Destinations

Sunday Travel Links!

Every Sunday, we post a quick little extra for those of you who, like me, love to peruse the blogosphere on a Sunday afternoon.

You might be interested in…

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Sunday Travel Links!

Every Sunday, we post a quick little extra for those of you who, like me, love to peruse the blogosphere on a Sunday afternoon.

You might be interested in…

(more…)

Money in Myanmar: Budgeting and Money Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

In 2014, when we first decided to go to Myanmar for a two-week holiday, we had so many questions. It’s not the kind of country that either of us had any general knowledge about. We had one set of friends who had been the year before, but they did super-luxury guided tours throughout their trip so their costs were not going to be similar to ours.

So we muddled through and set our budget as we went. Now that we’ve been there, though, we can answer our own questions with confidence!

*Disclaimer: It’s been over two years since we went to Myanmar and things in that country change pretty fast. Take these costs as an approximate and maybe add a few US dollars to each price.

 

What’s this about perfect American dollars?

  • You do still have to have perfectly crisp and uncreased American dollars almost everywhere you go (we saw a guy get turned away at a hotel because his money had a slight fold).
  • Keep American dollars for paying for accommodation; the guest houses tend to prefer US$ to kyat.

TIP – Bring a page of thick card stock paper per person. Fold in half then put money inside. Use an elastic to secure it and keep this bundle inside the cover of a book, preferably a journal or hardcover.

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Expat Regrets: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Overseas

I’ve been gathering documents this week for the final stage in my quest to finally stop giving my hard-earned money to Immigration: dual citizenship! Many thousands of dollars and about a half dozen police checks later, I’m finally going to be done with the anxiety of not having security in Australia. M. is in the same boat, with only his swearing-in ceremony left to go.

This doesn’t mean that we’ve decided to stay here forever (who knows what they’re going to be doing forever, anyway?) but it does make me reflect on the last 5.5 years in this sunburned country.

What I have I learned? Lots of positive things, for sure. But I’m going to start with a few regrets in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.

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Mongolia in two weeks: our whirlwind itinerary

You’ve seen the insanity that was our two days in Hong Kong last month… and now here’s what we followed that up with.

I think we felt like we’d slowed down mentally and emotionally when we reached Ulaanbaatar because it was just a slower city than Hong Kong, but we really didn’t. It wasn’t until several days into a trip to the Gobi desert that we realised how exhausted we had made ourselves. That’s reflective of our personalities, though– I don’t admit to myself that a To-Do list is too long until I’ve spent all day working through tasks 1-7 with 10 left to go; M. has to be delirious with a fever of 102 before he admits that he’s sick. Maybe next holiday we’ll try to do something that tunes us into our emotions and energy levels.

Anyway. Here’s what we did in Mongolia for just under two weeks:

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Eat Melbourne: Aussie Donuts and Coffee at All Day Donuts in Brunswick

Melbourne has recently had something of a renaissance of American food. With more people travelling than ever before and lots of great deals on flights to L.A., New York, and San Francisco, more varieties of food have made their way to our restaurants and cafés.

It’s not quite up to the standard of what you can get in a major city or down South, but there’s a huge variety of barbecue, burgers, po’boys, you name it popping up in my Aussie city. When I moved to Melbourne five years ago there were two diners and one bar that served U.S.-style meals.

As much as I adore burgers, the foodie trend I have really gotten behind these last two years is the rise of the donut.

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Hong Kong, quickly: Our 2-day layover itinerary

On our way to Mongolia this July, M. and I opted to spend 2 very whirlwind days in Hong Kong on the way.

Exploring the mega-cosmopolitan city was a great way to transition between a stressful month of work and an adventure in the wilds of Mongolia– we got to get in a bit of shopping and eating delicious food before we started roughing it for a fortnight.

We’ve begun to make a bit of a routine of exploring our layover stop. Coming from Australia, you almost always endure a 20-40-hour-straight journey through airports, so cutting that in half with a bit of exploring becomes key to saving your sanity.

For us, though, it’s become a way of squeezing an extra destination and some different experiences into our short breaks from the daily grind.

Our travel mantra could probably be summed up by the phrase “Walk til you drop,” so keep that in mind when you read our itinerary below. You may want to take things a bit slower than we usually do; but then, we do tend to see a lot when we’re roaming around a city non-stop!

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