A Cultural Canvas

Exploring local crafts and traditions in the Maldives offers a deeper connection to the archipelago’s rich cultural heritage. From the meticulous artistry of lacquer work and mat weaving to the craftsmanship of Dhoni building and the vibrant energy of traditional performances, each aspect provides a unique insight into the Maldivian way of life. So, when planning your next trip to this tropical paradise, take the time to delve into these cultural experiences and discover the true essence of the Maldives.

Traditional Lacquer Work

One of the most distinctive Maldivian crafts is traditional lacquer work, known locally as “Liyelaa Jehun.” Artisans skillfully apply layers of lacquer to wooden objects, creating vibrant designs in red, black, and yellow. These intricately decorated items, ranging from bowls to boxes, are beautiful souvenirs and represent centuries-old techniques passed down through generations. Visiting workshops on islands like Thulhaadhoo allows you to see the meticulous process firsthand. Such excursions can be arranged by certain Maldives all inclusive resorts.

Handwoven Mats (Thundu Kunaa)

The art of weaving mats, or “Thundu Kunaa,” is another cherished Maldivian craft. Made primarily by women, these mats are woven from natural fibres, such as reeds and grass, and are often used for sitting, praying, or as decorative pieces. The intricate patterns and vibrant colours make each mat unique. Local markets and villages like Gadhdhoo offer an authentic experience to watch and purchase these handmade creations.

Dhoni Boat Building

The traditional Maldivian fishing boat, known as a “Dhoni,” is an iconic symbol of the nation’s maritime heritage. Constructed primarily from coconut wood, these boats are crafted without nails, relying on wooden pegs and careful carpentry. Visiting islands like Raa Atoll gives you the opportunity to observe skilled craftsmen building Dhonis, showcasing techniques that have been honed over centuries.

Cultural Performances and Music

Bodu Beru – Image via Flickr

No exploration of Maldivian traditions is complete without experiencing local music and dance. “Bodu Beru,” which means “big drum,” is a popular traditional performance featuring rhythmic drumming, chanting, and dancing. These cultural performances, often held during festivals and special events, provide a lively and immersive experience of the Maldivian spirit. Resorts like OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO and local islands frequently host Bodu Beru shows, allowing visitors to partake in this energetic cultural expression.

Rewarding Outdoor Adventures in Sigiriya – Unforgettable Escapades in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Gem

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is home to more than just a historical marvel. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this ancient city offers a plethora of outdoor adventures for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. Get ready to delve into the heart of local culture – all within this enchanting destination.

Ascend the Stunning Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya Rock Fortress | Image via Needpix

Dating back to the 5th century AD, the iconic Lion Rock fortress rises 660 feet into the air. Consider staying at a nearby hotel such as Water Garden Sigiriya which provides guided tours to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore this fascinating attraction, marvel at the beautiful frescoes on the rock face, and conquer the final ascent to the summit. Here, amidst breathtaking panoramic views, you will discover the remnants of the once-grand palace – a truly rewarding culmination of your climb.

Go On a Jeep Safari in Minneriya

This destination provides the perfect base for exploring the Minneriya National Park from your Sigiriya villa. Between August and October, witness the awe-inspiring “Gathering,” where hundreds of elephants congregate near the park’s reservoir. But that’s not all. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive sloth bears, playful toque macaques, a colourful array of birdlife, crocodiles basking in the sun and grazing sambar deer – an unforgettable safari in the wilds of Sri Lanka awaits!

Embark on Cycling Escapades

The ideal hotel in Sigiriya will boast beautiful surroundings with winding waterways, ideal for exploring on two wheels. Head off on a bicycle along scenic property trails or embark on a guided cycling tour to the majestic Sigiriya Rock. Rise early and cycle to the fortress and back as the sun paints the sky, soaking up the cool morning air and the captivating scenery – a truly invigorating way to start your day with some pedal-powered adventures!

Enjoy Guided Nature Walks

The idyllic landscapes surrounding Sigiriya are perfect for guided nature walks as well. Join a hotel-organised excursion and delve into the heart of nature. These walks will lead you through verdant landscapes and can culminate in a visit to a local village. Here, you can interact with welcoming locals and gain insights into their way of life and traditional practices – a unique opportunity to connect with Sri Lankan culture on a deeper level.

5 of the Most Beautiful Australian National Parks – Jaw-Dropping Beauty in Every State

Australia’s diverse landscapes are a constant source of wonder. From rugged coastlines to ancient rainforests, there’s a national park waiting to be explored in every state. So, pack your walking boots, camera and sense of adventure – you’re going to go on a virtual tour!

Watagans National Park

Craving a break from the wineries? Look no further than Watagans National Park, a scenic escape just 32 minutes from Elysia Wellness Retreat which is a Hunter Valley spa retreat. Explore the dramatic bushland on marked walking trails, including a section of the Great North Walk. Mountain bike or 4WD through the forest roads, and soak up the beauty of the Australian wilderness.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Western Australia’s Cape Le Grand National Park is a beach lover’s paradise. Think crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping against sugar-white sand. Hike the Frenchman Peak for panoramic views, or spot playful kangaroos at Lucky Bay.

Daintree Rainforest

Step into a prehistoric wonderland at Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest. This World Heritage Site is the oldest rainforest in the world, teeming with exotic flora and fauna. Explore the dense foliage on a guided walk, or take a boat tour through the mangroves and spot crocodiles basking in the sun.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru, or Ayers Rock as it’s also known, is a spiritual and cultural icon. Witness the majestic sandstone monolith change colour throughout the day, from fiery orange at sunrise to a deep purple at dusk. Learn about the rich history and traditions of the Anangu people, the traditional custodians of the land.

Leonard G., UluruClip3ArtC1941, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike through alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers, or tackle the challenging Overland Track, a multi-day trek offering breathtaking views of glacial lakes and jagged mountain peaks.

Camel Trekking Adventures in Abu Dhabi – Embark on an Exotic Desert Journey

Abu Dhabi isn’t just about glistening skyscrapers and luxurious hotels. It’s also home to vast, awe-inspiring deserts, perfect for an unforgettable adventure – a camel trek! Traverse the golden dunes on the back of these gentle giants and experience the magic of the Arabian desert firsthand.

A Journey Through Time: Embracing Tradition

Camel trekking isn’t just a tourist activity; it’s a journey back in time. Imagine yourself as a desert nomad, navigating the vast sands on a trusted camel. Learn about the fascinating history of camel caravans and their crucial role in Bedouin culture on your desert adventures tour.

Beyond the Dunes: A Landscape of Enchantment

The Abu Dhabi desert is more than just endless sand. As you trek, keep your eyes peeled for the unique desert flora and fauna. Spot desert foxes, graceful gazelles, and an abundance of birdlife adapted to the harsh environment. The stark beauty of the landscape, with its rolling dunes and vibrant sunsets, will leave you breathless.

A Sensory Experience: Unplug and Reconnect

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the desert. Feel the gentle sway of the camel beneath you and the warm desert breeze on your skin. Listen to the silence, broken only by the crunch of sand beneath your camel’s hooves and the occasional bird call. This is a chance to truly disconnect and reconnect with nature.

Image via Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

A Taste of Adventure: A Campfire Under the Stars

After a day exploring the desert, gather around a crackling campfire at your Bedouin-style camp. Enjoy a traditional Emirati meal under a blanket of stars, the Milky Way stretching endlessly above you. Share stories, listen to local music, and experience the warmth of Arabian hospitality. Think of ending your adventure with a luxurious stay at a property such as Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

Discover Hunter Valley: The Adventurer’s Paradise 

Hunter Valley beckons with the promise of rolling vineyards and cellar door delights. But this captivating region nestled north of Sydney offers so much more than meets the eye. Foodies will find a haven of gourmet experiences, while adventure enthusiasts can indulge in heart-pamping thrills and breathtaking scenery.

Beyond the Bottle: A Foodie’s Fairytale

Hunter Valley tantalises taste buds with more than just wine. Embark on a gourmet journey, savouring delectable local produce at farm-to-table restaurants. Indulge in cheese and chocolate pairing experiences, or take a cooking class and learn the secrets of creating delicious regional dishes.

Pamper Yourself: Rejuvenate at a Luxury Spa Retreat

After a day of exploring the vineyards and indulging in delicious food, unwind and rejuvenate at a luxurious Hunter Valley spa retreat. Hunter Valley boasts a variety of spas, such as Elysia Wellness Retreat, offering an array of rejuvenating treatments. Surrender to tranquility, ease away any tension, and emerge feeling refreshed and ready to explore more.

Soar Above the Vines: A Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Witness the beauty of Hunter Valley from a whole new perspective with a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Drift gently over verdant vineyards, picturesque villages, and rolling hills as the first rays of dawn paint the sky with vibrant hues. This unforgettable experience allows you to capture the breathtaking panorama of the region and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Horseback Riding Adventures: Explore Hidden Trails

Saddle up and explore the Hunter Valley’s hidden gems on a horseback riding adventure. Traverse scenic trails winding through vineyards, meander through native bushland, or gallop across vast open fields. This unique experience allows you to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the region from a different vantage point.

Image via rawpixel

A Hike Through History: The Wollombi National Park

Lace up your hiking boots and delve into the heart of the Wollombi National Park. Explore ancient rainforests, discover hidden waterfalls, and embark on a journey back in time amongst towering sandstone cliffs. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, and soak in the serenity of this natural wonderland.

Bungee Jumping In Dubai – Ready, Set, JUMP!

Bungee jumping is not for the fainthearted. However, if you love adventure and adrenaline-pumping action, you will surely enjoy the sport. Jumping from a massive height with an elastic cord around you requires more adventure spirit than you think.

Bungee jumping is usually done under the observation of a professional, and you are harnessed carefully so that you enjoy the experience and there are no hiccups along the way down. Bungee jumping alone is a thrilling experience, so imagine doing it amidst the skyscrapers of Dubai.

Here are a few tips to prepare you for your bungee experience in Dubai!

Photo by Aliaksei Semirski via pexels

Choose the right company

You must pick a responsible, professional company for your bungee jump. Talk to locals, check for reviews, and watch their videos. Checking for experience, cost, and ratings can give you a good idea. During your bungee trip in Dubai, choose a location such as Oaks Liwa Heights for a convenient stay. They offer tastefully designed Premier One Bedroom Suite for travellers.

Dress appropriately 

It’s essential to wear comfortable clothing. Avoid carrying accessories or jewellery, so it’s best to leave them behind when you go. Wear fitting shoes so that they don’t fly off midair.

Eat right

Unless you want to see the food in your stomach, fly out mid-air, avoid overeating. Avoid dairy and have a simple meal of fruits before you go.

Look straight

You are usually instructed to look straight and not down before jumping. This helps you fight the fear and make the jump smoothly. If looking straight doesn’t help, close your eyes and listen to your instructor.

The Best Swings in Bali You Don’t Want to Miss

Apart from its dreamy beaches, cascading waterfalls, and ancient temples, Bali also boasts some of the most incredible swings you’ll ever find. Grab your camera and get ready to swing your way into an adventure that will be the envy of your entire social media feed!

Petitenget Beach

Forget pricey cocktails, Petitenget Beach in Seminyak offers a free swing with a million-dollar view. Located right across from Mano Beach House and easy to reach from properties like Harris Hotel Kuta Tuban Bali, this swing is a sunset chaser’s dream. Imagine the golden light bathing the ocean as you soar through the air – pure beachfront bliss that does not come with a price tag!

Dream Island Beach Club

Dream Island Beach Club in Sanur has a swing made for enjoying the glory of a magical sunrise or sunset. This spot is within easy reach of hotels near Kuta Beach, making it an ideal place to visit. Picture yourself perched on the swing, the ocean breeze whispering secrets in your ear as the first or last rays of the sun paint the sky with vibrant hues. Plus, the beach club is close by for some post-swing relaxation!

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The iconic Tegalalang Rice Terraces are a must-visit in Bali, and guess what? They also hide some pretty amazing swings! One sits near Tegalalang Village, offering a gentle swing with scenic rice paddy views. But, for the ultimate Instagram shot, head to the far side of the valley. A captivating hike amidst the rice terraces will bring you to two swings with safety harnesses that provide an unforgettable experience.

The Real Bali Swing

Bali Swing – Photo by Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

The Real Bali Swing near Ubud is the king of the swing scene and for good reason. With a whopping 15 single swings and 3 tandem swings, there’s a swing for every mood! Feeling adventurous? Soar high above the jungle canopy. Want something more romantic? Cuddle up with your special someone on a swing built for two. They even have artistic ‘nests’ made from natural materials, perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to your pictures.

Where to Stay in Yogyakarta?

Yogyakarta is a traveller’s paradise, filled with ancient Buddhist temples, and a rich heritage in fine arts like batik and puppetry as well as music and drama, there is something for everyone in Yogyakarta. When it comes to places to stay there are plenty of lovely neighbourhoods to choose from, keep reading to find out the best places to stay, as you explore this wonderful city filled with character and charm.

Malioboro

Located at the heart of Yogyakarta, Malioboro is one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the city. You will find plenty of accommodation here for a great price. This area has a thriving nightlife as well as great shopping options and is a hub for tourism. This area is buzzing with activity, so if you like to stay at a location amidst plenty of excitement this might be just the place for you.

Kraton

Image via Wikimedia Commons – Photo by CEphoto, Yogyakarta Indonesia Kraton-the-Sultans-Palace-02, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are on a budget and looking for a great place to stay and explore Yogyakarta, Kraton might just be what you are looking for. Located towards the south of Malioboro, Kraton is a vibrant neighbourhood that attracts many travellers and backpackers due to its rustic charm. You will find delicious food stalls and street-style hawker food options. Don’t miss out on the bright neon-lighted cars that add to the neighbourhood’s lively atmosphere!

Prawirotaman

Prawirotaman is one of the more bohemian neighbourhoods in Yogyakarta and is located towards the south of the city. You will encounter plenty of trendy cafes and bars, street art and a decent nightlife. Known for its hipster atmosphere you won’t be short of things to do if you decide to stay here. A Yogyakarta hotel such as the likes of Kimaya Sudirman Yogyakarta by Harris can be a good option to base your stay as you explore the city.

The East

This particular area is ideal for those travelling with a family. Located in the eastern region of Yogyakarta you won’t be short of things to do here. The east covers a large area and is filled with lots of fun and lively things to do and exciting attractions to keep everyone entertained and happy.

Discovering the Enchanting Waterfalls

Koh Samui, known for its pristine beaches and lush tropical landscapes, is also home to several breathtaking waterfalls that cascade through verdant jungles, offering a refreshing escape from the island’s sun-drenched shores.

Namuang Waterfall

Namuang Waterfall is one of Koh Samui’s most iconic natural attractions, consisting of two stunning cascades surrounded by dense jungle foliage. Namuang 1, the larger of the two waterfalls, features a picturesque pool at its base where visitors can take a refreshing dip. Namuang 2, located further upstream, is accessible via a short trek through the jungle and offers a more secluded and tranquil setting.

Hin Lad Waterfall

Tucked away in a peaceful jungle setting near Nathon, Hin Lad Waterfall is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. A short hike through lush forest trails leads to this serene waterfall, where visitors can cool off in the crystal-clear pool beneath the cascading waters. Surrounding picnic areas provide the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch amidst nature’s beauty. A trek here would be one of the most exhilarating things to do in Koh Samui.

Na Muang Waterfall 3

Lesser-known than its counterparts, Na Muang Waterfall 3 offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds. Located in the heart of the island just 30 minutes away from hotels here like Santiburi Koh Samui, this secluded waterfall is accessible via a short hike through the jungle, rewarding visitors with a serene setting surrounded by lush vegetation. The tranquil atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for meditation and relaxation.

Wang Sao Thong Waterfall

Wang Sao Thong Waterfall, also known as Secret Falls, is a hidden gem nestled in the island’s interior. Accessible only by a challenging trek through the jungle, this secluded waterfall rewards adventurous hikers with its pristine beauty and tranquil ambience. Surrounded by towering trees and lush vegetation, it offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas.

Tarnim Magic Garden Waterfall

Tarnim Magic Garden Waterfall – Image via Pexels

Tarnim Magic Garden Waterfall, located in the island’s interior, is a unique and enchanting attraction that combines natural beauty with artistic flair. The waterfall cascades through a series of terraced pools adorned with sculptures, statues, and intricate rock formations, creating a magical and whimsical atmosphere reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Exploring the Hidden Wonders of Petra 

Petra, the ancient rose-red city carved into Jordan’s dramatic cliffs, is a UNESCO World Wonder for a reason. But its fame often overshadows the hidden treasures waiting to be explored. So, ditch the crowds and delve deeper into the captivating world of Petra with these lesser-known wonders:

Unveiling the Monastery’s Majesty

Sure, the Treasury is iconic, but the Monastery perched high on a mountain peak, offers an equally breathtaking sight. The challenging donkey ride or 800-step climb is rewarded with panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment. Plus, the crowds are much thinner, allowing you to soak in the serenity of this architectural marvel.

Experience Local Charm at Beidha

Craving a break from the tourist throngs? Head to Beidha, a charming village nestled near Petra. Explore its traditional houses, wander through the bustling marketplace, and get a taste of authentic Jordanian life. Planning a trip to Petra? Consider consulting one of the travel agents in Sri Lanka the likes of Mackinnon Travels specialising in Middle Eastern adventures. Their expertise can help you craft a unique itinerary that goes beyond the usual tourist trail, allowing you to experience the hidden wonders of Petra alongside the iconic sights.

Step Back in Time at the Royal Tombs

While the Treasury grabs all the attention, the sprawling necropolis of Petra offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Nabataean royalty. Explore the intricately carved facades of the Royal Tombs, each one a testament to the engineering and artistic skill of this ancient civilisation.

Hike the Hidden Canyon: Al-Khubtha Siq

Al-Khubtha Siq – Image via Flickr

The Siq, the narrow gorge leading to the Treasury, is a must-see. But for an alternative adventure, trek through the Al-Khubtha Siq, a hidden canyon offering stunning rock formations and a chance to spot local wildlife.