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Canadas First Pod Hotel – Pangea Pod Hotel

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stay in a Pod Hotel? Well Japan is not the only place you can experience this unique style of accommodation. Canadas first ever Pod Hotel opened in Whistler last year and we spent two nights enjoying the boutique delights that Pangea Pod Hotel offers.

Designed to be the perfect mix of Hotel and Hostel, Pangea Pod offers everything you need when travelling on a budget to get your mountain adventure fix but still seek little luxuries – A rare find in Whistler.

Located in Whistler village, the adventure capital of British Columbia and only a short 2 hour drive from Vancouver, Pangea Pod Hotel is perfectly situated. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and walked into the building located directly in the centre surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants. The Whistler Bike Park and Ski Lifts are a short stroll from the front door. The outside the building fits in nicely with the mountain village vibe but as soon as you walk in you are met with an incredible arty, modern decor.

Check in is done through a computer and you are given a room key on a wristband that also acts as a tab for your drinks and food if you wish. It’s all very efficient and I love how quick it is.

We walk up one flight of stairs to our Suite and find our Pod which is located on the top “bunk”. Each Suite has several Pods, including an upstairs level and a balcony overlooking the village. Our Pod is spacious and includes all the amenities you might need for your stay including power sockets, a fan to cool you down, shelving, clothes hangers, hooks, mirror and a locker for your valuables. There is plenty of space for your luggage and the bed is very spacious. If you need any extras ( ear plugs, hair dryer etc) you can simply text reception and they will deliver these to you. A curtain pulls across to give you privacy and makes the Pod feel very cosy.

The Suites have several showers which are modern with rain shower heads and come kitted out with shower gel and shampoo (perfect for me as I forgot to pack these items!) The toilets are separate from the showers and there’s a changing room and separate sink to save people waiting in line when it gets busy. Music plays so you can sing in the shower if you fancy.

Pangea Pod Hotel Suite Whistler
Pangea Pod Budget Hotel Whistler Canada

We spent our first evening relaxing in our Pod and enjoying a Happy Hour drink in the Living Room, Pangea Pods communal dining area which is so stylishly decorated. If the weather is nice you can head to their rooftop patio and enjoy uninterrupted village views. Afterwards we explored the village sights, ready to have a day filled with adventure the next morning.

After a comfortable night in our pod we head down to the Living Room for breakfast. We choose a window seat because I love to people watch with the village located directly below. The breakfast menu has everything I could want to order including Bacon Eggs Benedict, Avocado on Toast, Smoothie Bowls and Pastries. Non hotel guests are welcome for breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening (or day time) drinks.

Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler Canada
Breakfast at Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler
Coffee at Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler

After breakfast we start our day by exploring Whistler on the Gondola and head up the mountain. On our way up we see three bears in the bike park, two cubs and their momma. (unfortunately I don’t get my camera out quick enough so have no photos) It’s a beautiful day and at the top we head to the Inukshuk. Placed here to commemorate the 2010 Winter Olympics it has become a must see, especially due to the stunning mountain backdrop. The alpine hiking trails are closed at the moment so it’s a quick visit and we head back down to the village.

We grab a quick bite to eat in town and head to Lost Lake – about 20 minutes walk from the Village and the perfect place to relax and cool down on a warm summers day. The beach here gets pretty busy so we walk around the lake to a dock that is far quieter (this may have something to do with it being clothing optional…)

Lost Lake Dock Whistler Canada

After a leisurely walk through Lost Lake Park we head back to Pangea to relax before dinner. There is free WIFI throughout the property so you can catch up on all your social needs or even kick back and watch some videos.

Pangea Pod Hotel

Dinner is served in the Living Room and we opt for the tasty flat bread pizzas and a cocktail. The staff here were great, they mixed me my own custom cocktail not on the menu, thanks to me and my Margarita craving. The food is so delicious – I recommend the Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Flat Bread. You will also find charcuterie boards, soups and sandwiches for everyones taste on the menu. To allow us to further enjoy our evening we loved watching the live music. All week there is a comprehensive entertainment schedule so you will always find a reason to come back.

Flatbread Pizza Pangea Pod
Live Music Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler

To end the evening we played a game of chess which Phil won, much to his delight as it was his first ever win at playing chess. There is a huge selection of board games which they encourage you to play, even if you don’t want to order anything from the bar which I think is the perfect hostel attitude yet you are located in a far classier atmosphere.

Board Games Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler

If you want to bring your toys – mountain bikes for the summer and skis/boards for the winter then you can lock them up in their spacious Toy Box. There is also a bike wash and repair station located outside.

Bike Storage Pangea Pod
Bike Wash and Bike Service at Pangea Pod

We can’t wait to explore more of Whistler this summer , keep an eye out for more awesome posts of our trip in beautiful British Columbia. Check us out on Instagram for daily photo updates here

Thank You to Pangea Pod Hotel for hosting us, our stay was gifted and all opinions are our own. We truly only recommend places that we absolutely love.

Pangea Pod Whistler, Canada

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Travel guides to Bangkok on a budget
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Bangkok – Thailand

The Ultimate Guide – Bangkok on a Budget

Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
When your outfit matches Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok

WHERE IS BANGKOK?

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand located in the Chao Phraya River Delta with a population of approx 8.2 million people – it is served by two of Asia’s busiest international airports and hosts expats from all over the globe.

Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, Bangkok
Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, Bangkok

HOW TO GET THERE?

Bangkok has 2 international airports – the newer Suvarnabhumi Airport and the older Don Mueng Airport (considered to be one of the world’s oldest international airports and Asia’s oldest operating airport…for those travel buffs out there).

Suvarnabhumi Airport is on popular flight routes and stopovers through Asia and is 30km from Bangkok CBD. You can also arrive in Bangkok via popular tourist bus routes from nearby Cambodia. Don Mueng Airport is home to Air Asia who sell some of the cheapest flights around Asia.

Navigating the Taxi’s of Bangkok – Getting a taxi from the airport is a much debated topic across the internet with overpricing scams prevalent – locals say a ride to downtown Bangkok should be approx 300-400thb. While some drivers will regularly charge tourists 900thb+.

It is recommended to avoid any drivers approaching you at the exit of the terminal and instead queue for the ticketed taxi’s – here you take a ticket from a designated booth and your taxi meets you at a allocated space opposite – still here at the official taxi rank drivers will try and quote high prices. Some regular Bangkok visitors recommend insisting the driver turns on the meter before getting in, if they refuse be prepared to get in to a different taxi. 

We paid 500thb for our ride (we arranged this price with the driver when we got in) which although a little over priced was reasonable to us and given we arrived late and we were tired after our flight we were happy to be on our way – there is a toll road and airport surcharge that you are also required to pay which is normal. 

The drive from Suvarnabhumi airport to Bangkok CBD is approx 35-45 minutes depending on traffic.

Airport Bus – The S1 bus offers 60thb tickets for BKK airport to Bangkok city and the A4 bus for DMK airport for 50thb.

Buddha statues, Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
Buddha statues, Wat Pho Temple

WHY VISIT?

Gleeming Temples, amazing Street Food and Cheap Accommodation are just a few reasons many travellers flock to Bangkok.

Take long tail boat rides to local floating markets and temples, tuk tuk rides to bars and restaurants, enjoy a cheap local massage and beer while watching the bustling city come alive or shop til you drop in its many malls. Bangkok has something for everyone.

It is the starting point for most backpacker and travellers South East Asian adventures but it is much more than just a stop before venturing further a field.

£1.20 for a Pad Thai dinner or Fresh Coconut Ice Cream in a real coconut husk! Bangkok and Thailand in general is also a great place to visit for the budget traveller. This also means for the luxury travellers out there you get more bang for your buck on hotel stays too.

Top Sights

Bangkok’s Temples should be on everybody’s list of must do’s while visiting the city – Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho are the most popular choices.

Wat Pho Temple – Wat Pho is close to the Grand Palace and was our choice for the day, the entrance fee was only 200thb per person. The Lonely Planet guide does need updating with regards to some prices in Bangkok if you are using these as a reference.

Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok

The 46 metre long Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho is the most popular attraction here and one of the largest in Thailand. Be sure to check out the Buddha’s soles, these alone are 3m high and 4.5m long! They are inlaid with stunning mother-of-pearl patterns depicting elephants, tigers, dancers and flowers.

Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok

Most of the stunning grounds were fairly quiet allowing for plenty of photo opportunities with the fantastically detailed buildings and temples. Bring sun screen and water!

Ladies take something to cover for your shoulders and knees as is customary in all Thai Temples. My husband wore longer board shorts down to his knees (didn’t cover them) and this was ok. I also wore flip flops with no problems.

Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok
Wat Pho Temple Doorway, Bangkok
Wat Pho Temple Doorway, Bangkok

Getting Here – To get to Wat Pho we took a river boat from Phra Arthit pier (only 15thb!) It is far quicker and cheaper than taking a taxi or an expensive tuk tuk.

TOP TIP – make sure you get off at Wat Arun and swap boats to cross the river (4thb) to Tha Tian pier if you are going this direction. Here you can walk to the temple very easily. It’s also really close to the Grand Palace which is 500thb per person entrance fee but we opted out of this due to our tight budget. There are plenty of other incredible temples that are free or cost very little to visit.

Guardians of the Gate, Wat Arun, Bangkok
Guardians of the Gate, Wat Arun

Khaosan road – busy, loud, touristy and included in most tour books as a must see. It is certainly the centre of Bangkoks backpacker communities and has many bars lining the street, however a short stroll away is the ‘C’ shaped road of Soi Rambuttri. This is a quieter road but still a lively enough alternative to Khaosan Road with many street food vendors and restaurants where the vibe is a little more relaxed. This is actually where we frequented for the cheapest and most delicious Pad Thai street food and enjoyed happy hour beers whilst sitting curb side.

Soi Rambuttri, Bangkok
Soi Rambuttri at night, Bangkok

Most proper sit in restaurants around here (not plastic tables and chairs on the street) offer mains from 150-300thb minimum and large beers for 150thb. For comparison basic street stall bars will sell you a large beer for 90thb or 60thb in the 7-11 Stores.

Massages – you can only walk a few metres between shops before you encounter street side massages being offered on reclining chairs. 150thb for 30 mins or 300thb 1hr. If you walk to the end of Soi Rambuttri away from Khaosan Road they offer them for 100thb for 30 mins and these are a popular and great way to people watch or relax after a long day of walking around the many stunning temples.

Chinatown – at just 1km long the area is packed with vibrant street food stalls and restaurants. Busy and bustling as soon as night falls this is a great place to soak up the atmosphere and try some tasty and cheap cuisine.

Chinatown, Bangkok
Chinatown, Bangkok
Street Food, Chinatown, Bangkok
Street Food, Chinatown, Bangkok

4 delicious freshly cooked Gyoza for only 50thb and 10 chicken satay sticks for just 60thb. They were freshly grilled on the BBQ but they were also very busy and one of mine was still a little raw on the end. I didn’t get sick luckily but just make sure you check before you tuck in. It’s extremely busy so be prepared to queue for the most popular snacks. 

TOP TIP – Getting a taxi back to your hotel from here can be a little bit of work, (as with most of Bangkok) so we walked a short distance away from the busy taxi and tuk tuk area  to flag our driver down because they are known for largely inflated tourist prices right next to the market.

As previously mentioned, taxi drivers in Bangkok are notorious for not wanting to turn on the meter or for using the excuse ‘it is broken’ or cover them up. We managed to get a taxi home on the second attempt – the first one said no to the meter being turned on but the second honest taxi driver said yes. Only 50thb back to Soi Rambuttri. 

*Many people opt to Tip the honest Taxi drivers a little extra – even with the tip it is likely to still be 50% cheaper than the cost of some of the tourist taxi scammers. Don’t feel bad for asking for the meter to be turned on as legally they are required to and just go onto the next taxi if you are not successful.

WHERE TO STAY?

Want a further 10% off already cheap hotel and hostel prices? Click here for your own personalised discount.

We were visiting Asia on a backpackers budget and luckily Bangkok has accommodation to suit every budget from shared dorms to 5 star luxury. Location is always high on our list and is worth researching when visiting Bangkok.

We opted for the well reviewed Khaosan Art Hotel. At just £15 (615thb) per night for a private en suite double with air con it was an absolute bargain. (not a sponsored post we just enjoyed our stay)

There was no lift (common in Asia) and we were on the 5th floor which was quiet enough for us because it was further from the busy street and bars below. If you are staying in a busy area in Bangkok it is worth asking for a high floor so it’s not too noisy. Downstairs had a lively bar with restaurant and provided guests with 20% off their bill. We didn’t eat here as we were busy working our way through Bangkok’s street food delights but it was busy and popular every night.

We pre-booked our stay as we were arriving late and wanted somewhere arranged for a good rate. We ended up extending our trip for an extra two nights for same price at reception with their helpful and friendly staff.

The hotel is right on Soi Rambuttri and is just a few steps away from plenty of street stalls selling Pad Thai for 40-50thb and also budget friendly breakfast options. On the corner of Soi Chana Songkhram and Soi Rambuttri the restaurant sells fruit salad, yoghurt and muesli for 35thb which was perfect for a thrifty traveller and opposite here was my favourite Pad Thai and smoothie vendor.

One thing worth mentioning is the proximity to the bus stop servicing the Airport – the S1 bus stop opposite the hotel serves a bus that offers 60thb tickets for BKK airport and the A4 bus stop for DMK airport for 50thb. This was a big plus for us travelling on a tight budget.

How Long to Stay?

A minimum of 3-4 days for your first time in Bangkok would be enough to tick off the main sights and experience a taste of what the city has to offer. And with more sights and attractions you could fill a few extra.

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Kamenjak – Croatia

Croatias Best Kept Secret – Kamenjak National Park!

Kamenjak National Park, Croatia. I am pretty sure you have never heard of it. If you have, then I hope you have visited because I’m gonna tell you why it’s a must in this post. When you think of Croatia you probably think of Island hopping off the coast of Split, checking out Kings Landing in Dubrovnik or maybe even checking out Rovinj as it becomes ever more popular thanks to Instagram.

Luckily for us one of our Instragram followers suggested travelling to this amazing location when we got to Croatia. We are so glad they reached out to us because they helped create some of our favourite memories. Kamenjak National Park is on the Southern most tip of the Istrian Peninsula.


Source: Google Maps

You cannot camp in the National Park but you can camp right next to the entrance to the park, so you are within super easy walking distance. There are also plenty of hotels and guest houses you can stay with in Premantura. Booking.com has so many choices (all with really incredible reviews) and if you book through my link you get 10% back on your stay.

It is an absolute nature lovers heaven!! I cannot stress this enough! The water is an incredible crystal clear blue, it is clean as clean can be. There are masses upon masses of wild flowers of all different vibrant colours and varieties coating the coast. The rocky coastline is dotted with idyllic, secluded islands and there are literally hardly any cars around. You can cycle your way around the park (this is what we opted to do on our mountain bikes) or walk and find your own private piece of nature to bask in.

This little piece of Paradise is 100% well worth the visit and detour away from the usual Croatian hot spots.  If you plan on visiting the stunning towns of Rovinj or Pula it’s just a short distance down the coast. You will also be pleasantly surprised with the drive back up on the East Coast. Reminiscent of the coastal roads on the Amalfi Coast past cliff hugging fishing ports. We took a few days out of our schedule to just relax here, riding our bikes along the coast and admiring the views….oh the views! 

We stayed at Arena Stupice Campsite in Premantura, the location of this campsite could not be any better for the views. It’s located next to the sea and you can walk and cycle in to the park from the campsite (if you drive in you have to pay a daily fee). The camping pitches are not the flattest, many are on a slant and it’s very hard to figure out what actually classes as your pitch. But there are plenty to choose from so just take your time scouting out a spot.

HOT TIP: If you camp at Arena Stupice Campsite make sure you pre book your spot online before you arrive. You will get a much better rate and a better site to camp on. We ended up booking online when we were stood in reception as they could not offer the same online rate in person.

Plenty of visitors come here to sail, kayak, fish, hike, cycle and just spend time exploring the coastline. 

We are big cyclists so started our cycling tour on the Dinosaur Trail. Fun Fact – Dinosaurs used to frequent this area in the Cretaceous period. How awesome is that?! Along the path you can explore all of the geological curiosities of Kamenjak.

The path continues around the edge of the peninsula and mainly along the coast. We stumbled upon the quirkiest little beach cafe- in the middle of no where. Imagine turning up to what looks like vegetation on the edge of the cliff with a few wooden structures outside.

You hear the murmuring of voices and make your way into the bushes to find what looks like the Lost Boys camp from Never Never Land. Safari bar is surprisingly busy for somewhere thats completely hidden. Take a visit here just to witness the quirkiness including the giant swing, sea shell dens, roller slide and tiki huts. 

As you walk through the bar to the cliffs edge you reach the most stunning view and cliff jumping hot spot where the water is incredibly clear.

We hopped on our bikes to continue the ride and came across vast empty countryside, empty beaches and incredible views. We stopped to take a dip in one cove we had all to ourselves. It’s that quiet we would turn up to a beach and if there were people there we would just move to the next beach which would inevitably be empty.

A short while later we arrive back at our van in the campsite and settle in to our camping chairs to take in the view. We crack open an Ozujsko Limun, our favourite Croatian tipple and chat about how awesome our day was. All thanks to a fellow traveller recommending Kamenjak National Park. If you plan on visiting Croatia and like nature then make sure you visit here! It’s just incredible.

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