Tag Archives: Asia
Located in the shadow of the beautiful Mount Salak, Bogor is one Java’s must see cities. Located just 90 kilometers south of Jakarta, Bogor’s relaxed vibe couldn’t be more different than the capitol city, Jakarta. This beautiful city is one of the jewels of Indonesia and should be on everybody’s travel plan. Indonesia is among the most exciting locations in Southeast Asia. Here is why you must stop what you are doing and visit Bogor Indonesia.
Bogor is home to some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. Formed 200 years ago for scientific experiments in botany, the Bogor Botanical Gardens are now one of the regions primary tourist draws. Botanical research is still on going at the gardens but today you will see many more tourists than scientists. The botanical gardens are massive and can take all day to explore. Many visitors will choose to enjoy lunch in the garden’s lovely cafe. The gardens are also home of the prime minister’s summer estate so you can imagine what it would like to wake up to views of this garden every morning. A whiff of the flowers and fresh air and you would never believe you are so close to Jakarta.
Gazing up at the massive peak of Gunung Salak is a once in a lifetime experience. This volcano erupted approximately 80 years ago but given that it has only erupted a few times ever (as far as scientists can tell) this makes it one of the safest (allegedly) on Java. If you want to get up close and personal with the volcano, it is also home to a lovely national park. You can arrange several guided hikes of varying difficult to view some of the wonders of this natural wonder.
Bogor houses an incredible puppet museum that features traditional hand made Indonesian puppets known as Wayang golek. This is not your average museum as it also doubles as a workshop for the puppet maker, which triples as his home! The gentlemen who runs the museum will gladly show you how the puppets are made, give you a history of them, and sell you one as well. These puppets are an important part of Indonesian and Javanese culture and are unique to this region of the world. Talk about a one of a kind souvenir! So if you are interested in arts and crafts and one of a kind experiences, the Wayang Golek puppet museum is a one of the best reasons to visit Bogor. The hospitality doesn’t stop at the museum, if you are looking for a great place to stay with incredible customer service, try the R Hotel Rancamaya.
So whether you are doing a tour of Java, Indonesia as whole, or just looking for a weekend getaway from Jakarta; Bogor is a one of a kind city with a relaxed and fun atmosphere. If the thought of being so close to a volcano doesn’t make you queasy, we recommend you visit Bogor soon and prepare for a truly once in a lifetime experience.
In spite the many top reasons to visit Burma, the country remains unexplored by many travelers. Burma (also known as Myanmar) has a lot of fascinating tourist spots that you should consider experiencing, as they are situated in a territory filled with magnificent beauty and unrivalled charisma. Burma is an autonomous country in Southeast Asia, bounded by India to its west, China to its north, Laos and Thailand to its east, in addition to having the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to its south.
One of the best top reasons to visit Burma relates to its popular beaches, the most unforgettable of them being Ngapali Beach. Ngapali Beach is situated in Rakhine State, stretching elegantly along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The beach is considered as one of Burma’s premier beaches considering its unspoilt natural ambience, clean blue waters and white sand that is surrounded by coconut trees.
Also, there are prearranged leisure activities offered to its visitors which might tickle their fancy, such as beach wandering, beach volleyball, snorkelling and a lot more. There also some fishing towns close to the beach which can be visited through tours. Fundamentally, the best time to explore the place is through the months of May and October.
Mrauk U is a prehistoric city also lying in Rakhine State, which is included in the top reasons to visit Burma. Mrauk U has caught the attention of many tourists owing to its rich archaeological heritage. It was established by King Narameikhla in the year 1404 A.D. If you tour the area, you can witness many of its antique artifacts and ancient stunning architecture of its shrines, pagodas and palaces. To access the city, travellers should ride a boat that takes about 4 to 5 hours from Sittwe, heading towards Rakhine Yoma.
Another tourist destination to explore is Mount Popa. It is positioned in Kyaukpadaung town about 50 kilometres from Bagan. Primarily this attraction is recognized as a dead volcano which is an abode to many spirits. Furthermore, Mount Popa is also considered to be one of the top reasons to visit Burma owing to its fine-looking forests, which are nestled on its slopes, which serves as a sanctuary to many wildlife species. Apart from that, there are many outdoor activities tourists can enjoy at the Pegu Range of Mount Popa such as trekking, biking and hiking. There are also eye-catching structures that can be viewed here, such as a Buddhist temple and the Taung Kalat.
Endowed with a great number of beautiful destinations to explore that will truly capture your heart, the top tourist attractions in the Maldives have continued to amaze a great deal of travellers. The Maldives is actually the smallest Asian nation in the world and located in the Indian Ocean and composed of 26 islands, all of which are gifted with pristine beauty and a unique culture.
One of the must-visits among the top tourist attractions in The Maldives is the National Museum of The Maldives. The Museum was time-honoured in the Sultan’s palace and takes pride in containing the safeguarded works of The Maldives’ prehistoric era. Within the museum, tourists are privileged to view the wonderful exhibits of royal entities such as their day-to-day outfits, currencies, jewlery, sculptures and also artefacts and pictures of both the pre-Islamic epoch and that of the historical Maldivian locals. Aside from such remarkable items, the National Museum of The Maldives also features the unique tomblike monument of Buddhists.
If you’re a self-confessed aficionado of the arts, then Esjehi Art Gallery would really tickle your fancy. Esjehi Art Gallery will allow you to journey way back in the 1870s during the colonial period. Moreover, the gallery has some unique pieces and even facilitates trade fairs where you can purchase genuine works of art from famous Maldivian artists.
Being an island country, The Maldives boasts a huge quantity of islands to strengthen its tourism. With the good intention of boosting further the tourism growth of the country, the administration of The Maldives has created several ventures to build some artificial atolls that will capture the commercial market. Fundamentally, there are 3 non-natural islands in the country namely Thilafushi, Gamarugiri and Hulhumale. All of these destinations are considered to belong among the top tourist attractions in The Maldives.
Dotted in the Kurumba Island, about 20 minutes drive from the airport of Male, is the famous Kurumba Village which is the first island resort in the country. Kurumba Village is also known as a forest resort to many tourists and never fails to draw a great number of tourists to explore the islands. The village is rich with a plethora of coconut trees, sandy coasts, and stunning, serene lagoons which are certainly ideal for leisure. In addition to that, the village is propped up with excellent bungalows and cottages not to mention the fine bars, massage centres and spas which transform the place into a vacation paradise. Another fantastic place to stay is at Kuredu Island Resort which offers some of the best amenities in the country.
Postcard-perfect beaches, balmy weather, lush greenery – the Maldives is an archipelago that virtually everyone wants to visit. And that’s very conservative on my part, I think; I mean, if money was no object, who wouldn’t come here? Most of the time, all you hear about is its beaches and luxury hotels; its diverse culture, meanwhile, is rarely mentioned.
Today is the day that changes, however, as culture is going to be the focus of this post. If what you read inspires you and you decide to sort out the practical details of your holiday right away, such as finding a hotel, just do a Google search for the Maldives and plenty of info will pop up.
A glance at history
Any destination’s culture is largely shaped by its history, so when I tell you that the Maldives has a fascinating past under the rule of a number of countries and suffused in myth, you should recognise that now is the time to get excited.
The first thing to know is that the islands of the Maldives dot the trading route of the Indian Ocean – something that has meant that visitors from far and wide having been coming here both in the form of short stops and of settling for centuries on end. So, the country is no stranger to overseas influences, which have made their impact on the culture over the years.
Just to give you an idea of what influences are at play, the original settlers here belonged to the Buddhist faith, but the nation converted to Islam back in 1153. In 1558 the Portuguese invaded, before being forced out in 1573. The archipelago then became a protectorate of Great Britain in 1887, gaining independence in 1965. In 1972, the first-ever island resort was built – a real landmark when you think how important local tourism is now.
Language, arts and more
So, you now have a (very) broad outline of the Maldives’ history, which means it’s time to look more directly at what you’ll experience in terms of culture. We’ll begin by taking a quick look at things like language, which you’ll come into contact with as soon as you arrive.
The national tongue is Dhivehi, but you’ll find the dialect can vary depending on whereabouts you are. For instance, on the inhabited islands in the far south you’ll notice a distinctly different dialect from places like Male’ – something that’s often attributed to the former’s relative isolation.
If you go island hopping, expect to discern differences in people’s appearances from one atoll to the next. This is down to the Maldives’ trade route location, which saw peoples from places like Africa, Arabia and south Asia settle here.
So, it’s easy to see the country is something of a melting pot. What I like doing is exploring the local arts and picking out different slices of heritage – as well as seeing how these diverse elements come together to create something new.
For instance, head into a mosque and you’re likely to see intricate patterns on the wooden beams, which can be traced back to south-east Asian influences. In terms of music, keep your eyes (and ears!) peeled for the bodu-beru, which is like an African drum.
Go island hopping, meanwhile, and you’re likely to do so in a dhoni – a traditional Maldivian boat. Look closely, though, and you’ll see it looks very similar to an Arabian dhow.