Tag Archives: travel

A small, easy-to-use drone for serious selfie-photographers

2016-10-15

Selfie-sticks are surprisingly popular, even though they let you take photos from a very limited angle, and that’s why selfie-stick photos tend to look the same. We don’t expect to see as many selfie sticks at tourist destinations next peak season anymore as we have seen this year. Ambitious selfie photographers may move on to selfie drones because now, it looks like there is a drone product that everyone can use without having to spend days in learning how to fly one.
yuneec breeze selfie drone
Yuneec Breeze is roughly the size of a thick book, but it is much lighter than a book (the heaviest component is the battery). It is meant to be small and light so that it is easy to take along in a bag or packbag. A smartphone or tablet (Android and Apple) is required in order to tell the drone what it has to do.

Before the drone takes off, you have to choose the flying mode:

Pilot: This gives the most control over the drone. You can fly the drone manually by controlling it in the Breeze Cam app.
Selfie: Distance, altitude, and position sliders let you adjust the position of the drone in relation to yourself.
Orbit: The Orbit mode lets you instruct the Breeze to circle around you or another object.
Journey: The camera pitch determines the angle the drone will fly at, and you can adjust how far it goes.
Follow Me: First, you have to manually fly the drone to a position where you want it. Activate Follow Me, and the drone will keep its distance and position and follow you.

If the drone detects any problems with communication between itself and the device that is controlling it, it will return home (the place where it took off). And it is always possible to push return home button in the app.

The list price for the Yuneec Breeze is USD 499. The company lists retailers for the product on the web page here.

Le Monde tested the Breeze, and they were happy about:
– the image quality
– ease of use
– flight stability
– compact size.
Le Monde didn’t like:
– weak light indicators.
– image quality in some video modes.
– short flight time (battery lasts 12 minutes).

Here you can view sample video clips captured by Terry Dunn:

Yuneec Breeze key features and specifications

Flying modes: selfie, pilot, follow-me, journey, orbit.
Dimensions: 196 x 196 x 65 mm
Weight: 385 g.
Battery: 1150 mAh LiPo.
Flight time: up to 12 minutes.
Max flying height: 80 meters.
Max horizontal speed: 5 m/s (restricted by software)
Max climbing speed: 1 m/s
Wifi.
Android and Apple iOS apps for controlling the drone.
Camera:
– 0°C – 40°C working temperature.
– 13 Megapixel CMOS sensor.
– 4K and 1080p video capture.
– 4160 x 3120 pixels (13 MP) still images.
– FOV 117°
– 1/30 – 1/8000s shutter speed
– White balance: auto, sunny, sunrise, sunset, cloudy, tungsten light, glowing, disabled

On this video Bo Lorentzen shows you the features of the Yuneec Breeze and how to fly it:

Packing light for a trip is easier said than done – here are a few good tips

2016-10-04

Packing the right gear for a beach vacation or for skiing weekend on the mountains is very easy. You know exactly how the weather and the environment will be. The only question really is how many party outfits you want to pack in your suitcase.

If you are planning a weekend in London or Prague in the winter or spring, you have to be prepared for any kind of weather. Even tougher packing choices has to be made if you are going to tour, say, France in the spring or Sweden in the autumn.

Fortunately, experienced travellers from Splendid Asia have collected a number of good tips for packing for any trip like a pro.

Packing clothes, electronics and other things for a week or two week vacation is one thing but packing for one or two year trip as a digital nomad is completely something else. Assuming a nomad is flying between places where he or she stays for a few months at a time, everything has to fit in to two or three suitcases. If anyone has tips for packing for a nomad life, we would love to hear them.

pack light like a pro, infographic
Infographic by Splendid Asia.

Where travellers want to go and where they really end up in are two different things

2016-09-26

What we dream of doing and what we actually end up doing are often two different things in real life. Yet, dreaming and planning towards a goal is valuable because it may make us strive for something. This applies to travel as well: the travel destinations that people are most interested in are not the same as the destinations where they decide to travel.
Dubrovnik, Croatia. Port by Maarten Elings.
Top 10 countries where people across the world are interested in as a travel destination:

1. Croatia
2. Greece
3. Turkey
4. Thailand
5. Spain
6. Italy
7. Cuba
8. Portugal
9. Malta
10. United States

The top ten list was produced by Teflsearch that crunched the numbers of travel related Google searches for a whole year (July 2015 – July 2016). They used Google search data to analyse keywords people used in their online queries in 80 countries.

This is probably a good method to reveal what people are dreaming of when they start planning a vacation all the way to the moment when they have decided the destination. People are likely to use search engines in all stages of their vacation planning to find information about sights, activities and accommodation. Once the destination is locked, many travelers also download a travel guide that gives them accurate, reliable information on the chosen destination.

Although the most visited country in the world, France, is not on the top ten list at the moment (probably because of recent attacks in Paris and Nice), the majority of countries still are European. Turkey’s unstable situation may mean that the country drops considerably as a travel destination next time we review the top 10 list, and we expect United Kingdom to rise on the list.
bangkok, river boat tour, temple
The reality differs from dreams and plans. Here are the top 20 travel destinations in the world according to Mastercard:

1 Bangkok
2 London
3 Paris
4 Dubai
5 New York
6 Singapore
7 Kuala Lumpur
8 Istanbul
9 Tokyo
10 Seoul
11 Hong Kong
12 Barcelona
13 Amsterdam
14 Milan
15 Taipei
16 Rome
17 Osaka
18 Vienna
19 Shanghai
20 Prague

Business travel is included in the list, but it makes up around 9-19% of visitors in most of these destinations. In Paris, Tokyo, Milan and Shanghai, the ratio of business travelers is higher, from 20 to 54% in Shanghai.

The big news of the Mastercard 2016 list was that Bangkok topped the list as the most visited destination in the world, dropping London to second.

Instead of tiny islands and white beaches of Greece or sights and beaches of Croatia, the most popular destinations in real life are well-known major cities where probably every traveler wants to go at least once in their lives. Many cities in the top 20 also are favourite destinations for digital nomads.

Top destinations for digital nomads 2016

2016-09-07

The only way to really experience world’s amazing destinations is to go those places by yourself. Digital nomads are people who work while they travel across the world. The new lifestyle has inspired many new businesses and services that aim at assisting mobile workers on their journey.

To save you the hassle of weighing up the pros and cons of popular destinations across the world, here is a list that introduces the world’s top 7 nomad destinations in 2016.

Top 7 Nomad Destinations 2016

Infographic by Blogtrepreneur.

Since we have visited the top 7 cities, here are a few personal remarks on them.

1. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is an affordable city with a food culture that you’ll never forget. Tropical climate and difficult traffic may not please everyone.

2. Prague, Czech Republic
The old town is one of the most magnificent places to stroll for hours. Living in Prague is affordable. Continental climate with warm/hot summers and cold winters.

3. Hong Kong
Everything is business and trade in Hong Kong, so jump on board. Very busy, but well functioning city where you can find anything and everything the world has to offer.

4. Porto, Portugal
Portugal second largest city, the home of delicious Port wine. Mild climate that is rather pleasant through the year with most rain in winter. Porto, and Portugal in general, is an affordable destination.

5. Budapest, Hungary
The cost of living is a delight in Budapest for a nomad who has to work to pay the rent and the food. Summers can be very hot and winters mild.

6. Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei is becoming a megacity where everything under the sun is available. City center can be expensive and not that welcoming, but outside the city beautiful, lush sceneries await.

7. London, UK
A digital nomad who wants to stay in London has to have clients that pay well because the city is one of the most expensive in Europe and the world. As a megacity it is one of the most pleasant ones where people still are friendly and everything (mostly) works (apart from the old underground network that is constantly being repaired).

The best camera apps for smartphone travel photography

2016-07-12

Many smartphone owners are happy with the camera application the phone manufacturer has installed on the device in the factory. In general, the factory-installed camera apps get the job done, but may lack an extra feature photographers maybe looking for. Fortunately, this is exactly where smartphones are strong: you can install another camera application on your phone. But which one is the best for travel photography?
samsung, smartphone, open camera app
Many camera apps are available both for Apple devices and for Android phones and tablets, but in this article we focus on Android camera applications. Joe Hindy on AndroidAuthority wrote brief reviews of popular camera apps for Android. First, let’s list the best apps, and then, we make our recommendation for the best apps.

samsung, open camera

Open Camera can show if you are holding the camera at level.


BestMe Selfie Camera
– as the name implies, the app has been designed for selfie photography
Camera FV-5
– manual control over images, including RAW format
Camera JB+
– simple photo shooting
Camera MX
– in addition to capturing photos, the app lets you edit images
Camera Zoom FX
– manual controls, RAW, 360 panorama
Candy Camera
– lots of filters
Cardboard Camera
– 360 photos for Google Cardboard
Cymera
– filters, stickers, photo editing
DSLR Camera Pro
– manual controls, histogram display, volume button as a shutter
Go Camera
– simple photo framing with filters
Google Camera
– HDR mode, slow motion video capture, wide angle mode, burst mode
Manual Camera
– strictly for taking photos exactly the way want with manual controls
Open Camera
– an open source, free, app with plenty of features
Snap Camera HDR
– plenty of features: 4K video, RAW, manual controls

You can read more about the camera apps introduced above here. What is our recommendation? Of course, it depends on what your requirements are. If you only want filters and don’t want to learn to use manual settings, download a simple app that can automatically snap decent pictures and has plenty of filters. If you know how to shoot on an SLR camera, you probably want more control over your images, and you should get an app with manual controls.

Settings in Open Camera app.

Settings in Open Camera app.


Our favourite for travel photography is Open Camera. It is a free app, and comes with features that have proven handy on the road and at home:

– an indicator that shows if the camera is at level with the horizon,
– burst mode,
– and burst interval.

Used together, the burst mode and burst interval features let you shoot timelapse picture sequences. You need a tripod or something else to hold the phone steady during the photo shoot, which can be as long as you want. For instance, we have created a timelapse from photos shot with Open Camera that has pictures taken at one minute interval for 24 hours. Open Camera won’t create the timelapse video for you, but you have to create the final timelapse on a PC.

Tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only Apple iPad or Android tablet

2016-06-17

Having returned from a three-day road trip last night, a timely story published on Cnet caught my eye. Matt Elliott provides a few tips on traveling with a tablet that comes only with Wi-Fi connectivity. He has some good advice, but since the topic is fresh on my mind just now, I am going to add a few more tips.
navigation app on Apple iPad
Here are tips for traveling with a tablet (Android or iPad) that has Wi-Fi connectivity, but doesn’t have 3G or 4G mobile network access.

Five tips from Cnet:

1. Download books, music and movies you believe you need during the trip to the tablet before you leave. A 16GB or 32GB memory card provides plenty of extra space for Android tablets, whereas the Apple iPad doesn’t have a memory card slot at all.

2. Make maps available offline. Cnet recommends Google Maps, but I recommend Maps.me. It is the only navigation app that really works without an Internet connection. It really works. Before leaving, you have to download the maps for regions you are going to visit. All the other navigation apps that promise offline usage, like Google Maps and Here have always failed me – without an exception.

3. Turn off Wi-Fi if there is no signal available to preserve battery. Otherwise, your tablet constantly seeks for signal.

4. Turn on find my tablet -feature if your tablet comes with it.

5. Pack a protective case and a keyboard along with your tablet. Protective case is an essential accessory. If you are going to write anything longer than Twitter messages, get a Bluetooth keyboard – they are light and slim.

acer tablet with BLuetooth keyboard
Additional tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only tablet from Klaava Media’s travel writers:

Learn how to use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. An Android phone can be turned into a hotspot in Settings-Tethering. Beware though, your phone’s battery will drain pretty quickly. We use this method for brief Internet access sessions only.

If you need regular Internet access, get a dedicated battery-powered Wi-Fi/4G router. We are using Huawei E5377Ts-32 that hasn’t failed us yet. It can also provide Internet access for your laptop.

A portable power pack is small and low-cost accessory to ensure your phone and tablet can be charged even in a situation when there is no power available.

If you will be driving, acquire a micro-USB charger that can take its power from the cigarette lighter. Both your phone and tablet can be recharged with this.

Behind a book manuscript: How a travel writer experienced Helsinki

2016-05-21

The first impression: love or hate

In every relationship, the first impression is extremely important. The same applies to travel destinations that you are visiting for the first time. You can fall in love with a place at first sight, or it can take multiple re-visits before the poor first impression changes (if it ever does).

Now that I have written a travel guidebook on Helsinki and it is published, it is time to look back and evaluate my relationship with the city. I have lived and worked in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, for quite some time but what was my first impression about the city? Did I really like it, did it make me curious, was I unimpressed or even unmoved?

I believe it was late summer — August or September — when I arrived. The first images I can still recall were that it was green everywhere, lots of light, very clean, plenty of space and no fuss — everything just worked. Nothing was spectacular, massive, totally weird, or anything like that, but rather human-size and practical.

Local people kept their distance, and didn’t chit-chat (later, I found out that it is the norm). But if I approached someone, the response was overwhelming.

Helsinki made me curious. I didn’t quite know what it was and why it attracted me, but I wanted to know its secret. There had to be something behind those faces and facades that an average tourist didn’t see.

View video:

Helsinki, city streets

Reality check: How was Helsinki really like?

After you have spent a few days in a new destination, you realize that there are actually ordinary people who go about their daily lives in the city. Life in the destination is not all about seeing the sights, having meals in tourist restaurants and constantly carrying a camera that’s ready to shoot whatever comes in front of the lens.

Of course, a few days isn’t enough to learn how people live in a place, but a sharp-eyed traveler gets hints and impressions of the local culture. At this stage, things get interesting. If I am exploring a destination because I intend to write about it, after a week or so, I have visited and photographed the obligatory sights. Then, I can look around for things that I find different, interesting and outside the inner circle of must-see places. In Helsinki, it meant discovering places like Kaivopuisto, Itäkeskus, old Eira, touring the shores of the city on a bicycle, and getting to know the bohemian district of Kallio.

I must have taken more than thousand photos in Helsinki in winter and in summer time. Some of the images made it to the book, most didn’t. Let me show you a few pictures of Helsinki where I believe I managed to capture something about the true faces of the city.
cafe at Esplanade park in HelsinkiA cafe at Esplanade Park in the city center.

Erottaja, Helsinki, jugend housesHouses lining the Erottaja street.

helsinki, view from hotel torniA view of Helsinki from Torni. The city’s landmark white Cathedral rises above other buildings.

The bottom line: What does Helsinki mean to me?

After spending so much time in Helsinki, exploring its streets, discovering rarely visited places, studying its essence, asking stupid questions when chatting locals, photographing and writing about the city, how do I feel about it now after my Helsinki travel guidebook has been published? Would I want to live in the city? Do I feel that I want to visit the city next year and two years after that?

It is a universal up-and-down experience how a foreigner accommodates to a new country and culture. Many culture shock -books have been written about the phenomenon. Having lived long enough in Finland, I believe I have survived from my shock, and I can sit back and take a long, hard look at the city, its people and culture.

The things I most appreciate in Helsinki (and in Finland) are safety, how everything just works, rationality of the people, ample green space, human-size architecture, modern art, and large wilderness areas. For me, the ideal moment to travel to Finland is when I want to breathe freely, be sure that I can be alone of I want to be alone without anyone bothering me, not worry about officers or taxi drivers cheating me, and forget about the poverty and distress in many other parts of the world. If it is summer, I will sit down at Esplanade or Kaivopuisto Park with my ice cream and blend into the crowd. I will be quiet and think the same things as Finns do: when we head to the cottage next weekend, what will we grill after sauna?

Helsinki is one of the easiest city to travel to and explore. It is a pleasure to stop by even for a short layover. Staying in the city for a long period exposes people to the long and dark winter, but summer rewards those who survive the winter. (Locals actually enjoy winter by traveling somewhere where it is colder than in Helsinki and snow is abundant).

I actually think that Helsinki (and Finland) is a bit of a hidden gem. The world has started to take notice of the country and its capital after news of its school system, maternal packages, Angry Birds, Nightwish and talented race drivers have spread in social media. Scandinavian kitchen and literature are also trending, at least, in Europe.

At times, Helsinki may be cool, but it won’t leave you cold if you give it a few days.

This story was written by Kim Anton who has authored and photographed two travel guidebooks for Klaava Media.

Esplanade park ,Helsinki in summer
My favourite season in Helsinki? Well, everyone falls in love with Finland’s summer (as I did), but winter has its own, very special atmosphere and fun outdoor activities. The picture above and the one below show the same place in summer and in winter in the center of Helsinki.
snow storm at Esplanade park in Helsinki

Traveling with dogs gives opportunities for fun photography

2016-05-10

People who travel with their pets tend to snap pictures of their companions only to document that the pet (often dog) really was at a certain destination. Nothing wrong with that, since that’s the same method how many travelers document the sights they have visited: placing themselves in front of a landscape and taking a selfie. If you take a little time to consider your photographic options when you are about to take a photo of your dog, you may get a truly memorable picture.

a traveling dog admires the view in Nice, France

A traveler dog admiring the view of Nice, France at the top of the Castle Hill.


Traveling with pets is rather common in regions that are large enough to provide many types of landscapes and attractions, and can be safely explored by car, such as North America and Europe. Most dogs are used to traveling in family car or motorhome, so a road trip can be an adventure for pets as well.

AAA, (the American Automobile Association, Inc.)  has realized that there is a fairly large number of travelers on the road with dogs, and organized a photo competition for travelers who are pet owners. The winner for The PetBook Photo Contest 2015 was recently announced.
aaa pet photo contest
View the full photo gallery of the best traveler pet photos here. AAA has also produced a (printed) book Traveling with Your Pet that includes information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, other pet friendly places, and emergency addresses across North America.

If you believe you have snapped the travel pet photo of the year, you may submit the image to the contest that is open from May 1st until November 30th 2016. Enter the contest here.

Richly illustrated book 8 Arctic Seasons shows how to experience Lapland and its unique delicacies

2016-04-14

Over the cycle of eight subtle seasonal transitions, Lapland’s Arctic wilderness alternates between the mysterious beauty of mid-winter and the sun-flooded light of high summer. The life of local people and the region’s wildlife are dictated by these seasons that also determine the traditional food enjoyed in the region. The book 8 Arctic Seasons: Discover – Taste – Experience combines the lifestyle and tradition of Lapland in richly illustrated expression of the Arctic’s varied, contemporary gourmet delights.
8 arctic seasons
To celebrate the North Pole Menu introduced in the book, 8 Arctic Seasons was launched at the North Pole. It was probably the world’s first book announcement ever in the North Pole. The event was organized by the book’s producer Luxury Action.

book cover image: eight arctic seasons
8 Arctic Seasons is available at Amazon, Google Play, and at other online bookstores. Read more about the book and download your own copy here.

Handy tool for assessing costs for your next city break in European cities

2016-04-06

Traveling in Europe is rewarding because of the cultural heritage, long history, different cultures in different countries, and countless must-see sights. As everyone who has visited Europe knows, the differences between countries tend to be big not only culturally, but also concerning living and traveling costs.

If you want to plan your trip to Europe so that you have a pretty good idea what a visit in a major city will cost you, here is a useful online tool for assessing real travel costs. UK company Post Office has asked for price data from several countries’ tourist offices and created a tool that can be accessed here.

You can compare two cities side by side and choose which travel related costs are taken into account in the total sum. The prices are in British Pounds.

According to the tool, the cheapest European cities in 2016 for tourists are:

1. Warsaw, Poland.
2. Vilnius, Lithuania.
3. Budapest, Hungary.

The priciest are:

1. Stockholm, Sweden.
2. Reykjavik, Iceland.
3. Oslo, Norway.

Try out the city break cost calculation tool for yourself here.

City Cost Barometer 2016 infograph created by Post Office.
post office, city costs barometer 2016

Inspiring travel destinations of a professional stuntman

2016-03-20

Stuntmen are admired by all movie lovers, but they rarely step into the spotlight and talk about their work. Tung Bui is a Finnish stunt actor and coordinator who has performed in many movies, commercials and in one multimedia book. He is specialized in martial arts and loves to travel. Now, he talks about his film work and travels.
Tung Bui, stuntman
You are the lead character in the video segments produced for the book Stunts, Scenes and Safety. What other film work have you done lately?
I was the fight coordinator in a short film “Maartin”, and in a feature film “Look of a Killer” (original title “Tappajan Näköinen Mies”) starring Samuli Edelman. The films were directed by Joel Rahkonen, and Lauri Nurkse, respectively. Maartin was broadcast on nationwide television network, and the feature film premiered at cinemas.

Which cities have inspired you in your work as a stunt professional?
1. Taipei, Taiwan
2. Hong Kong, China
3. Paris, France
4. Tromsø, Norway
5. Lisbon, Portugal

Taipei, Taiwan

a temple in Taipei, Taiwan
What stuntwork related experiences you have had in the Taipei?
I trained in Taipei with a local Tai Chi master. His skills were superb, but even more impressive was his humility. When he wasn’t coaching us, he looked like any other near 70-year old Taiwanese man. Despite his age, he was fast and strong. Only a person with a long background in Oriental martial arts could sense the master’s skill level where most people could only see an old gentleman.

His humility reminded me of my work: as stuntmen our main purpose is to make the person who we stunt look as good as possible. We have succeeded when the audience believes the actor did his/her own stunts. We put tremendous amount of time, energy and effort to hone our physical and mental skills to perfection, but audience only sees a few seconds in a movie scene.

Which movies do you think of when you visit Taipei?
Ang Lee is a Taiwanese film director, hence his films come to my mind. Internationally he is known for the films “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Brokeback Mountain”, and “Life of Pi”, just to mention a few.

What is your favorite food in Taipei?
A street food called Da Ji Pai has become my definite favorite. It’s a piece of fried chicken breast that is cut in layers to make it giant size steak. Then they marinade and fry it and add a mix of spices. It is eaten with hands like a hamburger. Here is a video that shows how it is prepared.

What is your favorite place in Taipei?
Yangmingshan National Park became important to me because it was one of the few places I could be close to nature, and enjoy its peacefulness. Taipei metropolitan area has over 7 million inhabitants. At the end of 2014, the population density was 9,942 people per square kilometer, compared to my home town Helsinki where it is 2,927.

What would you recommend travelers to do in Taipei?
Taiwanese uphold the traditional Chinese culture. Descendants of various dynasties live there, so the cultural heritage is very rich. Visit the National Palace Museum to see the Chinese treasures. It’s free to visit the temples in Taiwan. Locals use their services frequently, often they ask guidance from the gods, saints and their ancestors. Taipei 101 building is an engineering miracle that portrays the Taiwanese mentality for superior quality and continuous development. It is one of the highest buildings in the world, yet it is built on an island that is hit by frequent earthquakes and typhoons. Night markets are open every evening, and the busiest time is after 11pm. Tourists might buy souvenirs and other things at night markets, but locals mainly spend their money on street food.

Hong Kong, China

hong kong back alley
What stuntwork related experiences you have in Hong Kong?
I visited the Bruce Lee’s statue. There’s also a little known Bruce Lee memorial place on top of a car park building. Hong Kong cinema is familiar to all stunt people because of the martial arts legends, such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen.
Which movies you think of when you visit Hong Kong?
Jackie Chan’s films are mainly produced in Hong Kong , thus his films such as Police Story, and Drunken Master come to my mind. The language in Hong Kong is Cantonese, whereas the rest of the China speaks Mandarin. Jackie Chan’s Mandarin isn’t that fluent, hence if he acts in a film that is in Mandarin, he may have someone else to speak his lines.

What is your favorite food in the city?
Hong Kong style made steamed dumplings served in bamboo boxes.

What is your favorite place in Hong Kong?
During my last visit, there was one restaurant with one Michelin star. It was difficult to get a table there for dinner, and the prices were steep. Fortunately, during the daytime they served lunch: no need to make a table reservation, and the food was the same, but priced reasonably. It was the only restaurant that I visited twice during my journey.

What would you recommend travelers to do in the city?
Eat the local Cantonese dishes. Go to the cinema to see Chinese-Hong Kong films. Most of them are not shown in the Western cinemas.
Paris, France, eiffel tower

Paris, France

What stuntwork related experiences you have in Paris?
I trained parkour with a local friend of mine. It was actually a sightseeing tour of the city that ended at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Which movies you think of when you visit the city?
Luc Besson’s Taxi is an awesome showcase of different stunts, while at the same time is a very entertaining action film. Banlieu 13 films are also great starring a French stuntman Cyril Raffaelli, and David Belle, one of the founding fathers of parkour.

What is your favorite food in Paris?
Fresh croissants in the morning at a café with a view to the street.

What is your favorite place in the city?
Walking alongside the river Seine.

What would you recommend travelers to do in Paris?
I bet everyone has their own opinions about Paris, and what they love about it. I enjoy a foreign city the best if I have a local friend who can accompany me. Thus, I recommend travelers to befriend a French person, especially one who has cultivated his or her cultural awareness. French have deep insight into their own culture, and at the same time they are very interested in learning about other cultures. It’s a win-win cultural exchange.

Tromsø, Norway

tromsö, cafes at the town center
What stuntwork related experiences you have in Tromsö?
I’ve been there twice attending a stunt workshop for wire stunts. Both times we had the privilege to follow Mr. Joe Perez’s instructions. He is an exceptional rigger (ie. the guy who makes all the engineering and technical things possible).

Which movies you think of when you visit the city?
During my last visit I found out that a Finnish film “Rare Exports Inc.”, directed by Jalmari Helander, was shot in the same Film Camp in Tromsø.

What is your favorite food in Tromsö?
Anything with Norwegian salmon. Even though Norwegian salmon is exported overseas, eating salmon in Norway makes it slightly more delicious.

What is your favorite place in the city?
The surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to climb on the summit of any mountain yet. But I am 99% certain that once I do it, the mountains are my favorite place.

What would you recommend travelers to do in Tromsö?
See a show of the local circus school, Kulta.

Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon, portugal by celine colin

Photo by Celine Colin.


What stuntwork related experiences you have in Lisbon?
I visited my friend who lives in Lisbon and happens to be a stuntman as well. Unfortunately, prior to my trip to Lisbon I had injured my both legs at a commercial shoot. My colleague was looking forward to practicing with me, but as he was jumping all I could do was to sit in a shade and watch him have fun.

Which movies you think of when you visit the city?
A Portuguese film titled “Filme da Treta”. My friend worked as the stunt-coordinator for that film. It is in Portuguese without English subtitles, so I am still not sure what the film’s message was.

What is your favorite food in Lisbon?
Portuguese dessert Crème Caramel.

What is your favorite place in the city?
Alfama district where houses were built quite close to one another, and the streets don’t follow a straight path. On a sunny, super hot summer day it was still possible to wander around the streets because they are in shade. It is a very picturesque district filled with bars and pubs.

What would you recommend travelers to do in Lisbon?
If you’re on a tight schedule, at least visit the Belèm district. There you have the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the other side is filled with cultural monuments.

Here you can find Tung Bui’s home page. He was recently featured at Finland’s largest nationwide newspaper.

More information about the stunt book where Tung Bui has the lead role. The author of the book is H-P Virkki.

Copenhagen ranked the best city by architecture, design and lifestyle magazine Wallpaper

2016-03-01

Architecture, design, and lifestyle magazine Wallpaper has announced its annual Design Awards for people, places and things that rocked the world in 2015. The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, continues its winning streak; it was selected as the best city by Wallpaper.
city view from runde taarn, copenhagen
The Wallpaper praises Copenhagen:

The Danish capital is growing increasingly extrovert and adventurous. In Vesterbro, the meatpacking district of Kødbyen is now an art hub; in Nørrebro, gourmet destinations share the same streets as alehouses; and in Christianshavn, Papirøen is a fertile enclave of creativity. Cradling one of Europe’s most distinguished design traditions has been a mixed blessing. The influence of the midcentury greats had previously eclipsed contemporary talent. But the latest wave of creatives, architects and chefs has fuelled a renaissance, and New Nordic is the cuisine and design movement of the moment.

We tend to look at Copenhagen from a traveler’s perspective, and we see different things, places and trends as the Wallpaper. We see a big city that is being developed with people who are moving by foot or by bicycle in mind. A city that wants to be (and feels also) liberal and safe both for residents and visitors. A city that is bustling with life and business without being hectic.

The last time we visited Copenhagen it was autumn, and the weather was grey. It was almost constant drizzle during those three days that we stayed in the city center. No one cared about the weather, and we didn’t care. Street-side cafes and restaurants were full of people. Some of the outdoors places had heaters to keep customers warm. People really enjoy every moment in Copenhagen. It is not about the weather, it is about what you make of it.

In order to get into Danish mood, view our Copenhagen travel photo gallery.

nyhavn, copenhagen

Nyhavn.


restaurant, danske smorrebrod

Restaurant for Danish Sandwiches.


royal library, copenhagen

Royal LIbrary.


charlottenborg passage, copenhagen

A passage in Charlottenborg.


pedestrian area stroget, copenhagen

Pedestrian area Stroget.