As I closed my eyes, images of my cannonying trip began to flood back in and I knew I would be back here to experience the surge of adrenaline again.
“People don’t take Trips. Trips take People”. That is exactly what this desert city does to you. If you can think of a desert which has transformed itself marvellously and effortlessly into a place the world could never have dreamt of, it has to be Dubai. At first, Dubai appears like a vast expanse of desert broken only by huge hills. A second later you scramble to readjust your vision, as a glass and steel metropolis unfolds itself like a shimmering mirage in the Arabian Desert. For most of us the UAE is synonymous to Dubai, the sci-fi-esque city of iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes and palatial beach resorts. An ideal place to vacation with your family as it provides all types of entertainment you are seeking. The city remains architecturally and geographically unparalleled. Modernity and antiquity collide into this vibrant city. This is the best Dubai vacation.
If you are planning to spend a few days in Dubai be ready to visit a lot of places. Get your itinerary straight so that you can have a planned and hassle-free sight-seeing experience. The first day in Dubai, make sure to go for the Desert Safari. It will be the best part of this trip as it includes the best of Dubai. From dune bashing in the deserts to camel rides, trying out Arabian clothes, sipping on Arabic coffee, devouring Arabic dates, enjoying the famous Shisha (flavoured hookah), the night ends with a lip-smacking buffet dinner, a mind-blowing Jambura dance and a scintillating belly dance performance.
The next morning you can visit the Dubai’s landmark building, Burj Khalifa, which is at 829.8 meters and the tallest building in the world. For most visitors, a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city. The views across the city skyline from this bird’s-eye perspective are just overwhelming. The 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other. You could go either at sunrise or sunset to witness the various avatars of Dubai city while in light or in darkness with lights glittering the city all over. You should also visit the Burj Al-Arab, the world’s tallest hotel, standing 321 meters high on its own artificial island on the Dubai coastline. For those without unlimited credit, you can opt for dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara restaurant, which allows you to view sea life while you eat delicious Californian food.
For the remaining vacation days, it is best recommended to enrol into a hop on hop off bus tour like City Sightseeing, Big Bus and many local bus services. This way you get to see a lot of places without paying for cabs. Start your day by visiting the famous Jumeirah Mosque which is the most beautiful mosques in Dubai and a fine example of Islamic architecture. This stone structure is built in the medieval Fatimid tradition. A program consists of tours, lectures, Arabic classes, and cultural meals to extend better understanding of Muslim faith.
Plan a day to visit places like The Dubai Mall which is the city’s premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Aquarium. The Dubai Aquarium houses 140 species of sea life in the huge suspended tank on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall. You can walk through the aquarium tunnels.at the Underwater Zoo. Different activities help you get a closer look at the sea life. Glass bottom boat tours are particularly popular. Cage snorkelling and shark diving activities are also on offer. There is also an ice-skating rink, gaming zone and cinema complex. But the main attraction here is The Dancing Dubai Fountain Show. It is a synchronized water movement that is brilliantly choreographed to a wonderful musical soundtrack and goes 500 feet above.
For history fanatics, the Dubai Fort is a must-watch. The fort’s walls are built out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime and the courtyard is home to several traditional boats and a palm-leaf house with an Emirati wind-tower.
Walk down the narrow lanes of Bastakia (Old Dubai), highly reminiscent of a bygone, and much slower, age in Dubai’s history. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek, and the coral and limestone buildings here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been excellently preserved. The Dubai’s architectural, cultural, and maritime heritage is showcased at the Heritage and Diving Village, with displays related to pearl diving and dhow building, two of old Dubai’s historic economic mainstays. Dubai Creek separates the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. Boat tours and ship cruises on the creek gives a spectacular waterline view of Dubai.
For the shopaholics, the Deira lies on the northern bank of Dubai Creek. Deira is most famous for its traditional souks (markets), which bustle with shoppers at all times of the day. Deira Gold Souk is world-renowned as the largest gold bazaar in the world. The Deira Spice Souk sells every imaginable spice like paprika, saffron, sumac, thyme and much more.
Take your family to the awesome Dubai beaches and amusement parks. Jumeirah Beach is a strip of sandy white bliss and the number one beach destination for Dubai visitors. Hotels are strung out all along its length, with this being one of the most popular places to stay for tourists. The beach has excellent facilities, with plenty of sun loungers, restaurants, and water-sport operators offering jet skiing. South of Jumeirah beach is the Kite beach. It is renowned as Dubai’s premier destination for kite surfers and is home to an array of water sports operators.
While IMG World of adventure is about Marvel cartoon characters and rides, Wild Wadi and Aquaventure waterpark at the Palm Atlantis is all about adrenaline-rushing water rides. Bollywood Parks brings the world of India’s famous movie industry alive on its rides, and Legoland Dubai provides younger visitors with a fun-packed day out on its interactive rides. So, you have a whole lot of places to give your kids the best time of their lives.
For staying in Dubai, hotel prices start from 350 AED with a breakfast menu. The tickets to waterparks, amusement parks tickets cost 300 AED approx. Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab tickets start from around 130 to 500 AED. You will find very good restaurants in Dubai but the rates are on the higher side. So, it is best advised to plan a detailed itinerary according to your budget and stick to it.
Dubai is one of the most popular destinations in the world for holidays and tours and there are millions of travellers visiting the city every year. Shopping festivals, culinary delights, loads of adventure and much more is all entitled on your Dubai vacation. Whether you are visiting with family or friends, a vacation in Dubai will make you want to travel here again. Plan your next trip to this destination and revel in the marvellous man-made wonderstruck city Dubai.
“He who has stopped travelling, has stopped living.” I guess that quote really stands up when it comes to exploring Bali. It is almost impossible to get bored and feel monotonous living in Bali. For the true explorers who are on the continuous quest for new discoveries, this island is an ideal place to satiate that hunger. Waterfalls, beach, crater lakes, paddy fields, vineyards, North Bali gives you no chance to complaint. Being the greenest area of Bali, North Bali also provides a diverse set of tourist spots to explore.
Where to go
For all those who cannot resist of going to the ocean, Lovina Beach is the only destination in the North Bali. Characterised by calm waves and side-lined by coconut trees, it is visited by all those who crave for relaxation. Lovina is sun-drenched, with patches of shade from palm trees. The tourist area stretches over 8 kilometres, and consists of a string of coastal villages – Kaliasem, Kalibukbuk, Anturan and Tukad Mungga – collectively known as Lovina. A short drive from the black sand beach of Lovina, those who are keen into architecture can visit The Royal Palace of Singaraja, which depicting royal grandeur and majestic European buildings.
If you need to pacify your soul, Pura Ponjok Batu can be an alternative. Meaning Stone Cape, this ancient, spiritual place owes its uniqueness to a rock promontory, which from the crevices of rocks grows frangipani trees and shrubs that grows artistically. This Hindu temple is used for praying to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi. For Buddhist, praying at the Brahma Vihara Arama is a must. Located at Tegehe Village, this biggest Buddhist temple in Bali rises majestically overlooking Lovina Beach with lush green hill as a background. Painted with colorful decorations, this place is also a perfect place for relaxation while admiring the beautiful buildings and surroundings.
Soaking in the healing waters of a natural hot spring is the most effective way to relax in nature, and a quick visit to one of the island’s most popular hot springs can be a solution. Located in the Banjar Village, with lush, jungle-clad slopes surrounding the sacred area, Banjar Hot Spring consists of hot ponds filled with warm water. The sulphuric water, which believed to cure skin diseases, spills from the mouths of some stone-carved mythical dragon into three pools at a tempting temperature of 37 degrees Celsius. The presence of brimstones in the water lends the healing property for various skin diseases, which explain why the place is known as the “Magical waters of Bali”.
One of the most famous waterfalls of north Bali is Gitgit Waterfall. Located in the plateau area with the height about 35 metres, the waterfall is surrounded by tropical trees with some plantations protecting the rain forest around it.
The forest lovers will be treated well at the Lemukih village, which lies in the northern slope of the island at an altitude of 638 metres above sea level. It is dotted by gorgeous rice paddies, coffee and fruit plantations, making it ideal for those who want to stroll around and explore deeper into Balinese lifestyle. Encircled by green forests and mountains, Lemukih provides a rather picturesque view. The dense tropical rain-forests are a perfect spot for trekking. It is characterised by 3 beautiful, gushing waterfalls which start at different heights. The water is cool and clean and pours out from the greenery above. The pounding sound of water falling and splashing creates a much desired tranquillity all around.
The wine lovers can enjoy the North Bali by visiting the vineyard of Hatten Wines. Situated between the towns of Seririt and Pemuteran, this place offers wine tasting and exploring experience. The Hatten Wines winery is a modern state of the art facility, bottling over 50000 bottles of wine each day. Like most places, Bali also has its own cultural drink called Tuak, universally known as palm wine. It is a milky fermented alcohol made from the sap of palm trees. It has a sour taste, and a strong burn as you swallow. It is available for purchase in some restaurants and shops and should be tried by every wine lover to know the rustic flavour of Bali.
What to do
Apart from the terrific sceneries to gape at, North Bali provides loads of activities to indulge in. The Kalimudah canyon is the next best thing for sporting Canyoning destination. In this activity, you will come across two different sections. The first section is a sequence of water slides, jumps and short rappels with glorious gorges made of volcanic rock, sulphurate water basin that come out from the underground. The second part is sportier, including swimming, floating, enchanting rappel descents along the waterfall and jumps up to 10 metres high.
Another rewarding activity is undoubtedly dolphin watching at Lovina. There is a certain ecstasy to waking up at sunrise, walking to the beach, finding a local boatman and embarking on an adventure. In no time the dolphins appear in pods of ten to literally hundreds. Some mornings, they even put on a full dolphin show with backflips, massive jumps and sometimes even tail-walking.
For trekking lovers, North Bali provides more than enough jungle treks. Trekking at Lemukih Village is a rare and unique opportunity to experience the traditional culture and the beautiful nature. You can trek all the way to temples, rice paddies, coffee and fruit plantations. If you want to burn more energies, follow a track with stone steps that winds down for about 90 meters to the waterfalls of Leimukh through jungles and rivers. If that’s still not enough and you feel like experiencing more of the wild rainforest, the beautifully crafted nests of Bali’s central highlands will make the trek to Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan memorable. Covered by fog most of the times, the two crater lakes are located within the caldera of extinct Bedugul volcano. You can also set a camp near the lakes.
Trekking along the vineyard can also be a part of your itinerary, and therefore a visit to Welcome Center & Observation Deck of Hatten Wines vineyards is an option. The Alphonse Lavallee grapes is grown locally in most Balinese vineyards, producing very tasty wine. Your trip will start with a quick walking tour of the vineyard. The tour will include a lesson in wine making, grape picking, and a visit at Hatten Wine’s laboratory. Finally, the activity you have been waiting for… wine tasting!
The magnificence of North Bali is just endless and gets even better with more exploration. With adrenaline pumping activities to lazing around in beach and strolling across paddy fields, this northern part of the island leaves no stone unturned to satisfy every ounce of your soul. A perfect region to distress one’s mind and body, North Bali truly captivates the heart and soul.
They say that you should never let the child inside you die. Family outings helps keep the child inside you alive. Not only it ensures that the kids spend quality times with their parents, but also helps the parents to destress as they spend a refreshing and energy packed days with their little ones. When family outings are planned, it is essential to keep in mind that the entire family can enjoy together. Group activities filled with fun and laughter are the best outings ever. One destination where the entire family always excites to go is a waterpark, and Waterbom Bali offers such activities with loads of adrenaline rush and thrills for the kids.
As the best waterpark in Asia, Waterbom Bali is an oasis in the middle of the famous Kuta stretch and sets in lush tropical garden with many great rides and attractions. Exciting water slides slice through 3.8 hectares of landscaped tropical parks providing hours of fun and entertainment for everyone. With more than 15 rides to choose from, your day is going to be a packed one.
This waterpark has all categories of slides for various age groups. If you are coming with toddlers, then ‘Funtastic’ is the place they will love. It is a large wet playground most suited for small kids 6 and under, where water only ever reaches their knees. There are four tube slides, two short open slides, a climbing net, water jets, canons and a giant tipping water bucket offering hours of fun.
The most popular attraction for families is floating along the ‘Lazy River’ in a rubber tube. The impressive ride is surrounded by dense green foliage where other park attractions are out of sight, creating a feeling that you’re drifting through an Asian jungle full of waterfalls and fountains. ‘Superbowl’ is a gentle slide where the kids have a blast as the slide spins the tube around a big bowl before flushing you out into the pool below. Another major attraction at the park is the ‘Flow Rider’, which lets you experience surfing or body boarding as if you were in the ocean.
For the gaming kids, ‘Water Blaster’ is a super-fun game where you aim and fire the water balloons using catapults to fire at your challenger, hit the bull’s – eye and get them wet. The kids can also try ‘Euro Bungy’ that will catapult them 9 metres into the sky and dare a few flips to pump up the adrenaline.
If your family is up for some serious waterpark activities, then head straight to the slides. The ‘Python’ is the biggest waterslide in the industry. It is a closed in tunnel slide where part of the ride is in complete darkness, which is great for unexpected twists and turns. Waterbom also hosts some crazy, extreme slides for the ones who wants to live life on the edge. ‘Twin Racers’ features a short, enclosed tunnel before gathering momentum for a sudden drop. Lying face forward, race your friends down the slide. Another side by side slide is ‘The Fast N Fierce’ where you plummet toes first down a giant open tube. It goes very fast and is suitable for kids looking for a rush.
The two most challenging and nerve-wrecking slides are the ‘Python’ and the ‘Climax’. Whisking riders along a twisty tube, the pipeline gets your heart racing. It takes only 10 to 13 seconds to slide through the 150 metres tube at 3.5Gs. Looks can be deceiving with this one, as it resembles any other slide but the speeds are extreme when you are in the Python. Climax is another extremely intense ride where you start in a small chamber, and after waiting a few seconds, a trap door opens right below you to drop you 16 metres at 2.5Gs. However, these two slides are not recommended for the kids.
Getting around in Waterbom Bali is very comfortable with expansive, flat paved walkways. Prams and strollers are no trouble. While your kids are having a great time at the park, you can rent a Gazebo to relax and unwind with more privacy. Exclusively for the parents who deserve pampering once in a while, Waterbom Bali also provides a 60-minute spa treatment, ending the day perfectly.
Amidst all these activities, you are bound to discover a new side to yourself which will make you feel pleased at the end of the day. The kids are bound to have a time of their lives, so be ready to receive tons of hugs from them. Every family has a story to tell, and you can create yours.
Credit to Waterbom Bali
“If It scares you, it might be a good thing”. 5GX Bali is bringing a new touch of Legian area with its reverse bungee that has taken the adrenaline activity to a whole new level. Designed and developed in New Zealand, this activity has been recognised as a must-do for those who have guts.
This ride is one hell of an adrenaline booster which is going to sustain for an entire lifetime, and therefore you are bound to have company in this fun ride. You will be seated and locked inside a metal ball with up to 2 people next to you, and catapulted high up into the air, slicing through the sky, bouncing and spinning wildly for a few minutes. The machine fires you 60 meters’ vertical at ludicrous speeds in just over 2 seconds, reaching up to 5G force. You will feel the wildest of excitement while being hurled in the air up and down.
The key to fully enjoy this ride is by keep laughing and screaming out loud to avoid panic attack. Give it a few seconds before you realise that there is actually nothing to be scared about. The team of 5GX Bali really makes sure the safety of the passengers. You will be locked in well to your seats using an airplane safety lap belt, and the staff will triple-check the belt. Each launch is recorded by computer, which tells the operator when the bungee cords are due to be replaced to ensure the elastic is strong and does not become too worn. Routine safety checks and maintenance are carried out daily by the team of experts. So, worry not as you are in the good hand. Set aside your inhibitions and enjoy the thrill.
The rides start in the midday around lunchtime and goes on well until pass midnight. During the night, the lights in surrounding area makes the ride very attractive. Some of the slingshot metal balls are covered in tiny lights which keep glowing in and out as you go up and down.
A few pointers you need to keep in mind is that do not take the ride on an empty stomach as it might make you nauseous. Also do not have a heavy meal since you might end throwing up. Snack light before the ride. For your comfort sake, do not wear loose clothes as you will be tumbled up and down. Pregnant women, heart patients, people with blood pressure issues should not be taking this ride. This is an extreme form of adventure sport, and utmost care needs to be taken. Last but not least, make sure to scream out loud as you will be recorded in a GoPro video.
Courtesy of: 5GX Bali
Ubud is one such place in Bali offering umpteen beautiful places waiting to be explored and enjoyed. Not only the tourists, but also the local people of the island are still on this never-ending journey of discovering exquisite spots and soaking in its serenity. Though it is popularly known as the “Town of the Artists,” Ubud is also famous for its trekking trips through the rice fields and deep – dense forest. It is a highly recommended activity owing to the fact that there are amazing journeys to undertake and unbelievable destinations to reach.
The famous trekking spot is the Campuhan Hill Ridge. To be on the safe side, start your morning or afternoon walk at the temple near Warwick Ibah Hotel. You will be entertained by tropical forests, charming houses and villas perched on the steep embankments of the river gorges. The trail surges along the open ridge line for about 2 kilometres before leading to a wide, broken road. The road then passes through a housing area and small art galleries, before finally emerges into few stunning terraced rice fields. The road continues on until meeting a main country road, and from there you can make a circle by turning left and following the main road back down into Ubud or else backtracking along Bukit Campuhan. Backtracking is the discreet, most charming route. You just need to stick to the path and you will be just fine.
Elephant treks are also arranged around Ubud. You can experience the feeling like a king atop an elephant trampling its way through the tropical, dense jungles. The jungle trails are steep in some places so you need to hold on to your seats tight. You can get off the elephants near the streams, lakes and take a quick dip. The same trek can also be experienced at night. This is a completely enchanted elephant experience through the dimly lit forest.
Taman Sari Temple is another trekking spot you may want to consider if you are up for rice fields view. Go for a short walk in the lush, green, terraced rice paddies to see villagers planting and harvesting rice as well as the traditional Balinese irrigation system. As you hear a numerous little birds chirping, you can absorb the greenery and freshness of the paddy fields. Continue your walk through the lush forested areas, plantations full of Balinese staples and cash crops like cloves, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, tapioca, taro, local vegetables and exotic tropical fruits. You will definitely come across some traditional craftsmen at work producing exquisite craft items tirelessly.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces can also be your trekking spot. Internationally well-known for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies, involving the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system called Subak, Tegallalang is one of the most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud region. The roadside location is cool and breezy, perfect combination for trekking. However, if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful surrounding, this is not the place to be as you will see tourists taking photos as well as numerous art kiosks and cafes near the ledge offering their ware.
The best time to trek in Ubud is the dry season. Rainy seasons make the mountains as well as the forests a dangerous place, and trekking is not recommended. Always aim to start a trek very early in the morning so that you can complete it by noon before the sun is up. Sunrise treks require you to be up all night, so a good sleep is recommended before it. You definitely need to carry sum woollen clothes since the mountains can get really windy and chilly. The sunset treks are also equally beautiful, but it is better that you come back in a car and not by walk for your safety in the dark. Ensure that you stay hydrated at all times to fight fatigue. Try the Balinese sweet coconut water to hydrate yourself.
Alternatively, you can always create your own trekking spot. Simply put on your walking shoes and start exploring the area. As a quote says, “Not all those who wander are lost”, the idea of walking around Ubud is to meet a lot of villagers, farmers, craftsmen who are very friendly and ready to interact with you. This way you can explore the Balinese lifestyle and culture very closely. At the end of the day, trekking is all about discovering places and yourself. So, be a traveller! Bring out the kid in you and plunge into trekking to see a new side of the island.