Visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali

Visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali

You could spend an hour at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali and you would see more action than spending a whole day at the zoo. It all happens in Ubud, with our little money friends, as they run around in a frenzy and seemingly having a good old time in the semi-enclosed confines of the Monkey Forest.

I say a whole hour as it is about all you need to spend in the Money Forest to get the most out of the wonderful confides of this sacred little forest. But it’s not only a forest, it also comes with beautiful temples, a few market places and of course those active monkeys that are scurrying around the place. It is a bustling little attraction that is worth a visit when in the town of Ubud.

The best part about the Monkey Forest, is that it is dirt cheap. For around five dollars you can wander the sanctuary at your own pace, take pictures and videos of those active monkey’s, who will put on a show, and even get in on the feeding frenzy, but more on that later.

Monkey Forest

Relaxing high in the trees in the Monkey Forest.

 

Watch your back and belongings

These quick witted little friends move around at serious pace. Swinging from branch to branch or along the ground, their movements are quick. One moment they are staring at you with curiosity, then next they are on your back, trying to get into your backpack or taking your sunglasses of your head and making a run for it.

king monkey

Watch out for the King of the forest. All good if you feed him.

 

These monkeys have teeth, sharp teeth

Be aware when these monkeys do jump on your back. They have teeth, sharp teeth. The best practice is to let the monkey do what they do and before too long, they will jump off and leave you alone.

I was lucky, in the shock of a monkey jumping on my back the first time, I tried to nudge it off with my hand, not knowing what to do. I tried to gently force it off me, before realising this monkey tried to have a swipe at me with its teeth. Luckily, I moved my hand in time. I have though heard bad luck stories involving monkey biting incidents, so tread carefully. It is important to know that these monkeys are not fierce creatures, but they too get protective.

Sacred Money Forest

These monkeys have some sharp teeth.

 

Buy a bunch of bananas

Inside the Monkey Forest, there are stalls that sell old bananas. Buy a bunch for around fifty-cents and in an instant moment you will be surrounded by a bunch of new friends desperate for a banana or two. Quick tip, if the big one is close by, you’ll recognise him, give it to him first without hesitation, he is the king and he demands it.

Another fascination in the Monkey Forest is the feeding time itself. One moment you are walking in the grounds of the forest, the next you see a whole army of monkeys descending to a central location for feed time. It is quite a sight to see so many monkeys up close in large numbers waiting for a feast.

a monkey feast.

They all descend for a feast

 

The action can happen outside the enclosure

You don’t want to pay the small entrance fee? Remember the Monkey Forest is only semi-enclosed which means the monkeys do escape and wander the streets. Therefore, you can hang around the boundaries of the enclosure and let the monkeys come to you.

There are not too many places in the world where you can walk the streets and see monkeys crossing the road like a casual pedestrian. It can happen in Ubud, well close by to the park anyway and that is what makes it so unique and for that matter so is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

Heading to Ubud, Bali, Check out TripAdvisor for hotels in the area.

Monkey Forest

Outside the grounds of the forest.

Monkey forest temple

Temple with in the forest.

10 Phrases to learn in the Local Language when Travelling Abroad

10 Phrases to learn in the Local Language when Travelling Abroad

Travelling abroad should not only be about drinking fabulous cocktails by the pool, viewing spectacular landscapes and wandering the fascinating streets of an unfamiliar city. Mingling with locals and learning a few basic words in the local language will help make your next trip abroad that extra rewarding.

No one is telling you to learn a whole language, that would be crazy and on most occasions near on impossible. But to learn a few basic words in the language of the country you are visiting, could help avoid a few awkward moments and create a few laughs amongst the locals, as you mince up the words in an embarrassing attempt to speak with the foreign tongue.

In this article, I have come up with 10 words/phrases you should learn in the local language, from a friendly greeting to a confused, “I don’t understand.” From there, with this list of words, all you need to do is google the language you need to learn and practice those pronunciations. All the while, you can have a bit of a giggle as you stumble those strange words.

local language

Talk to the locals

 

10 phrases to learn in the local language when travelling abroad.

  1. Hello: An obvious choice for number one, but in this world, there are a lot of ways to say “hello” and learning this word will go a long way in any local language. There is no better way to start any experience with the locals with a cheerful hello.
  2. Goodbye: A cheerful “goodbye” or “see you later” after hopefully a, pleasant experience, is a great way to end any conversation.
  3. Thank you: Manners is important any language and “thank you” will be used a lot in the foreign tongue. Make thank you a priority when travelling abroad.
  4. You’re welcome: After a thank you, normally comes a friendly “you’re welcome.” The locals will probably say it to you a fair bit and vice versa, when you learn the word of course.
  5. Excuse me: Sitting in the restaurant and in need for another beer, a polite “excuse me” will help you get the attention of the bartender. A very useful word in the local tongue.
  6. I’m sorry: Bump into someone, accidentally break an item, a good “I’m sorry” will go a long way to make a peace in an awkward moment. Fair to say that “I’m sorry” will get a good work out on any adventure.
  7. I don’t understand: Speak for itself this old phrase, because it’s bound to be needed on several occasions in a foreign country.
  8. How much is that?: A useful phrase when shopping the markets of any city around the world. Normally it is the only way to find out how much anything item cost. Then the bartering begins, probably a good thing to know learn some numbers too.
  9. Where is the bathroom?: In the streets of a crowded city and human nature starts calling you. “Where is the bathroom” will help you in any sudden toilet emergency.
  10. Yes/no: Two words, two opposite meanings but very common in any language. Normally they are the most basic words to learn in most languages and will be easily remembered and used.

There you have it, a useful list of words in any local language that will come in handy when abroad. Now all you have to do is go and learn those tricky words from an appropriate language website. Have fun and good luck, but you will be proud that you made the effort.

Check out Innovative 101.  when finding a local language.

 

 

local language

Learn the local language when talking to staff while abroad.

Great Tips in Readiness for an Overseas Adventure

Great Tips in Readiness for an Overseas Adventure

You are all geared up and ready to go. The big overseas adventure you have been planning is just around the corner. But first, you panic. Is everything in order, flights, passports and Visas? Do you know about the area you are visiting? Are you aware of any customs that may seem strange to you? Or any major religious holiday or political event coming up that could dampen your holiday.

The adventure doesn’t begin when you board the plane, a little planning is necessary, starting from the time you book the flight and your accommodation. Planning that may save you from a little crisis while on your much-anticipated holiday with your family and friends.

So, save any embarrassment and check for yourself by reading the list below, to see if you are ready for your overseas adventure. You never know, there may be something important on the list that you may have forgotten.

 

Overseas adventure

Are you ready for an Overseas adventure?

 

 

Are your flight details in order?

Let’s start with a no brainer. Are your flights booked? Are the dates all in order? Are you sitting altogether with your family on the flight? (that is a good one to check with budget airlines) Even the most basic things can go wrong and it pays to double check your flight details before you leave.

 

 

Are your Passports prepared?

Naturally going on an overseas trip, you are going to have a passport and if you don’t, I suggest you hurry up and get it done. The question that need to be asked however are, how long have you had your passport for? Is it close to expiry? Most countries will refuse entry to a person with less than six months’ validation. So, it is important to double check the dates on your passport before you book your holiday.

 

Do you need a Visa?

Many countries these days do allow travellers to enter for a period of time without any fee. It is important to know that there are some countries that require you pay a fee before getting through customs, for examples Vietnam and Laos. Most times, any Visa fees, need to be paid in US dollars and knowing the amount beforehand is important as credit cards are usually not accepted. Answers to these important questions can usually be found by researching on google and TripAdvisor.

 

Do you have travel Insurance?

Often people will think travel insurance is a waste of money, “nothing went wrong, so why did I get it.” That is a good thing when travel goes to plan and there are no sudden emergencies. What happens when things do go wrong. Can you afford the added medical bills? Or the added flight fees? Things can go wrong while overseas and travel insurance needs to be essential in today’s travel. At the end of the day it doesn’t cost a lot of money to protect yourselves, your family and your bank account.

 

Learn some local phrases

No I am not telling you to start learning a whole language, but a few common words that are general in any language won’t go astray. Words such as, hello, goodbye, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, how much is that and I’m sorry, will go a long way when trying to chat with the locals.

 

Know the area

While the element of surprise is great for any overseas adventure, it is also important to try and maximise your time by having a certain knowledge of your future destination. Information like restaurants, shopping centres, and fun attractions you may want to visit are great for having in mind when planning your itinerary for you are adventure.

 

Know the Laws and Customs

Respect the laws and customs of any country you visit. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t ruin your overseas adventure because you didn’t do your homework on the do’s and don’ts of a certain destination. Some laws and customs may seem strange to you, and vice versa. Too bad, you are a guest in their country and it is up to the traveller to adjust to specific laws.

Another thing to remember is public holidays in destinations you visit. Instances such as any religious holidays, where in most instances shops re closed and you are required to stay in your resort. Any major political events are important details to know about also 

 

Research activities and day trips

A fun adventure is sometimes knowing what is on offer in the location you visit. Don’t miss out on that epic day trip, or fun-filled attractions because you didn’t do your homework. Google is your best friend, so use it wisely. A key tip to keep in mind when booking any tour is not to book on the internet or through a travel agency. You will save a crazy amount of money by booking tours within the country you are holidaying in.

 

Download helpful Apps

There are plenty of great travel Apps to help you on an overseas adventure and with a bit of research on specific areas, you may land the right App that will give you plenty of tips and advice. A few Apps of note are TripAdvisor, Google Maps and Smart Traveller, which is great for receiving warnings on any country you are visiting.

Four Islands Mekong

Explore with the family and have peace of mind.

The Four Islands Mekong Day Tour – Vietnam

The Four Islands Mekong Day Tour – Vietnam

When time is not on your side to take a lengthy trip down to the Mekong Delta and the famous floating Markets. Four Island Mekong Tour is the next best option, it is a great day out and within close vicinity to Ho Chi Minh City.

In a single day, you can cruise the mighty Mekong River, marvel at the four Islands (although you don’t stop at them all) and divulge in some Vietnamese Food. It’s a hectic trip done in around 10 hours and one that must be considered for all travellers who venture into Southern Vietnam.

Four Islands Mekong, Vietnam.

Get ready for an action packed Four Islands Mekong Tour.

 

Booking a tour

Booking a tour to the Four Islands Mekong can be found in most travel agencies on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, especially the row of agencies near the Ben Thanh Market. For an affordable price you can have a fulfilled tour with lunch included.

Four Islands Mekong

Exploring the Four Islands Mekong with the family.

 

The Guide

The guide almost makes the trip, that is not an understatement. Great English, good sense of humour and very informative about the Mekong River and the 4-islands. Of course, which guide you get depends on which group you end up with on any given day. But I hear most go that extra effort to entertain their guest.

The guide of Four Islands Mekong

The guide is a hoot.

 

 

The Tour Rest Stop

After an hour on the manic bus drive, you stop for a rest at the Tour Rest Stop, specifically created for tour goers. A gorgeous area, with tropical style café’s and a lush garden with a fantastic water feature. You will want to get your camera out at this stop as there are pictures to be taken.

Tour Rest Stop, Vietnam

The Tour Rest Stop.

 

Tour Rest Stop, Vietnam.

The Cafe at Tour Rest Stop.

 

 

Ving Trang Pagoda Buddhist Temple

Another day, another large Budai. The Ving Trang Pagoda is one of many great Buddhist Temples that can be seen in Vietnam, or Southeast Asia for that matter. The Ving Trang Pagoda is no exception, with the State of Budai the main attraction amongst other popular statures.

Ving Trang Buddhist temple is on the Southern side of Ho Chi Minh City and is seen of the tour before reaching the boats. Take some pictures and marvel and the fine structures that Vietnam do so well, you can also do a little shopping at the nearby markets.

Ving Trang Pagoda

State of Budai at Ving Trang Pagoda, Vietnam.

 

Ving Trang Pagoda

Ving Trang Pagoda

 

 

Cruising the Mekong River

Cruising the Mighty Mekong River, that begins in the Himalayas and makes its way through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, before finishing in Vietnam, is an experience just to be in its vicinity of the famous river in Southeast Asia.

The crocodile filled section of the river around the Four Islands Mekong may not have the most gorgeous scenery, the mucky waters and the commercial boats can be a little off putting. Look past it and admire the Mekong for what it is. Just don’t jump in.

Mekong River, Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River.

 

Mekong River, Vietnam

Not the cleanest part of the river as you can see by the banks.

 

 

Coconut Candy

Check out the locals make their coconut candy without the luxuries of a factory is quite fascinating. From shredding the coconut into powder, to the mixing and the packaging. It is a detailed process with mainly female workers involved and they work quick and get the job done.

On the coconut candy itself, it’s okay, but they are cheap and why not reward those hard-working girls by purchasing a pack or six. They could make great gifts for any relative back home who love their candy.

Making candy, Vietnam.

Busy at work making candy on Unicorn Island.

 

Unicorn Island

Unicorn Island is where most of the tour activities take place. From making and trying their honey tea, to pictures with a python and the unfortunate horse and carriage ride (you don’t have to ride), the activities begin to add up in quick time.

A highlight of the day is local villagers taking the group on a canoe ride through the canals, which is surrounded by many palm trees and local housing, creating a welcome shade from the heat.

The canoe ride, while more than enjoyable, can get a little annoying when the villagers start spending more time begging for a tip, than letting their guest enjoy the experience.

Unicor Island, Vietnam

Canoe the canals on Unicorn Island, Vietnam.

 

The snake handler

The snake handler.

 

Food of the Tour

A basic lunch is served to the group on Tortoise Island. On this day, the group had marinated pork with rice and vegetables. You can purchase extra food and drinks at your own expense.

After lunch, you get a good hour to wander Tortoise Island, where resting crocodiles can be seen caged in large numbers, a few market places that sell local souvenirs and the best part is the hammocks, which gets a good workout with a few of the group getting a bit of a shut eye after a feed.

Toroise Island on the Mekong

Tortoise Island on the Mekong River.

Four Islands Mekong

Resting on the hammocks at Four Islands Mekong.

 

Fruit tour and a Vietnamese concert

A bit of fruit with some tea was the last on the list in the Four Islands Mekong tour. You are treated to a marvellous performance of Vietnamese music by the locals, the show runs for about fifteen minutes and has a variety of artist performing.

The enjoyable performance, contains a few basic instruments, their amazing soothing voices and beautiful women dressed in their traditional dress. It is a fantastic cultural experience to end a day, before heading back home.

Need accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City? Check out TripAdvisor.

 

 

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GPSMyCity – Your Very Own Travel Companion

GPSMyCity – Your Very Own Travel Companion

Imagine this. You are in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, you have no sim card and WIFI is limited and you are wondering what the heck to do. Thankfully before your trip your downloaded the IOS GPSMyCity App and all your problems are somewhat solved.

Covering over 750 cities throughout the world, GPSMyCity produces city walks Apps that can be anything from navigating the busy streets of Saigon or taking in the natural beauty of Kings Park in Perth Western Australia.

The App uses GPS tracking from your IPhone, so you can get around a certain location within the city, making sure you don’t get lost in the meantime. The city Apps have links to various articles throughout hundreds of cities throughout the world that include restaurants, café’s museums, attractions and many other shops that are an interest to the everyday traveller.

GPSMyCity

Don’t get stuck in middle of nowhere, use GPSMyCity.

 

Quite simply, it is travel guide right on your IPhone. You download the articles of the city you are visiting in the GPSMyCity App and in an instance a lot of your problems are solved. Therefore, when you are in the middle of an unfamiliar city, wondering what to do next, get out your IPhone, head to the App and check a list of ideas within that city that you have previously downloaded, without needing any internet coverage.

How beneficial is that? And who said travel couldn’t get any easier with the perks of the modern world today. GPSMyCity have taken your travel perks to a whole new level.

GPSMyCity

Check the phone and find your next adventure.

GPSMyCity App Giveaway

It is easy to download the App. Simply click on the links to my articles below and that will lead you to the App store where you can download the GPSMyCity App. Once in, you can browse many cities and download different articles that you think will help guide you on your next trip.

For a limited time only, until Sunday the 14th of May, I am offering you two articles that you can download for free. That’s right nothing. Simply click on the article below, where it will take you to that article and If you haven’t downloaded the App yet, the links will instruct you to do so.

“Koombana Bay – Bunbury’s Summer Hit in Western Australia”

 “5 Places You Must Visit in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam”

Other travel articles from the website that you can download from www.gpsmycity.com are as follows:

 

Quite Simple, your new travel companion right in the palm of your hand. What are you waiting for? Get your GPSMyCity App today and make travel easier.

 

Disclousre: Naturally if you do download one of my travel articles, I will receive a small profit, but don’t worry, it is not at an extra cost for you.

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