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dec 17 2014

Hot Stuff! Spice Up Your Food With This Cool New Keychain You Can Take Anywhere

Sriracha2Go in NYC

Grab a snack from a food truck in a brand-new city, and boom: Sriracha2Go is right there for you.

(Sriracha2Go)

Sriracha, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways:

1. The spicy condiment's core ingredients are simple, but the kick is big. Wildly popular Sriracha manufacturer Huy Fong Foods, Inc., grinds sun-ripened red jalepeño chili peppers and garlic into a paste. Voilà: Sriracha!

nov 24 2014

The Rich Flavors of Cambodian Cuisine

Typical Cambodian Breakfast
(Courtesy Andrew Kolasinski)

The waitress brought exactly what I ordered, but it still came as a surprise. Instead of a plate, my Fish Amok was served in a coconut shell. The classic Cambodian dish was presented made with freshly caught fish from the Gulf of Thailand.

Cambodia's culinary traditions are made with the bounty of the land and water, with influences brought by successive invaders and visitors that have given variety to the Khmer approach to preparing food. The annual monsoon floods enrich the soil around the Mekong and Tonei Sap. The river system is one of the most diverse habitats on earth, and fishing has always been central to the Khmer economy.

nov 14 2014

Visiting Chiang Mai’s Flower Festival

Chiang Mai Flower Festival
(Courtesy Andrew Kolasinski)

In the hills of northern Thailand, lush jungle, farms, and fruit trees rolled past the train window. As we neared Chiang Mai a fellow passenger cautioned me that the Flower Festival would fill every room in town. I hadn't made a reservation. It was a chore, but eventually I found a room. My hotel was pricey, but right on Kotchasarin Road, on the eastern side of the Moat Road that encloses the old city, a 700-year-old defensive rampart and canal built against the encroaching Burmese.

nov 03 2014

What Are Your Best Tips For Getting Through Long Flights?

Hoi An Vietnam

I'm heading to Vietnam for the first time. Do you have any tips or favorite places to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

(Courtesy mala/myBudgetTravel)

Three days from now, I will be making my first trip to Asia, going on World Spree's 12-Day Amazing Vietnam tour, a trip that will take me through Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An, and Hanoi, and includes an overnight cruise on Halong Bay. We've written about this travel package in the Real Deals section of BudgetTravel.com on several occasions because it's a great value vacation priced from $1,899 per person and includes 5-Star accommodations in four Vietnamese locales, an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, several guided tours, most meals, and international airfare from San Francisco (additional fees apply for airfares from L.A., New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.) There's a good mix of free time to explore on your own and an extensive guided tour-filled itinerary, as well as several affordable optional activities in case you're looking for special experiences like a 6-hour guided day-trip to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels (from $40 per person) or a $50 half-day guided tour of Hanoi that ends with a traditional water puppet show.

sep 25 2014

5 "Boomtowns" You MUST Visit ASAP

Hong Kong is the fastest-growing city in the world, according to Bloomberg.

(Courtesy BereniceKimura/myBudgetTravel)

It's crunch time! Bloomberg recently released its list of cities around the globe that will be the most crowded in the year 2025. The top five? Hong Kong; Salvador, Brazil; Mexico City; São Paulo; and Singapore. All the more reason not to put off traveling to these destinations any longer! Bump them up on your bucket list instead, using some of our favorite travel tips for each town as guidance:

sep 02 2014

How to Avoid 5 Common Scams in Bali

Bali, Indonesia
(Courtesy Milda Ratkelyte)

This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter.

aug 14 2014

4 Places You Shouldn't Miss In Myanmar

Temples of Bagan, Myanmar
(Courtesy cosianatour/myBudgetTravel)

Are you planning a trip to Myanmar? Here's how to see the most of this fascinating country if you've got a good sense of adventure and two weeks to go exploring.

Day 1-3: Yangon

Yangon is the gateway to magnificent Myanmar. The major hub for international and domestic flights alike, it is not a bad place to start. As soon as you step out of the airport it is readily apparent that being cut off from the globalized world has allowed Myanmar to retain its cultural authenticity. Men wear sarong skirts, women wear pasty white thanaka paint on their faces, and the city is abuzz with a one-of-a-kind energy. The main sites in the tropical city actually cover a fairly small area and are manageable on foot, although taxis and public transportation are available. In a few days, you can cover the main sites of interest in Yangon including Sule Pagoda, Inya Lake, Shwedagon Pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake, Chinatown, and Bogyoke Aung San Market.

Day 4-7: Bagan

jul 17 2014

Foodie Alert: The Ultimate Guide To Street Food In Penang, Malaysia

Penang Street Food
(Photo Courtesy of rasamalaysia.com)

This article was written by Milda Ratkelyte, the travel community manager at AsiaRooms.com. She is currently exploring Asia and capturing the best moments in stories, photos, and films.

Penang is a small tropical island connected to the northwest coast of Malaysia where, as one says, "the weather never changes so everyone talks about food instead." The island's fertile land and seas combined with a mixture of Malay, Chinese (mostly Hokkien with a smaller group of Cantonese and Teochew as well as the Straights-born Chinese known as Peranakans) and Indian cultures holds Penang as Asia's top city voted by CNN and the New York Times for street food for several years now. On top of that, Penang is also one of the safest places in Asia to try street food—the competition among the street vendors is so high that any dip in quality of the food is not tolerated here. During a recent trip to Penang, I rolled up my sleeves and hit the island's most famous hawker centers to find out for myself what all the fuss is about!

jul 15 2014

5 Snacks To Try In Singapore

Snacks in Singapore
(Photo Courtesy of bakecookeat.blogspot.sg)

This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter.

jul 01 2014

A Train Lovers' Guide To Thailand

I was one of a dozen westerners waiting for the Chiang Mai midnight sleeper, along with 500 uniformed school kids noisily waiting for their train. Their frantic teachers invented amusements like group charades and spelling contests, but still most of the kids wandered around looking for trouble. A dozen 13-year-olds blocked my path. Their bold leader, a chubby pony-tailed girl, demanded to know where I come from. They all giggled and elbowed each other chattering hysterically in Thai after I told them I was from Canada. A fellow passenger, a British woman said (loudly over the din), "These kids were already here when I arrived at 7:30." She looked peevishly at her wristwatch. It was 10 p.m. I had been told Thai rail is usually reliable, so this was not a good sign.

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