Author: Noah Romero

Laos
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Outdoor Adventures: Laos

Outdoor Adventures: Laos

Laos might not be as popular as other crowd-pulling Southeast Asia countries, but it’s becoming more and more popular among travelers who crave nature, quiet corners, and relaxed laid-back atmosphere. Besides its diverse ethnic, history, culture, and food, it is safe to say that the country is heaven for nature enthusiasts. With its lush paddy fields, tea leaves that cover the mountains, turquoise waterfalls, river caves, and dark jungles, it is indeed an outstanding location for outdoor activities and ecotourism.

Take a Dip in Natural Pools

When you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Falls is a must-visit. Surrounded by flourishing jungles is a large cascade of milky turquoise blue water that spills from a series of limestone tiers into a beautiful natural pool. It’s perfect for cooling off from the humid and hot air. You can take a dip or even swim in some of the pools, especially those in the main area. Taking a dip in the beautiful pools will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale. There are also rope swings and a tree where you can jump into the pools from! Don’t forget to hike to the top of the falls when you’re done swimming. It offers a spectacular view. Just be careful since the path is very steep.

Take note that there are some areas with a ‘no swimming’ sign, be respectful since some pools are considered sacred by the locals. Laos has a pretty conservative culture, so make sure to wear appropriate clothing. You can also visit the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center nearby after you’ve had your fill of the waterfalls.

Zip-Line in Jungles

Photo Credit: wanderant.com

Overcome your fear of height by hiking and zip-lining through the Dong Hua Sao National Park. You will get a full aerial view of the charming Bolaven Plateau. In addition to the beautiful lush jungle are waterfalls and swinging between treetops on a 400m zip-line will give you a new interesting perspective of the national park. If flying over the trees is not enough, you can sleep in one of the treehouses equipped with comfortable en suite bedrooms.

Trek National Parks             

Photo Credit: namet.org

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park Protected Area (NPA) is one of the national parks in Laos that offers ecotourism attractions called the wildlife conservation trekking tours. It is an exclusive opportunity to witness and learn about important wildlife habitats. Tourists can join in tracking wild species like wild cats, wild dog (dhole), and bears. You can also experience an exciting night safari, where you can join former village hunters in looking for wild and endangered animals and identify medicinal plants. While you’re in the national park, challenge yourself to hike the Phou Louey Mountain.

If you have extra time, be sure to take the 2 – 5 days’ tour. You will sleep in a unique ‘Nest’ homestay where you will feel one with nature. It’s a spherical basket suspended in the tree. …

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Outdoor Adventures: Siem Reap

This popular resort town in Cambodia is home to the fascinating Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Known to be the gateway to the ancient world that dates back to the year 802, visiting Siem Reap is the highlight of many tourists who travel to Southeast Asia. But there are plenty of other interesting things to do than visiting the temples. Take a hot air balloon flight around the Angkor ruins or have your adrenaline rushing on a zip line. You can explore and experience a lot of outdoor adventures here!

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Photo Credit: eoasia.com

Witness the picturesque scenery of Siem Reap from a bird’s eye view in a hot air balloon. Although the hot air balloons do not fly over Angkor Wat because the temple is under control of UNESCO, you can still see a beautiful aerial view of the Angkor ruins. With a relatively affordable price, you can feel the tranquility of this wonderful world famous heritage site. Choose the sunset or sunrise flights for a more breathtaking view and memorable experience. The flights usually last for around 35 minutes to 1 hour. This adventure is ideal for solo travels, couples, family, or friends. A flight usually costs about $143 but can increase on major public holidays.

Bike Tour

What other ways could possibly be better than a bike ride tour to discover all that this beautiful, quaint town has to offer? Take a cycle through the countryside on the outskirts of Siem Reap to witness the day-to-day village life or enjoy a full-day bicycle tour to see Angkor’s major temples. Get the chance to see a different side of the town and some lesser-known sights by cycling minor roads. If you decide to join the tour, a professional guide will show you the highlights and hidden gem of the Angkor Archeological Park. A full day bike tour usually costs around $45.

Quad Bike and Jeep Tour

Do you want to have an exciting exploration in Siem Reap? Challenge yourself for an ATV off-road adventure in the countryside of the town. You can choose any routes and durations. The routes are usually based on your ability to ride an ATV. If you don’t have any experience, there’s an easy route tour where you can still see the unique side of the town.  

Another way to explore is by taking a Jeep Tour. The tour will take you to various places inside and outside of Siem Reap. You can choose your own preferred routes, including the sacred area of Kulen Mountain National Park (Phnom Kulen) which was said to be the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire or driving along rice fields and beaten paths to visit local areas. The price generally starts at $75.

Zip Line

Photo Credit: eoasia.com

Immerse in the beauty of Angkor Archaeological Park from treetops by zip lining across the magnificent jungle. You’ll travel up staircases, walk through hanging bridges, and soar through the jungle. This adventure can be scary but do not hesitate because there will be highly experienced staff to guide you, the zip lines have world-class safety, and you will be equipped with state of the art safety equipment. The tours cost between $65 to $100 and price is based on what package you choose.…

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Outdoor Adventures: Hoi An

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Hoi An draws tourists from all around the globe thanks to its white sandy beaches, peaceful vibe, Chinese temples, and Japanese merchant houses. This beautiful town is now filled with tourist businesses such as hotels, bars, and travel agents. Tourists with any budget can enjoy everything that this town has to offer. Located in the center of Vietnam, this town is not only historic, but it also boasts a lot of outdoor adventures.  Travel a few kilometers further from the center, and you’ll find fantastic activities under the sun.

Bicycle Tours

Photo Credit: hoianservices.com

There is probably no better way to experience and explore this town than cycling through its photogenic alleyways and village paths. You can discover the unique side of Vietnam and get a glimpse of Hoi An. This tour offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities. Don’t worry about traffic because the biking routes are usually in countryside areas away from the main roads. Children can also partake in this fun adventure because many tours offer small bikes. The land is pretty flat so it is an easy cycle.

Within a quick 10-minute ride from the town center, you can see farmers working in the paddy fields, fishermen in the river, and the beautiful landscape along with simple local life. If you don’t want to have a guided tour, you can simply rent a bicycle. Nearly everywhere offers bike rentals.

Farming and Fishing Tours

Photo Credit: Vietnamnews.vn

Get in touch with the local life by joining farming and fishing activities instructed by local farmers and fishermen. This tour will give you an insight into agriculture. Cultivate the soil with a local farmer, enjoy the paddy fields with water buffaloes, and watch rice farmers tend their crops. When you go to the river, you can learn how to use fishing nets and ride basket boats. This is a fun and memorable family activity.

Kayaking or Canoeing

Kayak tour is the best way to explore the places that can only be reached from the water. Discover the true beauty of Thu Bn River, the river that plays an important role in the history of Hoi An. Witness the rural life on the river, where many fishing activities take place. You can still enjoy the river even if you don’t have any experience in kayaking, a guided tour in the Canadian canoes are available.  

Stand-Up Paddle Board

Photo Credit: South East Asia Backpacker

If kayaking is not adrenaline pumping enough for you, Stand-Up Peddle Board might be the best choice. It is an easy but physically engaging activity. Wake up early and see the most beautiful sunrise you will ever see in your life. The long paddle board can be hard and intimidating at first, especially when you’re new to it. But with a little lesson and balancing, you will find it relatively easy to do. This tour is definitely a must if you visit Hoi An.

Diving

Of the coast of Hoi An is a diving paradise. With hundreds of different varieties of coral and fish swimming in the warm waters, the marine life will give you a memorable experience. The visibility around the diving sites is great, so you can enjoy the beauty of the underwater world. Multilingual instructors are ready to give you the best diving tour ever. Watch out for small jellyfish as they sting and leave a sore rash.…

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Outdoor Adventures: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is full of fascinating culture, amazing temples, friendly locals, and beautiful landscape. This city has a calm and relaxed vibe, making it one of the most favorite places for tourist who wants to get away from a busy metropolis. Whether you want to enjoy luxury hotels or backpacking, tourists with any type of budget can enjoy this beautiful city.

The natural beauty is one of its magical charms that draw people in. You can enjoy numerous outdoor activities here. From cycling, zip lining, camping, all is available for you to choose. This list can help you plan your next trip to Chiang Mai!

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Chiang Mai’s many mountains and national parks is pleasant adventure. You don’t have to be an experienced mountain biker because guided tours for any level are available. There are several tracks you can choose; the most popular one for beginners is Doi Suthep National Park. You can enjoy a downhill ride while adoring the beautiful view of the natural park.

Trekking and Camping

This city is packed with waterfalls and national parks, but if you want to trek and camp near a waterfall cool stream, Mae Takhrai National Park is the place for you. The national park is surrounded by many kinds of forests filled with wild animals. It’s the perfect place to get lost in nature! You can trek the jungles and camp in one of the camping grounds. The camping ground in this park is not super popular so you can say that it is a hidden gem. You can enjoy a peaceful day far from any busy traffic. There are also shelters for tourists if you don’t like camping.

Visiting Ethical Elephant Camps

Photo Credit: Save Elephant Foundation

Playing with elephants sparked a lot of controversy because a lot of elephant camps are unethical. So make sure you do your research before going to one. There are responsible elephant camps in Chiang Mai that offers various things to do and see. These elephant camps let tourists be in the elephant’s environment without any forced human contact with the animals. The best places to have an “elephant experience” are Mae Tamman Elephant camp and Patara Elephant Farm.

Zip Lining

Fly with the birds by zip lining in Chiang Mai’s lush jungles. It might sound scary especially if you’re afraid of heights, but you have nothing to worry about because zip lining is actually an adrenaline pumping activity that all ages can enjoy. You can enjoy incredible jungle scenery from above, which makes zip lining a truly memorable experience.

Rock Climbing

Photo Credit: CMRCA Website

If you’re really craving an adventure or excitement, then you should try rock climbing. With over 150 routes and 35 caves, Crazy Horse Buttress is a popular spot for rock climbing in Chiang Mai. Its limestone crag invites people to have an incredible adventure. However, you will rarely see big crowds here; so many routes will be available to climb every day. Come with a partner to make climbing the routes easier. It’s best to bring your own gear, but you can always rent gear (and meet partners) in the CMRCA shop.…

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Top 5 Destinations in Vietnam for High Adrenaline Tours

Vietnam has a diverse and fantastic landscape worth exploring. However, not everyone is interested in just exploring the country. There are those that want to experience the country through heart pumping and adrenaline spiking activities. Well, Vietnam got you covered in that department as well. Here are the top five destinations in Vietnam that will get your adrenaline glands spiking over and over.

1. Canyoning in Dalat

If you are asked to choose only one activity, then this is it. Dhasan River has five waterfalls featuring heights of eight, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-two, thirty-six, and a mind-blowing sixty meters height. You get to cut through all of them. If that is not enough, you can swim, go cliff jumping, or go canyon sliding. Thanks to that, Dalat has become a very popular spot for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies from all over the world.  

2. Ostrich Riding and Slend Sand Dunes in Mui Ne

Yes, there are actual dunes in Vietnam. Mui Ne is where the dunes are and a bunch of ostriches. They stretch for miles and are virtually indistinguishable from the ones in the Sahara desert. You can go on a wild 4X4 jeep ride, sliding through them at high speed, or ride down a sledge. Either way, it is a lot of fun. Then there is the ostrich riding that is pretty wild and fast. Ostrich riding in Vietnam’s dunes will cost you just $3. How’s that for a deal!

3. Explore the Dark Caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang

Phong Nha Ke Bang is a national park in Vietnam where the caves are. You get there a few hours of kayaking, after which you go swimming through the caves with a flashlight on your head, pass through a muddy passage, and zip lining. All that in one single day.

4. Rock Climbing and Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

In the last few years, Ha Long Bay is one of the most visited areas in entire Vietnam. Its sparkling waters and captivating cliffs approve that. Several local companies offer adrenaline-filled tours. Some of the trips include exploring hidden caves, deserted beaches, kayaking, cliff climbing, and so on. The list is quite long and full of various activities that most thrill-seekers like. What’s even better, there are tours for absolute beginners, as well as tours for the most hard-core adrenaline junkies. Fun is guaranteed for everyone as it is a huge area that is yet to be fully explored.

5. Go through the Khe Sanh Military Base and DMZ Vinh Moc Tunnels

The Vinh Moc Tunnel is a tunnel near built during the Vietnam war. Their purpose was to shelter people from the massive US bombing that took place in that region. Then there is the Khe Sanh base which was one of the most famous US bases in the area. Even the old airfield still exists. If you are a history buff, you will find this one day tour very appealing and exciting. Also if you are not into history and all that, the tunnels are all but boring. Just walking and crawling through them is an adventure for itself.

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Ton Sai Beach, The Rock Climbers Paradise

Ton Sai is one of those places that any rock climber in the world wants to visit. Some of them who have been there, are calling it “rock climbers’ paradise.” From what we have seen, its reputation is well-deserved. Here we will go through some stuff that makes it the Mecca of rock climbing in Southeast Asia.

How good is rock climbing in Ton Sai?

There are hundreds of routes, varying from 6a to 8c. That way there are routes for climbers with all skills, from intermediate to advance. Some of the hardest routes are overhanging and extremely challenging. The limestone rocks on some routes are polished which makes the challenge harder. But once you get to the top, the reward is worth the effort as you will be served a stunning panoramic view. Most rock climbers give it 10/10.

Best time to go to Ton Sai beach

There are practically two seasons in Ton Sai, low (from April to October), and high (from November to March).

The high season is the best time to go rock climbing in Ton Sai. The weather, for the most part at least, is clear and sunny. After January it gets a bit chillier, but there are still plenty of climbers.

Low season is okay for climbing as well, but it rains more frequently. If it rains, it does for a couple of hours after which the sun comes out almost instantly. Almost all of the crags dry up quite fast and are ready to climb. September and October are the rainiest months of all.

How to get to Ton Sai beach?

Even though Ton Sai is not an island, you still get the feeling it is. It can be reached by a boat from Ao Nang. There are regular boat tours during the day and cost around 100 THB (one way). But before you go from Ao Nang to Ton Sai, you need to get from Krabi Town to Ao Nang. There are regular buses that go from both Krabi Town and Krabi Airport to Ao Nang.

How to book a tour?

There are tons of tourist agencies and websites like YonderTours where you can book a rock climbing tour. The alternative is to plan a trip on your own. Book a ticket, find local transportation, find accommodation in Ton Sai, and pack your stuff.

Conclusion

In any case, if rock climbing is your thing, Ton Sai Beach is where you want to go. Here is a sum of all the features that make Ton Sai so amazing:

  • Great crags, some of the best in Southeast Asia.
  • You can go on a budget. Grab whatever cash you have saved for traveling, and you may be pleasantly surprised how affordable is staying in Ton Sai.
  • The surrounding scenery is breath-taking.
  • Great climate.
  • Be part of an international community of rock climbers. September and October are the two months when there aren’t too many rock climbers staying in the area. Other then there you can find and hang with climbers from every country in the world.
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3 of the Most Underrated Cities in South East Asia to Visit in 2019

Traveling abroad for a vacation is no longer a distant dream. Most of us can actually afford to visit foreign places with a properly planned itinerary and just enough cash. However, if someone asks you where you would like to go on a holiday, which places would top your list? While a majority would prefer beach destinations such as the Maldives or Bali, others would prefer a fancy Euro Trip.

What many people often overlook are the currently developing passive holiday destinations, which are definitely worth both your time and money. Here is a list of the three most underrated cities in South East Asia that you must at least consider visiting once, during your next holiday planning.  

City of Denpasar in Indonesia

Denpasar, the capital city of Bali forms the central hub of the entire Indonesian province. Located in the southern part of the country, Denpasar is a great beach destination. Some of the popular beaches in this city include Kuta, Nusa Dua, and Canggu. You can relax on the sands, get wet in the water, or even engage yourselves in some of the exciting water sports these beaches have to offer.

In addition, Denpasar has many interesting places to visits including ancient temples, old palaces, and museums that speak volumes of the Balinese culture. One place that you must visit is the Tanah Lot, an island temple that provides a mesmerizing water view. You will also find tantalizing food served by friendly localities. Most importantly, do not miss the art shows and street shopping especially in the region of Kuta.

The city of Chiang Rai in Thailand

Thailand is not all about Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. If you need more to explore, then Chiang Rai is the right destination to be in Thailand. You can experience magic in Chiang Rai’s culture and history that tells many interesting Thai narratives. When in Chiang Rai, do not miss a cruise on the Kok River on one of those long-tailed boats. You will really love the ride and the experience.

Further, there are many interesting places to visit including the traditional hill tribes, Singha Park – famous for its tea fields, and the ancient monuments of the Lanna kingdom. Other places include Wat Rong Sueur Ten or the blue-toned temple and Wat Phra Kaew that houses an emerald Buddha with 1300 other small temples. That is not all – the food here might be a little too hot for the regular taste buds but your tears will not be those of regret.

City of Kampot in Cambodia

People say that you get all religious the minute you land on the soils of Cambodia. The city of Kampot is no different. There are many well-constructed temples in Kampot that stand tall and beautiful. In addition, you will find several other things that you do not want to miss here. For instance, Kampot is an ideal location for trekking and backpackers. If you want to escape the bustling city life and look for a nice and quiet holiday spot, then Kampot is where you should be. The city also has many beautiful landscapes that make the place photogenic. Thanks to the naturally created rivers, mountains, and hills in this place.

Some of the must-visit places in Kampot include the Durian Roundabout, the Lotus pond, shop houses, and sunset at the Praek Tuek Chhu River. Moreover, a visit to the Bokor National Park that still preserves the ruins of past colonial monuments intact and the Kampot Provincial Museum should also be in your itinerary. You should also visit some of the salt fields and the large pepper plantations for which the city of Kampot is famous. It is a good chance to taste and take home exotic souvenirs. Lastly, if there is a shopaholic in you, then wind up sightseeing in the daytime and hit straight to the Kampot Night Market for some great shopping experience.  

Be it the beaches or historical places, South East Asia has it all and more. Moreover, the best part is that you can explore these places in a much shorter time when compared to other countries of the world. Further, these cities are a rich haven of history, culture, and traditions, that most of us would admire, making these cities a must-visit place.

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South East Asia Tours – Things To Keep In Mind


If you are planning for the South East Asia tours then you should be focused on lots of things. In the SE Asia, you can visit numerous places for spending the quality time. When you are going to visit such places then you need to be focused on various factors. You need to keep some basic things in mind that can help you in avoiding the issues and getting a better experience. In the upcoming points I’m going to mention some important ones.

Cash economy

In the South East part of Asia, mostly the individuals are considering the way of cash. In case you want to visit there then you should carry cash with. Another important factor is related to the payment of bills. These countries are available with cheap services. Due to it, no one needs to pay bills at higher rates.

Seat issue in public transport

The main factor about the public transport is the availability of seat. Mainly the trains and buses are overcrowded every time. Due to this particular condition, it becomes difficult to get a seat and complete the journey comfortably. On the other hand, if we talk about the buses then these may leave when they get complete full. Here, you may face delay in time.

Be careful

Key fact that may create issues for travelers in South East Asia is scams. There are different types of individuals available those are always becoming ready for trapping someone in the scams. You should be careful while traveling there and try to make decision by paying attention to various factors.

Humid

When anyone is going to travel to another place then he/she needs to get complete knowledge about the weather and associated factors. If we talk about the weather of South East Asia then it is completely humid. Due to it, you may face sweaty conditions there.

Currency conversion

The currency rate of South East Asian conditions is very low. Due to it, you should prefer the way of currency conversion first. In case you leave the country without changing the currency then it becomes difficult to convert it. You should forget to covert the remaining Asian currency to the US dollar.

Insect repellent

In these countries different types of insects are available. Mainly the mosquitoes are appearing as the biggest challenge. For preventing the mosquitoes there are various sources available such as – a specific net system for beds. Along with it, you should take insect repellent with as a precautionary measure.

Take shoes off

The SE Asian countries have numerous impressing and historic temples. There are lots of tourists are visiting such places for spending a good time and get interacted with history. When you are going to visit such places then you should keep two facts in mind. First, you need to take off shoes outside the temple. Another factor is related to the dressing style. You should wear clothes appropriately. As per the instructions of most of the temples, both boys and girls need to cover their knees and shoulders. …

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