Reviews on Vegan and ethical products, recipes and travel
So in 2016 we were lucky enough to visit Rio during the Olympics, and boy it didn’t disappoint. During our short stay, we booked a hotel nearby the famous Escalera da Selaron. This was a set of steep and beautiful steps covered in tiles that an artist had designed during his time in Rio. This was a top tourist spot and although it was awesome to see I wouldn’t recommend staying as close as we did, as there was huge parties most nights. Putting to bed the rumours of Rio being a party city. This part of the city showcased a real local vibe with street markets a regular occurrence ranging from fruits, veg and general household items. One great feature of Rio was it’s new underground train system which we found incredibly easy to navigate and used to head most days to the famous Copacabanna Beach. I have to say this beach was epic, stretching miles and offering everything from volleyball to a huge area of umbrella sun lounges. We stopped here to enjoy a mountain view to the left and an awesome drink called the caprinha, which should be tasted but not over indulged upon. (heavy on the vodka)What we found most interesting was the constant shops selling only chocolate and crisps, they were all branded and stretched right along shelves and metal crates. We often bought big bags of crisps to enjoy with a good bottle of Brahma lager sold at most bars. On one day we stretched further a field using the trains to visit the Sugarloaf mountain, you have to get on a huge cable car which takes you from ground zero to right on top the highest point. The views were spectacular and stretched for the whole of Rio, including of the Christ Redeemer statue. Rio was a busy city and with the Olympics it was crazy at times, but it had a real party feel to it which extended all over. It was hard to see at times the level of poverty but I must say they are a truly resourceful country and will always extend you a warm welcome. It has to be visited and with the new transport links it was far easier than I could have ever imagined. Happy Travels.
Whilst traveling, Bali was the first country I came to that would test whether or not it was possible to eat whilst being a vegetarian. I was very conscious that I could probably not find many foods that I could eat, but that they would be processed and harmful to my body. I also wanted the food to be rich in culture and be based around national dishes of the country. We first traveled to Ubud in the forest region on Bali. Where we first encountered the term Warung which means Home. These are small restaurants that are run by the locals, often serving local or national dishes. These are common places around Bali, and in our experience have offered the best quality foods at the cheapest prices. One of the first dishes I ate was called Cap Cay which is a vegetable broth with beautifully steamed veg. It is spiced with chili, peppers and soy sauce. We ordered a bowl of steamed rice each which was very cheap and filling. We did a bit of island hopping which is recommended to see the crystal blue seas and stay beach side in cool and cosy bamboo huts. Whilst on the island of Lembongan, we ate in several Warungs which varied in offering foreign or local dishes. One dish in particular that stood out was a breakfast toasty called a Jaffle which is simply two pieces of toast melted banana with honey inside. This made our mornings we often added Nutella or cheese which gave it a yummy twist. Lastly if your thinking of heading to the mainland of Sanur then you will be met with a busy main road teeming with shops, bars and local Warungs. Two main dishes that kept me going throughout was Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng which are simply fried rice and fried noodles. Mix this with Gado Gado a blend of fried tofu and vegetables and you have an epic mix of spices and crispy veg. Wash it all down with a glass of Kopi a local coffee and you have the perfect blend. Happy travels!!
Through our travels, South Korea was one country we knew the least about. It is safe to say it left us thinking it was a truly awesome country to visit. Our first destination was to Seoul, a vibrant city full of young workers looking to make a name for themselves. Firstly we arrived from the airport and amazingly got a train direct to the center of Seoul. After a few changes on the tube we headed to Myeong-dong where we stayed in a cute little hotel offering all you could need for a very good price. The first thing we noticed was there are a lot of coffee shops, and cafes offering a range of options. One aspect of this was their love of the sweet stuff, yogurts and ice creams being the most readily available. The coffee is very good and you can get a range of brands and local cafes offering different prices and offers. Korea was tricky to find vegetarian dishes, so you may have to get creative, often noodle bars will sell tofu and soups and you may have to ask the question to see if meat is added. Kimchi was a staple of many dishes and given on the side, it is a fermented cabbage which is spicy and gives a real kick to the dish. We often went to Paris Baguette which sells many sandwiches and breads to make your own lunches if you are on a tight budget. The national park and Seoul Tower must be visited and both are free! The views at the top of the tower are spectacular and give a real insight into the way Seoul has grown with the cover of the mountains around it. We then go a short flight to the island of Jeju, this is a tourist haven for Koreans as it is a tax free island, so duty free items are aplenty. The island boasts both of natural beauty and sweeping views to the seas. We stayed in both the city of Jeju and of Seogwipo, which can be traveled to by a bus. Much like London you can get a travel card that you load money on and use on any public transport, not having to worry about giving money to the drivers. Heading to the mountains and national parks is a must, and allows you to see stunning views no mater where you may be, Go on walks and explore the nature, with the island being famous for his orange production and natural skin products. One food dish we did enjoy in Seogwipo was called Bibimbap a collection of noodles, eggs and soy sauce, to which you stir and mix yourself to create a blend of flavors. This was washed down with Kiwi extract a digestion boosting drink. Not much English is spoken in Korea but everyone we spoke to were very friendly and super interested in why we were visiting the country. You may have to work hard at times to explain what food you would like but if in doubt on the content you can always have a cup of noodles which they self in all the local shops. We really enjoyed the natural beauty in Korea and loved our time there, really has to be talked about more as a travel destination. Enjoy!!
Visiting Japan was as special as we though it would be, showing us a wide range of lifestyles, history and natural beauty. Our first destination was to the huge city of Tokyo, and after landing into Narita airport it was very easy to travel via train right into the center of Tokyo. We found using the loadable Suica card very easy and just jumped on the many trains heading into the city. During our time in Tokyo we headed to the akinhabara area to witness what can only be described as the electrical district. This is a hive of activity no matter what time of the day, where you can visit gaming stores 6 floors up or grab a coffee in character themed waiters. There are many cheeky food stalls along the road where you can get red bean pastries or a quick bite of noodles. After a brief flight to Osaka we stayed in multiple areas and really got a flavor for how this big city has developed. It acted as a hub for us to travel out and visit the great natural sites of Japan. One that really stood out for me was the mountain called Mount Ikoma, a short train ride from Shin-Osaka station. You can walk all the way to the top, where it hosts this little theme park, which is only open part of the time and boasts views across the city. (very creepy) However my favorite element was the Zen Temple, that zinged with silence and awe. It was a beautiful place that will be in my memories for a lifetime. Whilst in Japan we got trains and flights to visit a few of the key areas, one in particular was Kyoto. This is a small but idylic place hosting some of the most historical sites of Japan, including the Bamboo forest. Most sites you will need to pay for but there are many areas you can just walk through, including the local market. One food that must be eaten and as random as it sounds it’s Lawton’s Egg sandwich. Lawton’s is Japans version of 7-11 in Thailand and will not fail in giving you the bare essentials. You have to try it to see just how great it is!! Japan was a crazy and wonderful place, with many areas of interest, you have to visit and would be on many people's visit list. Food was tricky at times, but they have many options around egg and noodles. We loved scooting around supermarkets finding fresh sushi and yummy pasta dishes. Food could be expensive at times but mostly, if you found the right shops a tight budget could be managed. Happy Travels!!
During our time in Cambodia, we found a variety of foods which were both rich in culture and born out of a booming tourist industry. First we traveled to Phnom Penh to which we stayed in the main tourist area by the Tonel Sap river and the Royal Palace which is a gleaming gold building bursting with history. Along the river is a great choice of restaurants from, ice cream to homemade noodle houses. The riverside as you can imagine can be more expensive as it has the views to go with it. We however ventured more inland to which we dined in locally run restaurants, it was not only cheaper but had a real local vibe. We mostly enjoyed fried noodle or fried rice dishes with a mix of vegetables and Tofu, all noddles were made in front of your eyes by very skillful chefs who weirdly were always called Dave. This may just be a tourist idea but we enjoyed it. With a regular 30 degree heat beaming down, it was essential that we enjoyed a happy hour beer. Most bars selling the really yummy Cambodian lager which was on tap, and even better was often only 50p a glass. In Phnom Penh we tried to engage in as much of it’s history as we could, and there is plenty to choose from. Hiring a Tuk Tuk driver for the day was a great way to see multiple places and not have to worry about transport. For 11 dollars we visited the Killing fields and the S21 Prison, both were incredibly emotional visits and showed how much the country as changed. A trip I would recommend would be to take a boat cruise on the Mekong river at sunset, the views were incredible and the the colours so vivid. Before heading to Thailand we spent some time in Siem Reap, to get there we went on a 4 hour bus journey with predominantly locals. This was easily organized through our hotel and fairly cheap at 10 dollars a ticket, although a bumpy ride it was pleasant enough. The main reason for visiting this ever growing city was to see the world heritage site, Angor Wat. This was a truly special place we spent all day looking at these beautiful and historic sites, it was made all the more special by the vivid colours of the orange sand, peircing blue sky and overwhelmingly hot sun. It really has to be seen to be believed. What we didn't expect to find was a bustling market city with an aply named Pub Street, to which had a whole street of cheap bars and tourist style restaurants. Although there wasn’t the same culture of food here it was a really genuine and honest city which had locals making a living. We enjoyed the noodles at the side of the road which included tofu, egg and chili super tasty. Cambodia is definitely rough around the edges but it had some really special people who are extremely hard working, to the ever increasing women builders to the road side noodle makers. It oozes culture and history which has to be seen, alongside a bustling city with plenty to see and visit. You have to visit this amazing country!!
When we arrived in Phucket the first thing people told us was you need to visit 7/11, it has all you need to survive on if you don’t fancy eating too much local food. What we didn’t realise was they are everywhere, on street corners in supermarkets and even on the islands. This shop is great for providing you with the essentials but really should be avoided if your looking for a hot meal!! In Thailand we spent most of our time in the south, island hopping. We first went to Koh-Lanta which was only a minibus drive from Krabi, a large town with many travel companies willing to help organise travel. Before you head over just take your time to visit the local market for it has some great taster dishes from chocolate pineapple to deep fried potato balls. More interestingly there are some amazing temples in Krabi which are free to walk around and definitely worth a visit. On this island there is many local dishes to munch on, the south is known for it’s spicy curries. To which we ate in a local restaurant with a really nice owner who upon asking for a Tofu curry, wanted to know what percentage spicy we would like. He proceeded to show us a chart and how people have liked it in the past, I went for 30% which was way too hot for me but it was a really tasty curry. You will find loads of little local places that make amazing curries and tofu dishes, don’t be afraid to try and taste it all. We then took a boat over to a tiny island called Koh-Mook, this boasts of emerald green seas and a huge open sandy beach. However one side of the island is owned by a huge hotel, but if you head to the eastern side of the island you can walk behind the houses to a hotel that allows the public to sit and enjoy the tasty views out to sea. Grab a iced Thai tea and enjoy the view. I truly loved this island and although small it really feels like you’re living with the locals and has a homely feel to it, we stayed in some bamboo huts which were cool at night and boasted sea views. On our way back towards the mainland and Bangkok we visited Ao-Nang which is south of Krabi, and has a beautiful blue sea and a more developed town to visit and enjoy a night on the town. From here we made a base and rented a scooter, visiting the tiger temple which amazingly is free, however to reach the top of the mountain there are over a 1000 steps! It was a very sacred place and proper clothing was vital, we had a special day driving around the town and countryside taking in the sites. This was made better by stopping of a the local market to buy a Thai tea, banana and chocolate covered pancake so yummy!! We loved Thailand, the people are so kind and the food is special, being a veggie is not hard with dishes like pad Thai, and tofu curry how can you go wrong. I always just asked for a dish instead of chicken to have tofu and they will always say yes. Safe Travels
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