Thai Boat Noodles – Street Food Bangkok

Depending on where you stay in Bangkok, you might have some locals suggest you grab some “Thai boat noodles.”  The best boat noodles are located near Victory Monument, right off the BTS Skytrain. Thai boat noodles are generally served in small bowls and the object is to eat a lot.  Most shops serve upwards of seven different types of noodles and if you manage to eat ten bowls they will give you a free liter of cola.Thai boat noodles

There are a series of canals that run through Bangkok.  Traveling by boat through these canals used to be the easiest way to get around the city.   There were many floating markets along these canals where the vendors sold products from their boats.  Several of these markets still remain in the city but are mostly just there for tourists to take pictures.  However, these are where the “”boat noodles” originated and, although they are no longer served off of boats, the shops that sell them are still located by the canals. Read more

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The Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok

The Loy Krathong festival occurs in Thailand every year during November’s full moon.  It was also a perfect time to take my first trip to one of the Bangkok’s most impressive temples!  The Golden Mount, or Wat Saket, is Bangkok’s highest temple and sits at the top of 344 winding steps! Check out the video below which takes you all the way to the top!  It was a spiritual experience to be on top at sunset watching the faithful make their offerings and say their prayers.

Loy Krathong
Vendors selling krathongs by the Phranfa Bridge
The Golden Mount
Buddha at the entrance to Wat Saket
Loy Krathong Wat Saket
Sunset at Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)
The Golden Mount
Looking up at The Golden Mount

Below the temple at the Phranfa Bridge, I got to participate in the Loy Krathong festival.  People release “krathong” offerings — little boats made from banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense — on the canals and lakes all over the country. The festival originated as a way to honor the river goddess, but it also has Buddhist meaning. “The candle venerates the Buddha with light, while the krathong’s floating symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements.” (Wikipedia) Some people put their fingernail clippings or hair in the boats to “get rid of the bad parts” of themselves.

Loy Krathong Bangkok
My krathong

Thai people are incredibly welcoming to foreigners even when it comes to their holy ceremonies and everyone at the canal urged me to join in on the tradition.  Not one to miss out, I bought my krathong, stuffed a little broken piece of a dreadlock in it, and prayed to release my anger and my doubt, two things I had been struggling with recently. I watched the krathong float away and felt peace.  What an amazing evening!

Loy Krathong Bangkok
Krathongs float away

Enjoy this post about Bangkok’s Loy Krathong Festival? Check out our archives and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject to keep up with the adventure!

Penang National Park and Environmental Observances

On our last day on the island we took the bus to Penang National Park, about an hour ride from central Georgetown.  There were several possible hikes but the Canopy Walkway was under renovation so we settled on the hike to Monkey Beach. 

Here is a short video of our adventure.  Make sure to check out 1:25 for some angry monkeys.

Penang National Park
Jungle ground in Penang National Park
Penang National Park Jelly Fish
A giant jellyfish in Penang National Park

We spent over an hour walking the jungle path until we came to the beach.  We sipped coconuts and had the usual arguments with the monkeys.

Penang National Park - Monkey Beach
Monkey Beach

They never like me very much and it never fails that we end up screeching at each other.  There were a lot of the little buggers and they had big teeth so we let them win this time.  We didn’t eat enough breakfast for such a long hike and were super hungry by the end (having only eaten like twice before leaving).  So we got some roti (fried folded delicious bread) while waiting for the bus back.

Penang National Park
Penang National Park

We were upset with the amount of trash in Penang National Park and saw quite a few Malaysian hikers throw their empty bottles right onto the beach.  Several people on Monkey Beach were selling a variety of drinks, all in small plastic bottles but there were no trash bins and it was obviously too much work for people to just carry it out.  A group of 20-30 middle school students passed us, each with their own small plastic bottle of water.  We talked while hiking out about how they could clean up all the trash in a few days with just a few people.  Near the entrance we came upon five park employees sweeping leaves off the path.   Yes that’s right, FIVE PEOPLE.  SWEEPING. LEAVES. OFF. A. PATH. IN. THE. JUNGLE.  I was really frustrated by the whole system and I tried to calmly explain this to the Park Ranger at the front gate on our way out.

Me: “Why do so many people throw trash on the beach?”

His response, waving his hands as if it’s hopeless: “They are local people.”

Me: “Do you tell them not to do it?”

He smiled and said, “Have a nice day!”

Well, that was that.  Non-confrontational Malaysian culture for the win!  Reflecting upon it, I don’t blame the people anymore.  Yes, we all need to be more conscious of the products we buy and the waste we produce but I blame the governments for not educating their people better and most of all the companies that produce the bottles.  If I were Supreme Dictator of The World, the Coca-Cola company would no longer exist.

Want to read more about Penang? Check it out here!

Why Your Hostel Needs A Marketing Consultant

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We are hostel marketing consultants and in our years of traveling we have stayed at a LOT of hostels.  The difference between a good hostel and a GREAT hostel is often so small that it’s hard to notice from an inside perspective.  We have worked with almost 50 different hostels and hotels on five different continents.  Our hostel marketing, consulting, writing, photos, and videos have helped many places jump the gap from failure to success.

Here are the 5 biggest reasons why you should hire a hostel marketing consultant:

1) A Different Perspective:  

When you are at your hostel day after day, you become blind to the real problems.  You also get attached to things that are maybe not the best ideas.  A hostel consultant can help you fix problems and think outside the box.

2) Knowing What Foreigners Want:

You know what the locals want; we know what the tourists want.  Travelers want clean, easy, safe, and fun!  Places and activities that might seem unexciting to locals might be exactly what travelers want!

3) English Promotions On Different Media Types:

Eye-catching social media posts are crucial to your success.  Nowadays, many travelers only use Instagram and Facebook to plan their trips.  Having a follower base and daily exciting posts are crucial to building your business.

Here are some examples of Instagram accounts from hostels we have worked with:

4) Keeping Up With The Times:

The hostel world is always changing.  When you are managing a hostel there is little time for exploring other countries, scoping out your competition, or keeping up with events and attractions around your area.  We love travel and the first thing we do when consulting with hostels is to get to know their area like a local, but seeing it though the eyes of a tourist.

5) Professional Photos, Highlights Videos, and Blogging

We specialize in making your hostel shine!  iPhones can take pictures, but having professionally edited photos from real cameras sets you above the competition.   Highlight videos let people feel like they are actually there from the comfort of their own home.  They show how fun, clean, and comfortable your hostel really is.  We want your hostel to be a tourist attraction in itself.  A website blog highlights attractions in your area which increases the traffic to your website and your hostel!

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The website blog for Yim Yam Hostel & Garden in Bangkok

How we can help:

Contact us at globaltravelernetworks@gmail.com to discuss hostel marketing and consulting help for your business!

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Click HERE for more ways to work with us!

Solar Town – The Great American Eclipse

Road to Solar Town
Driving into Solar Town

As soon as we entered Oregon we could tell that this thing was going to be huge.  Every car was loaded down, tents and coolers strapped to the roof.  The Great American Eclipse, as it was being called, was turning small towns across the nation into giant festivals with fields full of thousands of campers.  Several years before, a few farmers near Madras, Oregon had noticed that the eclipse would pass right over their fields.  More than 5000 campsites were sold just in those fields, with other farmers hosting similar events nearby.  We arrived on Saturday in the evening; the big event to happen Monday morning.  The place was already a mad house and I believe we took the last available space, with many more people circling for spots.  Solar Town was the name of our event and Solarfest was happening in the town a few miles away.  We were already super efficient and competent campers so we had ourselves some chuckles at everyone struggling with their new tents.  The town was simple with portapotties and free showers, along with a variety of food vendors that we never sampled because of the long lines and our tight budget.

We had fun meeting our neighbors and even got to hang out with our friend from home Kelly, who ended up being camped in the next field over!

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Check out Mount Jefferson in the background from Solar Town!
Solar Town Sunset
Sunset in Solar Town
Party in Solar Town
Party in Solar Town with old friends.

We made a short video about our experience so you can get a taste of what it was like.  We didn’t actually get a shot of the eclipse happening because we didn’t really try to.  We wanted to be fully present.  But you can see Solar Town and see our reactions to the wonder!  We both cried when totality happened.  There was nothing that could have prepared us for those moments.  If you ever get the chance to witness an eclipse, DO IT!

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Cuba Highlights

Here is a long-overdue short video from our travels through Cuba in January 2017. Cuba was one of the countries most devastated by recent hurricanes. They have been largely skipped in the international aid effort and the United States makes it nearly impossible to help them in any way. We are researching ways to help and will report back if we find something legitimate. Please comment if you have any ideas!!!

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