Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
March 28, 2018 Travel Destination
Annapurna Base Camp trek is the world-class trekking trails in Nepal. It is a high glacial basin located in the north of Pokhara. The trek gives an extraordinary variety of ecosystems because of the u... Read More

If you have ever walked in the streets with music blaring into your ears via headphone and had to stifle the urge to dance, then you may love Liverpool’s first Silent Disco tour. It’s likely to make even the most miserly bore let go and boogie while exploring the city that produced the Beatles.

The idea is loosely based on the traditional impromptu silent discos (flashmobs) that seem to pop up usually at festivals by headphone wearing ravers. Onlookers just see people dancing in silence. It’s comical.

During this tour everyone in the group hears the same music and tour information as they walk around the city.

Silent Adventures have developed a special set of headphones that not only broadcast music, but also allow the tour guide to communicate with to groups of up to 30 via a microphone. Think a disco-meets-flashmob through the city, providing dance instructions and lots of witty banter.

The review

I attended the tour as part of a 35th birthday bash. The meeting point was Tavern on the Green and we arrived with just enough time to fit in a quick pint before setting off at 3pm. We were each handed a pair of flashing headphones and a few lucky individuals were also given an inflatable guitar.

Chief disco bopper, Alan Cross gave us a few instructions on how to use the headphones and I was relieved to discover the tour was focused on singing and dancing, with the odd fun fact thrown in

Silent disco is taking over the streets of Liverpool

Silent disco is taking over the streets of Liverpool

about Liverpool. Moments later we were off and our headphones came to life with some lively jazz music to get us in the mood.
What followed was 50 minutes of pure, unbridled fun. Alan was eager to banish any shyness, and formed us into a circle at Derby Square (home of Liverpool Law Courts) with him in the centre. He performed a selection of classic dance moves for us to copy (the shopping cart, the sprinkler and the light bulb to name just a few) and even encouraged us to show off some of our own shapes.

Once everyone had loosened up, it was time to let go and sing loud and proud to the lucky shoppers of Liverpool city centre. We danced along Castle Street to Uptown Funk and accosted a human billboard on the high street while belting out Time of My Life. The singing came to a true crescendo during Bohemian Rhapsody while standing on the steps of the neo-Baroque Victoria Monument, assisted by some equally impressive air guitar moves.
While strutting along the high street we managed to attract quite a crowd of eager onlookers. There were many high fives and a few baffled looks. Those enjoying their lunch in The Slug & Lettuce were particularly nonplussed when all 20 of us performed a jazz hands crab dance along the front of the restaurant.

And of course no tour of Liverpool is complete without a reference to the Beatles. We sung Love Me Do while walking past the Cavern Club, where the Beatles performed 292 times between 1960 and 1963. The hour ended with a rousing performance of Hey Jude as we made our way back to Tavern on the Green.


The tour was an absolute riot from start to finish. Song choices were generally on point, although I would have liked a little more 90s cheese. I just wish it had lasted longer – I would have quite happily spent another hour on the tour. I can’t wait to go again!

Fact File

Silent Adventures Liverpool are currently running tours at 3pm every Saturday. Look out for the Christmas themed tours throughout December.

Prices start at £12.00 per person. Minimum group size per tour is 15 people.

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Resting under the dappled shade of a solitary tree looking out over one of the most breathtaking vistas I had ever laid eyes on, I felt completely relaxed. So this is Raja Ampat, I told myself. I greedily drank in the panoramic view before me; the large sheltered bay of Wayag Island surrounded by a ring of jagged inky black cliffs that rose hundreds of feet out of the crystal clear turquoise waters.

Ultimate Guide to Raja Ampat

Ultimate Guide to Raja Ampat

Dozens of islands dotted the bay rising 10, 20, 30 feet into the air. The combined effects of erosion and weathering had eaten into the base of these rocky outcrops giving them an odd mushroom shape; bulbous at the top and thin and spindly at the base. It was a site that I hoped would stay with me for a lifetime, but just in case my memory failed me I decided to take a photo.

This was my fourth year in Indonesia and before I had organised this holiday, I had always believed that a trip to Raja Ampat would simply be out of my budget. Poor infrastructure and exclusive luxury resorts have created a popular image of Raja Ampat being expensive. After a week spent exploring this archipelago of emerald-green isles, I had to agree that there was a lot of truth to this, but I had realised it is possible to travel here on a backpacker’s budget. The secret of course is having the right information.

There are three options available for adventurous budget travellers looking to explore Raja Ampat. In no particular order, these are; organising everything yourself, joining a group tour or renting a cheap bungalow by the beach for a week. Whichever option you choose, you will need to get to Raja Ampat and there is only one practical way to do this: fly.

If you fly, your trip to Raja Ampat will start in Sorong, a gritty port city that hugs the rolling hills along the coast of Papua. Sriwijaya Air, Express Air and Lion Air all fly to Sorong from Jakarta via Makassar. Tickets normally cost between $150-$450 return. While it is not possible to get direct tickets from Bali to Sorong, you can buy a ticket to Makassar and from there fly to Sorong.

The first thing you will want to do once you land in Sorong is to leave. Luckily this is very simple as there are public ferries that shuttles people to Raja Ampat. A ferry ticket costs $15 per person and the crossing lasts two hours.

Once in Raja Ampat you will need to get a tourism permit. You can buy this permit on any of the four main islands of Raja Ampat from the local offices of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. A tourist permit costs Rp 500.000 for Indonesian nationals and $100 for foreigners.

Anyone visiting Raja Ampat will need to rent a boat to explore Raja Ampat. A small vessel costs around $200 a day, while the larger boats used by tour operators that sit 20 people or more cost around $800 a day with crew and petrol. Four or five people splitting the costs on renting a small boat can do this on a backpacker’s budget, a single backpacker travelling alone can’t.

A lack of Internet and poor telecommunications in Raja Ampat means that word of mouth is often the best way of finding budget accommodation. For $40 per night it is possible to rent a bungalow. If your budget does not stretch this far, camping on the beach under an inky black sky filled with thousands of twinkling stars is completely free. Just remember to bring plenty of anti mosquito spray, because it is not as romantic as it sounds.

The second option available to backpackers is group tours. These trips are normally run by and for backpackers. If you are lucky you can find six night seven day tours of Raja Ampat for as little as $500 and run up to $1,000. A quick search of the Internet will give you plenty of different options to choose from. Make sure to ask for an itinerary before you book anything and be aware that Indonesian group tours normally involve early mornings and late nights.

Each of the various options for exploring Raja Ampat on a backpacker’s budget offers something unique that will appeal to different travellers. For those who want a relaxing holiday on a golden sandy beach surrounded by tropical reefs teeming with multi-coloured fish, renting a cheap bungalow for a week will be the perfect vacation. If you are an adventurous spirit searching for a holiday of a lifetime in one of the most remote and beautiful spots on the planet then you should arrange your own trip. Organised trips on the other hand are great for people who have never visited Indonesia before and want to make lasting friendships with like-minded backpackers in a tropical paradise.

Whichever option you choose in the end there are some things that you just shouldn’t miss. Climbing the peak of Wayag Island and taking in the picturesque landscape was something truly special, but it is only one of the many amazing memories that I will take away from my holiday in Raja Ampat.

Swimming with a group of manta rays that glided through the waters of the Pacific or the enormous three metre long reef shark that calmly swam past me are memories that will also stay with me for a lifetime. This is what makes Raja Ampat so special, because it is more than just the incredible scenery and stunning landscapes that makes this such a desirable holiday destination.


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