What is the Best Detox Retreat in Thailand?

Thailand — Adventure to Phuket Island for Weight Loss and Detox:

Phuket Island is also known as Phuket Province, it is an island that is mountainous and covered in rainforests; located near the Andaman Sea.

Known for containing some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, especially the ones found along the coast of the clear waters near the western shore.

The island is home to all kinds of resorts, restaurants and spas that are high-end and top-quality; with all kinds of services, entertainment, and relaxation: There are many retreats and resorts for losing weight and detoxing in Phuket.

From research and talking to locals, our correspondent quickly discovered one of the best weight loss and detox retreats in Thailand, as can be seen by the reviews here, known as PhuketFit.

detox Thailand

The main town in this island is called, Patong and the inhabitants of this island say that there is a very casual vibe you can feel and see everywhere. Some aspects that help to create a vibe like are all thanks to the discos, the bars and the nightclubs that there are.

With that being said Phuket Island is a popular destination for the sole purpose of losing weight and or going through the process of a detox; such a wonderful and relaxing destination to go to when having to go through something so serious and so stressful.

The methods used here help you to lose weight in a safe manner yet it can be done in a very fast amount of time and the results will last a long time, so you can be happy with your results and that know all of your hard work and efforts are sustainable and strong and worth it all.

One way, offered by PhuketFit, is Muay Thai–that’s a Thai martial art that conveniently doubles as a great and adventurous way to get fit too, as the below shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRQ4dt77SQ4

There are plenty of weight loss and detox programs and retreats within Thailand but the most popular one and the best one seems to be PhuketFit on Phuket Island.

Did you know that more than one third of the population in the world today is considered to be obese, don’t worry because it is really not all of your fault; self-control, being active and healthy eating help but are not the entire solution to a problem such as being overweight.

Participating in a retreat program such as this means that you will closely be working with their team of fitness and health professionals from all over the world; they will guide you through the whole process step by step, they will cleanse your mind, body and soul, they will train you with how you think, how you eat and how you live your life.

On a detox retreat, you will also enjoy food with a menu that is designed to help you lose weight and boost your immune system in your body; think of a ton of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables as well as meats that are lean for your protein. Food items such as these are where you get your minerals, vitamins and nutrients that are needed in order for the body to work properly on a daily basis.

Lastly they will also educate you in all that you need to know about starting this program, going through and life after it; changing your life and becoming a healthier and better you is simple, you just need a guideline to follow, determination, patience and someone to enforce you to follow it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btYsz1vVAEs&index=3&list=PLexqWEx5S9UA6aFJNeBiv2qSeiANzS-0Q

The approach of PhuketFit is vastly different than any other and this is a good thing, for starters they clearly acknowledge that there is no one size fits all and that when it comes to losing weight everyone is different.

Each person who participates in this program will get a regime designed specifically for them. This is done so he most weight can be lost in a healthy and safe approach. This cleanse only takes a total of five days to go through and their professionals are there for whenever you need them; they don’t just help you but they also support you.

From Muay Thai to Zumba, your specialized retreat program doesn’t have to be boring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBSgIRXmUMA

Lastly, you will learn how to take everything and apply it to your life after the program so you can continue to be healthy.

You will learn how to exercise properly as well as how to cook meals that are healthy. You will even be given several private consultations and be trained in physical education and even given a decent education in the field of nutrition.

Eliminate the bad toxins in your body and get rid of the stress you have at the same time with their help.

So you don’t get lost trying to find PhuketFit, we’ve included a map below. Getting fit can be just the thing you need to keep living your own heroic adventure…

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Traveling to Thailand don’t miss these other post to help you plan your adventure:

  1. Phi Phi Island Excursion by Ferry Boat
  2. Chiang Mai the Perfect Place for a Long Holiday

Drippy Americans in an Espresso World

Italians may have invented coffee and the French may have perfected it, but the Americans have streamlined the brewing process with the automatic drip machine.

The ingenious process of heating the water, pouring it over the coffee grounds and filtering it to create a delicious cup of coffee can be attributed to the US.

With an easy brewing process, it’s no wonder that the US leads the world in coffee importation and consumption. The US also leads the world in drip coffee maker sales.

How Drip Coffee Makers Work

There are three basic principals at work with all brewing methods – heat, time and grind.

With a drip coffee maker, the heat and grind do most of the work, saving on time.

All home drip coffee makers have a water reservoir somewhere, usually opening on the top of the maker. Using the ceramic or glass coffee pot as a measuring cup (see header image above), you fill the pot with water equal to the amount of coffee you would like. Pour the cold (and filtered, if you are a purist) water from the pot into the reservoir.

Next, you look for the filter basket and place a filter in it. There are two basic filter shapes, a cone and a bowl. Within each shape there are sizes and material variances as well.

Once the basket and filter are loaded, add fresh coffee grounds.

In a perfect world, you will use beans roasted within the last 48 hours and grind them just before placing into the filter. If you don’t live in a perfect world, buy just enough fresh roasted beans to last you until your next trip to the store and grind enough for one pot just before you begin brewing.

You can usually buy a blade grinder for $20 or so from discount and department stores. The least preferred grounds are those that are sold in gallon tubs, but even these will make a cup of coffee far superior to instant granules.

Place the filter and basket into the coffee maker and replace the carafe or pot under the drip hole.

Finally, press the ON or BREW button. This begins the internal machinery to begin heating the water by running it over hot, electric coils. The nearly boiling water is then sucked up through tubes and over the grounds held in place by the filter and basket.

Gravity pulls the water through the grounds and down into the coffee pot. Many coffee makers include a heating element under the carafe to keep the coffee warm. Be careful, though, this element can cause the coffee to get too hot and burn – a very unsavory cup indeed.

How to drip coffee maker travel

Drip Coffee Maker Options

Walk down the coffee maker aisle of any discount or department store in the United States of America and you’ll find a ton of different options to choose from with price tags to match. The most expensive isn’t necessarily the best and the cheapest isn’t necessarily the worse one for you. It all depends on how often and how much you will use your coffee maker.

You can usually find a dumbed-down coffee maker that does nothing more than brew java for about USD$20. Add a clock and heating plate, you can find a few for less than USD$30. Throw a timer, heating plate shut-off or an insulated carafe and you’ll find the price tags reach USD$50 or more.

There are some coffee makers that do far more than prepare a cup of coffee for you first thing in the morning. Some have integrated espresso makers, bean grinders and milk heating reservoirs for those of you that like that sort of thing.

Before shelling out a bunch of money on a drip coffee maker, look for product reviews online to find out the ups and downs other users have reported.

You can do this by using a search engine to look for “MANUFACTURER MODEL user reviews”, replacing the words in capitals with the appropriate maker and model.

But, even better, because we are a travel site, you may be better off getting a portable coffee maker and leaving the drip-style coffee for when you are staying in decent hotels–most rooms have them available for free.

More Coffee Adventures

Don’t be a Chicken, Try the Turkish Method of Brewing Coffee

Turkey (the country, not the Thanksgiving bird) isn’t necessarily known for their delicacies to the general population.

For connoisseurs, however, Turkey is known as one of the original coffee brewing countries. The people of Turkey have so much know-how, in fact, that they have their own method and serving style.

Turkish coffee is different than all other kinds (save a few primitive recipes for Cowboy Coffee) because there is no filter involved. Instead of filtering the grounds, Turkish coffee is ground to an almost-powder consistency and allowed to settle after brewing.

Like an espresso a Turkish coffee will be very strong and full of flavor. It is typically served with sugar and the spice cardamom, something the espresso-drinking French simply abhor.

How to Make Turkish Coffee

Start with super fine coffee grounds, even finer than espresso. The grounds should almost be a powder consistency. Use flavored beans if you like, or try a purist cup.

Next, you need an ibrik or another small metallic pot, preferably one with a narrowing at the top of the pot.

Turkish Coffee Pot

This should have a long handle and not be too wide (it’s better to have a tall, skinny pot than a short, fat one.)

You will also need a heat source (stove), some quality water, sugar that dissolves easily and the optional spices like cardamom, anise or cinnamon.

Finally, you’ll need a coffee cup.

Sprinkle between two and six teaspoons of sugar into the coffee cup. Alternatively, you could add a helping of sugar-free sweetener of your choice.

Add very finely ground cardamom, anise or cinnamon to the cup as well.

Add a little water and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add water to your pan or up to where the ibrik’s neck begins, careful not to fill into the neck.

Grind one heaping teaspoon of coffee grounds for each ounce of water (10 ounces of water would require five teaspoons of grounds.)

Place the grounds ON TOP of the water, do not stir them, even a little.

Turn the heat on your stove to medium-low and place the ibrik onto the burner. Stay with the coffee, as the magic happens very quickly.

It will begin to foam and the foam will start to crawl up the neck of the pot or ibrik. Just before it reaches the top of the neck, remove from heat.

Stir the coffee now then bring back to the heat source to foam again. Do this once again, for a total of three foams. The final foam should not be stirred but rather spooned into cups or dumped down the drain if you don’t care for it.

Let the coffee settle for up to a minute and then pour your Turkish coffee into cups.

Recipe for Turkish Coffee

Conclusion

As you can see, the process of making Turkish coffee differs greatly from the standard American drip or French espresso. It should come as no surprise that the resulting cup of liquid gold is unlike either of those. Rather, it is a savory-sweet cup of rich java.

Turkish coffee is a great choice if you want to experiment or enjoy a very strong cup of Joe with the chance of some floaties.

Look at second hand stores for an ibrik before shelling out the thirty or so dollars most sell for in Turkish and Russian specialty stores in large cities and online.

As you sip your Turkish coffee, remember this old saying about the beverage:

“Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death, and as sweet as love.”

Most purists would not even consider adding milk or cream to Turkish coffee, but it’s your cup, so do as you wish.

Take More Coffee Adventures

Buddhism and the Mysticism of Emptiness

Buddhism is historically, doctrinally, and philosophically diverse.

Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, and other forms of Buddhism all have different ideas on life, death, the cosmos, and even the nature of the Buddha.

Monks in these traditions live by different monastic codes, practices, rules, and philosophies.

So what makes all of these traditions Buddhist?

One could perhaps point to many different examples, but the strongest element tying all of Buddhism together is its deep mysticism of emptiness.

Buddhism is an intensely mystical religion. It is based on the mystical experience and revelation of one man, the Buddha.

This experience was one in which he attained nirvana, an indescribable and fundamentally empty state. Nirvana is empty because it is unconditioned and free of all distinctions.

In nirvana, the self is released of all desires and thoughts. All Buddhist mysticism, no matter how diverse, stems from this one initial mystical impulse, from the quest to emulate the Buddha and find emptiness.

Theravada

Theravada continued on this initial quest for nirvana, presenting it as the ultimate goal for Buddhist monks.

Monks strive to attain the supreme enlightenment so that they may finally bring an end to the conditioned existence of desire and suffering.

Once they have reached this stage they may be called “arhats,” meaning that they have become “perfected ones.” One can attain nirvana through meditation and “right concentration.”

In other words, a monk must cultivate the correct mystical consciousness in order to realize a perfect state of emptiness.

Monks Strive for an End to suffering

Mahayana

Mahayana Buddhism changed the ultimate goal from nirvana to attainment of Buddhahood itself.

Important Mahayana literature such as the Perfection of Wisdom texts focuses on the Suchness of the Buddha, and describes it as the ultimate reality, the inexhaustible essence within each and every single one of us.

Most importantly, this Suchness is also “empty.”

Emptiness is neither existent nor non-existent. It is nothing and everything at the same time. It is paradoxically only attainable by Buddhas, and yet each and every single being is at every single moment already fundamentally empty.

Japanese Zen Buddhism

Japanese Zen Buddhism takes this one step further by arguing that the desire for enlightenment, whether as nirvana or Buddhahood, must ultimately be abandoned as well.

The pursuit of emptiness means that one must be willing to let go of absolutely everything. Depending on or following the words of the Buddha will not lead one to true emptiness.

Zen does away with all logic and reason and instead attempts to provoke in the mind a sudden moment of illumination through the use of paradoxical sayings.

Buddism Travel

Different Buddhist would disagree on where and what emptiness actually is.

Is it nirvana, Buddhahood, or can it be found only by letting go of these sorts of concepts?

The answers to these questions vary, but in whatever way it is conceived it is emptiness that drives Buddhist mysticism.

More Mystical Travel 

Cappuccino Coffee: A Rich & Colorful History

Cappuccino coffee is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world.

It’s made from a freshly prepared espresso that has its flavor enhanced with hot milk and steamed milk foam. Then, more often than not, cappuccino is topped off with a sprinkling of chocolate or cinnamon.

Yet, the drink so many people know and love has not always been served the way it is today and the true origin of cappuccino coffee remains unknown.

double sided coffee glass with cappuccino and spoon

A History Shrouded in Mystery

Cappuccino coffee originated in Italy and is believed to be named after the “cappucio” hoods worn by Franciscan monks.

Cappuccino translates as “little hood” and the color of the monks’ hoods bears a striking resemblance to the shade of brown that results from the mixing of coffee and milk in a cup of cappuccino.

Although there can be little doubt about the reason cappuccino coffee received its name it is unclear how long ago the drink was invented.

One popular story states the drink is the invention a Capuchin Monk called Marco d’ Avaiano and that he produced the world’s first ever cappuccino coffee in 1683, after the Battle of Vienna. It’s a great story, but there is no historical evidence to back it up.

Capuchin Monk & Cappuccino

Cappuccino From a Machine

Cappuccino coffee drinking grew in popularity in 1901.

Up until then coffee was made in small batches.

This changed when a young man from Milan, called Luigi Bezzera, decided the coffee making process was too slow and invented the world’s first espresso coffee machine. Bezzera’s machine made it easy to make a cup of strong, black espresso in around 30 seconds and the fact that an espresso could be produced so quickly made it easier to produce other coffee drinks, including cappuccino.

Bezzera’s creation may have made it easier to make a cappuccino, but early cappuccinos lacked the thick texture that modern-day coffee drinkers know and love.

The milky foam was a later addition that came about when enterprising coffee machine manufacturers decided to add steam wands to their machines.

After the foam was introduced to the drink adding sprinkles of cinnamon or chocolate was an easy next step.

la marzocco coffee machine

Cappuccino Coffee is Introduced to America

By the 1950s, Cappuccino was a firm favourite with coffee drinkers all over Europe.

The drink did not become popular in America until the early 1980s.

Drinking coffee was already an important part of American culture, but many Americans preferred to take their coffee black and a visit to a coffee shop was often more about the food than the drink that accompanied it.

Things changed when a few entrepreneurs noticed how things were done in Europe, where coffee drinking was as much about the experience as the beverage. This was very different to America and the entrepreneurs realized coffee had a potential that was yet to be taken advantage of in America.

However, when it came to coffee drinking, the cultural differences between America and Europe were significant. It was the norm for American’s to pop into a coffee shop, grab a quick coffee and then go, only staying longer if they wanted something to eat.

The entrepreneurs needed a way to encourage customers to stay longer and order more drinks. They achieved this by offering a wider variety of options including lattes, caffè cremas and, cappuccinos.

One only has to look at the present popularity of Starbucks to see how successful the move turned out to be.

American Coffee Culture

Cappuccino: A Coffee Conclusion

These days anyone who wishes to do so can pop down to the local supermarket and buy a sachet of cappuccino coffee to prepare at home and the hardest part of a coffee shop visit may be choosing to opt for a cappuccino or taking one of the many other coffee options that are on offer.

Enjoying a cappuccino has become so easy to do it has become equally easy to take the drink for granted. That is a pity because the beverage has a long and interesting history.

The modern-day cappuccino is not just the result of a monk’s experimentation with coffee beans, water, and milk; or a Milanese man’s desire to speed up the coffee making process.

Cappuccino is a drink that has evolved and improved over the years. In fact, the history of cappuccino is as rich and colorful as the drink itself.

More Coffee Adventures

Chill Out with Iced Coffee from Around the World

No matter the season, no matter the reason, iced coffees always hit the spot.

Americans aren’t the only ones enjoying iced coffee beverages, around the world iced coffees and espresso drinks are popular. There’s more to an iced coffee then, well, ice and coffee.

In the northwest, where American fascination with coffee was born, an iced coffee includes very little flavoring or sweeteners. Seattleites will pour a shot of hot espresso over a cup of ice and add a bit of coffee to fill it to the top.

In California, iced coffee drinks are often created by filling a cup with ice, adding milk about half way up the cup then topping off with strong coffee. A squeeze or two of caramel and whipped cream topping finishes it off.

Ice Coffee California Style

Coffee lovers on the east coast dig coffee martinis. Cold brewed coffee is mixed with vodka and a splash of coffee liquor, shaken in a martini shaker and served in an iced martini glass.

Italians have been known to serve iced coffee drinks on hot days by placing a cup filled with ice under the espresso maker nozzle. They claim espresso begins to turn bitter if cooled slowly.

In France, they like their iced coffee sweet and syrupy. After brewing a strong cup of Joe, they add sugar cubes and spices before stirring and adding ice.

Iced Coffee 101

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you add something hot, like coffee, to something cold, like ice, they both end up diluting and becoming lukewarm. There are a couple ways to counter this rule of science.

Making cold brewed coffee is one way to combat the ice melting issue.

Don’t confuse the cold brewed coffee described below for cold, brewed coffee – the leftovers from this morning’s pot.

Ice Coffee and Straws

When made properly, cold brewed coffee serves as a refrigerated coffee concentrate that can make hot beverages as well as cold.

  1. Start with a pound of freshly roasted, high quality, coarsely ground coffee beans.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of a one gallon pitcher.
  3. Fill the pitcher with ten cups of filtered water.
  4. Leave at room temperature for twelve to fifteen hours.
  5. Place folded cheesecloth or other fine mesh filter over another pitcher that is one half to a full gallon in volume. Secure cheesecloth with a rubber band around the lip of the pitcher. It doesn’t have to be tight, just secure.
  6. Pour the cold brewed coffee and sludge over the filter, filling the bottom pitcher with a filtered concentrate.
  7. Squeeze the remainder of the essence from the beans by wadding the cheesecloth or filter around the beans and compressing tightly over the pitcher.

Cold Brew Recipe

You can use cold brewed coffee to make a plethora of iced coffee drink favorites.

Fill a glass one quarter full of milk. Stir in two tablespoons of chocolate beverage syrup or Ovaltine. Fill with ice. Pour concentrated cold brewed coffee to the top of the glass. Substitute strawberry beverage syrup or protein shake powder to make a tasty iced coffee treat.

Another way to combat the melting issue is to use the low temperature of your other ingredients to temper the coffee or espresso, making the melt far less obvious. When you will be using milk in your iced coffee drink, you can mix the shot, milk and anything other than the ice before adding your ice cubes.

With a little forethought, you could also place your iced coffee drink glass in your freezer until you’re ready for it. Pour the hot coffee or espresso shot into the frozen glass. The liquid from the coffee or espresso will absorb the cold temperatures, making for a cool cup of coffee in just a minute.

Keep cool. Keep caffeinated. Travel far.

More Coffee Adventures Await

The Absolute Best Ways to Make Killer Coffee on the Go

Let’s talk about coffee. The nectar of the gods. The wake up juice that keeps you going, morning, noon, and night. One of the few stimulants that is legal/doesn’t destroy/rarely makes you hallucinate.

Us coffee drinkers have been accused of having an “addiction”, but they’ve got it all wrong: we have a blessed, symbiotic relationship.

We get the crackling energy and the coffee gets the pleasure of tobogganing through our digestive system. It’s been said that you can have too much of a good thing, but those haters have clearly never felt the sweet bliss of hot coffee in the morning. Or at lunch time. Or in the afternoon. Or really, any time.

Of course, there is one challenge…

cup of coffee

How do you keep yourself constantly supplied with good coffee?

It’s a well known fact that coffee quality tends to dip when you travel. You find yourself gagging down hotel coffee, which often tastes like melted linoleum, except with less flavor.

If things really get bad, you may be forced to drink gas station coffee, which is the equivalent of scooping sludge out of a septic tank.

It’s not an option to go without coffee, any more than it’s an option to go without food or water. You LOVE coffee, and the thought of going a single day without is unfathomable.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go into coffee rehab in order to survive when you travel.

There are a number of portable solutions that will allow you to drink astoundingly good coffee wherever you go. You won’t have to settle for McDonald’s sock water or Maxwell “Sweet mother, what is this?” House. You can have your coffee, and drink it too.

In this post, I’m going to break down the best portable coffee makers. No, I’m not going to suggest you lug around a drip coffee maker. You’re going to get the best of the best. And you won’t have to deplete your savings account either.

Let’s get started.

What You May Need For That Perfect Cup 

Before we dive into the best portable coffee makers, we need to talk about what you may need to make the most glorious, soul-shaking cup of coffee.

  • First, you’ll need great coffee. That goes without being said. If you’re buying coffee that comes in giant cans, please exit this article and don’t let the browser hit you on the way out.
  • Second, you’ll need a way to grind the coffee. If you’re using coffee pods, this won’t be a problem. However, some of the devices below require you to grind your coffee.
  • Third, you need a way to heat water. You’re going to need to heat your water if you’re going to make a decent cup of water that doesn’t taste like goat urine. There are lots of different options, like a portable kettle, a campstove, your car radiator, etc. Some of the best portable coffee machines (se below options) will boil the water for you.

#1 – The NowPresso Portable, Lithium Powered Espresso Machine

If you are an espresso fiend, the NowPresso is your go to>>>

This baby is the world’s first lithium powered portable espresso machine, and it’s basically like having a personal Italian barista named Roberto.

Using Nespresso Cups, and NowPresso’s own reusable capsules–which allow you to prepare your own coffee mixtures–you can literally create silky smooth, flavorful espresso with the touch of a button.

It has an air vent lid to allow steam to escape, a water cavity for simple cleaning and measuring the water, a vacuum sealed capsule cap, ensuring the perfect pour, and a heat resistant silicon cup. It will even boil the water for you.

The NowPresso is every coffee drinker’s fantasy:

portable coffee machine

It also comes with a slick travel bag, allowing you to transport the NowPresso without losing things or dumping them on the ground.

Whether you’re a traveler, camper, hobo, or nomadic camel herder, this is a fantastic solution to get a quick fix where you have control over the quality of your coffee.

To be one of the first coffee drinker to own one of these curious coffee contraptions, you better act fast because the NowPresso by XSPROFIX reached it’s Kickstarter goal of AU$75,00 AND it’s only available on Kickstarter.com until July 5th, 2017.

Update July 6th, 2017: NowPresso remains available for order on Indiegogo’s InDemand store:

Get the NowPresso on Indiegogo here >>>

#2 – French Press Travel Mug

body french press mug

If you like your coffee like your soul (dark, slightly gritty, acidic), the French Press method is perfect.

You grind your coffee to a coarse texture, then let it soak in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. This method produces a full-flavored, somewhat smoky flavor (like kissing your girlfriend who smokes two packs a day).

There are plenty of travel mug options available, including the Bodum French Press Mug as well as one from Starbucks.

One downside of the French Press method is that there’s usually a bit of grit/coffee sludge in your coffee since the plunger doesn’t usually filter out all the coffee grounds. It’s usually not a big deal though, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes crunching on coffee grounds in their spare time.

You could also pretend you’re a cowboy, minus the horse, leather chaps, overt masculinity, and constant Marlboro cigarette. Your call.

#3 – The Aeropress

Aeropress Plunger

Fun fact of the day that you can use to impress/turn off dates: the Aeropress was invented by the same guy who created the Aerobie.

When you want to further impress/turn off, you can point that Aeropress and Aerobie begin with the same four letters, which is a clue to their creator.

You’d think that a frisbee inventor wouldn’t know much about coffee making (a common stereotype), but you’d be wrong. The Aerobie makes a fantastic cup of coffee that’s smoother than a politician avoiding questions about financial impropriety.

The Aeropress is placed on a mug and finely ground coffee is placed in the press on a filter. Hot water is poured on the coffee and you immediately begin depressing the plunger. A vacuum seal is created and the coffee is forced down through the filter, resulting in a flavorful, smooth cup of coffee that makes you smack your lips in a slightly creepy way reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter.

It works so effectively because the coffee and water aren’t in contact that long – usually 20 seconds or so – which results in very little acidity. It’s a pretty amazing feat of engineering actually.

It only has a few parts, which makes it perfect for traveling. The only downside is that you’ll need to have a way to heat your water. Some options include:

  • Burning your hotel room sheets
  • Using a portable stove
  • Using a burn barrel

#4 – Pour Over Coffee Dripper

Pour Over Coffee

Osaka Stainless Pour Over Coffee Filter

The pour over method of coffee making is a great, all around option.

It’s like a middle ground between all other other methods. It gives you a well rounded flavor that’s not overly smooth like the Aeropress but also not brutally acidic like the French Press. You grind the coffee finer than the French Press but coarser than Aeropress.

If this were (trigger warning) high-school, the pour over would be the guy who everyone kinda liked but who didn’t get the hot girls. The guy voted most likely to work as a mid-level manager at IBM. Right down the middle. Granted, this would be a private school, since the pour over still makes great coffee. It’s still an elite snob.

The cone is placed on the coffee cup, the filter goes in the cone, the grounds go in the filter, and the water seals the deal.

If you’re hardcore, you can use the “bloom” method, where you initially just wet the grounds enough to let the carbon dioxide escape and the flavors expand.

All you need is the cone, the filters, and coffee, all of which can be easily transported in an a bag. It’s easy to clean, takes up minimal space, and delivers a great cup of coffee.

#5 – The Impress Coffee Brewer

Hot Coffee Anywhere Cordless

It’s a well-known saying that the you can judge a man by the coffee he drinks.

Actually, no one says that, but it should be a saying. Never trust a guy who drinks crappy coffee.

Regardless, the Impress Coffee Brewer allows you to impress (see what I did there?) people with your taste in coffee.

It’s essentially like a French Press, except it has a finer mesh filter, meaning you won’t find yourself accidentally munching on coffee grounds. It only has three parts and doubles as a travel mug, so it’s insanely portable as well.

It should be noted that the lid IS NOT LEAKPROOF! In other words, if this thing is full of coffee/liquor, don’t throw it into your bag next to your laptop.

Nevertheless, this is a good solution that lies somewhere between the Aeropress and the French Press travel mug.

#6 – Lichti Portable Espresso Maker

wacaco minipresso look alike

If you’re an avid camper or hiker who also has a deep passion for espresso, this could have some potential.

The Lichti Portable Espresso Maker is battery free, meaning that the only way to create that espresso shot you’re craving is to use the hand pump that’s built in. Think of like pumping water from a well, except the water gives you immortality and boundless energy.  

The pump puts the appropriate amount of pressure on the water and espresso, resulting in a well-crafted espresso shot to soothe your jangling nerves.

The downside here is that you’ll need to grind your own coffee beforehand. If you find yourself in a situation without a grinder, you’re only option will be to grind the beans with your teeth, which doesn’t work particularly well.

Portable Coffee Machines Options Keep You Caffeinated On The Go

Coffee is life and life is coffee.

As the great Dalai Lama said, “The only way to survive in the crazy-ass world is to drink a ton of coffee.” Well, he might not have said that, but it sounds like something he would say.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go without coffee when you’re traveling. You won’t suffer the crippling darkness that befalls you when you go without your coffee. Rather, every step will be sunshine and energy. You will go about your day with a bounce in your step and a vibrating caffeine buzz.

So get to it. Get your coffee on. After all, it’s been about 5 minutes since you had your last cup.

More For Your Coffee Adventures

5 Tempting Treats Every Coffee Lover Needs to Discover

Is coffee the one beverage you can’t live without?

Do you consider yourself a confirmed caffeine addict with no desire to give up your drug of choice?

Being a coffee connoisseur is nothing to be ashamed of…

Attractive Female drinking coffee and looking out coffeeshop window

There are plenty of benefits available to those with a penchant for beautiful brews. If you want to up your status as coffee junkie, following are five tempting treats you need to discover:

1. Coffees Bot

Have a hankering for coffee but not sure where to go for your next caffeine fix?

Simply text Coffees Bot your current location and you’ll instantly receive a notification of the best coffee hot spots in your location.

Getting your brew on really couldn’t be any easier.

2. Behmor Connected Coffee Maker


The Behmor Connected Coffee Maker lets you control your coffee machine with your smartphone.

No, it won’t bring you a cup of coffee, but it will let you instantly start or stop your coffee maker.

Lie in bed and notify your machine to start brewing or make your favorite java brew while you’re on the way home from work.

Control both the temperature of your brew and the blend of your coffee. Who knew caffeine and home automation worked so well together?

3. Ozmo Smart Cup

Ozmo Smart Cup

 

 

Speaking of cups of coffee, the Ozmo Smart Cup will help you monitor your coffee intake throughout the day.

This Bluetooth-enabled device will keep you advised of your coffee (or water) intake so you know when to cut back on the caffeine or when it is okay to enjoy another cup of your favorite blend.

 

4. Coffeespec

Want an infographic detailing exactly how you like your coffee.

Make your own custom coffee infographic with Coffeespec.

Print and frame your infographic or share an URL on social media.

Friends and coworkers won’t have any more excuses for bringing you the wrong type of coffee now.

5. NootroBox Go Cubes

No time to drink a cup of coffee?

You can now chew your coffee instead…

NootroBox offers chewable coffee.

Each chewable caffeine cube is equivalent to half a cup of coffee, so you won’t end up with the jitters when you choose to chew rather than brew.

What a great idea for long hikes or bike rides, right?

Gifts for Coffee Lovers & Coffee Gifts to Treat Yourself

These are just five fabulous finds coffee lovers can enjoy.

Being a caffeine addict has its perks, especially when it comes to discovering cool treats to show off to your friends and family.

Coffee Strainer and Cup, background reads "Coffee Time"

Even if you won’t be investing in any of the above-listed coffee treats for yourself, they also make excellent gifts for the coffee lover in your life–these are useful accessories and coffee gifts.

Coffee Lovers Hearts filled with Coffee Beans and tray with coffee and milk

Bonus: 5 Coffee Gadgets Every Coffee Lover Will Go CRAZY for [Video]

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The Basics of Mahjong [Illustrated]

To a viewer unfamiliar with mahjong, the game can present a bewildering spectacle, what with its walls of tiles, talk of prevailing winds and the constant clatter of pieces being discarded in turn by the four opposing players.

Appearances, however, can be deceptive. This quintessentially Chinese game is, in fact, very similar to a number of Western card games such as rummy. The goal in mahjong is to complete a set with your tiles similar to a poker or rummy hand.

Anyone used to card games where a winning hand consists of a straight flush or a full house can easily get their head around the basic rules of mahjong.

Mahjong: The Tiles

Tiles Used to Play Mahjong

The most distinctive pieces in a mahjong set are undoubtedly the tiles.

Based originally on paper cards, the tiles are now solid, chunky pieces with an image or character on one side (similar in a sense to a domino) and a thick backing of bamboo or, more usually these days, plastic on the other.

There are three categories of tiles:

  1. simples
  2. honors
  3. bonus

As is the case with a set of playing cards, the simples fall into suits.

How to Play Mahjong Tiles on Table

In mahjong there are three suits for simples:

  1. bamboos
  2. characters
  3. circles

Each suit consists of nine tiles numbered one through nine. There are four copies of each of these tile in a set.

The honor tiles are divided between dragons (red, green and white) and winds (east, south, west and north) while the optional bonus tiles (flowers and seasons) are used mainly for the purposes of scoring and gambling.

Mahjong: The Dice

Attractive Women Holding Chinese Dice, Text on Image says "Mahjong Dice"

A mahjong set will also include a number of dice with which players determine who is to deal and where the dealing is to begin and a marker to show who is dealing and which round is being played.

Some sets may also include counters to help with scoring and racks into which players may place their tiles so they remain hidden from the other players.

Mahjong: Standard Game

Mahjong Tiles in box

A standard game begins with the players choosing a dealer either by means of a high-scoring roll of the dice or by the blind drawing of wind tiles (featured in image below).

The dealer is assigned the position of East wind and play proceeds in a counter-clockwise motion to the other players, each of whom is assigned the wind respective to their position in regard to the dealer.

Mahjong Wind Tiles, Chinese Character meaning North, South, East, West, Middle (zhong)

When a round is finished, the position of dealer shifts to the player on the dealer’s right.

Once a dealer has been chosen and the tiles have been shuffled, each player takes thirty-six tiles and builds a wall in front of them two tiles high and eighteen tiles wide, see image below for what this looks like:

Building Wall Mahjong

The players then push their walls together forming a square, the hollow center of which will be used for discarding tiles.

The dealer then rolls three dice and, counting along the row of tiles to his or her right, begins dealing from the tile which corresponds to the sum of the dice.

One by one, over three rounds, the players take four tiles at a time and one last tile for a total of thirteen tiles each.

Game play proper begins with the dealer taking an extra tile and then discarding a tile of his or her choice.

Three People Playing Mahjong Location Mainland China

A winning hand in mahjong consists of fourteen tiles.

Except when drawing a tile during a turn, however, a player should only ever have thirteen tiles in their possession.

The aim is to have your hand divided neatly between a number of groupings.

In mahjong these groupings consist of:

  • Lungs  – three of a kind
  • Kongs  – four of a kind
  • Chows – a run of three consecutive tiles of the same same suit
  • ‘A pair’ – used to round out a winning hand

During a round, a player draws a tile from the wall.

If the tile cannot be used to complete a set the player then discards it.

When another player can use the tile to complete a set, that player is allowed to claim it and take the next turn.

Otherwise, following a discard, play continues in a counter-clockwise motion until someone has completed a hand.

In Western games a winning hand is often referred to as a “mahjong” and the player will call it as such when he or she has drawn the winning tile.

How to Win Mahjong

Mahjong: It’s Easier than You Think

It is the unusual set-up of the game which often seems so daunting to the novice player of mahjong. But once a player is used to the assigning of winds, the building of walls and the dealing of tiles, mahjong is actually quite straightforward.

Games can, of course, get rather complicated once you begin to grasp the possible strategies involved.

Systems of scoring too can render the game overly complex, but a player can always just adopt the simple option of scoring winning hands only.

how easy is mahjong?

Ultimately mahjong can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it and this is perhaps the secret of its enduring success.

For those of you taking Heroic Adventures to your local China town or further wanderings to parts of Asia, knowing how to play mahjong can be a way to make a healthy connection with locals and gain deep insight into local culture.

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Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – A Beach Paradise

In the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s Southeast coast, 320 km east of Colombo, laid-back Arugam Bay beckons tourists to the Indian Ocean.

It has a local population of only a few hundred people, one main road, and one of the best point breaks in the region.

Map of Sri Lanka and S. India showing Arugam Bay

Many find the crescent of multicolored sand and turquoise water along Arugam Bay beach to be the ideal surf spot in the country.

Tourists can glimpse expert surfers vying for prizes, and beginners attending their first lesson at one of the abundant surf schools in the area.

Arugam Bay surfing is not the only activity attracting wanderers from around the globe.

Surfing in Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

There are abundant options for swimmers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, beach partiers, yoga buffs, and seekers of ayurveda and traditional medicine.

It is an ideal spot to begin an adventure into the surrounding rural parks or to do nothing on a beach while enjoying Arugam Bay’s low-key vibe.

When to Go

The hamlet is energetic from May to October, and quiet November to April.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

For the local populace, Arugam Bay is a fishing village.

An afternoon walk along the beach will reveal myriad fishermen preparing their wooden boats for the following day’s catch.

Beach Scene sunset Arugam Beach, Sri Lanka

Some are happy to take tourists with them for the day, for those who wish to experience local life. Lagoon boat tours are also plentiful.

Cooking classes and homestay visits are available, but strolling along miles of unspoiled beach should not be missed. For those who prefer not to stroll, scooters are available for rental to get around locally.

Restaurants and reggae bars light Arugam Bay and become busy as the sun sets.

Things to do around Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a perfect base of operations for visiting Yala National Park, the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka.

Wildlife in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, which includes Ruhuna National Park and Kumana National Park, is a wildlife sanctuary important to the preservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, leopards and birds.

The site of ancient civilizations, Yala National Park also contains two pilgrimage sites.

On the way to Yala National Park, Kudumbigala monastery beckons from high atop a hill in the middle of the jungle. The 360-degree views are astounding, especially at sunrise.

The crocodiles, elephants, sloth bears, and birds seen en route is as spectacular as the monastery itself. Though you must remove your shoes at the entrance, keeping them with you to climb is a smart practice.

“…with wild elephants occasionally coming to drink at the lagoon, and langur monkeys and macaques roaming in the forests.” (New York Times)

Four kilometers north of Arugam Bay is the town of Pottuvil, site of Muhudu Maha Viharaya, a Buddhist temple nearly 2,500 years old.

Visitors can walk among the ruins and contemplate the history of King Kavan Tissa. The site takes about an hour to explore and is a must-do for tourists interested in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural past.

Nearby Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, an ancient Shiva Temple, can be seen in the same day.

Whether your interests are sun and surf, history and culture, fishing, religion or nature safari, Arugam Bay beach and its surrounds are a fun and fascinating place to relax and explore, and a welcome respite from Colombo or your hectic Southern Asia travel itinerary.

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