Things You Didn’t Know About The Philippines

Things You Didn’t Know About The Philippines

This is a guest post by Mimi

The Philippines is known for its rich culture. It is also abundant in natural attractions like Boracay, Surigao, Palawan, etc. The Philippines has 7,641 islands by itself. It was divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. So Let’s started with THE PHILIPPINES: CULTURAL FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW. 

Living, Migrating, or Visiting the Philippines for the first time is memorable. You would fall in love with its natural attractions and local culture. Once you step up to the ground, all you need to include in your baggage are thin clothes and bottled water because of the hot and humid weather you will experience. That’s why travelers finding good hotel resorts for their stay in the said country. 

CULTURAL FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Nourishing the “Mano Po,” Opo,” and ‘Po” Polite Culture 

The traditional culture “Mano Po” and using of “Opo” & “Po” is still nourishing nationwide in the Philippines. Mano Po is a hand gesture that derived from the Spanish period. You usually do “Mano Po” by showing your respect to those older than you. (like your grandparents, aunt, and uncle).  

Using Po & Opo is also necessary for traditional culture in the Philippines. When you talk to an older person in a conversation or someone you didn’t know as showing respect. You can add “Po” at the middle or end of the Filipino sentence. “Opo” is used when you agreed with someone with respect. 

They are around 180 languages used in the country. 

The Philippines is known to have two main languages using in their daily interaction for both local and international guests. Both English and Tagalog mainly use for communication which shortens as “Taglish.” Most young professionals preferred it that way. Unlike in many other provinces, they are still using their dialect. 

Some of the Languages: Tagalog, Waray, Bikol, Cebuano, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Hiligaynon, and Pangasinan.  

Birthday Celebrant must buy food for their invitees. 

Every birthday celebrants want to feel special on their birthday. Having fun with family, friends, and relatives comes with a blessing. However, the birthday culture in the Philippines is different. Unlike its neighbor countries, the Philippines has its own birthday culture. In this case, it became mandatory for every person who has a birthday must buy food for their invitees to share their blessings with them for fun. 

It was a tricky purpose, right? However, it was a sign of sharing your gratitude with everyone. 

BOODLE FIGHT OR KAMAYAN FOOD CULTURE 

Boodle Fight is common in Kamayan culture restaurants. When you heard “Boodle fight,” it doesn’t mean literally “fight.” That was considered a food challenge in a food festival in the Philippines. It was popular to the point you must eat your meal in banana leaves using your bare hands. Boodle fight was also one of the anticipated food dining experience of many Local & Internation Tourist coming over from their respected places or country. 

Some food includes in Kamayan Culture are rice & noodles, chicken wings, breakfast meals: tapa, tocino, longganisa, dry dishes, and many more. 

THE PHILIPPINES’ WONDER WITH ITS CULTURE 

Despite the current situation worldwide, The vision of traveling in every country is still achieving like an invisible traveler. If you ever have the chance, visiting the Philippines, all you need to process is your plane ticket since most countries don’t require you to enter with a visa for tourists. Unless you are from these countries, you’ll need to apply for Philippine Visa.  

The Philippines’ Wonder has a lot to offer. You can enjoy different leisure activities in the community while learning the Filipino culture. If you keep wondering why Filipinos are so resilient that is because of their hardworking mindset and keep on smiling despite challenges they take whenever they go. Also, it leads to being hospitable at all times whenever they encounter another person that needs their help like finding the right route or place they want to go, recommending side options to solve the problem of one person with assistance in work, and many more. 

If you want to read more amazing content like this, check out Mimi’s blog Youth Solo Artsy

Mimi
Mimi

Mikhaela Alyssa Adarve is a travel management university graduate, who hails in the Philippines. She is a Freelance Model, Language Translator & Digital Creator loves to share her insightful travel tips, honest food reviews, the importance of self-love & raising the awareness of sustainable fashion.

Follow me on Instagram to see more (throwback) travel content! I want to connect with more mutuals

Books to Inspire your Wanderlust: 01# The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand

Books to Inspire your Wanderlust: 01# The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand

I promised myself that in 2021, I’d get back into reading. Doing an 4 year English Literature course can really mess with your reading habits because all you can do when you read books is analyse EVERY SINGLE DETAIL WITHOUT LETTING YOURSELF JUST ENJOY THE NARRATIVE.

So I’ve decided to dedicate some time each week and finally get through my Goodreads list. I’ve always wanted to read more travel books which includes fiction set in different parts of the globe, that-whole-narrative-about -finding-yourself-on-a-trip and just any books about stepping out of your comfort zone and thrusting yourself in another culture. So I’ve set up a little series on my blog where I’ll be reading travel books and reviewing them.

The Lonely Hearts Travel Club by Katy Collins

I was going through the books on my iPhone and this one popped out at me because it was about travelling and it was also free which is always a bonus. I didn’t have any expectations so just went into this blind.

The book is about Georgia. a woman who is jilted just before her wedding from cheater ex Alex. In turmoil, she decides to go travelling to build herself back up. Feeling lost, she books herself onto a tour in Thailand and its safe to say that her holiday gives her a whole new perspective on life. Bitchy girls, a cheating con man and a drunk nipple piercing, Georgia’s trip goes awry at points and her insecurities kick in. Yes the whole novel really plays into the narrative of finding yourself through solo travel. It’s funny, charming and really explores how rewarding solo travel is when you’re at a crossroads in your life.

It really resonated with me because the first time I went solo travelling, I felt lost. Things in my personal life were crumbling and so deciding to study abroad in Australia for a year and then embark on my first solo trip which was, life changing. Georgia comes across mild mannered at the start of the novel but she does have a daring nature which really comes out during her trip. I was definitely taking leaps and bounds to increase my confidence and doing things to bring out my inner extrovert.

Georgia eventually makes it to this fictional resort called “The Blue Butterfly” which sounds like a magical place. I could just imagine the gold beaches, waterfalls and Pad Thai. Katy’s descriptions of the beauty of Thailand really made me wistful for a place I’d never visited. The rustic hut with ocean coloured rugs, the gentle waterfalls and mouth watering delicacies. I’ll definitely be visiting Thailand whenever I can after reading this book. It seems like its the perfect mix of raving and nature which is great for taking things at your own pace – I can’t wait to party at The Full Moon Rave and then nurse my hangover on the beach the day after x

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Christmas markets on my bucket list

Christmas may have come and gone but this Christmas was probably the least Christmassy I felt due to you know, a whole {redacted] pandemic. I haven’t travelled in over a year and it shows.

I’ve wanted to go to a Christmas market abroad but this looks like its not happening for quite some time so instead I’ve decided to write a blog post about the ones I want to visit in the future .

This blog is a collaboration with Karen.

Brussels

I picked Brussels because lets face it, who doesn’t want to walk down those pretty streets while munching on some delicious Belgian waffles. The glorious skating rink pulled me in at first and I ignored the fact that I can’t ice skate to save my life. A dazzling sound and light show is projected on the towering Grand Palace forming the perfect backdrop to admire the scenery and snap that photo with your bae more waffles

Quebec

The city that is permanently covered in a blanket of snow seems like an amazing place to take a trip to in December. With a German theme, there are a selection of delicacies such as mulled wine, Bratwurst and gingerbread. Choir singing and 90 wooden kiosks, theres plenty to do here and apparently the Alpine Chalet is the place to go if you’re a foodie.

Drusden

There’s nothing like exploring a Bavarian wonderland like Striezelmarkt to get your dose of Christmas spirit. There’s lots of booths to get some handmade crafts if you’re running out of present ideas. Try some glühwein (mulled wine) or Christstollen (fruit bread). There’s lots of delicacies here if you’ve never tried German food. There’s also a grand Ferris wheel to take in the glorious views of Drusden.

Karen’s recommendations:

Japan

Japan holds a place in my heart and Tokyo is a city that leaves me in awe and fascination by the merge of ancient traditions with mesmerising futuristic technology. I’d love to head to Tokyo for their Christmas markets, not so much because of their German beer and gluwein influences but because of the unique light displays thay really do make the city magical at Christmas. One I have my eye on is the Tokyo Skytree Dream Christmas with the fourth floor garden packed with illuminations too

New York City

New York City at Christmas has been an absolute dream since I first watched Home Alone as a child. From ice skating to the parades, it really does hold all the dreams of a magical Christmas. Each year Grand Central Terminal holiday fair is one of the biggest markets in NYC, packed with vendors selling toys and gifts in Vanderbilt Hall. If I make it to New York City at Christmas I will definitely be heading that way!

Croatia

Croatia is on my bucket list for any time of year, but I have heard the Zagreb Christmas market is the place to head for the ultimate Christmas experience. With street music, stalls, performances and spectacular illuminations, it really promises to be all the Christmas magic you dream of for all the family to enjoy, from the smells of the sizzling foods and spices through to the sounds of the live music.

Hope you enjoyed our bucket list! Please comment if you have more ideas 🙂

Check out Karen’s blog here and follow her on Twitter.

I can’t wait to walk down the Aisle…

I can’t wait to walk down the Aisle…

That is,the airport Aisle. (sorry for the clickbait)

Who needs a chapel when you have the luxury of running to your gate because you woke up late  want to get there nice and early. Getting that smooth boarding pass printed out and then instagramming it (without personal details of course because GDPR) for everyone to see that you’re on a Emirates First Class flight to Dubai…or a Ryanair Super Economy to Prague (a flight is a flight, everyone should be jel).

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via GIPHY

 

 

I need that pre flight Corona (the beer, to clarify) and a Full English breakfast. I need to stop salivating because damn, could really use them right now. I haven’t been abroad in just over a year and if you check my internet history it’s full of Skyscanner searches and travel blogs. I have no holidays booked at the moment but that doesn’t stop me bookmarking people’s Instagram posts to my folder aptly named ‘Wanderlust’, original I know. It doesn’t help that London is cold and dreary at the moment and waking up in complete darkness doesn’t help at all. I’m envisaging my next holiday to be an all inclusive at the beach kinda holibae where all I do is sip cocktails and complain about the heat while basking in it anyway.

I don’t know when my next trip will be but I am miserable and need a holiday asap. I kinda wanna wait until things get better or we get a vaccine or both. My mental health is a bit of a sorry state at the moment and I really think even a few days in a new city just lapping up that holiday glow is needed.

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via GIPHY

Are you going on holiday or have you already been? Let me know in the comments!

Pearl Palace Hotel Review

It was my first experience staying in a heritage hotel and the Pearl Palace in Jaipur, Rajesthan was the perfect choice. But what is a ‘heritage’ hotel, you ask? It can be defined as accomodation which has traditional architecture and has distinctive qualities which mirror the area’s way of life. *Boujie for cheap has entered the chat*

The artwork in this heritage hotel was breathtaking. There were statues and stonework recreating the multicultural aspects of India and it’s faiths. The bedrooms were themed and sported different colours, represented a diverse range of vibrant arts and were the perfect combination of luxury and tradition.

Check out how stunning the hotel is

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Look at that artwork tho, damn. I felt like a princess entering my own palace. The staff were lovely and attentive. But the food. Two words: Aloo Paratha. Add a coffee and I was set up for the day. The sister hotel Pearl Palace is two blocks away and has a rooftop restaurant called The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant. I didn’t get a chance to dine there but some of the dishes featured sounded amazing; Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka etc. (If there was an award for how much Paneer a person could eat in a day, I would have won it by now).

I just loved the whole interior of the hotel and how it was Travelodge prices; it definitely gives British hotels a run for their money. Check it out: http://pearlpalaceheritage.com/. We paid  £191 for three nights (two rooms) which is a bargain.

 

 

 

Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!

But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!

  1. It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
  2. Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
  3. The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
  4. Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
  5. The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
  6. In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
  7. Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
  8. If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.

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If you enjoyed my post, read my article on Gal-Dem for a deeper discussion on how I reclaimed my roots:  https://gal-dem.com/wanderthirst-reclaiming-my-roots-in-india/

Let me know what you think in the comments x

Twitter: @Naveeshaaa

Instagram: @Naveeshaaa

Udaipur – Lakes and Luxury

Udaipur – Lakes and Luxury

The last stop of the Rajasthan part of the trip after Jodhpur and Jaipur was Udaipur, known as the City of Lakes.

Lake Pichola

 

An artificial lake which is perfect for boating trips and taking in the mesmerising scenery across Udaipur, Lake Pichola is well worth a visit. Lake Pichola also contains palaces, museums, temples and restaurants if you tire of checking out the stunning waters, (which you won’t obvs). The boating trip starts from Rameshwar Ghat and takes visitors to island Jagmandir where tourists can explore and feel like royalty. Check those quarters out!

 

Jagmandir

 

Checking out Jagmandir made me feel like I was a queen checking into my luxury retreat without a care in the world. Butlins, take note. The attraction has been converted into a small hotel with just seven hotel rooms but also a restaurant, bar and spa which is pefect if you’re craving a luxury holiday away from the perils of society in your own little island.

 

City Palace

Another magnificent palace? India is truly spoiling us. City Palace is also the largest palace in Rajesthan. The palace exhibits a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Chinese and European culture. Take a look at the beautifully designed women’s quarters Zenana Mahal which has been converted to a museum, perfect for curious people like me who want to gawp at what would have been my home if I’d been a rich Rajesthani Princess.

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 Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Temple was a beautiful mandir situated outside the royal palace. I loved seeing the beautiful temples in India which were a world away from the ones in my hometown. The temple is mainly devoted to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God who is the preserver of the Universe.

 

 

Jodhpur – Exploring the ‘blue’ city

Jodhpur – Exploring the ‘blue’ city

My next stop after Jaipur was of course, Jodhpur, likened to the being the ‘blue’ city in contrast to Jaipur’s pink paradise. Full of beautiful scenery, more magnificent architecture and colours, I was excited to see it.

The main stop on my Jodhpur Jaunt was architectural beauty, Mehrangr Fort. The fort is 410 feet above the city and boasts terrific views. It also contains a road leading to the city which is great if you want to do your exploring on foot.The fort divides up several palaces which are a must-see such as Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Zenana Dude, Takht Vilas, Jhanki Mahal.There are also two temples. From paintings to palanquins, Mehrangr Fort is showcases the wonderful scenery of Northwestern India as well as a majestic palace. The fort and museum also contains pieces of heritage art includng costumes, carvings and decoarations.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see as much in Jodhpur due to time constraints, but on my next visit I will journey to sights such as Bal Samand Lake, Mandore Garden, Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park and Kaylana Lake.

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Jaipur – Exploring ‘the pink city’

Jaipur – Exploring ‘the pink city’

I must apologise for the backlog of India posts that I haven’t uploaded but quarantine has given me the chance to finally update these and post it!

Known historically as ‘The Pink City’, Jaipur exceeds expectations to become a terracotta paradise.  But why is it called ‘The Pink City?’. The Maharaja of Jaipur sought to impress Prince Albert during his trip to India in 1876. This included building lavish buildings and gardens as well as repainting the city pink in order to create an atmosphere of hospitality. To this day, the pink colour scheme remains.

My exploration started with arriving at the Pearl Palace guesthouse which blew my mind. A heritage hotel, it combines traditional indian architecture and art for a truly authentic experience.

 

Amer Fort

My first stop was the Amer Fort. Mughal architecture, lavish marble walls and an opulent courtyard, I couldn’t wait to get a slice of Rajesthan history. It also contains Sheesh Mahal, an ornate display of mirrors. I was in awe of how beautiful the fort was and the courtyard gardens were nothing to sneeze at either. The stunning backdrop was a pretty picture of Indian countryside.

Usually, when I want to build something beautiful I stick to decorating my Christmas tree but it looks like palaces have always been in style as India is full of them! Mosaic patterned walls, sculptured mirrors, no wonder so many people flock to see this important piece of Jaipur’s history. The palace is divided into four different levels with different attractions such as the Diwan-i-aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-kaas (Hall of Private Audience), Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) and the Sukh Niwas where winds blow over waterfalls to create a cool climate.

There is also two light shows every evening. One is in Hindi which starts at 8 and the English one is at 7.30. There are also puppet shows and a classical dance program which can be located in Sukh Mahal.

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Bapu Bazar

If you want to go shopping for gifts/specialty items and traditional wear then look no further than Bapu Bazaar. Famed for being the place to sharpen tourists’ bargaining skills, Bapu Bazar is a delight with a plethora of items which appeals to all sorts of people. I picked up some colourful trousers which unfortunately reminds me of this meme*:

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*Substitute for India.

But I didn’t care because they were pretty and cheap! I also took the time to stock up on Lehengas as it had been way too long since I’d bought new ones. Colourful Bangarees and jewellery were also selling fast and I took this opportunity to pick up some.

 

 

Chocki Dhani

Authentic Rajasthani culture? Cultural performances? Great food? The Chocki Dhani village enticed us because it was a chance to see a glimpse of the ‘real’ India and satisfy my urge to delve into my roots. Chocki Dhani is an ethnic resort and model village attracts both tourists and locals, not only for their promising attractions but also the culinary experience with an extravagant open air buffet restaurant.

Walking inside after paying the entrance fee, I was lost on what to check out first. I opted for a puppet show where a man was using a wooden control bar and string to move a few cute doll figurines who were decked out in traditional Indian wear including little minature cloth saris.

 

In the village there were different performances going on. We stopped to check out two Indian girls in gagra cholis (traditional skirt and top with intricate designs and colours) who were dancing energetically. A man was providing the background music by using a tabla (classical drums). There was so much spirit and passion I stopped to watch.

There were other dance performances going on. One in particular was enjoyable because one of the girls tried to coax audience members into showing off their moves too! Eventually, one woman did come up and dance proving that positive energy is contagious.

Another performance which I coudn’t tear my eyes from showed a young woman dancing on glass!

There was lots to do and see at Chocki Dhani. From the unconventional art of palm reading to a merry-go-round to games for kids. After seeing the many attractions, we settled down to eat at the candlelit buffet dinner. There was so much to choose from. You could have Rajasthani cuisine or more Western cuisine as there was a pasta bar. My favourite was the pani puri which came served with different chutneys and dips that I had about 13. No regrets!

Overall, my experience visiting Chocki Dhani was amazing and I loved that so much Indian culture was showcased here.

 

 

 

Raj Mandir

For the ultimate cinematic experience, I strongly recommend a visit to the grand Raj Mandir, a luxurious cinema in Jaipur. With two staircases and a magnificent foyer. Odeon, take some notes. It is worth noting the cinema exclusively shows movies in Hindi without subtitles. I am not fluent in Hindi but can understand it to an extent, (before anyone calls me a coconut, my mother tongue is Gujarati) so I was looking forward to testing my language skills.

 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter and comment on a post to let me know you’re from WordPress: @Naveeshaaa

 

Copenhangin’: Day 2 of The Hygge Adventures

Copenhangin’: Day 2 of The Hygge Adventures

It was my friend’s first time staying in a hostel and the first night really cemented why people avoid hostels – there is always someone who decides to make as much noise as humanly possible. I mean, if you wanted to go the whole hog, why didn’t you just bring a trumpet and wake everyone up with a fanfare of ‘Ave Maria’? Okay, so maybe I’m being slightly dramatic but one of the girls in our room decided to turn on the lights at 5 AM and rearrange her whole suitcase before walking out and leave the lights on.

not today satan

 

 

Moving on swiftly, we woke up pretty late and decided to take our time getting ready as we wanted to take some pretty pictures in our next stop…Nyhaven!

On the way to Nyhaven it was pissing it down so we felt like a pair of alley cats trying to nativage these murky waters in search of food. We stopped by a cosy looking burger place called Nyhavn C which claimed to have the “Best Vegetarian Burger Ever”. Bold claims but I like a challenge so I opted for just that while Adi got a Chicken burger.

The Goods

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The best damn veggie burger ever*

*allegedly.

Well someone’s eyes were bigger than her stomach at this point

In a state of post meal bliss, I lay back and groaned in both pleasure and overindulgance. Cause of Death: TOO MUCH BURGER

 

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It was still pouring down at this point so me and my friend delayed our adventure for as long as we could but then managed to make it outside and take some pretty pictures of the pastel houses surrounding the waterfront. Think Balamory but with elegance!

 

Ignoring the rain, (gosh how many times have I mentioned the weather, it hurts being this British), Nyhaven embodied the classiness and striking architecture that Copenhagen is deemed incedible for. Taking a walk to admire the refined and polished sights the city has to offer was such a good shout. #HyggeFactor

 

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We stumbled on Amaliensborg Palace which was magnificent and houses the Danish Royal family. It consists of four different classical palaces and in the centre of the square there was a statue of the founder of Amaliensborg Palace, King Frederick V.

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Unfortunately the museum was closed by the time we got there so we couldn’t find out more and check out the interiors but this is definitely something I will come back and find out about!

Seeking solace from the rain, we found  a beautiful church with stunning architecure and incredible paintings. The Marble Church is west of Amaliensborg Palace and we sat inside for a bit to really admire the art pieces, altar and the rich detail in the design of the church. I also took this time to ask questions about Christianity and find out more about the history behind the church and designs. It was relaxing and peaceful just to sit down and take it all in.

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By this time it was starting to get dark so we decided to leave and grab some food on the way back. We stopped off at wok place and I had some incredible Hygge food which was warming, nourishing and just delicious…the picture DOES do it justice

 

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Ok it might not be the best quality picture but hey, I never said I was a food blogger. Just believe that it was bloody good.

Night out

No holiday is complete without a chance to discover the nightlife and that’s what we decided to do. Luckily, we were in the heart of Copenhagen and there was a strip of bars just a few minutes away from us so we started as we mean to go on!

Pros: The music is diverse-ish. I heard a mix of Pop, r&b, cheese and hip hop. It was crowded but intimate and each bar was slightly different. Some had a dive bar sort of vibe which was a little different to what I’ve normally experienced in London whereas others had studenty vibes with younger adults and drink offers

Cons: The drinks were hella expensive. I know that Copenhagen is expensive but as we hadn’t had a chance to pre-drink I was counting my Krona and was not happy to see it deplete massively. Also some bars were way too crowded and tiny. Breathing space is a must

You should check out: The Jane, Aloha Beach Bar, Andy’s Bar, Cucaracha etc

Whew! That’s a wrap on Day 2.