3 X TOP PLACES IN LAOS

Located cozily in between Thailand, Cambodia, China, Myanmar and Vietnam, Laos is often one of the South East Asian countries that’s left un-visited when traveling this to part of the world. And that’s a shame, because Laos is a true gem and one of the cheapest countries to travel in.

 If you are a first time visitor to Laos, these are definitely my top three places for visiting!

Been there, Don Det

Don Det is a small island located in the south of Laos, close to the Cambodian border. The island is well-known for its beautiful scenery and relaxed hippy vibe. Staying in one of the bungalows on the island means going back 2 basic with cold showers and toilets that can only be flushed with a bucket. Straightaway, you will feel the relaxed vibe on this island which is very contagious. Soon you’ll be unwinding in a hammock with a fruit shake in your hand. For those who find it hard to sit still cheap bikes can be rented all over the island to go for a ride and explore the breathtaking waterfalls.

Don Det Waterfalls

Don Det, Laos
Don Det

Soaring through the jungle in Laos with the Gibbon Experience

If you’re up for a little more action after being completely rejuvenated at Don Det travel all the way north to go on The Gibbon Experience. Sleeping in the worlds highest tree houses, flying through the jungle of Laos on a zipper-line. Furthermore, you can hike through beautiful woods while contributing to preserving everything that surrounds you. That’s the Gibbon Experience. Of all my travels this is by far one of the most amazing things I’ve done. Make sure you make a booking in advance as the Gibbon Experience is often fully booked.

Gibbon, Laos

Oui oui, Luang Prabang

From Luang Prabang you can get on the night bus to the Gibbon Experience. It goes without saying that Luang Prabang is a town where French influences decorate this charming town everywhere. You can walk through Luang Prabangs enchanting streets or visit one of the many temples. About 40 minutes from Luang Prabang you will stumble upon the Kuang Si Waterfalls which are so greenish blue that you have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. Take a swim in these (cold!!) waterfalls or simply walk around and enjoy the surroundings. When you get back to Luang Prabang pay a visit to the market where delicious baguettes and fresh fruit shakes are sold for just under €1,50.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos

Next to these three highlights Laos has so much more to offer like visiting the Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng or strolling around its capital Vientiane.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos

Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane, Laos

Ultimately, I hope you’ll have a wonderful time in this partly undiscovered little piece of Southeast Asian heaven 🙂

Love,

Evelien

6 TRAVEL PODCASTS THAT WILL FEED YOUR WANDERLUST

We’re kinda new to podcasts but since we started to listen to them, it has become some what of an addiction. Focusing on travel, we found these amazing travel inspiring podcasts that will make you want to travel more.

This resulted in this list of 8 wonderful podcasts full of travel tips, inspiration and travel stories.

Extra pack of peanuts

If you’re looking for those budget travel tips, you should definitely listen to this podcast. Needless to say, that this is one of the most popular podcast out there when it comes to budget travel with more than 1 million downloads. Listen to it here.

She Explores

The ultimate travel podcast for women who seek adventure! Hosted by Gale Straub, the show will inspired to get out more. It focusses on the great outdoors and features more than 500 women with a bunch of experience.

Traveller Podcast – Flight of Fancy

Listen to Aussie Ben Groundwater who talks about everything from scary travel moments to various travel tips & hacks in 40 minute podcast sessions. Very easy to listen to and it won’t take much of your time. Check it out.

travel podcasts around the world
Listen to podcasts everywhere!

Women Who Travel

Run by the editors of Conde Nast Travel, this podcast once started out with a Facebook group where women across the globe could exchange travel experiences. It became so popular, that they decided to create this hub of travel information. From planning the ultimate roadtrip, why to travel solo, to the best destinations for 2019.

The Journey by KLM

Indeed, the famous Dutch airline has created wonderful award winning podcasts where several travel stories are told, with a link to aviation. You are going to love this if you’re into history, personal stories from pilots and travelers about the trip that changed their lives. www.podcast.klm.com

But Why | A Podcast for Curious Kids

If you travel with kids, you know you need to keep them entertained most of the time during a long flight or bus ride. As a mother I have noticed that the same question always arrises; ‘but why? But how?’ Well, this show is designed for exactly that. All questions imaginably are answered and explained in detail. Suitable for all ages!

children's podcasts

As shown above, there is no need to get bored whilst travelling! Do you have more podcast tips, let us know in the comments!

Love,

Elke

 

How to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is undoubtedly Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. And this is no surprise since the lost city is the biggest religious monument in the world which dates back to the early twelfth century.

These days almost 5 million tourists yearly make their way over to Cambodia to wander around the temples of Angkor Wat themselves, making it a very popular but very busy place to visit. You better think again if you ever dream of having these Asian temples all to yourself, but there are a few tricks to avoid the big crowds and wander around in peace…

1. Watch the sunrise and leave a little early

Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat is a definite must-do when you’re visiting these temples. Not only is it a truly magical experience when a new day presents itself by rising up against the temples, but it is also a great way to arrive at the temples early. If you want to have a good spot without hundreds of iPad and Selfiestick waving Chinese tourists in front of you, walk right instead of going straight ahead at the famous ‘sunrise temple spot’. You won’t be right in front of the temples, but you will share the view with just a dozen of other tourists. When the sun is up and you captured enough Instagram-worthy shots, head back to your Tuk Tuk driver before everybody else does. Doing this you’ll arrive at the other temples as one of the first, having the temples (almost) all to yourself 🙂

Beat the crowd at Ankor Wat
The most impressive temple of Cambodia, but very busy

2. The further away, the better!

Firstly, ask your Tuk Tuk driver to bring you to the popular temples that are further away first. Many Tuk Tuk’s and tour buses follow a certain route, creating the perfect opportunity for you to do the exact opposite thing 🙂 Also, if you see tons of big tour buses standing outside of a temple, ask your Tuk Tuk driver to take you to another temple which appears to be less crowded first. Clever thinking!

no crowds at ankor-wat

3. Go back at the end of the day

Wandering around the temples of Angkor is extremely beautiful, but also extremely tiring and HOT! If you decided to watch the sunrise you will probably feel very tired around 12pm, making you want to go home and take a nap during the hottest hours of the day. If you buy a one-day-pass this pass is valid for a whole day, so you can come back to the temples in the late afternoon, when most of the crowds already have disappeared. Make sure you don’t go too late as Angkor Wat closes at 6pm.

Ankor Wat Cambodia

I hope the three tips above will help you explore the ancient Ankor Wat in peace and quiet. Enjoy 🙂

Love,

Evelien

Did you know Cambodia is one of the world’s cheapest countries to live in? Check which countries made it to the top 5!

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Where to stay during Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam is famous for a lot of things but when it comes to dance music, its ADE, the Amsterdam Dance Event. More than 300.000 people visited Amsterdam last October to dance their butts of to the biggest names in the dance and techno scene.

Needless to say, that a large amount of  people need a place to stay so the hotel and Airbnb business is booming during this time. So where are the best places to stay? Well, these are some contenders that might come in handy during the best dance nights of your life:

The Student Hotel (East & West)

Young professionals, globetrotters and students love staying at this hotel. Prices are very reasonable and they now have 2 locations in Amsterdam. Enjoy events, meet ups, and work dates. If you want to stay a bit longer, there is a community kitchen available and you can get a bicycle to explore the city. Double rooms are around €100 per night. www.thestudenthotel.com

City Hub Amsterdam (West)

This is a great self service accommodation if you’re out all night and busy exploring Amsterdam all day. Instead of dorms or hotel rooms, you sleep in a private cabin. These fit up to 2 people. Each Hub has a giant, double bed, wifi, app-controlled lighting and a personal audio streaming system. Pretty cool. There are a total of 50 cabins and you share the toilets and showers. expect to pay a little more around Amsterdam Dance Event but rooms normally go for about 60 euro per night. www.cityhub.com

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The cubicles of City Hub

Conscious Hotels (Vondelpark)

Right behind the Vondelpark and access to the lunch/dinner district of Amsterdam’s De Overtoom, you have a perfect location with trams stopping near the hotel. This hotel is extra special because they are one of the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Enjoy a organic breakfast to get you back on your feet after a wild night. Rooms go for €130 per night at the moment. www.conscioushotels.com

Generator Hostel (East)

I’ve actually stayed in this brand new poshtel when it first opened. I really loved it because although it’s a hostel, you feel really at easy and it doesn’t get any cleaner and hip than at Generator. Each room features air conditioning, bed linen and a private bathroom with shower. You can share rooms or choose a premium room for 2. The hostel is situated right next to the Oosterpark and you will be in vibrant area “De Pijp” in no time. Prices do go up during Amsterdam Dance Event so get your friends together and start sharing! Gernerator/Amsterdam

Generator poshtel Amsterdam
Generator Hostel

Teleport Hotel (New West)
This hotel used to be an office and has been open since this summer. It’s used by party seekers all over the world as the Sloterdijk train Station is just around the corner and even though you’re not in the city center, it’s pretty easy to get to. They organize free tours through Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport is only 2 train stops away. They are planning an event in November where they invite several graffiti artist to pimp the rooms as they still look a bit boring due to the office look. www.teleporthotel.nl

Volkshotel (East)

Love, love, love this hotel. It’s a place where people come together and clever visual references to the building’s history as a newspaper office occur throughout (newsprint wallpaper, archive photographs of Amsterdam’s rebellious counterculture). Double rooms could go for as little at €69,- and you’re in the city center before you know it. Book it here

Hotel Not Hotel (Old West)

If you’re looking for something special, you will find it here. The name already gives a slight hint because it’s a hotel, but not really.. The concept is pretty cool. No room is the same and they are designed by different artist. Some rooms are hidden behind bookshelves, others look like a Mexican house or you can sleep in an old tram. Some rooms literally only have a bed in them but the beds and mattresses are luxurious and will have you sleep like a baby. The hotel is in west Amsterdam and parallel to the up and coming Kinkerstraat. Local Club “Het Sieraad” will host a few good parties during the Amsterdam Dance Event. There are only a few rooms so be quick if you want to be lucky. Hotel Not Hotel

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Not just a book shelve..

YAYS Apartments

If you wanna feel right at home, you should try YAYS. These are apartments with style and class in local area’s throughout Amsterdam. The people who work behind the front desk are always locals so they know exactly where you should go. You have many options of which you can choose from and all apartments have a kitchen and private bathrooms. There are 3 locations of which one is near the Central Station. Check it out

Yays
Yays is great for getting the local experience

Take your pick and whichever hotel you choose, dance your butts off at Amsterdam Dance Event! ADE is held from the 19th – 23rd of October.

Love,

Elke

Curious about the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam? Click to read!

Sustainable hotels in Amsterdam

8 x Healthy Cafés on Bali

Like London and Australia, Bali is is one of those places where a healthy lifestyle started a while back. And yet more and more healthy cafés are popping up.

It’s that tropical & magical little island, the island that everybody escapes to recharge their batteries. We’re talking about Bali of course.  With more healthy choices than ever, it was time to share our top 10 of Bali’s most healthy cafés.

Sisterfields

Jl. Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak, Bali 80361
www.sisterfields.com

With Australia around the corner, it’s not a big surprise that this kind of cafe opened up in Bali not too long ago. They call themselves “The Iconic Australian Cafe”. You can certainly have breakfast like a king or eat lunch like an emperor with one of their famous tropical juices.

IMG_6322 copy
Source: Sisterfields

Sari Organik, Ubud

Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, Ubud, Bali

We first discovered this healthy café back in 2010. In the beginning we weren’t sure where we would end up because you’ll need to walk through the rice fields for about 20 minutes which makes this place even more special! Once arrived, you can enjoy the best fresh coconuts, and homemade organic lunches.


Bali's healthy hotspots
Back in 2010

sari-organik2
Source: letsmakan.com

The Mocca

Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong Gg Nyepi Canggu, Bali
www.facebook.com/themocca

This little gem located in Canggu is a Coffeshop with garden front open concept store and an upstairs with a gypsy interior. They serve good and healthy food, plus the service is good! 

The Mocca | Healthy Cafés Bali

Shelter café

Jl. Drupadi, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
http://www.sheltercafebali.com/

From 7am you can indulge yourself with healthy food and this open tropical café. Amazing salads, homemade gingerbeer, lemon squash or their super smoothies will make you want to come back here. Many holiday seekers are fan of this place, and so are we! 

shelter-cafe-bali-coconut

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Source: Facebook Shelter Cafe

Mule Malu

Jl. Pantai Bingin 80364 Uluwatu, Bali
www.mulemalu.com

Unlike the rest, this is actually an accommodation instead of just being a café. Hidden on bingin cliff top and within walking distance to Bingin beach.  Mule Malu strives to be environmentally friendly through the efficient use of energy, water and materials while providing quality services. Their in house café is amazing and located by the pool. They serve healthy bowls, dairy free and sugar free juices and smoothies throughout the day.

Mule Malu | healthy Cafés Bali

Avocado Factory

Jl. Tanah Barak No.52 Canggu, Bali
www.theavocadofactory.com

We all know that avocado’s are healthy for you. The green goodness is more popular than ever and we even have several Avocado Restaurant in Amsterdam! 

Avocado factory

Ubud Hanging Gardens

Desa Buahan, Payangan, Bali 80571
www.hanginggardensofbali.com

You can imagine my jaw dropping when I entered the hanging gardens for the first time. I had a wonderful dinner here with no time for a jump in the infinity pool but let’s just say we have a rain check on that one! They mainly use vegetables, fruits and spices  from the Bedugul or are grown at their own property, their seafood comes directly from Jimbaran Bay making lunch and dinner very tasty!

141112_332_Hanging-Gardens

Source: both pictures courtesy to the Ubud Hanging Gardens

Warung Kecil

Jalan Duyung no 1, Sanur, Bali

My parents told me about this secret place. Sanur residents love it here. The prices are extremely low but the food quality is sky high! From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special but it’s cosy and cute on the inside. They offer vegetarian and vegan options plus healthy wheatgrass shots, fresh almond or macha milk, pressed juices, young coconuts and you can also go for a buffet. Check their Facebook for more info.

PicMonkey Collage
Source: Facebook Warung Kecil

 

Love,

Elke

 

7 X MUST VISIT PLACES FOR THIS FALL

Summer is almost over but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next trip. October is a great period to pack that suitcase and enjoy those last rays of sunlight or visit a beautiful city. These are our  must visit places for this fall.

1. Marrakesh, Morocco

With a reasonable short flight of 3,5 hours (from Amsterdam) it’s the perfect getaway to soak up the sunshine in October. Check our Marrakech Guide ffor the best tips and try to book your accommodation beforehand to get the best deals. Besides Marrakesh, Morocco has a lot more to offer. You can surf in Taghazout, ride camels in the Sahara or take a dip into the shallow waters of Paradise Valley.

Marrakech Guide 2019

2. Dubai, Emirates

If you want heat, you’re gonna get it here. (31-36 degrees!) It might be a little more expensive than a European break but this will be an experience you won’t forget. Shopping, fine dining and skydiving are some of the things Dubai brings to the table. KLM is offering flights from €397 in their world deal weeks at the moment so be quick!

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Camels with the skyline of Dubai

3. Dubrovnik, Croatia

This affordable getaway is still warm in the fall and prices are particularly low during this period. You have all the space to enjoy the magnificent beaches. Dubrovnik is also great for mountain hiking and enjoy the beautiful colors. Take the train and go interrailing!

4. Miami, Florida

It’s the best time to visit Miami the locals say. Why? Because most tourist will be gone (a lot better than spring break!) and temperatures are still very nice. If you’re visiting with kids, you can always visit Disney World (yes, it’s a must see with kids) or if you’re the adventurer you can watch crocodiles in the everglades. 

5. Folegandros, Greece

If you want total zen, no fuss, good food and stunning views, you must visit FolegandrosIt’s great the whole year round but summer is still happening in Folegandros in the fall. You can fly to Athens (about 180 euro’s) and take the speedy boat service to the island in just 4 hours. You can also fly to Santorini and take the boat in just 45 minutes. Flights to Santorini are more expensive though. One thing is for sure; you will feel completely recharged when you return.

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Stunning views in Folegandros

8. Jordan, Middle East

One of the worlds most spectacular sights are found right here but remain unseen by so many. In October there are still bright sunny days that light the rock of Petra up rose-red; but it is cool enough to journey into the Valley of the Moon on camel or horseback by day, and warm enough to sleep out under the starry sky by night. Flights from 300 euro’s with Turkish Airlines.

7. Munich, Germany

Why Munich? Because it’s the Oktoberfest of course! Starting from the 19th of Sept until the 4th of October. The festive fall event is not just about beer drinking anymore but also offers music, dance, food, markets and a fair. Grab your car and make a roadtrip!

Love,

Elke

Best Airlines in the world 2019

They call it the Oscars for the aviation industry, the yearly world airlines awards. Each year the numbers shift and it’s always good to know who you’re flying with in 2019. 

Needless to say, that not all Airlines are the same. Some are obviously far better than othersThis is a small selection of the top hundred 2019, chosen by travellers around the world.

Nr. 1 Qatar Airways

Still on top of the bill. Qatar airlines is still one of the best airlines in the world. They also won in 2012 next to a numerous other awards, and this year they climb back up from number 2 to the first spot. So why are they so great? Well; Quatar flies to 140 different destinations, they are Best in business class, Best on time performance, Best in vanity kit, Best economy long haul experience and the list goes on.. 


Fly fly away!

Nr. 5 Emirates

I will never forget my first backpacking adventure to Australia. I was 24 years old and traveling solo. Next to that I already had a fear of flying so the thought of being in a large plane for at least 16 hours wasn’t something I looked forward to. But Emirates made my experience sooo good. First of all, the staff is amazing. I really believe they are this nice! No fake smile, just an excellent service. Emirates stops at Dubai airport and I must say that’s a great stopover as the airport looks amazing and if you have a long stopover, it’s always nice to do some shopping while you’re there right? 😉 Emirates have been in the worlds top 5 best airlines for years now and if it were up to me, they can stay there for many years to come.

Nr. 6 EVA Air

This Taiwanese airline flies over 40 international destinations and comes it at number 6 in the top 100 best airlines. It’s not just the female name that does wonders because this airline does it really well. Some say that they have the best business class service there is and they are the only airline that I know that serves Dom Perignon champagne. Their premium economy has great leg space and that’s something many airlines still lack. Evaair.com

airplane window

Nr. 9 Lufthansa

The low cost airline is doing extremely well in the top 100 list. They fly in at number 12. Sarah flies to Germany a lot and she always flies with Lufthansa. Reliability is the key word for Lufthansa. Sarah always feels save and that’s why she always chooses Lufthansa. Word goes around that Lufthansa doesn’t have the warmest crew but Sarah’s flights were always pleasant. You get free drinks and snacks, and during lunch or dinner you will get a sandwich. Not very posh, but Sarah loves it – like many other with her – it’s the fact that you don’t have to pay for it. Lufthansa.com

Nr. 18 KLM

It’s because we flew with KLM many many times. This means we should have a pretty good idea about their service and capabilities. They have been praised about their extremely good user engagement. If you have a question or complaint and you post this on social media, they are extremely fast in responding. I flew to Hong Kong recently and had an extremely good organized flight. On my way back, the steward came up to me and asked me if I had a good flight and if I wanted to join their Airmiles system. No annoying advertising emails but now I can enjoy all the perks of being a frequent flyer! KLM


Still one of the best airlines in our opinion!

Our advice? Book your next flight with one of these above mentioned airlines so that your holiday starts from the moment you step inside the aircraft!

Check here for the full 2019 list. What’s your favorite airline?

Love,

Elke

11 amazing treehouses around the world

Like most kids, we grew up building treehouses and huts, but building a tree house is not childsplay anymore.

Check out these amazing treehouses and find your inner nomad!

Tranquil Resort, India

Wow, what a treehouse! This is not something you can build overnight. No, this is a luxury threehouse in the middle of a coffee plantation in India.
www.tranquilresort.com

Tranquil_TreeVilla_Interior_2_ilfhcf
TreeHouse_-_Interior_Verandah_rnpxa0
(Source: tranquil resort)

Tree House Point, USA

Three house point offers several treehouses on the property. Our favorite treehouse is the “Temple of the Blue Moon”. With a hanging bridge leading to the beautiful treehouse, it truly feels magical.  Check their Instagram and be inspired.
www.treehousepoint.com

temple-sh-4
(Source: Treehousepoint)

Free Spirit Sphere Treehouses
Previously featured in my blogpost about the top 5 wanderlust hotels in the world, this is a fairy-tale treehouse you want to sleep in. Lucky for you, it’s possible! Just head down to Canada 🙂 www.freespiritspheres.com
(Source: Free Spririt Sphere)

Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, New Zealand

Not a Treehouse for sleeping or playing but a Treehouse for eating! This restaurant looks like a hot air balloon where you can dream of flying off into a new world. This New Zealand based restaurant has had a lot of media attention so if you want to eat here, make sure you book well in advance! They host private dinners and weddings too.www.redwoodstreehouse.co.nz

1280-treehoues-high-res-8
(Source: Yellow Treehouse Restaurant)

Beach Rock Treehouse, Japan

Part of the Beach Rock Village (amazing) in Okinawa, this is a treehouse that was build for a purpose; communicating with the space outside. Feel one with nature. Build and designed by Kobayashi Takashi, It’s also referred to as the ‘plexiglass portal on the world’.

One of the best treehouses ever
(Source: http://www.hometreehome.it/489/)

La Casa Del Arbol, Ecuador

This cute treehouse is not the best looking treehouse in the world but the location is somewhat amazing. You can literally swing over the edge of the world (2660 feet above sealevel!) Thrill seekers from all over the world try to get the rush and sail over the city of Banos. Bucketlist? More info here.

tree-house-banos-ecuador
(Source www.hostalerupcion.com)

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Overlooking an erupting Mt. Tungurahua at the “edge of the world”  (Photo by Sean Hacker Teper)

The “Treehouse Masters” Spirit Treehouse, USA

This is one of the best treehouses build by pete who heads the hit series Treehouse Masters on Discovery Channel. This treehouse solar powered and build in the backyard retreat of a New York based writer. I bet she will get inspired to write some amazing stories in this treehouse! Check here to see part of the episode.

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Source: Discovery Channel

Sleeping in treehouses makes you feel at peace and one with nature

Three Story Treehouse, British Columbia in Canada

It’s a shame that it’s a children attraction, but it doesn’t stop adults climbing inside this enchanted treehouse up in British Columbia. Why only 1 treehouse, if you can build three into one right? More info on www.enchantedforestbc.com

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Part of the enchanted forrest (Source:
Three Story Treehouse)

Mirror Cube, Sweden

It’s a very modern treehouse but because of the mirrors, this structure almost disappears into the trees almost as if it’s a tree itself. Inside it looks incredible cosy and includes a 1 persons bed. Designed by Tham & Videgard architects, this Swedish hotel is definitely worth visiting! They also have other treehouses such as the Cabin and the UFO treehouse. Be aware that it will cost you about 400 euro’s to stay the night.
www.treehotel.se

TreeHotell Photographer Ulf B. Jonsson.
(Source: Treehotel.se)

Monbazillac, France

This treehouse is listed on Airbnb and looks like a castle. It sleeps 2 people and has a lovely bath & bedroom. Book it here!

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slide_305092_2616103_free

Aromantica Treehouse, Italy

Now this is a treehouse we can afford. For about 140 euro’s per night you can sleep in this peaceful treehouse. Surrounded by nature, this is the perfect romantic gateway in Italy. It includes a private shower, balcony (with stunning views!) and a beautiful bed. Not convinced yet? Check here and book!

Treehouse-in-Italy-The-Monferrato-Aromanrica-Treehouse

Treehouse-in-Italy-The-Monferrato-Aromanrica-Treehouse-005
(Source: Airbnb)

Love,

Elke

Check here for the top 5 Wanderlust Hotels in the world.

5 hotspots in Curacao you need to visit

12 days of sun, food and relaxing before my baby is due. I can recommend that to anyone! Curacao isn’t new for me. I actually visit the island every year to see my friends and family. So you could say I’m quite familiar with this small Caribbean island. Every time I’m there I love to check out new places to spend the day or go for a bite. And that’s exactly what I did this time! These are my 5 favourite hotspots in Curacao!

Madero Ocean Club

People who travel to Curacao for quite some years now probably know Mambo Beach. Well, say goodbye to Mambo en welcome Madero Ocean Club. This stylish beach club is part of the renewed Beach Boulevard and very popular among tourists. If we’re talking about hotspots in Curacao, this is it! I love coming here on Sunday afternoon when the DJ is playing my favorite lounge tunes. www.maderooceanclub.com

madero-ocean-club-1

8 The Experience

This place is my number one must-visit when I’m in Curacao ad I recommend it to anyone who is planning on going. 8 The Experience is an exclusive Spa, which opened in early 2015. It’s located on the west side of the island on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Talking about dramatic views! I love to take a massage in the morning and literally spend all day on their comfortable beds next to the meditation pool. Refreshing cocktail anyone? www.8curacao.com

Spa hotspots in Curacao

Karakter

If you take the path down to the beach from 8 The Experience you will arrive at beach club Karakter. If you’ve have ever visited Curacao you know this island has a lot of beach clubs from all different kinds, but Karakter is definitely one of my favorite. Not necessarily to swim but I love that it’s located in a quiet bay. The beach club really has a relaxed vibe and the lunch menu is worth the car ride! www.karaktercuracao.com

karakter hotspots in Curacao

Mosa

My friend took me to this new restaurant and I’m so thankful that she did! Mosa can best be described as intimate, personal and delicious. Mosa is a small shared dining restaurant with an introduction to Bistronomy (bistro + gastronomy). Try the red beet salad with mango and feta cheese or the octopus with chorizo and black olives aioli. Definitely one of the new hotspots in Curacao! Facebook

BijBlauw

Romantic dinner for two? Go to BijBlauw in Willemstad. This restaurant is part of a boutique hotel and a favorite among locals and tourists because of the ambiance and service. Enjoy your dinner on the outside terrace listening to the sound of the ocean hitting the rocks. BijBlauw is actually located in a street with the beautiful colorful houses the island is known for. Make sure you have the time, before or after dinner, to takes some pictures. Believe me, this whole street is Instagram worthy 😉 www.bijblauw.com

bijblauw hotspots in Curacao

Love,

Gala

*Gala is one of our guest bloggers from from the Netherlands who lives on the island Curacao. She knows everything about beachwear and shares her best finds and summer essentials for Wander-Lust this season. You can follow Gala on Instagram for bikini inspiration!

Citytrip Almere | What to see and do

When you first think of a citytrip Almere you might think of modern and innovative architectonic buildings, a shopping area without much ambiance, and always a breeze at hand. In all honesty, we didn’t know Almere as well as we thought. But the youngest city of the Netherlands has more to offer than meets the eye.

How Almere captures your heart

Recently, I received a secret invite for a ‘Destination Unknown Experience.’ Obviously, it triggered my interest. Little did I know that together with some other nosey parkers we got on a speedboat – a rapid Rib with 100 km/h on the meter – and after an adrenaline rush for 30 minutes, we arrived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature. ‘Welcome to Almere ladies!’ This wasn’t in line with the City I met years ago. I had to give this municipality a second chance.

Almere citytrip
What a way to enter the city!

One of the things I was mostly surprised by, was the immense natural character

A 24h citytrip in Almere

If you are planning a city trip to Almere you have many options, but I will give you a glimpse of my one-day citytrip. The city is surrounded by five natural areas: Oostvaardersplassen, Lepelaarplassen, Pampushout, the Vroege Vogelbos and Almeerderhout. Consequently, nature-lovers will dig this. And did you know that Almere has twice as many bridges as Venice? After floating through the canals, we arrived at Boathouse Almere. A beautiful place where you can dock your boat. I can tell you, you’ll stay here a little longer than initially planned. Expect a menu with something for everybody. From a club sandwich to fish & chips or bao with pulled jackfruit. After an appetizing lunch break we continued our journey by…Segway! Thanks to Segs in the City (see what they did there?), we drove around Almere’s many cycle paths, which is a great way to explore the city.

The boathouse Almere
Boathouse Almere

Segway Tour Almere

Did you know that Almere Centrum won the title Beste Binnenstad 2017 – 2020?

High Tea & Bubbles

Being a segway driver makes you hungry, so our next stop was at a culinary gem: The Black Cockatoo. It’s the first 100% vega(n) hotspot in town where you can indulge yourself with lots of treats. Mostly locally produced and – as far as possible – organic ingredients. The black Cockatoo will always be marked as the place where I had my very first ever vegan hot chocolate milk with whipped cream. And they also had me at ‘vegan brownie.’ Heavenly soft inside, literally and figuratively finger lickin’ good. 

Champagne Almere
Cheers to Almere!

The Black Cockatoo, Almere

High Tea Almere
Happy tummy, happy sweet tooth at The Black Cockatoo 

Lifestyle Salon and Spa knows how to pamper you!

Take a break and Relax

Almere has a lot of shopping opportunities (there are more than 400 stores!) and after all that walking around the city center, your body may need a little pampering. Go to Lifestyle Salon and Spa. Firstly, you can get your hair and make-up done or get a fresh haircut. Secondly, the ladies at the salon offer head and full body massages. Pedicures? You name it, they have it. And all with the idea that beauty is a combination of inner and outer well-being. The crew is very professional, honest and has a ‘what you see is what you get’ mentality. You will love the laidback vibe here, as it is the perfect spot to recharge yourself.

Beauty salon Almere
The ladies at Lifestyle Salon & Spa know how to treat a lady

CULTURAL: visit Vis à Vis open air theater

In the evening we went to Vis à Vis, a theatre company which plays open air shows at a permanent location at Almeerderstrand. Light-hearted comedy, astonishing spectacle and ingenious storylines lead the audience with a wink to the abyss of serious dilemmas. Even though I’m always in for some theatrical violence, I’ve never seen something like this before. Never. In 1,5 hours you’ll be amazed again and again. Step into a world full of extraordinary humor and surprises. Even the air is part of the decor and this is not comparable with a traditional indoor show. In case you’d love to have a complete night out, you can reserve a spot in De Rode Haring with simple (buffet) dishes and long Biergarten tables, a much-vaunted food formula.

Vis a Vis Almere
A must see in Almere!

Where to stay

After a very long, but overwhelming day, we were dropped off at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim. This is exactly what you need after a full day Almere. A luxury lodge with all comforts including a huge bubble bath with a fantastic view over the countryside. When I woke up I didn’t had the idea I stayed in in a city. Nature everywhere, and this was suppose to be a city trip? Well, I’m sold.

Accommodation Almere

Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim Almere
Heart shaped bubble bath at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim

Maybe it won’t be love at first sight if you stroll through city centre, but a citytrip to Almere is absolutely worth a try. Nature, city beaches, wellness, shopping, culinary spots makes me wanna say; see you soon?

Special thanks to Visit Almere for this wonderful trip!

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

Learn more about the Netherlands here!