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Don’t leave La Paz (Bolivia) without doing these things!

Bolivia: La Paz top 5 by Geerard

Located at 3500 meters of altitude, La Paz is dizzying in many aspects. Once you step out of the airport, the altitude, warmth and the noise grabs you by the throat. Give yourself a few minutes to get used to the initial chaos and stop worrying: La Paz is a safe and actually a very laid-back city.

When visiting La Paz, plan at least 3 days to explore the city. There is so much to see and do that you can stay for 2 weeks and still will not be bored. In this blog I will guide you through the must do’s and must sees of La Paz, so that you get the maximum out of your visit to this extraordinary city! Below you’ll find my top 5. But first, watch our travel video for a cool impression:

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Amazing landscapes at Lake Titicaca (Peru)

For a long time, I’ve been longing to visit the highest navigable lake in the world, the famous Lake Titicaca located between Peru and Bolivia. At 3856 metres above sea level, this lake is said to be bigger than Switzerland! During our world trip (Orange Spots on Tour) in 2016, we finally took off on a breathtaking tour to the Uros Floating Islands at Lake Titicaca. Also, we enjoyed a nice hike on the island of Taquile. Enjoy the ashtonishing views, breathtaking landscapes and the colorful clothing of the Uros people living on this immense lake!

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7 Best Hotel Experiences – Orange Spots on Tour 2015-2016

During our 7 month trip through Asia and South America we’ve stayed in over 70 different hotels. For each city and country we had a tight hotel budget, all hotels we booked where in the low to midrange price of the available hotels in the specific city. We always looked for a hotel with a special ‘feel’ : small boutique hotels or guesthouses with a personal touch. We encountered some real gems during our many stays, however, the hotels described below are our absolute favorites:

1. Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya – Miyajima (Japan)

Why go: Hospitality, Unique experience, Beautiful rooms with unbelievable views

The Island of Miyajima is one of the highlights of Japan: the beautiful scenic views attract loads of tourists during the day, therefore we recommend you to stay at least one night on the Island. In the afternoon, when the tourists go back to Hiroshima, the island becomes more tranquil and mysterious. We chose to stay at Guest House Mikuniya, a short walk from the world famous Itsukushima Shrine and it’s huge Torii Gate. The small Guest House is beautiful in every detail: decorated with Japanese art and furniture. There is a lounge where you watch DVD’s, read a book, learn how to make origami or enjoy some Japanese tea. However, you will likely not be spending too much time here.
The friendly owner Mr. Masaharu Terazawa treats his guests like friends and adds a personal touch to the whole experience.

We already were in love with the place without having seen the highlight of the Guesthouse, our room. We stayed in a beautiful traditional Japanese style tatami room with a stunning sea view. It’s amazing to wake up in the morning, opening the window blinds and see the huge red Torii Gate staring at you. It doesn’t get much better then this in life.

Address:
327 Chue-machi, Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, 
Hiroshima, Japan, 739-0523
http://miyajimamikuniya.com/

Miyajima 1

Miyajima 2.jpg

Miyajima 4

Miyajima Japan photography 3

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La Paz Bolivia teleferico

Travel video La Paz – Bolivia

La Paz, the capital of Bolivia has quite surprised us with its magnificent views over the city, colorful markets and local traditions. Sure, the altitude knocked us down and caused us some uncomfortable nights. But it was definitely worth it! La Paz has so many things to offer: stay for a week and you still don’t get bored. Besides exploring the city by foot and cablecar, we chose to go for a ride just outside the city. We experienced the Death Road mountain bike tour which was one of the coolest things we’ve ever done!

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Death Road Bolivia

Death Road mountain bike adventure in La Paz – Bolivia

If you happen to be an adventurous type and you’re in La Paz (Bolivia) by any chance, you can’t miss out riding down the World’s Most Dangerous Road on a mountain bike! Sure, you really need to know how to ride a bike in order to do this safely. By no means this is a challenging ride. When we heard about the existence of the mountain bike tour down the risky Death Road, we had to think twice. We asked around for advice at several tour operators and mountain bike specialists. We made up our mind and decided we should just go for it!

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Cycling, steaks & street art in Montevideo – Uruguay

Crossing the Rio del Plata from Buenos Aires by ferry, it’s easy to get to Montevideo in Uruguay. An excellent trip if you visit Argentina and got some spare days left.

We took the ferry to Colonia and proceeded our trip by bus since that was a cheaper option. But you may as well take the fast ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo (Buquebus, Seacat Colonia) and enjoy a great weekend in Uruguay.
Although not to be compared with Buenos Aires (Montevideo is smaller and has a different vibe), Montevideo is a cool city and there’s plenty of cool things to do.

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Pingyao – China’s famous old town

There’s a reason the Chinese ancient walled city of Pingyao is listed as one of the best conserved walled cities in the world. It takes a few seconds to notice when entering the city though one of the gates. Wandering through the streets you’ll find countless traditional buildings, colorful lanterns and picturesque courtyards. If you would picture a period film showing ancient China, it sure would look precisely like Pingyao.

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One night in Hong Kong – travel video

Hong Kong has been on our travel list for years. This year, we were finally able to visit this far away destination from which we heard many positive things. Most of all, we couldn’t wait to taste the famous Hong Kong style food! Or take some amazing photographs of the illuminated skyline which we’ve often seen on travel programs and postcards.

Here’s a nice impression of Hong Kong city by night, definitely the best time to stroll through town or take the ferry to Kowloon. You’ll be overwhelmed by the fantastic illumination of the city!

For tips about Hong Kong, check out our blog “Hong Kong favorites & staying at Mini Hotel” and Renate’s blog “5 must do’s in Hong Kong“.

 

 

 

 

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Stanley Hong Kong

Stanley – Hong Kong, the perfect getaway

STANLEY – HONG KONG 

Hong Kong is a cool city, but it can also get crowded and overwhelming at some point. So if you book a trip to Hong Kong, consider visiting at least one of its beaches.  I read a few blogs and browsed through the Lonely Planet and it brought me to the idea to take a little trip further south. After two full days of sightseeing in Hong Kong we were looking forward to enjoy beach life in Stanley, one of the oldest villages in Hong Kong Island.

Stanley - Hong Kong 1

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Cambodia Angkor Wat

Round trip Cambodia – travel video

Welcome to Cambodia, a beautiful country located in South-East Asia. Many years we’ve dreamed about visiting the temples of Angkor and appreciating the diversity of landscapes, from paddy fields and rural sceneries to the beaches in the south. Also, we were particularly excited to taste the authentic Cambodian (Khmer) cuisine. We were told that it’s a fine combination between Thai and Vietnamese food, yet with its own touch.

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CHiangMai travel video

Splendid Chiang Mai – Thailand

We recently spent two lovely weeks in Chiang Mai and the country side. We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere you find in this charming destination. People are very friendly and welcoming. There are precious temples everywhere and the food aromas at the markets and eateries really touch your olfactory senses. We also spoiled ourselves with massages every day.

Then there’s the laid back countryside where you find the traditional way of living. The stretched out paddy fields are bright green, full of live and surrounded by trees and mountains. We loved to cycle through the countryside and visit different places such as temples, local farms and even a ‘Grand Canyon’ filled with bright blue water.

A true highlight was a visit to an elephant camp which has been on my travel list for years! We drove all the way to the mountains, through forests and then into the jungle. Here we learned about the elephant’s habitat. We spoiled the elephants with treats, mud baths and we played with them in the river. It was amazing …

Chiang Mai has surprised us in many ways. See it yourself in a travel video we made to inspire you. Enjoy!

 

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Japanese pecularities

Japan is full of surprises when it comes to local customs, fashion, art and gadgets. Find out what peculiar things surprised us the most during our round trip through the country.

ARTISTIC MANHOLE COVERS
Japan is known for its beautiful art which you find in temples, museums and art galleries. Yet, there’s another art form which we found quite startling. When walking through a street in Japan – be it in a city or a village – you notice that manhole covers are beautifully decorated. I’ve read that this curious phenomenon started in 1985, when a bureaucrat working at the ministry of construction came up with the idea to let municipalities design their own manhole covers.

I really liked to spot the designs in every city I visited. We photographed them to make a cool collage. There seems to be more than 6.000 artistic manhole covers all over Japan, each of them containing local symbols. Curious isn’t it?

 

Manhole Covers Japan

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