Is Indian food vegan aside from vegan curry? I think a lot of people believe India is super vegan-friendly. The short answer is: not always. Have you heard of ghee? The ubiquitous clarified butter that makes an appearance in so much vegan Indian food? Yeah, not vegan. Indians are also quite fond of dairy (and don’t understand that it’s not vegan!), something I find mind-boggling given how much they love their cows. I haven’t been back to India since I was in Goa in 2015, and I’m excited to be going back for a quick break from the Winter in a few weeks. I thought now would be a good time for asking my fellow travel bloggers what surprises hide for me in vegan India outside of vegan curry.
It’s a shame that Koh Phangan has a rap to certain only for the Full Moon Party. People from all over the world flock to this pristine island to pretty much ruin it, ruin the peace, ruin the environment, and disrespect the locals. If you think I’m exaggerating, watch Trouble in paradise on Youtube. I first came to Koh Phangan five years ago not knowing what to expect, having only heard of the Full Moon Party via Alex Garland. I ended up falling hard for what would become “my special place”. I’ve since returned numerous times, mostly for two things: the vegan food and Koh Phangan Yoga.
It’s cold. You are environmentally-aware and vegan and want to make ethical purchasing choices. You need vegan boots and don’t know where to start. Urgh, I get it.
Buying winter clothes can be a headache for the overly aware, I know this all too well. But whoever said you needed to feather birds and kill cows in order to stay warm was obviously full of shit. If you must purchase a pair of brand new vegan boots this winter, know that there are so many brands out there with environmental and social awareness at their core value. They make durable and fashionable pieces using no animal products in socially-responsible factories and are often small family-owned businesses that are really worth supporting. So since the weather is pretty much turning to crap, today I wanted to present you with some great options for vegan footwear so you stay warm and dry.
The holiday season is right upon us yet again and it’s time for taking it easy, meeting with loved ones, taking care of ourselves and eating way too much food. While I’m not exactly fond of Christmas and the mass-consumerism it entails, I know some people love to treat their loved ones with presents. Sometimes it’s also a great opportunity to treat others (or yourself) with something you/they were missing in their brand new house, for example, wink wink, not talking about myself at all here. Today I wanted to compile some great vegan gift ideas.
The best travel advice often times come from words of mouth from other travellers rather than from a guidebook. Hence, when a friend said to me that I HAD TO go to Phong Nha Cave, I trusted that I did indeed have to go to Phong Nha Cave, and the seemingly extravagant expenses (that is, in comparison to my $45 USD a day budget) attached to the trip were overweighted by the appeal of walking through some of the biggest and most recently discovered caves in the world. And so I hopped on the train from Danang heading to động Phong Nha, and I’d say that the train ride alone made the journey worthwhile. The scenery between Danang and Huế is straight out of a game is Myst and I was a little sad that I was not able to stop and explore all these beautiful rural coastal areas along the Hải Vân Pass.
As a solo traveller, your travel rucksack is more or less your only companion. It’s been beside (or behind haha lol, sorry) you through all the hustling, road confusion, food crawl, couchsurfing, beach bumming, and mountain climbing. Friends come and go, but your backpack remains. And, well, who needs friends when you have the best outdoor backpack, amirite?
Through my years of backpacking, I’ve tried many a-backpacks. Today, I’d like to share with you the best backpacking backpacks for any occasion: for versatility, as a carry on, for a day trip, for hiking, for when you’re too tired to carry your backpack on your back and want a travel backpack with wheels, for wet water-heavy adventures, for when you want an overall lightweight backpack, and the best travel backpack for women. Let’s get packing, mofo’s!
I’m not sure why, but y’all here seem to really enjoy having me getting nude in the city and sharing about it. So, kind as I am, I decided to take yet another one for the team after Vabali and Kitkat Club, and bare it all again, this time at the much anticipated Liquidrom Spa Berlin. Liquidrom is a sauna in the heart of Berlin that I’d read and heard much about and I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally visit. But finally, I did! So was Liquidrom worth its hype? Were there people fornicating openly in the pool as several Tripadvisor reviews had purported? Had Vabali ruined every other spa in the city in advance? Let us first disrobe and dive right into it. *flails imaginary dong*
Bangkok is possibly the city I commuted through the most during my time in Asia. I love Bangkok. And I love how vegan Bangkok is – just search for the little red on yellow “jay” flag at the entrance of cafeteria-style Buddhist eateries. These are convenient and cheap and sometimes delicious, but their emphasis isn’t on health and great ingredients – most of the time you’ll find MSG-laden overcooked slop. What really started exciting me, as well as all the fantastic rooftop bars in Bangkok, is the sheer quantity of hip, health-minded and vegan friendly or even vegan-only eateries that offer a slightly more upscale dining experience and deliver an extensive and exciting range of cuisine putting forth quality organic ingredients and innovative cooking styles.
I was a bit underwhelmed the first-ever time I set foot in Berlin. I thought the city lacked in “WOW” factor and was sprawling too much and missing some form of a focal point. Some may beg to differ, but this was my first impression. But here’s the thing. Correlating my relationship to Berlin to a romantic one (and I think it very much is), since I have been doing a ton of dating since I’ve been here and come to see differences between exploding flamboyant things that crash and burn in seconds and slow burners that surprise you over time and make you grow fonder. Berlin is a total slow burner. It may not impress you immediately, but give it time and patience, and it’ll start to grow on you until you just can’t get enough of it and start seeing beauty at every corner.
An extended layover in Iceland en route from America to Europe is a brilliant idea, as it is pretty much smack in the middle and it is honestly one of the most fascinating countries I have ever been too. Icelandair understood that and is now offering up to a seven-day layover at no additional cost on many trans-Atlantic routes. Once you’re in Iceland, because of the poor public transport system outside of Reykjavik, there are two ways to explore all the things to do in Iceland: either by A – joining a group tour (and you may have read that it isn’t exactly my thing…) or B – by renting a car and doing your Iceland road trip like a big adult. When I partnered with TripCreator for my Iceland itinerary, I was informed that the latter was the plan, and I did have a brief moment of panic because… I do not know how to drive! Thankfully, the funny and wild woman that is my mother volunteered herself to be driving in Iceland, so we were all set to go! Yay!