Last week Team Placeling read several articles about unique restaurants around the world. We thought we’d summarize the best and bring them to you as this week’s instalment of Travel Tuesday. As always, if you’re a Placeling member, you’ll get all these places on your phone.
First stop is Bangkok, Thailand. Cabbages & Condoms is a Thai restaurant that promotes sex ed. When not serving top notch Thai food, they’re creating dioramas out of condoms.
Here’s an F1 race car driver:
Elsewhere in the city you’ll find the Hajime Robot Restaurant, where a robot prepare and serves your Japanese Shabu Shabu food. He’s got googly eyes, smiles and dances while cooking.
Absolutely, but one we can get behind.
Photo courtesy of Hajime Restaurant
We’re now going to jump 2,500 km to Taipei which is home to its share of unique themed restaurants.
The misnomerically-named DS Music Restaurant is actually hospital-themed. The staff dress as doctors and nurses; you can expect a drink from serve from an IV unit.
The idea apparently was inspired by the great care the owner received in a hospital.
The city is also home several Hello Kitty cafes. The most famous one is Hello Kitty Sweets which explodes with pink and cat-themed cuteness.
Photo courtesy of KayOne73
And now let’s skip over to America, home to many a unique restaurant.
Working from Pacific to Atlantic, you’ll find Opaque, a dining in the dark experience, taking place at the V Lounge in Santa Monica.
In Lakewood, Colorado, you’ll Cartman’s (of South Park) favorite restaurant. It’s the Acapulco-themed Casa Bonita. As you visit the buffet line, don’t be surprised to see a high diver plunge into the pool.
Photo courtesy of Casa Bonita
Further east in Richland, Missouri is the aptly named The Cave. It’s what you’d expect from the name: you eat in a cave. Surf and turf plus Italian on the menu.
Image courtesy of The Cave
And our final stop is Atlanta’s The Varsity. It’s the largest drive-in in the world, sitting on 2 acres and capable of holding 600 cars outside and a further 800 people inside.
Apparently when the local Georgia Tech football team plays they get over 30,000 visitors in a day. It’s also the world’s largest single outlet for Coca Cola.
Photo courtesy of Chris Yunker
Happy eating & exploring!
Last week Disney bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise. The twitterverse has gone berserk over what this means for the future of the series, but we’re not going to take sides.
Instead, we’re going to take you on a journey to where the original movies were shot. And, as always, if you join Placeling you’ll automatically get all these locations on your phone.
George Lucas loved shooting desert scenes in Tunisia. You can literally sleep where Luke Skywalker slept by visiting the Hotel Sidi Driss.
Photo courtesy Jean-Marc Matthey
Elsewhere in Tunisia you’ll find Star Wars Canyon - which was also used to shoot Raiders of the Lost Ark and The English Patient.
Photo courtesy Roger Nogeura Arnau
And you can see Luke’s old house (actually, technically his uncle’s) further south at the Lars Homestead Exterior.
Photo courtesy of Hoylen Sue
Best visited at sunset:
Photo courtesy of Konczol Gabor
The crew then jetted off to Guatemala’s Tikal to shoot about 30 seconds of footage. You might recognize this as the place where the rebels launch their final attack on the Death Star.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Later movies were also shot in exotic locales. The Empire Strikes back opens up on Norway’s remote Hardangerokulen glacier.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
And Lucas did shoot some exterior shots in North America. Return of the Jedi’s Endor (where the Ewoks lived) was actually Redwood National Park in California.
Photo courtesy of Steve Dunleavy
Hopefully one of these will inspire a future trip!
H/T to WebUrbanist for the inspiration.
It’s November and with the weather getting colder, we find ourselves thinking of…Hawaii.
Photo courtesy of Justin Ornellas.
Placeling user Steena recently went there with her family and created the ultimate Oahu tour for traveling with kids.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Oahu with the family, check out Steena’s tours; she’s done the legwork for you.
Photo courtesy of Barron
Now, I live in Vancouver and have absolutely no idea when - if ever - I’ll be in Austin. But reading the story, the places were coming alive. The pepper in the rub at Louie Mueller BBQ; the almost 90 years of heritage at Smitty’s Market; the mesquite at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que.
I found my mouth salivating and I was resisting the urge to pack the entire family in the car for a no notice, 24 hour road trip south.
I had to remember these places so that one day I can visit them all.
And that’s one of the reasons we built Placeling, to make it effortlessly easy to do exactly that (and keep families together).
Here’s how I did it:
1. I opened up Placeling on my iPhone and hit the “Placemark It” button
2. In the search box I typed in the name of each place in the article. The fact that I’m in Vancouver and Cooper’s is several thousand kilometers away?
Not an issue:
3. I added some notes about the place and saved it.
But I wanted to flag it as somewhere I haven’t been so I could remember to visit it.
For that, there’s the highlight button - the star that sits next to your notes and photos about a place:
After I highlight a place, it appears differently on my map - “normal” places don’t get that golden bar:
I do this every time I hear of an interesting place. Maybe someone tells me about it. Maybe I read about it in the newspaper or a magazine (in-flight magazines are basically lists of interesting places…). Maybe it’s a blog.
I just whip out my iPhone, add the location in Placeling and highlight it.
And we’re going to figure out how to make this even easier.
Ideally you should be able to read a review on a blog and add it to Placeling with one tap.
We’re not there yet, but we wanted to share with you a simple way to make sure that you never forget an interesting place.
Today we’re taking you to three magical places across Europe.
First up is the Santa Maria de Montserrat, in the hills above Catalonia. Local youth make a pilgrimage here to watch the sun rise from the top of the mountain. It is also home to one of the world’s oldest continually running printing presses, dating back to 1499.
Photo courtesy of Bert Kaufmann
Next up is the Chateau de Chillon in Switzerland. It consists of over 100 buildings that have gradually been merged into one. No one know how old the castle is, but records of it date back to just after the year 1,000. The British poet Byron made it famous in his 1816 poem The Prisoner of Chillon.
Photo courtesy of Michal Kolodziejski.
Our last entry is Dunnottar Castle, located on a rocky outcrop in the Northeast of Scotland. The earliest fortress here was in the 7th century; today you can hike up to the ruins, stare over the North Sea and imagine what life in medieval Scotland was like.
Image courtesy of Jiaren Lau.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s trip and happy vicarious travelling.
Since we launched Placeling, the number one request we’ve had has been “I want to create a custom map for friends.”
Maybe a friend’s coming to town and you want to give them a map of THE places that would be perfect for them.
Or your sister’s going on a trip and you want to create an itinerary of where she should go.
Perhaps you just want to tell your friends where to go for the best ramen in town.
You get the idea.
Until today, this was tough to do.
We’ve made it simple.
Placeling tours let you be the guide to a set of places that matter to you.
We turn them into a beautiful infographic that you can send to others or embed in your blog.
Plus, each tour can be downloaded to your phone via our app.
Here’s an example of tour of the best coffee places in Vancouver’s Gastown.
Hope you enjoy this new feature - and we look forward to seeing which tours you create.
3 years ago he was broke and living at home. Now he’s traveling around the world, sharing his adventures and experiences.
He’s using Placeling to help organize his travels. Check out his travel map; we bet you’ll find somewhere you want to go!
Adventure. Travel. Doing extraordinary things.
Those are goals that we aspire to at Placeling.
For Ben Reed of Adventures With Ben they’re no longer goals - he achieves them every single day. And he’s been doing this for over three years now!
From his base in Orlando, he travels the world and shares the incredible experiences he has. Whether it’s eating jellyfish, bungee jumping Victoria falls or partaking in a massive pillow fight, Ben’s done it (check out his 33 must read adventure stories for more inspiration).
And now you can relive these experiences because Ben’s linked his blog to Placeling.
Let Ben be your guide to the world. Along the way, check out the stunning Batu Caves of Malaysia, see rhinos at Mabula Game Lodge in Africa, imagine what life was like in the fairytale Schloss Neuschwanstein and trek the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska.
This morning Placeling members were greeted to a lit bit of love that’s going to make their life better: the Placeling Weekender.
If you’re a Placeling member you’ll now be getting a weekly email with recommendations on places to go and people to guide you - and we guarantee we won’t recommend something that’s already on your map.
Members in select cities will also get the opportunity to try out our new Answers product. We’re not saying much about it now, but expect to hear more over the coming weeks.
Here’s a snapshot of what the Weekender looks like. Sign up today to get it in your inbox next Thursday morning.
From time to time we like to showcase the experiences and opinions of different Placeling members. Today we bring you the culinary adventures of CarrieBrown.
She writes about the best food paired with her beautiful photography - and it’s all described in her unique voice. You’ll know what you’re going to get before you step in the restaurant.
Even more, her places span the range of highbrow to the humble. From the culinary extremes of Canlis to the charbroiled simplicity of Uneeda Burger, Carrie’s got you covered. And, she might know a thing or two about cupcakes.
Carrie’s ready to be your guide to Seattle (and San Francisco plus a few other cities). Be sure to read Marmalade and Mileposts to be kept abreast of her food travels. And follow her on Placeling so that she can show you around her world: