Submarine Diving And Underwater Adventure In The Maldives

Surrounded by stunning marine biodiversity, the Maldives has much to offer in way of underwater adventure. With the intention of giving visitors of all ages a chance to experience this remarkable beauty, the country’s latest attraction gives one a chance to go diving by way of an actual submarine!

Built in Germany, this spacious vessel has a 50 person capacity and lays claim to being the largest passenger sub involved in deep sea diving. The air conditioned aquatic vehicle can achieve dive depths of up to 150 meters and has a perfect safety record.

This unique attraction gives passengers a chance to not only experience what it is like on board a submarine, but to also take in the breathtaking sights of the coral reef system and the colourful creatures that call it home.

A typical ride on the submarine involves descending below the ocean surface to an underwater reef. On the way down one can view a range of marine life and Lionfish, yellow and blue stripped Snappers and turtles are among the underwater inhabitants common in the area. One of the stops sometimes involves setting down near a submerged cave where one can see various other fish and depending on the day even rare sightings of Napoleons, White Tip Reef Sharks or the fearless Giant Grouper who is not known to be camera shy!

Dive destinations sometimes vary according to such factors as current and passengers may on occasion be taken near shipwrecks or even a shark feeding area. The dives start at nine in the morning and continue till eight at night, spaced out in ninety minute intervals. Night time dives bring a whole new perspective including a chance to see such creatures as manta rays.

This forty five minute undersea exploration is a chance to experience a world of vibrant colour and grotesque beauty which one would not normally get a chance to see and makes for a truly memorable holiday.

Maldives resorts offer travellers a chance to enjoy life amidst the peace and quiet of a private retreat. Those looking for an exclusive coastal getaway can stay at five star hotels Maldives such as the Nalandhu, Maldives which combines modern luxury with the privacy of a secluded resort.

Kite Festival

Recognized as the premier international kite festival in Bali, the Bali Kite Festival is known for its selection of exuberant festivities, drawing in a large number of tourists from around the world. Revellers will undoubtedly enjoy the pulsating ambience of the festival, complemented by the enthusiasm of the local community.

Taking place during the month of July at Padang Galak, Sanur Beach, the Bali Kite Festival is a spectacular event. Travellers can catch a glimpse of one of the most pristine beaches in Indonesia and prepare to stroll along its white sandy shores. Watch as the sun strikes upon the calm waters, creating a sparkling body of water. Feel the cool air sweep across your face and gaze at the swaying palm trees, dancing in harmony to the gush of the winds. Sanur Beach provides the atmospheric setting for a memorable kite flying experience, where participants vie for a place among the other airborne kites. For the first time visitor, a sight to behold will be the sea of coloured kites dotting the picturesque canvas of fleecy clouds.

According to the local history, the Bali Kite Festival is considered to be a religious occasion. Corroborating with the myths and legends of the land, the festival is held with the intention of sending a message to the Gods, imploring for an abundant harvest. The kites depict an eclectic fusion of traditional and contemporary styles, all of which are variedly shaped, diverse in their vibrant shades.

Among the traditional kites flown during the Bali Kite Festival, the common kites which could be seen in abundance are Janggan, Bebean and Pecukan, which literally translates to bird-shaped, fish-shaped and leaf-shaped, respectively. Diversely hued, these kites are flown by a number of teams consisting of 10 members. The largest kite is the Bebean, which carries a semblance to a split-tailed, broad-mouthed fish. The Janggan is perhaps the longer kite among the two, which features a wide flowing cloth tail, which reaches well-over 100 meters in length. However, the Pecukan is defined as the more complex, which requires a higher level of expertise to fly due its unsound structure. For the first-time kite-flier, flying the Pecukan will often result in the kite tumbling towards the ground. The traditional colours used in the kite’s designs are red, white and black.

The most distinguishing feature of the Bali Kite Festival is that each traditional kite has its own themed competition. Coupled with a number of heats, the teams remain vying for the coveted trophy for the longest flight and best launch. Often, the kites plummet to the ground and fall over to the adjacent paddy fields. The team members then, have to hastily rush through the fields to rescue the kite before it lands on the water. In addition, there is a competition held for new kite creations, which are mostly inspired by 3-D figures of the Hindu Gods. Accompanying the revelry of the festival is the music of a gamelan orchestra, popular in Bali.

For the traveller in search of a Bali resort, an ideal option would be staying at one of the luxurious Bali Hotels such as Anantara Seminyak Bali. Staying at this opulent hotel, touched by elegance and genial hospitality will ensure guests a delightful vacation in Indonesia. Explore the alluring charm of Bali’s upscale enclave, situated in a prime beachfront location and awaken to the soft rustling sounds of sea breeze sweeping across coconut palms.

Marine Conservation & the Maldives Shark Watch Program

Sharks tend to conjure up images of horrifying and agonising deaths in the water. This is partly due to Peter Benchley’s book “Jaws” and the subsequent Steven Spielberg film of the same name that have somewhat vilified sharks as being blood thirsty predators who roam the seas in search of helpless human victims. While it makes for good suspense, the actual fact is that sharks are not the “villains” they are made out to be and many shark species are in fact endangered.

Realizing the importance of sharks both as an integral part of the marine ecosystem and as an attraction for tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives has initiated the Maldives SHARK WATCH Program. Designed to create awareness, this initiative also looks to collect data on the shark population in the Maldives by way of “sighting cards” that are gathered from such sources as local dive centres and tourist resorts that operate diving excursions.

Also blessed with a rich and diverse coral reef ecosystem, the Maldives is home to around 37 different species of shark including the “Patrollers” who are known for their relative friendliness. However, in the past, the shark population in the Maldives has come under threat due to over fishing which has caused numbers to decline. This in turn has had an adverse affect on tourism since the sharks themselves have become quite a draw especially for those looking to explore the surrounding waters.

In order to combat the declining shark population, the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has implemented a ban on the fishing of reef sharks in and around all the Maldivian islands. It is hoped that the ban will slowly but surely lead to an increase in shark numbers while the Maldives SHARK WATCH Program plays an integral part in monitoring these developments.

Maldives Resorts are perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, while travellers looking for luxury accommodation when on holiday can stay in Five Star Hotels Maldives which offer that extra bit of pampering. The Nalandhu, Maldives combines both these elements and offers guests an idyllic coastal getaway amidst the sun, sand and surf.

A Deserts Walk To Remember

When thinking of a vacation in Abu Dhabi, tourists should not miss an opportunity to explore the desert landscape that surrounds this emirate. A popular tourist activity is to take a desert walk or join a tour group that would guide one through this fascinating landscape.

To begin one’s desert walk why not start at the largest Arabian oases located at the Empty Quarter – the Liwa Desert. The desert is famous for the Bani Yas tribe who has a long line of descendents who have made their homes among these surroundings.

The tribe is considered as the descendents of the Bedouin forefathers of the present generation of rulers of Abu Dhabi. With palm fringed roads and freshwater pools to enjoy, the Liwa Desert offers excursions, which are close by to the city.

The Liwa Desert is a popular tourist destination mainly due to its location, towards the south of Abu Dhabi the dessert forms a border with Saudi Arabia. Locals describe the desert much like a sentinel guarding the entrance from the Southward end of the emirate. Almost as if it were made to guard the Empty Quarter’s edge. This is also, where the largest sand desert in the world is to be found, it is known as the Rub Al Khali.

If you are on your way to the desert to indulge in a desert walk, it is hard not to notice the small quaint little towns and villages that have sprung up. Tourists will also notice that there are even a few farms that have emerged against the backdrop of the sand dunes.

On arriving at the desert or while travelling there, a unique aspect of this mysterious landscape is the changing colours of the desert sand. This will become more apparent when one sets foot on the sand. The most beautiful is towards the end of the evening when the sands begin changing from golden to red against a backdrop of a setting sun.

To be able to truly appreciate the culture of the desert, tourists should consider spending a few days at an Abu Dhabi resort . One such as the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, situated in the Liwa Desert will definitely be an experience that will not be forgotten. Decked out in very traditional and local motifs the atmosphere created here, will take tourists back to the days of camping out in the desert, and unlike other Abu Dhabi resort hotels, the views are absolutely breathtaking.

Desert Safari, a memorable excursion

In recent years Abu Dhabi has consolidated its position as a premier tourist destination. With its tropical year-round sunshine, scenic sand dunes, pristine beaches and traditional Arabian hospitality Abu Dhabi is a memorable holiday destination. Appealing to both leisure and corporate travellers with modern convention centres, spas, theatres and golf courses amongst other facilities the desert emirate never disappoints its guests.

A desert safari in the environs of Abu Dhabi is a delightful way to experience the magical aura of the Middle Eastern desert. Always a thrilling adventure, safaris take the visitor deep into the desert providing a genuine insight into the challenging conditions of the desert as well as its beauty and mystical allure.

Four wheel drive vehicles take the visitor on a rollercoaster ride over the picturesque high sand dunes which promise to be an invigorating experience for even the most jaded of travellers. The peaks of the lofty sand dunes provide a panoramic view over the desert landscape which stretches out as far as the eye can see. Especially memorable is the vista of the desert sunset, a once in a lifetime experience.

‘Wadi bashing’ is a popular activity for the thrill seeker. A ‘wadi’ is the term used for a dry rocky riverbed found in the desert carved out by flood waters over millennia; innumerable wadis are to be found in the deserts surrounding Abu Dhabi. A four wheel drive vehicle is used to drive through these riverbeds, a bone–shaking and tough adventure, but always memorable. Before engaging in wadi-bashing it is important to receive comprehensive instructions from an expert, so as to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Traditional falconry displays may also be observed in the desert environment, with expert falconers demonstrating this age-old craft. Visitors may also enjoy camel rides and receive henna decorations on their hands or feet.

Some safari excursions will take you to a Bedouin campsite where you will be entertained by a talented belly-dancer moving sinuously to local music for a truly distinctive Arabian experience. A sumptuous barbeque dinner will be served at the end of the evening.

For the traveller selecting amongst Abu Dhabi resorts, there is no better choice than the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. This fine luxury resort Abu Dhabi offers promises lavishly appointed rooms and courteous service assuring a memorable stay.

Grasshopper Adventures Bicycle Tours

Ride through the country side and explore the city – the options are aplenty for the keen rider. The rides on offer range from Countryside, Night Bike, Historic, City to Shore and Floating Market. With so many options on two wheels this is the ideal way to eat, breath and live Thai style.

‘Countryside’ takes you through the outskirts of the bustling city. Peddle through farmland, old temples and enjoy the serenity the suburbs offer. It covers 35km and takes about 6 hours. Bangkok by night is quiet enchanting. The ‘Night Bikes’ starts at sunset and goes through small lanes, ancient temples, on a ferry across the Chao Phraya River, exploring Temple of the Dawn (locally known as Wat Arun), which at this time of the day is minus the throngs of visitors, the famous flower market, further explorations of a temple, this time the Wat Pho and the impromptu market place in Sanam Luang. All this within 3 -4 hours!

The best of the city’s old features are well hidden in nooks and corners and the best option for someone keen on history would be to join a cycle tour specializing in history. ‘Bike Historic’ will take you along the smaller streets and lanes to discover the well hidden temples, old structures and ancient attractions. This 15km drive does not take more than 4 to 5 hours.

Whilst in Thailand a must visit is the Floating Market. Just about 80km out of the main city, the ride takes you through scenic coconut estates and the laid back countryside to arrive at the Damnoen Saduak. A journey dotted with seafood markets, Thai delicacies, fruit farms will take you to the other floating market the Amphawa. Visits to the floating markets are available during weekends and covers 28km.

Being a much sought after tourist destination the city features various lodging options. Any hotel, guesthouse and apartment Bangkok can easily be searched for online. Visitors planning their trip to this enchanting destination may compare prices, amenities and facilities, and book the preferred accommodation option through the Internet. For serviced accommodation in Bangkok with broadband Internet and a beneficial location at the heart of the Central Business District try the Somerset Lake Point Bangkok.

Heritage and Diving Village in Dubai

For those who wish to delve in to the past of Dubai, the best place to visit is the Heritage and Diving Village. It is also the ideal place to explore the city’s unique culture, lifestyle and long lived traditions. The village is situated at the entrance of Dubai Creek in the Shindagha Area.

Heritage and Diving Village of Dubai has today become a popular tourist attraction since it is an area that promotes local art and crafts.

A unique feature at the Heritage Village is its Barsati homes. Guests can visit the outdoor kitchens attached to these Barsati homes where women serve mouth-watering traditional local cuisine. The Heritage Village also has a souk where visitors can purchase a memorable souvenir to take home with them. The village offers the visitor the chance to discover a side of Dubai that cannot be seen in its modern day city. It is also the best place to see potters and weavers at work churning out their best masterpiece.

The main focus of the Diving Village is the maritime culture in Dubai. It is a place where travellers will be able to discover important facts on fishing traditions, pearl diving and pearling boats.

Special demonstrations on Pearl diving which is one of the oldest professions practiced in the region can be enjoyed here. Pearl diving is considered a dangerous profession even at times when the sea is calm and safe. At one point almost each villager’s livelihood depended on Pearl diving, however today the entire profession has been destroyed and it is carried out only for demonstration purposes for the tourists.

The best way to make the visit to Dubai more culture and heritage oriented is to visit the Heritage and Diving Village. Tourists can easily explore this fascinating village by staying at the nearby Copthorne Hotel Dubai which is a Luxury Hotel in Dubai . It is a contemporary accommodation that houses 163 comfortable and lavish rooms and suites.


Off Road Driving in Abu Dhabi

Just a little over 50 years ago, Abu Dhabi was no more than a fishing village with a fort, some coral buildings and endless desserts dotted with oases. As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi does not hold as much world prominence as neighbouring Dubai. However, it offers a more traditional approach to Arabian living, and the skies are dominated by gleaming skyscrapers, the shopping is just as exceptional and the food divine! Some of the great places to see whilst on holiday include, the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, Cultural Foundation, Emirates Palace, Corniche Park, Qasr al-Husn and the Women’s Handicraft Centre. Shopping in Abu Dhabi is exceptional at the Deira City Centre and Marina Mall Tower, whilst dining opportunities offers itself from local delicacies to international fast food chains.

Expanses of dessert surround Abu Dhabi, and there is no better thrill than doing some off road driving. The activity is so popular that today it has become a sport, and the annual competition of the Abu Dhabi Dessert Challenge, which is the closing event of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championships and FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. A collection of cars, bikes and trucks partake in this event each year. Driving on what is locally known as ‘wadis’ or dessert trails is easy, but once you take your 4WD off the road, the drive becomes more challenging and it always advisable to have a second vehicle at hand, along with an experienced driver who is familiar with the terrain. A book guide is available called the UAE Off-Road Explorer, which is quite useful. Tour operators can also be easily found to take your on your off road drive in the Abu Dhabi dessert. The challenges are exhilarating and the techniques are entirely different to driving on the road, so if you are up for the adventure, there is no better place to start, than Abu Dhabi dessert!

Planning a trip to Abu Dhabi? There are many accommodation options in Abu Dhabi to choose from. But none stands out like the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi that offers a fine array of rooms and suites that cater to families, groups and individuals. A better known five star hotel from the many Abu Dhabi hotels available in the city, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi also provides the additional service of babysitting your children if required.

Exploring the caves in a marine national park in Thailand

With breathtaking scenery and landscape that offset gracefully by a ravishing coastline, cultural marvels and historical monuments, Thailand is one tourist destination which offers variety with great hospitality. The coastal line of Trang which stretches over nearly 120 km is a perfect example for a place with multiple interests. From its origin as a fishing village to its national park, it boasts of several delightful locations and excursions such as a scenic drive, a boat trip to explore the caves and a string of islands each as interesting as the other.

The Chao Mai Cave is one such place of interest located in the Marine National Park that is situated along this coastal stretch of Trang. Among the many places of interest, the cave holds a special interest to many visitors due to the rarity of the experience. The cave which is quite large is located on the south side of the park and can be entered by the sea. This is a stalagmite cave with many levels of which the bottom level is the biggest has all the levels interconnected by a passage on to the right of the cave. One of the distinctive features about the cave is its extensive rock formation: stalactites and stalagmite form tall pillars that rise up to the very ceiling from the floor. An attractive variant to the cave is a small but beautiful spring gushing from the top level chamber within the cave. The boat trip to the cave is thus a much anticipated event for the visitors to the marine national park.

After wondering through the mashy lands, coastal stretches and wonderful boat rides or even to a begin a day laced with such adventures, there’s no better place to take refuge than the Anantara Saiko, Thailand. Situated by a beautiful coastal stretch in the Si Kao district, this exotic resort and spa is one exceptional Krabi Resort Hotel to dwell in. This is one spa and resort that holds a special place out of the many Trang Hotels, with a range of international and Thai delicacies waiting to seduce the unsuspecting traveler.

Adrenaline Forest: An Adrenalin Rush for the Entire Family

Adrenaline Forest which is ideal for both family and group visits, is an enthralling adventure park positioned in the centre of the forest. This park which is known to be a challenge against gravity and balance is situated in Spencer Park just 15 minutes away from the Christchurch CBD.

Providing endless fun and entertainment for the entire family, Adrenaline Forest offers the visitor the chance to test their strength and persistence. Adrenaline Forest is full of surprises, excitement and has plenty of fun filled activities such as an aerial obstacle course which is 20 metres above ground. There are also six pathways which are about 2 kilometres long. These pathways are created in a way that is extremely difficult to progress. These pathways alone occupy an area of four hectares of the forest.

Way up in the tree canopy, daring visitors are provided the chance to securely pass through as much as 100 testing activities while being fastened by an overhead safety wire. Adrenaline Forest can be explained as an adventure park that offers multi-level obstacle courses set way above ground. Participants are ensured to come across rope bridges, flying foxes and Tarzan swings all set up in the tree canopy.

Adrenaline Forest giving that adrenalin rush that suits all ages and sizes and experience is not at all necessary. Since comprehensive instruction and safety measures are provided, visitors will have to have no doubt when it comes to safety. Furthermore, participants are well attached while participating in all activities above ground. There are also safety leaders present at the site through out the day. Approximately three hours at the park and visitors can accomplish all obstacle courses at Adrenaline Forest.

The best way to be a part of the excitement at Adrenaline Forest is to stay at an accommodation located in close proximity such as Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Durham Street which is a luxury hotel in Christchurch that features a blend of modern comforts and warm hospitality for a pleasant stay.