Seoul, one of the biggest urban communities on the planet, as most other extraordinary Asian urban areas, is a charming blend of old and cutting edge. This dynamic capital of South Korea was established by the Joseon administration approximately 600 years back. From that point forward Seoul has crossed a long way, that can be seen in its glass, steel and solid high rises and in the way that the city appears to revamp itself after every passing decade.
Cutting edge electronic hardware, sparkling originator stores and chic shopping centers commotion for your consideration, yet in the midst of this noise, the customary wooden houses with tiled rooftops and a labyrinth of cobbled back roads, antiquated royal residences and sanctuaries too make their nearness felt.
Individuals still visit conventional tea houses to unwind or appreciate social exhibitions in the World Heritage Palaces. Beautiful celebrations, society towns and people galleries permit the guests a look in Korea’s primitive past when the aristocrats reigned over their spouses, courtesans, laborers and slaves.
Come evening and the whole city appears to clear into stimulation regions finish with dance club, bars, and bars. The smoky grill eateries, teashops, extravagant mugwort saunas, DVD small silver screens and more open a radical new world at your feet.
# Things To See
The city is well connected by a public transport system that provides convenient access to its attractions. Visit the Gwanghwamun district with its palaces, pagodas, temples and museums or enjoy a complete sensuous pleasure sampling the city’s unique food. From dipping into teahouses, indulging in a shopping extravaganza, to experiencing a nightlife that is simply rocking, there is no place like Seoul.
For the nature lovers too, Seoul does not disappoint. Enjoy a fun-filled day along the Cheonggyecheon Stream, wander through the woods below Mount Namsan or climb the rock faces in the national parks in the city surrounds.
Note that many tourist attractions and the Seoul City Tour Bus are closed on Mondays.
Gyeongbokgung Palace: Considered to be the most beautiful of the five historic palaces in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace owes its existence to Lee Seong-Gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty who established Seoul as the capital of Korea. The palace features Royal apartments and staterooms, gardens and elegant lotus ponds. It also houses the National Fold Museum of Korea, a major attraction in its own right.
Namsangol: Namsangol is a refreshing change from the skyscrapers. This traditional folk village is centred on five restored Korean historical homes and takes you back into the times of the Joseon Dynasty. The historical homes are built of materials that have been designated as Seoul City Folk Materials and they are all decorated with authentic furniture and decorations from the period. You can admire the pond and pavilions, enjoy a cup of tea in the traditional teashops and shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts. You can also try your hand at some ancient games of Korea.
Deoksugung: Deoksugung Palace is one of Seoul’s many royal palaces and is located right in the centre of Seoul. The buildings in the compound date from a variety of eras but most had to be rebuilt after they were burned by the Japanese in 1592. The palace is definitely worth a visit as there’s something amazing about seeing an ancient palace surrounded by modern skyscrapers.
Changdeokgung: One of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty, Changdeokgung is located east of Gyeongbok and for this reason it is also referred to as the East Palace. In accordance with the Three Kingdoms of Korea period, the architecture of the buildings blends effortlessly with the natural landscape. Changdeokgung was considered to be the favored palace of many kings of the Joseon Dynasty.
Insa-dong: The colorful alleyways of Insa-dong are well worth a visit. Considered to be Seoul’s artistic soul, Insa-dong district, also colloquially known as ‘Mary’s Alley’ is home to more than 100 antique shops and countless art galleries, delighting collectors and casual browsers alike. From ancient Chinese pottery to yellowed books and delicate jewelry, you can find some really great souvenirs or special gifts in these quaint stores. The area also has a fair share of restaurants, taverns and traditional teahouses. On Sundays, you can also catch a special cultural performance.
Lotte World: Lotte World, in central Seoul, is the world’s largest indoor amusement park. It is one of the world’s most popular theme parks, drawing in more than six million visitors each year. While a large part of the park is indoors, there is an outdoors section as well. Magic Island is an island on a lake, dominated by a fairy-tale castle. It can be reached via monorail from the indoors section of the park.
Namsan Park: The Namsan Mountain, standing sentinel in the centre of Seoul, is also the venue to numerous recreational activities. From here you can take a cable car right up to the landmark N Seoul Tower. From the observation deck of the tower you can admire the brilliant views of the city. The revolving restaurant on top of the tower is very popular with diners because of the breathtaking view it affords of Seoul by night. There are several other attractions including the Maritime Aquarium, botanical gardens, and fountains.
Kimchi Field Museum: This one of a kind museum came into being in 1986 and ever since it has displayed historical relics related to kimchi, different types of kimchi and mock-ups of kimchi-making. Korea’s ‘national food’ kimchi is considered as a cure-all by the people. This unique museum details its history and also how kimchi is prepared. Also located in the COEX Mall is the aquarium.
Bongeunsa: This Buddhist temple in Gangnam-gu was founded in 794 by Yeon-hoe, the highest-ranking monk of Silla at the time. It was again reconstructed in 1498 and soon became the main temple of the Korean Seon (Zen) sect of Buddhism. Today Bongeunsa offers a ‘Temple Stay Program’ where visitors can live as monks do for a few hours.
The Seoul Olympic Park: The Olympic Park, or Olpark, as it is known, was built to host the 1988 Summer Games. The arena occasionally hosts shows, such as a Michael Jackson concert. Other attractions include the Seoul Olympic Museum, Mongchon Fortress and the World Peace Gate.
# Festivals and Events
Lotus Lantern Festival: Seoul celebrates Buddha’s birth anniversary on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month with lanterns. There is a Buddhist saying that goes, “You can attain Buddhism in your next lifetime by lighting a lantern in this life.” In accordance with this teaching, Jogye Temple in Seoul, the headquarters of the largest Jogye Order of Buddhism, holds a special Lotus Lantern Festival every year.
Boryeong Mud Festival: Held in the month of July, the festival includes events ranging from therapeutic mud massage to mud-sliding at Daecheon Beach, located at about two and a half hours by bus south of Seoul.
Insa-dong Festival: Held in October, the festival showcases pungmulnori or folk musical instrumental performances. There is a food court where you can enjoy countrywide cuisine.
Icheon Rice Cultural Festival: This festival is also held in the month of October. There is a feast to celebrate the good harvest.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s sparkling capital has every one of the makings of a world-class city. With its tall structures, contemporary inns, swanky shopping centers, and universal food, Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it is ordinarily known, is Malaysia’s most created and incident city.
The city, which took roots as a little time mining town, has in a matter of 150 years, developed into a totally present day city, with the fantastic Petronas Towers, the world’s second tallest structures, displaying its ascent to universal acclaim. Kuala Lumpur’s mining industry pulled in individuals from over the world including Britain, China and India, and the joint impacts can be found in the city’s engineering, cooking, traditions, and customs. It is this multicultural character that makes KL such an interesting spot. The energetic and vivid environment of the city can be best experienced in the Chinatown, Little India and Kampung Baru, the heartlands of KL’s Chinese, Indian, and Malay people group.
The gluttons can discover joy shopping to their souls content in the smooth shopping centers amid the day and in the wrenching nightlife after the sun sets. However, for all its urban scenes, KL is exceptionally customary in heart. You can encounter serene minutes in its delightful parks or in the amazing frontier period structures. Innovation mixes with customary appeal—here you can see pre-was shops and sellers impart space to high rises and fantastic tall structures. This is Kuala Lumpur, your portal to a one of a kind occasion encounter.
# Things To See
Take a walking tour of Kuala Lumpur to soak up the sounds, and smells of this colorful city. The central hub for all activities is Datran Merdeka (Independence Square). Also worth admiring is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, with its intriguing mix of Victorian and Moorish architecture. Providing a striking contrast to the colonial architecture are the Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and Masjid Jamek (Friday Mosque), with their distinct Islamic influence. The ornate Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, now no longer functional, is a cross between the two architectural forms. The western suburb of Bangsar Baru, with its pavement cafes has also captured the imagination of the visitors and locals alike.
You can get a bird’s’ eye view of the city from the observation level of the Petronas Towers or the viewing platform at the Menara Observation Tower.
Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC): KL’s main landmark, The Petronas Twin Towers at 452 meters, is the world’s second highest structure. The design and architecture of the towers draw heavily on Islamic art and modern outlook. The two towers are connected through a sky bridge from where you can take in the spectacular views of the city. At the base of the towers, there is an upmarket shopping mall by the name of Suria KLCC which caters to tourists and the city’s upper class. The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is also located inside the towers’ base. Outside the towers are beautiful landscaped gardens for relaxing and taking in the beautiful views.
KL Tower: The KL Tower, or Menara Kuala Lumpur, at a height of 421 m, is the world’s fifth tallest structure. A telecommunications tower, it houses a revolving restaurant at the top. There is an observatory deck on top with built-in telescopes which you can use to zoom in on parts of the city.
Little India: A riot of colors, Little India, along Masjid India Street which is near Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, is delightfully reminiscent of a Middle Eastern bazaar with its overflowing shops, decorations, aromas, and Bollywood music. Soak up the colorful sights and if you wish to tingle your taste buds, you can indulge yourself in the many eateries that line the street. While here, you must try the ‘Teh Tarik’, a local tea that is popular with the people.
Kampung Baru: Founded in 1899, Kampung Baru is the oldest Malay residential area in Kuala Lumpur. Here you can still see the traditional Malay wooden houses, which are a sharp contrast to the concrete houses and high-rise apartments of the rest of Kuala Lumpur. On Saturday evenings, Kampung hosts the Pasar Minggu, or Sunday Market, which starts from 6 PM on Saturday evenings and ends at 1 AM on Sunday mornings. The market is a great place to shop for Malay jewelry, clothes, fabrics, and handicrafts.
National Museum: The National Museum or Muzium Negara, located just outside the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, is Malaysia’s main museum. Outside the museum you can find restored old railway and other old transportation vehicles such as the very first Proton Saga car, bullock carts, and a vintage automobile. The museum houses a variety of exhibits, dioramas and galleries which include historical relics and artifacts, cultural items, arts and handicrafts, flora and fauna, weapons, and currencies.
National Art Gallery: The National Art Gallery is located in a historical building dating back to 1932. There art gallery hosts both permanent exhibits and temporary ones. The permanent collection, which amounts to over 2,500 art pieces, features the work of local and international artists.
Royal Selangor: You can see how pewter is manufactured and turned into intricate handicrafts at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre. Established more than a century ago, the center is famous for its beautifully-crafted pewter items that have won several international awards.
National Mosque: The impressive National Mosque exemplifies contemporary interpretations of traditional Islamic art and calligraphy. The main attraction of the mosque is the blue umbrella-like roof.
Thean Hou Temple: Considered to be one of the oldest temples in Southeast Asia, this ornately decorated temple is well known for the murals on its walls. The temple is also a popular wedding venue especially for the Chinese.
Jalan Ampang: A walk along Jalan Ampang will take you back in time, all the way to the early 1900’s. The mansions and ancestral homes belonging to the tin tycoons at the turn of the century bear witness to the passage of time and the growth of the Malaysian nation.
You can choose from a wide range of accommodation options to stay in during your visit to Kuala Lumpur. From leisure to business to budget, the choices are many as are the areas in which to stay. Luxurious hotels, budget hotels, comfortable guesthouses and vacation apartments for long term stays are widely available. For the sake of convenience, we have divided them into the following sections.
Golden Triangle: You can find some of the best hotels in this area. The Golden Triangle is considered to be KL’s city’s prime commercial and banking district. This is a place to stay in if you are here for a shopping rendezvous with its close proximity to the famous Bintang Walk, with its rows of shopping outlets and outdoor cafes. For a high-end option, you can stay in the Hotel Imperial, which is ranked among Southeast Asia’s finest hotels. Another popular hotel is the Shangri-La Hotel, with its lush tropical gardens. Other famous luxury hotels in this area include the JW Marriott Hotel, Ritz-Carlton and the majestic Crowne Plaza. You can also find a range of moderately priced yet decent and comfortable hotels such as the Allson Genesis Hotel and the Hotel Capitol. For serviced apartments you can check out the Maple Suite.
Travelers Digest recommends both the Shangri-La and the Maple Suite.
KL City Centre (KLCC): The KLCC district also has its share of internationally renowned hotels near the famed Petronas Twin Towers, in the heart of KL’s most modern commercial hub. Some famous names include the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Corus Hotel. For vacation rental apartments, you might want to check out the Pacific Regency Hotel Apartments.
Putra World Trade Centre: There are several hotels scattered around the World Trade Centre, one of the city’s most exciting commercial sections. High-end hotels include the Legend Hotel and the Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur. Lower-end hotels include the Dynasty Hotel and the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Chinatown: This is a great place to find inexpensive lodging. Options worth checking out include the Swiss Inn at Petaling Street, Hotel Grand Olympic, and Hotel Malaya.
# Dining Options
Kuala Lumpur is a haven for food lovers. It is very easy to find a restaurant or eatery where you can sample your favorite dishes. Kuala Lumpur also lives up to its role as a cosmopolitan city where there is no dearth of options for international cuisine. From road side eateries to fine dining, from local fare to international flavors, the choice is endless.
It goes without saying that the most commonly available food is the Malay food. Originating from Indonesia, where the early traders came from, it is heavily influenced by other races and cultures more so by Chinese, Middle East and Indian. Authentic Malay food is spicy with a tinge of sweetness. Commonly used ingredients include herbs such as lemon grass, pandan leaves and wild ginger bus. Beef and fish are frequently found on the menu.
Kopitiams: You can find them almost everywhere in the city. Basically, these are budget Chinese restaurants that offer local dishes and drinks with nothing fancy in between. Most dishes are cooked on the spot. Kopitiams are popular with locals, especially Chinese.
Food Courts/Medan Selera: These food courts are nothing but a collection of food stalls housed within mini-shops, residential areas, shopping malls, factory areas, and office blocks. The food courts give you the advantage of choosing local and multi-racial mix of dishes be it Malay, Chinese, or Indian food under one roof.
Mamaks: Mamaks were originally open-air food stalls run by Indian Muslims. Today the term ‘Mamak’ refers to any roadside stall run by an Indian that sells traditional Indian food and drinks. Mamaks are popular hangout joints for the after work and college crowd for eating and whiling away the hours. The mamaks are often open from morning till well past midnight.
Pasar Malams: Pasar Malams or ‘Night Markets’ are great places to dine on light traditional food. Here, you can find anything from items such as cookies, local cakes, and Chinese pastries to kebabs, roasted duck, noodles and other heavier food items.
Restaurants: You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in a restaurant which is within your taste and budget. Restaurants in KL serve everything from Malay, Chinese and Indian to international dishes such as French, Italian and Japanese. Besides, you also have a wide array of choice if you wish to dine in high end restaurants. Some restaurants worth checking out include Al Amar for outstanding Lebanese food, Frangipani for French classics, Hakka Republic for Japanese, and Sage for some of KL’s most unique dishes.
Kuala Lumpur is also the shopping capital of Malaysia. There are a wide range of shopping areas and prominent malls in the city. The most sophisticated shopping center is the Suria KLCC mall nestled between the Twin Towers. Budget and mid-range shoppers can head to Petaling Street (in Chinatown) or Bukit Bintang.
Bukit Bintang: This is a popular shopping destination for both tourists and locals. In fact this shopping area caters to all tastes and budgets. There are a number of malls all located within walking distance from each other. You can visit Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10, Bukit Bintang Plaza, and Low Yat Plaza.
KLCC: The main draw is the Suria KLCC Shopping Mall between the Petronas Twin Towers. Its strategic location and easy accessibility by subway trains make it a popular, shopping destination for both upper class locals and tourists. Adding to its popularity is its proximity to KL’s prime commercial area of Ampang, which is famous for its nightspots and tourist attractions.
Petaling Street (Chinatown): Petaling Street, in Chinatown, has tourists and locals flocking to the numerous stalls, which open from afternoon until late night. The entire street is a night market that has a multitude of traders selling goods ranging from food stuff to toys and fancy watches to fashion accessories.
Mid Valley: With more than 400 shops and outlets, the Mid Valley Megamall seems to have everything under the sun, from cheap electronic goods, groceries, and fast food outlets to fancy fashion goods.
# Excursions From Kuala Lumpur
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park: This spectacular theme park is situated just 15 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, in Petaling Jaya. The Waters of Africa area is said to have the world’s largest man-made wave pool. Besides you can also enjoy a wide range of thrilling African-themed water rides. There are two other parks, World of Adventure and Wild Wild West, which also offer exciting rides. Other major attractions include the aquatically themed Voodoo Adventure and Kalahari Kids, providing you the perfect opportunities to cool off on a hot day.
Batu Caves: These caves are located north of the city in the nearby Selangor state. The main cavern is in a large limestone hill. Around 272 steps lead up to the entrance of the cavern. The Batu caves are a religious site of worship for Hindus. The site also has the ‘Dark Cave’ with restricted access as it holds a diverse range of fauna, such as spiders, bats and snakes. There are tours available to enter and explore the 2-km Dark Cave. A word of caution when you explore these caves—do keep a watch out for the monkeys who will brazenly nick your bags for food.
# Nightlife and Entertainment
If you thought that the fun in Kuala Lumpur ended with the setting of the sun then think again. Come evening and the city comes alive with youngsters, revelers, and tourists heading to the clubs, bars, karaoke lounges, pubs and discos pulsating to the rhythm of music. Although Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, alcohol is freely available and the nightlife is one of the liveliest in Asia.
The multiplexes in the city show contemporary English, Hindi, Malay, and Chinese movies. Then there are the local groups that stage interesting Asian and Western dramas and dance dramas. You can also enjoy the traditional Malay opera known as bangsawan. You also have the option of shopping at night and there is no better venue than the pasar malam, the local night street market, for shopping for some great bargains. The Saturday market on Jalan Raja Muda and Jalan Petaling in Chinatown are equally popular for socializing, shopping and simply watching the people.
Pubs in Kuala Lumpur close at around 11 PM; this is the time when the discos start to warm up and stay open until around 2 AM. Some have live bands and light shows but often require cover charges or drink minimums. Nightclubs and cabarets, or “kelab malam” as they are locally called, include variety acts, floor shows, and bands. Karaoke is favored by the Chinese who love to croon oldies and contemporary pop music from Hong Kong. Nightclubs can be found far out of the city and they normally cater to the city’s teenagers, although there are a number of dance floors in the Golden Triangle.
The nightlife in Kuala Lumpur can be classified under the following areas:
Bukit Bintang : The most happening area is Bintang Walk, with international restaurants and glitzy pubs catering mostly to a foreign crowd. Here, you will find an international atmosphere and clubs with themes from Japan, Ireland, Brazil, and much more.
The most renowned bar is Planet Hollywood which serves great American food and has a fantastic bar. There is a live band every night. Carnegie’s, another great Western-styled pub plays rock & roll as well as R&B music. Blue Boy, another small club nearby has a reputation for queerness and cabaret shows.
KLCC : KLCC is another famous nightlife area in Kuala Lumpur with clubs, bars, pubs and lounges scattered around the roads of Sultan Ismail, Pinang and Ampang. The main attraction here is The Zouk club with a 2,000 clubber-capacity Main Room. Then there is the Velvet Underground, a cozy bar and lounge for mostly adult professionals. Alexis, further down the road, is a very elegant bar and restaurant, with an international menu and weekend performances from jazz bands.
Bangsar: This is a much favored area for locals and expatriates. Most of the pubs, clubs and bars can be found on the streets of Telawi.
Kuala Lumpur experiences hot and humid weather throughout the year with rainfall of varying intensity depending on the time of the year. This makes the city a year round travel destination. Temperatures range between 29°C – 35°C during the day and 26°C – 29°C at night. It may get colder after periods of heavy rainfall. Rainfall occurs mostly between October to March. May till July are in general the drier months. Kuala Lumpur usually has heavy sunshine during the mornings lasting till the afternoons, while the evenings may see rain and occasional thunderstorms.
# Getting There
By air: The award-winning, ultra-modern Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is a major gateway to South East Asia. It serves flights for over 45 international carriers, including Malaysian Airlines, the national carrier. There is a fast transit train which connects the arrival gates with the arrivals hall.
Approximate flight times to Kuala Lumpur:
- From London: 13 hours
- From New York: 20 hours 15 minutes
- From Los Angeles: 17 hours 45 minutes
- From Toronto: 21 hours 45 minutes
- From Sydney: 8 hours
Airport facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, tourist information, hotel reservations, 24-hour shopping, duty-free, restaurants, postal services, and car hire.
Transport to the city: The Express Rail Link connects KLIA with the KL KAT Terminal at Sentral Station, in the city centre. There are two airport services – the KLIA Ekspres, which completes the journey without stopping, and the KLIA Transit, which stops en route at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya/Cyberjaya and Bandar Tasik Selatan. You can also hire pre-paid taxis in the arrivals area.
By Rail: The main routes from Kuala Lumpur are south to Singapore and north to Bangkok.
By Road: The North-South Highway extends from Singapore to the Thai border via Kuala Lumpur.
# Getting Around
Kuala Lumpur is well connected by a network of buses, light commuter trains, and fleet taxis. The traffic jams here are legendary and as such commuting by trains can be a better option.
Taxis: The red and white taxis can be flagged down from almost every point in the city. Normal taxis include cars like Proton Wiras, Iswaras and Sagas, while premier taxis, use Renault MPVs. Though taxis are all metered, cabbies generally flout the rules. The premier taxis, however, charge by the meter. You can report errant cab drivers to the authorities by noting down the details of the taxi and driver which is stamped in bold on the car’s left side of the dashboard.
Buses: Buses are a cheaper method of travel around the city. However, they are best avoided during the morning and evening rush hours because they can get overcrowded. Rapid KL, a government-sanctioned company, is the main bus service provider. You can purchase monthly passes to use Rapid KL buses.
Rental Cars: You can rent a car from various agencies in the city. You will need to pay a deposit depending on the rates. You can choose from compact cars to luxury sedans and large vans to 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Trains: The Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway cuts though major residential areas in and around Kuala Lumpur. The Monorail, Putra LRT and Sistem Aliran Transit Ringan (STAR) are the light rail transit systems, which utilize elevated tracks that cut across and above busy intersections in the city. Most of the train systems connect in KL Sentral, Malaysia’s central railway hub located in Brickfields.
What else can be superior to a chance to investigate the different and inconceivable territory of Canada by setting out on an exciting street trip? The elite excursion is the most ideal approach to comprehend and enjoy the way of life and scenes of the energetic goal. There are numerous energizing open doors as the nation brags a lot of extends for explorers. For any street tripper Canada is a major play area to investigate. You can pick a visit as indicated by your term of stay and season alongside your favored area. So next time when you are purchasing tickets to Canada, make a point to enjoy no less than one paramount street trip.
Must investigate street outings of Canada
Toronto to Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most recognizable landmarks and a road trip from the glittering city of Toronto to the Falls is a brilliant option. The excursion has many interesting stopovers including the famous wine country of Ontario.
Vancouver Island is yet another excellent destination for a road trip. It gives you an exciting option to explore the west coast of the country. Victoria, the capital of the province, and Tofino are famous attractions of the stretch. The special journey will go through lush rainforests and a long coastline.
Calgary to Jasper
There are many delightful highways to take a road trip in Canada but no journey can be compared with the thrill and joy of invading the Rocky Mountains. The enticing escape is popular with both locals and travellers. The route covers Banff National Park, Jasper (which famous for Glacier Skywalk), majestic mountain range and many other sights worth seeing.
Sea to Sky Highway
The diverse highway of British Columbia province is apt for the name Sea to Sky. The route offers more than enough options to get mesmerised. The costal rainforest, mountain peaks, waterfalls, beaches and many more natural wonders will keep you and your digital camera busy in the entire trip.
The Viking Trial
The Viking Trial in Newfoundland boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way. The journey of the stretch brings the sight of beautiful icebergs, stunning bays, and the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic along with numerous historical monuments and loads of natural beauty.
The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail of Cape Breton Nova Scotia is a dream destination for a road trip. Great coastal stretches, breathtaking cliffs, delightful beaches along with the most picturesque scenery and great seafood are the highlights of the journey. The other interesting indulgences of the trip include swimming, horse ridding, fishing, kayaking and scuba diving.
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Climbing up the side of a 134-meter connect more than eight paths of occupied movement and rough oceans may seem like a scene from a Bond motion picture, yet make a beeline for Sydney, Australia and you could wind up in this correct situation – and you’ll pay for it as well.
More than 2.75 million individuals have climbed Sydney Harbor Bridge, and that incorporates well known confronts like Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Robert De Niro and even Prince Harry. Furthermore, if it’s adequate for them, it’s sufficient for Traveler’s Digest.
The Bridge Climb begins with a very thorough safety demonstration, which includes a breathalyzer we might add, so it’s probably best not to pop to the pub for some pre-climb Dutch courage and to instead save the beers for after. Then it’s time to don the blue climb suit, hat, radio and headset, and get ready for a practice climb in the secure indoor training facility.
After everyone’s warmed up and ready to go, it’s time to hit the bridge for real. Your professional and chatty guide leads a group of about 10 climbers out onto the first ledge. You hook yourself onto the safety mechanism that runs along the railing at waist height, and off you go. As you emerge out of the building and into the blustering Sydney Harbour wind, you know there’s no turning back.
Above you, you can hear traffic – you start the Bridge Climb below the bridge – and that’s a lot of traffic because Sydney Harbour Bridge has 160,435 vehicles passing over it every day. Pedestrians squint up at you from the street below, kicking your depth perception into gear because they already look small. As the route takes you higher and higher, your witty guide relays some humorous stories to distract you from the drop below, followed by some you wish he didn’t, like the one where he told us that the height at which we were standing was twice what a human could survive falling, or something to that effect –this writer’s memory skills clearly distorted by vertigo.
There are 200 steps in total to get to the top, and numerous stop points along the way to enjoy the view and take a few pictures. Photos are taken by a professional up here though to avoid accidentally dropped iPhones plummeting through car windscreens. Everyone gets one picture and a video of their climb to take home for free.
After a mixture of steps, ladders and ledges, you finally reach the top. And the view is stunning. You get a 360-degree sweeping panoramic of Sydney Harbour, which includes Sydney Opera House and Centrepoint Tower. It takes two hours to reach the summit and an hour to get back down, so you really get a chance to absorb the experience.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is a fantastic day out that can be enjoyed by anyone who’s over 10 years old and in good health. And if you’re looking for an exciting and unexpected place to pop the question you could do a lot worse than kneeling down on the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. In fact, it’s such a good idea that 4,000 couples have done it! Talk about sweeping a girl off her feet.
Tokyo, known as Edo until 1868, is by a long shot a standout amongst the most advanced urban areas on the planet. Pondering through this skyscraper and innovative scene and you will feel that the visuals from science fiction thrillers have truly taken solid shape: high rises enlightened with shining signs, taxis with computerized entryways, metros that stop in shopping centers, these are only a portion of the signs that showcase Tokyo as a city that has a place with what’s to come.
The vertical ascent of Tokyo has been formed by a past filled with debacles. The twentieth century was portrayed by World War II bombings, flames and seismic tremors. Truth be told the seismic tremors in Tokyo are unavoidable and individuals have taken them in their walk: every time there is a disaster, the city ascends from the powder and reconstructs its horizon taller than at any other time.
Be that as it may, on the grounds that Tokyo is modern, doesn’t mean the city has overlooked its pasth. The old world appeal is noticeable in the Shinto legacy kept alive in the Meiji Jingu Shrine or in the throbbing bedlam of the Tsukiji Fish Market. The continuing conventions of Tokyo’s social decorum and the customs of the tea services are signs that the city keeps up a profound and persevering fondness for its conventions and culture.
Whether it is kimono clad women or ladies wearing the most recent styles, Tokyo is a mystery. The modern Roppongi Hills gently exists together with the various Buddhist holy places and the Imperial royal residence. Whether you need to have sushi or a Big Mac, you’ll locate the old and the new everlastingly compared in Tokyo.
At first look, the Tokyoites may appear to be calm, innovative and proficient approaching their day by day business with perfect timing effectiveness. Be that as it may they take their amusement similarly genuine. Once the sun sets, the discos, clubs, bars, bars and eateries wake up with individuals who wish to relax and turn their backs to the commitments of their every day lives.
# Is It Safe?
Since the Fukushima earthquake and subsequent reactor meltdown in 2011, many people have been asking whether Tokyo is safe for visitors? The answer is unequivocally yes. Tokyo is 300 kilometers south of Fukushima and has not been affected by any dangerous radioactive fallout and radiation levels in the city remain normal.
# Things To See
Tokyo is famous for its magnificent skyline, museums, parks, gardens, landscapes, archeological master pieces, and architectural wonders. While the list of things to do and see in Tokyo is exhaustive, we have listed some that should be visited in all itineraries.
Tokyo Tower: The Tokyo Tower is modeled on the Eiffel Tower but it is 333 meters taller than the original. The world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, completed in the year 1958, is a symbol for Japan’s rebirth as a major economic power. You can go up to the main observatory at150 meters or to the special observatory at 250 meters to enjoy the beautiful view of Tokyo. Under good weather conditions, Mount Fuji can be seen in the distance.
Bunkamura: This is Tokyo’s most well known museum. Apart from its collection, the museum is also a famous cultural center where you can enjoy some fine music, movies and various other interesting events. The exhibits feature the work of artists such as Grandma Moses, Monet, and Munakata Shikō as well as photographic displays by Man Ray.
Roppongi Hills: The Roppongi Hills complex is arguably Tokyo’s most upscale neighborhood, in fact a mini city where you can find just about everything: restaurants, pubs, discos, night clubs, boutiques, shopping stores and to cap it all, fantastic views from atop the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. There are more than 200 restaurants situated here ranging from affordable eateries where you can grab a quick bite to really lavish places that serve exotic Japanese cuisine.
Sensoji: Sensoji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Tokyo, is famous for its extraordinary beauty and architecture. Established in AD628, this temple is dedicated to Kannon Bodhisattva who is considered as the Goddess of Mercy. Thousands of people throng to this temple, either to worship or just to marvel at its grandeur.
Hama-Rikyu: Tokyo has its fair share of gardens, one such being the Hama-Rikyu. Filled with beautiful trees and flowers, it is an ideal place to relax away from the bustle of the city. The garden has three beautiful lakes and you can take a walk on the famous Rainbow Bridge.
Shinjuku-gyoen: This is considered as one of the most magnificent gardens in Tokyo. The perfect blend of traditional Japanese and French landscaping makes this place aesthetically appealing. Spring time sees a rich bloom of cherry blossoms, something that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Ginza: The Tokyo equivalent of Rodeo Drive, in Ginza you will find everything to be modern and expensive. It is a great place to window shop. Those with a reverence for technology shouldn’t miss the Sony Building. Here you can marvel at a whole floor devoted to the PlayStation and all of the latest gadgets.
Kabukiza Theater: The traditional ornate Kabukiza Theater dates back to 1949, but Kabuki plays have been around for at least 400 years. There are two performances a day and shows can last up to five hours, but you can buy tickets for a single act.
Tsukiji fish market: This traditional fish market is definitely worth checking out, the only catch (no pun intended) is you have to be there are 5 am in the morning to witness the action. You’ll see the restaurateurs battling it out for the day’s best catch. Generally visitors are not preferred, in fact they are not officially allowed but you can still go there provided you don’t take photographs or get in the way.
Ueno Park: Tokyo’s largest public park, Ueno-koen is best visited in the spring when the cherry trees are in full bloom. The park houses a zoo and some well known museums. It also has on its premises the famous Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan: The building’s white space ship look is an attraction in itself. The permanent collection on the upper floors reconstructs one-half of the bridge at Nihombashi, on either side of which are thorough histories of Edo and Tokyo respectively.
Shibuya: This is the place to visit if you want to see Tokyo at its futuristic best. Shibuya, with its sprawl of gleaming office blocks adorned with illuminated billboards and surrounded by surging crowds, has inspired countless sci-fi films. Away from the crowds, in the north of Shibuya, you can seek solace in the Meiji Shrine Inner Gardens. Home to some 125,000 trees and shrubs, these gardens provide a suitably peaceful setting for the Shinto Meiji-jingu Shrine.
Meiji-jingu: Built in honor of the spirits of the great emperor Meiji and and his consort Shoken, this shrine is a good place to see traditional Shinto architecture.
Shinjuku: Located next to Shibuya, Shinjuku is both a bustling business district and a vibrant nightlife and entertainment area. Home to the busiest train station in the world, 3.64 million passengers daily, Shinjuku is just as crowded as that figure would suggest. Worth checking out is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, consisting of two towers each with viewing decks 202 meters high which are completely free of charge to visitors. This makes an interesting alternative to Tokyo Tower. Also located in Shinjuku is the Park Hyatt Hotel from ‘Lost In Translation’ fame, have a drink at the New York Bar on the top floor of the hotel and relive some of the movie’s classic scenes. Shinjuku is also the address of Tokyo’s largest red-light district, where there are literally thousands of neon signs advertising hole-in-the-wall bars and seedy dive joints.
Yasukuni-jinja: This place is not for the weak-hearted. It is believed that the souls of people who were killed in the Japanese war rest in this house. This house will also give you a glimpse of the rich culture and history of Tokyo.
Tokyo Disneyland Resort: The first Disneyland to be built outside of the United States, Tokyo Disneyland is one of the most popular attractions in Japan. While this may not seem like a must-see attraction, and it isn’t if you happen to be coming from a place that has its own Disneyland, however for tourists coming from other Asian countries or who have yet to visit a Disneyland, this family attraction is definitely worth a visit. In the resort complex there are two theme parks, three Disney hotels and six normal hotels.
Harajuku: This neighbourhood is known for its peculiar street culture that attracts youth from all over the Tokyo metropolitan area, who come to stand around and sometimes prance around in all kinds of fantastical and elaborate costumes.
For some guests, Bali is a definitive tropical goal with unspoiled shorelines, rich green backwoods, and fragrant rice handle that appear to course down the slopes. However there is a whole other world to Bali than its regular attractions. The warm accommodation of the general population and the rich social assorted qualities of this delightful island of Indonesia incredibly add to its outlandish offer.
Encompassed by the Indian Ocean in the south and the Bali Sea in the north, Bali is honored with lovely shorelines, which are impeccable to splash up the sun and enjoy water sports amid the day or take in the magnificence of the setting sun at night.
Bali is additionally an asylum for experience aficionados. Respond to the call of hazy treks in the midst of dynamic volcanoes or snorkel and plunge the perfectly clear waters of the northern drift from Amed to Pemuteran. Stroll through the peaceful valley of Gunung Kawi to see some of Bali’s most antiquated landmarks or basically laze away the days doing nothing in Lovina without seeing the time disappearing.
The Ulun Danau Temple on Lake Batur in Bali.
The Ulun Danau Temple on Lake Batur in Bali.
Frequently alluded to as the ‘Island with the thousand divine beings’, Bali charms guests with its supernatural sanctuary functions set apart with conventional move and show that toss light on the Balinese culture and convictions. Hundreds of years old hallowed places set in the midst of the profound dull timberlands welcome you to look for nature’s quietness and experience its mending touch. Customs and supplications are an essential piece of Balinese life and you can witness these amid the entrancing sanctuary services that happen consistently.
These are probably the most clear characteristics of Bali. A visit to this most amicable island in Indonesia implies that you can treat the body and faculties to gluttonous back rubs, enjoy your taste buds to a rich food and move away the hours on starlit shorelines. Visit Bali and find why this little island—you can drive around the whole drift in one day—has such a towering notoriety for being one of the world’s most astounding traveler goals.
# Natural Attractions
Bali holds true to its reputation for being the ‘last paradise on earth.’ Resplendent with spectacular natural attractions, wildlife parks, scintillating waterfalls, and beautiful temples, Bali promises adventure both on water and land, immense shopping opportunities, and an exciting nightlife. The warm all-encompassing culture and the gracious people make the stay all the more pleasant.
Gitgit Waterfall: This spectacular waterfall, near Singaraja town, is a major picnic spot in Bali. See the water gush down the 40 meters high Gitgit Waterfall and take a dip in its crystal clear pool.
Banjar Hot Springs: These hot water springs in Banjar are believed to have healing powers. The curative powers may be subject to debate but one thing is for sure – these springs in their beautiful surroundings are sure to rejuvenate and refresh the mind.
Gunung Agung: The trek up the mountain is a must for the adventurous. The climb is challenging but the spectacular views are worth each step you take. You can also opt for a leisurely walk along the woods through the shortest route from Selat or Muncan up to Gunung Agung Mountain. April through October is the best time to take up this challenge.
Wildlife Parks: The Bali Bird Park houses not only birds from Bali and Indonesia but also from far off places such as Latin and South America. Besides, if you are lucky you could spot the Bali Starling, the world’s rarest bird. Then there is the Butterfly Park where you can admire a vast variety of brilliantly colored butterflies fluttering around intricately landscaped gardens. The Rimba Reptile Park is also is well worth a visit.
The Bali word for temple is pura. Though most temples in Bali are dedicated to Hindu gods, there are many in deference to the spirits that are an integral part of Bali’s religious beliefs. Some of the temples and buildings in Bali date back to the 11th century. The intricate wooden carvings and sculptures are a treat to the senses. Temple celebrations are an integral feature of the Balinese life and are marked with much gaiety, dance and dramas with religion and Bali mythology as the central themes.
Besakih Temple: Also known as the “Mother Temple of Bali”, the Besakih temple is considered to be the holiest of all Hindu temples in Bali. Perched on the lofty slopes of Mount Agung, at a height of 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) the temple has eighteen separate sanctuaries around the three main temples, which are dedicated to the Hindu Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The history of the temple dates back to megalithic times. To admire the scenic surroundings in silence, it is best to visit the temple before 9 am in the morning for after that the tourist buses begin to arrive.
Pura Luhur (Uluwatu) Temple: Located on the south westernmost precinct of Bali, the Pura Luhur Uluwatu is dedicated to the spirits of the sea. This architectural wonder is crafted in black coral rock and stands high on a cliff top at the edge of a plateau, 250 feet above the Indian Ocean. There is a traditional Balinese dance, the Kecak dance which is held every evening.
Tanah Lot Temple: Built in the 16th century, the royal Taman Ayun temple is situated on top of a huge rock and is surrounded by the sea. It is considered to be one of Bali’s most important sea temples. Poisonous sea snakes in the caves at the rocky base are believed to guard the temple against evil spirits.
Bali offers a vast assortment of accommodations. You can choose from family hotels with recreational facilities for children and secluded villas with private pools to low-end guest houses. One common characteristic that binds all lodging facilities is that they all are beautifully landscaped to enable you to experience the best of Bali’s natural attractions.
Renting vacation villas is becoming increasingly popular because they allow you to soak up the local flavors in privacy and comfort, away from the usual tourist crowds. Some vacation villas worth checking out include Begawan Giri Estate at Payagan, fronting the Ayung River, Wantilan Golf Villas at Nusa Dua, The Pavilions at Sanur and The Villas at Seminyak.
South Bali is the hotbed of tourism as many popular beach resorts are located here. Areas include Jimbaran, Tuban, Kuta, Legain, Seminyak, Canggu, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Candidasa. Nusa Dua, better known as Bali’s high-end resort, comprises of high end luxury resorts which are blissfully cut away from the realities of everyday life. Another high end option is The Oberoi hotel and resort. In fact the resort is so popular that the entire stretch between the hotel and Seminyak is now known as Oberoi.
The biggest tourist attraction in Bali is Kuta, which draws exceptionally large crowds mainly because it promises the most happening nightlife on the island. Here you can find accommodations ranging from top end and midrange to budget.
# Dining Options
No other place on earth is as well represented by its cuisine as is Bali. By eating in Bali, you actually imbibe the very essence of the island. The presence of rice in all dishes reflect the island’s fertile landscape and the exotic spices that go in creating these dishes, represent the warmth of the people.
Never miss an opportunity to dine at the home of a local. Outside the homes, you can relish traditional Balinese food in the warungs or the open air stalls serving fresh seafood that you can see being prepared in front of you. Popular Bali dishes include lawar (chopped coconut, garlic, chilli along with pork and chicken meat), bebek betutu (duck stuffed with spices, wrapped in banana leaves and coconut husks and cooked in a pit of burnt embers) and babi guling (spit-roast pig) stuffed with chilli, turmeric, garlic and ginger.
Kuta: Whether you are looking for traditional Balinese food or some old favorite, you are sure to find something to suit your taste and budget. The budget travelers can find innumerable options in the local food stalls along Legian Beach and opposite Hard Rock Café in Kuta. Some good budget restaurants in this region include Poppies, one of the oldest restaurants in the area, TJ’s for Mexican food, and Nusa Indah Bar & Restaurant. For a unique dining experience you can visit Joni Sunken Bar and Restaurant where you can enjoy your meal semi-immersed in a swimming pool.
Candidasa: You can find numerous restaurants dotting the main road offering fresh seafood. For dining in quieter surroundings, you can try out the waterfront restaurants. For the budgeted traveler there are plenty of food stalls lining the road leading to the sea. Lotus Seaview, located on the shore of Candidasa, is a great place to savour Asian and international dishes and seafood fresh from the local market. Visit Dewata Agung to feast on typical traditional Indonesian and Balinese cuisine and enjoy the stunning views of the Candidasa lagoon.
Jimbaran: If you are in Jimbaran don’t miss the opportunity to taste the sumptuous sea food on sale in the warungs along the sandy beach near the Bali Inter-Continental Resort. If you are looking for fine dining options, you can try KO Japanese Restaurant or Singaraja restaurant, well-known for good food and excellent service. The Ritz-Carlton’s Padi garden restaurant is best known for its authentic Thai cuisine.
Sanur: You will find distinct German and Scandinavian flavors in the menus in Sanur reflecting the influences of the visitors. You can dine in any of the breezy cafes along the waterfront or eat out at the upper end restaurants and hotels. Café Batu Jimbar, a casual sidewalk café, is a popular destination for meeting people for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Kafe Wayang is an air-conditioned café good for relaxing in an indoor tropical garden setting and enjoying exotic Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. Gateway of India is a must visit for those who love Indian food.
Bali is a treasure trove of fine art and handicrafts, paintings, wood and stone carvings and jewelry; it is little wonder then it is considered to be a shopper’s paradise. Shopping in Bali is also about testing your bargaining skills, the more you can bargain, the more you can shop!
Kuta: The main road is lined with a stream of shops where you can find a wide variety of products ranging from clothes and handicrafts to electronics, furniture and leather goods. If haggling is not your style, you can check out the upscale shopping centers such as Kuta Square and Kuta Centre. There are a number of chic boutiques in the north of Legion Street where you can shop for local designer clothes, antiques, furniture and lifestyle goods.
Ubud: The place is a haven for the art aficionados. You can browse through innumerable art galleries within Ubud and its neighboring villages such as Peliatan, Penestanan and Pengosekan, where you will find an ethnic collection of paintings, handicrafts, jewelry and antiques.
Kamasan and Tenganan: Kamasan near Klungkung is famous for traditional Balinese paintings. Tenganan specializes in producing a special cloth called ‘Geringsing’ which is really unique and is a must buy for those who appreciate finer things in life.
You wouldn’t know it from your first look at its renowned glass and steel horizon, yet about seventy five percent of Hong Kong is undeveloped field – an interwoven of windswept ridgelines and congested valleys that covers the length and expansiveness of the domain.
Numerous urbanites go to the slopes to climb on the weekend to get away from the harsh downtown group, and four long-remove climbing trails with many shorter branches leave Hong Kongers ruined for decision.
So get a fair combine of shoes and a lot of water and get out there – you have 300 km of trail in front of you in the event that you need to see it all! Here are five of Hong Kong’s best climbs:
# Tai Long Wan – Stage 2 Maclehose Trail
Hong Kong’s best beaches are also the territory’s most remote, and one of the only ways to get to them is on foot.
From Sai Kung Town, make your way to the end of the Sai Kung Man Yee Road along the High Island Reservoir, the starting point for stage 2 of the Maclehose Trail.
Just over the first hill is Long Ke beach, a taste of what lies ahead and a good spot for a quick swim before tackling the tough climb up Sai Wan Shan.
Restaurants at the small village of Sai Wan and at the far end of Ham Tin beach sell hot food, cold drinks, and some can even arrange a boat back to Sai Kung – a considerably more scenic option to the uninspiring stretch of concrete path leading out of Tai Long Wan to Pak Tam Road. Alternatively, a short but steep hike behind Sai Wan village will drop you off at the end of Sai Kung Sai Wan Road, where you can catch a taxi or minibus back into Sai Kung Town.
# Sunset Peak & Lantau Peak – Stages 2 & 3 Lantau Trail
Give Hong Kong Disneyland and its throng of tourists a miss and check out two of Lantau Island’s other star attractions: Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak.
Hop a ferry from Central to Mui Wo, where it’s a short bus ride or walk up to Nam Shan and the start of stage 2 of the Lantau Trail.
A steady climb eventually delivers you to a plateau along the North face of Sunset Peak, from where you should be able to spot planes taking off and landing at one of the world’s busiest airports.
Further ahead is a windswept ridge dotted with stone huts. These were built between the first and second world wars as a holiday retreat for missionaries, and although the huts can still be rented out for short stays, they’ve seen better days and most campers opt for a tent.
The summit of Sunset Peak is a slight detour off the main trail, but from here you’ll be able to look across to the towering Lantau Peak, Lantau’s highest mountain and the second highest point in Hong Kong.
Buses and taxis heading for Mui Wo and Tung Chung can also be caught before the start of the trail to Lantau Peak on Tung Chung Road.
# Tai Mo Shan – Stages 7 & 8 Maclehose Trail
Hong Kong’s skyscrapers may be dizzyingly tall, but you won’t find the territory’s highest point downtown.
That crown goes to Tai Mo Shan (Big Hat Mountain) in the Central New Territories, which at 957 meters is twice as high as any of the city’s man-made offerings.
The often mist-covered mountain was previously renowned for the “cloud and mist” green tea which grew on its slopes, but these days you’re more likely to see the odd feral cow.
Make your way to the start of Stage 7 of the Maclehose Trail at the Shing Mun Resevoir, which quickly begins a steep climb up Needle Hill.
The trail carries on up to Grassy Hill, before plunging back down into Lead Mine Pass – the start of Stage 8 and where the climb up to Tai Mo Shan begins in earnest.
A steady plod up the rocky eastern spur of Tai Mo Shan ends before the actual summit, which unfortunately is occupied by a radar station that is closed to the public.
The way down from here follows a winding road with bird’s eye views down into the flatland of Yuen Long and ending at Route Twisk, where you can catch buses or taxis to Tsuen Wan.
# Pat Sin Leng – Stage 9 Wilson Trail
Some of the finest hiking in Hong Kong can be found just south of the territory’s border with mainland China.
Beginning at Cloudy Hill just North of Tai Po, Pat Sin Leng (Ridge of the Eight Immortals) is a series of 500-meter peaks named after famous characters in Chinese mythology.
Stage 9 can either be joined after a grueling climb up Stage 8’s Cloudy Hill, or farther along at the Hok Tau Resevoir – best reached by taxi or minibus from the Fanling MTR station.
A short detour to the summit of Emperor’s Ridge offers views of both the eastern and western coasts of the New Territories, and beyond this lies the first and highest of the 8 immortals: Shun Yeung Fung.
Catch your breath before crossing the next 7 peaks to reach Sin Ku Fung, beyond which you can link up with the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail and make your way down to Tai Mei Tuk for buses or taxis back to Tai Po.
# The Dragon’s Back – Stage 8 Hong Kong Trail
Ask a Hong Konger to name their favorite hike, and there is a very good chance it will be The Dragon’s Back.
Although the well-deserved popularity of this ridgeline hike on Hong Kong Island can make it frustratingly crowded at times, the spectacular views of the south side of the island more than make up for the bother.
Stage 8 of the Hong Kong Trail begins at To Tei Wan on Shek O Road, and quickly brings you up to the Dragon’s Back proper and Shek O Peak.
The undulating trail then cuts North along the sun-baked ridgeline towards Mount Collinson, offering panoramic views of Big Wave Bay to the East, and Tai Tam Bay to the West.
After rounding Mount Collinson, the trail turns down past the impressively terraced Cape Collinson cemetery and into Big Wave Bay – Hong Kong’s best surfing spot, of course.
The trail ends here, but keep heading south along Big Wave Bay Road and past the Shek O Golf Course to the beachside village of Shek O, for good food and cold Chang’s at the Shek O Chinese & Thai Seafood restaurant.
It’s actual that unlawful logging, poachers and globalization are all taking their awful toll on lavish Asian landscape and the natural life it houses. Be that as it may, numerous asylums and national parks are doing their part to restore imperiled species and reintroduce them into the wild, and in addition to set up eco-tourism experiences. Also, with such a large number of asylums crosswise over Asia, voyagers can pick by nation, creature or sort of experience for a modified visit to the set of all animals. To settle on that decision less demanding, in any case, we have gathered the ten best places in all of Asia for untamed life viewing.
# Similan Islands, Thailand
This archipelago of nine islands is known as one of the top diving destinations in the world. Whether diving or snorkeling, it’s possible to see spectacular coral reefs, schools of tropical fish, manta rays and sea turtles during the short November-April open season. Mu Ko Similan National Park allows visitors the pleasure of seeing air, land and sea-based wildlife, from birds and sixteen species of bats, to vipers, pythons and lizards, to much friendlier bottlenose dolphins.
# Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary, The Philippines
Going on an African safari can, in fact, be done on a friendlier budget and possibly closer to home at the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary, an island off the coast of Busuanga in the Philippines. Established in 1976, the sanctuary took in 104 animals, including zebras, gazelles, giraffes and impalas that were at risk of drought and being affected by war in their native Kenya. The animal population has grown nearly five-fold since its inception. The sanctuary has also been beneficial for local wildlife. Calamian deer, once on the edge of extinction, are now flourishing, and the protected coral reefs have mostly recovered from damaging fishing practices.
Spread over nearly 440 square kilometers in lowland rainforest, Danum Valley was unoccupied by humans when it opened. Once in the valley, visitors can take guided walks and drives and nighttime safaris to try and spot the Borneo pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhino, Malay sun bear and more. During durian season, the chances of seeing orangutans increase. The real treat here, however, is the birdwatching, as it’s the only place where the spectacled flowerpecker has been spotted.
The Bonin Islands (known as the Ogasawara Islands in Japan) have the distinction of being the most isolated destination on this list, as the only way to get there is by a 25-hour ferry from Tokyo. It’s totally worth it, though, as visitors have an astounding 90% chance of seeing humpback whales from February-April. Visitors can also see sperm whales in the summer and fall, and dolphins all year around. The islands are also unusual in that they were never connected to the Japanese mainland or any other continent, and therefore are home to crabs, insects and birds not found anywhere else in the world.
This national park is home to over 500 species of animals, including nearly 200 types of mammals. Sumatran tigers and flying lemurs, along with clouded leopards, flying frogs and sambar deer are just a sampling of one of the most diverse animal populations in Indonesia. Gunung Leuser also includes a rehabilitation house for orangutans. Situated in the near-pristine Bukit Barisan Mountains, the park’s altitude shoots from zero to 3,381 meters, with the Alas River cutting the park in half.
# Ranthambore National Park, India
The former hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park is now one of the largest national parks in northern India. Its main draw is seeing tigers in their natural habitat; however, the park has much more to offer. The 10th-century, 700-foot tall Ranthambore fortress lies within the sanctuary, and visitors can also spot hyenas, wild boar, leopards and a huge variety of local flora and fauna.
Woraksan sees visitors all year around, yet it’s still a great escape as it never gets too crowded. Steep hikes may be a reason why it’s never teeming with visitors, but making the trip results in spectacular views above the clouds and the chance to climb around the ruins of a 13th-century fortress. The park features thousands of plant, amphibian, mammal, reptile and insect species, 16 of which are endangered. Lucky trekkers will spot the rare antelope that are monitored with radio transmitters.
# Shaanxi Province, China
Just seeing photos of pandas is enough for an involuntary “aww!” so it may be hard to control yourself when visiting the Foping Nature Reserve, which had a population of 64 giant pandas at last count. Nestled in the bio-diverse Qinling Mountains, the reserve is surrounded by other sanctuaries, like the Zhouzhi Nature Reserve, which is in the foothills of the Qinling Mountains and specializes in rescuing injured animals and protecting endangered species, including giant pandas and golden monkeys.
# Xe Pian National Protected Area, Laos
Tucked near the Cambodian border, Xe Pian is renowned for its gibbon population and diversity of species, several of which have not been found in any other park in Laos. In addition to the gibbon, visitors can spot Asian elephants, tigers and the so-cute-it-hurts Asian black bear. Dolphins reside in the three rivers that run through the evergreen and deciduous forests and vast flatlands.
Yala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and most well-known national parks. It’s most famous for its large numbers of elephants and leopards, which can be seen when on safari. The park covers several ecosystems, including moist and dry monsoon forests and wetlands. Historical and religious sites and ruins add to the must-see list. The park is divided into five blocks, making it easier to plan a trip.
Asia’s dependably been a prime goal for hole year understudies and travelers on account of the flourishing hiker culture and shabby way of life. Urban areas like Bangkok and Hanoi have for some time been perceived as spots where the dollar turns out to be decidedly aerobatic in its capacity to extend its esteem, yet it appears that these days, explorers can travel increasingly and go through less with some essential casual arranging. All over Asia, quality doesn’t really include some significant downfalls, making it simple to truly appreciate the enterprise.
# Taipei, Taiwan
Perhaps because of its low-key reputation, Taipei does not often get recognized for the cheap paradise it is. While taxis and hotels can be more expensive that the other places on this list, it’s the food and shopping that really matter. The endless night markets provide a way to indulge in conspicuous consumption and stuff your face on the cheap. The subway fees are also incredibly reasonable, topping off around US$2. The city contains all the international comforts of home on a great price scale, perfectly mixing ease and excitement.
# Penang, Malaysia
Malaysia tends to be left behind on must-see lists, but the country is cheap and gorgeous, and the food is delicious, providing a trifecta of reasons to visit. Penang offers a dazzling mix of cultures, architecture and food so that all visitors are sure to find something to fit their budget. Must-see museums like the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion costs just US$4 for a guided tour, while climbing Penang Hill or the Temple of Supreme Bliss is free. The wide range of culinary delights, whether from street stalls, Little India or local pastry shops keep bellies and wallets happy.
# Bohol, The Philippines
The Philippines is a country of cheap delights. Even places like Palawan and Boracay, which are no secret to hoards of tourists, remain easy to do on the cheap. Bohol is notable for it’s nature, whether man-made, like the mahogany forest, or natural, like the decidedly unnatural-looking chocolate hills. Crossing the rickety bamboo hanging bridge costs a few cents, and the Tarsier Sanctuary is an unforgettable, if short, experience.
# Sri Lanka
Yala National Park is one of the more expensive ways to spend a day in Sri Lanka, where the entrance fee, jeep rental and driver’s tip will set you back about US$30. The emphasis on natural beauty and ancient sites keep even the most restless occupied. Visit a turtle hatchery, hang out with elephants, climb Adam’s Peak and check out all eight World Heritage sites. Taking the train not only ingratiates visitors to a local way of life, but it’s also a super cheap way to travel. Hanging out of the beach is of course the cheapest way of all to laze away a vacation, and eating endless amounts of curry keeps stomachs and wallets stuffed.
# Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand’s capital remains cheap and cheerful, but it’s the northern part of the country that really satisfies wanderlust and a tight fist. Even splashing out on a hotel doesn’t necessarily mean a busted budget. Cheap eats abound, and the night markets are also wallet-friendly. In Chiang Mai, there are a plethora of free or insanely cheap things to do, many with an tinge of adrenaline to them. Cliff jump, go zorbing, or ride an elephant for nothing or next to it, and then relax at the hot springs or with a massage at the women’s prison.
# Sihanoukville, Cambodia
For a truly cheap stay, spend the whole time on the beach and just eat street food. And while that is some people’s version of paradise, doing more won’t put much of a strain on the bank account. Many guesthouses offer boat trips to nearby islands for less than US$20, or it’s possible to rent any kind of boat from kayaks to party junks for cheap as well. Answer the call of adventure with a 4X4 excursion or learn how to windsurf without breaking the bank and relax with a strict diet of cheap beer and beautiful sunsets.
# Bagan, Myanmar
Chock-full of temples, pagodas and stupas, Bagan practically comes with a foolproof itinerary. Renting a bike to explore the temple-dotted landscape is the cheapest way to spend a day, which will offset the US$300 needed to see the sunrise in a hot air balloon over the temples. Another way to see the sights is by horse-drawn cart, which is comparatively a total steal at around US$20. Like pretty much the rest of Asia, food and drinks are dirt cheap.
Vietnam as a whole is a haven for saving money. The country’s home to the world’s cheapest beer, hoi bia, and it practically requires more effort learning how to order it in Vietnamese than it does to pay for it. In Sapa, rent a motorbike for the day for around US$5 to do some exploring. Sapa is also an ideal location as it sits in the center of some of Vietnam’s best scenery. Take the motorbike and find Silver Waterfall, one of the many markets or nearby villages. Going in winter also cuts costs, as the entry visa is cheaper than in summertime.
The Laotian capital resembles a sleepy riverside town more than the political center of a country, but that just adds to its charm. The capital is largely walkable or can be easily crossed with a cheap bike rental. Unlike the foreigner-packed Vang Vieng, the capital doesn’t have quite the tourist-inflated prices. In fact, a day of wandering, a nice meal, and a few beers down by the river should set you back barely a few dollars. Excitement is definitely not the name of the game, but since it’s so money-friendly, why would you want it to be? As a backpacker haven, Pokhara has a huge array of budget, mid-range and premium hotel choices. The sheer amount of outdoor activities also make it possible to customize a cost-effective stay. The town’s a jumpoff for tons of treks, but there are plenty of other options before the big adventure. Paddle to the middle of Phewa Lake and drift the day away, see the sunrise from Sarangkot hilltop and check out Davi’s Fall, a stunning waterfall. Street food costs just pennies, and a nicer dinner will run you about US$4.
As a backpacker haven, Pokhara has a huge array of budget, mid-range and premium hotel choices. The sheer amount of outdoor activities also make it possible to customize a cost-effective stay. The town’s a jumpoff for tons of treks, but there are plenty of other options before the big adventure. Paddle to the middle of Phewa Lake and drift the day away, see the sunrise from Sarangkot hilltop and check out Davi’s Fall, a stunning waterfall. Street food costs just pennies, and a nicer dinner will run you about US$4.
Everybody who goes to San Diego for a family excursion must feel energized recognizing what’s in store. In any case, get-away such place must be arranged with most extreme care. The reality remains that this city offers so much it takes presumably a few back to back get-aways to see everything to see. San Diego is a top decision goal for a family excursion loaded with fun.
It doesn’t make a difference what is the season of year once you reach San Diego. Its direct atmosphere is normally the same at all times. Aside from remarkable shorelines surrounding you, there are such a large number of brilliant and alluring spots you ought to visit with your family. Each family ought to make an outing to San Diego for incredible mix of beguilement and joined recorded and social substance.
When you arrange get-away in San Diego with your family, your children can feel a genuine touch of history in the remainders of Mexican engineering of the Old Town. The vibe of old Californian times is surrounding you at this place. For yet another extraordinary experience, Mexico is directly over the outskirt and it is a fabulous spot for an entire day visit.
San Diego is remarkable due to its legacies from the times of Mexican wars until present days. Since it’s historically related to the Navy, there is a perfectly maintained harbor on the Coronado Island. It is a very interesting for your kids to see the Maritime Museum display and USS Midway.
The variety of content in San Diego is a choice where no family will have time to rest. Many zoo gardens, especially the Sea World, are built and maintained up to the highest world standards. San Diego differs a lot from other tourist destinations with Zoo content because they care a lot for most accurate natural settings for their wildlife species. It is so easy to transfer yourself to entirely different world, whether it being Africa or the Polar Cap with rare, white bears.
If you know your wishes and study San Diego carefully, your every day will be an extraordinary adventure. Apart from visiting cultural jewel of the town, Balboa Park, you can simply walk to the beach and enjoy. Still the hottest spot on this coastline is La Jolla, though other beaches offer nothing less.
Most beaches you can take your family to will offer diversity of water sports and adventures. Visiting La Jolla Cove will enable you see the seals. If your kids love to surf, the Ocean Beach is excellent spot. The point you have to deal with in the beginning is that San Diego always offers more than merely beaches and you might not be able to see it all.
Rich in exquisite restaurants of Old City or Gaslight District, it will offer you opportunity to taste some of the best prepared meals you have ever tasted. With its fresh air, proximity to bigger centers and its wide offer, San Diego is a true sanctuary for families who want to escape ordinary and hectic city life.