23 May 2016

Thailand | Sun, Sea and Style in Koh Phi Phi Islands

Another installment from my island hopping and exploration in Thailand. If you didn't catch the first post in the series, you can read my tips on island hopping in Thailand's Phuket. Of all the places that I have traveled to Thailand is up there in the top 5. Stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, great activities to sink your teeth into and so much more that you will easily be plotting your return soon after you leave. These shots were taken on some of the other stops on the same tour as the stop to May Bay, also famously known as The Beach. We had a few stops for snorkeling, lunch and a bit of shopping on some of the islands. We had the pleasure of exploring some of the islands and getting up and down hiking, sailing to make the most of our stay in the country. If you have not been to Thailand and have it on your list, I would highly recommend you move it to the top of the list soon. If you need more reasons, to help you move it to the top of the list here are some to get you started off - all rolled in with some tips. 

Shiny Happy People - Get Some Sun - I come from a hot country and by hot, I mean HOT! Our hottest time of the year is October and temperatures can get as high as 40's! So now living in London, you know that summer is promised to no one, so if you want to be in with the shiny happy people then getting some sun will definitely do you some good. Thailand is not short of the rays and even when it rains, it's hot and sunny soon after a few drops. Another advantage is that you can also have beautiful beaches to enjoy the sun all to yourself. 

13 May 2016

Maya Bay [The Beach] | Tips For Island Hopping In Thailand's Phuket

Ko Phi Phi Island - Thailand

Maya Bay is the very epitome of paradise. Maya  Bay is a little enclave of pristinely soft melt-in-your-toes white powdery sand on the Ko Phi Phi Lay island. It is, of course, the island made famous by the blockbuster film 'The Beach', featuring Leonardo DiCarprio. Visiting Thailand, or more specifically when visiting Phuket, island hopping tours are a must! There are many tour operators and depending on where you stay on the island you will either have to pay an additional fee if you are far away from the main collection points or starting points of the tours i.e the boat piers. Two really popular tours in Phuket are the tours to James Bond Island as Phang Nga Bay and Ko Phi Phi Island for Maya Bay - The Beach. I will be sharing details of the other tour soon but for now, this is part one of the stops on the Ko Phi Phi Island tour. Ko Phi Phi Islands are about 40-50km of the coast of Thailand's Phuket in the Andaman Sea.

You can have a look at Phuket tours available on the Expedia website before leaving for Phuket. You can also check out tours on Viator as its usually same vendors and just compare prices. Clear turquoise waters and breathtaking beaches,  stunning rock formations rising out of the beautiful waters of Phi Phi Island. The majority of tours will take you to a few stops that include, Maya Bay, Lo Samah Bay(see below), Viking Cave, Money Beach and another I can't seem to recall the name of. I will post separate pictures from the other stops.  You also get time to go snorkeling at 2 or 3 stops depending on weather and time of the trip.

Quick Tips For Phuket Island Tours

10 May 2016

Exploring Ta Prohm | The "Tomb Raider" Temple In Cambodia

Ta Prohm is and should be on the list of every visitor to Cambodia's Siem Reap. Nicknamed The Tomb Raider Temple as it was used a location for the filming of Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. It's also unfortunate that it's one of the temples that is least well preserved among the popular Angkor temples . Although,  there is now a restriction on climbing some of the towers, walking around the site will still leave your in awe are you take in Ta Prohm's atmospheric ruins. It's almost as if the jungle wants to swallow up and reclaim the jungle as its own again.

Ta Prohm was built in 1186 and was originally know as Rajavihara or Monastery of the King and it's also said to be the only one with inscriptions providing details about the temples dependents and inhabitants. Around 80, 000 people would have been required to maintain or attend the temple. Though, looking at the state of it now, you wonder how they could have let go and thought nature would reclaim its land back. Many of the corridors are impassible, crumbling towers rendered too dangerous and precious to climb. Plants, trees, shrubs all fighting their way through bricks have stated their claim on the site and they seem to be winning. Winning they may be, and a great expense too as the more land they reclaim the more humanity loses such a beautiful and historical site more over the more cryptic, captivating the scenery at Ta Prohm. Although some of these sights are now beeing restored and maintained in a bid to hold on to them, I wouldn't wait too long to visit Cambodia.

Below are some of my pictures from our visit to Ta Prohm.

8 May 2016

Gelato Lab Co | A Slice of Italy In Cambodia

Gelato Lab & Co | A Slice of Italy In Siem Reap Cambodia

Cambodia is a country that calls souls to witness the awe-inspiring Angkor Temples. With flocks of tourist heading to Siem Reap to see the temple ruins, the city is lively and constantly abuzz. Food is not so far behind city explorations and in such a tropical destination you can beat the heat is not so far behind. When the heat calls so does the thirst for something cool. Gelato Lab and Co is a little gem that we discovered when wandering the alleyways of Siem Reap's Pub Street narrow and long alleys.

Gelato Lab Co offers authentic Italian gelato and sorbets all freshly made on site and with all natural ingredients too. Made the Italian way! Ice-creams are made with the finest Madagascan vanilla beans and made using the Cattabrigga Eff 6, said to introduce air to the gelato that distinguishes it from the standard ice-creams. The put in similar effect into their aromatic coffees. The ice-creams, sorbets and the coffee are all full of flavour and a testament to the pride and joy that goes into producing food in this cafe. Its a cool and laid back cafe with friendly staff.

Gelato Lab Co - Alley West | Between Sivatha Rd and Street 11, Siem Reap 855, Cambodia
Open - 9am -11.30pm

7 May 2016

Cambodia | Where To Eat, Sleep, Shop and Relax In Siem Reap

I hope you have so far enjoyed the series of post from my explorations of Cambodia's Angkorian temples.  While checking out the sights may be at the top of your list when you visit Siem Reap, getting a good place to rest is also an important part of planning your trip to Cambodia. I also covered some tips and accommodation options in terms of hotels, hostels and in general, where to stay in Cambodia's Siem Reap in another post. In this post, I will be covering your options for entertainment, food and where to relax when not temple running Angor Wat and surrounding temples.

Siem Reap is lively whether it's during the day or late in the evening. I actually found it to be even more lively in the late evenings. Possibly because everyone had come back from their explorations of Angkorian Temples. While you are in the city don't be fooled into thinking that all there is to see are old ruins of these temples. You will also find modern temples within the main town that you should definitely check out. As far as what to do when you are not temple running I have posted details below on where to eat, shop, relax and seek entertainment in Siem Reap.

1 May 2016

Exploring Kuala Lumpur's Batu Caves

You cannot visit Kuala Lumpur without visiting KLCC, Chinatown or indeed the Batu Caves. The Batu Caves are an iconic tourist attraction in Selangor, about 13km from Kuala Lumpur's city center. The Batu Caves are spectacular caves that feature temples and Hindu Shrines in caves that are over 400 million years old. As you approach the site you are greeted by Lord Murugan Statue, the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia. It's also the second tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. This thing is huge, so I would love to see just how big the biggest one is. The tallest of the Hindu deities is the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.

To the left of Lord Murugan Statue are the steep steps to the caves. All 272 steps of them to get you up to the limestone outcrop that harbours the 400 million old caves. On the way up you will pass crazy monkeys that will snatch your fruit,sweets, water, ice-cream or anything attractive that you lightly hold without too much care. Look away and it's gone! Especially look out for your phones.