An Unforgettable Trip to Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are ideal getaways to escape the boredom of routine life and immerse your senses in a world comprising of vibrant and densely populated streets full of life, modern skyscrapers and a plethora of amazing places to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

The Vegas of China: Macau City

The city of Macau is often referred as “the Vegas of China” known as it is for its Casinos. It is the epicenter of gambling and lavish, luxurious night life.
Macau was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years and hence the architecture here is a blend of Portuguese and Chinese styles. The effect is reflected mostly in Buddhist Temples of the city that have many Portuguese features.

Let’s get to know the must visit places of this city:

1. Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Macau-

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral date back to the 17th century. Among one of the most visited attractions of Macau, this ruin was once the greatest Church in the region but was burnt down in an unfortunate fire during 1835. Now all that remain are its ruins that remind us of its good old days.

Ruins of St. Paul’s Church

2. Macau Tower-

One of the highest and most important landmarks in Macau, Macau Tower is certainly worth a visit. The tower is 338 meters high and offers a breathtaking view of the city surrounded by water. One can do Bungee Jumping, Sky Walking or one can simply admire the city from its observation deck.

 

Macau Tower

3. Taipa in Macau –

Taipa is an island in Macau joined to the Coloane Island by Cotai strip. Taipa reflects its history of colonialism, and there are a lot of things one can do here such as visiting the famous Taipa Houses Museum and Museum of Taipa and Coloane History. One can gamble in a number of casinos here, or go hiking or cycling in the small hills of the picturesque Taipa village.

 

Taipa Houses Museum

4. Mount Fortress in Macau-

Historic centre of Macau and a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, Mount Fortress belongs to the 17th century and was built as a primary defense from the pirates attacking from the sea. The fort is spread for about 10,000 square meters and is amongst the oldest buildings of Macau.

 

Mount Fortress

5. A-Ma Templein Macau-

Built in the early 15th century, A- Ma Temple is the oldest temple of Macau and is dedicated to the Chinese Sea Goddess- “Mazu”.

A- Ma Temple

Cosmopolitan City of Hong Kong

The city of Hong Kong is so full of life that it is bound to captivate your heart and give you memories to cherish for life. The city is not only about its success in modern architecture but also about its scenic beauty and culture. When in Hong Kong these places are a must visit:

1. Victoria Peak in Hong Kong:

Also known as Mount Austin, this peak is the highest mountain in Hong Kong and an ideal place to admire the mesmerizing cityscape. One can experience beautiful sunsets and watch the city light up and dazzle as the sun goes down. Also don’t forget to have a Tram Ride at the peak, and visit the Peak Tower, a modern shopping complex with lots of restaurants. There is also an observatory platform to enjoy the view.

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong from Victoria’s Peak

2. Central and Sheung Wan in Hong Kong:

One can take a stroll along the Central and Sheung Wan, a market full of Chinese Art and Crafts including clothing, accessories and street food.

3. Kowloon Walled City Park in Hong Kong:

A themed park in Hong Kong that features the preserved artifacts of the Kwoolon City which was once a Chinese garrison.

 

Kowloon Walled City Park

4. Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery in Hong Kong:

Visit the most famous monastery in Sha Tin of Hong Kong that includes ten thousand statues of Buddha in different postures.

 

Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery

5. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden in Hong Kong-

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden are islands of serenity among the chaos of Central depicting the rich Chinese culture, varieties of species of flora and fauna, and especially Chinese architecture.

 

Chi Lin Nunnery

6. Hong Kong Disneyland:-

When you visit Hong Kong, there’s no way you can go back without visiting the Hong Kong Disneyland, a place that is bound to give you immense joy and plentiful memories. Your must dos include

1. Rides-

From easy to scary you can have your pick from the rides on offer.

2. Cultural Shows-

Disneyland Hong Kong also arranges cultural shows, some famous festivals and laser light shows that thrill.

3. Disney Parade-

Watch the Carnival of world famous Disney Characters parade and dance.

Hong Kong Disneyland

7. Ocean’s Park in Hong Kong:

Ocean’s Park is located in the South of Hong Kong, and is a theme park that consists of Marine Mammal park, Oceanarium, Animal theme park and Amusement park. Not only does the park have a stunning interior, but is itself embraced by small hills and water bodies. When in Ocean’s Park explore the Sky Gondola that gives a panoramic view of the park, Old Hong Kong that resembles a film set, Polar Adventure to say hello to the Arctic Penguins and Seals, Ocean Theatre to watch the Dolphin shows, Roller Coasters and other rides. One must also meet the Asian animals such as Pandas and Red Raccoons and dine at the Neptune’s Restaurant beside the huge aquariums with exquisite varieties of tropical fishes.

Panoramic view of Ocean Park Hong Kong.

So why wait? Plan an unforgettable trip to Hong Kong and Macau!

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty
A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels

Ideal International Trips For the Girl Gang  

Being an economically independent woman is an amazing thing. No bars of‘ do’s and don’ts set by someone who does not really get you. Doing things because you believe in them, not because you  have been told to do all that. When womanhood is such a positive, vibrant and beautiful feeling, why not celebrate it with your girl gang? You don’t need legit reasons to celebrate with your gang, do you? If you don’t, then we have come up with a few of our own. So, just pack your bags and fly off to amazing locations and explore!

 

  1. Craving to escape diet? Visit China:

When you have been eating healthy for months but now you crave for some spicy treats, visit China. Once you step into this incredible country you have innumerable choice of food and who says no to Chinese food anyway? Wontons, dumplings, noodles and several other edibles with authentic flavours, are the choices, you are spoilt with.

 

 

Chinese Cuisine

Well ,would you only travel for food to a different country? Of Course not, explore this joyous country by visiting Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau to see the best of China.

Shanghai

Explore the city of Shanghai which is rich in history and an excellent window to the Chinese culture. Begin your exploration with Yuyan Garden, the most popular and ancient garden of the city built during the Ming Dynasty.  Head towards Suzhou and visit the 1000 years old town of Tongli , having  traces of Ming and Qing Dynasty.  And finally head to Hangzhou and explore the West Lake, also the Lingyin Temple.

 

View of Shanghai at night

 

Beijing- The capital city of China-

Beijing offers the best sights. Begin your explorations  from Tiananmen Square and see some famous landmarks. Then head towards The National Museum of China which is worth a visit. Other popular attractions include The Forbidden City, Mao’s Mausoleum,Temple of Heaven and Lama’s Temple.

A trip to China is incomplete without visiting The Great Wall of China, a man made wonder. Just 75 kms away from Beijing, it’s easily  accessible  and an opportunity which should not be missed.

 

 

Temple of Heaven in Beijing

 

Hong Kong-

 

Hong Kong is an absolute joy to visit. Days here are fun-filled but nights are even   more attractive with the casinos and the wonderful city-lights. See the panoramic view of the city and watch the most beautiful sunsets along with the cityscape from Victoria Peak. Head towards the city and pay a visit to the Kowloon Walled City with the ruins of Kowloon City and also the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery which has thousand statues of Buddha in different postures. One can also visit Chi Lin Nunnery and admire its greenery and of course, the Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean’s Park.

 

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong

 

Macau-

 

Macau is another popular attraction of China and has often been called Vegas of Asia. Admire the beauteous view of the island from the iconic Macau Tower or explore Macau’s history in the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral,  Mount Fortress  and the 15th century old temple A- Ma Temple. One can also visit Taipa to explore the history of colonialism in Macau.

 

 

Macau Tower

 

 

 

  1. Dying to try those beautiful Boho dresses ? Grab your bags and hop to Bali:

 

It isn’t the time for vacation yet but you are dying to wear those beautiful Boho dresses lying idle in your closet giving you beach vibes. Why wait for the right time? Grab your dresses, flip flops, beach hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and head to Bali to spend  time with your girl gang relaxing on the famous beach or  getting pampered in the luxurious spas. The attractions not to miss in Bali are:

 

Boho and the Beach
Ubud-

When in Bali, Ubud is a must visit. This place has some traditional age-old temples and a serene view surrounded by paddy fields and also unimaginably beautiful resorts. Explore the scenic beauty of Ubud by visiting the Tegenungan Waterfall, strolling at the Campuhan Ridge Walk, rafting  along Ayung River and finally visiting the Ubud Market.

 

Ubud

 

Uluwatu-

Uluwatu is magical and ideal for beach lovers, surrounded by sapphire waters and greenery,  it has eye soothing sites that would rejuvenate your soul. Uluwatu has some of the most beautiful beaches of the world, Uluwatu Beach, Blue Point Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, to name a few. Apart from those there is, the Uluwatu Temple and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park depicting the Balinese culture, which are worth your time.

 

Uluwantu

 

Seminyak-

 

Another tourist- friendly spot, when in Seminyak, explore the Seminyak Beach full of  happy faces, having a great time. One can also relax at the beach after sunset with drinks. Visit the Petitenget Temple, most popular in the region. For all those back home, go shopping in the Seminyak Village or Jalan Raya Seminyak Shopping Street.

 

Seminyak

 

 

 

  1. Wish to see the best pubs of the world? Visit London:

 

You and your girls are party people,  you love  dancing and laughing your hearts out with merriment, also you have  great taste when it comes to alcohol? Then, no place in the world is better  for you, than London. With innumerable world-famous  English pubs spread across the busy streets, sophisticated people, a variety of Tequilas and cocktails and also “Beer! Beer! everywhere!”,  it’s just perfect .

 

Drinking in London

Well don’t just  go drink-happy all night, go around this wonderful and the most popular city of Europe. While in London, try these things:

 

Take a ride on the London Eye to get a panoramic view of the captivating city especially at night when the city lights are  dazzling .

 

 

London Eye

Don’t miss the iconic Clock tower, Big Ben. Also enjoy the cityscape beside the clock tower, visit  the majestic Westminster Palace.

 

Big Ben

River Thames-Admire the beauty of river Thames and that absolutely delightful Tower Bridge built above the river. Also stroll among the busy streets to have a dream-like experience.

 

 

Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace- Embellish your trip by visiting the royal Buckingham Palace that  bears the legacy of British Monarch for ages. Your trip to London is incomplete without visiting ‘the Queen’s place’.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

 

  1. Garmi lagi (Feeling Hot)? Visit Switzerland   

    (Don’t just wait for your honeymoon when you have your Girl Gang):

India has hot and humid weather for most of the  year and the wait for winters is too long for the winter lovers. When the scorching heat is driving you crazy, why not visit ‘the heaven on earth’,  cloaked in snow along with scenic landscapes. Most  women dream of honeymooning in Switzerland but when you have the perfect group why wait so long for it? Come over and say cheers to womanhood with cups of hot chocolate!

 

 

Scenic Train Rides in Switzerland

Nothing can compete with the scenic beauty of Switzerland, visit these places to witness heaven-like landscapes:

Zurich-

When in Zurich, begin your journey by visiting Fraumunster Church with famous stained glass window giving it a unique look.  Have a stroll around the Town Hall or Stadthaus and watch the colourful buildings and wonderful scenery beside the river.  Head towards the Lindenh of hill to have a panoramic view of this beautiful city. You can also visit Charles Tower, a popular observatory in the city.

 

Zurich
Geneva-

Head to the Geneva Lake surrounded by the Alpine Mountains and enjoy the view .There you would get to see the famous Jet d’ Eau, a jet amongst the lake. Also visit the Cathedral de St. Pierre, Geneva’s most popular History Museum (MAMCO) and the Chillon Castle. While strolling around the city visit the popular Palais des Nations or take a break and head to the beautiful villages Mont Blanc, Chamonix and Gruyeres.

 

Geneva
Lucerne-

Lucerne is a charming lake city that is  full of swans and ducks ,making it more beautiful. Wander in the Old Town to see the beautiful wooden bridge.Take a cruise to explore the city and enjoy the mesmerising sites. Also visit Mt. Pilatus and admire the charming landscape.

 

Lucerne

 

 

Don’t forget to have a race with your gang while Skiing.

 

 

  1. Party Mood? Celebrate with your Girl Gang in Thailand:

Festivals are miles away, but you cannot shake off  that party mood? Head to Thailand to have  the best parties of your lives. Say cheers to life! Enjoy the lively nights in Pattaya, Bangkok. Relax on the beaches or have a beach party, stay on the luxurious resorts and also have a splendid shopping time with your girl gang around the city.

 

 

Cheers to Life in Thailand

 

Bangkok-

Vibrant Streets along with ornate shrines, Bangkok has a lot to offer . Khaosan Road is an ideal place for the ‘party people’ as this place is all for lively nights with itsbars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and food stalls. To see the other side of Bangkok,visit the sacred Buddhist temples such as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Also, don’t miss the majestic Grand Palace.

 

Bangkok at night
Pattaya-

Party on the beautiful beaches of Pattaya,the most famous one being Jometien Beach. Visit the Walking Street that is known for its jovial nightlife, and don’t forget to see the Truth of Sanctuary, a massive temple carved out of wood, which has a unique look.

 

Beach of Pattaya
Phuket-

 

Phuket has beautiful beaches, temples and small islands that can be reached by speedboats such as Koh Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga. Watch the cultural show at the Fanta Sea and Simon Cabaret, get tanned on the Bang Tao Beach, and watch the best sunset from Windmill Viewpoint.

 

 

Koh Phi Phi Island at Phuket

 

 

  1. Feeling Romantic? Visit Paris.

Who needs a partner when you have the perfect girl gang?

Happily single but the weather is stirring up the romantic self in you? Get lost into the romantic aura of Paris with your girl gang and take lots of instagram worthy pictures.

 

Eiffel Tower-

Paris is synonymous with Eiffel Tower. Admire the beauty of this man-made architectural masterpiece and get into its two observatories to have the best view of the city. Also dine in the restaurant of Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne.

 

Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum-

 

One of the most popular museums in the world, Louvre Museum has authentic collection of art and sculpture, and aunique entrance that resembles a pyramid ,made of glass.

 

 

Pic-24 Louvre Museum
Notre Dame Cathedral

Visit the century old Notre Dame Cathedral and admire the extra-ordinary interior.

 

Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral
Moulin Rouge-

 

Situated at the foot of Montmartre Hill, Moulin Rouge is all about ‘partying all night’, as it is totally a fun place full of nightclubs and restaurants, perfect for girls night out.

 

 

Moulin Rouge

 

 

  1. Having a hectic month, elope with your Girl Gang to the peaceful island of Sri Lanka:

When your days are hectic with loads of work  and your mind is screaming  for a break, visit the peaceful  island of Sri Lanka and rejuvenate yourselves on its serene hills.

 

Ella-

A small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is enticing, and has tea estates, waterfalls and hills along with breathtaking views and fresh air.

 

Ella

 

Kandy-

Take a train ride from Ella to Kandy which would prove to be the most beautiful and scenic journey of your life. Kandy is popular for Kandy Lake and its sacred Buddhist sites and also the Royal Palace of Kandy and its gardens.

 

Train ride from Ella to Kandy
Sigiriya

Sigiriya is most popular for its ruins of the ancient Rock Fortress situated at the top of Sigiriya Rock. Climb the stairs to reach the top  and enjoy the panoramic view.

 

Sigiriya Rock

 

  1. In a mood for some shopping ? Visit the worlds most luxurious malls and markets in Dubai:

Dubai Shopping Mall-

Fulfil your desires of luxurious shopping in Dubai Shopping Mall, which has a collection of world famous brands. Also this mall has theme places for entertainment and of course delicious food stalls and multiple restaurants.

Dubai Shopping Mall
Burj Khalifa-

A visit to Dubai is incomplete without visiting the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa. Get into the various observation decks of the tower and get to see the mesmerising view of Dubai encompassed by the great Arabian Desert. Dine in the restaurants of Burj Khalifa or have a great party night at the highest nightclub in the world. One can also enjoy the Fountain shows held at the base of the tower.

Burj Khalifa
Jumeirah Beach-

Relax with your gang on the most popular beach of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, and have a look at the stunning architecture of Burj-Al- Arab.

 

Pic-32 Jumeirah Beach
Palm Jumeirah-

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial Palm- shaped archipelago visible even from the space. Palm Jumeirah is an ideal place to party  with various nightclubs, or have a couple of drinks and food at its world famous restaurants and bars, or simply pamper yourself at the exotic spas.

 

Palm Jumeirah
Safari-

Get an experience of safari in the great Arabian Desert. Ride the camels ,have dinner on the sands accompanied with the traditional belly dancing,the most perfect setting to enjoy with your girl gang.

 

 

Safari

One can also have a lifetime experience of watching Dubai from above by taking a helicopter ride or skydiving.

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels.

Cambodia: One of the Best Countries with Rich Cultural Heritage

Cambodia is a South-East Asian nation that is famous for its Ancient Temples and the remains of the Khmer Empire, the lovely sandy beaches, authentic Buddhist architecture, scenic beauty, a variety of special Tea along with delicious Cambodian cuisines. Charmingly, people of Cambodia are polite and soft-spoken and maintain chivalry with their visitors. Major towns to attract tourists to Cambodia, which flock in large numbers are listed below-

A. Phnom Penh, Capital of Cambodia

Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia is a globally famous tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of rivers Mekong, Bassac and the Lake Tonle Sap, this city provides a mesmerizing view to its visitors along with a number of historical architecture. It is the economic, industrial and cultural center of Cambodia, what’s interesting is that this city still holds the marks of the French Colonialism in a number of buildings. Some interesting sites in Phnom Penh that you must check out are listed here.

 

 

Riverside of Phnom Penh

1. The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Royal Palace is situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, which serves as the residence for the King Of Cambodia. With the gleaming gold roof,this is the most beautiful example of architectural wonder of Phnom Penh. However as compared to the Khmer Architectures of Cambodia, the event of building this palace is quite recent as it was built in the 1860’s. This Palace is situated at the old site of the town near the rivers Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake.

The Royal Palace
2. National Museum Of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

The National Museum of Cambodia, situated at Phnom Penh is the largest museum of Cambodia. This museum is associated with the Cultural History of Cambodia and gives interesting insight into the Khmer Empire in the 21st century. This museum has the world’s largest collection of Khmer Art and Sculptures including over fourteen thousand items preserved from the Prehistoric age, before and after the Khmer Empire. For people who love art and history this place is a treasure .

 

 

National Museum

 

3. Killing Fields of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Cambodia is also famous or infamous, for its horrific sites of various Killing Fields which are reminders of a terrible time. The Killing Fields contain the remains of numerous skeleton of the people who were brutally executed under the dictatorship of of the Khmer Rogue. The idea that the country did this to its own people is truly sad and horrific. It is believed that Cambodians were massacred with “Palm Knife” made of Palm leaves that had edges sharp as a razor. Though these sites are horrific, these killing fields serve as tourist attraction.

A view of killing fields
4. Prison Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Prison Museum in Phnom Penh, usually visited alongside the Killing fields, is important in understanding the terrible recent history of the region, in understanding the functioning of the cruel Khmer Rouge. The museum, located in a school used as a prison during the regime, contains artefacts such as the torture devices and weapons used, along with the preservation of some rooms used as cells in that time. You might even run into some of the 4 remaining survivors of that particular prison.

Prison Museum

 

5. Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wat Phnom is a Buddhist Temple (Pagoda) situated at the city of Phnom Penh. This Temple has its own story about a wealthy widow who found a statue of Buddha made of Bronze inside a large Koki Tree, which led to the construction of the shrine in an artificial hill. The interior of the Temple has a large statue of Buddha made of bronze in a seated posture, and is surrounded by many other statues depicting the Khmer version of Ramayana. Wat Phnom is the tallest religious structure in the city and is surrounded by a serene, peaceful environment.

 

A view of Wat Phnom

 

B. Siem Reap, The City of Angkor Wat Temple

Siem Reap is located at the North-West of Cambodia and is considered the gateway to the famous Angkor Wat Temple. This place is all about Silk farms, Rice paddy fields, Chinese-Style architectures, Old markets, Bird Sanctuary near the river Tonle Sap, nearby Fishing Villages and a number of beautifully decorated resorts that offer Cosmopolitan Drinking and Dining for its tourists. What’s more interesting, is that Siem Reap offers a number of dance shows, which include the traditional dance of Cambodia, the Apsara Dance that has been the part of Cambodia since the Khmer Empire. As Apsara means the dance of the divinities, the women dress themselves as graceful goddesses and depict the tales of Cambodian culture through their elegant moves.

The Angkor Wat Temple
1. Floating Village, Siem Reap , Cambodia

Floating Village known as Kampong Phluk in Cambodia is a must visit. The Floating Village is located on the river Tonle Sap and can be reached through a boat from Siem Reap. It is also popular as a Fishing Village . This village is a unique and unusual as the houses seem floating on water .The place includes a church,school, cottages,restaurants, wooden cages containing Crocodiles. This Floating Village is a perfect site for fishing and watching beautiful sunsets.

 

 

The Floating Village
2. Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

The Pub Street in Cambodia is a part of Siem Reap Province and is largely famous among tourists for lively nightlife scenes. This place reflects the traces of French Colonialism and has numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants, a perfect place for “party people”. So when you visit Siem Reap, make sure you check out Pub Street and enjoy the fun experience.

A View of Pub Street

 

3. Cultural Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Apsara Dance in Siem Reap

Cultural Village in Siem Reap is also widely famous, it is a theme park and museum that depicts the traditional, cultural and ethnic style of living of the people of Cambodia. Each village here contains wood houses, carvings and artists who present traditional dance shows such as the Apsara Dance and Peacock dance . Together these villages display the varied culture of Nineteen ethnic groups of Cambodia.

A View of Cultural Village
A dance show in the Cultural Village
4. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a globally famous tourist attraction of Cambodia. The Angkor Wat Temple is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world which was originally constructed in the 12th century as a Hindu Temple devoted to the Lord Vishnu and later on transformed into a Buddhist Temple during the 16th century. Angkor Wat is considered as the Seventh Wonder of the World, and you surely don’t want to miss this wonder that mingles the culture of Hinduism and Buddhism. The scenic and artistic beauty of Angkor Wat is surely going to mesmerize you and would make you travel back to the Khmer Empire.

The Angkor Wat Temple
5. Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Phnom Kulen is a range of mountains, and is considered as Holy Mountains in Cambodia as it preserves the remains of Khmer Empire. It is located at the Siem Reap province and is symbolic to the Hindus and Buddhists for pilgrimage.

A Hidden Architecture in Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen has a National Park which is a protected area, a famous waterfall named Chup Preah , and the KuLen mountain with two Waterfalls. This place offers trekking to its famous Waterfalls that have carved Lingas in them. Phnom Kulen has a fresh, peaceful and holy ambience.

A Waterfall in Phnom Kulen

 

C. Preah Vihear, Cambodia

 

88 kilometres away from Siem Reap ,Preah Vihear in Cambodia is also one of the remains of the Khmer Empire. Preah Vihear is a mountain , which was built for the purpose of serving Lord Shiva.

The Temple of Preah Vihear

It is believed that it took about 300 years to complete this temple by Khmerian Kings. This Temple is situated at the cliff of Dangrek Mountains across the border of Saket (Thailand ), and offers an eye soothing view from the top. If you are fascinated with heights, this place is a must visit.

A View from Preah Vihear

 

D. Mondulkiri, Cambodia

 

 

Trekking in Mountains

Mondulkiri is an Eastern Province of Cambodia which is popular for its dense forests, mountains, powerful waterfalls, a whole set of serene scenic beauty. Mondulkiri also has a Wildlife Sanctuary that include Elephants, and also offers trekkings in its mountains.

A Waterfall at Mondulkiri

The Bou Sra, Senmonorom and Romnea are the three Waterfalls in Mondulkiri. There is an interesting sport offered by the Maurya Hill Resort called Ziplining over the Bou Sra waterfall which gives a lifetime experience to the people bitten by the adventure bug.

 

E. Sihanoukville, Cambodia

 

Sihanoukville is a sea-side town and has the best beaches of Cambodia. These beaches are calm and peaceful, not very crowded and hence these places are the best to connect with nature. The beaches include the Victory Beach, Independence Beach, Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and the Otres Beach, these beaches are as interesting as their names.

A View of one of the Beaches in Sihanoukville

A 3$ drive from the Otres Beach leads to an evening market named the Otres Market, which is an interesting place for the tourists. The market offers a number of Live Music shows, with an arrangement of various Food Stalls which offer delicious Wraps and other snacks including alcohol. These beaches offer Scuba Diving, Island trips, Spas, Fishing with a number of beautifully decorated resorts near the beach.

F. Kep, Cambodia

 

 

Kep is one of the newest province of Cambodia and is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches. Kep is often termed as an archipelago, as this place has a number of nearby islands, such as the Rabbit Island which is named after its shape, Egret Island, Chilli Island, Mango Island, Milestone Island, Dry Fish Island, Wild Mango Island, Sarang Island, Pura Island, Makprang Island, Angkrong Island, Horseback Riding Island and lastly the Dry Island.

Kep

All of these islands have their own speciality and interesting facts and offer beautiful sites. Apart from this, Kep has its individual beach, offers Jungle Trekking, and also has a Zoo. Kep is also famous for its Crab Market and delicious Sea food, you surely do not want to miss the Crab Curry here. Give it a try.

G. Battambang, Cambodia

 

Bamboo Trains in Battambang

Battambang is a popular tourist destination of Cambodia. This city has a number of Ancient Temples, Buddhist Shrines and the unique, Bamboo Railway, the traditional style of running a bamboo cart through the rail tracks, which is fun, and offers a beautiful tour of Battambang.

Battambang has a museum and a number of other interesting places, along with its Central Market and a variety of Cafes. Battambang is the second most popular city in Cambodia.

A Scenic Ride in Battambang

 

With this wide range of attractions, Cambodia deserves that you grab your luggage, camera, beach hats and flip flops, and reach this beautiful and diverse land and explore its rich history and culture.

 

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing,traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels

Travel guide to help you enjoy a hassle free trip to Venice  

WiseYatra presents you a very handy Venice travel guide detailing the aura, the economy and the social life of this charming city.

 

This manual is coming out of our experiences from the personal visit of the city to give you a better insight into the things in prior. The city is beautiful and we suggest you roam around, just to put the visitors in a comfortable, haggle free and a memorable-experience way.

 

10 Checkpoints to help you get a memorable, economic and more of avoiding the negative experiences…

 

  1. Ease of access in Venice

 

With the exception of Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto, any means of transportation is restricted in the popular city of Venice, including bicycles. Walk around as long as the feet don’t pain, just to be careful not to get lost! The labyrinth of alleys, bridges, and intersections throughout Venice makes it practically impossible to rely only on your   sense of direction alone(A detailed map or live-GPS will come out handy)

 

Never be late for a booked tour: “Time and guides do not wait!!”

 

  1. Means of Transport in Venice

 

Water buses are daily means of commutation to many people, both tourists, and locals, so try to abide by the signs: “do not block the entrance/exit and stow suitcases and travel bags in the spaces provided”.

 

Note: Ask the crew for help if any queries.

 

Try to purchase “validity tickets” beforehand if you plan to commute often during your stay, as it’s cheaper and also convenient than timely purchases. It also allows unlimited rides for the entire period of validity. Some of them include even the transfers from/to Venice Marco Polo airport.

 

Water taxis are another important means of transport, although they are more expensive than public transport (make sure you ask the driver to turn on the meter and ask for a bill after the voyage).

 

  1. Floody waters in Venice

 

High tides very often run across the city of Venice. Travellers consider it the real show (Of-course, Venice is the only city to boast so), but it creates serious difficulties for wandering around. During high water, walkways are put in place: stay on the right-hand side and continue without halting, for as the walkways are tight, it creates problems for the people behind.

 

A plunge in the water or barefoot walking is not a good idea: the water is dirty and often ‘inhabited’ by pests.

 

Reason being the same, we advise not to check the basements of the buildings you visit as the very slippery steps might lead to accidental falls in the water!

 

  1. Friendly behaviour in Venice

 

Loud volume songs or noise should be checked after 11 PM. Also, an amiable gesture is to avoid wearing costumes or roaming shirtless.

For a shirtless sunbath, let someone sail you to the beach of the Venice Lido, just a little distant by public transport.

 

  1. Expect the masses on these days in Venice

 

Being one of the major tourist attraction, the city is crowded 365 days a year, however, you’ll face far more congestion during some major event days such as the Carnival, the Biennale, the Redeemer or the Historical

Regatta.

 

Patience is highly desired for the long queues to visit the most important attractions, such as St Mark’s Square. Worry not! Visit a good website for your economical travel planner, who  takes care of everything in advance which reduces the hectic waiting greatly.

 

  1. Picnic Spots in Venice

 

The city rules don’t allow you to just stop at any corner to eat your packed lunch for the Picnic. For instance, it is forbidden to have a picnic in the St Mark’s area (St Mark’s Square, Piazzetta San Marco, Piazzetta Dei Leoncini, and the Pier) however, you can stop further on at the Royal Gardens or one of the many benches outside the areas mentioned above.

 

We advise avoiding the steps of the bridges and the banks of the channels as these areas are not very clean and there is also the risk of blocking the passage to people in transit.

 

Note: Please do not share your snack with the pigeons (these birds are carriers of diseases and contribute to the decay of buildings).

 

Venice, being a beautiful city, it would be a shame to pollute it so, find a trash box to trash your leftover and waste.

 

  1. Illegal offenses/restrictions in Venice

 

Just like the other cities, Venice is also filled with con artists and tricksters ready to tempt inexperienced tourists, offering services or counterfeit goods.

 

We advise you to keep the common senses on alert as this involves a high fee being demanded at the end of the service and your luggage withheld until you pay.

These illegal activists are mainly present near the Constitution Bridge (Calatrava Bridge) between Piazzale Roma and Venice St Lucia train station.

 

Recognized by the uniform and the trolley they use, ask only the authorized porters for assistance. Buying and selling counterfeit goods is a crime and imposes fines of up to €500. You could also jeopardize one’s health, not to mention that it affects the honest sellers.

 

Note: It’s a good practice to ask for the receipt for any purchases made to ensure genuinity.

 

  1. Gondola Rides in Venice

 

Even though the gondola stations are restricted to display a price list with the rates and the durations allowed, a constant tricking and black marketing of tickets happen at various sites.

 

 

  1. Thefts and Pick Pockets in Venice

 

Keep your cash in check especially in crowded alleys or ferries. Avoid carrying too much cash or reserving them all in the same pocket. Keep them split in different pockets and carry just the meager amount as the change in outer pockets.

 

  1. Attractions and Events in Venice

 

Before starting your trip with the planned itinerary, please check the sections entitled ‘Events’ and ‘Anecdotes and Curiosities’. The first one  details the exhibitions, the shows, and the concerts to keep you updated on what is happening in the city, the second presents fascinating insights to find a veiled Venice, including mysteries, myths, and hidden riches.

–Kaushik Raj

 

[ Credit: Inside.com  ]

Five Most Visited Places in Europe

 

Europe is the dream destination for most of us, an indispensable item of everybody’s bucket list ,but when it actually comes to planning a trip to this enchanting continent ,we feel lost . So many countries,so many cities- going to one ,leaving another ….which are the absolute musts…..which should not be missed at any cost .WiseYatra comes to your aid here to help you in choosing the five must-visit places of Europe. Here goes the list:

 

1. Paris- France

 

Capital of France, Paris is one of the most popular cities  in Europe and is known as the romantic capital of the world. The extremely beautiful buildings,the boulevard ,the serene Siene and most importantly the celebrated  ,Eiffel Tower ,make it one of the most -visited cities of the world. Couples around the world visit Eiffel Tower for hitting the relationship goals and making everlasting memories. But , Paris is not  only Eiffel Tower, it has a number of other attractions :

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral with amazing architectural  details  . It’s a unique example of religion ,beauty,history , architecture and known for its enticing spires ,columns,glass windows,statues and carvings . It is the most visited monument of Paris.

Interiors of Notredame Cathedral

 

Louvre Museum

 

The entrance of Louvre Museum

 

Synonymous with Paris ,the Louvre Museum is like no other on earth.This place is massive from the outside as well as from the inside and has an astounding collection of classical,neo classical and renaissance art .Visiting this place will leave you extremely impressed and also very tired because of its sheer vastness.It is home to the world famous Mona Lisa ,the Winged Victory,The Venus,The Raft of Medusa,the Dying Slave,to name a few.

 

The Arc De Triomphe

 

Arc De Triomphe

 

TheArc De Triomphe was a commissioned work of Napolean to memorialize his victory, but unfortunately he was expelled before the completion of the monument. Later completed by Louis Philipp in the year 1863. The Arc of Triumph is engraved with the names of Generals who commanded the French Army during the reign of Napolean. Now the architecture stands as a legacy of French history and Napoleanic Wars, and also has an observation deck at the top of the monument that offers a great view.

 

Cruise on the Siene

 

Cruise on Siene

Paris is termed as the “City Of Lights” and one of the best ways of exploring it is through the Cruise on the Siene. Paris is more beautiful after sunsets, the city sparkles in light, along with joy and romance. Join the evening cruise and enjoy  the uninhibited view of tree-lined boulevards and spot all the famous monuments on way .

 

Palace of Versailles

 

Palace of Versailles

 

The Palace of Versailles in Paris is the most famous castle of France , which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This castle is an epitome of power and represents its history associated with 17th century France. Palace of Versailles has beautiful gardens, and the interior of the castle is lavishly designed. The Castle that was once a seat of power has now been converted into a museum displaying the history of France

 

Latin Quarter- Luxembourg Park

 

 

Latin Quarters- Luxembourg Park

 

Located on the left bank of Siene, Luxembourg Park is a beautiful Parisian Park where you can discover the famous Latin Quarter, and explore the beautiful French style Gardens . Luxembourg Park is not only a perfect place for grown ups, but also for children as Toy Ships are available near the river bank and children would love to sail them in the water of Siene.

 

Moulin Rouge

 

Moulin Rouge

MoulinRouge in Paris is located at the foot of MontmartreHill and  is famous for the  performances. Moulin Rogue is basically a fun place as it has many nightclubs, restaurants, perfect for having a fun night in Paris.

 

Disneyland Paris

 

 

Disneyland Paris

 

Whether you are with your kids or just your partner  , do visit the most splendid place of Paris- Disneyland ,Paris. This place is  ideal for kids but well-suited for  grown ups to spend quality time and have  an unforgettable experience. Explore this astonishing park  and don’t forget to try theworld-famousrides.

2.  Rome- Italy

 

Rome, the capital city of Italy, is an iconic city of Europeand a must visit . Rome is termed as the “Eternal City” because of its everlasting  myths, and the fact that it is the religious WorldCentre of CatholicChurch(Vatican)and lastly it holds the ruins of the great RomanEmpire, everything conspiring to make the city “eternal”. When you are in Rome, these are the places to check out:

 

Colosseum

 

 

A view of Colosseum

Colosseum ,also known as Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome ,is  one of theNewSevenWonders oftheWorld , built during the Roman Empire. It was  built by the Romans for the entertainment of public. The public entertainment included Gladiatorial games, armed men fighting each other to death, Venatio, where wild animals were slaughtered ruthlessly. The remains of the Colosseum has a lot to teach the modern world .

 

Vatican City

 

 

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel- Painting by Michelangelo

Vatican City in Rome is the smallest independent state of the world  recognised globally.It is known  for St. Peter’s Basilica Church, St. Peter’s Square and  Sistine Chapel. The interior of St. Peter’s Basilica includes the world famous sculpture of Michelangelo, The Pieta Sistine Chapel has a collection of unique art which  never fails to enthral the visitors

 

Vatican Palace

 

The Pantheon

 

 

Pantheon

 

Pantheon is a monument of Roman antiquity which was the burial place for Italian Kings and later also became the burial for famous Italians such as the famous painter Raphael.

 

Trastevere

 

Trastevere, located on the South of VaticanCity is a charming urban neighbourhood , much different from the main city, and home to famous SantaMaria church. One can explore Trastevere and take a look at the real Roman life and have mouth-watering Italian cuisines. The food here is cheap, there are also places for shopping.

 

A View of Trastevere

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Another highlight of Rome is TreviFountain, the world’s largest Baroque fountain built in the 18th century. It is a popular belief herethat if you throw a coin into this  fountain you will return to Rome someday- try your luck!

 

Spanish Steps

 

Another famous site of Rome is  the SpanishSteps, 135 steps staircase leading to the TrinitiadeiMonte Church, which was built in 1735 to link with the Spanish Embassy, now in the Modern world this is a popular spot to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

 

The Spanish Steps

 

3. London- United Kingdom

 

London, the capital city of UnitedKingdom is World’s one of the most popular cities  and a must visit European destination. London is a name that resides on the mind of the people globally and has always played a special role in Hollywood movies such as ‘James Bond’. London is often called  the ‘city of dreams’.London is  home to 170 museums,  several parks, 230 theatres including  Shakespeare’sGlobeTheatre, iconic buildings, and TheLondonEye. While visiting London don’t miss  these places-

 

 

London Eye

 

London Eye

 

A giant Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of river Thames, London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction and a perfect observatory to have a view of the magical city of London. London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel and has nearly 3.5 million visitors every year.

 

Big Ben

 

Dingdong – Yes that’s the sound of the biggest Clock Tower of London, The Big Ben. Made in the year 1859, this Neo-gothic style tower is 96 metres tall and  was once the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben is the nick name of Great Bell of the clock and is situated at the North of Palace of Westminster. In 1970, the Clock Tower was declared a World  Heritage Site  by UNESCO.

 

 

The Big Ben

 

 

British Museum

 

The British Museum

 

BritishMuseum in London is among the top attractions of London. Established  in 1753, this museum has collections from all over the world such as Egyptian collections, Assyrian collections, Middle-Eastern, Asian, American and many more.  The British Museum consists of The SmirkeBuilding, PantheonGallaries, The GreatCourt with a huge collection of Global Antiquities.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

Buckingham Palace in London is the residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of United Kingdom. This palace is the legacy of British Monarch, and is the centre stage of occasions and royal hospitality. The palace may reveal its age- old tale from the outside, but the interior of the palace is exquisitely decorated and there are many things to see,  such as – the GrandStaircase,the StateRooms, ThroneRoom, finest collection of porcelain, the garden tour, flags and Clocks and so on. It is said , one can know if the Queen is inside the residence or not ,by the flag flying from the mast.

Buckingham Palace

 

Other than these historically important sites London is full of  fun places  like t MadameTussauds Museum, WarnerBros. Studios , NationalGallery, Greenwich Park, BoroughMarket and so on.

 

4.  Athens- Greece

 

We all have read GreekMythology and at some point or the other wished to visit its home ,Greece. Athens, the capital city of Greece is one such place ,stuff of childhood dreams .A home to landmarks that are existing since 5th century BC, it is  termed as  ‘Temple City’ because of the numerous Greek Ancient temples . There are plenty of surprises to unearth in Athens ,such as:

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon in Greek meaning “Virgin Woman”, is the former temple on the hill of Acropolis, dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena.  This ruins of the holy temple stands as a proud example of grand  Ancient Greek History and is a world famous tourist attraction. Parthenon can be seen from any direction of the city and serves as a crown to the Acropolis Hill.

 

Acropolis Museum

 

Collection at Acropolis Museum

 

The visit to the AcropolisHill is incomplete without a visit to the AcropolisMuseum which is  an Archaeological Museum exhibiting the significant discoveries from the sacred rock.

 

Poros Island

 

Poros Island

 

Less than a hour away from Athens, PorosIslandis a popular attraction with lively, beautiful streets, blooming flowers on the walls of almost every building, happy faces, hotels, restaurantsand of course ,a stunning view Saronic Gulf. Take a ferry ride and stay here to admire the beauty of this small GreekIsland.

 

Plaka

 

A View of Streets of Plaka Village

 

Plaka is  a village in the shadows of Acropolis. Plaka in Athens has beautiful streets with markets, restaurants, shops selling jewellery, clothes, ceramics, and also many sidewalk cafes. Take a walk and immerse yourself into the beautiful Greek lifestyle.

 

Some of the other places to visit in Athens include the Byzantine& Christian Museum, BenakiMuseum, Temple of Olympian Zeus,Temple of Poseidon and Kerameikos Museum. Don’t miss any of these for surely they are going to be the highlights of your Europe trip.If your schedule permits , you must visit Santorini once, to experience a slice of  paradise on earth.

 

5.  Amsterdam- Netherlands

 

Another beauteous city of Europe, Amsterdam- capital of Netherlands is all about rich architectural history, museums, water canals, food, drinking and impressive night life. Let’s get to know the must visits of this place:

 

 

Museum Quarter

 

Rijksmuseum

Visit the most popular museums in Amsterdam- Rijksmuseum , Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum serving as the cultural hub of the city, and  displaying art from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. These museums hold the collection of some world renowned works by famous painters and are  always crowded with tourists visiting from different parts of the world.

 

Vondle Park

 

Vondle Park

A few miles away from the Rijks Museum, VondlePark is an ideal place for picnics or relaxing  among the lush green gardens and beautiful flowers. Perfect place to escape the crowd and spend some time in a  serene, peaceful environment.

 

Canal Cruises

 

Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

 

What else can be better than exploring the wonderful city of Amsterdam through CanalCruises? Opt the cruise rides to admire this gorgeous city which is at its best during the evenings. Illuminated canals, dazzling city lights reflecting on the waters of the canals, happy faces, everything seems magical in this city.

 

Be it a stroll in the lively streets or visiting the architectural masterpieces  or enjoying a drink and saying cheers to life, Amsterdam provides an opportunity to the tourist which is one of a kind.

Europe has all this and much more to offer to the tourists. Come visit these stunning cities-Paris, Rome, London, Athens and Amsterdam and be transported to another realm. Europe’s beauty is captivating and would give you a lifetime experience along with memories to cherish for life.

–Sampurna Chakraborty