Category Archives: Far East

5 Popular Attractions on Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands

Phuket

Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, an island group, is a perfect holiday destination for those looking for an idyllic beach side setting and terrific weather conditions. Nestled amidst Phuket Island and the Strait of Malacca, this beautiful island group is home to some of the most stunning beaches, attractive corals, traditional markets and other interesting attractions.

Phi Phi Market

Phi Phi Market is one of the most visited shopping spots on the island. Located in the tiny Tonsai Village, this market features a wide range of local and exotic products as well as fruits, veggies, seafood and items of daily use. Besides, you can buy readymade snacks like fried skewers and sautéed meat. It is a must visit for any tourist who wish to enjoy the charming atmosphere of the area and intermingle with the locals.

Maya Bay

Known for its stunning white beaches and hidden corals, Maya Bay is among the top attractions on the island. Owing to the exceptionally clear ocean water and low lying water current, this bay offers visitors a chance to indulge in several interesting water sports such as snorkelling, diving, surfing and swimming. A number of hotels, restaurants and shacks can also be found here. Guided boat tours and private cruises are available on demand as well.

Bamboo Island

Popularly known as ‘Koh Pai’ in Thai, Bamboo Island is a stunning tropical paradise much loved by the travellers. Shaped like a heart surrounded by pristine blue waters from all sides, this beautiful island has a stunning beach and shops, restaurants and attractive reefs. Snorkelling is particularly famous here. Boat tours and overnight trips to the surrounding islands are also available.

Viking Cave

Viking Cave is among the most notable attractions on Phi Phi Islands. Taking its name from sculptures and paintings of ancient sailors and warriors who took shelter in the cave at the time of storms, this interesting cave is a photographer’s delight and a traveller’s paradise. Boat rides, guided tours and private cruise tours are available for the ones willing to know more about the cave.

Moo Dee Bay

One of the most secluded beaches here on the Phi Phi Islands is the Moo Dee Bay. Due to its location, on the east coast of Koh Phi Phi Don, and low lying ocean current, the beach offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy different water adventures including snorkelling and scuba diving. A guided boat tour is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the beach and its surrounding landscape.

Four Reasons You Must Visit Singapore

singapore

Popularly known as ‘The Lion City’, Singapore is a beautiful fusion of culture and modernity. From beautiful temples to sky-high skyscrapers and old school shophouses to wooden markets, Singapore is a terrific travel destination that is loved all over the world. For those of you planning a holiday, here are four interesting reasons why you must visit this amazing city-state.

Melting pot of cultures

From weekly markets to annual festivals and traditional gatherings, Singapore is truly a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. With several different tribes and religious groups living here harmoniously, this beautiful city has some of the most fascinating cultural and religious emblems, such as temples, churches and monasteries. Music, food and language here are classic examples of constant interactions and exchanges that have been taking place here for long.

Nightlife

In the evenings, the city transforms into a lively and vivacious hub. Featuring an exciting range of nightclubs, bars, clubs and cafes, Singapore promises an incredible nightlife to all. For the ones willing to enjoy the beautiful skyline along with the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape, rooftop bars are the best places to be. While restaurants can be found scattered across the length and breadth of the city, beach bars primarily located on Sentosa Island are a must visit.

Cuisines and delicacies

Laksa, Satay, Char Kway Teow, Hookien Mee, Rojak, Bak kut Teh, Chilli Crab, Cury Puff and Ais Kacang are among the must try dishes in Singapore. Expectedly, the seafood here on this island is splendid. A true taste of Singaporean cuisine can be enjoyed at the popular Hawker Centre. From open air seating to river side restaurants to food stalls and street vendors, Singapore offers a wide variety of dining choices.

Art and design

Singapore is home to some wonderful art galleries and museums and regularly hosts large traditional fairs. Art Plural Gallery, Future Perfect, ARNDT Singapore, The Drawing Room and Barnadas Huang are among the most visited art galleries in the city. For the ones interested in knowing the history of the city, the National Museum of Singapore is the place to be.

5 Unusual But Interesting Attractions in Bangkok

Bangkok is home to some of the kookiest, craziest and out rightly bizarre attractions. Take a look!

Attractions in Bangkok

Human Body Museum

It could get a little weird but the Human Body Museum is one of the most interesting sites in the city. Located in the tiny town of Siam Square, this museum is famous for its permanent exhibitions and numerous informative workshops. The exhibition of 14 dissected human bodies, 16 standing human skeletons and over 130 parts are major attractions here. Not for the faint hearted though.

Erawan Museum

A classic example of traditional architecture, Erawan Museum is less unusual and more unknown. Constructed over a period of 10 years, the museum is famous for its giant three headed elephant art display. There are three storeys within the complex and each one contains a wide range of collectables, antiques and religious objects belonging to Khun Lek Viriyapant (ancient ruler of Bangkok).

Wat Pariwat

A temple dedicated to footballer David Beckham, Wat Pariwat is one of the most interesting places to visit in Bangkok! Constructed in 1998 by an avid football fan, it is known for featuring several statues, paintings, photographs and sculptures of the English footballer. While the temple is popular among tourists, most locals especially football enthusiasts visit here to seek blessings from the Beckham before their matches and trials!

Forensic Museum

Popularly known as the ‘Museum of Death’, Forensic Museum is one of the creepiest yet fascinating attractions in Bangkok. Located on the west bank of Chao Phraya River, the sinister exhibition is for travellers looking for something really unusual. From preserved babies affected by genetic disorders to long tape worms and a massive human testicle affected by elephantiasis, the exhibits here are surely something else.

Sathorn Unique Tower

Sathorn Unique Tower is an unfinished skyscraper in Bangkok. It was planned a high-rise complex but the construction was halted in 1997 due to financial reasons. It never got built and now enjoys the reputation of a haunted incomplete building. The views from the top, however, are incredibly wonderful.

 

Five popular floating markets in and around Bangkok

bangkok

Offering a glimpse into the local way of life, floating markets in Bangkok are a major tourist attraction.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak is the most famous floating market in Thailand. Located a few kilometres from Bangkok, this popular bazaar is known for selling a wide range of items and eatables including tropical fruits, flowers, decorative and items of daily use. A few vendors in the market sell antique jewellery and other accessories. Female traders, dressed in traditional attire with wide brimmed straw hats and selling goods on wooden boats, is the most common sight here! For a perfect shopping experience, hire a long tail boat to enjoy and explore the market at its best.

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Preserving its classic old world charm, Khlong Lat Mayom is another popular floating market in Bangkok. To be precise, the place is more of a riverside market but this beautiful marketplace is a must visit attraction for food lovers and shopaholics. Among the items sold here, antique jewellery, locally made homeware, handicrafts, postcards, accessories, toys and souvenirs are the most popular ones. Noodle soups, Pad Thai, Kanom Jeen (cold rice vermicelli), Hoi Tod (oyster omelette) and dry meat are among the must try delicacies here. While you are here, don’t forget to enjoy the famous Thai-style marzipan sweets.  An early morning boat tour takes you around the market and the nearby restaurants and canals.  The market operates only on weekends and on public holidays.

Taling Chan Floating Market

One of the most crowded markets in the city, Taling Chan is spread out on the outskirts of Bangkok. Featuring several food stalls and numerous shops selling a wide range of products, this market is a must visit tourist attraction. Prawns on small barbecues, blue crabs, fish, the famous Som Tum (green papaya salad) and the old-fashioned meat-on-a-stick are among the poplar delicacies served here. A few Thai spa shops can also be spotted here.

Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market

A relatively small market, Bang Nam Pheung is located in the eastern part of Bangkok. Operating for most part of the day, this market has several tiny shops selling a wide range of locally made products including jute mats, accessories, dresses and decorative items. Several shacks, serving an interesting range of authentic cuisines and delicacies prepared using natural herbs and spices, can be spotted here. Hoi Tod (oyster omelette), dry fish and different types of noodles can be enjoyed here.

Amphawa Floating Market

Around 50 kilometres from Bangkok, Amphawa is best known for selling a wide range of products and goods at reasonable prices. For food lovers, grilled seafood prepared using authentic flavours and served on wooden boats is a major draw. Numerous gift and souvenir shops can also be found on either side of Mae Klong River.

Free and Fun-Packed Things to Do in Singapore

singapore

Singapore is a wonderland with plenty to do for adventure buffs. And much to the delight of budget holiday makers, some of these activities are absolutely free.

Enjoy an open-air movie experience

Enjoy a fantastic open-air movie experience with drinks, snacks and popcorn. Families and couples will love to spend time together watching their favourite films under the spectacular starry sky. For instance, MovieMob – an outdoor movie company – holds film screenings at different locations every fortnight thereby encouraging viewers to explore the spots. The viewers can either watch the movie from their cars or simply sit on the canvas sheet provided to them.
Tip: Reach the site early as the space is limited.

Enjoy a walking tour

A walking tour is one of the best ways to observe and absorb the native elements of a foreign land. You get to interact with the inhabitants who are willing to share their stories with others. Such walking tours are organised by different agents and comprise famous places and points, revealing facts and information that’ll interest and excite you. Few of them are linked with free downloadable mobile app guides with maps, photos and elaborate descriptions. If you are more interested in delectable cuisines, opt for the food tours.

Take part in the colourful festivals

Singapore hosts numerous festivals that celebrate customs, traditions and beliefs of the land. The popular festivals celebrated here are Singapore Arts Festival, Chinese New Year, Hungry Ghost Festival, Deepavali, Thaipusam etc. Events and festivals are celebrated in the city throughout the year, so no matter what time you choose to land in Singapore, you will have something to cheer about!

Fly a kite with kids at the Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage’s well-maintained Green Roof, a recreational area measuring nearly four football fields, is an ideal spot for the kite flyers. The gusty winds and the gorgeous backdrop inspire people to try their hands at this famous sport. On most days, you will be able to spot kites of all shapes and sizes. Barrage Cove, a shop on the ground floor, sells a range of kites. Line, reel, solar powered hats can also be purchased from here.

4 Interesting Tourist Attractions in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok-Thailand

Popularly known as the ‘City of Angels’, Bangkok is one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world. A former trading port, the beautiful city is home to ancient temples, traditional markets and other attractions. Here is a list on some of the must-visits in the city.

Weekend Markets

Shopping in Bangkok can be a unique experience. Although there are several malls in Bangkok, the traditional weekend markets offer a completely different shopping experience to the visitors. These markets offer a large collection of merchandise, items of daily use, accessories etc. Chatuchak Market, Pak Klong Talat, Klongsan Plaza Market and Klong Toey Market are the busiest weekend markets in the city. Also, there are several restaurants, food stalls and eateries around these markets, offering guests an authentic Thai culinary experience.

Floating Markets

Floating-Markets

Boats piled with fruits and vegetables and other daily essentials is a common sight in Bangkok! For someone visiting the city for the first time, the floating market is a major attraction. Boats are well decorated and divided into small sections and sub sections displaying a wide variety of items, fruits and vegetables and daily essentials. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Amphawa Floating Market are two of the most famous floating markets in the city.

Chinatown

Chinatown is a prominent tourist attraction that’s extremely popular with food lovers, shopaholics and photographers. Packed with numerous shops, stalls, restaurants and small eateries, Chinatown surely warrants a visit from every tourist in Bangkok and for someone who is interested in antiques and gold, this place is a must visit. Several famous Bangkok temples are located close to Chinatown.

Bangkok Corrections Museum

A former security prison, built in 1890, Bangkok Correction Museum remains a popular yet creepy tourist attraction in the city. Located on the Maha Chai Road, the structure is home to several ancient relics. On the 1st floor of the museum you will find a number of life-sized wax figures, and swords and other objects used by the jail masters. The quarters where prisoners would have their last meal and the execution chamber are among the most visited areas of the museum. Weapons used in the old penal system especially man-sized rattan ball are displayed here.

5 Reasons You Should Visit Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Comprising of over 1500 small islands, cays, and shoals, Raja Ampat is a popular Indonesian archipelago.

Indonesia

Often considered one of the best reef areas in the world, the isle is known for its pristine beaches, attractive corals, intriguing caves and beautiful hidden lagoons. Here are top five reasons why you should visit the beautiful Raja Ampat.

Beaches

Featuring miles and miles of beautiful golden-yellow sand, it is the beaches and tiny islets that promise a terrific time to the tourists. Corals and lagoons definitely add to the beauty of the island. There are several small shacks and eateries that serve a range of sumptuous delicacies to guests. Few nestaway and wooden guesthouses are available as well.

Snorkelling

Nestled amidst the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, Raja Ampat is one of the best destinations to enjoy the wondrous marine lifestyle. As the waves and ocean currents off the coast of West Papua are low, conditions here are favourable for snorkelling and underwater diving. There are special diving schools and dedicated instructors who train tourists. Apart from exploring the underwater aquatic animals, visitors here enjoy swimming and other adventure activities.

Nature

Staying in those tiny wooden huts, and waking up to the sound of the waves and the early morning musical melody created by the birds is an experience of a lifetime. Spending some time away from the glitz and glamour of the city, under nature’s ambit is something much loved by the visitors. There are not many fancy restaurants on the island, but there are several small shacks and cafes serving authentic cuisines prepared by the natives.

Welcoming locals

Although a little secluded, Raja Ampat is one of the most welcoming islands in the Indian Ocean. Featuring a long history of tribal invasion, it is home to some of the oldest aboriginal communities and native population. Festivals and celebrations in the remote villages of Arborek and Sawingrai offer an insight into the popular traditions and customs of the islands.

Souvenirs

Since there are no big gift shops here, seashells, pebbles and sometimes pearls are among the valuable collectables on the island. Available in different colours, shapes and sizes, seashells remain the top choice of many tourists. When the ocean current and waves are high, white pearls can sometimes be seen scattered on the beaches. If nothing is available, click some beautiful pictures of the island and the surrounding landscape for your friends, family and yourself!

5 Most Popular Chinese Temples in George Town, Penang

penang

George Town is one of the most beautiful cities in Penang, Malaysia. Home to a large Chinese community, the city has some of the oldest Chinese temples on the island. Read on to know more.

Wat Chayamangkalaram

A popular Thai Buddhist temple in George Town, Wat Chayamangkalaram is a must visit attraction in the city. Built in 1845, the structure holds the famous reclining statue of the Buddha. Along with the 108 ft long statue of the Buddha there are several other smaller shrines and sculptures dating back to the early Buddhist period. The colourful dragons (Chinese cultural symbol) and the beautiful pagodas around the temple make it even more visually appealing.

Khoo Kongsi Temple

Known for its beautiful architecture and modern design, Khoo Kongsi was built in 1851 by a group of Chinese traders. Today, it is a UNSECO World Heritage. The main entrance of the temple is decorated with gold plated pagodas and other sculptures and paintings depicting important instances from the life of Buddha. The 36 divine guardian-statues next to the main shrine is a famous attraction at the temple. A traditional feast is held during the Chinese festivals for all visitors.

Dhammikarama Burmese Temple

Located on Burmah Lane, Dhammikarama Burmese Temple is the first kyaung (Burmese monastery temple) in the city. Built in 1803, by Chinese pilgrims, it is home to ancient relics and items dating back to the beginning of Buddhism in Malaysia. The wishing pond and the standing statue of Buddha are among the major attractions here. Chanting sessions are held regularly within the temple complex.  During Wesak Day and Thankyan festivals the temple is packed with devotees.

Kong Hock Keong Temple

Built in early 1880 by Chinese settlers, Kong Hock Keong Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in George Town. Dedicated to Goddess Guanyin, the temple features several statues of Buddha along with numerous other idols, paintings and sculptures. The beautifully carved entrance gateway and the courtyard leading to the main shrine add to the elegance of the temple.

Hainan Temple

Dedicated to the Sea Goddess, Hainan Temple is one of the most visited temples in George Town. Built around 1866, by members of the Hainanese community (one of the oldest Chinese communities), the temple complex is home to ancient Buddhist sculptures, paintings and objects. Daily chanting sessions and meditation classes are organised at the temple premises.

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit George Town, Penang

A colourful, multicultural city located in the Malaysian island of Penang, George Town is one amazing holiday destination.

penang

A former Malacca trading hub, the town today is the capital of Penang and is popularly known for its British Colonial buildings and other architectural wonders. For those of you heading to Malaysia, here are five reasons why you should visit the beautiful George Town.

Architectural gems

Named after the King George III, the city is known for its fine colonial architecture. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is home to several tall and beautiful buildings. Most structures here are as old as over 100 years. Penang Museum, Fort Cornwallis, The Old Town Hall and Saint George’s Anglican Church are among the popular architectural attractions in the city.

Unique Chinese temples

With a large Chinese community, George Town boasts the best and the oldest Chinese temples on the island. Featuring terrific architecture and design, these temples are a must visit in the city. Built during the beginning of Buddhism and Chinese Taoism, most temples here preserve elements of history and elements related to Buddhism and its practices. Khoo Kongsi is one of the oldest and the most beautifully carved of all Chinese temples in George Town. Yap Kongsi, Teochew Temple and Khoo Kongsi Temple are among other popular temples in the city.

Heaven for food lovers

The delicious Indian curries, traditional Malay delicacies and the authentic Chinese cuisine make George Town a heaven for food lovers. There are numerous restaurants and cafes in and around the city that serve a wide range of cuisines and delicacies prepared with real spices and herbs. During cultural festivals, markets are packed with stalls and shops serving mouth-watering local delicacies.

Street art

Apart from the beautiful temples, great food, and architectural marvels, it is the town’s street art that appeals most to the visitors. Images and depictions from ancient historical texts are painted on walls across the town.  While most of these paintings are drawn by the locals, few of them are prominent works by famous artists like Natthapon Muangkliang, Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang. A bicycle ride around the town is the perfect way to enjoy this street art.

Fantastic mix of cultures

George Town is home to people of different ethnicities, such as the Chinese, Malays and Indians. It makes this town one of the most vibrant ones in Malaysia. Festivals and events are great times to take a peek into the region’s rich cultures and traditions.

Shop till You Drop! Five Popular Markets in Penang, Malaysia

penang

Also known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Penang is a beautiful island state off the northwest coast of Malaysia. Featuring a wide coastline and beautiful landscape, the city is a world renowned holiday destination. While most people visit Malaysia for its beaches and nightlife, few others like to enjoy and explore the colourful markets and bazaars in Penang. Take a look at some of them.

Little Penang Street Market

Open only on the last Sunday of every month, Little Penang Street Market is a famous flea market in Penang. Often referred to as a shopper’s paradise, the market is flooded with goods and antique items from the country and beyond. Homemade jewellery, dolls, pottery and painted tiles are among the popular items available here. Art works of prominent visual artists are also put to display at some of the shops. Interestingly, there are music and dance performances throughout the day. Food lovers can enjoy a sumptuous range of authentic cuisines and delicacies at the nearby restaurants and bars. Furthermore, there are designated spots here for hourly book reading and interactions.

Lorong Kulit Flea Market

Lorong Kulit Flea Market was established in 1992 and offers a wide range of electronic goods and items at terrific prices. Along with electronics, you can buy watches, shoes, used goods, antique items and other knick-knacks. On weekends the market is usually flooded with tourists and locals, so you may want to avoid the place if you are not too fond of big crowds. Most of the items sold here are available in limited quantities, so it makes sense to reach early and grab the best deal.

Pasar Chowrasta

Pasar Chowrasta is a well stocked marketplace in Penang and one of the best places to buy groceries, fish, meat etc. Besides groceries, the market is stacked with Indian spices, Chinese goods and other products like dry fruits, and cheap clothing and fashion accessories. There are several bookstores as well as old shops selling paintings and furniture. Interestingly, several shops and stalls here are over 100 years old.

Macallum Street Night Market

Operating every Monday from 7 am to 11 pm, Macallum Street Night Market is a remarkable night market in Penang. Having earned the reputation of offering some of the cheapest products and goods in the region, the market sells clothes, fashion accessories, homeware, decoratives, bamboo table mats and several other items of daily use. A few stalls and shops even offer electronic items at dirt cheap prices.

Batu Ferringhi Night Market

With an extensive range of items and goods on sale, Batu Ferringhi Night Market is one of the finest road markets in Penang. There are a total of over 100 stalls selling a range of classic and beautiful handicrafts and antique goods. Home ware and decorative items like lacquer plates, embroidered pillow cases and bejewelled accessories are sold here. The market is open from dawn to dusk.