CROATIA: Plitvice Lakes, the winter wonderland

Frozen Waterfalls and Lakes at Plitvice Lakes National Park

Cloaked in white, grey, brown, blue and green, Plitvice Lakes National Park was so surreal. With its wintry look of frozen waterfalls, lakes and snow, it was as if time had stood still.

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BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: What to do if you visit Bosnia & Herzegovina for just one day

Stari Most Close-up in Mostar

Travelling from the countryside to the city, we saw that Bosnia & Herzegovina still need many years to rebuild itself from the after-effects of the 1990s war. Even so, its people are so cheery, sincere and helpful. If you seem a little lost in the car or on the pavement, the locals will come up to you and ask if you need help even if they are laden with grocery bags. If you ever find yourself in this resilient country with only a day to spare, zero in on the 4 spots below to make the best of your stopover.

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BALKANS: 9 driving tips in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia

The idyllic town of Rovinj

We rented a car in Croatia which we used throughout Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia. The road trip was fabulous, so we thought we would share some tips for those who are planning to do so too.

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VIETNAM: 4D3N Hanoi, the unexpected

Deadly Weapons at Vietnam Military History Museum at Hanoi

Although Chocolate had come back from his company retreat at Ho Chi Minh with disappointment as he felt that the food and sights were underwhelming, Marshmallow managed to convince him to visit Halong Bay. Off we went to Hanoi, with no plans set other than visiting Halong Bay.

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VIETNAM: Overnight cruise at Halong Bay

Xin Chao, Halong Bay!

A long drive to and a drawn-out wait at the jetty on a hot humid day did not dampen our mood while we waited to get on a boat to bring us to our junk cruise where we are going to stay for 2D1N at Halong Bay. It was a bright happy day after all.

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CROATIA: Winter in the land of Game of Thrones

Mini Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park

We have heard of Croatia long ago, but only got to know its beauty when Marshmallow’s lil’ sis vacationed there. Since then, her gushes of the food, nature and people have stuck.

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NETHERLANDS: 6-hour transit in Amsterdam

Dutch Houses and Houseboats in Amsterdam

Stepping out of Amsterdam Centraal train station and taking in sights of the slim Dutch houses and houseboats on the canals, it hit home that we have arrived in Amsterdam.

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INDIA: 9 tips for travelling in Incredible India

India's Taj Mahal

India is a great country with lots to offer. The people are friendly and hospitable. Markets are vibrant and alive. Palaces, forts and temples are intricately designed and carved. Blending old world charm with the modern, you will have a good time embracing India’s colourful life and its vivid details if you just note the following tips.

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9 things you didn’t think of preparing for your trip

1. Note down local names of streets and attractions

Have you ever tried googling for a certain place and few variations of its name turned up? Note those names down because unbeknown to you, one of those foreign-looking names is the one known locally. When seeking help from the locals, having this sure comes in handy.

2. Check sunrise and sunset times

If you are planning your itinerary, knowing the sunrise and sunset times will help you decide when to schedule your stops. Imagine you have planned to take a walk by a lake famous for its reflection of the nearby mountains at 5pm and upon arrival, it is already dark because of winter’s early sunset and you can’t see shit. What a pity right?

3. Check the country’s entrance/ exit fees

Some countries require you to pay entrance and/or exit fees and these are not covered in your air ticket cost. Don’t forget about this and spend all your foreign currency thinking you are not going to be needing them at the departure hall.

4. Place your driving licence or identity card in your wallet

When Prague’s immigration officer insisted my passport was not mine because of my lack of likeness to the photo (I just got fatter, dude!), I had no other document to prove my identity. Save yourself the trouble by bringing either your driving licence or identity card along for your holiday.

5. Place a copy of your driving licence, identity card or passport in your luggage

Apart from this being proof that the luggage belongs to you in case of any hiccup, you can also show these documents to your embassy if your passport gets stolen by pickpockets while you were out traipsing the city.

6. Pack luggage’s clothes into plastic/ ziplock bags

If you don’t do this, you risk being embarrassed when the customs officer open your bag for checks and start flinging out your underwear for all to see.

7. Split clothes into different luggage

If you are travelling with a partner and one of your luggage goes missing, the both of you still have clothes to change into because each piece of luggage was a mix of your clothes and your partner’s.

8. Pack a change of clothing in your carry-on bag

With this, you will at least have a clean change of clothes after a 20-hour flight even if your luggage got misplaced by the airline.

9. Extra pair of spectacles or contact lens

I’m sure you won’t want to miss out seeing the gorgeous sights on your trip-of-a-lifetime just because your old trusty spectacles have given up on you or one of the contact lens has gone missing.

By: Chocolate & Marshmallow