Paro Taktsang, Bhutan’s revered tiger’s nest temple – The Captivating and Mysterious Paro Taktsang

Taktshang Monastery, Bhutan

Douglas J. McLaughlin (Photograph edited by Vassil), Taktshang edit, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bhutan is one of the most intriguing nations in the world, and a real rising star where international tourism is concerned. The unspoilt geography of the country is breath-taking in its beauty and provides a true escape into a natural paradise. As a result Bhutan is fast becoming one of the most visited places in the world with many of the nation’s attractions being featured in travel blogs such as Well Known Places.

A concept that is iconic of Bhutan is the paro, which is essential a mix between a temple and a fortress. There are many of these incredible structures to be found around the nation, but one of the most notable is the Paro Taktsang, which has become one Bhutan’s major cultural icons.

The temple was built in honour of Guru Padhmasambhava during 1692. This was due to the fact that this great spiritual leader, who some regard as the second incarnation of the Buddha had arrived to this site and meditated for a period of three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. He had carried out his meditation within the thirteen ‘tiger-caves’

Taktsang translates into Tiger-Cave and there are many different legends that explain the origin of the name. Some say it is due to the thirteen caves that are present at the site.

There are others who would say that Guru Padhmasambhava rode to the mountain where the caves are situated on the back of a mythical tigress capable of flight.

Some believe that this tigress was the wife of Emperor Yeshe Tsogyal, and she transformed into this form to carry the sacred guru safely to the mountain. There’s a third myth that claims there was a Tiger Demon present within the caves.

Shrouded in mystical mythology this temple-fortress is definitely an essential visit if you find yourself in the captivating country of Bhutan.


Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Journey to the Lion Rock, Sigiriya -A cornucopia of natural beauty

sigiriya rock fortress

Sigiriya rock fortress |  Photo by Poswiecie via Pixabay , CC0 Public Domain

 

Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer great heights or an artist, inspired by the enigmas of time, the Lion Rock in Sigiriya will compel you to plan your next trip here. The Lion Rock is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic places. The lush greenery and wildlife add to the revelry of what is rumoured to have been the country’s capital during the reign of King Kashyapa. And with the likes of Jetwing Vil Uyana just 5km away, one can expect but the best in luxury from a Sigiriya hotel.

The story of Sigiriya is one of political mastery. This story starts with a misguided prince Kashyapa killing his father, King Datusena for the throne. Anticipating retaliation from his brother’s camp, the young king built the capital of his kingdom nearly 200 metres above the ground. The top of the rock provides an uninhibited view from every direction. An approaching army would have had to use extreme stealth to avoid detection by the king’s guards.

Among other defensive measures were a moat around the rock and narrow flights of steps that restricted movement in groups. If one were to tackle all the hurdles, he/she would get to the main entrance of the castle; the majestic Lion structure, of which only the paws remain today. This was, of course, never achieved by the king’s enemies. It is said that the king realized the gravity of his mistakes and turned to Buddhism for salvation. He lived a long pious life and died a natural death, according to the Chulawamsa.

The Lion Rock was hence abandoned as a palace. Until the 14th century, the rock and the adjoining caves served as a Buddhist monastery. After around 1500, only the foundation of the large structure atop the rock remains. The ponds that supposed to have supplied water to the top of the rock still work their unimaginable feats of engineering. The world famous frescoes and the lesser known poem wall mesmerize many a visitor. The unrestricted view births poets from its bosom, on top of the Lion rock.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Adventurous things to do in Maldives – Chase the Waves & the Thrills

Maldives, a nation of infinite beauty that it has been called a paradise by many a traveller. So if you’re an adventurous soul who is lucky to be travelling to these wondrous islands, there are enough and more adventures to fill your appetite. You’ll be delighted to know that most of these adventures are centered on the crystal clear waters that Maldives are world-famous for.

First off, before you set out it is essential you plan and book a Maldives hotel, the likes of the Kandolhu Island Maldives; that organizes tours and excursions as part of their facilities as then you will save time and energy from the hassle of organizing the excursions yourself. Next, talk with the concierge at the hotel and plan out a package where you will be able to enjoy some of the most adventurous activities.

Snorkeling and diving is undoubtedly on the top of the list. Maldives is blessed with an abundance of colorful coral and marine life that makes going under the waves seem like an exploration into a whole new world. If you book one of these with your hotel, you will be taken on a high-speed boat ride to top diving sites such as the HP Reef, Manta Point, and Banana Reef to swim with manta rays, sea turtles, and a whole lot of other extraordinary sea creatures!

With its profusion of marine life Maldives makes the ideal destination for fishing trips, but to add adventure to the scene, try out Night Fishing! After the sun sets, get on aboard a nocturnal escapade to reel in a big catch that you can cook and eat right on the boat itself!

If you’re not the one to have fun on the waves, island hopping is the best chance for a bit of adventure in the Maldives. Talk to your hotel or tour operator to get on board an island hopping cruise. Visit remote and sometimes uninhabited islands and live your dreams of the life Robin Crusoe!

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Exploring the Less Travelled Routes in Oman – Oman’s Scenic and Secretive South

 

There are many aspects of the Middle-East that are overlooked due to the rise of her exquisite metropolis landscapes. In addition to the many breath-taking cities, the Middle-East has much more in store to offer, especially in terms of secluded serenity, especially when it comes to the Sultanate of Oman, and her stunning Southern reaches.
Oman is a nation that, although as not as glitzy as the United Arab Emirates, still has much to offer other than indulgent pursuits. Hotels in Oman, Muscat especially, are diverse in terms of luxury and comfort, with all-rounded options such as Ruwi Hotel Oman.
One thing Oman has to offer in bountiful, are beaches. Some places boast to have kilometers of unspoilt beaches, Oman however has thousands of miles of secluded beach stretches. One of the most scenic voyages that can be undertaken by the residents of the Gulf is a trip to the Salalah, the Southern capital of Oman. The drive occurs over the duration of three to four days, allowing one to either camp or seek accommodation at the various pockets of civilization one would encounter during the trip.
The drive to Salalah is the summit of serenity, with hardly a vehicle to be seen even during peak season. There’s a selection of routes one can take, even ones that run alongside seemingly endless stretches of beach. The Salalah region isn’t as hot as metropolitan Oman, and therefore has a unique assortment of flora and fauna. Salalah is also a place of immense heritage and history, with various ruins and archaeological sites in plentiful to visit.
So if you wish to embark on a most unique adventure amidst sun, sand and serenity, maybe a drive to Salalah from Oman’s capital of Muscat is worthy of consideration.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Surf the Crystal Clear Waves of the Island Paradise Kandooma – A Surfers Sanctuary

Interested in chasing waves across the Maldivian archipelago? Start and end your tour at beautiful Kandooma. Home to excellent break points and irresistible waves, the resort is every surfer’s dream.

Visit South Male Atoll – The Breaks are Fabulous
Located within the South Male Atoll, Kandooma offers you less crowded beaches and the opportunity to surf almost alone. Head over to the island and slip into the laid back way of life predominant in sunny Maldives. There are plenty of Maldives surfing resorts to choose from and on Kandooma you get to enjoy a stay at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

Choose from Excellent Surf Points
Some of the best surf points of the South Male Atoll are located around Kandooma; best of all these top waves are almost forgotten by the masses of tourists heading out to the more popular North Male Atoll. However, to let you in on a little secret – the waves here are just as amazing and rewarding.

“Kandooma Right” a Swell to be Reckoned With
This is a fast-breaking right wave offering two take off points; one offers a basic start while the other provides a more precarious one for all adrenaline junkies. Offering a number of barrel prospects to enjoy, the waves break over a shallow reef to a distance of 100 metres. Best times to handle the waves are mid tide and at heights of 3 to 6 feet, it’s considered one of the best swells in Maldives.

Experience Tuckey Joes and Boatyards
On a fine day, this break can outdo any in the archipelago. The take-off is quite sudden with speed gathering up quite quickly. You have a number of barrels to experience on the long almost 200-metre run.

Natives and Foxys for Quick Reactions
This is a fast breaking wave that spills over shallow coral. Surfers skilled on backhand will love the fast paced action this waves offers. The break is 100 to 150 metres incorporating many barrels.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Longtail Boat rides in Dubai – A Thai Sightseeing Experience in Dubai

Dubai has a reputation for offering its tourists an amazing array of experiences and attractions, and one of the latest additions is the Longtail Boat Ride to the Dubai Marina. Offering a sightseeing experience with a Thai twist, a Longtail Boat ride is sure to be highly memorable.

Longtail Boats

The longtail boat is a mode of water transport traditionally hailing from Thailand. The long and slender body of the boat is covered by a thick canopy and is powered through the waters by an engine at the rear. Apart from the canopy above, the boat is open on the sides, making it a perfect vessel for sightseeing tours.

Longboat Rides in Dubai

The Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, a popular Palm Jumeirah hotel, recently offered, for the first time in Dubai, sightseeing tours on longtail boats to enhance the experience of their patrons. Thus, visitors to the resort can climb aboard the beautifully crafted ‘Ruea Hang Yao’ longtail boat and head out along the coast of Dubai. The boat is constructed completely out of wood and boasts a predominantly oriental design – a nod to the Thai origins of longtail boats. The boat ride promises awe-inspiring views of Dubai’s spectacular and ever changing skyline. The boat ride costs AED 120 for a return trip and is fully worth the cost.

From the Palm Jumeirah to the Dubai Marina

The longtail boat ride starts from the Palm Jumeriah and goes along the coastline of Dubai to the scenic Dubai Marina. The views of the skyline of Dubai from the longtail boat are simply amazing and you will get a great opportunity of witnessing some of the beauty of the Palm Jumeirah itself, as well as several other reclaimed islands along the coast of Dubai. Make sure you take a camera along with you because you are definitely going to want to take a few pictures of this picturesque boat ride.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Dubai Desert Wildlife – Diversity in the Sand Dunes

The camel is the most well-known creature to roam the desert; therefore it has earned an accolade for itself as the ‘ship of the desert’. Apart from endless golden sand, dry gusts of wind and desert palms very few images come to mind when picturing a desert. Boutique hotels in Dubai are usually packed with people who want to explore and learn about the actual topology, geology, and biodiversity of deserts. The hotels in the city promote desert treks; Desert Palm PER AQUUM is one hotel that does so, complete with guides, food, and vehicles included in the package.

The exploration of Dubai deserts would bring to earth the realities that are hidden amidst the sand and rocks. It is believed that in the past there were far more species of life that existed in the desert terrains of Dubai, but as the years passed some have become extinct while others are endangered. Some are seen so rarely that they even wildlife experts are unsure of their continuity as a species.

The existence of gazelles, oryx, and invertebrates in addition to the much spoken of camels has been confirmed. Arabian leopards have been spotted prowling around in mountainous areas where there is access to water while the hares that reside in this part of the world do not live in burrows but out in the open. Their beige fur acts as the camouflage and they survive easily from the wetness of the grass they consume. The tahrs and mountain gazelles occupy the mountainous regions with the leopards but only the tahrs squabble with the Arabian leopards for water as the mountain gazelles can do with or without for long periods of time.

The invertebrates such as snails, scorpions and spiders are common in the sand and fall prey to some of the larger animals. Yet, their population is always on the rise, unlike their larger counterparts who devour them.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.

 Google+

Elephant Riding in Chiang Rai – One of the Best Outdoor Activities of Chiang Rai

 

Elephant Riding in Chiang Rai

Elephant Riding in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is one of Thailand’s most popular cities owning to the city being home to some of the most stunning archeological and historic attractions of Thailand. The natural beauty of the city, coupled with iconic landmarks such as the Wat Phra Sing, the Gate of Siam, and Wat Phra Kaeo, as well as other fascinating attractions such as the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar and the Hill Tribes Museum, visitors of the city are sure to have an amazing experience in Chiang Rai. One of the most recommendable Chiang Saen hotels is the charming.
There are many outdoor activities that one can engage while in Chiang Rai, and one of the most exciting activities is elephant riding. The city of Chiang Rai has a long history of rearing elephants, which are used in the day to day activities of the folk in Chiang Rai. With the boom in tourism, elephant rides became one of the most sought after activities, and today, elephant riding is one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences you can have in Chiang Rai. This attraction has become so popular among tourists that a few Chiang Saen hotels the likes of the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort have given priority to promoting it and even including it part of their facilities.
Elephants are fascinating creatures, and riding on top of these majestic beasts while exploring the hidden beauty of Chiang Rai is truly amazing. There are many elephant camps in Chiang Rai which have trained elephants a top that you can ride. The elephant’s back in fitted with a carriage of sorts that has comfortable seats giving you maximum comfort while being able to observe everything from the top of the elephant, and thus giving you an unimpeded view of the beauty of Chiang Rai. You will go through luscious forests, shallow streams, winding pathways, and secluded areas, to give you an exotic and mesmerizing experience. Elephant riding in Chiang Rai is, therefore, a must-do thing, as it lets you interact with elephants and lets to explore the city like you’ve never done it before.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Wild life at Bundala National Park – A haven for migratory birds

 

Bunadala National Park

Bunadala National Park | Image Courtesy : Deep South

Sri Lanka is a small island in the Indian Ocean, known for its beautiful beaches, but do take a closer look to discover some of its other wonders. Sri Lanka, despite its size, is one of the best countries in South Asia to watch animals in the wild. And with the recently introduced air taxi, Sri Lanka is even easier to explore. The various different habitats have been converted into national parks to protect the species that they support. Visit the wilds of Sri Lanka to observe large herds of elephants, solitary leopards, shimmering peacock and more.
Bundala National Park is located in the Hambantota District; two hundred and fifty kilometres from the capital city of Colombo. The quickest way to travel the distance is by taking a flight with an airline such as Cinnamon Air to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. The park spans over six thousand hectares but is smaller and less popular than the neighbouring Yala National Park. The region is hot, dusty and dry. You will notice the surrounding areas are mostly flat with thorny scrubs for vegetation but the lagoons and interwoven waterways make for a picturesque view.
Bundala National Park is of international significance because the park plays host to several species of migratory birds. Over two hundred species of bird have been recorded inside the park some travelling from as far as Siberia. It is best known for playing host to flamingoes who make it their winter home; as many as two thousand have been sighted at one time. Other types of fauna include the timid spotted deer, the spirited grey langur monkey and the pangolin, which is a rare sight. The park also has twenty kilometres of beachfront that stretches from Kirinda to Hambantota, where sea turtles sometimes come to nest.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Importance of Conserving Wildlife -A glimpse of Sri Lanka

Conserving Wildlife

Conserving Wildlife, Image Credit: My Sri Lanka Travel

Sri Lanka, an island located in the Indian Ocean, is considered a biological hotspot due to its multitude of ecosystems that co-exist harmoniously in a limited space. Although the country is just over 65,000 km2 in area, it is among the 35 bio-diversity hotspots in the world due to its high point endemism. Having the highest biodiversity in Asia, National Red List 2012 states that Sri Lanka is home to 2,936 species of fauna, 3,492 species of flora and 3,021 marine species. The country is also home to the largest animals in the world, on land and sea, elephants and whales. The wildlife aspect of the country is so rich that over 14% of the total land in Sri Lanka is protected under Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka. This remarkable ranking in nature’s treasures makes Sri Lanka a favourite tourist destination, which only raises the stakes in the importance of conserving the wildlife of Sri Lanka.

There are many threats to wildlife in the country, high rate of development prominent among them. Many of the developmental activities tend to take over or destroy the habitats of flora and fauna, which is a major problem. Another major threat is the high rate of tourism, where wildlife is being domesticated for the sake of financial gain among the locals. It is in this light that many animals are slaughtered to make mementos, and other animals are domesticated as a photo opportunity. If one happens to go on a Sri Lanka wildlife tour, one is likely to encounter animals such as elephants who, though in the wild, are accustomed to being fed by the tourists and have made it a photo op. activities such as these threaten the survival of wildlife, which needs to be preserved. However, there are many responsible touring companies operating in the country too. Mahoora Tented Safari Camps is one such endeavour, which is world’s only Carbon neutral safari camp.

Wildlife, no matter where they are, needs to be conserved. In the context of Sri Lanka, this is more important as a significant component of country’s social, economic and biological well-being is dependent on the wildlife of the country.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.

Google+