THE BALI SWING
PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS
Before I jumped on a plane to Bali I’d already seen pictures of the Bali Swing on Instagram. However when I asked about it while in Ubud, it turned out that The Bali Swing was not known by everyone. You can use a swing in Bali on various spots, yet my aim was to swing above the gorge as seen on pictures, not just somewhere in the middle of the rice fields. And so I jumped into a taxi that took me to The Bali Swing, located just about a 30 minute drive from Ubud. Upon arrival I found out that it had only been opened a few months earlier, so it wasn’t a coincidence that not everyone yet knew about it.
MUST DO IN GERMANY
Looking for a something fun to do in the German Hunsrück region? Then definitely consider the Geierlay suspension bridge. This suspension bridge in Germany is located in the Hunsrück just a three-hour drive from the Dutch-German border. I visited the bridge three times in recent years, the last time I even was completely alone. Below you will first find my original report and photos from August 2016, followed by updates and tips that I added following my second and most recent visit in May 2019. Enjoy reading!
10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS
TRAVELING IN NEW-ZEALAND
For nature that is. Most of us come to New Zealand because of the amazing landscapes and I will never forget what was written in the guestbook of the hostel I stayed in Auckland after arrival in my first trip. It said ‘please go to the South Island as soon as you can!’. Of course, we had unfortunately booked a return trip from AKL meaning we had to return up north and leave the South Island behind at some point, which made me ache to go back. The second time I went to New Zealand, I flew out of Christchurch, so your trip definitely ends with a bang of truly stunning nature.
Are you looking for the best Canggu restaurants? On my most recent trip to Bali, I stayed in Canggu for five days at the end of my trip. Just to do nothing at all, immerse myself in the relaxed atmosphere and enjoy the huge range of hip eateries that you can find here. Canggu seems to be becoming the hipster capital of Bali. Everyone is moving forward along the main street, with or without a surfboard, on a scooter or sitting with a laptop in one of the many trendy cafes that you can find here. Here you will find countless good restaurants, cafes and spots to settle down and enjoy the good life. Here are my favorite cafes and nicest restaurants in Canggu on Bali. Motion Cafe Motion Cafe is definitely one of my favorite places to eat in Canggu. This small cafe offers all kinds of fitness food, from amazing breakfasts to super healthy dinner. This is in fact the only place I came back to twice as it was so cute. For breakfast I had the poached eggs on avocado and dinner was a burger with fries. The homemade avocado mayonaise was truly awesome! Vida Vida is a trendy cafe and espressobar with some indoor seating and a nice garden as well. They serve amazing breakfasts and even though I wasn’t too hungry at the time of my visit, I couldn’t resist the urge to order the pancake stack. Even though it doesn’t look massive on the picture, I couldn’t eat it all, despite me being a generally big eater. Just so you know … Metta Cafe If you are looking for small scale place with lower prices than the hipster cafes, Metta Cafe is a good choice. It actually was a random pick as I was looking for a quiet place to have dinner after having been sick with the infamous Bali Belly for a day. I choose their Soto Ayam for recovery and it was truly delicious! I Am Vegan Babe The above mentioned places are all on the main street, this is a bit further away. I am Vegan Babe is the place to be for amazing vegan breakfasts and lunches. I had their quesedilla’s for lunch and had a few of their juices later in the afternoon, such at the Athlete and their homemade lemonade. Monsieur Spoon This French bakery is definitely one of the most popular places in town. People from all over Canggu come here for a french croissant or any of their other delicious baked goods. They have indoor seating as well as a large outdoor garden area. I had their super bealthy bowl, made with dragon fruit. Yummie! The Green Guru A nice place on the main street that they say have the best smoothie bowls in Bali is the Green Guru. To be honest, the bowls they serve are really beautiful. I took the Gandhi bowl with peanut butter and chocolate. Sounds like a strange combination, but it was truly divine! Overnighting in Canggu Are you looking for a nice place to stay in Canggu? There are few large hotels and resorts, you will mainly find small homestays and local accommodations. I had a super nice homestay in Canggu right on the rice fields: Pondok Homestay. Conclusion and disclaimer best Canggu restaurants Hopefully I didn’t make you too hungry, but I did provide you with all the information you were looking for. If you, like me, travel alone to Bali as a woman, be sure to check out my article about safe solo travel in Bali as a woman. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase and/or make a reservation through such a link, I may receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you.
The Moselradweg is a more than 300 kilometer long cycling route in Germany. It takes you along the twisting bends of the Mosel river between Metz in France and Koblenz in Germany, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine. Recently I cycled a part of this incredible cycling route, which is in the top 10 of most beautiful long distance cycling routes in Germany. I was promised a mix of historic buildings, steep vineyards, fine views and delicious wines. Curious if it lived up to its promise? Find the answer below! Start of the trip in Nittel If you are not able to cycle the entire Moselradweg, then just like me, spend three days along the most special highlights of the route. I start my adventure in Trier, a beautiful city located on the banks of the Mosel that is home to a lot of ancient buildings. I pick up my bike at the train station and board the train directly from here southbound to Nittel. Because of the summer 9 euro ticket, the train is busy and I am not the only cyclist: a handful of other bikepackers travel with me on this train. Fortunately, the Germans are helpful and space is made without hesitation for all bicycles that want to come along. Half an hour later the train stops in Nittel. I get off and think about how I can get my e-bike off the platform without too much effort. There is no elevator, it is heavily loaded and so I have to go down the stairs. A little further up the stairs again and I’m directly on the banks of the Mosel already. My bike ride is about to begin! Cycling between Nittel and Trier (26 kilometer) My first section is between Nittel and Trier. Last year I walked the Moselsteig along the Nitteler Felsen. Now however, I am standing by the water and looking up to them. I get on my bike, it’s a sunny day in June and I’m looking forward to it. Although it is a weekday, more people have taken up the idea of going for a bike ride. Immediately I leave Nittel and I set course northbound towards the city of Konz. I arrive here about an hour later and I make a stop at the bridge where the Saar flows into the Mosel. I then leave the city and continue cycling to Trier. It’s pleasant to cycle along the water and the cycle path is well signposted. Good to know is that you can cycle the Moselradweg on both sides of the water, the Bikeline guidebook mentions what the ‘official’ side is. Because I would like to take a city walk in Trier, I decide to continue pedaling so that I am back in the city by the end of the afternoon. City walk through Trier I cycle to my hotel and quickly change for a city walk that I want to take. This is marked on the free map of the city I got at the front desk. It is a short walk, however, it takes me past most of the highlights: the Porta Nigra, the cathedral and the amphitheater. There’s a friendly atmosphere in the city and I’m amazed by the beauty of the old buildings. Trier is said to have the best preserved old buildings in Germany. That evening I have a bit to eat at Wirtshaus Zur Glocke before I go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day! Cycling from Trier to Bernkastel-Kues Today I cycle a distance of about 70 kilometers. Getting out of town in the busy morning traffic is a bit of a challenge, but once I’ve crossed the bridge, I pick up the trail again. The first part of today’s route goes along the left bank of the Mosel. I try to put in quite a few miles to leave the city as quickly as possible. Over the industrial area (also part of it) I eventually arrive in Ehrang, leaving the hustle and bustle behind me. Just past Ehrang the route returns to the water and at Schweich I cross the bridge again to the right side of the water. Just past Schweich you finally see what I came for: the steep vineyards along the water. From here on it is a lot of fun and I regularly take a break by the water. At Mehring I visit the Roman Villa Rustica, which is one kilometer off the route. It’s again pretty warm today and so I can cool down here in the shade. After a short visit to the villa it is time to move on and find a spot for lunch. Just like in the Netherlands, entrepreneurs here are also faced with a staff shortage: many restaurants and terraces are closed. Finally I find a place in Neumagen to have lunch. Side trip to Trittenheim From here I want to go to Trittenheim, where there’s a beautiful viewpoint. And I know because I was here on a hike two years ago. Fortunately I have an e-bike because it is quite a climb (and a few km off the official route) but in the end I’m at the top after fifteen minutes and I look out over the water. I refresh myself with some water (it’s now over 30 degrees) and then hush back down and onwards to my final destination for today! I’m also visiting the Roman wine press in the town of Piesport. This has been built around the year 200 and measures 15 meters in length and 5 meters in width. Furthermore you can also visit the oldest wine village in Germany: Neumagen-Dhron, where you can find a replia of the Stella Noviomagi, a Roman wine ship. My final destination today is Bernkastel-Kues, a cozy town with a beautiful castle. I arrive there at the beginning of the evening, after which I take a short city walk to explore the waterfront. The setting sun lights up Landshut castle and I decide that I’m a grateful person to be here. Cycling from Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem Today there’s about 80 kilometers on the program: I cycle from Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem. It’s a public holiday and therefore considerably busier on the route. Again I try to make as many kilometers as possible in the morning as long as it is still relatively cool. Today there are also a number of unpaved sections, but in excellent condition and therefore very doable. I still follow the right bank of the Mosel and most parts of the mountains are covered with vineyards. The Mosel makes a number of special twists here of almost 360 degrees, which you hardly notice when you cycle along the water. I make a lunch stop in Zell am Mosel, where I cross the footbridge back to the left side of the water. At Bremm a special section follows: the one along the Bremmer Calmont. This is the steepest vineyard in Europe, the vines are almost vertical here. Here you can do the Calmont Klettersteig. I did it a few years ago, read my experience here. While the Moselradweg meanders under the Bremmer Calmont, I reach Ediger-Eller. This is a historic village with beautiful half timbered houses and walking through the small alleys is well worth your time. From here it is another 20 kilometers to Cochem. Vineyards, sometimes a meadow, campsites and beautiful rolling hills cover the landscape. Back from Cochem to Trier Cochem is famous for its beautiful castle, so it’s quite busy here typically. I therefore decide to go straight to my hotel and enjoy a well-deserved glass of Riesling with dinner. The next morning I get up early to view the castle from the water. There are hardly any people on my feet and I actually manage to take a picture without other people. I cherish the memory because as soon as the first cruise ships dock, the silence is over. After breakfast I attach my bags to my bike and take the train back to Trier, where I return my bike. A special adventure has come to an end! Practical information about the Moselradweg – The Moselradweg is 307 kilometers long on the right bank and 314 kilometers on the left bank of the river. You can alternate sides, the Bikeline booklet lists the recommended sides. If you have enough time, you can go up and back down on either side and cycle the whole trail twice. – The route is indicated with green signs. You basically just follow the bicycle signs to the next village, it’s super simple! – Most of the route is on cycle paths. Sometimes you cycle on the main road, but this is always clearly marked. I never felt unsafe for a moment, getting out of Trier alone during rush hour was a bit of a challenge. On bridges you usually must step off and walk, this is always signposted. – Wearing a helmet is useful but not mandatory in this part of Germany. – The trail is mostly flat, with an occasional climb. If the climb is very steep, it is indicated so that you can make extra speed to get up without problems. – You can spend the night in guesthouses, B&Bs or hotels, but of course also on campsites. Keep in mind that the campsites on the water are often mainly geared towards motorhomes. The hotels often have a parking space for your bicycle, covered or uncovered. I advise you to book in advance because hotels often have adjusted opening hours outside the high season. On holidays they are usually fully booked in advance. – I cycled about 70 kilometers a day, which was fine with an e-bike. Of course you can determine the stages and length yourself, there are plenty of villages along the way. – I rented my bike at Fahrradstation Gleis 11 at Trier station. Your bicycle is allowed on regional trains, not on ICEs. More info on Bahn.de. Useful apps It’s helpful to download some apps in advance for this trip. I used the following apps: – Rheinland Palatinate app: for the route – ARGO app: you can experience the ruins on the go with argumented reality – Lauschtouren app: with this you can listen to the stories of the region on the go. Tip: download the stories in advance because there is not good mobile coverage everywhere. There are 40 audio guides for the Mosel Radweg ready for you to be listened to and you can learn more about the history of the Moselle region as well as the sights while using this app. It’s available in German, English and Dutch. How I enjoyed the trail I’m a huge fan of the Mosel region, I try to come here once every year. Usually to go walking along the Mosel, but this time by bike. The Moselradweg is a popular cycling route and with good reason: the surroundings are beautiful, cycling is relaxed and there are plenty of overnight accommodation options along the way. The Moselsteig that I (partly) walked earlier goes largely through the hills and along the top, the bike path usually runs directly on the water. I thought it was a nice way to experience the Mosel with different eyes and enjoyed my three days on the bike a lot. Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you liked this article and I have inspired you to take a bike ride along the Moselradweg. More information can be found on the Visit Mosel website and River Routes. I made this trip in collaboration with Mosellandtouristik as part of ‘Germany’s Top River Routes’. All opinions given are, of course, only my own.
Welcome to this article with Bali tips for first time travellers and solo travel female in Bali. Although I have traveled almost the entire planet, I found my first trip to Bali quite exciting. No idea why, because you can read everywhere that it’s an easy destination, especially for a first time in Asia. Despite this not being my first time in Asia, it was my first time alone in Asia. In this post, I’ll tell you all about solo travel in Bali and Bali for first timers. This article was first published in 2018 and fully updated in 2022 Bali travel tips for solo female travelers Looking back at it, it appears that I should not have worried about traveling in Bali alone. Not as a woman either. That is why I wrote this post for Bali for beginners, just to put you at ease if you are traveling alone or as a woman. Or as a couple, as these Bali tips are actually useful for everyone who’s a Bali first-timer! Enjoy! Bali for beginners: arrival at Denpasar Airport Since taxi services like Über and Grab (more about that later) are not allowed at Denpasar airport and I didn’t feel like bargaining for hours for a transfer on the spot after a long flight, I had arranged a transfer in advance with Ketut whom I got in touch with through a fellow blogger. I sent him a WhatsApp message and we agreed that he would come to pick me up and drive me to Ubud. I also agreed the price with him in advance (300,000 IDR) so that I didn’t have to bargain about it on the spot. Along the way we stopped at a store, an ATM and he explained some things that were good time to know for my first time in Bali. In short: arrange a transfer in advance, which saves you a lot of stress on arrival. Do you want to have Ketut’s number? Send me an email! Do you have a late arrival and don’t want to have to drive far? Then book a hotel near Denpasar airport and continue your journey the next morning. Finding yourself a place to stay in Bali Since I find myself too old to spend the night in hostels in dorm rooms, I usually sleep in midrange or luxury hotels in Bali. Bali is not very expensive and for a for about 20 EUR/22 USD I already had an overnight stay in a great hotel with swimming pool, sometimes even with an infinity pool. What you should pay attention to when booking accommodation in Bali is of course very personal. I myself always find it pleasant if a hotel isn’t very remote in case you need to walk back in the dark from the village to your accommodation in the evening. In addition, I always check whether there is airco in the room and whether breakfast is included. Oh and wifi in the room, because that is not a standard everywhere. I usually make a reservation through Booking.com, they have the best deals and sometimes the option to cancel for free, should there be a last minute change in my plans. Looking for a good hotel in Ubud? Then check this article with my tips incl. a great and cheap hotel with infinity pool in Ubud! Owww and do yourself a favor … book an amazing hotel with infinity pool for yourself and enjoy it! I treated myself last year to a stay at The Hamsa near Lovina. The best thing I could have done for myself and it was just some 20 EUR / 22 USD per night! About money and so You can find ATM’s everywhere on Bali. You usually receive 100,000 IDR banknotes and sometimes 50,000 IDR. As you have to pay an X amount to your bank every time you grab cash from an ATM, I usually take out the maximum. One time this was 1,500,000 IDR and sometimes it was even 3,000,000 IDR. Small notes are highly looked for (eg those of 10,000 and 20,000) and I always keep them for taxi rides for example, since taxi drivers often pretend that they have no change. Debit card payments in shops and / or hotels are not particularly common, you can often pay with a credit card. However, keep in mind that an additional 3% surcharge applies in most places. In addition, it is often the case that prices on a menu are exclusive of tax and service. This can be as high as 15%. So check the bill before you pay because a tip is no longer necessary (but is appreciated). Booking tours in Bali If you do not want to go out with a scooterbike yourself, you can choose to go on a tour and discover the best pieces of Bali. I did this, for example, while cycling on Bali and while climbing Mount Batur. Tours are offered everywhere on the street by small agencies, but the quality of the trips can vary enormously. Check whether there is a minimum number of participants and, if so, whether this has already been reached so that the tour of your choice will happen and not be canceled at the last minute. Sometimes you have to pay for a tour immediately, do not forget to request a voucher and / or proof of payment. Occasionally I only paid when I was picked up at the hotel. In terms of price, never pay the initial price they ask, about half of it or somewhere in between is better. You can also pre-arrange tours via Get Your Guide so you don’t need to spend time on that on the spot! Bali for beginners: transportation on Bali The taxi world in Bali is a special one. Services like Uber and Grab are unprecedentedly popular but not permitted in many places. This makes it sometimes difficult to arrange a taxi the cheap way. For longer transfers I usually contacted Ketut who then brought me somewhere for an agreed amount, but I also regularly took a taxi. If it is a taxi without a meter, it is advisable to agree on a price in advance (also: go for half of what they ask for) and with a meter of taxi you have to be careful they won’t use a fake meter. It’s also a possibility that non-metered taxis are more expensive in the evening because it’s busier on the road and more people need a ride. In many places you are offered unsolicited transport, I used this regularly but always on the basis of intuition. If it didn’t feel right, I didn’t. Taking a motorbike as a solo female traveler in Bali I also took place on a motorbike a few times but especially around Ubud and the coast the traffic is chaos, so I wouldn’t drive myself there. Renting a car is not an option, renting a motorbike is. Remember that there are no real traffic rules in Bali and that you are not the first tourist to experience a motorbike accident, so be especially careful, especially if you have no experience with riding a motorbike. In addition, it applies to many countries that you must be in the possession of a motorcycle driving license (in the Netherlands, you need to get this next to your regular license) in order to be able to drive in accordance with the conditions of your travel insurance. So always double check check if your motorbike is insured with your travel insurance because in many cases, it may not be. Also, remember that the distances on Bali may seem small, but that a journey of around 50 kilometers can take hours. And I mean literally hours. Google Maps is your biggest enemy in Bali, because there’s always a traffic jam somewhere, along with a festival or something else that makes traffic super slow. Just something to keep in mind during your trip to Bali! If you’re a solo traveller, you may enjoy an Indonesian Island Cruise which is one of the finest experiences you can have as a solo traveler. It will also connect you with other travelers within no-time. Food & drinks in Bali for beginners You don’t have to be hungry in Bali at all, as there are countless restaurants and cafés, especially around Ubud and the coastal regions. What to eat varies from typical Balinese / Indonesian to Western cuisine. If you want traditional food, choose a warung, a local eatery. Western food is generally easy to find, especially in the known places, but is often more expensive. Since after three weeks I was a bit fed up with rice and noodles, I often opted for a restaurant where I could eat a sandwich or salad. Breakfast is normally included in your hotel and can vary from a simple banana pancake to an extensive breakfast buffet. Tap water is not safe to drink, but you can buy bottled water everywhere or have your water bottle filled in many places. The coffee is usually very strong and dark stuff. In many places you get Bali coffee but sometimes they also have Nescafé. Nowadays they also have fancy espresso machines in more and more places, which I really got to enjoy! Bali for beginners: where to go to? Where you should to go is entirely up to your own interests. If you want a beach, I advise you to choose Canggu and skip busy tourist spots like Kuta and Seminyak. Canggu is a laid back village with beautiful beaches where surfers brave the waves until late at night. Both times I have been to Bali in Canggu, I can always enjoy the vibe that hangs here. Are you looking for a nice place to spend the night in Canggu? There are few large hotels and resorts, you will find small homestays and local accommodation in particular. I had a super nice homestay in Canggu right on the rice fields: Pondok Homestay. Also read: my fave restaurants in Canggu for breakfast, lunch and dinner Do you want a beautiful white sand beach and bright blue water? You don’t really have this on Bali, but you can find it on the Gili Islands. I stayed on Gili Air and I loved it. Here you can read more about my visit to Gili Air. Ubud is a place not to be missed but not loved by everyone because of the crowds. Yet it is a nice base for various trips to the Batur volcano and the various waterfalls, as well as the beautiful rice fields of Jatiluwih. If you want to see more rice fields, I advise you to go to Sidemen, this is also called the Ubud from 15 years ago. It is super quiet and it is beautifully situated. If you want to party and go to the beach, I’dd skip Sidemen! Bali as a solo female – my experience I personally like to go to Bali and I have seldom felt uncomfortable there. That said, I always try to take into account the fact that I don’t walk alone on the street late at night, I keep my valuables in my locker and I carry no more cash in my pocket than necessary. I am also not waving my phone around and I am aware of my surroundings. They are all logical things, but I still wanted to mention them. Of course you’ll have to deal with men in Bali who call after you and want something from you. However, I found this a lot less intimidating here than in other places in Asia. It is often the case in Bali that once you say “no thank you”, they accept this and do not keep…
Let me start by saying that both treks are tough and should not be underestimated. If you have no experience in trekking, you will have to carry lots of stamina and willpower in order to make it to either basecamp. It’s not easy but not impossible either. Which of the two is the most difficult is hard to say and really depends on various factors. If we look at altitude, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely the most challenging reaching 5.364 meters above sea level. If you decide to trek via Gokyo, which I strongly recommend so you won’t have to hike the same route twice, you will have to cross Cho-La Pass which is even higher and reaches as high as 5.420 meters. Annapurna Base Camp is located at 4.130 meters above sea level, meaning you need less time to acclimatize.
Iregularly have discussions with friends about whether you have to travel far away (= outside of Europe for me) every year. Not only because of the flying embarrassment that seems to be on the rise, but also because there are plenty of nice walks in Europe. You don’t always have to go far to see beautiful landscapes. Need inspiration? Then read on in this article with the beste places to hike in Europe, from north to south. All trails have been made by myself so I only advise you from my own experience, as you are used to from me. Enjoy reading and hiking!
The good thing about hiking in New Zealand is that it can be done from anywhere as there are numerous of trails all over the country, whether it’s close to the city or far away from civilization. In addition to my old post, I will also add more information about the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand as well as shorter hikes that can be done by anyone. Enjoy this list with the best hikes in New Zealand!
When planning to hike a long(ish) track, it’s wise to figure out as much as you can about the trail. What the distance is, how to get to the start and end and what the current trail situation is. Many of these things can be found online nowadays and by doing some research beforehand you can avoid unpleasant surprises along the way. Such as not carrying enough drinking water or having to make a river crossing. But also there may be ferries that are not running on certain days or the bus service you may need could be limited on certain days. All these things can be found out well in advance.
We found another hiking paradise and it’s called Tasmania. Located on the opposite part of the world for us, we spent a month here, exploring what Australians call ‘the Apple Island’ by foot and by bike. We knew that Tasmania had some pretty spectacular scenery to offer but we kept on being surprised over and over again by the diversity of this place. One day we’d stand with our feet in the sand on some stunning beach and the next day we’d be in a rain forrest discovering the prettiest little waterfalls. When you are going hiking here, there is no way you will get disappointed. Here is our selection of the best hikes in Tasmania!
For me, a visit to Crater Lake National Park had been on my bucketlist for many years. Being from The Netherlands it’s not nearly as well known and popular as other US National Parks such as The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park. However, after hearing about this place from a friend, I knew I wanted to go here one day. I kept on googling Crater Lake National Park year after year, at some point I knew it was my time to head on another trip to the US and go for it. And so I finally got to visit Crater Lake National Park after wanting to go for such a long time.
On We12travel you will find everything you want to know about outdoor traveling, nature and hiking. From the best outdoor clothing to the greatest multi-day treks in the world, and everything in between. I’ve been inspiring readers from all across the globe since 2011 and am the leading Dutch outdoor and hiking blog ever since. I help you in your search for beautiful hiking destinations, preparing for your trek and planning your trip in nature.