Inspiring Destinations If You’re Blue and Don’t Know Where to Go

Feeling blue and lost? Look no further: this list gathers some of the most amazing places on earth to inspire gratitude, comfort and wonder. There’s no better pick-me-up than the breathtaking beauty and heritage that can be found in every corner of the globe.

Chile

Lonely Planet traversed the globe in search of 2018’s hottest country and they certainly hit the mark with Chile. Surrounded by indomitable feats of nature (the snow-capped Andes, the inhospitable Atacama desert, the untamed Patagonia wilderness and the uninviting Pacific Ocean), the nation feels secluded and exciting.

Easter Island

The only thing equal to such feats of nature is the rich cultural heritage Chileans celebrate and there’s no better place to experience this than the legendary Easter Island.

Around 600 stone moai stand testament to the culture of the Rapa Noi people of whom not much is know. This civilisation also left detailed mountainside carvings about which there are many intriguing myths.

Valparaiso

Valparaiso’s portside location only enhances its reputation as a hipster hangout. It’s also a World Heritage City for its arty past with former residents including Pablo Neruda. Start with a street-art tour and then head to the famous poet’s house, La Sebastiana.

The Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is the base town for venturing into the desert. El Tatio Geyser Field is a stretch of rocky formations with slits releasing hot gas, clouding the area in natural mystery. Salar de Atacama hosts several volcanoes with the Andes looming in the background.

South Korea

Coming in a close second for the best destination of 2018 is South Korea. A thoroughly contemporary country with an imperial past, South Korea is also leading the way to the future with otherworldly metropolises.
Top attractions:

Myeong Dong Street

Seoul’s shopping block is not just a retail hub but the best spot in the city to snack of some of South Korea’s unique street food.

Bukchon Hanok Village

A testament to the Seoul’s architectural heritage, the village was once home to royal relatives, thus the spectacular buildings with their distinctive upturned roofs.

Georgia

Can you pinpoint Georgia on a map? Not everyone can; large neighbours like Russia and Turkey have often stolen the show but Georgia is coming into its own as a unique holiday. Get in before the crowds discover the rich culinary traditions and heritage that shape modern Georgia.

The Caucasian Mountains

A few hours outside Tbilisi lie the Caucasians with the highest peak rising to 5642m! The minty green hills roll into terracotta-coloured villages, scenery that not many people experience. Here time seems to have stood still and history is well-remembered.

Tbilisi

The Georgian capital is an amazing melting pot of some of the oldest cultures in the world. Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral to learn about the main Georgian religion, the Narikala Fortress which was built by the Persians, expanded by the Arabs and occupied by the Mongols, and the Metekhi neighbourhood with its medieval church for a stunning cliffside location.

China

The one billion people who call China home have much to be proud of,  imperial history, forward-thinking design, incredible feats of engineering and rich rural areas that take the breath away.

The Great Wall

It needs no introduction; suffice it to say that the Great Wall, stretching over jaw-dropping landscapes, is unmissable.

Shanghai

Architectural wonders are what make this Chinese city special: head to the Bund, a street gallery of colonial buildings, and visit the world’s highest observatory at the Oriental Pearl TV tower. The Maglev Train is the world’s fastest.

Essaouira, Morocco

The ancient port of Essaouira is a rustic Moroccan marvel. Africa’s ‘Windy City’ invites surfers to its long beach, while in the old medina there’s plenty of old charm in the unchanged fortifications and restored riad guest houses. Need another reason to visit? Humble budgets are welcome here.

The beach

Surfing or yoga classes: you choose but make sure you walk on the dusty white sands of Essaouira.

The medina

Getting lost is obligatory in any medina and there’s plenty to see in Essaouira’s: mosques, battlements and houses with incredible craftsmanship.

Perth, Australia

Perth combines nature and nightlife to offer an appealing holiday retreat.

Whale-watching and Beaches

Burn’s Beach is Perth’s premier strip of shoreline, located in a sheltered bay and with spots for dolphin-watching. If you come in the right season, head offshore to see the humpback whales.

Dining

There are more restaurants and cafés here than in Sydney or Melbourne, all of which have some scrumptious dishes.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has a distinctive feel to it, oozing old-world charm and seaside chill. It’ll help you kick back and relax, no doubt.

Fresh seafood dinners

Like any good port, Lisbon offers salty seafood to its visitors. Michelin-starred eateries have begun popping up in the city, bringing modern twists to old recipes.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Top of the list of Lisbon’s attractions is this 15th-century monastery, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India and home to many Portuguese noteworthies.

New Orleans, United States

They say misery loves company: if anyone understands, it’s those blues singers. And for when you’re feeling a bit better, a bit of jazz will pick up the tempo.

Music show

The city’s the historic home of Jazz and Blue so you can take your pick of the best music clubs in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras Museum

First prize is attending the actual Mardi Gras carnival, famous around the world. If you’re out of luck and in town at the wrong time of year, the museum has you covered.

Miami, United States

This laidback Atlantic beach city is perfect for cheering. Whoever complained of wet, sandy feet and uninterrupted stretches of blue?

South Beach

It ’s not called the American Riviera for anything: luxurious spas and upscale boutiques line the waterfront, while there are many watersports on offer.

Art Deco Architecture

The 1920s were a time of spectacular opulence. Retreat into that carefree world with a tour of the city’s period buildings such as the Cavalier Hotel.

Hurghada, Egypt

Don’t let the headlines of political insecurity get you down; tourists confirm they feel safe in the country and while others look away, there are great deals to be had as the government drops prices to attract travellers. Hurghada’s an affordable gem not to be missed: at the crossroads of the desert and the sea, there’s plenty to keep those blues at bay.

Desert tours

Explore the eastern part of Egypt’s great desert by jeep or camel. If you head out at night, you’re in for a treat: the stargazing is sublime.

The Red Sea

Fresh, or sweaty rather, from your desert excursion, hop into the Red Sea to cool down. Swim with dolphins, explore abundant coral reefs and fish in these blissful waters.

Stone walls crossing rocky peaks, colourful coral reefs, cosmopolitan capitals…nature and humankind have created some truly wondrous destinations to inspire and awe – you can’t say you don’t know where to go to beat the blues.

Living As A Digital Nomad In Bali (What you need to know)

Year on year, Bali grows in popularity as a hotspot for digital nomads. On this stunning island, workers with wanderlust fulfill their fantasies of dream lifestyles with cheap and convenient working conditions – the three main requirements for most.

On arrival in Bali, it’s tough not to be bowled over by incredible landscapes, unique architecture and epic sunsets. Yet there are so many more things about Bali that guarantee a steady stream of nomads through its new airport. Countless cafes and co-working spaces offer comfortable working conditions, as well as delicious aromatic coffee and local cuisine.

Choosing your ideal Balinese destination

In terms of environment, you can choose between golden sandy beaches and inner city life; both have their own allure. Wherever you are, you won’t be far from emerald green rice terraces, intricately decorated temples and exotic wildlife.

In terms of activities, you can do everything from trekking to yoga and surfing, and there are all kinds of events happening every day. Those who love the local culture can attend or watch local rituals and ceremonies as often as they please.

Let’s take a look at some of the best places digital nomads can settle in Bali:

 

Ubud

Ubud is Bali’s most popular nomad destination and one visit here will explain this. Ubud calls to people who enjoy healthy lifestyles – there are vegetarian and vegan cafes with creative food options, and a world famous yoga centre, The Yoga Barn. Ubud is seen as a kind of hub for spiritual people on a quest for self-exploration and rich experiences.

One of your main concerns will undoubtedly be setting yourself up for work. Below are some of the best co-working spots and cafes you can find; they’re ‘go-to’ options for daily work, or those days when you want a break from being stuck inside a beautiful Balinese villa… (what a dilemma!)

 

Co-working

 

Co-working space Hubud is one of Ubud residents’ favourites. You can meet plenty of other nomads here, so it’s great for making friends and connections. The place is constructed beautifully from wood and bamboo, and you can see gorgeous rice fields just outside. You can also dine in the raw food café when you’re hungry. What’s not to like?

 

Another great co-working option in Ubud is The Onion Collective. It’s up there among the most popular picks because of its swimming pool and chilled vibe. It’s another space with a great restaurant and you’ll get to listen to live bands at night. You can even pay what you can afford to work there!

 

Cafes and coffee shops

 

If coffee shops are more your thing, check out Kismet Cafe, where you get excellent vegetarian food. The seating is good and you can plug in easily – fast Wi-Fi is probably the main selling point though.

 

There is also Seniman coffee shop. Coffee lovers head here for the flavoursome, classy coffees on offer. Wi-Fi isn’t as good as the co-working spaces, but it’s doable for general tasks. A couple more worth checking out are vegan cafes Sage and Sayuri, both of which have great food and fast Wi-Fi.

 

Canggu

If inland Bali doesn’t appeal as much as the beach, you can find what you’re looking for right there on the coast. Popular coastal areas include Sanur (Denaspar), Seminyak, Legian, Kuta and South Kuta. However, Canggu seems to be a little more geared up for the nomad lifestyle.

Canggu is popular with surfers, yogis, vegans, hipsters and of course digital nomads. You can find Canggu about 20km north of Seminyak. The whole of the beach area is known as ‘Canggu’ and stretches across 8km, but it is split into sections.

 

For accommodation, plenty of digital nomads seem to prefer the area south of Jl. Raya Canggu road, which is near to the sea. Other popular spots are Echo Beach, Umalas, Kerobokan, and Batu Bolong. There are so many, you’ll probably want to come here and check them all out before deciding.

 

Co-working

 

Dojo, near Echo Beach has fibre-optic Wi-Fi, an outdoor seating area, and a lovely swimming pool. They host regular networking events to help you connect with fellow nomads and business contacts.

 

C’ugh House in Berawa offers breathtaking views and an excellent restaurant. The facilities are super-comfortable and the place is spread out over three tiers; you can choose between membership and drop in, etc. You get what you pay for, so that includes free restaurant Wi-Fi, or fastest Wi-Fi and air-con for members.

 

Cafes and coffee shops

 

You might also like Rou Coffee & Co-Working, in Umalas. It’s a very nice coffee shop (despite the label co-working space) and it doesn’t ask for any fees; you’ll simply need to order coffee and/or food and you can take advantage of their fast Wi-Fi.

 

Connecting digitally is easy

It’s easy to get hooked up to the net in Bali. You can choose between 4G, fibre-optics and Wi-Fi (with reasonable connection speeds), depending on where you’re situated. Hotels and cafes provide Wi-Fi, but you’ve also got the option of setting it up in your rented house or villa, if it isn’t already.

 

A SIM card with 4gb of data won’t cost you more than $6 per month, and that should cover most digital nomad activities – in terms of connection speed at least. There are also lots of co-working spaces designed with digital nomads in mind; all your needs are covered and internet is usually at its fastest and most reliable.

 

Cost of living is reasonable

 

Although living costs can vary quite a lot in Bali, you could estimate spending between $500 and $1000 dependent on how you plan to live. At the lower end of that scale you’ll get simple accommodation and cheap local food. At the higher end, you’ll get a house or villa with a pool, plenty of activities each week, co-working, and decent meals out.

 

It’s not difficult to find what you’re looking for in Bali; every area has its own charms but most will cater for your working needs. Comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation is easy to come by, and you couldn’t get bored if you tried. Have fun in Bali!

 

About The Author: Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about his life and travel experiences, make sure can read his latest article which is a guide to selecting the right gun magnet.

 

Ways To Get Around South Africa

South Africa is an eclectic mix of culture, food, tradition, and a history full of different people coming together to form this wonderful country. Ever since the end of Apartheid, South Africa has fast become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.

There are many different ways for tourists to discover everything this country has to offer, from walking to the train and domestic flights that cover every major city and popular hotspot in the country.

Buses

Even though there are a handful of bus companies operating within the country, using the bus is not the most popular form of transport. Many people use them to travel long distances or to work, but this is a small minority.

There is a bus that can take you almost anywhere, and if you are a fan of enjoying the journey more than the destination, then the bus is for you. You can see every inch of the country for the comfort of your seat, stopping in some delightful towns along the way.

The more popular bus companies are Intercape, Greyhound, and Translux, which also all operate a budget fare system. Baz Bus is a more popular choice for backpackers as they have a very useful hop-on and hop-off policy.

Minibus Taxis

Minibuses are by far the most popular form of transport in the country, carrying more than two-thirds of the population every day. They operate everywhere, from major cities to smaller towns and across the townships.

One of the major downsides of travelling on a minibus is the bus itself. Many of them are unroadworthy, operated by dangerous drivers and are the main targets for petty criminals and crime.

Taxi companies are also in constant war for territory, and shootouts between drivers are common, so if you do want to travel this way, asking for some local advice will get you far in choosing the right taxi for you.

Trains

The train system in the country is often lacking maintenance and doesn’t always run properly. The lines operate between major hubs in all the major cities. Johannesburg has the Gautrain, which is more on the luxury side and leaves from O.R Tambo International.

There are also trains that are used for specific activities. The Blue Train, for instance, is a luxury train that travels between Pretoria and Cape Town. You can eat and sleep on the train while enjoying the vast and beautiful landscapes as you roll by.

Driving

Obviously, driving is the most common form of transport, like with many other countries, and if you have a valid license and want to explore on your own terms, this is the best option. There are also many car hire companies to choose from.

Many of these car rental companies have outlets at all the major airports, and you can hire a car right as you land and start your adventure immediately. The rules of the roads are also very accessible and as long as you follow them, you will have a carefree drive.

Cycling

Another unique way of exploring is on a bicycle. If you are a bit of a fitness fanatic, this is the best choice for you. Bicycle rental shops are sometimes hard to find, especially in the smaller towns, but you won’t have much trouble in the major hubs.

Cape Town, for example, have companies that allow you to rent out electric bicycles for set amounts of time, and you can use them to travel across the coast and beachfront suburbs, all the way to the famous V&A Waterfront, with Table Mountain as a backdrop.

Hitching

Probably the least popular way to travel is hitching. South Africa’s crime rates make hitching a particularly dangerous form of travelling, and picking up hitchhikers is also frowned upon due to the fact that is an easy crime opportunity.

Domestic Flights

If you have the money, and looking to travel quickly, using one of the local airlines for quick trips across the country is the way to go. Mango and Fly Safair are South Africas most affordable airlines and there are even smaller ones that also travel to popular spots such as the Kruger National Park.

The airlines are extremely efficient, and a few such as Kulula and FlySafair offer discounts quite regularly, allowing you to travel between cities cheaper than it would cost to drive. This is definitely the most popular way to travel far distances.

Travelling around South Africa can be a very simple task, and there are many different ways to do it depending on what experience you want and your budget. Just be wary of which one as you choose and your holiday or weekend of adventure will be a success.

Best Things to do in Thailand by Month (Ultimate Guide)

Thailand, a Southeast Asian country comprised of 76 provinces inhabited by over 68 million people. This country is known for its beautiful beaches, pretty palaces and magnificent temples; it’s no wonder this is the most visited destination in all of the world.

If you’re a first-time traveller to Thailand, it will be difficult to cover everything. However, you can join us as we uncover the hidden gems of some of the best cities in Thailand and be sure to add them to your “to do list” whilst travelling there.

January

January is one of the best times of the year to visit Thailand, due to its infrequent rainfall and vast amount of sunshine. Truth be told, there is no activity or attraction you cannot visit, just be sure to plan your trip as far in advance as you can, as it is the busiest and more costly time of year.

See the Floating Markets in Bangkok

 

If I had to mention a few of the best things to do in Thailand, my first suggestion would be to see a floating market in Bangkok. Although there are many, the most popular is the Damnoen Suduak market.

This market specifically is best due to its variety of boats selling an array of food and fruits. It is quite busy, so ensure you arrive early in the morning, especially considering January is the busiest season.

You cannot miss out on the spectacle of colours and the experience of a floating market.

 

Bangkok market

Travel to Buddha Hell – Wang Saen Suk

 

Personally, I have never considered that Buddhists believed in a hell. However, Thailand never shies away from the strange and obscure.

In a village not far from Bangkok, take a glimpse into the Buddhist underworld. I warn you, it is incredibly graphic.

It is believed that guilty souls who abandoned their religious beliefs were sent to hell to be punished and prepared for a new life. The stone sculptures showcase torturous and grotesque punishments that are both unattractive, yet interesting.

 

thailand

Chinese New Year

 

Chinese New Year is one of the most exhilarating events in Thailand. Although it falls between January and February, I’m going to mention it here.

The best place to attend the Chinese New Year is in Bangkok, where streets come alive with festivity and celebration. Chinese communities take this time to pray to their Gods and to pay respects to their ancestors.

If you are in Thailand for the Chinese new year, be sure to see the Dragon Dance Parade and learn more about the myths and legends behind the traditions you see today.

 

bangkok chiang mai

 

February

By February, tourists levels start to decrease. The weather is still great with lots of sunshine and minimal rainfall, and accommodation and flight expenses begin to decrease. If you find yourself travelling Thailand this time of year, be sure to find the beach.

The Emerald Pool

 

This is definitely a popular attraction, so it is best to visit in February when peak season has dwindled. These sorts of attractions are always best enjoyed in solitude.

The emerald pool and blue lagoon are part of a nature reserve of which the waters stream from thermal hot springs underground. It really is a wonderful experience and it goes to show how beautiful of a country Thailand really is.

Take a look online for a few packages that allow a tour guide to take you, as it is quite a distance outside of the town of Krabi. You will also need to walk to the pools, so definitely best to have someone lead the way. Some tours offer a free lunch afterwards as well!

 

 

Patong beach

 

Patong is definitely one of the most popular beach resorts in Phuket. Its beach is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. It also includes Bangla Road, which is well known for its colourful architecture and bustling nightlife.

This is definitely not a place to take your children. However, if you are with a group of friends or your partner, add a cabaret show to your to-do list, or enjoy a few drinks in one of the many bars.

 

 

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

 

We’ve spoken about how Thailand boasts rich and exotic culture and colour; the Chiang Mai flower festival is no different. For a duration of three days, tourists and locals gather to observe one of the most incredible displays that one cannot experience anywhere else.

With displays of dancers in magnificent costumes, performing traditional dances on flower floats, this is a ‘must see’ kind of experience! It is also interesting to know that the floats are designed with flowers that are only found in Chiang Mai.

 

 

Erawan waterfall

 

Escape the city and venture to one of the most incredible waterfalls Thailand has to offer. The nature reserve is named after the three-headed elephant in Hindu mythology, and it is said that the top of the waterfall resembles the elephants head.

Located in Kanchanaburi province, the Erawan National park hosts this waterfall, which is surrounded by emerald green pools and vast forestry. It makes for a wonderful place to relax and listen to the falling water

 

March

As the months go on, so the heat increases. If you find yourself visiting Thailand in March, I will quickly advise you to perhaps move south to escape the heat and move towards the water.

Phi Phi Islands

 

The Phi Phi islands are a network of islands that have become the most well known Thai attractions. Truthfully, I don’t think there is one person who hasn’t seen a picture or seen them in a movie.

Boasting incredible beauty, the Phi Phi islands are essentially undeveloped and uninhabited. If you go to Thailand without visiting, you haven’t had the full Thai experience.

If you’re looking for a peaceful experience, surrounded by beautiful waters to escape the summer heat, there is no better place.

 

Ko Phi Phi Island - Thailand

 

Take a ride on the Pyongyang Zipline and Jungle Coaster

 

If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, find your way to the Chiang Mai Zipline and Jungle coaster. Fly across the Chiang Mai forest and enjoy a 360-degree view of its beauty, or hop on the jungle roller coaster for a quick shot of adrenaline.

The park also offers beautiful accommodation and a buffet. This is a great attraction for families and groups of friends.

 

Experience a Blue Elephant Tour

 

Despite the many stories we’ve heard about the unethical way in which elephants are treated in Thailand, the Blue Elephant tour has received rave reviews.

Also located in Chiang Mai, you are offered the opportunity to feed, walk and play amongst the Elephants, although you are not allowed to ride them.

You will also be taken through the Chiang Mai forest with a professional guide who will teach you about these friendly giants and their way of life.

 

Take a look at Buddha Mountain

 

South of Thailand, in the city of Pattaya, you can view the largest Buddha image engraved against Khao Chi Chan. The image was designed to commemorate the King of Thailand’s golden jubilee. It was lasered into the solitary limestone and then filled with gold, creating a beautiful piece of art.

This really is quite a sight to see and it makes for a great picture. So, if you find yourself in Pattaya, be sure to make your way to Buddha mountain.

 

thailand

 

April

Reaching highs of almost 40-Degrees Celsius, April is by far the hottest time of the year in Thailand. The best areas to find yourself in is Koh Samui or Phuket, where rain is more frequent and the heat is less prominent. The tourist season is also essentially at its end.

 

Look out for the Secret Buddha Garden

If you enjoy a bit of culture, you should definitely visit the Secret Buddha Garden. Located in Koh Samui, the garden is a private park of sculptures on one of the highest peaks in the area.

The statues represent animals, humans and deities in various poses that were created by a fruit farmer. Each statue holds with them unique, Buddhist folklore stories and mythology, so perhaps it would be best to organise a tour guide for the full educational experience.

 

 

Attend the Songkran Water Festival

 

Although I suggested avoiding these areas, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the best places to celebrate the Thai new year. At least you won’t suffer too much in the heat, considering the amount of water you will be flooded with.

The word “Songkran” means transformation and change. There are various traditions that are followed during this time of year, so if you wish to participate, ensure you familiarise yourself with them.

The water festival is one of the most popular events in Thailand and provides a great way to have good fun during your travels and to fully immerse yourself in the Thai culture.

 

 

May

While Thailand is still relatively humid and warm, it is still a pretty wet month. If you’re travelling the city in May, it might be best to stay indoors. Here are the some of the best attractions and activities you can find during this time of year.

 

Visit the Royal Barges Museum

 

The Royal Barges Museum, located in Bangkok, was established in 1972. It was originally a dry dock for barges, managed by the Royal Thai Navy. After WWII, a few of the boats had to be repaired and restored, creating this beautiful museum, which today, has become a national heritage site that so many visit.

The barges and boats are crafted with exquisite detail and colour. They are a clear representation of the stock standard designs one will see all over Thailand.

 

 

Get a Traditional Thai massage in Chiang Mai

 

There are many reasons that people travel; often it is for business, perhaps to visit family and friends. However, people mostly travel because they need a break from the concrete jungle. What better way to do so than to literally escape to the jungle.

Take yourself for the ultimate treat and experience an authentic Thai massage. Escape the rain and enjoy an hour-long full body massage at one of the many massage parlours one can find in Thailand.

If you’re in Koh Samui, you’re in the right place for this kind of thing. Take a look online for some of the best massage parlours in Koh Samui.

 

Take a cooking class

 

Take a break from walking the streets and delve into genuine, local Thai cuisine. This is a fun activity for people of all ages and is a great way to immerse oneself in the local culture.

Learn how to create Pad Thai, red and green curries, as well as fried rice and noodles!

The Best Thai Cooking School lives up to its name. Located on a beautiful farm in Chiang Mai, this cooking school grows and harvests its own ingredients for locals and tourists to use while learning how to create local cuisine. It has quickly become one of the most sought-after cooking schools in the area.

You could also try the Sompong Cooking School, located in Bangkok. Learn and create healthy, colourful Thai dishes from qualified chefs and take your impressive new skills home with you to impress your friends and family.

 

June

The weather in Thailand in June is almost identical to that of May. Temperatures may rise, however, with it being amidst the monsoon season, it is still best to try keep activities indoors.

 

Grand Palace – Bangkok

 

The spiritual heart of Thailand, the Grand Palace is known as Bangkok’s most famous landmark.

The palace is a complex of buildings, developed to incredible standards of architecture, boasting intricate detail and an array of colour. You cannot leave Thailand without visiting the greatest of all temples. Learn about the vast and rich history of the palace as well as that of those who lived there.

Pay careful attention to the dress code, as there are very strict guidelines. You are expected to cover your entire body, so be sure to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Visitors are not allowed to bare their shoulders or feet. If you are incorrectly dressed, there is a booth that will provide you with extra garments, however, they do charge.

 

thailand palace

 

Phuket Aquarium

 

The Aquarium in Phuket is the perfect way to spend a relaxing few hours away from the rain. While it is the best idea to entertain your children, it is also suitable for groups or couples.

Although not large, there are many tanks of various sizes that are home to an array of sea creatures both big and small, beautiful and weird. The aquarium also features the ever-popular tunnel, a favourite amongst visitors.

Walking through the tunnel, you are able to surround yourself with a fully panoramic view of the larger, more fascinating marine life that inhabits this giant tank and feel as if you are inside it. Hence its popularity.

 

 

July

During the month of July, Thailand sees less sun and the temperature stagnates between 26-33 degrees celsius. Generally, it is typically best to avoid areas like Bangkok, due to the humidity of the area, however, it only sees, on average, 17 days of rain.

Ghost Tower – Sathorn Unique Tower

 

The Sathorn Unique Tower, also known as the “Ghost Tower”, is an incomplete skyscraper located in Bangkok. It was designed to become a 49 storey luxury apartment building, however, it has today settled as a representation of the financial crisis that hit Thailand in 1997, which is the reason the construction was brought to its end.

21 years later, this building of ruin and neglect has become a playground to graffiti artists, stray dogs and the homeless. Unfortunately, despite the buildings name, there are no ghosts to be found.

It is also a very popular site for travellers and explorers due to its spine-chilling appearance and the obvious curiosity of humankind. One must admit, however, that once you reach the top floor, the view of Bangkok city is one like no other.

 

 

Trickeye Museum – Phuket

 

The Trickeye Museum is an exhibition space featuring over 100 unique, 4D oil paintings. These paintings are all designed to be life-sized murals, which allow visitors to immerse themselves in, and to interact with their life-like nature.

The paintings really are a “trick of the eye”, with their purpose being to stimulate creativity, which is pretty self-explanatory if you were to see the paintings yourself.

It makes for a full day of fun for any person of any age. Take the opportunity to have fun and create amazing picture moments to take home with you, and to laugh at forever.

 

thailand

 

Sanctuary of Truth – Pattaya

 

The Sanctuary of Truth is a religious temple constructed entirely of wood. It is then furnished with sculptures of Buddhist and Hindu designs.

The purpose of the temple is to reflect ancient beliefs and knowledge, as well as to guide visitors to better understand the common goal of life and this universe.

This temple is one of the most magnificent you will find, not only in Thailand, but in the entire world. It is carved entirely of wood right to its finest detail. I spent a lot of time trying to string the best words together to describe how immaculate it really is; to no avail.

It is clear to see the time and effort that was put into the temple’s development, and it is only scheduled for completion in 2050! This is a must-see while in Thailand. If you don’t make your way to Pattaya, you are sure to leave regretting, having missed this gorgeous attraction.

 

thailand attraction

 

Eat Street food in Bangkok –

 

Now, I know I have spoken mostly about Thailand attractions and things to see. However, while in Bangkok, one must eat street food!

It’s interesting to know that Thailand’s main cities are all known for something. Bangkok is best known for its food and has been for years. It even scores as some of the best street food in the world.

Everywhere you go, there are people, and there is food. I feel it is imperative for any traveller to experience everything there is to offer about the country they are visiting. From the culture to the landscape, to its history and its food.

Now, you don’t necessarily only have to try street food in July, but I must mention to do it sometime. It is a necessity to try the weird and wonderful, authentic Thai dishes right off the roadside. Here are a few of the more popular street foods you will find in Bangkok:

Pork Trotters / Khao Kha Moo – Braised pigs feet served with rice
Pad Thai – Stir-fried rice noodles, tofu, egg and peanuts. Both spicy and sour.
Grilled pork sticks / Moo ping
Fried bugs – (we all knew this was coming) Locusts, crickets, cockroaches and more.

 

 

August

 

Go to a cinema –

 

If you’re looking to take a break from the incessant walking and explorations of Thailand. Spend a few hours at the Siam Paragon cinema, which hosts an IMAX and 4D theatre with 10 different special effects.

Across the road, you will find the Scala Theatre, which has never changed since its establishment. This makes for a unique movie experience as guests are able to enjoy a vintage style, cinematic adventure.

 

Big Buddha – Phuket

 

While this is a relatively young landmark, and not necessarily the most popular, if you are in the area, it would be worthwhile to appreciate the magnificence of such a large religious site.
The Buddha is scaled to 25 metres wide and 45 metres high, constructed entirely of concrete and layered with white marble.

If you’re standing in the town of Phuket, it is easily visible and hence, is able to offer a spectacular view of the city from the viewpoint itself. It is said that around 1000 people visit the landmark on a good day to make donations or to write on the marble bricks.

While visiting the landmark, one can enjoy the peace away from the city with the additional sounds of cultural background music. It is important to remember that this is a religious site, and you must wear the correct attire.

 

September

 

Wat Rong Khun – White Temple

 

The White Temple is a contemporary art exhibit created to resemble a Buddhist temple. Located in Chiang Rai, this landmark has become the most visited in the area and is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.

It is a completely white structure with additional pieces of glass to create a shimmer effect.

The temple was created by a local designer who has dedicated his life to completing the structure. He also aims to turn the area around the temple into an educational learning and meditation centre.

The most astounding thing about this temple is how every part of its structure has a symbolic meaning. For instance, The bridge across the lake symbolises rebirth, while the white theme symbolises purity and the glass pieces; Buddha’s teachings and wisdom.

 

white temple

Fantasea Theme Park

 

We all know that Thailand is one of exotic culture, colour and tradition. It is a must to see the Fantasea Theme park. Using acrobatics, illusions and aerial shows, paired with incredible special effects where performers showcase the rich heritage of Thailand.

The theme park also includes carnival rides and games, as well as one of the best buffets in Phuket.

 

Thailand theme park

October

As we reach October, Thailand experiences fewer days of rain. The best areas to find yourself in during this period would be Chiang Mai, which experiences the least amount of rain.

 

Visit Doi Inthanon National Park – Chiang Mai

 

Also known as “the roof of Thailand”, you can find this national park in Chiang Mai. It is part of the Himalayan mountain range and due to its high altitude, the park experiences high humidity and cool weather all year round.

Within the park are various viewpoints, waterfalls and walking trails. If you are a view hunter, this is the perfect place to experience some of the best views Thailand has to offer. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and find peace in the calm.

 

Visit the Klong Thom Hot Springs

 

Imagine yourself in a bathtub surrounded by natural forestry; that is exactly what you will find at the Klong Thom Hot Springs. Located in Krabi, rain is infrequent at this time of year, so you can take yourself for a therapeutic spa day right in the midst of nature.

This smooth rock brings water in through hot springs located in volcanic chambers. Submerge yourself in the warm, cascading water and enjoy the benefits of its natural mineral salts, which are said to cure various health issues like sciatica.

This water also cascades into a cool stream that visitors can swim in. The emerald pool, as previously mentioned, isn’t too far from these hot springs. For only 200 baht, you can gain yourself access to the nature reserve as well.

 

Krabi hot springs

 

Tiffany’s Cabaret Show

 

This extravagant show takes place at the Grand Theatre, located in Pattaya. It features a group of transgender performers, wearing the most exquisite and bright attire that is nothing far from over the top.

Three times an evening, visitors can come and enjoy an hour-long show filled with colour, light, music and various cultural dances, as well as an ever-exciting burlesque performance.

Anybody can come and enjoy the show and it is most definitely something any tourist should make sure they cover before heading home.

 

November –

 

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – Chiang Mai

 

This elephant sanctuary was established through the collaboration of Karen hill tribes and Chiang Mai locals who shared concerns about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.

It is aimed to be an ethical and sustainable sanctuary where elephants are well taken care of. Visitors are not permitted to ride them and there are never displays of tricks. You will be taken by a guide who can teach you about the sanctuary itself as well as the elephants they take care of.

This is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Thailand. Take a walk alongside these friendly giants and bask in the experience of a lifetime; with an opportunity to swim, feed and play with the elephants.

 

 

Angthong National Marine Park

 

Located in Koh Samui, the Angthong Marine Park is a beautiful archipelago of islands. It hosts various limestone mountains, waterfalls and forests to explore.

Take part in activities such as snorkelling or kayaking to escape the summer heat or relax on the white sand beaches.

Take a day trip or book a bungalow to stay overnight. Although this becomes an increasingly popular attraction, it still remains a pristine and protected, picture-perfect paradise.

 

thailand marine park

Discover Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon

 

Any tourists favourite discovery; one that seems relatively unknown to this day. Well, in case you haven’t heard yet, Thailand has its very own version of the Grand Canyon.

Located in Chiang Mai, you can visit this beautiful, natural canyon. Also known as Hang Dong Canyon, visitors can relax upon the rocks and enjoy the view or take a swim in the gorgeous waters.

Take a picnic basket with some local beer and snacks and take the day to bask in the summer sun. Perhaps you will meet other tourists who could share a few of the other hidden treasures Thailand has to offer.

 

thailand

 

Floating Lantern Festival – Loi Krathong

 

Probably one of the most jaw-dropping experiences in Thailand would be the Loi Krathong festival. If you find yourself travelling Thailand at the right time in November, your number one “to-do” has to be this.

The date changes depending on the evening of the full moon; this year the festival will fall on the 23rd November (2018).

Loi meaning “float” and Krathong meaning ‘small container’, the Floating Lantern festival is a Buddhist purification ceremony that is symbolic of one’s willingness to let go of hatred and anger, as well as to say goodbye to the past and welcome the future.

During the ceremony, lotus-shaped baskets are either released into the rivers or in the air to ignite the dark sky with an endless swarm of floating lanterns. The best places to celebrate this ceremony are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where locals go all out, involving fireworks and shows of traditional dances.

 

 

December –

Bang Krachao

 

Discover one of the most beautiful artificial islands Thailand has on offer. Known as Bangkok’s green lung, Bang Krachao is a great way to stray away from the busy streets as the tourist season begins to pick up again.

Bang Krachao is Bangkok’s best-kept secret, hosting nothing but coconuts, jungle, small villages and Buddhist temples.

Take a bicycle tour through this beautiful island amidst the noise of Bangkok and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

 

Upside Down House – Baan Teelanka

 

If you’re looking to play with your senses, there is no better attraction to visit than that of Baan Teelanka. Located in Phuket, this upside down house is a must see!

There are three main attractions to see, that being the inverted house, a garden maze and an escape room game. It might take a while to adjust to your scenery, but once you have, it becomes an incredible experience.

The house is beautifully designed and hosts three separate floors as well as an attic. This is the perfect activity for families and groups of friends and makes for many great photo opportunities that you can take to confuse your friends and family back home.

 

chiang rai thailand

Dragon Temple – Wat Samphran

 

Wat Samphran, located west of Bangkok, is registered as a Buddhist temple. It is, however, recognised for its dragon temple, featuring a 17 storey, cylindrical building, encircled by a giant dragon.

The interior of the Dragon contains a staircase that takes visitors to the top. However, the staircase has deteriorated and has never really been restored, so the building is closed to the public. Despite its deterioration, it is easy to agree that this attraction is one that pushes the boundaries of Thai architecture, as it is a site like no other.

Add this attraction to your to-do list! It only takes a quick visit and it makes for a great picture.

 

Kayaking in Krabi

 

For an activity such as this, we suggest avoiding group tours that you can book online. Instead, find yourself a small Kayak rental company in Krabi and float through the beautiful waters on a more personal excursion.

Start at Ao Nang Beach and travel towards Railay Beach. This journey offers a lot more experience, with the ability to see the multitude of limestone mountains right up close and enjoy the vast distance of Thai water.

Should you get hungry, which is more than likely to happen, Ao Phra Nang Beach usually has a few boat vendors selling food.

A personal excursion like this offers better opportunity to enjoy the excursion at your own pace. Make sure to take lots of water and sunblock.

 

krabi thailand

 

No matter what time of year you may find yourself in this amazing country, there is always something to do. Come rain or shine, Thailand is consistent in boasting its rich heritage and incredible landmarks.

The 10 Best Beaches in Thailand

https://pixabay.com/en/thailand-railay-beach-sea-thai-boat-2037584/

Thailand’s a tropical paradise with breathtaking landscapes but the best vacation spots are surely the beautiful beaches. Scattered around the south of the country on the amazing islands, these waters come in 50 shades of blue. They never fail to be inviting and picturesque with sculpted cliffs and soft sandy shores. They’re also hosts to a jaw-dropping array of activities: from the legendary Full Moon parties to seaside massages, from jet skiing to surfing and sailing to rock climbing. These are the best beaches in Thailand: sit back and relax, there’s a stunning Thai beach for everyone.

Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Koh Phangan

thong nai pan noi beach
www.stefan-loose.de

Fine white sands lapped by crystalline blue waters, surrounded by lush greenery make the Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach one of the best beaches in Thailand. It’s got a secluded, hipster feel to it that makes those in the know seek it out.

Location

You’ll find this tropical beach on Koh Phangan, an island 12 kilometers from Koh Samui Island. To get here from Thongsala, the main port on the islet, it’s either a taxi or speedboat ride. The latter is the more expensive option but avoids the 45 minute drive over the bumpy, unpaved road.

Useful Information

There are enough bars and restaurants along the beach to shelter in. For those staying over: keeping with the hippie-atmosphere, there are cheap bungalow accommodation options and mid-range hotel resorts.

Maya Beach, Koh Phi Phi Leh

thailand maya bay islands snorkeling

Serene Maya Bay is dominated by the mossy cliffs towering above the shallow cerulean sea. It’s instantly recognisable as the setting for Hollywood film ‘The Beach’ which starred Leonardo DiCaprio. This beautiful beach is part of a national park and boasts unbelievable reefs for diving and snorkelling.

Location

Maya Bay is located on Koh Phi Phi Leh but most tourists come as part of a daytrip from the larger Koh Phi Phi Don. The Phi Phi Islands are easily accessible from Phuket; it’s about a 2 hour ferry ride.

Useful Information

Take advantage of all this tranquil Thai beach offers with a tour of the reefs or an overnight experience on the waters. Don’t forget that there’s a 200 Baht entrance fee for the beach as it’s part of a national park.

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

phra nang beach
By kallerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Phra Nang fits the image of a tropical beach paradise but there’s also a mystical aspect to this shoreline. The Phra Nang Cave is the setting of a shrine to the mythical Phra Nang: according to legend, she was either an Indian princess or a fisherman’s wife. Regardless of her origins, locals venerate her with by erecting phallic structures in the cave to appease and honour the goddess.

Location

Ao Nang is the main tourist base, located on the Railway Peninsula in Krabi province. Phra Nang Beach itself is accessible only by boat. From one of the nearby local beaches, it’s around 100 Baht and takes just 10 minutes.

Useful Information

The impressive rock formations encircling the beach also play host to rock climbers. Locals often show up on long boats, selling fresh fruit juices and Thai snacks for reasonable prices to help tourists keep cool on this Thai paradise.

Patong Beach, Phuket

patong beach
By jbremer57 [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Patong doesn’t disappoint when it comes to powdery sand and blue waters but its real gem is the endless catalogue of activities on Phuket’s busiest beach. The 3,5 km-long beach is host to vendors selling cool drinks and Thai meals, companies offering jet ski and parasailing equipment hire during the day and party goers spilling over from lively Bangla Road at night. The most popular beach in Thailand is a feel-good place for the easy-going traveller.

Location

Patong is situated on Phuket Island and is at its heart in Patong Town, one of the best places to travel in Thailand. This Thai vacation spot is a 1 hour 25 minute flight from Bangkok or a 12 hour journey by land over the causeway.

Useful Information

Recently, there have been a spat of scams at Patong Beach, generally involving jet ski hire. It’s important to check the equipment for damages before hiring so that you are not liable for them afterwards.

Donald Duck Bay, Similian Islands

donald duck bay similian island thailand

This blissful beach gets its name from the flattened rock formation on its far right side that resembles the cartoon character. These huge stones are iconic of the area and many visitors to the beach enjoy climbing up and around them. The shimmering pale waters are simply divine. This seaside cove is part of a national park; beneath the waves grow amazing coral reefs, home to diverse species.

Location

Donald Duck Bay can be found in the Similian Islands on the west coast of Thailand. The nearest mainland port to launch from is Thap Lamu Pier with journeys taking about 3 hours. It’s possible to reach the islands from Phuket by boat, too. Travel time is then between 45 minutes and 3 hours.

Useful Information

Accessing this stunning beach is dependent on ferries and the weather. Therefore, the islands are only available to tourists from around mid-October to mid-May.

Sailing around the Similians is becoming very popular, alongside diving and snorkelling.

Kata Beach

kata beach phuket
By ADwarf (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kata Bay is another popular beach in Phuket, considered second to Patong. It’s large enough to be divided into two sections: Kata Centre and Kata South. Kata Centre is characterised by lively bars and fine dining day and night along the road, while Kata South is the playground for the hotel resorts and the busiest part of the actual beach. On the far south side, there are local restaurants: ignoring the unappealing plastic chairs and tables, they’re laid back places where you can keep your feet in the sand and taste Thai cuisine.

Location

Kata Bay is Phuket’s second beach. There are regular buses between Patong and Kata at cheap prices. For drivers, the road is unattractive with numerous potholes. It’s better to park halfway down and walk, though it is a hike back up.

Useful Information

Kata Bay is only good for swimming in high season; during low season it becomes rocky and dangerous, better for surfers than swimmers. While parasailing is offered on the beachfront, it’s not considered the safest location.

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

chaweng beach koh samui

Chaweng’s often crowded and for good reason: 6km of palm-fringed soft sand give way to the powder blue ocean. There’s a fun, resort feel to the entire beach and everything you could ever need is in easy reach. The beachfront is dotted with hotels and restaurants, while hawkers selling drinks and snacks wander the shoreline. Although it’s big, the beautiful beach is more or less the same across the board. Just hire a sunbed and lay back for some of the best fun in the sun in Thailand.

Location

This Thai beach is located in Chaweng Town, the main hub of Koh Samui. Koh Samui is a 1 hour and 10 minute flight from Bangkok. Although there is an option of travelling overland to Chumphon and then sailing by catamaran to Koh Samui, it’s time-consuming, taking around 11 hours, and often uncomfortable if using public transport.

Useful Information

It gets hot on Chaweng Beach and there’s little shade so hire an umbrella and bring plenty of sunblock. Happily, there are also pedicures, hair braiding and henna tattoos to distract you.

Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

lamai beach koh samui

Lamai is Chaweng’s quieter neighbour but every bit as beautiful and an even more tropical beach. It’s less crowded and more tranquil but there’s no shortage of options when it comes to activities or mealtimes. The water is shallow and calm, making it ideal for children or floating. With palm trees leaning over the pristine shore and rock pools on one end, Lamai looks like a postcard. Without a doubt, this is Koh Samui’s best beach.

Location

Lamai is in Koh Samui which is accessible by plane or boat from the Thai mainland. It’s a 30 minute car drive from Chaweng Town.

Useful Information

The vendors on Lamai Beach are helpful and friendly, without being overly persistent. There are always ice creams, fruit salads, fresh smoothies and grilled sweet corn up for sale, as well as souvenir items like jewellery and sarongs.

Lamai used to be a backpacker’s haven but in the last few decades it’s become decidedly swankier with boutique hotels and pricey resorts.

White Sand Beach, Koh Chang

white sands beach thailand

The name ‘White Sand’ was never better given to a beach. The sand here really is a pure, snowy white and the waters are an attractive hue of tropical blue. Scenery aside, there’s not much to do in the water besides swimming: no jetskiing or parasailing, White Sand is for the tranquil traveller.

Unlike most Thai beaches, White Sand isn’t known for hosting food-selling vendors. Instead, the hawkers sell accessories and other knick-knacks. You’re better off getting off your sunbed and heading to one of the bars or restaurants along the street, though there are some beachside set-ups. The fresh seafood completes the beachside experience.

Location

White Sand is on Koh Chang, the third-largest island in Thailand. Getting there, it’s a 6 hour drive away from Bangkok, including time on a car-ferry, and there are regular buses that way.

Useful Information

Deck chairs can be hired from the resorts on the beach. Along the beach are huts where local women offer actual Thai massages for around 200 or 200 Baht.

Bare in mind, that Koh Chang isn’t as developed as Phuket or Koh Samui so don’t expect as convenient facilities on the islet. There’s a mixture of accommodation choices, though the resorts remain old-fashioned in comparison to those in other parts of Thailand

Paradise Beach, Phuket

paradise beach phuket
Roberto.Trombetta full moon party via photopin (license)

Just beside Patong Beach, Paradise Beach is smaller and more exclusive. It’s shaded by large palm trees and travellers enjoy swinging off the trees into the cool waters. The coral reef off the shore is good for a spot of snorkeling or scuba diving.

Paradise Beach Club also offers kayaking and bodyboarding but it’s best known for hosting the world famous Full Moon Parties. Once a month, famous international and local DJs congregate with guests under the full moon, transforming the beautiful Thai beach into a club. There are also Half Moon and other parties that occur regularly on Paradise Beach.

Location

The secluded cove is on Phuket Island, about five kilometers from Patong Beach by road. There is a car park but the road is winding and steep.

Useful Information

Paradise Beach only opens to the public from 9:30 as visitors enter through the beach club. Entrance is charged at 100 Baht.

While there are no vendors wandering the beach, there are a good selection of restaurants, bars and shops selling food and souvenirs. Drinks can often be ordered directly from your sunbed.

In Conclusion

From partying Patong to tranquil White Sand, Thailand’s beaches offer something for every kind of traveller. They’re laid back and fabulous with a variety of watersports and seasonal events, as well as fresh cuisine and activities like massages and tattoos. And if you’re looking for a tropical setting, the teal waters of the Andaman and South China Seas, the spectacular rock formations and the lush vegetation won’t disappoint. The best beaches in Thailand are fun, picturesque and absolutely unmissable.

Ski Slope Ratings

Ski run ratings are used across the globe to denominate the difficulty of a particular run. Rating systems are different in different parts of the world, but they do represent the same basic idea.

The one thing to keep in mind though, runs are rated in relative to other runs or paths within the same resort, meaning a Beginner run at one resort, won’t necessarily be a Beginners run at another resort.

The ratings don’t vary so much that a Beginner run will be qualified as an Expert run somewhere else, but it is important to keep in mind that it isn’t a standardised system.

ski slope ratings

Although the gradient of the slope is the primary factor in determining difficulty, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Trails are rated off of their most difficult part, meaning a slope can be grade as Black, even if there is only a small section that is difficult.

Ski resorts will rank their trails based off of their own attributes, rating trails compared only to the other trails at the resort. The width of the trail, the sharpest turns, terrain roughness, and how often the resort can groom the trail, all plays a role in the difficulty rankings.

North America, Australia and New Zealand

north america australia new zealand ski slope ratings

These countries use a color and shape rating system. Ski trail difficulties are measured by percent slope, and not degree angle.

Beginner slopes : 6% to 25%
Intermediate slopes : 25% to 40%
Expert slopes : 40% and up

Green Circle

Usually the easiest slopes on the mountain, runs are very wide and well groomed, making them very smooth and great for kids and beginners.

Blue Square

Intermediate slopes, these slopes usually make up the majority of the slopes at a resort.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond slopes are usually the most difficult slopes on the mountain. They are usually the steepest and are also not as groomed as the intermediate and beginner slopes.

Double Black Diamond

These slopes are even more dangerous than the black diamond paths and are usually comprised of narrow paths, many obstacles, and are most definitely for experienced skiers only.

Variations

Many resorts and parks will have variations, usually meaning a trail won’t fit into one particular category. These variations can indicate a run that is a mixture between beginner or intermediate, or expert with more obstacles than usual.

Terrain Parks

A terrain park is a run that will have ramps, half-pipes, rails, and many other things for skiers and snowboarders to do tricks are extreme skiing and boarding, they are indicated with a orange rectangle with rounded corners.

European POU

european ski slope ratings matterhorn switzerland

In Europe, slopes are classified using a color coded system. Different countries have variations of difficulty, but Blue for easy, Red for intermediate, and Black for expert, or all used everywhere.

Slopes marked Green, Blue or Red are runs that are groomed at all resorts and ski areas. Black slopes are groomed in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. In France, not all Black slopes are groomed.

Green

(Spain, Scandinavia, France, Poland and the U.K). These slopes are easy slopes and are for beginners and younger skiers and snowboarders. Ideal for learning, as they are wider and well groomed.

Blue

Blue slopes are easy slopes. These slopes won’t have a gradient of more than 25%. Blue slopes in Europe are very similar to the Green slopes in the U.S, Australia and New Zealand.

Red

Red slopes in Europe are intermediate slopes, and are similar to the blue square in North America. Steeper, and sometimes narrower than a Blue Square run, these runs are usually groomed, but sometimes aren’t completely groomed depending on the path of the run.

Black

Black slopes are expert slopes, which are the equivalent to the Black Diamond or Double Black Diamond slopes in the United States. Like mentioned above, in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, these runs are groomed.

In France, some of the Black slopes are groomed and some aren’t. The variation between Black slopes is sometimes pretty large as they are sometimes slightly steeper than red slopes, or much steeper than red slopes.

Double Black or Triple Black

In Scandinavia, these are very or extremely difficult runs.

Orange

In Austria, Switzerland, and a few other areas, this color indicates an extremely difficult slope.

Yellow, Orange Square, Red Diamond

Recently, many resorts reclassified Black routes to Yellow routes. This signifies and ungroomed and unpatrolled route that is usually off-piste but in a marked skiing area.

Japan

japanese ski slope ratings

Japan uses a color coded system much like the one used in Europe. Some resorts use the same systems as either the United States or Europe, this can sometimes be very confusing. If you are ever in doubt, the the resort map legend.

Green

These slopes are usually found at the bottom of the mountain are are for beginners and kids, very useful when learning to ski or snowboard. They can also be found of switchback paths.

Red

Red slopes are intermediate slopes. These slopes make up the vast majority of Japanese skiing resorts, usually between 40%-60%, depending on resort to resort classification.

Black

Black slopes are expert slopes and are almost always the steepest. They aren’t always as steep as equivalent Black slopes in the United States, New Zealand, Australia or Europe, but their difficulty is dependent on the target audience.

These ratings are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the skiers and snowboarders who use the slopes. It is also a way to keep track of your own abilities. If you are wanting to up the level of slope you want to run, taking a look at it and all of its intricacies will ensure you keep yourself out of danger.

Romantic Ski Resorts

Snowy landscapes tend to lead to hot baths, fireside chats and intimate dinners. Is it any wonder then that a ski break is the perfect romantic vacation? With a host of daytime slope adventures and après-ski options, and surrounded by stunning scenery, these romantic ski resorts redefine romance.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

cortina romantic ski resort
photo credit: tomkellyphoto Snow Pillows via photopin (license)

Nestled in the Italian Dolomites, Cortina is home to some spectacular scenery. Couples love the sunset here which turns the white snows into romantic shades of pink and orange, perfect for an evening aperitif. Cortina’s slopes offer dramatic encounters with craggy mountain formations.

Once you reach the bottom, there’s a horse-drawn cart to whisk you up to the resort for a relaxing massage treatment or one of the gourmet Italian meals. It’s easy to see why Cortina tops the list for skiing couples.

St Moritz, Switzerland

st moritz switzerland

St Moritz sets the standards for a romantic ski getaway pretty high. Its plush chalets are luxurious settings for steamy nights in. Beyond the door, a world awaits. There are spas with original St Moritz springwater, numerous art galleries, drives in classic cars across the mountain passes, a casino, and ice skating on the black ice. But no worries, the slopes are still the crown jewels.

3. Morzine, France

morzine france ski resort

A dream for the less serious skiers, Morzine offers ice-diving beneath the frozen lake, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skiing, nature tours and shopping. The town itself is loved for its friendliness and charm. Not to mention Morzine is a sojourn in the land of love- have you heard a French accent? It’s as romantic as a candle-lit dinner.

Zermatt, Switzerland

zermatt matterhorn switzerland

Zermatt’s iconic for the Matterhorn, the snow-capped peak that towers over the area, but that’s not the only reason couples come here. The village oozes typical Alpine charm with wooden chalets and stores teeming with chocolatey delights.

For the days, there are lots of sports on offer besides skiing, although the off piste skiing is world-renowned. Chocolate, cosy chalets and wonderful views, as well as skiing…Zermatt is always going to be a favourite.

Lech, Austria

lech river mountain switzerland

There are two unmissable romantic experiences at Lech. A wander by the river at sunset is as atmospheric as it gets and when the pinks skies fade into midnight blue, it’s time for stargazing.

The ski runs are best for intermediate skiers, although it does cater to those going at an easy pace. Back at the resort, fine dining is the name of the game at restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Gourmethotel Brunnenhof.

Val d’Isere, France

Val d isere ski resort
chisloup [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pistes and excellent après-ski options make Val d’Isere a romantic ski holiday for couples. There’s 300 km of ski runs and located 1850 m above sea level, snow is pretty much guaranteed and the season lasts long here.

Plenty of bars and music keep the night atmosphere lively, while the upscale shops give the centre an exclusive feel. Val d’Isere isn’t for those on a budget but those prepared to spend a bit more and who have ski experience will find this resort the perfect vacation.

Courmayeur, Italy

courmayeur ski resort italy

Located on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is a stylish resort. It has a superb gourmet scene with a Michelin star chef preparing fresh meals daily in season. The snow-capped wooden chalets create an aura of village charm.

The skiing is best for intermediates and the off piste skiing is particularly good. As for the views: they’re the stuff of romantic proposals.

Wengen, Switzerland

wengen ski resort

A car-free Alpine village, Wengen seems trapped in time. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. The Jungfrau area is incredibly scenic and Wengen is located at its centre. The resort is reached only by cog-railway, a romantic start to a perfect romantic ski getaway. The ski runs are vast and gentle, perfect for an easy break with your partner.

Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Canada

Four Seasons Whistler Ski Resort
photo credit: James Wheeler Before the Lifts Start via photopin (license)

The top resort in North America, Whistler also hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. With such credentials, skiers won’t be disappointed with 200 downhill ski trails. If you’re looking for alternative sports, there’s also ice skating, snowboarding and heli-skiing at this impressive resort.

Lovebirds will have lots to do after a busy day, such as snuggling up in a dog-sled and making a stop at an atmospheric bonfire. The dining is also world-class with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and stellar venues. A special offering is the ability to create your own personalised spices to enjoy at the resort and take back home.

An in-house spa has two couples’ rooms for side by side massage with your better half. Alpine, Swedish, aromatic…it’s all possible.

For the most romantic skiers, Whistler’s also made a reputation for itself for destination weddings.

Kitzbühel, Austria

kitzbuhel austria ski resort

The daring come to Kitzbühel for the legendary Hahnenkamm (the world’s most dangerous downhill race) but couples love the resort for its relaxed, inviting feel. The village is charming and full of colour: cobbled streets, medieval buildings and horse-drawn carriages are all part of the picture-perfect package.

The bustling bars and the rooftop swimming pool at the Schwarzer Adler is a dreamy viewpoint that completes the picture of an ideal romantic resort.

Alpbach, Austria

alpback ski resort
photo credit: DrQ_Emilian Zugspitze, Lermoos via photopin (license)

This resort is one for the photobooks: Alpbach has been called Austria’s prettiest village. With traditional wooden structures, the rolling Tyrolean mountains and large green spruces, it won’t disappoint on its reputation.

The skiing is laidback, too: perfect for loved-up couples. There are amazing panoramic walking trails and a lively après-ski scene. The cuisine is rustic Austrian-: think spit-roasted chicken ordered 24 hours in advance and dumplings of sweet yeast or spinach. An idyllic ski resort for romantic getaways.

Zell am See, Austria

zell am see austria

Skiing-wise, Zell am See caters best for intermediates and experts with several black runs and weather-dependent slope conditions.

Where the resort really excels is as a romantic resort. At Zell am See, triangular peaks are dusted with snow and rise out of deep blue lake waters. That same lake is often available for ice skating and the promenade along the water’s edge makes for a scenic, romantic idyll.

Can’t get enough? Book a room at the Grand Hotel with its lakeside location and luxurious rooms. Zell am See’s a romantic ski resort that’ll probably have you back for more.

With indulgent spas, gourmet dining and a range of shops and cafes, these resorts provide all you need for a cosy retreat from the elements after a day’s superb skiing. No wonder they’re the best romantic ski resorts.

 

Featured Image Credit: twiga269 ॐ FEMEN Le Mont-Blanc et sa face italienne en toile de fond via photopin (license)

Best Ski Resorts in the World

When you go on holiday, there really are only two choices to make: sun or snow. Many more people around the world are deciding to take skiing holidays each year. Ski resorts offer some of the highest luxury, most beautiful views, and of course, some amazing skiing.

These resorts are regarded as some of the best in the world. They have the best views, the best slopes, and offer the entire family fun and adventure that will not soon be forgotten. Continue reading “Best Ski Resorts in the World”

Highest Mountains in Europe

Some of the most beautiful, and tallest mountains are found in Europe. The rolling mountain ranges are usually accompanied by incredible skiing resorts. If you are a hiker or a snow sports enthusiast, these 5 peaks need to be on your travel bucket list.

Mount Teide

mount teide

Mount Teide is a volcano on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands. NASA and UNESCO have measured it and found it to be the third highest volcanic structure in the world. The volcano and its surroundings form part of the Teide National Park.

This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is 18.900 hectares. This park is the most visited site in Spain, and the most visited national park in Europe, with over 3 million people making the trip here each year. Continue reading “Highest Mountains in Europe”

Things to do in the Maldives

The Maldives is a tropical paradise that has everything: luxurious private resorts, floating chalets, glorious markets, white sandy beaches that look like they come out of the movies, and crystal clear waters teeming with wildlife.

The Maldives offers visitors the chance to explore one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Travel across the many smaller islands, visit some small towns, meet the welcoming locals, and dive down to see the beauty hidden under the sea.

Scuba Diving

world-class diving in the maldives

Being one of the most premier scuba diving destinations in the world, scuba diving is a must when you visit the Maldives. Even if you aren’t a qualified diver, there are still many options for you to scuba in the beautiful waters surrounding the islands. Continue reading “Things to do in the Maldives”