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.

Night Cycling in Singapore

Want to avoid Singapore’s daytime humid, warm temperatures? Then consider exploring this cosmopolitan city at night via cycling. You will be treated to stunning, brightly lit-up displays, and you can do so comfortably with a gentle breeze on your back.

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City highlights

Explore Singapore’s main highlights by cycling the Marina Bay route. The route takes you by Singapore’s electrifying skyline and famous attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade and the bayfront area. Consider venturing further to explore the Eastern Coastal Loop, including East Coast Park.

History lane

Many Singapore serviced apartments, the likes of Citadines Raffles Place Singapore, are located a stone’s throw away from the city’s famed Civic District. Historical landmarks, including City Hall, the museum, Supreme Court, and Bugis district, can easily be discovered via night cycling.

Nature routes

Alternatively, you can explore Singapore’s wildlife and nature reserves via the Northern Explorer and Western Adventure Loops. The former begins from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park and takes you by Mandai and Admiralty parks. The 12km Western Loop goes by Jurong Lake and Bukit Batok Nature parks. Consider cycling the North Eastern Riverine Loop, which begins at Punggol Park.

All you need to know

You can indulge in night cycling by renting a bike or joining a night cycling tour. It is best that you cycle with a group to avoid getting lost. Ensure you check your bike’s brakes, light functions, and the weather before heading out.

Things to Do in Mary Valley, Sunshine Coast


The appealing Mary Valley in the Sunshine Coast hinterland will be a delightful locality for visitors who appreciate nature and the countryside. There can hardly be a better place for a relaxed leisure trip with family or friends.

Traverse Along Mary Valley Scenic Drive

You will find that the Mary Valley Scenic Drive would be an excellent way to commence your exploration of this picturesque area. As you make your way along this drive, you will notice many appealing sights such as cattle grazing, pineapple plantations, rainforests, macadamia farms, undulating hills and so on; don’t forget to take your camera!

Enjoy Fig Tree Walk

Another pleasant experience in the locality would be strolling down the Fig Tree Walk. As you make your way down this walk, you will notice sights such as a splendid Moreton Bay fig tree and creatures like skinks and Wompoo pigeons as well as other birds. One of the Caloundra resorts to consider from which you could plan an excursion to Fig Tree walk would be Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort.

Visit the Dagun Growers Market

Visitors will find that the Dagun Growers Market which is held on Saturday afternoons would be a wonderful place for the food lover. Here, you will encounter an array of stalls offering locally grown organic foodstuffs, handmade items and freshly prepared treats. You can buy fruits and vegetables and enjoy pizza and wine as well.

Explore the Amamoor State Forest

Nature and wildlife lovers will be enthralled at the Amamoor State Forest which is considered a paradise for bird lovers. A highlight here would be the Platypus Walk where you may have the opportunity to spot these shy creatures. You may also choose to experience the pleasant Rainforest Walk that’s equally captivating.

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.

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.



Phuket Experiences and Expeditions to Cherish

A vacation in Phuket is not just a walk by the beach. The city offers a bundle of exciting activities to tourists that are not only limited to the tropics of the island. Phuket is historically, naturally and artistically rich in its offerings to society, and a trip to this astonishing city should not miss these experiences.

Полина Славянская, Музей Thai Hua, CC BY 3.0

A History Like No Other

A walk down memory lane to Phuket’s incredible history will be an astounding experience. While Thailand had the fortune of being exempted from European colonisation, the country was a hub to begin new lives for many Portuguese, Dutch, British and French immigrants. This resulted in Thai culture, cuisine and architecture being infused into European forms, creating the perfect fusion of Western and Southeast Asian practices.

Visits to The Museum

Located less than an hour away from Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, the Thai Hua Museum is a Sino-Portuguese building that houses stories from the past of Phuket. The exhibitions and documentary screenings at the museum will give you an insight into the Phuket-China connection spanning back to the days of the 13th century. Most tourists staying at Phuket resorts pick the Thai Hua Museum as their first stop out of many sites to explore and admire.

Dive Into A World of Art

The dynamics and vibrant colours of contemporary brushstrokes define modern art in Thailand. Phuket is a shelter for both local and global art for those who appreciate it. Make sure to make pit stops at galleries like Patong Inn Art, The Phuket Gallery, Kampon Art Gallery and most importantly at the Wua Art Gallery, which is owned by local artist, Mr Zen.

A Wildlife Expedition

A sanctuary to over 10% of the fauna of the world, Thailand hosts more than 285 mammal species in their natural habitats. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, Khao Sok National Park, Sirinat National Park and Similan Islands National Park are undoubtedly some of the top places to visit to get a glimpse of the terrestrial and aquatic animal lives of the country.

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.

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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!

Lesser-Known Attractions in Kalutara District – Captivating Discoveries in Sri Lanka

While there are many attractions in Kalutara, not all are well-known by tourists and here are a few such sites in the district to add to your itinerary.

Kande Viharaya

While the city’s main temple gets all the attention, equally impressive is the Kande Viharaya Buddhist temple in Kalutara; beach resort properties can be found within easy reach of this site that dates to the 18th century. Highlights include various frescoes and Buddha images, a sacred Bo tree and one of the world’s tallest sitting Buddha statues.

Image by katkat from Pixabay

Thudugala Waterfall

Nature lovers can visit the Thudugala Waterfall, easy to reach on excursions from properties like the ‘Safe and Secure’ certified Avani Kalutara Resort. You must walk through a rubber estate and past an abandoned estate building before reaching the cascading waters, an enchanting site where you can have a refreshing dip as well!

Fa Hien Cave

The Kalutara District is also home to one of Asia’s biggest natural rock formations, where a pre-historic human settlement was excavated too. It’s named Fa Hien Cave after a Chinese Buddhist priest who is said to have visited this spot in the 5th century; here, you can see the archaeological dig sites, a Buddhist temple and a reclining statue of Lord Buddha.

Nachchimale Stream

Located near the town of Ingiriya, the Nachchimale Stream is another attraction that showcases the natural beauty of Kalutara. At this site, apart from the meandering stream, one will find a picturesque setting with small waterfalls and ponds set amidst lush foliage. It’s a great spot to have a bath and soak up sublime tranquillity.

Experience Brisbane

Are you bored and tired of the same old tours and holiday itineraries? You’re in luck as this blog outlines some of the most unique and quintessentially Brisbane things you can do that are out of the box but will make you feel like a local.

Have a cup of java
It is as simple as a cup of coffee. What makes this cup so exceptional is the unique café that brews it. If you’re staying at one of the River View apartments, Brisbane please drag your partner and cycle down to the Goodwill Bridge. You will arrive at the tiny café on top of the bridge where you will be served a nice cup of joe with a hearty serving of the splendid city skyline.

Spring Hill Reservoir
The Spring Hill Reservoir is a unique place for performances and entertainment. The underground space was earlier used as a reservoir to house the city’s water supply; however, it has remained dormant since it was decommissioned in 1960. The Underground Opera Company opened the space for the public by hosting carols and operas.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
If you want something different on a Friday night, head down to Brisbane City Council’s Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. There are so many attractions for you and your little ones and it’s only around 15mins away from the city’s popular apartment suites such as the Oaks Brisbane on Felix Suites. You can enjoy 14 amazing shows on the Cosmic Skydome with your kids and enjoy some fun activities too!

Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
If you’re having an evening stroll on Paddington’s Given Terrace, please pop by Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers. This is Australia’s first restaurant dedicated to authentic, handmade Italian gnocchi that will surely transport you to that Italian grandma’s kitchen we’ve seen on Food Network. There are many delectable sauces, appetizers and desserts to choose from plus a private dining space upstairs that looks exactly like Nonna’s kitchen.

Brisbane Riverwalk
This attraction is by far the most unique you’ll come across here in Brisbane. This floating Riverwalk allows you to walk ‘on’ the river instead of the sidewalk. The Riverwalk is 870m long and has dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes, so you can peacefully enjoy your walk or bike ride! Pro tip – there aren’t many shaded areas or benches along the walkway, so you may want to carry an umbrella and plenty of water.


Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Pattaya – Explore Pattaya’s Picturesque Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

Spread out across 2.4 square kilometres, the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya is a breathtaking horticultural highlight. Here’s everything you need to know about green space.

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At a Glance

Sprawled across a whopping 600 acres or 2.4 square kilometres, the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is one of Pattaya’s top attractions for nature lovers. Encompassing an array of highlights, the gardens resemble a theme park more than a traditional botanical space as there are restaurants, cultural showcases and other activities that are part and parcel of the venue. Divide into a European Renaissance garden, a 17th-century French garden and a topiary hub; other interesting points of interest include succulents, orchids and bonsai themed gardens, which make up more than 30 separate horticultural zones.

Getting There

Those based at Avani Pattaya Resort or any one of the other Pattaya resorts will find that the most affordable and efficient way to reach the Nong Nooch Garden is via a shared transfer or by signing up for a tour of the locale with a local tour operator. There are full-day and half-day packages available to tourists who wish to uncover every corner of this delightful green space.

How to Explore

Due to the vastness of the gardens and the sheer number of plant life and recreational attractions within the premises, the best way to explore the Nong Nooch Garden is via biking around.

Main Highlights

Apart from the French Garden and the Stonehenge garden, the skywalk and the Butterfly Hill remain the most idyllic parts of the garden. Taking in a show at the Thai Cultural Hall is also a must. Boat cruises and paddle boating rides are available as well.

Dhow Cruise in Dubai Creek

Embarking on a cruise in Dubai is a brilliant way to simply get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and grab a few quiet moments with your loved ones. Not to mention the stunning views that await!

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Experience the hospitality

The best thing about taking a cruise in Dubai, particularly the dinner cruise is being taken care of by a crew of service professionals. They will ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed at all times. If you are staying at one of the Dubai hotel apartments with kitchen such as the Citadines Culture Village Dubai, be sure to skip a meal before visiting.

Enjoy a stunning dinner

This meal will certainly be a decadent one, especially with a full course of Emirati and international cuisines being mustered by the kitchen staff.

Entertainment awaits

Once dinner is done, you will be able to enjoy the performances of Tanoura dancers which is an art form that stems from the times of the Ancient Egyptians.

Sit back and relax

Once dinner is over, you can simply settle in for a gentle ride along the river and take in the sea breeze and the night sky.