Travel

THE ULTIMATE BALI GUIDE

Denne eksotiske indonesiske øya tok meg med storm. Det er få steder jeg har følt meg så hjemme når jeg har vært så langt borte. Fargene, menneskene, maten, været, naturen, klimaet ja alt er rett og slett fantastisk vakkert. Bali har en atmosfære som ønsker alle velkommen, øya får deg til å senke skuldrene og føle deg fri som fuglen. Det er et obligatorisk stopp for backpackere, himmelen for yoga entusiaster, et hjem for surfere og et paradis for glutenallergikere og veganere. Her kommer mine beste tips, favoritt steder og anbefalinger fra mange besøk på denne øya. Resten av guiden blir på engelsk, ettersom jeg regner med at de fleste av dere forstår det også. Enjoy! Du kan lese mer om hvorfor Bali tok en bit av hjertet mitt her.

It was love at first sight when Bali and I first met. Yes, again I like to think of us as a couple. There are few places in this world where I feel as home as in Bali even though its so far away from Norway and quite the opposite. The colors, the people, the food, the nature, the climate and the atmosphere makes Bali so special. I finally updated the old guide I made a couple of years ago, and these are my recommendations, favorite spots and the best tips for those of you visiting this island, enjoy! You can read more about why I love Bali here.

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WHERE TO EAT IN SEMINYAK

Seminyak is one of my favorite areas in Bali and the reason for that is because its filled with cute cafes and chic boutiques. On every corner you will see something you want to eat or try on. Definitely not the safest place for your wallet, but hey you are not in Bali every year are you?

Mexicola: The most popular Mexican restaurant in Seminyak, probably in Bali too. Mexicola is filled with exotic and colorful interior, it will definitely make you feel like you are in Mexico for the evening. Their drinks are great ( a little pricey tho) and tacos are tasty too. They have gluten free and vegan options too, and fyi during dinner the restaurant will turn up the music and suddenly you will be clubbing.

Revolver: A different and cool cafe in a narrow hidden street in the center of Seminyak. This place has its own vibe, a dark, cool and none-Indonesian atmosphere. Their coffee and the avocado toast are sooo good! 

Earth Cafe: A vegan/vegetarian cafe in Seminyak, where most of the dishes can be made gluten free. I love this place, and I have to recommend the buckwheat pancakes, buckwheat noodles, Nori Maki and the peanut butter ball. 

Sushimi: The best sushi place in Bali. I would recommend you to visit Sushimi on a Friday night, they have happy hour where every plate is 20K! This is normally a place where the prices depend on which color the plates are. I can also recommend their soba salad and their Vege Awesome sushi burrito! Yum! 

Shelter: On a little rooftop in the neighborhood for Seminyak you will find Shelter. A healthy cafe with delicious breakfast food. On the menu you will find everything from egg and bacon to smoothies, granola, avocado toasts, yogurt, sandwiches and smoothie bowls from the well known Nalu Bowls which is right by the entrance. Shelter has both gluten free and vegan options! 

Nook: A few minutes outside of Seminyak you will find the restaurant called Nook. A big and beautiful place right in the middle of the rice fields. Nook has such a colorful menu filled with everything from pancakes and burgers to smoothie bowls, grilled cheese and salads. A perfect lunch spot for a group of friends where everyone will find something tempting and delicious!

Kim Soo: Our new favorite in Seminyak. I have been there before, but then it was only an interior store now they also have a cafe. Kim Soo is the perfect place to grab a coffee and a cake or eat breakfast in beautiful surroundings. The shop is definitely what people would call #interiorgoals. 

Manik Organik: A new and a little bit lonely cafe in Seminyak. We stayed right up the street last time we were in Bali and Manik Organik quickly became a favorite. They have delicious smoothie bowls (also very cheap compared to other places in Bali) and I also have to recommend their vegan Indonesian dish: Nasi Campur! One of the reasons I fell in love with tempeh. 

Sea Circus: Sea Circus is the restaurant that has the fancy and colorful wall that you have probably seen on Instagram. They have tacos, smoothies, salads, burgers etc. And its definitely the perfect place for a hungover brunch with a group of friends. 

Cafe Bali: A cute bohemian restaurant in the middle of the busy street of Seminyak with delicious Indonesian food and other tasty dishes on the menu. I can recommend the edamame beans and the Nasi Goreng. They also have vegan and gluten free options here! 

Sisterfields: A modern Australian cafe with amazing food and a chic vibe. I can recommend the Acai berry bowl and their ice coffee is the best! 

Nalu Bowls: The famous smoothie bowls of Bali, probably one of the first one that popped up on your Instagram feed a few years ago. A little pricey, but yet very good! 

LacaLaca: A modern Mexican restaurant in Seminyak with funky and exotic interior and tasty menu. They also have happy hour, write that down! 

Mad Pops: The best ice cream in Bali and its vegan! Mad Pops is a tiny ice cream shop in the busy street of Seminyak. I can recommend these flavors: caramel, coffee, rainbow, oreo and chocolate. 
 

WHERE TO EAT IN CANGGU

Canggu is another favorite place of mine. Its the more laid back and chill cousin of Seminyak. The surfy, barefoot one with long curly hair and a couple of random tattoos. Ok, sorry now I am dreaming. But its true, Canggu is cool, and you will like it!

Crate Cafe: On your way down to Echo Beach you will spot the turquoise-ish and well known wall at Crate Cafe. This place is perfect for breakfast or lunch: Smoothies, toasts, salads, eggs, smoothie bowls, chia pudding etc.

Peloton Supershop: My favorite breakfast and lunch spot in Canggu. A 100% vegan cafe, where everything on the menu can be made gluten free! So so delicious! I can recommend the meze plate, the avocado toast, the biker bowl and their pancakes! 

Taco Casa: Looking for a tasty and satisfying Mexican meal? This is the place! Nothing fancy, just perfectly delicious! I can recommend the 8 layer burrito and the Nachos regular! 

Cafe Organic: A bit overrated, but still a cute breakfast spot! Cafe Organic is an all-day breakfast place with a healthy, colorful and vegetarian menu full of fresh juices, smoothies, salads, smoothie bowls, toasts and other breakfast foods. They have both vegan and gluten free options. 

Old Mans: A laid back and chill place to grab something to eat or drink after a long day at the beach. Old Mans is a restaurant and bar next to Echo Beach in Canggu, with funky music and a chill vibe. On the last Saturday of every month Old Mans hosts a market for creatives of Bali selling vintage clothing, jewellery and fresh baked goods! So cool!

The Shady Shack: A vegan/vegetarian cafe in Canggu overlooking the rice fields with a healthy menu filled with delicious and Instagram friendly food! I can recommend the avocado toast and the tempeh burger! 

Barraca: An Italian restaurant with super delicious pasta and pizza, where you can get what you want both gluten free and vegan. They even have vegan cheese for your pizza! Yum! 

Rustica: Another favorite pizza place in Canggu where you also can get gluten free pizza! I can recommend their vegetarian pizza! Just swap the cheese with some extra veggies if you are vegan!

Okas Bakery: A cute bakery in the heart of Canggu, where they have plenty of gluten free options, my go-to is the gluten free and vegan carrot cake, a strawberry and banana smoothie and an ice coffee. My boyfriend says the Fungi pizza is delicious too!

Cafe Vida: An organic cafe and espresso bar in the heart of Canggu. Their menu is filled with delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can recommend their South of the boarder - a Mexican breakfast bowl and their coconut yogurt with homemade granola! They have both vegan and gluten free options! 

Roti Canai: Cheap and tasty Indonesian street food in a cute little cafe. I can recommend the Bali bowl and big daddy roti wrap for breakfast and their vegetable curry and tempeh sate for lunch! Their ice coffee is also great!

WHERE TO EAT IN UBUD 

Ubud has the soul of Bali, a little center in the lush jungle of the island. Cute cafes, bookstores, markets and boutiques surroudned by nature and breathtaking views.

Clear Cafe: One of my first favorite cafes in Ubud. Clear Cafe is now a big and fancy cafe with a healthy and colorful menu. They have raw food, smoothies, Mexican, salads, wraps, fries, soups etc.

Green Key: A new favorite in Ubud. A healthy cafe with a delicious menu, perfectly for people who like to design their own meal. You can build your own salad and your own poke bowl, which is super yummy with edamame beans, tempeh, avocado, pumpkin and a spicy sauce. They also have smoothie bowls, great coffee, avo toast and other breakfast foods.

Taco Casa: One of the most popular restaurants in Ubud, always crowded. Nothing fancy, just perfectly delicious as I mentioned before! I can recommend the 8 layer burrito and the Nachos regular! 

Alchemy: A perfect place for breakfast or lunch! Alchemy is a vegan cafe where you can feel that what you are about to eat is healthy. They also have a health clinic! 

The Elephant: A 100% vegetarian restaurant in Ubud, they have salads, smoothies, porridge, granola, banana pancakes, eggs and toasts etc. Perfect for breakfast and lunch! 

Gelato Secrets: The perfect pit stop in the shade for an ice cream and a coffee. I can recommend the chocolate sorbet and the coconut sorbet, so so good! You can find Gelato Secrets in Seminyak as well.

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THINGS TO SEE/DO WHEN VISITING BALI

Visiting Bali for the first time you have a few things you can't leave the island without experiencing. Some a little touristy and some cultural. Here are some of the things I think you all should consider to check out:

Monkey Forest: If you like monkeys, this is your place. Its touristy, but at the same time the monkeys are wild and you are the one who is visiting them, so be careful. They will jump on you and they will take whatever loose accessorize you have with you. (They opened my bag and took my sunglasses out, but I manage to catch them last minute.) 

Temples: Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Tirtha Empul, Saraswati Temple: are the four most common and most beautiful temples to visit. One in the ocean, one on a cliff with monkeys, one where you will be able to join a spiritual ceremony and one surrounded by water lilies. Your pick! But a temple visit is definitely a must!

Waterfalls: Bali has plenty of waterfalls, the most visited one is very close to the center of Ubud, Tengenungan waterfall. This used to be beautiful, now its just very crowded and touristy. I would recommend to visit Tibumana waterfall instead and be there early! Around sunrise is perfect, you will most likely have the place to yourself. And whats more exotic than a morning swim in a waterfall?

Tegalalang Rice Terrace: These rice terraces are a must see, beautifully located in Ubud, so lush and green. Be aware of that the locals working in the rice fields will want you to donate for walking through the Tegalalang, bring cash! And also a pair of sneakers would be better than sandals.

THINGS TO DO IN BALI


Yoga: The possibilities for yoga in Bali are endless. Retreats, studios and classes are everywhere. If you are very into yoga I recommend you to go to Ubud and spend more time there.

Surfing: Surfing is definitely a must while in Bali, either you are a pro or want to step on a board for the first time. There are plenty of surf camps and locals willing to teach you! For beginners Seminyak and Canggu will be great, if you have experience you could either do that or go to Uluwatu.

Markets: Local markets are a must when traveling. Its not about the souvenirs is about the treasures you can find. I recommend you to visit Ubud market, that's where I have bought my straw baskets and silver jewellery. I can also recommend the Love Anchor market in Canggu, Flea Market in Seminyak and the market Old Mans hosts on the last Saturday of the month.

Snorkling/ Diving: If you love snorkeling you should go to the Gili Islands or Nusa Penida, such a beautiful underwater world, crystal clear water, turtles and endless opportunities for snorkeling. 

Shopping: Shopping is not my first priority when visiting Bali, but Ive never been able to leave the island without a full suitcase. Bali has plenty of unique boutiques and you will find them everywhere. The best place for shopping is definitely Seminyak. And the markets I mentioned above.

Food: Indonesian food is delicious, don't leave without tasting Nasi Campur, Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng. If you are into cooking, there are so many cooking classes to attend! The locals love to teach about their food culture.

Trips: Rafting, hikes, boat trips, temples and nature. There are so many trips to attend if you are the restless kind of traveler. You could hike the volcano, take diving license, go boxing or learn how to meditate. Its up to you.

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BEACHES TO VISIT

Arriving in Bali you will probably most likely stay in Seminyak or Canggu, hopefully not Kuta. When packing and planning your trip you will be dreaming of white sandy beaches, turquoise water and whole lot of paradise. Walking out of your hotel room the next morning jet lagged an hungry will make disappointed. Because the beaches of Seminyak and Canggu aren't the prettiest. In Nusa Dua you will find long white picturesque beaches, in Sanur the more rough and yellow ones, in Uluwatu white sand, turquoise water and steep cliffs and in Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Balian volcano sand = black beaches. If you are staying in around these areas you can jump in a taxi/uber or take your motorbike and check out these beaches: 

Dreamland Beach, Kubu Beach, Balangan Beach, Padang Padang Beach, Suluban Beach, Green bowl, Karma beach, Sundays Beach. 

PLACES TO HANG OUT:

Single Fin: An acai bowl, a poke bowl or a beer during sunset? Yes, please! Single Fin is the ultimate sunset spot in Uluwatu. Definitely the place to be if you want a social afternoon with drinks, music and loads of people. 

Potato Head: Potato head has the typical beach club vibe, if that's what you are looking for? This is the place where you can chill out on double sun beds, take a dip in their infinity pool with a view of the beach and a margarita in your hand. 

Sundays Beach Club: A different type of beach club with a private beach in Uluwatu. You pay an entrance fee and get transported down to the beach where you can spend the day tanning, swimming, snorkeling, paddling, followed by a delicious lunch in the shade and a bonfire at the beach containing marshmallows at sunset. 

Jungle Fish: A hidden gem in the jungle of Ubud. Jungle fish is a beach club in the jungle. If that make any sense? An infinity pool, a restaurant and a bar tucked away in the lush nature of Ubud. This is definitely a cool place to spend a Sunday! 

The Straw Hut: The Straw Hut is a chill out place you will find in the hidden streets of Seminyak. With beanbags, a pool and colorful menu filled with drinks and snacks. A place to spend your afternoon after a long day at the beach.

Ku De Ta: A more exclusive and "party-ish" beach club in Seminyak, where they have a fancy menu and often a famous Dj for their sunset parties. 

Yogabarn: The best place in Ubud for a yoga class followed by a lunch at their Garden Kafe & Juice Bar overlooking the lush beauty of The Yoga Barn garden. Good vibes!

La Plancha: A cute and well known place on the beach in Seminyak, where you can have a drink among their colorful Indonesian umbrellas. Its has become a little bit too touristy lately, but it still has its charm. 

The Lawn: My new absolute favorite sunset spot in Canggu! Which is also a beach club during the day, where you can float around in the infinity pool drinking margaritas and wait for the sun to set. 

Panama Kitchen & Pool: We recently had a glass of wine under the palm trees and light chains by the pool at Panama in Canggu, and it was such a lovely place. I would definitely recommend you to stop by there before you head out for dinner or stop by for lunch and a dip in the pool during the day. 

La Laguna: Ok, this place is so dreamy. If you want to know where you can watch the sunset around a bonfire, while drinking an exotic cocktail and do a tarot card reading, this is it! La Laguna is a beach front restaurant and bar with a spiritual and bohemian vibe, a must visit!

Mrs Sippy: A new pool, restaurant and bar kinda place. Where you can spend the day by the pool drinking smoothies or cocktails while watching people jump from the tower by the pool.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING BALI

  • Uber: Uber is the absolute cheapest way of transportation in Bali, but its not allowed. I have heard stories that Uber drivers have been beaten up, so its important that you don't make it official that its an Uber you have ordered. Do it casually, don't waive at them in public, pretend its your friend not your driver.
  • Blue bird: The taxi company in Bali is called Blue Bird, there is one fake and one real, in other words: one with taximeter and one without. The real ones have a light blue color, a big sign on the top of the car and it says Blue Bird in their front shield.
  • Bali belly: Bali belly is a well known phenomenon for travelers in Bali. You might not get it, but you might as well. If you get it you need to know that you will get the strong stuff you need behind the desk at the Pharmacy. Just say Bali belly, they will laugh at you and they will understand. Another tip is to drink Kombucha, fermented tea. It contains living bacteria's and will help your tummy through your Bali trip. You will get it at the different cafes around Bali.
  • Police: The police in Bali is corrupt, be aware of that when you rent a scooter. They will try to stop you alongside the road and give you a ticket, even though you haven't done anything wrong. Its frustrating, but what you can do is put a 50K bill in your hand, do a handshake and then drive away. It sounds shady, but that's how it works.
  • Maps.Me: is definitely a very practical app to download before visiting Bali. If you are not planning on buying a local sim card this is the best way to find your way around without WiFi. 
  • The most practical way to get around in Bali is definitely by renting a scooter. The traffic is horrible compared to any European country. And you should have driven a scooter before, Bali should not be your first time. If you rent a scooter I suggest you drive around in the area where you are, not from city to city. And no, you are not to cool for a helmet! Safety first!

PLACES TO STAY

Bali has plenty of wonderful places to stay. Everyone will definitely find something they like or love on this island. Either its a hostel, an Airbnb, a yoga retreat, a surf camp, a bed and breakfast, a villa with a private pool or an Eco-friendly resort. I definitely recommend you to move around when visiting Bali. The areas are very different, which if you ask me is the best part of this island. Being able to experience and see so many different things within a short distance. Airbnb has definitely been my go-to when booking accomondaion in Bali. Here are some cool places worth checking out: 

Hide Out, The Shift Hotel, Jungle room, The Sun and Surf Stay, Gravity Hotel, Sal Secret Spot

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WEEKEND TRIPS FROM BALI

NUSA LEMBONGAN, NUSA CENINGAN & NUSA PENIDA

I recently went on a trip to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Nusa Penida. Three beautiful islands right outside the coast of Bali, only a 30 minutes boat ride from Sanur. I am so happy we went here, and this is definitely a must-visit if you have time! Read more about my trip here and how to get there here

GILI ISLANDS 

The Gili Islands are right outside of the coast of Lombok. They are a part of Lombok, not Bali. But people traveling to Bali most likely end up here anyway. You can get here by taking a 2 hour boat trip from Padangbai, north of Bali, or fly to Lombok, take a taxi and then a 10 minute boat ride from there. Read more about my trip to the Gilis here and here.

LOMBOK

Lombok is like the younger sister of Bali, I have written more about that here. I would recommend anyone traveling to Bali for the second time to visit Lombok as well, its less touristy and the nature is so beautiful. There are loads of things to do and explore and everything is much more untouched than Bali.

A MINI GUIDE TO ICELAND

I have only been to Iceland once as you probably know. But I would still like to share my tips and tricks in case any of you are planning a journey over there in the nearest future. Here are some things I would have appreciated that somebody told me before I went to Iceland.

HOW TO GET AROUND?

The best way to explore Iceland is by going on a roadtrip! And therefor obviously you need a car! The cheapest thing for you to do is to hire one before you arrive, so everything is paid for and ready when you reach Keflavik airport. If you want to be on the road the whole trip and not staying in any hotels there are plenty of mini vans, caravans and campers you can rent! Its a cool and different way to travel!

WHAT TO SEE/DO?

We all have things we have seen on blogs/pinterest or Instagram that we want to experience in real life when we travel. But lets be honest, you have to plan your trip well, especially if you are only here for a weekend or so. I suggest you research whats in the area you are planning to stay in and then figure out what is most important to you to see/do. We stayed on the south coast of Iceland, had our base close to Reykjavik and traveled out from there. We were only there for two days which was hectic, but we still manage to experience and see a lot!

GULLFOSS: Traveling from Reykjavik to Gullfoss will take you through Pingevellir National Park. This is a great roadtrip as you will see geysirs, Gullfoss and the National park as you drive!
SKOGAFOSS: Another beautiful waterfall you can stop by if you are on a roadtrip on the south coast of Iceland is Skogafoss. This is the waterfall on the picture above.
SELJAVALLALAUG: One of Icelands first swimming pools. Its hidden up in the hills not to far from Skogafoss. Type in Seljavallalaug on your GPS, follow the road, park your car and follow the tiny trail into the wild landscape. Bring a towel, dry clothes and of course your swimming suit. The hike is about 15-20 minutes and yes its worth it!
GEYSIR: You have to experience the power of a Geysir when you are in Iceland. You will see the smoke from them in the hills when you are on the road, but if you want to watch one very close you can stop on your way to Gullfoss. Its right on the side of the road, hard to miss!
SELJALANDSFOSS: A beautiful waterfall on your way to Vik. You can see this waterfall from the road, and this is the one you see in pictures that is possible to walk around. If its windy, you will get a little wet, just so you know! 
VIK: This is where you will find the black iconic lava beaches! One of my favorite places on Iceland. I could spend the whole day there, just watching waves crashing onto the shore!
JOKULSARLON: Also known as the Glacier Lagoon. This could be your final destination if you want to wake up early and go for a long road trip stopping by Skogafoss, Seljavallalaug, Seljalandsfoss and Vik. It will probably take you a whole day (about 14 hours round-trip). But it was such a nice day on the road. Jokulsárlón is beyond beautiful and defintely something you cant leave Iceland without experiencing.

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Pack like you are going on a cabin trip in the woods. I wish I had my gloves, a hat and thicker coat when we were there in the middle of September. So one thing I can tell you its cold! You would also always need an extra shift, because the weather there is unpredictable and you can easly get wet and cold.
  • For people with special needs in terms of alternativ food (vegan/gluten free), I would recommend the grocery store called Kronan. They have a huge selection of gluten free and vegan products!
  • If visiting Blue Lagoon is a must for you, then you have to be aware of that you need to book a ticket in advance. Check the availability before you leave.
  • If you want to experience a non-touristy thermal pool then visit Seljavallalaug! I would recommend going in the afternoon/night, less people = better experience!
  • If GPS is included in your car that is great, but you dont have to have it to find your way around. Most of the things you want to see you will notice as you drive by.
  • Looking for great coffee? I recommend stopping by Reykjavik Roasters while you are out exploring the streets of Reykjavik. Such a cute place!
  • Bring your fully charged camera! There are so many beautiful things to capture!

I am very happy with what I got to see in only two days. Next time I want to drive around the whole country! But I would need more than a week or so. Iceland has so much to offer, I cant wait to get back sometime as soon as possible!

THE ULTIMATE NEW YORK CITY GUIDE

I only know one single person who doesnt like New York City, at first it shocked me, but then I realised her favorite country is Russia so who can blame her? I left my heart in New York, cheesy but true. Once you have lived in this city and made it your home, no place is ever good enough. There is something about this city that is unexplainable, I cant put it into words, you have to experience it. New York isnt just a city, its a world. And a bad day in New York is still better than a good day anywhere else. There are plenty of things to do in this city, new bars and restaurants opening up everyday. Its almost impossible to gather all the information, tips and tricks into one guide, but I tried and here it is: To all the travelers out there! 

Things to see/do

(THE TOURIST) 

I am not going to explain all the must-see/do sights for you here, but I am going to mention them in case you forgot: Empire State Building, Central Park, Ground Zero, Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, The Statue of Liberty & The High Line. Museums: The Met, Guggenheim, Whitney Museum of American Art, American Museum of National History and Moma. Not to be super lame, but the hop-on- hop-off bus is actually underestimated when it comes to this city! If you think New York is HUGE (because its your first time in the city) you should definitely be the awkward enthusiastic tourist who jumps on this red bus! Because this will give you the opportunity to get an overall look of the city and it will help you figure out the areas and where you want to hang out later on!

Things to see/do

(THE EXPERIENCED) 

Brooklyn Flea Market: A big flea market with food stalls and a wonderful view of Manhattan skyline! Take the subway to Williamsburg, wander down to the Flea Market, go treasure hunting, buy lunch from the food trucks and take the ferry over to Manhattan from the dock right next to the Flea Market! Perfect Sunday activity! 

Williamsburg Bridge: The local way to cross the river without taking the subway!

The Met Rooftop: During the summer months The Metropolitan Museum opens up their rooftop with an exhibition and a bar! Definitely worth a go! 

Sleep no more: Cant tell you anything, you have to google it, buy a ticket and try it out!

Jazz bars: There are plenty of Jazz bars in the city, if you're into jazz music you should try it out!
Concerts: There is always a concert going on. Check the calendar before you arrive!

Games: Basket, baseball, ice hockey, football you name it! New York has it!

City bikes: Biking is a nice way get around by yourself while experiencing the city like a local.
Yoga to the people: Donation based yoga! Definitely something you should try out if you are a yogi

Walks to do: Alongside Hudson River by the piers, walk the High Line, walk across Central Park from Columbus Circle to The Met, walk over Williamsburg bridge and walk over Brooklyn Bridge.

Broadway show: Something everyone should experience is a broadway show! For cheaper tickets you might want to try to do a "drop in" by the ticket booth in Times Square, you might get lucky!

Botanical garden: If you are lucky enough to be in New York during blossom season you should visit Brooklyn Botanical Garden! New York is so beautiful at this time of the year!

Cinema: You should definitely go watch a movie with an XL popcorn while visiting New York! For the typical NYC experience go to Times Sqaure, if you are looking for something different try Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn! Its a dine-in theater and they have a bar too!

Galleries: If you're into galleries Chelsea is the area you should you check out!

Other things: The city that never sleeps will always have some kind of artsy class or gathering you can join. Anything you want from a calligraphy class to hot yoga or pizza making class is right around the block. Just google it! 

Where to eat breakfast/brunch?

Two hands: (164 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
Probably the home of New York Citys best Acai Bowl. Two Hands is perfect for both breakfast and brunch, if possible go during the week days, it gets crowded in the weekends! 
Le Pain Quotidien: (100 Grand St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
A cosy place to start your day with a basket of pasteries, ten different jams and homemade chocolate spread! They also serve delicious avo toast and the best gluten free buckwheat pie!
The Butchers Daughter: (581 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USA)
Delicious avocado-toast, jucies, smoothies, gluten free scones, coconut yoghurt and salads! Definitely a place to visit for vegan and gluten free friendly foodies!

By Chloe: (185 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
A 100% plant-based and vegan restaurant! They serve the best vegan food in NYC! You should definitely try their burgers and fries!

Cafeteria: (119 7th Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA)
Perfect for a brunch with your girlfriends! You should go when you can sit outside in the sun and enjoy a mimosa on the sidewalk!

Rosarita Fish shack: (168 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA)
A cute little brunch place on the sidewalk in Williamsburg. Perfect to eat a mexican brunch before you head over to the flea market! 

Cafe Mogador: (133 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA)
If you are looking for a different breakfast/brunch experience in green and cool surroundings, you should check out Cafe Mogador in Williamsburg. Morroccan breakfast is delish
Jacks Wife Freda: (50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014, USA)
Cool, hip and social place to go for breakfast or meet friends for brunch! In the heart of Soho! Make sure to reserve a table or show up early!

The Fat Radish: (17 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA)
A chic, fresh and different lunch place with delicious food! This restaurant even has a its own cookbook! Try the Fat Radish Bowl for lunch, yum!

Eggshop: (151 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
The perfect breakfast spot for egg lovers! 

Back Forty West: (70 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
A cool and rustic restaurant in Soho! Perfect for breakfast and lunch!

Cafe Gitane: (242 Mott St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Where you want to sit on the sidewalk, drink your coffee and do your people watching while waiting for a tasty avo toast!

Seamores: (390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
My new favorite brunch spot! Cool atmosphere, definiteley the place to start your weekend! Try their Kale + Avocado salad is so yummy, and of course you need sweet potato fries on the side!

Where to eat dinner in NYC?

Tacombi: (267 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Probably my absolute favorite mexican restaurant in the city. Tacombi serves their tacos out of a van in a garage, the atmosphere gives you a feeling of being at a music festival in Mexico. Delicious fish tacos and guac!

Emporio: (231 Mott St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
This restaurant has the best gluten free pizza in NYC!

Rubirosa: (235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
A super charming italian restaurant in Soho! Rubirosa has the best pesto pizza and the cosiest vibe! You should reserve a table here! Gluten free pizza also available!

The Smith: (55 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Crispy brussel sprouts, salty fries and a photobox in the basement. what more could you ask for? One of my favorite places in East Village!

Ofrenda: (113 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014, USA)
Looking for a place to drink and eat mexican food? Visit Ofrenda during happy hour! They have great tacos, drinks and snacks for a good price! 

Whitmans: (406 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009, USA)
A super laid-back and cool place to enjoy a burger and some sweet potato fries in the neighbourhood of East Village. 

The Grey Dog: (242 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011, USA)
Funky music, tasty menu and the place to walk in with a group of friends for a social meal any day anytime!

Bread: (40 Kenmare Street, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Gluten free pasta and tasty salads! Bread is a charming restaurant that I always keep coming back to, also in the heart of Soho!

Rosemarys: (18 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA)
A chic and cosy restaurant in West Village! My go to place if I feel like having olives and wine with a friend before dinner.

Salvation Taco: (145 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016, USA)
Does mexican food taste better on a rooftop? Yes. Visit Salvation Taco and grab a cocktail and some guac and chips on their rooftop during sunset. 

Bodhi Tree: (58 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Cheap and tasty asian in the heart of East Village!

The Park: (118 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA)
Its like having dinner with friends in a fancy park inside.

Schillers Liquor bar: (131 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002, USA)
Perfect place to meet and catch up with friends over a drink in the bar and move over to your table for dinner afterwards. Try their roasted cauliflower!

Shake Shack: (Madison Square Park, Madison Ave & E.23rd St, New York, NY 10010, USA)
The typical burger spot for both tourists and locals! This is definitely a must if you are in New York on vacation! (And if you are hungover ofc).

Where to grab a coffee?

Mamans Bakery: (239 Centre St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
One of my favorite bakeries in NYC. Cute interior, fresh food and yummy coffee!

La Colombe: (270 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Tiny cafe with delicious baked goods and the best coffee! Love the porcelain mugs!

Tobys Estate: (44 Charles St, New York, NY 10014, USA)
Their avokado toast looks delicious and so is their almond latte they make! 

Birch: (56 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA)
Tasty coffee on the go in West Village! Try the hemp latte, its underestimated!

O Cafe: (482 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011, USA)
Laid back corner cafe in West Village with delicious baked goods, acai bowls, great coffee
and other things you can grab and go! You can also bring your laptop here to work a little!

Saturday surf: (31 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
A surf shop and a cafe in one, escape to their backyard with an ice coffe when you need a break from the busy humid streets during summertime.

McNally Jackson: (52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
The cutest bookstore cafe in the city! My favorite place to hang out when I want to read, drink coffee, look through magazines or by notebooks! Love love love!

Happy Bones: (394 Broome St, New York, NY 10013, USA)
Best ice coffee on the go in Soho! A cute little place, check it out on Instagram!

Joe: (9 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003, USA)
You can find this cafe all over Manhattan! Their almond latte is the best!

The Bean: (824 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Good coffee, acai bowl, bagels and other pastries! The Bean is perfect for anything. Bring your computer and get some work done, meet up with friends or read a book in the windowsill.

Chailait: (1216 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, USA)
If you are into Matcha this is your spot! Chailat has delicious matcha lattes, minimalistic interior and is the perfect place for people watching in Greenwhich Village.

Matcha bar: (93 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA)
Out and about in Williamsburg? Stop by Matcha bar for a matcha on the go!

Dean & Deluca: (560 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Coffee, snacks, groceries, lunch on the go, Dean & Deluca in Soho is your spot! 

Where to shop?

I find it difficult to tell people where to shop because this clearly depends on what you are looking for. Therefore I will tell you what you can find in the different areas around the city instead. Ps Im not a big outlet shopper, Im more of a vintage hunter. 

Soho: Broadway is the "main" shopping street in Soho. You can find stores like & other Stories, H&M, Mango, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Forever 21, Victorias Secret etc. If you walk into the smaller streets nearby you will find stores like Free People, Acne, LF, American Apparel, Dr. Martens, Cos and also designer stores like LV, Chanel, Mulberry, Alexander Wang etc. Looking for tiny unique boutiques? Get lost in Elisabeth and Mulberry street!

Midtown: In midtown you can find anything! Flagships stores such as Victorias Secret, Urban Outfitters and H&M. Outlets like Tj Maxx and Marshalls, my favorite camera store B&H, Macys and other typical american stores.

Fifth avenue/midtown/Upper east: A mix between the regular stores like H&M with a home section, designer stores like Barneys, Bergdolf & Goodman, Bloomingdales etc, Apple Store, Nike store, Tiffany & Co and so on!

East Village: Strolling around East Village will make you want to check out the thrift shops and do some vintage shopping. There a plenty of vintage stores all over the city. My favorites are Tokyo 7 (83 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003, USA) and Beacons Closet (74 Guernsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11222)

West village/Greenwhich village: The cosiest area to stroll around if you want more slow pace and meet cute New Yorker dogs. Tiny boutiques such as the Marc Jacobs bookstore, Anine Bing, Magazine stores, Magnolia bakery, flower shops and cute cafes!

What to buy on a NYC vacay?

Beauty products: Make up, skincare, shampoo and other beauty products is something you should buy on a NYC vacation! Newer, cheaper and more to choose from! (Go to Sephora, Elf and Rickys).

Magazines & books: Travel books, coffee table books, bestsellers, fashion magazines and cookbooks: you should check out Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway, New York, • 10003-4805, USA), Casa Magazines (22 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014, USA) and McNally Jackson Bookstore (52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, USA).

Work out clothes: Sneakers, yoga pants, weights and so on! The selection is larger and the products are fancier and much cheaper compared to a lot of places.

Polaroid film: Do you have a polaroid camera or maybe you want one? Go to B&H in midtown! (420 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA). Both the film and the camera are much cheaper there than anywhere else! If you are a camera freak like me, B&H is the perfect store for you! Its heaven!

Allergy products: Looking for gluten free & vegan snacks or products? New York is your friend! You will find plenty of things to buy compared to where you probably live! (Stop by Elm Drug store and Whole Foods).

Candles: Especially voluspa is much cheaper in the States. The best place to buy them is at the store called Rickys.

Party supplies: Birthday cards, balloons, blowers and poppers, decorations, pom poms, lanterns, gift bags, party hats, thank you cards and so on! All you can dream of for any themed party. (Go to Party City: 38 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011, USA).

Gluten free - vegan - for the health freaks...

Whole Foods: (4 Union Square E, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Probably my favorite store ever! Whole Foods has the best selection of gluten free, vegan and organic food. Its the perfect place to do your weekly grocery shopping and discover new healthy alternatives! 

Fresh and Co: (42 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, USA)
A healthy "fast food" place, where you buy and make your own quinoa bowls etc. 

Juice press: (250 Mott St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Used to be my go to lunch place when I worked in Soho. Juice Press has the best butternut squash soup and also a cute little selection of snacks and juices. 

Hu Kitchen: (78 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA)
My new favorite "fast food" take out place! The best place to grab a healthy and delicious dinner on the go! A lot of vegan & gluten free options! 

Tulus Bakery: (338 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003, USA)
This bakery is gluten free and they also have some vegan/diary free baked goods too! Try their cupcakes and donuts, yum! 

Sweet Greens: (100 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
A salad bar with plenty of healthy choices! Definitely a go-to for a healthy lunch! 

By Chloe: (185 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
My favorite vegan restaurant in NYC! By Chloe is 100% vegan & plant based and they also have plenty of gluten free options! Try their delicious guac burger!

Elm Drugs: (56 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA)
The Ultimate drug store for anyone vegan and gluten free! They have everything from kombucha to granola bars, ice cream, yoghurt, hummus, crackers, alternative medicines and vegan waffles! 

Gingersnaps Organic: (113 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011, USA)
Fresh juices and smoothies, vegan and gluten free meals and snacks!

Beyond Sushi: (229 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003, USA)
A different sushi experience you definitely should try out! Black rice rolls with mango, tasty edamame and its pretty healthy! 

Emporio: (231 Mott St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
The best gluten free pizza as I already mentioned!

Farmers Market: Union Square
For fresh food and products you should stop by Farmers Market/Greenmarket on Union Square.

Ice cream & sweets

Biagi Gelato: (235 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
My absolute favorite ice cream shop! It might be because they served me vegan peanut butter ice cream once! Its a little cute cafe in Soho with delicious ice cream and coffee! 

Pinkberry: (523 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10011, USA)
The classic Frozen Yoghurt place, that just now launched their vegan ice cream! Coconut frozen yoghurt, and its beyond delicious! 

16 Handles: (153 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Frozen yoghurt with the best toppings! Everything from peanut butter to berries, melted chocolate, nuts and sugary sweets! 

Milk bar: (251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003, USA)
Craving sugar? Fancy looking cookies, cakes, ice cream and shakes! Instagram friendly!

Sockerbit: (89 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, USA)
The best candy in the world! Sockerbit has plenty of yummy scandinavian sweets!

Magnolia bakery: (401 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, USA)
Its a must for any Sex & The city nerd!

The Little cupcake Bakeshop: (30 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Craving a sweet little cupcake with a coconut cloudy frosting? Or what about a blueberry cheesecake? The little bakeshop also have vegan and gluten free options! In the heart of Soho!
 

Places to hang out

Like any other city New York has plenty of places to hang out! Whatever you are looking for is probably in walking distance. You have parks like Central Park, Madison Square Park, Union Square Park, Washington Square Park, Battery Park and so on, where you can enjoy a lazy afternoon take-out if you are lucky enough to get a spot for your butt. You can also go for a stroll in Meatpacking district and stop by Chelsea Market for a snack and some shopping or escape to one of New York Citys many rooftops!

ROOFTOPS

Le Bain - 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014, USA
230 fifth Rooftop Garden - 230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
Whyte Hotel - 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Berry Park - 4 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Gallow Green - 542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
Salvation Taco Rooftop - 145 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016, USA
Roof Garden Cafe - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028. 
Rare View - Hilton New York Fashion District, 152 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
Mad 46 - 45 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017, USA

BARS

The Jane Hotel - 113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Sweet & Vicious - 5 Spring St, New York, NY 10012, USA
Down The Hatch - 179 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014, USA
Biertgarten - The Standard, High Line, 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Mud - 307 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003, USA

Random things to know...

  •  Its impossible to get a taxi when its raining, go for the subway instead! 
     

  • The winter in New York is horrible, it takes cold to another level so be prepared for the icy wind that suddenly appears around the corner of the tall buildings. 
     

  • I would choose the view from Rockefeller Center instead of Empire State because if you are up there to take a picture of the city, wouldn't you want to have the Empire in your shot?
     
  • If you are arriving at Newark Liberty Airport you should take the air train, NJT train to Penn Station (Manhattan). This is the cheapest way to get to the city. If you arrive at JFK airport you could take a taxi (flat rate: 50$). 
     
  • I know you are on vacation and might want to dress up, but lets be honest there is no way you will be able to do New York without a good pair of sneakers! 
     
  • Tips and tax is expensive and mandatory in this city, just thought you should know!
     
  • Subway lesson: Red line (1,2,3) is the west side of Manhattan. Green line (4,5,6) is the east side of Manhattan. (1 and 6 = local trains), (2,3 and 4,5 = express trains). As a tourist I suggest you take the local subway since you might not want to miss your station. It happens.

How to avoid looking like a tourist..

  • You need a certain attitude and pace when you walk around in this city. Dont stop and hesitate. Walk, cross, walk, cross. As soon as you get insecure and slow down you will be walked over trust me.
     
  • There are so many weird people in this city. If you dont want to be looked as as a tourist. Dont stop and stare. Sitting next to a half naked man on the subway or on the table next to a person in a unicorn or dolphin costume happens, just ignore it.
     

  • Pretend that you are going somewhere important. Get your "I am so busy and important" face on, even though you are just going to the park or finding the nearest bathroom. 
     
  • Dont stop and look up on the tall buildings. That is definitely the first sign of a newbie.
     
  • If you want to look cool, buy yourself a coffee or a green juice and keep it in your hand. I dont mind if what you really have inside is Diet Coke...
     
  • Dont run after the celebrities. You will see them, but act cool. They try to blend in, and so should you!
     
  • Choose the right pair of shoes! There will be a lot of walking and you are therefore in desperate need of a good pair of sneakers. You can always buy them there!
     
  • "Hi how are you" means Hi, dont bother answering, nobody cares.

I hope this guide will make your next New York visit unforgettable! New York City has too much to offer, this guide will never be finished, I will continue updating as soon as I remember or experience new spots that I think you all should know of. Enjoy!

MINI GUIDE TO CROATIA

I have collected some of my favorite spots and things to do in the different cities that I visited in Croatia this summer. Im definitely not an expert, but I figured its better to share a few tips than none, am I right? Here we go! 

Split

Bepa: Narodni trg 1, 21000, Split, Kroatia
Typical breakfast spot, they serve avocado toast, eggs, juice, salads etc!


Mama burger bar: Trg Braće Radić 5, 21000, Split, Kroatia
Pancakes and lemonade for breakfast or burger and fries for lunch? They have it!
 

Totos burger: 6, Trg Republike 1, 21000, Split, Kroatia
The perfect lunch spot if you are out and about around the riva. Totos burger obviously has tasty burgers and fries, but also raw, vegan and gluten free cakes, smoothies and zucchini noodles! Yum!
 

Figa food bar: Ul. Andrije Buvine 1, 21000, Split, Kroatia
A cute restaurant and bar where you can sit in the middle of the narrow streets. Perfect place to eat dinner and have a drink in one of the cosiest parts of the old town.
 

Konoba Marjan: 21000, Split, Kroatia
Looking for a typical croatian meal? Reserve a table at Konoba Marjan, they have delicious seafood, nice atmosphere and super friendly staff!
 

Kokolo: Trg Braće Radić 15, 21000, Split, Kroatia.
The perfect smoothie bar on a tiny square in the old town of Split. Grab a juice, a smoothie or a chia pudding during the day and stop for a fresh mojito at sunset.
 

La Bodega: Dosud ul 3, 21000, Split, Kroatia
Looking for a cool place to drink a glass of wine in the old town of Split? Try La Bodega! 

Krka National Park: Lozovac, Kroatia
A perfect day trip from Split is definitely visiting Krka National Park. You can rent a car, its an one hour drive, or you can jump on a bus with the rest of the tourists. I recommend you to go by yourself as early in the morning as possible and get the first boat out to the park! You will thank me, it gets super crowded. 
 

Kasuni: Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 47, 21000, Split, Kroatia
Looking for a beach or a place to swim near the old town of Split? Take a taxi/uber to Kasuni beach and take the boat back to town at the end of the day. Looking for a less crowded place to spend the day? Walk towards Kasuni beach (from the riva) and find your own little cliff were you can cliff dive and enjoy the sun! Remember to bring loads of water and some snacks! (You might not be able to buy it there).


Hvar: If you have time you should definitely take a ferry from Split to Hvar to spend the day! It takes approximately one hour and you should book tickets one day in advance. Especially if you are planning on a round-trip the same day!

Dubrovnik

Nishta: Prijeko bb, 20000, Dubrovnik, Kroatia
The only vegan restaurant in Dubrovnik! You have to reserve a table one day in advance! Try their falafel, its super delicious!
 

Cable car: Looking for a place to take the perfect panorama picture of Dubrovnik or just a different sunset view? Take the cable car up to the top of the city!
 

Lokrum: Take a ferry from the pier in the old town and spend the day exploring the island of Lokrum. Visit the Dead Sea, feed the peacocks, go cliff diving and enjoy the caves and the view of Dubrovnik from the seaside.
 

City wall: Take a walk around the old town of Dubrovnik, perfect way to explore the city! I also have to mention that you can do a Game of Thrones tour around the city if you are into that kind of things.
 

Buza bar: Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Kroatia
A cool place to watch the sunset with old funky music in the background, while enjoying a glass of wine! Here you can also watch people cliff dive or do it yourself if you are crazy enough! I suggest you jump first and then drink your wine!
 

Bona Fide: Čubranovićeva ul. 8, 20000, Dubrovnik, Kroatia
A mexican and italian restaurant with delicious food and gluten free pasta! Enjoy!
 

Old town market: You should also visit the old town market early in the morning. You will find plenty of fresh fruit and greens. Perfect place to do your grocery shopping if you are renting an airbnb or filling up your beach bag for lunch!

Hvar

To get to Hvar, take a ferry from the pier in Split. A little tip is to buy the ticket one day in advance so you know there is room for you the day you are planning on going. I would also recommend to buy a round-trip ticket if you are planning on just staying the day because the ferries get quickly filled up! And you might have to stay in Hvar for the night!

In the port in Hvar you can rent tiny boats for a day or two that will make it easier to explore the small exotic islands right outside of Hvar.

If you dont know how to or dont want to be in charge of your own boat, then jump on one of the smaller ferries and go island hopping!

Green house: Kroz Burak 27, Hvar, Kroatia 21450
This is a small shop right by the port in Hvar where you can buy healthy, vegan & gluten free snacks and hand made eco products.

Palmizana: A charming little island right outside of Hvar. Cross the island and visit the beach club and go swimming in the lagoon on the other side of the island.

 Other tips...

  •  Uber is much cheaper than a taxi, we are talking about half prize!

  • Dm is a supermarket that has allergy friendly products such as gluten free pasta, granola bars, cereal, soy milk, organic and vegan things.
  • If you are planning to visit these cities I would definitely recommend you to stay in the old town! This is were you get the real experience of living here and getting the most out of your stay. Try airbnb!
  • Going on a boat trip in Croatia is a must. Take a ferry, rent a boat or go island hopping. The ocean here is crystal blue! Bring your underwater camera!
  • The coastline of Croatia has plenty of lagoons and caves. You can explore them yourself if you rent a boat or you can book a trip with an agency. You will find them in the small stalls all over the riva.
  • Seaplane is a really common way of transportation in Croatia. If you want you can take it from island to island, city to city.
  • Food wise I would recommend risotto, not just because that was the only thing I could eat, but the croatian kitchen really knows how to make a tasty and delicious risotto. The pizza and the gelato is also almost as good as italian!

HOW TO DO A ROAD TRIP THROUGH RAJASTHAN

India er ekstremt stort, man kan bruke flere måneder på å reise rundt i dette landet. Hvor man velger å reise avhenger av hvordan type reise man er på og hvilket klima man er ute etter. Sør i India er det hvite sandstrender, palmesus og bølgebrus. Mens i nord kan det bli nokså kaldt og mindre tropisk. Jeg har bare vært i Agra, Delhi og Rajasthan, men tenkte jeg skulle komme med tips til hva som bør sees og oppleves om en roadtrip gjennom The Golden triangle samt andre byer i Rajasthan står for tur.

JAIPUR
 

Du blir ønsket velkommen til The Pink City av gamlebyen som ligger innenfor en stor rosa port som skiller mellom hvor de konglige og innbyggerne deres kan kjøre igjennom. Gamlebyen er ombringet av trafikk og menneskemylder.  En bazar for hver kategori, en for frukt, en for koppestell, en for klær og en for elektronikk. Jaipur er en by full av rosa arkitektur med masse historie, trafikerte veier og mange innbyggere. Det viktigste å få med seg her er Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort og markedene i bakgatene. Trenger du et hotell å bo på så er Ratnawali - Pure Veg Hotel å anbefale. utrolig hyggelig personale, god mat og fin beliggenhet. Jaipur var faktisk også den eneste byen i Rajasthan hvor vi så elefanter i gatene.

UDAIPUR:

Det er ikke for ingenting at denne byen blir kalt Venice of the East, en sjarmerende, rolig og europeisk inspirert by med små gater, kanaler og friskere luft enn andre indiske byer. Udaipur er byen du kunne ønske du hadde en ekstra dag til i, bare for å hygge deg, fordi den gir deg følelsen av å være på en indisk-europeisk storbyferie. Her anbefaler jeg å ta dagene som de kommer. Rusle rundt i gatene, besøke City palace, spise lunsj langs elven på Jagat Niwas og besøke dyreshelteret Animal Aid som ligger litt utenfor byen. Er du på utkikk etter et hotell så anbefaler jeg hotellet  Pratap Bhawan på det sterkeste. Rommene er koselige, de tilbyr private yogatimer og de har en utrolig kul rooftop hvor restauranten Charcoal serverer deilig indisk mat med fantastisk utsikt utover innsjøen! (Han som driver restauranten viste seg å være svensk til vår store overraskelse)! Er du allerede smålei indisk frokost så ta turen til Jaiwana Bistro Lounge, her får du både havregrøt, yoghurt med granola og pannekaker! Er du på budsjett så kan jeg anbefale en billig, smakfull og hjemmelaget lunsj på Jag Niwas rooftop!

JODHPUR

The Blue City blir denne byen kalt, og blåfargen er til for å holde insektene borte og bygningene kjøligere under de voldsomt varme sommeremånedene.  Her er Mehrangarh Fort et must-see samt markedet rundt Clock Tower hvor du kan finne alt fra håndlagde tepper til frukt, krydder og tupperware. Jodhpur har flere monumenter for spesielt interesserte, men her anbefaler jeg heller å nyte det å rusle rundt i gatene og prioritere en lunsj på Jhankar Choti Haveli og prøve restaurantens Thali som er en slags "indisk-tapas" hvor du får smake på flere spennende retter! Jodhpur har mange fine butikker med vesker, putetrekk, sjal og andre duppeditter, blir du invitert inn og opp i andre etasje hos en forhandler så takk ja! Her har du mulighet til å kjøpe mengder med vakre gjenstander til innkjøpspris! Ankommer du Jodhpur med bil og har mulighet til å stoppe på veien så kan jeg anbefale å ta turen innom Ranakpur Temple. Et veldig vakkert tempel som ligger ca midt mellom Udaipur og Jodhpur.

JAISALMER:

The Golden City er som tatt ut fra midtøsten og tusen og en natt. En liten by ombringet av ørken som kun befinner seg et par timer fra grensen til Pakistan. Meste parten av gamlebyen ligger inni borgen, det hyggeligste er å rusle rundt i smågatene, spise lunsj på en av restaurantene med takterasse og utsikt utover byen, her kan jeg anbefale Free Tibet. En utrolig hyggelig restaurant med fantastisk utsikt og deilig mat! En morgentur langs elven Gadsisar er også å anbefale, ettersom de små husene i elven og duene som danser rundt dem i vinden er et ekte weheartit-moment.
Er du på utkikk etter reisegaver så kan Jaisalmer være byen å kjøpe med seg en fotlenke eller ti i? Flere av kvinnene både ved elven og ved inngangen til borgen har vakre smykker. Her kjøpte jeg både fotlenker og et utrolig kult headpiece!
Killa Bhawan Lodge kan jeg anbefale som overnattingssted. De har en utrolig fin rooftop med sjarmerende interiør og utsikt utover gatene og borgen!

DESERT CAMPING

 En liten teltur i ørkenen er heller ikke noe å utelukke selv for den mest uerfarne camperen. Landsbyene i ørkenen utenfor Jaisalmer har alle standarer av campinglivet, så selv den mest fisefine kan finne en tilfredstillende camping-metode for en natt eller to. Å se solnedgangen fra sandynene, sitte rundt et bål å spise ordentlig hjemmelaget curry, sove i telt nærme grensen til Pakistan og oppleve magedans og folkemusikk er noe jeg sent vil glemme. Dette er en fantastisk opplevelse, men vær så snill å la være å ri på kamelene. Gi dem heller en klem!

PUSHKAR

En spirituell perle i Rajasthan. For en fantastisk sjarmerende liten by! Hele atmosfæren i Pushkar er svevende og det å rusle i de små gatene i denne byen er veldig annerledes fra de andre byene i Rajasthan. Pushkar er byen for backpackere, yoga entusiaster, religiøse og andre fargerike sjeler. Her kan du gjøre yoga på steder som Yoga Garden, spise fresh mat på Natures Blessing og Honey and Spice, kjøpe klassikere du lenge har hatt lyst til å lese i bokkioskene og observere velsignelser ved den hellige Pushkar Lake. Byen har også mange smykke butikker med fantastiske ringer til en billig penge og vil du ta hennatattovering er Pushkar stedet! Ikke glem å besøke et av Indias aller helligste templer, Brahma tempelet ligger midt i byen er en perfekt avslutning på en tur langs elven!

AGRA/DELHI

Delhi og Agra er akkurat sånn man ser for seg større indiske byer. Trafikkerte, møkkete og hektiske, men så har de disse verdens kjente monumentene man bare MÅ se. Vi dro til Agra for å se Taj Mahal og Agra Fort. To fantastiske kunstverk som helt klart er verdt å se når du først befinner deg i India.  I Delhi besøkte vi Raj Ghat som er Mahatma Gandhis minnesmerke, Jama Masjid som er en av Indias største moskeer, India Gate (Indias triumfbue) og Lotus tempelet. Vi ble også tatt med rundt på forskjellige politiske monumenter, men personlig føler jeg at de fire tingene nevnt over er det viktigste å få med seg. Lotus tempelet er bygget i hvit marmor og har fantastisk arkitektur!

India har så mye å by på av spennende historie og flotte monumenter, men husk å ikke la denne to-do listen ta helt overhånd. Ja, det er helt klart ting man burde se når man først er i India, men det er like viktig å prioritere det å forsvinne i mengden i smågatene og nyte den fargerike kulturen du er så heldig å få oppleve!

MINI GUIDE: SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka, et land fullt av vennlige smil, urørte strender og frodig natur. Et land alle må besøke og det helst med en gang! Jeg spår Sri Lanka til å bli det nye hotteste reisemålet innen de neste to årene! De har alt for eksempel Thailand har å by på bare mindre turister og enda mer imøtekommende mennesker. Sri Lankisk mat er fantastisk godt og minner om en krysning mellom Thai og Indisk. Ferske grønnsaker, kokosmelk, chili sambol og deres helt egne spesialiteter som hoppers som er aldeles smakfulle og ikke minst trendy! Landet er ikke så stort og har man to uker her nede så har man god tid til å reise rundt og se flere sider av Sri Lanka!

UNAWATUNA: Unawatuna er en liten by langs kysten i distriktet Galle sør på Sri Lanka. Kjent for sine fantstiske strender som en gang i tiden var en av verdens fineste. Vannet er forsatt turkist og bademulighetene er mange, men denne lille kystbyen har så mye mer å by på! En av mine nærmeste venninner bor i Unawatuna så jeg var så heldig å få være med rundt på en haug med kule steder og noen av de har jeg fått lov til å dele med dere. Er du i humør for en beach club langs en øde strand med basseng og god mat bør du ta turen til Talpe Beach. Føler du for en annen type beach club atmosfære i høyden med utsikt utover Unawatunas surfere så kan Luna Terracce være noe for deg. Vil du ligge pal på stranden med sand mellom tærne og spise god lunsj på en strandrestaurant så ta turen til Wijaya Beach.  Liker du å prøve forskjellige strender hver dag så kan kanskje Jungle Beach friste, en liten jungelsti leder deg ned til en mer øde og mindre folksom strand. Trenger du et sted å bo hvor du kan føle deg som hjemme, få verdens beste coconut creamed curry i avslappende og freshe omgivelser så anbefaler jeg deg å booke rom på Nor Lanka. Hotellet drives av en norsk-sri lankisk familie og jeg tør å påstå at dette må være en av de hyggligste hotellene i Sri Lanka. Herligere vertsskap skal man lete lenge etter! Reiser du derimot på stramt budsjett så fungerer Sams Guest House perfekt for en natt eller to. Når det kommer til spisesteder så kryr det av god mat og kule steder. For en billig og god curry så bør du sjekke ut Happy Spice, Pink Elephant har også billig og god mat med backpacker vibe. For en finere middag anbefaler jeg King Fisher, en mer "eksklusiv" strand restaurant. Er du en surfer så er det på Dewata Beach der det skjer, stopp gjerne innom The Shack for en juice blant kule mennesker og funky musikk når solen går ned og du har surfet din siste bølge for dagen. En annen ting å oppleve er å se solnedgangen fra tempelet Peace Pagoda. En fantastisk avslappende atmosfære ligger over dette kritt hvite tempelet, faktisk en av de fineste templene jeg har vært på! Så fredelig og fint!
 

GALLE: Byen som ligger helt sør og strekker seg utover havet med en enorm borg i klassisk arkitektur av europeisk innflytelse. Fortet er fullt av små koselige cafeer, boutiques, hippe hoteller og en vibe som tar deg bort fra Asia et øyeblikk. Med frisk bris, ombringet av havet er Galle en perle og et must-see om du tar turen sørover fra Colombo. Lørdagsmarkeder, historie og mer moderne restauranter enn det du finner ellers rundt på Sri Lanka. Gå deg vill rundt i borgen og ta en lunsj på Poonies Kitchen. En trendy bakgård med god mat og en sjarmerende liten butikk med alt smått og godt en jente kan ønske seg.

MIRISSA: Mirissa ligger enda lengre sør på Sri Lanka og er en "by" hvor det eneste du trenger å gjøre er å slenge på deg bikinien og åpne en kokosnøtt. Små bukter med hvit sand og turkist vann former kysten til Mirissa. De karakteristiske fiskerne sitter på pålene sine klare for dagens fangst og din viktigste oppgave er å finne et sted å se kveldens solnedgang. Her har jeg et par tips: Det er to veldig fine steder å se solnedgangen fra!  Det første er en liten tupp som ligger ved utkanten av byen, odden er dekket av spredte palmer og surferne ligger og flyter rundt steinene på slutten av dagen. Du kommer til å kjenne det igjen når du ser det. Den andre er en topp som ligger litt uti vannet mellom to strender i Mirissa. Det er så og si den eneste toppen med en trapp opp hvor du kan speide utover hele "byen", med andre ord ikke til å unngå! Er du på utkikk etter en god restaurant så er Zephyr et sted å anbefale. I Mirissa så kryr det også av hyggelige Guest House, jeg anbefaler å velge et rolig, familiedrevet med frokost inkludert. Da får du muligheten til å smake på ekte hjemmelaget roti og drikke morgenkaffen din i hagen til en lokal familie.

ELLA: Denne lille grønne byen tok meg med storm. Ella ligger midt inni Sri Lankas frodige landskap. Kan fint nås med tog, buss eller tuktuk som vi gjorde. Ella består av fjelltopper og teplantasjer og er det perfekte stedet å tilbringe et par netter for frisk luft i avslappende omgivelser. Ellas sentrum ligger nedi dalen og byr på mange koselige cafeeer, blant annet Cafe Chill og Dream Cafe, to litt mer vestlig inspirerte hang-out steder, med kul vibe hvor du kan møte andre reisende! En ting du bare MÅ gjøre når du er i Ella utenom å besøke teplantasjer er å gå hiken Little Adams Peak. Denne gåturen tar ikke lange tiden, men når du kommer opp venter det deg en utrolig fin utsikt som du sent vil glemme! På vei ned til sentrum bør du stoppe innom Flower Garden for en kopp te i grønne omgivelser og er du sulten så anbefaler jeg deg å ta en matbit på Adams Breeze. En lokal cafe langs veien med super god roti til en billig penge. (ja de har glutenfri roti og det smaker himmelsk). Ella er en by du ikke trenger mange dager i, men også et sted man aldri blir klar for å forlate.

KANDY: Kandy er en annen innlandsby på Sri Lanka, en mye større by enn Ella med både teplantasjer og natur samt et pulserende sentrum med trafikk og menneskemylder. Kandys landsskap er bratt, grønt og har en elv som renner igjennom byen. Kandy har også flere historiske minnesmerker og museum, så det er med andre ord mye å finne på for de som er interesserte i det. The Empire Cafe er et kult sted å lunsje hvis du er i Kandy og når det kommer til steder å overnatte så hadde jeg valgt et Guest House som ligger litt utenfor byen. Å bo blant teplantasjer med utsikt ut og ned mot sentrum er langt mer idyllisk! For å komme seg til Kandy så anbefaler jeg å ta tog, togtur i Sri Lanka er et must, det er en opplevelse i seg selv!

GENERELT: Kandy og Ella har kjøligere klima så her trenger du både genser, bukse og skjerf. En togtur gjennom Sri Lanka er det beste måten å få sett mest mulig av landet på. Det tar lang tid, men det er jo sightseeing i seg selv. Hvis jeg skal anbefale en rute så hadde jeg reist slik: Colombo - Galle - Unawatuna - Mirissa (videre langs kysten hvis du har tid) - Ella - Kandy og tilbake til Colombo. Hvis du har knapt med tid så er kysten fra Galle og sørover og en tur innom Ella det jeg mener er viktigst å prioritere! Jeg er ekstremt overrasket over maten i Sri Lanka, den er så smakfull og fresh at å spise curry til hvert måltid gjør ingen verdens ting. Dessuten finnes det ingen fasit, så alle curryene smaker forskjellig og det er like spennende hver gang.  Til frokost må du prøve String Hoppers (steamet risnudler flate som pannekaker), Hoppers (et tynt "risbrød" formet som en skål) og coconutroti (en hard pannekake/pinnebrød) med kokossmak. Det er bare å vende seg til en krydret frokost og ukjente smaker, og jeg kan love deg at du blir positivt overrasket. Ikke glem å spise massevis av sesongens frukt (mango/papaya) og glem heller ikke å smake på passionfruit soda som er en fresh tørsteslukker i varmen og for all del ikke glem det beste med å holde til under palmene: ferske kokosnøtter! Generelt sett føles Sri Lanka veldig trygt, rolig og vennlig. Menneskene er imøtekommende, interesserte og veldig inkluderende. Ingenting som føltes utrygt eller ubehagelig, jeg har rett og slett ikke noe negativt å si om dette landet. Et så fargerikt, fredfullt og hyggelig paradis skal man lete lenge etter! Hadde jeg vært deg, så hadde jeg planlagt en reise hit før alle andre gjør det!

Har du noen spørsmål angående Sri Lanka så ikke nøl med å legge igjen en kommentar så skal jeg svare så godt jeg kan!