Category Archives: Far East

Top Rated Natural Attractions in Indonesia

indonesia

Straddling the equator and flaunting a fabulous melange of traditions and modernity, Indonesia is truly a traveller’s delight. Blessed with the best of the Mother Nature, this fascinating tropical paradise has rich wildlife, incredible rainforests, magnificent corals, stunning beaches, volcanic mountains, and underwater caves. Read on to learn about some of the country’s most interesting natural attractions.

Raja Ampat Islands

Popularly known as ‘The Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape’, Raja Ampat is a famous Indonesian archipelago.  With a location between Pacific and Indian Ocean, the beautiful island is famous for its pristine beaches, intriguing caves, lush mangroves and hidden lagoons. With over 540 different types of corals, 1000 coral fishes, over 700 different types of molluscs, and mantra rays and epaulette sharks living near the coast, Raja Ampat is among the top diving and snorkelling destinations in the world.

Komodo National Park

Located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, Komodo National Park is home to over 5000 giant and endangered lizards and a variety of marine animals including blue whales, sperm whales, seahorses, manta rays and octopuses. Not surprisingly, scuba diving remains a popular activity among the visitors here. But the biggest attraction at the Komodo National Park is certainly watching the largest lizards stroll on the coast!

Mount Bromo

Spread across a massive 800 square kilometres, Mount Bromo is a striking, active volcano. Located in a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand’, this mountain is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java. You can visit the mountain from the nearby village of Cemoro Lawang. Thereon, you can walk to the volcano. It can take your around 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can opt for an organised jeep tour, which could include a few interesting stopovers.

Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Comprising three famous national parks namely Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra tops the list of most visited places on the island. Designated the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004, it is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, more than 200 mammal species, 580 bird species, and reptiles and amphibians. The critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran elephants and leatherback turtles are big hits with the tourists.

Tanjung Puting National Park

Established in 1982 and designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977, Tanjung Puting National Park is another popular attraction for nature lovers in Indonesia. Located on the coast of Java Sea, the park is known for being home to orangutans, clouded leopards, civets, cavort, darting kingfishers and regal hornbills, wild boars and sambar deer. Also, Tanjung Puting is home to different species of crocodiles, dozens of snakes, and frogs.

5 Top-rated Attractions in Krabi, Thailand

krabi

Blessed with over 150 islands and featuring a long and extensive coastline, pristine beaches, hidden corals and numerous mangroves, Krabi is a beautiful coastal paradise near the Andaman coast in Thailand. Here is a list of must see attractions in the resort town of Krabi.

Wat Tham Sua

Locally known as the ‘Tiger Caves’, Wat Tham Sua is one of the famous temples in Krabi. Situated close to the main town, the temple offers visitors a spiritual experience amidst the ocean waters and the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape. A total of around 1237 steps lead you to the temple. The ancient ‘footprint of Buddha’ is a major attraction here.

Koh Hong

Perfect for those mid week breaks and quick getaways, Koh Hong is group of tiny islands along the coast of Krabi. Featuring miles of soft pristine white sand beaches, corals and mangroves, the place is best to indulge in numerous water sports and adventure activities including kayaking, swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling. Also, hiking on the limestone mountains around the island is a must-do for the visitors. Several restaurants and shacks, serving a wide range of delicacies, can be spotted along the islands.

Railay Beaches & Caves

Popularly known as ‘Rai Leh’, Railay Beaches & Caves is a popular tourist attraction in the city. Nestled amidst numerous cliffs and rocks, these beautiful caves are ideal for the ones looking to spend some peaceful time on the beaches. The cliffs here are quite famous among rock climbers. Visitors can enjoy several amazing and interesting water sports and other adventure activities especially snorkelling. The aqua blue ocean water, white sands, limestone cliffs along with the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape make this attraction a huge hit with the couples.

Phi Phi Islands

Featuring beautiful tropical beaches, giant rock formations, stunning corals and numerous hidden mangroves, Phi Phi Islands are among the loveliest group of islands in South Asia. Located a few kilometres from Krabi, it is a paradise for those looking to experience the best of both sun and sun. Offering an authentic taste of the traditional cuisines and other delicacies are some amazing restaurants here.

Klong Thom Hot Springs

Therapeutic, soothing and relaxing, Klong Thom Hot Springs is among the top attractions that must be explored in Krabi. Ideally located under small canopies, these cascading waterfalls make for a perfect spot to relax and enjoy amidst natural surroundings. The flowing water here originates from the thermal springs and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Once you have finished enjoying the water, trek to the nearby hills and explore the rainforests.

A Look at Popular Museums and Art Galleries in Singapore

singapore

Singapore is teeming with museums and numerous independent art galleries. For those heading to the ‘Little Red Dot’ for their next holiday, here is a list of must visit museums and art galleries.

National Museum of Singapore

Also known as ‘Singapore History Museum’, National Museum of Singapore is one of the oldest, iconic structures in the city. Built in 1849, this Renaissance-styled structure is home to a wide collection of old books, photographs, negatives, stamps, images, paintings, sculptures and other artefacts dating back to the early 14th century. The portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham, the hearse of Tan Jiak Kim, a Peranakan coffin cover, William Farquhar’s drawings, and the portrait of Shenton Thomasver (the former governor of Singapore) are among the popular exhibits here.

ArtScience Museum

Opened to the public in 2011, ArtScience Museum is one of the recent additions to the growing list of museums in Singapore. Generally referred to as ‘The Welcoming Hand of Singapore’, this beautiful museum features works of prominent artists from across the world along with other ancient paintings and photographs. There are three different galleries at the museum – Curiosity, Inspiration and Expression. Numerous educational activities, guided tours, permanent and temporary exhibitions and animated series are held here.

Singapore Art Museum

Located in the heart of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum is one of the must visit attractions in the city. First opened in 1995, this grand structure is known for preserving some of the ancient works, sculptures and numerous other vital items. Sea-slab (Tight Bed) by Jeremy Sharma, White Elephant Expostulation by Tang Mun Kit, and Crowd of Bystanders by Zhou Xiaohu, Cloud Nine by Sakarin Krue-On and Paradise Danger Dancer by Jeremy Hiah are the among the museum’s most loved possessions.

Asian Civilisation Museum

With a focus on pan-Asian culture, Asian Civilization Museum was established in 1997 and preserves the cultural heritage of the continent through its numerous collectables and valuables. Fine Dehua porcelain figures, Taoist and Buddhistic statuary, works of calligraphy and other decorative art forms are among the popular exhibits here. The head of a Gandharan Bodhisattva, dating back to the 4th century and Bronze Age masks are the major draws at the museum.

National Gallery Singapore

Located in Downtown Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore is one of the largest museums in the city. Established in 2015, this contemporary gallery today features over 8000 artworks focussing and highlighting the cultural richness of the city. Works of prominent Singaporean artists like Georgette Chen, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang are key attractions here. Several international exhibitions, lectures, interactive sessions, and studio based workshops are held at regular intervals for those visiting the museum.

Best Loved Natural Attractions in Indonesia

Indonesia

From active volcanic mountains and cascading waterfalls to peaceful lakes, Indonesia is blessed with the best of Mother Nature. For those of you heading to this paradise of a holiday destination, here is a list of must visit natural attractions in Indonesia.

Gili Islands, Lombok

Located slightly off the coast of Lombok, Gili Islands is a famous archipelago comprising of three tiny islands. With miles and miles of stunning white sand beaches, aqua blue ocean water and attractive corals, this island is one of the best places to indulge in water sports and enjoy the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Snorkelling, swimming, surfing and diving are among the popular adventure activities here. Guided boat tours are available on demand. Offering a taste of authentic Indonesian cuisines on the island are popular restaurants and shacks.

Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

Generally referred to as ‘The Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape’, Raja Ampat is a traveller’s paradise. Comprising of over 1000 tiny islets off the coast of New Guinea, the popular island is home to beautiful beaches, attractive corals, hidden lagoons and spooky caves. You can enjoy numerous water sports and adventure activities here, including snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and surfing. Bird watching and dolphin spotting are most enjoyed here. Don’t forget to pick some interesting gifts and souvenirs from the nearby markets.

Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi

One of the best places to experience underwater marine life, Bunaken Marine Park is a must visit attraction in Indonesia. First established in 1991, this beautiful reserve today is home to over 39 species of corals, and different types of fishes, mollusc and reptiles. Diving and snorkelling are the best way to discover the underwater marine life. Guided submarine and boat tours are available as well.

Komodo National Park, Nusa Tenggara Timur

First established in 1980 for wildlife protection and preservation, Komodo National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Indonesia. Located right in the heart of the archipelago, the reserve is home to a wide range of komodo dragons along with numerous other animals and birds. Besides spotting these endangered dragons, you can enjoy numerous activities like kayaking, diving and trekking. Safari tours to the interiors of the park and guided island tours are also popular.

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.