If you’re planning to visit Maldives, water sports must be on the bucket list of things to do. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are both thrilling adventures you can try on the islands and enjoy the summer breeze and adrenaline. Here are some tips to get you started on these activities.
Best Islands for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing
Islands with long stretches of the sea are the best settings for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Some islands are quite popular for water sports in Maldives and even provide the gear, guides, and assistance for those who indulge in these activities. If you choose Kandolhu Maldives, you will kill two birds with one stone! It has great accommodations and perfect beaches.
Can Beginners Learn These?
Beginners can try learning windsurfing and kitesurfing with smaller sails and utilise a good instructor to learn the basics right. Sometimes even a friendly local will offer to teach you how to windsurf or kitesurf. Be careful of the snorkellers and swimmers and choose less crowded spots to practice until you make it perfect.
While beginners can learn and enjoy these activities anytime, advanced kitesurfers and windsurfers prefer the monsoon season when the weather is rougher and more challenging. The strong winds make these activities a thrilling adventure to try. Keep in mind that rain can always become an obstacle and prepare yourself!
A town full of fascinating facets that will thrill lovers of nature, culture, and history, Hambantota has plenty to do for down-to-earth seekers of experiential bliss. Here’s what you can’t miss!
Marvel at Yala National Park
A jaunty jeep safari across the nation’s largest and most renowned nature reserve is one of the crowning glories of a Sri Lankan vacation, hosting exhilarating encounters with over 44 species of native mammals and 200 species of birds in their natural habitat, from the elusively gorgeous Asian leopard to brilliant peacocks, lagoon crocodiles, adorable fishing cats, and the mightily gentle elephant.
Bathe at Muruthawela Reservoir
While the exhilarating jungle trek and boat ride to reach the steaming crystalline Mahapelessa Hot Springs are great additions to your itinerary, bathing in the picturesque Muruthawela canal, posing on its matchbox bridge, and visiting the ancient archaeological site provide a fulfilling challenge for those who like to veer off the beaten track.
Safari on Walawe River
If you’re enamoured by dusky mangrove forests, windingly tranquil rivers, thrilling rapids, as well as an impressive diversity of water-loving animals, aquatic fowl, and rare plant species, the Walawe River is great for a splash-worthy escapade in the wild. The most enticing things to do in Sri Lanka are yours to seamlessly enjoy during your limited stay with an avant-garde domestic airline such as Cinnamon Air at your service.
Visit Ussangoda National Park
While Sri Lanka’s Down South is famed for its irresistible medley of sensational jungle-clad beaches, storybook fort towns, artisan tribal-meets-tropical bohemia, and palms majestic for swinging, and striking rock formations, Hambantota’s diversity of experiences is difficult to match. At Ussangoda National Park, for instance, you can find rich red soil plains unearthed by a meteor, beautiful stretches of ocean, rugged promontories, and an extraordinary assortment of flora and fauna.
Loy Krathong, one of Thailand’s most enchanting festivals, is a celebration of lights, spirituality, and gratitude. Each year, on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, locals and visitors gather to release beautifully crafted krathongs (floating lanterns) onto rivers, lakes, and oceans, symbolizing the release of negativity and making wishes for the future. Phuket, known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, offers an ideal setting to immerse yourself in the festivities of Loy Krathong.
Patong Beach, Phuket’s most popular and lively beach destination, comes alive during Loy Krathong. Join the festivities along the shoreline as locals and visitors gather to release their krathongs into the Andaman Sea. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, enjoy cultural performances, and witness the beach illuminated by the flickering lights of thousands of floating lanterns. Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display that adds a touch of magic to the celebrations.
Bang Tao Beach
For a more serene Loy Krathong experience, head to Bang Tao Beach. Away from the bustling crowds, this pristine stretch of sand offers a peaceful setting to partake in the festivities. As dusk falls, release your krathong into the gentle waves, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the beach. The serene ambience and the reflection of the lanterns on the water create a truly enchanting atmosphere. There are many wonderful luxury hotels in Phuket such as the SAii Laguna Phuket for you to have a memorable vacation.
Nai Harn Lake
Located in the southern part of Phuket, Nai Harn Lake provides a picturesque backdrop for Loy Krathong celebrations. Join the locals as they gather around the lake, offering prayers and releasing their krathongs adorned with candles and incense. Take a moment to soak in the spiritual ambience and witness the colourful spectacle of floating lights illuminating the tranquil waters. Capture beautiful photographs and create cherished memories in this serene setting.
Phang Nga Bay
Embark on a memorable Loy Krathong experience by taking a boat trip to Phang Nga Bay, known for its stunning limestone karsts and emerald-green waters. Sail amidst the towering cliffs and release your krathong into the bay, surrounded by the mesmerizing beauty of nature. As the lanterns drift away, embrace the sense of serenity and awe-inspiring surroundings that make this celebration even more magical.
Old Town Phuket
Phuket Old Town, with its charming Sino-Portuguese architecture and vibrant cultural scene, provides a unique backdrop for Loy Krathong celebrations. Join the locals as they gather at various temples, including Wat Mongkol Nimit and Jui Tui Shrine, to partake in traditional ceremonies and release their krathongs in the nearby canals. Experience the blend of Thai and Chinese traditions as the streets come alive with processions, cultural performances, and vibrant decorations.
The Maldives, a tropical paradise nestled in the Indian Ocean, boasts a fascinating history, a diverse linguistic landscape, and a vibrant cultural tapestry. Delve into the past, embrace the melodic languages, and immerse yourself in the enchanting customs that make the Maldives a captivating destination.
Unearth the ancient roots of the Maldives and discover the historical landmarks that bear witness to its intriguing past, including the majestic Hukuru Miskiy mosque and the Malé Friday Mosque, which date back centuries and showcase exquisite craftsmanship.
Dive into the rhythmic sounds and melodic tones of the Dhivehi language, the native tongue of the Maldives. Learn common phrases, uncover the linguistic nuances, and connect with the local people on a deeper level as you embrace their language.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural traditions of the Maldives, from the traditional dance form of Bodu Beru to the colourful festivals that showcase the rich heritage and values of the Maldivian people. Experience the warmth of their hospitality, for instance, at Maldives 5-star Resorts the likes of The Residence Maldives, and engage with their customs to truly appreciate their unique way of life.
Art and Craftsmanship
Explore the artistic endeavours of the Maldivian people, from intricate lacquer work and woven mats to traditional boat-building techniques. Witness the skill and creativity that is embedded in their craftsmanship, showcasing their deep connection to their cultural roots.
If you think the perfect family holiday destination does not exist, then you have not been to the Maldives yet! Here are some reasons why families all over the world love coming here on their vacations.
Private Island Getaways
Your family members will love the chance to spend time on an enchanting private island resort in the North Male Atoll which can be quickly reached by speedboat from the airport. Ideal options include Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives by the Park Hotel Group; here, you can stay at a luxurious beach pool villa with direct access to the shore or a pool water villa from where you can snorkel in the lagoon or ocean below. Such resorts also feature a kids’ club with fun activities and games, a beach club with a daily recreational programme, dining options with a kids’ menu and exciting family adventures.
Stunning Marine Life
The Indian Ocean that surrounds the islands are home to a mesmerising array of marine life and the great thing is, they are easy to encounter. One of the best things to do in Maldives for families is to go snorkelling or join a guided house reef snorkelling session with a resort’s marine biologist who will help you identify colourful reef fish and more. Some properties will offer snorkel safaris to spot specific marine life like turtles, and depending on the age of your children, you can introduce them to the joy of scuba diving too.
Fun Things to Do
There’s never a dull moment in the Maldives with a diverse range of activities for young and old alike. The ideal choice would be to stay at a family-friendly resort that has a marine sports centre, offering specific water sports like jet-skiing and diving for kids. Of course, kayaking, and stand-up paddling can be enjoyed too, while you can also go on dolphin-watching excursions to spot these playful marine mammals. Some resorts offer special family packages as well which can include speedboat trips, snorkelling, a visit to a secluded sandbank, fun tube rides and more.
A Year-Round Destination
The Maldives is a great place to visit year-round, making it a perfect choice be it for a summer escape or to spend colder seasons in a tropical paradise! You can expect around eight hours of heavenly sunshine each day, while the temperature of the water barely drops below 25°C, making it ideal for underwater escapades. Generally, November to April is considered the best period to visit with divine sunshine and calm waters; that said, the rest of the year offers plenty to experience as well.
For those looking for family fun or adrenaline-pumping action in Thailand, water sports provide plenty to enjoy, and the great thing is, there’s something for everyone. While there are many activities to choose from, here are some of the best.
Snorkelling & Diving
From finding Nemo (clownfish) and Dory (blue tangs) to coming across larger manta rays, whale sharks and turtles, there are plenty of denizens of the deep to encounter when snorkelling or scuba diving! Those staying at properties of hospitality brands like Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas on islands including Koh Samui, Phuket and Koh Phangan can look forward to such escapades. The east coast of the country is ideal for such activities the whole year through, while the best time on the east coast is from December to April.
Thailand is blessed with some stunning coastal scenery complete with enchanting islands, intriguing sea caves and towering limestone karsts which can be witnessed while kayaking; as a bonus, such paddle-powered excursions offer a great cardio workout too! Apart from indulging in luxury travel experiences, ensure you go kayaking especially at destinations like Ang Thong National Marine Park and Phang Nga Bay where there is much to discover.
For those who possess an insatiable need for speed or a daredevil spirit, hop aboard a jet ski and prepare for some high-octane thrills! Destinations such as Phuket and Pattaya are ideal for this activity that beginners can soon get the hang of it as well. You can ride tandem with a skilled instructor taking you on an exhilarating journey, while those who prefer, can go on a solo adventure with the open sea providing the perfect playground.
Banana Boat Rides
One of the most popular water sports in Thailand for families, banana boats provide an epic ride full of fun thrills. Not surprisingly, the islands and coastal locales of the country are the destinations where this activity is popular. It’s easy to enjoy too and no experience is required; all you have to do is straddle a giant inflatable banana with friends or family and hold on tight. Soon, you will be pulled along the water via a speedboat on a fast and furious ride with twists and turns that will have you screaming in delight!
For many individuals, their dream vacation constitutes spending time by the ocean. But that does not mean you should limit yourself to swimming and lazing around the beach when there are so many water sports to explore. Water sports are thrilling activities that can entice both adventurers and non-adventurers.
While Jet skiing would not be for the faint-hearted, it is a safe activity. You just have to ensure you adhere to a safe speed and hire a spotter to keep an eye on you.
This is another activity that is catered towards thrill seekers. Flyboarding makes it possible to go up about 49 feet into the air. If you are staying at a beach resort in Dubai the likes of Anantara World Islands Dubai, then make sure to check the availability of flyboarding, as it is a recent invention.
Scuba diving allows you to explore the fascinating underwater world, encounter exotic marine life, and experience a sense of weightlessness. However, it requires proper training, certification, and adherence to safety protocols to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience.
Snorkelling is a simple and affordable way to explore the underwater world, with minimal training required. It’s a great way to observe marine life up close, but it’s important to be aware of currents and weather conditions and never touch or disturb the marine environment.
Surfing is an exhilarating water sport that requires skill, strength, and endurance. It offers a thrilling experience of riding waves and connecting with the ocean. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards, including rip currents, shallow reefs, and other surfers, and always use proper safety equipment.
Bintan Island is a hidden gem located in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests, it’s an ideal destination for solo travellers seeking adventure and relaxation. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your solo visit to Bintan Island.
Exploring Bintan Island
Bintan Island is home to numerous attractions, including the Pasar Oleh Oleh Bintan market where you can buy souvenirs and the Bintan Mangrove Discovery Tour where you can explore the island’s mangrove forests by boat. In addition to these, the island also boasts several historical sites like the Banyan Tree Temple and the Trikora Beach War Memorial.
Getting Around Bintan Island
There are several ways to get around Bintan Island, including renting a car, hiring a taxi, or taking a shuttle bus. For those who prefer a more adventurous mode of transportation, renting a motorbike or bicycle is also an option. Additionally, some resorts offer transportation services to and from the ferry terminal, making it easy for travellers to get to their accommodation.
Bintan Island is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can go hiking, biking, or kayaking through the island’s lush forests and rugged terrain. The island’s beaches are also perfect for water sports like surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and jet skiing. For a more relaxing activity, visitors can try fishing, yoga, or meditation.
Food and Nightlife
The Island is known for its delicious seafood, which is a must-try for visitors during their stay at any Bintan Island resort the likes of The Residence Bintan. The island has many restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes, including grilled fish, prawns, and squid. After a day of exploring the island, solo travellers can head to one of the island’s bars to unwind and socialize with other travellers for a more relaxing time.
Visitors to Bangkok would have the opportunity to involve themselves in Songkran festivities each year, joining the locals as they gleefully soak anyone on the streets as part of the traditions of this vibrant event.
Songkran happens to be the Thai New Year, a traditional festivity that is intertwined with Thailand’s culture and religion. During this festival, Thais would visit temples, make offerings, honour their ancestors, and conduct street processions involving religious symbols. Families would also reunite and spend time together during Songkran.
Fun water fights
In fairly recent times, the purification aspect of Songkran has also evolved into exciting water fights! Locals would take to the streets with water guns and buckets of water, gleefully soaking anyone who ventures out during this time. A Sukhumvit-based boutique hotel in Bangkok to consider from which you could easily experience such Songkran festivities and other events in the city would be Gardina Asoke.
What to expect
The water fights would be light-hearted and good-natured, and no one would take offence. Almost nobody on the streets would be spared getting soaked, with the only exceptions being pregnant ladies, babies, elders, monks and on-duty policemen. Foreign visitors would be able to join in the fun and enjoy the revelry on the streets along with the locals.
How to prepare for it
Naturally, you would need plenty of water, water guns and perhaps buckets to involve yourself in the Songkran celebrations. You may attire yourself in colourful clothing to match the festive ambience. If your eyes happen to be sensitive, you should don protective eyewear. If you take along a camera or phone, it should be waterproof or kept in a protective bag.
The water sports scene in Bentota warrants checking out where you can take turns going diving, enjoying some banana boating and even a quiet yet engaging snorkelling expedition.
Comb the very depths of the ocean floor in search of an array of colourful marine mammals that inhabit the waters off Bentota during a snorkelling trip. Considered a good way to kick off your adventurous pursuits in this section of Sri Lanka, one may avail of professional expertise that will see to it that you are well placed to enjoy the brilliance of what the ocean will reveal to you.
Suiting those in groups, banana boating will have you clinging on for dear life to the person seated in front of you. This is because the banana-shaped vessel that you will be riding can easily throw you off as the power of the speedboat and the waves can combine in sending you the odd curveball.
Satisfy your cravings for the ocean in no uncertain manner with a riveting dive. When in the water, you will come into contact with coral reefs that showcase a cross-section of fish whose varying hues, shades and sizes will leave you in awe. Given the diving centres around town, you can pick and choose from beginner courses, advanced courses to even those that would attract the little ones.
Bring along your adventurous spirit and a will to succeed en route to trying your hand at some water skiing. If based at one of the 5-star hotels in Bentota such as the Cinnamon Bentota Beach, then you will have ease of access to Bentota River. This water body provides a conducive environment for you to perfect your balance on a ski and be towed by boat as you glide through the water with impeccable accuracy.