Top 5 Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan

ASIA, Travel

You are tempted by a little gateway in the Nusa Islands but don’t really know what to expect ? This article is for you. As I already did a Nusa Penida Complete Guide here, this article will be exclusively dedicated to its two neighbors : Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan.

Before diving right into the 5 best spots, here are some useful informations. If you’re in Bali, you can take a boat from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan harbor for 2OOk. A lot of different companies do this road every morning so you won’t struggle to find one in the early morning. For the accommodation, it’s better to stay in the south so everything will be cycling distance ! Cheaper and better for the environment. Renting a bike is as cheap as 40k per day and it gives you an amazing freedom.

For your stay, I couldn’t recommend more Gunung Hostel. For approximately 4e, you get a great bed, a very good looking swimming pool, a yummy breakfast and nice people who can even pick you up when you arrive and rent you a bike !

Now that you know everything, let’s jump into it. What are the best things to do in the two Nusa Islands ? The 3 first spots are on Nusa Lembongan and the 2 last ones, on Nusa Lembongan.

Snorkelling

A bunch of snorkelling tours are offered all around the Island. They’ll usually take you to 4 spots : Manta Point, Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay and Mangrove Point. All that for 250k with Nusa Paradise Adventure ! You’ll get to swim with the well known majestic giants, the ray mantas, and with a lot of colorful pisces. The only thing is that you have to keep in mind that YOU are the one visiting their underwater world and not the opposite. Respect them and their environment, don’t chase the animals or go too close and don’t touch anything !! Coral dies as soon as it’s touched, which has terrible consequences for the eco system. But as long as you’re being respectful, it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience and you’ll always cherish those memories. The ray mantas are incredibly big creatures and seeing them move like this in the water is magical. If you want more informations, I wrote a complete manta rays guide for my travel agency Bali Passion here.

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Dream Beach

There are a lot of beautiful beaches in the Nusa. My favourite one is Dream Beach, the vibe there is really chill, the sand is white and soft, you can get in the water and there are a few great restaurants to fill your stomach or have a drink after a swim.

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Devil’s Tears

My favourite spot of the Nusa and one of the highlights of all my Indonesian trips… This place is absolutely unreal. I recommend going there at golden hour to really enjoy it as long as you can. It’s a mix of water puddles in front of the sea with sky reflections, breathtaking waterblows because of how powerful the waves are and the most incredible billabong I had ever seen. When the waves crash on the cliffs, they enter two holes and some smoke come out of them.  It’s safe to say that I was blown away by this place !

Yellow Bridge

Nusa Ceningan is reliable by a cute as hell Yellow Bridge. I believe it’s the only way to get to Nusa Ceningan for tourists. You can either drive or walk on it. It seems old but don’t worry, it can carry a lot of people.

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Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon of Nusa Ceningan is a 10 minutes drive from the Yellow Bridge. It is definitely worth visiting as the water is SO blue and the waves are really powerful. For the most adventurous, there’s a jump spot from the restaurant. To be honest, the hardest part is not to jump but to swim in the waves afterwards. But even if you’re not jumping, the view is mad.

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Enjoy your Nusa Adventures !

The Once in a Lifetime Meeting with Apo Whang-Od

ASIA, PHILIPPINES, Travel

I asked myself how I could make the most of my four days trip to the Philippines… I honestly don’t think I could’ve found a better way than going to the middle of nowhere in the Mountain Province to discover a part of the filipinos culture. I heard about the famous and legendary woman Apo Whang-Od several times and was really intrigued. Before getting more into it, I did a video about the whole experience here :

At 103 years old, she’s now the oldest tattoo artist in the world. She is also the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooists) and is part of the Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group. Traditionally, only men with special tattooing ancestry were allowed to learn the art. Apo Whang-od was an exception due to her talent seen by her father, the master tattoist of Buscalan.

She has been doing tattoos on headhunters and indigenous people of Butbut since she was 15 years old and has always been adding 3 dots as her art signature. The Butbut warriors, who used to earn tattoos through protecting villages or killing enemies, no longer exist. Despite that, Whang-od continues to tattoo tourists visiting Buscalan.

So after spending a day in Manila at the incredible Z Hostel, I decided to go for this crazy roadtrip with Corhey Travel & Tours.  And let me tell you, the Road to Buscalan is not an easy one. Doing it through a travel agency is way safier and it allow you to avoid the pain in the ass of having to book several buses and jepneys. The organisation takes care of the car and tour guide. It’s a long ten to fifteen hours trip in the mountains so if you’re usually sick, I strongly advised taking preventing medecine.

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At the parking, a tour guide will take the leadership of the group and you’ll walk through wonderful small paths in the mountains and rice terraces to join Buscalan village. Once arrived, you’ll need to register. Depending on how busy Apo Whang-Od is, you may not get a tattoo from her on the day of your arrival. But you can get one from her nieces, Grace and Ilyang, to whom she untrusted her knowledge.

We were lucky enough to be taken care of on our first morning there. Apo, seated on a little stool on the ground, was already working on someone’s design when we arrived. It was quite impressive to see as she’s repetively hitting the skin with her traditional hand tools. She uses a lemon thorn needle that is attached to the end of a small bamboo stick and to another shorter stick to tap the thorn into the skin. The ink is a mixture of water and soot. Pambabatok, compared to other conventional tattooing techniques, is relatively painful. But if you’re only doing the three dots, it’s only a matter of minutes.

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During the whole week end, the village took really good care of us. We slept in one of the bamboo house all together and were offered a fish & rice breakfast, a nice dinner and another breakfast with the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Travelling truly allows you to open your eyes, mind and heart. That’s why it can be so challenging sometimes ; we’re basically learning how to swim in the unknown, outside of our comfort zone, and how to feel deeply with the fear of getting attached to places and people we may never see again. But that’s also what makes those experiences so beautiful, worth it and rewarding !

Nusa Penida : A Complete Guide !

ASIA, Travel

If you’re planning a trip to the world known island of Nusa Penida, there’s certainly a lot of questions bubbling in your head. Is it too touristic ? How to get there ? Where to stay ? Should you rent a motorbike ? A car ? What are the best spots ? This complete guide will tell you everything !

The best words to describe this place would be : breathtaking, athletic and powerful.  The easiest way to get there from Bali is to go to take a boat at Sanur harbour in the early morning. The cheapest you can get is 200k (400k for the round trip). If you’re sea sick, take some medicine because the word « fast boat » says it all. Nusa Penida is 28 times smaller than Bali but we were told that the population can go up to one million at summertime. So yes, it’s very touristic and certainely the most visited one in Indonesia after Bali. But it’s for the best reasons and there are always some ways to avoid the crowd.

Most of the great spots are in the South West part, some are in the East and most of the homestays and nightlife is in the North of the Island, near the Harbour where you’ll arrive. All the hotels know some car drivers and I could not recommend this option more. Even if the island welcomes a lot of tourists each year, this is not really developped and the roads are like… pure madness. You’ll feel like you’re in a 4×4 for a safari in the desert all the time. So even if you’re used to ride a scooter, it’s really unsafe and dangerous. And if you’re not, you shouldn’t even consider it. We only rode scooters with local drivers, to go back to the car parking after a spot, and even them were struggling in the climb. One of them stopped in the middle of it and we felt like we were going to fall off. Almost all the tourists we saw on scooters were struggling and the passenger had to go off the scooter and walk next to it. Every spot parking is accessible by car so it really is the easiest and safiest way. Last important thing but not least : your driver will know where spot to go first to avoid the crowd and do the reverse tour.

Now that you know all your options, let’s get into it ! What are the best spots of Nusa Penida ? Well, basically all the Island. But here are some of our favourites :

Tembeling Natural Pools

This spot is not so known because it’s quite difficult to reach. From the parking, you can either walk 3km on a path in the jungle or go by motorbike, but the roads are SO bad, it’s really unsafe. Once you arrive, you’ll run into several natural pools in the rocks, a beach with very strong waves, and even a cave : feels like a lost paradise in the middle of the jungle !

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Kelingking Beach

By far the most known spot of all Nusa Penida and maybe even of Indonesia ! This beach surrounded by iconic cliffs will leave you speechless. If you look at it carefully, it has the shape of a T-Rex.

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Broken Beach & Angel’s Billabong

The powerful waves, crystal clear water and rock formations will make you fall in love with this place ! It’s also a great spot to lay down and tan. Angel’s Billabong is regularly closed due to weather conditions : it’s not safe when the waves are too strong.

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Crystal Bay (best sunset spot)

This small beach on the West North of Nusa Penida is the place to be for sunsets. The atmosphere is really nice and you can relax after a long day of adventures.

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Diamond Beach & Atuh Beach

Those two beaches are neighbors. The one on the right, Diamond Beach, delivers really powerful waves as well as scenic and dreamy landscapes. On the left, you can access Atuh Beach by a stairway (to heaven) and enjoy a swim in this tropical place. Check out the tide first though because it has to be high for you to get the best of it ! You can also eat lunch there for quite cheap, the grilled fish is 50k and the noodles soup 25k.

How To Make The Most of Your Shanghai Stopover ?

ASIA, Travel

Chosing long stopovers when you book flights is a great way to discover a new country. You may not get the whole spirit of this new place in a few hours but you still get to visit some famous or hidden spots & meet locals. Here’s an itinerary you can follow if you have a 10+ hours stopover in Shanghai, China.

First, you must plan enough time to get out of the airport. You’re allowed to have a 24h transit visa for free so just show them that you have another plane booked, otherwise they won’t let you out. You also have to withdraw money because credit cards are  not accepted in a lot of places. It’ll take around an hour a half. Once it’s done, you have a few options to get downtown. You can either take a taxi, bus, metro or maglev. If you don’t have a lot of time, the best option would be the maglev. It’s the fastest commercial high-speed electric train in the world and it’ll get you to Longyang Station in 8 minutes. The round trip is 80Y. Once there, you’ll have to take the line 2 of the metro for another 15 minutes to East Nanjing Road. You can also take the metro directly at the airport but it’ll take you around an hour and a half +-, especially if it’s peak hour.

 

 

Another useful tip to naviguate in the city (or anywhere else is the world) as you won’t have data : download mapsme. It’s an offline map in which you can check itineraries anytime and anywhere. Just need to download the map of the city before.

Now that you arrived at East Nanjing Road, the first stop is the road itself ! That’s the main shopping street of Shanghai and one of the world’s busiest streets so it’s always a quite impressive first impression of China for tourists.

 

 

From there, you can walk until the end of the street to the Bund. Most popular place of Shanghai, it’s a waterfront area that faces some of the most impressive modern skyscrapers in the world. It includes the world’s second tallest tour ever : the Shanghai Tower.  There’s a great walk alongside the river and you’ll be amazed by the number of wedding photoshoots there is.

 

 

From there, you can head to the Old City/ Yuyuan Garden Area. Definitely the place to add to your list if you’re looking for something a bit more authentic. There’s plenty of Temples, cute little shopping corner streets and of course the mind blowing Yuyuan Garden. I believe the entrance is 40Y and half price for students. Enjoy !

 

 

MAØ : La Nouvelle Révélation Musicale Vannetaise

FRENCH CORNER, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC

Le 14 décembre dernier, la jeune chanteuse Maiween Ragueneau, connue sous le nom de MAØ, a mis le feu au nouveau bar artsy de Vannes, le Dédale Café. Cette release party en l’honneur de son premier EP, « I’m high » a rassemblé amis, familles et amateurs de musique.

Son premier fait d’armes a été, sans l’ombre d’un doute, un concert sur la grande scène du Port de Vannes à l’occasion de la Fête de la Musique 2018, connue pour avoir accueilli un grand nombre d’artistes français, déjà célèbres ou célèbres en devenir. Un moment brillant où la chanteuse a réussi à conquérir la foule vannetaise en un temps record grâce à sa légèreté et son aisance folle. Suite à cela, elle a su garder le public en haleine avec la promesse d’un nouvel EP sorti en décembre 2018.

La Vannetaise a toujours eu le don de capter l’attention. Une voix rauque, un style bien à elle et quelques concerts de rue lui ont permis de se faire repérer par un directeur artistique. « Tout s’est enchainé très vite. Il y a seulement eu deux jours entre le moment où j’ai été repérée et celui où j’ai pu enregistrer des chansons en studio. Je suis très reconnaissante d’avoir eu cette opportunité ».

L’Echonova : un tremplin indispensable

Au même titre que les groupes Albatross et The Sunvizors, MAØ a profité du dispositif « Go » de l’Echonova à Saint-Avé. Cette salle de concert offre un programme d’un an pour soutenir la création musicale et accompagner les artistes en vue de développer une audience régionale voire nationale. Cette année de formation en chant et gestion de scène qu’elle a effectuée en 2017 lui a permis de se professionnaliser davantage.

Baignant dans un univers artistique depuis toute petite, MAØ a su s’imprégner de divers univers : peinture, écriture, poésie ou encore cinéma. Éclectique, mais également nomade. Un autre élément clé participe à cet état d’esprit : les voyages. Pour autant, son âme de bohème n’a connu qu’une constante dans sa vie : la musique. Ses productions s’inspirent d’ailleurs des différents genres qui ont bercé son enfance : Musiques du Monde, Hip Hop, Soul, Pop…. En passant par Amy Winehouse, The Hornets, Janice Joplin, The Cranberries. La liste est loin d’être exhaustive car elle évolue constamment : l’ouverture d’esprit et la découverte sont des critères primordiaux pour la jeune femme. Ses lead singles « I’m High » et « Dance », originaux et décalés, ont fait l’unanimité. Le groove festif sert à merveille des mots choisis, profonds et entraînants.

Depuis un an, MAØ commence donc à se faire une place sur la scène vannetaise et elle ne compte pas s’arrêter là. En effet, la jeune femme, montée sur ressorts, commence l’année avec des projets toujours plus excitants : elle assurera la première partie de Soom-T à l’Echonova le 9 Mars et participera aussi à de nombreux festivals français. À vos agendas !

Article écrit le 15 février pour Les Échos Vannetais.

« Papy, c’est quoi la neige ? » : La Jeunesse Vannetaise Réagit

FRENCH CORNER

Article écrit le 15 mars pour Les Échos Vannetais suite à la manifestation pour le climat.

Répondant à l’appel de la jeune suédoise Greta Thunberg pour sauver la planète, entre 1000 et 1500 lycéens – selon les organisatrices – ont manifesté dans les rues du centre-ville de Vannes ce vendredi 15 mars.

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VERT l’avenir et l’EAU delà

À coup d’affiches incendiaires et de slogans récurrents, ce rassemblement contre le réchauffement climatique s’inscrit dans une démarche de grève internationale qui est reprise dans plus de 125 pays, sur tous les continents, incluant l’Antarctique.

A Vannes, le rassemblement a été organisé par sept lycéennes du lycée Lesage qui ont réagi en observant elles-mêmes les effets du réchauffement climatique, avec la nette hausse des températures cet hiver.  Agées de 16 et 17 ans, elles ont décidé de s’engager afin de faire changer les choses et ont créé un compte instagram @greenvannes. Leur objectif : communiquer, relayer leurs actions et leur message, sans oublier la touche d’humour qui les caractérise, avec leur slogan « VERT l’avenir et l’EAU delà ! ».

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Génération Climat
« 1, 2, 3 degrés, c’est un crime contre l’humanité »
scandent les jeunes. La tête du cortège prend la direction de la Place des Lices afin de se faire entendre par tous. Dans les collèges et lycées, de plus en plus de jeunes se sentent concernées et nombreux sont ceux qui ont manifesté pour la première fois hier. « Cette cause me tient particulièrement à cœur, on ne peut pas rester inactifs face à cette tragédie. C’est de notre avenir qu’on parle là ! » affirme Vanessa, 17 ans. Ils ont répondu présents vendredi et de la Place des Lices, le rassemblement s’est dirigé ensuite vers l’hôtel de ville qui leur a offert une belle visibilité permettant de mesurer l’importance de la mobilisation.

Il faut dire qu’une vraie prise de conscience écologique a lieu et le mouvement « Youth For Climate » commence progressivement à gagner du terrain. « C’est maintenant ou jamais » mettent en garde les manifestants. En effet, des chiffres alarmants commencent enfin à être affichés à la vue de tous. Si les émissions de dioxyde de carbone se poursuivent au rythme actuel, une espèce sur six pourrait disparaître dans les prochaines années. Le danger d’extinction s’intensifie donc à chaque degré supplémentaire.
Le mouvement Youth For Climate réclame, par conséquent, des actions fortes et concrètes de la part des gouvernements et des institutions internationales, ainsi qu’une prise de conscience globale de l’urgence de la situation par toute la population.

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Pour ces jeunes, cette grève est un évènement fort car ils représentent la première génération directement touchée par le réchauffement climatique. Ce combat rassemblant toutes les classes, n’est pas un engagement politique mais un acte collectif citoyen.

Vannes au cœur de l’engagement

Aux portes des magasins, les commerçants de Vannes ont observé la foule avec curiosité, certains ont même repris les slogans « Il n’y a pas de PLANète B », « Quand c’est fondu, c’est foutu » ou encore « Pourquoi faire des efforts si notre seul avenir est celui d’un monde qui n’en a pas ? ». Le message est fort : élevons nos voix, pas le niveau de la mer.

Au niveau national, il y aurait eu 150 000 jeunes en grève hier, dans plus de 200 villes, dont plus 30 000 à Paris et 13 000 à Lyon. Une estimation de 1 400 000 étudiants à travers le monde a été faite par Greta Thunberg et les organisateurs du mouvement.

Du côté du gouvernement, les réactions ne sont pas encore très audibles. Soutenant officiellement le mouvement – des ministres envoyés sur les plateaux TV ont salué la prise de conscience – il n’a pourtant annoncé aucune mesure supplémentaire pour l’instant.

En clair, les jeunes ont repris espoir. Maintenant, place à l’action ! Adultes, la jeunesse demande des comptes.

Soline Le Page & Pauline Duault
Le 15/03/19

La Vie en Rose

FRENCH CORNER, LES ÉCHOS VANNETAIS

Une vague rose submerge la ville de Vannes chaque année depuis douze ans. Le temps d’un weekend, le 13 et 14 octobre 2018, des milliers de femmes se retrouvent pour marcher ou courir pour la Vannetaise afin de récolter des fonds pour combattre les cancers féminins. Nous sommes allés à la rencontre d’une participante, Lucie, enseignante et mère de deux enfants.

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Bonjour Lucie, merci d’accepter de partager votre histoire avec nous ! Que vous est-il arrivé ?
J’ai appris un peu avant mes 40 ans que j’avais un cancer. Le soutien de ma famille et mes amis a été primordial pour mon moral tout au long de ce combat. Des évènements comme La Vannetaise sont pour moi synonymes de positivité, d’encouragement et de force.

Qu’est-ce que c’est La Vannetaise exactement ? Qu’est-ce que cet évènement vous évoque ?
La Vannetaise est un ensemble de marches et de courses féminines pendant un weekend. Des milliers de femmes s’unissent toutes contre les cancers féminins, soit parce qu’elles en ont un, connaissent quelqu’un  qui en a un ou veulent se battre pour toutes les femmes ! Elles portent toutes des dossards avec leur histoire ou des mots d’encouragement accrochés aux tee-shirts roses de la Vannetaise. Certaines n’ont pas la chance d’être accompagnée et soutenue comme je l’ai été. En ce sens, cette manifestation est importante pour avancer dans la recherche, dans les traitements, les équipements, l’accompagnement des malades… C’est pour cela que je participe chaque année à la Vannetaise et que je continuerai…

C’est donc un moment de partage avant tout pour vous ?
Tout à fait ! Ce n’est pas une course triste mais positive, émouvante et formidable ! Par ailleurs, dans mon cadre professionnel, nous avons constitué une équipe de coureuses qui s’agrandit au fil des années… nous passons et partageons toujours un très beau moment toutes ensemble !

La Vannetaise peut donc avoir un impact sur le moral des malades ?
Bien sûr ! Cette course hyperpositive a toujours beaucoup d’impact sur le moral des malades. D’une part, les femmes se sentent soutenues, encouragées, mises en valeur, et d’autre part, elles réalisent que leur combat quotidien ne laisse pas les autres indifférents. Ils sont avec elles.

Tout cela doit également être bénéfique pour le moral des proches, non ?
Ça l’est tout autant ! Voir autant de personnes réunies au même endroit pour essayer de changer les choses, de faire évoluer les études et trouver de nouveaux moyens de guérison, ça réchauffe le cœur.

Cette course rassemble énormément de monde chaque année, l’évènement doit être très médiatisé maintenant !
Oui, l’évènement est très connu dans la région et les réseaux sociaux couvrent l’évènement du début à la fin. J’ai également participé à la vidéo de la Vannetaise qui sortira en décembre lors de la remise des chèques et biens récoltés.

En plus d’être un moment d’émotion et un message d’encouragement à toutes les femmes, cette course permet une récolte de fonds impressionnante pour la recherche contre le cancer. Savez-vous combien cette 12ème édition a récolté et ce que cela permettra de financer ?
La Vannetaise récolte plus de 100 000 euros chaque année. Les fonds collectés permettent d’accompagner les patients en traitement, de proposer des soins de confort et de soutenir des projets de recherche. Cette année, il s’agira de financer l’achat d’une machine effectuant une chimiothérapie à très haute température. Cette technologie est surtout utilisée dans les cancers gynécologiques et digestifs. Ils vont aussi investir dans des formations spécialisées.

Que souhaiteriez-vous dire aux femmes qui combattent le cancer aujourd’hui ?
Ma devise : vivre à 200%, donner le meilleur!

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Article écrit pour Les Échos Vannetais le 6 décembre 2018.

Top 15 Albums of 2018 !

ALBUM REVIEWS, MUSIC

2018 witnessed the birth of many brilliant records. The music industry has been blessed by the come back of long awaited artists such as Florence & the Machine or The 1975, but also by the debut albums of new artists making their way into the business, like Laurel and Jorja Smith. Without further ado, here’s the exhaustive list of my favourite albums of the year.

15) LYKKE LI – SO SAD SO SEXY

The fourth studio album of the “I Follow Rivers” singer is definitely one to add to your playlist. That is the very definition of dream pop and shows the impact of softness. With all its dancing vibes, you can put this record on at any time.

so-sad-so-sexyFavourite tracks: Better Alone, Hard Rain, Deep End, Bad Woman.
Release date: 08/06/18

14) FEU! CHATTERTON – L’OISELEUR

With an ease of their own, the French band Feu! Chatterton takes us back into their universe the second the singer starts singing his first rhymes. Captivating, enthralling, disturbing… Words are lacking to describe the simplicity with which the group conveys its message.

Image associéeFavourite tracks: Ginger, Tes Yeux Verts.
Release date: 09/03/18

13) CAMILA CABELLO (SELF TITLED)

After leaving Fifth Harmony in 2016, Camila has established herself as the new pop queen. Collaborations after collaborations with the biggest names of the industry, such as Shawn Mendes, Machine Gun Kelly & Major Lazer, she also put out a self-titled album, nominated for “Best Pop Vocal Album” at the Grammys.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "camila cabello album"Favourite tracks: She Loves Control, Real Friends, Havana.
Release date: 12/01/18

12) JORJA SMITH – LOST AND FOUND

The rising star of soul and RnB music has given birth to her debut album Lost and Found” earlier this year. Jorja’s lead single “Blue Lights” is militating against police brutality. Sometimes compared to Amy Winehouse, she still has her own raspy vibes that will make you adore her.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "jorja smith album"Favourite tracks: The One, Wandering Romance.
Release date: 08/06/18


11) ARCTIC MONKEYS – TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL & CASINO

The long awaited album of Arctic Monkeys, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, came out 5 years after “AM”. Taking a radically different artistic direction, Turner, endowed with his usual charisma, made the risky bet of landing this 6th album on the moon. The anxious and confusing AM atmosphere only shows in “Golden Trucks”. In the rest of the album, the piano is the bandmaster. The fans were surprised but not disappointed.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "arctic monkeys album"Favourite tracks: Star Treatment, Golden Trucks, American Sports.
Release date: 11/05/18


10) YUNGBLUD – 21st CENTURY LIABILITY

Eclectic would be the best adjective to describe the colour of this English alternative rock musician’s debut album. While songs such as Kill Somebody and Die for the Hype seem to have nothing in common, the same hyperactive voice and strong drawl stand out. A very interesting production to listen with an open mind.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "YUNGBLUD album"Favourite tracks: Kill Somebody, Medication, Anarchist.
Release date: 06/07/18


9) ANNE-MARIE – SPEAK YOUR MIND

The stereotype of the strong woman who does not take herself seriously is in front of your eyes. Be ready for some outstanding vocals, hilarious laughs and catchy rhythms… The charts speak from themselves: the debut album of this 27 years old British lady is all the fans have been waiting for.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "anne marie speak your mind album cover"Favourite tracks: Alarm, Trigger, Heavy, Then, Perfect, Friends, Bad Girlfriend.
Release date: 27/04/18


8) HYPHEN HYPHEN – HH

The endearing madness of this emerging French band was born for the festival stages. Their influences are everywhere, both in the music industry and in the street. You can feel it in their eclectic and powerful songs, synonyms of a new area. Santa, the lead singer, worked on her voice with Beyonce’s vocal coach and knew exactly what the new winning mix was: some powerful vocals, a bustling instru and dancing vibes.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "hh album cover"Favourite tracks: Mama Sorry, Young Leaders, Like Boys.
Release date: 25/05/18


7) MØ – FOREVER NEVERLAND

With such a surreal dream pop vibe in her voice, couldn’t stay away from the music industry too long. She proves it once again with the 14 songs of her second album “Forever Neverland”. Remember how much you loved dancing on her famous single “Lean On” back in the years? You’ll love the new album just as much, if not more.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "forever neverland album cover"Favourite tracks: Sun In Your Eyes, Way Down, West Hollywood.
Release date: 19/10/18


6) LAUREL – DOG VIOLET

In her debut album, Laurel opted for an offbeat mix of electric guitar with delicious and haunting vocals. Looking for loving responses, this sensual voice will describe the contours of an emotional roller coaster and what it’s like to be in your twenties. Laurel undoubtedly is one to watch closely in the alternative pop.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "laurel album cover"Favourite tracks: Hold Tight, Adored, Same Mistakes, Lovesick, Crave.
Release date: 24/08/18


5) ARIANA GRANDE – SWEETENER

I think we could all agree that 2018 has been blessed by Ariana’s musical propositions. Her amazing vocal range was already a world known fact but, with her new sounds, she really puts herself as one of the most relevant women in pop music at the moment. Her groove also is the key element that has triggered such a success. “Sweetener” imposed itself as the perfect combo between smoothness and catchiness.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "SWEETENERalbum cover"Favourite tracks: No Tears Left To Cry, God Is A Woman, Breathin.
Release date: 17/08/18


4) HER (SELF TITLED)

I couldn’t keep Her away from this list. Even if most of the songs went out last year, the final album was released in 2018. It will be their last one as Victor, the lead singer, is closing the chapter of his life since his dear friend and co-founder of the band, Simon Carpentier, died from cancer in 2017. An indescribable strength, desire and talent live in this iconic album. The blues influence, soul voice and offbeat sounds are their trademark. Their sophisticate and unconventional universe, where sensuality and elegancy are duelling, offers a place for lyrics about feminism and women in the music industry. A wonderful record.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "her album cover"Favourite tracks: All the album. I can’t even choose one song that I like less than the others.
Release date: 30/03/18


3) FLORENCE & THE MACHINE – HIGH AS HOPE

A 10 songs album was enough for Florence & the Machine to do an epic come back. Florence Welch with both a voice and universe out of time rocks us every time with her legendary fairy tones. With instrumental parts as eclectic as symphonic, you’ll dance to the beat of sometimes an orchestra, and other times some good electro pop. Your journey in the 4th dimension will be accompanied by the dancing poetry of this brilliant and powerful opus.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "high as hope album cover"Favourite tracks: Hunger, June, Big God.
Release date: 29/06/18


2) MAC MILLER – SWIMMING

“I was drowning and now I’m swimming” definitely draws the lines of this precious hip hop record. Even if it wasn’t enough to keep him on here, his music will always be. Through introspective lyrics, wiser & deeper, as well as an extraordinary groove, Mac Miller offered us a timeless last album.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "swimming album cover"Favourite tracks: Come Back to Earth, Self Care, Hurt Feelings, Ladders, Small Words, 2009.
Release date: 13/07/18


1) THE 1975 – A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS

So… this album stands as THE best album of the year in my opinion. If you’re looking for the absolute excellence of alternative rock, the path will lead you straight to this masterpiece. Covering topics as different as drug addiction, society and love, Healy sings his heart out with an offbeat drawl. They’re aren’t afraid to get off the beaten track to propose an alternative answer to modern society. All that with an unclassifiable fanciness, super catchy melodies, futuristic vision as well as a strong guitar-drums-bass core.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "THE 1975 album cover online relationships"

Favourite tracks: Give Yourself A Try, TooTime, Love It If We Made It, I Couldn’t Be More In Love.
Release date: 30/11/18

Others great records that you should listen: Tom Grennan, Benny Blanco, Eddy de Pretto… And you, what was your favourite album of the year ?

The Elephant Bucket List Thing…

ASIA, THAILAND, Travel

Spending time with elephants is on every traveller’s bucket list. Although, you have to be aware of certain things. In South East Asia, elephants are often considered as tourist attractions and money makers. Wash elephants, don’t ride them!

Elephants are not supposed to be ridden for several reasons. They’re wild animals, so, in order to be ridden, they need to be tamed. In other words, they’re tortured until they listen. Young elephants are taken away from their moms, beaten and starved… They’re put in really small cages until they are unable to move and destroyed to the point of losing all their identities and not contesting the authority. The mistreatment doesn’t stop once they’re tamed, because the fear of being beaten is used to control them. In addition to all this, their spines are not the same as horses or humans : their bodies can’t stand more than 150 kg. Considering that the sitting equipment weights itself 160 kg and they carry 3 to 6 tourists… I let you do the maths. They’re physically and mentally destroyed.

While trekking camps are torturing them, some nature parks opened to rescue them and raise awareness about how they’re treated. I went to Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. This is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project rescuing old tortured elephants to offer them a peaceful life with enough food, space, medical assistance and most importantly freedom.

            Visitors can do a lot of fun activities, like feeding them with fruits and some balls recipes the guide teaches you. You can also play in the mud with them, go on walks and even get into the river to help wash them! This was by far the most magical moment. When you arrive, a special shirt is given to you so elephants can recognize the smell. These animals are so friendly and chatty, don’t be afraid. The guide will also tell you a lot of precious informations about the elephant’s lives, history, habits… Their goals are multiple and raising awareness is the most important one.

So please, if you’re going to South Asia, be aware of everything that’s happening to make a responsible choice!

 

 

You can check out my Thailand video right here ↓

Iceland : Budget & Tips!

EUROPE, Iceland, Travel

When you start doing some researches about Iceland, the first thing you see is how expensive this country is! It is of course very true but kind of wrong at the same time. Planning it extremely carefully can help you save a lot of money. I’ll help you not waste your money regarding the accommodations, rental car, food, activities… Please note that these are autumn prices, summer prices are higher.

TIP #1: ACCOMODATION

This is where you’ll spend the most money. The smallest the city is (sometimes it’s just one street), the biggest the price of the accommodation will be. We booked everything on Airbnb or Booking for guesthouses and hostels and it was approximately 34€ per night and per person. If you’re going at summer time, you can rent a van and sleep in it.

TIP #2: RENTAL CAR & GAZ

Unless you planned to stay in one city, which is very unusual for Iceland travellers, you’ll have to rent a car. Choose your car regarding the roadtrip you want to do to not waste any money; if you’ll only drive the Road 1, don’t bother taking a 4×4! A smaller car can 100% do the job. A Nissan Micra was perfect for our itinerary. Renting it for 4 days and a half only costed us 110€ and the gaz price is quite similar to France, just a little higher, 1.55€/L.

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We booked the car via City Car Rental. Be careful with what you’re doing with the car though because there is approximately as many garages in Iceland as penguins in France, so with even the smallest problem our day will be totally ruined. The second reason is, the rental car company will take every euro she can on your deposit. Read the contract carefully and ask them about everything, including which gaz to put in. Even if it seems obvious. Sometimes it’s not. Trust me.

TIP #3 : FOOD

Restaurants in Iceland are a whole other level. It usually goes from 20 to 30 for a meal, which is super expensive, so we skipped the restaurants and cooked all our meals ourselves. We took a lot of dry food in the suitcase : pasta, rice, thuna, cereals… so we only had to buy some fresh products such as milk, vegetables and fruits,… The less expensive supermarket is Kronan (16€ per person for 5 days).

TIP #4: ACTIVITIES

When you’re going to iceland, it’s mostly to visit the mind blowing landscapes, so you won’t pay a lot in terms of activities. You can visit almost everything for free and park everywhere. The only natural place we visited and had to pay for out of all the places we’ve been to was the kerid crater (3€) and the parking of seljalandsfoss (5€). You can check out our itinerary here : Golden Circle, Wrecked Plane, Canyon, Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches…

For the hot springs : We went to two different hot springs, one was free and the other one crazy expensive. The first one is a hidden gem in south iceland called seljallalaug swimming pool. It’s basically one the oldest swimming pools of the country and it’s lost in the middle of the mountains. Absolutely breath taking, I highly recommend. The other one is the not so famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa with the bluest water you’ll ever see. Very great but crazy expensive (55 to 75€ depending on the season).

Other random tips :
– Take very warm clothes
– Be sure your shoes are comfortable
– Check if there’s a kitchen in all your accomodations
– Don’t be scared of heights. When it comes to take pictures, stay careful. Most of the places ain’t secured with barriers like in Europe.

And most importantly, open your eyes widely, be excited like a child and enjoy every minute of the adventure !

 

6 Days Itinerary In Iceland

EUROPE, Iceland, Travel

Iceland, also known as the ice and fire land, is one of the countries with the most contrasted landscapes all at once. This north island appeared by the collision of the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates. In just a few hours’ drive, you can run into volcano craters, lakes, glaciers, fjords, impressive waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches… The written itinerary is entirely described below.
You can also check out this youtube video!

 

First day

On your first day in Iceland, there’s a huge chance you’ll land at Keflavik International Airport. It is a 45 minutes drive from Reykjavik. We only had our rental car from the next morning so we asked for a lift and a car stopped very quickly. Iceland is the paradise for hitchhikers, this is a part of their culture and it’s the best way to fit in with locals. It’s also one the safest places to do it.

Once arrived in Reykjavik, everything is at a walkable distance. Our first stop was the impressive Hallgrimskirkja Church. No map needed here, you can see it from everywhere in the city. There are plenty of vibrant streets starting from there. Our favorite one: Frakkastígur Street. Colourful and typical Icelandic houses, street art, cute shops… It goes down to a lake with snowy mountains, where you’ll see the famous statue of the Sun Voyager. The same path is leading to the beautiful building of the Opera, called the Harpa.

 

 

 

 

Booking: Bus Hostel.

Second day

We had the car from 9am but only left at 11am because of some issues with the rental car company, CC Car rental. We booked it online a few weeks before, but didn’t understand that we had to pay a deposit with our debit cards if we didn’t have a credit card. It makes a huge difference for them so read your contract carefully!

Reykjavik is the capital of the country but it is very close to the nature: it only took us 40 minutes to join Þingvellir, the first stop of the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route. Driving in this national park is very representative of Iceland, with one single road in the middle of a breathtaking nature. It even is the place where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates collide.

Next stop: Strokkur Geysir. This is a field, full of small geysers and hot springs, with smoke coming out of the grass all around you. There is one big geyser, Strokkur, exploding every 5 to 10 minutes. This is truly impressive!

The third place we visited is the one that impressed me the most: Gulfoss Waterfalls. Aka the Niagara Falls of Iceland. It’s so powerful that your eyes can’t even follow.  You can’t stay here too long because of the humidity and the cold: it’s covered of snow, unless you’re visiting during the summer or spring.

As we still had an hour before the sunset, we drove to the Kerið Crater. That’s a lake in a volcanic crater, surrounded by red volcanic rock. The pictures speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: Spirit Farm. A lost farm between the mountains. A very warm place with huge windows, plants, guitar, cosy sofa, art and people sharing their life stories. You can even go cuddle the Icelandic horses in the field.

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Third day

10am : we hit the road again. It leads us to the parking of the famous Wrecked DC-3 Plane on Sólheimasandur. You have to walk 4 kilometers to reach it, and 4 other kilometers for the way back. You won’t any access to your car or even toilets for the 2 following hours so don’t forget to carry water with you, as well as sunglasses and warm clothes if it’s windy. It’s very worth the effort. The atmosphere of a crashed plane in the middle of a deserted black sand beach is insane!

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After another hour on the road, we arrived at the most gorgeous canyon, called Fjaðrárgljúfur. It extends on approximately 2 kilometers and is crossed by the Fjaðrá River. There are three amazing viewpoints on the path. In a few words: dreamy, amazing, idyllic… I was speechless.

 

 

 

 

Booking: Klausturhof Guesthouse.

Fourth Day

Our hostel was in the middle in the nature, with a waterfall flowing behind it. As the sun was rising on the Systrafoss Mountain, we went for a morning hike to the top of the waterfall. We reached it in 20 minutes and had an amazing view on all the area. A lake was turning into the waterfall who was rolling down the mountain. Awesome place but very windy. Be careful on the way back because it’s really steep and there’s no barrier.

 

 

 

 

Our program for the rest of the day was to go to Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón. There’s also a great hike to the Skaftafell Waterfall if you have some hours left. But I can’t really review any of it because we had a huge issue with the car and had to cancel our plans. Do not mistake diesel and gaz guys… There’s not a lot of garages in Iceland (not a lot of people either) so it’ll be super extra expensive and you’ll spend the whole day waiting for them…

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Airbnb: Hrútafell Hrutafell Guesthouse, at the not so famous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano.

Fifth Day

We started this brand new day by a stunning sunrise at Reynisfjara Beach. This black sand beach is out of the world. At the beginning, there is an impressive wall of rocks. The more you walk, the more you’re impressed. Two rock pillars stand in the middle of the powerful waves. The atmosphere in this place is surreal and we even saw two weddings shootings.

 

 

 

 

This beach touches another: Dyroleay. The peninsula is characterized by the presence of a volcanic arch in the sea. There’s also a stunning viewpoint at the top of it.

 

 

 

 

Then, we headed off to Skógafoss, which is a powerful waterfall that you can see from different points of views (the bottom and the top).

 

 

 

 

There’s so much to see in this area that the day was already quite full, but we still managed to make a stop at Drangshlíð. It is basically a rock standing in the middle of nowhere and sheltering some “elves houses”, made of rocks and grass. This place looks like a fairy tale.

 

 

 

 

A little less than 10 minutes after, we were starting our hike in the mountains to the Seljavallalaug swimming pool. It’s one of the oldest pools of Iceland, hidden in the middle of the mountains with snow-capped peaks. One of the sides of the pool even is the mountain itself, how crazy. I can’t find a word strong enough to describe this place. Truly the highlight of the trip. The water was around 30 degrees I think, which is really great. The actual challenge is when you switch your clothes for your swimming suit by 0°.

 

 

 

 

Our last stop of the day was the second most known waterfall of Iceland: Seljalandsfoss. We didn’t stay too long as we had to go back to the capital on the same day.

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: Vibrant Iceland Hostel, Hafnarfjordur. It truly was the best hostel with the best atmosphere. Everyone eating together, drinking beers, advising each other. Travel decoration everywhere.

Sixth Day

We kept an awesome place to check out for the last day in order to keep the excitement going: the Blue Lagoon. I’m pretty sure you already know this place, but in case you don’t, it’s a geothermal spa with the bluest water you’ll ever see. It’s very hot and you can see the smoke coming out of it. We stayed there all morning, enjoyed the views, as well as the drink and mask “offered” with the expensive entrance ticket. Tips : If it’s a windy day, you won’t regret taking your beanie with you. And if you want to take pictures, you can bring your phone and put it back in your locker after.

 

 

 

 

We went to the airport right after for our plane back to France.
Iceland was a living dream and the nature is so insane that a week is barely enough to do all the south coast. There are so many things to do in every part of the country, so we’ll be back for sure. If you’re interested, I’ll also post an article about the budget you’ll need & money saving tips!

Koh Tao : Welcome to the Paradise !

ASIA, THAILAND, Travel

The mountains, colorful boats and cute houses…This island will leave you absolutely speechless. It’s called falling in love at first sight, and a little more each hour. There are so many “must see” on Koh Tao: you can easily stay a week there without getting bored.

Our first stop, West Coast Viewpoint, was my absolute favourite one. That’s not very touristic, we struggled a bit to find it. It’s a 1h30 walk from Sairee Beach, but you can start at the bar restaurant Love @ Koh Tao, which has a stunning viewpoint too btw. A little further, you’ll find another restaurant where you can buy tickets to access the view point. It’s very cheap, worth it, and only ten minutes away now. The viewpoint is hidden between two big rocks, open your eyes widely!

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Another thing you have to do when in Koh Tao: go snorkelling! You can borrow an equipment for very little money, at the bar of the beach for example, and use it all day. You’ll discover the underwater world and its colourful pisces, and with a bit of luck, some turtles and sharks at a beach called Shark Bay.

The least but not last must do : an excursion to Koh Nangyuan!
It’s not exactly on Koh Tao but you can go for a day trip as it’s really close. You really can’t go to Thailand without going there: there’s one of the most famous viewpoints of the country and you can swim in an incredible crystal clear water.
A little piece of advice tho: don’t forget to bring your mosquito spray and your suncream. Indeed, you literally have to “run” all the way to the top to avoid being bitten, and one hour underwater is enough to get your back completely sunburnt. 

There’s obviously a lot more to do in Koh Tao if you get to spend more time on this little paradise island. Tell me in the comments what you did !