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Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month #26 – July 2013

July is here! We are over half way through 2013, it seems just a few weeks ago we were discussing winter breaks and Christmas getaways but here we are with summer in full flow.

June saw some of the Not Just a Holiday team heading off to Glastonbury, which fortunately had more sun than rain this year in which to enjoy an eclectic mix of music and perhaps a few too many of the local ciders! Whilst it was back to reality for most of the revellers, one of us is heading out to live in Canada as of Friday, so expect some featuring Canada’s highlights in the coming months!

This month we cover a range of destinations and articles from across the globe, from as far afield as Wolverine chasing in Mongolia, to Houseboats in San Francisco.  There is something for all budgets and tastes and, as usual, we conclude with our holiday of the month, which this month saw us exploring Langkawi, Malaysia.

Here are our top 10 travel articles of the past 30 days:

Dubrovnik Beachphoto courtesy of pottster

1. Croatia became the 28th member of the EU on the 1st July, but British tourists have been flocking there for many years. The Independent gives the countries highlights on why Croatia should be your destination of choice this summer.

2. Searching for wolverines in Mongolia, not your average expedition. Conservationist Gregg Treinish and his team trekked across Northern Mongolia in search of the elusive weasel. Extracts from their diary can be viewed via National Geographic, an insightful read to say the least.

3. To celebrate 40 years since Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler wrote the first Lonely Planet book, two current of their current writers are trekking from London to Sydney to follow in their footsteps. Keep up with them on their across the planet: 40 years, 40 amazing experiences blog.

4. A 700 year old city has been recently discovered in Cambodia, The Guardian joined the excavation team mapping out the vast urban landscape. The findings are impressive to say the least, the ruins show connections across the Angkor region stretching over 100 kilometres.

5.  Would you take your child to Belize or Morocco? Read through Frommers Exotic but Kid-Friendly: 6 Top spots for family vacations to find out how easy and safe it is to take your children to some of the more adventurous travel destinations.

Sausalito Houseboatsphoto courtesy of Anouska Stelmach

6. San Francisco is renowned for its liberal and slightly peculiar nature. If you are planning a visit any time soon, why not embrace that by staying on a stylish houseboat in Sausalito! Proof that San Fran’s counter-culture spirit is still alive and kicking!

7. What better way to see a city and get your bearings than a free walking tour! A few months back we told you of our free walking tour in Sarajevo, now The Guardian has given an article of their top 6 cities where you can embrace free walking tours to see a city even on a tight budget.

8. South-East Asia has some of the most affordable food you can find on the typical backpacker route. Hostelbookers lists 8 foods to try in Thailand, none of the them will cost you more than a couple of pounds,  in currency or weight!

9. July sees the start of the annual Mongol Rally where budding adventurers drive beaten up vehicles from London to Ulaan Battar. You can follow each teams progress on the ultimate challenge via The Adventurists official site.

10. For something closer to home, staycations are ever growing in popularity. TimeOut looks at the best British breaks for those with limited time this summer. Whether it be walking, beaches, camping or outdoor adventure, this guide is a good place to start!

Holiday of the Month: Langkawi, Malaysia.

A cluster of over 100 islands, 30km from West coast of mainland Malaysia, Langkawi is an idyllic destination with a year-round hot climate. The largest of the islands, Pulau Langkawi has an airport for international connections via Kuala Lumpar. Once you have escaped the surrounding airport area, it is possible to seek out some cosy and quiet beaches which feel a lifetime away from the usual hustle and bustle of a tourist strip.  There is also a range of tourist orientated attractions in the surrounding areas but undoubtedly the highlight of the island is its beaches with nearby relatively cheap accommodation.

It is also possible to catch a ferry to Thailand from the main port of Kuah, making it one of the easier border crossings into Thailand from north Malaysia. Langkawi is therefore a perfect destination to pass through on the typical South-East Asia over-land route of Singapore to Bangkok.

Pulau LangkawuPhoto courtesy of Timparkinson

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