Everything You Need to Know About That Can of Beer You’re Holding

beer

Whether it’s your drink of choice every night out or you find the taste too strong for your preference, no one can deny how beer is a staple in every bar, club, or restaurant almost anywhere in the world. Unlike other alcoholic drinks, beer dates to ancient civilizations, possibly as early as 10,000 BC. Today, it’s still one of the top choices of millions of adults and is currently the third most popular drink, after water and tea. When you’re cracking open a cold one, have you ever stopped to consider what it took to get a truckload of wheat …

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Fearless Solo Travel: Backpacking Tips for the Ladies

solo female backpacker

Traveling solo can be daunting and dangerous, especially if you’re a woman. But it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do, especially at a time like this. They say that backpacking is the province of men, but that paradigm has been shaken for quite some time now, and more and more women are feeding their wanderlust to their heart’s desire. If you think about it, female vagabonds are the living, breathing proof that we can do anything, a striking contrast to what society’s perception of us: dependent and incapable. Nevertheless, safety is a priority when you travel …

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Go Zero Waste When Traveling with These Tips

zero waste traveler

Traveling is a fun, rewarding, and oftentimes, enlightening experience. But one thing you’ll realize along the way is how much waste and carbon footprint you’re leaving. That is not to say, however, that you’ll be a better steward of nature if you travel less and stay at home more. It’s all a matter of being mindful of our actions and making a commitment to leave minimal impact on the environment. Whether you’ve just started a nomadic lifestyle or been at it for years, going zero waste is a worthy cause and philosophy to live by. To help you transition, allow …

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WWOOFING in Southeast Asia: Top 5 Countries for Your WWOOF Adventure

organic farm in southeast asia

Farming has never been my strongest suit, having been a city boy most of my life. But developing a green thumb or any other farming skill can take you places. It also paves the way for a unique and authentic experience with a place and culture. WWOOFing is one of the best ways to live and learn in organic farms anywhere in the world. The name is taken from WWOOF, or the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an international movement that links volunteers with organic farms and growers. The premise is that you’ll help out on the farm in …

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Hiking the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail

ngong-ping-trail

While it should be one of the most popular hiking trails in Hong Kong, very few people seem to know about the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail – a 6-kilometer trail (but feels like 8 kilometers) running directly under the cable cars in Lantau Island Hong Kong leading to the Big Buddha.  The trail is called that because the commercial park you travel to before getting to the monastery and the Big Buddha is called Ngong Ping 360, and the trail was originally built to service the cable cars throughout the whole trail, breaking from the trail for only less …

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Exploring Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s Storied, Pulsating Capital

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vietnam conjures up harrowing images of war and demonstrations. At a young age, I already had a rough sketch not only of the brutal conflict in Indochina, but also the one waged at home. Naturally, as the big history buff that I am, I find myself booking a flight to Ho Chi Minh, with the intent to uncover treasures of the past. Formerly known as Saigon, and still fondly referred to by most locals as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is like any other bustling metropolis at first glance. On my first day, the roar of cyclos greeted me along with …

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Japan on a Shoestring: Budget Tips

japan at night

It’s no secret to the backpacking community that Japan is an expensive destination. The purist budget traveler in me would stay away from it, but it’s hard to ignore the country’s rich culture, enigmatic cityscapes, and natural wonder. Despite its ridiculously high cost of living, I am still drawn and deeply attached to this country, which is why I keep coming back to it despite my lifestyle and limited resources. The main advantage to being a shoestring traveler for many years is that stretching a budget and getting more for less would require minimum effort. Japan is no exception to …

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Meeting Borneo’s Enigmatic Orangutans

borneo orangutan

On a solo trip to Kota Kinabalu, I met Sarah, a middle-aged woman who dedicated her entire life to the conservation of orangutans. She’s no primatologist, nor does she see herself as an eco-warrior of some sort. Deeply fascinated, I asked, “What made you decide this is what you want to do?” I expected to hear something political or a heated discussion about poaching and the destructive palm oil industry. Instead, she answered, “One day, I took a tour to a wildlife conservancy in Kubah National Park, and happened upon a motherless baby orangutan nibbling on a leaf. I felt …

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On Board the Dream-like Trans-Mongolian Train

trans-mongolian railway

I’d like to call myself an enthusiast of long rail journeys. There’s something melodic about the slow but constant change of scenery as the train trundles past tarnished railway tracks. My trip from Moscow, Russia to Beijing, China via the Trans-Mongolian Railway was one such voyage. The route crosses two continents, three vast countries, and several prominent landmarks, including a vast portion of Siberia, the Ural Mountains, Lake Baikal, the Gobi Desert, and the Great Wall of China. I admit that before embarking on this journey, I entertained myths about endless snow, frozen soil, and blizzards that caused trains to …

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Eco-touring West Malaysia: 5 Forest Reserves to Visit

Penang National Park

The vast majority of West Malaysia is a tranquil tropical rainforest, far removed from the frenzy and anxieties that beset city life. Picture a cozy cabin suspended by wooden stilts, intertwined into an understory of saplings, palms, and mangrove. Native groundcovers fringe the damp trail, inching to reclaim lost ground. A hanging bridge weaves through brackish water and a canopy of hardwood. Birdsong, the dawn chorus of siamangs (giant gibbons), an invisible waterfall nearby, inviting you to a dreamlike state of sensory bliss. This is Peninsular Malaysia – home to the Rafflesia, ancient kempas hardwood, and the elusive Malayan tiger. …

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