The 1st of April -pranksters and fools!

If you’re ever in the UK on April 1st, you’d better watch out!

En muchos países, como los Estados Unidos, Francia, Brasil o el Reino Unido, el día 1 de abril se celebra el April Fool’s Day, un día dedicado a las bromas (pranks) que gastamos en España el Día de los Santos Inocentes.

Estas son algunas de las bromas más conocidas:

  • En los años 90, Burger King publicó un anuncio en la revista USA Today ofreciendo unos nuevos Whoppers para zurdos. ¡Cientos de clientes los pidieron en sus restaurantes!
  • En Japón se hizo correr la noticia de que en un zoo del país tenían un pingüino gigante que medía 165cm de alto y pesaba 80kg. En realidad, era un hombre disfrazado.
  • En 1949 un presentador de radio en Nueva Zelanda dijo que millones de avispas habían llegado al país y que la mejor manera de protegerse era llevando los calcetines por encima de los pantalones y poniendo miel en las puertas de las casas. ¡Miles de oyentes le creyeron!
  • En 1976 un conocido astrónomo británico contó por la radio que a las 9:47 de la mañana, debido a un fenómeno celeste, los habitantes de la Tierra podrían experimentar la sensación de ingravidez que tienen los astronautas. Debido a un cruce de las órbitas de Júpiter y Plutón, si saltaban a aquella hora exacta, los terrestres podrían experimentar la “gravedad cero”. ¡Centenares de oyentes llamaron a la radio para decir que habían saltado y que habían conseguido flotar!

(Fuente: Learn English Teens, British Council)

Aquí tenéis otras bromas muy originales para celebrar el April Fool’s Day.

Y para terminar, os dejamos con un divertido artículo en inglés de la humorista estadounidense Michele Wojciechowski, publicado en Parade.

Just Kidding: The Origins of April Fools’ Day 

I admit it—I don’t like April Fools’ Day.

How is it possible for someone who loves humor and comedy so much to not like a day that is supposed to be dedicated to it?

The answer’s simple—I don’t like pranks.

When I had April Fools’ Day jokes played on me, they always had a scary element. Like in high school: “Hey Wojo! Did you know we have a pop quiz today?”

Me: Gasp, sputter, choke…

Classmate: April Fool!

In college: “Hey Wojo! Did you know you have a flat tire?”

Me: Gasp, sputter, choke…

Classmate: April Fool!

As an adult: “Hey Wojo! Did you know that your best friend has been saying horrible things about you?

Me: Gasp, sputter, choke…

Supposed Friend: April Fool!

You get the idea.

Not funny. I don’t find this funny at all.

Considering, though, how many folks continue to celebrate the holiday, I thought I’d find out how it all came about. Like many things started in “olden times,” the beginnings of April Fools’ Day aren’t exactly clear.

The Beginnings?

One source states that April Fools’ Day may have begun as far back as 1582. That’s when France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. And, no, this isn’t the funny part.

Evidently, some folks didn’t hear about the calendar change, which came about because of the Council of Trent in 1563. So they didn’t know that they were supposed to start the new year on January 1 instead of April 1, as had been done in the past. According to Snopes.com, French peasants would go to their neighbors’ houses to pretend they were paying a New Year’s Day call on them. If the people really thought it was the start of the new year, they were considered April fools.

Yeah, I feel their pain.

Some historians think that April Fools’ Day somehow ties into the vernal equinox, when Mother Nature was said to fool people with the quickly changing weather. (Considering that in Maryland in March, we’ve had days near 80 degrees as well as snow, I could see this being true.)

Did you know that people pulling April Fools’ Day pranks are supposed to do them before noon on April 1 or they are welcoming bad luck into their lives? I guess folks could argue that it’s noon somewhere and continue to play jokes on friends and family throughout the day.

I don’t like these people.

During the 18th century, April Fools’ Day was accepted by Britain. In Scotland, they began holding two-day celebrations of this pranking day and called it “hunting the gowk,” a “gowk” being their name for cuckoo bird or fool. People were sent on ridiculous errands. I’m sure they had a blast.

Keep your eyes and ears open on April Fools’ Day as the media and companies love to get involved. Who can forget the year that Canada said it was coming out with a $2 coin or when Burger King said it was now selling a left-handed Whopper…and folks actually asked for it.

The best prank of all? In 1957, the BBC’s Panorama said that with spring coming early, the Switzerland spaghetti harvest would be early too. They then showed women in the background who looked to be picking spaghetti from trees.

Tons of viewers called the BBC to find out where they could buy spaghetti plants.

How gullible…

Um, and if you’re looking for me, I may be checking my car tires. Not for any specific reason, though. Just to see…

 

 

Seguro que la palabra “ain’t” te suena

Cartel de

Hoy hablamos de lengua pero también hablamos de música. Ain’t es una palabra común en las letras de las canciones en inglés pero muchas personas desconocen su significado.

 

“Wait a minute, wait a minute! You ain’t heard nothing yet!” – Al Jolson, The Jazz Singer (1927)

 

¿Qué significa?

La palabra ain’t (pronunciada «eint») es una contracción de varias formas verbales:

  1. Del verbo to be (ser/estar): 

Am not

Are not

Is not

  1. Del verbo to have (tener).

Have not

Has not

Seguro que esta palabra te suena

La contracción ain’t ya existía en el siglo XVIII en el mundo angloparlante. Gente de toda clase y condición utilizaba esta palabra habitualmente, como lo atestiguan las novelas y otros textos de la época. Esta situación se mantuvo hasta el siglo XIX cuando algunos autores empezaron a defender la necesidad de crear un inglés “puro” y “correcto”. Así que, con el paso del tiempo, ain’t se convirtió en una palabra proscrita y se consideró propia de personas de clase baja, con pocos estudios.

Actualmente, no pertenece al conjunto de palabras que forman el inglés estándar y se considera incorrecta. Aún así, se sigue utilizando en contextos informales y, además, aparece muy a menudo en las letras de canciones populares, de estilos tan variados como el country, el blues o el hip-hop.

Aquí van tres canciones muy conocidas que contienen la palabra ain’t en sus letras:

Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine”

Nina Simone “Ain’t Got No – I Got Life”

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell «Ain’t no Mountain High Enough»

Algunas frases hechas que continenen ain’t

You ain’t seen nothing yet! > «Todavía no habéis/has visto nada».

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it > literalmente, “si no está roto, no lo arregles”, es decir, no es necesario cambiar aquello que funciona.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Getty Images

El 17 de marzo es el Día de San Patricio (Saint Patrick’s Day), un día de fiesta nacional en Irlanda en el que se conmemora a St. Patrick, santo patrón del país.

Este día no sólo se celebra en Irlanda, sino en muchos otros países como, por ejemplo, los Estados Unidos o Argentina, donde encontramos población de origen irlandés.

¿Quién fue San Patricio?

Según la leyenda, San Patricio fue el hijo de dos ciudadanos romanos que vivían en alguna región de Britania, la provincia romana que ocupaba lo que hoy en día es Gran Bretaña. Nació en el siglo IV dC y a los dieciséis años fue secuestrado y llevado a Irlanda, donde pasó los siguientes seis años en cautividad.

Pero tras escuchar la voz de Dios en un sueño, consiguió escapar y regresar a Gran Bretaña. Una vez allí, decidió convertirse en sacerdote y, pasados unos años, volvió a Irlanda para convertir a los paganos al Catolicismo. Para lograrlo, utilizaba un trébol (shamrock) de tres hojas para explicar la Santísima Trinidad, por eso el trébol es uno de los símbolos del santo y, por extensión, de la propia Irlanda.

Se dice que San Patricio murió el 17 de marzo del año 461 y que su sepultura se encuentra en la catedral de Downpatrick.

La catedral de Downpatrick

La catedral de Downpatrick es el lugar donde, según la leyeda, fue enterrado San Patricio.

¿Cómo se celebra?

El día de San Patricio se celebra de muchas maneras. Lo más habitual es organizar desfiles, como en Estados Unidos, o festivales, como en Dublín.

Desfile del Día de San Patricio en Dublín.

Desfile del Día de San Patricio en Dublín.

  

 

 

 

 

 

La gente suele salir a divertirse vestida de verde o llevando consigo un trébol. Los más atrevidos se disfrazan de leprechaun, un personaje típico del folclore irlandés, o se visten con los colores de la bandera irlandesa.

Desfile del Día de San Patricio en Dublín.

Desfile del Día de San Patricio en Dublín.

La bebida típica de este día es la cerveza Guinness, que acompaña platos tan deliciosos como el Corned Beef u otros asados increíbles. ¡Echa un vistazo a estas recetas recogidas por la BBC!

Guinness beer

Getty Images

Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¿Quieres saber más? Pincha aquí y descube una interesante colección de artículos y vídeos del canal Historia sobre St. Patrick’s Day (en inglés).

I want to meet my doppelgänger!

Participantes del proyecto Twin Strangers / Twin Strangers

Se dice que todos tenemos un doble en alguna parte del mundo. Alguien que es prácticamente idéntico a nosotros en cuanto al aspecto físico. En inglés, este doble se conoce como look-alike, double o doppelganger.

La palabra doppelganger o doppelgänger es un préstamo del alemán y, originalmente, designaba al homólogo fantasmagórico de una persona, es decir, una especie de espíritu idéntico a un ser humano viviente.

De acuerdo con el folclore alemán, todo ser vivo tiene un doble que es invisible pero idéntico a él. En 1796, el escritor alemán Johann Paul Richter acuñó el término Doppelgänger (de doppel, “doble”, y gänger, derivado de «Gang», “paseo”) para referirse a estos espectros. Literalmente, pues, esta palabra significa “doble que va”, aunque también puede usarse para referirnos al “alter ego” de una persona.

«Cómo se encontraron con ellos mismos», obra del artista inglés Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1864).

El año pasado se estrenó el documental “Finding My Twin Stranger”, resultado de una colaboración entre el canal de televisión británico Channel 4 y el equipo del Department of Twin Research del hospital de St. Thomas de Londres. En él se analizaba el parecido de siete parejas de desconocidos que eran idénticos des de todos los punts de vista posibles. El éxito de este documental, sumado a la facilidad con la que actualmente podemos contactar con gente de todo el mundo gracias a Internet, ha disparado la popularidad de las páginas web dedicadas a encontrar doppelgangers e incluso de muchos proyectos artísticos, como el de François Brunelle.

Pero encontrar tu propio doppelganger es tan o más difícil que decir esta misma palabra al revés. ¡Las probabilidades son de una entre un billón!

¿Quieres saber un poco más? Pincha aquí y échle un vistazo a este artículo de la BBC sobre los doppelganger.

Travelling in March!

Let’s travel! 24 great destinations with great weather in March

The month of March is one of the better ones on the calendar for budget travelers since it’s well before the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter crowds in the tropical areas are starting to thin out at the same time. Through much of Latin America and Asia you can find perfect weather with off-peak hotel prices and reasonable crowds.

By Roger Wade (Price of Travel)

For those starting in North America or Europe you’ll find that most of these places will require a fairly long flight to reach, but that’s the price you pay for warm weather this time of year, and those staying for at least two weeks can easily justify the airfare by the cheap prices they pay once they have arrived.

Looking for tropical beaches? Check our cheapest Caribbean islands list for the best-value destinations, including at least a few that are surprisingly cheap even in high season.

The Americas

With the United States and Canada either being frozen or expensive (south Florida) this time of year, you’ll want to head to Latin America or the Caribbean for the best bargains with sunny and warm weather.

The CaribbeanNegril Jamaica

If you are looking for cultural destinations then there are many better choices below, but if you are mainly looking to relax on a beach in the warm weather then the Caribbean is your best bet in March. Obviously many of its islands are quite expensive, while others continue to be great bargains. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica are quite cheap in general, with a few resort areas being surprisingly inexpensive.

Believe it or not, the cheapest option for most people is going to be a all-inclusive resort. Rates at most of them are very competitive so they often only cost a bit more than resorts where everything is sold separately. Specifically on the Dominican Republic and in Mexico near Cancun, you can get an all-inclusive room for two starting not much over US$100 per night in March. Nicer places start closer to US$200 per night for two people, which is still quite cheap when it includes all meals and alcohol.

Cancun, Mexico

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 71F/22C
  • March avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

March is still part of the high season in Cancun and all over the Caribbean, but it’s still very good value and prices are lower than during the Christmas weeks. With Easter on March 27 in 2016, it will make the week leading up to that busier than usual so if you want to join that crowd you should book sooner than normal. Aside from that, you can still find pretty good deals to Cancun as well as nearby Playa del Carmen and Cozumel even a few weeks out.

One of the best things about Cancun holidays is that the airport is the busiest in the entire region so it has more direct flights in from key hubs in North America and Europe than any other destination nearby. This keeps flights cheaper than to most islands, and easier to find as well. There are also some good all-inclusive resorts in the Cancun area, though they don’t offer quite the great value that those in Punta Cana (below) do.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$32 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$82 per night for two people

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • March avg high: 85F/29C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

PuntaCanaDRAgain, March is part of the high season in Punta Cana and the last week of the month might be busier than usual because it’s Easter, but still Punta Cana is the best-value destination in the Caribbean for larger resorts and especially for all-inclusive resorts. The rates drop down in summer but then it’s also hotter with some chance of rainfall, so March really is an ideal month to take advantage of the perfect dry weather and reasonable prices.

The resort hotels along the stretch of Punta Cana beaches tend to be large, with many having well over 500 rooms to go along with multiple pools and extensive recreational facilities. Many resorts here are also very family oriented so they could be ideal for a holiday with the kids or even the extended family. Flights into the Punta Cana airport are also among the cheaper fares into the Caribbean, with many direct flights from large hubs, so this is a good choice for many types of travelers.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$45 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people

Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • March avg high: 85F/29C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

Montego Bay is along the northern coast of Jamaica, which is a long way from the arguably sketchy areas of the country. The large and busy airport here has direct flights MontegoBayin from many destinations in North America and Europe, so fares tend to be reasonable, even for a trip of just a long weekend. The Montego Bay area has hundreds of hotels in all price ranges, from modest places a few blocks off the beach up to luxury resorts that you’ll never want to leave.

If Montego Bay itself doesn’t sound perfect then you might instead consider Negril or Ocho Rios, both of which are about 90 minutes from the same airport and each has a different feel. All combined there are about 500 hotels to choose from, including many all-inclusives, so it can be worth checking each of the 3 areas (that are all served by the same airport) and picking the deal that suits you best.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$90 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$244 per night for two people

Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • March avg high: 79F/26C
  • March avg low: 74F/23C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

March is definitely part of high season in Belize, so it’s a good thing that even during this period it’s fairly cheap by most standards. The weather is perfect day and night San Pedro Belizewith almost no chance of rain. San Pedro on Ambergris Caye is the most expensive part of the island so backpackers and budget travelers are advised to head to Caye Caulker, very nearby, instead, for lower prices and a similar vibe.

Belize is definitely one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations, and the offshore islands actually do have quite a Caribbean feel in spite of being surrounded by Latin America. There are wonderful resorts here for those willing to spend more, but even the cheaper hotels are decent, and very good bargains even in high season.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$108 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$292 per night for two people

San Jose, Costa Rica

  • March avg high: 79F/26C
  • March avg low: 59F/15CSan Jose
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

While the capital city of Costa Rica isn’t terribly special on its own, San Jose is where most people will be landing first and the weather there is actually a bit cooler than most beach towns due to the elevation. All of Costa Rica is still on high season in March, but it’s still quite cheap by most standards so it deserves consideration for sure.

The beaches (especially on the Pacific side) are great for surfing and the whole country is brimming with canopy tours and adventure activities, so it’s very big with the Spring Break crowd as well as before and after. Still, it’s hard to find this ideal weather and more to like in such a cheap country so close to the US in March. The most polished resorts are in the Tamarindo area along the northern Pacific coast, so if you are mainly coming to relax on a beach or near a pool, that is probably the place to start your search.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$70 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$85 per night for two people

Mexico City, Mexico

  • March avg high: 78F/26C
  • March avg low: 49F/9C
  • March avg precip: 0.4″/1.0cm

Due to its elevation, Mexico City is fairly cool during winter, but by March the days have warmed up enough that it will feel great when arriving from a cold climate. This city is routinely underrated as a cultural destination by those who might fear the worst, and the city center is very safe by almost any standard.

The food, the nightlife, and the shopping are other great reasons to visit Mexico City at any time of year. Perhaps best of all, it’s all very cheap compared to most of Latin America so you can afford to splurge a bit while still keeping costs down.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$74 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$89 per night for two people

Lima, Peru

  • March avg high: 80F/27C
  • March avg low: 69F/21C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

As a very popular summer destination for South Americans, Lima can be quite crowded from December through February, but by March the crowds are thinning out and hotel prices are falling a bit, in spite of the continuing perfect weather. This is another historic colonial city that also has very good nightlife and excellent food at very good prices.

Most people who visit Lima from far away will do it as part of a tour of South America, and in that context it’s a great stop for at least a few days. By the way, the rainy season in Cusco goes on in March, so the trails can sometimes be cut off, although many people go anyway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$116 per night for two people

Cartagena, Colombia

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 77F/25C
  • March avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

Cartagena is an excellent choice for a late-winter vacation as the weather is still pretty much perfect and yet hotel prices are starting to ease off of their high-season levels. There are great deals on beach hotels in this city from 2-star all the way up to 5-stars, and airfare prices are often cheaper than you’d expect as well.

Another key feature about this city is that it’s a cultural destination in addition to being a great beach spot so you can explore the historic city center and include some culture on an otherwise hedonistic getaway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$87 per night for two people

Santiago, Chile

  • March avg high: 80F/27C
  • March avg low: 51F/11C
  • March avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

Santiago is far enough south that it’s starting to cool off just a bit by March, which is a good thing because it’s even more pleasant. This is another city that is popular with South Americans during their summer so hotel prices start coming down and crowds start thinning out by March, making it an ideal time to come. There’s almost zero threat of rain, and evenings are pleasantly cool.

Another feature of Santiago is that it’s the gateway to several different other destinations within Chile so many people come and stay for just a few days before heading on to a mountain resort or the colonial city of Valparaiso.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$110 per night for two people

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • March avg high: 84F/27C
  • March avg low: 63F/17C
  • March avg precip: 5.3″/13.3cm

Though March is actually the wettest month in Buenos Aires, visitors are unlikely to notice because rainfall is fairly consistent through the year. Again, the temBuenos Airesperatures in March are pretty much ideal and many South American tourists have gone back home by now so hotel prices are a bit lower.

Buenos Aires is starting to look a bit expensive by South American standards, but it’s really more apt to compare it to Europe since that’s how it looks and feels, which still makes it a wonderful bargain. Food and drinks are notoriously good and cheap so you will feel like you are splurging even while keeping your budget low.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$58 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

Bariloche, Argentina

  • March avg high: 66F/19C
  • March avg low: 39F/4C
  • March avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

If you are flying in from a long distance to visit Buenos Aires then you’ll probably also want to include a side trip to Bariloche. This is a mountain resort that is popular all year round since the water activities morph into ice and snow activities in the winter (June through August). March is actually a shoulder-season month here, so room rates will be even lower than they are in summer and winter.Bariloche

Bariloche is also unusual in that it was once a German community and there are still many chocolate shops around town as a reminder. The value here is excellent and it will provide a nice contrast from your other stops in South America.

You might also consider including Mendoza on your trip, which is the main wine region of Argentina, and also good value.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$72 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • March avg high: 90F/32C
  • March avg low: 73F/23C
  • March avg precip: 5.1″/12.8cm

With Carnival having taken place in mid to late February in 2012, March is a perfect time to hit Rio de Janeiro because the crowds have thinned out and the weather is a little more bearable as well. There will be some rain, but Rio is in the Tropics so it tends to come and go quickly, usually in the late afternoon.Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has crept up in price in recent years so it’s not the bargain it once was. Budget travelers can still do well here if they stay inland from the beaches or even in the city center area, but those who want to participate in the good life in Copacabana and Ipanema most days will be paying more for it.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people

Europe

From November through March there are literally no European cities that could qualify as having “great weather,” except for the Canary Islands, mentioned just below. So during the winter Europe is all about cultural tourism, and lower hotel prices make it especially appealing for those who like to stretch their travel budgets and avoid crowds at the same time.

If you are thinking about a city break instead you should check out our recommended cheap London hotels, our recommended cheap Paris hotels, and our recommended cheap Amsterdam hotelsrecommended cheap Rome hotelsrecommended cheap Prague hotels, and recommended cheap Berlin hotels.

 

Not all warm weather, but where to go in Europe in March

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 60F/16C
  • March avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

Tenerife is the most popular part of the Canary Islands (off the coast of Africa) for English-speaking tourists, but there are other options with similar weather and prices. It’s not as warm in March as most other places on this list, though at least it’s fast and cheap to reach by plane from Europe, which isn’t true of the others.

Compared to Europe this island is a relative bargain, which helps make it popular pretty much all year round. Needless to say, prices can range quite a bit from one part of the island to another so it’s good to stay somewhere central if possible so you have the most options for food and drink.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$74 per night for two people

Africa

March is a good month for the northern and southern parts of Africa, which are where most of the popular destinations are anyway.

Cairo, Egypt

  • March avg high: 75F/24C
  • March avg low: 52F/11C
  • March avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

March is part of the sweet period in Cairo where it’s nicely warm but still not overwhelmingly hot. With so many things to see in the outdoors in Cairo you are much better off avoiding the summer heat. Even as part of the high season for hotels, Cairo is incredibly cheap by most standards so you can find a great bargain any time of year.

When Egypt is struggling to attract tourists you might find that you can get a fantastic deal at a 3- or 4-star hotel, since they tend to lower prices when demand is weak while the cheaper places generally hold steady. Food tends to be very cheap in Cairo as well, as long as you avoid the restaurants in those fancy hotels.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$39 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

  • March average high: 77°F/25°C
  • March average low: 61°F/16°C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

March tends to be an in-between month in most of the world for weather, but in Sharm el-Sheikh it’s pretty much the annual sweet spot. Days are warm enough to enjoy sitting on the beach, but they are still not too hot and the evenings are pleasant as well.SharmelSheikh

Many people add a trip to Sharm el-Sheikh to a visit to Cairo, but more people are just skipping the chaos of Cairo and coming here instead. This is an area that is known for amazing value beach resorts along with diving and other activities. You won’t find a better beach hotel deal anywhere.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$15 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$33 per night for two people

Marrakech, Morocco

  • March avg high: 72F/22C
  • March avg low: 49F/9C
  • March avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

It may still be a bit chilly in Marrekech during March so it’s not really ideal for those who are absolutely fed up with snow and freezing temperatures, but at least it’ll be pleasant here. Fez tends to be a bit cooler year round and a bit cheaper as well, though March may be a bit too early for that city if you need warm weather.

There are amazing numbers of hotels in Marrakech and it’s good to be aware that the bottom price level will usually be for something that is very shabby by European standards so many will want to pay a bit more for something nicer. Still, things tend to be cheap in all of Morocco so it’s a good overall destination.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$59 per night for two people

Cape Town, South Africa

  • March avg high: 78F/26C
  • March avg low: 58F/14C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

March is yet another very dry month in Cape Town, and temperatures tend to be pretty much perfect all day and all night as well, even for the beach. The high season hotel prices have eased off a bit so this is a perfect time to enjoy the best possible weather without having to pay the highest prices for it.

Cape Town is relatively cheap once you get there, so the main problem for most people is that it’s quite expensive to fly in. Since most people coming from longer distances tend to combine Cape Town with a safari or other activities then the airfare can still be worthwhile for a longer visit, even if it’s too expensive to just pop down for a few days.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$113 per night for two people

Asia

March is a good month to visit many parts of Asia, although some cities like Bangkok, Saigon, and Siem Reap are already too hot during the day for most people.

Boracay Island, Philippines

  • March average high: 86°F/30°C
  • March average low: 76°F/24°C
  • March avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

You may not have heard of Boracay Island in the Philippines yet, and there are plenty of people who’d rather keep in that way. This small resort island feels like Phuket might have 30 years ago, where pretty much the only way to get around is to saunter along the sand path along White Beach. This place feels modern and there are a few chain restaurants, but generally this island feels far more relaxed and old school than the famous beach resorts in Asia.BoracayIsland

One thing that Boracay Island lacks is super-cheap hotels, but many people prefer to NOT have the backpacker crowd mixed in. Still, hotel value is excellent, especially considering that pretty much every hotel on the island is within a 2-minute walk of the sand, or it’s up in the hills with gorgeous views. Those looking for a new place to relax in March should consider Boracay, at least until it really catches on in a few years.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

Pokhara, Nepal

  • March avg high: 72F/22C
  • March avg low: 50F/10C
  • March avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

It’s still a bit cool in Pokhara, especially toward the beginning of March, but at least it’s very dry, and that is a big key here. This is the trekking capital of the world so you’d rather have cooler days as long as they are clear and dry.

Hotels in Pokhara are incredibly cheap by most standards, and they’ve built so many new ones that prices are likely to stay low for years to come. Food and drinks are also very good deals here so it’s a great place to chill out for a while. The trekking tours can be expensive, however, so if you want to go on multi-day trips with guides you are going to spend a decent chunk of money compared to just staying in town.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$16 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people

Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • March avg high: 95F/35C
  • March avg low: 65F/18C
  • March avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

It’s good to consider that April is the hottest month of the year in most of Southeast Asia so March is already pretty scorching. Fortunately, Chiang Mai is one of the cooler cities in the region, especially in the evenings, so it’s still quite nice and bearable this month. Hotels are still in high season, but the prices here are fantastic even then so there is no point in trying to save money by going when it’s hellishly hot instead.

Chiang Mai is one of the world’s great budget destinations, especially with its hotels but also with its food, drinks, and shopping. It’s very popular for those spending a month or more in the region because it’s much less hectic than Bangkok or other big cities while being cheaper as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$26 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$43 per night for two people

Goa, India

  • March avg high: 90F/32C
  • March avg low: 74F/23C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

The difficult part of Goa is that it’s quite remote for most people so it’s not the sort of place you can go for a long weekend. For that reason this Indian state tends to be very popular for longer trips of a couple weeks or more. The weather is really ideal in Goa during March, though it probably means you’ll want a place with air conditioning rather than just a fan.

Some cities, such as Anjuna and Vagator, are better for the budget crowd and the nightlife crowd, while other beaches further south specialize more in package hotels in the mid range. You can get by on very little in this area if you need to, but paying more will often get you much better quality that’s worth it.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$31 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people

Luang Prabang, Laos

  • March avg high: 92F/33C
  • March avg low: 64F/18C
  • March avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Similar in some ways to Chiang Mai mentioned above, Luang Prabang at least has cooler evenings through this period of the year so it’s still quite nice to visit in March. The key is to do your sightseeing as early as possible and then relax for most of the afternoon.

March is still part of the high season for hotels in Luang Prabang, and accommodation here isn’t as cheap as it is in many other tourist cities in the region, but it’s still quite cheap by most other standards. Affordable food and drink are also easy to find if you look around a bit, so don’t just go into the first place you see if you are trying to save money here.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$38 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$51 per night for two people

Phuket, Thailand

  • March avg high: 92F/33C
  • March avg low: 76F/24C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

It’s getting quite hot in March in Phuket, but since it’s almost exclusively a beach destination it is still worthy of consideration. In fact, all of the islands in Thailand can be quite nice to visit in March, with Phuket being the most expensive of them. The crowds are thinning out after February so hotel prices are coming down a bit as well.

Phuket is quite a large island with many different beaches on its edges, most of which are quite expensive and lined with posh resorts, so if you are on a low budget you are going to have to choose a beach carefully or even stay in Phuket Town, which is inland. Still, food and drink prices are quite low and it’s a fun place if you find the right area for your style.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$40 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people

 Hong Kong

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 62F/17C
  • March avg precip: 2.8″/7.0cm

Hong Kong is still fairly cool in March, but at least it’s mostly dry, so it’s a good time to visit before the summer rainy season can be problematic. This is mostly an indoor city anyway and the evenings are very mild so this is an ideal month to come and enjoy the restaurants, nightlife and shopping in this unique city.Hong Kong

Hotels in Hong Kong have fairly steady prices throughout the year, and the hostels are generally terrible, so finding a cheap hotel isn’t too easy. Still, compared to most of the rest of the world Hong Kong is fairly cheap and it’s a fascinating place to visit, at least once in your life.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$68 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$84 per night for two people

Middle East

March is cool and even a bit rainy in most of the Middle East. An exception is Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which both have perfect sunny weather. However, they don’t make this list because they aren’t really cheap enough for the cut.

       

 

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