Top Experiences and Adventures in Indonesia You Should Definitely Try

Those with a passion for adventurous activities and thrilling excursions will find Indonesia meets their holiday needs. Let’s explore some of the most exciting experiences available in the country.

Mangrove Forest Tour

Ranked among the most rewarding things to do in Indonesia, exploring the mangrove forests occupying breathtaking Bintan is a must for those who wish to walk on the wild side with mangrove snakes staring back from branches above. There’s no better way to uncover the beauty of nature than embarking on this mangrove tour. Visitors based at The Residence Bintan and similar rests will find that it is one of the top things to do in Bintan.

Snorkelling in Kanawa

Snorkelling
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Julie aka Piper from Southern Michigan, USA, Snorkelers watching fish, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tipped to be one of the top snorkelling destinations in Indonesia, Kanawa offers tourists a glimpse of the coral gardens and the marine life occupying the Indonesian sea bed. Often compared to the exquisite underwater landscapes of Koh Phi Phi, Kanawa is a less crowded locale to engage in your favourite activity.

Ayung River Rafting

Those who head down to Ubud for a beach holiday can also sign up for a river rafting excursion of a lifetime. Taking rafters through the dense jungles of this tropical paradise, the rapids of Ayung River offer experienced and newbie rafters a fantastic challenge.

ATV Ride

ATV rides are not only accessible on the beaches of Indonesia and its pastoral villages but also in the country’s lush jungles. Travellers hankering for an off-road adventure will find that there’s nothing more engaging than driving down the rocky surfaces of Indonesia’s untamed wildernesses.

 

 

 

Why Kandy is Sri Lanka’s Cultural Capital

A popular day-trip destination for all, Kandy is not only home to the Temple of the Tooth but some of Sri Lanka’s top cultural highlights. Here’s why this hill station is deemed the cultural heart of the island.

Ceylon_tea
Charles R. Benedict, Ceylon tea, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Temple of the Tooth

The main reason why Kandy is dubbed the cultural epicentre of Sri Lanka is that it is where the Temple of the Tooth is located. The sacred dental remains of Lord Buddha are contained within this iconic shrine, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site decades ago.

Historic Kandy Lake

Although most visitors know that enjoying a boat ride on Kandy Lake is one of the top things to do in Kandy, few are aware of the legacy of this manmade body of water. Having been the execution site for many Sri Lankan nobles during British colonial rule, Kandy Lake is most infamously connected with the beheading of local hero Madduma Bandara and his family.

Tea Country

Whether you are based at the Hunas Falls Hotel Kandy or any other rest, a tour of the tea estates and factories surrounding the city will illustrate how it is a prime tea-producing region in Sri Lanka. World-famous Ceylon Tea is linked with the plantations and colonial-era tea factories that still function today and form a part of the hillside’s tea country.

 Kandyan Dance and Drumming Heritage

As a dance tradition that differs significantly from the island’s southern dance school, Kandyan dance and drumming techniques date back centuries and have been preserved by local artists.

 

A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Exploring Horton Plains

 

Horton Plains, one of the national parks in Sri Lanka, is an example of Sri Lanka’s unspoiled natural beauty. It is also one of the best places to visit in Nuwara Eliya. With thriving wildlife and milder climate conditions, the place offers a respite from the typical harsh weather conditions of the country.

What you need to know

You need to carry plenty of water with you as there aren’t any shops here. You cannot really bring plastic bags with you, and make sure you don’t litter. Also, if you are planning to visit in the afternoon, wear sunscreen.

Accommodation

There are plenty of hotels near Hotel Plains; all you have to do is take your time and find one that suits your budget. It’s best to choose a hotel like Araliya Green Hills, as Horton Plains is part of the experiences on offer.

Baker’s Falls  

You have to hike through uneven terrain to get here, but it’ll be worth it. Baker’s Falls is one of the principal attractions here. Named after Sir Samuel Baker, a British explorer, the waterfall has a height of 20 metres.

World’s End

World's End
World’s End | Image via wiki media commons

For scenic panoramic vistas, visit the World’s End. The journey is fairly easy, with frequent wildlife encounters. World’s End is a steep cliff that’s considered one of the best lookouts in the country. The views you get here stretch across two provinces.

Camping

To camp in Horton Plains, all you need is basic camping gear; however, as you are alone, you should consult a tour guide to ensure that you don’t do anything you are not supposed to. You can also get in touch with a tour operator.

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.

An Unforgettable Visit to Mount Huashan

Be you looking for daring adventures or hiking escapades, Mount Huashan in China is not to be missed and here’s more on what to expect.

Planning Your Visit

Mount Huashan is in the Shaanxi Province around 120 km from Xian; accommodation can be easily found here including at coliving properties like lyf Dayanta Xi’an which make an ideal base. For transport, consider the 30-40-minute high-speed train from Xian North Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station, only around 5 km from the mountain.

What to Expect

Rising to a height of approximately 2,154 metres, Mount Huashan is considered one of China’s famed “Five Mountains”. It has five peaks (North, South, East, West, Middle), each with something different to offer; those exploring this enchanting site will come across amazing panoramas, ancient Taoist temples and some seemingly death-defying paths to traverse!

Changkong Plank Trail

Billed as the most dangerous hiking trail in the world, the Huashan Plank Walk will test even the hardiest of adrenaline junkies. It features an old plank trail along the cliff face of the South Peak; some sections are a mere 30 cm and there are no handrails and a sheer drop beneath; those daring to try this trail can breathe a little easier knowing there’s a safety harness in case you lose your footing!

Other Attractions

Those not quite so keen to “walk the plank”, can take in some of the many other attractions here. These include Yuquan Temple which is a sacred Taoist site, the Thousand Feet Zhuang Path with its narrow steps cut into the mountain and Black Dragon Ridge; also, of note is the Chess Playing Pavilion set amidst a “sea” of mists and clouds.

Hiking Adventures

This mountain is the perfect place for those looking to go hiking in China; the best thing is, one can explore trails on each of the five peaks. The North Peak is the gateway to the other peaks and home to sites like the Golden Lock Pass; you can also ascend the South Peak, which is the highest of the five, while the West and East peaks are known for their stunning sunsets and sunrises respectively.

Exploring the Shangqing Ancient Trail

More than 1,000 years old, the Shangqing Ancient Trail with its bamboo forest and pristine natural beauty is popular for hiking excursions from Shanghai.If you love nature and hiking, then add the Shangqing Ancient Trail to your itinerary the next time you are in Shanghai and here’s more on what you need to know.

Image credit- Unsplash,Marek Piwnicki,CC0
Planning Your Trip

This ancient trail is in the Zhejiang Province around 200 km from Shanghai, around a 2.5 to 3-hour drive away. For those staying in the Keqiao District of Shaoxing, serviced apartments here including those on offer at Citadines Keqiao Shaoxing make an ideal base in the city. Since getting to the trail can be tricky using public transport, consider signing up with a tour group.

A Long History

Also referred to as the Huiji Ancient Caravan Trail, this ancient trail is said to go back over a thousand years! It was originally the only road that connected Shengzhou County and Shaoxing County; this area was well-developed in the Tang Dynasty period and was linked with the trade of items like tea, wood and bamboo.

The Trail Today

While no more used for trade, the Shangqing Ancient Trail today offers the ideal hiking adventure set amidst scenic natural beauty. The most well-known section is the one connecting Suosiqiao Village with Xinlian Village and it’s well preserved too; it’s around 11 km long and features stone pavements and over 1,400 stone steps.

Hiking Highlights

The chance to enjoy pristine nature is one of the allures of the Shangqing Ancient Trail; you will come across an enchanting bamboo forest which adds to the area’s charm as well as shelters originally constructed for merchants who used this trail. You will also pass a more modern reservoir and at Xinlian Village, some old houses and eateries too.

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.

  

 

Adventure Experiences in Sri Lanka

Adventure lovers will be in their element in Sri Lanka as the island nation offers many exciting outdoor experiences for active visitors that are sure to captivate and delight.

Image credit- Unsplash,achinthya dinoli,CC0

Climbing Adam’s Peak

A unique adventure experience in Sri Lanka would be ascending the sacred mountain known as Adam’s Peak and catching the sunrise from its summit; there are several available trails by which to access this mountain featuring different levels of difficulty. To learn more about such places to visit in Sri Lanka, check specialist travel websites like Truly Sri Lanka.

Bicycle tours & water sports

Another appealing adventure excursion in Sri Lanka would be embarking on a bicycle tour in the environs of the town of Bentota along lanes that are flat, quiet and shaded. Bentota also happens to be a hub for water sports and you can take part in everything from jet-skiing and banana boating to water-skiing and surfing.

White water rafting

Drawing adrenaline junkies from around the world, white water rafting in Sri Lanka is not to be missed. You can experience this exhilarating activity along the Kelani River in the area known as Kitulgala set amidst stunning natural beauty. Some excursions will additionally include jungle trekking and visiting hidden rock pools too.

The hill country

There are plenty of thrilling adventures in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Here, you can go mountain biking and hiking amidst picturesque surroundings and mist-shrouded mountains such as the Knuckles Mountain Range. Other destinations like Nuwara Eliya and Ella are popular too and feature tea plantations to explore as well.

Deep-sea fishing

A deep-sea fishing excursion would be another exciting adventure experience that you could enjoy in Sri Lanka. Your fishing trip will take you into the expanses of the Indian Ocean where you could cast for the likes of tuna, snappers, barracuda, groupers, wahoo and so on; this is sure to be an absorbing escapade worth trying!

Rock Climbing at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

Their walls of the Batu Caves offer a unique opportunity for enthusiasts of climbing and first timers alike. Take up the challenge and see how you fare on your journey in Kuala Lumpur.

Image credit-Unsplash,Thanish Ahmed,CC0

The climbing walls of Batu Caves

For the uninitiated, this may come as a surprise however, the Batu Caves are well known for the amazing climbing walls they offer. If you are staying at a serviced residence in KL such as the Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur, be sure to request some transport to take you to the location and back because you will be exhausted afterwards!

Getting to the Nayang Wall

This is one of the three walls in the area and is found right in front of the shops close to the main road leading up to the caves.

Don’t forget base-jumping

If you are looking for a bigger thrill, be sure to try out the base jumping that takes place off the Gua Damai cliff as well.

The New Batu Caves

In 2018, the Batu Caves were reopened with a new coat of colour and an overall facelift to the delight of climbing enthusiasts.

A climb to remember

Are you an adrenaline junkie? If so, the Story Bridge Adventure climb is just the way for you to explore Brisbane. Here’s what you need to know to plan an exciting trip.

What this journey entails

Story Bridge Brisbane Night View | Image via flickr

This is a must-do if you’re in Brisbane because you’re in for a great thrill. This exhilarating climb is sure to leave you wanting more and mesmerized by the beauty of the city. You can take part in the climb at dawn, during the day or if you’re extra daring, you can climb the bridge at night under LED lights. The bridge is about 74m high; the total journey is about a kilometer with a viewing bay above the Brisbane River.

What’s included in a climb

Even if you’re a first-time climber with no experience, you will still get briefed about the safety guidelines and will be given the gear and equipment needed. You’re given a fully enclosed suit to wear over your clothes and your team lead will take pictures of you at the top, so you don’t have to risk losing your valuables. Since the bridge is in the heart of the city, you can easily find accommodation such as the Oaks Brisbane Mews Suites which is just a 7min drive.

Nervous? Don’t worry.

As this is a highly popular activity, there are ironclad safety measures in place, and you will always be accompanied by experienced guides. The only requirements are that you’re at least 10 years or older and 130cm tall. Although there are plenty of great bars and hotels in Bowen Hills, please avoid alcohol prior to the climb just to ensure your safety and others’.