Gingerbread hearts sold at a Christmas market in Frankfurt

It’s Christmas! Well, almost. It’s not far away anymore and when I went to the Christmas market with my co-workers last week, I felt inspired to write about the experience.

As I’m German, I grew up with Christmas markets. When I was a child, I found it strange that our English relatives would come especially for the Christmas markets. Why would they get so excited about such a normal thing?. Then, I grew up and realised that in many countries around the world, there either are no Christmas markets or they’re very different.

If you’re visiting Germany in December, you should visit at least one of them. That’s easy to do as every big city will have one Christmas market (or more).…

Barichara in Colombia

San Gil is the adrenalin capital of Colombia. You can go white-water rafting, caving, abseiling down waterfalls and paragliding. If you are looking for an adrenalin rush, this is the place to go to. Most blogs have a long list of suggestions on how to spend your time doing as many adventure activities as you can.

While that is great for some people, it’s not for everyone. I don’t mind a good rush of adrenaline from time to time but those activities are expensive! Plus, the friend I travelled with despises them. And after she hiked to the Ciudad Perdida with me because it was a place I really wanted to see, it was only fair that now we did something she actually enjoyed.…

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, Santa Marta, Colombia

Sometimes, when travelling, you end up coming back to the most unexpected places. For me, one of these places was Santa Marta – not because I loved this Colombian city so much but because it is a convenient transport hub and gives access to a lot of tourist attractions in the surrounding area.

At first, we had no idea what to do here. Santa Marta is not a very beautiful city and it doesn’t have many tourist attractions. Sure, there was a beach close to our hotel, but that was about it. But after having come back three times, we had, despite everything, found a couple of things to do. So if you end up in Santa Marta, let me give you some inspiration on what to do in the city itself and in the surrounding area.…

Palm trees in the Cocora Valley, Colombia

This year, when travelling through Colombia, I was lucky and got to see the Cocora Valley. Located close to Salento, in the south of the country, it is a valley of green pastures, cows, hummingbirds and wax palm trees. Those palm trees are the national tree of Colombia and the tallest ones in the world. Walking in between them makes you realise how beautiful nature can be and also how small we are.

The Valle de Cocora is not just worth a visit because of the palm trees. Along the way, you will get great views of lush green valleys and you have the chance to spot hummingbirds and other wildlife at the Casa de las Colibris. Plus, the Cocora Valley is easily accessible from Salento.…

Panecillo, Quito, Ecuador

If you visit Ecuador, you will sooner or later end up in Quito – just like me. When I visited Ecuador, my plane tickets to Galapagos left from the capital, so I didn’t have a choice but to come here. After a bit of research, I found out that it’s the perfect city to base myself for a couple of days. There are lots of things to do in the area, both in the city as well as in the surroundings. I could easily have spent a week or more in Quito and now regret that I only had a couple of days.

Quito is the second-highest capital in the world (if you want to go higher, you have to go to La Paz) and the one closest to the equator.…

Sunset, Haad Yao, Koh Phangan, Thailand

After a couple of days in Bangkok, my trip led me to the island of Koh Phangan in Southern Thailand. I knew that eventually, I wanted to learn how to dive, but I had always planned on doing that in Central America. It wasn’t until I changed my travel plans and ended up in Southeast Asia instead of Nepal that I suddenly found an opportunity to become a certified diver.

I couldn’t have chosen a better place than Koh Phangan. If you’re interested in diving, I can highly recommend this island that has so much more to offer than full-moon parties. To help you feel the excitement, here are five reasons why you should learn to dive on Koh Phangan.…

Royal Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is not an easy city to visit. When I came here, the city presented itself as dirty and grey. The Royal Palace was overflowing with tourists, making it impossible for us to visit it properly. Our hotel had a large list of rules and fees to pay if you got a stain on the blanket, broke a glass or closed a door in the wrong way. All in all, my first impression of Bangkok was that it was unwelcoming and not very interesting.

But after a couple of days in Thailand’s capital, my opinion changed. Bangkok will never be my favourite city in the world, but I had a great time there and found a lot of stuff to do.…

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

During our three days in Siem Reap, we developed a strange kind of routine. We would get up at four in the morning, drive to Angkor for sunrise and walk around the temples afterwards. Then, shortly before ten, we would leave the park and make it back to the hotel just in time to still get breakfast. After a nap, we would be back for sunset.

It is true that sunrise and sunset are spectacular in the park of Angkor. So spectacular that we got up at four three days in a row. But the temples we visited in between were just as good. If you’re wondering where to start and which temples to visit, here are the ones I liked best:…

Battambang, Cambodia

Before going to Cambodia, I had never heard of Battambang. The town isn’t as famous as Angkor, with its many temples, or Phnom Penh, the capital. Bus connections are slow and the town falls asleep in the evening, with shops and restaurants closing early. But despite all these drawbacks, Battambang is a town worth of appearing on every Cambodia itinerary. The area is dotted with sights and we spent a great day exploring the Cambodian countryside.

Here are some of the highlights you should check out when travelling to Battambang. Times needed to visit do not include travelling times in between sites, but we managed to see all of the below in one day.…

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia’s capital is not pretty. This is not where you look for temples and traditional architecture. It is instead a place filled with recent history and tragic stories, a city in which you can learn about traditions and the hope that keeps the country going after it was almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Some of the city’s highlights are not easy to digest, but they will hopefully leave a life-long impact. Below, you will find eight sights not to be missed while in Phnom Penh.…