Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#TTOT Round-Up: Honeymoon Travel

Every Tuesday, it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk! Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT on "Honeymoon Travel!" 

Q1 via : What destination have you visited that you would recommend for a honeymoon?
  • Mumbo Island in Malawi is one of the most romantic places I've ever been to. Perfect for a Robinson Crusoe-style honeymoon 
  • : Thailand is great for a romantic honeymoon or an adventure style one
  • : Rome or Paris. Cliche, I know, but cliche for a reason
  • : Argentina also some some pretty romantic accommodation and cities, plus you can dance the tango too 
  • Reunion Island in Indian Ocean - self-drive in spectacular mountain scenery, swim and snorkel from sandy coast
  • : Hvar, Croatia only place regretted visiting solo because it's a perfect honeymoon destination
  • : After visiting Montreal over the weekend, it gets my vote if you want a city honeymoon that's not too far away
  • : Iceland. You can cuddle in the cold and watch the Northern Lights
  • : I'd recommend Bora Bora or Taha'a in French Poly for a low key honeymoon 

Q2 via : Where did you/would you go for the perfect honeymoon?
  • : Would have to be Madagascar, didn't have an official honeymoon, though had the most amazing time there with the hubby 
  • : Island hopping in the Philippines and including Papua New Guinea 
  • : The Orient Express 
  • : Fiji. Gorgeous, quiet, far away (for many), not over-crowded 
  • : Barbados is where we'd go. Walk along the beautiful beaches and have lunch/dinner looking out to the sea  
  • : Paris - The city of love...and cheese 
  • : Over water bungalow in the Maldives - hands down
  • : Trek Everest Base camp. Marriage is about supporting each other and overcoming challenges together
  • : Maui and Kauai. It was even more beautiful than we expected 
  • : No certain destination - the road would be the perfect place. Making an endless RTW sounds best 

Q3 via : Would you rather honeymoon straight from the wedding or wait? 
  • : Straight from the wedding. You've just had the perfect day so why go back to the humdrum when you can head off right away?
  • : Wait a few days (maybe not quite weeks) to recharge and get ready to explore and experience to the maximum 
  • : No waiting for is too short and I would already be planning the next holiday
  • : Wait for a couple of days, relax a bit and then off to honeymoon destination 
  • : Immediately. You don't have to deal with in-laws right after wedding
  • : A few days after so the stress of wedding planning quickly melts away 
  • : Straight from the way would I want to just sit around I think it'd be awesome to celebrate right away with time alone 
  • : Have 2-3 days after the wedding to farewell family and friends and regroup, then head off on your honeymoon while it's still fresh 
  • Just make your whole marriage a honeymoon, so doesn't matter when you start

Q4 via : What's the most unique honeymoon you've ever heard of?
  • : Climbing Kilimanjaro! AWESOME! Better than the typical honeymoon cliches 
  • : A couple got married under water in scuba costume...That was definitely unique
  • : Friends of mine went for Harley Davidson honeymoon along California's old Route 101 - thought that was quite cool 
  • : Heard of a couple that walked across the US for their honeymoon
  • : Friends went swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef in Australia 
  • : I heard of a couple who went volunteering around East Africa for their honeymoon
  • : A long road trip would make a unique honeymoon
  • : Friends quit jobs, bought boat and sailed from Baltimore to Sydney via Panama Canal and the Pacific for 8 month honeymoon
  • : Friends from college climbed Mount Everest

Q5 via : What travel advice would u give someone planning a honeymoon?
  • : Get on a huge and long trip before getting married to test each other! No better way to find out if you get along 
  • : Go somewhere you've never heard of before and embrace their culture
  • : Don't bring your in-laws
  • : Do whatever the eff you want to! And, if it were me, spend more on the trip than the wedding 
  • : Make sure you both want to go there and that it isn't somewhere that is just a typical honeymoon locale if that isn't your style 
  • : Leave your phones and computers at home
  • : Don't aim to make everything perfect, then every imperfection feels like something gone wrong
  • : Spend less on the wedding, and more on traveling
  • : Relax, who knows the next time you'll have a whole trip to yourselves 
  • : Do NOT, under any circumstances, tell anyone where you are going 
  • : Pack light. You're going to be naked most of the time anyways...well I'd hope so
  • : All about sharing experiences. Do something together you've both never done. Go someplace you've both never gone
  • : Plan plan plan ahead and book early. Ask for guests to contribute - do you really need another salad bowl or toaster? 

And there you have it, "Honeymoon Travel!"  

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Summer Festivals!" Submit your questions HERE!

See you next Tuesday 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Honeymoon Travel" discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Must-Have Summer Travel Item

Summer travel season is nearly upon us and it's time to start packing for our next beach destination! My must-have travel item for the summer season? The versatile and multi-functioning SARONG.

Here are some of ways to use a sarong:

A jaunt to the beach requires a sarong

1. Beach cover-up: The most common reason to use a sarong is to keep you modest between your hotel or hostel and the beach. Particularly in Southeast Asia where local cultures are still a bit conservative when it comes to the amount of skin revealed and you should stay mindful to local customs.

2. Beach spread: Okay, so now you're on the beach and ready to catch some rays or waves. Use your sarong, yes the same one you're wearing, as a beach blanket. Spread it out and you've got a lovely beach blanket!

Lounging post-bath bucket shower in Burma, about to apply thanaka
3. Towel: Now that you find yourself on the beach, you need a swim to cool off. Whoops! Did you realize that you've forgotten a towel? Good thing you've got your sarong! A sarong can also double as a make-shift towel in general. In warmer climates, I just wrap the damp towel around me and turn my sarong into a cooling wrap as I get ready for bed.

4. Change room: I like lazying by the beach or pool as much as the next gal, but I just can't do it in a wet swim suit so I always have a spare bikini to hand. Unfortunately, a change room on a remote beach can be hard to come by. My solution? The sarong. It took some practice, but I can now use the sarong as a change room by simply wrapping it around myself and using it to change out of my wet swimsuit and into a dry one. I suggest you practice in the privacy of your room before trying this in public. Or maybe you're not such a freak like I am and can deal with wearing a wet bathing suit.

Too cold on an overnight bus? Grab your sarong and turn it into a blanket
5. Blanket: Thailand and Vietnam's buses are notorious for cranking up their air conditioners. At first it is absolutely soothing to escape the heat and humidity into the cool air of a Thai or Vietnamese bus. Until five minutes later when you've got goosebumps and your teeth are rattling! Although most bus companies will provide you with a blanket (why they don't just turn down the air conditioning is beyond me), they can be too small, especially since I'm trying to bury myself into one to stay warm. I use the given blanket around my feet and body then wrap my sarong over my shoulders and neck to combat the Arctic cool.

6. Pillow: A sarong isn't going to be the best pillow you've ever slept on, but if you're traveling on an overnight train or bus, a rolled up sarong does the trick to help prevent a stiff neck in the morning. Trust me.

Use a sarong to cover your shoulders at religious temples, India 2010
7. Admission to Religious Sights: Many cultural and historical sights in Southeast Asia are also religious sights and they require modesty in all patrons. Bring a sarong with you (I carried mine in my daypack everywhere) and cover up when necessary.

The sarong is an essential when I travel and I always pack at least two in my bag. With so many functions, my sarongs get plenty of use (something that can't be said for many other things that I pack) and need regular replacement. Souvenir shops often sell colorful sarongs so it's not hard to pick up a couple at any destination. Plus, they're so pretty too!

What's YOUR must-have summer travel item?

**Originally posted on Travel Dudes in April 2011.

© Connie Hum 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#TTOT Round-Up: Travel Food

Every Tuesday, it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk! Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT on "Travel Food!" 

Q1 via Plan a picnic with 3 foods from 3 different countries.
  • : Jerk Chicken (Jamaica), Cous-Cous (Moroccan seasonings) and spicy salad (Thailand) 
  • : Cuban ham croquettas, Puerto Rican rum, and gringo Coca-Cola
  • : Sushi from Japan, bubbles from France, jamon iberico from Spain
  • : Chips and guacomole from Mexico, cheese and bread from France, and pizza from Italy
  • : A selection of fresh bread from France, curries from Thailand, and beers form Germany
  • : Falafel from Egypt, Zebu steak from Madagascar, gelato from Italy
  • : Greek salad, Spanish tapas and French cheese
  • : Empanadas from Argentina, tamales from Mexico, and ginger beer from Jamaica

Q2 via What's the strangest food you've had while traveling?

: Deep fried tarantula in Cambodia

: Dried fish and fermented shark from Iceland

: The cuy (Guinea Pig) I ate in Peru doing his best impression of Rodin's The Thinker

: Dried river weed with sesame from Laos

  Kokorec, aka sheep intestine

Q3 via What dish have you always wanted to try?
  • : OK, this is going to sound odd, but I want to try brains. Not the presentation in the skull, just some well prepared brain
  • : I would now try a scorpion. But that was only after I've seen other bloggers eating them and liking them 
  • : Real Indian curries
  • : I have always wanted to try alligator tail in Miami 
  • : Dim sum in China, that would be amazing and is on my bucket list 
  • : I've always wanted to try Persian cuisine how it differs with the the rest of Middle East 
  • : Jambalaya in New Orleans would be pretty cool
  • : I want to try this Brazilian churrascaria in Rio again just to make sure I really did like it
  • : Durian. I'm so embarrassed I've never gotten around to it

Q4 via Have you ever visited a place just for its cuisine? Where?
  • : I have been to been to Kerala once, just to eat their local delicacy called Appams
  • : I did once go to Paris for the weekend for Nutella crepes and croissants
  • : Yes, Parma in Italy. Parma ham, Parmesan and several other lesser known foods including great gelato 
  • : I once routed a flight thru San Francisco so I could get dumplings in Chinatown and then got back on the plane
  • : Penang, Malaysia - unbelievable street food
  • : I will say one of the top reasons I visited NYC was to eat at the first pizza place in the USA: Lombardi's Neapolitan Pizza 
  • : I travel locally for special eats all the time. Especially if there are food festivals 
  • : I love food. But I've never visited a destination just because of it. Traveling is for me a holistic experience
  • : Does going to tropical destinations just for the fresh coconuts on the beach count?

Q5 via Is there a food/snack you always pack when you travel?
  • : Instant oatmeal- can always get hot water; fast, filling, easy to pack snack good any time of day 
  • : Oranges/clementines. There's never a time when I can't use some extra citrus. Plus, they're individually wrapped 
  • : Not now, but in mu backpacking days peanut butter was ALWAYS in my pack. Great go to food "just in case"  
  • : Always have chocolate in bag: great to share, great to cheer one up, perfect for a quick snack 
  • : Not really, but I LOVE wasabi peanuts, so if I can find them, I WILL pack them
  • : Kicap Cap Kipas Udang (Manis) That's right, sweet soy sauce 
  • : No question, Almonds. Healthiest, tastiest most filling snack there is 
  • : Toblerone original nougat chocolate is my travel treat - ever since traveling as a kid with my mom on international flights 
  • My guilty pleasure, buying yogurt-covered pretzels at airport, where available

And there you have it, "Travel Food!"  

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Honeymoon Travel!" Submit your questions HERE!

See you next Tuesday 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Travel Food" discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Night Squid Fishing

Spring is here in Hong Kong, and it's the season for night squid fishing! Prompted by a recent Groupon Hong Kong deal with Launch Travel Services, I decided to head out for the open waters and partake in one of my few "adventure" outings in Hong Kong. 

The evening began in Tsim Sha Tsui where I met with my fellow night squid fishers and Launch Travel Services guide. I was surprised that almost all the participants were locals as I had some misguided idea that only tourists went night squid fishing. I suppose with the trip being offered via Groupon Hong Kong, the Hong Kong outpost of the international discounted deals website, it makes sense that it would be locals aboard the boat. Unfortunately, they were two large groups of friends who didn't speak much English (the Launch Travel Services guide included), so my companion and I were limited to entertaining ourselves and each other for the night.

We hopped into our boat and rode for 45-minutes into a less populated area of Hong Kong. It was a beautiful night and the cool breeze was a welcome change from the stifling weather we'd been having in Hong Kong recently. It was also lovely to see a different part of the city and from an alternate perspective.

Once we arrived at our destination, dinner (included in the package) was served. For a Chinese tour company that clearly catered to a mostly Chinese clientele, I was surprised at the spread of very basic, and truth be told, bland Chinese food. Plenty of good local restaurants offer catering; there's no reason why the food we were served had to be as disappointing as it was. I was glad that I had eaten a rather large meal just prior to departure.

Soon I was given a hook, some fishing line and what I think is a kite handle. The guide showed us how to squid fish: a relatively easy task of throwing the hook out as far as you could and then yanking the line back in intervals to try to entice a squid to bite. Easy enough, okay, let's do it!

With the exception of the excitement surrounding several catches made by the others, I found squid fishing boring after about 30 minutes. It was just a series of throwing, yanking, and repeating. For the most part, nothing happens, other than getting myself tangled up in the fishing line that is! I gave it my best attempt, but I soon went back in the boat and tried to not get sick from all the rocking and swaying.

I wasn't the only one who soon tired of squid fishing, as several others had retired back to the boat as well. To entertain themselves, they were now singing Cantonese karaoke. I often find public karaoke singers a funny thing. I enjoy a night out with friends and destroying some good songs with our bad singing, but on a boat with strangers? No, thank you. These people, however, weren't the least bit shy. Good for them, though it wasn't helping my seasickness.

After an hour or so, the boat had a small, but sizeable catch of seven squid in total.  One of the crew members quickly set to work in preparing the fresh squid for cooking. I don't think I've ever seen squid so fresh, so raw before and I found the amount of ink in a single squid fascinating.

Each of us were given a small sampling of the sauteed squid. Right out of the water and into the frying pan, the squid had an incredibly fresh taste. It was extremely good!

Despite my night squid fishing complaints and fail, I'm glad I gave it a try. It was definitely an experience. Eating such fresh squid made the entire night worth it. I would even go again, but with a group of my own friends and with better food. The karaoke, though, we'd probably leave on dry land.

*Disclaimer: My night squid fishing excursion with Launch Travel Services was sponsored by Groupon Hong Kong, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view of my experience.

© Connie Hum 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#TTOT Round-Up: Drinks - Types & Customs

Every Tuesday, it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk! Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT on "Drinks - Types and Customs!" 

Q1 via What's your favorite way to say "cheers" that you've learned on your travels? 
  • : Swedish "Skal!"; easily remembered after several gloggs, and reminds me of happy times in Swedish countryside 
  • The best way of saying 'cheers' has to be in Thai: 'Choc Dee'. Reminds me of street bars in Bangkok and beach bars in Koh Tao 
  • : The Hungarian Egészségedre, always keep others asking huh when I say that
  • : Raised glass plus eye contact. If you don't maintain eye contact, it's seven years of bad sex 
  • : GANBEI! (China)
  • : My gran always said 'Good health Darling' which made drinking a pint seem much more ladylike
  • : A Korean cheers said before taking a shot of soju "Wee-hi-yo" must be said in as strong and deep of a voice as possible 
  • : Right before taking a shot of tequila in Mexico ... Arriba! Abajo! Al Centro! Cuchi Cuchi

Q2 via What drink personifies your travel style, and why?
  • : Malibu and Piña (pineapple juice), I need the added vitamin C
  • : Tequila - Short and sweet 
  • : Family size frozen margarita. Hey, I travel with 5 kids
  • : Bottled local beer - no frills, laid back, umm easy to carry
  • : Coffee to keep bright to observe and experience what I'm in the middle of
  • : A super hoppy IPA = relaxed and mellow
  • : Sangria! I like to take my time and soak in the flavor when I travel
  • : Classic margarita with salted rim-- rough around the edges, sweet, and sometimes salty- not afraid to rough it when I travel
  • : Jack and Coke, because its strong, creeps in slow and leaves you thinking what hit you
  • : Water - I am everywhere
  • : Tea. A calm, warm friend. Best with a little honey

Q3 via Name the best bar you've ever been to in the world!
  • : My university days it has to be Simple Simon's in Canterbury. That was an awesome Pub and live music was just great 
  • : In terms of a beach bar - Anse Chastenet in St Lucia is a hotel/bar in a ridiculous setting with phenomenal sunset 
  • : The best bar has to be Shanghai's EXPO, a good friend and I went bar hopping in the different pavilions. THE BEST 
  • : Lebua Sky Bar in Bangkok! Unbelievable views...and prices
  • : The "Please Don't Tell Bar" in NYC. Located in a greasy hotdog outpost, door to the covert bar is a phonebooth. Coolest bar ever
  • : Swim up bar at Arenal Hot Springs in Costa Rica
  • : The most beautiful one is the Chandelier bar in Las Vegas 

Q4 via What is the most bizarre drink you've had on the road? 
  • : Wedang ronde, a hot ginger drink with large glutinous rice/peanut balls in Central Java 
  • : In Vietnam : Vodka + snakes blood, I had to drink it with the snakes heart, still beating
  • : Fermented horse milk in Mongolia or Chicha in Peru, which I much later learned is fermented with spit
  • : Camel milk in Mongolia. It was a bit sour. And fizzy
  • : Hot Spicy Snail Juice Shooters in Seville
  • : "Chichihuasa" in Bogota: some sort of tea, alcohol and herb mixture includling a bit of pot
  • : Tibetan butter tea
  • : Kava in Viseisei village Fiji whilst couch surfing! Numb lips and NO hangover
  • : Bulgarian Boza - looks like puke but tastes like liquefied rich tea biscuits

Q5 via What drink just says "I am on holiday" to you? 
  • : Anything served in a pineapple is INSTANT vacation
  • : Bottled water
  • : Cold local beer... plain and simple
  • : Although I'm not a big fan of Tequila, I do love a good Margarita, especially in a tropical place 
  • : Anything involving coconut or mango
  • : I'd say anything with alcohol in it, in the middle of the afternoon or morning
  • : Once a tiny umbrella falls into the glass, I consider myself on holiday

And there you have it, "Drinks - Types and Customs!"  

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Travel Food!" Submit your questions HERE!

See you next Tuesday 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Drinks - Types and Customs" discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Foodie Adventures with Food Tour Malaysia

Despite all the traveling I've done, I still stress out upon arriving into a new city. I find it exciting to be in an unfamiliar place, but it can also be extremely daunting to figure out where I am, how to get to my next destination, and more importantly, where and when my next meal will be since food is never far from my mind. When I recently arrived in Kuala Lumpur, yet another city famous for its food, my initial thought was, "Where to start? Where to go? What to EAT???"

Hungry in Kuala Lumpur? Food Tour Malaysia can help

This is where Food Tour Malaysia comes in. Inspired by their own search for authentic food during their travels, the founders of Food Tour Malaysia decided to combine their passion for food and travel into something that visitors to Kuala Lumpur can benefit from.

Experiencing Kuala Lumpur's street food with Food Tour Malaysia

Food Tour Malaysia is made up of self-professed "gourmet Indiana Joneses" who take guests through various parts of the sprawling city to taste authentic dishes that make up Kuala Lumpur's diverse food culture. Each tour is unique to the group as the guide takes into account culinary interests and preferences, as well as how much the participants' stomachs can handle. Typically, each outing includes three to four different locations (yes, that's approximately THREE to FOUR small meals you'll be tasting!) of varying flavors. With no predetermined itinerary, this is very much a culinary adventure through the streets of Kuala Lumpur!

Darren, my Food Tour Malaysia guide, explains the etiquette behind eating with your hands

The mood of this unconventional tour is created from the very beginning of the night. The meeting point is in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, requiring around a 45-minute LTR (Light Rail Transit) ride from the city center. Darren, co-founder of Food Tour Malaysia and my guide, explained that this was to allow guests to see another side of Kuala Lumpur and to set the stage for the night's "off the beaten path" food exploration.

Enjoying my idli and Indian dipping sauces

After the rest of the group arrived (we had a total of six), Darren ushered us to Brickfields, a vibrant district heavily influenced by a large Indian population. Our first meal commenced inside a non-descript Indian canteen with a generous sampling of idli, dosa, roti chana, and mutton and chicken curry, eaten off banana leaves with our bare hands! Now THAT'S finger-lickin' good!

Strange but works: spare ribs and Marmite

Our next stop took us up a dark, winding hill in another part of town to a spacious Chinese clay pot restaurant. Disappointingly, their famous crab clay pot was already sold out for the night so we had to make do with other dishes. One particular course that stood out was the spare ribs cooked in Marmite. A strange and unexpected combination, especially from a Chinese restaurant, but the taste was rather intriguing!

Street stall fried chicken

Our next food stop took us to a street vendor selling fried chicken off a major touristic dining street. Our group shared a plate of succulent fried chicken wings, beef and chicken satay skewers, and fried squid with salty egg coating before our stomachs could explode. 

The final Food Tour Malaysia stop (yes, that's four in total) was for a dessert of shaved ice, sugary syrup, and fresh fruit further up the street. After a night of copious eating, this was a perfect way to end the hot night with something light, cold, and refreshing.

Daringly trying stinky tofu in a night market in Taipei

For someone who has traveled throughout Asia and can be found at all hours eating on a little stool on the side of the road of local night markets, I found this food adventure was a bit too tame. I would have preferred to have been taken truly off the beaten path and offered a sampling of some incredibly wild dishes that I haven't already encountered in my years of traveling in Asia.

Overall, I think Food Tour Malaysia is a good starting point for those new to "adventure" dining while traveling. It's ideal for first-timers trying out local street food and canteens because you have a native who knows where to go and can provide context to the different types of food and customs. This was certainly my favorite part of the night, particularly when Darren explained how to properly roll up a banana leaf after a meal and what the numerous methods are to signify specific situations. 

Please bear in mind that all Food Tour Malaysia outings are different and dependent on the individuals involved. Your experience will not necessarily be the same as mine, nor will the food you sample. 

*Disclaimer: My outing with Food Tour Malaysia was sponsored by the company, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view on my personal experience. 

© Connie Hum 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#TTOT Round-Up: Undiscovered Places

Every Tuesday, it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk! Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT on "Undiscovered Places!" 

Q1 via Which 'undiscovered place' could you rediscover over and over again?
  • : The Julian Alps in Slovenia - they're clean, green and extreme 
  • : Anywhere in New Zealand, love it there 
  • : I'd love to rediscover the magic of Sevilla, Spain again and again. Love the authenticity
  • : Botswana - specifically the Okavango Delta. One of the most peaceful places I've ever been
  • : India - so much to see you could keep going back and see something different
  • : New York City. I could live there my whole life and always find something new to see/do
  • : Grand Cayman never gets old: white sand, warm, clear water ... the perfect getaway

Q2 via Which country still has the most undiscovered places?
  • : Antarctica's got some pretty remote places, the last really undiscovered continent 
  • : I would definitely say parts of Bolivia. Wish I had more time in the Amazon
  • : Australia! Hoping to spend a solid month traveling around there when I get to go 
  • : Bhutan only nation in the world without a single traffic light, a Shangri-la with restricted outside influence
  • : Greenland, no doubt. Loads of places completely untouched by man!
  • : Has to be without doubt Papua New Guinea - its totally undiscovered and a mere knowledge bank for travellers 
  • : Maybe Indonesia? There are all those islands to choose from
  • : North Korea probably has the most undiscovered places? Also China, Australia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & the CCAR, Pakistan, Russia 
  • : Africa (yep, the whole darn Continent!)

Q3 via What have you found that is undiscovered in a place that is already very well discovered?
  • : The street food of Vietnam! Always amazing finding out what each tiny plastic stool
  • : Sea caves in Hawaii. A good amount barely anybody knows about
  • : Love discovering a new wine in any destination, usually right at the top of my list of must discovers 
  • : Famous artworks in small churches of Rome 
  • : A totally deserted (apart from the crabs) beach in the Bahamas. Swam with an eagle ray on the way back to the boat. It was magic  
  • : We found a dinosaur excavation in Argentina 
  • Local people's opinions and thoughts, something that requires time and language to discover 

Q4 via "Undiscovered" could be the same as "overlooked." What familiar places have you seen with new eyes? 
  • : Traveling with a friend who's never been there is like seeing it for the first time
  • : Revisiting places I visited as a child is interesting as many times they seem different than I remember them 
  • : Used to live in Paris pre-kids but just went back with kids to show them. So different and fun to see it from their POV 
  • : I just moved to Mumbai and whilst it's the sixth time here, I am seeing a whole new world as a local 
  • : An appreciation for different foods as I grow older shows me a different side of the same place 
  • : Every time I come home from an overseas trip I am stunned by how crystal clear the air is in New Zealand 
  • : The Borobudur. or carvings on ancient temples. I've underestimated the details for too long 

Q5 via Where did you last discover?
  • : Jordan! Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, Need I say more?
  • : I just came back from Southern Germany, the Black Forest region... That was magical! Like in a Brothers Grimms' fairy tale 
  • : Bacalar, in Quintana Roo, Mexico! Usually not a tropical kinda gal but loved discovering that little sliver of paradise 
  • : Probably wandering through the quirkier streets of Copenhagen after attending church in Jerusalemskirken 
  • : Discovered Mathura & Vrindavan, Krishna's hometown
  • Kuala Lumpur - just moved here and every time I walk around I discover something new 
  • La Gomera in the Canary Islands - had expected island to be 'different' but ruggedness of landscape still a surprise 
  • : Alcazaba in Malaga, loved it could live there forever, hidden corners, patios carved columns, fountains, views, massive walls ... 

And there you have it, "Undiscovered Places!"  

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Drinks - Types & Customs!" Submit your questions HERE!

See you next Tuesday 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Undiscovered Places" discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Travel and Social Media Presentation, HK Social

Last Friday morning, I spoke about Travel and Social Media at the monthly HK Social Meetup. Moderated by Rudi Leung, digital marketing and social media specialist, I was joined by Janice Leung of e_ting (you'll recognize her from the Blogging 101 talk we did together in February 2012) and Ali Bullock, Global Digital Marketing Manager for Cathay Pacific.

Here are the video recordings of HK Social's Travel and Social Media, in case you were curious.

The panel discussion begins at 7:10 and I start my introduction at 9:10.

In Part 2, we take a closer look at how social media is changing the way we travel, connect with others, deal with travel-related sponsorships, and cope with the "glamorous life" of travel blogging.

Part 3 continues with Ali discussing how social media is forcing the travel industry to rethink their marketing strategies, followed by Janice and I reiterating why it's so important for bloggers to remain honest to their readers and provide disclosure about sponsored reviews.

Thanks to my fellow panelists for a great discussion! To view the rest of HK Social's Meetup on Travel and Social Media, refer to Jay Oatway's YouTube channel.

Now that you've heard me speak about how social media is changing travel, in what ways do YOU think social media is effecting travel?

© Connie Hum 2012

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