Thailand is nature’s utopia for adventurers and globetrotters. This South Asian country has been blessed with magnificent beaches, tropical foliage and ancient ruins from the days of yore. Among its many popular beaches lies Ton Sai Beach in the resort town of Ao Nang.
The Path to the Beach
The Ton Sai beach is reachable from most Ao Nang beach hotels. Whether it is by land or sea, make sure to pay a visit to this refreshing shoreline during your vacation at Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort. From the Krabi bus station, the beach is reachable by taxi or tuk-tuk. However, if your journey takes place from the airport or the Ao Nang Pier, a shuttle or a longtail boat must be taken, respectively.
The Ao Nang beach is not only dedicated to pleasing one’s eyes with its breathtaking views of an endless ocean and the far horizon. During a visit, guests can explore some thrilling adventures like rock climbing to add some flavour to their Thai vacation. Amateur climbers and experts can engage in a session of excitement through various schools and companies dedicated to this activity.
Diving in the Deep Blue Ocean
Explore life under the sea as you visit the beautiful Ton Sai Beach. If your heart lies in aquatic adventures, head over to Railey Beach, located a mere 10 minutes away from Ton Sai Beach to sign up for a diving session that lets you witness the deep blue ocean, filled with vibrant marine life and beautiful corals; an underwater experience like no other.
Island hopping is a must in Thailand. As you visit the pristine beach of Ton Sai, do not forget to hire a longtail boat that takes you island hopping. Some of the best islands to visit in the surrounding area of the beach are Chicken Island, Tub Island, Phanang Cave and Podah Island which sends you on a family-friendly cruise to cherish for a lifetime.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Heet Cave in Saudi Arabia is a wonder that many people would never expect to even exist. This cave offers people a treat in the middle of the desert, and is filled with water to boot!
Some background on the Heet Cave
The cave is believed to have been formed due to limestone dissolving through the anhydrite materials within the cave. For those looking to enter its domain, they must walk through a 20-metre-wide hole in the ground and across various crumbling rocks.If you are staying at the furnished apartments for rent such as the Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh be sure to make a trip to the cave!
How to get to the Heet Cave
The best way is to arrange transport to Al Heet and then make the rest of the journey along the dirt road.
Things to keep in mind
This is a natural wonder and as such, it is important to not leave any rubbish behind. Be sure to bring bags to take back any garbage.
While the journey is fairly simple for an adult is it not recommended to bring a child along with you given the risk of falling and injury.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you are interested in learning something new on your holiday to the rip-roaring island of Krabi, well, you’ve certainly picked the right destination to get started! The islands got rocks that are perfect for the novice climbers out there and you can sign up for lessons too.
Sign up for a lesson
If you are planning your vacation with a travel agent, then you can discuss with your agent about the best rock-climbing package for you. However, if you’ve planned your trip on your own, you might need to inquire with your local hotel, the likes of Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort for more information on how to get started.
Phranang Cave Beach
The beach here is absolutely amazing with a wide shoreline, crystal blue waters and limestone cliffs on either side. Try your skills at rock climbing and enjoy the mesmerising views as a reward for sweating it out.
A guide for every step
Arriving at the beach and taking a look at the cliffs could hit your nerves quite hard if this is our first time. But never fear, your guide on the excursion will carefully advise you on how to conquer what seems impossible at first.
Deepwater solo climbing
Of all the Ao Nang things to do, this is one of the most thrilling. You will be taken by boat to an island where the rock cliffs are in the water. Next, you will climb the rock formation without a harness, reach the top and take the plunge into the water from there. Exhilarating indeed!
It is said that the name ‘Sithulpawwa’ has been derived from the word ‘Chiththala Pabbatha,’ meaning ‘the hill of the quiet mind,’ which accurately describes its ambience. Located close to many a Yala hotelthe likes of Cinnamon Wild Yala, this temple complex is believed to have been built by King Kawanthissa during the 2nd century B. C.
If you’re travelling from Tissamaharama, you can visit the Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya via Kirinda – Sithulpawwa Road in less than an hour. Upon arrival, you may be approached by several wild boars who frequent the area, who are completely harmless if you aren’t trying to interact with them. The premises also carries notices asking visitors to refrain from feeding these animals.
Overlooking a large pond is a mountainous area, over which you need to ascend to approach the main stupa area. If you go to the left just before entering the main stupa, you will be greeted by the breathtaking bird’s eye vistas of the entire region. The main stupa has been built by flattening the top of this rocky mountain.
You may need to wear light-coloured clothing that should cover from your shoulders up to your ankles when entering this sacred place in Sri Lanka.
Apart from this main stupa, you can also hike towards the Small Sithulpawwa at this place. You will pass the scenic South Tissa Lake on your way to this place, which contains attractions such as stone umbrella, twin ponds, Buddha statues, and another stupa upon its windy summit.
There are plenty of great adventures to be had here in Sri Lanka – this includes the exciting and exhilarating sport of rock climbing! There are plenty of places to choose from in Sri Lanka as well, so here’s a quick look at some of the rock climbing adventures to be had here.
Why Go Rock Climbing
If you’re a bit hesitant about getting involved in rock climbing – don’t be! It is one of the most fun and exciting sports you can try out when you’re on vacation. It’ll be a test of your physical and mental strength – it will also help develop your endurance, agility, and balance.
Why Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a particularly good choice to go rock climbing in. The tropical landscapes coupled with excellent rock formations make for a great combination. There are options for all levels of experience as well – from rookies to seasoned veterans.
The Best Places
If you’re looking to conquer a mountain, you can’t go wrong with the Knuckles Mountain Range. Conversely, you might prefer to scale a single rock formation. If so, you might want to consider a region like Dambulla – there’s plenty of climbing ops to be had here. There’s also quite a lot of fantastic Dambulla hotels to choose from as well. This means you can kick your feet up and relax – perhaps at resorts like The Paradise Resort & Spa – and recover from the day’s excursions.
Rappelling and Abseiling
If you really want to get your adrenaline pumping, you might want to try your hand at abseiling here in Sri Lanka. It can be truly exhilarating to descend along massive waterfalls at high speeds. And don’t worry – with the right equipment and personnel in place, it’s perfectly safe!
Located at proximity to one another, Sigiriya and Pidurangala Rock are almost identical rock formations renowned for their historic significance and natural splendour. Here is a guide to choosing which rock you should plan on climbing during your next trip to Sri Lanka.
Also known as the lion rock, Sigiriya was once a fortress with a place on top of the rock. It was built by King Kashyapa to safeguard himself from foreign invasions, especially the one which was led by his own brother. The site today has numerous ruins of the magnificent edifices that once stood along with well-preserved remains of well-planned aqueducts, ponds, fountains and landscaped gardens. Due to the sites cultural and historic significance, Sigirya has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site
Located a few kilometres away and having a clear sight of Sigiriya, Pidurangala was once a monastery where the monks who lived at the site of Sigiriya were relocated. Like Sigiriya, Pidurangala also offers a stunning view of its surroundings which includes the view of Sigiriya as well. Piduarangala also has ruins and exploring it too offers you a memorable experience.
The climbing experience
Both of the rocks offer its visitors an enticing climbing experience but there are few differences in terms of the sceneries each of these sites offer and the ease of climbing them. Sigiriya has well-defined pathways with proper steps and rails to aid climbing and the climb is easy. However,Pidurangala has a bit of a challenging pathway which is comparatively tougher than to climb Sigiriya. But no matter which rock you choose to climb you will certainly enjoy a delightful climbing experience. If you are an adventurous person Pidurangala should be your choice. if you are looking for an easy climb with opportunities to see amazing artworks and remnants of an ancient chronicle Sigiriya must be your choice.
Whichever the rock you choose to climb, you will have to start early in the morning or by late afternoon during when the heat and humidity will be tolerable it is also recommended that you plan your stay at any of the Dambulla hotelslocated in proximity the likes of The Paradise Resort & Spafor the day before you are planning your climb.