Travelers Guide to Sydney Australia

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Sydney is a first-class multicultural city, which offers visitors unique experiences, in a setting which is underpinned by fine examples of rich colonial architecture, interspersed with stunning parks, beaches and the architectural splendour of world-famous structures, including the understated, but beautiful Sydney Opera House and iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The city is also one of the foodie capitals of the world, thanks to its diverse and multicultural influences which are amply reflected in its cuisine. It is located within close proximity to the Blue Mountains – a World Heritage Site which is adorned with natural beauty.

Sydney is an iconic city which was discovered over 200 years ago. Interestingly, Australia’s first people – the Aborigines, were in the area between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago and the culture and history is an integral part of the fabric of Australia. The are some fantastic opportunities to learn about the first people and immerse yourself in the heritage and traditions of one of the oldest and continuous living peoples in the world.

Things To Do

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Bondi Beach

The beauty of Sydney lies in its ability to blend beautiful parks and areas of tranquillity, with stunning beaches, including Bondi and Manly beaches. There are plenty of areas which offer peace and respite from the city, such as the Botanical and Gardens and Hyde Park. Ferries connect both sides of the city, and are an excellent way to get a taste of harbour life – however walking through popular areas such as the Rocks, and Circular Quay offers a different perspective. The Rocks area is full of heritage and colonial structures, including Cadman’s Cottage – a great example of Colonial architecture. The heritage of this area, stretches back thousands of years ago, with evidence to suggest that the first people regularly fished from the rocks near to where the Harbour Bridge stands today. Taronga Zoo, showcases a wide variety of animals, including the iconic Koala Bear and Kangaroos – you may be lucky enough to see these animals in their natural surroundings, particularly if visiting the Blue Mountains.

The food in Sydney is world renowned – seafood is in natural abundance and the influences from Asian and European cuisines, is evident on every street corner. From stunning Greek and Italian food, to Lebanese and robust traditional fare, such as steak, eating in Sydney is pleasurable, and there are plenty of places to sample the delights that Sydney has to offer.

There are several events throughout the year in Sydney and include events in China Town, the Film Festival and Vivid Sydney – a particularly beautiful, festival of light. Shopping in Sydney is varied and includes big name department stores and several markets, including Paddy’s market.

vivid sydney - cheaparooms

Vivid Festival Sydney

Planning A Trip

Sydney offers a sub-tropical climate which means the temperatures are pleasant throughout the year. The summer months, between December and February, can get particularly hot with temperatures often reaching the mid thirties, however the harbour breezes temper the heat, offering some respite. The cooler months between April and August are attractive to those who may want to avoid the heat.

Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, is a major hub and most airlines will fly there directly. Getting from the airport to the city, is refreshingly easy – the train will take you to Circular Quay in fifteen minutes, whilst a taxi, will cost significantly more and will set you back around thirty minutes. There are plenty of hotels in Sydney to choose from with the more popular options being around darling harbour.

All visitors will require a holiday visa, which must be obtained electronically in advance. Many travel agents will offer this service as part of the booking, however you can obtain this yourself, online and pay the small fee.

There are so many things to do in Sydney, however you should include the most iconic sights and plan to visit one of the many art galleries which house fantastic examples of Aboriginal art and perhaps consider a tour of the city – Circular Quay have tourist information desks which can provide you with advice and information on tours, and free maps. One highly recommended activity is to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge during sunset, or sunrise and many people will love visiting the Sydney Aquarium.

Top Things to Do in San Francisco

Top Things to Do in San Francisco

With iconic sights and one of the most welcoming attitudes in the USA, San Francisco is a top destination. There are some amazing places to go with very diverse neighbourhoods and communities. Here are just a few of the top things to do in San Francisco.

Ride a Bike on Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous sights in San Francisco and is unmissable. Hire a bike on Pier 39 and cycle along the coastal road across Golden Gate to Marin County. You can either backtrack across the bridge or head further to laid back Sausalito where you can pick up the ferry to San Francisco’s Pier 39.

Take the Cable Car

San Francisco’s cable cars are a feature of the city. Take the car from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square and enjoy the scenery. Why not do as the locals do and ride on the outside. The cable Car Museum is a great place to go and learn about this famous form of transportation.

Explore Chinatown

Thousands of Chinese workers came to the West Coast of the USA to build the railroads. Many stayed and the Chinatown community is testament to their culture. Walk round the narrow Chinatown streets with their markets and superb restaurants or visit a temple. You can also join in a tai chi class in places like Washington Square.

Go to Jail

Alcatraz is one of the most notorious prisons in the world. The island lies just off San Francisco and you can take the boat over to the jail for a tour. Other famous museums in San Francisco include the hands on science exhibits at Exploratorium. Golden Gate Park is another superb place for a walk with galleries and museums in the complex.

San Francisco is full of exciting things to do. What will you plan to do during your stay?

Foodie Highlights in Verona

Foodie Highlights in Verona

Known for romance and Opera, Verona is a wonderful place to go for a weekend or city break. There is a lot more to Verona than Romeo and Juliet and visitors will love the thriving foodie scene. Here’s what to look out for on the menu in Verona.

Donkey Rules

In Verona the donkey is a top delicacy. The tradition dates from the Barbarian period when the locals resorted to eating horse and donkey and loved it so much that the tradition continues today. If you are planning on trying the delicacy then check out asino on the menu which means donkey. One of the popular pasta dishes is Donkey Ragu. Look closer in the deli’s and you’ll see donkey salami which is a definite talking point at picnics.

Taste the cakes

Verona has some wonderful pastry and cake shops which are definitely worth a visit. Many are flavoured with wine and fruits. Pandoro is the specialty of Verona and mainly seen at Christmas time. Don’t forget to check out the gelato shops where you’ll find just about every flavour of ice cream imaginable.

Go Wine tasting

Verona is right in the midst of the famous Veneto wine growing region. Take a tour of the vineyards and you’ll come across Soave, Valpolicella and also the Bardolino wines. Prosecco is produced north of Verona in the Treviso area and is another famous product from this region.

Taste Polenta

Whilst most people associate Italy with pasta the area around Verona is famed for its risotto and polenta. This is a popular rice growing area and you’ll typically find some delicious creamy risottos on the menus in restaurants. Polenta is a corn flour based dish and you’ll see it served with meat and fish in Verona.

Verona is full of foodie surprises and delicacies just waiting to be discovered by visitors.

Top Things to Do in Paris on a Tight Budget

Top Things to Do in Paris on a Tight Budget - CheapaRooms

One of the most captivating cities in the world, Paris is full of museums, parks, shops, and attractions for visitors. Paris, however, is one of the most expensive places to visit in Europe but don’t let that put you off. Here’s how to make the most of this capital city on a shoestring budget.

Get your walking shoes on

Paris is a very walkable city with some amazing views of the big attractions. You can follow the banks of the River Seine, stroll through the Tuileries Gardens with views of the Eiffel Tower, and explore the cobbled streets of Montmartre. Do check out the Paris Velib rental bikes in the city centre where you can get 30 minutes cycling for free and a day pass costs less than 2 Euros.

Visit the Museums

No visit to Paris is complete without seeing at least one museum. Some like the Petit Palais are free. You can learn about the history of Paris at the Musèe de Carnavalet or check out your literary knowledge at the Musèe de Balzac. On the first Sunday of each month museums like the Louvre are free, but get there early to avoid the crowds.

Pack a picnic

Whilst the restaurants in Paris are a highlight you can save money by heading to the supermarkets and bakeries to stock up on bread and cheese for a picnic in the parks. You’ll find beautiful places to dine out in the Jardin de Luxembourg or along the Seine and still be able to eat superb French food alfresco.

Soak up the atmosphere

Places like Notre Dame Cathedral are free unless you want to climb the towers. As one of the highlights in Paris this is a must. Do walk round the markets in Paris where you’ll see incredibly beautiful displays and be tempted to buy. Don’t forget to look around you as you walk the streets. There are memorials everywhere which tell the history of this great city from resistance fighters in World War Two to the reminders of La Belle Époque.

Paris is bursting with things to see and do. And you can do it on a budget.

Cambodia for Foodies



Cambodia for Foodies - cheaparooms

Cambodia is renowned for its ancient temples but another highlight is the food. You’ll find unique flavours and some unusual delicacies when you visit this popular country in South East Asia. Read on for a lowdown on the foodie specialties in Cambodia.
Run Amok

Amok is the flavouring used in many dishes and you’ll find chicken or fish amok on most menus. It’s a blend of Kaffir lime leaf, ginger, galangal, pepper, turmeric and coriander seed. The curry is often made with coconut milk and is a delicious flavour. Another spice for foodies is Kampot pepper, a local specialty beloved by Parisian chefs. In Cambodia you can snap up the spice very cheaply.

Dice with danger

Walk round any Cambodian market and you’ll see some interesting takeaways and snacks. For a daring and unusual meal check out the fried crickets found on street food stalls. And if you want to be really bold why not go the whole way and bite on a deep fried tarantula. They do have a distinctive crunch after being in the wok.

Give something back

Cambodia has suffered years of civil war and now has some wonderful social projects. You’ll find restaurants where the staff come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are being give training in the hospitality industry. Friends Restaurant in Phnom Penh is one of the best and has a very tempting menu.

Learn to cook

One of the best ways of talking about your holiday is to cook a local meal for friends. You’ll find cookery schools in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh where you’ll buy the fresh ingredients and then learn to cook typical Cambodian dishes. Whilst I can’t promise you’ll learn to cook a tarantula, you’ll go away with a repertoire of good recipes to try out back home.

Cambodia’s foodie highlights are not to be missed. Go taste something different when you visit the country.

Best Places to Stay in Bali

best places to stay bali
Bali has been beloved by Australians (and others!) for many years now, popular with everyone from young families, party-hard backpackers to singles looking for a spiritual oasis. For such a small island, Bali really does seem to offer it all! The key is finding the right spot in Bali that fits what you’re looking for. So here is our guide to the key areas in Bali.

South of the Island

 The most popular half of Bali, within easy commute of Denpasar Airport.

Kuta Beach

 Probably the most famous location in Bali, this is the place to head if you’re looking for cheap beer and all-night parties. The streets here are lined with shops selling novelty souvenirs, and there’s plenty of great, cheap street food on offer. While some may say that it’s not the island’s most authentic experience, it is the place to go if you’re looking for a good time.

Ubud

 The second most popular area for visitors to Bali is Ubud. Nestled in the mountains, it’s no longer a small village as its popularity has increased hugely since a little book called Eat, Pray, Love was released. Nonetheless, it retains much of its charm, with endless massages, yoga schools and healthy eateries. The surrounding rice fields and temples are also beautiful.

Seminyak

 Widely regarded as Bali’s most fashionable beach, Seminyak tends to cater to a more upscale crowd with many fancy resorts, cafes and bars. Despite being popular with an older crowd, Seminyak has great nightlife including posh cocktail bars and nightclubs.

Nusa Dua

 This idyllic enclave caters mainly to all-inclusive tourists, and is particularly well regarded with families and honeymooners due to its picturesque, quieter location. If you’re looking for a pretty, quiet spot to enjoy the beach, this is the place to do it! Other things to do include visiting nearby temples, playing golf, or shopping at the large shopping complex.

North of the Island

 The untouched side of the island – but with less infrastructure and a bit of a trek to get there.

Lovina

 Described as the ‘polar opposite of Kuta’, Lovina is a relaxed, sleepy town popular with those seeking tranquility and quiet. There’s not much to do here, except read a book, relax at your cheap hotel, or watch the fishing boats come in in the afternoon (but that’s half the appeal).

Pemuteran

Pemuteran is busier than its sister Lovina, with more to do and a more energetic atmosphere, although still on the sleepier side than down south. It’s your quintessential beach getaway with some of the island’s best snorkelling and diving off the coast at Pulau Menjangan.

Singaraja

 Another popular destination in Bali’s north is Singaraja, the former colonial capital. It is close to a number of impressive sights such as the Royal Palace of Singaraja, and by northern Bali’s standards, has a lively nightlife. The city also has a number of modern conveniences including ATMs, two shopping malls and many cafes and restaurants.

Clearly, there is a little bit for everyone in beautiful Bali, and it is easy to see why so many people keep returning every year to their favourite slice of it!

4 Reasons Why You Should Start Traveling NOW

 

4 reason why you should travel - cheaparooms

OK, so you’ve been wanting to travel now for years. Maybe you are putting it off until retirement or when the kids finally grow up. Perhaps you are holding off until you get out of college or pay off your loans. If traveling is on your mind, stop putting it off and get out there now. Here’s why…
1. You Aren’t Getting Any Younger

Maybe you’re young now but you won’t always be. Traveling can be a lot of work and often times extremely tiring. Climbing mountains, navigating tourist attractions and lugging around bags can take a toll. Would you rather be doing all of that when you’re young and limber or when you have aching joints and a bad back? Travel when you can still enjoy it.

2. You Will Learn About Yourself

There is no better way to learn about who you truly are than to put yourself out there in the world. New situations, problems, cultures and people will test you and after it all, you will be closer to figuring out the things you want and don’t want in life.

3. You May Boost Your Career

Travel is not always about lying on beaches and snapping pictures in front of the Louvre. In fact, the experiences you have while traveling can help you decide what kind of career you may be interested in. Plus, you will be able to network with more people and do activities like working or volunteering abroad that can help bolster your resume.

4. You’re World Will Open Up

Not only will the actual world open up to you after going out and taking a look at it, but your world at home will be more open too. After trying new foods and learning new languages abroad, you can enjoy more communication, greater insights and better options on restaurant menus once you return to your home town.

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