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Tips for picking the right car for driving in Scotland

If you have ever considered driving in Scotland then you should use these tips for picking the right car for driving in Scotland

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The best drives in Scotland are at your fingertips when you pick the right car for the adventure. If you have ever considered driving around England, Scotland, or Wales, then you need to do a little bit of planning before you set off on your epic road trip.

I should know, I have driven through the highlands of Scotland, and finding the right vehicle for the best drives in Scotland is paramount to your epic road trip. Use my travel tips below for help picking the right car for driving in Scotland for your next adventure.

Scenic drive in Scotland Glencoe, Tips for picking the right car for driving in Scotland

Picking the right car for driving in Scotland

The scenic drives in Scotland are some of the best in the world. Whether you head up into the mountain passes of the Scottish Highlands, out to the Isles, or along with either of the stunning coasts, you need to be comfortable in your car.

It is surprising how long it takes to drive around Scotland if you get off the main tourist trails. And this is something I highly recommend doing. Sure, you could buzz along the main highways, but where is the fun in that?

You are unlikely to discover the villages and people that make Scotland unforgettable for road trips. Plus, you won’t get the chance to see the cutest Highland cows in the world either.

Scottish Cute Highland Cow pictures, Cute Highland Cow pictures

Comfort in Scottland

Comfort should be your priority when picking the right car for driving in Scotland. While you may want to pinch and save your money while traveling, you also don’t want to be suffering from cramps and claustrophobia after driving for 6 hours.

Especially if there are 5 of you crammed into a two-door hatchback as you road trip up to one of the many festivals in Scotland.

For just a couple of extra dollars a day, you can usually upgrade to a much roomier four-door saloon or 4×4. Plus, if you end up with a 4×4, you will have the chance to explore some of the remoter destinations in Scotland.

Sleeping in Scottland

If you plan to spend a few days/weeks driving in Scotland, you might want to consider picking a caravan (campervan or RV). While there are plenty of fantastic Beds and Breakfasts throughout Scotland, having a caravan gives you the freedom to stay where you like when you like.

Especially if you go for one of the caravans with a mini-kitchen and bathroom/shower area, that way, you are fully self-contained and don’t have to worry about picking the wrong place to stay late at night.

You might want to consider checking out the Caravan Club to make sure you have the right insurance before you hit the road.

VW T25 by the Beach, Tips for picking the right car for driving in Scotland

Style for Scottland

If you hire a car in New Zealand, then chances are you will end up with some old hunk-of-junk. Many of our vehicles are Asian imports and therefore not quite up to the same style standards as some European cars.

Scotland is different.

Therefore if the style is what you are interested in, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Instead of having a little Honda hatchback, you will rather have the option of a VW Golf or similar. European styling is usually just that little bit better.

Price in Scottland

The final point you want to consider when picking the right car for driving in Scotland combines all of the above; price.

There is no point in picking the largest and most beautiful car if it will cost you a fortune. When I drove across North America, I had to resort to eating peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch. I can tell you know that I grew very sick of peanut butter!

Inspirational Travel Quotes

Camping in Banff National Park

I was very tight with my budget and therefore couldn’t enjoy some of the more minor things at the time. Even a simple cup of coffee was ruled out because of my budget.

You are making sure that you budget for everything involved in renting a car, including car insurance and fuel, which means that you may need to set your bar a little lower. If you spend it all on the car, you will miss out on having the best time.

Ultimately, your road trip through Scotland shouldn’t be about looking good or picking the right car. It should be about the adventure, the people you meet, and the scenery you see. Because I can guarantee you won’t be talking about what car you picked when you tell all your friends about your adventure.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Adventure Travel

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide

Find out how you can explore the streets, canals and local markets within minutes of Bangkok with our Outdoor Activities in Bangkok Adventure City Guide.

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Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - The Klongs

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Bangkok?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Ian from Where Sidewalks End shares his expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Bangkok.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Adventure City Guide

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide – Photo by Evoflash

Why visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is one of the world’s largest metropolises and a gateway for most of the world to access the rest of South East Asia. With numbers surpassing 14 million people in the Greater Bangkok Region, this is no small player in the world’s super-cities. Of course, having such a long history with foreign visitors, the city has become incredibly established in the world’s tourist sector.

This has allowed it to grow many facets of adventurous activities – making access to something for everyone!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok

Exploring the Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - The Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – The Klongs

Klongs are canals that used to feed the entire city with life-giving water, branched off from the city’s main artery – the Chao Phraya River. Today, the locals wouldn’t drink the water if you paid them, but there is still a fascinating life along the Klongs’ banks. There is so much to explore, from floating markets to old houses on stilts, and it gives insight into this ancient way of life!

What’s it cost, and how to get to the Klongs?

You can usually arrange the Klongs from the pier “Saphan Taksin” along the Chao Phraya River. This is conveniently a stop on the Skytrain, making it very easy to access. Usually, you will be renting the entire boat for the day (about 1000 THB, or USD 35) and not paying a per-person rate. So if you can find a few people to go with, the price will drop significantly per person.

Rickshaw City Tours

If you’ve never been to Asia before, Rickshaws are one of the most fun ways to get around. Although they can often be a little more expensive than metered taxis, you get an experience (and a view) that is unparalleled, especially in the busy streets of Bangkok.

What’s it cost?

Occasionally, you can even haggle a deal for a city tour for next to nothing (50-100 THB or $1.50-3 USD), as long as you visit a couple of affiliated ‘custom suit tailors’ throughout the day, as they’ll get a kickback from the shops just for bringing you there… No purchase is necessary.

You can often find Tuk Tuk drivers willing to do this standing along the perimeter of the Kings’ Palace. It may take a few attempts of asking for a ‘special city tour,’ but you will be bound to find someone ready for a cut of this business.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Rickshaw Tours

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Rickshaw Tours

Local Secret Spot

Chatuchak Market

Though most people wouldn’t consider going to a market an adventure, they probably have never experienced the likes of Chatuchak (also known as JJs). This is one of SE Asia’s LARGEST outdoor markets. It’s so prominent that you can find maps of the market to help navigate. It’s roughly the size of 4 city blocks and is divided into various sections.

You’ll find everything under the sun here, from clothing to handicrafts, food, mobile phones, and even puppies and other cute critters for sale!! It’s bonkers. If it gets too much for you, you can take a break in one of Bangkok’s most famous parks (Chatuchak park), located next to the market.

How to get there?

You can get here via Skytrain (BTS), subway (MRT), taxi, bus, you name it – it’s very accessible! But it’s only open on weekends, from about dawn until 5 or 6 pm at its peak. Some shops stay open longer, but most will be closed by dusk. It’s free entry and a perfect place to buy ANY souvenirs at the end of your time in Thailand.

Suppose you can coordinate to be here on the weekend. I generally hate shopping for ‘stuff,’ but I love this market and its energy!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Chatuchak Markets

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Chatuchak Markets

Best time of the year to visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is in the tropics and quite close to the Equator. Of course, this means it’s hot on a year-round basis.

It’s considered the rainy season from May to October, though showers can happen at any time of the year. This is generally a less busy time for tourists, though the rains are not quite as bad as expected and often only last 30 mins-1 hour, cooling the city’s heart. Peak season is in December-January when temperatures are at their most astounding ad driest… though it’s still pretty hot!

And if Bangkok isn’t to your taste, the luxury Koh Samui will be. Endless sandy beach, beautiful clear waters, and nightlife that could be lived in forever. The luxury rental properties are stunning, and we recommend Tempston Luxury villa rentals.

Finally, the reason I love Bangkok for adventure is that…

It’s never-ending. This city is SO BIG that you could get lost in a new neighborhood almost every day. Single. Day. And still find new, exciting things to explore. On my list for the upcoming weeks, I’ve got the Scala Cinema, the Thai Air Force Museum, Papaya Vintage Shop, and the Erawan Museum – to name a few. Every time I explore one place, I learn of 3 more!!

BIO:

From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He’s since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. You can follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries on TwitterFacebook, Google+ and his travel blog Where Sidewalks End.

Have you been to Bangkok? What were your favorite outdoor activities in Bangkok?

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Asia

Gözleme – Eating traditional Turkish food

Looking for a mouthgasm and want to try traditional Turkish food? Look no further than Gözleme. A thin pastry outer shell with savoury inner goodness.

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Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

Traditional Turkish food. It makes me drool just thinking about it. Turkish delight, Kebabs (not the greasy fat dripping kebabs at 3 am that are half squished into your pillow the following day after a heavy drinking session kebab), and Gözleme.

Oh, Gözleme, how I miss you.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

I was crunching through your thin pastry outer shell to discover the savory inner goodness. Who would have thought something so simple would equate to such a taste explosion.

Cue mouthgasm.

What are Gözleme

The name, Gözleme, derives from the Turkish word göz, meaning eye. And when you cook the pastry, tiny brown spots dot the outer layer, apparently resembling eyes. Or so we were led to believe.

To cook them traditionally takes quite a lot of skill, and while my cooking abilities with a rolling pin are half decent, I don’t think I could master this pastry rolling out process.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

While at the local markets in Fethiye, we sat down for an afternoon snack at the Gözleme stall. There is something hypnotic about watching the older Turkish women work away like mad over the sizeable circular cooking stone. They had it down to a fine art.

When the fresh ball of pastry is rolled out to resemble a crepe or pancake, it is thrown over the hot baking girdle. Handfuls of spinach and feta, mince and potatoes, or even sweet Nutella are spread across half the Gözleme.

Folding the sides up to cover the delicious fillings, the pastry is flipped over to cook evenly.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

You have a super cheap mouth-watering snack that oozes the sweet and savory mix inside. Divine.

Plus, you can pick it up with your hands and devour it.

Since Gözleme has become so popular with tourists, they are no longer just a local market delicacy. We even saw them in most of the restaurants in Istanbul. Although for about five times the price.

No matter where you are in Turkey, Gözleme is a must-try for anyone wanting to experience traditional Turkish food. And bring one back to me!

Have you been to Turkey? What’s your favorite traditional Turkish food?

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Asia

Devouring seafood at the Fethiye Fish Market

The Fethiye fish market is the place where you will find the best restaurants in Fethiye. As well as the tastiest, freshest and cheapest seafood too.

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Restaurants in Fethiye

Seafood and local markets. Two things that we love to devour and explore when we are traveling. Combine the two into one evening at the Fethiye Fish Market, and you have us salivating at the very thought.

Trip Advisor Fethiye

Eating at the Fethiye Fish Market

While we were in Turkey last year for ANZAC Day and our epic Busabout Sail Turkey cruise, we found one of the best restaurants we have ever been to.

We are always on the lookout for excellent food when we travel. And when a recommendation is handed to you from a local at your accommodation, you should listen. Our Fethiye Guesthouse hostel told us that the freshest, tastiest, and cheapest seafood in Fethiye was to be found at the local Fethiye fish market.

We didn’t need much convincing.

Fethiye Fish Markets

We were ready for a giant meal after a crazy and unique Hamam Turkish bath with semi-naked Turkish men.

But finding the local fish markets in Fethiye is just the beginning.

Walking the streets of Fethiye, you wouldn’t realize that tucked away in one of the squares is a fish market. From the outside, the square looks like a regular block of shops. Jewelers, tour companies, and local supermarkets sit side-by-side, hiding the gem inside.

It isn’t until you walk through one of the four arched entrances into the open-aired courtyard that the Fethiye fish market is revealed in all its glory.

Restaurants in Fethiye

Fethiye Fish Market

As you step from under the awnings, your mind begins to piece together the scene in front of your eyes.

Surrounding the square are tables covered with white linen and sparkling dinner sets—each lit from above with paper lanterns.

In the middle of the square sits a brightly lit stand with local fishers jostling together, selling their fresh bounty from that day’s expedition on the Aegean Sea. Each fisher takes up a small shelf of shaved ice piled high with squid, fish, mussels, and prawns.

Fethiye Restaurants

The seafood stand in the middle is where all the action is.

Seeing the confusion spreading across our faces, we were approached by one of the English-speaking waiters. He quickly explained that we were to select and pay for our dinner from any fishermen. They would prepare our seafood to our liking, whether prawns with shells off, chopped calamari, or whole snapper.

We would then bring our bounty in plastic bags back to the restaurant of our choice, where for a measly 6 – 8 Turkish Lira (US$4 – 5), they would cook our seafood. Included in the price was all-you-can-eat salad and bread—a bargain.

Restaurants in Fethiye, Fethiye Fish Market, Fethiye Restaurants, Trip Advisor Fethiye

Strolling around the stand several times, we were waved in with friendly smiles and broken English.

While the fishers were all competing, they were all friends. The mixed banter between them as they enticed us to their stalls was good-natured, and there was a lot of it.

With so many options, it was hard to decide on what we wanted to eat. But as a sucker for calamari, that was immediately diced and thrown into our bag. As well as king prawns, a side of quickly filleted fish, and a couple of pieces of tender salmon.

Restaurants in Fethiye

Handing our bags of fresh seafood over to our waiter, we began downing the local Turkish beer, Efes, and watching as other locals and tourists joined the crowds in the square.

It wasn’t long before we were tucking into our meals. Each plate was perfectly cooked to our specific liking. Each morsel is as succulent as the next. And with 8 of us in our group, there was a lot of sharing and mixing of meals as we all wanted to try what others had.

The Fethiye fish market was the perfect way to finish another incredible day in Fethiye.

What do you think of the Fethiye fish market? Sound amazing?!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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