A few weeks ago, we interviewed Gossip Girl's Yin Chang to get her hopes and expectations about her Contiki Budapest, Vienna, and Prague tour.
She recently returned from her Contiki trip and here she's sounding off on her experience through photos, highlights, and her favorite things to eat as she traveled with Contiki for her very first time. Check it out!
Welcome back! Looks like you had an amazing time on your Contiki to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague! What surprised you about each of these destinations? Did the cities live up to your expectations?
It was amazing! I was surprised to see how beautifully the cities were built and maintained. All three cities are only a few hours away from each other and it fascinated me to see the differences in social class. I went to the cities without any expectations and Prague blew me away. That city was extremely memorable—especially writing on the John Lennon Wall during one of our bike tour’s pit stops. I would love to visit Prague again. If I ever stop by Vienna again I’d love to spend more time visiting their museums and I would definitely visit the Imperial Butterfly House (my favorite spot in Vienna) again.
This was your first time traveling alone without any friends or family. Tell us about the group dynamic. What did you expect and what actually happened?
I tried not to go in with any expectations thought I was a little nervous. There were some people/groups that were already friends with each other prior to the trip but they were all very sweet and friendly and open to making new friends. Everyone was.
You told us that you “encourage young women and men to break away from their normal everyday lives and go on an adventure overseas.” Do you feel Contiki is a great opportunity for first-time travelers?
Yes, definitely- Contiki is a great trip for first-time travelers whether you’re traveling by yourself or with your friends. It’s also a great introduction to the cities so if you do decide to vacation in the future with family, friends or your significant other you’ll already know which of your favorite cities to go to.
What was your favorite optional excursion or activity on the Contiki trip and why would you recommend it?
My favorite activity was definitely the bike ride through Prague.
Doing something active while learning about the history and culture made it so much more memorable and fun.
During your free time on the Contiki trip, you went skydiving in Prague! What motivated you to jump out of an airplane?
I’ve always wanted to go skydiving, just wanted to make sure my first time would be in a different country that I love. I was planning on jumping my first time in New Zealand but something came over me during this trip. If I’m already doing something out of the ordinary by traveling with a group of people I’ve never met, by myself, then why not end the trip with a bang and skydive in Prague- my favorite city from this trip.
One of your travel rituals was to try the authentic dishes. Which ones were your favorites? Which ones were your least favorite, and why?
My favorite was a deliciously prepared lamb dish, it was so flavorful and tender.
Not that it was the worst dish I ever tried but it was not that impressive- strips of pancake in a soup. It was served in the Schönbrunn Palace. A lot of us were shocked because we had these grand assumptions about dishes that would be served in a palace, some of us couldn’t help but laugh. It was definitely interesting to say the least.
What souvenirs did you bring back from your destinations (if any)
A painting of Prague
How did you enjoy the Contiki travel style and what makes this experience memorable?
I learned a lot about the history and culture of each city. I never liked history class but the way our local tour guides as well as our tour manager explained it, I was intrigued and enthusiastic about learning.
Especially if you are a people-person and love making new friends, I highly suggest this for you. Contiki is a lot about socializing.
Assuming all Contiki tour managers are like the one we had, I was impressed with his level of professionalism and knowledge about each country. He kept us organized, informed and taken care of.
You must have the travel bug now! Any idea which destinations (or Contiki trips) you’ll want to venture off to next?
I’d love to visit as many countries as I can. Honestly doesn’t matter where, just somewhere that I’ve never been to. But to be more specific, one of my best friends and I are thinking about taking a Contiki trip to Europe. We are excited to see what that’s going to be like!
Why would you recommend Contiki to your friends who are looking to travel abroad?
For the amount of sightseeing that is packed into the itinerary, you will definitely get your money’s worth! You’ll also be ending the trip with a whole new group of friends. For those who want to explore and make new friends, this trip is ideal!
About Yin Chang
Yin Chang made her film debut as “Mei Kwan” in Walt Disney’s PROM. Aside from her movie, she is most recognized for her role as ‘Nelly Yuki’ on CW’s Gossip Girl. Chang stars in Lifetime’s new original movie The Bling Ring as “Natalie Kim”, inspired by a true story. Prior to that, she has made numerous appearances on TV shows including NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Love Bites, and ABC’s Six Degrees.
Chang is featured in several publications such as Variety and a spread in Seventeen. She was selected by NYLON Magazine as one of the 45 Young Hollywood stars of the next generation. Hudson Jeans noted Chang as one of the 14 rising young stars of the “Young Hollywood Generation”. Mochi Magazine selected her as one of the 25 prominent young Asian American influences under the age of 25. Chang has also been featured on popular media outlets with the likes of E! News and AOL’s Cambio News.
Chang, born and raised in New York, is the eldest of three daughters. She is of Taiwanese and Chinese, Malaysian ancestry.