What You Need to Know About the Sacred City of Kandy

Popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, the sacred city of Kandy was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Drawing tourists, pilgrims and other visitors in numbers, this city radiates a celestial atmosphere which makes it stand out among other cities in Sri Lanka.

 The Positioning

1024px-Knuckles_Forest,_Sri_lanka
Abishek Palraj, Knuckles Forest, Sri lanka, CC BY-SA 4.0

Kandy is located in the central part of the country, with an elevation of 500 metres from sea level. Hidden in the thick forests and majestic mountain ranges, the city stands in pride in all its glory. These mountain ranges include two of Sri Lanka’s most beloved hiking hot spots, Knuckles and Hanthana. Kandy’s location and historical significance have been core reasons for opening up many hotels and resorts like Hunas Falls Hotel, Kandy. Most tourists and pilgrims who visit this sacred city often seek accommodation in a hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka for a comfortable stay as a day’s trip will not do justice to the beauty of the city.

The History

Kandy was the last capital of the country in the era of the ancient kings. It is also home to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth which shelters the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. Although the locals rebelled massively to save the kingdom of Kandy from British rule, the efforts were finally beaten as the British Ceylon period rose from 1815 to 1948, until the country was freed of colonial rule and gained independence.

Climate

While Sri Lanka is widely known for its tropical weather conditions, Kandy’s geographical positioning deviates the city climate to a wetter and cooler temperature as a result of its 500-metre elevation from sea level. However, the city is still a part of the country’s tropical climate and faces the monsoon seasons from May to July and October to December.

The Kandy City

The cityscape of Kandy includes a quadrangular manmade lake at its centre, with two open spaces in which one corner is occupied by the administration buildings of the old capital. Although not as commercialised as Colombo, Kandy still welcomes tourists and hosts several hotels, shopping complexes and local eateries to taste the traditional flavours of Sri Lanka.

Set Off on a Hike to Knuckles

Renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Knuckles Mountain range has been famed for its human fist like appearance from certain angles. This magnificent gift of nature is located in the Kandy and Matale districts of Sri Lanka and is highly popular among hikers from all over the world.

Knuckles_mountain_range_-_Sri_Lanka
Thusitha Jayasundara, Knuckles mountain range – Sri Lanka, CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Get to Knuckles

While several access points allow you to reach Knuckles, the most popular entrance is in Matale. However, this solely depends on where you are residing at. If you plan to travel to Kandy on a vacation, the access point will not be over a journey of an hour or two to Hunnasgiriya, once again, based on the route that you choose to take. However, do visit the Kandy Escapes website for a deeper insight on how to adapt and prepare for the weather conditions in Kandy, if you wish to enter Knuckles from a Kandy access point.

How to Climb Knuckles

While Knuckles’ popularity attracts many hikers, it is only advisable that you climb the mountain range if you carry a considerable level of experience in the art. However, a guide must accompany you, regardless of your level of hiking experience, in order to avoid getting lost. Therefore, a qualified guide will direct you through the paths that should be taken.

Grab a Bite on The Way

As you climb up one of Sri Lanka’s most difficult mountain trails, hunger will not be too far away. Being a protected reserve prevents hotels and resorts from opening up in the Knuckles and therefore, food is likely to become a luxury during the course of your hike. Stock up what you need in a backpack and grab a bite whenever hunger takes you over.

Other Attractions

While setting off on an adventurous hike is what Knuckles is known for, the areas surrounding this mountain range host plenty of other attractions for hikers and tourists. Deep into the forest lies Meemure, a rural village of picturesque views, Kandy, the sacred city of the Temple of the Tooth and the Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple in Matale.

  

 

Best attractions in Doha

The capital of Qatar, Doha attracts visitors from across the world on a daily basis. If you’re planning a trip to the city, then here are some of the star attractions to explore while there.

Islamic Art

An architectural gem, the Museum of Islamic Art is hands down one of the best places to visit in the city. Here you will be able to take in an extensive collection of artworks, metal work, ceramics and textiles that span over 1400 years!

The Corniche

 The corniche
The corniche | Image via wiki media commons Alex Sergeev (www.asergeev.com), West Bay district of Doha seen from the corniche at night, CC BY-SA 3.0

There is no doubt that The Corniche is one of Doha’s best-loved attractions. The waterfront promenade hugs Doha Bay for over seven kilometers. Consider heading there for a relaxing stroll or better yet to catch a sunset. The entrance is free, and the Corniche can be reached easily from hotels such as Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli with ease.

The Gate Mall

Offering a luxurious shopping experience, the Gate Mall is definitely a great place to visit. The mall is home to numerous designer brands, high-end restaurants, cute cafes and many a spa in Doha, Qatar.

Barzan Towers

The Barzan Towers is located in Muhammed, Qatar, and is considered to be a must-visit tourist attraction in Doha. It’s a great place to take in stunning views of the city. No entry fee is required.

Things to do in Doha

There is no doubt that Doha, the capital of Qatar has the best of everything! Here is a list of the four best things to do while on a visit to the middle eastern metropolis.

Experience Qatari culture in Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif | Image via wiki media commons Diego Delso, Souq Waqif, Doha, Catar, 2013-08-05, DD 84, CC BY-SA 3.0

An authentic and one of the oldest marketplaces in Doha, Souq Waqif offers shoppers a variety of items to shop and choose from. From spices, souvenirs, and traditional Qatar clothes among much more. The marketplace can be reached easily from many restaurants in Wakra including hotels such as Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli with ease as well.

National Museum of Qatar

Spanning a whopping 1.5 kilometers, the National Museum of Qatar opened to the public in 2019, and tells the story of the country in three themes starting from the ” Beginning’ moving onto Life Qatar and Modern History of Qatar.

Aspire Park

Located in the Baaya district, the popular Aspire Park is the ideal place to rest and relax. The largest park in the city, this spot offers visitors plenty of recreation facilities and lies nearby the famous Villaggio Mall and Hyatt Plaza.

Barzan Towers

The Barzan rowers is open at all times and is quite a popular spot among visiting tourists. Today the Bazan Towers stand as a monument to the old history of Doha.

Perfect holidays are made of cotton candy lips and Ferris wheels

“Treat life like a Ferris Wheel ride… You must get past the fear to enjoy the view” – Linda Poindexter. If you’re afraid of heights, let’s keep that aside for now because the Wheel of Brisbane is too good to miss! Here’s why.

How The Wheel came to be

This striking structure that stands out from Brisbane’s skyline was built in 2008 as a part of the 20th anniversary of Expo 88. Since then, it’s been a major attraction among tourists and locals alike because there’s no other place like it in the city that has gorgeous, unblemished 360 views.

Getting there

Just as the wheel is super easy to spot from afar, it’s easy to get there too. You can easily find comfortable and luxurious accommodation in the city of Brisbane. Hotel deals offer great discounts and weekend offers for you and your family to have the perfect staycation or weekend getaway! If you stay in a hotel like Oaks Brisbane on Charlotte Suites, the Wheel is simply a 6min cycle ride.

Why is this ride so fun?

Do you need another excuse apart from the 60-meter liftoff and a heart-dropping halt in a glass gondola at the very top? If adrenaline is not your thing, then the breathtaking views of all of Brisbane are what makes this ride to amazing. The Wheel is open from 10 AM to 10 PM allowing visitors to visit at any time. The egalitarian and safe glass gondolas are designed to offer you the best viewing experience and the lights during the day and sunset really allow you to see everything up to the horizon.

Added features and VIP gondolas

VIP Gondolas in Ferris Wheel,Brisbane | Image via Unsplash

Each gondola holds up to 8 people and 600Kg in weight and is equipped with climate control and a high-quality audio system that narrates what you see. The entire ride lasts up to 15mins leaving you with that pleasant-high feeling. You can also book a special VIP gondola to celebrate your personal special occasions or to woo that special someone in your life. These hold up to 4 people and are perfect for viewing fireworks on NYE.

Visiting Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is renowned the world over for the incredible wildlife which lives within the confines of the park! Catch an exciting safari and witness the wild animals in their natural habitat. Here’s all you need to know before you go!
Best Time to Visit the Park
Whilst the park is open for the most part, it is considered to be “peak season” during the dry season. This runs from February to July, and it is during these months that the animals are drawn out the dense shrub to the watering holes in search of water.

Yala
Yala | Image via flickr

Where is Yala?

This national park is located in the southeast of the island and spills over to provinces – Hambanthota and Monaragala. It’s one of the largest national parks and covers an extent of over 130,000 hectares. The park in itself is quite remote and it’s best to hire a private vehicle to reach it.

Where can I stay?

Despite being in a remote stretch, many hotels have sprung up to meet the demand in Yala. Hotels, resorts, villas, or guesthouses, there are varied accommodation options to suit your budget in the area! A Yala hotel such as the Cinnamon Wild Yala is an excellent choice for those who want to stay in the comforts of a lovely hotel whilst also being close to the park entrance.

What can I see?

What won’t you see in Yala, is a better question! From tuskers and elephants roaming the plains to plenty of Sri, Lankan sloth bears ambling about, you’ll have front row seats to plenty of exciting encounters with some wild critters. The most exciting spotting is always the Sri Lankan Leopard, as it is one of the shyest big cats in the world!

Spend an Adventurous Vacation in Sri Lanka

Regarded as an adventure traveller’s dream destination, Sri Lanka is an island full of possibilities for thrill-seekers. Here are some of the top adventures and excursions to enjoy on the island.

Safari Tours in National Parks

Wildlife fanatics and safari enthusiasts alike will find more than a handful of extensive national parks in Sri Lanka to get up-close and personal with creatures large and small. From the Yala National Park with its leopard and deer population to the elephant spotting hotspots known as the Udawalawe National Park and the Minneriya National Park, travellers can enjoy both daytime and night-time safari excursions into the wild.

White Water Rafting in Kitulgala

Those in search of frothy rapids and a rugged landscape in which to go white water rafting will find no finer alternative to Kitulgala’s gushing rivers. Countless local tour operators offer white water rafting packages for tourists and local day-trippers looking to get their feet wet in the heart of Sri Lanka’s rafting capital.

Kayaking in Dambulla

Tourists based at properties belonging to Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts or any other popular hotel chain should also take the opportunity to enjoy a kayaking excursion on Dambulla Lake. Allowing visitors to discover the flora and fauna of the area at their own pace, kayaking is a relaxing activity that lets one feel at one with nature.

Hiking in Ella or the Knuckles Mountain Range

Hiking in Ella
Hiking in Ella | Image via wiki media commons

Ranked among the best places to stay in Sri Lanka, Ella is also ideal for hiking and trekking activities. The naturally mountainous reaches of this hill station not only provides challenging hiking opportunities for nature lovers but also less arduous trails for beginners. The Knuckles Mountain Range is another fantastic playground for those who wish to enjoy a trekking excursion surrounded by waterfalls and other natural wonders.

Best Adventure Activities in the Maldives That Challenge the Daredevil in You

Adventurers heading to the Maldives may be surprised to find the sheer variety of thrilling activities on offer. Here’s a rundown of some of the country’s top activities for active visitors.

Catamaran Sailing

Although there are a great many sailing adventures accessible to visitors based at Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives or any similar Maldives beach hotels, none are quite as exciting as catamaran sailing. Offering one the chance to sail across the azure blue waters of the archipelago on board a vessel that is not as easy to navigate as a modern-day yacht can prove to be the experience of a lifetime for those who dare.  

Parasailing

Those who wish to take to the skies and catch a glimpse of paradise from a unique vantage point should sign up for a parasailing tour of the coast. Available through a plethora of local tour operators and resorts, the thrill of being suspended above the waves is a feeling that is difficult to describe and replicate outside a beach paradise such as the Maldives.

Scuba Diving

Diving
Diving | Image via wiki media commons

Often listed among the best scuba diving hubs on the planet, no trip to the Maldives would be complete without travelling through the underwater caves, channels and shipwrecks that litter the seafloor of the archipelago. From HP Reef to Banana Reef and Manta Point, the large number of excellent dive sites makes this water sports activity a true adventure. The best time to visit the Maldives for a diving holiday is from December to March.

Kitesurfing

The idyllic lagoons of the Maldives are perfect for kitesurfing excursions for both seasoned surfers and novices.

Hiking the Highest Mountains in Langkawi – How to Explore Langkawi’s Soaring Mountains

Made up of 104 stunning islands laden with sandy beaches, Langkawi is also a hiker’s paradise thanks to its towering mountains laden with trails. Here’s how to hike the tallest peaks in Langkawi.

Hiking in Langkawi 101

Img via Pixabay

Hikers and trekkers heading to Langkawi should be aware that there are two big mountains with excellent hiking trails at their disposal. Named Gunung Raya and Gunung Machinchang or Mat Cincang, both mountains are best explored with a local guide. This is due to the fact that tourists based at Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa or any venue that ranks itself as the best resort in Langkawi should not miss out on learning about the local flora and fauna during the hiking experience.

What to Pay Attention To

Regardless of the nature of the hiking activities that one signs up for during a getaway in Langkawi, it is important to notice the wild monkeys that always seem to be popping up out of nowhere on the trail as well as the magnificent Great Hornbills that will sit atop treetops. Funny looking insects and bugs are also known to inhabit Langakwi’s hiking trails; they prove to be harmless but fascinating distractions.

What to Pack and Use on a Hiking Tour

The extreme humidity of Langkawi’s mountains should not be overestimated. This is why staying hydrated and bringing your own water is crucial. Apply plenty of mosquito repellent on your body to keep the pesky creatures away.

Gunung Raya

Those who wish to climb to the top of this 840-metre-high mountain must devote at least four hours to the endeavour as the total distance is no less than 8 kilometres.

Gunung Machinchang

Made up of a series of summits, the “sky trail” is the best way to hike up to this mountain where one also finds the Seven Wells Falls.

5 Informative Facts That You Must Know About the Maldives

The Maldives is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, particularly among honeymooners. The island nation boasts a rich history, delicious cuisine, and a range of exciting activities.

The Maldives Is Located Close to the Equator

The Maldives is located quite close to the equator. And this means that sun rays will shine almost directly on you while you’re relaxing at your Maldives resort. So, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin!

The Maldives Was Initially a Buddhist Nation

The Maldives was only converted to Islam in 1153 A.D. and today it stands as a proud Muslim nation. So, make sure that you leave any other religious texts, pork products, and alcoholic beverages at home when you’re about to head towards Kurumba Maldives or any other resort in the country for a splendid tropical vacation.

The Maldives Boasts Over 1000 Islands

maldives islands
maldives islands | Image via Pixabay

The Maldives is formed out of 1,192 coral islands that are grouped in 26 atolls. These are peppered over the Indian Ocean over an area of roughly 90,000 square kilometres.

The Maldives’ Sand Is Smooth as Can Be

Usually, the beaches are made of sands that are made from quartz. However, the Maldives’ beaches contain sands that are extremely fine as they are coralline in origin. Coralline beaches are quite rare and represent less than five percent of the world’s beaches.