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Trekking in Nepal: A Bucket List Experience

If you are a serious wanderluster, chances are Nepal is high on your travel bucket list. With eight of the top ten highest summits in the world and some of the most beautiful landscapes which are only reachable on foot, trekking in Nepal is one of the unique experiences of South Asia.

Trekking is the most popular tourist activity in Nepal and travelers have a lot of options to choose from on the streets of Kathmandu and Pokhara (the trekking hub).

Kathmandu valley, city view

The huge variety of options allows for people of many ages and capabilities to attempt a trek in the country.

Treks can be anywhere from just a day long to 20 days long. There are easy treks and difficult alpine climbing. There are treks where you’ll have porters and guides and then there are options where you just need a guide to come with you.

Despite what many may perceive, trekking in Nepal is not necessarily wandering alone through an uncharted wilderness.

Trekking through the countryside 

As they walk along the well-marked trekking paths, travelers will often discover quite the opposite; hundreds of locals passing through each day as they haul food, water, and other odd necessities back to their tiny villages, along with dozens of fellow trekkers.

The regularly-spaced villages and tea-houses allow trekkers good opportunities to rest and recover, either for a few minutes or the night.

The strong culture and unreserved friendliness of the Nepalese people can also be witnessed as one traverses the hill tracks.

Best Time for Trekking in Nepal

The best seasons for trekking are the dry and warm seasons, March-June and September-November. During these times, the temperature is bearable and skies are usually clear, although the skies are foggier and the rain begins in May-June.

Note: It is possible to trek out of season, but expect lots of rain and leeches during the summer monsoon season and severe cold and closed passes during the winter months.

Experience and Fitness Level

Trekking independently

As we have mentioned above, there are treks suitable for a wide range of experience and physical fitness.

An easy trek with Nepali support (guide and porter) and tea-house accommodation is quite attainable for anyone who is “reasonably fit”.

Note: Reasonable fitness here means you can walk uphill for a few hours each day. Your backpack is the only thing you’ll carry yourself.

Longer treks, crossing high passes and into remote regions demand a higher degree of endurance. For summiting a mountain taller than 5000m, it is desirable to have some alpine climbing experience (because you may encounter snow and hard ice).

What Supplies to Carry

While trekking in Nepal, your needs will be simple. It is, therefore, best to carry only what you absolutely need and leave the rest behind.

View from Pokhara

Enjoy the scenery and savor the moment. Leave books, gadgets, toys, and fancy cameras. They all make your bag heavy. (If anything, perhaps carry a dairy and a pen).

You can buy or rent everything you need in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Note: When it comes to shows it is best to use your own footwear that is already broken in. Because you will be walking hundreds of kilometers and a new or misfitting shoe can be quite painful on your feet.

The main essentials to bring are sturdy and comfortable hiking boots, a sleeping bag (depending on your accommodation), a daypack, a few changes of clothes for the varying temperatures, fleeces & down jackets, a water filter & bottle/cup and some essential medicines.

For cold weather, hiking pants, thermals, gloves, neck warmer or scarf, beanie, a warm inner jacket and a windproof and waterproof outer jacket are essential. For the more difficult treks involving mountaineering, crampons and ice axes may be required.

Note: Always carry a map and compass whenever you venture into the wilderness (anywhere in the world).

Other items to bring include a hiking stick or two, waterproof case, fabric bandages such as moleskin, a headlamp, water purification supplies, altitude sickness and other medication, a lightweight camera, and binoculars.

Note: On the popular trekking routes, everyday supplies, such as toilet paper, soap, chocolate bars, and even basic hiking supplies can be purchased along the way, though prices rise dramatically as you go higher in elevation. Try to stock up lower down and buy locally-produced products such as fruit, and biscuits.

You may see several Buddhist statues on your trek

Go Guided vs. Independent?

This is more of common sense or a subjective question than a technical one.

Whether to join an organized group, trek unguided with other independent travelers or to hire your own guide and/or porter is a personal decision based on the difficulty of the trek, your budget, capabilities, and prior experiences.

Note: Guided treks must be legally organized through TAAN registered trekking agencies in Kathmandu and Pokhara. No one else — no hotel, no street broker, no nice person you just met, not even a trekking guide — is legally authorized to organize a trek.

Going Guided

During the main seasons, there are many group treks, and it is generally easy to find a group doing the trek of your choice. Group treks can be the both small or mid-sized. You can shop around for one that fits your needs.

On a guided group trek, all the necessary trekking gear, food, fuel, and other goods are carried by the porters. The cook will prepare all the meals during the camping trek. Trekkers carry only a daypack, as required.

At night, tents for dining, sleeping and washing are provided and set up. Mattresses, sleeping bags, tables, and seating are arranged by staff. For large group treks, a chief guide is employed to pre-arrange and then to oversee the entire program.

A Sherpa (Assistant Guide) is also hired to lead the staff and assist the Sirdar (Chief guide). All land transportation, local permits, taxes, porter insurance, port dues, and entrance fees to National Parks or sites that are part of the trip are arranged by the agency.

Note: When signing up with an agency, you should speak with several and make detailed inquiries about the differences in service besides just the base cost. Having someone along who is experienced, professional, attentive, and can speak your language could be very important.

Annapurna Trail, Nepal

Tipping in Nepal

If you are employing the services of guides and porters, it is customary to present a tip to the head guide at the end of the trip. This will be divided up between the various people employed in your group.

Note: Like most tips, the amount will vary depending on the quality of services provided, but it could be between 5% and 10% of the total cost of your trek.

Going Independent

Independent trekking is quite easy in the main trekking areas. You can also team up with an experienced local person.

If hiring staff independently and without an agency, be mindful of your responsibilities to ensure that your guide is suitably equipped for the job and stays safe.

Note: Know that foreigners on a tourist visa are not legally allowed to hire any staff directly.

Donkeys are often used to haul supplies

Get the Required Permits

Police checkpoints are numerous and unavoidable and park officers can check your permits at any time, with a fine of double the normal cost if you are caught without the proper permits.

Note: Do not try to bribe officers or police personnel; it might get you in more trouble than you think. You must purchase conservation or national park entry and TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card.

TIMS card

The Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card is required for several treks in Nepal.

There are two types of TIMS cards:

  • Green (independent trekkers) – more expensive
  • Blue (trekkers in a guided tour) – less expensive

Individual TIMS (green cards) are obtainable only from Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara and from the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal office.

Note: Make sure that you bring the required insurance documentation, a photocopy of your passport, and passport-sized photographs when applying.

Treks in Annapurna, Khumbu, & Langtang

Treks in these areas only require national park entry tickets (prices vary per park) and a TIMS card, but do not require “special permits”.

Treks in Restricted Areas

Restricted areas such as Dolpo, Mustang, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga require “trekking permits” (but not the TIMS card), which are obtainable only through trekking agents.

Trekking Mountain Peaks

There are 33 mountain peaks in Nepal of 5,650-6,500 m height classified as trekking peaks. Trekking Peaks require a qualified “climbing guide”, permits and deposits to cover camp waste disposal.

Climbing permits for these peaks can cost anywhere from $350 USD for one to four members to $500 USD.

Trekking Tips & Good Habits

  • Trek legally: If you trek independently, you are not allowed to take any staff by law. For this, you need a trekking agency authorized to employ staff for foreign trekkers. Do not hire staff or “independent guides” through hotels, unless they have a trekking agent license or offer this service through an affiliated trekking agent.
  • Please make sure you take all of your trash, including bottles and cans from goods consumed in restaurants, to the nearest truck-accessible road for the most proper disposal available. You may note pollution and lack of trash management in villages on treks—including trash-clogged rivers and mounds of discarded beer bottles. Nepal is struggling with its rapid development and hasn’t yet figured out how to dispose of its waste. Don’t contribute to the problem any more than necessary!
  • Filter your own water: Plastic water bottle use is increasing around the Himalayas. Try to use locally available water; you can use purification tablets, which are easily available, and most tablets make water drinkable within 30 minutes.
  • After your trek, you can donate your clothes to the porters’ clothing bank, which is managed by the KEEP association. This bank is in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu and provides clothes to the trekking porters and their families.

Top Trekking Itineraries

The Himalayas in Nepal

The Great Himalayan Trail

The Great Himalayan Trail is a 1,700-km trek that connects all the main trekking areas. It is possible to make this trek with a coterie of very good guides, cooks, porters, equipment (including technical gear) and payment of many expensive fees.

The window for completing this trek is exceedingly short as snow closes the high passes for much of the year.

Annapurna Region Treks

Annapurna

The Annapurna Region, north of the middle hills city and the trekking base city of Pokhara, includes Annapurna I, the 10th tallest mountain in the world at 8,091 m above sea level, as well as thirteen additional peaks over 7,000 m and 16 more peaks over 6,000 m.

All of these treks offer amazing views of this mountain range.

  • Annapurna Circuit (18-21 days) – circling the Annapurna Mountains
  • Annapurna Sanctuary (14 days) – an oval-shaped plateau 40 km north of Pokhara, at 4,000 m above sea level. Trek through the sanctuary to Annapurna Base Camp.
  • Annapurna Base Camp (7-10 days) – can be reached via various routes.
  • Poon Hill (3-5 days), at 3,210 m above sea level, northwest of Pokhara, is the most famous viewpoint in Western Nepal.
  • Jomsom Muktinath Trek (5-10 days) – treks to Jomson, a village on the other side of the Annapurna mountains that can also be reached by air, and Ghorepani, a village that is 2,750 m above sea level. This area is always very windy.
  • The Royal Trek (3-4 days) – an easy trek with excellent views of the mountains and local villages. The trek was made famous by Prince Charles.
  • Mardi Himal (5,587 m) (4-7 days) – a trek that offers amazing views at the summit of Mardi Himal.
  • Khopra/Khayer Lake Trek (7-14 days) – a sacred lake at 4,500 m asl, reachable via a moderate/strenuous hike.
  • Sikles Trek (4-7 days) – a camping and homestay-based trek through the villages and the Gurung settlement of Siklis.
  • Panchase Trek (3-5 days) – a popular easier trek with great views.
  • Kande to Australian Camp to Pothana to Dhampus to Phedi, or reverse (3-4 days) – an easy trek for those that do not want to try the more challenging treks. Spend a night in each location to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset.
  • Gurung Heritage Trek (5-7 days) – Hike through the villages of the Gurung ethnic group, known for being humble with a great sense of humor.
  • Upper Mustang Trek (12-16 days) – the former Kingdom of Lo that has a culture very similar to Tibet, has amazing Trans-Himalayan scenery although it is a difficult trek because of high altitude, exposed terrain, and continual strong winds. This trek requires a restricted area permit of US$500 per 10 days, making it less favorable for budget travelers.
  • Naar-Phu Valley Trek (12-15 days) – a hidden Tibetan valley just north of the Annapurna Circuit.
  • Dolpa Trek (15-21 days) – Upper Dolpa is the remote Land of the Bon, almost as Tibetan as Nepali. Lower Dolpa is more accessible and can be reached by plane.
  • Manaslu Trek (14-21 days) – Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world at 8,156 m above sea level. Hike unspoiled trails through remote villages and over the Larke pass at 5,135 m to circuit the mountain. You are required to have special permits and the services of a guide.

A Sherpa village on the way

Kathmandu Valley Region

  • Nagarkot (2 days) – offers a great spot for watching surrounding mountain ranges at sunrise or sunset from atop the hill.
  • The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (5 days), includes treks to Nagarkot and Dhulikhel
  • Shivapuri Hiking Trek (5 days) displays the best of Nepal’s rural culture, biodiversity and stunning Himalayan views. Trekking routes to Nagarkot, Gosainkunda, Helambu and the Langtang National Park (see Langtang region).
  • Indigenous Peoples Trail – a cultural delight with marvelous viewpoints through the Ramechhap district, just east of Kathmandu

Langtang region

  • Helambu & Gosainkunda Trek – a short taxi ride from Thamel to the roadhead at Shivapuri leads to a trail through the middle-hills countryside of Helambu, either circuit around and return to Kathmandu or cross the pass to the sacred Gosainkunda lake (4,380 m), descend and then hike up the Langtang valley
  • Langtang Valley Trek – start in Shyaphru Besi (bus from Kathmandu) and hike up the Langtang valley beneath stunning mountains that form the border with Tibet. Reach Kyanjin Gompa (3,830 m), where you can decide to continue further, climb the peaks just above the village, or descend back.
  • Tamang Heritage Trail (5-7 days) – cultural trek to meet the Tamang people, as well as enjoying great scenery in the Langtang Himalayas.

Mount Everest region

Gokyo Lake, Mount Everest, Nepal

  • Everest Base Camp Trek and the ascent of Kalar Patar – Visit the Buddhist Tengboche monastery for the Mani Rimdu festival in November. Explore the Gokyo valley with its sacred lakes and stupendous views of four 8000-m peaks. Or a circuit of the region crossing the high passes or Cho La and Renjo La.

Namche bazaar sherpa village

  • Khumbu – Take the bus to Jiri or fly to Lukla then hike up to Namche Bazar, capital of the Sherpa lands at the foot of Everest.
  • Island Peak Trek (trekking peak) – takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas.
  • Mera Peak (trekking peak) – During the ascent of Mera Peak (6461 m), enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Cho-Oyu (8,201 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Kangchenjunga (8,586 m), Nuptse (7,855 m), and Chamlang (7,319 m).
  • Makalu Barun is the 5th highest mountain in the world. This trek gives the opportunity to see rhododendrons, orchids, snow leopards, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, wild yak, and Himalayan Thar.
  • Numbur Cheese Circuit (12-14 days)

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

Chitwan Region

Chitwan National Park

  • Chitwan Chepang Hills Trail (from the Trishuli River to the Terai)

Far Eastern Nepal

  • Milke Daada Ridge (7 days) – Spectacular views at 3,500 m asl and a visit to the bazaar town of Chainpu.
  • Kanchenjunga (21 – 28 days) – The 3rd highest mountain in the world. It is in far-eastern Nepal on the border with Sikkim in India. Peak 5950 is a more doable trek along this mountain.

Mount Kanchenjunga

Far Western Nepal

  • Rara National Park (8 days) – a remote trek that is hard to get to. The mountain views are not as nice as some of the other treks, but the highlight of this trek is a view of Nepal’s largest lake
  • Humla and Mount Kailash (18 days) – a trek that includes entrance into Tibet.
  • Api and Saipal Himal (16 days) – a remote off the beaten track trek to the mountains of far-western Nepal
  • Khaptad National Park (7-10 days) – a remote trek to Khaptad National Park that stretches over four districts of Province No.7 namely, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Doti.

Hiking in the Himalayas

Where to Sleep

Tea houses (lodges) at settlements at various points on the trek offer dorm room accommodation and simple basic meals reflective of what the local people in the area eat.

Although many tea houses and hotels in the hills and mountains are reasonably comfortable, some may be dirty and rather basic.

Note: Bedrooms and dorm rooms will not be heated. Note that linens are not provided by the lodges, and nights can get very cold, so it makes sense to bring a sleeping bag even for teahouse treks.

A Himalayan village in Nepal

Camping can be conducted almost anywhere in the country. Camping treks can be fully organized and supported by a team of guides, cooks, and porters to accompany you.

Homestays in local villages can also be organized by your guide.

Safety Tips

Always carry a head torch or lamp, water, some food, and a mobile phone with helicopter evacuation number in case of emergencies.

Altitude sickness

Please read up extensively on Altitude sickness. Click the link to refer our page on acute mountain sickness (AMS). Be familiar with the symptoms and do not ignore them. Be sure to keep to a conservative ascent schedule and drink plenty of fluids.

If you or anyone in your party begins to experience symptoms of AMS, do not ascend any further, and if they do not improve, then descend to a lower altitude.

Note: Carry some Diamox (Acetazolamide) pills, which can be bought at local pharmacies in Nepal. Diamox forces the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate in the urine, therefore making the blood more acidic, which stimulates breathing, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Diamox is not an immediate fix for acute mountain sickness; rather it speeds up part of the acclimatization process which in turn helps to relieve symptoms.

Drink More Water

One thing that is often overlooked is that your body requires large amounts of water at altitude to counteract sickness so be sure to drink more than you are used to.

Water Contamination

Buy antibiotics for stomach infections at a local pharmacy when in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Getting a med for bacterial and amoebic infections is recommended.

For drinking water, the best practice is to treat all water as being contaminated, especially water in the cities.

Please do not buy bottled water on the trek as there are no rubbish disposal systems on the trek. It is both less expensive and better for the environment to treat your own water.

The main two options for trekkers are to use the safe drinking water stations along the trek for a small fee or bring your own water purifiers.

Chlorination and iodine tablets are available in the main cities.

You can also use a filter with a ceramic cartridge or a UV treatment system such as a Steripen which should remove anything 1 micron in size or larger. You might want to combine two of these systems just to make sure you have made the water completely safe.

Note: Use treated water for brushing your teeth.

Get Rescue Insurance

Before the departure check that your travel insurance covers trekking activities and the conditions.

Note: Be aware that “some” insurance companies view even walking in the mountains as “mountaineering” and will not provide coverage. So you may have to shop around.

Most reputable trekking agencies will require proof of rescue insurance before you start on your trek. It would be very costly to pay a helicopter rescue at 5000 meters.

Trekking Solo in Nepal

Make sure you trek with other people—especially on side treks with unclear paths. If a problem occurs, it is much easier to get help if others are nearby.

Note: Many people have gone missing or died on treks.

If you do not have a trekking partner, then look for one in Kathmandu or Pokhara. It is usually easy to find other like-minded people with similar travel plans. But do not trust any strangers blindly. If in doubt, go for a guided tour.

10 Things Everyone Must Do In Tokyo

Tokyo is simply one of the world’s most fascinating cities of the world. Not only does it offer some of the most modern and advanced technological innovations but it also shows you a completely different side of it full of shrines and little snippets of how Japan used to be in the past.

Must Do In Tokyo

Japan’s capital is truly one of the most crowded cities in the world and it just introduces you to a place where you can always find something interesting to do.

From its amazing food to the world-famous sites and attractions, Tokyo is truly a city worth visiting. Here are some of the top 10 things you should do while visiting.

1. Meiji Shrine

If you want to see something different from the crazy everyday rhythms of the life in the city, the Meiji Shrine will truly help you find a serene and quite place to visit on your journey.

Built and dedicated to the late 19th-centure Emperor Meiji who opened Japan to the West, this shrine is just a beautiful spiritual place that is not that big or a tourist trap.

Before entering the old temple to pray, you are able to wash your face and mouth at the cleansing station’s communal water tank and you will also be able to write little wishes on a small piece of paper which you can tie on the prayer wall of the shrine, just like the locals do.

If you’re lucky, you might even come across a traditional wedding through the courtyard which will just allow you a peak into Japan’s traditions and beautiful traditional dresses. You might also want to keep in mind though that during New Years, this beautiful shrine can gather a crowd or a million if not more people who wish to celebrate together.

2. Tokyo Tower

Did you know that Japan has created something similar to the Eiffel Tower of Paris? Indeed, this incredibly tall structure actually stands 13 meters taller that the actual Eiffel Tower and it remains one of the most amazing things to witness in Japan.

You can actually even go to the observatory which has been built on the tower, where you will be able to be 150 meters above the ground and observe the beauty of Tokyo for high above. Sadly, the 250m special observatory is not available to the public due to renovations, but you will still be able to see a lot from that big of a height.

The Tokyo Tower truly is the most amazing attraction you will be able to spot from all the rest of the observatories in Tokyo and it is truly glorious to look at even during the night.

3. Sumo practice

Image Credit

If you have ever been intrigued by Japan’s favorite sport and wanted to know more about it, this is the best chance for you to do so. You truly won’t be able to understand the character and intensity of this sport until you get to witness it in person.

You can watch Sumo wrestling practice at the Hakkaku Sumo Stable in Tokyo but you will have to know that this is not a fun game. This is a serious tradition and the fights are legitimate so you will have to be respectful to the people and serious about the situation in order to truly enjoy this incredible sport.

4. Walk across Shibuya Crossing

This is probably one of the most common things you have seen in movies and videos about Tokyo. The Shibuya Crossing is one of those things that are always on every visitor’s “to-do-list” and so it should be on yours too.

Not only is this perfectly organized but chaotic crossing fun to watch but it also shows a lot about how in order everything in Japan is. After you cross this awesome crossing yourself, you can easily take a break at the Starbucks nearby and get a better look at it from their 2nd-story window.

5. Sing Karaoke

One of the things that are very popular about Tokyo’s nightlife definitely has to be its Karaoke places. Karaoke plays a very important role in the Japanese culture and it’s something that you can often see presented as a fun activity in many animes.

Tokyo is truly full of all different kinds of Karaoke places where you will be able to even rent a room for you and your friends to have fun, eat, drink and sing to your heart’s content.

6. Try a Kimono fitting

Kimonos are some of the most beautiful pieces of clothing in the Japanese culture, Traditionally worn by all women on special occasions, they each have unique colors and patterns in order to fit the person’s likings and can truly be an awesome thing to try while visiting Japan.

There are actually a couple places where you will be able to try on a Kimono in Tokyo and you can ask a tour guide to help you even find a tour where you will be able to for example walk the streets of Asakusa in a Kimono for a truly unique Japanese experience.

7. Visit a Cat Café

Whether you are a cat lover on not, this is definitely a thing that you have to try and which can possibly help change your attitude regarding these furry creatures. Cat cafes are actually a very common thing in Tokyo.

They are essentially exactly what you are imagining; a café where you can have a nice cup of coffee and at the same time play with a couple cute kitties. If you give it a go, you might even come across a dog café and even a cute café where there are also hedgehogs!

8. Have Ramen at the Ramen Museum

Located just a little bit out of town, the Ramen Museum is pretty much an accurate representation of how Tokyo used to look in the 60s. Not only will you be able to go through the various narrow streets of “old Tokyo” but you will also be able to have a selection of amazing ramen restaurants at your fingertips.

There are quite a few things you can see and learn while visiting this place, but most importantly you will be able to taste and enjoy some traditionally cooked ramen.

RelatedTop 6 Mouth-Watering Culinary Destinations In Japan

9. Try using a vending machine

Japan is surely known for its crazy technological innovations and one of the most fascinating ones has to be the vending machines. No matter where you come from, you have definitely come across the original vending machines which serve snacks and sometimes even warm and cold drinks.

Japan has simply taken this to a whole new level and even offers restaurants which solely work with vending machines serving anything from ramen, to milkshakes to even grilled sandwiches and you should definitely not leave Japan without visiting one.

10. Stay in a Capsule Hotel

Another thing that you should definitely give a try is spending a night in a capsule hotel. This is something that you should definitely avoid though if you are afraid of small spaces as this is essentially and small-sized pod which allows you to get a night’s rest without having to worry about spending too much on accommodation.

One of the most popular capsule hotels in Tokyo is Capsule Net Omotenashi, so you should definitely give this awesome invention a try and see if this might be a great way for you to travel on a tighter budget.

Tokyo is full of wonders

There are truly so many things to see and do while staying in Tokyo that no matter how long you stay you will wish you had a few days more. These 10 things will definitely make your trip to Tokyo a memorable one and have you wanting to come back for more!

Which one are you the most excited to try while being in Tokyo?

Author’s Bio

Preston Felix is a graphic designer, traveler and freelance writer for Rewarded Essays. He is passionate about covering topics on blogging, traveling, business writing and self-improvement.

5 Exceptionally Romantic Getaways in South India

There are many destinations all around the world that have marvelous wonders to win your heart. India is one of such place where the natural beauty and cultural influence can make people fall in love all over again.

There are many historic monuments as well as the natural beauty that attracts many travelers from all around the world. India is a huge country with diverse culture and landscape.

A traditional South Indian home lunch on a banana leaf

If you are looking for a romantic getaway there are some exceptionally romantic destination in the Southern part of the country.

Romantic Getaways in South India

South India is also called the romantic hub as it has gorgeous hill stations, beaches,  and natural heritage. It is also a great place to visit on a honeymoon.

The states of Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, and Karnataka take their tourism very seriously and make sure that the tourists have a good time. Here are some of the most  romantic spots in the southern part of India which is worth a visit.

Related: 10 Best Summer Places To Visit In India

Munnar

Photo: Munnar tea plantations/ CC Rajib Ghosh

Munnar is a place that comes on any list of best honeymoon destination in south India. The tea gardens, lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful countryside can make your romantic getaway unforgettable.

Munnar also has a rich natural heritage. This place is a complete relax zone for people who want to take a break from the busy city life.

Coorg

Coorg is another hill station situated in the beautiful state of Karnataka. Considering the fact that Coorg is only 260 km from the city of Banglore, the beauty of Coorg is unparallel.

The morning time on this hill station truly makes the couples enthrall with bliss. The mix of white fog and green landscapes makes Coorg a beautiful and ideal romantic spot for couples.

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Marina Beach

Image Credit

This long 12km beach in Chennai is one of the longest urban beaches in the world. The sunset and sunrise at the beach is what attracts couples where they can witness the true beauty of the sun.

Take a stroll down the beach and make memories. This can surely influence your relationship in the best way possible.

Related: 25 Beautiful Couple Travel Quotes

Mudumalai National Park

This is a stunning spot for romantic couples who are looking for a walk in the wild. The Mudumalai National Park is known for its rich vegetation and unique biodiversity.

The Mudumalai National Park is spread across 6000 square kilometers protecting many endangered wildlife species. This is the best place for newlywed couples looking for an adventure for their honeymoon.

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station located in the state of Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal is also known as the princess of hill stations throughout the country.

It is also regarded as one of the famous romantic spots for a honeymoon in the state of Tamil Nadu. There are many enchanting viewpoints and lakes filled with water lilies that give the couples an opportunity to cherish their relationship.

Related: 5 Tips For First-Time Visitors To India

The romantic trip to South India is the dream of many couples and honestly, it is worth a visit. There are many South India Tour Packages available from many online platforms such as Tamil Nadu routes.

If you are planning a trip to south India then makes sure to pack properly and prepare yourself for a treat.

Read Next: Visit the 36 UNESCO Heritage Sites in India

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Author Bio

Charles A. Jacobs has visited several places in the world including the 7 wonders of the world and is still looking for a place where he might end his journey. He is a travel enthusiast and owner of the TamilNadu Routes.

Biking Manali Leh Highway: Toughest Terrains in World

This is the story of how a distance of 480 km took us three days on a motorbike on one of the toughest terrains in the world. Yes, you read it right, the ManaliLeh highway in Northern Himalayan region of India is one of the toughest terrains.

Biking Manali Leh Highway

Four of us started with two Royal Enfields. Three of us could ride and we all took turns. The only traffic here is the occasional Indian Army trucks and other soul-searching wanderers who are also willing to test their will.

We started this adventure to ride what is claimed as the highest motorable road in the world. In this remote region, the phone connectivity is unheard of and you have to enter your details at every check post to let them know you’ve survived, to tell the tale. To live another day.

Related: 9 Tips to Prepare for a Long Motorcycle Roadtrip

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The Ride: 480 KM in 3 Days

It was around 1 in the noon, when we had to stop riding. The tire was now wobbling beyond control. We couldn’t prolong it anymore. 12 spokes were broken. And we were in the middle of nowhere.

Our friend’s bike had gone ahead. We were wondering what to do next when we saw a bike coming from the opposite direction. Delighted we stopped him, asking him if he had seen our other rider somewhere ahead. He had, but almost an hour earlier.

No way of contacting the other bike, no towns spotted in the vicinity, and with no other riders for as far as we could see. This was not looking good. This was not how I had planned my bike trip to go when we started 3 days ago.

The Challenge

They said it would take us three days to do it. We had rented our bikes in Manali, filled them up with fuel, carried extra fuel in cans and off we went.

We knew the roads could get brutal, the climate could turn any moment without notice from warm sunny mornings to mild showers. At noon time we were enveloped in clouds and in the evenings we were greeted by the chilly winds.

Let’s recollect the journey. Let’s start at the beginning.

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DAY 1. MANALI- KEYLONG (120 KM)

With all our gears on we slowly rode out of Manali towards Rohtang pass. Our journey had begun. Rohtang is the first high altitude pass (3987 M) you encounter when you set off towards this Himalayan journey.

We were initially cruising at a decent speed wondering why people take two-three days, as the roads though mountainous were well maintained. Soon we reached the beginning of the pass and it was here we encountered how brutal the mountains can actually get.

As we started ascending the pass, the roads started deteriorating. Pretty soon they became non-existent. All there was, was mud sloshed due to the slight rain which made it almost impossible to ride on, especially with a pillion.

Biking in the Mud

So two of us had to get off and walk down the road while the other two struggled to keep the bikes steady. The adventure had just begun. The muck which was almost 10 cm deep and your feet would go right in till the ankle.

The only people who were actually still cruising at their original speed were the truck drivers. At one point hitchhiked in the truck till a point where the roads got decent again which was after an easy half an hour.

We made it past the pass and down to a nominal altitude by 4 pm. Which was where we realized we had only covered 80 km in 5 hours!

Rest in Keylong

The other 40 KM of the day took us another 4 hours and by the time we reached Keylong it was pitch dark. We could hear the sound of a river flowing right next to us while the only source of light was from our bikes headlight.

One wrong turn could leave us going down the cliff into the icy cold water or right into the rocky mountain on the other side.

Dirty, exhausted we made it to the end of day one. After a quick dinner we went to our beds. Dreaming of how tomorrow would be. 

DAY 2. KEYLONG-PANG (180 KM)

The next morning we were mentally prepared for what was ahead. We set out after a hot breakfast, cruising through the road for about an hour thinking we had gotten better after the previous day’s experience.

Of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy, we soon stopped at what was a waterfall flowing on the road. Rocks below, water flowing from the top. Even if the pillion got off, we still had to walk across the water and since we were not wearing gumboots the water went through our shoes. And our feet froze.

We rode past many such streams/waterfalls which flowed right through the road, the occasional rocks which fell from a landslide here and there, the muddy slush, the sandy road, and rocky terrain that day.

The Beauty of Pang

After riding through one of the most beautiful landscapes with natural rock formation, clean blue skies, and yellow-brown rocky cliffs, we reached Pang by evening.

Photo  credit: Pang

Pang is just simply mesmerizing. It is a village with no phone connectivity at all.  It did have an army base however which had a landline connection. Pang is a high altitude village located at almost 4200 m above sea level. And at that attitude sleep was hard to come.

The stars you see during the night from this village are mind-blowing. We saw almost one shooting star every ten minutes and the mesmerizing view of our milky way galaxy to make up for the lack of sleep. 

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DAY 3. PANG-LEH (150 KM)

We started our final stretch riding through another high altitude pass where the lack of oxygen and us being tired due to lack of sleep made it hard for us to continue.

The other bike went further ahead while we were cruising at a slower pace. As we crossed around 40 KM, we came past an amazingly rare straight stretch with well-maintained road our spirit rose.

All was well when suddenly our tire started wobbling. It was here we stopped to find out 12 spokes were broken. And there was no mechanic or civilization there. We then somehow pushed the bike and walked for about a Kilometer when luckily we found a small village with 10 houses.

A Kind Stranger

A small shop owner told us we could stay there while waiting for vehicles which could give us a lift. After an hour of sitting by the road hoping for a vehicle to pass by we finally saw a minivan. The villager stopped the van, spoke to the driver, explained our problem and he finally agreed to haul our bike on the back and take us to Upshi, the next town 30 KM away with a mechanic.

We were saved. While we hopped on the van, the other bike which had gone ahead came back as they heard about us stuck here through another rider. Now all four of us were together and we were finally heading towards Leh.

When we reached the mechanic, he did not have the needed bike spokes and asked us to go look for the spare spokes in Leh and to get it repaired there. (Sigh!)

Upshi to Leh

Now, Leh was another 15 KM away from Upshi. So one bike entered Leh carrying the tire of the other bike, going from one shop to the other for almost 2 hours trying to find the spare parts. By 5 PM in the evening, we finally got them and by 6 PM, we were back to the mechanic who told us to come back the next morning for the bike.

So this was how we finally made it to the city of Leh at 7 PM in the night after 3 full days of the journey.

Conclusion: Himalayan Wisdom

We started off with 2 bikes but reached the city with one! The mighty Himalayas can change all your plans and teach us how insignificant we truly are in the big picture.

If anything, this trip taught us the valuable lesson of humility and how everything is connected in the big picture. Strangers can be nice and helpful. Things can go wrong when you least anticipate them. After all, all things are connected and there is a reason behind it all. We must find our place in this world.

Related: All About Altitude Sickness and How to Deal With It

Read More: 6 Most Dangerous Places to Travel

Author Bio

Neha is an adventurer, biker, and travel blogger. Please read more of her adventurous stories on her blog “Unknown Indian”.

 

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A Solo Trip to Turkey: A Transcontinental Journey

“I want to visit Turkey is the line I often hear when I speak to other travel loving folks, but not all could turn their wish into reality. There are many reasons why people couldn’t make it and one common reason which people give is “Turkey is beautiful but very expensive”.

Turkey: A Transcontinental Country

I must say this is the biggest myth, Turkey is expensive if you don’t plan your trip well and if you don’t know what is there to see in Turkey. I was fortunate to turn my wish into reality.

It was a wonderful solo trip for 11 days where I had one of my best travel experiences traveling across Turkey at a very reasonable cost. I thought of sharing my Turkish experience with everyone, and if this blog could motivate at least one person to travel, I would consider this blog as successful one.

Why Visit Turkey?

Turkey has such lucrative landscape and culture which attract millions of visitors from across the globe and I wanted to be in that one in the million for sure, but the distance from India to Turkey so far that I really had to make up my mind that I will visit it no matter what.

Also, after visiting quite a good number of countries in South East and East Asia, I was sure my next destination is going to be different from my past travel and Turkey fitted in very well in my requirement.

The mix of Europe and Asia in the beautiful city of Istanbul, fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, and Ephesus’ historical sites looked so exciting in the photos, videos, and the blogs I read that I couldn’t stop myself from visiting the same and experiencing it all on my own.

 

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The decision to visit Turkey is something which makes me feel satisfied as a traveler.

A Sample Itinerary & Travel Routes

I must say, to decide for a Turkey solo trip was a difficult choice but to decide what to see inside Turkey was even harder as there are so many things to see in Turkey that my 11 days vacation looked way too shorter. 

So based on the number of days I had and the season, I picked up the below itinerary for my trip.

Bangalore, India to Istanbul, Turkey

  • Leg 1: Kuwait Airways > Landed in Istanbul > Turkish Air (to Cappadocia)
  • Leg 2: Cappadocia > Pamukkale/Denzli (by Bus) > Selcuk (by Train)
  • Leg 3: Selcuk > Izmir (by Train) > Istanbul (by Flight)

Things to See in Turkey

Let me detail out things which I covered in each of my stopovers.

After landing in Istanbul at around 3:00 PM in afternoon, I had a same day connecting flight at 6:00 PM for Navshahar and a shuttle booked in Navshahar airport to take me to my hostel booked in Gorame, Cappadocia.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a wonder world and certainly a heart of Turkey that no one should miss. You can explore the city on your own or take a group tour based on time which you have in Cappadocia.

So I decided to combine both. On the first day, I took a green tour in a group covering the fairy chimney, underground city, monastery, etc. And the next two days, I spent exploring the city on my own by foot and by local transportation available.

Apart from the Fairy chimneys, Cappadocia is also a popular destination for people who love Hot Air Balloons. Since I had already done the hot air balloon in the past, I wasn’t interested to take it again but I did make sure to get up early in the morning to see hundreds of balloons taking off at one shot.

The view is just amazing and can’t be missed out.

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Pamukkale

After spending three days in Cappadocia, I took an overnight bus to Pamukkale. Bus tickets were easily available for comfortable overnight journey which dropped me in Pamukkale by 5:00 AM in the morning.

Since the main attraction of Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) opens only by 8 AM, so I had some time in hand and I sipped a cup of Turkish coffee and waited for the gate to open.

I must say I was the first one to enter that morning from that specific entrance. It made me happy.

I spent half a day in Pamukkale admiring the beauty of mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces, Hierapolis ancient theater, and other attractions in the vicinity.

Once I was done with it, I took a mini bus to Denzli from where I took about four hour train ride to Selcuk.

Selcuk

Selcuk is the town which people generally use it for stop over when they are visiting the UNESCO Heritage Site of Ephesus.

But I must say Selcuk is much more than just a stopover. This beautiful town is popular for its cafe culture and it’s wonderful to just walk around and enjoy the chilled vibe of Selcuk.

In my two days in Selcuk, I visited the famous ruins of Ephesus to experience the ancient Roman culture and architectures. Afterwards, I went to visit the Saint John’s Basilica, a beautiful historical place just in the city center and worth visiting any day.

During the evenings, I spent my time sipping famous Turkish tea with Seesha (also known as Hookah). The next day, I took a minibus to go to Sirince Wine Village about an hour drive from city.

This village is embraced in such a way that once reach here sure you don’t want to leave at all. I took my slow walk going around the village for the good part of that day.

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Izmir

Next early morning, I took a train from Selcuk to Izmir which took about an hour. Izmir is a laid back city in the west coast of Turkey. It is one of the biggest port city in the region and walking around the seafront (Kordon) is defiantly one of the best experience in Izmir.

Apart from waterfront and the clock tower in city center, the local market was a wonderful experience to visit. Overall, my days spent in Izmir was pretty tiring as I had just a day to explore the city but it was worth every moment.

Istanbul

After spending a day in Izmir, I took early morning flight to Istanbul to spend the rest of my three and half days remaining before returning back to India.

Istanbul took my heart even before the airplane landed. The view from the small plane window was so tempting that I couldn’t wait any longer to explore the city.

Istanbul have two side of it, a European side with much of the night life and an Asian side with all the historical sites. I took a shuttle bus to Kadikoy Ferry Terminal. I took the Ferry and Metro from there to go to Sultanahmet where my stay for the next two nights were booked.

Soon I realized that three days is not at all going to be sufficient to see Istanbul, so I need to pick what I really want to see in these three days.

So the plan I made was, one day I will spend in Prince Island, second day I will spend exploring the historical side of Istanbul, and on the final day I will spend exploring the modern side of Istanbul around the Taksim Square area.

Clock Tower in Izmir

Prince Island

Prince Island is the group of 9 small islands about two hours ferry ride from the mainland of Istanbul. Out of the 9 islands, only 4 islands are inhabitable and the rest remain unexplored.

Büyükada is one of biggest island and considered the most beautiful among all 9 islands. So I took an early morning ferry for this island and spent the rest of that day mesmerizing over this totally mystical and unique side of Turkey.

Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet is the area where major historical attraction of Istanbul is centered. The beautiful and well known blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazar are all here.

All these historical places are so beautiful that you can spend entire day just visiting one of them, since I had just a day time to explore I made sure that I could manage my time in such a way that I don’t miss any of these famous attractions.

Taksim Square

For the last two nights I had booked my hostel near the Taksim Square which is the ultra-modern side of Istanbul where all-night parties are common. My morning started with walking around the famous İstiklal Caddesi and visiting the Galata Tower and enjoying the Turkish delight and my evenings ended with a couple of beers in a local pub.

On the last day, I woke up with a sad face thinking my wonderful time is about to end now. I had my breakfast, took a walk of İstiklal Caddesi for the last time, and got into the metro for the airport to catch my flight back home.

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Cost of Travel

The myth about travelling is “it is an expensive thing” needs to be broken. In my view, traveling at times is cheaper than staying home. The longer you travel the cheaper it is.

In my Turkey trip I wanted to make sure that I spend on things which is needed and not things which good to have.

For any kind of travel, the major expenses can be categorized in three categories: Food, Accommodation, and Transportation. Let me put this little bit more in detail from Turkey travel perspective.

 

Turkish Cuisine

Turkish food is indeed a delight whether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian or continental or authentic country food lover. It has variety of options available and suitable for everyone.

An average meal in a decent mid-range restaurant cost anywhere between 12-20 TL ($5 USD). So in less than $20 USD, I was able to survive for a day in Turkey eating three meals which is way less than what normally people think. Not to be missed is their famous “Turkish delight” desserts, which is mouthwatering.

Accommodation in Turkey

In my entire trip to Turkey, I stayed in hostels where average cost was no more than $15 USD per night and in many cases it even included free breakfast. And trust me, it was without compromising the cleanliness and location in any manner.

Izmir View

Transportation in Turkey

Your international flight tickets consumes the major part of travel expense and it really differ from which city/country you are taking your flight. So I will not be able to give a correct estimation on that but what I can share is an average travel expense once you land in Turkey.

I took two domestic flights in turkey and one overnight bus and a train. Both of my flight tickets were less than $50 USD each, and the overnight bus ticket was about $25 USD and the four hour long train journies were not more then $10 USD each.

So transportation of any mode is relatively very cheap compare to anywhere else in Europe. Specifically in Istanbul you can take the prepaid Istanbul card which acts as a ticket for all city transport system including ferry in very basic cost.

Additional Information on Expenses

  1. Museum pass is available that covers all major historical sites in Istanbul at the cost of 125 TL which will cover around 6 attractions in the city and if you buy ticket individually it will cost you about 40 TL each.
  2. Istanbul card is like a prepaid card which you can load it with cash at once and use it for all public transport in city in lesser price than paying in cash. So highly recommended to take this card.
  3. Apart from the places which I visited there are few other very good places which you can visit in Turkey based on time available. Few of my recommendation few are Konya, Antalya, Fethiye, etc.
  4. In my entire trip I had not used private Taxi anywhere, so if you are someone who would prefer exclusive taxi service then expense will go higher.

Finally all I can say is, Turkey is defiantly one of the best country I have visited so far and I would recommend all travelers to plan for it.

 

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Author Bio

Hi, I am Chandan Sharma. Working as a full-time job for a financial firm but still making a time to travel across different countries is my passion. This passion had taken me through 21 countries so far, mainly in Asia, Europe and just a glimpse of east Africa. The goal is to make it at least 50 countries before I turn 50.

Feel free to visit my Instagram page ‘Travel Freak Mr Sharma’ to a walkthrough of my travel journey. Do not hesitate to drop me a message in case if you need any further information on Turkey or any of the country which I visited.

Visit the 38 World Heritage Sites in India

Today we are going to list all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. As of 2020, India has 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the 6th most of any country.

Sit back tight and enjoy the photos from some of the magnificent sites ever built. Or better yet, plan your next trip. If you are into bucket lists, then you can even attempt to visit all 38 sites.

World Heritage Sites in India

The sites are grouped and listed based on geographical proximity, so if you are planning an India visit, you can plan your itinerary accordingly to cover some or all of them in the most efficient and cheapest way possible.

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi was the precursor monument to the Taj Mahal (built a century later). Set at the center of luxurious gardens with water channels, it was built by the second Mughal Emperor Humayun’s widow Biga Begum (Hajji Begum).

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Its Mughal architectural style has been acclaimed as the “Necropolis of the Mughal dynasty” for its double-domed elevation provided with Chhatris.

Apart from the tomb of Humayun, the funerary also has 150 tombs of various members of the royal family. It has a number of water channels, a pavilion, and a bath. The tomb set on an irregular octagonal plinth has a raised dome, covered by marble slabs and decorated with Chhatris.

Qutb Minar, Delhi

Qutb Minar is located south of Delhi. It is a tall red sandstone tower. Built at the beginning of the 13th century, the complex of structures comprises the Alai Darwaza Gate, the Alai Minar (an incomplete mound of the intended tower), the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque (the earliest existing mosque in India), the tomb of Iltumish, and an Iron Pillar without any rusting.

The complex is a testimony to the Islamic depredations during the period as seen from the materials used for building the complex which are those that were removed after destroying Hindu and Jain temples.

Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort (Lal Qila) is a palace fort built in the 17th century by Shahjahan, the fifth Mughal emperor as part of his new capital city of Shahjahanabad.

Located to the north of Delhi, it represents the glory of the Mughal rule and is considered the Highpoint of Mughal architectural, artistic aesthetic creativity. The architectural design of the structures built within the fort represents a blend of Persian, Timuri and Indian architectural styles.

Isfahan, the Persian Capital is said to have provided the inspiration to build the Red Fort Complex.

The planning and design of this complex, in a geometrical grid plan with pavilion structures, was the precursor of several monuments which were built later in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and other places.

The palace complex has been fortified by an enclosure wall built with red sandstone (hence the name Red Fort).

Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, Chandigarh

Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries. Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki and Albert Mayer.

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

Both Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park are nestled high in Western Himalaya. Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep.

The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park. Together, they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya.

Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh

Great Himalayan National Park, in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows, and riverine forests. The Upper Mountain glacial and snow melt water source origins of several rivers, and the catchments of water supplies that are vital to millions of downstream users.

It is part of the Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and includes 25 forest types along with a rich assemblage of fauna species, several of which are threatened.

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is a mausoleum – a funerary mosque. It was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal who had died in 1631. It is a large edifice made in white marble in typical Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural styles.

This much-acclaimed masterpiece was built over a 16-year period set amidst vast Mughal Gardens on the right bank of the Yamuna River. It has an octagonal layout marked by four exclusive minarets at four corners with a pristine elevation of a central bulbous dome below which the tombs are laid in an underground chamber.

Calligraphic inscriptions in-crusted in polychromatic pierra dura, decorative bands, and floral arabesques glorify the monument’s graphic beauty and provide a picture-perfect impression to the viewers.

Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh

Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, which represented Mughal opulence and power as the centerpiece of their empire. The fortress located on the right bank of the Yamuna River, built in red sandstone, and surrounded by a moat, encloses several palaces, towers, and mosques.

It is very close to the famous Taj Mahal with a buffer zone separating the two monuments. These monuments are remarkable for the fusion of Persian art of the Timurid and the Indian art form.

Agra Fort was built from the 16th century onwards till the early 18th century. The impressive structures within the precincts of the fort are the Khas Mahal, the Shish Mahal, Muhamman Burje (an octagonal tower), Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, white marble mosque or the Pearl Mosque, and the Nagina Masjid.

Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

Fatehpur Sikri, “the City of Victory”, was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It was the capital of the Empire and seat of the grand Mughal court for 14 years.

Despite bearing exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization at the end of the 16th century, it had to be abandoned due to the twin reasons of lack of water and unrest in north-west India, leading the emperor to shift the capital to Lahore.

The complex of monuments and temples, all uniformly in Mughal architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid, the Buland Darwaza, the Panch Mahal, and the Tomb of Salim Chishti.

The English traveler Ralph Fitch considered the city in 1585 as “considerably larger than London and more populous.”

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built at the Mughal capital of Delhi.

He had constructed a total of 5 such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these and has a set of some 20 main fixed instruments built in masonry.

Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan

Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is located within the Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest Biogeographical Province. The area of the wetland of the park shrinks to a mere 2500 acres during most part of the year.

It has a human-built environment created partly by embankments dividing the area into 10 units, and has sluice controlled arrangement to maintain the water level. It is famous for 364 species of wintering birds that flock in large numbers, arriving from distant countries of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China, and Siberia.

Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Chittorgarh

Hill Forts of Rajasthan, are a series of sites located on rocky outcrops of the Aravallis mountain range in Rajasthan. They represent a typology of Rajput military hill architecture, a style characterized by its mountain peak settings, utilizing the defensive properties of the terrain.

These hill forts in Rajasthan represent Rajput military strongholds across a vast range of geographical and cultural zones. They enclose large territories and even complete villages in walled compounds.

The property consists of Chittor Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amer Fort, Jaisalmer Fort. These fort complex includes palaces, Hindu and Jain temples, urban centers and trading centers.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated in Panchmahal district in Gujarat, India. There is a concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat.

The site also includes, among other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to the 14th centuries.

The Kalikamata Temple & Jain Temple on top of the Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year. The site is the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.

The Queen’s Stepwell, Gujarat

Rani ki vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat, is a famous stepwell. It is famous for its size and sculpture. The length of Rani ki Vav is more than 64m long, 20m wide, and 27m deep and there are more than 500 sculptures of god.

Most of the sculptures are in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Mahisasurmardini, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others representing their return to the world. Also it has Nagkanyas, Yoginis, Apsaras (beautiful women) showcasing 16 different styles of makeup to look more attractive called “Solah-shringar”.

Historic City of Ahmadabad, Gujarat

The walled city of Ahmadabad, founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.

The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses in gated traditional streets with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells, and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present.

Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra

Ajanta Caves are Buddhist caves that were built in two phases. The caves depict richly decorated paintings, frescoes, which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka and sculptures. As a whole, there are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which are unique representations of the religious art of Buddhism.

Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

Ellora Caves are a cultural mix of religious arts of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. These are 34 monasteries and temples sculpted contiguously into rock walls of a high basalt cliff, which are seen along a length of 2 km (1.2 mi). Dated to 600 to 1000 AD, they are a reflection of artistic creation of the ancient civilization of India.

Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra

The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally “the city of caves”) in Mumbai Harbour, 10 km (6.2 mi) to the east of the city of Mumbai.

The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves — the first is a large group of 5 Hindu caves, the second, and a smaller group of 2 Buddhist caves.

The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva. The rock-cut architecture of the caves is dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries, although the identity of the original builders is still a subject of debate.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station in Mumbai, which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, and serves Central Railway trains terminating in Mumbai as well as the Mumbai Suburban Railway.

This famous architectural landmark in Gothic style was built as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. It took ten years to complete.

Churches and Convents of Goa

Churches and Convents of Goa are monuments built by the Portuguese colonial rulers of Goa between 16th and 18th centuries. These monuments are mainly in the former capital of Old Goa.

The most significant of these monuments is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which enshrines the tomb containing the relics of St. Francis Xavier. These monuments of Goa, known as the “Rome of the Orient,” were established by different Catholic religious orders.

There were originally 60 churches of which some of the surviving monuments are the Saint Catherine’s Chapel, the Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Jesuit Borea Jezuchi Bajilika, Asisachea Sanv Fransiskachi Igorz, the church of Saint Cajetan and its seminary, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, and Church of Saint Augustine.

Western Ghats of India

Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri Mountains, a mountain range along the western side of India and one of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots.”

A total of 39 biodiversity hotspots (including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests) were designated as world heritage sites – 20 in the state of Kerala, 10 in Karnataka, 5 in Tamil Nadu, and 4 in Maharashtra. Some of the key ones are:

  • Agasthymalai Peak
  • Periyar
  • Anamalai Mountains
  • Nilgiri Hills
  • Talakaveri Valley
  • Kudremukh Hills
  • Sahyadri

Group of Monuments at Hampi , Karnataka

The Group of Monuments at Hampi comprise a somber but ostentatious Hampi town, on the banks of the river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. Hampi, as an important Hindu & Jain religious center.

Dravidian temples and palaces abound in Hampi. These won the admiration of travelers between the 14th and 16th centuries. Hampi subsumes the ruins of Vijayanagara, which was the former capital of the powerful Vijayanagara Empire.

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka

The Group of monuments in Pattadakal cover a remarkable series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary in northern Karnataka.

In this group of temples, the Virupaksha Temple, built in 740 AD by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory over the Pallava kings from the south, is considered the most outstanding architectural edifice.

These are a remarkable combination of temples built by the Chalukya Dynasty in the 6th to 8th century at Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal, the latter city was known as the “Crown Rubies”. The temples represent a remarkable fusion of the architectural features of northern (Nagara) and southern (dravida) India.

Pattadakal is considered a Hindu holy city and within the heritage complex are eight temples dedicated to Shiva, a ninth shaivite sanctuary called the Papanatha Temple, and a Jain Narayana temple.

Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

The Great Living Chola Temples, built by kings of the Chola Empire stretched over all of Tamil Nadu. This cultural heritage site includes three great temples of 11th and 12th centuries namely, the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.

The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting. You can visit all three of these:

  • Brihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu
  • Airavateshwarar Temple, Darasuram, Tamil Nadu
  • Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu, about 58 km from Chennai, were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. These monuments have been carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast.

The temple town has approximately forty monuments, including the largest open-air bas-relief in the world. The monuments inscribed are the Ratha Temples: Temples in the form of chariots, Mandapas, 11 Cave sanctuaries covered with bas-reliefs, rock relief of Descent of the Ganges, which is the largest open air Rock relief also known as Arjuna’s Penance or Bhagiratha’s Penance.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya is a unique property of cultural and archaeological importance. The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in 260 BC around the Bodhi Tree Ficus religiosa (to the west of the temple).

Revered and sanctified as the place where Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was enlightened in 531 BC at age 35, and then propagated his divine knowledge of Buddhism to the world, it has been the ultimate temple for reverential worship, over the last several centuries, by Buddhists of all denominations, from all over the world who visit on pilgrimage.

The main temple is 50 m in height, built in Indian architectural style, dated between 5th and 6th centuries, and it is the oldest temple in the Indian sub-continent built during the “Golden Age” of Indian culture credited to the Gupta period.

Nalanda, Bihar

The Nalanda Mahavihara site in Bihar comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal

The Sundarbans National Park, the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world is a national park, tiger reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a biosphere reserve located in the Sundarbans Ganges river delta bordering the Bay of Bengal, in West Bengal.

This region is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile.

Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha

Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple in Odisha. Located on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Mahanadi Delta, it is built in the form of the chariot of Surya, the sun god with 24 wheels, and is heavily decorated with symbolic stone carvings and led by a team of six horses.

It was constructed from oxidizing weathered ferruginous sandstone and is one of the most renowned temples in India.

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, located 45 km (28 mi) from Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are a group of Buddhist monuments dated between 200 BC and 100 BC. The site, however, has been conjectured to have been developed in the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire ruled.

The principal monument is a Stupa dated to the 2nd century and 1st century BC. These Buddhist sanctuaries were active Buddhist religious monuments, which flourished till the 12th century. The sanctuary has a plethora of monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries in different status of preservation.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka described in the UNESCO Inscription as “a magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters” is located in the foothills of the Vindhya Hill Range in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

It is spread in sandstone formations. The rock shelters comprise a group of “five clusters of rock shelters” with paintings that are inferred to date from the “Mesolithic period right through to the Historical period”, with the 21 villages surrounding them reflecting the traditions displayed in the rock paintings.

The unique rock art has been discovered in 400 painted shelters spread over a vast area amidst a forest with high diversity of flora and fauna, with some of the shelters dating back to 100,000 BC to 1000 AD.

Khajuraho Monuments, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho Group of Monuments belong to both the Hindu and Jain religious practices with striking fusion of stone sculpture and architecture. The best example of this outstanding feature is seen in the Kandariya Temple.

Of the 85 temples built, only 22 temples have survived. Located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, it is renowned for its unique original artistic creation and proof of the Chandela Culture that existed prior to the Muslim invasion of India in the early 12th century.

The stone walls of temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, tantric symbolism, and sexual expressiveness of ancient Indian art.

Kaziranga, Assam

Kaziranga, located in the Northeastern state of Assam in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River’s south bank. It was established as a reserved forest in 1908 to protect the dwindling species of rhinoceros.

This large park, which covers 106,250 acres of land has the distinction of being home to the largest population of the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. There are many other mammals and birds species protected in the sanctuary.

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the northeastern state of Assam. It is in the plains of the Manas River in the foot hills of the Himalayas, on the border with Bhutan (contiguous with the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan).

The sanctuary is the habitat of several species of plants, 21 most-threatened species of mammals (out of 55 mammal species in the sanctuary), 36 reptile species, 3 amphibians and 350 species of birds.

Endangered species include tiger, pygmy hog, clouded leopard, sloth bear, Indian rhinoceros, wild buffaloes (the only pure strain of buffalo in India), Indian elephants, golden langur and Bengal florican.

Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

Located at the heart of the Himalayan range in northern Indian State of Sikkim, the Khangchendzonga National Park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including the world’s third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.

Mountain Railways of India

The Mountain Railways of India represents a collective listing of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and the Kalka-Shimla Railway under the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Two railways, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1881) and the Kalka-Shimla Railway (1898) are located in the rugged hill regions of the Himalayas of Northern India and the other two, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (1908) and the Matheran Hill Railway (1907) are located in the rugged hill regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India.

Scenic Train Rides in India that are also UNESCO sites:

  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
  • Kalka-Shimla Railway
  • Nilgiri Mountain Railway
  • Matheran Hill Railway

These mountain railways of India has been stated as for being “outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions for the problem of establishing an effective rail link through a rugged, mountainous terrain.”

So, which of these UNESCO Sites in India have you visited? Which ones are on your list? Please share your travel stories and tips in the comments below.

 

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Alternative Adventure: Post-apocalyptic Vietnam

In central Vietnam lies a beautiful and ornate city named Hue. With its traditional Citadel comprised of beautiful architecture bathed in artistic craftsmanship, which is reflected in the Royal Tombs and Thien Mu Pagoda.

But, there are also the modern-age ruins which offer an alternative to those which are encompassed by the city dripping in historical value. Welcome to a sight that looks like Post-apocalyptic Vietnam.

Gargantuan concrete building carved in the shape of a Dragon

Post-apocalyptic Vietnam

I had heard rumors of a post-apocalyptic scene roughly 8 km outside of the city and after talking to my two traveling companions, decided it was worth the journey to see. We put the idea to several people sharing our dorm in the tourist area of central Hue, and six of us mounted our motorbikes to begin our ride to the entrance of the park.

Upon researching the water-park I discovered it had closed down in 2004 for reasons unknown to me, and that there were tales of the aquarium tanks – still full of water – that still housed crocodiles left behind!

Our Adventurous Journey

The ride took around 20 minutes and our satnav escorted us to the entrance successfully. As we pulled up to the derelict gateway, a sign read Ho T uy T en after the letters a, h, and I decided to abandon the place similar to the customers and staff. At the gateway also sat a man on a plastic chair beside a barrier, charging entrance to the park albeit a clear illegitimate scheme.

There is a way to gain entry to the park without the admission fee however. Keen to add a little extra excitement and exploration in to our adventure we decided to explore the surrounding roads to discover this somewhat secret passageway.

We discovered that there is indeed an entrance through a field on the east-side of the lake. Accessible by way of turning right at the fork in the road (where the official entrance is down the road to the left), and then taking the first left.

Maps say the road is a dead end, but in reality, the road gives way to a dirt track leading through field and into the park. There are no barriers, fences or signs to say you cannot do this (if you’re concerned).

Exit from the derelict amphitheater

 

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Descending a small hill onto the lakeside, we first discovered a small performance amphitheater with a pool inside – now green and dark with algae and vegetation. We spent some time here inspecting the rooms and seating areas. All the while being stared upon by the cows grazing outside the fenced arena.

The structure had various rooms displaying a tonne of graffiti – some artistic, some not – and you can definitely tell where the kitchen used to be as well as the toilets – not such a pleasant discovery.

The next structure which drew our attention was further around the lake, following the path on our bikes. We came across a small child’s area inclusive of a water-play-area along with slides, fountains (long since broken), and larger spiral slides which finished in a larger pool of dark green, stagnant water.

Scaling the larger slides from the bottom to the top was pretty fun. The view at the top certainly gives the impression of nature taking over what was once hers.

 The abandoned children’s pool

 Nature taking-over the creations of man

A short ride through the treeline then took us to the main attraction; a giant concrete building carved in the form of a dragon! Within the dragon sat a dark, damp aquarium littered with the shattered glass of the water tanks, used previously to house a variety of sea-life.

This eerily quiet and unnerving place is the rumored home of the crocodiles (ill leave you to discover the truth for yourself), and as at this point I was alone – the others had progressed without me as I had ridden my bike around the dragon a few times – I decided I best catch up with the others.

Exit from the over-grown aquarium

I found my friends at the top of a stairwell (designed to convey the inside of the dragons carkus) and looking out high above the lake as they stood within the mouth of the inanimate mythical beast. The view from here is spectacular and you can really spend some time taking it in.

Descending through the dark skeleton of the Dragon

We made it in to the mouth of the beast!

This little excursion for the day is definitely recommended as it gives a surreal feeling and a look into what the future our planet could look like. Providing great prompts for your imagination to run away with itself, as well as a sense of bewilderment and curiosity.

The current lack of a crowd also makes you feel as if you could be amongst the first people to wander into this mysterious place, often only known through word of mouth.

 

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Author Bio

Jack Graves is a keen, enthusiastic traveler who enjoys discovering places and experiences a little different than the norm. He aims to provide entertaining and inspiring stories as well as informative advice in order to encourage people to take-on their own adventures which always encompass the experiences-of-a-lifetime.

Top 40 Travel and Tourism Niches: Which One Are You?

Not too long ago, travel and adventure meant going out of your small town (be it even to the nearby woods). You left the comfort and safety behind and took significant risks, especially if you traveled solo.

Today, numerous travel niches have become popular, each with its own tourism appeal and unique perspective that it offers.

In this post, I will list the major types of travels that I consider to be broad enough to deserve a mention as a travel niche. These tourism niches have big enough market demand to sustain as an independent category on their own.

Travel Niches & Trends

  • Adventure Travel – Adventure tourism is the fastest growing and biggest travel niche today
  • Nature and Wildlife Tourism (aka Ecotourism) – another trend which will continue to grow
  • Cultural Tourism – traveling for the purpose of exploring various culture, and cultural & world heritage sites 
  • Medical, Dental, & Fertility Tourism – traveling for medical purposes
  • Wellness Tourism – traveling to seek tranquility, healing, meditation, and nature retreats
  • Music (and Music Festivals) Tourism – popular with young adults
  • Culinary Tourism – traveling for food, to eat well is to live well
  • Wine, Cheese, & Beer Tourism – traveling to taste different wines from different regions
  • Nightlife and Party Tourism – traveling to various party destinations 
  • Roadtripping – traveling by car with a group of friends 
  • Extreme Sports Tourism – traveling to mountains
  • Highpointing – Hiking, climbing, or driving to the highest elevation point of a state, country or continent
  • Sports Tourism (Golf, etc.) – either to play or watch
  • Shopping Tourism – traveling exclusively for shopping purposes
  • Religious Pilgrimages – walking, biking, or traveling to religious & spiritual sites

  • Off-the-Grid Travel – traveling to and living off the grid in a minimalistic way
  • Scenic Train Travel – touristy scenic train rides with focus on dining & wining
  • Space Tourism – exploring the outer atmosphere, earth from above, and outer space
  • Bookstores & Literary Tourism – visiting cool bookstores and fictional or real sites related to books and authors
  • Tolkien Tourism – exploration of Tolkien’s middle earth and LOTR related sites
  • Volunteer Travel – traveling & volunteering to work on non-profit charity projects
  • Film & TV Tourism – traveling to various film and TV series filming sites (eg. Game of Thrones)
  • Archaeology & History Tourism – traveling to ancient ruins, archeological sites, and historical places
  • Ghost, UFO, & Haunted Tourism – traveling to haunted places and UFO siting sites
  • Genealogy Tourism – tracing or returning to your roots
  • Jungle Tourism – traveling and camping in the deep and remote jungles 
  • Underwater Tourism – exploring the marine life and ocean through Scuba, Snuba, Snorkeling
  • Shark Tourism – seeking underwater thrills & shark encounters across the globe
  • Rural and Village Tourism – countryside relaxation 
  • Astronomy Tourism – visiting sites that provides excellent views of the stars and night sky
  • Inner city Tourism – exploring your own town or city in great details 
  • Weekend Tourism – traveling every weekend (mostly nearby attractions)
  • Ghetto Tourism – traveling & exploring the living conditions in slums and ghetto

Deviant & Sad Trends

A beautiful ruin 

I was debating at first whether to lost the following sad trends or not? Listing them will give them more exposure, so at first, I thought I will leave them out. But then I thought, these trends are actually growing (financially speaking) so closing my eyes to these problems will not help solve these issues.

The best thing I can do is to use this platform and bring public awareness about these. Some of these may sound harmless or even exciting (drugs and sex for example), but please understand that both drugs and sex causes overall more damage, deaths, and harm to innocent lives (including children).

The best way you can help is first by not participating in them and therefore cutting off the financial incentive. Second, you can be aware that these problems exist and thus help to spread the word. (Fact: Even in Prague or Amsterdam, most of the girls working in the red light district are there against their will via deception, bribery, and manipulation.)

  • Drug Tourism – mostly illegal and unsafe, please use common sense
  • Sex Tourism (Male, Female, Trans) – again, please use common sense. Do not do anything that hurts other humans
  • Dark Voyegeristic Tourism (Underground shady fights, deaths, & stuff) – please do not support or fund this industry by partaking in it. Anyone can be the next innocent victim of it
  • War & Disaster Tourism – visiting sites with tragic past for pleasure (War, disaster, & genocidal sites, Nazi camps, etc.)
  • Suicide Tourism (Important: if you are feeling suicidal, know that you’re not alone and confidential help is available for free. Please seek help. US Helpline | HelpGuide | Resource Center)
  • Hunting Tourism (The Big 5 Games) – traveling to mainly Africa (South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya,
    Zimbabwe, Botswana, etc.) to hunt rare and endangered species such as Elephants, Lions, Rhinos among others. *Hunting* is very common in North America and Europe.

*Hunting is a personal choice. It’s a complex issue and would need an entire blog to discuss the various impacts and issues surrounding it. If you are not a hunter, please do not partake and support this industry.

As a starting point, please follow the first rule of life, do not kill life unless it is for your own or your family’s survival and safety. Also, the above category is about hunting the big animals (man of them endangered and at the point of extinction).

10 Best Spots In Philippines That Should Be On Your Radar

The Philippines, with its 7000 plus islands, has a LOT to offer foreigners and locals alike. Located on the Pacific Rim in Southeast Asia, the country is shaped by its geography, giving rise to diverse and unique wonders.

Needless to say, naming just the 10 best spots is almost an impossible task. ALMOST. The places below certainly demand commendation and are very well-deserved of special mention.

Boracay

Ranked by several travel magazines as the best island in the world, Boracay is a right mix of leisure and excitement. While the white-sand beaches are considered ordinary in the Philippines, Boracay stepped it up with its powder-fine white sands, pristine waters, and serene view. Boracay is also known for its energetic nightlife with parties that last till dawn.

Read: 5 Must-Visit Natural Beauty of The Philippines

El Nido

Imagine a lagoon with crystal-clear, blue water, white sand, colorful fishes, amazing rock formation, and green all around. That is El Nido, another highly acclaimed island in the Philippines that has starred on several international TV shows and movies.

Coron

Coron, another land-before-time paradise in the Philippines, is considered as one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. 10m to 40m below the waters of Coron reveals a dozen sunken Japanese warships and vibrant coral reefs.

 

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Siargao

Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines and is famous for its huge Pacific swells and thick, hollow tubes. There are also isolated beaches and unspoiled lagoons for a much-needed rest in between surfs.

Banaue

One of the best representation of the Philippine culture is probably the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao. The 2000-year old hand-carved rice fields at the sides of several mountains were long declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vigan

Vigan is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that depicts the remnants of the Spanish settlement. From the cobblestone streets to the colonial mansions and the horse-drawn carriages, Vigan is a stunning throwback to the 16th-century Philippines.

 

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Batanes

Located at the northernmost part of the country, Batanes is known as the “Home of the Winds” and offers a completely different landscape with its rolling hills, jagged mountains, stone houses, green pastures, and rugged cliffs.

Davao

Copyright: Bernardo Agulo image – Davao City

Wanna climb the highest peak in the Philippines? Mount Apo in Davao is also the home of 272 bird species including the monkey-eating eagles. Considered as one of the largest eagles in the world, standing over 1m tall, the monkey-eating eagle is also the country’s national bird.

Albay

Albay shows off the most active volcano in the Philippines, the Mayon Volcano, which is also widely lauded for its 8000-feet of a perfectly symmetrical cone. Adventure awaits in riding an ATV up its slopes and lava front to the Ruins, where you can see the bell tower of a buried 16th-century church.

Bohol

Last, but not least, is surreal Bohol. Its awe-inspiring Chocolate Hills, composed of 1200 hills, turn especially brown during summer and look like a spread of giant chocolate mounds. You can also find the smallest living primate in Bohol, the shy tarsiers, which are equally a sight to behold.

These 10 spots in the Philippines are sure to satisfy your wanderlust and invigorate your spirit. They should be on your radar and your bucket list.

Offering refuge, tranquility, inspiration, and adventure, the country is definitely aptly described by its tagline, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”

 

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Author Bio

David is a blogger at FlipFlopsandAppleSauce.com where he reviews a host of different products. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and relaxing in the sun.

10 Best Summer Places To Visit In India

Summer is the hot weather usually comes after every spring in India. High temperature and sweating make the days and night tired and sluggish. So everybody is looking to visit some cool place to spend some time and beat the heat.

The destination like the Himalayas, southern beaches, the western and the eastern ghats (bay) are very much preferred locations to visit in India. So, if you are fed up with the hot weather, please consider including some of the recommended destinations from our list below.

There is a way you can still chill out during the hot Indian summer days.

Summer Places To Visit In India

Coorg (Kodagu)

 

Coorg is an awesome place for summer vacation in India. This beautiful piece of paradise is loaded with the hills and valleys of the Western Ghats. This is most desired and visited a hill station in Karnataka. Kodagu is also called the “Scotland of India” and “Kashmir of the south” because of greenery and clean weather conditions.

It is very special place in India which attracted most of the tourist to visit and spend time in natural beauty. This place is cuddled up at the altitude of 3500 ft above the sea. It is the home for Tibetan refugees and Kodava people. The majestic environment of this hill station is ideal for trekking, photography, and revival of the inner soul.

Places to visit in Coorg

  • Abbey Falls
  • Namdroling Monastery
  • Talakveri
  • Bramhagiri Hill

Read: 121 Fun Facts About India (Before You Travel)

Manali

 

Manali is one of the crown jewels of North India. Almost everyone in India is well aware of Manali and about its natural beauty. Manali is the hill station located in the state Himachal Pradesh attracts lot of tourist and visitors. It lies in between the Pir Panjal and Dauladhar range of Himalayas be a magnet for  water streams and mountain adventures.

Most of the adventurers visit Manali to have fun of playing sports like paragliding, water rafting, and trekking. It is one of the best hub to the newly wedded couple for honeymoon too.

Places to visit in Manali

  • Beas River
  • Hidimba Devi Temple
  • Manikaran Gurudwara
  • Salong Valley

 

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Read: 5 Things You Should Know About Indians Before Visiting India 

Andaman Islands

The many gorgeous islands of the Andaman in the Indian Ocean is full of beautiful beaches and opportunities for water adventures. If you want to beat the worst heat of the summer season then visit this seaside. This is the popular destination for summer vacations and honeymoon.

There is 52 small islands are located in Andaman out of which 36 are occupied by various tribes and local people. The historical existence of stone age culture also attracts the visitors to spend time here. This tropical area is enriched with the trees and wildlife.

Place to visit in Andaman island

  • Ross Island
  • Jolly Buoy Island
  • Radhanagar Beach

Kashmir

Kashmir is the place which do not need any introduction. In India, it is known as the “The Paradise on Earth”.  The awesome weather with snowy mountains is the perfect place to visit during summer. It is also called the Switzerland of India”.

Gulmarg, Srinagar, and Pahalgam in Kashmir is most visited and popular valley among visitors. The rides of famous Shikara and mugal garden is the most famous things to do in Srinagar and in Gulmarg the most loved gondola rides of khilanmarg are the thing that most of the visitors do.

Place to visit in Kashmir

  • Dal Lake
  • Shankaracharya Hill
  • Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
  • Gulmarg
  • Betab Valley

Ladakh

Ladakh is the“little Tibet” in India. Known for its natural beauty and several spiritual places to visit, it is the ultimate place to visit during summer season. The large mountain range of Karakoram, snow-covered hills, small lakes, cold weather, and enchanted Buddhist crowd attracts a lot of tourists.

In summer most of the motorcyclist take adventures trip here. The Leh highway is the most famous road for thrill lovers. This is the best place to visit during summer when the fierce sun comes to burn you out with excessive heat.

 

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Place to visit in Ladakh

  • Pangong Lake
  • Shanti Stopa
  • Leh place
  • Khardung La Pass
  • Magnetic Hill

Ooty

Ooty is a hot spot for summer vacations. Toy trains are fun to ride here. It’s a mountainous region. So if you want to visit the place which is very good to curve the hot weather with some interesting beautiful toy train riding then go for this amazing place.

The beautiful cottages, gardens flooded with different varieties of flowers, fresh air, churches, botanical gardens, and peaceful weather charms this place very much.

Place to visit in Ooty

  • Doddabetta peak
  • Tiger Hill
  • Ooty Lake

Shimla

Shimla is the very attractive tourist site during summer. Known for its natural beauty, it was first developed into a vacation town by Scottish civil servant Charles Kennedy in 1822 as a summer home. Now, it has attracted a lot of visitors. It is the best place to spend honeymoon as well. The snow hills, chilled weather, waterfalls, and the Himalayas are the most visited sites there.

Places to visit in Shimla

  • Ridge
  • Mall road
  • Kufri
  • Toy Train
  • Theog
  • Christ Church

Darjeeling

The majestic place well known for tea gardens is the hub for summer vacations. The mountain range of Kanchendzonga is the most luxury and rejuvenating place for everybody. The fresh air, Toy trains, Greenery, and tea gardens look very beautiful and charming. Darjeeling is a place that radiates inner peace and joy.

Places to visit in Darjeeling

  • Kanchenjunga Mountain
  • Japanese Peace Pagonda
  • Tinchuley Valley
  • Mahakali temple

Read: Darjeeling Travel Diaries: Tales From The City of Hills (Part 1)

Read: Darjeeling Travel Diaries: Tales From The City of Hills (Part 2)

Read: Darjeeling Travel Diaries: Tales From The City of Hills (Part 3)

Shillong, Meghalaya

Shilong is the capital of Meghalaya is one of the famous tourist sites in India. The place is enriched with hills, pine trees, waterfalls, chilled weather, and fresh air. It is the most preferred site to visit during summer weather. For exciting offers check yatra coupons.

Places to visit in Shillong

  • Elephant falls
  • Ward’s lake
  • Umiam Lake
  • Sweet falls
  • Bishop Falls

Mount Abu

Rajasthan is the place known for hot weather and desert. Mount Abu is the most amazing hill station of Rajasthan even it is the lone hill station of this state. It attracts enormous tourist to visit during summer days. Small lakes, hills, and beautiful greenery attracts the people to visit this place

Places to visit in Mount Abu

  • Nakki Lake
  • Dilwara Temples
  • Toad Rock

Conclusion

Chill out the summer weather by visiting these awesome and cool place. These are the most preferred and visited hill stations by the tourist during summer. These places are enriched with the beauty of nature like rolling hills, waterfalls, small lakes, and fresh air.

So, go ahead and beat the Indian summer by visiting these majestic places and enjoy the magic of mother nature.

 

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60 Fun Facts to Know Before You Travel To Bangladesh

Bangladesh was once part of India and then once part of Pakistan before becoming an independent nation.

Bangladesh is home to the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger (pictured in the cover photo).

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Bangladesh is separated from Nepal by the Chicken’s Neck.

There are many artistic weaving centers on the banks of Shitalakshya River where once the muslin industry flourished.

Bangladesh became the second country after Malaysia (among the developing nations) to have successfully sequenced a plant genome in 2010.

Sholakia, a tiny town in Bangladesh, draws almost 300,000 Muslims for Eid prayers every year on Eid ul-Fitr.

Scientists are concerned that the Bangali River in northern Bangladesh may merge with the Jamuna River and cause loss of 100,000 hectares of land in the region.

The Korotoa River, a small stream in Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh, was once a large and sacred river.

Pundravardhana was a territory, mostly in present-day Bangladesh, of the Pundras, a group of non-Aryan people, dating back to 7th to 8th centuries BC.

Chalan Beel, a wetland in Bangladesh, is getting vastly reduced in size with fast silting up caused by the inflow of 47 rivers and waterways.

Boats crammed with people from both India and Bangladesh, flying the flags of their respective countries, converge on the Ichamati River, the international border, to immerse the idols after Durga Puja.

The World Wide Fund for Nature rates the Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests bordering India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (Burma) as “Globally Outstanding” in biological distinctiveness.

The Mymensingh Museum in Bangladesh contains Saraswati and Vishnu statues from a Muktagacha zamindar palace, and a huge shade used during hunting from a Gouripur zamindar palace.

Fauna of Bangladesh includes Trigona Fuscobaltiata, the only species of stingless bees found in the country.

Bengali writer Rajnarayan Basu was a tutor of Asia’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Mangalkavya depicted the social customs of Bengal in the middle ages.

Hakim Habibur Rahman, a Unani physician, collected all the Arabic, Persian, and Urdu books written in Bengal for more than 40 years and published a catalog titled Sulasa Ghusala.

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The Tagore family, with over three hundred years of history, has exercised the greatest influence on reawakened Bengali spirit.

In Hindu mythology, after Lakshmindara, son of Chand Sadagar, died of snakebite on his wedding night, his bride Behula accompanied his corpse on a raft floating in a river.

A village Defence Party is organized on the basis of one platoon of men and one platoon of women for each village in Bangladesh.

While mainly charged with maintaining law and order, Bangladesh Ansars are also assigned to help in schemes promoting local development.

The internet penetration in Bangladesh grew in three years from 3.2% of the population to almost 25% (in 2017).

The folk-rock band Bangla’s debut album, which featured several little-known folk songs, sold over a hundred thousand copies in the first two weeks of its release.

The Sannyasi Rebellion was a series of clashes between Indian ascetics and the British East India Company during the eighteenth century in Bengal.

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh was also known as Jahangir Nagar.

Mahasthangarh is the earliest urban archaeological site so far discovered in Bangladesh, dating back to at least the 3rd century B.C.

The 17th-century Mughal subahdar Shaista Khan conquered Chittagong and ousted the British East India Company from Bengal over a trade dispute.

The Bengali nationalism motivated the proposal for a united, independent Bengal as an alternative to the 1947 partition of Bengal.

Islam Khan was the founder of the modern city of Dhaka and the first Mughal general to subjugate Bengal.

The suffering caused by 19th-century floods and famines in Mymensingh District, presently in Bangladesh, led to the sale of human beings for around the price of a mound of rice.

The Baharistan-i-Ghaibi is the only extensive historical document accounting the wars, events, and life in Bengal during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir.

The Buddha Dhatu Jadi, also known as Bandarban Golden Temple, is the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple in Bandarban, with the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh.

Jhalkaribai fought with the East India Company army in disguise as Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 to let the queen escape easily out of the fort.

The ship breaking industry in Sitakunda began when a 20,000-ton ship was accidentally beached by a tidal bore in 1965.

Bhutan was one of the first countries in the world to recognize the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.

In retaliation for Nepal recognizing Bangladesh in 1971, Pakistan broke off its ties with Nepal.

Tea production in Bangladesh began in 1840 when the first tea garden in the Indian subcontinent was set up in the port city of Chittagong.

Bangladeshi nationalism was popularized by President Ziaur Rahman as a substitute for Bengali nationalism.

Geoffrey Davis compared the mass rapes during the Bangladesh Liberation War to the Nazi Lebensborn program.

A fire that broke out a few days before Hiralal Sen died destroyed all his films including India’s first political film.

Matir Moina, a Bangladeshi film by Tareque Masud, was temporarily banned by censors in Bangladesh before becoming the country’s first film to compete for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Mukh O Mukhosh (The face and the mask), directed by Abdul Jabbar Khan, is the first full-length Bengali language feature film to be produced in Bangladesh.

The Bara Katra palace in Dhaka, now dilapidated and half-destroyed, was built originally to be the residence of Mughal prince Shah Shuja.

Somapura Mahavihara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bangladesh, was one of the best known Buddhist viharas in South Asia since King Dharmapala erected it in the 8th century.

At a cost of $7.9 billion, Meghna Bridge in Bangladesh is the single largest bridge project in the world with the assistance from Japan.

A proposed strategic road link through Bangladesh and its capital Dhaka will reduce the travel distance between the Indian cities of Agartala (in Assam, India) and Kolkata from 1,700 km to just 400 km.

The Maitreyi Express was launched on Pohela Baisakh in 2008 to revive the railway link between India and Bangladesh that had been closed for 43 years.

In a major improvement in bilateral ties since it blocked Bangladesh’s entry in the U.N. in 1972, China offered to help Bangladesh construct its first nuclear plant.

Dhaka Racing is the first 3D video game developed in Bangladesh.

The Sixty Pillar Mosque located in Bagergat in south Bangladesh is one of the oldest mosques in the country, and is described as “historic mosque representing the Golden Era of Muslim Bengal”.

The Bangladesh Police inherit much of its structure from the police of British India and contributes to U.N. peacekeeping missions.

A council ward in the East End of London was renamed “Spitalfields and Banglatown” in 2001 to reflect the history of Bangladeshi immigration to that area.

The Armenian community of Dhaka played a major role in education in Bangladesh and owned major landmarks like the gardens of Shahbag and Bangabhaban.

Bangladesh officially rejected Israel’s recognition of its sovereignty in 1972.

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Sustainable Travel Tips From World Tourism Day

Every Year on the 27th of September, the United Nations organizes the annual event of World Tourism Day.

The growth of tourism worldwide is estimated to grow at 3.3% till 2030. Following this trend, the International Tourist Arrivals which stand at 1.2 billion as of 2015, will likely grow to 1.8 billion by 2030.

Woah! This means more people traveling. This makes me happy.

World Tourism Day

This year’s, the World Tourism Day is focused on sustainable, planet-friendly, eco-tourism.

UNWTO’s Secretary General Taleb Rifai echoed this sentiment when he said, “the question is how we enable this [Travel as a] powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars.”

Sustainable Travel Tips

The five pillars of sustainable travel are Environment, Society, Economy, Peace, and Culture. The international tourism faced many challenges this year from the wave of terrorist incidents to disrespectful tourists plundering pristine eco-systems.

So, this year let all travelers learn to adopt sustainable tourism. Below, I have mentioned four tips to ensure you follow the ways of sustainable world travel.

Respect the Culture

Wherever you go, be updated about the culture of that place. Even if you are not, be as much as flexible as you can be. Talking from experience, I was once standing in front of a statue of Lord Buddha and so was another fellow traveler.

He started posting like the statue and framed comic pictures which didn’t go well with the locals who were devotees of Lord Buddha. This World Tourism Day, make sure you keep your mind open and your heart sensitive to understand what’s going on around you.

Protect the Nature

This is one of the top priorities of a responsible traveler. One thing I learned from my sister is how to protect nature. She is an environmentalist and always advocates for nature. As a traveler, you want to be carefree and wild.

But sometimes it is easy to mistake carefree and wild, with carelessness and irresponsible. We all have a duty towards nature, and whenever nature demands our attention we should pay it.

If you can dodge the use of vehicles (as much as possible) to curb the release of Green House Gases that is well and good.

If you refrain from entering the protected areas, which other tourists think as adventure then hats off (because Protected Areas are Protected areas for a reason).

Use Resources Wisely

We belong to a generation where water is as precious as fuel. If we don’t use our resources wisely then maybe we will have to live in a deficit.

As travelers, it is our concern not to misuse any resources. Do not let the tap open indefinitely, do not switch on numerous lights and electrical appliances when not needed. Save Energy and Energy will save you.

 

Support Local Businesses

Many of us dream of traveling luxuriously which excludes any involvement with the local businesses. But as a tourist going local is the best way to discover a place.

Whenever I travel, I try to go as much as a local as possible. Be it eating at a local shack, or buying a memento from a local vendor.

The UN released a handbook which is the responsible traveler’s etiquette called “Travel. Enjoy. Respect”, which has guidelines to be a responsible tourist.

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Mystery: Why Planes Don’t Fly Over Tibet?

Blessed are curious for they will find answers to the mysteries. Many questions pop into our head from time to time. Many unsolved mysteries spark interest in our minds. And I can’t rest till I find the answer to it.

Tibet is the land of a series of world’s highest mountains, and you would be surprised that no planes fly over Tibet. What is the reason behind dodging Tibet for flight routes?

Why Planes Don’t Fly Over Tibet

Aerial View of Tibetan Plateau

Before we delve into the reasons, let us look into a few interesting facts about Tibet.

Facts About Tiber

Tibet is an autonomous region of China. It is in the southwest part of China, and it shares borders with India on the West, Nepal on the Southwest, Burma, and Bhutan on the southeast.

Tibetan Plateau is the highest one in the world, and it is home to the Great Himalayas. Mountains like Everest (8850 m), Kangchenjunga (8586 m), Mount Kailash (6638 m), Makalu (8481 m), Cho Oyu (8201 m) stand high in the Tibetan land. The average height of this mountain ranges is 8000 m or 26000 ft.

Tibet has one international airport, one is Lhasa Gonggar Airport, the other airport Ngari Gunsa Airport is a dual-use military airport. The Lhasa Gonggar Airport is 62 km away from Lhasa the capital city of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

And the average elevation of this area is 3650m. You need to wait patiently till your breathing pattern adjusts to the height slowly.

These facts help you understand why planes choose not to fly over Tibet.

The Elevation of Tibet

With a series of world’s highest mountains, the highest being Everest at 8850m (29035 ft)- It becomes a giant huddle for the planes. The highest cruising altitude that is allowed to commercial planes is 28- 35,000 ft (8000 m). And as you can see the elevation of Himalayan mountain ranges is around 30000 ft, the aircraft generally do not fly over the Himalayan ranges.

You must know that there are layers of the atmosphere. That is the next reason of why planes do not fly over Tibet.

Air Turbulence in the Layers

We all know that there are four layers of the atmosphere. And the closest one to the Earth is the Troposphere which continues from ground level to 7 miles above the ground level. The Himalayas are at the height of 5.5 Miles. They are at a point in the Atmosphere where one layer gives in to the other.

The Troposphere changes to Stratosphere. Most planes fly in the upper boundary of the troposphere. And flying in the lower layer of Stratosphere is only advised if you have enough supply of oxygen.

As the height of atmosphere increases, the air thins. It means that the volume of oxygen in the air decreases as we move above. And with an increase in height, there is also increase in air pressure. That results in air turbulence and disturbances.

If there would be no mountain ranges, then the pressure of winds at such a height would be easier to deal with. But the mountain ranges make it harder for the planes to deal with Turbulence at the lower layer of Stratosphere (where there is already less oxygen and water vapor).

Avoiding Risk of Drift Down Procedure

Most of the planes have a capacity to fly higher than 20,000 ft. But most of the airliners have only 20 Minutes of passenger oxygen. And according to Aviation rules, a flight must descend to 10,000 ft before running out of passenger oxygen.

With the wide expanse of mountain ranges in Tibet, at a height of 28,000-30,000 ft, it becomes difficult for pilots to bring down the planes to a height of 10,000 ft early enough. Even though any pilot pulls off this trick, he will land with an oxygen deprived blue colored passengers. The airliners do not want this kind of fuss, so maybe they avoid flying over Tibet.

Airport Hopping

Airplanes follow a geodesic curve while flying. Geodesic means the shortest distance between points in terms of constant velocity. If there is an airport where you have to reach, and your plane hops at one airport on the way, there is also an airport nearby with the same distance from your destination (in the case of emergency).

All plane routes are planned according to this geodesic curve. But Tibet lacks airports. As we mentioned earlier, there are only two airports in Tibet, which are at 1357 km from each other.

It is not a mystery that Planes do not fly over Tibet, But it is the scientific reasons which make it impossible to fly over Tibet.

 

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Be Bold For Solo Travel: International Women’s Day

Be Bold For Change (#beboldforchange) was the motto of the 106th International Women’s Day 2017. Even after a century of celebrating this day of women empowerment, gender equality is a still a far-off thing in today’s society.

Instead of waiting for the change to happen on its own, let all the women change for themselves. Come out of your shells and comfort zones, and break the stereotype. There is no better way for a woman to realize her power than traveling solo.

This Women’s Day – be bold enough to travel on your own; go traveling solo! To all those adventurous ladies who have already traveled solo, kudos to you!

Be Bold For Solo Travel

There are a lot of hardships that come your way when you decide to travel alone; maybe it is the concerns of your loved ones or the fear of the unknown. As a woman, we have to deal with a lot of issues (and internal chatter) before embarking on a solo trip.

Here are the top 8 concerns woman face and how to overcome the resistance.

Concerns From Loved Ones


When you want to spread your wings, sometimes they get tied down by the concerns of your parents. Their concern (even though annoying) is explainable and mostly reasonable. With the increase in violence towards women in all spheres, it is only fair that parents get concerned for their daughters traveling alone.

But once you make the decision to travel solo, take your time and explain to your parents. They will surely understand, once you put your plans before them and promise to contact them regularly.

Male Oglers

There is no shutter to the eyes of a male, and even if there were one, they would still stare. When you travel to a new country, it is common for women to get male glances.

That is why before traveling to your destination, do extensive research. Read about the culture and traditions so you can dress in an appropriate way. It is okay to wear shorts and a tank top, wandering around the Parisian Lanes.

But in some places (for example in India or a Muslim country) it is not a good idea to attract unwanted attention to yourself. Even if you see some locals wearing modern western clothing, it is not a bad idea to keep a low profile.

Wherever you travel, always make sure to check first what the local custom and cultures regarding clothing are and pack accordingly. You don’t have to be boring. You can still travel in style as well as comfort without attracting unwanted male attention. Here is a hint: try ethnic clothes. 

Get Over the Pitying


In many places around the world, people think traveling alone is pitiful. They label you as a “sad old soul” who needs a partner to settle down. But women who travel alone know well that the road can be the best partner, and new experiences keep you in good company.

It is not impossible to have a family and travel; you can do both if you have enough patience to balance both. Do not feel sorry for yourself or lonely, and when you feel so, think about why you traveled in the first place. It is easy to use just a patient smile and calm voice to let the people know that you don’t care what they think, but you care about what you want.

Periods When Traveling


Traveling is fun, but the change of weather can mess with your menstrual cycle. You cannot enjoy a beach day with cramps annoying you. And if you are enjoying an African Jungle Safari, then God save you! (Please pack some painkillers, just in case.)

Read: How to Travel like a Pro during Periods

In many countries, there are less than safe and unhygienic conditions. Sometimes you have only a bucket of cold water to deal with your problem. In those troublesome times too, we women do not give up. Though it is better that you plan your trips on dates when you are likely period-free, so you can have fun to the fullest.

 

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Kickass In A New Territory


Solo women travelers are easy targets for desperate men. In countries where men have a chauvinistic mindset, they do not think before pouncing. If you are a beginner, it is better if you avoid dangerous countries like Yemen. In many of the developing countries too, you come across many instances where solo female travelers get abused. Research well, plan and prepare.

Do your research on your destination and rate it on a scale of safety. And if it is above 6/10 then it is okay to take the risk. Once at your destination, put your game face on (reserve a smile for the friendly ones).

A self-defense program comes in handy in case you need to kick ass when the situation arises. Carry weapons for safety with you, like pepper sprays and a penknife just to take your opponent by surprise. And above all look confident even though you are shaking in your boots!

Pack To Look Pretty


After reading this, you must surely want to explore the wild and badass side of your personality. But the biggest superpower of a female traveler is the ability to pack less and travel more. Girls, we know you love to look beautiful. But sometimes blending comfort and beauty is an excellent thing.

A couple of t-shirts, jeans or shorts, jackets, boots and a dress or two is more than enough for your travel wardrobe. Make sure all the combinations work together, so you do not repeat an outfit in your pictures.

Remember there is always that one lovely dress and accessories you buy on your trip to take back home. So, leave some room for them in your luggage as well. Also, do not forget your essential toiletries. You need not carry your makeup kit with you: a Gloss and Kajal will do the trick.

Get Wild and Have Fun


Are you bold enough for a transformative change? If yes, then make your decision and get wild. Traveling alone can get lonely at times and if you meet someone who sets the sparks going, why jinx it by not being prepared?

Please only engage in safe sex. Make sure you put the rubber on and do not forget to take your pills. These small steps give you relief from bigger troubles like STDs and unwanted pregnancy. If you are brave enough to embark on a solo trip, you are brave and matured enough to say “No” if you are not interested. Do the right thing.

Make New Friends


Whether you believe it or not, there are plenty of places around the world where a traveler gets treated like a celebrity. In many places, it is actually easy to make friends; be it an Airbnb or a hostel or a resort. On your way, you meet fellow female travelers. The bond you share becomes stronger when you share your journey and experiences.

This International Women’s Day, add your story to the collection of stories about brave women making bold decisions. Do something and share your stories that will inspire other girls to explore the world on their own.

International Women’s Day

Below are some of the events in March:

1) International Women’s Day Fun Run, Brisbane on March 5th
2) SHEfights – An all-female Muay Thai event in Toronto on March 11th
3) Water for People (a free event in Washington D.C.) on March 8th
4) International Women’s Day Walk in Zurich on March 8th
5) WOW (Women of the World) Festival in London on March 7th

All events focus on the motto of this year’s International Women’s Day: Be Bold For Change! And, one of the best ways to initiate a transformative change is “by traveling”.

 

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Top 5 Free Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is a colorful modern city, with huge shopping malls, museums, parks, skyscrapers and an active nightlife. It may seem that you will need a lot of money to enjoy Kuala Lumpur, but that’s not true.

Tourists with a smaller budget can still enjoy the pleasures of this glittering metropolis because there are many free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

ENJOY THE FREE WALKING TOUR

Image Credit

As many other touristic cities of the world, the capital of Malaysia offers its visitors free walking tours, guided by locals. So put on comfortable shoes and explore the city for free. Usual trails include Merdeka Square, Kampung Baru, Malay village and Brickfields, the Indian district.

There are, however, two different types of tours. The first one, the Dataran Merdeka Heritage Tour, meets at Kuala Lumpur City Gallery every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 9 am. The second one, Kampong Bharu Cultural Tour, starts at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 4.30 pm. A tour usually takes 2.5 hours, and it is recommended to book in advance.

Related: How to Get Around in Kuala Lumpur

TAKE A BUS

There are four free bus lines in Kuala Lumpur, running around Central Business District and covering 60 stops. The buses have air-conditioning, Wi-Fi on board and run more frequently than the regular buses. Hop aboard to have a bus excursion around Kuala Lumpur for free!

CLIMB ROCKS AT BATU CAVES

Batu Caves is a hill with numerous caves and cave temples, which is located in Gombak district, 12 km north of Kuala Lumpur. The Temple Cave and the Cathedral Cave are the most famous. To get to the Temple Cave, you need to climb 272 rock stairs. And remember to watch out for monkeys!

Batu Caves, KL By Simon_sees CC BY 2.0

Also, for the last ten years, Batu Caves have become the center of rock climbing in Kuala Lumpur. The hill is 150 meters high and offers 160 climbing routes for different levels of age and experience. Climbing is free of charge, but you’ll have to bring your gear. And also, come early in the morning to pick the best area for climbing, as later the place will be crowded.

ADMIRE THE BEAUTY OF PETRONAS TOWERS

Petronas Towers have become the tallest twin towers in the world after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. They are 452 meters high, and they are the most famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur.

Unfortunately, access to the observation deck on the 41st floor is no longer free. It costs around three dollars to visit the deck. However, you have to arrive early in the morning, wait in line, get one of the limited entrance tickets and get assigned a visiting time later that day.

Also, you can only stay on the deck for 10 minutes. If you don’t want to go through these troubles, you can just admire the towers from outside, which is also great. The towers look like two shiny silver spears, reaching the clouds. When they are illuminated during the night, they look even more marvelous. Their multi-faceted star-like design is truly unique.

WALK THROUGH THE LAKE GARDEN PARK

Feeding time By Thomas Quine CC BY 2.0

Just 10 minutes from Merdeka Square, you will find a unique oasis of green in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Taman Tasik Perdana also called the Lake Garden Park, is a natural haven in the city. The park offers its visitors a wide variety of giant tropical trees, fragrant flowering bushes, landscaped gardens, waterfalls and many other attractions.

There is everything you need for an excellent day: exercise equipment, children’s playground, walking paths and even a low-cost food market. The bird park and museums have rather high admission fees, but all the other activities are free of charge. You can even spend a whole day in the park!

 

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For the Best View of Mt. Everest, Go to Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar, meaning “black rock” in Nepali and Hindi, is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas above Gorakshep.

Although not a proper mountain, the ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest since it provides the most accessible closeup view of Mount Everest.

Due to the structure of the Everest Massif, its high summit is blocked by Mount Nuptse from much of the surrounding region.

The views of Everest, Nuptse, and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Mount Lhotse as well.

View of Mount Everest, Mount Nuptse, & Mount Lhotse

Sunrise on Mount Everest

Note: Kala Patthar is considered the highest altitude most will reach without an Everest climbing permit, which must be obtained in Kathmandu, at the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

So, if you are planning to do the famous Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek, you can trek up until Kala Patthar.

Fun Fact: The world’s highest webcam, Mount Everest webcam, is located here.

How To Climb Kala Patthar

Everest view from Kala Patthar

The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorakshep (5,164 m or 16,942 ft), the original base camp for Mt. Everest.

After a brief dip to an ancient lake bed (which now contains a small lake and a helipad), the ascent makes its way up to a series of steep switchbacks before leveling off somewhat as it traverses to the eastern side of the mountain.

Mount Everest from Tibet, Tschomolangma peak

The trail then becomes steep once again until it reaches the wind-swept summit ridge. From there, a 5-to-10 minutes scramble over boulders takes one to the top, which is marked with prayer flags.

Note: There is also a geocaching trackable named Kala Pattar Yeti attached near the summit. Its trackable code is GS9EBG.

Elevation & Hiking

The full ascent usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. If the attempt is made starting from Lobuche, an additional two to three hours (one way) is required.

The elevation is commonly listed as 5,545–5,643 m (18,192–18,514 ft). It is possible that since Kala Patthar is merely a minor summit on a ridge leading to Pumori, different people may have measured different summits.

The summit traditionally referred to as Kala Patthar is, however, completely festooned with prayer flags, making it quite readily recognizable.

It is quite clear that the point trekkers climb to is a local maxima on the Pumori ridge, not the summit of Kala Patthar proper.

Safety Tips

Clinics are a sparse resource in Khumbu. However, should you require medical attention there are two possibilities:

Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western-trained doctors and is a surprisingly well-equipped facility – they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering from severe altitude sickness.

On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English – even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.

The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a clinic staffed by western physicians in Pheriche. They give a daily lecture on taking care of your health in the Khumbu region, and, for very little money you can check your blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

This is a good place to stop at even if you are not experiencing any health problems. Check out their t-shirts, scarfs and hats, the proceeds of which go towards operating the clinic.

Local medicine

The Healing Center in Namche offers treatments using natural formulas. It is next to the Camp de Base hotel but entered from the path in front of the library.

This clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on a low income. In order to continue this service, donations are greatly appreciated.

Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches, etc.

Namche also has a dental clinic, on the right side slope of the village when looking up.

Don’t drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water.

Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but it may be OK for brushing teeth.

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Top 6 Shopping Cities in the World

Many people travel for food. Others for adventure. But, some of us love to shop. To the people who travel to shop, this blog is for you.

Maybe it is boutiques or flower shops that bring you the pleasure of shopping, or, perhaps it is antiques or some good old wine. But the point is the joy we get from shopping is immeasurable.

There are some cities which are undoubtedly the best shopping destinations in the whole world. Here we’ll feature 6 of them we think are the best in the world!

LONDON

London has a collection of shops to choose from. If you want to go to luxury shops, it has got Harrods. Oxford Street has got around 300 shops you can choose from.

If you are on a budget, you can take a look at Westfield.

Burlington Arcade, shops by Andrew Dunn CC BY-SA 2.0

There are tons of retail outlets at Dover Street Market. Have your pick. Impress your man by trying on sexy lingerie at Bravissimo.

For improving your wardrobe head to New look marble arch. London has got some departmental stores You can choose from Debenhams and Peter Jones.

MOSCOW

If you are traveling to the Russian capital, Moscow, you can’t help but wonder where to go. The shopping options will overwhelm you. You can make some happy purchases in the ultra-modern city.

The price here can be dauntingly high. It is a city of fashion-conscious people who are not afraid to spend.

Moscow GUM Middle Line view from 2nd floor by A.Savin  CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to shop like a regular Russian, head to Flacon. The luxury shops like GUM offer you a fancy lunch at an affordable price.

Don’t miss the bustling streets of the Izmailovsky flea market. Maozoo is another place where you can find cool outfits at reasonable prices.

PARIS

Paris is the capital of the fashion industry. Anything that Parisians wear is in vogue. You could do a lot of shopping in Paris. It has got some of the best stores to chic you up.

There are shopping streets as well as elegant boutiques. It is up to you which one you shop in. You can buy perfumed candles as wells as pretty hats in Paris.

Galerie Lafayette Haussmann Dome by Benh LIEU SONG CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want something within your budget Canal St Martin is your place. It has styles of every age.

Your antique collection can be enhanced if you go to St Germain des Pres. It has got a wide variety of art galleries and antique shops.

TOKYO

Tokyo city is always in a rush with tens of thousands of shoppers. From shiny jewelry to colorful mementos you can get absolutely anything in Tokyo. Shopping for gadgets? You will be amazed by varieties of it!

Ginza boasts huge department stores and gorgeous boutiques. Takumi is a secluded place for the artsy people.

For taking gifts back home try the Nakamise Dori. Shibuya is heaven for hippie teenagers.

You will be wowed by the dream prices in which you get the funky outfits. Top your look with accessories from Tokyu Hands.

NEW YORK

New York City is known as the global shopping capital. From classy apparel to books you can find anything here. You can fit anything in your budget.

For luxury, you have got stores like Bloomingdale and Barneys. All big brands in NYC come with B. From Armani suits to Alexander Wang dresses; everything luxury can be found here.

If you are fond of the designer label, this is your place. Madison Avenue is made for celebrity clothing. But window shopping is the best way to have a look at Calvin Klein designs.

For something fashionable yet cheap H & M is the apt place to go. You can find the latest designs at too good to be true prices.

Soho has some fantastic art galleries. Be ready to fight the crowd on your way through it.

Dubai

Things have changed in the past three decades. Dubai city has emerged as a global shopping and entertainment destination for people of all budgets.

Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual month-long event put together by Dubai’s department of tourism.

During the festival, shops offer discounts on their merchandise, daily car raffles, and prize drawings are held to win items such as gold and cars, and there is a fireworks display.

The other thing to highlight here is the Dubai Mall. It is the second-largest shopping mall by total land area. There is also a range of family activities and live shows that take place throughout Dubai.

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The Rise of Adventure Travel: Are You Brave Enough?

Adventure travel has become an integrated part of the travel industry. It is soon becoming a trend, which people are following blindly. The thirst to discover new cultures and off-the-beaten-path natural treasures is growing in people.

That is why the industry revenue increased by 24% in 2014 as reported by several leading travel research groups. Adventure travel has three elements: connection with nature, interaction with other cultures, and physical activity.

Read: Top 10 Travel Trends That Will Only Grow

Rise of Adventure Travel

Share with your friends the below infographic.

As you can see, adventure travel is not limited to extreme sports. There is a new category which is becoming popular. It’s often called the “soft adventure.” You can ride on a safari in Africa and call it an adventure tourism (because it is).

The hard adventure is for the daredevils. Those who want to go off beat. Scuba diving and paragliding come under hard adventure.

Related: Top 40 Travel and Tourism Niches: Which One Are You?

Women vs Men Adventures

The percentage of travelers involved in the adventure is increasing year after year. It has shown a steady rise since past three years. You will be surprised to know that 53% of adventure travelers are women. Who knew that!? (I certainly did not, but hey, this is the century of women!)

The wrong notion that the mustache is stronger than the braids is slammed right there. Another emerging trend is that more and more people are now exploring new places. Most travelers do not prefer to travel to the same place (as it used to be 20-30 years ago).

Travelers don’t like doing mundane things on their trips anymore. They are exploring new horizons. Maybe that is why only 22% of travelers repeat their adventure activities. According to ATTA research, African countries have shown a steep decline in attracting adventure tourists whereas Latin America and Asia are on the rise.

Adventure travel is widely popular in South America and Southeast Asia. There are hundreds of destinations around the world which can be turned into adventure destination. For example, the Polar cruising is becoming a hot trend.

Traveling without adventure is mundane. Even if you do a bungee jumping on your trip, you become an adventure traveler. So, don’t hold back. Explore the wild and unknown. Embrace the Adventure!

 

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Top 8 Places to Visit in Singapore

Singapore is growing to be the busiest city-state in South Asia. Millions of tourists from around the globe visit it each year.

Here are the top 8 places you must visit when you are in Singapore.

MARINA BAY

This area is the central attraction of the whole city. It has everything you look for in a city. The Marina Bay Sands resort contains luxury hotels and a mall you can enjoy.

Around Marina Bay, you have a wide range of nightlife options. The Skypark hotel is the best place to view the incredible city. You can watch the double helix bridge from the Skypark.

The viewing deck is on the top of the hotel. But only guests are allowed there. You can take the observation deck, though. The area has a lot of things going around it.

The ArtScience museum can be a place you can visit to pass your time. If you are a shopaholic you have lots of shopping places here. The night is the perfect time to watch the skyline of the city in all its glory.

You can have some snacks at the top of Marina’s Skypark while you ogle its beauty. The decadence of Marina Bay just enhances Singapore’s appeal.

Skylines of the Central Business District, Singapore at dusk by Basile Morin CC BY-SA 4.0

RAFFLES HOTEL

Think about 100 years of history which this hotel holds. It has stood since 1887. Raffles was a typical fishing village till Sir Stamford Raffles came here.

He saw a lot of potential in this village. So he bought the land from the Sultan of Johor. Well, the rest is history.

It is now a well-known port which has this refined hotel. The age-old architecture will attract any history lover. The gardens are lush and green.

You can stay here and love the restaurants. They serve quality food. You can even shop from the 40 classy boutiques. Girls, time to go shopping. History lives here.

This hotel has entertained guests like Queen Elizabeth, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad. You surely will be treated well.

SINGAPORE FLYER

Hold your breath if you are to take a ride in it. It is thirty meters higher than the famous London Eye. You will get a breathtaking view of Singapore on this flyer.

It spins at 0.21 meters per second. The time duration for it is 30 minutes. Its open from 8 am in the morning to 10:30 pm.

Don’t think you will only be able to see the greatness of Singapore. You can have a view of the Spice Islands and Straits of Johor too. A thirty-minute ride of the Singapore Flyer is an excellent opportunity to pamper yourself.

Just opt for anything that suits you. And have a view that you love. A city of lights or a city in light.

CHINA TOWN

According to history, this place is of great importance for Chinese immigrants. They settled down here. That is why you will feel like you are experiencing small china here. You can taste delicious Chinese food here.

The bright colors and lanterns give it a traditional feel. There is an Indian temple here – Sri Mariamman Temple.

There is also a China town heritage center at Pagoda Street. You can go there and learn about its history. Thian Hock Keng Temple temple is an ancient temple of South Asia.

If you are hungry, you can take a break at Maxwell Road Food Center. China town is a free Wi-Fi zone. Good luck browsing. Good, news for fashion divas! There is Ann Siang Hill area here, which is a trendy spot to shop.

Chinatown at Sunset , Singapore by Erwin Soo CC BY 2.0

GARDENS BY THE BAY

You will be mesmerized by it when you see it from the Singapore Flyer. You will not be able to stay away. It received the title of World Building of the year in 2012. It is a futuristic step towards sustained development.

The Supertree groove will give you a nice walk through the garden. You will find structures that are environment-friendly.

In the cloud forest dome, you can view the tallest indoor waterfall. The outdoors is open from 5 am – 2 am. The indoors are available from 9 am – 9 pm.

There are a lot of trees, plants, treehouses, waterfalls, skywalks to engage you and your kids. You can learn and have fun here.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

You can guess from the name what it is all about. It is a studio that has many themes. It has 20 attractions. The important themes are Lost World, Hollywood Madagascar, Ancient Egypt.

The roller coasters here are the world’s tallest roller coaster. They are first of their kind in Asia. You can have tremendous fun with your family here. Two of the roller coasters are water-themed. Yay!

You can have a lovely day and then head to the merry-go-round. Your kids, as well as you, are sure to have fun here.

LITTLE INDIAN TOWN

The diverse culture is a thing to be admired in Singapore. We saw China Town. Now the Little Indian Town. This town came into existence 200 years ago. All the aspects of India are present here.

The spicy Indian cuisines are a must taste. You can visit the Sri Veeramakalimaman temple and worship. Do you want a sexy outfit for festivals? You can buy beautiful saree here.

You will find numerous Indian restaurants here. Especially Tamil. A colorful neighborhood with delicious aromas. Have a slice of India.

Image Credit

SINGAPORE NIGHT SAFARI

The Singapore night safari is a sure thing for tourists. Those who love wildlife can spend their time here. You will have a nocturnal visit inside the reserve.

Image Credit

It has 1000 animals which include Himalayan vultures, rhinoceroses, wild beasts. This research center will give you a good tour of wildlife. It will be interesting to see the wild in action.

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Visiting Japan’s Peak: Mount Fuji

Some say Mount Fuji in Japan is every hiker’s dream, a must-visit for travelers. This behemoth of a landscape stands tall and scared, touching the skies to the southwest of Tokyo, with its summit at 3,776 meters above sea level.

It is not surprising, therefore, that many people want to make a trip to Mt. Fuji and locals worship the sacred mountain out of the belief that it is connected to God. Locals believe that whosoever climbs and visits the Murayama Sengen Jinja becomes blessed.

Mount Fuji

Hikers, climbers, and adventurers challenge the peak during the climbing season. According to official figures, more than 300,000 people from across the world climb Mt. Fuji every summer, either for the achievement of setting a record for their lifetime or for the sheer fulfillment of the physical and spiritual self.

Visit Spiritual Shrines

In the past, trekking in the mountain meant a spiritual fulfillment. That is why many shrines were built in Mount Fuji to indicate the spiritual importance of walking through the different trails.

At the summit alone, there are two shrines:

  • Okumiya Shrines
  • Kusushi Shrines

Located beside these shrines at the end of the trails are snowmelt springs of water passing through volcanic lava.

Murayama Sengen Jinja Temple

It is also recommended that tourists visit the Murayama Sengen Jinja temple, where people in the past were believed to pay homage in order to live a good life.

The old temple was constructed a thousand years ago. Another recommended drop-by point for visitors is the Fuji Gen temple situated at the foothill of Mt Fuji. These temples serve as jump-off points to the 5th level of Mt. Fuji.

Hiking & Trekking Trails

Before trekking in Mt. Fuji, one needs to gather information about the trails, hotels, towns and tour schedules of the place, and the Internet provides pieces of relevant information.

When booking hotel rooms around Mt. Fuji, check an establishment’s terms for the use of toilets and bathrooms. Cheap rates mean you will have to share water closets with other guests.

Seek information about climbing the mountain – fitness level requirement, training, clothing, sickness, weather forecasts, etc.

Climbing Mt Fuji by Jakub Hałun CC BY-SA 4.0

Visting Mt. Fuji & Location

Mt. Fuji sits in the middle of Japan, with the official designation as the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Beyond the 5th station, where hikers begin the 10-hour climb to the summit, and the Aokigahara forest, the area is protected, meaning hikers are not allowed the pilfer the rocks and plants.

On any point, almost everybody considers it a privilege already to be standing at the foot of the mountain. But for hikers who can’t resist the temptation to reach the peak of Mt. Fuji, there are many odds that could keep them from trekking on the mountain such as the cost of the trip including airfare, accommodation, transportation, food and clothing and one’s fitness to make the trip.

Kawaguchiko Trail

The Kawaguchiko trail is the traditional route and takes 6- 8 hours to complete (walking pace). On your climb you might see the dormant crater, it is a sign that a meteorological station is 30 minutes away from you.

Kawaguchiko Trail

Another route is the Gotembaguchi route, which is tougher than Kawaguchiko trail route. It takes about 10 hours to hike the mountain using this route. There are cozy huts to help you on the mountain, selling postcards, gloves, food, raincoats.

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara, also known as the sea of trees as it spreads across the foothills of Mt. Fuji, is covered with lava mud over which trees of various kinds grow with their roots jutting out above the ground. Many tales led to the other name of the forest – suicide forest. According to stories, trekkers found body remains and suicide notes in the forest.

Fuji Five Lakes

Take extra pleasure in what Mt. Fuji has to offer. Visit the Fuji Five Lakes at the northern foot of the mountain, where you can view the beautiful landscape of the lake.

The Fifth Station

Going to the Fifth Station is made easy through a bus ride along a road that ends at the station’s intersection of pavement and soil. Before kicking off the Fifth Station trail, you will find a helpful map at the entrance of the Ochudo Trail, which will guide you through the journey.

Although it surrounds the circumference of Mt. Fuji, tourists can never get lost on this trail because it is well-maintained. Finally, when at the Fifth Station, you can find many souvenir shops and toilets.

Mt. Fuji 5th by Flittergreeze CC BY-SA 4.0

How To Get Here

Once you reach Tokyo, there is no trouble taking a bus from Shinjuku. The bus ride takes you to the Fifth Station (as mentioned above), which is the base point of hiking in Mount Fuji. NOte, it takes at least two hours to reach Kawaguchiko – the fifth station.

There is also another way to reach Mt Fuji- train. Take JR Tokaido line from Tokyo, then from Kozu change train for Gotemba. Then there are direct buses from Gotemba to the fifth station. And the Gotemba Route is relatively cheaper.

Best Time To Visit

The hiking season in Mt. Fuji is strict for two months – July and August. At this time of the year, Tokyo is burning in the heat, but the slopes of Mt Fuji are still mildly cold. Pack your bags wisely to cope with the nightly drop in temperature.

All the facilities and routes get closed off during offseason. It is not advisable for even professionals to dare the Mountain after August. Climb the mountain during the late morning, so you catch the sunrise as well as ditch the crowds. And what more? You get to stay at an overnight camp and witness the sunrise too.

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