Hammerhead Shark Point, a diving highlight

The beautiful seas of the Maldive Islands offer a host of attractive diving sites for enthusiasts of this pursuit. Amidst the crystal clear waters you will find a myriad of coral reefs as well as other locations where you will encounter an array of fascinating marine creatures. If you desire an appealing Maldives holiday resort which offers access to these local pleasures a discerning choice would be the Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives. This appealing accommodation offers attractively furnished rooms as well as considerate hospitality.

Divers will be enthralled by the opportunity to observe the intriguing hammerhead sharks at the well-known Hammerhead Shark Point at Rasdhoo Atoll. This is one of the few remaining locations on the globe where you will have the opportunity to dive with these enigmatic creatures of the deep which capture the imagination of the observer with their amazingly shaped heads.

Often a liveaboard will take you to the dive site, with company in the form of other divers. The best time to dive with the hammerhead sharks is at sunrise; accordingly you will have to enter the waters in the early dawn hours, at which time the tropical waters will have a comfortable temperature. A dive of about 30 m will be ideal to encounter these engrossing creatures of the deep.

The hammerheads will soon arrive, often in the form of schools of many individuals. If you are lucky you will encounter large, perhaps 4 m long individuals, which will inspire awe with their impressive proportions. Hammerhead Point features a number of undersea caverns and overhangs which are interesting to explore. On your dive you will also encounter such marine creatures as dolphinfish, dogtooth tuna, sailfish and black snapper.

Hammerhead sharks are not usually dangerous to humans, and feed on fish, particularly stingrays. As these sharks possess eyes located on the sides of their distinctively shaped heads they can easily see and capture their chosen prey.

 

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Most Exquisite Dazu Rock Carvings

The beautifully executed Dazu Rock Carvings which have been skilfully sculpted into local cliffsides have acquired renown around the world. These fascinating carvings are accessible from the Chinese city of Chongqing, where visitors may find attractive Chongqing apartment accommodation such as the Somerset JieFangBei Chongqing. This appealing rest offers quality accommodations and a selection of convenient amenities.

The attractive rock carvings are to be found in a number of localities in Dazu County, namely the locations known as Baodingshan, Beishan, Shimenshan, Nanshan and Shizhuanshan. All of these sites feature exquisite carvings that demonstrate great skill and artistic talent. Visitors will be surprised by the capabilities of these ancient artisans.

The rock carvings date from three Chinese imperial dynasties, having initially been commenced in the time of the Tang Dynasty and continued in the reign of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Amongst the carvings you will see over 5,000 individual statues as well as in excess of 100,000 Chinese calligraphic characters in the form of epigraphs and inscriptions. The Buddhist figures are most prominent in the carvings, with Confucian and Taoist statues also frequently seen.

The rock carvings of Baodingshan consist of no less than 13 clusters of stone carvings, totalling almost 10,000 stone figures. A special aspect of these particular collections of carvings is that the intriguing carved figures seem to tell a story.

The Beishan rock carvings demonstrate masterly craftsmanship and are exceptionally well preserved. Meanwhile the Shizhuanshan site displays a combination of integrated Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist statues, an unusual blend when considering Chinese cave art as a whole. On the other hand the rock carvings of Nanshan focus on the Taoist faith, featuring innumerable representations of the Taoist deities. Not to be missed is the site known as Shimenshan, which boasts an array of stone figures, some of which are remarkably vivid and lifelike. With so much to see and admire, visitors are sure to be enthralled by the splendid rock carvings of Dazu.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Arabian Wildlife Park, a natural sanctuary

Nature lovers visiting the charming desert Emirate of Abu Dhabi should make it a point to visit the attractive Arabian Wildlife Park located on Sir Bani Yas Island. Here visitors will be able to observe a host of native animals roaming free in this sanctuary. To conveniently access this and other attractions in Abu Dhabi selecting a quality accommodation such as the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, Abu Dhabi is important. One of the fine resorts Abu Dhabi offers this attractive hotel provides tasteful rooms and attentive hospitality.

The meticulously conceived Arabian Wildlife Park occupies roughly half of the area of Sir Bani Yas Island. This park was created with the objective of providing a hospitable natural environment for the varieties of animals native to the region. Today thousands of these indigenous creatures wander freely within this sanctuary. In turn these wild denizens attract a steady stream of animal lovers who arrive to observe these creatures in their natural environment.

Some of these animals are herbivores such as the Sand Gazelle, Mountain Gazelle and the threatened Arabian Oryx. Carnivores and scavengers at this sanctuary include the cheetah and the hyena. Although the management of this park places great importance on conservation and research initiatives, an array of attractive wildlife and adventure themed activities have been organized with visitors in mind. These options include wildlife drives, nature trail excursions, outdoor dining facilities and mountain biking adventures. The management takes understandable pride in having created this world-class sanctuary and is eager to share its attractions with visitors from abroad.

The initial breeding efforts at the park commenced as far back as 1971. One of its most notable successes was the conservation efforts to revive populations of the Arabian Oryx, which was at one time declared to be extinct in its natural environments. Today this species is making great strides towards recovery, highlighting the significant role played by this wildlife park.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Hin Ta and Hin Yai, an unforgettable sight

The rock formations known as Hin Yai and Hin Ta are well known attractions in the Thai island of Koh Samui. To experience these and other local highlights whilst making the most of your holiday it is important to base yourself at an attractive Samui hotel such as the Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort & Spa. This appealing resort offers comfortable accommodations and an array of convenient amenities.

Hin Yai and Hin Ta are a couple of intriguing natural rock structures which for innumerable years has been the cause of laughter and fascination amongst the local residents as well as visitors to the area. This is because these two rocks, Yai (Grandma) and Ta (Grandpa) are thought to resemble the female and male genitalia respectively. Located on the rocky shores in the environs of Lamai beach, this pair of rock formations never fails to raise amused chuckles or at least an indulgent smile.

Additionally the visitor from abroad will enjoy spectacular panoramic views from this location, extending across the waters to the nearby islets. Although the local beach is not a suitable location for swimming, it does offer an attractive place to rest after a day of exploration and exertion. The waters here are so exceedingly clear that different kinds of marine creatures can be viewed from above the surface.

In these environs you will also find a community of Muslim fisher folk who live much as they have for generations. In these surroundings the visitor will also find a picturesque environment of fields and plantations with the local water buffalo a common sight. This was in fact the typical mode of life in these areas before the development of tourism. However the visitor will also come across numerous stalls and kiosks offering picture postcards of the location, souvenirs, snacks and drinks. A visit to this part of Thailand will certainly be a satisfying experience.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Hoi An Motorbike Adventures

Anyone who enjoys riding motorcycles will be delighted by the opportunities on offer in the central region of Vietnam. Starting out from Hoi An, the traveller will be able to traverse the exceedingly picturesque and tranquil landscapes of Central Vietnam, which are truly magical areas to explore. Visitors will be able to join the tours conducted by reputed specialists who will provide the necessary equipment and guidance. However first it would be important for one to choose a place to be based at. Hoi An hotels would serve as excellent venues to come home to and in particular Anantara Hoi an Resort with its well equipped rooms should definitely be considered.

The sheer diversity of the terrain and the spectacular sights on offer make this area an adventure and outdoor lover’s dream. Even if you opt for a single day’s excursion from the town of Hoi An, you will have the opportunity to observe different delightful vistas. You will traverse coastal flood plains filled with paddy fields, crossing tranquil rivers and verdant rainforests, exploring the pristine unsullied countryside of Vietnam.

Participants will be able to make their way through the country’s centrally located highlands which are inhabited by people of ethnic minorities. The amazing roads found here may be counted amongst the most scenic and attractive anywhere in the world, sweeping and winding their way through mountains and valleys. Every turn and bend will bring yet more breathtaking and mesmerizing vistas to your eyes, filling your senses with sheer pleasure and contentment. If you desire tranquil solitude, you will be delighted by this environment, as other motorists will be few and far between. Travellers who prefer the silent majesty of pristine rainforests will be spellbound by the verdant terrain, wreathed by the clinging mountain mists.

This part of Vietnam also boasts its share of manmade attractions, from rustic farming communities to fascinating remnants of ancient civilizations and even sites of conflict and battle. Part of the allure of this mesmeric environment is the amazing variety of terrains and road conditions. Visitors will have the chance to negotiate secluded back streets, swooping bends and switchbacks as well as muddy gravel tracks. The motorcycle enthusiast and even the general sightseer will find this to be the adventure of a lifetime.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Matsu Cultural Village Macau

Visitors to Macau should avail themselves of the opportunity to visit the attractive Matsu Cultural Village which has attained the status of a popular tourist destination. Matsu, also known as Tian Hou or A-Ma, is a goddess who is said to be the benefactor of seafarers and sailors. Probably Macau’s most venerated deity, Matsu is revered by innumerable millions of worshippers across the globe, mainly in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The splendid Matsu Cultural Village is a captivating creation which has been designed to replicate a palace complex of the Qing Dynasty. Visitors will encounter an imposing stone stairway, decorated with fine handcrafted engravings of auspicious features, which ascends to the magnificent gateway which opens into the inner courtyard of the complex. This expansive courtyard is flanked by two towers, the drum tower as well as the bell tower and a number of statues. Towards the rear of the courtyard you will see the elaborately decorated shrine which houses the principal figure of Matsu.

This entire building is filled with beautifully crafted statues, relief sculptures and other adornments which demonstrate the devotion of the builders of the shrine towards their beloved goddess.

Visitors will see that the location also features altars fashioned in marble, hallways, a museum and numerous attractive shops. You will also find several stalls within the compound selling souvenirs and folk handicraft items.

At the summit of the hill which rises above this cultural site you will see an immense statue of the deity which stands precisely 19.99 m, representing the year in which China received sovereignty over the territory of Macau. Visitors will be able to enjoy the delightful bird’s eye views available from this vantage point.

The Cultural Village is surrounded by a beautiful area of parkland. The visitor will also see that the lane leading to the site passes through a picturesque arboretum which features over a hundred species of unusual trees. These attractive surroundings add to the religious and cultural importance of the location.

Travellers to the area desiring a Macau hotel will find an outstanding rest in the Galaxy Macau Resort Hotel. One of the appealing Macau hotels this quality accommodation offers excellent rooms and service.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Wahiba Sands

The Wahiba Sands area stretches across 180km from north to south and around 80km from east to west. It is an area of geographical significance and scientific interest, and is a definite must see for tourists in the area. The name ‘Wahiba Sands’ was coined from the Bedouin al-Wahiba tribe who are the inhabitants of the area. The way of life of these inhabitants provide an interesting glimpse into a nomadic way of life that is fast disappearing under the wheels of modernity.

The landscape boasts a rich biodiversity of both plants and animals in the area, ranging from 200 species of flora (plants) to over 15,000 invertebrates. At the edge of the desert is an oasis named ‘Al Huyawah,’ which is an intriguing site for tourists. Also, close to the oasis, Bedouins can be seen harvesting and farming dates, which are sold to local markets and are a delicacy in the region. The desert landscape also opens up an opportunity to interact with Bedouin women, whose lifestyle affords them with more social and economical mobility as they often come to the rescue of lost tourists, and are skilled crafters who will offer a range of homemade product for sale.

If one is adventurous, there is a rugged path that can be used for trekking. Tourists can hire a local guide for 80 OMR or use one of their own cars with fuel which will cost 30 OMR for the trip. If one wishes to travel with real Middle Eastern authenticity they can make the journey on came back. This will take 7 days in total to complete the journey, and car support will be necessary. The price ranges from 20 – 30 OMR for a camel ride per day. Also it must be kept in mind that a fee must be paid for the camels’ return journey home.

In order for one to begin their odyssey at Wahiba Sands, it is highly recommended that visitors to Oman seek accommodation at a quality Oman Hotels such as the exclusive Sur Plaza Hotel. This elegant Hotel Sur Oman combines modern amenities with spacious rooms to cater to an ideal stay for both business and leisure visitors.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

Kerala Kayaking

There are many companies in Kerala’s backwaters that offer the intriguing experience of Kerala kayaking in the Allepey region. One company is Kerala Kayaking, which offers a range of kayaking tours to best explore the region’s watery landscape. The company also offers cycling as a sight-seeing option, which can be combined with kayaking for a well-rounded tour of the backwaters.

The boating equipment the company uses is in the best condition and is completely user friendly. Safety is ensured as a mechanical Shikkara boat is always in close proximity to the kayakers. The tours begin early morning and beginners can utilize the beginners advance kayak with a guide. During the tours, which usually last around half a day, one can enjoy a delicious breakfast along the way while witnessing some of the most profoundly beautiful aspects of Indian village life. The art of duck rearing on the river banks, local farmers utilising traditional methods of paddy cultivation, mud collection for farms, temples and fisherman busy at their jobs are just some of the amazing sights promised by a boat ride along India’s exquisite countryside.

In addition, visitors get up close and personal with the locals and can hear fascinating stories about the indigenous culture. Many local delicacies are served as snacks, which give kayakers an authentic taste of one of India’s riches cultures. Tender king coconut juice, tea and toddy are some of the delicacies offered. Some highlights of the kayaking tour experience include: toddy shop visits, village walks, fishing, swimming, lunch at the local villages, church visits and bird watching. A multitude of kayaking packages is available to choose from, which include 4-hour, 7-hour and 10-hour daily packages or a 1, 2 or 3-night kayaking expedition.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a cap, sunglasses, change of clothes, towels and mosquito repellent in order to fully enjoy the vast and various array of sights a kayaking tour offers. Previous kayaking experience is not required, although knowing how to swim is definitely recommended.

When searching for a Kerala Resort that offers the highest calibre of comfort and services, consider staying at the Poovar Island Resort. This Beach Hotel Kerala provides guests with the choice of a land or floating cottage for an amazing experience both in and off Kerala’s backwaters.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

SKI360°

If you want to experience some adrenaline pumping thrills as you speed, twist and jump your way in and out of the water, then SKI360° in Singapore is definitely worth trying out! Travellers heading to the city and looking for well placed Singapore hotel accommodation from which to explore the metropolis can stay at Studio M Hotel Singapore. Situated within easy reach of famous Orchard Road, this Singapore hotel is an ideal starting point to your excursions. The country’s very first cable-ski park, SKI360° provides plenty of wakeboarding and waterskiing thrills as you get a chance to be pulled by a high speed boat around a lagoon. Situated at East Coast Park, this popular attraction also features a variety of obstacles such as the ‘tabletop’, ‘kickers’, the ‘cleaver’ and the ‘funbox’ which makes your ride even more challenging and exciting. Do not worry if you do not have any experience with these activities since instructors are present on site to help you learn the ropes as it were, before you take to the water.

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River Safari Singapore

A destination that offers an exciting journey of discovery for young and old alike, Singapore is one of the most popular holiday getaways in Asia for families. This vibrant metropolis is home to a wide range of attractions, theme parks and adventurous activities that provide plenty of thrills that ensure a truly unforgettable holiday. Amongst the most popular attractions for families are those that feature wildlife such as the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. Adding to this list of animal based sites of interest is the newly opened River Safari Singapore.

Offering a truly unique adventure based on major river systems of the world, this site is set to become one of the leading attractions in the city. Ideally located between the Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, this 12 hectare site takes you on amazing river boat rides amidst freshwater habitats with wildlife and marine life, one would normally see in these environments. On your voyage you will get a chance to see such wildlife as the Mississippi beaver, the alligator snapping turtle, the Congo tetra, giant freshwater stingray, the Mekong stingray and Mekong giant catfish.

River Safari Singapore takes passengers to such diverse river ecosystems as the Amazon, Nile, Mississippi, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze. The rides featuring the Amazon and the rainforest that surrounds it offer some of the most exciting adventures at the site, set amidst exotic flora and fauna and a thick canopy created by the trees that tower above the ground. You can get a sense of what it is like exploring the Amazon including embarking on a river quest that takes you past a mysterious forest landscapes and wildlife.

Not to be missed is a visit to the Giant Panda forest where you will find its two star attractions Jia Jia and Kai Kai, two adorable pandas that are bound to captivate you and your family.

If you are planning a holiday to the city and looking for a Singapore city hotel from which to embark on your many tours, M Hotel Singapore makes an ideal choice. Centrally located within easy reach of Orchard Road, this stylish 4 star hotel Singapore can be found in the city’s Financial District.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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