Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

The Most Exotic Airbnb in Bali

Recently, I ventured to Bali, Indonesia Some of you may know Bali as a romantic honeymoon destination with famous beaches like Nusa Dua. However, I think Bali is just as perfect as a solo traveler!

When I decided (that morning) to go to Bali, I had no hotel booked and no plans. Sure I may be guilty of having Pinterest boards chalk full of travel inspo, but I had no idea if I was going to hostel it or try to find something nice, but affordable. I would end up finding an amazing Airbnb.

 

Where Did I Stay?

 

There are many different regions within Bali. I wanted to do experience both the beach, and the jungle landscape of the island. My first top would be Ubud, a spiritual center within Bali where yoga retreats, kombucha and amazing local art are common place. I absolutely think that anyone who comes to Bali needs to spend time in Ubud. And if you are going to stay in Ubud, I can’t recommend the Airbnb where I stayed enough.

 

 

 

 

 

My Jungle Villa

 

The first glimpse of the place that you’ll set eyes on is the massive, intricate, wood-carved door. Leading up to it are colorful terra cotta orange and teal tiles, perhaps a symbol of the brightness and earthy beauty of Bali.Bali Indonesia the best Airbnb

 

 

Once you step through the already awe-inducing door, your gaze goes straight to the view that stretched out beyond the massive room. The jungle beyond the villa is lush, over a thousand shades of green, marked only by the churning water of the river running through it or the majestic glint of the Four Seasons that rests along the river like a gemstone rather than a building. Besides this amazing view that you can see from within the room, those that stay at this Airbnb have their own private porch. I can tell you I spent hours out on this porch, drinking coffee, tea, beer and letting myself be inspired to create while gazing out at the view. A lot of people come to Ubud for spiritual purposes, but I didn’t need a yoga retreat or temple to feel moved. Gazing out at the lush Balinese landscape was enough to make me feel enlightened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Need more than a good view? No worries. The room was fit for a honeymoon—I almost felt guilty for having it all to myself. Almost. The four poster bed is surrounded by a mosquito net, which still somehow manages to give the room a romantic feel. If a four poster bed isn’t grand enough, the deep crimson and gold shades within the room will surround you with luxury and romance.

Stepping into this home away from home, you will feel like a king, or in my case, a queen.

 

Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

Check out my pictures to get a glimpse of the unique accommodation. It was enough to convince me to stay, and I didn’t regret it. I can’t wait to go back.

But first, let me take a selfie…

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

 

 

  Ubud Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Your Host

Rita and Gregorio are beautiful both inside and out and make amazing hosts for your Airbnb stay. Rita was super attentive and anytime I had a question, she was always quick to respond. She helped me arrange massages and offered local recommendations and I couldn’t have felt more taken care of. She even had Bintang (local beer) in the room fridge, which I definitely enjoyed! If you don’t want to take my word for it,bali indonesia Rita has over 90 reviews to vouch for her, which qualifies her as an Airbnb super host!

Rita messaged me about another person who also because my host while in Bali, my driver. The driver that she recommended, and who picked me up from the airport is now one of my good friends. He is amazing and if you go to Bali, no one else should drive you. Message me and I’ll give you his name.

 

 

 

Perks of the Place

Although you feel like you’re out of town, in an amazing way, you are still walking distance to many places to eat/drink. Just a three minute walk and I found myself at an amazing place with some of the most delicious food and drinks. The view and ambience were just as amazing and I definitely recommend stopping by this place and at least having a cocktail or kombucha. I had a watermelon rose kombucha that was to die for. There is also a gelato place that everyone raves about if you have a sweet tooth like me. 😉

 

bali ubud restaurant

 

Don’t want to venture out? No problem! Rita can help you utilize the room service provided by the nearby resort! Not too shabby, eh?

Wifi and all the standard amenities are also provided. I greatly enjoyed the amazing soap provided while I washed in the private garden shower.

 

outdoor shower Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

Did I mention there is breakfast provided and that it’s delicious and amazing? I ate out of my beautiful veranda every morning, savoring the fresh bread and coffee.

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb Breakfast

 

Apparently, David Bowie and Iman honeymooned here and stayed in this very villa!

Partake in the “Four Hand” Massage by Daya like I did in the private comfort of the suite. It was amazing!

I know you didn’t come to Bali without a bikini, so grab it and lay by the beautiful jungle view pool.

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb Pool

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

What is Airbnb?

If you’ve been living under a travel rock and haven’t tried Airbnb, you’re missing out. I love Airbnb because it allows you to live like a local, and usually for an amazing price. When I booked this amazing villa, it was $102 a night. Granted, it was the off season in Bali, but hands down, it was an amazing deal for so special a place. In the high season, I would be prepared to pay more and stay there again.

Click here to see the listing for this amazing place on Airbnb.

Inspired to try out Airbnb, use my link here for $40 off your next stay.

 

Need more inspiration? Check out my other post on an amazing Airbnb that I found in one of my favorite cities, Paris.

The Most Unique Apartment in Paris – My Airbnb Review

 

In Conclusion

 

Ubud, Bali, IndonesiaI hope you find a reason to visit Bali, Indonesia and more importantly, Ubud! I can’t recommend this Airbnb enough to my friends and fellow travelers. Whether you want to climb a volcano, meander through rice patties, or surf stunning beaches, Bali holds magical memories for every kind of traveler.

 

I LUVed Ubud and I know you will too!

      XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

 

 

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Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A Flight Attendant’s Air Travel Tips

Flight Attendant Travel Tips to the Perfect Flight

Welcome aboard, it’s your favorite flight attendant! Your insider into the airline industry and it’s quirks.

Flight Attendants see a lot during their work day. It’s air travel…it’s crazy! Being in a pressurized aluminum tube for a certain quantity of time just brings out the most interesting aspects of personalities. Whether flight attendants work one twelve hour flight, or five short hops up and down the coast, you’d be amazed at what we witness passengers doing. But this post isn’t about passenger shaming, it’s about what I’ve discovered is the key to an enjoyable flight for passengers.

Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but honestly, I’ve had way too many passengers on  my flights not seem to understand these points so I’m going to put some of them out there even if they seem obvious to savvy travelers.

So here they are, the basics of air travel that every passenger forgets (but wants)! Remember these for a great flight!

This post contains affiliate links which mean the page administrator (moi) makes a small commission at no cost to you.

 

Tip 1. Never travel without headphones.

 

I think this is the most important key to a great flight. You NEVER know if you’re going to have a screaming baby next to you or behind you. Sometimes it happens and it’s no ones fault. Regular headphones will cancel out most of the noise, but if you have noise-cancelling, even better. Get lucky and there’s no crying baby? Headphones playing your favorite music can still set the tone for your flight, dictating whether you want to get pumped up to go once you land, or lull yourself into a restful sleep, blocking out the snoring passenger next to you. Want a sexy pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones? Yes, so do I. Maybe when I get my next royalty check 😉

Tip 2. You didn’t buy a neck pillow because it looks ridiculous.

Flight Attendant travel tips
Don’t judge me!!!! I can’t help it if I think this animal hoodie/neck pillow is cute 😀

 

No, you look ridiculous when you fall sleep and end up drooling on your neighbors shoulder. That’s right, you fell asleep upright, but now you’re slumped over against the person next to you, mouth completely ajar. I’m not joking or trying to poke fun, this happens all the time! A neck pillow won’t completely prevent slumping over onto your neighbor , but it does help! I recommend this one with memory foam. Buy it BEFORE you get to the airport because at the airport, I kid you not, it will be double the price. In most airports you can’t get a  neck pillow for less than $30. That’s crazy! If you’re a backpacker, opt for a slightly less comfortable, inflatable one like this one instead to save room.

 

Tip 3. Have gum handy, it’s the two in one life saver on your flight.

 

Gum is great for two things, stinky breath of course, but also, it can help when you’re ears are popping. On long flights I make sure to have a tooth brush handy, and if you’re in first class, usually you’ll have an amenity kit with one inside, but sometimes, it’s hard to get to the bathroom for a good brush. Gum will tie you over because whether you had too many garlic rolls (speaking from personal experience obviously, thanks Delta One) or you haven’t eaten at all and have that icky stale mouth feeling, no one wants to feel gross. And don’t get your hopes up asking your flight attendant, we’re not allowed to chew gum so most of us just have mints.

Want to know what I have in my pocket at all times? It’s not gum (since we’re forbidden to chew) it’s…Listerine Strips. I honestly think that Listerine should recruit me as their spokesperson because not only does it keep me incredibly fresh (I’ll probably fail a Breathalyzer test some day because of it) but I’m always touting it’s benefits to everyone around me. My other half is a pilot and back when we first got together, I gave him an in-flight care package that included a supply of Listerine strips. After all, the cockpit is basically a tiny bubble and if someone farts or has bad breath…you’re in big trouble. This brings me to my next point…

 

Tip 4. When nature calls and you need to brave the airplane lavatory Flight Attendant Travel Tips

 

What does every flight attendant carry in their bag? I’ll give you a hint, it’s because passengers are filthy…

It’s called Poopuri. No, that’s not a typo, I didn’t mean potpourri, the grandma’s solution to a fragrant room. I’m talking about Poopuri. It’s a squirt bottle (travel size of course) that you spray prior to going number two and no one will be none the wiser of your ill-timed deed aboard the aircraft. Picture it, you’ve got a line of people waiting for the lavatory, you’re doing something in the bathroom that you really didn’t want to do, the last thing you want to do now is make the walk of shame. Let me say this, no one plans on going number two on the airplane. And yet it happens all the time. Whether it’s the pressurization, too much coffee, eating something bad, or being hung over, people BLOW UP the lavatory. Don’t let it be you. Poopuri smells subtle, but amazing and I can tell you it works on the worst. Sometimes flight attendants will even squirt it into the bowl after an offending passenger walks out. The normal coffee filter pinned to the door trick only works for minor offenders.

 

Tip 5. Tip for my glamorous travelers, keep that hair lookin’ foxy

 

For my ladies (especially my fellow backpackers), Dry Shampoo is everything.

I keep this in my bag at all times as a flight attendant. The air in the plane will make your hair greasy. I’m  not going to lie, I love to look foxy when I’m on the plane doing my thing, untitledbut if I get in late at night and I’m flying out in the morning at O’Dark Hundred, I’m probably not going to wash my hair and restyle for my passengers. Dry Shampoo to the rescue! Not only does it remove the grease from my hair, but it revives the soft curves I styled the day before. Winning! I’m also a female solo traveler when I’m not working and love to go backpacking. When I’m traveling light like this and staying in hostels, I’m going to be real honest, I shower as minimally as possible. Dry shampoo gets me through the in betweens. Sometimes you think you’re going to shower, and then you see that fateful gross shower at your Amsterdam hostel and you think…no way in hell. It’s dry shampoo time.

My favorites are  Morrocon Oil Dry Shampoo (usually purchased right after I get paid), it smells amazing & the cheaper Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo (for when I’ve spent all my money on travel). Don’t forget, unless you’re checking your bag, travel size to get through TSA is 3.4 ounces.

 

Tip 6. Bring a pen

 

This is such a no-brainer, but I get at least one person a flight ask me for one. International flights, make that twenty-plus. The previous airline I flew for did not stock pens, even on international flights, so the flight attendants did not have any to give out. Most airlines will at least have a few for international flights, but not enough for an aircraft full of hundreds of passengers. The plane that I usually work carries 175 people and we may have ten pens in our international packets. You DO NOT  want to be that person filling out their customs/immigration info at the last minute while everyone gets in front of you in the already long lines. Also for my ladies, pens make a great emergency hair pin. If you’re a major traveler, having a pen and travel journal is a must! Keep track of cool people you meet, where you stay, or amazing walks you found that your guidebook didn’t know about!

 

Tip 7. Bring an external charger for your electronic devices

 

Most planes have charging ports for each seat, but not every airline and not every aircraft. Say you’re flying Delta Airlines, and you remember from your last flight that you had a charger at your seat in coach. But now you get to your seat, expecting a similar plane, but you find there’s no charging port! Halfway through your flight your devices are dead. No one wants to land and not have a cell phone, ect. I recommend traveling with an external charger, whether it’s for a flight or if your traveling as a backpacker. I know that I use my cell phone a lot for pictures, ect so I don’t want my battery going dead while I’m halfway across the faerie pools in the middle of nowhere, Scotland in the most amazingly beautiful place I’ve ever been. Disclaimer: DO NOT purchase a cheap or aftermarket external charger because these have been known to catch fire during flight. It’s getting so bad these days with batteries catching fire that even the Samsung 7 phone is required by the FAA for flight attendants to make a PA that the phone can not be powered on during air travel. Lithium Ion batteries are very dangerous to have on planes and never leave them in a checked bag.

 

Tip 8. If you get motion sick, here’s what you need to do

 

Travel with Alkaseltzer or Dramamine. I personally prefer Alkaseltzer and bonus, it’s also good for hangover. Not that flight crew get together and drink way too much on layovers, that doesn’t happen. 😉  If you don’t have either of those things with you, but find that you’re still feeling air sick, don’t hesitate to ring your call button and let you flight attendant know. Ask for a glass of ice chips because chewing on the cold ice will make you feel much better without putting too much in your stomach. Make sure to tell your flight attendant that you’re not feeling well and she might have extra suggestions or things on board to make you feel more comfortable. Also, if you know you’re a traveler that gets air sick, try to plan your seat in advance to seat over the wings. The back of the aircraft is the worst place to sit because it gets the most movement. Instead, sit over the wings where the wings are designed to flex and take the movement upon themselves to ensure a more stable ride.

Flight Attendant's Air Travel Tips to the Best Flight

 

But the tip that most people forget is… wait for it…

 

 

The most important tip is…

 

Tip 9. For a guaranteed great flight, remember that the flight attendant is your best friend!

 

Your flight attendant can console you if you’re sad, reassure you if you’re scared or nervous, feed you if you’re hungry, bring you a drink when your thirsty and give you a memorable flight. When passengers have shared a part of their life with me, I have done my part to become part of their story they tell when they land.

Are you flying to start your honeymoon? Tell the flight attendants when you first board so that we can order you champagne because we may or may not have it onboard.

Traveling to someplace for the first time and finally crossing a destination off your travel bucket list? I’ve made an announcement before in that situation and asked any locals or return visitors to jot down their must-dos for that travelers visit. I passed out cards and pens and told them to hand them to the flight attendant before the flight was done. By the time we landed, that passenger had a stack of unique ideas from his fellow fliers. He was so grateful and it’s an experience he said he won’t forget.

Not everyone travelers for happy things. If you’re on your way to a funeral and not in a good frame of mind, it might be helpful to let your flight attendant know. Whether you need a stiff drink to cope, or just a little extra patience during the flight, your flight attendant is there to help you through that flight.

 

Final Verdict

TheLuvAviatrix

Don’t forget that flying can be fun! Flying can be glamorous! And if you’re scared of flying, don’t forget, you’re flight attendant’s are there for you. If something does go wrong, your flight crew, the flight attendants and the pilots, are extremely well trained. Please always remember that flight attendants are not just on the airplane to serve peanuts. We are the last line of defense, but also we’re your friend, your nurse, whatever you need us to be to make your flight the  best it can be.

 

Have any questions about flying? Don’t be shy and leave them in the comments. I promise to get back to ya.

 

Happy Flying

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

Like these tips? Pin this image for the next time you fly.

A Flight Attendant gives her air travel tips for your best flight. What to bring to make your flight easier

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

Tokyo is for lovers…Sushi lovers!

I’ll never forget the first time I visited Japan. I wasn’t a flight attendant yet, I think I was eighteen, and I joined a family member on her Narita layover. I had a little over twenty four hours in Japan and in that time, my culinary desires were to have gyoza and teriyaki. When I think back, I cringe at this because I know how much I was missing out on. Although, I definitely was onto something regarding the idea of consuming as much gyoza as possible while in Japan. But at the time, I claimed to hate sea food. I know, sacrilege coming from a Seattle, girl. Perhaps because I grew up watching men toss around fish at the Pike Place Market, the thought of eating it just never did anything for me.

My culinary experiences in Japan greatly changed during my second visit. That fateful trip to Tokyo changed my life…and my taste buds…forever. Let me tell you how it happened.

My trip to Tokyo by way of NRT (Narita), started off grandly. I was able to get a seat, which for us standby folks is always a good sign. Of course, my Delta crew treated me like a rock star, which on a ten hour flight is so appreciated. I enjoyed cocktails, amazing food and four in-flight movies! Needless to say, I was sleepy, but pumped to explore Tokyo once again.

 

Luv Aviatrix goes to Tokyo via NRT

 

Yay, I’m back in Japan!

 

For this trip, I said that I was going to eat anything and be completely adventurous. Since Japan is an island, they obviously have amazing fresh fish and the Tsukiji Fish Market is famous world wide. So of course, it was my first stop. According to my travel guides, it’s important to get to the Tsukiji Fish Market nice and early. I didn’t necessarily need to see the first catches being brought in, so I didn’t show up before the sun, but I did plan on having an early lunch there and carousing most of the stands before any tourists showed up.

 

I was amazed at all the goods offered at the market, including fresh catches of squid, octopus, and fish I’d never even heard of. I was definitely inspired to pop into one of the Tsukiji Fish Market sushi shops. After all, if anyone could convert me into a sushi person, perhaps it would be Japan. I stepped inside a tiny establishment within the market and felt good about the number of locals that had already come inside to enjoy sushi. A conveyer belt wrapped around the tiny room with plates of beautifully crafted sushi and sashimi concoctions.

 

Tsukiji Fish Martket, The Luv Aviatrix's Guide to the best Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

Although nothing was in English, I decided to try everything, even if I didn’t know what it was! I decided my method was simple, grab the pretty sushi plates as they passed by. Although my Japanese was iffy at best, it didn’t matter because the Sushi house was self serve and even included spigots of tea at every station. Just being in this environment was super fun because I’d never eaten at a place like this before!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Every plate of Sushi was so beautiful, it was obvious that the Sushi chefs took their time in creating these culinary masterpieces. The beauty in these dishes definitely made me feel brave to try new things and I quickly grabbed my first plate from the sushi belt.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to the best sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Since I had always been anti-sea food, I have no idea what fish were on my sushi plate. I was eager to taste one of the mini art pieces though and quickly discovered something…it was amazing! That’s right, I didn’t know what it was, but it was probably the most amazing thing I’d ever tasted. The sushi melted in my mouth as if it had never been whole. That’s how fresh this fish was. Utterly amazing. I was convinced. Sushi, so far, was amazing and I’d definitely be having more than one plate!

Flight Attendant Tip: Although I was a sushi newbie, Japan taught me that traditionally, you’re supposed to eat the entire sushi in one bite. I found this hard believe and impossible at first (there was a very unflattering photo to prove it), but I soon got the hang of it. I definitely understand that by consuming the sushi in one bite, all the flavors are absorbed at the same time. And because good sushi melts in your mouth, the large bite is rendered palatable quite quickly.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

It took all of my travel courage to take the above plate off the sushi belt, mainly because it had a face. But it was so unique to Japan, almost symbolic as a dish, I just had to. This little guys sacrifice wasn’t in vain and I salivated for moments after finishing this amazing dish, contemplating all I had been missing during my seafood-free life.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: I still don’t know what this is or what different things are in it…but it was amazing. A trend I noticed eating all this sushi is that every bite melted in my mouth. And despite all my preconceived notions, nothing tasted fishy. I was told later that fresh fish shouldn’t smell “fishy”.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: This plate ended up being my absolute favorite. The slight sear on top was like the icing on the cake, but um, for sushi. Since I was so Sushi illiterate, I had no idea until later that it was Unagi, also known as Eel! Who knew that this anti-sea food gal from the Pacific Northwest would go to Japan and get hooked on Eel? Not me, but to this day, my go-to date night dinner is Unagi from our local sushi joint. I <3 Unagi!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

In all honesty, although Tokyo has converted me into a sushi lover, the above dish was the only one I didn’t love. I finished it, but the fish eggs were a bit salty for my taste. I definitely think if you’ve never tried them before, that you should. The texture is very interesting. They’re soft and squishy like Jell-O, but have a bit of a crunch as you bite into them.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

How Much Will it Cost?

You will be amazed when I tell you that even though this was the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had (and since my first visit I had sushi just about everywhere) the plates of sushi were about $1 US dollar each. Isn’t that amazing? How it works is that different colored plates equal different prices. At the time of my visit, plate started as low as .50 cents. That’s right, you can get one of those beautiful sushi plates pictured for less than a dollar! The most expensive plate I had was $2. That means that the Tsukiji Fish Market has sushi for every budget. Heck, I ate like a queen at this amazing place! Look at all those plates I went through and it was less than $10 USD!

 

For my fellow flight crew, it’s cheaper to fly to Tokyo (including zed fares) and eat at Tokyo’s fish market than to have sushi at some restaurants in the states. No joke, a similar plate to what I got in Tokyo would be $24 USD at Los Angeles Sushi house, Katsuya. For one person to eat there easily racks up to over $100 dollars, and you’ll leave hungry if you’re not rich and famous. On my budget, I can’t even afford to step in the door. For less than $100, flight crew can nonrev to Tokyo and take a train or bus to the Tsukiji fish market area of downtown Tokyo. Even if you need to purchase a zed fare, it’s usually not more than $6o round trip. So why not hop over to Tokyo for an amazing lunch as just fly back? I did 🙂

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

 Final Verdict:The Luv Aviatrix, a flight attendant, enjoys the Tsukiji Fish Market

Absolutely, anyone that visits Japan needs to visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and have sushi while you’re there. Even if you’re like me and think you hate sea food, when I finally gave it a chance, the fresh fish blew my mind. Sushi really is an art form in Japan. Although Tokyo has many different areas to explore, do not leave without experiences the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world! And isn’t that what traveling is for?

So, are you are a sushi addict or are you ready to be converted?

Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to the best Sushi in Japan. The Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

 

Ready to plan your trip to Tokyo? My bookshelves would be empty without all my great travel books to get me ready!

 

 

Lonely Planet Tokyo (Travel Guide)


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Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Ko Phi Phi Ley

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. Paradise or Overrated?

 

Koh Phi Phi

I am going to assert myself here (and get some backlash I’m sure) and state that Ko Phi Phi, Thailand is paradise! Feel free to disagree with me in the comment section. But for those of you less familiar with the Ko Phi Phi islands, let me give you the run down on one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.

 

Ko Phi Phi is actually made up of several islands, most famously Ko Phi Phi Ley and Ko Phi Phi Don. It’s been spelled many different ways. While I saw it spelled Koh Phi Phi more while I was in Thailand, it seems like most tourists spell it Ko Phi Phi, so for the sake of continuity, that’s how I’ll spell it throughout this post. For Thailand newbies, the “H” in Phi Phi is silent, same with other destinations in southern Thailand such as Phuket. It’s pronounced “Poo-ket”.

 

Ko Phi Phi Ley is the more famous island, known for Maya Bay, featured in the Leo Dicaprio movie, The Island. In the movie, a group of travelers set up a community on a secluded, perfect island…and the bay in indeed, majestic. See for yourself, my unfiltered pictures from my last visit.

 

 

Ko Phi Phi Ley

 

 

ko phi phi longboats

 

Looks perfect, right? Almost like I’m the only person on this amazing island…

Wrong!

 

 

Busy Kho Phi Phi Ley Thailand

I couldn’t even get a picture of the “Koh Phi Phi” sign without a speedo-wearing tourist! Tee-hee…

Tourists Maya Bay, Kho Phi Phi Ley Thailand

 

 

Too many tourists or is it travel bucket list destination?

 

This is where travelers have very distinct opinions about Ko Phi Phi’s Maya Bay. It’s amazingly beautiful, no one is disputing that, but is the influx or tourists too much to be able to appreciate that beauty? Personally, I don’t think so. As you can tell, it was very crowded, but not too insane that I couldn’t get many pictures without any other people in them. I’ll post one of my fav instagram shots below.

If you want to see this beautiful place for yourself, I think you just need to go into Maya Bay knowing there will be a TON of tourists. If you’re expecting that, you won’t be disappointed. You just have to take it for what it is, a stunning place that everyone wants to see. The good news is, in my humble opinion, that the tourists weren’t annoying. Everyone was there for the simple reason of enjoying the beauty of the bay. There are no cheesy bars or any gimmicks on the island. The draw is the crystalline, azure waters and the towering, lush mountains framing the bay.

The Luv Aviatrix in Ko Phi Ph, Thailandi
The Luv Aviatrix in Ko Phi Phi #NoFilter #MayaBay #Thailand

Do I think it needs to be on your travel bucket list? No. I think that the islands of South Thailand DO need to be on your travel bucket list, but not these islands specifically because of the large amount of tourists. I would actually avoid Phuket and the touristy islands if you only have a short amount of time or will only be going to Thailand once. Visit the southern isles of Thailand for the more relaxed beauty if you’re trying to check off items on your bucket list.

 

In a nutshell: Girls trip, yeah visit chaotic, but fun Phuket and Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi. Honeymoon, try a more secluded island such as Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Tao or any of the smaller more off the beaten path islands in the gorgeous southern waters.

Happy Traveling!

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, My Fav Italian Getaway

Cinque Terre

Why Cinque Terre, Italy needs to be on your travel bucket list…

 

Imagine the primordial Ligurian cliffs towering three thousand feet over the Italian Riviera, the pale rock, shining in the sun. Now picture the turquoise waters of the famous Riviera stretching out in the distance, marred only by the tiny glittering reflections of Italian sunshine. Sounds idyllic, right? Add to that amazing landscape, hundred-year old, brightly colored homes built along the cliffs and you have a picture that more resembles more of skittles spilled onto rocks that a present day city. When you are walking the cobblestone streets of Cinque Terre, passing locals selling homemade Limoncello or fresh caught sardines, you have no choice but to be transported.

 

Manarola, Cinque Terre

 

 

Getting to Cinque Terre by Air:

 

     Milan (MXP) is my go-to because it’s close in proximity to Cinque Terre

By Train From Milan: Only about two and a half to three hours by train and you’re at La Spezia, the landing point for Cinque Terre. Train tickets will cost between 9-25 Euros depending on train type. Once you’re in full-on prep mode, check out time tables at TrenItalia.

     Rome (FCO) is a solid choice if you have more time cinque polaroid textand want to see more of Italy.

By Train from Rome: Expect a three and a half or four and a half hour ride, there are some trains that do the trip pretty fast, but it’ll cost more.

No matter where you decide to take the train from, all visits to Cinque Terre begin at La Spezia. Think of La Spezia as the landing of Cinque Terre. You can choose to stay here, but I much prefer to immerse myself amongth the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterroso.

 

   Don’t leave Cinque Terre without…

 

Hiking between the five villages of Cinque Terre

My first visit to Cinque Terre was in 2006 and I never took the train once I’d arrived in the first stop from La Spezia. I hiked between every village, working off the fresh pesto I’d consumed with glee. Hiking between the villages through olive groves and along cliffs overlooking the azure waters of the Riviera was hardly a chore. Hands down, I think this Cinque Terre hiking itinerary needs to be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Unfortunately, in 2011 there was massive flooding in the area and much of the hiking routes were damaged and is still recovering. Don’t let this stop you from visiting, but definitely check for updates on the popular hiking routes in Cinque Terre before you visit.

Soak up some sun with some amazing gelatocinque terre ice cream

 

OMG. I don’t even know what to say to describe the bliss that comes from homemade gelato on a hot day as one gazes out at the Italian Riviera. Truly, it’s a memory I’ll never forget. As a matter of fact, I probably had more than one a day my entire trip. Even flavors I don’t normally like, I LOVED! I call this Cinque Terre treat, Vitamin G 😉

 

 

 

Fish with the locals, or at least watch ;)Vernazza, Cinque Terre

You can’t be a local, but you can just sit back, relax and partake in the relaxed way that Cinque Terre locals get things done. Every day at sun rise, head to the harbor at Vernazza, grab a slice of pizza or a gelato, and cop a squat and watch the fisherman reel in their trophies. Don’t miss out on the cat’s that also flock to the harbor for their dinner as well.

 

Eat your fill of fresh Ligurian pesto!

The moment I stepped off the train in Riomaggiore, Italian men were offering to make me dinner. No kidding. Any woman that has been to Italy will believe me. Farther south, Italian men will offer to make Bolognese. In Cinque Terre, the men of Liguria will make you pesto-from scratch. I took my new friend up on his offer of a home cooked dinner and I was not disappointed. I watched Georgio use a mortar and pestle to hand grind together all the fresh ingredients. I promise you that dinner was amazing, but also, that every where I ate in Cinque Terre, food was prepared by locals with the same care. Maybe it’s the fresh ingredients, but everything in I consumed in Cinque Terre was amazing. I highly recommend the pesto pizza!

 

Still not convinced?

Here’s another glimpse into my past adventures in Cinque Terre

 

cinque terre italy cinque terre cathedralcinque terre olive grove

 

Cinque Terre Kittycinque windows

 

 

Now that you’re convinced you need a vacation to Italy, Cinque Terre perhaps, you’ll need some in-flight reading to leave you inspired…Recognize the cover? Yep, That’s Cinque Terre!

 

Beautiful Ruins

The story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel (Kindle Edition)


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Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

*This is an affiliate link which means I get commission for referring it, but I promise it’s an amazing read and guaranteed to transport you to the Italian Riviera if my post didn’t do the trick 😉

Or how about a Roman Time Travel romance? Read my review here.

Love, Eternally (Book One of the Roman Time Travel Series 1) (Kindle Edition)


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Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

 

So have you been to Cinque Terre, tell me how much you loved it! The Luv AviatrixIf not, what areas of Italy lave you craving a getaway?

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

P.S. Unfortunately, more recently Cinque Terre has seen an alarming increase in tourism due to cruise ships docking near by. This is bad timing since they were already trying to recover from devastating landslides and Cinque Terre is getting a reputation for disliking tourists. I say, travel there on your own, not with a cruise, and make an opinion for yourself. During the times that I have been there, and friends even recently, have said that locals are still welcoming if you are humble and respectful of the land and damage that has been done by large crowds in these tiny towns.  This is an important message that all travelers should keep with them anyways, no matter where they are.