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.

Discover Habarana’s Hidden Gems

Habarana, a charming town nestled amidst Sri Lanka’s north-central province, is often overshadowed by its more prominent neighbours. However, beneath its unassuming facade lies a treasure trove of cultural wonders, wildlife havens, and ancient ruins waiting to be explored. This haven for history buffs and nature enthusiasts offers a captivating glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and breathtaking biodiversity.

Dambulla Cave Temple: A Sanctuary Carved in Time

Delve into a bygone era at the Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent complex houses over 150 Buddha statues, intricate frescoes, and cave paintings dating back to the 1st century BC. Walk through the cool caverns, marvel at the artistic mastery, and lose yourself in the serenity of this sacred space.

Minneriya National Park: Witnessing the Gathering of Giants

Embark on a thrilling safari adventure at Minneriya National Park, renowned for its breathtaking elephant gatherings. Witness herds of hundreds of Asian elephants converging on the park’s vast reservoir, a spectacle that will leave you awestruck. Keep your eyes peeled for other fascinating wildlife, including leopards, sloth bears, and a diverse array of birdlife. When in Habarana, attractions such as this are a must-visit!

Habarana Lake: A Tranquil Escape

Seek serenity amidst the lush landscapes surrounding Habarana Lake, located near Habarana Village By Cinnamon. Take a leisurely boat ride on the calm waters, absorbing the beauty of the surrounding hills and vibrant birdlife. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the lake’s shores, or simply relax and soak in the tranquility of this idyllic haven.

Ritigala Forest Monastery: A Hidden Gem in the Jungle

Uncover the secrets of Ritigala Forest Monastery, an ancient monastic complex nestled amidst the verdant jungles. Hike through the dense foliage, explore the ruins of monasteries and stupas, and marvel at the breathtaking views from the summit. This hidden gem offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich monastic history and provides a serene escape from the modern world.

Pidurangala Rock: A Challenging Climb with Breathtaking Rewards

Pidurangala Rock – Image via Flickr

Challenge your adventurous spirit by climbing Pidurangala Rock, a smaller yet equally captivating neighbor to Sigiriya Rock. The ascent may be a little strenuous, but the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the ancient Sigiriya Fortress make it all worthwhile. Explore the remnants of cave dwellings and monasteries at the summit, and experience the thrill of conquering this natural landmark.

Embrace the Serenity – Sunset Hike on Seoul’s Fortress Wall with a Korean Food Experience

Seoul, a city where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modernity, offers a unique opportunity to explore its history while indulging in its vibrant culinary scene. Embark on a sunset hike along Seoul’s majestic fortress wall, followed by a delectable Korean food experience that will tantalize your taste buds and awaken your senses.

1. Sunset Hike on Seoul’s Fortress Wall:

Begin your adventure by ascending the centuries-old fortress wall that once protected the ancient capital of Korea. Start at Naksan Park, where you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of Seoul’s skyline and the distant mountains. Follow the trail as it winds its way along the ancient stone wall, passing through lush forests, historic gates, and scenic viewpoints. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, marvel at the breathtaking sunset illuminating the city below, casting a golden glow over the surrounding landscape.

2. Korean Food Experience:

After working up an appetite on the hike, treat yourself to a mouthwatering Korean food experience that showcases the rich flavours and culinary traditions of Korea. Head to a traditional Korean restaurant or street food market, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of iconic dishes that have been beloved by Koreans for generations. From sizzling barbecue and savoury pancakes to spicy stews and crispy fried chicken, there’s something to satisfy every craving and palate.

3. Bibimbap:

Indulge in a bowl of bibimbap, a quintessential Korean dish that combines rice, assorted vegetables, meat, and a spicy gochujang (chilli paste) sauce. Mix it all together to create a flavorful and satisfying meal that embodies the essence of Korean cuisine. You can find plenty of great Bibimbap places near hotels near Seoul Train Station such as the famous Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro.

Image via needpix

4. Kimchi:

No Korean meal is complete without kimchi, Korea’s famous fermented cabbage dish that is packed with probiotics and bursting with flavour. Sample different varieties of kimchi, from traditional napa cabbage kimchi to spicy radish kimchi, and experience the bold and tangy taste that has become synonymous with Korean cuisine.

5. Samgyeopsal:

Delight your taste buds with samgyeopsal, a popular Korean barbecue dish featuring thick slices of pork belly grilled to perfection at your table. Wrap the tender meat in crisp lettuce leaves, add a dollop of spicy ssamjang (soybean paste), and savour the irresistible combination of smoky, savoury, and spicy flavours.

Trekking the Knuckles Mountain Range – Exploring Sri Lanka’s Hidden Gem

Tucked away in the heart of Sri Lanka’s central highlands, the Knuckles Mountain Range stands as a pristine wilderness waiting to be explored. Named for its resemblance to a clenched fist, this rugged and remote region offers adventurous trekkers the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature, discover hidden waterfalls, and witness breathtaking panoramic views.

img via wikipedia commons

1. Getting Started:
Begin your trekking journey in the quaint village of Knuckles, one of the best places to visit in Kandy, located at the foothills of the mountain range. Here, you’ll find local guides and trekking companies offering a range of guided hikes and camping expeditions tailored to your preferences and fitness level. Make sure to stock up on essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent before setting out on your adventure.

2. Choose Your Trail:
The Knuckles Mountain Range is crisscrossed by a network of hiking trails that cater to trekkers of all skill levels, from leisurely day hikes to multi-day expeditions. Depending on your interests and fitness level, you can choose from a variety of trails that lead to scenic viewpoints, cascading waterfalls, and remote villages nestled amidst the mountains. Popular trails include the Knuckles Summit Trail, Mini World’s End Trail, and Deanston Mini World’s End Trail.

3. Discover Hidden Waterfalls:
One of the highlights of trekking in the Knuckles Mountain Range is the opportunity to discover hidden waterfalls tucked away in secluded corners of the forest. Trek through lush jungle trails, cross crystal-clear streams and navigate rocky terrain as you make your way to spectacular cascades such as Sera Ella, Pitawala Pathana Falls, and Mini World’s End Falls. Take a refreshing dip in the cool mountain waters or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquility of these natural wonders. You can find out more info about this natural wonder on websites like Kandy Escape.

4. Camp under the Stars:
For the ultimate wilderness experience, consider camping under the stars amidst the pristine beauty of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Set up camp at designated campsites along the trails or opt for a wild camping adventure in secluded clearings with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Fall asleep to the sound of rustling leaves and chirping crickets and wake up to the sight of mist-covered peaks bathed in the soft light of dawn.

5. Witness Breathtaking Views:
As you trek higher into the mountains, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape stretching as far as the eye can see. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the Knuckles Mountain Range, with its jagged peaks, verdant valleys, and dense forests blanketing the hillsides. Capture unforgettable photos of sunrise and sunset casting a golden glow over the mountains, painting the sky in shades of orange, pink, and purple.

Exploring Nature’s Playground : The Ultimate Whistler Hiking Guide

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of British Columbia, Whistler beckons outdoor enthusiasts to embark on unforgettable hiking adventures. Here’s your ultimate guide to exploring the stunning trails of Whistler.

Discovering Whistler’s Iconic Hikes

Hiking in the Whistler Mountain | Image by Murray Foubister via Flickr,CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Whistler boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging alpine treks. Must-visit trails include the iconic Whistler Train Wreck Trail, offering a glimpse into the region’s history with its scattered train cars amidst lush forest scenery. For panoramic views of Whistler Village and surrounding peaks, the Whistler Mountain Trail provides a rewarding ascent via the Whistler Gondola.

Exploring Whistler’s Natural Beauty

Immerse yourself in Whistler’s pristine wilderness as you hike through ancient rainforests, alpine meadows, and rugged mountain terrain. The Garibaldi Lake Trail leads hikers through old-growth forests to the shimmering turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake, offering postcard-worthy views of snow-capped peaks reflected in the lake’s mirror-like surface.

Planning Your Hiking Adventure

Before hitting the trails, planning your hiking adventure is essential. Check trail conditions and weather forecasts, and ensure you have the necessary gear, including sturdy footwear, water, snacks, and a map or GPS device. Consider your chosen hike’s difficulty level and duration, and always practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your environmental impact. If you are staying at Pan Pacific Whistler Village or any other Whistler resort, you can always ask the front desk for recommendations.

Enhancing Your Hiking Experience

Make the most of your Whistler hiking experience by immersing yourself in the region’s natural beauty and wildlife. Keep an eye out for local flora and fauna, including colourful wildflowers, majestic eagles, and elusive black bears. Take breaks to soak in panoramic views, snap photos of scenic vistas, and connect with fellow hikers along the trail.

Get Set for the Monkey Trail Hike in Ao Nang! – Hiking Enthusiasts, This One’s For You

Embark on a thrilling hike through lush jungles and towering cliffs along the Monkey Trail to Pai Plong Beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand. Discover a hidden paradise of pristine shores and breathtaking views, making every step of the journey an unforgettable adventure in nature.

Богдан Сбитный, Ao Phai Plong Krabi Thailand, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tips for Hiking

Hikers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes with a good grip as the trail can be slippery. They are also encouraged to apply sunscreen and insect repellent in addition to bringing water. Bringing food is discouraged as it can attract monkeys.

The Monkey Trail Experience

Hikers are immediately greeted by lush vegetation and greenery upon commencement of the hike, which starts from the southern end of Ao Nang Beach. True to its name, hikers are also greeted by mischievous monkeys of the trail, swinging from one tree to another. Hikers are encouraged to respect the boundaries of these playful creatures and avoid feeding them. This hike remains one of the most popular Ao Nang things to do.

Pai Plong Beach: A Delightful Gem

After descending from the viewpoint of the hike, a breathtaking sight awaits and is none other than Pai Plong Beach. The atmosphere is secluded and peaceful, inviting hikers to kick off their shoes, dip their feet into golden sand, and take a refreshing dip in its azure, cool waters.

Retreat to Quiet Comfort and Luxury

After a day of hiking and adventure, hikers can retreat to the serene comfort and luxury of a stunning property such as Avani Ao Nang.

The Hiking Trails around Kandy

Nestled amidst the lush, emerald-green landscapes of Sri Lanka, Kandy emerges as a captivating destination for hiking enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s embrace. With its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking vistas, Kandy offers a myriad of hiking trails that cater to both seasoned trekkers and leisurely explorers alike. From verdant tea plantations to mist-shrouded mountains, each trail promises an unforgettable journey through the island’s diverse terrain.

The Knuckles Range

With its diverse mountain ranges, including the challenging Knuckles Mountain Range, hikers can expect mesmerizing summit views and encounters with rich biodiversity. The Knuckles, named for their knuckle-like appearance, boast thirty-four peaks and offer various trails suitable for different skill levels. With lush forests, streams, and waterfalls, this World Heritage conservation area promises an unforgettable experience. If you choose to stay in a hotel in Kandy, make sure to consider such places as the Hotel Topaz to enhance your stay.

Riverston and Pitawala

Located within the Knuckles Mountain Range, Pitawala Pathana and Riverston Peak offer breathtaking panoramic views of nature’s beauty. Pitawala Pathana, a 24-acre grassy plain, culminates in a dramatic cliff known as ‘mini world’s end,’ accessible via designated nature trails. Endemic wildlife, such as the Kirthisinghe’s rock frog, inhabits this region, adding to its allure. The drive to these treks offers picturesque views of the Knuckles ridges and passes three natural water streams along the way.

Sigiriya and Pidurangala

Pidurangala – Image via Flickr

Fondly dubbed the ‘palace in the clouds,’ Sigiriya Rock, or the Lion Rock Fortress, stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marvel of Sri Lanka’s historical and cultural legacy, acclaimed as the 8th wonder of the world. Rising 200 meters, this sheer rock formation, once a volcanic plug and ancient fortress, showcases the kingdom’s agricultural advancements, technical prowess, and architectural mastery. Adjacent to Sigiriya is Pidurangala Mountain, offering unparalleled views of the fortress in a serene, less-explored setting.

Rathna Ella, Hasalaka

Rathna Ella, situated in Hasalaka within the Kandy District, is a stunning waterfall boasting a height of 111 meters, making it the tallest in the Kandy region and the 9th tallest in Sri Lanka. Also known as ‘Navarathne Ella,’ this majestic cascade originates from the Knuckles Mountain Range, surrounded by lush vegetation nurtured by nearby paddy cultivation villages. Serving as a vital water source for irrigation, it supports the livelihoods of approximately 200 farmers.

Find Adventure in Thailand

Thailand, a country renowned for its vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality, offers a diverse array of adventures to thrill seekers and explorers alike. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of the southern islands, Thailand’s diverse terrain provides the perfect backdrop for a multitude of exhilarating experiences. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities like jungle trekking, zip-lining, and rock climbing, or craving more tranquil pursuits such as snorkelling in crystal-clear waters, Thailand promises adventures to suit every taste and inclination.

Khao Sok National Park

Found in Surat Thani province, Khao Sok National Park captivates with its immense natural splendour, boasting ancient rainforests, cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and iconic karst mountains synonymous with Thailand’s scenery. Its vastness and diversity make it an ideal destination for embarking on thrilling adventures. In just a few days, visitors can partake in a myriad of activities such as kayaking, hiking, swimming, and cave exploration.

Rock Climbing at Railay and Tonsai

Railay and Tonsai, adjacent beaches, are essential stops for rock climbing enthusiasts. Renowned as a premier destination for the sport, these areas boast over 700 bolted routes on stunning limestone cliffs, attracting climbers globally. The strong community atmosphere is particularly advantageous for solo travellers, as finding climbing partners and forging friendships is virtually guaranteed, enhancing the overall adventure experience in Thailand.

Scuba Diving in the Similan Islands

Similan Islands
Similan Islands – Image via Flickr

For ultimate Thailand adventures, diving in the Similan Islands stands out as an unparalleled experience. Situated in the Andaman Sea, this group of 11 islands forms a breathtaking marine national park renowned for its pristine beauty. Accessible via liveaboard cruises from Khao Lak, or tours from Phuket or Ranong, ranging from one day to a week, these islands offer an abundance of marine life encounters

Jungle Treks through Pai

Venturing along the winding road to Pai, with its staggering 700 turns, proves to be an adventure of its own, rewarded by the charming town nestled amidst stunning countryside vistas. Surrounding Pai are picturesque landscapes adorned with waterfalls, caves, rice terraces, and lush jungle, offering an idyllic setting for exploration. While the town itself offers hiking trails, adventurers can also delve further into the wilderness for some interesting vacations in Asia, as well as have partners such as Travelodge Hotels Asia to provide accommodation through your journey.

Climb Monkey Mountain in Gal Oya 

Explore the hidden wonders of Gal Oya as you ascend Monkey Mountain at sunrise. For outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure, Monkey Mountain offers a unique blend of physical challenge and natural beauty.

Discover the Enigmatic Veddas Tribe

Explore the Gal Oya area, an off-the-beaten-track destination that remained off-limits during the war, preserving its natural beauty. Encounter the Veddas, Sri Lanka’s indigenous community, hidden within the deep forests surrounding the national park. Learn about their mystical beliefs regarding the unusually high density of medicinal plants in the area, believed to cure various diseases.

Diverse Wildlife Encounters

Gal Oya
Gal Oya – Image via Flickr

Embark on a thrilling two-hour hike up Monkey Mountain with a naturalist guide, navigating through dense forests and climbing over giant boulders. Encounter a rich variety of wildlife, including 32 recorded mammal species, interesting birds, butterflies, and reptiles. The Gal Oya area provides a unique opportunity to witness a wide range of flora and fauna, making the climb an exciting adventure for nature enthusiasts.

Panoramic Views from Monkey Mountain

Rise with the sun and start your climb at the crack of dawn to beat the midday heat. The twenty-minute walk to the base of Monkey Mountain is just the beginning of a challenging ascent. Navigate the uphill climb, sometimes hand-over-foot, to reach the mountain peak. Once there, be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding forest, creating a serene and breathtaking backdrop. The tough hike becomes worthwhile as you take in the phenomenal scenery. Conclude your adventurous climb with a well-deserved breakfast back at one of the Gal Oya Sri Lanka hotels the likes of Wild Glamping Gal Oya.

Pack Smart

Equip yourself with light and cool clothing, wear a cap, apply sunscreen, and bring along a camera to capture not just the stunning views from the summit but also the unique flora and fauna encountered during the climb.

Explore the Best Things to Do in Sigiriya

Situated in the central province of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya has much to offer. It is therefore no wonder that it is a popular site among both locals and tourists.

Visit Sigiriya

If you are staying at a property like Ayurvie Sigiriya, it is highly recommended to visit the Sigiriya Rock which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site offers numerous attractions to explore such as landscaped gardens, incredible paintings, and a magnificent view from the top.

Visit Pidurangala

One of the best things to do near Sigiriya would be to visit Pidurangala. This rock situated opposite Sigiriya is a popular climb and is known for having amazing views. Many may even argue that the view from Pidurangala is better than that from Sigiriya. However, note that as there is a temple at the bottom, visitors are expected to cover up.

Go on a Nature Trail in Habarana

Habarana
Habarana – Image via Flickr

This activity is perfect for nature lovers as it involves walking through Habarana village on foot. With a knowledgeable guide, time flies by as you observe an array of colourful birds and playful monkeys. However, it’s important to remember not to feed any of the animals you encounter on the trail, especially the monkeys.

Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

While this may not be something that everyone can do, if you do have some money to spare it would be great to go on a hot air balloon ride. This can easily be the experience of your lifetime as you would be able to observe the cultural sights of Sri Lanka from the sky. However, make sure to book this ride with a Government-certified vendor.