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Hidden Gems of Belgium: Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes

Holidays in the Belgian Ardennes

Durbuy is a hidden gem of Belgium, located in the French-speaking community of Wallonia. You can find this beautiful region in the Ardennes, south of Belgium. It’s not only famous for it’s magnificent old charm and tranquil atmosphere but also for being the “smallest city in the world” with it’s population of 11.ooo inhabitants.

Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes
Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes

It’s very easy to fall in love with the medieval city of Durbuy, filled with cobbled streets, authentic ancient stone houses and a beautiful castle at the centre. The city is surrounded by impressive hills that used to be one whole structure. But overtime the river carved a path through them by eroding the strong stones. After some time the river changed it’s direction and people built the impressive little town that welcomes around 2 million tourists every year.

Top Things to do in Durbuy

Explore the Old Town

Hidden Gems of Belgium, Durbuy
Hidden Gems of Belgium, Durbuy

The magnificent Old Town of Durbuy enchants only 50 inhabitants, the majority live in the surroundings of the Durbuy region. Nevertheless the historic centre has plenty of interesting things to discover. There are a few lovely shops with local goods such as Durbuy’s dandelion jam, artisanally brewed beer and of course famous Belgian chocolate. The most prominent one you will find at Rue Alphonse Eloy.

Durbuy, Ardennes
Durbuy, Ardennes

Furthermore mesmerising Durbuy is the perfect place for photography lovers. Every corner is a great spot and opportunity for an impressive picture. Especially if you visit it during late spring or summer time.

Dine in a nice restaurant

Durbuy has a great reputation for hosting high quality food. You will be surprised how many restaurants and cafés this tiny town accommodates. You will be spoiled for choice, wherever you choose will be a good choice. We enjoyed our lunch at Saint Amour. It offers a relatively simple and old-fashion ambience but don’t judge book by it’s cover. Their lunch menu was voluptuous and sumptuous including a delicious variety of starters with paté and quiche. Furthermore there were unexpected refreshing surprises between the dishes. I would recommend to visit this restaurant and be prepared to spend at least 2 hours of happy feasting there.

La Bru'sserie, Durbuy, Belgium
La Bru’sserie, Durbuy, Belgium

If you are searching for a more over the top fancy dining experience then reserve a table at La Bru’sserie. You won’t be disappointed with the modern beauty of the interior and the quality of dishes.

Enjoy Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne

Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne
Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne

The Ardennes are an ideal region to get away from chaos and immerse into tranquil nature surrounded by greenery. It’s perfect to unwind in one of the spas and recharge your batteries. We were staying at Azur en Ardenne, the wellness oasis surrounded by a beautiful forest. It’s also perfectly situated close to Durbuy’s Old Town and various activities, which you can easily reach on foot.

Comfort Room at Azur en Ardenne
Comfort Room at Azur en Ardenne

We booked the Comfort Room for 2 nights to disconnect from the outside world. The room was simple but well equipped. We received bathrobes and a welcome chocolate bar from the local chocolatery. I really liked the spacious white bathroom with a nice shower and a big bath. There was also tea, instant coffee, kettle and paper cups. I would definitely recommend to take some body cream with you after visiting sauna because hotel provides only with soap.

http://www.azurenardenne.be
http://www.azurenardenne.be

The best part of the Azur en Ardenne is the wellness area with a lovely indoor swimming pool. Furthermore there are 2 saunas, jacuzzi, hydrogen massage and a great panoramic view. The atmosphere is very relaxing and peaceful, accompanied with soft background music.

Breakfast at Azur en Ardenne
Breakfast at Azur en Ardenne

Wait until you see the breakfast that is served at Azur en Ardenne! It’s an epitome for the perfect start of the day. You can find everything what your foodie soul can crave for: muesli, fruits, warm waffles and pancakes, eggs, proper bacon, cheese, all kinds of teas and soft drink and even almond milk. It’s wonderful to wake up with beautiful views and voluptuous choice of treats.

There is also a restaurant that unfortunately didn’t approved my expectations but I got an insider tip: Just down the road there is place where all the chefs of Durbuy go to dine: Gastropub Gaspard . If you plan to visit this restaurant definitely reserve a table in advance because it’s small and always full!

Radhadesh Retreat Centre

You will be surprised to discover that in the middle of the Belgian Ardennes, in a fairytale castle you can find the spiritual community and one of the most important Hindu centres in Northern Europe. The beautiful castle Château de Petit Somme is home to the largest community of Hare Krishna, a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu organisation in Belgium. It’s an interesting experience to see the contrast between the grey cold stones of the huge castle and colourful interior and sculptures held in Indian tradition.

Radhadesh Retreat Centre
Radhadesh Retreat Centre

Radhadesh is a non-profit organization administered by a democratic general council and is the main center for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the Benelux. Additionally it’s also a retreat where you can join various courses and even cultural festivals like popular Holi Festival. I personally enjoyed visiting the Museum of Sacred Art where you can observe Indian art traditions and enjoy various exhibitions. Also worth visiting the vegetarian restaurant and cafeteria.

Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris

There is a lot of mysticism around the Durbuy area and one of them is the 8 km rows of megaliths made of huge conglomerate, nature’s version of concrete stones. These stones are well anchored into the ground and date back to the Neolithic era, that means they are over 5.000 years old. Scientists are still asking themselves how people could put these massive stones in alignment with almost no tools?

Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris
Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris

There are two main sites which are categorised as Weris 1 and Weris 2. The purpose of the menhirs is still not clear but there are some conclusions that it once was a spacious megalithic center for religious ceremonies, astronomical observations, healing of people and manipulation of the Earth’s energies. Nowadays people are still coming to immerse into the strong field of energies.

Interesting building: La Maison de Hary Cot

La Maison de Hary Cot, Durbuy
La Maison de Hary Cot, Durbuy

Close to the mystical megaliths you will discover La Maison de Hary Cot. A house that resembles Tim Burton’s crazy and intriguing creations. I was surprised to find out that it’s actually one of the finest restaurants in the region of Durbuy. Unfortunately it was not open when we were passing by but I would doubtlessly recommend to try to reserve a table at this admirable establishment which by the way belongs to the young couple Gael Colinet and Fanny Perreaux.

Visit Durbuy’s local brewery

Every town in Belgium is famous for their local beers. That’s why it’s a must to taste Durbuy’s own locally brewed beer, La Ferme au Chene. The brewery was established in 1560 by Philippe Marckloff and it’s located along the river Ourthe. Here you can also dine in the the local cuisine restaurant.

Sensation seekers should visit Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley in Durbuy is an amazing and challenging park with various activities for young and old. You can choose between climbing the side of the mountain with different difficulties, free fall from 32m high, going through the 3D labyrinth or enjoying the tumbling slide. There is also a possibility to crawl and climb between trees at different heights but also experience mega zipline.

Adventure Park, Durbuy, Blegium
Adventure Park, Durbuy, Blegium

Additionally all this fun is very safe, everyone receives a professional explanation in addition to helmets, security belts etc. You can see little children of age 5 and 6 being much braver than their parents and fearlessly climbing the various heights. It’s definitely memorable fun for the whole family! There is also a huge and gratis playground next to the café in case you don’t feel like spending money on an adventure.

Admire the World Largest Topiary Park

Have you ever heard of Topiary? It’s a beautiful practice of shaping or better to say clipping trees into ornamental figures. Since 1997, Durbuy Topiary Park has numerous amounts of tree figures, 250 masterpieces to be exact, on a 1-hectare garden. Moreover there are 39 flower bed and a breathtaking view over the river Ourthe and Durbuy castle. It’s truly a highlight and a must visit in Durbuy so plan to spend a few hours admiring the green art!

Outdoor activities

Ardenne, Belgium
Ardenne, Belgium

Nature and sport lovers will be surprised about the amount of outdoor activities that Durbuy can offer. You can enjoy the river with canoeing, rafting and kayaking. Moreover there is a possibility for horse riding and mountain biking. Last but not least Durbuy has incredible hiking trails with beautiful views. Just get more information at the tourist info point in the Old Town or at hotel Azur en Ardenne.

Best places to visit in Belgium

If you are spending a week or maybe even longer in Belgium then definitely visit the following cities:

Bruges, the fairy tale town of Belgium. The romantic atmosphere, smell of waffles and chocolate, mesmerising houses, bridges and swans on the canals will doubtlessly let you escape reality.

Brussels, as the capital of Belgium, attracts it’s visitors with beautiful historical monuments and world-class museums.

Ghent is a student city with beautiful and impressive medieval architecture and surprisingly un-touristy atmosphere.

18 Best Places to Travel Alone in Asia

Southeast Asia Backpacking Route: 18 Best Places to Travel Alone in Asia

Why Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is both affordable and exotic and that makes it to the top of international travel lists. There are so many beautiful things to see but I gave my best to make an ideal Southeast Asia backpacking route to experience the best of the exotic culture.

Important to mention Southeast Asia is also a perfect and safe destination for those who are travelling alone for the first time. If you are backpacking alone be prepared to observe fabulous cosmopolitan cities, tiny ethnic villages, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Last but not least the beauty of natural wonders will leave you in a state of euphoria. So magnificent the diversity and exotic grandeur of Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia Backpacking Route. 18 Best Places to Travel Alone in Asia
Pin it: Southeast Asia Backpacking Route. 18 Best Places to Travel Alone in Asia

Best time to travel to Southeast Asia

The weather can often break your travel plans that’s why it’s crucial to know when the best time to explore Southeast Asia is. This area in Asia has a monsoonal climate which influences the two main seasons, characterised by rainfall and high temperatures.

The rainy season in Southeast Asia starts from May until late October, However, Borneo is a great destination in Southeast Asia during this period as it lays outside of the monsoon belt. July and August are the wettest months in Luang Prabang while September is the rainiest month in Bangkok.

Towards the end of Southeast Asia’s dry season, starting around March, temperatures begin to rise. April is known as the hot season, temperatures can top 40°C, with high humidity – it can be extremely uncomfortable. But if you spend this time close to the beaches then it won’t be a problem.

The most popular time of the year to visit Southeast Asia is November to February. This is when rainfall is not bothering and temperatures feel very pleasant.

Top Places to Visit in Southeast Asia

Vietnam

1. Sapa, Vietnam trekking routes

Sapa, Vietnam
Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa, Vietnam is famous for it’s spectacular mountain views and photogenic trekking routes. It has been established in 1922 by the French and since then there are charming French colonial villages worth visiting. If you are into natural landscapes then definitely follow these hiking trails: Muong Hoa Valley, Ham Ring mountain, Silver Falls and Loves Waterfalls, Sky Gate. If you want to immerse into the culture of the hill tribes visit Cat Cat village, Y Linh Ho village, Ta Phin village, Giang Ta Chai village, Lao Chai and Ta Van village.

The best time to go to Sapa is from March to May and from September to November. This is the time when the weather is the most comfortable for travelling with it’s stable temperatures and sunny days. From December to February is winter time and it becomes very cold.

The easiest way to reach Sapa is by train from Hanoi. If you ask yourself how long to spend in Sapa I recommend 3 days and 2 nights. The best hostel in Sapa is Go Spa Hostel. They offer great value for money, tidy rooms and helpful staff. For only $5, you can get a bed in a dorm room and a free breakfast.

2. Explore Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is located along the coast in the central region of Vietnam. This historic city will surprise you with it’s unique blend of Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, and French architecture. This beautiful place has been established in the 15th century and in the 19th century as an important commercial trading port. Nowadays Hoi An remains a charming historical gem, and is a perfect stay for a relaxing trip.

The main attractions of Hoi An already start in the picturesque Old Town with it’s ancient streets, lined shops and yellow painted cafés. Witness the exciting action of the Central Market at the east end of the Ancient Town. Visit rice fields or relax and get some vitamin D on a Bang Bech. In the evening immerse into the magical atmosphere of the Night Market in Hoi An.

3. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi is another popular solo holiday destination. This city is over 1000 years old and it bursts with a wealth of history and culture: temples, an ancient theatre and stunning nature just outside of Hanoi. As you probably know Vietnam was at some point invaded by the Chinese, later by the French and Americans. That’s why nowadays you can see the influence of the invading countries but also the impact of the Communists.

There are plenty of things to do and to visit in Hanoi. Definitely start your journey by witnessing UNESCO’s World Heritage Site the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. The ancient site plays a significant role in the history of Vietnam: It was the political centre for 13 centuries and the capital of Vietnam for 8 centuries. Afterwards rent a bike and explore the surroundings of the Hoan Kiem Lake. It’s a very popular hang out place for locals.

Laos

4. Huay Xai, Laos

Laos
Laos

Huay Lai is a small city located in the North of Laos and a great starting point to get to know the culture of the country while backpacking alone or in good company. In the capital of Bokeo province Laos, Huay Xai, you can do kayaking, trekking, biking or enjoy a city tour. The main highlights of this lovely town are Jom Khao Manilat Temple which overlooks the Mekong River, making it an awesome place to watch the sun set. The other one is the Gibbon Experience, biplane within Nam Kan National Park.

If you are searching for a nice place to stay I would recommend to check out Houayxai Riverside Hotel. It has a fantastic view of the river and offers tidy, nicely furnished rooms.

5. Luang Prabang & the Pak Ou Caves

Tad Sae Waterfall, Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is another travel gem in Laos on this Southeast Asia backpacking route attracting all globetrotters with it’s Buddhist temples, beautiful French colonial buildings and rural scenery. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also famous for it’s slow and hypnotic lifestyle. Spend 2 days in this town to immerse into Laos’ culture and explore nearby natural wonders. Where to stay in Luang Prabang? The tidy and beautiful hotel Maison Vongprachan Hotel is a great choice. 

The weather in this area is humid and temperatures feel hot for most of the year. The hottest months are May, June, and April. The best time to visit Luan Prabang is from November to January but it’s also the high season for tourists.

The best day trips from Luang Prabang are by the boat to visit the historical Oak Ou Caves. There is an easy-to-reach lower cave and a bit more challenging upper cave. The upper cave will surprise you with breathtaking views over the countryside and river. On your way back you can also visit Ban Xang Hai, Whisky Village. There you can taste strong whisky made from rice.

6. Muang Ngoi Neua

Muang Ngoi Neua is an off the beaten path little village that you can only reach by boat from Muang Khoa or Long Khiaw. It’s a very safe place if you are a first time solo traveler who wants to get to know the authentic culture of Laos. The main attractions of this area are the caves and nearby villages.

Southeast Asia Backpacking Route, Laos
Southeast Asia Backpacking Route, Laos

The caves play a significant role in Laos’ history. During the Vietnam war the US bombed Laos every day, for 9 years. Nowadays there are still unexploded bombs, which NGOs are trying to find and get rid of. So the people in this area abandoned their houses and tried to save themselves in the natural caves during the day. Despite this cruel past Lao are very kind, cheerful people who like to joke around. Amazing folk!

Thailand

7. Magnificent Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

Most backpackers and travellers land in Bangkok because it’s one of the main arrival destinations in Southeast Asia. You might be surprised why everyone is in love with Bangkok, because of it’s magnitude you’ll need a while to get know it better. Make sure to spend a couple of days in this metropolis to explore museums, parks, temples and to taste delicious street food.

If you’ve seen the movie “The Beach”, then you’ve probably heard of Khao San Road. The book also describes this area very good: “Khao San is the centre of the backpacking universe“. it’s the most famous street and if you are backpacking through Southeast Asia you will come through here for sure. Cheap Thai street food, “Happy Hours”, parties and budget hotels are all here to find. Big spenders will love hotel Riva Surya Bangkok. Budget travellers will be happy to stay at NapPark Hostel.

8. Ancient UNESCHO Heritage Site, Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya, Thailand
Ayutthaya, Thailand

The UNESCO world heritage site, Ayutthaya is one of the well-known sites in Southeast Asia. If you are visiting this region you must explore this ancient city. It’s very easy to reach this place from Bangkok by train, taxi or bus. I recommend an Ayutthaya day trip with an overnight stay. You will have enough time to observe all the Buddhist temples and the beauty of the picturesque islands captured in the middle of three rivers.

9. Chiang Rai trekking

Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai can often be missed while backpacking through Asia but it’s a great non-touristic place to visit. It’s located about 785 kilometres away from Bangkok. Chiang Rai is definitely a great destination even if you are backpacking alone because of it’s magnificent mountainous scenery, historical remains, ethnic villages and jungle trekking.

One of the main reasons why you should visit Chiang Rai is the breathtaking White Temple. Find some time and visit the Black House too. Both buildings are artistic masterpieces.

Cambodia

10. The Capital of Cambodia Phnom Penh 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh is another great place to visit in Southeast Asia. You will be surprised with it’s temples, wildlife sanctuaries, museum and various tours. Although Phnom Penh hasn’t always been a city filled with kindhearted people, it suffered a very cruel recent history that I would recommend to get to know closer through visiting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Another must visit place in Phnom Penh is the Night Market, where you can taste delicious Cambodian food. Spend a few hours in the National Museum to absorb all the interesting information about Cambodian culture. Visit the Russian Market.However you won’t find many Russian products because it’s only called like that as this was a popular area amongst Russian expats in the 1980s. Admire the beauty of Wat Phnom, animal lovers can visit a sanctuary that focuses on indigenous creatures such as the Asia Sun Bears and Moon Bears habitat conservation.

If you are searching for accommodation in Phnom Penh then I would suggest to stay in Duan Penh. This area offers the most sights and a riverfront with numerous cafés. Double Leaf Boutique Hotel is a wonderful place to stay.

11. Siem Reap & visiting Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is a wonderful town worth of some exploration. There are numerous activities to experience like horseback riding, butterfly watching or visiting nearby villages such as the floating village, Tonle Sap Lake. It’s a fairly small place that’s why you can easily explore the surroundings by walking, biking or hiring a tuk-tuk. I would recommend to stay here for at least 3 days. In the beginning you can explore all the temples and afterwards relax or enjoy fun things in Siem Reap.

Visiting Angkor Wat is one of the main things to do in Cambodia while backpacking through Asia. Join a guided tour that includes a photo stop at sunset or sunrise. That’s the most comfortable way to enjoy the beauty of the temples.

If you are thinking of where to stay in Siem Reap then Po Residence Hotel would be a lovely home for a while for a good price.

12. The beachside of Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville may seem like an uninspiring little town but from here you can access magnificent white sandy beaches. If you are backpacking alone it’s a great opportunity to stay in solitude for some time and enjoy the beautiful private beachside. Nevertheless each one of the beaches in this area has it’s own charm.

Start with Serendipity Beach, which is one of the cleanest but also pretty crowded ones. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the beach front. In the evening you will find seats along the sand where you can relax and watch the sunset. Not far off you will find Ocheteaul Beach, it’s a smaller version of the previous one but with a similar vivid atmosphere. There is also Otres Beach which is family and couple friendly.

Stay at Sandy Clay Bungalows to immerse into the relaxing beach lifestyle.

Malaysia

13. Vivid Kuala Lumpur

Top tourist attraction in KL: Petronas Twin Towers
Top tourist attraction in KL: Petronas Twin Towers

If you like big, vivid and modern cities then Kuala Lumpur will steal your heart. It’s the capital of Malaysia, boasting with skyscrapers, colonial architecture, delicious street food and an authentic mix of various cultures. I would recommend to stay in Kuala Lumpur for at least 2 days and not to use it only as a stopover because of the affordable flights.

14. Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation

Cameron Highlands is a must place to visit while you are backpacking in Malaysia. The most famous attraction in this area are the magnificent views of the tea plantations. Spend 2-3 days in this area to relax and enjoy mild temperatures, architecture in British colonial style and just beautiful rural nature.

Treat yourself and stay at The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant Cameron Highlands

15. Hiking at Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

Mount Kinabalu, Ranau, Malaysia
Mount Kinabalu, Ranau, Malaysia

Climbing Mount Kinabali, the highest mountain in Borneo, is definitely one of the most amazing adventures which should be on the bucket list of every traveler. It will take you 4-5 days to reach the summit but it’s definitely worth the effort. The difficulty of the climbing surely depends on your fitness level but it’s also doable for the beginners.

To climb Mount Kinabali has become very popular that’s why you should know that March to September is the busiest season, as well as around any major holiday, including Chinese New Year.

Singapore

The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore
The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore

16. Singapore

Singapore is a must visit place on the Southeast Asia travel route. Especially if you are travelling alone for the first time. I will surprise you with the fact that Singapore is the safest country in the world. Furthermore it’s extremely beautiful and very modern. Singapore offers various fun and interesting things to do like the Gardens and Supertree Grove. There are several cultural districts: China Town, Little India and also the hip neighbourhood of Haji Lane.

Philippines

17. Lakes of Coron Island, Philippines

Coron, Philippines
Coron, Philippines

Coron Island is one of the main visited destinations in the Philippines because of it’s white beaches and hypnotising natural gems, Lake Kayangan and Lake Barracuda are a must-visit without any doubt. This is where you are going to have a paradise-like experience.

18. Chocolate Hills in Bohol

Chocolate Hill, Bohol, Philippines
Chocolate Hill, Bohol, Philippines

The Philippines offer numerous unique natural wonders. Nevertheless nothing so popular as the Chocolate Hills, one of the major tourist attractions in the central island of Bohol. A total area of more than 50sqkm is covered with 30-50 metres high hills in a conical and symmetrical shapes. They are covered in grass and during the hot dry period the grass turns brown, turning the hills into a row of chocolate wonders. You can’t find anything similar to this in the entire world!

You will find the Chocolate Hills four kilometres before the town of Carmen. The easiest way is to join a tour. If you decide to get there on your own, catch a bus from Tagbilaran from the integrated bus terminal in Dao to Carmen. From here it’s a 10 minute walk when following the relevant signs.

10 Days in Malaysia Itinerary: Travel Guide of Must Visit Places

Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary

Things To Do in Malaysia on a Budget

Malaysia is the perfect destination for budget travellers in Southeast Asia. This beautiful country offers so much and you don’t need to spend a fortune to experience it. With this backpacking route 10-day itinerary you will discover vivid cities, delicious food, stunning beaches, breathtaking nature and the rich culture of Malaysia. This all is perfectly combined on the peninsular and close by islands so there will be no wasted time.

Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary
Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary

Of course you could spend more days to explore Malaysia which is the world’s great cultural melting pot. The famous Malaysian slogan “Truly Asia” proves that the variety of cultures can live together under one roof: Muslim Malays, diverse Chinese, Hindu and aboriginal groups like the Orangi Asli. The whole country embodies the modern development and old-fashioned charm of ex-colonies and nature side. Nevertheless Malaysia has less tourists than her neighbour countries like Thailand and Singapore what makes the local culture even more authentic because it’s less focused on travellers.

Malaysia Trip Planning

Malaysia Backpacking Route. 10 Days Itinerary
Malaysia Backpacking Route. 10 Days Itinerary

Best time to go to Malaysia

It is very typical for Southeast Asia to be characterised as high heat and humidity all year-round. The same goes for Malaysia. There are two main monsoon seasons: The Southwest Monsoon from late May to September, and the Northeast Monsoon from November to March. The driest time to explore Malaysia is January and February which is of course also the busiest period. The most recommended time to visit Malaysia is from April to October.

Food you must try in Malaysia

Nasi Lemak – it’s rice soaked in coconut milk and steamed. It’s a simple dish that is always served with sides like hard-boiled eggs and peanuts to vegetables and meats. It’s spicy and sweet at the same time.

Apam Balik – the best way to describe it, it’s a rice flour pancake filled with sugar, peanuts or corn. Perfect snack on the go.

Satay – on of the most famous dishes that many travellers have tried somewhere else already. It’s skewers of chicken, beef or pork grilled in peanut sauce.

Nasi Danang – a well-known breakfast in Malaysia that contains rice cooked in coconut milk with fish curry. Hard boiled eggs, shaved coconut and pickled vegetables are also added to the meal.

Laksa – yummy noodles combined with a gravy or sauce, veggies, and meat. You should try this Malay dish at different spots because it can be cooked in a different way. Some prefer to use coconut milk base, while others use broths.

Is Malaysia safe to travel?

If it’s your first time in Malaysia then you need to know that it’s a very safe country to travel to. Of course it doesn’t mean that you should lose your precautions, it’s always the best to practise common sense like you would do in your home country. The majority of the Malaysian population can articulate in English since it’s their second language. That makes travelling even more easy and fun.

10 Days in Malaysia: Travel Guide of Must Visit Places

Day 1-3: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a city to fall in love with. The multicultural capital of Malaysia is an ideal epitome of the modern world meeting authentic traditions. There are skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, incredible restaurants but also sumptuous street food and a rich culture. Go and try some street food from the famous street Jalan Alor. There you can sample everything for low prices. Also pass by Pudu Was Sek Lai and get to know a taste of Chinese-Malay dishes.

Travel Guide of Must Visit Places. Petronas Tower, Malaysia
Travel Guide of Must Visit Places. Petronas Tower, Malaysia

You can also just go through my other article “Perfect Kuala Lumpur Itinerary for 2 Days“. To the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I would definitely add Batu Caves, Merdeka Square, Little India, Chinatown, Petronas Twin Towers, National Mosque. Spend full 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur to immerse into the vibes of the country.

Day 3-5: Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is another gem in Malaysia. It’s famous for attractions like it’s beautiful garden, architecture in British colonial style and breathtaking views of the emerald tea plantations. I would recommend to spend 2-3 nights in this former colonial retreat with temperatures rarely going over 30 degrees. The easiest way to get here is to take a bus from Kuala Lumpur. You can find the timetable for the buses here.

Cameron Highlands: must-do things for first timers

Where to stay in Cameron Highlands

I would recommend to treat yourself and stay for few nights at The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant Cameron Highlands. The relaxing atmosphere and European colonial flair are perfect to enjoy an idyllic time in the area.

Hike up the Mount Brinchang & Explore Mossy Forest

Cameron Highland is a dream destination for those who search for peace and quiet. It has cooler temperatures than the rest of the country which makes it ideal for hiking lovers. If you are one of them then you should attempt to get to the peak of Mount Brinchang. There is a trail that will take you around 3 hours to reach the summit. On your way to the top of the Mount you will enter a surreal natural reserve, Mossy Forest. It’s not very well-known but this forest is a rich habitat for beautiful exotic plants.

Visit the Tea Plantation

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation

Visiting Cameron Highlands and not visiting the vast tea plantations is like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. It’s the leading tea-growing region in the whole of Malaysia. Nevertheless the history of tea is not very old, it all started in the 20th century. Definitely go and see Sungai Palas Tea Estate, the oldest and most famous tea plantation. You will learn a lot about tea culture and taste delicious drinks.

Pluck Strawberries

Another interesting fact is that Cameron Highlands is the center of strawberry production in the country. The iconic strawberries are growing here all year around. In the high season from May to August though you can get a chance to pluck fresh and sumptuous strawberries by hand. The most famous farms are Kok Lim Strawberry Farm and Raju Hill Strawberry Farm.

Visit Butterfly Farm

To visit Butterfly Farm is always a good idea especially when it’s one of the oldest and most popular attractions in Cameron Highlands. It’s a perfect location to admire colourful flying creatures and take a wonderful picture for your Instagram.

Visit National Park Taman Negara

Taman Negara is one of the oldest rainforests and a huge national park on the Malay peninsula. It’s not far from Cameron Highlands so it would be a great choice to visit this 130 million years old tropical rainforest on your last day in Cameron Highlands. The beautiful park is a natural habitat for tigers, macaques and has a rich birdlife. It’s one of the best places to visit in Malaysia due to it’s breathtaking unspoilt flora and fauna.

Day 5-8: Penang & George Town

Chew Jetty, Georgetown, Malaysia
Chew Jetty, Georgetown, Malaysia

Penang is a compact island with many interesting things to see. It’s capital, George Town is one of Malaysia’s great cultural and heritage locations which is filled with UNESCO sites. It’s one of the tropical holiday favourites because of the ensemble of history, tradition established since the 1700s and the fresh touch of contemporary street art. The British colonial island is nowadays a melting pot of Asian and European elements that you will notice in it’s amazing street food, architecture and even culture.

Getting to Penang

The best and quickest option to get to Penang is to take a bus from Cameron Highlands to Ipoh and then hop on another bus to Penang. It can take you from 2 to 4 hours to get to your destination. When you book tickets, inquire about travel times to choose the shortest option. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus or train to Ipoh followed by the ferry to Penang.

Where to Stay in Penang?

Your stay in Penang depends on your intentions. If you want to be in the epicentre of culinary and cultural heritage, stay in the capital, George Town. Budget travellers will be surprised with the comfort, simplicity and beauty at the same time at Queens Hostel. For those who want to experience a unique stay in Penang should book a room at Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion.

If you are craving for a tranquil tropical holiday then escape to Batu Ferringhi. For the big spenders a great decision would be to stay at G Hotel Kelawai. Budget travellers can book a room at Rasa Motel.

Explore George Town

George Town, Malaysia
George Town, Malaysia

On your first day hire a bike for the cheap price of around $5 for the whole day – and head to the capital of Penang, George Town. Walk around it’s beautiful streets to learn more about it’s history and tradition. Best way is to begin at Lebuh Keng Kwee for delicious street food, then check out the street art at Chulia Street and finish your walk down Pitt street to observe some architectonic treasures.

Visit Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple is a popular Buddhist temple in Penang which means “Temple of Ultimate Happiness”. Hire a guide who will explain to you the interesting meanings of the numerous carved symbols and a history of this holy place. You are here to get to know a new culture and immerse into foreign history, right? So don’t hesitate to learn something new! You can end the day on top of Penang hill with magnificent night views over the city.

Beachside of Penang

On your third day enjoy the island’s best beaches and nature. The hikers can challenge themselves and follow the Penang National Park’s jungle trails. But there is also something for those who prefer to relax: Beautiful Tropical Spice Garden. The best way to end your day is to watch sunset at Batu Ferringhi.

Day 8-10: Langkawi

How to travel from Penang to Langkawi

There are a few options on how to travel from Penang to Langkawi. There is a direct ferry and also a flight from George Town to Kuah. The cheapest combination is to go by bus or train and ferry via Butterworth on the mainland. Taking a high speed ferry is the easiest but a relatively pricey alternative. Within 3 hours you will reach the island but for those who get sea sick it will be an unpleasant journey.

I would recommend to take the Penang ferry to Butterworth and then catch a bus right next to the ferry terminal to Kuala Kedah. There you will find ferries which operate almost every hour to Langkawi.

Where to stay in Langkawi

Must visit in Malaysia, Langkawi
Must visit in Malaysia, Langkawi island

Langkawi is known for it’s relaxing atmosphere with various sightseeing opportunities. It’s especially popular for honeymooners and families who are seeking for a perfect getaway. There are plenty of nice hotels and guesthouses to stay in which makes it a bit complicated to find the perfect place to stay in Langkawi.

The most popular destination and best place to stay in Langkawi is Pantai Penang. There you will also find the widest choice of hotels with options for every budget. But this is also the area which is very crowded during the high season. The budget travellers will find a great place to stay at BONOBO Bed & Breakfast House. The ones who are searching for something a bit more luxurious should definitely check out Cenang Plaza Beach Hotel and La Villa Langkawi.

For those who are travelling with kids I would recommend to stay in Pantai Tengah. Travellers who don’t want to just relax but to be close to all main attraction should in Pantai Kok. The cheapest Backpacking Hostel in Pantai Kok is SHAKA SeaGypsy. A great budget hotel is ZEN Rooms Basic Pantai Kok.

If you are searching for peace and quiet then definitely go to Datai Bay. It’s an ideal spot for those who prefer exclusive, 5-star resorts. Doubtlessly the best place to stay in Langkawi for honeymooners. Berjaya Langkawi Resort is a great choice to enjoy the idyllic area.

Langkawi Tourist Attractions

Half-day Langkawi island tour

Langkawi Tourist Attractions. Cable Car Ride
Langkawi Tourist Attractions. Cable Car Ride

The best way to experience the beauty of Langkawi island within a short period is to join a half-day tour. It includes popular attractions like Cable Car Ride and Sky Bridge. It’s should be the first thing on every travellers bucket list when they visit Langkawi. It’s a memorable experience with breathtaking views. Additionally you will see the Underwater World housing with more than 500 exotic species. It’s another huge touristic sight to see in Langkawi. Last but not least there is a visit of Eagle Square. It’s another interesting place to visit in Langkawi, a manmade impressive 12 metre-tall sculpture of an eagle.

Island Hopping

Langkawi is a big island that is surrounded by 103 other smaller islands. To visit these uninhabited islands you should sign up for an island hopping tour. It’s a great way to experience the crystal clear waters, trekking through the dense jungle like Kilim Karst Geoforest. Among all these it’s possible to do kayaking and snorkelling.

Zip-Lining

The adventurous ones should visit a park with high ropes and zip lining through the Forest Canopy. The best way is to do it with Skytrex Adventure. The best way to describe it is challenging tree to tree trek with flying, gliding and adrenalin-filled experiences. You need to overcome obstacles in this forest adventure to get to the finish line. It’s a great way to spend some time with friends or family.

Mangrove River Cruise & Jungle Pool Swimming

This is an amazing tour and once in a lifetime experience of the Kubang Badak river with it’s exotic creatures as the Brahminy Kites, white-bellied sea eagles, mudskippers and herons. There is also a beautiful mangrove forest to observe. The hungry ones can taste a delightful home cooked lunch at the local family house. Definitely an unforgettable excursion.

Beyond Malaysia in 10 days: Where to visit next

Singapore: It’s just stone throw away from Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is one of my favourite modern cities that I could visit again and again! Definitely a must see destination in the Southeast Asia.

Indonesia: Bali, the island is incredibly beautiful and has a mysterious and diverse culture. It’s the perfect spot for backpackers who prefer to explore Bali on a budget but also for those who want to escape loud big city life and hide in a beautiful resort.

Maldives: Maldives is the epitome of heaven on Earth with it’s incredible sandy beaches, luminous crystal clear water and relaxing atmosphere. Check out where the best honeymoon resorts are and how to travel to Maldives on a budget.

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First Time in Singapore: Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary

First Time in Singapore: Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary

Alternative Singapore: Unique Things to do in Singapore

If you are planning to explore Asia I would definitely recommend to include this 4 days and 3 nights Singapore itinerary. After your first time in Singapore you will understand why this melting pot of cultures is doubtlessly a hit-list destination for every traveler. The vibrant, colourful city is one of 3 city-states in the whole world. It’s also one of the smallest countries with 682.7 square kilometres and 63 additional islands. Because of it’s size it’s very easy to travel around. The national language is Malay but there three more official languages that are used on a daily basis: English, Chinese and Tamil.

Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary to Singapore
Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary to Singapore

I love Singapore because it offers numerous modern and unique things to do. Additionally it’s just extremely beautiful. Singapore is not only well-known for being the cleanest and safest city in the world but also for a great and successful mix of Eastern and Western cultures. As a result we can see that a diverse range of architecture, delicious food and entertainment has been created. The name of the country means “Lion”, that’s why it’s probably transformed into an economic powerhouse within recent decades.

If you want to enjoy more of beautiful Asia I recommend to fly from Singapore to amazing Kuala Lumpur. Budget travellers can find great deals with Air Asia. The big spenders can enjoy a fancy flight with Singapore Airlines.

When is the Best Time to Visit Singapore?

Singapore has wonderful weather all year around which makes it a perfect travel destination. Nevertheless there is a period from January to February, from June to July and September to October when most of it’s holidays are happening and when it gets very crowded.

Where to Stay in Singapore

Singapore is famous for it’s infinity pool at the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands. But if your intention is to swim there and take amazing pictures in the pool then you need to book a room. The view from there is spectacular!

If you are planning a budget trip to Singapore then it would be better to stay at areas like Chinatown or Little India. I recommend The InnCrowd Backpackers’ Hostel or The Hive Singapore Hostel. Both of them are very tidy, the staff is friendly and they even offer a lovely breakfast gratis.

How to Get Around Singapore

Public Transport in Singapore, MRT
Public Transport in Singapore, MRT

Singapore has amazing and efficient public transport system which is very easy to understand. MRT is the most common one because it’s fast and cheap. If you use an EZ-link card you will pay even less and within a few minutes you will reach all main tourist destinations in Singapore. Bus is also a good option to get from A to B, additionally you will get a view of the city while travelling. However if you are not planning to stay very long in Singapore but you still want to see the best of it then Hopper Bus will be the best solution for it. In this case I would suggest to buy the SINGAPORE CITY PASS (2 or 3 days pass) that includes 2 ticket attractions plus hop on and hop off bus.

There is also a cheap version of taxi available, Uber. Just remember to download the app.

What you Need to Know before you visit Singapore

Alternative Singapore. Unique Things to do in Singapore
Alternative Singapore. Unique Things to do in Singapore

16 Things that are banned in Singapore

Before you plan to visit Singapore you should go through the list of things and activities that are not allowed in this city state:

  • Chewing Gum
  • Recreational Fireworks
  • Smoking, including E-Cigarettes
  • Shisha
  • Being naked at home
  • Owning or trading exotic animals
  • Eating on public transport
  • Gathering in a group of more than 3 people after 10pm on a public space
  • Purchasing alcohol after 10:30pm
  • Cats in residential flats
  • Spitting
  • Homosexual relations
  • Jaywalking, illegal crossing of pedestrians on roads
  • Drugs
  • Kissing
  • Connecting to another person’s Wi-Fi

What to do in Singapore for 4 Days Itinerary

How to Get to Singapore City From Singapore Airport

Most travellers arrive in Singapore Changi International Airport. And yes it’s one of the most spectacular and beautiful airports in the world. You can spend a lot of time in it but we need to get to the city. There are three main options to get to your hotel. One of the cheapest is by airport shuttle, which you can buy at the Ground Transport desk in the airport for $9. Within 25 minutes you will be able to check in to your hotel.

From Changi Airport you can take MRT to Singapore City. It will take you around 30 minutes to reach the city centre. The cheapest possibility to get to Singapore city is by bus but be prepared to spend 1,5 hours on it. And of course there are airport taxis that will cost you around $20 to get to your destination.

4-Day Singapore Itinerary: Top Attractions and Places to visit

Day 1

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Marina Bay & The Gardens

Start your day with Singapore’s most popular walk along Marina Bay. It’ the best way to get the first impression of the vivid metropolis. Just follow the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade around the perimeter of the bay. Visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands and enjoy a drink from the rooftop with an awesome view over the city next to the infinity pool.

Another fabulous highlight of Singapore is the Gardens. It’s a 10 minute walk from Bayfront MRT station, it offers the ideal venue for a lovely afternoon in the nature. The Gardens span over 101 hectares and has 3 sectors: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.

Supertree Grove

The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore
The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore

In the evening you will be able to experience the Super Tree Grove light up. The futuristic, gigantic almost 50 metres tall trees glisten and glow in the dark. Interesting fact is that these artificial Supertrees have photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy during the day so they can light up during the night. In the Gardens you will also find OCBC skyway, a 128-metre long bridge that connects the Supertrees with the Supertree Grove.

Spectra – a Light & Water Show

In the late evening around 9:30 take a walk to Marina Bay Sands and enjoy spectacular and free entertainment: Spectra – a Light & Water Show. It’s a 13 minute long synchronised show presents Singapore’s story of a multicultural society and cosmopolitan city as we know it today.

Day 2

Chinatown

Chinatown, Singapore
Chinatown, Singapore

One of the cult places to visit in Singapore in your 4 day journey is Chinatown. It’s a tremendous area where you can immerse into the authentic world of Chinese history and culture. It’s a perfect place to stroll around, buy some souvenirs and try exotic but at the same time delicious food. Don’t forget to visit Sri Mariamman Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, Chinatown Heritage Centre and Hawker Food Center.

Little India

Little India, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

Afterwards go and visit another cultural district, Little India. I love to explore cities by foot but of course you have always an option to jump on a bus or train. I would recommend to walk to Little India it might take you 45 minutes but you can go through the beautiful Fort Canning Park or visit National Gallery Singapore. If you are a cat lover stop at the cat cafe Café Neko no Niwa.

Little India is a small but extremely colourful district in Singapore. There are various temples and Singapore’s famous 24-hour shopping centre – Mustafa Centre. Head to Tekka Centre for Indian cuisine – interesting to try and perfect for the budget travellers.

Haji Lane

Haji Lane, Singapore
Haji Lane, Singapore

Don’t wait to long and go to the hip neighbourhood of Haji Lane. Haji Lane is famous for it’s vibrant street art, cool shops and cafes. There you can also find a fun place, Selfie Coffee. They will print your selfie on your coffee and you can drink it while you are looking at your beautiful self. Furthermore it’s affordable too, coffee prices start at $5.

Clarke Quay

Singapore is a glamorous city which is famous for it’s lights blooming at night. On the first day you could witness the magnificent show at the Bayfront. Now you can visit Clarke Quay and stroll along the Singapore river to watch another glowing wonder.

Singapore Night Safari

Another great way to spend an evening is to visit the Singapore Night Safari. It’s a unique and exciting way to experience the home to over 1000 different animals. It gives you a great chance to explore the mysterious nightlife of the wildlife and enjoy a wonderful journey. Definitely worth a visit.

Day 3

Top Attractions and Places to visit in Singapore, Sentosa
Top Attractions and Places to visit in Singapore, Sentosa

Sentosa

On the third day of this 4-day Singapore itinerary you will discover another unique must-visit attraction, Sentosa. It’s a small island resort which is famous for being called “The State of Fun”. Sentosa is also home to a world class aquarium, beautiful beaches and Universal Studios Singapore. You can purchase Sentosa Fun Passes to bundle various activities and save some money.

How to get to Sentosa? Take MRT and get off at Harbour Front Station (North-East Line or Circle Line). From there you can walk to Sentosa via the Sentosa Boardwalk. You can also take a taxi or bus to reach the island. I recommend to take the cable car so you can enjoy the stunning views over the metropolis and it’s harbour front area.

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios in Singapore offers a good time for everyone and it’s one of the top family attractions. It’s a theme park which features movie-themed rollercoasters and numerous attractions. There are 7 different zones: Hollywood, Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City and New York. There you can also find entertaining shows, shops and restaurants.

S.E.A. Aquarium

S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore
S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore

Just 10 minutes away from Universal Studios you will find the famous S.E.A. Aquarium. It’s not only a home for 1.000 underwater species but also a Maritime Experiential Museum. Moreover it is possible to enjoy attractions and visit scenic photography spots which are perfect for an instagram shoot.

Singapore River Cruise

After 3 long days of walking around this beautiful city it is time to have a relaxing boat ride so you can explore Singapore also from the river’s perspective. Within 40 minutes you will see the best sights and highlights. The tour starts at the following ports: Clarke Quay, Read Bridge, Boat Quay, Fullerton, Merlion Park, Bayfront South and the Esplanade.

Day 4

Shopping Paradise

If you are asking yourself what is another thing you can do in Singapore in 4 days I would say shopping! After you’ve seen the best highlights that Singapore can offer it’s time to bring something nice and memorable from this vibrant city. The best place to immerse into retail heaven is to go to Orchard Road. Begin at one of Singapore’s oldest department stores, TANGS. Afterwards make your way to ION Orchard, to Singapore’s unique shopping complex. At Far East Plaza will be the epitome for street fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters.

Orchard Road is also famous for it’s world-class international cuisine and coffee lovers. Stop by Oriole Coffee and Bar and recharge your batteries with an aromatic cup of in-house roasted coffee and tasty breakfast. If you are really hungry then don’t wait too long and drop by Wild Honey in Mandarin Gallery. This is where you can find various nations under one roof. After all this it will unfortunately be time to drive to the airport.

Where to Eat in Singapore

Singapore has not only impressive architecture to offer but also an impressive dining experience. It’s doubtlessly one of the greatest culinary destinations in the world where you can taste something completely new. If you want to try authentic Eurasian and Peranakan dishes then don’t miss Folklore. Everything is made the old-fashioned way from scratch basically by one person so it might take some time but the experience is phenomenal.

Where can every traveler have delicious local food for a good price? Of course in hawker centres also well-known as food courts. It’s hard to believe but street food stalls in Singapore have been awarded the coveted Michelin star. There are a few hawker centres in Singapore but the most famous ones are Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Old Airport Road Food Centre and Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.

Amò, Instagram
Amò, Instagram

If you prefer sophisticated yet casual then try some delicious sourdough pizzas at Amò. There is even an open kitchen where every visitor can observe the pizza chef tossing dough into the air. Amò is also famous for it’s spaghetti with Boston lobster and tarragon. Might be a bit pricey but worth to taste it!

connected to the world about pinterest

SEO for Beginners: How to Rank On Page 1 of Google

Every blogger’s goal is to get more traffic and to see how their audience is growing. I’ve seen many bloggers getting frustrated that they can’t get where they want, trying all kind of Social Media tricks and writing great content. Don’t get me wrong, content is the king but without using proper SEO no one will be able to find and read this awesome information.

Beginner’s Guide to SEO

To be the best in ranking for the first page on Google you should get to know the techniques of SEO, Search Engine Optimisation. Here you will find out more about SEO strategy, to build your audience and finally get more traffic to your blog and rank on page 1 of Google. You probably know that 60% of all Google users click on the first 3 results. If you make it happen to be in the first three results your site will get more authority, visibility and finally more traffic.

If you are ready to improve your blog, finally save your time then it’s time to implement some important techniques. After you apply these simple principles you will see immediate results.

What is SEO

On-page SEO is an essential factor to get your posts at the top of the search result pages. Search Engine Optimisation means to apply specific techniques to be identified by search engines like Google, Yahoo etc. as the best answer or solution for the users.

The simple truth is: The better you optimise your blog or site for these search engines, the more traffic and page views you will receive. It means you won’t need to promote your blog on social media or various Facebook groups because it will naturally come to you through organic traffic.

What else does it mean to you? Being ranked in the first three results of Google will lead to more visibility for your site, which means the more money you can make, the greater the opportunities and deals you’ll be offered, additionally the higher will be your domain authority.

The Most Important SEO Strategies You Should Use

Create Great Content

As I already mentioned before content is the king. It’s important to write High quality and useful texts to be in the first results of Google page. But what does it mean to write great content? How many words should a proper article include?

Nowadays there are so many competitors, so many various bloggers who are writing about the same things but some get a high amount of cyber attention, others just get lost on the e-web.

There are 5 main aspects that should be considered to get higher traffic and to improve your content.

Step 1: Work on Your Title

The title is like a business card of your text. It’s important to write a catchy title that shows exactly what your post is about. To write better headlines I’m using this awesome free tool that I would recommend to everyone, Headline Analyzer.

Step 2: Solve the Reader’s Query

When we are searching for something on Google we want to see the high quality and quick result. That’s why your title and your content should be about a specific topic, so the user won’t be tempted to click on the other search results. Just try to immerse into the users shoes to understand what he or she is searching for to give the best answer to their question.

Step 3: Check your Competitors

Before you start writing your next article, you should always see what your competitors have written about it. I would suggest first to pick up the long tail keywords and then find other bloggers who are ranked on the first Google page.

The best way to do it is to open an incognito window and type in the keyword phrase that you would like to use. I always go through the results of the first Google page. Commercial websites like Tripadvisor shouldn’t be your concern.

After going through your competitors pages look at the length and the plot of the texts. Try to write a better post by adding more qualitative information, more insights, details, better meta description, pictures.

Step 4: Increase the Amount of Words

Toast.com has written that longer posts get higher chance of ranking well in Google. It has been proven that articles of around 2000 words get better results. That should be your goal to implement more information and more keywords into these amounts of words.

How to Choose the Right Keywords

SEO-For-Beginners-The-5-Most-Important-SEO-Techniques-You-Should-Be-Using

Keywords are the base for every existing site in the internet. Every search engine is based on keywords, so if you are planning to get ranked on page 1 of Google then it’s time to learn how to research and use the right keywords.

Believe me, it’s much easier to research keywords than everyone thinks. You should find the useful long tail keywords before even planning to write your new article. Otherwise it’s a pure waste of your time. Imagine you’ve written a great text, you’ve spend hours to research it and to take or find awesome pictures. Afterwards you find out that no-one is searching for this kind of information and there are no useful keywords for this topic or it’s too hard to compete with the other articles? It’s a shame, right?

Your goal is:

  • Find great long tail keywords, it means the keyword should contain 2-3 words. Longer and more defined search phrases will help you to get more attention. It should also have a high search volume and low competition. I will explain it later.
  • Write high-quality texts, better than you competitors with the intention to give full answers for the readers
  • Add 10-20 other related keywords to your post.

Online Tools to Find Great Keywords

There are various free online tools that you can use to find keywords. I’m using Keywords Everywhere to get some inspiration. It shows the search volume and cost per click (CPC) for the phrases. Again I believe it’s good to find some ideas but it doesn’t give you very accurate information regarding ranking.

Another famous one is Moz. You can only search for 20 free keywords per month but it shows you keyword volume range and difficulty score. Every successful blogger would tell you though if you want to see quick results you need to invest into the keysearch tool. And there is a great one that doesn’t cost much but will provide you with all necessary information: Keysearch.

Keysearch is one of the most popular and reliable tools that will help to save time and will make blogging even more fun. If you want to know more about it read Review of Affordable Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch.

It’s easy to use Keysearch and they provide you with videos where they explain every step. To find your target keyword just type the chosen phrase into the keyword analysis search bar. You can filter your results depending on the score, volume or CPC. I prefer score.

Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch
Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch

The score shows how difficult it is to rank the keywords and how hard the competitiveness is. It depends on the colour of the score but as you can guess green means it’s a good keyword. Keysearch will show the top 10 competing sites and a list of related keywords. First check if there are sites with lower DA then yours and if you can write your article better than they did. There are many other useful features that you can definitely use for your blog.

Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch
Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch

If you want 20% off Keysearch use the code: KSDISC and sign up here.

Easy On-Page SEO Strategy

On-Page SEO means that you need to optimise your content and implement specific indicators to make your posts more visible for search engines. I would recommend after you’ve finished your article to go through it again and make sure that you’ve included your keywords in all important areas.

  1. Your Title, H1, must contain your target keyword phrase.
  2. The URL should also contain your target keyword. Use maximum five words for this one.
  3. Use around 10-20 different keywords that are related to your topic in the text.
  4. Remember to use internal linking to your own content but also external linking to trustworthy pages.
  5. Write a good and catchy Meta Description with your target keywords.
  6. Optimise your images. It means resize your image and include description, caption and also alt tag.
  7. Use your second important target keyword in the subheading H2 and implement it close to the beginning of the post. Also put more keywords into other subheadings.

Improve Your Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO means that you need to improve your brand or blog outside of your site. There are different ways but in my opinion the main one is link building and social media. I didn’t know that but only after a few years I’ve read that backlinking is a crucial part of a good SEO strategy.

Technical Side of your Blog

This is actually the most boring part. Because most of us bloggers want to focus on the creative part but not on the technical side. And of course there are so many factors that are important for the technical SEO, I will tell you about 4 of them.

  1. Create and submit sitemap to Google.
  2. Check your page speed and improve if it’s necessary. For example you can compress and optimise images before upload them. For WordPress users I would recommend to download the free plugin WP Smush.
  3. The problem that I’m struggling with: Move to HTTPS otherwise if you still have HTTP google will recognise it as an insecure site. Good hosts will help you to do it for free or for 10-15¢. Unfortunately I’m using GoDaddy at the moment and they are expecting their clients to pay over 100€ for this service. Rip off I would say.
  4. Last but not least make sure that your site is mobile friendly.

Get Organic Search Traffic

SEO might seem complicated but once you start to implement all these strategies into your site you will see how organic search traffic will bring you results. It might take some time so be patient but continue to follow the listed techniques. I promise you will be able to start ranking higher on search engines like Google and your audience will grow.

By the way, you can start earning money before your organic search traffic kicks in. How? Check my other article: Top Paying Affiliate Programs to Make Quick Money Online

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