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Kui Buri National Park: A Mini Guide To This Nature’s Paradise In Thailand

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Comprising of dry and moist evergreen trees; Kui Buri National Park is an immensely picturesque forest, located in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand. Established in 1999, this national park is set in the backdrop of Tenasserim Hills and offers stunning natural beauty.

Featuring various species of palm trees; Kui Buri National Park is habitat of Thailand’s largest elephant and gaur populations. This is a perfect sight of wonder and frequented by all kinds of avid travellers. If you are one of them; have a look at what Kui Buri National Park offers to all.

Best Time To Visit Kui Buri National Park

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Kui Buri National Park is a year-round destination but it is recommended to avoid the rainy season from May to November. Not much of wildlife can be spotted during those months, as it is their primary breeding season. So, the best time to visit Kui Buri National Park is from December to April.

Opening Hours & Entrance Fee Of Kui Buri National Park

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Kui Buri National Park comprises of a visitor centre with restroom and parking facilities and a wildlife spotting area. The visitor centre is open round the clock while the wildlife spotting area is open for visitors from 2 pm to 6 pm. The last entry for this is at 5 pm. The ticket for both visitor centre and wildlife area is INR 451/person.

How To Reach Kui Buri National Park

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If you are wondering how to reach Kui Buri National Park; fret not! One can reach Kui Buri town by train or minivan from Bangkok or Hua Hin. Kui Buri town is 30 kms away from the national park. As there is no public transport service up to Kui Buri National Park, one can hire a private cab from the town.

Must Read: Scuba Diving In Thailand: 5 Places That’ll Let You Dip, Dive & Explore The Underwater Life At Its Best

Where To Stay In Kui Buri National Park

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There are ample stay options in Kui Buri town, located 30 kms away. Kui Buri Hotel & Resort, Dhevan Dara Beach Villa and X2 Kui Buri are some of the options. But you can also stay within the national park area, but options are limited. There is no hotel or resort inside Kui Buri National Park. There is a campsite and the visitor centre provide tent and other camping equipment on rent for jungle camping. One can also, bring their own tent. Moreover, there is one 3-bedroom bungalow of the forest department for night stay.

Suggested Read: 10 Thailand Zoos That Let You Witness The Gorgeous Thai Wildlife

Things To Do In Kui Buri National Park

The most important and primary activity to do in Kui Buri National Park is wildlife spotting. The forest is said to have largest populations of elephant and gaur in Thailand. With almost 320 elephants and huge number of Gaurs; this place is also famous for leopards, golden jackals, barking deer and langurs. Other than animals; some common birds spotted here are crested fireback, Indian roller and Asian openbill. Spotting wildlife and bird watching are the most favourite activities of Kui Buri National Park, among the tourists.

1. Elephant watching tour

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This is the best place to watch huge herds of Thailand’s national animal, elephants, in their natural habitat along with other wild animals and fauna-flora of the region. The park has one of Thailand’s largest herds of wild elephants, about 320 total. There are plenty of stations and platforms for you to watch these gentle giants. But before you head to elephant-spotting, go first to the Ranger Station, where you can see the oriental pied hornbills that frequent the area.

It is a great pleasure to witness the elephant families eating and playing around a pond. Here, you stand a chance to also spot Thailand’s largest population of gaurs, or Indian bison, while they graze. Malayan tapir and deer are some other creature you can see here.

Suggested Read: 10 Bizarre National Parks In Thailand For A Rare Encounter With The Wild

2. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

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Just 50 minutes drive away from Kui Buri is another beautiful a marine national park, called Khao Sam Roi Yot. This one also falls in the Kui Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand. Spread across 98.08 km², of which 20.88 km² are marine areas, this national park offers you a wildlife experience across different forms of habitat. Established in 1966, this is the first coastal national park of Thailand. Khao Sam Roi Yot includes Thailand’s largest freshwater marsh. Some of the marine species you can spot here include: Mudskippers, fiddler crabs, collared kingfisher, snapping shrimps, mud creeper, Irrawaddy dolphins and oysters. Some are animals you can see in its mainland are : serow, dusky langurs, fishing cats and many bird species.

Suggested Read: 10 Places To Visit In Thailand in August To Escape The Thai Monsoon

3. Phraya Nakhon Cave

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Just 1 hour drive away from Kui Buri National Park is the magnificent Phraya Nakhon Cave, a mysterious tourist spor in Thailand. It is a task to reach this places as the gold and green pavilion here, is hidden inside a cave which is not easy to enter. It is also a great idea to combine your boat trip to the cave with a trip to the Monkey Island.

Further Read: Explore The Tropical Paradise Of Coral Island Thailand

Ready to hit Kui Buri National Park? Glance at this guide once again, pack your bags and head out. Make sure you include this sprawling forest while planning your next Thailand trip.

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Belgium Travel – Cockpit Of Europe: A Mini Guide To The Unique Side Of Belgium

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Belgium’s greatest attractions are its medieval town centers, home to an abundance of UNESCO locales and numerous awesome bistro bars serving a portion of the planet’s best lagers. In any case, there’s quite a lot more, from stalactite-filled caverns to post-modern legacy, woodland edged kayaking waterways and country chateaux to sandy North Sea shorelines. And our wanderlust often motivates us to explore the unknown or lesser known sides of our destinations, because we believe there is much more to place than what is commercially promoted. So, through our mini guide, Belgium Travel – Cockpit Of Europe, we are intending to present this Western European country in a different limelight.

Why Is Belgium Called “The Cockpit of Europe”?

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You must be wondering what gives a country like Belgium gives a nickname so strange? Since at any rate Roman occasions, what we currently call Belgium has frequently ended up in the way of trespassers. Urban areas have been attacked and merciless clashes have seethed, not minimum over the most recent two centuries. A lion statue on a funnel-shaped fake slope ignores the world popular Waterloo war zone where Napoleon was at long last vanquished.

Apparently, unlimited columns of white headstones in Flanders fields honor four years of WWI damnation. Also, frequenting previous jail camps and various exhibition halls delicately respect the individuals who kicked the bucket in WWII, the last throes of which incorporated Hitler’s staggering ‘Battle-of-the-Bulge’ counter-assault in the Ardennes.

Belgium is one of the biggest European areas. Belgium is likewise called the Cockpit of Europe since this is where the largest number of discernible European battles have taken place. In history, heaps of European forces battled with one another for the matchless quality of this zone, consequently, Belgium is known as the Cockpit of Europe.

Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Brussels That Highlight The Charm Of The City

10 Interesting Places To Visit In Belgium

1. Waterloo War Zone

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Waterloo in Belgium is the war zone of Napoleon Bonaparte’s last battle, the Battle of Waterloo, fought June 18, 1815. This was also the largest war zone in Europe during that time. The highlight of this popular site is the Lion’s statue places on a mound, looking upon the vast battle field. The historical significance of this place attracts a lot of tourists from round the world. The sight can be roughly divided into 3 parts, Hameau du Lion (Lion’s Hamlet), Waterloo Town Centre and in the Museum in the Last Headquarters of Napoleon Bonaparte.

2. Atomium

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The Atomium in Brussels, is a landmark building located on the Heysel Plateau. It was constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and is now a museum. The structure is 335 feet tall, with stainless-steel-spheres that are connected with each other, depicting an atomic structure formation. Interestingly, each sphere has space for hosting exhibitions.

Suggested Read: 10 Essential Europe Travel Tips For The Newbies!

3. King Baudouin Stadium

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Cricket is a Belgian invention! Scholars believe that settlers from north Belgium could have imported the amusement to Britain, in light of a an ancient poem, composed in 1533, that calls Flemish weavers ‘ruler of crekettes’ and furthermore makes reference to ‘wickets’, originating before English references dating to the 1600s. So, a country where the sport of cricket is so significant, visiting a popular stadium is a great idea. King Baudouin Stadium is a multi-use stadium inaugurated in 1930. This is the biggest stadium in Belgium and you would need a guide for the visit. There are various interactive tools installed at different zones in the stadium that tells you about its history.

4. Signal de Botrange

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The highest point in Belgium is smaller than world’s tallest building. The Signal de Botrange on the High Fens level in far-east Belgium is the highest point in Belgium which is around 694m. It is shorter than the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, the BurjKhalifa at 828m. Belgium alongside the Netherlands and Luxembourg are verifiably known as the Low Countries.

Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Poland For A Fun European Vacay

5. Boerentoren

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It has Europe’s first skyscrapers. The structure is known as Torengebouw and was completed in 1928 in Antwerp. It is as yet the tallest place in Antwerp today and is about 96m high and consists of 26 floors. The workmanship deco structure, now known as Boerentoren or KBC Tower, was the tallest expanding on the landmass until 1940 when Terrazza Martini Tower opened in Genoa, Italy.

6. Rue du Marché aux Herbes

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Belgium is additionally credited to having Europe’s most seasoned shopping arcades, The Galeries St Hubert, which opened in Brussels in 1847. The oldest shopping place in Belgium is in the back streets between the Rue du Marché aux Herbes /Grasmarkt and the Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères /Warmoesberg and displace an ignoble space where the bourgeoisie hardly wandered into with a secured shopping arcade in excess of 200 meters (660 feet) long. This packed lane is a popular shopping street in Belgium, so make sure you pay a visit to this humble yet busy street for a real feel of Belgium shopping.

Suggested Read: 20 Things To Do In Prague: Key To An Apt European Vacay

7. Rue des Bouchers

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Get ready to add an inch or two to your waistline. Belgium’s surprising scope of food specialities goes a long way, past the nation’s modest size and isn’t meant for weight-watchers. Brussels and Liège contend over what establishes the ideal waffle, while innumerable shops offer a portion of the world’s most delicious chocolates. Large mussels are presented with a firm, twice-seared frites that you’ll just call ‘French’ fries at your danger. Blending is a relatively mysterious workmanship in Belgium with an amazing rainbow of various styles, most remarkably the six extraordinary Trappist brews, still made inside dynamic religious communities. Wondering, where to go to gulp all of this? Head straight to Rue des Bouchers, the popular food street in Brussels.

8. Flanders

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Despite the fact that minimal, Belgium is a place with striking complexities: etymological, social and topographic. Most of the memorable ‘workmanship’ urban communities lie in prevalent level, Dutch-speaking Flanders, tempting guests with medieval towers, mystical marketplaces and architecturally different houses that frequently ignore really urban waterways. Flanders is a Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium. If you want to explore a different cultural side of the country, this is where you must go. The sight of its beautiful canals and bridges harmoniously blending with urban settlement will leave you breathless.

Suggested Read: Planning A European Holiday? Here’s How You Can Get Paid To Travel Across Europe!

9. Wallonia

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Wallonia is the French-speaking portion of the Southern Belgium. Conversely, in spite of some interesting post-modern urban areas, quite a bit of sloping, French-speaking Wallonia is significantly rustic. So it’s valuable to have your own wheels to achieve the locale’s tremendous caverns, noteworthy manors and rustic valleys, where there’s perpetual open-air amusing to be had. The place is known for its medieval towns, Renaissance-era architecture and traditional Trappist beers. Popular tourist spots include baroque St. Aubin Cathedral and the Citadel, a hilltop fort founded in the 10th century. It is located in the Namur.

10. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

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Forefront exhibition halls and finely enriched displays disclose the mind-boggling history of what has been a pot of European craftsmanship, from the Flemish Primitives, through Rubens’ enticing fairies and workmanship nouveau’s twisted bends to unusual surrealism, funny cartoons and 21st-century mold. Belgium likewise has a portion of the world’s most bizarre fairs. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is a place where you can get a peek of all the above. This group of art museums contains over 20,000 drawings, sculptures, and paintings, dating from the early 15th century to the present.

Further Read: 10 Extraordinary Things To Do During Your Summer Holidays In Europe

We hope that our mini guide, Belgium Travel – Cockpit Of Europe, has helped you travel through time and virtually visit the wonderful historical streets and places of Belgium. So, plan a trip to Belgium now, pack your stuff and plunge into the amazing experience that Belgium has to offer.

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Enter The World Of Webtoons At This Cartoon Cafe In South Korea

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This cartoon cafe in South Korea is a bizarre eatery, inspired by the fantasy world of cartoons. ‘Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20‘ is based on the theme of a hit Korean TV show called, ‘W – Two Worlds’, featuring Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo. In this fantasy-romance series, the characters switch between “two worlds” – the real one and the webtoon world.

This unique cafe was opened in July 2017 and is located in the popular district of Yeonnam-dong. The name of the cafe is actually its address.

Café Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is where the reality dines the imaginary. The monochrome design of this eatery creates a 2D optical illusion which makes you feel as if you are inside a cartoon strip illustration. Everything here, right from the walls to floors, from furniture to doors, and even the cutleries, stick to the black and white color theme. Every element of the cafe is in white and is outlined with stripes of black, making it look like a cartoon, sketched on a paper. The walls also have illusionary windows with 3D effect and comic strips plastered on them.

This 20-seater cafe has gained a lot of praises and is often crowded. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 11am to 9pm and is closed Mondays. The menu is concise and Lattes are the highlights. If you ever get a chance to visit South Korea, Café Yeonnam-dong 239-20 has to be on your bucket-list, at least for your Instagram sake.

Further Read: Grab This Chance To Tail The Aurora Northern Lights All Day In Norway

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10 Things To Do In Koh Lanta For A Power – Packed Thai Vacay

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Located in the Andaman Sea, off the West Coast of Thailand is this beautiful island called Koh Lanta. It sits between the Phi Phi Islands and the mainland. Koh Lanta is administratively a part of the Krabi Province. The island not just offers everything that you would expect from a Thai vacation but there are also many other things to do in Koh Lanta that guarantee some add on experiences.

10 Best Things To Do In Koh Lanta

On your visit to Thailand, make sure you take out some time to experience Koh Lanta. The water sports, cave explorations, waterfalls, forest trails, national park, beach biking and many other things to do will ensure that your vacation is full of adventure and fun.

1. Kayak in the sea

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The kayaking experience in Koh Lanta is going to be a kick of raw adventure. Unlike the scuba and snorkeling group tours provided from any island that take a big crowd in one go, the snorkeling tour is of hardly 10 people. This really means a lot when you are holidaying here to distance yourself from the crowd of the city.

The Kayaking tour from Koh Lanta leads you to Koh Phee or the Ghost Island. Here, you would find yourself surrounded by a number of caves. Hike and explore these caves like a local, without any harness. From here, you leave for a gorgeous beach where you would also spot some monkeys. Kayak around the Talabeng Islands and end your tour with snacks and juice.

Cost: INR 2, 800
Tips: Carry sport shoes, sunglasses, enough water and waterproof phone cases.

2. Explore Khao Mai Kaew Cave

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Khao Mai Kaew Cave is a unique and narrow cave located in the Koh Lanta District. The trek that leads you to this cave is highly adventurous. The cave is dark, muddy, and slippery. The hike includes climbing ladders, pushing and crawling through small openings and walking across bamboo bridges. Exciting, isn’t it?

To give you some goosebumps, you’ll be encountering bats, large cave spiders and frogs. Finally, when you make it to the inside of the cave, take a refreshing plunge into the cave pools surrounded by the stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Cost: INR 700 (entry fee per head)
Tips: Wear older clothes and comfortable shoes.

Must Read: 8 Unique Koh Samui Restaurants To Know The Real Thailand

3. Visit Mu Koh Lanta National Park

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Established back in 1990, Muh Koh Lanta National Park is a marine park in the Krabi Province. In Thai, ‘muh’ means ‘group’ and ‘Koh’ means island, and Muh Koh Lanta National park indeed is situated on a group of islands.

The terrain of the national park is mainly of rugged and hills, spanning an area of 20 kmsq rainforest and forested beach along the coast lines at Ko Lanta Yai and Ko Ngai. Other islands included within the national park, like Mai Ngam, South Mai Ngam and Ngu islands, are covered with mangrove forest. The major attractions include, Ta Nod Beach, Tham Khao Mai Kaew Cave, Tham Seua Cave, Khlong Chak Cave, Khlong Chak Waterfall, Ko Rok twin islands, etc.

Cost: INR 450
Tips: Carry enough water, mosquito repellent, comfortable shoes.

4. Explore beaches on a bike

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This is partially like a Goa trip where you rent a two wheeler and scale the local lanes and beaches of the place. Here, in Koh Lanta, the best way to know the city like a local is to hire a motorbike and explore some beautiful beaches including the Bamboo Bay, Nui Bay, Kantiang Bay, Klong Nin Beach, and Long Beach.

Exploring the region on a bike lets you absorb the place in your own pace. Don’t rush, take time at every spot you stop. Enjoy the views and relish some snack drinks in the nearby restaurants.

Cost: INR 330 – 450 per day
Tips: Inspect the bike before renting, preferably carry an international license, drive on the left.

Suggested Read: 7 Things Not To Do In Thailand: The Basics Of Traveling In The Land Of Smiles

5. Go on a forest trail at Khlong Jark Waterfall

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Khlong Jark Waterfall is a small and seasonal cascade, surrounded by lush green tropical rainforest. The waterfall can be by a moderate hiking path which makes the visit pretty interesting.

During your forest trail, you’ll come across many huge Banyan trees with exposed roots and a dam. You can also visit the Klong Chak Cave.

Cost: Entry is free but parking charges are applicable
Tips: There is a lot of walking involved so wear comfortable shoes and carry an extra pair of clothes.

6. Enjoy snorkeling & scuba diving

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Snorkeling is one of the popular things to do in Koh Lanta and the island is near the prominent snorkeling and scuba diving spots. Though, most of the companies providing these two services in Koh Lanta take a large group of tourists in one tour, there are companies that claim to work with small groups and fast boats.

The popular diving sites near Koh Lanta include, Koh Haa Yai Island, Koh Bida, Phi Phi, Koh Rok Islands, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, and Shark Point.

Cost: Starting from INR 7700
Tips: Compare prices and services before paying choosing a scuba diving and snorkeling tour provider.

Suggested Read: 10 Fun Things To Do In Patong For An Unforgettable Experience On Your Next Holiday

7. Detox with a body massage

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Thailand is the best place to pamper yourself with the body massage services. And if you are here for a detox vacay, it is incomplete without relaxing your body and mind with a traditional massage. Koh Lanta has numerous body massage service providers and you’ll here, “hello massage” as you cross the lanes and streets.

The traditional Thai massage involves yoga-like stretches,intended to stimulate senses. The session that lasts an hour or two includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body, relieving you from stress. It’s an experience worth taking.

Cost: INR 600
Tips: Long Beach is one of the most prefered places to get a body massage done.

8. Treat yourself at the resto-bars

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When you visit a place, you surely got to taste its local cuisines. At Koh Lanta, the experience will be accompanied by drinks and sunset. Hit to any of the popular resto-bars or food carts to munch on the popular local snack and sip the delicious juices. This is one of the best places to fulfill your seafood cravings. Restaurants like Salty Fish, Majestic Bar, Indian Bar, Kindee Restaurant, Caoutchouc Restaurant, Peak Cafe are some of the places you can try.

Suggested Read: 10 Top Things To Do In Ayutthaya For Witnessing The Lesser Known Side Of Thailand

9. Entertain yourself watching beach fire-show

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The spectacular fire-show on the beaches of Koh Lanta is one of the best things you’ll see on the island. As you enjoy sipping your cocktail, watch these daredevils play with fire by spinning and tossing it with ease.

The fire show is hosted by many of the restaurants of Koh Lanta including, the Indian Bar, the Freedom Bar, and the Richley Bar & Restaurant.

10. Learn yoga or cooking

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Yoga is a skill that you can practice lifelong and which calms your body, soul and mind. Learn yoga in Koh Lanta at any of the yoga centres like the Oasis Yoga, Lanta Yoga, Sanctuary Yoga, etc. There are also many cooking classes for tourists in Koh Lanta where you can learn and take home the recipes of your favourite Thai dishes. Try your luck at Cooking With Mon, Time for Lime, Lanta Thai Cookery School, Sai Thai Cooking School, etc.

Cost: INR 880 (yoga classes)

Suggested Read: 10 World Heritage Sites In Thailand That’ll Make You Fall In Love With It All Over Again

Best time to visit Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta experiences the wet season from May to December with June to October months receiving heavy rainfall, slowing down the tourism during these months. Thus, the best time to visit Koh Lanta is the dry and hot season, during January to April.

Now that you know about all the experiences that are waiting for you in Koh Lanta, you cannot say no to this beautiful island in Thailand. So, plan a trip to Thailand now and tick off every plan on this list.

Further Read: Koh Lanta Island: The Lesser Known Paradise In Thailand

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This Epic Dream Job Will Pay You For Skiing The World, All Winter!

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The Skiing-expert websites, Ski.com and Epic Pass, recently declared about one of their sensational job titles called the “Epic Dream Job”. Under this post, they are hunting for a skier or snowboarder who will be fortunate enough to travel to 7 different countries on 3 distinct continents. The journey will be for a period of 2 months, from January to February, 2019.

The candidate will be granted an ‘Epic Pass’ to ski or ride at more than a dozen exotic destinations including, Whistler Blackcomb and Fernie in Canada; Vail, Park City and Breckenridge in the U.S.; Verbier in Switzerland; Courchevel in France and Hakuba Valley in Japan.

What raises the bar of excitement is the paycheque, as the person would be paid $10,000 for the entire travel. As a perk of being an ‘Epic Dream Job employee’, he or she will also be picking up new skiing gears and outfits from some world popular sports and accessory brands such as Helly Hansen, Rossignol and Oakley.

Commenting on this thrilling job opening and their collaboration with Epic Pass, Dan Sherman – Chief Marketing Officer of Ski.com said, “We are excited to partner with the Epic Pass and other iconic ski and travel brands to hire an adventurer who will highlight what it’s like to literally travel around the world on a single ski trip”.

To apply for this fantastic job, all you need to be is passionate about skiing or snowboarding and travel. Just create a 60 second application video on what makes you the perfect candidate for this job. Post it on your social media using hashtag ‘#EpicDreamJob’, anytime between September 5 and October 15, 2018. Good luck!

Further Read: Nevis Catapult In New Zealand Turns You Into A Slingshot & Hurls You For The Craziest Jump Ever

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5 Best Hong Kong Water Parks For A Rejuvenating Holiday

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Have you ever played in water? The very feeling of splashing and getting drenched in it is so refreshing and exciting, isn’t it? But when was the last time you actually played in water? As we grow, we move away from the real joys of life. Especially, if we are living in a city like Hong Kong, where people follow a fast lifestyle. This is where these 5 best Hong Kong water parks step in as our life savers.

Best time to visit Hong Kong

The summers in Hong Kong is generally hot, humid and wet. Whereas the winters are mild and comparatively dry. Thus, the month between October to December are the best time to visit Hong Kong.

5 best Hong Kong water parks

1. Ocean Park, Aberdeen

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If you are at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, you have every right to get super excited because valla, you are in Asia’s largest water theme park. Started in the year 1977, Ocean Park has expanded and advanced over the years. In 2014, further 30 rides were installed in the park. Spread across 80,000Sqm, Ocean Park is bigger than the Hong Kong Disneyland.

In 2011, a world-class marine themed area was opened. Hold your breath as you enter this Grand Aquarium. This is a huge underwater aquarium with a 13-metre wide acrylic viewing panel fixed inside a giant pool. The pool is the home for 5,000 fishes from 400 different species. And if you are curious to touch the sea creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish, there’s a ‘touching pool’ for you. Not just marine, this park also houses other Asian animals like pandas and Chinese alligators.

Timings: 10.30am – 7pm
Entry fee: INR 3,200
Location:

Must Read: 10 Festivals In Hong Kong That Best Showcase The City Culture

2. Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island

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Disneyland always tops the list of theme parks but when it comes to water parks, there’s an interesting twist. Spread over 310 acres of land, the Hong Kong Disneyland resort is inspired by the original one in California. The park covers four ‘lands’ based on fantasy, space, adventure and Americana, namely – Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and Main Street USA.

On seeing your favourite Disney characters walking around the street, you will make you jump in excitement like a kid, no matter what age you are. Imagine yourself giving a big cuddly hug to Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Chip & Dale and many other cartoon characters you loved. But the excitement doesn’t end here because the Hong Kong Disneyland has much more to offer. Giving a spin to the regular water park rides, Disneyland offers you rides like Jungle River Cruise and rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse. Enjoy cruising through the adventurous water routes on a junky boat.

Timings: 10.30am – 7:30pm
Entry fee: INR 4,600
Location:

Suggested Read: 7 Best Hong Kong Temples Every Traveler Should Visit To Explore Their Spiritual Side

3. Core Aqua Park, Tai Po Kau

Opened in July 2018, Core Hong Kong is the biggest inflatable water park in Hong Kong. Located in Tai Po Kau village, it is a multi-purpose, state of the art community centre which is a great place to connect with your people. Set up amidst the natural beauty of the village and the fresh water lake, Core is an effort to pose as an ideal recreational site, away from the hustle bustle of the city. The recreation centre offers a variety of activities for children and adults.

The Aqua Park ensures the safety of its visitors by deploying lifeguards on the site. The duration of your stay in the park is limited to a 1 hour session during which you will be given a safety briefing also. There are 600 lockers for the visitors to keep their belonging safe. The cushioned inflatable water-play area has interesting paths, slides, bridges, etc in a playful colour theme of white, red, blue and yellow. The place also boasts to have the only two tower cable in Hong Kong. You can also enjoy some delicious BBQ dishes along with the beautiful lake view.

Timings: 9.30am – 6pm (Mon-Fri) / 10am – 6pm (Sat-Sun)
Entry fee: INR
Location:

Suggested Read: Destination Of The Month: 10 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is Perfect For A Family Vacation

4. Tseung Kwan O Outdoor Swimming Pool

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Tseung Kwan O Outdoor Swimming Pool is a popular place among the kids and adults of Hong Kong. With eight pools in total, this place can be a called a mini-water theme park. The best thing about Tseung Kwan O is that it caters to all levels of swimmers and is also much affordable than other water parks. With even a paddling pool for toddlers that has tiny safe slides and a 50m pool with lanes, this place engages and entertains the entire family.

There are at least five more slides of various lengths and speeds catering to children with different levels comfort in the water. This place is truly a water playground with sprinklers in the centre, constantly spraying water in all directions and a number of giant water pistols and levers to maintain the amusement level. The twisting water slides excite the teens. The main is heated during the Winter season making this place feel like a heaven during the chilled-season. Tseung Kwan O outdoor swimming pool have vast changing rooms and also provide lockers (INR 50) to keep your belongings safe, while you enjoy in the pool. After you have made the most of this water in this place, enjoy some delicious snacks at the small café (with seats under umbrellas) located here.

Timings: 6.30am(first session starts) – 10pm(third session ends) / April – Oct (closed on Monday)
Location:

Suggested Read: 7 Wonders Of Hong Kong That Will Leave You Jaw Dropped!

5. Tai Po Aquatic Center, Hong Kong

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The Tai Po Aquatic Center has has the longest slides in Hong Kong. With the recent introduction of a Trio of Translucent Slides the excitement has doubled. The translucent Polin body slides colored blue, yellow and purple all produced with the closed molded RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) technology are becoming a thing among the visitors. These new slides highlight the new age of waterslide technology. The slide here are superior, shiny and smooth with a glassy look.

Timings: 6.30am(first session starts) – 10pm(third session ends)
Entry fee: INR I60 (weekdays) & INR 170 (weekends)
Location:

You totally deserve quality time out with for yourself, with you kids or the entire family. Visit any of these water parks in Hong Kong and relive your childhood days. Make sure you visit any of these water parks when you tour to Hong Kong. Plan a trip to Hong Kong now!

Must Read: Disneyland In Hong Kong: A Tailor-Made Guide To Endless Fun For Everyone!

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Have You Visited The Two Of The ‘World’s Greatest Places 2018’ In Abu Dhabi Yet?

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Abu Dhabi is gaining all the attention with two of its landmark attractions securing a space on the Time magazine’s list of 100 ‘World’s Greatest Places 2018’. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi located in the capital city are the only attractions in the UAE to be on the list.

Commenting on Abu Dhabi’s touristic ambitions, Time magazine says, “great fortunes like to associate themselves with great art” referring to the museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi. And talking about Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, the magazine added, the theme park is “designed to entertain all kinds of Warner Bros fans and also offer them a reprieve from the region’s often sweltering heat”. This proves that these two attractions truly deserve to be in the World’s Greatest Places 2018 list.

In the past few months, UAE has launched several campaigns targeting to increase the number visitors to the country. This includes Cabinet’s decision to give visa-on-arrival to the international travelers. Abu Dhabi has also been putting in commendable efforts, leading the world in tourism. It has successfully diversified its oil-rich economy and invested in creating some of the remarkable landmarks that have gone famous over the years. The city’s inclusion on the list has not-only boosted its tourism-spirit but has also won appreciation from the tourism experts globally.

We have The Louvre, Warner Bros, Yas Island and a tremendous amount of investment, effort and the right brands entering the market,” said Gaurav Sinha, a tourism expert based in Dubai.

It’s one thing to invest money in creating landmarks, per se, and another thing to bring trusted operators like Warner Bros into markets like Abu Dhabi. The long-term strategy is yielding dividends.

While Dubai pose a positive competition, bringing in 87 percent of all arrivals in UAE, Abu Dhabi is showing visible progress in terms of yearly bookings. The capital is seeing a 15 % hike in bookings year on year, compared to Dubai’s 6% increase from 2016 to 2017. With all these endeavors, Abu Dhabi is opening doors to new tourism prospects for itself and UAE as a whole.

Meanwhile, the other destinations in the Gulf region that got on the list are, King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture in Saudi Arabia, the Al Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco, and Cairo’s Marriott Mena House hotel.

In compiling the World’s Greatest Places 2018 list, Time had welcomed nominations across a variety of categories, such as, museums, parks, bars, restaurants, theme parks, cruises and hotels, from their editors and correspondents around the world as well as dozens of industry experts. “The result is a list as diverse as the world it reflects, with 100 entries spanning six continents and 48 countries,” says Time.

Further Read: Guess Which European City Gets The Title Of World’s Most Liveable City This Year

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7 Vivid National Parks In Dubai & Nearby Places

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When we think of Dubai, we think of Burj Khalifa and other architectural masterpieces that the city proudly boasts about. But many of us have not explored the wild side of Dubai. Dubai has some of the most interesting national parks. Each national park in Dubai has been constructed in a unique way.

Top 7 National Parks in Dubai and Around

You’ll be amazed to see the various versions of “national parks’ that Dubai and its nearby places have.

1. Mushrif Park

Mushrif Park is a family-oriented park in Dubai which was opened to public in 1982 by the Dubai Municipality. The park is located in the East of Dubai city, Deira, and spans 5.25 square kilometres in area.
The international village at Mushrif Park comprises of 13 models of Arabic and English houses. The park has a great entertainment setting too, with electronic games, barbecue and trip areas and pool services. There are play areas for children and adult sports playground for games like basketball, volleyball and handball. You would also find walking pavements and bicycle tracks, prayer rooms, green areas, restaurants, canteens, train ride services, camel and horse riding, park theatre, and facilities for people with special needs.

Entry fee: INR 60
Timings: 8am – 10pm

Must Read: 12 Tourist Places In Dubai: Do Not Come Back Without Visiting These Marvels

2. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland reserve which is blessed with the quality of attracting large number of migratory birds, every year. Not just birds, the sanctuary has a huge number of crustaceans, small mammals and fishes. The place is dominated by a large flock of Flamingos, who gather here during winters. Other than Flamingos, you can also spot some grey herons, great egrets, reef herons, cormorants, black-winged stilts, sandpipers, osprey and many other wilds.

Titled as the ‘Cape of the Creek,’ Ras Al Khor is closely monitored and protected by the Dubai Municipality. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary that covers an area of 6km is a favourable habitat for the birds as it features a variety of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons for the birds to use for their nests and individual habitats.

Entry fee: INR 60
Timings: 6am – 6pm

Suggested Read: 10 Best Villas In Dubai For Living The Life Of Luxury That You Always Dreamt Of!

3. Dubai National Park

The story of the Dubai National Park is pretty interesting. In 1997, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, highly inspired by the South African Game Reserves, purchased around 87 square miles of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The reserve was earlier used to tame camels, but gradually it has become a fenced shelter for native animals. Interestingly, the park has 6000 species of trees, beautiful grasses and shrubs.
Dubai National Park is an initiative to protect the ecosystem. You will find several animals including, the Sand Gazelle, the Statuesque Arabian Gazelle, and the Plethora. Other species include the Side-Winding Vipers, the Rueppell’s Fox, the Ethiopian hedgehog and the Curious Sand Cats. Many other animals have been added to make the park more attractive. The takes special measures to protect the endangered species.

Entry fee: INR 60
Timings: 6am – 6pm

4. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) is a wide spectacular area in the desert, spanning 225km across the dunes. It is an initiative protect and preserve the desert wildlife. DDCR permits only some select operators to host desert safari on the four-wheel-drives. You can also enjoy a safari on the ‘ship of the desert’ in camel treks, witness the speed and swiftness of the falcons and enjoy horse riding. You can also try your hands at archery, sand boarding, and fat biking. Apart from this, there also other entertaining options like, hot air ballooning, night safari, desert camping, and wildlife drives. Don’t miss out to try the desert yummy cuisines in dune dinner or a private desert dinner.

Timings: 7am – 5pm (safari timings)

5. Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve is the first unfenced conservation reserve in the United Arab Emirates. Located in the desert area of Seih Al Salam in Dubai, comprises around 10% of the total land area of the emirate, including the extensive man-made desert wetlands, the Al Qudra Lakes. Managed by the Dubai Municipality, the Reserve currently has a number of animal and bird observation platforms, star and sunset observation points and a one of the world’s largest cycling track (84km). The wide landscape and clear sky of desert makes it a great places for stargazing. Camel racing events are also organised here.

Entry fee: INR 60
Timings: 8am – 8pm (Sat- Thu)

Suggested Read: 5 Haunted Places In Dubai That Will Frighten You From Head To Toe!

6. BU Tinah

BU Tinah is a protected private nature reserve which is a small archipelago in the centre of coral formations and seagrass beds some 25 km south of Zirku and 35 north of Marawah, near Dubai. Located in the sea near Abu Dhabi, BU Tinah has a rich biodiversity and has been a recognized UNESCO site since 2001. The place has extensive coral reefs and is also rich in marine life. Animals, fishes and birds including flamingo, dolphins, hawksbill turtle and many others are found here.

Entry fee: Prohibited to the visitors

Suggested Read: 5 Best Homestays In Dubai That Are All About Glitz, Glam, And Grandeur!

7. Sharjah National Park

Sharjah National Park is basically is a leisure park in Sharjah city of United Arab Emirates. Spread over 630 thousand square feet of area, the park is the largest in the city. With multiple small play areas including big size jungle gym with slides, rope ladders, this has become a poplar space for community get togethers. There are also rides, sports courts, benches and green areas. Sharjah National Park is a diamond in the ‘Park City’, as there are already around 50 parks in Sharjah.

Entry fee: INR 120
Timings: 8am – 10pm

If you are planning to visit Dubai, and are interested to see it in a different light, you must visit the various national parks in and around Dubai. Each national park in Dubai is different in its own way. Plan a trip to Dubai now to explore beyond the architectural masterpieces and sand dunes.

Further Read: 10 Wedding Venues In Dubai For A Fairytale-Inspired Union

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Langtang National Park In Nepal: A Nature’s Treasure Hidden In Wilderness

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Established in 1976, Langtang National Park is the fourth national park in Nepal which came into existence as the first Himalayan National Park. The park has been a place of curiosity and interest for the wildlife lovers and trekkers alike.

About Langtang National Park

Langtang’s protected area extends from an altitudinal range of 6,450 m (21,160 ft) and covers an area of 1,710 km2 (660 sq mi). The park gets bisected by the the Gosainkunda lake and the Dorje Lakpa range from east–west to south–east. The highest point in the park is the summit of Langtang Lirung(7,245 m (23,770 ft). The northern and eastern border of the national park runs along the international border to Tibet. The western boundary follows the rivers Bhote Kosi and Trisuli and the southern border lies 32 km (20 mi) north of the Kathmandu Valley.

Must Read: 10 Engrossing Things To Do In Nepal: Trekking, Rafting, & More

Best time to visit Langtang National Park

Come prepared for a lot of trekking for your trip to Langtang National Park in Nepal. The exploration of the park involves a lot of footslogging which is why the seasons of Autumn and Spring pose the best time to visit Langtang National Park.

The clarity is great during Autumn (Sept – late Nov) and the views are gorgeous during Spring (Feb – mid April). If you are not the “peak-season-traveler” and are enough warm-blooded then coming here during Winters (Dec – Jan) is also a open-option for you. Winters in Nepal are not snowy but pretty chilly. But a crowd-free trip comes as a perk for visiting the Langtang National Park during this season.

Suggested Read: 10 Pristine Lakes Of Nepal That Ooze Serenity & Tranquility

How to reach Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park in Nepal is very near to the capital city of Kathmandu. This boundless area of natural biodiversity has different points of access. You can reach Langtang National Park from Kathmandu in a 4 hours drive (202Km).

There are early morning buses starting from 7-9 am, that run from Machhapokhari, New Bus Park in Kathmandu to Syabrubesi in Langtang National Park. The ticket fare is between INR 600 – 800.

Since there are no luxury buses running between the two points, you can also opt for a Local Jeep in INR 800 – 1000 or hire a Private Jeep for INR 15,000. The jeep has the capacity to accommodate 6-7 riders and the cost can be shared among them.

Major treks in Langtang National Park

There are majorly three treks in Langtang National Park. The treks are filled with forest trails, mountain hikes, village visits and abundance of scenic beauty.

1. Langtang Valley

Langtang Valley is world’s one of the most beautiful valleys. Central Nepal’s, Langtang valley region is situated 19 miles north of Kathmandu. It is also near to the Tibetan border. Lying closer to the capital, Kathmandu, this trek is easy yet wild. The valley extends from east to west, and Himalayas to the north and the slightly lower Langtang Lirung range to the south.

Suggested Read: 10 Most Popular Tourist Places In Nepal You Ought To Visit On Your Trip

2. Helambu

About 80Kms from the capital city, Kathmandu, Helambu is a aregion of highland villages. Kelambu trek is a short trek in the un-touched regions of Nepal. The trek starts from Sundarijal, an hour drive from Kathmandu. After an hour, you enter the Shivapuri National Park. You would cover Chisopani, Kutumsang, Thadepati and Sermathang along the way. The trek finally ends at the Melamchi Pul Bazar in the Helambu region. This is a perfect trek to see thick forested mountains with the backdrop of Himalaya.

3. Gosaikunda

Gosaikunda is a gorgeous trek from Kathmandu, that takes six to seven days. The trek starts from Sundarijal, a one hour drive from the capital. Sundarijal is a spectacular place and a picnic spot for locals of Kathmandu, especially due to the waterfall. The trek goes through Mulpani village, Chisapani, Tuksang and Ghopte before you finally reach Gosainkunda. Gosaikunda is a lake surrounded by the hills. The lake is frozen for six months in a year. The breathtaking beauty of the lake and its surrounding pays off the effort you took in trekking for a week.

10 Places to visit near Langtang National Park

The places around Langtang National Park are rich in ancient religious heritage. A majority of the places to visit near Langtang National Park are temples and monasteries.

  • 1. Visit Boudhanath Stupa
  • 2. Pashupati Nath
  • 3. Swayambhunath Temple
  • 4. Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavira)
  • 5. Kopan Monastery
  • 6. Nyatapola Temple
  • 7. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • 8. Taumadhi Square
  • 9. Changu Narayan
  • 10. Patan Museum

Suggested Read: 11 Fantasy-Filled Places To Visit In Nepal For Honeymoon

Top Hotels in Langtang National Park

You don’t have to worry about where to stay in Langtang National Park because there a number of good hotels to choose from:

  • Baber MaHal Vilas The Boutique Hotel – INR 9,200
  • United Business Hotel – INR 2,700
  • Hotel Mudita – INR 5,000
  • Hotel Himalaya – INR 8,500
  • Summit Hotel – INR 6,200
  • Hotel Sunset View – INR 4,200
  • Marcopolo Business Hotel – INR 3,200
  • Traditional Comfort – INR 6,000
  • Hotel Kaze Darbar – INR 4,000
  • Hotel Mums Private Limited – INR 2,300

Langtang National Park is indeed a nature’s treasure in the lap of Himalayas. The region has some of the most breathtaking treks in Nepal. Plan a trip to Kathmandu and visit this of the most intoxicating trekking experience and thrilling wildlife encounters.

Further Read: 10 Ancient Nepal Temples In The Serenity Of The Himalayas

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Witness The Best Of Nature At These 10 Seychelles National Parks

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The best ever deal for all nature and animal lovers wait for them at the national parks in Seychelles. It is a place where you get to experience nature at it most raw and real form – the marsh, the hills, the granite boulders, the corals, the shiny beaches and a thriving world of wildlife on land as well as under water. This part of the world is completely different from the concrete jungle that we live in. Tread with care, this land has its own rule. Every life is precious and needs to be preserved.

Terrestrial national parks

1. Morne Seychellois National Park

Stretching across a magnanimous 3,045 hectares, the Morne Seychellois National Park is one of the largest Seychelles national parks and covers almost 20 percent of the island of Mahe. It is situated on the highest peak at 905 meters in all of Seychelles, Morne Seychellois. It will take a half or full day trip to explore the 12 different trains across the national park.

The park is a home to some of the rarest of the plant and animal species. You find some of the most beautiful birds such as Setchelles blue pigions, bulbuls, sunbirds, Seychelles white-eyes, swiftlets and kestrels. This is the place where you can spot the pitcher plants that feed on the insects that come near them by trapping them in their liquid-filled carafes.

Entry – Free of Cost
Timing – 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Address: Seychelles National Park Authority, PO Box 1240, Laurier Avenue

2. Praslin National Park

The Praslin National park is located in the island of Praslin. It covers an area of 330 hectare meters. The second largest terrestrial park in Seychelles, Praslin National Park is home to a natural reserve Vallee de Mai which has been declared as a World Heritage Site in 1982.

Apart from the widest variety of palm species including the Coco de Mer, the park is home to a wide variety of birds, insects and reptiles including the famous Black Parrot of Praslin, Bulbul, Seychelles Kestrels, Sunbird, and Blue Pigeon. Apart from these snakes, tree frogs, green turtles and geckos are vividly found in this region.

Entry Fee – Free for adults but chargeable for children below 12 years of age
Timing – 8:30AM – 5:30 PM

Must Read: 10 Best Things To Do In Seychelles

3. La Digue Veuve Reserve

Founded with an aim to protect the precious 15 pairs of the endangered Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or Veuve as they are locally called, La Digue Veuve Reserve covers an 21 hectare of land. You can also find a vivid variety of fruit bats, native birds and insects. Then you also find a rare species of turtle named Terrapins along with moorhens.

Entry Fee – Free
Address: Along he west coast of La Digue island.
Timings – 8 AM – 4 PM

4. Silhouette National Park

Located at the island of Silhouette and covering an area of 20 km at a height of 751 meters, Silhouette National Park got recognition as a National Park in the year 2010 after it was purchased by Seychelles government from its previous owner the Dauban family. It is one of the very few spots that support biodiversity for any endangered species particularly the sheath-tailed bat of Seychelles, Blue Pigeon and Seychelle Krestel.

Entry Fee – Free
Timing – Opens daily

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Seychelles: Islands, Beaches, & Tourist Attractions

Marine national parks

5. Baie Ternay Marine National Park

Truly, a treasure trove of scenic beauty that make your eyes go wide open and experience the harmony and peace in the lap of nature like never before, Baie Ternay is flourishing with mangrove marshes and a thriving aquatic world. Turtles, eels, catfishes, dolphins and sharks move about fearlessly as the government of the land takes special interest in preserving the flora and fauna of this place.

Entry Fee – Free for children below 12 and SCR 200 for adults
Timings – Open on all days

6. Curieuse Marine National Park

Curieuse Marine National park is one of the marine reserves that operate under a very close vigilance of Marine Parks Authority of Seychelles. You can visit this national park for a day trip as there is no lodging option available. The red sand against the turquoise ocean along with the lush green forest together gives a very picturesque view of this island. Black parrot and Aldabra giant tortoise and Green sea turtles can also be seen.

Entry Fee – Free for children below 12 and SCR 200 for adults
Timing – Open on all days

Suggested Read: Seychelles Island: All You Need To Know About This Gem Of The Indian Ocean

7. Ile Coco Marine National Park

The vibrant world that lay under the still and tranquil layer of the sea at Ile Coco makes one of the most breathtaking experiences that will stay with you long after you have left this place. The under waters are filled with the most amazing breed of sea animals that include manta rays, sea urchins, eels, crabs, reel shark, puffer fish and whale shark to name a few.

Entry Fee – SCR 200 for adults and free for children below 12 years.
Timings – Open on all days

8. Port Launay Marine National Park

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The most beautiful piece of landmass complete with gorgeous granite hills and lush forest surrounding the sea in the shape of a horseshoe – is what meets your eyes at the very first look at the Port Launay. The aquatic wonderland awaits you with the wale shark and shoals of native fishes floating around which can be encountered during the boat trips.

Entry Fee – SCR 200 for adults and free for children below 12 years of age
Timings – Open on all days

Suggested Read: 12 Best Beaches In Seychelles For An Euphoric Holiday Experience!

9. Silhouette Island Marine National Park

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The crystal clear turquoise water of the Silhouette Marine National Park together with the granite rocks make up for one of the largest of all the marine parks in Seychelles. The breathtaking view and the world of wonders that is alive and kicking under the apparently calm looking sea look and feel nothing less than a dreamland. One of the most favored spots for snorkeling and scuba diving, Silhouette gives you an opportunity to see the beautiful underwater flora and fauna that include blue-spotted rays, gray snapper fish, white-tip sharks under the sea and giant tortoises on the beach.

Entry Fees – SCR 200
Timing – Opens daily

10. Sainte Anne Marine National Park

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Sainte marine National Park is one of the oldest and the most beautiful marine reserve that promotes biodiversity and is extremely stringent in their protective measures for the wildlife and the vegetation of the island. The wildlife that you get to see here include vivid underwater animals such as sea turtles, Hawksbill turtles, bottlenose dolphins and the beautiful coral reef.

Entry Fee – SCR 200
Timings – 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Your trip to Seychelles doesn’t have to be only about beaches and a lazy day on the beach. All the wildlife lovers can do a lot more than water activities in the island nation. So, plan a trip now to the archipelago of 115 islands, Seychelles.

Further Read: Maldives Vs Seychelles For Honeymoon: Where Would You Like To Go?

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Top 10 Hostels in Colombo That Will Be Easy On Your Pockets Too

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The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo, is also a buzzing commercial centre of the country. The city displays an amalgamation of its rich architectural heritage with colonial buildings and modern high-rise towers & shopping malls. This beautiful characteristic of the city attracts a lot of tourists every year. A lot of travelers prefer staying in decent hostels in Colombo than opting for luxury hotels firstly because they are economical and secondly because hostel experiences brings you closer to the city.

Top Hostels in Colombo that assure a happy stay

Check out these best hostels in Colombo for a wonderful stay experience.and who

1. Bunkyard Hostels

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Bunkyard Hostels is located in Colombo 07, which is a place that blends highly residential and commercial zones. This assures a peaceful and safe environment with all the amenities such as markets and ATMs in the close distance. The hostel has been named on the concept of junkyard theme with bunk-beds. The bunk beds here, have been carefully created with locally sourced and up-cycled materials.Bunkyard hostel in Colombo is within the walking distance to major attractions like National Museum and Independence Square. This hostel is couple and family friendly. Bunkyard is one of the best hostels in colombo.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Family rooms
  • Free parking
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk

Rates: INR 1,500 / 2 guests

Location:

2. My Little Island Hostel

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My Little Island Hostel is a neatly maintained and vibrant hostel in Colombo. The hostel has themed its rooms and common sitting areas in beautiful colors and cushions. The sleek wooden furnishings, good lighting and the smartly spaced-out beddings and isle is its USP. You will fall in love with artistic interior and lively vibes. This is one of the great youth hostels in Colombo bus is also suitable for families.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Family rooms
  • Restaurant
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk

Rates: INR 1,500 / 2 guests

Location:

Must Read: 15 Best Things To Do In Colombo On A Delightful Sri Lankan Holiday!

3. Havelock City Hostel

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Havelock City Hostel Colombo situated in the Thimbirigasyaya, and 2.5kms away from the Independence Square. The large rooftop area is a chilling zone for the guests. Havelock hostel is a bedding option in Columbo that assures value for money.

Facilities:

  • Free wifi
  • Free parking
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Air conditioning
  • Breakfast available on request
  • Complimentary tea/coffee

Location:

4. Backpack Hostel 44

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Backpack Hostel 44 is located in Colombo 05, Kirulapone, a residential location in the heart of the city. The location is also enough safe and secure that the hostel is suitable for women travellers. The hostel rooms are well lit and ventilated with friendly color-themes put across through curtains, cushions, and bed covers. Some of the rooms have beds with interesting inbuilt night-lights.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Swimming pool
  • Free parking
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk

Location:

Suggested Read: 15 Best Places To Visit In Colombo That Will Spice Up Your Sri Lankan Sojourn!

5. Thambili Island @ Stubbs

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Thambili Island @ Stubbs is a another hostel located in the heart of Colombo District, just 3.1 kms away from the American Embassy. The hostel interiors is done in subtle red and white color theme. The environment is calm and you’ll feel at home.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Free parking
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Terrace
  • Car rentals

Rates: INR 1,200

Location:

6. CityRest Fort

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CityRest Fort is a budget hostel, easily accessible within the Colombo city. From the outside, the hostel building looks like a small shopping mall. The rooms are neatly maintained, air-conditioned and has fans too.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Free parking
  • Restaurants
  • Terrace
  • Spa & Wellness centre
  • Well equipped kitchen

Location:

Suggested Read: Nightlife In Colombo Is A Party Freak’s Delight

7. Colombo Downtown Monkey

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6 minutes walk from the beach, Colombo Downtown Monkey is a hostel which will familiarise you with the rush of the city yet give you a feeling and comfort of being at home. If you love seafood, staying here can be a good idea.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Free basic breakfast
  • Cable Tv with 30 channels
  • Mini library
  • tea /coffee at any time
  • Lockers
  • Free toiletries

Location:

8. Colombo City Jumbo Hostel

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Colombo City Jumbo Hostel is listed among the cheap hostels in colombo, with good services. The hostel offers free bikes for your city-tours. You can also enjoy continental breakfast daily during your stay. You won’t find much elaborate room decor and the rooms are of moderate size.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Free basic breakfast
  • Cable Tv with 30 channels
  • Mini library
  • tea /coffee at any time
  • Lockers
  • Free toiletries

Rates: INR 1,300 / 2 guests

Location:

Suggested Read: 9 Temples In Colombo To Experience Peace & Divinity

9. Hangover Hostels Signature @ Colombo City

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Hangover Hostels Signature @ Colombo City is located near non-touristic area between Saint Peter’s College and the Ocean Drive, thus the environment is peaceful and calm. Yet there are many restaurants, temples, and shops within walking distance. The hostel has a sophisticated look with interiors mostly done in clean – whites and is also well lit. With hostels in different cities, the Hangover hostel in Colombo aims to provide affordable luxury.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Terrace
  • Air – Conditioning
  • Big lockers
  • Electronic card access
  • Hot showers

Rates: INR 1,600 / 2 guests

Location:

10. Hostel At Galle Face

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Hostel At Galle Face is a beachfront hostel, located 1.5 kms away from Khan Clock Tower. THe hostel offers cozy spacious rooms with great ventilation and common room with good seating arrangements. The soothing yellow lighting in the rooms gives a romantic and warm vibe. There is a shared kitchen, and the facility for groceries delivery is also available.

Facilities:

  • Airport shuttle
  • Free wifi
  • Free parking
  • 24-hours front desk
  • Terrace
  • Air – Conditioning

Rates: INR 1,400 / 2 guests

Location:

If you want to listen to the heartbeat of the city, you must live like the locals or at least as close as possible. Staying in hostels not only give a chance to interact with the local community but also meet new people from other part of the globe. Book a holiday to Colombo now for an experience worth living.

Further Read: 25 Soul-Satisfying Things To Do In Sri Lanka For Travelers Of All Types

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10 National Parks in Sri Lanka That Bring You Face-To-Face With The Incredible Nature

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Sri Lanka is a country which has abundance of wildlife. Elephants, leopards, deers, whales and birds makes the place a big home for the wild. The numerous national parks in Sri Lanka, ensure that the flora and fauna are protected and preserved in their natural environment. These places shield them from the rapid environmental changes that the country is undergoing due to development.

If you are planning to visit Sri Lanka, and if you are a wildlife lover, drive to as many parks as you can. Untouched and undisturbed by the human activities, these are the places worth visiting to come closer to the nature.

Get engulfed by the nature at these national parks in Sri Lanka

Do you wish to encounter the wildlife in Sri Lanka? Below is the list of national parks in Sri Lanka, the major hotspots to get a hint of a harmonious ‘man v/s wild’ experience.

1. Yala National Park

Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is the among the best national parks for mammals in Asia. Bordering the Indian Ocean, located in the Southeast of the country this is a huge forest area with lagoons and grasslands.

Best known for: Leopards – here are around 30 of them.
Area covered: 378 sqr. miles
Distance from Colombo: 6 hours drive
Things to do: Go surfing at Arugam Bay

2. Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka is located on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces. The park was created to home the animals displaced during the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir. It’s the place to spot Asian Elephants in the wild.

Best known for: Elephants – there are around 500 of them.
Area covered: 30, 821 hectares
Distance from Colombo: 4 hours drive
Things to do: Visit nearby tree plantations.

Must Read: The Ultimate Sri Lanka Honeymoon Guide

3. Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park is located in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts of Sri Lanka. It is one of Sri Lanka’s those protected areas where you can witness large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. Apart from elephants, this national wildlife park in Sri Lanka has a number of other animal and bird species including, purple-faced langur, golden palm civet, mugger crocodile, red-faced malkoha.

Best known for: Elephants – around 150 of them.
Area covered: 39322 ha
Distance from Colombo: 5 hours drive
Things to do: Explore the Buddha packed caves of Dambulla

4. Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park with a huge biodiversity. The reserve has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Sinharaja is the country’s premier rainforest. The place is known for tall and rare trees in the world. Mixed-bird species are found here, including those of red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lankan Blue magpie.

Best known for: Bird – the unique mixed flocks
Area covered: 88.64 Km
Distance from Colombo: 5 hours drive
Things to do: Chill in the beaches of Mirissa located towards the South

Suggested Read: 31 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Sri Lanka

5. Minneriya & Kaudulla National Parks

Minneriya & Kaudulla National Parks are located just 30-minutes away from each other, in the North Central Province. During the months of September and October, it is a visual treat to watch huge herds of elephants gather on the bed of Minneriya Lake. The lake is later replaced by lush green grassland.

Best known for: Seasonal elephants and flocks of cormorants
Distance from Colombo: 5.30 hours drive
Things to do: Explore the ruined palaces and monasteries of Polonnaruwa

6. Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park is situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is characterized by montane grassland and cloud forest. Horton Plains is the highest plateau in the island. The forests have a rich flora and fauna. Interestingly, the dwarf lizard specie here has evolved due to the cold weather conditions, that the give birth to the live young instead of laying eggs.

Best known for: Bird species
Area covered: 3,160 ha
Distance from Colombo: 5 hours drive
Things to do: Drive to the nearby hill station, Nuwara Eliya.

Suggested Read: 19 Photos That Will Make You Wish You Were In Sri Lanka Right Now!

7. Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is the largest park, located in the Northwest coast of Sri Lanka. What makes this park unique is the existence of “Willus” – natural lakes that have different degrees of salinity. The park was closed for 15 years, so that the wildlife had space and time to recover to its former abundance, and was reopened in 2003.

Best known for: Sloth bears
Area covered: 1, 317 sqr kms
Distance from Colombo: 4 hours drive
Things to do: Travers the ancient city of Anuradhapura, especially the the 2,000 year old sacred Bodhi tree

8. Mannar Island

Mannar Island is part of the Mannar District in Sri Lanka. A causeway links it to the main island of Sri Lanka. The island has an area of about 50 square kilometres, mainly covered with vegetation and sand. This large nature reserve is a significant stop for the international migratory birds.

Best known for: Shorebirds and gulls like Heuglin’s Gull.
Area covered: 50 kms
Distance from Colombo: 5 hours drive
Things to do: Mannar is a great site for kite-surfing

Suggested Read: 10 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Should be Your Next Holiday Destination

9. Kumana National Park

Located on the Southeast coast of Sri Lanka, Kumana National Park is renowned for its avifauna (regional birds), especially the large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. Black-necked stock, eurasian spoonbill, pintail snipes, etc are some bird species that you can see here.

Best known for: Birds
Area covered: 35, 664 ha

10. Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is a national park with international importance as it is the wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala homes 197 species of birds, especially the greater flamingos that migrate in large flocks. There are also elephants and crocodiles found in small numbers. In 2005, Bundala was declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Best known for: Migratory birds
Area covered: 3, 339 hectares
Distance from Colombo: 5 hours drive

Now you know that the land of lions, Sri Lanka, is a massive habitat for many other wildlife species too. The climatic conditions that favours the biodiversity and the country’s efforts to preserve it has together made Sri Lanka, a nature’s paradise. Plan a trip and explore and unfold the wild side of Sri Lanka with your loved ones.

Further Read: 10 Drop Dead Beautiful Places in Sri Lanka You Have To Check Out Now

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A Tour Guide To The Java Island in Indonesia

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Java is a volcanic island of Indonesia between Sumatra and Bali. This geographic and economic centre of Indonesia is home to more than half of its population. The Java Island of Indonesia proudly holds the plush city Jakarta, the capital city of the country.

Java Island is growing as a tourist destination with its active volcanoes, ancient temples, monuments, lakes, beaches, hills, markets and tea plantations.

Escape to Java Island for a quick Indonesian experience

Keep these places to visit in Java Island in your bucket list so that you don’t miss out even an inch of the fun.

1. Borobudur temple

Borobudur temple is one of the most popular attractions in Indonesia and the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Located in the Central Java, this temple consists of a large Buddhist temple complex. Built in the 9th century, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple has astonishing 72 sculpted figures of Buddha. Borobudur can be easily reached on a day trip from the nearest city of Yogyakarta.

2. Dieng Plateau

Sitting at an altitude of 2,100meters is Dieng Plateau, one of the best places to visit in Java Island. For those who want to visit the pilgrim places in Java Island, Dieng it is. There a many Buddhist temples in the vicinity. During your hike up to the plateau, you will come across many pools with spring water and hot springs.

Don’t miss: Plan your hike to match the sunset time when reach on the top for the breathtaking view.

Must Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Jakarta That Showcase The Other Side Of Indonesia

3. Bandung

Bandung city is counted in one of the top shopping destinations in Indonesia on the domestic market. But it is one also the most underrated city when it comes to shopping. The place has huge range of factory outlets that sell the latest fashions. Bandung offers a wide range of clothing options to match your taste and budget. Bandung also has great eateries for you to explore Indonesian cuisine.

Don’t miss: Bandung is well known for denim products. Shopping for denims is a must.

4. Merapi Volcano

Indonesia is a country which has a large number of active volcanoes. Mount Merapi is one of the most dreaded volcanoes of Indonesia. This famous volcano had erupted in 2010 and is still active. Though it is one of the easiest hikes in Java, you can only trek here when it’s declared safe by the authorities.

Don’t miss: Visit Merapi as a part of your tour so that you can have an insight into the history of the mountain and why it is a sacred spot in Indonesia.

Suggested Read: 7 Best Things To Do In Jakarta: The Indonesia Capital Buzzing With Life!

5. Malang

Malang, a city in the east Java, has a relaxed atmosphere and gives out ancient Dutch vibes. Located between Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo, the city has a distinctive combination of scenic beauty. Malang has a number of little temples and shrines dotting the city. It is also majorly covered with green paddy fields.

Don’t miss: Visit Balai Kota Building to see the best blend of Indonesian & Dutch architectural styles. Also visit the Buddhist-Hindu Singosari Temple.

6. Kalibiru National Park

Kalibiru National Park is one of the popular tourist places in Java Island. The dense green forest, the water reservoir and the array of mountains in the backdrop make the most exotic scenic view. The picturesque viewpoint in the park is popular among the instagramers. You can climb the trees through ladders to reach and stand on the rustic wooden platforms to get the breathtaking views.

Don’t miss: Go here in the morning or evening as during these hours of the day, sunlight has the best colors. Also try out some adventure activities like zip lining.

Suggested Read: Top 10 Things To Do In Indonesia For An Unforgettable Holiday Experience!

7. Rainbow Village

Kampung Pelangi meaning Rainbow Village in Indonesian is a part of Semarang. This area has recently emerged as a tourist attraction in the Java Island. The village was a collection of about 200 homes on a hillside, above a river. The locals wanted to draw more tourists to the area so the entire village was painted in vibrant rainbow colors.

Don’t miss: This beautiful village is a must for your insta story. Get a picture clicked with the quirky village in the background.

8. Jakarta

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta a mad city. It is Southeast Asia’s largest city with world’s second largest metropolitan area. Skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, monuments, bustling markets, street food joints, all of these make the city a lot happening. The markets around the Old Square is a tourist hotspot.

Don’t miss: Make sure you visit the National Monument, National Cathedral and Mosque.

Suggested Read: 12 Indonesian Landscapes So Marvellous That It Hurts

9. Karimunjawa Island

Karimunjawa Archipelago has the best beaches in Java. This is interesting as there are around 27 tropical islands off the coast of Semarang, most of which are inhabited. Rent a boat and head to this beach paradise in Java.

Don’t miss: The water at these beaches are crystal clear so make sure you do not miss indulging in snorkeling and diving here.

10. Goa Jomblang

Goa Jomblang in the Gunung Kidul Area of Java Island is a famous cave. Located an hour away from the city, the cavern is 60 metres down the side of the cliff. From here, you enter a cave system, surrounded by forest. The Grubug Cave is the main cave in this site. The hole on the top of the rock formation lets the sunlight stream into the dark cave, creating a spectacular effect.

Suggested Read: 10 Holiday Homes In Indonesia For A Laid Back Island Vacation

Best time to visit Java Island

The best time to visit Java Island is between April to October . The dry seasons are usually too dry with high temperatures. The monsoons lasts from November to March and it usually rains in the afternoon making it infeasible for travellers.

How to reach Java Island

Airways: The city of Jakarta is well connected with numerous international and domestic flights. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport & Halim Perdanakusuma Airport are the two main international airports in Jakarta. There are international flights also connecting other Javanese cities like Surabaya, Solo, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Semarang to the rest of the world.

Waterways: Jakarta connects to most ports of the nation through sea. There are frequent ferries running between Banyuwangi/Ketapang harbour in the East of Java & Gilimanuk in Bali and also between Merak port in Java & Bekauheni in South Sumatra.

The heart of Indonesia, Java Islands, is an incredible destination to witness the complex indonesian culture. Though the culture, to a great extent, has been influenced by foreign interactions. As you explore the island’s secrets, you will realise that the place still retains its original indigenous flavour. Visit Java Islands

for a great unwinding experience.

Further Read: Beyond Bali: 10 Places To Visit In Indonesia For Your Honeymoon

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You Must Try Krabi Snorkeling At Least Once Before You Die

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Krabi is a province situated in the West Coast of the Southern Thailand. The terrain of this region is characterized by rocky, sheer limestone cliffs. Covered with dense mangroves forests and having more than a hundred offshore islands, this place is popular for Krabi Snorkeling.

Come alive with Krabi snorkeling

The hilly terrain makes it a great destination for hiking and rock-climbing but what stands out is its enormous coral reefs that makes Krabi an ideal destination for snorkeling.

Phi Phi Island

The Phi Phi Islands are an Island group of Thailand that fall under the administration of the Krabi Province. They are located between the large island of Phuket and the West Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland.

On the Andaman Sea, Phi Phi is a paradise just 30-miles away from the mainland Thailand. Snorkeling near the Phi Phi island is a breathtaking experience. You will be awe-struck by the beauty of the ocean as you snorkel and swim surrounded by colorful fishes and coral formations at Lohsmaha Bay. You must also snorkel at the mesmerising Hin Klang for open-sea snorkeling. The sparkling clear water looks absolutely magical.

Snorkel among the coral gardens of Ao Maya and Ao Lo Sama where you would see reef fishes and may even spot a leopard shark. The place is still away from human inhabitants and is blessed with stunning sand beaches.

On your tour to Phi Phi, you can also visit the Bamboo Island , another place for snorkeling. Just 5 Kms from Phi Phi, Bamboo Island is a flat Island covered with thick vegetation, surrounded by a strip of white sand and a 500 meters of reef.

Tour Price: INR 3200

Must Read: 10 Hotspots Of Nightlife In Krabi Every Party Freak Must Visit

Hong Island

Hong Island is a group of four islands called the Koh Hong Group. Generally referred to as Hong Island and Hong Lagoon, they are located off the coast of Krabi. They are considered to be the most beautiful islands of the region.

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From Krabi, leave on a long-tail boat to explore the Hong Island. Kayak to discover the secrets of the Hong Lagoon. During high tides, boats can enter the lagoon where as during low tide you can only enter by kayak. The island has shallow coral reefs and sand beaches perfect for your post snorkel relaxation. Another spot to enjoy open water snorkeling and swimming is at the Ko Daeng Island and Paradise Island.

Tour Price: INR 2000

Suggested Read: 11 Remarkable Things To Do In Krabi: The Ultimate Bucket List

Best season to Snorkel in Krabi

Krabi is warm throughout the year with April-May and September-October being the hottest. The best season to visit Krabi is the monsoon season, from November to March when the humidity is under control.

How to reach Krabi

The direct way to reach Krabi from India is through flight. There are few airlines that provide flights from the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore to the Krabi Airport.

Another way to reach Krabi from India is through Bangkok. There are regular flights from all the major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore to the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. From Bangkok, you can reach Krabi through roadways, waterways and airways.

What makes Krabi snorkeling exclusive from snorkeling in other parts of the world is the view that one gets to see on the go. Getting surrounded by colorful shoal of fishes is an experience you can’t explain in words. Exploring the beautiful natural coral formations is another perk of snorkeling here. Live the best moments of your life by planning a tour to Krabi.

Further Read: 15 Best Resorts In Krabi For Soaking In Ultimate Bliss & Luxury

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Landing On The Konkan Coast Was Never This Easy: Sindhudurg Airport To Be Operational From October

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Sindhudurg’s ongoing airport construction work is reaching its completion. The good news was revealed by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, who recently reviewed the project’s progress.

Going by the official statement, about 80% of work has been completed and the remaining will be done by August. After test flights and clearance, the airport is expected to be operational by October, this year. For now, passenger terminal building, ATC tower, and technical building have been constructed.

Sindhudurg Airport located near the Chipi-Parule villages of Sindhudurg district will have a 2500-meter runway which can be further developed in future. It will have a capacity to handle 400 passengers during peak time (200 arrival – 200 departure). The project approximately costs Rs 520 crore and fulfils the objectives of governments year-old UDAN-RCS (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik – Regional Connectivity Scheme). This will make the travel affordable, enabling the common citizens to fly.

There is another airport project that’s simultaneously going on in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Prabhu mentioned that the two airports will open new developmental prospects in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. By providing better connectivity, it will encourage tourism in this scenic area of the state and will also boost economic development by providing new job opportunities.

Currently, Maharashtra has 3 functional international and 13 domestic airports.

Further Read: Mumbai Jeddah Sea Route Is Reopening In 2019 Almost After 24 Years

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12 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh To Make The Most Of This Bustling City

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On the Southern side of Vietnam lies this booming city, Ho Chi Minh. There are a number of things to do in this highly energetic and buzzing city of Vietnam. Once a French Colony, Ho Chi Minh is studded with many French colonial landmarks that let tourists live the interesting history of Vietnam. Like any other city, this too has a past which still remains in the memories of the people of Vietnam. Here, life is fast but lifestyle moves at its own pace. This city will teach you to find peace even in the middle of hustle – bustle. Now, let’s have a look at the interesting things to do in Ho Chin Minh for a satisfying vacation.

You’ll be amazed to learn the countless things to do in Ho Chi Minh

1. Explore the Mekong River & Delta on a boat

What’s better than starting your tour by exploring the scenic beauty of Ho Chin Minh City. Start from the city on a minivan or a bus and head to the Mekong Delta and My Tho & Ben Tre Islands. You’ll be mesmerized by the views you come across on the way: the green rice fields and picturesque rural setup are sure to leave you speechless. Sail over the mighty Mekong river on a motorboat. Walk or cycle around the Island village. In short, get closer to the nature on the very first go!

Charges: INR 1700
Timings: Booked tours start from 8:00 am

2. Get down under the city in the Cu Chi Tunnels tour

This is literally what we call going down to the roots. Have you ever toured a city through a tunnel? Cu Chi Tunnel tour is an exclusive chance for you to be in a space which was extremely relevant during the American War. You will be awestruck to see how these tunnels are interconnected to each other. This is something you won’t get to do in many tourist places.

Charges: INR 400
Timings: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:

Must Read: 10 Most Romantic Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City

3. Engage in local entertainment at Saigon Opera House

If you are the kind who love to add that extra spice to your tour with art and entertainment, head straight to the historic Saigon Opera House. Enjoy Vietnamese style of performing art mixed with acrobatics, theatre, and music. Vietnamese folk music played with 17 traditional instruments in the AO Show and The Dar Show, which is a live performance of energetic rhythm with tribe instruments are just brilliant.

Charges: INR 2000 – 3000
Timings: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Location:

4. Close encounter with the war days at The War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum documents the brutality of the Vietnam War. Taking a tour of this museum is one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh for history lovers. On display are the retired military vehicles such as “Huey” helicopters, attack bombers, and M48 Patton tank in the front yard. There is a horrific collection of texts and photographs relating to the war. There are few other interesting museums in the city that you can visit including Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and The Museum of Traditional Medicine.

Charges: INR 40
Timings: 7.30 am – 6:00 pm
Location:

Suggested Read: 10 Exhilarating Things To Do In Vietnam For An Awe-Inspiring Vacation

5. Shop till you drop at Ben Thanh Markets

Ho Chi Minh is a city in action. The more you explore, the more you will appreciate the balance it strikes between ancient and modern. Markets are the best place to experience this fusion. A tour to the buzzing and vibrant Ben Thanh market is among the top things to do in the Ho Chi Minh City District 1. The market comes alive at night with more than 3000 stalls selling just about everything right from grocery, glassware, fresh meat, vegetables, clothes, etc. If Ben Thanh is not enough for you, also check out Cai Rang River Market – a huge wholesale floating market and Cho Lon – the Chinese Market too.

Charges: Free
Timings: Opens at 7:00 am
Location:

6. Try some tasty – crazy street food

The best way to taste the city left-right-and-center is on a motorbike or on foot. This way you can explore the local, famous and not much-known street food restaurants. Dong Khoi is a lively stretch of shops and bars where you can find a wide variety of street food. One of the best things to do in Ho Chin Minh City is trying the local dishes including Vietnamese pancakes, Pho, Broken rice, Vietnamese baguette, steamed rice roll, duck noodles, Vietnamese coffee and coconut juice. You may also get to taste some daring dishes like fertilized duck eggs, fermented scorpion wine, and deep-fried snake dishes.

Suggested Read: Top Things To Do On An Adventure Trip To Vietnam With Friends

7. View the city from the top of Bitexco Saigon Skydeck

If you want to view the city from an altogether different angle, climb up to the 49th floor of Bitexco Financial Tower. You will get an astonishing panoramic view of Ho Chi Minh city from Saigon Skydeck. Also, get a chance to experience the city’s fastest elevator taking you up at a speed of 7 meters per second to a height of 262-meter.

Charges: INR 600
Timings: 9.30 am – 9.30 pm
Location:

8. Architecturally rich Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Built by a French colonist between 1863 – 1880, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, is located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh city. The church is an architectural masterpiece with two bell towers reaching a height of 190 feet. Interestingly, in October 2005, the Virgin Mary statue placed in front of the cathedral was reported to shed tears which attracts a massive number of tourists to the site. Another architecturally explicit place in the city is the nearby Saigon Central Post Office. This huge building looks nothing less than an ancient ballroom from inside.

Timings: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Location:

Suggested Read: A Romantic Trip Relishing The Scenic Beauty Of Vietnam

9. Engage in a visual treat of Water Puppet show

The 45-minute-long Water Puppet Shows tell stories of Vietnam in an absolutely fascinating way. Stories that are closely associated with the spiritual life of Vietnamese is performed on the surface of a water pool. The puppets are handles by skilled artists through bamboo sticks and strings under the water. A traditional Vietnamese orchestra gives the musical support. Do not miss the water puppet show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.

Charges: INR 500
Timings: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location:

10. Bottoms up with fresh local Beer

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Ho Chi Minh has a number local bars at the street corners where you can sip some fresh beer or “bia hoi”. First introduced by the Czech’s, “bia hoi” is a beer free of preservatives and thus should be consumed immediately. This will also not hurt your pocket. Look out for the hand-scrawled Bia Hoi signs.

Suggested Read: Best Things To Do On An Ultimate Budget Trip To Vietnam And Cambodia!

11. Revamp your wardrobe with tailored clothing

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s top spot for quality tailoring. You can get any kind of fabric from either the local shops or any high end store of the city. Take cutouts of you desired designs and style and get them tailored here at a much cheaper cost. You’ll be surprised with quality and fineness of the work done by these professionals.

12. Try a hand in cooking at Vietnamese Cookery Centre

Established in 1999, Vietnamese Cooking Centre is the country’s first professional cooking centre that offers lessons to tourists and professional chefs. Located in the French Colonial-era building on Dong Khoi, the morning classes start with chef-instructor guiding and taking the participants through Ben Thanh Market guiding then about the local ingredients required for the day’s menu. The cooking lessons take about 3 hours, during which you can learn to create classic Vietnamese dishes like fresh spring rolls, caramel pork in a clay pot, lotus-stem salad, etc. Take a cookery lesson as a souvenir before leaving the city.

Charges: INR 3000
Timings: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location:

Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Vietnam: Your Guide To This Underrated Romantic Destination

How to reach Ho Chi Minh from India?:

Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh serves as both International and Domestic airport. Various flights companies like Malindo Airways, Air India, Malaysia Airlines, Thai AirAsia connect this city with the major Indian cities including – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc.

How to travel within the city?

Rapidly developing the public transport within Ho Chi Minh is making mobility easy. The best way to travel here is taking a bus with over 150 routes across the city. Just buy a map from the Ben Tanh Bus Station and purchase a single side ticket. Apart from this, there are metered taxis and motorbike taxis for tourists.

You are surely going to fall in love with the food, music, art, buildings, streets and everything about Ho Chin Minh City. The best time to be here is during the dry season, roughly between December to April. Come, discover this city above and below the ground. Hen Som Gap Lai (‘See you soon’ in Vietnamese)!!

Further Read: Vietnam Nightlife Guide: 15 Places For Experiencing The Best Of Nightclubs, Bars, Shopping & More

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Forest, Wildlife, Tea Gardens & More: 7 Places To Visit In Dibrugarh To Pamper Your Soul

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On the shoulder of the awesome Assam sits this beautiful land called Dibrugarh. Located in North – East corner of the world renowned tea – state of India, Dibrugarh has a Subtropical Monsoon type of climate. A kind of climate that appeals to wildlife. Lush green pastures and adventurous dense forests, this high range will seem like a place just out your fantasy. So, the next time you crave for an escape from your busy city life, these places to visit in Dibrugarh can come to your rescue.

Places to explore in Dibrugarh to satisfy your thirst for an offbeat vacation

If you really explore the secretive woods of this region, you will realize how rich a state Assam is. Here, you will witness the romance between wildlife and culture. Dibrugarh also reflects the characteristics of its parent state, Assam. Visit this chilling small town at least once in your lifetime if you don’t want to miss out a splendid experience. So, shut your laptops, pack your bags and go! But before that, have a glance at the list of places to visit in Dibrugarh.

1. Amazon of the East – Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary

Spread over 111.19 sq. km, Dehing Patkai is the only rainforest in Assam. Located partly in Dibrugarh and partly in Tinsukia district, it has three parts: Dirok Rainforest, Upper Dihing River, and Jeypore. It also falls under two elephant reserves: Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve & Dibru – Deomali.

This four-layered rainforest has a humongous variety of flora and fauna including species of Orchids and wild Bananas making it the foremost choice for Dibrugarh sightseeing. Put in numbers, more than 293 bird species, 47 species of mammals, 30 species of butterflies, and 47 reptile species, increase your probability of coming face-to-face with the wildlife. Look around for Pig Tailed Macaque, Hoolock Gibbon, Capped Langur, Asiatic Elephant, Black Panther, Tiger, Black Bear and Clouded Leopard.

Best time to visit: September to March is the best time to visit. If you come in February then you can also attend the Dehing – Patkai festival too.

2. Green paradise – Joypur Rainforest

Joypur Rainforest is a paradise spread over an area of 108 sq. km. Blessed with rains almost throughout the year, this forest tops the list of Dibrugarh tourist attractions for its biodiversity. Come here to find yourself surrounded by 102 species of Orchids and tall Holong trees reaching upto the height of 50 meters. Ajae, Segun, Nahar, Bohot, and Sam are the other common trees found here.

The ambiance of this forest is highly favorable for the animal species residing here including Elephants, Hornbills, Leopards, Flying Squirrels, Pythons, Spotted Deer, and Langurs.

Best time to visit: the Second week of February is the best time to visit as you can participate in the Rainforest Festival and enjoy a number of adventure activities like rafting, camping, trekking, elephant riding and bird watching.

How to reach: Rented cars are available from Naharkatia. Regular buses also run from Naharkatia, Guwahati and other nearby cities and towns. This is the cheapest option too.

Must Read: 10 Top Things To Do In Assam That Guarantee A Northeastern Holiday Like None Other

3. A glimpse of Nirvana – Namphake Village

If you are visiting Dibrugarh then you can’t miss out this place. Just 37 kms away from the city is this settlement called Namphake Village, a home for many Tai Phakey families. Set up in the middle of abundant natural beauty and next to the river Burhi Dihing, you will get the vibes of this place the moment you step here.

The people living here are followers of Buddhism and Namphake speaks for itself. The beautiful Buddhist monastery in the village, considered as a meditation center, is a major reason why Namphake is one of the most popular tourist places near Dibrugarh. A significant spot in the monastery is the Ashokan Pillar and the Buddhist Pagoda. The main temple also houses a statue of Lord Buddha made in gold and a holy water tank named Mucalinda Tank.

Best time to visit: October to March are the ideal months to visit as you can also enjoy many festivals including Poi-Nen-Chi festival in March and Poi-Nun-Hok dedicated to Lord Buddha. A chance of seeing traditional dance performances by village women comes as a perk of visiting during this month.

How to reach: You can travel via Naharkatia which is the nearest town to Dibrugarh. Rental cars and cab services are available directly from Mohanbari to Namphake Village. Other local transports like rickshaws and taxis also run from the nearby local spots.

4. The Tea Town – Naharkatia

If you have sipped at least one cup of tea in your lifetime then Naharkatia will be a “Know how do they make it?” kind of experience for you. A commercial town of the Dibrugarh district, this place has many tea gardens and villages. Naharkatia got its name from a historical tragic incident in which Prince Nahar was beheaded by an Ahom noble named Kalia.

Today, this town is emerging as a popular picnic spot in Dibrugarh district. You can also visit the beautiful villages, including Namphake, Sasoni Gojpuria, Merbill Eco Tourism and Gobhuro Dolong, located in the close vicinity of the town. Another interesting spot in the town, the Vainavi Satra founded by Sriram Ata, is a religious site. Naharkatia also consists the oldest oil pool of the state of Assam.

Best time to visit: Winters is the best season to visit Naharkatia but if you happen to be here during the Durga Puja Festival you will get to see the town beautifully illuminated with lights and the procession on the last day of puja.

How to reach: You can board a train and reach the Naharkatia Railway Station directly. There are many private buses also that link Naharkatia to other nearby places including Dibrugarh, Namrup, Moran, Sibsagar, and Jorhat.

Suggested Read: 10 Tourist Places In Assam: Unveiling The Hidden Charm Of The North-East

5. Embracing peace – Radha Krishna Temple

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If you are looking forward to have some spiritual peace, the Radha Krishna Mandir is where you must go. It is a white, Hindu shrine surrounded by beautiful green gardens located in Jalan Nagar. The serenity of this place will relax your mind. The temple’s unique and defined architectural style is an add on to the reasons why people like to spend time here.

Apart from Radha Krishna Temple, there are other spiritual spots that you can visit in Dibrugarh that include: Koli Aai Thaan and satras like Dehing Namtii Satra, Garpara Satra, and Dehing Satra.

Best time to visit: Winter months are the most suitable time to visit Dibrugarh as the temperature drops to even 7-degree celsius.

How to reach: Since this temple is located near the Assam Medical College which is a prominent spot in Dibrugarh, any local mode of transport like rickshaw or taxi will drop you here.

6. The replica of Puri – Shri Jagannath Temple

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Shri Jagannath Temple of Dibrugarh is a replica of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odissa. Located near the Mahatma Gandhi Park at Khanikar, this temple is also known as Shikshetra Dhaam.

Dibrugarh has many other temples in the city. The Raidongia Dol is one of the main shrines in the town and had 24 statues on the wall out of which only 14 can be seen today. The statues are about 45 feet high. This temple was established by Swargodeo Pramatta Singha in the 700 AD. Initially, it was dedicated to Lord Vishnu but later it came to be known as the Shiva Dol.

Suggested Read: North East Trip: Explore The Indian States Of Seven Sisters, One Brother, And A Neighbor!

7. Remains of the brave – Barbarua Maidam

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The Barbarua Maidam is an exception in Dibrugarh’s places to visit list because it is a graveyard. 14 kms away from the city, this place has two main graves of two high-rank officials from Ahom Dynasty. The size of their graveyard is huge and there are graves of other small ranking officials too. The structure of these graves is an interesting thing to see.

How to reach: The Barbarua Maidam is located close to the NH37. You can take any local bus that goes on this route which will drop you at a walking distance from the spot. Rickshaws and taxis are also available in this place.

You may fall short of holidays but you will never have enough of this paradise. And if you still have some time left, go on a shopping spree for silk products. Being a part of Assam which is well known for silk, Dibrugarh also has the best quality and wide collection of silk clothing and products available on stores. This rejuvenating holiday will recharge you much enough to face your Monday blues.

How to reach Dibrugarh:

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Airways: Mohanbari Airport is the nearest airport located 15 km from the city. There are direct flights available from Delhi and connecting flight between Delhi via Kolkata and via Guwahati.

Railways: The first North-Eastern railway service had started in Dibrugarh. Trains from Dibrugarh Town Railway Station connect the city with all the major cities of India including New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Quilon, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Kanyakumari and more.

Roadways: Dibrugarh has three bus terminals:- ASTC bus terminus (Chowkidinghee), Murlidhar Jalan Bus Terminus (Malakhubasa) and AMCH bus terminus (Borbari). Volvo and other buses run at frequent intervals to areas within Assam and nearby states.

Waterways: Dibrugarh has a developed waterway system known as National Waterway 2 which extends from Bangladesh Border to Sadiya. There are luxury cruise services also available to Dibrugarh linking Tezpur and Kaziranga National Park.

There are so many options to reach Dibrugarh. You choose your own and just get-set-go to this heaven in the upper Assam.

Further Read: 15 Best Assam Food Options For The Foodies Traveling To North East!

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10 Things To Do In Belgaum For An Experience You’ll Never Forget!

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One of the oldest cities in Karnataka, Belgaum is an ideal destination for any traveler who wants to hit the roads less traveled. Resting on the borders of two other states: Maharashtra and Goa, this city reflects a medley of cultures and traditions.These unique geographical specifications together make this town gorgeous enough to fall in love with and interesting enough to curiously explore.

Its rocky and hilly terrain makes this place a must-visit destination for nature and adventure lovers. And if you need some spiritual motivation on the way, feel free to ring a bell at any of the many sacred shrines in the vicinity. The scenic beauty credited to the greenery and waterfalls and the traces of history preserved in various corners of the city in the form of forts and structures will take you to an altogether different time zone.

A close look on the things to do in Belgaum for a true belagavi experience

1. Trek to the rocky Gokak Falls

Belgaum has a number of waterfalls near the city making it a suitable place for trekking. Imagine yourself on a trek to reach the most splendid views of white waters gushing down the rocks. Trekking activities take place at Gokak Fall, Phanaswadi Waterfall, Sada Falls, Kalsa & Vajra Waterfall and Shimbola Falls.

Visitor review: “The width and the force of the water which falls and flows into the valley next to a british textile mill is hypnotising and to see that you have to walk on that wooden wire bridge which takes you back in time…and the stone temples along the boulders makes sure you get the spiritual high” – Mayur

Best time to visit: Monsoons are the best time to visit as the falls usually dry up in the dry season. The beginning of Winters starting from the end of September to October

2. Go on an adventure binge at Bhimgad Adventure Camp

If you are an extreme-adventure lover then Belgaum will not disappoint you. Trails into the forest in the outskirts of the district along with the opportunity of camping will only richen your experience.

The Bhimgad Adventure Camp for instance, offers you accomodation plus trek, birdwatching, mountain biking, nature trails, etc. You can also enjoy climbing, abseiling, rope walk and bridge crossing at near Khanapur Taluka Jungle Waterfall. If you get lucky, you may spot a couple of birds out of the species of Asian Koel, Grey Wagtail, Ashy Priniya, Bee Eater, Long Tailed Shrike and many others.

Visitor review: “The resort is situated on a narrow village road next to the Belgaum Golf Course and is a quite and lovely place. Activities include Birdwatching, lots of bird activity in and around the resort. A new bird bath has been set up for the birds to drink water from and bathe in. Nature Trails, Golf at the Belgaum Golf Course, Visit to Rajahamsa Fort and Pottery Institute” – Angad Achappa

Best time to visit: The months of April, May and June are warm. Monsoons are the best time to visit.
Location: The Bhimgad Adventure Camp is located just 10kms from Belgaum whereas Khanapur Taluka Jungle Waterfall is within the Belgaum district.

Must Read: These Best Places To Visit In Karnataka Will Totally Knock You Out

3. Transcend yourself to the bliss of olden days

Belgaum, being the oldest city of Karnataka has witnessed the past more than any other city of the state. Various historical structures that have play low tone among the emerging new age structures still testify the brave stories from the past. Kittur Fort and Palace which was held by the Desai Marathas of Kittur and Rani Chennamma, a lingayat woman warrior of Karnataka who revolted against the British in 1824. Apart from this, you can also visit the Belgaum Fort of which the origin dates back to the 13th century. Another prominent spot is Kamal Basti or the Lotus Jain Temple which has a ceiling built in the form of Lotus of 72 Petals.

Best time to visit: The months of April, May and June are warm. Monsoons are the best time to visit.
Location: Kittur Fort and Palace is 1 hour away from Belgaum. Belgaum Fort is within the district.

4. Gather some blessings from the almighty at Shri Ramakrishna Ashram

Belgaum is a hub of shrines. Shree Ramakrishna Ashram Temple, a very significant worship place for the followers of Swami Vivekananda. The building was earlier the residence of Sri Haripada Mitra, and Swami Vivekananda had stayed here for 9 days in October 1892. Thus the place has been preserved in its original form with some renovations.

Apart from this, there many are other shrines in Belagavi that you can see. Shree Mauli Devi Temple, Shri Hari Mandir, Kapileshwara Temple, Bajrabahari Temple are some Hindu temples that you can visit to gather some internal peace. St, Mary’s Church and Safa Masjid are also popular among the devotees and travellers.

Visitor review: “Visiting Sri Ramakrishna Ashram Temple with family around the evening Aarti-Pooja time is a divine experience. The slow bhajans, followed by Pooja aarti is the peaceful experience one feels is amazing. Adjoining to this is the Sri Vivekananda meditation hall, where easily 500+ people can meditate at a time. The entrance to this hall a famous Inspirational quote by Swamiji “Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals place them day and night before you and out of that will come great work”!” – Guruprasad B

Suggested Read: 8 Fascinating Temples In Karnataka That Are All About Architectural Grandeur!

5. Shop for some exclusive brass & wooden items

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Belgaum is known for its brass and wood products. Here you can get best deals on brass utensils, showpieces, jewellery and travel souvenirs. You will also find a wide range of wooden toys and utensils. So, after all the fun you have in the city, grab some souvenirs for your loved ones and yourself.

6. Indulge in some Belagavi cuisine

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Belagavi food is highly dominated by Karnataka’s Cuisine but it also has a tinge of Maharashtrian and Goan influence. Treat your taste buds at some local food stalls to experience the authentic taste of Belagavi cuisine but do not miss to eat Karadantu and Belgavi Kunda which is a local sweet.

Suggested Read: Karnataka Cuisine: 15 Popular Karnataka Dishes For A Flavorful Culinary Journey

How to reach Belgaum?

Flight: You can board a flight from New Delhi to Belgaum. It takes approx. 5 hours and 35 minutes
Train: Another option is travelling in a train from New Delhi to Belgaum which takes approx. 34 hours
Flight and Bus: You can also reach Belgaum from New Delhi via Goa. Take a flight to Goa and board a bus from Goa to Belgaum

Belgaum has a pleasant weather throughout the year. But the months of April, May and June are warm which makes monsoons the best time for visit. Many tourists visit the city soon after the Monsoons, between late September and early October. A trip to this Sugar Bowl of Karnataka will surely be a sweet experience for you.

Further Read: 10 Hill Stations in Karnataka To Rejuvenate Yourself

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