Monthly Archives: January 2017

Making the most of a winter holiday in California

Los Angeles is the perfect place to go on a winter holiday in California

Photo by CC user ahhdrjones on Flickr

Want to escape the worst aspects of winter in North America? Have you considered planning a winter holiday in California?

With electrifying cities, enchanting coastline and soaring snow-capped mountains, a trip to America’s most exciting state will serve to recharge your batteries during what is normally the most depressing time of year.

Looking to travel in comfort? Don’t put up with the hassles of staying in a hotel, as there are plenty of California vacation rentals available from San Diego to the Napa Valley.

As such, there is no shortage of luxurious spots throughout the Golden State where you can make yourself at home after an exhausting but satisfying day of activities and sightseeing.

With amenities ranging from outdoor pools and hot tubs with privileged views, to state-of-the-art electronics and furnishings, these villas will make your downtime during your California

That being said, let’s explore what California has to offer you this winter.

1) San Diego

If warmth is a priority for you and your traveling companions, be sure to base yourself in the San Diego area.

Average day time highs in January are in the mid 60’s Fahrenheit (about 18-19 degrees Celsius), but temperature can get up well into the 70’s (23-24 degrees Celsius) on the warmest days.

The ocean is a bit chilly for swimming in winter, but surfers will be perfectly comfortable if they don a thin wetsuit, as the water is typically in the low 60’s (about 15-16 degrees Celsius) during the coolest parts of the winter season.

The San Diego Zoo is a great option for families, and after dark, the Gaslamp Quarter has plenty of restaurants and nightlife options for adults looking to live it up.

2) Los Angeles

Those looking for a high-energy holiday in California will want to search for a villa in Los Angeles. Whether you want to go star hunting in Beverly Hills or on the streets of Hollywood or enjoy theme parks ranging from Universal Studios to Disneyland, there are plenty of options for travelers of all interests.

Traveling surfers will love the opportunity to match wits with local wave shredders on Huntington Beach (aka Surf City USA), while culture hounds will have their days filled by hopping from museum to museum (don’t miss the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, or The Broad).

3) Napa Valley

If you are going to spoil yourself during your time in California, be sure to spend several nights enjoying America’s finest food and drink in the Napa Valley.

Winter is the low season in this popular gastronomic destination, meaning that those that come here at this time won’t have to cope with the crowds that pile into this peaceful paradise during the summer and fall.

When you aren’t admiring the view of rolling hills and vineyards from your villa up in the benchlands, enjoy a variety of winery tours, dine in a number of exquisite restaurants (seven of which possess Michelin stars), or soar above the valley in a hot air balloon – the possibilities are endless!

Penang – Pretty Much The Best Visa Run Destination Ever

Penang is probably the best visa run destination for those coming from Thailand

Penang’ is the best visa run destination for nomads and travelers in Southern Thailand, as it has no shortage of attractions to discover while your passport is getting stamped.

After spending a week exploring Koh Samui, it was time to leave Thailand, as my 30-day exemption had run out. If you are in the south and you are looking for a great place to go on a visa run, Penang is an easy choice, as its combination of culture, drool-worthy cuisine, and historic attractions make the island the best visa run destination for those hanging out in Southern Thailand.

Butter Chicken and Naan, Penang, Malaysia

Char kway teow, Penang, Malaysia

Succulent Pork Chop, Penang, Malaysia

As one of Southeast Asia’s best food destinations, you can bounce from Indian to Chinese to Malay and Western food – and all of it for just a few dollars.

Door in Penang, Malaysia

As much as your meals here will be a star attraction, the sheer joy of walking around Georgetown surpasses it.

Door in Penang, Malaysia

As common as these entryways appear to its lifelong residents, their weathered appearance gives them a presence that the impersonal, unspectacular doors back home could never muster up on their own.

Archway, Penang Malaysia

Archway, Penang Malaysia

Archway, Penang Malaysia

Meng Eng Soo Temple in Penang Malaysia

The buildings here are not only gorgeous, but they are also custom-built to protect you against the elements. They feature overhangs that shield you from the intense equatorial sun, as well as monsoonal downpours that would otherwise soak you to the bone.

Chinese Temple in Penang Malaysia

And that doesn’t even cover this UNESCO-recognized town’s main attractions, as there are Chinese temples like the one shown, in addition to the Clan Jetties, which are so detailed that they will get their own post (stay tuned, it’s coming up very soon).

Love Lane in Penang, Malaysia

Iron street art, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang Malaysia

If you only have time to see one thing of note on the streets of Georgetown, make a sport of hunting down the stunning twisted iron sculptures that tell the story of this port on the Straits of Malacca. With 30 or so scattered through its Jalans, you’ll be spending some serious time outside – don’t forget to put on some sunscreen before heading out.

As mentioned earlier in this post, there’s more to come from Penang – have a question about this popular destination in Malaysia? Ask away in the comments below, as I’ve visited the island twice over the past six years.