Five Reasons to Choose a Hostel Instead of a Hotel

Many travelers associate hostels with unkempt backpackers strumming on their guitars or massive dorm rooms filled with snoring strangers.

Others still think all hostels are youth hostels, and that they’re either too old or too experienced to check in to one.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Hostels have come a long way in the past twenty years, and are an increasingly appealing option for travelers of all ages, experience levels, interests and budgets.

Here are five great reasons why you should consider booking a hostel instead of a hotel on your next trip:

Why book a hostel: Hostel vs Hotel

1. You’ll Save Money

A quick search on one of the major booking sites shows that of the more than 1000 available accommodation options in London, England, the sixty least expensive options are all shared, dorm-style rooms.

In fact, the average price of a bed in a dorm room in London is approximately 80% cheaper than the average price of a hotel room.

For single travelers, the savings can’t be beat.

Groups of two or more may be able to find double rooms for approximately the same price as two dorm beds, but the hotels with prices that low generally get equally low scores from guest reviews.

The more expensive the city, the more you’ll save by staying in a hostel.

Hostels are economic when you are on a tight budget

2. You’ll Make New Friends

Whether you’re traveling solo or with others, it’s always nice to make new friends along the way.

When you stay in a hostel you have instant access to a group of people who, like you, are interested in travel, meeting new people and learning about other cultures.

Many hostels organize activities such as walking tours, day trips and pub crawls to help guests get to know one another.

The best hostels also have comfortable common areas where you can relax with a book, sip a drink or connect to the internet while chatting with other guests.

Most travelers who frequent hostels can easily list a dozen cool people they’ve met while hosteling… can you name even one friend you’ve made in a hotel?

Social Life is one attraction at hostels, new friends

3. You’ll Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Think about the cost and environmental impact of lighting, heating, cooling and cleaning a hotel room.  Now multiply that by the hundreds of rooms in any given hotel.

The impact is pretty huge, and it’s especially harmful in sensitive ecological areas.

When multiple travelers share common facilities, however, the impact can be reduced.  Instead of needing air conditioning in ten separate rooms, hostels can simply air condition one ten-bed dormitory.

Instead of cleaning ten separate bathrooms every morning, hostels can clean one shared bathroom a couple of times throughout the day.

When you’re concerned about your environmental footprint, spend part of your trip in shared dorm rooms and look for hostels that incorporate other eco-friendly practices like recycling, composting and non-toxic cleaning.

Hostels Use Less Fossil Fuels

4. You’ll Feel Like You’re At Home

Anyone who’s ever taken one look at a hotel’s dry cleaning price list and decided to just wear a dirty shirt again will know what this one is about.

Good hostels anticipate budget travelers’ needs and offer home-style services like washing machines, drying racks, shared kitchens (often equipped with cooking basics like oil and salt), free computers and complimentary boarding pass printing.

Even when you’re not trying to keep costs down, sometimes it’s just nice to cook yourself your favorite meal or wash that t-shirt that somehow seems to have developed a chocolate ice cream stain.

5. You Can Still Have Privacy

Example of a private room at a hostel two single beds.

The most popular hostels today offer a variety of room types, which may include a mix of both shared and private accommodations.

Solo travelers seeking a bit of privacy can look for hostels that offer single rooms, while groups can look for double or triple private rooms, or even consider booking an entire dorm just for their group (even if you don’t use all the beds, it’s often cheaper than the equivalent number of hotel rooms).

When you’re not into sharing a bathroom with strangers, book yourself into one of the many hostels where rooms feature an ensuite bathroom.

Recently, more hostels have been adding family rooms to their collections, so even travelers with children can take enjoy the benefits of staying in a hostel.

Take Away: Hostel vs Hotel

Motives for Booking A hostel

Whether your goal is to save money, meet new people, reduce your environmental impact or enjoy the comforts of home, staying in a hostel offers many advantages over staying in traditional hotels.

With the option of staying in a shared dorm room or your very own private room, you can now experience all the great things about hostel accommodations while also deciding just how much you want to interact with the other hostel guests.

Bon voyage!

Go Further, Life – Its Your Heroic Adventure

How to Break in a New Pair of Hiking Boots – Without the Blisters

Even the best pair of hiking boots will come out of the box a little stiff, which can easily lead to pain, pinching, and even blisters if you don’t take the time and effort to break them in properly.

While the time it takes to break in a pair of boots can vary depending on the materials, the handy tips below can help you quickly and easily get a perfect, comfortable fit – without the blisters.

Pay Attention to Pinches and Hot Spots

Before you start breaking in your boots, make sure that they are a decent fit out of the box.

While you can expect any brand-new boot to be a little stiff, sharp pinches or hot spots are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored.

Hiking Boots After the Sale - conditioning against blisters

In most cases, such pains are not likely to go away even after the boots are broken in, since they stem from a problem with the size or design of the boot itself.

Always take the time to try on boots before you buy them, and if you are shopping online, look for sellers with generous return policies.

Start Slow

Trying to break in boots too quickly, even on a day hike, can lead to calluses, blisters, and swelling.

Instead of wearing your new boots for a long hike or a full shift at work, take things slowly.

Start by wearing the new boots for 10 to 20 minutes a day, and work your way up as they become more comfortable.

Soften the Leather

Leather is animal skin, and just like skin, moisturizers can make it softer and more flexible.

Many manufacturers offer leather conditioners in the form of creams, oils, and sprays, all of which can help you break in your boots much faster.

Hiking Shoes with Walking Poles on top

A good moisturizing product will keep the leather supple, helping the boots mold to the shape of your feet, and it will also protect the boots from drying out or cracking.

Boots broken in — plan a trekking  adventure in India >>>

Invest in Thicker Socks

A thicker pair of socks can make a huge difference when it comes to being comfortable in new boots.

Avoid loose socks, ankle socks, or dress socks, as well as socks that don’t let your feet breathe. Hiking socks are an excellent choice–many of them offer extra cushioning, reinforced heel and toe areas, and arch support, making them perfect for long days spent on your feet.

Use Boot Stretchers

Sometimes a new pair of boots can have a problem area even after being properly broken in.

In these cases, your best option is to invest in a set of boot stretchers. These handy tools allow you stretch out the leather in places that might rub or squeeze your feet.

Using boot stretchers together with moisturizing oil is an excellent way to get rid of stiff leather and make your boots as comfortable as possible.

Avoid Hiking Boot Quick Fixes

There are a number of supposed “quick fix” methods for breaking in boots, ranging from wearing them in the shower to submerging them in salt water or even baking them in the oven, but the simple truth is that breaking in boots the right way requires patience.

These shortcuts are often very damaging to boots in the long term, and saving a bit of time isn’t worth the risk of cracked leather or loose soles.

Hiking Equipment Shoes New

A great pair of boots can last you a lifetime, but it’s crucial that you take the time to properly break them in early on so that they can mold to the shape of your feet.

While it will always be a bit uncomfortable at first, using the tips above will make the process as quick and painless as possible.

Are you planning to break in boots out on the trail? Ensure yourself, just in case, don’t forget trekking poles>>>


Hiking boots for women and men can conditioned the same way. Even waterproof boots can go through this process.

If the hiking shoe fits wear it, when it’s a hiking boot, break it in to avoid blisters!

Time to hit the trail…

Go Further with Heroic Adventure, More Tips for the Journey

 

The Story of the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Walkway’

El Caminito del Rey, which means “The King’s Little Pathway” in English, is a small pathway located in Spain.

Built over a hundred years ago to join two power plants in Malaga, the path stretches across beautiful scenery, inviting many people to walk across it.

This seemingly innocent road, however, has actually led many people to their deaths, and is treacherous to the extent that many now call it “the world’s most dangerous pathway.

Cliff Hanging Route of El Caminito Del Rey Spain

Workers began to build El Caminito in 1901 to connect two hydroelectric plants in Malaga.

When the pathway was completed in 1905, it was constructed of concrete and steel beams but had few safety features like handrails.

Over the years, the pathway became even more dangerous as it deteriorated.

In some places, the concrete had completely collapsed, leaving only metal beams hanging over 330 feet in the air.

Over time, blogs across the world picked up on the poor condition of the walkway.

When several people died in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they gave it the honor of being ‘most dangerous in the world‘ and dared adrenaline junkies to travel to Spain and walk across it.

Most Dangerous Walkway in World El Caminito Cliffs

Hundreds of people took on this dare, and many of them did not survive their trip.

The Spanish government, horrified by the deaths, closed the path in 2011 and began renovating it.

Using modern construction tools and techniques, they refurbished the walkway and installed handrails.

In 2015, the walkway was reopened to the public, now much safer for tourists to traverse.

Bloggers, however, did not realize that the pathway was now nowhere near as dangerous as it had been before.

King's Pathway (english) Spain Dangerous

Many webpages continued to call El Caminito ‘the most dangerous pathway,’ and daredevils continued to travel to Spain to see it.

Luckily, though, now tourists can test their bravery without risking their lives.

Are you heading on trek? Can you benefit from a professional trekking pole? Find out here>>>


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Destinations Unknown: What’s Your Secret?

Stay Safe on the Trail with Hiking Poles

Barring a trek up Mount Everest, hiking isn’t typically regarded as the most extreme of sports.

Nevertheless, safety is an important consideration to make, especially if you wander on trails that take you far from civilization and potential rescue.

Hiking poles not only increase your speed and comfort on the trail, but also your safety.

Here’s How Hiking Poles Enhance Your Trek:

Girl Pair of Hiking Poles Grand Canyon

1. Hiking poles act as antennas.

That rock might look stable, but you won’t know until you put your foot on it.

Hiking poles can allow you to test surfaces before transferring your full weight.

Use hiking poles to probe the ground for slippery ice patches, rogue holes and loose rocks.

This is a good way to avoid falling down or twisting an ankle.

2. Hiking poles prevent stress injuries by reducing strain on your feet and knees.

As anyone who’s hiked in steep ranges such as the Alps can tell you, mountain terrain can really wear on your legs.

Repetitive stress injuries are common among long-distance hikers, so it’s important to take preventative measures.

3. Hiking poles keep you alert.

Couple Iceland Trekking Nordic Poles

If you don’t believe this one, try doing an algebra problem after walking for a few hours with a heavy pack.

The discomfort of a heavy pack tires you out and dulls your senses, making you vulnerable to wrong turns or surprising dangerous animals.

Hiking poles will ease the weight of a pack. This will make you more comfortable and therefore more able to be aware of your surroundings.

4. Hiking poles keep you balanced on tricky slopes.

No hiker wants to fall to their death; hiking poles are handy on a steep slope that’s intent on pitching you to the bottom.

Whether ascending or descending, hiking poles will make slopes much safer, allowing you better control over your balance.

Poles allow you to have four points of contact, which can help you negotiate patches of loose rocks and slippery mud.

Couple Hiking Mud Puddle Hiking Poles in Use


While safety is top priority, also consider the other benefits that improve the trail experience. Poles allow you to move faster and cover more ground. If your goal is maximum mileage, poles better be on your equipment list.

The use of poles can also make more difficult terrain accessible to older nature lovers.

You may be over the hill, but with poles, you can get over a mountain.

Buying Trekking Poles

Many poles are listed at $200, but your first set doesn’t need to be that expensive.

You can purchase a perfectly reasonable set for $100 or less.

If you’re short on cash, simply repurpose some used ski poles, which can often be found for cheaper. To read more about things to consider when buying a trekking pole check out this post [with videos] >>>.

Essentials for a Day Hike

It’s easy to have a great time hiking, but it’s also easy to have a miserable time if you hit the trail unprepared.

Below you will find a list of essentials for the average day hike.

Having the essentials covered will allow you to have a fun and relaxing time.

Just give some thought to these before you leave the house, and you can leave the worries of everyday life behind once you do.

1. Hiking Shoes

Shoes for a Day Hike

One of the best ways to have an awful time on a hike is to be wearing the wrong type of shoes.

They can cause you to develop blisters, sore heels and arches, or may pinch and rub against your foot in the wrong places. This may even happen with a pair of shoes you wear every day, because hiking is likely more strenuous than what you usually put them through.

A comfy pair of runner should be okay for a shorter hike, but you might want to choose actual hiking boots if you plan to be on the trail for the better part of the day.

Classical hiking boots with ankle support will be important if your trail is going to involve steep inclines and declines.

2. Outdoor Clothing

Hiking Clothes for day summer

Make sure that you check the forecast before you head out, and dress and pack accordingly.

It isn’t much fun being wet, cold, and miserable in the middle of the woods, and being too hot is no good either.

Dress for the weather and bring some extra clothes in your pack in case the weather changes.

Bring a sweater even on a hot day, especially if you will be out after the sun dips below the mountains.

3. Meals, Snacks, & Water

Hiking Food and Drinks Bottle

Make sure that you bring enough water with you, as you don’t want to get dehydrated out on the trail.

Food is important as well, to keep your energy and your blood sugar up.

When you are taking a very long hike, then plan to stop and have a picnic (making sure to carefully clean up after yourself!). Leave no trace.

Bring snacks even for a short hike in case you get hungry.

4. Trekking Poles

Female Two Walking Poles View over Ocean on Mountain

Trekking poles are incredibly useful on long trails, and can even be helpful on short ones.

Ascending and descending a trail can put a lot of pressure on your knees and thighs, which trekking poles will help to ease. They are also great for crossing streams and offer security on a slippery trail.

Use trekking poles if you are going a long distance, on a rough trail, or have problems with your knees.

Check out this guide on what to look for when buying trekking poles>>>

5. First Aid & Miscellaneous Items

First Aid Hiking

There are, of course, many other items that you can bring on a hike with you than the four listed above.

You should also have some basic first aid supplies such as bandages and painkillers, and items such as bug spray and sunscreen are important depending on where and when you are going.

You will also want to bring a compass, sunglasses, pocket knife, hand sanitizer or wet wipes, and a bear bell and bear spray.


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Three Trekking Spots in Coorg, India

If you’re planning a trip to India, don’t leave out Coorg. 

Located in the southwestern part of India in the state of Karnataka, Coorg, which is also known as Kodagu, is known for its natural beauty.

Ghats Mountains India

Amongst other activities, trekking in Coorg is extremely popular with visitors.

Here’s a closer look at three places to go hiking and trekking, with your trekking pole, in Coorg, India.

1.  Irupu Falls

At the top of your list for trekking in Coorg should be Irupu falls.

The waterfalls are not only a tourist destination, they are also a sacred site for many Hindus.

During the festival of Shivrati, many pilgrims flock to the area to honor Lord Shiva due to the legend associated with the falls.

During monsoon season, Irupu Falls are at their peak.

Once you reach the falls, you may wish to take the forest trail from the falls to Brahmagiri Peak in the southern part of Coorg.

2.  Abbi Falls

Coorg Abbey Falls

Abbi Falls is another famous waterfall in Coorg that makes for an excellent and exciting trek.

Abbi Falls is located in the Western Ghats mountain range, a range which has the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity.

In fact, the Western Ghats mountain range ranks near the top of biodiversity hotspots in the world.

The path to Abbi Falls is a lovely one that winds through coffee and cardamom plantations.

Like Irupu Falls, the best time to visit Abbi Falls is during the monsoon season, when all the extra water makes the falls a very impressive sight.

3.  Nagarhole National Park

Elephants in Nagarhole National Park

When you’re ready to catch a glimpse of wild elephants, bisons and maybe even a tiger, go trekking in Nagarhole National Park.

Although the park isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage Site yet, it is currently under consideration thanks to its location in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountains.

Visiting Nagarhole is easy thanks to the organized safaris that happen twice each day.

Although the park is closed during animal mating season and during heavy monsoons, the rest of the year remains open to visitors.

These are just three of the best spots for trekking in Coorg, but they are certainly not the only places for a good hike.


To know if you need a trekking pole for your hiking journey in Coorg don’t miss this hiking pole how-to.

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What Walking Poles Are and Why They Are Used

You find yourself out on a hike and see someone walking towards you with what appear to be ski poles in their hands.

  • Why in the world would anyone use ski poles when they are clearly not on the slopes of a snow-covered mountain, careening down a steep hill?
  • Has this person lost their mind or is there a reason why they are using these contraptions?

Walking poles are known by many names:

  • walking poles
  • trekking poles
  • hiking staffs
  • Nordic walking poles

All virtually identical to their cousins used on ski slopes with a few notable differences.

Women on Mountain Peak using Trekking Pole

The Shock Absorbing System

Walking poles will typically utilize a shock-absorbing system, which vary by model, but are designed to lessen the shock of impact with the ground on the joints, in the hands, and the arms.

Some utilize rubber pads designed to also grip the terrain more proficiently while others employ metal studs with springs inside of an assembly.

What to Look For in the Best Trekking Pole Grips:

Walking poles have hand grips that have been engineered to eliminate stress on the user’s joints.

Some of these feature special materials known for their ability to absorb sweat.

Materials typically utilized include:

  • cork
  • foam
  • rubber

Most of these grips will be accompanied by an attached strap that fastens around your forearm and helps keep the pole on your arm if you lose your grip.

However, these grips are ergonomically designed to make this event unlikely.

Pole Add-ons & Accessories:

Several brands of trekking poles offer various gadgets attached to the hand grip.

These can include but are not limited to:

  • a compass,
  • a thermometer, a flashlight, or
  • even a mount for a camera.

What’s the Best Walking Stick Material?

Female Two Walking Poles View over Ocean on Mountain

Trekking poles are fabricated from various materials.

Aluminum and carbon fiber are just two of the possible materials used.

Virtually every manufacturer is concerned with making a lightweight product that is user friendly.

Some trekking poles are sturdier than others depending on their composition. The price differences between products are generally associated with the types of materials used.

They can be as cheap as twenty dollars or as expensive as three hundred dollars.

How to Use Trekking Poles Like a Pro

A Collapsible Trekking Pole or a Non-Collapsible Trekking Pole, That is the Question

You have options as to whether you would like collapsible poles or non-collapsible poles.

Non-collapsible poles are simply straight poles, and it is highly unlikely that they will collapse when in weight-bearing situations. At most they will bend.

There is the possibility that when you use collapsible poles they will collapse when you do not want them to. However, for those who are space-conscious and would prefer to have a trekking pole that can be easily transported, a collapsible pole may be exactly what you need.

Besides, who wants to run around, or travel the world, with a long hiking pole poking out of their bag. Thus, in our opinion, collapsible poles are the best.

The designs of these collapsible poles vary greatly, and it is up to you to decide what system you prefer. Another benefit of collapsible poles is that their length can be adjusted to suit the terrain.

Why Are Walking Poles Used?

Now that you know a little bit about what walking poles are, it is time to talk about why they are used.

Balance and Stability

Trail Hike Pole Helps Stability on Uneven Ground

Much in the same way that ski poles help a skier maintain their balance on uneven terrain, trekking poles assist a hiker or walker with maintaining their balance and stability.

Depending on the type of terrain being traversed this can be a critical feature. Of particular significance are situations that call for a downhill descent. Slipping on loose dirt or gravel is common, and a hiking pole can help keep you steady and upright.

According to medical professionals, walking poles force you to engage your upper body in exercise that it would otherwise not participate in if you were simply walking without them.

The use of walking poles turns your walk or hike into an entire body exercise, so that while you are exercising and toning your legs you are also exercising and toning your upper body.

Defense and Protection

Trekking poles can be used as a defensive weapon in times of crisis.

This may sound a bit outlandish, but if you are placed in a situation where you must defend yourself a metal pole might do the trick.

Many people hike alone and without any means of defending themselves.

Dog, Women, Hiking Poles, Backpack

Predatory animals tend to stalk and attack people who are alone and avoid those in groups.

However, a metal pole might offer enough discouragement to the animal to keep you out of harm’s way.

Joint Relief

Walking poles help take pressure off of your legs and joints by distributing part of your weight to your upper body.

This weight distribution will help you avoid joint degradation in your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

In particularly steep terrain this could become critical for those who suffer from any kind of arthritis.

Even on a day hike, trekking poles can make the difference between an enjoyable mountain trek or an arduous and unpleasant outdoor journey.

Perhaps it is time for you to go out and purchase some walking poles with all of this information in mind. Your body will thank you, and your level of fitness will improve with just one little change.

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Nordic Walking vs Trekking Poles – What’s the Difference?

The 3-Step Used Shipping Container Quality Assessment Checklist

Being avid travelers, we think it’s only appropriate to want to use a shipping container as building material.

It’s essence gives off the adventure, distant lands, trade, and foreign places vibes–vibes we like to carry with us through life. So, what better way than to repurpose a shipping container for, well–the options are numerous.

From living quarters, to restaurants, to sheds, to emergency shelter, with the sturdy construction of a shipping container built to specs to survive the rigors of the high seas–you can take advantage of this and build a dream something or other.

Whether you’re in the market for a second-hand shipping container for storage purposes, construction material, or anything in between, you want to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

To ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality used container, take this easy 3-step checklist with you when you talk to the seller.

Apartment housing made from shipping containers

 

1. Where has it been?

When you talk to your chosen seller about their shipping container, you’ll want to ask them where it’s been.

Depending on the temperature it’s exposed to, metal will expand and contract. If your container has been back and forth from Australia to a cold region like northern Europe, the constant swelling and shrinking of the metal may have caused warping and weakness in the steel.

Find out what journeys the container has taken to ensure you don’t get this kind of damage. The less extreme temperatures it’s been exposed to, the better.

Buildings Created Used Shipping Containers Shopping Center

2. How many times has it been used?

The location of your shipping container’s journeys isn’t the only important thing to consider.

You’ll also want to know how many journeys it’s been on.

Aside from damage caused by repeated exposure to extreme temperatures, the constant loading and unloading that a well-used container has to withstand can also cause problems.

You can take a look at the state of the walls inside the container to verify what the seller tells you.

For example, if he or she informs you that the container has been used once, but you can see scratches and dents of various ages, your seller may be lying about the product. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra clarification on any damage you see.

House Design Using Shipping Containers

3. What has it carried?

If your shipping container has taken few journeys to places with moderate temperatures then you may be in luck, but don’t forget that the contents of the previous cargo matter.

For example, if the container was used to ship hazardous chemicals or other dangerous items, it’s possible that some of these could have leaked into the container and permeated the walls.

It’s especially important to avoid this if the container will be used to construct a structure like a house or pool, where the users’ health could be threatened by such substances escaping into the atmosphere.

Amsterdam Apartments Using Shipping Containers


Remember:

Buying used only works out to be a good deal if the item is in good condition and fit for purpose.

If not, you could find yourself spending so much on repairs and replacements that a new container would have been a cheaper purchase.

When your chosen seller cannot answer these questions, find someone who can or purchase at your own risk.

All About Sushi – Japanese Vinegared Rice

It’s a common misconception with Japanese cuisine that sushi means raw fish, and while the jokes about eating it for the first time can be funny, it’s also misleading.

Like this old chestnut: A couple walk into a Japanese restaurant and pause to admire a tank full of tropical fish. They ask the waiter what the fish are called. “Sushi,” the waiter replies. But as any good waiter would know, sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi is believed to have started 14 centuries ago, when a common method of pickling fish and rice gained popularity in Japan.

Bamboo Sushi Roller, two hands, rice

The fish was slit open and packed with rice, and as the whole thing fermented for anything up to two years it took on a tangy pickled flavor. Later this process was speeded up, and later still, 19th century food stall owner Hanaya Yohei started creating sushi dishes with vinegared rice and raw fish in Tokyo.

In the 1970s, sushi travelled to the US and other parts of the world, and became part of a new age food revolution. Out of the simple seaweed, rice and raw fish combinations came the California Roll, characteristically bigger than the Japanese delicacies and packed with fish, meat and vegetables and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed, or presented ‘inside out’ with the rice on the outside and the seaweed tucked away with the filling.

California Roll

But Japanese sushi chefs continued to evolve the delicacies known collectively as sushi into ever more graceful art forms.

There are several different forms of sushi, including:

  • maki-sushi, which is the ‘inside out’ sushi that evolved into the California Roll;
  • Nigiri Sushi, which is vinegared rice shaped by hand into a small bed for seafood;
  • oshi sushi, which is sushi rice shaped into squares or rectangles and covered with a variety of toppings;
  • chirashi sushi, which is vinegared rice scattered on a plate and served with toppings.

To make sushi at home you need to buy the right ingredients.

There are only two of them – Japanese short grain rice and sushi rice vinegar. You can get them both from an Asian grocery store.

  1. Rinse two cups of rice in a colander under a running tap to remove the starch and ensure the rice is sticky when cooked.
  2. Put the washed rice into a large pot, and add two cups of water, or into a rice cooker following the manufacturer’s instructions. If in a pot, bring it to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water.

Japanese Short Grain Rice

Your Asian grocery store may stock sushi rice vinegar, pre-mixed and ready to use.

If not, buy rice vinegar and mix half a cup of vinegar with three tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small pan.

Heat until sugar dissolves, and sprinkle over the rice in a non-metal bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spatula, and your sushi rice is ready to roll and shape, using a sushi fan as you work to cool the rice. Store any leftover sushi vinegar in the fridge.

Whether you choose to make maki, nigiri, oshi or chirashi sushi, it is important to have the freshest ingredients possible.

Raw fish, such as tuna and salmon, are among the most commonly used ingredients, but if you cannot obtain these really fresh from the ocean, you will be better off using canned, smoked or cooked fish.

Avocado is a popular ingredient in California Rolls and most sushi sold today, but you can also include carrot sticks, celery, prawns, crab, chicken, lettuce strips, tomato and cucumber.

cutting sashimi in kitchen

If you are rolling the sushi in seaweed sheets, a bamboo hand rolling mat (see photo above) will make the job easier.

This won’t stop people making jokes about raw fish, of course, but at least while you are laughing, you can gently correct them as you hand them your own delicious sushi creations.

Bonus: How to Make Sushi [Video]

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The Best Attractions in Lima’s Miraflores District [Peru]

Although many travelers visit Peru to explore its pre-Columbian heritage, most travelers passing through the nation’s capital, Lima, prefer to stay in the city’s most modern neighborhood: Miraflores.

Travelers choose Miraflores for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and its wide range of attractions that appeal to every kind of traveler. 

When you visit Lima, make sure to check out some of the very best that Miraflores has to offer.

1. Casa Museo Ricardo Palma

Ricardo Palma was a Lima-born writer and thinker who oversaw the country’s National Library from 1883 to 1892.

Today, the government has preserved his long-time home as a museum where visitors can see the original furnishings, paintings, documents and art that he cherished during the last years of his life.

Currently, the museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, but is closed for a lengthy daily lunch from 12:45 until 2:30.  Entrance is six soles ($1.75 USD).

For updated information and opening hour, visit their website>>>

2. Huaca Pucllana

huaca pucllana Miraflores Peru

If your trip to Peru doesn’t include time in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, you can visit this sacred historic site that has been preserved on its original location in the Miraflores neighborhood.

It features a typical pyramid crafted from adobe and clay, surrounded by a central square and walls.

At press time, Huaca Pucllana is open daily from Wednesday to Monday, and regular entrance fees are twelve soles ($3.50 USD).

For updated information and current opening hours, visit the Huac Pucllana official site here>>

3. Larcomar

Larcomar Upscale Mall Miraflores Peru

Larcomar is Miraflores’ most famous, and most architecturally interesting, shopping center.

It is carved into the seaside cliffs at the south end of Avenida Jose Larco and features several open-air and glass-walled viewing decks offering panoramic views of the sea. 

Larcomar is home to several upscale restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the best selection of international clothing shops in town.

There are eight shops where you can stock up on high-quality athletic and outdoors apparel and equipment before your Inca Trail trek.

For updated information and current opening hours, visit Larcomar’s official site here>>

4. Malécon

Area of Malecon near beach in Miraflores Peru

The malécon is a six-mile stretch of oceanfront parks, walking paths and cycling routes that runs along the Pacific Coast from the artsy Barranco neighborhood in the south all the way to the north end of Miraflores.

Active travelers will love going for a jog or bike ride beside the ocean, adventure travelers will want to try paragliding (buy your tickets from the booth at Block 2) and creative types will want to take in the many different sculptures erected along the walkways.

For updated information about the park (in Spanish only), visit Miraflores Parks page here>>

5. Parque del Amor (Lover’s Park)

El Beso (the Kiss) statue in Love Park Lima Peru

Also known as the “Park of Love”, Parque del Amor is Lima’s most romantic park.

At the center of the park is Victor Delfin’s gigantic red statue El Beso (The Kiss), shown above, that features two loves entangled, horizontally, in a kiss.

The park also has some of the best sunset views in the city, making it the perfect place to snuggle up with the person you love.

6. Parque Kennedy

Parque Kennedy

Situated in central Miraflores, away from the ocean, Parque Kennedy has become a controversial tourist attraction that often pits frustrated locals against wide-eyed tourists.

The park was named after John F. Kennedy and is frequented by buskers, shoe shiners and the elderly.

It is also frequented by the one hundred (or more) stray cats who call the park home.  There are cats on the grass, cats on the benches and even cats in the trees.

While some consider the cats to be a public health hazard, other consider them an adorable addition to the neighborhood.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!


Whether you want to explore the history of Lima, have an active holiday or simply relax with a cup of hot chocolate while you pet a stray cat, Miraflores has something for you.

It is also well-connected by bus rapid transit (BRT) to the historic center of Lima, so you can see the very best of old and new Peru during your stay.

Bonus: The Best Sites in Lima Peru [Video]

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