Category Archives: General

Grab a Souvenir at These Top Places in Amman, Jordan

Jordan’s rich heritage and culture can be traced at several markets spread across the capital city of Amman. These markets, apart from being windows into the local life, also are excellent places to take home some souvenirs. Here are our top five:

Al Afghani Bazaar

Al-Afghani-Bazaar

How often do you come across souvenir shops with almost 150 years of history stacked along with precious trinkets? At Al Afghani Bazaar in Amman, you will find valuable insights into the culture of the country vis-à-vis clothing, ceramics, jewellery, lamps, beauty products and several other shopping delights.

Wild Jordan Centre

For a unique shopping experience, head to Wild Jordan Centre, containing nine nature shops; set to support the communities from Jordan’s eight natural reserves.

shopping

You can purchase crafts and jewellery items, local herbs, as well as locally-produced jams as souvenirs while also contributing to sustainable development of the natives of these reserves. Once you have shopped to your heart’s content, grab a coffee at the Wild Jordan Centre’s renowned cafe that overlooks the entire city.

Al Balad

Visit Al Balad or the Downtown for a typical flea market experience, bringing you closer to the city and its natives. A wide array of shops is lined here, selling everything from clothing, accessories, intricate jewellery, herbs, and various edibles. Bargaining is the norm here, with some places selling the item for half the price they initially quoted.

Soap House Trinitae

A beautiful old villa and its garden, located up an alley at the bottom of the Rainbow Street, set the tone for a great experience. As you enter, the heady scent of local herbs, fruits and essential oils tell you that you’ve found the right address. Welcome to the Soap House Trinitae, where you can find some of the best organic soaps and skincare products in the city. These products make for excellent souvenirs, capturing the essence of Jordan in their dizzying scents.

Souk Jara

One of the most exciting places in the city to shop or to just be at is the Souk Jara market, lying right next to the Rainbow Street. Amongst the items available for sale here are handicrafts, antiques, crafts, food, clothing, art and traditional products from around the country. The market, however, is seasonal, available only from mid-November to early March between 10PM-2AM.  It is also one of the few markets in the city where you might also catch a film screening, a concert or an impromptu cultural performance.

Belize in Central America Has Many Wonders to Explore

Belize, a country surrounded by Central America’s dense jungles on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, is one of the most beautiful and mysterious holiday destinations in the world. Be it one of the world’s most enigmatic civilizations – the ancient Maya, the second largest barrier reef in the world or a vast network of wildlife sanctuaries, Belize has it all for a traveller looking to experience the best of Central America.

Here are some of the top wonders of Belize one must explore:

San Ignacio Town

San-Ignacio

Situated close to the country’s famous Mayan ruins and known for its vivaciousness, San Ignacio Town is a diverse and beautiful town offering exciting holiday experiences for visitors. There’s a lot to explore here, ranging from pristine rivers and stunning archaeological sites to a bustling market and an adventure hub. For outdoor adventure, you have many options including hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, bird-watching and caving. Besides, visitors would are pleased to discover an amazing dining and nightlife scene here.

Ambergris Caye

The largest island of Belize, Ambergris Caye is a delightful haven for beach enthusiasts from different parts of the world. It is home to classic beaches, world-class accommodations and incredible dining, crafting a beautiful Caribbean holiday. The Belize Barrier Reef, on the east side of Ambergris Caye, is the major draw of the island. With a low-key and laid-back vibe, Ambergris Caye ensures visitors have a perfectly relaxing time. Adventure seekers can indulge in several water sports such as scuba-diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling and sail boating here.

Placencia

Once a sleepy fishing village, Placencia is a long, narrow peninsula of white, sandy beaches. Comprising three villages of Maya Beach, Seine Bight and Placencia Village, it appeals to a large number of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts from all around. Visitors would love to take a long walk along a paved pedestrian path called “The Sidewalk” and discover many shops, restaurants and bars here. Moreover, adventure seekers can indulge in many thrilling activities including kayaking and canoeing, and look forward to spotting wildlife such as crocodiles, dolphins, manatees and birds.

Hopkins

Situated on the coast of Stann Creek District in Belize, Hopkins is a beautiful coastal town reflecting Garifuna culture at every turn. The town draws attention with its picturesque location amidst Maya mountains, the Cockscomb Range Inland and the Caribbean Sea. The people here are warm and welcoming. A majority of visitors head to the country to be part of the Garifuna Settlement day, an annual event marking the arrival of the first Garifuna in 1832. Besides, farming, fishing, hiking and snorkelling are some thrilling activities visitors can undertake.

Caye Caulker

Quite popular among backpackers for its laid-back vibe, Caye Caulker is a small and beautiful island situated off the coast of Belize.

Belize-Caye-Caulker

The island has a completely casual atmosphere ideal for a relaxing holiday in Belize, and offers several exciting snorkelling and diving opportunities at the Belize Barrier Reef that are appealing to adventure enthusiasts visiting the country. Here, one cannot miss wonderful experiences such as diving into the Blue Hole, grooving to Reggae Music and chilling at the Split.

Top Natural Wonders to Discover in Namibia

Namibia is a terrific travel destination in Southwest Africa that promises a true wild African holiday experience. Bordering South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and the Atlantic Ocean, it is a true haven for nature and adventure enthusiasts seeking a peaceful yet thrilling vacation.

Namib Desert

Stretching for over 2,000 kilometres along the Atlantic coast of the country, Namib Desert is the heart of Namibia, often referred to as the world’s oldest desert. The red sand dunes reach great

Namib Desertheights and are a treat to discover. Covering the entire western section of the country and spreading beyond its borders, the desert calls for many thrilling experiences. You can spot an array of plants and animals that can be found nowhere else in the world!

Sossusvlei

Lying in the southern part of Namib Desert, Sossusvlei is a large salt flat and dry lake bed surrounded by tall red sand dunes. What makes this place more inviting is its colour changing nature during sunrise and sunset, presenting picturesque vistas all throughout the day and evening! Tsauchab River, flowing through the desert, is another major draw of this place. Head to this retreat to revel in the charm of the landscape and its ever-changing colour!

Swakopmund

A haven for beach lovers, Swakopmund is a city in Namibia with several sandy beaches overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Besides beaches, the city invites visitors with a wonderful range of German colonial buildings. While it is an exciting tourist destination for nature and

Swakopmundarchitecture lovers, activities like sand boarding, horse riding and quad biking make it a paradise for adventure enthusiasts as well. Visitors can also opt for dolphin cruises for a memorable experience.

Etosha National Park

Lying on the Etosha salt pan in north-western part of the country, Etosha National Park is an ideal wildlife retreat with a diverse landscape. There are guaranteed game sightings in the reserve and visitors get a chance to spot elephant, leopard, lion, black and white rhino, cheetah,

Etosha National Parkbrown and spotted hyena, caracal, zebra and antelope. Besides, you can have an ideal camping experience at the rest camps in the park that are well provided with accommodation, viewing decks and restaurants.

Fish River Canyon

Located in the far south of the country, Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa visited by a large number of tourists all throughout the year. With the length of 160km, width of 27km

Fish River Canyonand depth of around 550 metres, the canyon is wonderful treat for the sore eyes. You can discover around 1.5 billion years of geological history while hiking up to the canyon that requires almost five days to get to the top.

 

 

 

Discover the Many Natural Wonders of Botswana

Botswana is one of the best places on the planet to spot wildlife! This land-locked African country flaunts diverse landscapes and exciting wildlife experiences, promising visitors a holiday of a lifetime. Read on to know more about the country’s most popular natural wonders.

Wildlife

Chobe National Park

One of the largest and most biologically diverse parks in Botswana, Chobe National Park is a place where you can have an ideal day out with your family and friends. There are four different and distinct ecological regions in the park. Home to 50,000 elephants, one of the highest concentrations in Africa, Chobe National Park is best explored on a full one-day safari.

Okavango Delta

A large inland river delta, Okavango Delta draws attention with its islands, sparkling lagoons and meandering channels. This unique wetland is situated in the heart of the Kalahari Desert and owes its existence to the Okavango River. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and appeals to nature lovers from across the globe. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot lions, leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs here.

Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Dedicated to the protection of the endangered rhinos, Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a wildlife haven in eastern Botswana. The conservancy extends across 4,300 hectares and is home to 30 white rhinos and 2 black rhinos. Besides, you can spot zebra, eland, springbok, giraffe, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, cheetah, brown hyena, leopard and the wild dog at the sanctuary.

Moremi Game Reserve

Situated in the northern part of Botswana, Moremi Game Reserve is the only protected part of the Okavango Delta. This wildlife and nature conservation area has been voted best game reserve in Africa in 2008 and is visited by a large number of tourists every year. It is a bird watchers’ paradise with approximately 500 species of birds spotted here; and you can also spot predators like lion, leopard, hyaena, cheetah, jackal and wild dog.

Makgadikgadi Pan

One of the world’s largest salt flats, Makgadikgadi Pan lies in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana. The salt pan is situated in the south-west of the Okavango Delta and is surrounded by the Kalahari Desert. It transforms into stunning grass-plains during the rainy season. Kubu Island is one of the key attractions here, while Jacks Camp and San Camp are two permanent tented lodging options here.

What All You Can Do in Cambodia on a Family Holiday!

family-holiday

Surrounded by Vietnam to the east, Laos to the north and Thailand to the northwest, Cambodia remains a terrific travel destination that promises a magical blend of adventure and serenity. From remarkable landscapes, world-famous temples and imperial colonial towns to tropical beaches, rural villages and striking wildlife sanctuaries, there’s a lot in store for families wishing to explore and experience something truly remarkable.

Visit Tonle Sap and its surrounding floating temples

The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap is a serene spot where you can explore different natural attractions. Home to Vietnamese and Cham communities residing in the many floating villages in the surrounding, the lake is a lively place reflecting the local culture of Cambodia and is one of the world’s richest fishing grounds. Mechrey Floating Village, Krakor Floating Village, Kompong Khleang Floating Village and Phnom Kong Rei are some of the finest floating villages to explore here.

Discover thrill at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Park

Just an hour away from Phnom Penh, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Park is an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts. The largest zoo in Cambodia, it is home to more than 1200 rescued animals including endangered Asian elephants, tigers, Siamese crocodile, Pileated gibbon and Malayan sun bears. Have a great time interacting with the animals and feeding them! Besides, you can relax on the hammocks and have a delicious Cambodian-style lunch to make your family outing more memorable.

Go Ox cart riding in Siem Reap

Visit Kompheim Village, a 25-minute drive away from Siem Reap, and hop aboard an ox cart with your kids and ride through the village, palm trees, rice paddy fields and smiling locals. You can make the most of this ride by also indulging in various activities such as rice planting, harvesting crops and weaving thatch roofs. Living the life of locals for a day at Kompheim Village will leave you admiring the authentic Cambodia and its culture.

Enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River

One of the largest rivers in Asia, Mekong River flows through different countries such as China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. A cruise on the river presents a tapestry of colour and culture, and is a luxurious experience for travellers visiting Cambodia. You would love crossing country borders on the cruise and witnessing the river banks coming to life.

Explore Cambodia’s history at Bokor Hill Station

Built as a French retreat away from Phnom Penh, Bokor Hill Station is a beautiful spot to relax with your family while experiencing the history of Cambodia. Lying at a height of 3438 feet, it is an ideal place to escape the heat and take delight in the true beauty of nature. Here you can experience a colourful Cambodian culture and discover different beautiful beaches, glittering bays, stunning landscapes and colonial structures. Sampov Pram Pagoda, Bokor Church, Phnom Bokor and Preah Monivong National Park are some of the major attractions to explore here.

Experience Rich Goan Culture and History!

goa

Best known for its beaches and exciting nightlife, Goa also boasts a colourful blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, appealing to travellers from different parts of the globe. If you are holidaying in Goa and have a keen interest in history, you must explore these incredible attractions:

Cross of Basilica Bom JesusCross-of-Basilica-Bom-Jesus

An impressive place to discover the rich culture and heritage of Goa, Cross of Basilica Bom Jesus holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Lying in Old Goa, which used to be the capital of Goa in the initial days of Portuguese rule, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only un-plastered church in Old Goa, and here, you can enjoy the simplicity and elegance of a fine Jesuit architecture and learn about the rich Portuguese culture.

Pandava Caves

Also known as Arvalem Caves, the Pandava Caves are situated in the Bicholim town of North Goa. These 6th century ancient rock cut caves are known to be the refuge of the five Pandavas from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The architecture of the caves reflects the pattern of Buddhist cave style. Most of the tourists visit here to explore the five compartments and Shivlingas in the complex. There is a huge Buddhist statue in the proximity that grabs the attention of the visitors as well.

St. Augustine Tower

A 46-metre high landmark in Old Goa, St. Augustine Tower is a church complex that was completed in 1602. One of the four towers of St. Augustine Church and served as a belfry, it is a wonderful historical attraction in Goa no enthusiast should miss. You would love to spend a day here exploring the ruins of eight chapels, four altars and wide convent with numerous cells.

Goa State Museum

With an eclectic collection of exhibits tracing aspects of Goan history, Goa State Museum presents a rich historical and cultural heritage drawing attention of visitors from all around the world. Also known as the State Archaeology Museum, it has different departments including Art and Craft, Ancient History and Archaeology, and Geology, and appeals to all. The museum was established in 1977 and is an ideal place to learn about the Goan culture, traditions and society.

Fort Aguada

Overlooking Sinquerim Beach and the Arabian Sea, Fort Aguada is situated atop a hill around the mouth of the river Mandovi. It is one of the largest well-preserved forts in the region. Reflecting the glory of the Portuguese empire, the fort stands near an equally imposing 4 storey Portuguese lighthouse. A part of the fort was once a Central Jail.

Visit these Souks in Morocco for a Memorable Shopping Experience

Morocco, along with other things, has a colourful and vivacious shopping scene that’s sure to impress bargain hunters! Even if you are not big on shopping, exploring the busy souks is a nice way to unravel the country’s rich culture. Check out some of the country’s most wonderful traditional markets.

Souk el Had

Souk-el-Had

The biggest souk in Moroccan city of Agadir, Souk el Had is a bustling shopping spot, welcoming visitors for a memorable shopping experience amidst its traditional Arabian aura. From furniture, fashion and crafts to olives, spices and household equipment, the market has everything to offer to the visitors. There are a number of craft shops here, selling interesting souvenirs, and several food stalls to try scrumptious local delicacies.

Carpet Souk

Carpet-Souk

If you love collecting rugs and carpets in unique traditional designs, this is the place to be in a country that many refer to as carpet heaven! You will come across many unique designs here at the Carpet Souk, Marrakesh. If haggling is one of your skills, you might get away with a top quality rug at extremely low prices. Along with some shopping, try glasses of sweet mint tea and local dishes; you will love it!

Souk el Arbaa

Souk-el-Arbaa

Souk el Arbaa, in Kénitra Province, is a lively Wednesday Market promising a terrific time to everyone identifying themselves as a ‘shopping lover’! It is one of the most popular souks in the country that witnesses huge crowds – a mix of locals and tourists – every week. Every Wednesday, the area brims with stalls and hawkers, selling all sorts of stuff. It is a nice place to buy a colourful souvenir for your friends and family back home.

Souk el Tieta

The best Berber souk in the region, Souk el Tieta is a weekly market where thousands of craftsmen, farmers and other vendors sell their products. Every Tuesday in the evening, the place brightens up with acrobats, street vendors, storytellers and musicians all coming together here, promising a unique experience to all those present.

What Agadir, Morocco’s Laid Back Town, Has in Store for Visitors

A premier spot in Morocco for sun, sand and beachfront fun, Agadir operates at a languid place, providing a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, Agadir holds lure for both laid-back visitors who just want to hit the beach as well as history connoisseurs in search for gems from the city’s past.

Morocco

Here are top Agadir attractions for those looking to visit this lesser known city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast:

La Médina d’Agadir

For an insight into local art, architecture, history and way of living, spend a day at La Médina d’Agadir, constituted by state-of-the-art buildings and a museum. The area was visualised and brought to life by Moroccan born, Italian architect, Coco Polizzi who wanted to reshape the previously lost Medina to devastating earthquake. The medina today is spread over 13-acres and features a living ethnological museum, bazaar and art workshops. The area is used by local craftsmen including painters and jewellers to create and showcase their art and talent. There’s an amphitheatre here as well where cultural performances can be enjoyed from time-to-time.

Kasbah

Lying atop a hill, the Kasbah referring to set of fortifications is an excellent example of medieval Arabic architecture. Built in 1541 and restored in 1740s, Kasbah is a brilliant reflection of the life of its dwellers, around 300 at one time. Though only the outer wall remains, the inscription on the entry – Believe in God and respect the King- is revealing of local beliefs and culture. The hike to the Kasbah is one of the best adventures you can undertake in Agadir and the journey rewards by offering mesmerising views of the city from the top.

Agadir Beach

Life in Agadir revolves around the pristine six mile long beach where sunseekers come to lounge, especially around the winter months. The crescent-shaped beach is one of the widest in country and hosts a number of luxurious hotels and resorts. Water adventures are readily available with surfing taking the top spot amongst the preferred activities. Some of the top surf spots here are Devil’s rock, Imsouane bay and Ankhor point.

Souk al-Had

Souk al-Had is the city’s preferred spot for the shopping of spices, olives, honey and dates, furniture and fabrics, crafts, fashion, household equipment and tools and a lot more. One of the biggest souks in Morocco, Souk al-Had can be visited for great bargains as well as to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional Arabic market. Stop by food stalls and taste sumptuous local cuisine or shop for a souvenir at one of the many craft shops – no matter what you do, you are guaranteed a memorable time here.

Le Musée de l’Argan

Often mistaken for museum, Le Musée de l’Argan, in fact, is a traditional ‘hammam’ offering rejuvenating massages as well as body scrubs and other treatments. The use of Argan oil dominates most wellness treatments offered at Le Musée de l’Argan and visitors are left feeling relaxed to bones.

6 Souvenirs to Take Back Home from Morocco

A visit to Morocco is an experience of a lifetime! Be it Tangier in the north, Casablanca in the centre or Marrakesh in the south, there is a lot to explore and take delight here in the country, amidst long beaches, high mountains and sweeping deserts.

Morocco

Morocco is rather famous for offering tourists a wide range of traditional souvenirs, be it the hand-made pottery or colourful lanterns. Read on and find out about some of the most amazing souvenirs that you can buy during your visit to Morocco.

Djellabas

Djelleba is a Moroccan dress for both men and women that can easily be bought in different parts of the country. It is an attractive, long, loose-fitting outer robe which originated in Morocco and is majorly worn in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Djellabas usually come in a wide range of material, colours and patterns for both men and women. Locals choose to wear them in neutral colours such as such as black, grey or olive.

Pottery

Moroccan art is influenced by a variety of cultures which is reflected, among other things, through its souvenirs including pottery. Covered with complex Arabesque and geometric patterns, Moroccan pottery are hand-made ceramics and an amazing piece of art used to decorate homes. You can pick a few in different shapes, sizes, forms and colours and gift them to your loved ones back home.

Moroccan Leather

Highly unique and renowned all over the world, the leather in Morocco is tanned in Gothic style and still seems to have a fascinating allure like it used to have centuries ago. From slippers, jackets and bags to belts and wallets, anything and everything made from Moroccan leather appeals to the tourists. The traditional colour of the leather is red or black, but it is available in all colours these days.

Lanterns

There is something about the beauty of Moroccan lighting that appeals to a majority of people from far and wide. Be it the chandeliers, lamps or lanterns, the unique and eye-catching designs make them a real exotic treat for homes. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours, and are available in most of the markets across the country.

Babouche

Called Babouche in French and Belgha in Moroccan, they are traditional, oriental style heelless slippers worn by men, women and children through the centuries. Most of the locals in the country are seen wearing them in different styles. If you are a shoe lover, do not forget to purchase Babouche on your next trip to Morocco. They come in a variety of colours, shapes, patterns and materials.

Rugs and carpets

Handmade Moroccan rugs and carpets in bright tinges are woven by the indigenous people of Morocco. Red and black-white rugs designed with sequins are popular here and can be seen adorning homes all over the world. There are a number of rug shops here selling them at cheaper rates. You can also get them customised them as per your choice and can even watch the process of their designing.

Explore Wildlife in Costa Rica at These Popular National Parks

With a total of 26 national parks to discover, Costa Rica is an incredible wildlife holiday destination in Central America where thousands of enthusiasts visit every year. Waterfalls, rainforests and volcanoes along with a vast diversity of flora and fauna make these national parks sensational spots to discover in the country.

Manuel Antonio National Park

national-park

Lying on the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park attracts with its white-sand beaches, huge mountains, lush tropical forest and different hiking trails. You have a chance to spot four different species of monkeys, three-toed sloths and hundreds of bird species. Covering 1,700 acres of land and 136,000 acres of ocean, it is the smallest national park of the country yet it is regarded as one of the best.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is a unique wildlife spot in Costa Rica, only accessible by boat or airplane. Encompassing protected beach for the nesting of a variety of sea turtles, it remains one of the most popular tourist spots. You can take a boat or even kayak down to the Tortuguero National Park to watch animals and birds. Besides animals like howler monkeys and spider monkeys, you can spot reptiles such as crocodiles, caiman and green basilisk lizards here.

Irazú Volcano National Park

The tallest and the highest active volcano in Costa Rica, Irazú Volcano National Park is an exciting and fascinating sight to behold. It has many craters including one that is 900 feet deep. On clear days, visitors can take delight in the stunning views of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from the summit.

Marino Ballena National Park

One of the unique reserves in Costa Rica, Marino Ballena National Park is home to more than nine miles of coastline and 13,000 acres of ocean. The park is named after the humpback whales migrating here every year from December to April and August to November. Despite the fact that it is a recent addition to the long list of the national parks of the country, it is visited by a large number of locals and visitors.

Poás Volcano National Park

A wonderful sight to behold, Poás Volcano National Park is the largest still-active volcano in Costa Rica, and is said to be the world’s second widest-rimmed volcano. Renowned for phreatic eruptions, the crater of the volcano is more than a mile across and 1050 feet deep; and the entire volcano is enclosed by a cloud forest. You can spot more than 79 spices of birds including emerald toucanet, black guan, quetzal and hummingbird.