4 Tips to Explore the Chicago Music Scene

Explore the Chicago music scene at night

There is always a good reason to discover the Chicago music scene during a city trip. It is safe to say that this urban stage breathes music. From its suburban neighborhood veins to its vibrant heart, electrifying tunes and suiting melodies will surprise you everywhere. Therefore, a trip to this exciting city is not complete without a visit to one of its delightful music venues. Here are four of the must see sites that will suit your ears and tickle your dancing nerves.

1. Schubas Tavern

Head over to Southport Avenue and enjoy the warm atmosphere and intimate setting of Schubas Tavern. As with a lot of other music venues in Chicago, this venue is a strong promoter of promising talents from the city and the surrounding region. It is a cozy venue and a perfect place to cheer for local artists. They know how to find this place and they certainly know how to give a good show. Look for comfortable Chicago hotels near Schubas Tavern to enjoy a few special nights of musical satisfaction.

2. Metro Chicago

When talking about music venues in Chicago, Metro requires a special mention. Over the years, this beloved concert hall on Clark Street has gained an iconic status in the music world. Several of the worlds’ most famous musicians played at this venue. For many of them, Metro was the one that catapulted their careers. This was certainly the case for well-known bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode and R.E.M. Metro also played an important role in the rise and promotion of music genres like grunge and industrial.

3. Reggie’s Rock Club

Head over to Reggie’s Rock club if you are in need of some high-quality and high-volume musical styles. This club in the South Loop area focuses on loud and energetic music genres like hardcore, old school metal and punk. Make sure to visit the attached record shop if you want to buy some used CDs or vinyls. Play them at home to bring back memories of your musical trip to the Windy City.

4. Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House on Rush Street

Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House is a comfortable dining and drinking spot. You can grab a bite, have a drink, and listen to wonderful blues music. Rush Street is a popular destination for nightlife entertainment enthusiasts. After visiting Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House, you might want to stay a little longer and explore other music venues on Rush Street. Luckily, there are a lot of excellent hotels in the nearby area. Grand Avenue is a good spot to start searching for a comfortable Windy City hotel.

The Vibrant Chicago Music Scene 

No matter if it is rock, jazz, dance or blues, music is everywhere in the alluring city of Chicago. Dance in clubs until the early morning, cheer at your favorite artists during festivals and concerts or just sit back and relax at a charming music bar in one of the city’s back alleys.

5 Ways To Travel The World At Home

Foreign food - Ways to travel the world at homeWays to travel the world in your own backyard

Do you really have to travel? Maybe you do not have the money, will or time to visit unknown destinations. However, you can still experience the whole world, if you use a little bit of creativity and imagination. What if I tell you that you can experience the world from the comfort of your own chair.

These five convenient ways to travel the world will bring you to far away destinations, introduce you to new cultures and let you experience extraordinary adventures. And the good things is, you do not even have to pack your bags and leave your house.
 
 

1. Travel books

Do you want to discover the world without leaving your chair or bed? A travel book can be the perfect solution. A good writer can take you to all kinds of exotic places. And the best thing is, you will experience them from the comfort of your own home. Who still needs to see the real thing..

2. Food and drinks

One of my favorite ways to experience a foreign culture without traveling. Food is an excellent way to learn about new cultures. Step out of your comfort zone and visit exotic restaurants in your home area. Eat Ethiopian food with your hands, burn your mouth at Indian curries or sip traditional Afghan tea. The choices are endless. You can also buy yourself a nice cookbook and make all kinds of foreign dishes at home.

3. Hosting travelers

Join community sites like BeWelcome or Couchsurfing and open up your house for travelers. Hosting is a great way to meet people from all over the world and learn about their countries. Sometimes I had more then five nationalities in my small little apartment. Which was a truly awesome and educational experience. Soon you will have friends from all over the world, while you never left your hometown.

4. Music and dance

Music is an excellent way to tickle your senses and experience different cultures. Try to broaden your music styles by listening to songs from unfamiliar countries. Enjoy rhythmic African sounds or colorful south american songs. There is a whole musical world out there for you to discover. The only thing you have to do is hit the play button and relax or dance.

5. Movies and documentaries

Relax at home and enjoy movies or documentaries about far away places. They can amaze you with all kinds of incredible things that the world has to offer. You will travel through the deepest oceans, the largest forests and the most extreme deserts. Of course you will experience no discomforts because once again, you will never leave you comfortable house during your trip.

Do you know of any other way to experience the world in your own backyard? As an armchair traveler, what is your favorite way to escape from daily live?

Useful links

  • Travel the world without leaving home: The article that inspired me to write this blog post. Author Alastair Humphreys traveled the world in the very diverse city of London. He munched his way around the city, eating at restaurants with kitchens from all kinds of countries. A very inspiring article.
  • My top 10 travel books: Do you want some tips for good travel stories? You can find a selection some of my favorites in the top 10 travel book section.
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5 Reasons Why You Should Travel

 

Beaches and mountain views are reasons why you should travelThere are many reasons why you should travel

People often ask me why I want to travel to far away destinations. Some tell me that I am crazy when I talk about my travel plans. I pity those people because they miss out on some important learning aspects of life. They do not have the courage to embark on their own journey. A journey which can provide them with much more rewarding life experiences then a “safe” 9 to 5 life back home.

They will often stick to narrow minded believes about the world and follow media influenced opinions. They have forgotten how fun it was to be a child. To explore and have adventures. But you are here on this blog so I figure you know better. Make that journey, and if you are not convinced yet. Here are five reasons why you should travel.

1. Get out of your comfort zone

I talked about it before on my blog. Getting out of your comfort zone is really important if you want to live a great life. Going on a trip can be a huge comfort challenge. Especially if you travel to a far away country with an unfamiliar culture. At first you might be nervous, scared or skeptical, but the reward will be amazing.

2. Get to know yourself better

Travelling will confront you with aspects of yourself that you never knew before. You might experience difficult situations, and often you can not solve them like you would back home. Your real character will be exposed. Do you have what it takes? Living at home might be more easy because you understand that environment. However, the real test of your personality comes in an unknown place, with unknown situations, customs and people.

3. Normal does not exist

Wander off to far away places and you will quickly discover that normal does not exist. What is considered normal in your country can be seen as completely ridiculous in another. And what people in that country consider normal can be completely ridiculous in yours. Realizing that there is no norm for normal can be a huge relieve. Finally you can stop taking the world serious.

4. Be a child again

One of the most beautiful aspects of traveling is that you can be a child again. A child looks amazed at the world because so much of what it sees is new. The live of a child is a magic adventure. As a grownup, in a new country full of strange surroundings, traditions and people, you might experience again how it feels to be a child.

5. A social boost

Back home your social world can be small. You have your family, your friends and your colleagues. Not much new people will enter the scene when you live a 9 to 5 life. How different is that when you travel. Hang out with other travelers at your hostel, meet people on the road, get in contact with locals. You might even end up with friends from all over the world. How cool is that.

Why do you like to travel and what is your favorite destination? Did you experience some of the described benefits? How did those experiences change you? 

Useful links

 

Kathmandu Photo Gallery – Pictures of Bangkok

 

Kathmandu Photo galleryAspects of Bangkok in the Kathmandu Photo Gallery

The Kathmandu Photo Gallery shows me a familiar yet unknown aspect of Bangkok. Photographer Dale Konstanz shoots photographs inside Bangkok taxis. While looking at his photographs, I get to know a little bit more about the taxi drivers. The drivers who brought me to many destinations in the city. But today I learn more about what moves them.

Kathmandu Photo Gallery

Small but worthwhile. The exhibition room houses series of interesting pictures. They show snapshots of the world. You can visit the whole gallery in 10 minutes but you can be left wondering for hours about the images, which print themselves in your brain. Images which are made by locals and foreigners, who put their lens on Thailand and the world.

Getting there

You find the Kathmandu Gallery at 87 Pan Road (opposite to the Indian Temple) in Bangkok. To get there you have to take the BTS Skytrain to the stations Surasak or Chong Nonsi. From there it is only a 10 minutes walk. You can recognize Pan Road by the Myanmar Embassy which is located at the beginning of the street. Keep your eyes open as you could pass the Kathmandu building easily.
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What to see

You can see photography exhibitions which change every few months. Check out the Kathmandu Gallery website (You can find the link at the bottom of this post) for the most recent photographic displays. The works are from local and international photographers. They showcase interesting photographs from all aspects of life. This Bangkok sight is definitely worth a visit when you happen to be in Bangkok.

Useful links

  • Kathmandu Photo Gallery: The official website of this gallery. Read more about the gallery and its (upcoming) exhibitions. You can also read a variety of articles and find more information about the photographers.
  • Back to the Home Page 

 

Museum Of Siam – Discover The Thai Identity

The Museum of SiamThai history in the Museum of Siam

While in charge of the canon, I am attacked by a large group of warriors, who approach me from the front. I aim the cannon, load, and I blast away. Three soldiers on the right flank of the group fly through the air. Then the ground starts to rumble. A large war elephant comes charging in from the left flank of the group. I quickly reload and aim my canon at the approaching giant.

There is a big bang and a lot of dust. The elephant and its accompanying warriors disappear in the fire of the explosion. Then I am suddenly surprised by a very angry looking warrior who jumps out of the dust. He is right in front of me and it is to late to react. He swings his battle sword and the last words I see are: GAME OVER.

Museum of Siam

This Museum of Siam provides an inside into the rich and turbulent history of the Thai people and their country. You learn about their culture and heritage via a very interactive exhibition. Videos, sound recordings, photos and a war game will certainly entertain young children and also their accompanying parents.

Location

The Museum of Siam is located at Sanam Chai Rd in the old part of Bangkok. Other nearby sights are Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. You can easily recognize the museum because it is located in a neoclassical building, which has been formerly used by the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

Getting there

Take the Chao Phraya river boat to Tha Tien pier. Get off the boat and walk from the pier to the main road. Then walk to the right, in the direction of Wat Pho. Keep following the main road (Th Maharat). After Wat Pho you will see a school and university.

Keep walking till you see the museum walls on your left hand. Enter Soi Setthakan and follow the walls. Halfway down the street there is a passage. Go inside and walk to the main entrance of the building. The walk from the pier takes about 5 minutes. Be careful at the surrounding streets. There is a lot of traffic.

What to see

The main exhibition consists of 17 rooms. Each of these rooms have a theme, which is related to Thai history and culture. The rooms have topics like the founding of Ayutthaya, Buddhism, village life and Thailand today. There is also a war room where you can play an interactive war game. This game will take you right into a battle, where you are in charge a 19th century canon.

You can visit this sight from Tuesday till Sunday. The opening times are 10:00 AM till 18:00 PM, and the admission is 300 baht (about 9 dollars) for foreigners and 100 bath for Thai people. At the time of my visit there where also temporary exhibitions, which were on display around the main building. There was a butterfly garden and an exhibition about silk.Neoclassical architecture in the Museum of Siam

Tips

Come late to avoid large masses of children and the high entrance price. You can enter for free after 16:00 PM. I came at 16:15 PM and had the building practically for myself. Which is nice because it is a very interactive exhibition. You don’t want to have to fall in line to push buttons, shoot cannons, watch videos and listen to sound recordings.

Useful links

  • Museumsiam.com: The official Museum of Siam website. Check it before you go to this sight, so that you are up to date about the current opening times, prices and expositions.
  • ndmi.or.th: The website of the National Museum Institute, which might be more interesting for researchers. Visit this site to network with the institute or check news updates and current events.