Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts

Your Guide to Great Places to go Snorkeling in the Maldives

The Maldives are well-known for their pristine white sandy beaches, but they also top the popularity list for snorkelers and scuba divers. The scenery below the water offers vistas with numerous caves and cliff sides, interesting coral arrangements and a wide assortment of colorful marine life. Deep water snorkeling is a must if you want to see a more varied underwater landscape that invites larger marine life, like manta rays and white-tip sharks.

Snorkeling off North Malé Atoll 

With Maldive's International Airport located on North Malé Atoll, diving here may be the first activity on the agenda. The dive sites are rich and varied, including great underwater scenery with overhangs, steep drops, caves, and a great variety of marine life from parrot fish to barracudas. There are also many shipwrecks that have become artificial reefs. 

Most of the sites here are only suitable for the strongest snorkelers, due to the dive depths and the fast-moving currents. It's safest to snorkel off a boat within a group. Luckily for the snorkeler, the water in the Maldives allows for good visibility. 

The Banana Reef is a banana-shaped inner dive site off the south-east side of North Malé Atoll. Treacherous currents can make snorkeling here difficult, but strong snorkelers will find an untouched reef wall that is as rich in sea life as it is in colorful corals. The reef depth is from 15' to 120' in some areas. The water is very clear with good visibility. 

Sunlight Thila is actually a combination of two outer reefs located in the south-east waters of the atoll. The reefs draw giant manta rays that feed on the plankton that is carried north by the sea. This site has a sandy bottom with a variety of sea grasses. It's possible to sit on the sea floor as the rays circle above. This is a popular site for snorkelers and scuba divers, primarily to view the manta rays. The site has a depth of approximately 15' to 50'. 

The Okabe is an inner reserve on the south-east side of the atoll within the Kalhi Channel. It is an extremely popular site due to the massive formations of coral rocks which bring barracudas, oriental sweetlips, jacks, batfish, sharks and many other species of marine life. It's a popular dive site, but the depth in some areas is about 75'. 

Reefs Less-Traveled 

Huvadhoo Atoll is the second largest atoll in the archipelago. It is known for being untouched, and semi-deserted. With over 200 tiny islands in the atoll, it offers an abundance of rich reef life, interesting underwater scenery, and colorful coral. Snorkelers can expect to see a huge variety of marine life from angel fish to stingrays. There are a number of guided tours to this southern atoll. They offer drift snorkeling at Villingili Kandu to view the green turtles, and Kodedhu Kandu to see barracuda. The reefs include stunning corals and sea fans. 

Lammu Atoll is dotted with uninhabited islands, each with barrier coral reefs and shallow lagoons. They are perfect dive sites for the snorkeler. Vadinolhu Kandu is a great spot to see a large collection of marine life in one place. At Kolhumadulu Atoll, you can view dolphins at Thuvaroo Island and Halksbill turtles at Olhugiri. 

The best atolls to snorkel in the Maldives have reefs with several channels and large lagoons, but for snorkeling in deep water, it's advantageous to join a dive expedition. Many resorts offer day trips out to sea for the more adventurous snorkelers. You'll be diving with well-trained snorkelers who knows what lies beneath the water and will ensure you are safe in the environment.

Post contributed by Gemma Hobbs on behalf of Cover-More

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Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya is a major tourist beach resort location on the South East Coast of the Gulf of Siam Thailand several hours drive south east from Bangkok. Here the coast line has many similar beach resort locations all the way south and to the east and the border with Cambodia near the resort of Trang and the Island and Marine National Park of Ko Chang. The beach quality can vary depending upon the direction it faces, whether it is sheltered from wind, the sand and the depth of the sea. Each location can also vary depending upon the quality of the tourists and their prefernces for entertainment, night life and food.  The half-moon-shaped Pattaya Beach is 4 kilometers long with a road running parallel to the beach. From the mid-section to the southern end of the area, there is a vast array of restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir stores, as well as other places of entertainment. To the north of the beach are various mini-resorts and hotels in a quieter atmosphere.

It's actually free to stroll along the beaches, but operators will charge you for the services they provide, i.e. the beach chair. A price is roughly $0.5 per chair, though bargaining is rather customary in Thailand. Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and Chomthian with the Hill. Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry 8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that they end up looking for passengers.

Pattaya is a city that consists of 3 major roads that parallel each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5 minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20 kilometers long with some secluded escapes.

Pattaya map
Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside. Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the left lane, as in England and Japan.

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India - Interesting Facts About India

Welcome to India, one of the most interesting travel destinations in the world. This beautiful country is located in the southern part of Asia, and it is bordering with Nepal, Pakistan and China. So many different and colorful tourist attractions are settled in this destination. The world's highest mountain chain is found on the north of India. If you look at the southern part, you will see numerous valleys, tropical rain forests, sandy beaches, deserts and plateaus. 

India has astonishing topographical variances, and this gives this country the opportunity to have all types of tourist attractions. You can find anything there. The other interesting thing about this Asian country is the various of cultures and religions. Lots of changes have happened in the past in this land, but they always managed to keep their traditions and it is one of the things that make India a unique country and a travel destination that worth to be visited. 

India posses all kinds of landscape you can imagine. The Himalayas are separating this country from the other part of Asia. That is the highest mountain chain in the world ant they are one of the biggest attraction for tourist that are seeking for adrenalin while climbing the worlds highest mountain hills. This triangular peninsula determines the Bay of Bengal to the east side, the Arabian sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south side of the country. 

India is a country that offers something for everyone. This beautiful travel destination, with its amazing mountain ranges and mysterious themed parks offer great opportunity for tourist who love trekking as well as for those who enjoy eco- tourism. This country is divided into states, all having their capital cities. The most famous cities in the country are Mumbai and Delhi. Every state is different from the other which gives you the chance to see different traditions and attractions when you go from one state to an other.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in India is the synonym of love and romance, the Taj Mahal. This beautiful building is made of white marble and it is a symbol that attracts between two million and four million visitors annually, including more than 200,000 from overseas. There have been different of myths and stories about this magnificent monument over the past. The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. However, it is a well kept place, which is sacred to the local people, so they are taking good care of it. There is no traffic allowed around the place which keeps it quite and clean, and provides visitors a time of joy. 

India can be your destination if you are looking for some of the most attractive beaches in this part of the world. They have some of the best sandy beaches around. One of the most popular is the Palolem beach which is located in the southern part of the state Goa. This is a perfect vacation village with a stunning sandy beach. This is one of the most crowded beach in India. There are many backpackers that started coming in the last couple of years, thanks to the good rumors about this vacation village. Not only that, but there are lots of families that are coming here to spend their holiday. It is a perfect spot if you dont mind the crowd. If you do, than you should consider coming here in early October while there are no backpackers. At the end of the month it is already getting crowded. 

One of the most interesting things about India are their festivals and celebrations. They are popular among tourists because of the way they are celebrated here. There are no constrains when festivals or celebrations are in stake. It is not only the family that is celebrating, but all the neighborhoods are joining and that makes the atmosphere more colorful and animated. At most of the festivals, people share delicious sweets among people that are present. It is something you should not miss. Some of the most festivals are Christmas, Diwali and Holi festivals. 

What is very interesting and what you won't see everywhere in the world is the way people help each other during those festivals and celebrations. Neighbors and friends are always here to help when a family is having a celebration. It is one of the things that makes this country unique. The same thing is happening when there is a wedding in a family. Everyone is participating in the preparations and of course it is present at the wedding ceremony and celebration. It is all about the spirit of tolerance, which apparently is very high in there. 

Indian culture is one of the most colorful in the world. People there speak different languages, depends in which state they live, they have so many different types of food, which is very famous, since you are able to see Indian restaurants all over the world. The specific thing about their cuisine are the strong flavors, which are derived from spices and nutritious ingredients. Those ingredients were used centuries ago because of their medicinal quality and this is why their food is one of the healthiest in the world. 

India map

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China Yellow Mountain (Huangshan Mountain)

Standing imperiously in the southern Anhui province in eastern China, the spectacular and breathtaking delights of Huangshan Mountain range is beyond all imagination. Transcending the lines of myth and reality and bringing to life sights that would otherwise be a part of fairytales and lost legends, the Huangshan is a mountain range where you look down searching for splendor rather than towards the sky.

The mountain region is open 200 days out of the year for tourists with each season bringing its special and unique delights that cannot be missed. If the early spring is the season to visit for fresh and vibrant vegetation, clear skies and bustling waterfalls, the autumn is great for watching a colorful show of bright and brilliant festivity.

Summer will bring with it the best of the Huangshan scenery as you get a wonderful combination of the greenery, the brilliant light show in the sky with the dawn and dusk giving the region a multitude of hues and of course a rainbow or two if you are lucky enough to catch them! But winter is the season that you might actually want to visit the Huangshan as it will give you an experience like none other on the planet.

Huangshan is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China. The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, Huangshan Pine trees, and views of the clouds from above. Mount Huang is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography.

Of all the notable mountains in China, Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan), to be found in the south of Anhui province, is probably the most famous. Originally known as Mt. Yishan it was renamed Mt. Huangshan in 747 AD in recognition of the legendary Huang Di, who was the reputed ancestor of the Chinese people and who made magic pills for immortality here. Wu yue is the collective name given to China's most important mountains, namely Mt. Taishan in Shandong Province, Mt. Huashan in Shaanxi Province, Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi Province, Mt. Songshan in Henan Province and Mt. Hengshan in Hunan Province. It is said that you won't want to visit any other mountains after seeing wu yue but you won't wish to see even wu yue after returning from Yellow Mountain. This saying may give you some idea of the beauty and uniqueness of Yellow Mountain.

Together with the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Great Wall, Yellow Mountain has become one of the great symbols of China. Yellow Mountain can boast not only of its magnificence but also its abundant resources and great variety of zoological species, for which it has been listed as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site.

Huangshan Mountain

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Over the last few decades, Kuala Lumpur has transformed into a thriving metropolis with spectacular architecture ranging from Menara KL to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers – the second-highest buildings in the world. Boasting some of Southeast Asia’s largest shopping malls and a colourful jumble of street markets, the city is a retail paradise.

Unlike many Asian cities, KL has retained a majority of its historical buildings and features numerous tranquil spots within the city centre itself including the lush green lung of Lake Gardens and the greenery of Tasik Titiwangsa. The city’s landscape is a blend of modernity and traditional charm, with hawker stalls and pre-war shop-houses alongside skyscrapers and sophisticated buildings. To put it briefly Kuala Lumpur is a gateway to a truly multihued Asian experience. 

Kuala Lumpur Tourist Attractions

Bukit Bintang

Throbbing with activities of various kinds 24-7, the hip and happening Bukit Bintang remains Kuala Lumpur’s trendiest shopping and entertainment district. Combining historical charms with contemporary chic, this area has managed to retain its popularity over the years, both with locals and visitors alike. This bustling area offers everything from shopping centres to nightclubs. Due to its central location, it is fairly easy to get to Bukit Bintang from anywhere in Kuala Lumpur via public transportation.

Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

At the heart of Kuala Lumpur is an area which never sleeps, and far more colourful and bustling than its bigger and more glamourous neighbours, KLCC & Bukit Bintang. Chinatown, based in Petaling Street, is also known as 'Chee Cheong Kai' (Starch Factory Street), a reference to its roots as a tapioca-producing district. Deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history, Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia.

Chinatown Kuala Lumpur, is also a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise, a place where you can find all sorts of stuff from Chinese herbs to imitation goods. At night, its main market area, Petaling Street, transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices, and the best thing is, the prices can be brought lower still as haggling is the way of life here.

KLCC - Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Just as its name suggests, there is only one way to describe KLCC: the heart of Kuala Lumpur. At once an entertainment, commercial and business focal point, KLCC is home to some of the most popular landmarks in Malaysia, making it a popular tourist destination. With a host of options to choose from – dining, arts, culture, recreation, sightseeing, shopping and entertainment – you won’t be stuck for ideas on what to do around here.

Described by its developers as ‘A City Within A City’, KLCC offers a myriad of interesting attractions that never cease to wonder, as well as plenty of nightlife, dining and shopping options. KLCC is readily accessible via public transport with many buses operating on various routes within the area and a few train stations nearby.

The geography of Kuala Lumpur is characterized by a huge valley known as Klang Valley. The valley is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east, several minor ranges in the north and the south and the Strait of Malacca in the west. Kuala Lumpur is a Malay term which translates to "muddy confluence" as it is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.

Kuala Lumpur map
Located in the centre of Selangor state, Kuala Lumpur was previously under the rule of Selangor State Government. In 1974, Kuala Lumpur was separated from Selangor to form the first Federal Territory governed directly by the Malaysian Federal Government. Its location on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which has wider flat land than the east coast, has contributed to its faster development relative to other cities in Malaysia. The municipality of the city covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi), with an average elevation of 21.95 m (72.0 ft).

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