Memorable Menu Suggestions When Holidaying in Chengdu

Travel Tips - Amanda - July 23, 2018

Image by Chinh Le Duc via Unsplash

If you and your family are planning a trip to China anytime soon, the chances are that Chengdu is on your list of places to visit and with such a gastronomic diversity, you will be able to experience many of the local dishes. Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province, set in the Chengdu plain, a vast expanse of fertile land that is very productive and with so many fruits and vegetables, the range of delicious dishes that originate from Chengdu are among the best in the country. If you are soon to be arriving in Chengdu, here’s a list of local dishes you simply must sample.

1. Fried Rabbit with Peppers – Shuang Jiao Tu is easy to pronounce and is one of the most popular dishes that Chengdu has to offer. Rabbit is a staple diet in this part of China and with generous helpings of green and red peppers, fresh Sichuan pepper, garlic and, of course, ginger, your taste buds will explode into action. While this dish is hard to find in the city, there are rabbit restaurants in the suburbs that specialise in this tasty dish. Many westerners go on China private tours in 2019 and with an online search, you can locate an established Chinese tour operator who can recommend the best places to visit.

2. Smoked Sausage – La Xiang Chang is a spicy smoked sausage that is cured to perfection and the unique spicy flavour is largely due to the fresh Sichuan pepper that is freely available and used extensively in Chengdu’s kitchens. This dish can either be steamed or fried and can be eaten on its own or with several other side dishes.

3. Sichuan Dumplings – Hong You Chao Shou is served in a delicious chili oil and this special dish is exclusive to Sichuan. The dumplings are wrapped into a crescent shape and filled with pork and ginger and the spicy chili oil perfectly complements the dumplings, with many Chengdu chefs creating their very own chili oil sauce.

4. Fish Mint Salad – Zhe Er Gen is a dish that uses a rare plant in China called Houttuynia Cordata, which has a unique flavour. This particular dish is not to everyone’s taste but while you are in Chengdu, you really should give it a try. Perfect as a spicy salad side dish, this uniquely tasting dish is one of the most popular in Chengdu.

5. Fire Wood Chicken – Chai Huo Ji is an ideal main dish for a hungry family, with a freshly prepared chicken that is first cooked in Sichuan pepper and ginger. It is then stewed in a special paste made from pickled chilies, green beans and garnished with potatoes.

Chengdu is the perfect Chinese holiday destination if you are looking to try some amazing cuisine and with such fertile land, the locals make very good use of their produce by preparing unique dishes that you really should experience while in China.

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How to See The Most of the Ionian Sea on A Yacht

Travel Tips - Amanda - June 21, 2018

The Ionian sea, where miles of fields of flowers gorgeously contrast soaring mountains and azure blue waters. Eleven islands – from the smallest to the largest – make up the Ionian sea and it’s an unparalleled blend of Greek, Italian and French architecture and influences. From the six largest islands (including Corfu and Ithaka) to small hidden ones like Ereikousa and Mathraki – the Ionian islands are not just your normal picturesque islands.

Despite their unreal beauty, the Ionian Islands are blessed with a historical past that makes exploring them on land even more interesting. From how their colonization by different empires (including French, Venetian, Roman and British) to their final union with Greece – they remain a blend of mystery and rich culture.

Whether you are looking for an uninterrupted time of relaxation, or if you’re looking for the perfect adventure – sailing the Ionian sea will definitely cater to your needs. It’s the ideal sailing destinations! The good thing about a yacht tour is that you get to see the unseen, visit beaches you wouldn’t normally do if you traveled by land. In this article I will particularly talk about Ionia, secret beaches and advantages of a sailing holiday.

The Location

The Ionian Islands are on the coast of Greece,. They’re located at the west of the coast and they are bordered by Greece and Italy (giving them the advantage of a blend of both cultures) and are also bordered by the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.

Why the Ionian Sea.

  • The islands have become popular for being the escape everyone thrives for. Untouched by the forces of the modern world, perched in history and beauty and secluded in the middle of the sea; you’ll be getting the vacation you need.
  • One picturesque island after the island will serve as diverse destinations and it will feel like you’ve visited at least a few different countries instead of just one.
  • Being on an Ionian flotilla sailing holiday gives you a lot of freedom and most of the time the flotillas are ideally suited to different types of travelers including professional sailors and even families and kids.
  • Think of spectacular landscapes – from beaches that are untouched to the most lush forests…You’ll be in for a treat!
  • A yacht will be the absolute best way to explore the hidden beauty of the isles and you’ll have all the time in the world to discover hidden gems and coves, sail around groves and indulge in the beauty of the Ionian sea.
  • You can also indulge in a lot of activities if you don’t fancy just basking in the sun all day long. If you have the right gear, you can dive, explore caves, go to underwater lakes and even windsurf if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • The gastronomic delights will be one of the highlights of your trip – try the Kefallonítiki kreatópita  which is a meat pie that’s very popular between the locals.
  • There are also plenty of historical sights that you can check out if you’re going to be exploring the islands on land.

When to go sailing.

If you’re going to be going sailing, make sure you do this starting from May until September where the temperature ranges from the mid-20s to the mid-30 Celsius.

Which islands should you visit?


Zakynthos is a dream-like location and one of the best places to sail around. Proudly boasting a big harbor, Zakynthos is made for people who want to sail. The marina there offers all types of services you might need for your yacht tour and you’ll get the chance to explore a lot of beaches.

If you’re going to be exploring at least one beach, make sure you check out Shipwreck Bay. It’s blessed with really soft sand that makes it easy for first time sailors to anchor their yacht, and it’s blessed with gorgeous water. The best beaches, however, are located at the Bay of Laganas.

Make sure you also check out the Blue Caves!


If you’re a first-time sailor then you’d be happy to know that Kefalonia has one of the safest harbors in the Mediterranean. It’s one of the largest and it’s also one of the most popular so expect it to be filled with tourists. But for good reason. The beaches are incredible, the climate is mild, and the geological build-up of the island makes it extremely unique. You can visit the Kefalonia Caves or the Melisani Caves and you can even go shopping! If you’re going to be exploring the island on land, do not miss out on Argostoli, the capital city.


Ithaca is where Oysseus was supposedly born. Make sure you don’t miss out on the Cave of the Nymph and enjoy the dozens of miles of coastline. Here you can also enjoy adrenaline-inducing activities like kayaking, biking and hiking as well!


Kyllini is home to some dramatic castles, gorgeous panoramic vistas of the sea, and of course white sand beaches and azure waters. Make sure you check out the famous thermal spring – Loutra Kyllinis.


If you want to add a little bit more romance and scenery to your trip, then Nafpaktos is definitely for you. Lush mountains act as the perfect backdrops for blue seas, and the beaches are mostly secluded so you feel like you have the whole island to yourself. You’ll feel that the village feels a bit more “traditional” and you’ll get to explore some of the leftovers of the Venetian occupation. Check out the Venetian Castle and of course, the Venetian Port which is considered one of the most picturesque in all of the Mediterranean. If you want to add a little oomph to your visit there too, go to the top of the Castle of Nafpaktos where you’ll get the best panoramic view of the island.


Of course Corfu is definitely one of the must visits in the Ionian Sea. You will have to check out Pontikonisi Mouse Island, which you’ll immediately know from the hundreds of pictures taken there!

Old Fort.

If you’re a keen photographer in the making, then you will love Old Fort. As you float on your boat in the sea, you’ll start to see the citadel coming out of the water in the most magical of scenes. This is where you go to explore the blend of Greece, Italy and France in one island.

Advantages of a sailing holiday.

Don’t even get us started on the advantages of a sailing holiday! It’s everything you’d want in a vacation and more.

  • You practically have the biggest playground in the world at your disposal. On the sea, you’ll never get bored.
  • You’ll definitely be learning some new things daily – whether in sailing, the seas around you, or the islands.
  • It’s a unique way to travel and explore. Instead of the cliché “get on a plane and explore on foot”, you’ll be sailing the seas and just the journey will be picturesque enough.
  • You can visit a lot of islands in very little time.
  • The solitude, the silence, and the freedom of it all…Very little things can compare to that.
  • You’ll be relaxing at every point and it will be a great way to escape the daily life.
  • You’ll be getting the complete and full experience of nature and a lot more benefits.

Floating the Ionian Sea is one of the best things you can probably do if you have a sailboat or if you’re renting a yacht. The diversity of the islands will make you feel like you’ve sailed around a whole continent and the experience will be one of the most memorable ones in your life.

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Take a Big Lebowski Tour

Getting Lost, Stories and Travel Info - Amanda - April 23, 2018

The Big Lebowski is one of the funniest and most creative movies ever to have been made in the 20th century. The film is jam-packed with sarcastic and somewhat cynical moments, and its characters make it even more interesting. Sure, the whole story is fascinating, but the way that Walter and The Dude, who doesn’t prefer being called by his surname, interact with each other is even funnier than the whole confusion that started everything.

If you’re a bit of a nostalgic and you’d like to go to the same places that show up during the movie or maybe you’d like to buy groceries from the same store The Dude did in the film, we’ve put together a list of spots you might want to check out in L.A. the next time you’re in town. You can create a Big Lebowski tour all on your own.

The Bowling Alley

The Hollywood Star Lanes is the place where most of the other events happen aside from those which usually occur at the Dude’s bungalow. Unfortunately, the alley was demolished back in 2002 and in its place now resides an elementary school. You can, however, take the best options in terms of bowling balls and alleys and check out the places nearby.

The wooden bridge

You know that moment when The Dude and Walter are supposed to throw a bag of money off a bridge to ensure that the ransom is paid and Bunny is returned safely? Well, that doesn’t happen exactly as planned, because Walter decides to throw a briefcase filled with his dirty laundry instead of the one with the money.
The wooden bridge where all of this occurs doesn’t exist in reality. However, it’s an actual bridge that connects the north of Simi Valley to the Santa Clara River, but it isn’t made out of wood. The material was added by the crew.

Larry Seller’s House

Larry Seller is an unfortunate kid that almost gets harassed by Walter because he doesn’t admit to having committed a crime he (of course) did not commit. To convince him to talk, Walter uses brute force and ends up going ballistic on a shiny Corvette. Unfortunately, the car did not belong to Larry. It was the property of his neighbor who had just acquired it. The house can be seen near the In-and-Out Burger on Camrose, and more specifically, on Stearns Drive.

The Nihilists’ Pancake House

On South Sepulveda Boulevard, you can still find Dinah’s Family Restaurant, which is a pancake place that opened back in 1959. That was the place where the nihilists used to gather and plan all of their future moves. The owners of the restaurant claim that about twenty million customers have been served since its opening in ‘59. Check it out, if you’re in the area. Apparently, the pancakes are really delicious.

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11 Tips To Have A Fun And Safe Family Adventure Holiday

Travel Tips - Amanda - April 20, 2018

If you are planning an adventure holiday with your family you will definitely want to be safe. Following a few simple tips and tricks can make your family adventure holiday perfect. Your holidaying has to be perfect and remembering these handy tips will certainly help you on the way to that. Some go-for-it tips for the perfect adventure holiday with your family and kids are here so that you can take a stay ahead and indulge in some breath-taking experiences with your family. Continue Reading

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Enjoy Northern Italy Tours with Family and Friends

Best Destinations - Amanda - April 10, 2018

A place of love, history and beautiful flavours, the northern part of the former Roman Empire is a social heartland complete of hidden treasures. Hear the music of the lapping rivers eco through the streets of Venice, dip your toes in the ocean by the truly amazing Ligurian coast, make and taste authentic Italian pesto, enjoy delightful Tuscan delicacies, scale the leaning tower of Pisa and fight like a gladiator in Rome as you whisk through Northern Italy on this fantastic family vacation. Northern Italy tours offer wonderful enjoying moments for which tourists are looking for in a vacation to Italy. This large choice of all-inclusive tours to north Italy is going to consist of fabulous expert English-speaking guides, high-class 4-star and 5-star resorts, delightful authentic northern Italian local delicacies and local wines, high-class transport between places, and more all at the lowest price.

There are many reputable travel planners and tour operators who are planning an affordable and luxurious tour to Northern Italy. From the canals of Venice and the idealistic Lake District to the Cinque Terre, Piedmont, and more, you will have an exciting experience and a relaxing outlook during the best that Italy has to offer.

Adventures In Northern Italy

Some tourists have the best way to truly get to know a town is to walk its roads. This is the idea behind Activities in Northern Italy walking tours. “On foot, we are able to escape the crowd, who tend to head to the ‘famous’ attractions,” its Website happily claims. One of their most affordable trips is “A Little Experience from Barbera to Barolo,” a four-day journey which starts with a drive through the scenery of Milan to the Monferrato wine region and the small mountain town of La Morra, where your wine region will comprise of samplings at wine cellars carved from rock, vineyard strolls, Gothic Castle passages and an enchanting view of Alba, capital city of Langhe. Before leaving at home, you’ll have time to taste delicious local cheese and Asti Spumante.

For those wanting to enjoy Italy without the crowd and the sometimes intolerable summer heat, a vacation of the north has plenty that is attractive. Let’s take a look at some must-see features.

  • The rise of budget airlines has meant that it has never been more readily found a cheap flight to north Italy. Both Milan and Verona have busy airports, with flights tickets from most major European cities. Verona is provided by regular flights from London Luton, which makes it a perfect place to start any tour.
  • If you aren’t able to choose an appropriately priced flight from Verona, then you might also consider Bologna as a feasible solution.
  • Lake Garda is within easy reach of both international airports. This grand lake has a quite amazing place, with a hilly background and a coastal feel. Covered by pretty towns and cities, Lake Garda is a natural centrepiece for any tour of northern Italy.
  • The area here is well known for its fine delicacies – eating out in Italy is not to be missed!
  • Verona itself, as well as providing an excellent base from which to understand more about the surrounding scenery, has a rich history. This is a town that was first brought to the attention of the British by no lesser figure than Bill Shakespeare.
  • The Dolomites, the great hills of the area, offer some amazing views and wonderful spots have fun with. The well-known cities of Vipiteno, Brunico and Bolzano are all well worth a visit.
  • Finally, no journey of this part of Italy would be complete without visiting the medieval walled elegance of Trento.

From having some of the finest French dishes in Emilia-Romagna, gaining the likes of Chef Anthony Bourdain, to the dreamlike shores of Lake Como where A-list stars relax and luxuriate, Northern Italy is a marvellous area that continues to attract. In the quiet canals of Venice, take pleasure in a private gondola ride or begin on a truffle hunt in Piedmont; a tempting adventure in Northern Italy is waiting for.

Northern Italy is complete of social places, charming unseen cities, and amazing scenery, which makes it the ideal area for independent discovery. The area has a well-mapped out road network and is perfect for drivers who are looking to discover the heart of Italy for themselves. Northern Italy is, in fact, so well-known for visitors that is known for have some of the best European road trip routes in the world, as well as some of the most well-known cities and places. Tuscany Trip is ideal for landscape, wine and well-known cities; to the Lake Como Hop, a vacation destination with a history; to the Unexpected Umbria, an area that offers a real French Experience?

A tour of north Italy involves some of the most beautiful cities, towns and scenery that this country has to offer – it is not to be skipped.

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