Experiencing Yi Peng & Loy Krathong in Thailand

Two lantern festivals that are popular in Thailand, Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are truly spellbinding to witness and here’s more on what you need to know.

Loy Krathong

Lantern festival
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Takeaway, LK loy krathong yi peng san sai, CC BY-SA 3.0)

This is the name given to a water lantern festival in Thailand that falls on the full moon of the local lunar calendar’s 12th month, normally November. ‘Loy’ translates to ‘float’, while ‘krathong’ is in reference to a floating object or container. Thus, it’s no surprise that the key element of this event is the krathong which is traditionally made from the bark of a banana tree; on this small krathong, an incense stick or candle is placed, before being sent down a waterway, generally at night.

Making a Wish

Each person will launch one of these floating lanterns which can also contain food, flowers or garlands and at the same time make a wish in the hope it will be granted; some also consider it symbolic of sending their problems ‘floating’ away. As you would expect, the waterways throughout the country become places to see and join in the traditions of Loy Krathong. This not only includes cities like Bangkok, but destinations such as Koh Samui; 5-star hotels on the island including SAii Koh Samui Choengmon are within easy reach of sites such as Chaweng Lake, one of the places to experience this festival.

Yi Peng

An equally captivating and visually stunning festival, Yi Peng is more popular in Northern Thailand since it’s a traditional Lanna (ancient northern kingdom) festival. It takes place on the full moon of the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar; ‘yi’ translates to ‘two’ and ‘peng’ means ‘full moon day’. Interestingly, it coincides with the date of Loy Krathong so both festivals are celebrated on the same day; however, the key difference is that for Yi Peng, the lanterns float not on the water but up in the air!

A Magical Sight

On this day, people will gather in one place to release what are called ‘khom loi’ which are special lanterns with a flame that makes them float into the night sky against the backdrop of a full moon. By releasing the lanterns, one symbolically releases the misfortunes of the year, while some may write a wish on them believing it will come true. Chiang Mai is one of the best places to witness the stunning spectacle of Yi Peng with the Three Kings Monument being a prime spot. It’s celebrated at other locations and visitors can join too as well as enjoy parades and other cultural events.

  

 

 

 

A Hike to Castle Hill

Looking for a bit of adventure in Queensland? Go on a little hiking tour to Castle hills, standing tall in the epicenter of Townsville. With panoramic vistas of the city’s landscape and nearby attractions, you will feel that getting to the top of this giant monolith is all worth the effort. Want to know more about the popular hiking trails, where to stay, what to eat, and what scenic views await once you reach the summit? Keep reading to find out!

Getting to the top

Hiking to the summit of the castle hills | Image by Samuel Mann via flickr

Whilst you can drive up to the top of these magnificent hills, I bet it will not be as fun making your way through an adventurous mountain trail. Out of the two main hiking trails that guide you to the summit, the Goat track remains a favorite among hikers. Offering a pleasantly challenging route, it will take a little over an hour for you to complete your journey across this popular mountain trail. Since the mountain track is enjoyed by hikers around the world, prepare to meet some like-minded explorers during your expedition as well.

Where to stay

Making your pick from the best Townsville Australia hotels depends much on your preference and budget. From budget hostels for backpackers to plush little abodes for family stays like Oaks Townsville Gateway Suites, within easy reach of the city and nearby attractions, finding accommodation in Townsville is indeed a piece of cake. Whilst planning your stay in this thriving metropolis, also remember to unlock the special offers and discounts curated by opulent hotels and resorts to make your stay more memorable!

Views from the summit

Once you reach the top of the hill, take a small stroll to reward yourself with some sweeping views of the city, the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island and many more! Paired with the changing hues of the glistening sun, there is no better way to see the best of what this beachfront city has to offer than from the top of Castle Hill.

Things to be mindful of

With the blazing sunrays and grasslands, the castle hill trail is an ideal terrain for slithery snakes to wind their way across the land. During your journey to the top, always keep an eye out for these slimy creatures to avoid any risk to your life. While the hill is also a great place to accompany your dog on a little adventure, watch out for those stray dogs wandering around the trail that you do not want to meet.

A Guide to Visit Yala National Park

Sri Lanka is home to many wildlife parks, and Yala is one such popular park that is also UNESCO recognised. If you want to travel deep into the forests and take a closer look at the wildlife, Yala is the ideal destination for you. Planning to visit Yala National Park for the first time? This guide is for you.

Lepord Yala
Leopard in the wild on the island of Sri Lanka image by Byrdyak  via Wikimedia Common,CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Get There!

Yala National Park can only be accessed through Tissamaharama City. You can get to the city via a bus or your private vehicle. Before you visit the park, it is best to leave your belongings at one of the Yala hotels you choose for accommodation and travel light. Leopard Safaris Yala can be an ideal destination to save your travel time.

What to See!

This gigantic park stretches from the jungles to the beach and is divided into five blocks. You are only allowed to explore blocks 1 and 5, and the rest remains close to the public to leave the wildlife as undisturbed as possible. Elephants, leopards, deer, crocodiles, monkeys, and buffalos are some commonly sighted animals, while you can also see a range of birds.

When to Go!

The dry season for the area falls between February to June, and this is the best time to visit the park. You can easily spot animals as they frequently gather at ponds to drink water. If leopards are who you’re excited to see, February and March are the ideal months to visit Yala. The park is usually closed in September, but you can visit any day of the year for affordable rates.

Stay at a Niseko Ski Resort in Hokkaido

Ski holidays and adventures in the snow are always a great idea. Read on to find out more about Japan’s most popular ski resort and what you can expect when you make your way to chilly Niseko!

niseko
                                      niseko | Img by dave.see via flickr

Where Can You Stay?

You can bet that there’s ample choice of Niseko accommodation given how popular this spot is the world over for its amazing slopes. Hotels such as Chatrium Niseko Japan offer a warm and cosy respite from the chilly breeze and the ample snow outside!

What Can You Do?

Whether or not you’ve ever skied before, Niseko is a great place to have at it! Learn how to manoeuvre the baby slopes under the care of a trained instructor or else just do some snowboarding to make the most of the snowy slopes.

Ski Terrain

As far as world-famous ski terrains and slopes, Niseko is rated up there by avid skiers. Widely acclaimed as the best place to ski in Japan, the slopes are perfect for those who want to put their skiing skills to the test!

What Else Can I Do?

Niseko has plenty of places to eat and drink! So, if you aren’t in the snow, you can warm yourself with a hot chocolate or a delicious meal at one of its many restaurants. Apart from local delights, there’s plenty of international cuisine on offer to accommodate the influx of skiers from the world over!

 

 

Top Reasons Why You Need to Visit Qatar

The nation of Qatar offers an array of alluring attractions for visitors. Seekers of sunny weather, shopping enthusiasts, and adventure lovers will all enjoy experiencing the attractions of this country.

The great weather

Qatar Sunny climate | Image via unsplash

If you seek a holiday destination with sunny weather, Qatar would be a great choice. You will find that the weather here would generally be pleasant. Winters in this country will be very mild, and the coldest month would be January. Meanwhile, summers will be warm and humid, with July being the hottest month, though there are plenty of air-conditioned comforts too!

The shopping opportunities

Qatar offers a splendid selection of shopping options. If you seek large modern malls you will not be disappointed here, with the Mall of Qatar being a highlight. On the other hand, for a traditional shopping experience, there is the historical Souq Waqif as well as Souq Al Wakra beside the coast; an accommodation choice to consider located next to the latter would be Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli which also offers a spa in Doha Qatar.

The blend of modernity and tradition

The nation of Qatar inherits a rich cultural heritage as suggested by its architecture, museums, marketplaces, and World Heritage Sites certified by UNESCO like the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site. However, this nation has also embraced modernity, as shown by its impressive skyscrapers, contemporary amenities, and modern infrastructure.

The outdoor adventures

Adventure seekers will be in their element in Qatar as this nation offers an array of exciting escapades. Outdoor adventurers will enjoy skydiving above the Arabian Gulf, ascending sand dunes, scuba diving off the coast and so on. You could also embark on an ATV desert safari, ride camels, go kayaking and more!

Water sports in Bentota

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island nation with many tourist destinations inland. With rivers and lakes irrigating the fertile soil of the country, the country is known the world over as a water sports destination. Bentota, a town in the Southern Province, is loved by tourists visiting Sri Lanka. If you are planning to visit Bentota, here are some of the water sports you can enjoy.

Jet skiing

One of the most thrilling activities that there is, jet skiing is a popular water sport with tourists vising Bentota. Heading out into the ocean on a jet ski at unbelievable speeds and besting all the waves cannot be compared to anything else! If this is your first time trying to jet ski, get your hotel or a tour operator to find an instructor for you.

Diving

Diving is another activity you can enjoy during your time in Bentota. The best time to dive here is from November to May; this is when the visibility is at its best. Divers encounter a range of marine creatures on their excursions. Tourists can also find several diving schools all over the town.

Windsurfing

Visit Bentota from November to April for an unforgettable windsurfing experience. There are numerous academies where tourists can learn windsurfing. Those staying at 5-star hotels in Bentota can get their hotels to arrange lessons for them.

Snorkelling

Snorkeling
Snorkeling | Image by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

You can find snorkelling sites minutes from Cinnamon Bentota Beach. This is one of the best ways to admire the beauty of Sri Lanka’s marine life. Don’t worry if you are new to snorkelling, a professional guide can help you get the trick of it.

 

Snorkelling and diving in Phuket – How to get about it

Phuket is an island of stunning beauty when it comes to land, everyone knows that! But what about under the water? if you really want to know you’ll just have to see for yourself. Here’s a bit about snorkelling and diving in Phuket.

fitri agung from Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia, Indonesia, Phuket 2012 (8481635621), CC BY 2.0

Best time to dive

The best time to dive in Phuket would be during the period when the weather is warm. It is at this time that visibility is at its best. This season would be between November and April. Nonetheless, the dive sites are less crowded and Phuket resorts bring down their prices.

Marine life

Each dive site may differ in marine life slightly, but the Andaman Sea definitely offers an under-sea spectacle with creatures like manta rays, reef sharks, whale sharks and a variety of turtle species.

Diving schools

Phuket island has plenty of diving schools to choose from. If you are staying at a resort like Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, it’s best to ask for recommendations from your hotel. Scuba Cat, Sunrise Divers and Merlin Divers are some of the recognised schools here.

Phuket diving spots

Within the waters of Phuket are some wonderful, yet underrated diving spots! Phuket Shark Point, Anemone Reef and Karon Bay are a few sites you ought to check out.

Ao Nang Travel Guide – All You Need to Know!

Are you planning to visit Ao Nang? Nestled along the coast in Krabi, facing the Andaman Sea, here’s what you need to know about this town before you go.

How Do I Get There?

Ao Nang is a quaint coastal town in the Thai Province of Krabi which is about 20 minutes away from Krabi Town. One can fly into Krabi International Airport and take a cab down to this laidback town. Alternatively, one can also reach this town by way of ferry.

Where Can I Stay?

Ao Nang has become increasingly popular over the past few years. As such many hotels and resorts have popped up in response to the demand. If you’re considering one of the Ao Nang beach hotels, look no further than hotels such as Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort.

Image via Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort

When Should I Visit?

While Thailand is known for its tropical climate, all those who visit the tropics need to be aware of one thing – the monsoon season! To avoid the downpours, visit Ao Nang between December and March. Whereas you may get caught in some heavy rain if you visit during May to October.

What Can I do?

The best thing to do in Ao Nang is to go island hopping! The 4 islands named Koh Gai, Koh Poda, Koh Mor and Koh Tup are all waiting to be explored and make for an incredible day trip. If you’d like some privacy, make sure you book your private boat when zipping about the islands.

Amazing facts you didn’t know about Namibia – An excellent choice for your upcoming holiday

Did you know that ‘Namib’ in Namibia means ‘vast place’? There are many more things you don’t know about this beautiful destination- Namibia.

The oldest desert in the world is here

During your holiday spent at one of the hotels in Namibia the likes of Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino, do not forget to visit the Namib Desert. It’s over 80 million years old and thus, it’s considered the oldest desert in the world.

It’s a THE place to spot cheetahs

Head to the Etosha National Park during your days spent in Namibia. Among the many animals you spot, cheetahs will surely be your favourite. They roam freely and you may explore how fast they are during your safari.

Ken BlumCheetah Namibia (139333461)CC BY-SA 3.0

Conservation is real here

Did you know that 40% of Namibia is conserved? Environmental protection is in their constitution, and they seriously are committed to protecting the wildlife they are blessed with.

Namibia was not Namibia 3 decades ago

This country became Namibia only in 1990. Ever before that, it was known to the world as South West Africa. This country was under South Africa since the era of the First World War.

Best Adventure-filled Outdoor Activities to Try Out While in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a fabulous destination for adventurous souls seeking to indulge in adrenaline-inducing activities. They will have access to a variety of thrilling adventures during a stay at one of the 4-star hotels in Hong Kong.

Kayak at Sundown

Kayaking
Kayaking| Img via Pixabay

Located approximately 18.9 kilometres away from Park Hotel Hong Kong is Sai Kung and kayaking across its pristine waters, especially at sundown, is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Go Ziplining at Tung Lung Chau

One of the most thrilling outdoor activities in Hong Kong, Ziplining at Tung Lung Chau is an incredibly exhilarating experience – get over your fear of heights and get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning cliffs and the blue ocean while you zoom over Tung Lung Chau island.

Spend the Night in a Tent

This is an overnight activity that you can do with your family and friends. Camping at Sai Wan is considered as one of the top picks from out of the range of outdoor activities that you can try out while in Hong Kong.

Go Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing at Cape Collinson is an activity that’ll leave you breathless till the end due to the magnificent views and the sense of extreme-adventure offered here. Climb with the experts in the industry with all the safety precautions in place and you will have the time of your life.