Our driver, Mr. Lau from goeugo.com, told us that Prague, and the rest of Czech Republic, is pretty much just like Taiwan. Why? That’s cause Prague is super cheap, especially in comparison with other countries like United Kingdom, Italy, and also the country we last visited – Austria. We’re talking like at least half price to 2/3 cheaper. And not only that, the way they maintain their nature is also similar – it just feels more rundown and unkempt than say their neighbor Austria, where their grass and gardens were maintained to perfection.
From a history and cultural standpoint, I think Vienna takes the cake here. That doesn’t mean Prague didn’t offer anything interesting from their museums and castles, they still were impressive, but just not AS impressive as Vienna and Austria. On the plus side, at least the variety of food there was much better than eating schnitzel and beef broth soup everyday in Austria.
Enough of the chitchat, let’s get straight to our itinerary and photos. Continue reading Why is Prague the “Taiwan” of Europe?
This post is a continuation of the blog post Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part One), where we will be taking about my itinerary and the things we did on Days 3 and 4. You should read part one as it also included pics of our Airbnb and neighborhood, plus restaurants you should go AND shouldn’t go.
Schönbrunn Palace (website)
We were awake really early on day three of Vienna, because we expected that there will be a lot of people for Schönbrunn Palace. Fortunately for us, that turned out not to be the case. That being said, it was still good we went early, because we actually have to get a ticket to be reserved a time to enter the palace. We got there around 9am, and this included a 10-15 min walk from the Schönbrunn metro station as well. While there was availability at around 11:30am, we decided to come back at around 2pm so that we had enough time to take photos around its garden but also go to one of our bucket list restaurants for lunch before coming back. Continue reading Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part Two)
Before coming to Vienna, I had no idea, no preconception, no expectation of what this place would be like. Besides knowing that it’s a place for music and that Mozart was a prominent figure in Vienna, and that Jay Chou loves to visit here, I had no idea what this place would look like or feel like.
After coming here, I have to say as a tourist, I enjoyed this place very much. Amongst many places to visit as a tourist, I would rank Vienna to be high up compared with all the travel destinations I’ve been to. Vienna has a lot of beautiful museums that showcases a lot of incredible and vibrant artwork and antique collections, the city is very safe and very clean and tidy (comparable to Japan standards, even their gardens are tended very well), and the architecture of different buildings were all stunning. The museums offer a lot of its rich cultural history as well.
The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases grand palaces, churches, and museums, such as the stunning Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Belvedere Palace, which houses the famous artwork of Gustav Klimt. Vienna is also renowned for its classical music heritage, being the place where renowned composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss stayed, and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The city hosts numerous music festivals and concerts, including the world-famous Vienna Opera Ball. Additionally, Vienna is celebrated for its coffeehouse culture, offering a cozy and traditional atmosphere to enjoy coffee and pastries.
We were there for four days in Vienna, and I would like to share with you our 4-day itinerary that you can utilize as well for your next visit. Continue reading Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part One)
When I was researching about the busiest months to go to Yellowstone, I was worried. Most people visited the place during the summer months of June, July, and August. Nearing beginning of October, all the cabins in Yellowstone were starting to close, the north, northeast, and east entrances were closed, and the weather would drop to like 1 degree Celsius. Would the roads be too slippery to drive? Would there be more bears coming out in the wild?
Turns out, when we went during early October, it was the perfect time to go, and I wasn’t even exaggerating. The number of people there was just right – you were always able to find a parking spot, and there were just enough people to not feel you were deserted and that you were going to be safe, but still had plenty of space to move around and take photos.
Then there’s the weather. The weather was perfect. Even in the afternoon, you could get by with a t-shirt. It was only until a little before sunset when you would start to feel chilly. That’s when you will need to wear a jacket.
All things considered, I’d say our trip to Yellowstone was perfect in terms of pacing, timing, and the overall planning of the trip, and I want to share my tips with you to ensure you have a good time there as well.
A picture of West Yellowstone
Continue reading The Best Tips For Yellowstone When Visiting From West Yellowstone
I admit again, NorCal really isn’t my favourite place to visit. I always felt that the culture and the vibes weren’t what I desire, and the food and things to do here were just meh. But since I had to come here due to personal reasons, I was brought around to try different things and did a bit of research to maximize the things I could do at this place.
Regardless of how you feel about NorCal, here I’ve written a couple of things that you can go visit or eat and my opinions on them.
A super practical, simple, and well equipped Airbnb that’s incredibly clean and with a communicative host. There were three bedrooms each equipped with their own bathroom, own towels, the host bought a small vacuum cleaner while we were there because we requested for one, an electronic fireplace, and a comfortable living room. The Airbnb was also in a quiet neighborhood but a less than a 10 minute drive from downtown.
Master bedroom Continue reading Seriously, What to Do in San Jose and Fremont?
The Bozeman airport was the recommended airport to get to Yellowstone. Prior to landing at the airport, I’d assume Bozeman airport was some sort of small, dingy airport where tourists go just to go to Yellowstone. But when I arrived, I was thoroughly impressed by how clean and themed the airport was. Anyway, that’s why we were at Bozeman.
I continued to be dazzled by the fact that because of going to Yellowstone, I had to travel through 3 states – Montana for the airport, Idaho for the Airbnb, and Wyoming for the actual Yellowstone National Park.
Very midwest feel, lots of people wearing cowboy hats, and magnificent trees. Downtown Bozeman feels very much like college town, with lots of support for their university as everywhere was displaying their mascot the Bobcat.
Continue reading Hello Bozeman Montana, Hello Montana State University
If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, you would think that Grand Teton is one of the most incredible national parks in the world. We went in early/middle October, right after Yellowstone. To be honest, it’s very hard to top Yellowstone, but Grand Teton by itself is magnificent to go to regardless and should be included as part of your Yellowstone trip. While most blogs might advise two days to visit Grand Teton, we managed to do it one day at a comfortable pace.
Grand Teton encompasses mountain ranges, pristine lakes, valleys, rivers, open skies, alpine terrains, and if you’re lucky beautiful wildlife. In Grand Teton, your itinerary should be almost like a loop.
If you are coming from Yellowstone, unless you are already living south of Yellowstone, I highly recommend moving to an accommodation near Jackson so it’s more convenient for you to reach Grand Teton. For more information on Jackson, you can read Jackson Hole, The Affluent Town.
I forgot which stop this photo belongs, so I’m using it as a way to preview Grand Teton. I think it’s Potholes Turnout or Lower Willow Flats Overlook, although I’m not 100% certain. Continue reading Grand Teton – One Day Visit Itinerary
To preface this blog post, technically Jackson is the town while Jackson Hole refers to the entire valley. But to make it easier for everyone to recognize the place, I’ve named the blog post as Jackson Hole, The Affluent Town. In fact, besides our Airbnb, most of the things we’ve visited is around the Jackson Hole Town Square.
Prior to this trip, I didn’t really had any impression about midwest places, probably a bit more cowboy themed and less affluent than cities like Los Angeles. While the cowboy part + wild west themes were quite true (lots of people wearing cowboy hats and plaid shirts), little did I know I would actually enjoy Jackson Hole very much. The town is very clean, polite, more upscale… a lot of my non-US friends complain before that US didn’t have any culture, basically it was just burgers and movies and cities… everything that you can find mainstream globally. But if you really want to experience “American culture” you have to go to Midwest, or at least Jackson Hole because you really do experience the midwest culture here, very different from top cities like LA and NY.
Speaking of difference, having visited Los Angeles and New York and other cities like San Jose and San Francisco, the race population is quite diverse. When I was in Idaho / Montana / Wyoming (Jackson Hole), the population is over 95% white, so it was quite refreshing to go to a town that has a different population group. The obvious question might be asked – did I experience racism (I’m Asian)? To be quite honest, not at all, except for one weird elongated glance from a neighbour when we first moved in our luggage to our airbnb when we first arrived, but other than that never felt it, despite being in a predominantly white area.
Continue reading Jackson Hole, The Affluent Town
At first I hated her. Her dimples were lopsided on one cheek to another, she had a capricious mood where she would shed quiet tears from time to time and then be happy again, she was an inch taller than me, and her eyes were grey.
But the more you become familiar with her, the more you start to find her romantic and magical.
Her imperfections make her seem raw and wanting to be loved, a vulnerability. She’s mysterious, and wants somebody to explore her, somebody who loves her more and more because that somebody finds her edges and imperfections so… perfect.
And the more you spend time with her, the more she opens up to you. She uncovers what you always loved – food, restaurants, energy, atmosphere, gorgeous skies, nightlife, districts, exotic languages, and her elegant body.
Her name was Lisbon, or Lisboa for what her friends called her. She offered everything, from lust to everlasting. Continue reading Lisbon, That Mysterious Girl in Class
My final stop for my recent Europe trip was in Porto, a somewhat heavenly location in Portugal. Located about a little more than 3 hours north of Lisbon, Porto was evidently colder and coincidentally greyer during the weekend I was there. That said, one of my favorite areas of the entire trip was Bairro da Ribeiro and Cais da Ribeira. Bars and restaurants line adjacent with one another, all of them overlooking the magnificent Douro River that looks as if it’s been sleeping for a thousand years. I remember just sitting at Cafe do Cais and lazily observing the sunset, and thinking to myself what a surreal and delightful place this Porto was.
Continue reading An “Importoant” Place called Porto