This summer I’m finally returning to Japan after two years! Because I have been doing a lot of planning, updating my Japan bucket list and just going through some of the amazing memories I had during my first visit, I thought it would be ideal to share some of this information with you. That’s why I have updated my old Japan bucket list post about Golden Pavilion aka one of the places in Japan that made the most lasting impression on me.
Like always all comments and questions are more than welcome. What are some of the things on your bucket list that you would love to revisit? I hope you enjoy!
Why should you add Kinkakuji to your bucket list?
Like I mentioned this temple is the place to take your best travel photos. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.
But in reality, I’m just kidding. The golden pavilion did impress me. I would not recommend it for you if it was just for that one selfie. I had never seen quite anything like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion.
Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan and Kyoto. This pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there.
So let me make sure you will fall in love with Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this temple is the must place to go in Kyoto and take the new charming selfie…
Other Names: Kinkakuji
Where? Kyoto, Japan
How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station
When to go? I think the prettiest times to visit are when there are autumn leaves. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to…
The name of this blog post may seem kind of silly but that’s literally today’s subject. We’re going to talk about the weather and not just any weather. The weather during your adventure. We usually check the weather of our travel destination before booking the tickets or at least before we start packing.However, sometimes that’s not enough.
There’re many things you should take into account while checking conditions for your holiday season. This is my travel guide for surviving the weather in any possible travel destination. (Don’t blame me if I give bad tips…)
Research the long-term weather statistics
Most people check only the forecast for their travel dates while the more “experienced travelers” search for last year’s weather during their trip’s time. Both are good ways to prepare yourself for the adventure and you should learn to do them always before booking any flights. (There’s a huge difference between visiting places for a beach holiday in winter and in summer.) However, I’m more thorough than most people. Let me explain. I have lived my whole life in Finland and so the unpredictable weather conditions are my specialty. They may promise us hot summer days for next week but then it ends up snowing. You never know.
This is why a long-term weather statistics are my best friends. Just google your destination and weather statistics. You should get the average temperatures for several years. What has been the highest temperature? What about the lowest? Now you know all the possibilities. It’s time to start packing.
Clothes with many usages for travelers
Packing is never an easy project. My secret is packing clothes that I can use in many different ways. Okay, think normal jeans with not too skinny legs. When it’s chilly weather you can use them normally, no problems and you will keep yourself warm. But then you get to the destination and it’s super hot every day – not even close to jeans weather. What can you do? Roll the legs of your jeans and change them to stylish capri pants. This same rule goes for many other clothes:
Huge scarf changes to blanket that makes your airplane experience luxurious.
You can use top on its own or under hoodies.
Dresses aren’t just for hot days! Put leggings under your favorite dress and you will be ready to survive chilly evenings.
Roll the sleeves of your shirt and survive surprising sunny days.
Pack pajamas that you can turn to trendy daytime clothes in an emergency.
Sun is warm, shades are cold
You may have seen sketches of goths running from shadow to shadow so they wouldn’t get roasted in the sun because of the black clothes. It may seem funny but totally usable tactic for all travelers who are in trouble with the weather. When you are feeling cold, search for sunny spots. Even in Finnish winter, we all know that standing in sunlight is much better than hiding in the shadows. Winter sun on your skin is one of the best feelings in this world! But same goes for summer and shades. When you are feeling too hot, just stand under a tree or run from one shadow to another one. You will look stupid but hey who cares!
Traveling isn’t just about the temperatures
Temperatures and weather are of course important parts of the conditions in your travel destination. But the humidity level will also affect your holiday. Warm weather isn’t always nice and soothing. I remember experiencing extremely humidity for the first time during my trip to Tokyo. It was hard to breathe and you got tired quickly. Not nice travel weather even if the temperatures weren’t too high for me. So, when you pick travel destination for the nice hot weather, remember to check their humidity levels. I wouldn’t recommend traveling to a destination with a too high humidity percentage. You will literally die if you aren’t used to it.
Travelers are all different
What kind of weather are you used to? It’s important. Believe me! I’m from Finland and we don’t usually get over 30°C at summer time. When I travel somewhere with hot temperatures, I’m dead. When we were in Rome with my mum, it was like a torture. We couldn’t be outside for longer than a few hours because it was so hot. And when I say hot I mean like 33°C. We met other Finns on our way to Colosseum and they were having the same problems as us. The hot temperatures just don’t work out for us northern citizens.
Same goes the other way around. I will forever remember a few occasions I have been in a hostel and had heated conversation about the current weather. While in Japan I got odd looks from the locals and concerned questions from the hostel receptionist. All this because I went outside wearing a light top when it was in their opinion autumn weather (come on it was like 20 Celcius!) This same happened while in Iceland. We northern citizens were wearing only light clothes and autumn gear while everyone else was dying of the cold weather.
Not every attraction can be seen around the year
The last but not the least of these points I want to share with you doesn’t have anything to do with you as a traveler. Some attractions are weather-related. Maybe the best example of this are ice and snow. It’s hard to see snow castles or igloos if it’s not cold enough weather. This isn’t the only thing. It was really windy when I visited New York and Statue of Liberty so I couldn’t go to the most famous spot: the torch. In Iceland, we didn’t see Northern Lights because the solar wind forecast wasn’t on our side. These’re just some examples so if you are going somewhere just to see one attraction, remember to check it’s availability at that time of the year.
Do you have any funny stories regarding weather during your travels? Or did I forget some important tricks you would recommend for everyone? Like always all comments are more than welcome.
I have finally decided to write that long waited for Brighton travel guide. My first trip to Brighton was about a year ago but after talking about returning there for months I finally packed my bags earlier this year. I’m in love with Brighton and so should you. Most travelers just go to London not even look for other possibilities. Read this guide and decide if Brighton is the right destination for you. Skip to the end if you only want tips for day trips to Brighton from London.
Basic facts of Brighton:
When you start planning a trip to Brighton in the UK, remember to keep in mind at all times that there’re several cities called Brighton all around the world. Mixing these places up is easy (it happened to me so believe I know!) Britain’s Brighton is in fact only a part of a city called Brighton and Hove.
Population: 290 000 Language: English Currency: British pound Time zone: UTC/UTC+1 (they use summer time) Summer weather: average day temperature of 21°C Winter weather: average day temperature of 7°C
Should I travel to Brighton?
In my opinion: YES! The city is beautiful, easily accessible and full of this to do or see. It mixes the best sides of shopping holiday, beach days and city breaks. All these within a walking distance! If this isn’t enough to make you get interested in the travel possibilities to Brighton, just check out their pier! (The new one, not the old abandoned one.) I love wooden piers and Brighton’s is my favorite. The gaming halls full of claw machines and coin games are like a heaven.
When to travel to Brighton?
You can visit Brighton around the year but their tourist season is during summer because then the weather is then more fitting for beach life. The temperatures and conditions are quite same as in London but the sea affects them a little bit. At winter you can enjoy snow days in Brighton while autumn and spring are perfect for those travelers who want to just enjoy the city without too many people around.
Both of my own visits have been in spring so I can’t really give a full opinion on this.
How long should I stay in Brighton?
A weekend is enough to get the feeling of Brighton but you can really extend your holiday as long as you want. London is easily accessible by train so you can even make Brighton your home base for day trips to the close-by cities. If you are a traveler who just wants to book her days full of attractions and things to do, I would say that 4 to 5 days would be ideal in Brighton. For me, this city was more about getting lost walking the small alleys, drinking chai latte in bohemian cafes, and sitting half of the day on their beautiful beach enjoying the sun. Far from traditional sightseeing.
How to get to Brighton?
The easiest way to get to Brighton is through London. You can take train or bus to Brighton from all airports in London, however, some of them will have several changes or they will last for hours. I recommend flying to London Gatwick Airport. Gatwick Airport is halfway from London to Brighton when you take a train. The train journey to Brighton from London takes about an hour while from Gatwick Airport the trip will only last half an hour.
Is Brighton expensive?
The prices are on the same level as in London. You can find cheap budget hostels but also better and more expensive five-star hotels. Food is quite pricey if you want a real meal. Pizza and other cheaper options are available. Main attractions are expensive but fortunately, most of the must-visit places in Brighton are totally free! So, you can have either expensive or budget holiday in Brighton.
The most important tourist attractions
Royal Pavilion: This beautiful building is the true diamond of Brighton. It doesn’t fit in the rainy UK with its exotic Indian and Chinese heritage. Nowadays Royal Pavilion is a museum where you can see the redecorated original settings from 200 years ago. As the seaside home of the King, Royal Pavilion will charm you with its luxurious and dark past. It’s quite expensive but worth it!
Brighton Palace Pier: In the modern era word “palace” has disappeared from the name and most people call this “new pier” build in 1899 just Brighton Pier. It’s the new pier because a little farther away on the beach you can see “old pier” that is getting destroyed a little by little by the sea. Brighton Pier is my favorite thing to do in Brighton. What there wouldn’t be to love in old wooden pier?
Brighton Pier Fair: There is a small fair on the wooden pier. Their haunted house is a well-known attraction but unfortunately, it has been closed everytime I have been in Brighton. The arcade halls are my favorite part. Claw machines, coin games, and other arcade games are kind of a big thing in my family. I’m blaming them for the lost money!
Brighton Marina: Brighton’s marina is the commercial center of the city. Bars, shops, restaurants, cafes, theaters, minigolf, and bowling. Brighton Marina was built about 40 years ago and it’s the biggest marina in the country. I wouldn’t recommend this place for claustrophobics because part of the marina is underwater! But the above water area is BEAUTIFUL.
The Lanes: Brighton’s historic quarter has small alleys to get lost around but also cute cafes and bars to meet locals. Just walk around to experience the idyllic atmosphere of Brighton that changes to something more modern and electric the closer the night comes!
North Laine: Colorful street art and small businesses with inviting fronts. This bohemian street is the heart of Brighton and paradise for all shoppers! Old record shops, flea markets, and cafes selling cakes from your dreams. If you don’t walk around the Lanes and North Laine, you can’t say that you have visited Brighton. Sorry, not sorry…
Museums: Brighton isn’t a city of museums like London but they have one bigger museum and several small interesting ones. I personally visited and liked the most important place aka Brighton Museum & Art Gallery where they show you everything from changing art exhibitions to archeological findings. Other museums that were recommended to me (and that I skipped, ups…): Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton Fishing Museum, and so many more small galleries or art shops!
British Airways i360: Every real tourist destination needs an observation deck. In Brighton, this has been taken to a whole new level. Their observation deck spins and takes you slowly to 138 meters. Again, this attraction is a little expensive but what observation tower wouldn’t be? The view is amazing and my favorite thing to spot up high were the graffiti paintings on the roofs of the close-by buildings. Clever!
Cool things to do in Brighton
Sea Life Brighton: If you love aquariums as much as I do, skipping the world’s oldest aquarium in Brighton build in 1872 isn’t a possibility. I have seen bigger, more modern and more enchanting aquariums but the old building has its own charm. Remember to book tickets to their behind the scenes tour early because when I went to Brighton it was fully booked for every day. You get to see what happens inside the aquarium where visitors don’t usually can go.
Undercliff Walk: If you are staying for a longer time in Brighton and want to spend a day walking/hiking next to the sea, 5 kilometers long Undercliff Walk on Brighton Beach is a perfect choice. The path goes between Black Rock (near Brighton Marina) and Saltdean. The cliffs on your way are made of chalk that was formed on the sea thousands of years ago. (Or something like that… Read more here.)
Police Cell Museum: You can visit this museum only by taking part in a tour that introduces you to the bloody history of Brighton’s old police cells. You will spend your day in the cells and hear interesting stories of prisoners, murder and solving crimes!
Walking Tours: One of my recent favorite things to do where ever I travel are the walking tours. Like all the bigger cities, Brighton has several free and cheap walking tours that teach you everything there is to know about the city. Take at least one walking tour to learn the basic things of Brighton and to get some unique tips from the local guides.
Ghost Walk of The Lanes: Brighton is a city with dark past and a lot of paranormal activity. I went to the Ghost Walk of The Lanes walking tour because it’s one of the most recommended tours in Brighton. I can agree with that. If you aren’t scared of ghosts and stories of murderers, Ghost Walk of The Lanes is a must thing to do in Brighton. Darkening evening, scary props and the small alleys of the Lanes will make your experience extraordinary! (And your walk back to your accommodation deadly scary…)
Brighton Open Market: This is the place to buy your local souvenirs. They sell local handicrafts and food in permanent market stalls but also in changing stalls around the decked market square. Check before your trip if they have any events during your stay. For example, when I was in Brighton for the first time they had Fairytale Market and it was magical!
Search for cool graffiti and street art: You can find art on Brighton streets where ever you walk in this city. The Lanes and North Laine are some of the best spots for graffiti sightings but any side street will do. I recommend doing googling before your trip so you don’t miss the most famous pieces of art like two policemen kissing.
Relax on the beach: My last tip is also the most obvious one: relax on the beach and just have fun day playing in the sea! You can walk on the beach from Brighton Pier until the Brighton Marina. The walk is about 3 kilometers but on the beautiful settings that will feel like nothing. If you return after dark or during the sunset, the lights of Brighton Pier are must see.
Low budget holiday to Brighton
Can you make a low budget holiday to Brighton? Yes, if you are ready to skip some of the must to do things in Brighton and if you can contain your shopping needs, it will be easy. Hostels are the must choice for you. There are several of them around Brighton and the prices are super cheap. Just be careful because not all hostels are clean, peaceful or near the main street. For example, on my first trip to Brighton, the hostel I was staying had a bar on its first floor. They played music half of the night so loud that it felt in our room like you were part of the party.
Cheap accommodation isn’t the only thing you can save during your Brighton holiday. This student city offers many budget options. Museums, Sea Life and Royal Pavilion are nice but not necessary. You can see the most important part of Royal Pavilion from outside and the free walking tours(with voluntary fees)will tell you all the information you need to know about Brighton or its history.
The most important places to visit are also free – let’s not count the money you will use for shopping. The Lanes and North Lane are colorful, full of small alleys and covered by small idyllic shops, cafes, and restaurants. All this is free. Well, if you don’t buy all the shops empty like I would love to do, it will be free. Brighton Pier is also free to visit and so is the beach. Just walk around and enjoy the Brighton atmosphere. Especially at summer you can find several free events, concerts, and plays all around the city.
Useful tips to remember
Brighton is moderately safe city and there aren’t too many things to keep in mind regarding your safety. However, these things are good to know before your trip so you can get most out of the experience.
Drugs: Okay, don’t get most out of the drugs during your visit to Brighton. This city is well known because of its high drug usage. Mostly you will see marijuana. It’s used either secretly or so normally that you don’t even realize before people are doing it. Someone will probably offer you drugs but just say that you don’t use and there shouldn’t be any problems.
Homeless people: Regarding the government, Brighton has the worst homelessness rate in Britain (when we don’t count London in the equation). You can clearly see this while walking around the city at evening or night time because most of the doorways and parks are full of people in their sleep bags. Even then generally speaking they won’t bother you and are just normal people who don’t have a home. If you have an extra penny consider to giving it to someone who needs it and if you don’t have anything to spare just smile while walking towards.
It’s a party city: Staying in shared accommodation means that people will return at the middle of the night even during weekdays. If you are staying near a bar, the music may disturb you through the day. But it’s not only a bad thing! You can always meet new people or just take over the whole hostel room at evenings because everyone else is in a party. Experiencing at least one wild party in Brighton is a must thing to do!
Check the events during your stay: It was a huge surprise for me how many events, concerts and other things to do there happens in Brighton every week! Even better many of these things are free. Just remember to check them before you go because sometimes the tickets are sold out quickly.
Airport security after Brighton: If you’re staying in a hostel or shared accommodation while in Brighton, I recommend reserving a little extra time for the airport when returning home. The security may want to do a random drug test for your things or you may happen to meet one of those cute dogs. Even if you kept away from drugs the results are probably going to be positive. However, don’t worry! As long as you haven’t used anything and don’t carry anything illegal with you it’s going to be simple package check. Tell them honestly that you were staying in a hostel so you think that someone was using something near your things. It will make the process faster and being honest is always a good thing.
Day trip to Brighton from London
Trains between Brighton and London operate several times per hour so you can leave to Brighton at any time. The journey lasts about an hour and will take you to Brighton station. Just step outside the station from its main doors and keep walking amongst the street. This will take you to the beach which is the best place to start your adventure around Brighton. After you have arrived at the beach and enjoyed the view, start your day in Brighton. Here is my itinerary suggestion:
Walk along the beach towards the British Airways i360. It’s the tall tower on your right side if you have walked straight to the beach from the train station. After arriving at the observation tower, buy your tickets. Check the time of your ride and then remember to go back to British Airways i360 at the right time.
After buying tickets and possibly visiting the observation tower, continue your way towards the Brighton Pavilion through the Lanes. Stop for cafe and shopping whenever you want. You can either buy a ticket to the Pavilion or just admire it from its park.
Next to the Brighton Pavilion, you can find Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
Now it’s time to walk the famous North Laine. Remember to keep eye on interesting graffiti paintings on your way.
If you haven’t yet eaten find a restaurant or walk to the Brighton Pier and eat fish and chips with sea view. Continue enjoying the pier on its fair and gaming halls or go to the world’s oldest aquarium that you can find on the other side of the street in front of Brighton Pier.
As your last activity in Brighton go for the Ghost Walk of The Lanes and then walk back to the train station along the beach. This way you can see the sight of Brighton Pier’s beautiful lights in darkness as your last memory of the city.
I loved Brighton but what now?
Have you stayed in Brighton for long enough but would like to continue somewhere else? Don’t worry because you have an almost endless amount of possibilities! Here are some of my favorites:
London: Only one hour by cheap train and you will be in London. And then from London (even if it has always new things to see and experience), you can literally travel anywhere in Britain. With the cheap buses, you can travel around with only a few pounds.
Manchester: Well known soccer city is about 3 to 5 hours train trip away from Brighton but you can get cheap deals every now and then for the tickets. Bus from Brighton to Manchester takes a few hours more but the best prices are also under $10.
Paris: Does this recommendation surprise you? In fact, you can go by bus from Brighton to London and from London to Paris. It’s surprisingly cheap even if flying would be faster.
Bournemouth: Another seaside town worth of seeing in Britain. Take a cheap bus from Brighton but be ready to sit for about 5 to 6 hours.
Bristol: Busses starting from one pound go between Bristol and Brighton. The trip takes about 5 hours but night bus is always a practical decision. Bristol is an interesting city full of passion, culture, and things to do.
Have you ever visited Brighton or planning on going to see this seaside town? If you haven’t yet been in Brighton, I totally recommend it! I’m in love with this colorful city… Like always all comments and questions are more than welcome.
I don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York feels just unnecessary.
Why should I use my time to sunbathing on paradise beaches in Thailand?
People expect us to do certain things in cities and travel destinations we visit. All the places have some kind of attractions that are “must to experience”. Of course, I understand why. The most popular things are also usually somehow unique, have a long history behind them or you just can’t see anything like that back at home.
Most people will tell you that traveling is all about experiencing new things and learning about different cultures. I’m not saying that people visiting the Eiffel Tower are stupid or that travelers telling you to collect new experiences are wrong. I would be dissing myself because I’m also one of those adventurers and tourists. But in situations like this, there are always many point of views. There is always that “but” in the sentences I say.
I want to visit tourist attractions. I want to experience new things like a true adventurer. I want to be someone who sees as much as she can and travels as fast as possible. BUT sometimes I just want to sit in small cafes, write endless stories of imaginary characters and eat too many local sweets watching Netflix in my hostel bed. These two sides of me constantly fight with each other. Should I explore the city? Or should I just relax today doing nothing? Should I sit for hours in this small unknown cafe? Or should I wait in line to see one of the most important tourist attractions?
When I started this blog and my life of traveling, I told everyone that I was following my heart. But sometimes our hearts change their minds. I want to travel but at the same time, I don’t. My dream used to be the life of traveling full time. Now, I don’t know anymore. Being on road month after month for your whole life just seems so tiring. Going for a month, coming back for a few months and then going again. Doesn’t that sound a lot better?
I want to follow my heart. But it’s not telling me to see and experience the must things to do in new countries. My soul is craving for writers retreats, reading books in a hammock and getting lost in cities I have already seen far too many times.
Often I lay awake at night thinking that my life is balancing between two expectations. Everyone at home wants me to live normally. Get a job, study the business degree and rent an apartment. Follow the same path everyone else does. The time of having the wild adventure of your teen years is over. Come back home. If you don’t create a career, life, and future now, it will be too late to ever start. You are destroying your own life.
Then people reading my travel blog, friends I have made on my adventures and the travel community as a whole is following my decisions expectantly. Either travel and do it properly or stop altogether. Going to new destinations and just reading a book on a beach or writing in old cafes isn’t enough. When I tell traveler that you didn’t go to the must-see places and just sat in dozen different cafes, they frown, won’t believe me and end up always asking why. Why would you give away the possibility to experience something unique? You could just visit cafes and write or read books back at home.
Both of these possibilities seem so dull. My feet are too restless to stay in one place but my mind is too lazy to keep traveling all the time. Can there be something between? Balance that is made for me? A few years ago I would have said no but now I’m starting to believe that everything is possible. When you do once something against all the odds, it gets easier. Out of nowhere, everything seems reachable.
What do you think? Is there something you have always wanted to do but everyone else seems to think that it’s a bad idea? Like always all comments are welcome. And sorry for this blog post that is a total mess. It’s how I write so get used to it. You can also read my daily posts fromLostViivi.com
Every now and then I may have a quiet few weeks from blogging when I don’t even answer any comments. I’m always sorry for that but it’s usually because of a terrible writing blog. I’m always having a lethal case of wanderlust.It’s endless longing to travel that gets even worse when there aren’t any sure travel plans waiting for me.
Wanderlust A strong desire to travel and wander around the world. Longing to see new places and experience new things.
When I was thinking the subject for today’s post one idea stuck out of everything else. How to survive wanderlust and longing to travel if you are in a life situation where you have no way of traveling anywhere. If you have been reading my blog for some time now you may know that even I have had life situations without any means or money to travel
I am sorry to inform you that there is no cure for wanderlust but you can always try to ease the symptoms. These next tips are something I keep doing when a bad case of wanderlust tries to take over my mind. I know there are many people reading my blog who can identify with me. Some of you may be in school or work, maybe you don’t have the money or you just are too shy to even try yet. Whatever the reason is I hope you find help with these tips.
Plan Future Trips
One of the best and easiest ways to help your wanderlust is to plan the trips you are surely going to make when you can travel again. Choose new destinations and add them to your bucket list. I have always believed that imagination is the strongest weapon human can have so why shouldn’t we use it? Daydream. That is my biggest secret of surviving the lethal case of wanderlust.