Adventures in Abu Dhabi – Safaris in the desert

After reading this informative guide, your experience on the Abu Dhabi desert safari will be so much better. Discover the ideal time to visit, how to pick the finest excursions and advice on how to dress for your safari.

Image via Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

What is a desert safari?

The desert has always fascinated travellers, but many were put off by its harsh weather and lack of water, not to mention the potential for getting lost among the endless miles of sand hills. A desert safari is an expert-led tour of the desert where you can engage in a variety of activities that the native Bedouins of the area enjoy, examine the desert’s natural habitat, engage in exhilarating desert activities, or unwind by watching a desert sunrise or sunset.

When to go?

The best time for desert adventures in Abu Dhabi is during the winter, which lasts from October to April. To ensure that your trip is enjoyable, the weather throughout the winter months is neither overly humid nor overly hot. Visit the country during its summer months, which are between May and September, if you want to get more reasonable hotel prices.

What to wear?

Before pre-dawn, the weather can be a little chilly, so you should bring a light cardigan. After sunrise, the temperature rises. Dress in long trousers made of fabrics like cotton or linen with t-shirts or tops made of the same materials to be able to manage between both temperatures. The temperature starts to fall in the evenings, so it’s not as hot. You can bundle up against the cool that starts to set in about sundown by dressing in trousers and shirts and carrying a lightweight jacket or sweater.

Where to click nice pictures?

Locations such as Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara will look stunning on your Instagram profile whether you enjoy sharing travel photos there or just want to showcase your gorgeous vacation in the desert. The Abu Dhabi desert offers fantastic photo opportunities everywhere.

Things to Do for a Memorable Vacation in Mui Ne – The Land of Sand Dunes

A stunning beach town in Southeast Vietnam, Mui Ne is a must-visit travel destination for all fun-loving humans. From dune bashing and quad biking to kitesurfing and visiting fishing villages, there is so much to explore in this vivid city!

Watersports

Being a beach town, watersports are naturally one of the best experiences to indulge in. Surfing, kitesurfing, diving, swimming, and kayaking are some famous things to do in Mui Ne. You can easily borrow the gear from the local spots or seek assistance from the staff at Anantara Mui Ne Resort.

Image via Anantara Mui Ne Resort

Sunrise and Sunset Tours

Catch a desert safari to explore the sand dunes during sunrise or sunset to witness the magical golden hours and the vibrant skies. These views make the most captivating captures for your Instagram and keep you awestruck during the entire tour.

Visit the Fishing Villages

If you seek a taste of the local life, visiting a fishing village will be the best opportunity to observe the villagers, fishermen, and small kids running around. You can bargain a pretty good deal for some fish, and taste some local dishes made with freshly caught fish.

Indulge in Local Cuisines!

Wherever you go, if you haven’t tried the local cuisines, you haven’t completed your stay! Mui Ne offers a wide variety of local food such as pancakes, spring rolls, soups, and peanut milk. The freshly-prepared meals will leave your cravings satisfied, and make you feel wholesome!

A Visit to Yala National Park

Being one of the biggest national parks in Sri Lanka, a visit to Yala National Park is a must if you are ever on vacation on this charming island. Here are some of the highlights.  

 Yala National Park

Spanning a total area of 900 sq km, Yala National Park is easily one of the most enormous national parks in Sri Lanka. This exotic sanctuary was once a popular hunting ground for the British but now claims to have the highest leopard density in Asia whilst sheltering a host of other fauna the likes of sloth bears, deer, crocodiles and exotic bird species.

 What to see and do

Yala National Park
Yala National Park – Image by Nadil Jayakody from Pixabay

The Yala National Park tops as a hotspot for spotting leopards. Hop on board a 4 x 4 safari ride with binoculars in your hand during dawn or dusk to catch these inimitable animals in action. Whilst catching a glimpse of leopards has become a coveted attraction among travellers, there is a host of other wildlife to be seen amidst these exotic savannahs. During a ride along this wildlife sanctuary, you can easily spot some sloth bears, ample endemic birds emerging out of mangroves and elephants roaming across the land.

 Hotspots for Accommodation

From small boutique hotels and eco-friendly villas to opulent hotels and retreats by the jungle, you are spoilt for accommodation choices when holidaying in Yala. Amongst the top-notch accommodation spots in the area, a Yala hotel the likes of Cinnamon Wild Yala is indeed a wise pick for the hotel is kin to camping in the wild except with luxurious amenities brought to your arms.

 Best time to go on safari

The dry season from February to June is the idyllic time to go on a safari in this exotic wildlife paradise. With water levels decreasing, there is ample opportunity to witness wild animals emerging out of their habitats in search of water. The park also boasts a serene year-round temperature of 29°C and only experiences heavy showers during the months from September to December.

 

 

 

 

The Towering Jabal Sawda in Saudi Arabia

If you love outdoor adventures and are heading to Saudi Arabia, make time to ascend Jabal Sawda, a well-known mountain that offers much to experience.

Image credit-Wikimedia,CC0

Where Is It?

This mountain can be found in the Asir province and is part of the Sarawat Mountain Range overlooking a section of the Red Sea coast. Those planning a visit will find it only around 20 km from the city of Abha; accommodation options here include serviced apartments at properties like Citadines Abha which makes an ideal base for your travels.

 Towering to The Skies

This mountain is known to reach an impressive height of over 3,000 metres providing stunning views of the surrounding areas. While certain sources claim it’s the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia, there is some dispute over this with others stating that the title should go to Jabal Ferwa. Either way, you should not miss visiting Jabal Sawda!

The Idyllic Setting

Those who head here can expect a mesmerising setting with juniper trees and other flora creating a lush landscape. Added to this, are the cool climate and refreshing breezes that make it a popular place for locals looking to escape the heat. Right at the top, clouds shroud the peak adding to the sense of enchantment.

Things To Do

Apart from unwinding here amidst the spellbinding natural beauty, you can engage in some captivating things to do as well. Hiking is a popular pastime to enjoy with both easy and challenging paths on offer. It’s also a great spot for having picnics, while shutterbugs will have plenty to photograph at some breathtaking vantage points.

Cruising Down the Dubai Creek or Marina – An Aquatic Adventure to Cherish

Garnering a reputation as a commercial city of ultramodern architecture, luxury shopping and endless entertainment, Dubai has made its mark as a highly sought-after tourist destination. Cruise down the waterways in the city that never sleeps as you choose the Dhow Cruise as your next entertainment activity in Dubai.

 What Is It?

Reflective of the city’s history of sailing vessels that carried goods to the Arabian Gulf, the Dhow Cruises in Dubai are often led by dhow captains waiting to earn an extra buck from tourism, a result of the increasing popularity of container vessels to transport goods and services, compelling them to turn to other sources of income. This offers tourists of 5-star resorts in Dubai as well as other hotels an opportunity to secure an action-packed cruise featuring dinner, functioned by several operators.

 Features

The Dhow Cruises are located within city limits, neighbouring most lodgings like Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. Daytime cruises are often inclusive of a sightseeing tour of the city from the Dubai Creek or the marina while the night-time cruise features music and a buffet amidst blinding lights. While the basic offerings in all Dhow Cruises are similar, guests are advised to compare packages and prices of different operators prior to confirming the cruise.

Image via Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

 Your Options

Your options for the Dhow Cruise lie in the night-time and daytime, at the Dubai Creek or marina. Contemporary travellers are likely to prefer the option of a Dhow Cruise at the marina where sights are glamorous and modern, while the old souls may savour memories cruising down the Dubai Creek beside the historic centre of the city.

 The Ideal Time

Dubai is a city blessed with sunshine all year round, making a tour of the city rather tolerable at any time. However, November through April is the ideal time for a vacation, if one wishes to avoid excessive amounts of heat. While cruise prices tend to rise during this season, the packages remain the same. Most operators offer both daytime and night-time cruises with a range of features to choose from.

Exploring the Bako National Park in Sarawak

Those who love nature, hiking or wildlife encounters have plenty to look forward to on a visit to the Bako National Park in Sarawak and here’s more on what you need to know.

Image credit-Wikimedia,CC0

Getting There

This national park can be found in the Muara Tebas peninsula’s northern part and is around 37 km from the city of Kuching. Those based here in the prime district of Jalan Simpang Tiga at properties like Citadines Uplands Kuching can easily plan an excursion to this site; look to leave a bit early (around 8:00am or before) by bus or taxi to the Bako jetty from where you need to take a shuttle boat (around a 20-minute journey) or book a private charter to the park.

What to Expect

Once you have found accommodation among the places to stay, Kuching excursions to this site will offer plenty to discover. While this is one of the smallest national parks in Southeast Asia, it is blessed with rich biodiversity and has seven varied ecosystems along with diverse wildlife. It’s home to everything from mangroves and grasslands to mixed dipterocarp forest, idyllic beaches and more with different trails on offer too.

Wildlife to Spot

On your visit to Bako National Park, you may spot some of its many animal residents including the hilarious-looking proboscis monkey with its pot belly and large nose! You may also see other primates like silver-leaf monkeys and long-tailed macaques as well as bearded pigs, squirrels and wild boars. Birdwatching enthusiasts have a chance to also catch sight of the ruddy kingfisher, Asian fairy-bluebird, sunda scops owl and many other bird species.

Varied Trails

Amongst the best things to do in Sarawak for those who love trekking is to explore the many trails at this park. In fact, it has 18 trails that are colour-coded and provide both short hikes and those that can be for almost the whole day. Highlights include the Telok Pandan Kecil trail which takes one to a small beach, while the Telok Delima and Telok Paku trails are great for spotting wildlife. For a longer trek, consider the Lintang Loop that takes you to the varied habitats of Bako National Park.

Your Kayaking Adventure in Abu Dhabi – A Journey Through the Still Waters

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE is not only a commercial city known for its skyscrapers and oil exports but is also an active tourism destination offering an excitement-filled vacation to travellers all around the world. Kayaking has become a recent favourite among the many activities offered to visitors in Abu Dhabi and here are some of the top kayaking spots in the city to explore.

Photo by Hillebrand Steve, USFWS on Pixnio

 Kayaking in the Mangroves

A vacation at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort is a guaranteed pass to plunge into a range of water sports. Therefore, kayaking in the mangroves has become one of the most sought-after activities in Abu Dhabi for leisure and entertainment. Kayaking through the mangroves is a doorway to catch glimpses of migratory birds, rare animals, mammals and vibrant marine life.

 Private Adventures

Private kayaking adventures can often be organised by the resort, hotel or tour company by contacting a help desk. A tailored tour to glide your way into kayaking is perhaps the best method to explore the waters at your own pace. All private kayaking adventures will be guided by a professional who will allow tourists to move at a comfortable pace and offer advice on adventure goals and interests based on one’s experience level.

 Sir Bani Yas Island Kayaking

Sign up for some nature-based sightseeing in Sir Bani Yas Island as you kayak your way to aquatic pleasure. The waterways amid the thriving mangroves of Sir Bani Yas Island reconnect with the sea, offering breathtaking sights of rare creatures, and migratory birds, as well as a sneak, peek into the marine life along the way.

 Louvre Abu Dhabi

The routes, packages and tours that offer kayaking experiences to tourists are many. Louvre Abu Dhabi is not only a museum that represents the contemporary Arab world but also a hub of excitement for its visitors. The museum offers guests an opportunity to go kayaking around the museum in the stillness of the Arabian Sea. This unusual tour offers a new perspective of the museum as one circle around this marvellous structure.

Experiencing Yi Peng & Loy Krathong in Thailand

Two lantern festivals that are popular in Thailand, Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are truly spellbinding to witness and here’s more on what you need to know.

Loy Krathong

Lantern festival
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Takeaway, LK loy krathong yi peng san sai, CC BY-SA 3.0)

This is the name given to a water lantern festival in Thailand that falls on the full moon of the local lunar calendar’s 12th month, normally November. ‘Loy’ translates to ‘float’, while ‘krathong’ is in reference to a floating object or container. Thus, it’s no surprise that the key element of this event is the krathong which is traditionally made from the bark of a banana tree; on this small krathong, an incense stick or candle is placed, before being sent down a waterway, generally at night.

Making a Wish

Each person will launch one of these floating lanterns which can also contain food, flowers or garlands and at the same time make a wish in the hope it will be granted; some also consider it symbolic of sending their problems ‘floating’ away. As you would expect, the waterways throughout the country become places to see and join in the traditions of Loy Krathong. This not only includes cities like Bangkok, but destinations such as Koh Samui; 5-star hotels on the island including SAii Koh Samui Choengmon are within easy reach of sites such as Chaweng Lake, one of the places to experience this festival.

Yi Peng

An equally captivating and visually stunning festival, Yi Peng is more popular in Northern Thailand since it’s a traditional Lanna (ancient northern kingdom) festival. It takes place on the full moon of the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar; ‘yi’ translates to ‘two’ and ‘peng’ means ‘full moon day’. Interestingly, it coincides with the date of Loy Krathong so both festivals are celebrated on the same day; however, the key difference is that for Yi Peng, the lanterns float not on the water but up in the air!

A Magical Sight

On this day, people will gather in one place to release what are called ‘khom loi’ which are special lanterns with a flame that makes them float into the night sky against the backdrop of a full moon. By releasing the lanterns, one symbolically releases the misfortunes of the year, while some may write a wish on them believing it will come true. Chiang Mai is one of the best places to witness the stunning spectacle of Yi Peng with the Three Kings Monument being a prime spot. It’s celebrated at other locations and visitors can join too as well as enjoy parades and other cultural events.

  

 

 

 

Snorkeling in The Maldives

The Maldives is home to numerous water sports – and snorkelling and surfing are two of the most popular water sports around the year.

snorkeling maldives
snorkeling maldives | Image by Ric Taylor via flickr

Best time to snorkel

Snorkelling is a water sport that will allow you to explore the shallow waters in the sea, and this will enable you to swim with schools of colourful fish, turtles, and sometimes even stingrays. Whilst this is an activity you can do around the year, the best time to go snorkelling in the Maldives is from November to February.

Where to go snorkelling

Male is the most popular place to go snorkelling for locals, but you can also do this at other islands in different atolls. Addu atoll and Lhaviyani atoll are two of the best locations to snorkel when you are in the Maldives.

How to learn

World-class luxurious resorts like the OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, home to a host of Maldives Luxury Villas, have private beaches. If you are willing to learn, there are many schools that teach different water sports. There are shops where you can rent the necessary gear, so you do not have to worry about purchasing goggles and other items.

What to expect

Depending on where you are snorkelling, you can spot sting rays, manta rays, parrotfish, clownfish, blacktip reef sharks, Moorish idols, and a range of other fish.

 

Solo Travel in Singapore

Singapore is a multicultural city-state and a place where anyone from any part of the world can easily fit in, feeling right at home.

Basile MorinSkylines of the Central Business District, Singapore at duskCC BY-SA 4.0

Blend in with locals

One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t attract attention when travelling solo is to blend in with the locals. Observe the surroundings and watch how they eat, drink and even walk.

Be respectful

If you are staying at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore or even perhaps at a 1 bedroom serviced apartment in Singapore, there are going to be rules and regulations and even though you might not agree with them it is important to be respectful.

Chinatown

Chinatown is a must-visit location in Singapore especially when you are travelling alone. You will be able to spend time looking at things that interest you and even try out different types of food you find exciting. When in a group, you are not always able to stop and observe each and everything you see.

Little India

Little India is another exciting place to explore. You can not only shop for hours on end but also meet people, interact with them, and even learn new things.