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STA Travel Blog

Shakedown, Bangkok

Bangkok is probably the world biggest, most bustling traveller hub. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by the craziness so our CRM Excutive Carmen steps forward to create this handy city guide to help you make the most of your stay. Here’s our shakedown of Bangkok.

The first thing you should know is that Bangkok is a mega-city of multiple personalities. With over 6 million people living there, you can pretty much find anything at anytime of day or night; the city is peppered with corner shops called 7Eleven.

It’s got a fearsome party reputation – Hangover II was filmed here – and that’s no exaggeration, there’s everything from Ping Pong shows, down somewhat suspicious side streets (don’t google it), to super plush sky bars. The city is a natural hub for all travellers/explorers landing in Southeast Asia as it’s connected to, well, just about everywhere. So if you are looking to start your trip here, it’s a great place for meeting like minded people, going in your direction.

Markets pop up like umbrellas in the rain, all over the city throughout the week, so the shopping is great – especially if you like to haggle. Of course, as Thailand’s capital city, so there is also a wealth of historic, religious and modern cultural sites to see. So let’s get down to it, here’s what to do in Bangkok and how to do it…

Visit Bangkok's famous Floating Markets.

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Soaking Up (or Just Getting Soaked) at Songkran

Songkran, the famous Thai New Year festival, is upon us once again. From Monday, this infamous festival where thousands of Thais celebrate the end of the dry season by ‘cleansing’ themselves with water… in open warfare! Not only is it one of the most celebrated Buddhist festivals in Thailand, Songkran is also the world’s largest water fight.

Although Songkran is celebrated in most Thai cities, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the two best places for the super-soaking festivities. We asked two STA Travel staff to give their personal accounts of this crazy, wet and seriously interactive festival.

I had a blast at Songkran, Thailand.

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10 of the best places to park your campervan in Australia

For as long as I can remember, hiring a campervan and driving it round Australia has been on my travel wishlist. I’m not alone: last year, thousands of STA Travellers used a campervan to explore Oz. There’s a definite novelty factor about driving your entire house around, making beautiful National Parks your home for the night and living a basic kind of life for a while. On top of that, campervans are also a really practical and often budget friendly way to get around, especially if there’s a group of you to share costs.

Luckily for me, when I met my now husband a few years back, it turned out that an Australia road trip was pretty high on his bucket list too. So when set about planning our wedding, we decided enough was enough. We blagged a couple of months off work and set about booking a somewhat unconventional honeymoon that would see us driving up the east coast of Australia in a campervan on an epic drive from Sydney to Cairns. In 3 weeks.

Let me stress that Sydney to Cairns is really quite a long way. Over 2,400 kilometers if you go in a straight line (we clocked up over 4,000km in ours). But of course, when it comes to road trips, it’s all about the journey as much as it is the destination. We stayed at some simply incredibly spots on our trip, and as we spoke to other travellers we met along the way, were pretty gutted we couldn’t stay longer and drive that campervan all over Australia.

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High Five…. Our New Accommodation Categories!

We’ve overhauled our accommodation categories for 2014, so it’s now even easier to find the exact style of accommodation you want, within your price range and in the location that’s perfect for you.

Introducing our 5 new accommodation styles, but bear in mind that while we’ve been able to fit the many thousands of hotel and hostel options we have into one of these 5 categories, we have such a huge array of options that if you don’t think the place your looking for fit into any of the below, call us, tell us what you’re looking for and where and I betcha we can find you exactly what you’re looking for.

Nomads, Melbourne.

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Shakedown, Sydney

Sydney is one of the best cities in the world. Fact.

There’s a lot to do, all set in pretty stunning surroundings. People living in and around Sydney, in Australia in general in fact, enjoy a largely ‘outdoorsey’ life style and that’s visible across every inch of Sydney.

Here’s a short city guide to Sydney, what is without a doubt one of the world best, most exciting, most liveable cities. If you’re going, lucky you, enjoy every second, if you’re not going, this is your chance to remedy that quick sharp…

View from the Harbour Bridge.

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