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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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If you’re looking for a cruise vacation that will allow you to follow the sun and enjoy a diversity of exciting locations then consider the Red Sea region.

Red Sea cruises offer a host of exciting routes and one of the most popular includes a departure from the Egyptian holiday hot spot of Sharm el Sheikh, with vibrant Dubai as your final destination.

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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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Depart from Egypt’s beach capital

Sun-drenched Sharm el Sheikh is world famous for its beautiful beaches and has easily become one of the most popular beach destinations in North Africa. With over 60Km of coastline it’s not hard to find an idyllic stretch of white sand, and you can spend an afternoon diving in the crystal clear waters at Naama Bay or take a trip to the Sinai Desert.

The nightlife in Sharm is also a major attraction and there are plenty of restaurants, waterfront bars and nightclubs to enjoy. Sharm el Sheikh will be the perfect place to kick off your holiday before sailing on towards your next destination.

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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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Follow the sun to Djibouti

From Sharm el Sheikh the most popular next port to stop at is Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. A stop here for a few days will allow you to explore the distinctly Arabic capital city and take sightseeing trips to Lake Assal with its dormant volcanic landscape. The town of Tadjoura can also be included on an itinerary and this relaxing location offers a mountainous setting as well as some beautiful beaches. The Foret du Day National Park provides an amazing scenic location, so don’t forget your cameras if touring through this immense and dramatic park.

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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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Stunning beaches and dramatic deserts

Sailing east from Djibouti will take you to the popular city of Salalah in Oman. The city offers a number of nearby attractions including a beautiful mountainous backdrop and a number of equally stunning beaches along the Arabian Sea coastline. From Salalah the next destination should be unmissable Muscat to enjoy sightseeing opportunities such as the Royal Palace in the walled town as well as taking a sunset boat trip along the coastline. Other highlights can include dolphin spotting excursions and overnight camping in the magical desert area of the Wahiba Sands.

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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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Relax in the mountains or on the beaches

After the delights of Muscat a stop in Fujairrah is great for sightseeing, before commencing to your final destination. Fujairah is an exciting Indian Ocean resort that offers the majestic Al Hajar Mountains as well some of the most beautiful beach locations. A number of sightseeing options are available depending on how long you dock including visiting the oasis mountain villages and viewing the Al- Bidyah Mosque. The beaches are a natural draw and a few hours should be spent rejuvenating before departing to Dubai.

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From Desert Sand to Skyscrapers: Cruise Around the Red Sea

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The glamour of Dubai

Dubai may indeed be the highlight of your cruise and the amazing skyscraper skyline will be a contrasting sight after the previous idyllic beaches and mountain scenery. Yes, Dubai does offer a number of stunning public beaches along the coastline, but this glamorous city is more than just its beaches. Take a trip to the top of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, although the city is about to outdo itself with an even taller construction. Spend some time swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Bay, sightsee at the man-made Palm Islands or simply enjoy some of the best nightlife options in the world.

This amazing Red Sea cruise will usually take around 15 days to complete with a day or two’s stop at most of the destinations mentioned: a perfect amount of time to relax out at sea.

 

Images by WomEOS, aurelio candido, S A F 1 PHOTOGRAPHY, Bilal Sarwar and Michael Theis used under creative commons license.

Maldives On A Budget

How to Visit The Maldives On A Budget

 

The Maldives are a cluster of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean that lay 250 miles south-west of India and is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  The islands are so picture perfect that even when you are there it is hard to believe it is real. The water is the perfect shade of teal and you can see your feet at the bottom even when you are standing up to your neck in the ocean. The sand is crystal white and the weather is tropically warm which makes for the ultimate island vacation. Only 185 of the Maldivian Islands are inhabited due to lack of land and the island nation is ranked as the third most endangered nation in the world due to climate change, which is creating rapid flooding. Mohamed Nashee, the islands former President has famously stated, “If carbon emissions continue were to stop today, the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years. If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years.”

 


Maldives On A BudgetAlthough climate conditions are not on their side, the Maldivian government is working hard to save their beautiful country. Now they are working on creating floating islands to save their country as well as trying to eliminate all of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2019.

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The Maldives are paradise. With a huge growth in tourism the islands are housing more and more resorts. Over 100 of the 185 inhabited islands are resort islands, most of which only have one resort, which makes for the ultimate island holiday. Chances are, if you are visiting one of the private island resorts, you will have to take a flight on a Seaplane with Trans Maldivian Airways.

 

With such beautiful resorts you may think that in a trip to the Maldives would cost a fortune and while you can easily spend thousands on airfare and resorts there is a budget way to visit without sacrificing luxury.

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Maldives On A Budget

Jeff and I visited this past April and didn’t break the bank. There is one island that houses the countries only airport, which is just a 10-minute ferry ride to Male, the nations capital. There are a few local islands that have plenty of budget hotels. The ferry from the airport to Male is less than $1 USD.

 

The island of Maafushi is a local island that is about an hour-long ferry ride from Male. There is one ferry to and from Maafushi everyday. You can call any of the hotels on Maafushi and they will gladly provide you with all the information you need to get there. The ferry to Maafushi leaves Male at 3pm everyday and a return ferry departs Maafushi to Male at 7am everyday. the ferry from Male to Maafushi is only $3 USD one way.

 

The Beachwood Hotel is a great place to stay on Maafushi and runs about $90 a night. It is the only hotel with a pool on the island and they have a small van to drive you to the ferry or even to the beach. Because the Maldives are a Muslim nation there is no alcohol allowed on local islands. If you stay at a resort they do serve alcohol, but with such beautiful beaches the absence of alcohol wasn’t missed. Also, because the country is so conservative, the beaches on the local islands are sectioned off so that tourist can enjoy the beach with privacy and feel free to wear swimsuits and bikinis.

 Check out our review of The Beachwood Hotel! 

The Beachwood Hotel - Maldives

 

The local people on Maafushi Island are extremely friendly and helpful. You can walk around the whole island in about 20 minutes and see a glimpse into the local lifestyle. The Beachwood hotel also offers night fishing with the locals and was a great way to experience life on an island.  Jeff had so much fun he decided to go twice and even caught a barracuda! The next day the chef at our hotel cooked up one of the big fish for us and it tasted amazing!

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Maldives

 

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Overall our trip was perfect and we can’t wait to go back and enjoy more of the island life. Without airfare our whole trip cost us way less than we had anticipated and it was worth every penny! Don’t miss out on a chance to see this beachy nation!

 

 

Bio Photo Marina 150x150 Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Dubai Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

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As far as tourism destinations, the Maldives is not only one of the more remote destinations for many vacationers from the West, but also relatively new to the tourism scene. While the infamous stilted luxury huts over the water, private island hotel resorts get all of the attention, there are some 1190 islands which make up the Maldives, and the local islands are starting to embrace tourism as well.

No matter if you are staying on a luxury private island or a local island, you will be either boarding a small seaplane or a ferry once you land at Male International Airport, as the airport itself is a small island, a quick 2 minute ferry ride to Male, the actual capital city, the smallest capital city on the world.

Our trip to the Maldives was quite last minute, and while the idea of a luxurious private island was of course appealing, the idea of spending out week long holiday on a local island had its perks as well, the least of which was the reduced cost. We chose the small (and we mean tiny) local island of Maafushi, a 90 minute ferry ride from Male. The island home to some 3,000 locals in an area you can walk around in about 15 minutes. Surrounded by white sandy beaches and picturesque scenes, Maafushi is as close to paradise as you can get.

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Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

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The locals are strict Muslims who has embraced the tourism trend and made Maafushi home to about 10 small boutique guest houses and bungalows. While alcohol is prohibited on the island, they have made nearly every amenity you would desire available to all guests who visit the island. With only sand roads, no stoplights and only bikes or golf carts to get around, Maafushi really is an island paradise. We chose to stay at the Beachwood Hotel, a 4 star boutique hotel located just a short 5 minute walk from the boat dock.

Remember that this is a Muslim island and while there isn’t much that will affect you there are a couple things to remember. Friday is a day of rest and few of the handful of shops will be open but most importantly the twice daily ferry to Male does not run on Fridays, so make sure to plan your travel around that. The Beachwood does have a speed boat you can reserve to pick you up from the airport, however the cost is quite a bit higher than the ferry. Also, the is no alcohol of any kind on the island, and although we mentioned it before it is worth repeating. Do not attempt to bring alcohol to the Maldives as it will be taken from you when you land. Also, be modest and respectful when on a local island.

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Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

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The locals have done gone out of their way to welcome you to their home so be extra respectful. The island has set up a long stretch of gorgeous beach with small barriers for tourists to swim in bikinis while making the locals feel comfortable as well.

The staff  of the Beachwood was incredibly warm, welcomed us with a drink, showed us around the property, which not only sports a spa and delicious restaurant but also a game room and Maafushi’s only swimming pool. The hotel, opened in late 2013, is shockingly up to date and hip, someone was clearly familiar with Pinterest before designing the hotel, and it shows. The rooms are simple but elegant, with everything you would need in a luxury hotel stay. The Beachwood brand, logo and colors are everywhere, making you feel you are in a larger resort while still in a boutique setting.

Free wireless internet is available in the rooms and throughout the hotel and while it might not be as fast as you are used to, you are seriously on an island in the absolute middle of nowhere, and were shocked there was internet at all. The restaurant serves delicious Western and Maldivian food, and while the Western food is better than we expected, you’ve got to try the Maldivian food, it is such a delicious cuisine. You’ll recognize items on the menu from other Asian countries, but all are done with a local flare, which is fantastic.

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Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

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Beachwood offers a complete list of local excursions as well, including night fishing, dolphin watching, island hopping, etc. We opted to try out the night fishing and it was so much fun that I went again a second night.

Maafushi is new to tourism and the Beachwood is as well, and it shows. While still working out all the kinks dealing with tourists from around the world, the Beachwood staff is learning how to run their hotel like any other luxury hotel and within no time at all we believe they will be the number 1 hotel on Maafushi as they have the perfect mix of location, luxury settings, a good restaurant and a dedicated staff.

The Maldives are truly one of the most beautiful places we have ever been, and one of the only places that really does look exactly like the postcards we’ve all seen. While one could easily spend a fortune on a visit to these beautiful islands, it really is easily possible to have a luxury stay for a very decent price, without giving up any of the comforts you are used to, and to do it all on a local island with more culture, color and vibrance than a secluded private resort. While we all dream of staying on a private island we are excited to book a return trip to the Maldives and think we know exactly where we’ll be staying, we miss Maafushi already – and I’ve got to go night fishing with the boys from Beachwood again!

Rooms start around $70 and include free internet, welcome drink, free transportation to and from ferry and breakfast.

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Hotel Review: Beachwood Hotel, Maldives

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

The Complete Guide to Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Last year over 10 million tourists flocked to Phuket, Thailand in search of the perfect beach, delicious food and the perfect exotic vacation. And while Phuket has the beaches, the food and the feel of paradise, it has also developed tremendously fast in the past few years and is struggling the keep up with the constant horde of visitors it receives.

Only a two hour ferry ride off the east coast of Phuket lays the Phi Phi Islands. Made up of Phi Phi Don (the main island) and Phi Phi Lay (a smaller national park), they boast some of the more iconic Thai scenes anyone could imagine. Littered with gorgeous white sand beaches, the water is always that extra bright shade of blue and the snorkeling; diving and water activities are top notch.

In our “Complete Guide to Phi Phi Island” we will give you all the information you need for a complete trip to the islands  and all you need to know to maximize your time in paradise.

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The Complete Guide to Phi Phi Island, Thailand

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How to Get There:

First things first you will need to get transportation from Phuket or Krabi out to Phi Phi Don. Boats leave daily from Phuket, most days at 9am and 2:30pm. A one way ticket will cost you just 250 baht, which a round trip ticket costing 400baht (around $13USD). Tickets are sold on almost every single corner in Phuket and you will have no problem purchasing one. Any hotel will be able to get you one, or any street stand selling tourist activities, as trips to Phi Phi are among the most desired. Your ticket will include a transfer via mini bus from your hotel to the Rassada Pier.

Make sure to buy your ferry tickets BEFORE you arrive at the ferry. If you wait until you arrive at the pier to buy your ticket, you will pay 1,000 baht round trip, almost double what it would cost to get a round trip ticket and transfer to and from your hotel. We got burned by this once, it stings.

The ferry ride itself can vary from day to day as there are about 10 ferries of differing shapes and sizes that sail daily. Some have complete mini bars, comfortable inside seats and generally comfortable accommodations. Others are more bare bones and while they will still get you there, offer less inside seating, no chairs on the deck and less than desirable toilets.  But not to worry, the ride is only about 2 hours and then you are there.

TIP: Stop by one of the many pharmacies around Phuket and ask for Dramamine, or any other pill for motion sickness. A blister pack of 10 pills will cost you around 150B and often really help with the varying degrees of rough seas. Remember to ask for the non-drowsy kind, learn from our mistakes! 

Once you have landed at the pier in Phi Phi Don you will be required to pay a 20baht island tax. This money is collected by the local government to keep Phi Phi clean and beautiful and is hardly a hassle to keep the islands looking as beautiful as they do. Does the money actually go to keeping the islands beautiful – who knows.

The latitude 34 complete guide to phi phi, thailand

Where to Stay:

As you walk down the pier you will undoubtedly be bombarded by Thai locals displaying laminated signs showing pictures of every type of accommodation from high scale resorts (there are only a few) to simple island bungalows (there are tons). A simple fan room can go for as little as 400baht with a private double room with AC for around 900baht. If traveling with a group of friends, try finding a dorm room option. These rooms generally offer between 4-8 beds and can cost as little as 250baht per person (around $10USD).  If you are searching for a nicer hotel, you can find a handful of “luxury options” on the island complete with swimming pools, room service and a gym.

TIP: There are no roads or cars on the Phi Phi Islands so wherever you stay just remember you will have to walk there. The lack of cars make the island experience much more enjoyable and bicycles are available everywhere. However, Phi Phi is small enough to walk anywhere, just remember you will have to carry your luggage or stay in a place that will wheel it around for you. 

For budget accommodations Latitude 34 suggests either Marine House or Ban Thai Guest House.  Both can be easily found off of the main walkway when you enter the island.

Marine House offers a quiet environment with private rooms and dorm rooms available. The kindly provide beach towels, which is super helpful when you forget yours and don’t want to spend the 300baht to buy one on the island. The staff is friendly, helpful and can do your laundry overnight if dropped off by 11am. Just remember to ask for bug spray for your room, sometimes a mosquito or two will find their way in.

Ban Thai is a very popular backpacker guest house run by Miss Lee, an energetic woman who will remember your name from the second you meet her until the minute you leave. Offering more rooms than Marine House, Miss Lee’s Ban Thai Guesthouse is a great place to stay with a group of friends as she has an abundance of twin rooms and is quite used to groups of young friends staying with here. Miss Lee has a row of computers available for those traveling light and without internet connection from day to day. 1 baht per minute.

Miss Lee is also very knowledgeable about all the local tours that are offered around the island. Whether you are looking to visit Maya Bay on Phi Phi Lay (the same beach made famous in the movie “The Beach”), take a day snorkeling trip on a long tail boat, an overnight scuba trip or a day long fishing trip, Miss Lee can set it up, reserve you a spot and make the planning effortless.

Our Recommendation: Both Phi Phi Charlie and Phi Phi Princess are owned by the same people and offer the perfect mix of location, comfort and amenities. While nothing fancy, their rooms are comfortable, have free wifi and aircon. An average double room will cost about $50 a night and adding an extra bed will cost you around $15. They also offer a family room which can sleep 4 people comfortably. Easily the best bonus to staying here is their amazing infinity pool looking out over the amazing Tonsai bay. Many chose to spend their hungover mornings and rowdy afternoons in the pool by the swim up bar, easily the best pool on the island and a great place to mingle with other travelers. The cost of the room includes a great breakfast buffet, thai and western food and both sets of rooms (Charlie and Princess) are a short 1 minute walk down the beach from Slinky Bar and Woodies, where you will most likely be ending you night.

TIP: Unless you are staying at a high-end hotel make sure to bring soap and shampoo with you, as many of the budget options do not provide them.

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Thanksgiving in Thailand, What We Are Thankful For

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What to Do:

As for activities and things to do on Phi Phi Don in the sun, the list is pretty endless. There are gorgeous beaches all over the place and its up to you how far you want to walk to find your perfect spot in the sand.  The twin beaches at the heart of Phi Phi Don are pretty spectacular but are always crowded with tourists from sun up to sun down. We suggest paying 100baht for a short 5 minute trip on a local long tail boat to drop you off at Long Beach, one of our favorite beaches on the world. Just as beautiful as the rest, Long Beach boasts way less tourists than many of the other beaches and is well worth the time to get there. You can walk to Long Beach from the main drag, but it will take about 20 minutes and is very hilly.

TIP: If you go to Long Beach visit the small restaurant on the sand and try their Penang Curry sandwich, its delicious!

The majority of visitors to Phi Phi are young backpackers and many are inspired to visit Phi Phi to visit Maya Bay and say they have been to “The Beach”. Speedboats and longtails make the trip all day long and you can rent them by the hour. The longtail boats seat about 6 comfortably and can be had for 1,000Baht an hour. The speed boats vary in size and how many people the can hold, and can go for up to 5,000baht an hour.

TIP: Bring snacks with you on any day trip to Phi Phi Lay. Remember, it is a national park and almost completely undeveloped. There is nothing more than a small set of bathrooms and a shack that sells overpriced canned beer and potato chips. Stop in one of the many mini marts before you leave and grab a back of goodies for the day.

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The Complete Guide to Phi Phi Island, Thailand

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If you want to maximize your time, or only have an afternoon to fit in all you can, we suggest taking an afternoon trip which will include a boat out to Phi Phi Lay for afternoon snorkeling (fins and masks included), a trip past the famous Viking Caves, a sunset trip to Maya Bay (so much nicer once all the tourists have left), a complete Thai meal on the boat and some include night snorkeling with phosphorescent plankton.  We recommend making sure it is NOT a full moon if you want to do the plankton snorkeling as the light, even at night, makes them almost impossible to see.

Many half and full day trips like this are available all over the island and range in price from 400b for a half day to 1,2000b for the plankton version.

Once the sun sets on the island, everything gets a bit more exciting. The volume gets turned up, and the main area of the island becomes the ultimate party playground. But before you go too crazy you’ve got to eat, and we have a couple places we would suggest to fill your stomach before you enjoy too many buckets on the beach.

Where to Eat:

Consistently rated number one is a small restaurant called Anna’s. It is located up the first side street off the main drag you find yourself on when you walk off the pier. Anyone who has been on the island more than 10 minutes will be able to show you the way. Despite its popularity, it is a small place, maybe 10 tables or so, and remains authentic, friendly and offers delicious western and Thai food. Free internet, delicious shakes and a wonderfully knowledgeable staff make this a great place for a quick bite to eat or a place to hang out for hours and relax.

The latitude 34 complete guide to phi phi, thailand

Breakers is as close as you are going to get to a true sports pub. Located next to the world famous Reggae Bar (which we’ll talk about next), they offer large comfortable wooden tables, an open atmosphere for anyone walking up off the street and have a wide selection of beers on tap. Their food is both delicious and fairly priced and an excellent place to meet friends, hang out and people watch or catch a game on TV.

TIP: Along with the sit down restaurants are endless rows of stalls selling all varieties of street food and no trip to Thailand would be complete without trying a few random things.  Meat on sticks is a great way to go, whether you are trying fried fish balls, spicy beef, chicken, pork, who knows, but it all tastes delicious. The kebabs and samosas are amazing as are the banana pancakes. Trust us, after a couple drinks you will try some street food, no matter how much of a stomach ache you think it will give you.

At this point we have covered getting to Phi Phi, where to stay, what to do in the sun and where to eat, so now comes the most exciting part… what to do at night!

 

Night Life:

Phi Phi is a constant party when the sun goes down, 7 days a week 365 days a year, and even if you are not a big partier, some things are not to be missed.

Most people coming to Phi Phi have come from Phuket, where the idea of going to a bar swarming with bar girls and lady boys has lost its charm (if it ever had any).  Phi Phi provides a much needed relief as there are no lady bars, bar girls or stripper poles in sight while offering some awesomely entertaining events in their place.

Before you head down to the beach for the real fun, make sure you stop into Reggae Bar, located right next door to Breakers. Offering anyone who wants to the chance to Muay Thai fight, you are sign up to fight a friend, your grandpa (yes, we’ve seen this), or a complete stranger. If you put your life on the line and enter the ring you are given the necessary safety equipment (headwear, gloves, shorts) and you will be given a free bucket of booze upon the completion of your 3 rounds in the ring. Buckets at Reggae Bar are 2 for 1, and are 400b each.

TIP: Buckets are popular all over Thailand as the fun and exciting way to drink your alcohol. The literally take a bucket, the kind you built sandcastles with on the beach when you were a kid, and load them up with an abundance of the alcohol and mixers of your choosing. Complete with multiple straws, it’s a fun way to share a drink with friends, but be warned, they are strong, you are drinking a literal bucket of alcohol after all.

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The latitude 34 complete guide to phi phi, thailand

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It’s wildly entertaining to watch two liquored up backpackers go at it in the ring, with rarely any idea what they are doing between them. Every 5 fights or so real muay thai fighters enter the ring and show off some amazing moves. Part acting and part real boxing it is some of the most entertaining muay thai we have seen as it is as hard hitting as the real thing with added excitement. We have seen muay thai fighters get thrown out of the ring as well as the poor ref getting a swift kick to the nuts.

When you have seen all there is to see at Reggae Bar, follow the crowds down to the beach and find yourself a seat on the sand in front of one of the many, many beach lined bars, each displaying their own fire show. “Poi” reigns king of late night activities and it is never boring to watch people play with fire. We recommend “Slinky Bar”, directly to your left as you walk on to the beach. Music pounding from all the bars, the stakes are quite high as performers juggle flaming torches, spin sparkling spools soaked in petrol and even balance on wires balancing flaming wheels on their heads. The shows start each night, 7 days a week, around 8:30pm and last late, late into the night.

If watching the performers isn’t entertaining enough for you, just wait until they bust out the flaming jump rope and flaming limbo pole, both designed for crowd participation. Those brave enough are welcome to try their hand at jumping a flaming jump rope and the super brave can even try the double flaming jump rope, or try going doubles with another brave friend.

The latitude 34 complete guide to phi phi, thailand

After the crowd has gotten their thrills from the jump rope of death, they will bring out the flaming hoop and flaming limbo pole. If you are sensing a theme here, its high stakes drinking.

Egged on by friends and a free shot for attempting either, sit back and relax watching dozens and dozens of wobbling kids jump, swerve, stumble, fall and fling themselves through the burning obstacles and dance the night away.

TIP: Once the tide goes out, it goes OUT. When you arrive at the beach past dark you will not be able to see the water at all as it has gone out sometimes up to 100 yards. (if you aren’t American and speak in meters, that’s the length of a football field… real football, American football.) Take a stroll out as far as you can walk, enjoy the striated beach below your feet and watch the pulsing lights and listen to the conflagration of music from way out in the wet sand, it’s a very cool experience.

So that’s it! You’ve got all you need to know for a complete trip to Phi Phi. You know how to get there, where to stay, places to eat and how best to enjoy yourself. If you find yourself in Phuket or are planning a trip to Thailand in the future, we highly suggest taking a trip to Phi Phi and enjoying one of the coolest beach communities we have come across. Whether you want to party til the sun comes up, relax at a quiet beach or finally conquer your fear of scuba diving, Phi Phi offers it all, all while preserving that perfect image of paradise you’ve had in your head for years.

So have fun, be safe, bring your sunscreen and take the leap!

Cheers!


Wish List 2014- Sailing the Peloponnese in Greece_01

Wish List 2014: Sailing the Peloponnese in Greece

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With 2014 almost a week old now, it is only natural that we are starting to plan and plot out our dream destinations and activities for the year. While we probably won’t get to Antarctica again this year (arghh!) and will most certainly not find an anonymous wealthy backer to fund a trip to the World Cup in Brazil, there is still a whole lot of world out there, and tons to look forward to, even if we are only dreaming.

I suppose we should post some sort of a bucket list for the year, but with it always evolving and most of the time not thinking to add something to the list until AFTER we have done it, we’ll just leave it in our minds for now.

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Wish List 2014- Sailing the Peloponnese in Greece_01.

There are huge areas of Europe that really deserve to be explored all by themselves and not part of a whirlwind tour. While we will write about them all over the next few months, we are particularly excited about the idea of Sailing the Peloponnese in Greece. There is just something about Greece, that seems to set it apart from a lot of Europe in many peoples minds, for me I think it is all about the history classes I had growing up I was way to in to. (Yes, I was Thor for Halloween in 1993).

The Peloponnese region is far in the South of Greece and hold a lot of historical and cultural significance in Greece. There is nothing better than disappearing into a deeply cultural area of a country, exploring the unknown and finding yourself making new friends, trying new foods and having experiences you didn’t even know you were missing.

So, looking forward to 2014, we might not get to Greece during the first half of the year, but we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed we end up on a sail boat somewhere before 2015, I can only hope it is somewhere as beautiful as Greece.

Where do you want to go this year? Do you want to play with tigers in Thailand, run a marathon on the Great Wall of China, finally visit Machu Picchu? Let us know in the comments and we hope to see you along the road in 2014!

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Wish List 2014- Sailing the Peloponnese in Greece_02

*Post may contain info from travel partners we work with. 

 

jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!


phuket aquarium, thailand

Phuket Aquarium

Jeff and I decided to get out and explore a little of what Phuket has to offer. We decided to go to the Phuket Aquarium and see if we could get some interesting photos. We hopped on the motorbike with a general idea of where we were going. Soon we realized that we were were not as familiar with the roads as we had thought.

We saw some signs for the Aquarium, but somehow we found ourselves driving up a mountain road in the middle of nowhere. To our surprise we popped out on the east side of the island, which I had never seen before. The west side of Phuket is full of picturesque beaches while the east side has docks and boats.

When we finally found the Aquarium we were pleased that it only costed 100 baht ($3) to get in. The Aquarium was small, but pretty good. There were lots of giant fish and a lot of information about the sea life around Thailand.

Outside of the Aquarium there was the Marine Life Rehabilitation Center where they care for dozens of turtles. They care for turtles that have been injured by fishing boats. Overall the Aquarium made for a fun day!

Marina

 

 

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Marina Dominguez Latitude 34Marina is the co-founder of Latitude 34 – Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker. 

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more.

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