The Best Places to Visit in Doha

A destination with plenty to discover, Doha, the capital of Qatar, will not disappoint intrepid travellers and here are some of the key places to explore and experience.

Souq Waqif

Amongst the most famous attractions in Doha, the historical Souq Waqif is a sprawling traditional marketplace where one can soak up local culture as well. As you wander around this site, you will come across everything from souvenirs, handicrafts, clothing and spices to gold, art and falcons! When hunger strikes, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes here too.

Al Wakra

A seaside locale, Al Wakra is not only a great place to visit but also stay at for those looking to enjoy luxurious comforts and holistic healing at a spa in Doha, Qatar. Not to be missed is Souq Al Wakra a popular coastal marketplace located next to Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli; also nearby is an idyllic public family beach with shallow waters and playgrounds ideal for kids.

Doha Corniche

Doha Corniche | Image via unsplash

A waterfront promenade that runs along Doha Bay for around 7 km, the Doha Corniche is another must-visit place of interest. A well-known spot for both relaxation and recreation, it is popular with joggers and skaters too; there are parks and play areas for kids here, while you can also head to the stunning Museum of Islamic Art and take a dhow cruise as well.

Katara Cultural Village

Amongst the best things to do in Doha is to visit the Katara Cultural Village which offers more insights into local culture. Noteworthy highlights include the Katara Mosque, Gold Mosque, Al Thuraya Planetarium, and a Greek-style amphitheater, while there are various art galleries and eateries too. Here, you will also find Katara Beach with lots of water sports on offer.

A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Exploring Horton Plains

 

Horton Plains, one of the national parks in Sri Lanka, is an example of Sri Lanka’s unspoiled natural beauty. It is also one of the best places to visit in Nuwara Eliya. With thriving wildlife and milder climate conditions, the place offers a respite from the typical harsh weather conditions of the country.

What you need to know

You need to carry plenty of water with you as there aren’t any shops here. You cannot really bring plastic bags with you, and make sure you don’t litter. Also, if you are planning to visit in the afternoon, wear sunscreen.

Accommodation

There are plenty of hotels near Hotel Plains; all you have to do is take your time and find one that suits your budget. It’s best to choose a hotel like Araliya Green Hills, as Horton Plains is part of the experiences on offer.

Baker’s Falls  

You have to hike through uneven terrain to get here, but it’ll be worth it. Baker’s Falls is one of the principal attractions here. Named after Sir Samuel Baker, a British explorer, the waterfall has a height of 20 metres.

World’s End

World's End
World’s End | Image via wiki media commons

For scenic panoramic vistas, visit the World’s End. The journey is fairly easy, with frequent wildlife encounters. World’s End is a steep cliff that’s considered one of the best lookouts in the country. The views you get here stretch across two provinces.

Camping

To camp in Horton Plains, all you need is basic camping gear; however, as you are alone, you should consult a tour guide to ensure that you don’t do anything you are not supposed to. You can also get in touch with a tour operator.

What Draws Tourists to Khao Lak? – Your Checklist Essentials for the Perfect Holiday

Khao Lak, Thailand is widely known as an escape from the bustling streets of Phuket to palm-fringed beaches and vast landscapes covered in mighty greenery. Khao Lak is not only a beauty on the outside but one that holds enchantment and secrets in the very fabric of the villages and forests that behold the identity of the land.

The National Park

A 15-minute ride is all it takes to reach the Lam Ru National Park from resorts like Avani+ Khao Lak Resort and therefore is located within close proximity to most Khao Lak, Thailand resorts. Occupying an area of 150 square kilometres, the area was declared a national park in the year 1991. It is home to some of Thailand’s exquisite natural resources, birds, mammals and reptiles.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands surfaced into the notice of the common man following its declaration as a national park in the year 1982 as an archipelago of 11 islands in the Andaman Sea. The word Similan means nine, referring to the number of islands that were originally a part of the archipelago before two other remote islands were added in 1998. Similan Islands shelters some of the most vibrant marine life in Southeast Asia and is home to less than 120 bird species.

Roma Neus, Similan Islands, 2015 march – panoramio, CC BY 3.0

Turtle Sanctuary Visits

The Turtle Heaven of Khao Lak, also known as the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre, is a turtle sanctuary that was founded in the year 1985. The sanctuary is a safe space for four endangered turtle species, the Ridley Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and the Green Turtle, and is open to people of all ages to visit and learn about marine life, including turtles.

James Bond Island

The James Bond Island has its own ring to it, primarily due to the name that was made famous following a shot made for The Man with a Golden Gun, the ninth James Bond instalment starring Roger Moore. Since then, the island has become a crowd favourite as tourists flock to catch a glimpse of the infamous island that made it to a James Bond movie. The James Bond Island’s distinctive feature lies in the limestone cliffs that shoot out of the water in a vertical form.

Quy Nhon: The Seaside Gem You Should Know About – Explore in style!

Quy Nhon is truly a gem. With a lot of under-rated beaches and temples, this coastal city maintains a low-key atmosphere that is charming enough to attract travellers from across the globe.

The geographical location

It’s a laid-back city located in south-central Vietnam. If you have heard of the popular cities Hoi An and Nha Trang, Quy Nhon is located in the middle of these two cities.

Heading to Quy Nhon

You can take a bus to get here, but a better Quy Nhon travel method will always be trying out options such as The Vietage by Anantara. Enjoy luxurious seating, dining options, and even refreshments in their bar as you cruise through the Mekong River and make your journey a lot more memorable.

Image via The Vietage by Anantara

Quy Nhon beaches

You’ll notice instantly that the beaches here are not majorly developed. But, all beaches including Nhon Hai, Bai Xep, Ky Co, and Quy Nhon city beach are equally awesome with their unique, authentic features.

Other experiences

In addition to exploring the beaches, you may also explore the various Champa Towers while here. These were built by the Hindu rulers between the 13-17th Century BC, and all these historical remains possess a cultural value that tells a magical story of their own.

The Underrated Safari Experiences in Sri Lanka

Famed for its tropical beaches and alluring sunsets, Sri Lanka may not appear to be the bearer of forests and jungles of untamed wildlife. However, the country’s reputation as a tropical vacation hub overshadows its ability to provide some of the best-known safaris.

1024px-Minneriya_National_Park,_elephants_gathering
Walter Gehr, Minneriya National Park, elephants gathering, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Road to a Minneriya Safari

A 17-minute ride is all it takes to reach the Minneriya National Park from hotels like Aliya Resort and Spa. The park is known to be one of the best places on the island to witness the largest elephant gatherings that occur during the months of June to September. Most accommodations in the area offer safari packages to tourists which are inclusive of well-trained drivers to educate them along the way, and it is also about a 20-30 minutes distance from most other Sigiriya hotels in the area.

A Jungle Exploit

While visitors can witness herds of elephants freely roaming out and about, they are not the only wildlife that can be spotted at the Minneriya National Park. The sanctuary is home to a wide array of species ranging from eagles, monkeys and peacocks that can be seen in numbers. The park shelters 24 species of mammals, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 75 species of butterflies and 26 species of fish.

Travelling with Young Ones

A safari at the Minneriya National Park is not one that is catered only for adults but is considered a safe experience for children as well. While older children are likely to appreciate wildlife and the knowledge of their lifestyles, younger ones are more drawn to the thrill of the jeep ride and climbing up the rocks in the park 

The Overall Experience

Many travellers have shared positive testimonies of their fabulous experiences at the Minneriya National Park, commenting on the expertise of the drivers and guides that accompany them throughout the journey. This family-friendly safari is certain to be one of education as well as a real-life adventure for adults and children alike. 

Offbeat Attractions in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka – Places to visit on your Sri Lankan tour

The amazing coastal town in Sri Lanka, Kalutara is one of the most visited destinations in the country. While the city is known for its popular tourist attractions, there are a few hidden gems that tourists need to visit.

South Bolagoda Lake

The largest freshwater lake in the country, Bolagoda Lake offers plenty of things to do. Kayaking and canoeing are two of the popular things to do. The lake also brings you a sense of peace and serenity. You can get to the lake from any Kalutara resort in about an hour.

Fa Hien Caves

Located a little more than an hour from Avani Kalutara Resort, Fa Hien Caves are another hidden gem of Kalutara. Evidence of an early human settlement going back 37,000 years was found here by archaeologists. The cave has four sections, spacious enough to fit 3,000 people. This is a popular picnic site, so the place is quite crowded on weekends and poya days.

Beruwala Lighthouse 

Also called Barberyn Lighthouse, Beruwala Lighthouse is located on an island. Erected in 1889, the lighthouse is a sturdy structure that withstood many a disaster. You can get here by ferry, and the trip will cost you about Rs. 3,000. You cannot go inside the lighthouse, but you can explore its spectacular surroundings.

vivali, Островной маяк Бентоты – panoramio, CC BY 3.0

Nachchimale

This isn’t so much a tourist attraction but a meditation centre. While this is an excellent place to witness the natural beauty of Sri Lanka, you shouldn’t come here if you yourself don’t want to meditate. The monks residing here are quite serious about meditating, so they don’t like the disturbance caused by tourists.

Kingdom of Kandy

 Located amidst the green swathes of Sri Lanka’s upcountry, Kandy was once the capital of Sri Lanka. Its proud history dictates that it was the only region in Sri Lanka that remained independent for the longest time period possible, under the foreign powers. All over the city are historical, cultural, religious, and natural attractions.

1024px-Kandy_War_Cemetery
AntanO, Kandy War Cemetery, CC BY-SA 4.0

Temple of the Tooth Relic

This has to be the single most important religious site to Sri Lankan Buddhists. The temple houses Buddha’s tooth relic inside a pagoda-shaped casing, made of gold and adorned with jewellery. Sri Lankans believe that this tooth relic has the power to bring about rains to nourish the Sri Lankan soil. The temple is part of a palace complex.

Kandy Lake

Looking for a respite from the mid-day sun? Take a stroll around Kandy Lake. Located right in front of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy Lake is part of the temple complex. The lake offers several hiking trails.

Royal Botanical Gardens

The gardens are called the Royal Botanical Gardens as it was once reserved for royals, but now it’s open to everyone! This is one of the must-visit attractions in Kandy. Located one hour and eighteen minutes from Hunas Falls Hotel Kandy, the garden nurtures a wide variety of plant species. The main attraction, however, is the palm-fringed walkway that often seems to grace Instagram.

Commonwealth War Cemetery

There are several commonwealth war cemeteries, but the one found in Kandy is one of the most important historical sites. The cemetery is the resting place of soldiers who fought during the Second World War. Despite having a gloomy historical element, the cemetery features a calm and beautiful atmosphere. You can get here from almost any hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka in around an hour.

Conclusion

The list of Kandy attractions is endless. The city offers plenty of things to do and see, to keep you sufficiently occupied for more than a week. To make the most of your time here, take your time and plan your itinerary, and don’t forget to book your accommodation well in advance!

Adventurous Tours Around the Wildlife Parks in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is well known for its iconic wildlife and national parks among many travellers who visit the country. Are you a wildlife enthusiast too? Here are a few national parks that you cannot miss out on when you visit the island.

Yala National Park

Prepare for an adventure like no other when you visit Yala National Park. This land area has a rich ecosystem from monsoon forests to grasslands and sandy beaches. The highlight of your safari here would be observing the elephants and Sri Lankan leopards.

Horton Plains

Horton Plains
Horton Plains | Image via wiki media commons

Located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, this is where you ought to be to observe the splendour of the island’s natural environment. The precipice known as World’s End is the most popular spot to visit here.

Udawalawa National Park

This park has mainly marshes and plains that are full of wildlife activity. If you are lodged at one of the boutique hotels in Sri Lanka close to this national park, do visit to observe the wild elephants and beautiful birds that live here.

Wilpattu National Park

This is a land area that is rich in flora and fauna due to the many lakes within its premises. Around these bodies of water live leopards, elephants, water buffalos and the lazy sloth bears too. Don’t forget to enjoy a stay at hotels by KK Collection too as you embark on your safaris.

Minneriya Elephant Gathering

The elephant gathering at Minneriya is one of the most famous wildlife phenomena in the world! Elephants from different herds all gather together to travel in search of water to Minneriya Wewa. One could even call it the elephant’s summer home for their summer vacation.

Minneriya
Minneriya | Image via Pixabay

When and where?

Located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, Minneriya National Park is the spot where elephants from all over the country gather. This occurs during the dry season from July to October.

Why?

During the dry season of Sri Lanka, the water available for these huge mammals decrease in other parts of the country. Minneriya National Park has plenty of water and shelter for these giants of the wild.

How can I see the gathering?

This is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. You can rent a vehicle from Malkey Rent A Car and drive up to this region. There are a few hotels that provide easy access to this national park at which you could stay and set out with a guide at the right time.

Best time to go

Although you’ve got time from July to October, the best time to visit for the best experience would be in August and September.

Ao Nang Beach Guide Krabi – Top Beach Hubs to explore on Ao Nang

Tipped to be one of Krabi’s top beach capitals, Ao Nang town is where some of the province’s most captivating beaches are located. Here’s a rundown of the best beaches in the area.

Ao Nang Beach

As the main beach in Ao Nang town in its namesake beach is not only home to famed Ao Nang beach hotels the likes of the Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort but some of the best water sports hubs in the area. The 1km long stretch is picture-perfect at sunset and ideal for swimmers. Lined with hotels, bars and restaurants, the area is also the most developed resort hotspot in the town of Ao Nang.

Pai Plong Beach

Located to the east of Ao Nang Beach, Pai Plong Beach which is also called Centara Beach is another easy-to-reach beach Mecca for those who wish to hop on a longtail boat ferry from Ao Nang Beach. Offering access to the Monkey Trail, the area is another peaceful beach area with captivating views all around. The dramatic limestone cliffs surrounding the beach also make for great photo-ops.

Seligne, Pla Plong Beach AoNang, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tonsai Beach

As a small bay that has been considered a backpacker’s paradise for decades, Tonsai Beach is a rocky beach area that’s a little piece of paradise for those who are looking for a secluded seaside hamlet.

 Railay Beach

Also known as Rai Leh, Railay Beach is just next to Tonsai Beach and is no less impressive, especially in terms of visually stunning seaside landscapes.  Swimming and quiet strolls on the beach are some of the best things to do, particularly at Railay West.