7 Things to Avoid in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge

Welcome to New York City, or if you like it, call it the Big Apple! This city never sleeps and for good reasons. Each year, this part of Manhattan receives nearly 50 million visitors. The number makes New York City one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

New York City is home to a staggering 8.6 million people, turning it into a vibrant metropolis and a leading economic hub in the US. As a visitor, the city will usher you to a whole new world of attractions not found anywhere else. From historical monuments to ultra-modern structures and mouth-watering cuisines to endless entertainment spots,  the city keeps you yearning for more. 

While there are too many good things to do in New York, there is plenty of stuff to avoid if you want to make your stay a memorable one. Let’s delve deeper into what you should not engage in when in New York.

1. Avoid Making Eye Contact with Some Folk in Times Square

They say, “ When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” But when you are in New York City, avoid doing something that might make your stay unpleasant. 

One of those things to avoid in NYC is making eye contact with some characters when you visit Times Square. Some of these people are crooks and are out there for no good. First, their dressing code is questionable, and you can easily get carried away, thinking they are typical street performers. 

Don’t be fooled by their appearance, but keep walking, don’t look up and don’t stop to even shake hands with them. If you do, then be prepared to part with a few dollars, which might affect your budget. 

In fact, it can get worse if you are visiting this famous section of the city with your kids. These characters can get super creepy and harass you in the presence of your children for money. So, be careful who you make eye contact with when you visit Times Square.

2. Avoid a Ride in a Horse Carriage When in Central Park

Central Park is another fascinating place to visit when you are in NYC. Despite its fame, unique flora and fauna, and breathtaking sceneries, you need to be fully aware of horse carriage rides. 

There is a growing concern about how horses are treated in this park. As a matter of fact, animal rights groups are advocating for a ban on horse-drawn carriages, citing poor living and working conditions for these animals. Therefore, you should show solidarity for ethical animal tourism by avoiding rides on horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. 

Besides, the drivers will most likely harass you relentlessly the moment you set foot in the park. Some will overcharge you for the services once they get to know you are a newcomer. For this reason, avoid such drivers and walk along as if you have not seen them. Alternatively, you may grab a City Bike to save yourself from the agony of being harassed by shrewd drivers. 

3. Avoid Blocking the Sidewalk

As you may know, sidewalks are public spaces shared by pedestrians everywhere, including your own city. So, it will sound rude to block the sidewalk, especially when visiting New York City. 

Remember, in NYC, sidewalks are more or less the same as highways. Just in the same way you would avoid creating unnecessary stops on a highway, you should also not stop in the middle of a sidewalk. 

Whether you are texting, checking a map, or taking a picture, never stop to do any of the things mentioned above. New Yorkers are busy people and won’t take it kindly when you try to slow them down. 

The golden rule is to find a better place and step aside to avoid causing any inconvenience to passersby. You may stop at the curb, next to a mailbox, or under an awning, but not in the middle of a busy sidewalk. If you do it, be prepared for an evil eye, an elbow knock, or something worse from those who will get offended by your action. 

4. Avoid Disrupting Escalators

In most cases, escalators come in two lanes to serve their purposes. The right side is meant for standing while the left is for climbing up the escalator steps. This unspoken rule can come as a shock to you if you are touring NYC for the first time. It is vital to have it at the back of your mind to avoid problems during your vacation in this big city.

5. Avoid a Random Pickup at the Airport

Sometimes you may be tempted to take the first taxi that shows up when leaving the airport. No matter how tempting and convenient it may seem, avoid random pickup at the arrivals area. Just ignore them by all means. 

It is better to be safe in a taxi-stand line than risking paying more or finding yourself in weird places with an unidentified cab. Alternatively, you can rely on a tax app or call NYC car service for advanced airport-pickup reservations. 

6. Avoid Getting Scammed

NYC has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to charitable causes or legitimate hard-luck stories. Again, the city is a haven for fantastic performers. If you are not smart enough, you will definitely become their prime target. 

If you meet someone claiming to have lost his wallet on his way to, let’s say New Jersey, just know that you are encountering with a talented actor. To avoid falling into such scammers’ traps, always keep the wallet in your front pocket or your purse secured. Never wield your purse or wallet openly to show off your “riches” in public spaces. You never know who’s watching you.

7. Avoid Skipping Fare in the Subway

Subways in New York City seem to test the integrity of those using them. So, you might find it tempting to skip over the turnstiles located at the entrance to avoid paying your fare. Even though no one will ask you to swipe your card, it is prudent that you do so to be on the safe side. 

The fine for jumping over the turnstiles and not paying fare is $100 or more. It is not worth saving $3 only to find yourself spending a better part of your NYC tour in a jail. Well, you may enjoy free accommodation in jail, but that is not a nice way of spending your vacation in Manhattan!

5 Things to Definitely See While in London

Your visit to London,  England’s capital city, wouldn’t be meaningful without paying homage to the city’s top five attractions. Make sure to add these top places to your list of things to definitely see while in London. From the famous Tower of London to the ultramodern Coca-Cola London Eye, the top five spots are a must-see on your tour of this famous city in the  UK.

As if that is not enough, the city provides you with many kid-friendly sites to visit. Get up close and personal with the Science Museum, or SEA LIFE London Aquarium, and let your children marvel at underwater creatures. Both attractions are ideal for family visits and fun days out in the city. Before you embark on your next flight back home, you can also visit Buckham palace or the London Museum. All these and others make up the iconic places to visit in London. 

When it comes to free London attractions, the admission is based on tourist numbers. Therefore, you may start your sightseeing adventure with these popular sites and later proceed to other exciting places. Let’s look at the top five things that are a must-see while visiting London.

1.The Tower of London

Top on the list is the Tower of London, the famous home to the Crown Jewels. History of the Tower of London dates back to 1000 years, although this iconic structure still stands strong. Located next to the River Thames and London’s Tower Bridge, the medieval structure is famous and for good reasons. At one time, it served as a prison, an execution site, and, most importantly, as a royal palace. 

Some people claim that royal ghosts inside the Tower of London haunt Britain to this day. How true is this? Find out by visiting this site during your stay in London. 

At the Tower, you can tiptoe through the medieval king’s bench-chambers to look at the Crown Jewels, including other historical sites nearby. Don’t miss out on Royal Beasts to learn about wondrous and wild animals that once inhabited the Tower of London. The animals, however, made the Tower become the city’s first zoo.

That’s not all; Join the iconic Beefeater and listen keenly to their bloody tales. Stop by various spots where the famous and mighty rolled and mingled with one another. Before winding up your tour at the Tower’s, take a photo of the battlements on your way out.

2.The Coca-Cola London Eye

Overlooking the River Thames since the year 2000,  the Coca-Cola London Eye is the largest cantilevered observation wheel in the world. Visitors from far and wide come to enjoy views of London every year. You, too, can join the queue and marvel at different aspects of the city’s skyline. You can achieve this feat by climbing aboard one of several capsules on the wheel. 

While inside one of the 32 glass capsules, the wheel will rotate for 30 minutes, giving you a completely different perspective of London. At the highest point of rotation, you will be able to see as far as 40 kilometers on a cloudless day. In addition, you will have enough time to view the spectacular details of London unfolding beneath you. 

3. The SEA LIFE London Aquarium

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium brings you closer to sharks and the most feared stonefish. With its 350 species of marine aquatic animals, the aquarium allows visitors to see one of the largest collections of marine life in Europe. 

Located at the heart of London City, the experience takes you on an interactive and immersive journey to explore the Great Oceanic Conveyor. At the start of your exploration, a stunning glass tunnel offers you an unforgettable experience involving a stroll underneath the Tropical Ocean. 

Along the way, there is more than meets the eye. From watching diving displays and feeding stingrays all the way to discovery zones and touch pools, nothing will escape your view. Other aquatic animals that steal the show include zebra sharks, seahorses, octopus, and the clownfish. 

Besides marveling at the marine life, the SEA LIFE Aquarium plays an essential role in safeguarding the oceans and their future inhabitants. At the end of your tour, you will have learned more about marine management, preservation, conservation, and education. 

4. Westminster Abbey

Before you leave London, you must visit Westminster Abbey to learn about this living pageant of British history.  Westminster Abbey is linked to famous people, such as kings and queens, politicians, soldiers, priests, poets, heroes, and villains. Your visit to this historic site takes you through the journey of historical facts that shaped England to this day. 

Each year more than one million tourists explore this magnificent 700-year old structure. Most of them come to learn a great deal of history about this coronation church of England. 

You can choose the highly popular verger-led tour or make use of the available eleven languages for the audio guides. Your tour will take approximately one hour. At the end of it, you will have grasped one or two facts about this iconic structure in London.

5. Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in London is one of the world’s leading tourist attractions. Apart from that, the museum serves as a science research center, welcoming five million visitors every year.

At the museum, you will come face to face with specimens of unimaginable creatures, some of which are already extinct. The most viewed creature at the museum is a 25m blue whale that seems to plunge from the ceiling. 

The oldest rock in the solar system and dinosaurs also famous specimens at the facility. On top of that, you will get a chance to view a collection of about 80 million specimens.  Among the specimens, you will see one of the most impressive dinosaur exhibitions in the world. 

Final Thought

London is one of the cities that attract millions of tourists each year. Visitors come to the city to view historic sites, iconic monuments, and other attractions. Much to your delight, many landmarks and iconic structures are free to visit. Others are accessible with special offers or discounted entry thanks to the London Pass. Visit London and experience its true perspective in person rather than from pictures.

7 Amazing Reasons to Visit Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand capital city has attracted millions of tourists from across the world annually for decades. Visitors come to Bangkok to experience and explore its stunning historical landmarks, world-renowned floating market, architectural beauty, world-class food, and traditions dating back hundreds of years. Bangkok has also got some of the best hospitality in the world. Not convinced yet? Here’s why this Southeast Asian destination is so unique and worth visiting. 

Uninterrupted Culture

Colonial legacy has over the years led to the dramatic cultural erosion in most of the Southeast Asian countries. By adopting the modern government structures and education systems brought forward by colonialists, these countries have lost their cultural authenticity. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to Thailand. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that’s retained its independence, thereby ensuring the continuity of its culture. The culture doesn’t have any influence from foreign imposition and you won’t find it throughout the rest of the region. 

Floating Markets

When it comes to shopping in Bangkok, visitors can either choose to shop at high-end shopping plazas, from open-air markets, or the city’s authentic floating markets. To explore the floating markets in Bangkok, consider hopping aboard one of the guided boat tours. Don’t forget this is one sight you won’t see or experience in any other part of the world except in Southeast Asia. 

Bangkok is accepting

One of the things that draw tourists to Thailand is the accepting and tolerant nature of the locals. Today, Thailand is one of the most socially tolerant and accepting countries in Asia. People of all gender identities come to be part of gay nightlife and events as they are some of the city’s best attractions. 

Bangkok is Super Affordable

In a continent with some of the most expensive cities in the world like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Bangkok’s affordability is a huge breath of fresh air. That explains why millions of travelers from around the world love Bangkok. 

The Street Food

Just so you know, the Thai capital is one of the best places to eat in the world. Every alleyway and street corner in Bangkok features a deluge of delicious and mouth-watering food options. No one has ever been disappointed with the taste, variety, or flavors here. Street food dishes you should try during your visit include multiple Thai desserts, Thai rice noodles, rice with spicy stir-friend crabmeat, yum soups, and papaya salad. 

Incredible Architecture

Bangkok is home to some of the world’s most impressive historical architecture. And it’s not just about the 19th century architecture. Bangkok features centuries-old impressive structures as well as modern skyscrapers with a unique mix of tradition and contemporary aesthetic. The elephant tower in Chatuchak, Bangkok is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world. 

 Experiencing Wild Nightlife

One night out in the Thai capital will confirm the city’s longstanding reputation as a top party destination. Khao San Road is famous for its revered nightlife scene and there’s no way you’re going to keep of this street. 

While the Thai capital is a well-developed and busy city, it has retained its cultural authenticity and stayed true to its history and traditions. Everyone who visits Bangkok always wants to return again so they can continue exploring this amazing city.