As the world’s most populous country, it is hard to imagine that China would have frontier lands. Despite its vast number of residents and the hundreds of millions of tourists per year, there are still remote parts of China that are untouched by mass tourism. While visiting Beijing, Shanghai and climbing the Great Wall are absolute musts, there are other places that are far more mesmerizing.
Amidst lotus blossoms and the drifting scents of incense, I spent my last spring break in Zen with Buddhists monks in the North of Thailand and on the pristine sands of the South. Thailand is a place of rare wonders where beaches jungles, and temples abound. It is overflowing with the richness of bright turquoise waters, deep green forests, and lavish precious gems sprinkled on holy sites. But surprisingly, Thailand can be seen for a bargain. Here is why the country is a must visit spot, and all the secrets to exploring affordably.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination.” – Greg Anderson
“Gonna travel, gonna travel wild and free, I’m gonna pack my bags because this great big world is calling me”
Everyone is in need of music. Every inch of us is affected by certain melodies; whether one reacts to acoustics or hard-core rock – melodies that flow through our fingers, make our limbs quiver, our heads sway, our lips tremble. I find music especially powerful when I’m traveling. I associate most songs with different memories, many of which have come from my travels. Some songs intensify moments – watching the sunset over water, visiting a cathedral, camping out in the desert; songs can help us appreciate the small wonders of the world and help us preserve the most significant memories of our lives. On my gap year, I spent two months in Australia and found their culture of music to be happily all pervasive.
Although I dislike Valentine’s Day, for the commercial scheme it is, I am still a romantic and have a few suggestions of what to do that are not nauseatingly sweet. Whether you’re looking to reignite the spark, woo a new flame, or just go on a wee adventure with the one you love, Scotland has many romantic spots perfect for this special occasion.
Time sped by us quickly again – already back in a new year. I never make New Year’s Resolutions, but many people do, and I hope that with these travel suggestions, you may accomplish yours while embarking on travel to exciting new places.
Those who do not enjoy looking at art are difficult to win over. Though an art museum may seem confining to some, I would recommend roaming through the bustling crowds of art museums in Copenhagen, Denmark. If you get there, do not let your imagination be bound by the walls and halls of the galleries – art allows you to immerse yourself in the mind of another, in different times and cultures. When traveling, visiting art museums is a wonderful way to see through the window of a culture’s past. You can wander through the rows of paintings or sculpture and take on the guise of different characters, imagining what was going on in the artists’ heads. Not solely the symphony of blues or radiant yellow hues on canvas, art is replete with psychological complexity. Copenhagen art museums, I have found, are exceptionally curated, arranged in ways that allow you to observe, reflect, and give you the freedom to delve into sublimity and varied human responses.
The daylight floods in through the factory size windows, as steam rises up in such a beautiful way it looks like intricate lace. Taking in whiffs of hazelnut and pumpkin, listening to the murmurs of freelancers and friends and faint orchestral music. I watch the baristas pour warm milk and the crowd take slow sips as I sit at the communal table, littered with coffee granules, at my favorite café, Toby’s Estate. My apartment in Williamsburg is nestled in the midst of some wonderful cafés. Over the years, I have spent a good chunk of my free time curled up in their couches, doing schoolwork and writing stories, and staring at the ceiling and passers-by when I can’t focus. It is no easy task to pick the best coffee shop in Brooklyn, given the high density with which they are strewn on practically every street. Williamsburg is a hub of cool cafés that exhibit the very distinct culture of the neighborhood. The cafés are laid back, alternative, vintage and rustic. Although a difficult selection to make, I’ve chosen a few to tell you about, based on quality and ambiance. If you ever find yourself in New York, these are the cafés you want to check out!
The Rector’s Café was busy as usual on a Friday afternoon – friends gossiping, heads buried in books, a few flirting with their espressos. The anticipation of the weekend fluttered through the air as the bright gray light began to fade outside. I waited anxiously for him to arrive. Luke Sital-Singh is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of all time and has been a staple of my “Recently Played” playlist for years. He was here to promote his new EP “The Breakneck Speed of Tomorrow.” Dark-haired, with a mix of Indian and Jamaican heritage, the South West Londoner with a Welsh background arrived at 4:45 PM in an Audi with just his tour manager and guitar. Wearing a cerulean blue peacoat over a light gray t-shirt reading “je t’aime” underlined by an infinity sign, and black jeans with New Balance sneakers, he walked into the Union and was met by Chris MacRae, the Director of Events and Services. He did a sound check, which, for anyone not planning on staying for his performance, must have caused a change of mind; all the while, I sat, fidgeting and shaking my leg out of eagerness, waiting to interview him.