue of Liberty: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Paulandcarolyn at the Statue of Liberty

Paulandcarolyn at the Statue of Liberty

“Today we went to see the Statue Of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on the ferry. Not the best day weather wise – very overcast and hazy. Very interesting though and worth the trip.”Paulandcarolyn
6. Spanish Steps, Rome: TravelPod verdict – Big disappointment

Christineraymo at the Spanish Steps

Christineraymo at the Spanish Steps

“We walked to the Spanish Steps, not a very big deal, just a bunch of kids sitting on an really big staircase. Stairs were about the last things we wanted to see at that point.” – Christineraymo

7. The White House: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Nietsreuef at the White House

Nietsreuef at the White House

“Architecture here is magnificent. The Capitol, White House, Museums, Treasury Department, National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Old Post Office, to name a few of the best.”Nietsreuef
8. The Pyramids, Egypt: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Justinrowe in Egypt

Justinrowe in Egypt

“There’s no denying that The Pyramids are spectacular. It is just astounding how the Ancient Egyptian managed to construct such enormous monuments.”Justinrowe
9. The Brandenburg Gate, Germany: TravelPod Verdict – Not so disappointing

The Brandenburg Gate at night

The Brandenburg Gate at night

“From there we headed through the impressive Brandenburg Gate to the Reichstag, the German Parliament.”Meganandkevin

10. The Leaning Tower of Pisa: TravelPod verdict – Not so disappointing

Duomo and the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Duomo and the Leaning Tower of Pisa

“Chris and I were the very first people to climb the tower today and what a spectacular sight it was to behold Tuscany at such a young hour of morning.” – Katieandchris

Hot places

10 most dangerous cities in the world

RealClearWorld.com recently released their list of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Let’s see how our travelers fared in these circumstances

10. London, U.K.

Julie1227 in front of Big Ben

Julie1227 in front of Big Ben

9. Saskatoon, Canada

J_and_j pass grain elevators in Saskatoon

J_and_j pass grain elevators in Saskatoon

8. Norilsk, Russia (in Siberia)

No blogs: Foreigners banned since 2001

No blogs: Foreigners banned since 2001

7. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg Skyline by Ianvictoria

Johannesburg Skyline by Ianvictoria

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hippler in Rio de Janeiro

Hippler in Rio de Janeiro

5. Detroit, U.S.A.

Foreman on Detroit's streets

Foreman on Detroit's streets

4. Caracas, Venezuela

Jamesandjulie at a rally in Caracas

Jamesandjulie at a rally in Caracas

3. Linfen, China

Ruudbatta at a wedding in Linfen

Ruudbatta at a wedding in Linfen

2. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Billiegreenwood in Ciudad Juarez

Billiegreenwood saw big guns in Ciudad Juarez

1. Mogadishu, Somalia

Usmcsniper finding water in Mogadishu

Usmcsniper finding water in Mogadishu

TravelPod in the news

Singapore Local Expert

TravelPod’s newest Local Expert is a travel enthusiast living in Singapore. She’s very proud of her hometown, and she’s quite knowledgeable about all kinds of things happening in the area. I asked her a few questions about living and traveling in Asia.

Why did you become a Local Expert?

To get to know more people and do some networking. I’d like to learn about their life and culture and tells travelers what they want to know about Singapore. I’m also looking for opportunity to start my own business.

What are the best and worst things about living in Singapore?

Best:

Everything you need, you can find in Singapore. It is a shopping haven and a food paradise. If you have no budget; you can eat and shop all you want. As Singapore is a cosmopolitan country we have different types of cuisine from different countries. We even have fusion food!

Worst:

Sometimes it gets very hot and humid. The MRT is so crowded during peak hours, you get to smell everybody’s body odours. Especially those workers who sweat. There is not much natural resources in Singapore. We have to depend on importing most things from other countries.

What are the top things for travelers to do in Singapore?

1. Go shopping wherever you want. Many places to choose from.

2. Try as many famous Singapore food as possible.

3. Take the Flyer.

4. Go to the tree top walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

5. Visit the Night Safari and the Zoo

6. Visit the Jurong Bird Park.

7. Go to the Botanical garden for a picnic.

8. Take the Duck tour and take a stroll at Boat Quay and Clark Quay

9. Go to Sentosa and visit the pink dolphins and underwater world.

10. Take a city tour, see all the new buildings old buildings , etc.

What are some of your best and worst travel experiences?

Best:

Visiting Taiwan and seeing the most beautiful scenery there like mountains, Taroko Gorge and Kenting Seaside. I also liked skiing and tobogganing in Korea. I have eaten and slept at some wonderful hotels when traveling.

Worst:

I dropped my camera in Korea and spoiled all my pictures! When I am urgent and have to wait for toilet stop.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Giving birth to two beautiful children and bringing them up on my own with little support from my ex-husband.

Where are you planning on traveling in the future?

China, Hong kong, Europe and the USA if possible

What do you do with most of your time?

Presently trying to find something to sell in the internet which will generate good income to support me and my family until somebody can support me. Haha. Trying to start and make a blog shop.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Wake up, check email, cooks or lunch out, see what is happening in the internet and the world. Watching TV at the same time. Checking out my fav websites which depends on what I wanted to do at the period.

TravelPod Local Expert profiles