Year: 2015

How to Barter in Thailand

  Prices in Thailand are rarely fixed (with the exception of food menus). When shopping as a rookie Canadian traveller you’ll already be at a distinct disadvantage – vendors can smell your novice negotiating skills from a mile away. (They do this every day!) Here are some tips: The less emotional you are, the more you will enjoy bartering. Determine in advance how much you are actually willing to pay for an item. If you’re quoted $4 for a t-shirt but want to pay $2, your first offer shouldn’t be $2. Always negotiate bus fares, excursions and hotel accommodation. Traveling with a group? Let the seller know! There always seems to be price discounts for groups of two or more, and the more nights you stay, the greater your discount should be. Etiquette says you should barter in good faith. Don’t haggle if you don’t intend to purchase the item. However, it is perfectly fine to enquire after a price to gauge  affordability. Asking the price does not enter you into a transaction. Don’t haggle aggressively over what amounts to less …

2 Weeks in Thailand – Where Should I Go?

“I only have two weeks in Thailand, where should I go?” I’m a cheerleader for Thailand; what can I say, once upon a time I spent 45 days there. It wasn’t enough. Of all the countries, I’m most frequently asked by friends and family about Thailand. The number one question is, “Where should I go?” It’s an easy enough question to answer…when time and money aren’t a consideration. However, most travellers don’t have that luxury. With precious few weeks of paid annual holiday, we must make concessions. Compromise can be a bitter pill to swallow when the destination is as distant as Thailand. Admittedly, it is disappointing to travel so far and see so little of a destination, but an overzealous itinerary can ruin a trip. To answer the question, here are three itineraries for a two week trip to Thailand. Northern Thailand or Southern Thailand? Most international travellers arrive in Thailand by way of Suvarnabhumi Airport, a.k.a. Bangkok International Airport. Located smack in the middle of the country, it’s practical for traveller on a two week holiday to …

5 Things You Need to Eat in Northern Spain

  Jamón Jamón, it’s Spain’s equivalent of proscuitto. Except that I think I like Jamón  better. Where the south of Spain has olive trees, the north is blanketed by oak. The fruit of an oak tree of course is an acorn. In a type of if-life-hands-you-lemons-make-lemonade sentiment, acorns are fed to hogs which produce jamon. The degree to which acorn mae up a swine’s diet dicatates the quality of the jamón. Subsisting on pure acorn meal is the difference between 7 euro per kilogram and 100 euro. Charcuterie enthusiasts will delight; jamón is found on most menus and even hotel breakfast buffets. Cabrales Calabres is a strong flavoured blue cheese specific to Asturias. It is aged for 2-5 months in natural limestone caves. Eat with a cracker or baguette, topped with fruit preserve. Tapas Tapas bars are a foodie’s playground and the presentation, a photographer’s muse. Tapas in Santiago de Compostela was heavy on seafood and shellfish. My favourite? Creamy crab salads piled high on toasted baguette topped with slices of dill pickle. Asturian Cider Drop every notion …

6 Reasons I’m Getting Married in Cuba

It’s not Mexico. Everyone’s been there. Time to go a different place. It’s a comparable price point. From the guest perspective, Cuba is as easy – if not easier – on the purse strings as Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Bali. The beaches. Do I need to elaborate? It’s all about to change. The prevailing fear held by Canadians is that Cuba is 100% going to change once the Americans arrive. I won’t lie, Barrack Obama is kind of a factor in our guest list. Now is the time to go right? Havana. The darling culture capital of Caribbean. Good enough for Hemingway and the Godfather II, good enough for a Hubbert-to-be. Direct flights. Did you know you Vancouverites can fly direct to Varadero. Winner winner chicken dinner!   Have you been to a destination wedding? Would you have liked to go to Cuba for one?

About Gypset Jenn

I’ve been blogging for six years and suffering chronic wanderlust since pouring over National Geographic maps as a child. I was born in Comox, British Columbia and I’m proud to call myself a small town girl. I only left Vancouver Island for the first time as a preteen, so you could say I got a late start to the travel game. But I’m doing my best to catch up. It wasn’t until the age of 18 that I first boarded an international flight. It was one I would take alone, to pursue a European au pair contract. Relief washed over me when I was greeted by my German host family, that it hadn’t been a giant internet hoax. Getting paid to travel was a dream realized. I enjoyed au pairing so much that I took a four-month au pair contract in Celle, Germany in 2010. Since then I’ve backpacked Beijing, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Vietnam in 2012, visited Paris (for a third time) with rookie travelling parents, got engaged in Las Vegas, and toured northern Spain with Trafalgar.  In 2016 I got married in Cuba, honeymooned in Peru and Bolivia, road-tripped from …