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A travel experience sharing website. Online travel journal. How to travel the world guide. Travel industry news. City break ideas. Food travel blog.
ALOT - A Lot Of Trips
A travel experience sharing website. Online travel journal. How to travel the world guide. Travel industry news. City break ideas. Food travel blog.

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The Magic of Myanmar

The Magic of Myanmar

The landscape in Myanmar offers spectacular spots to get away from the tourist trail and get out and about in nature. From short walks and treks, kayaking, horseback riding and cycling adventures. 

Myanmar is biologically diverse with many large national parks and wetlands that are home to rare endangered animals. Activities have been inspected for the ethical treatment and protection of animals and their commitment to sustainability. 

With the aim of supporting rural and remote villages, Myanmar is embracing the concept of community based tourism. While still in its early stages, the focus is on authentic experiences and meaningful experiences interactions  between tourists and locals alike. 

Buddhism is ever present and a way of life for Myanmar people. Rites and rituals that have been performed for centuries have been kept mostly unchanged. The practice of meditation has long been associated with physical and mental well-being and is a staple in the lives of Myanmar people. Hear the teachings of Buddha on a meditation retreat and learn how to still the mind and control the breath to achieve mindfulness. 


Paddle you way by kayak or ride the white water rapids. From the floating villages of Inle Lake to the glacial rivers in Kachin State, or down south to the Irrawaddy Delta, Myanmar has some great rivers and lakes to explore. 


It’s all about the journey! Explore rural villages, diverse scenery and stunning views. The best time to trek is in the cooler months from November to March. Spend a few days trekking to villages in the remote mountain region around Kyaing Tong. The varying terrains make it ideal for adventure lovers with average level of fitness. Meet different ethnic minorities such as Akha, Lisu and Ann, each with their own distinctive customs and culture. Visit a 300 year old monastery that seems lost in time and ponder the ancient solitary Kyayin-bu tree steeped in folklore. 

Venture far beyond the lake to the less travelled area of Loikaw. It’s an epic three hour boat full of spectacular scenery. Stretch your legs at Sagar a crumbling cluster of stupas from the 16th century and try a tipple of the local moonshine. Meet the Kayan people, also known as the ‘ long neck’ tribe. The Kayan woman wrap heavy brass coils around their necks as a sign of beauty. Learn more about their fascinating culture and customs over a cup of tea and chat. 

Tamarind Village - The Village takes its name from the magnificent grove of Tamarind trees and is home to 120 households. Stay overnight in a ‘long house’ and get a peek into the daily life and rural activities. In the evening hear the folk stories told over diner by local people which have been passed down through generations. 

Horseback Riding 

Saddle up for a ride through the Shan Hills. Trot along the village tracks passing by patchwork fields and see farmers tending their crops, or, canter through the temples of Bagan. 

Glamping with dolphins 

Join the search for the rare and elusive Irrawaddy dolphin found in the river north of Mandalay. Learn how to throw the circular net and watch the unique way that the fishermen communicate with the dolphins to help catch fish. Hear folktales over dinner with a  local family and retire for the night in style in tented accommodation. 

Bird watching 

Whether  you are an amateur or professional, Myanmar is a bird watch paradise. The various wetlands and national parks are home to more than 1000 record species, including water and migratory birds. 

Turtle and Tortoise Conservation 

Myanmar is leading the way in conservation and breeding programs to rebuild dwindling turtle and tortoise populations lost to encroachment on their habitats or poached for the illegal wildlife traffic. Visit a sanctuary to see the hatchlings and lear about release programs will help support a worthy cause. 

Elephant encounter 

A wonderful hands-on experience where you will spend the day getting up close to the majestic beasts of the forest. Learn how retired logging elephants are being cared for and help out with the daily chores of feeding and bathing these magnificent animals and see local conservation project at work. 

Wine tours 

Shan State is the wine growing region of Myanmar where the cool temperate climate and fertile soil is perfect for cultivating grapes, producing a variety of wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot and Temperillos. The vines have been grown from cuttings taken from some of Europe’s best regions. Wander the vineyards and learn about the history of winemaking in Myanmar and enjoy a wine tasting lunch. 

Coffee tours 

Robusta coffee was first introduced near Mandalay by missionaries in 1885, and some 45 years later saw the first strains of Arabica to arrive. Take a walk in the plantation and learn about the growing cycle and harvest of cherries which produces some of the finest Arabica beans in Southeast Asia. Then follow your nose to the coffee roaster and experience a professional coffee tasting knowing as ‘cupping’. 

Street food tour

Eat like the locals on a walking street food tour. Some of the best food can be found at breakfast like traditional  mohinga soup and warm flat breads, washed down with sweet milky tea. In the evening smell the barbecue in the air, as skewered meats are grilled over charcoal fires.

Art Gallery Tours 

Stifled for decades by heavy handed censorship, the art scene in Myanmar is becoming widely appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs alike. With galleries popping up throughout Yangon showcasing Burmese and ethnic art in all forms and mediums. From sculpture to installation art, paintings and performance pieces, the art scene is buzzing. 

Hand- loomed textiles are part of the cultural heritage and can be found throughout the country. Each region has a unique pattern and meaning that is woven into the fabric and can be found in the designs and styles of national dress. The most sought after come from Chin State. While silk and cotton are most commonly weaved, lotus silk can be found at Inle Lake. 

E-visa  is now available through the official government website and is the easiest and most common way to obtain a visa. More the 100 nationalities can apply directly online and pay by credit card, with processing taking 3 business days. 

The official language of Myanmar is Burmese and in the tourist areas English is becoming more widely spoken. Buddhism is the predominant religion with about 87% of the population practicing, with Christian, Muslim, Hindu and tribal beliefs making up the remainder. When visiting temples and sacred sites, make sure your knees and shoulders are covered, and remove your shoes, otherwise you may be denied entry. Things don’t always go to plan, so be prepared with a smile when the internet is slow, there is no hot water, or the power is out. 

International Hotel Deals - Black Friday 800£ savings

International Hotel Deals of the week

Black Friday special edition saving you more than 800£ !!!

Check out this week selection of top international hotel and getaway deals! Enjoy huge discounts on these amazing new worldwide hotel deals secured exclusively for Alotoftrips members! This week we gathered offers from : France,  Spain, India and many more.
Book one incredible tour to Asia and your travel partner will fly for free, saving up to £800 per couple. 

Or, if you're travelling solo, you can save up to £400 with 50% off your economy flight!
Available on tours to China, Japan, India, Vietnam and Cambodia, uncover the extraordinary sights and wonderful experiences that await in Asia's most inspiring destinations. From the iconic Great Wall of China to India's magnificent Taj Mahal, let our tours take you on the adventure of a lifetime. 

Free one-way Premium Economy Upgrade when you book a tour to Southeast Asia Embark on your next unforgettable adventure to Southeast Asia and return home in style with a FREE Premium Economy upgrade with Vietnam Airlines, saving up to £300 per person. Or upgrade to Premium Economy both ways from £199 per person.

Be inspired by natural beauty and vibrant culture in Vietnam or find yourself uncovering ancient history and deep-rooted tradition in Cambodia.


Special Black Friday Offer, Up to 20% discount - Keytours, Greece
Book your holidays with Keytours in Greece and get up to 20% discount thanks to this voucher code valid during Black Friday!

- Offer valid from 18th November 2019 to 9th December 2019
- Valid for travels between 18th November 2019 to 31st December 2020 - Subject to availability
Black Friday Offer: 30% Discount - Caprice Port Alcudia, Ferrer Hotels, Mallorca
Enjoy the Black Friday offer at Caprice Alcudia Port, Mallorca, with 30% discount, in all types of rooms.

- Valid for bookings made from 29th November until 2nd December 2019
- Valid for stays in 2020
- Discount valid on non-refundable rates.
Early Black Friday: Up to 25% Off stays at European resorts - Diamond Resorts
Brighten up your November and bag an early Black Friday bargain with up to 25% off* stays at European resorts with Diamond.

- Travel 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2020
- Book by 2 December 2019
- Minimum stay of 2 or 3 nights required.
Black Friday Super Discount! Up to 32% off all hotels - Azuline, Balearic Islands
This Black Friday, book your next holidays in the Balearic Islands in an Azuline hotel, and get up to 32% discount: 12% thanks to this promocode, and up to 20% early booking discount.

- Offer valid for bookings until 2nd December 2019 and for stays in 2020
- Cumulative with web offers
Black Friday Offer, 20% discount in Portugal - Vila Galé Hotels
Don't miss this special offer for Black Friday: 20% off your booking in all Vila Galé Hotels in Portugal thanks to this promocode.

- The offer will be active from November 18th, and will be valid from November 18th to December 9th, 2019.
- Valid for stays between November 18th, 2019 and March 31st, 2020
Black Friday Offer, Up to 23,5% off - OLA Hotels, Majorca
This Black Friday, grab the best deals for your next holidays in Majorca! Get up to 23,5% off your booking at any OLA Hotel for the 2020 season thanks to this promocode, only valid during the Black Friday weekend!

- The offer will only be valid from 29th November 2019
- Valid for bookings made between 29th November and 2nd December 2019
- Valid for stays at any Ola Hotel from 30th April to 31st October 2020
Black Friday Offer, 15% off your booking - Lisbon Heritage Hotels, Portugal
Don't miss this special offer for Black Friday! Book your stay in Lisbon at any of Lisbon Heritage's hotel and get a 15% discount, only during the Black Friday weekend.

- Offer valid for bookings made during Black Friday, between 29th November and 2nd December 2019
- Valid for 2-night minimum stays, between 1st - 27th December 2019 and 1st - 31st January 2020
Black Friday Offer, 30% off all hotels - Ferrer Hotels, Majorca
Don't miss this special offer for Black Friday to book your holidays in Majorca for 2020. Book any room type in one of the participating Ferrer hotel, and get 30% off the non-refundable rate. Only during Black Friday week-end!

- Valid for bookings made during Black Friday weekend, between 29th November and 2nd December 2019
- Valid for stays in 2020, subject to availability

Tuscany in winter

Tuscany in the winter

Winter time is the very best time to appreciate the history and culture of Tuscany without the crowds. If you are staying for a short break the city of Florence is a must, however it is still almost invariably cheaper and easier to fly in to Pisa than Florence airport and take the train or a cheap bus transfer into Florence (about an hour). Whilst accommodation is cheaper in Florence during the winter, it is still expensive compared to the surrounding regions. If you are staying for more than a couple of days it is better value and more fun to rent a car and a holiday home in Pisa or one of the surrounding villages. Bear in mind the evenings are longer in the winter so consider renting a home with a real fire, and well equipped kitchen where you can try out your culinary skills with fresh local ingredients.

Between November and March it rains heavily in region, although rainy days are usually punctuated with fresh clear chilly days. Check the weather forecast regularly and be prepared to be flexible with your itinerary.


The Uffizi gallery holds one of the finest collections of paintings in the world. Book well in advance online and exchange your online voucher for a ticket at a separate booth before you join the queue. Allow a day for a first time visit. A cafe is conveniently situated half way round as your feet will need a break.

The Galleria dell'Accademia houses Michelangelo's David and a collection of other paintings less grand than the Uffizi, but still impressive. Again book well in advance online and exchange your online voucher for a ticket before you get into the queue.

The Cathedral

The Cathedral is free to enter. Check the opening times online in advance (no tourist visits are permitted during mass). Take the time to appreciate the unique grand exterior before joining the short tourist queue. The interior is surprisingly plain contrasting the grand exterior. Look up as you leave for the one handed liturgical clock. If you are fortunate the organist may be playing.

In addition to the Cathedral you can visit the Dome, the Bell Tower, the Baptistery, the Crypt and the Opera Museum for a combined ticket price of Ten Euros (At the time of writing the Opera Museum is closed for refurbishment). The Bell Tower and the Dome require the visitor to climb a lot of stairs. Since all must be visited within 24 hours for the combined ticket to be valid, start early and consider packing some provisions which you can eat in the square, since restaurants around the Cathedral are mostly over priced and aimed squarely at the tourist.

Museo Galileo

The history of science museum is a worthwhile visit although likely to appeal to the more technically minded and contains a vast collection of priceless ancient technical instruments in superb condition.

Ponte Vecchio

One of the most iconic sights in Florence; take some time to view the bridge from the side before you cross and appreciate the intriguing construction of the shops, dangling over the water.

Piazzale Michelangelo

If the weather is fine an impressive view of the city is available from Michaelangelo square. The Piazza is visible from the riverside. Cross one of the many bridges and the route is signposted. The walk is steep but should be possible if undertaken slowly by all by the most unfit. At the top is a viewpoint and café. If you are on a budget take your own food since prices are steep.

Pisa is famous for its tower but the accompanying Cathedral is much under-rated. Whilst the outside is less glamorous than the Cathedral in Florence, is it arguably more sublime and the inside is truly spectacular. Visiting the site on a clear evening is particularly romantic since the white stone glistens in the moonlight and since the site is not a throughfare like Florence, in the evenings it is almost free of tourists.

 It is possible to visit just the Cathedral for free, but if you have a bit more time you have options to visit four other monuments: Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery, the Opera del Duomo Museum and the Sinopie Museum. You can climb the leaning tower for 18 Euros (book ahead) but you may feel that, given the price, viewing from outside is sufficient. The other monuments can be booked on a more reasonably priced combined ticket. Simply indicate at the office which monuments you wish to visit. The cemetery and the baptistery are particularly impressive.

The Jewish cemetery lies just outside the walls, a short walk from the Tower and is one of the most ancient burial grounds still in use. It is open Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

 On the other side of wall beyond the Cathedral site is a cluster of restaurants designed with tourists in mind. Unless you are truly famished, save your money for some of the excellent restaurants in the centre of Pisa, bear in mind however that most local restaurants have well defined opening hours - for lunch about 12-2 and for an evening meal from 7-10. Outside of these hours snacks are available but any meals served are likely to be aimed squarely at tourists.

Marina di Pisa

The Pisa Marina, set some distance from the town and best reached by car is deserted during the winter, although you will find one or two cafes and a restaurant on the front open at lunchtime serving local workers. On windy days the front is lashed with spectacular waves which, combined with the wide empty streets of attractive shuttered houses make it an atmospheric spot for contemplation.


Viareggio, Tuscany's seaside resort, holds a Carnival on diverse days in February and has a good range of clothes stores which make it worth a visit just for shopping, even in the rain. In January the sales are very aggressive and it is possible to get a bargain on quality winter wear since Italians want to look stylish even when wrapped up warm. The wide promenade is well populated even in the winter and a walk on the beach can be pleasantly bracing.

San Giuliano Terme

If the weather is truly awful, a day spent at the thermal baths between Pisa and Lucca is a good choice. You can choose from afternoon (30 euro) or evening sessions (40 euro), the afternoon sessions tend to be less crowded.

Basilica of San Piero a Grado

The church is held to be on the site where the Apostle Peter landed on his trip from Antioch to Rome and where the first altar on Italian soil was built. Numerous frescos can be seen inside. It contains a rebuilt altar to Saint Peter.


Take a drive through the villages of Buti, Calci, Cascina, Vecchiano and Vicopisano, situated a short drive from Pisa. Each has beautiful and ancient architecture. You can visit all of the villages in one or two days, but they are best seen in clear weather.

Cinque Terre

A day trip out of Pisa is the cinque terre, 5 picturesque costal villages, built into the hillside. The villages are unreachable by road – either take a train from Pisa, or park at La Spezia and take a train. It is possible to hike above the villages but only recommended in good weather. The whole area is a UNESCO world heritage site.

General tips for your trip to Tuscany in the winter:

-Check the weather reports regularly and plan inside and plan your itinerary accordingly.

-Wrap up warm and bring an umbrella

-Drink Italian thick hot chocolate which is truly superb.

-Remember that it will get dark early, so plan your evenings in advance.

-Bring a good camera

-Remember that good Italian restaurants tend to be open 12-2 and 7-10, anywhere open outside these hours is likely to be for tourists.

Earn extra miles rewards for your hotel bookings PointsPLUS has launched a joint-promotion campaign with 10 selected airline partners for the year-end promotion. During the promo period, members could earn extra miles rewards for their hotel bookings, more details as below:
 Valid: Live NOW - November 30th, 2019

Offer: PointsPLUS XMAS campaign

Terms and Conditions: 1. Promotion Platform: All websites and mobile apps (Version 6.6 and above). 2. Booking Period: From Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2019; Check-out Date: No later than Jan 31, 2020. 3. To earn miles and points by booking an eligible hotel room, users must be a member of both and a participating third party rewards program. 4. The membership number of the intended recipient of the third party miles and points must be a guest staying at the hotel and the name on their third party membership must match the guest name entered for Guest 1 on the hotel booking. In the event that the user's name or membership number is entered incorrectly, no miles or points will be awarded. 5. Only completed hotel bookings will be eligible to earn miles and points. Miles and points will not be earned for cancellations, modified bookings, no-shows, or chargebacks. 6. Miles and points earned will be credited to the user’s account within 6 weeks after the completion of their stay. 7. Miles and points earned with PointsPLUS may not be redeemed for cash and cannot be earned in conjunction with any other discount or promotional offer. 8. Your personal information may be collected and shared with our loyalty program partners as necessary for miles or points accumulation. 9. All bookings are subject to terms and conditions. 10. reserves all rights of final interpretation.

10 Helpful Tips on How to Safeguard Your Luggage While Traveling

10 Helpful Tips on How to Safeguard Your Luggage While Traveling

Imagine that you have had a successful trip but you cannot trace your luggage. You will feel devastated. When it comes to you and your luggage, you might not be able to tell when the two of you will disconnect whether temporarily or permanently. It can either happen from the moment you leave your car to the plane seat and back again. The feeling can be quite overwhelming, and it's, of course, the last thing you want to encounter.

As a traveler, you should take some measures to prevent loss, theft, delay or vandalism of your luggage. You don't have to be restless every single moment of your journey. You might find it okay to trust people, but you should not give them the chance of taking advantage of you.  Here are insights about the precautions you should consider.
•  Don't store precious and fragile items inside checked luggage

 Many airlines always state clearly in their Contract for Cargo, that they do not allow fragile and precious things in the checked baggage unless you buy from them a different luggage insurance package for your luggage which is quite expensive. Gather all your valuable items in your backpack luggage to avoid them breaking or eventually losing them to thieves. Objects that you must use while traveling such as medication should always be readily reachable. Toiletries, wallets, cash and your identification documents should be in a clear bag where everyone can see them. Therefore, they will not have the guts to tamper with them because you will know if anything is missing when you get to the other machines.

• Place your travel plan on top of your possessions inside your luggage

If you are in the middle of many destination journeys and want your lost bag to be sent to your next stopping place, having your travel plan inside your belongings will help the airline to know where next to ship your luggage. The airline will be able to get in touch with you while you are still traveling and send your luggage to your next stop.

•  For short distance trips, just travel with your carry-on luggage

 By packing your items in your Carry-on bags, you will not have any checked baggage. Therefore, you will not have to worry about it getting stolen, lost, or destroyed due to improper handling, and you will also not experience any delay before you receive them.

•  Elaborate your luggage with vivid identifiers

 Bright ribbons or belts help in ensuring that your fellow traveler does not mistakenly take your luggage. They are eye-catching, and the luggage handler will not leave them in the luggage carrousel. This way, the airline will not misplace your luggage.

•  Travel with well-maintained luggage

 Before embarking on a journey, always ensure that your luggage is in excellent condition.

1. All the wheels, zippers, and closures should be functioning correctly. When settling on bags, opt for one with zippers, handles, weight, and a substantial measurement which includes width, length or height. In case of rough handling, your bags will not fail.

2.  It is also advisable to carry along a duct tape to fix any damage caused by rough handling. A well-maintained suitcase will ensure that your valuables remain secure inside your luggage.

•  Avoid four-wheeled and plastic luggage

 Plastic suitcases do not get designed for long distance journeys. Unless you are traveling in a private jet, keep them out of mind as they crack during cold weather and get damaged whenever pressure from all the other bags in the cargo pit gets exerted on them. The four-wheeled suitcases tend to come crashing from the cargo pit as the cargo handlers push them out as they can move at high speed. To avoid damage, keep off this kind of luggage while traveling for long journeys.

• Consider shipping your luggage

 Instead of having your bags checked, you can opt to export them as this process is less costly. You can either pack your belongings by yourself or have them wrapped at the post office carefully. It is advisable to have the post office staff pack your belongings because they only issue insurance if they pack the stuff themselves. However, this is to protect themselves from fake claims by untrustworthy clients. When your belongings get carefully packed, even the most fragile will arrive in perfect condition.

•  Purchase luggage protectors

Due to frequent mishandling of luggage by the handlers, investing in luggage protectors which are usually a clear plastic sleeve will help in keeping your bags free from damage. It keeps people away from tampering with your luggage, and you will also know if someone tried to open your luggage. Some airports offer professional wrapping services, but of course, you have to pay a fee for this. You can either wrap your bags at home or have it done at the airport.

•  Keep your luggage simple

To avoid frequent issues like theft, choose a simple bag which does not get highly noticed.  People tend to think that expensive bags contain expensive belongings and get always targeted by burglars. You are not keeping up with any celebrity though; to avoid the headache of missing luggage, purchase a regular suitcase.

• Use a luggage tag both inside and outside

 Even the most durable cards get torn during luggage handling. You should keep a duplicate copy of the label inside your luggage.  If it goes missing at the airport, you will get required to prove ownership.

•  An important reminder! You should never put your landline number or home address on luggage tags for safety reasons. Instead, put your email address and cell phone number.

Majority of airport and airline employees are dedicated to their jobs and are quite honest. They do not have it in mind to tamper with your luggage. These are not the people you are focusing on while safeguarding your luggage. Some people have already figured out how helpless you are while traveling. Above is just the general knowledge on safety measures to take on your luggage. Always remember to put your valuables in an undistinguished location to avoid theft. With this vital luggage security tips, you can now secure what is more valuable to you and enjoy your trips without worry.

This week Top UK hotel and getaway deals!

This week Top UK hotel and  getaway deals!

Check out this weeks selection of top UK hotel and getaway deals!

Enjoy huge discounts on these amazing new UK hotel deals secured exclusively for our readers!

This list gets updated on weekly bases.

Win a Trip to London: Up to 30% Discount on Rooms + Breakfast- Millennium Hotels
Get up to 30% discount on your stay with breakfast at Millennium Hotels and win a trip to watch an English Premier League in London. Use the given promo code to avail the discount.
Friday 50/50
Start the weekend with the Friday 50/50 offer at Malmaison, with rooms from only £50* when you spend £50 on dinner that evening in selected Chez Mal brasseries.
Winter Warmer

Come on in and enjoy a Starbucks Tall Hot Drink with a delicious cookie to warm your soul. Then relax and unwind with a 45 minutes of spa bliss including: - A divine heated hand treatment - A heavenly holistic scalp massage - A warming back massage Treat a friend… Buy this as gift voucher. Make a day of it… Include full use of leisure facilities with complimentary towel and robe use for just £10.

Weekend Offer, Up to 25% off + Exclusive Benefits - Millennium Hotels, UK, France & Italy
Stay at Millennium Hotel in the UK, France or Italy for a minimum of 2 nights between Thursday and Monday, and benefit from Millennium's exclusive Weekend Offer: 15% off The Flexible Rate (Additional 10% for My Millennium members), 15% discount in all Restaurants (excluding Room Service), Late Check-out, Complimentary High Speed Wifi,Gym & Spa access Subject to availability in the hotel

30% off – Stay Longer For Less at Thistle Poole
You can enjoy a 30% discount if you decide to stay with us for more than 6 nights and we’ll even upgrade you to an even better room and throw in a delicious free breakfast every morning. Great for the next time you’re in town and want to hang out a bit longer and catch all those amazing things you’ve been meaning to see.

ALOT - A Lot Of Trips

A travel experience sharing website. Online travel journal. How to travel the world guide. Travel industry news. City break ideas. Food travel blog.

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