Tag Archives: nightlife

Top Places to learn Portuguese in Brazil

Cosmopolitan Sao Paulo is one of the best places to learn Portuguese in Brazil ...  photo by CC user julioboaro on Flickr

Occupying a massive chink of the South American continent, Brazil and its 200 million people have become one of the most significant nations on Earth in the 21st century. Without a doubt, it has become one of the world’s most powerful Portuguese speaking nations, as desperate young people from the mother country have fled their economically destitute land in search of opportunity here.

Others, like you dear traveler, often come seeking some of the best parties, surfing beaches, and jungle environments on the planet. Unlike the rest of Latin America though, this nation speaks Portuguese, a language related to Spanish, but with a number of fundamental differences.

So while you might be ready to book your flight on TAM, you don’t quite know where a great place to study Portuguese in Brazil might be. To help you solve this conundrum, we have uncovered three cities that are perfect for this purpose.

Find out which suits your personality best and once you do, start packing and prepare for the learning opportunity of a lifetime!

1) Belo Horizonte

Located in the midst of historic Midas Gerais state, Belo Horizonte is a great place for those that want to discover the wealth of colonial architecture that lies in smaller towns and cities on days off from their studies. Located well away from larger centers like Rio and Sao Paulo, very few people here speak even basic English, making an excellent environment for immersing yourself in Portuguese 24/7.

Those that are fans of modern architecture will love this place, as Belo is a planned city founded in the 1890’s, meaning that most of its growth has occurred in the past century.

2) Florianopolis

Want to combine your love of the beach and surfing with learning Portuguese? If so, then Florianopolis will make for an excellent base for your learning efforts. It is said that immersion has its greatest success when you learn vocabulary that is centered around your interests, so when you go to hit the waves, limit your interactions with fellow English speaking foreigners, and surf with the locals.

Not only will you learn to speak Portuguese faster, you’ll pick up the local knowledge of the best surf breaks, leading to experiences that travelers passing through can only dream about!

3) São Paulo

If you are a fan of large cities, but the touristy vibe of Rio de Janeiro rubs you the wrong way, then São Paulo will prove to be an excellent option for you. Being a big learning center within Brazil, there are many native Brazilians that are looking to learn English as they earn their degree.

This presents an opportunity for a cultural exchange that will allow them to teach you Portuguese, in exchange for helping them with their English. As for the city itself, São Paulo is known as one of Brazil’s leading centers for arts and culture.

This means that there will be no shortage of museums and galleries to explore, making this place heaven on Earth for the cultured among us.

Top Reasons To Visit Saigon

Its vibrant skyline is just one of the top reasons to visit Saigon.  Its culture, history and nightlife comprise many of the rest!

Frequented by hundreds of tourists every year, the top reasons to visit Saigon has maintained its charm and allure on travellers from all over the globe.

If you are one of those whose curiosity has been piqued by the mere mention of Saigon in one of the most iconic Broadway musicals in the 90’s (or has just watched one too many travel ads about Ho Chi Minh City, as it is now called) maybe these top reasons to visit Saigon will give you the affirmation you seek if you’re contemplating on flying hundreds of miles for that Saigon experience.

Historical Landmarks

Are you a big history geek?  Or is colonial architectures your most favourite subject?  Saigon’s city core has a lot of French colonial architectures dating back to 1800’s, during Vietnam’s colonization by France.  The most notable structure in the city is the Reunification Palace, the site where the Vietnam War ended.  And just a stone’s throw away is the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, which was once the residence of high ranking French colonial officers.

Another remarkable historical landmark is the Cu Chi tunnels in the Cu Chi district.  The tunnels were very pivotal to the victory of the Viet Cong against the American Forces as it provided them with strategic hiding spots as well as access to food, medicine and weaponry.

But the historical landmarks mentioned above are only the tip of the ice berg.  There are so many colonial structures and museums to explore in Saigon to appease the history buff in you.

Active nightlife

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is a party animal’s heaven, making it one of the top reasons to visit Saigon.  With its numerous cinemas and theaters and a wide array of night clubs, bars and restobars, Saigon is fast becoming one of South East Asia’s hippest place to be.

Tet

Noone else celebrates the Lunar New Year (or Tet, as the Vietnamese call it) with a bigger bang than the people of Ho Chi Minh City.  As this spectacular festival draws in closer, Ho Chi Minh City becomes alive with so many lights and an entire street closed off for flower displays.

Special Vietnamese delicacies are also served during Tet, such as Banh Chung or a mixture of glutinous rice, mung beans and pork covered with banana leaves.  These are often offered at shrines and temples for good luck, good health and prosperity.  One must never leave Ho Chi Minh City without trying out this delicacy.