Asia, Destinations, Spend Money, Travel
One year ago we jetted off to Thailand for a holiday of a lifetime, this was the first time we had gone away and done any kind of long term travelling together. We had planned our trip and planned where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see with a budget in mind.

Our final stop before heading back to Bangkok to fly home was Phuket, we had already stayed in the main hub of Phuket, so we stayed a little nearer the airport with the purpose of visiting the Soi Dog Foundation. It was something we had discovered during our trip and really wanted to go and visit.

What Is Soi Dog Foundation

The foundation is a non-profit organisation that was set up in 2003 in Phuket, Thailand to help the stray cats and dogs when there was no one else to look after them. The population of cats and dogs were ever growing due to lack of sterilisation (spay/neuter) and so the problem was getting worse. The organisation provide a humane and sustainable solution to managing the strays and the medical needs of the stray animals.

The foundation works in many different providences within Thailand to help control the stray population, with conducting mobile sterilisation clinics across Bangkok area. Sterilisation was the only humane way to control the growing population of stray animals which is now under control. 

The foundation also works hard campaigning for the improvement of animal welfare across Asia, also helping animals caught in natural disasters. One of the biggest fights they have is battling the ongoing Asian dog meat trade, which to many people helping campaign has almost wiped out in Thailand. They are still battling to end the trade in  South Korean, Vietnam, and other south-east Asian countries where it is prevalent. 

Why You Should Visit

Why wouldn’t you visit? If you are anything like me or Helen and you love your pet or even just like animals, your heart strings will be pulled and your eyes will be welling up with the sight of these animals and the heartbreak they have been through. As soon as we read a sentence about this place we knew instantly we wanted to go, there was no doubt about it. 

When we arrived we were greeted by one of the many volunteers that are working at the foundation and were told a little about how the organisation started. We then were taken on a tour around the centre and were told about the meat trade and the current expansion of a new hospital.



Walking around and seeing the amazing work the volunteers have gone to create a safe environment for the animals was heart warming. The dogs were separated into different areas, older dogs were kept together, puppies together and so on, you were able to go into certain enclosures to play with the dogs and spend time with them. They encourage you to go in and spend time with the dogs as much as possible, they also have a cat house with 3 rooms kitted out with toys, beds and climbing facilities for the cats to play with.

 

The foundation does so much more than finding the stray animals, fixing them up and releasing them again. The amazing people over at Soi Dog care for the bigger picture and give these wonderfully cute animals a second chance at life, many who aren’t able to survive on their own stay at the centre until they are adopted. You can donate to the charity, sponsor a dog or cat or even adopt, many people from around the world visit the centre and adopt a dog or cat they have met while on their visit. 



I really wanted to give this foundation justice due to the many animals they have saved, cared for and given back a life. I wanted to use the medium we have to really reach people to spread the amazing work these people have done and hopefully help some of the dogs and cats find new homes. 

If you have ever visited Soi Dog Foundation or even given to the charity, let me know in the comments what you thought and why you loved the charity so much.

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Destinations, Europe, Spend Money

Our time in Prague was different to the rest of our time in Europe. We settled down, and spent almost three weeks in this beautiful city. Catching up on work, sleep and exploring. It didn’t seem fitting to write a budget related post as we have done for our previous destinations (Bulgaria, Budapest, Bucharest)

So, instead I decided to put together this post. Best described as Postcards from Prague, to highlight the best of our time here…


If you’ve been watching our Youtube videos then you’ll know my brother Niall came out to visit us. We used most of our exploring time to show him around the city. Including taking a trip to Hamleys Toy Shop. 

While I’d never advise anyone to actually buy anything here (things are often priced above RRP) the photo opportunities for kids (or big kids like me) are endless. In fact, this particular Hamleys includes a slide that you can take down from the second floor to the first. I have to say I was a little disappointed when Helen told me I was too big to have a go.











Along one of the main strips within the historical old town we came across a torture museum. This museum was clearly targeted towards ‘typical tourists’ however we decided to take a look around regardless. 

We bought a duel ticket for this and the wax museum next door that cost a little under £10 per person. An while we weren’t disappointed, we also wasn’t blown away. With each museum taking around 30 minutes to walk around.


It’s no secret that Helen and I are huge fans of America. Which is why we jumped at the chance to have an American day in Prague. Exploring the Apple Museum (if you’ve not already read my more in-depth review you can here). As well as dine at the largest Hard Rock Cafe in Europe!


One of our final days truly exploring the city of Prague included a trip around the old town hall. This trip provides a behind-the-scenes look at perhaps the most popular attraction in Prague, the astronomical clock in action. The tour lasted an hour and was the perfect way to learn more about the history of Prague.













We followed this up with a trip to Prague Zoo. This came highly recommended on Trip Advisor and seemed like the perfect place to spend our afternoon in the sunshine. The entry costs were very reasonable (200kc adults, 150kc for children, seniors and students with family tickets available)

The zoo is around 45 minutes out of the city centre of Prague but is easily accessible by public transport. 




Prague is a truly magical place. I highly recommend visiting when you have the chance. As always, I’d love to know more about your experiences here, be sure to let me know in the comments below. In the meantime we’re heading off to our next destination, Berlin!

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Destinations, Europe, Spend Money, Travel
Prague probably isn’t where you’d expect to find an Apple Museum. Yet, here it is. This exhibition includes the most valuable and complex collection of computers dating from 1976 through to 2012. 

As both an avid Apple and Jobs enthusiast it was a MUST visit during my time in Prague and it didn’t disappoint. This private collection is enough to leave most Apple fans drooling. Even if you’re not an avid Apple fan, you can still find the beauty in this collection and the history and impact both Apple and Steve Jobs has had on our lives. 


The museum is simple and clean. A representation of the Apple products we know and love (I’ll try not get into an argument about how things at Apple have changed since Steve’s passing)





The formatting of the displays made for fantastic viewing allowing you to appreciate just how far these devices have come in such a short amount of time.



Connecting to the free WIFI inside the museum allowed you to seek information on each of the products corresponding to the number shown on the display. As well as a brief description of the product you could also find the retail cost, and dates the product was available to purchase from / until.


If all that time-walking left you with a thirst, be sure to check out Steven’s food which serves up natural, healthy food in the traditional Jobs manner. 

With the price to visit this exhibition very reasonable (€9 for adults, €7 for students, €4 for children and €22 for a family of 4) I’d say it’s one not to be missed.

With thanks to the Apple Museum for providing us with complimentary tickets to review this exhibition. Learn more at; www.AppleMuseum.com

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Destinations, Europe, Travel
On our last stop of our digital nomad adventure (or until we decide to jet off again), we went to Hamburg for 2 nights and I am so glad we did.

While here for our short stay, we picked out what we wanted to visit and off we went, first, of course, had to be the number one attraction in Hamburg, the Miniatur Wunderland.  

Miniatur Wunderland is a unique attraction in Hamburg and is definitely worth visiting, suitable for everyone with cheeky nude figurines for the adults, trains and an airport to keep everyone entertained, you really can’t go wrong.

We arrived on a Sunday late afternoon, headed up the stairs to the entrance, though I didn’t like the fight through the shop to get to the exhibition, you will soon forget once you see the magic. The exhibition is over 3 floors so there is a lot to see.

You are greeted at the top of the stairs by what looks to be a timetable on a screen, the screen displays the number of guests visited over the years from different destinations such as the UK, USA and more unknown as Saint Lucia and much more. This was a nice feature to see to really realise the popularity of the Miniatur Wunderland and Hamburg itself.


I was surprised to see how detailed the exhibition was, from each figure being individual and different from the last, the detailing in making everything so life like. I really enjoyed seeing places we had seen ourselves or knew to see the detail of the scenery and the buildings.


There is everything to entertain from a fully working airport with a departure and arrivals board along with taking off and landing. The attention to detail within each section is worth spending hours to find everything you can. I love that there is something for all ages, fans of cars, planes and trains as well as the hidden nudes and cheeky scenes for the adults.


The only downside to the exhibition is the crowds, it can get a little tight and be prepared to leave a particular exhibition and come back to it when it is less busy. As people like to take their time and see everything they can on the exhibit, it meant that there was quite a build up in the first room but once past that initial room it tends to spread out more. 


One of my favourite features of the exhibition was the change from daylight to nighttime and back again, with the details of the lights changing slowly to create a sunset and sunrise. Along with the change of days came the change within the exhibition, each car, building and street light also came on and off with the change. The attention to detail here was great to see and think it made it all the more exciting and real for me to see, especially if you visit Las Vegas in the change from daylight to sunset.


Overall I would definitely come again to Miniatur Wunderland to see more of the hidden figures, watch the planes take off and more. I would love to see it after more development and admire the hard work that has gone in to creating such an amazing place. 



If you have visited Miniatur Wunderland, let me know what you thought and your favourite part in the comments.

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Destinations, Europe, Spend Money, Travel
While we were making our way back to the UK from our digital nomad adventure, our final stop was Hamburg. We had heard so many nice things about Hamburg so we thought why not make the most of our time here. 

While staying in Hamburg we checked out some of the top things to do. It should come as no surprise that Chocoversum was first on our list.

If you didn’t already guess, it is a museum about chocolate, but not just any museum, this was an experience in itself or some may say a meal in itself. Who could possibly get to a city and turn down a visit to a chocolate museum? Not me!



Our Visit

We were booked in for an English tour starting 12.30, we arrived well before and got a chance to look around the store and bought a bottle of water. We debated the water after being told by the staff it was wise to have one with us, thinking it was going to be a scam but it really isn’t. We picked up a bottle of water for €1.50 from the shop, you will want a drink with you on the tour.


There are many tours daily and even if you can’t book onto an English speaking tour you can get a guide book. Tickets can be booked and purchased online or at the shop.  


When the tour starts we were given chocolate straight away, that to me is a great start. We walked into a room with a large fountain, that is covered with a protective plastic so unfortunately, I couldn’t just dunk my head underneath and drink the chocolate. The tour takes you from the very beginning of where the cocoa beans are grown and what makes the best cocoa bean as well as their shipping methods.


I really enjoyed the hands on learning of the tour as you can really get to see the raw material and experience the process that goes into making the chocolate. We had a great guide who was fun and really interacted with the group. The museum has plenty to see other than what is shown to you, not a detail was left out and definitely made me feel like I left an expert. 


The best part of the tour and I am sure everyone would agree is the part we got to make our own bar of chocolate, we were led into a room that had a beautiful smell of chocolate, although the whole museum smelt like that. On both sides of the room was a wide selection of different toppings from dried fruits, smarties and chocolates to gummy bears and sweets. We were able to pick 3 toppings to use on our bars, it was hard to choose just three but we managed in the end. 



We finished the tour and got out bars at the end to wrap up ourselves and take home to eat, though Helen’s didn’t last very long. There were plenty of opportunities to taste the chocolate on your way around and learn the difference between milk, dark and white chocolate.


We had a great time and feel it is something for everyone, there is plenty to learn and much more tasting and hands on than I thought there would be so I thought this was great.

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Europe, Food
When my brother came to town, he came with mum and dad’s bank card (mum, dad I love you. You’re the best!) and it meant we could treat ourselves to something us ‘young kids’ (can I still call ourselves that?) love. A trip to the local Hard Rock Cafe.

Helen and I have visited Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world. However, due to the nature of our budget during our European travels we’d been unable to visit one so far… It seemed however, that we saved ourselves for the best. By visiting the largest Hard Rock Cafe in Europe. Hard Rock Cafe, Prague. 


The Hard Rock Cafe in Prague is the largest in Europe set over four floors and decorated through-out. We opted for a rather early dinner (5.30pm) and so managed to walk straight in and be shown straight to a table on the second floor.

We we’re asked where we wanted to sit, and opted for a booth next to a guitar from a band I’d unfortunatly never heard of. Before the front of house staff member left us he asked us about some of our favourite artists in the hope of pointing us in the right direction to some of their memorabilia. This was a first in any Hard Rock I’d been to and made for a fantastic, and personal touch.


We’ve eaten at Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world. Therefore I thought I knew what I wanted. That was until my brother reminded me of the delightful food he ordered in Orlando that left me mouthwateringly jealous. 

So… I ordered something different from my usual alongside a standard refillable diet coke. Refillable soft drinks are a staple at any Hard Rock and are often the reason behind me not trying one of their signature cocktails instead.


It wasn’t long until the food arrived. Niall and I had gone for the Chicken flatbread with slices of avocado (yum!) and decided to share some specially seasoned fries (garlic and herb)


Helen on the other hand went for her traditional Hard Rock meal. The bacon cheeseburger. This meal comes with a side of fries and is AMAZING!

Even someone with a glutton appetite will struggle to make it onto desert after this…


The entire meal for the three of us came to a reasonable 1280 CZK (equivalent to £44 at the time of dining). On top of this we left a generous tip as the waiter was particularly prompt in service and a pleasure to speak to.


After dinner, we did what we do when visiting the vast majority of Hard Rock cafe’s around the world. We began browsing the staggering amount of musical memorabilia. Here’s some of my highlights;




So, if you’re in Prague and you’re after a very filling meal at a rather reasonable price. Then I suggest you look no further than Europe’s largest Hard Rock Cafe. 

As always, if you’ve dined here I’d love to know about your experience? Was it good? bad? indifferent? What’s you’re favourite meal to order from your Hard Rock Cafe of choice?
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Destinations, Europe, Spend Money, Travel

We have recently left the beautiful Vienna wow, what a fabulous place. I was quick to see why this continues to be known at the cultural capital of Europe. With such high recommendations, it was hard to miss this wonderful city on our journey.

Convinced, that this is a MUST SEE destination in Europe it seemed only fitting to put together a guide as to 48 hours in Vienna;

It, therefore, seemed only fitting that we put together our guide of how to spend 48 hours in Vienna;

Flights

While we travelled from bordering Bratislava, you can easily get return flights to Vienna for less than £100 from airports across the UK. The flight takes approximately 2 and a half hours, and is a common route for UK based budget airline EasyJet.

 

Hotels

Hotels in Vienna are plentiful with something for all budgets. We opted to cash in some Avios points and stay in All You Need Hotel Vienna 4

Here’s a list of some of the best value for money hotels in Vienna available right now to book using Booking.com;

Booking.com


Attractions

Our hotel was within walking distance of everything we wanted to see during our trip to Vienna, and to reduce our costs we only visited the free attractions within the city. 

However, city cards are available. You can purchase for 24hour, 48hour and 72hour. These each has different benefits and free public transport as well as different discounts into attractions and tours. 


There is also a new card that includes more discounts and bus tours. At the time of writing the card currently costs the following;



In my opinion, I think there is plenty to see and do within Vienna for free, but if you are wanting to see everything you possibly can, I would choose the white card as it included the hop on hop off bus tour which is pricey on their own.

If you are only looking to see one or two particular attractions then I would say this card would not be worth it and you’d be better off buying the attraction tickets individually. 

Food

We had the pleasure of eating, drinking and working in three fabulous places during our time in Vienna. For the remainder we opted for cheap eats from the local supermarket Billa or a fast-food lunch from McDonalds (don’t judge)


If you’re looking to taste traditional Austrian dishes then you’re best off looking for a Wiener Schnitzel. This traditional Austrian dish made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet (escalope-style preparation), and fried with a coating of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. An is readily available from most restaurants within the centre of Vienna. 


If all this information wasn’t enough, then check out our daily vlog exploring Vienna below, in the meantime be sure to let me know in the comments what you think of Vienna, Austria. 

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Accommodation, Europe, Travel

We are continuing on our digital nomad adventure through Europe working our way from Bulgaria north towards the UK. On our way, we stopped in to see the magnificent Vienna, Austria

This was our first trip to Austria. We did think of skipping it out due to the expense, however we were persuaded to put it back on our map. From meeting fellow travellers and hearing the tales of the beautiful city, there was no choice but to come and see it for ourselves.

 

Trip Details

Dates: 4th July 2017 – 6th July 2017 
Nights:
 2
Price We Paid Per Night: 16,000 Avios est equivalent £46.50 per night
Room Type:
Double room with en-suite
Booking Platform: 
Avios

Location

The hotel was located on a side street off one of the main roads that leads you into the city centre. While the tram and bus links we’re easily accessible we opted to walk to the city – it takes around 20 minutes at a steady pace.



Being on a main road on the way into the city the location of All You Need Vienna 4 also benefitted from a surrounding of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and supermarkets. Ideal if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat on your way out of / into the city.

The Room

We stayed in a twin room with ensuite bathroom on the second floor. The room was clean, had everything we needed for a short stop-over although it weirdly resembled a school. The beds were super comfortable – just what we needed after a long day of travel. The room also came with plenty of storage although it lacked any personality. 


The room at All You Need Vienna 4 was functional, light and very spacious. It had a small table that was great for us to work at and great big windows that opened to let in air.

Facilities

The room came with an en-suite bathroom complete with complimentary soap bar and a small sachet of shampoo. 

Breakfast is available at All You Need Vienna 4 hotel however it’s an additional €8 per person. Because of this we opted to walk to the local Billa supermarket and pick up a pastry for around €1 each. 

The room didn’t have a fridge but majority of the time being spent roaming the beautiful city there was no need for one. The hotel also came with complimentary WIFI. The internet speed in Vienna is good and the hotel was no exception.



In conclusion All You Need Vienna 4 Hotel is a great place for a couple of nights. Certainly, if you plan to spend the majority of your time out exploring the city. 

I would stay here again as I found the location ideal and the room had everything we needed. If you are looking for somewhere long term or something with more to it then this isn’t the place for you. 

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