My Top 6 Foods from Thailand

The food in Thailand is full of exotic flavors and I can normally smell it before I am even close to a restaurant or street vendor.  The blends of spices combine together magically to create a fragrance that no one can miss, and the taste is indescribable.

Here are my top 6 foods from Thailand:

  • Som Tum

Som Tum is a spicy green papaya salad that combines garlic, green beans, chilies, cherry tomatoes, and shredded raw papaya together.  There are multiple regional varieties, so I have also had it with peanuts, salted crab, and dry shrimp added.

  • Pad Thai

Pad Thai is Thai style fried noodles and it is considered the default international dish in the country.  Noodles are dropped into a hot wok along with an onion, egg, and beansprouts.  This dish is eaten with many different condiments including sugar, chili powder, ground peanuts, and fish sauce.

  • Khao Pad

Khao Pad is fried rice, but this is not the fried rice that you are used to.  Thai fried rice is rice, an egg, onion, and a few herbs.  There is nothing more in this popular dish.  Everyone orders this and then adds whatever they wish to it.  I usually choose to add leftover vegetables to mine, but others will add chicken, prawns, crab, or even chili to theirs.

  • Yam Nua

Yam Nua is a spicy beef salad filled with tender strips of beef mixed with onion, spearmint, coriander, lime, and dried chili.  The flavors will explode in your mouth before it all melts away.

  • Kai Med Ma Muang

Kai Med Ma Muang is chicken with cashew nuts and the texture of this dish is amazing.  The chicken goes wonderfully with the crunchy cashews, the sweet soy sauce, and the tender peppers, carrots, and mushrooms.  A little bit of honey adds a little more sweetness to the dish without overpowering it.

  • Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum Goong is a spicy shrimp soup that smells as amazing as it tastes.  Prawns and straw mushrooms are combined with lemongrass, galangal, chili, lime leaves, lime juice, shallots, and fish sauce for this delicious soup that is spicy, hot, and sour at the same time.

These are my absolute favorite dishes to eat while I am in Thailand, but I have eaten other dishes there as well.  I love trying new foods and one day I may find another new favorite to add to this list.

Moving to Canada Permanently? Here are 9 things that you need to know

Canada is currently one of the hottest destinations for both tourism and immigration. Thousands of people move to Canada every year from all over the world. It is also home to many international students who apply for permanent residency in Canada after finishing their studies. There is a misconception that Canada is same as USA but that’s not true. Both the countries share same border but living environment, rules and regulations are different in both countries.

If you are moving to Canada permanently, there are a few things you must know about this second largest country of the world. See below useful guide which will give you an overview of this amazing country.

  • Canada is multicultural country

Canada has always welcomed immigrants from all over the world. Once you step in Canada, you’ll see mix of culture here that’ll make you feel like home. Along with the immigrants, Canada is home to millions of international students who later turn into Canadians after finishing their studies. That’s the magic of Canada; once you enter this country, you fall in love with every bit of it.

  • Healthcare is accessible for everyone

Every province in Canada has its own healthcare plan. Canadians are provided with free healthcare but newly moved people need to buy health insurance until they are eligible to receive public health insurance card. There are various types of healthcare insurance provided by companies in all the provinces. Make sure to contact them and choose the best suited insurance for your health.

  • Driving license in Canada

You must have your international license with you when you move to Canada but that might not give you complete rights to drive a car there. If you are from the specific country as listed, you might exchange your foreign license with a valid Canadian license. Make sure to see the requirements of the province you are moving to in order to avoid any inconvenience. Here I’d also like to mention that each province of Canada has different rules regarding driving license. What works for British Columbia might not work in Quebec and vice versa.

  • Giving tips is common

Giving tips to waiters might not be common in Australia but it is in Canada. In Canada, waiters usually earn wage of $8 to $10 an hour which might not be enough to live a decent life. If the service of the waiters and bartenders is excellent, make sure to give some tip to them. The standard tip should be 15% or 20% of your total bill (depending on the service) or $1 per drink.

  • Smoking in public is prohibited

In Canada, you cannot smoke everywhere. Smoking is prohibited in restaurants, offices, hospitals and many such buildings. There are also many public places that won’t allow you to smoke. You can only smoke in your own personal space such as your home or some outdoors including parks.

  • It’s a bilingual country

Canada’s official languages are French and English. Both the languages are not spoken widely, but majority of the Canadians are able to speak in both French and English particularly in Quebec. If you are able to speak in French, that’s a plus. But if you can’t, don’t worry as you don’t need to talk in French unless you are visiting Quebec or some old towns and villages in Canada.

  • You’ll find Tim Hortons everywhere

Just like Starbucks in USA, there is Tim Hortons on every corner in Canada. It’s Canada’s largest franchise that is known for its delicious coffee and donuts. Tim Hortons is the most famous food chain in Canada with over 4000 stores all over the country. If you are someone who cannot start your day without a cup of coffee, don’t worry. Tim Hortons is there to satisfy your coffee cravings.

  • The weather is not always snowy

We have this misconception that Canada is always frozen. It’s not true at all. Canada experiences all the four seasons throughout the year. Some areas can get very snowy in winter but in places like Vancouver or Southern Ontario, winter season is not too harsh. Don’t stress if you are not a winter person. With proper clothing and gears, you can definitely survive cold weather in Canada.

  • Canadians are extremely friendly

When we move to a new country, one of the major things that bother us is; people. How are the people in that country going to behave? Will they be friendly? And the list goes on. If you have such fears, don’t stress too much. Canadians are one of the friendliest nations in the world. They are known for their politeness and helping nature. They’ll make sure to help you in any way they can which is amazing for a person like you who has just moved there.

In the end, if you still have any fears or face any issue, don’t hesitate to ask. Locals are there to make sure you that you feel comfortable in Canada. Socialize with people more in first few months and you’ll feel connected.

And The Best Kept Secret In Europe Is…

When you decide to travel to Ukraine you probably think of going to Lviv, Kyiv or Odessa. But what comes to your mind when you actually hear the word „Ukraine”? Isn’t it wild nature, steppes, Kosacks, old fortresses and castles? You won’t see these when you go big cities. For that. you need to go the hearth of Ukraine – Ternopil Region.

Ternopil Region is one of the most interesting places in Ukraine. It is full of history, castles (33 castles!), small charming cities, natural beauty and folk culture.

How to get there?

The best way to explore the region is to go to it’s capital – Ternopil. You can easily get there from Lviv or Kyiv by night or day trains. There is also a daily direct train from Polish city of Przemyśl. You can explore the region either by regional trains (elektrichka) or by buses (marshrutka). Buses depart from bus station, about 15 minutes walk from train station.

What to see?

There are countless places to see in Ternopil region. All of them available for a day trip from Ternopil.

Zbarazh

Zbarazh is a charming town about 24 km North from Ternopil.  You can easily get there by bus or by train. It is well known for it’s castle built in 1626. It is the best preserved castle in the region. Inside you can visit a very interesting museum, as well as try shooting from an arch. The castle i salso very well known for literature lovers. It took a

significant part in „Ogniem i Mieczem” („With Fire and Sword”) written by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Zbarazh is not only the castle. You can also visit there a very interesting monastery from 1627.

Terebovlia

Terebovlia is a very charming small Galician town located about 35 km south from Ternopil located in a very beautiful valley. You can get there by train or by bus from Ternopil.

The biggest tourist attraction of Terebovlia are ruins of medieval castle from 14th century, which took a very important role during the Polish-Ottoman War (1672-1676).

Behind the castle you can find a newly renovated monument of Zofia Chrzanowska, wife of the Captain Jan Samuel Chrzanowski, who has saved the city during the siege. From the top of the castle you can find a very nice view over the city.

Not far from the city, about 3 km walk from the city center, in Pidhora, you can find a magical place – ruins of 18th century monsatery, from which you can see a very beautiful panorama of the neighbourhood.

Buchach

Further south from Ternopil, about 72 km, you will find one of the gems of Ternopil region. A small town of Buchach has a lot to offer. Townhall built in 1751 is probably the best example of Rococo architecture of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Another attraction, Basilian monastery from 18th centrury, is located on the other side of the river. For centuries, it has been the one of the centres of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Western Ukraine.

That’s not everything. While in Buchach you cannot miss ruins of medieval castle built in 14th century.

Last but not least, remember that one of the most famous cognacs in Ukraine are produced in Buchach! You can buy it very cheaply in one of the stors in the town.

Kremenets

A charming town of Kremenets, located 70 km north from Ternopil, is from the first sight a bit different that other cities in the region. In 19th century it was part of Russian Empire, while the rest of the region was located in Austria-Hungary.

Also from the geographical point of view you will see a big difference. While Ternopil Region is rather a flat one, when entering Kremenets you will see mountains. It is because you are entering Kremenets Mountains region which is part of Volynia.

What to see in Kremenets? Definitely you must see Krzemieniec Lyceum a renowned secondary school which existed in 1805-31. The school s

erved as an educational center for the southeastern part of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Kremenets is famous among literature lovers as in this town was born one of the most famous Polish poets and also Krzemieniec Lyceum’s graduate – Juliusz Słowacki. If you are interested, you can visit a very interesting museum dedicated to him.

The most famous landmark of Kremenets, the one that you see from every point of the town are ruins of the castle from 13th century

These are just few places you can find in Ternopil Region, but there ar emany many more places that should be visited. It is an amazing area, not yet discovered by tourists, so you can feel there some „real” Ukraine!

One of the Most Difficult Parts of Traveling Through Latin America

Traveling can be a tough thing, especially when you are woman traveling alone. Our friend Jen shares her secrets how not to be lost while traveling through Latin America:

I love to travel through Latin America, but there is one part of it that I dislike quite a bit. I always seem to find myself getting my directions mixed up, which means I am lost and have no clue where I am! That can be a scary thing, especially if I am vacationing on my own and have no one to calm me down.


Thankfully, I have become a pro at getting lost, and have created numerous ways to keep myself from not getting back to my hotel at night. The first thing that I do is put my hotel information into my cell phone, but then I write it down on a slip of paper as well and place it into my pocket. This has come in handy a time or two when my cell phone battery has died before I made it back to my room.
I also arrive at my destination with printouts of directions to all the attractions that I know that I will be visiting while I am there. I like to have the printouts, so I do not need to rely on my phone and I do not need to have my head buried in a map as I am walking. I can simply sit on a bench and look like I am reading a sheet of paper, instead of looking like a lost tourist. I find that I feel safer that way and it keeps me safer too.
I do, however, carry a map in my bag, just in case I make an unexpected stop or make a wrong turn. Before I open it though, I will usually find a small café with a table, so that I can order an unopened bottle of water to drink as I am looking at it. This way, I can ask my server for assistance if I am having difficulty figuring out where I am. I have found that the servers at restaurants are usually really friendly and can be helpful in situations like this.
If it is getting late in the day, I will grab a taxi and give them the address of my hotel, so that I know that I will reach my destination before it gets too late. After all, I never want to be out walking in places I am not familiar with when it is getting dark.
I am getting better at finding my way around everywhere in Latin America, but these little tips have saved me hours of wandering the streets lost or not making it back to my hotel until way after midnight. Hopefully, with more practice I will master my directional skills, but if not, I at least have some tools that I can use to keep me safe.

Everything you need to know about getting a motorbike in South-East Asia

Whenever you visit South-East Asia, chances are that you will meet and greet people who have either got a motorbike, going to get one or just sold one. Riding a scooter or motorbike all the way down Vietnam for example has always been a rite of passage for first-time visitors.
Continue reading “Everything you need to know about getting a motorbike in South-East Asia”