Sunday, July 30, 2006

Na Pali Kauai, The Adventure Of A Lifetime

by Megan Stansfield

Na Pali means “the cliffs” in Hawaiian. There is a fifteen mile expanse on the island of Kauai that is considered to be Na Pali. The area is difficult to get to and mostly inaccessible because of the steep drops that are characteristic of the cliffs. People who visit the island of Kauai, however, should not miss the magnificence that is found in this area. The natural beauty is breathtaking and should be seen if you have the opportunity. The best ways to view the area since it is difficult to get to, is by boat or hiking.

Hiking is a lot of fun for people who enjoy adventure and the outdoors. You can see up close the area and enjoy the natural beauty. One of the most popular locations to visit when hiking is Hanakapi'ai. There are two general treks that are most appealing to people depending on what they want to see and how much they want to hike. Within the area there is a beach though it is only available in the summer time. The waters in this are can be very dangerous so care should be taken when going there and it is not suitable for swimming. However, the majesty of the waters will instill a sense of old time Hawaii. This trek is recommended for intermediate hikers as it is easier to get to and you can still get the feel of the area. However, it is still a bit of a hike with slopes and slippery footing so novices are not recommended to hike this. The entire round trip hike is approximately four miles.

The second hiking trip that can be taken is for more advanced hikers and is an approximate eight mile trip to get there and back. This is a lot of fun for people who enjoy hiking and are not afraid to traverse the steep embankments that are littered throughout the area. The pay off, though, is well worth it. You will arrive at the
Hanakapi'ai Falls, which features beautiful streams and a roaring waterfall, that is magnificent to observe. The waterfall itself plummets down the face of a cliff one hundred feet into a pool of water. There is lush greenery and rocks that surround the area and a plethora of stream crossings and pools.

Boat tours or kayaking are another great way to enjoy the scenic view of the area and you will be able to see parts of the area that are inaccessible by foot or inaccessible to those who are not experienced hikers. During the boat tour you can see sea life such as dolphins, turtles and monk seals. During the months of December through April you may even see some whales. While roaming the waters amid the Na Pali coast, you will see magnificent cliffs stretching up to four thousand feet from the water. There are also sea caves that are available to explore while on the trip. You can choose to go on a boat tour where you will get valuable information on the area or you can strike out on your own in a kayak or canoe.

The natives of the island would travel the area by canoe. You can get the same old world feeling and experience the Hawaii of old by going on a kayak tour of the Na Pali coast. Kauai already has an old world charm because it is not as commercial as some of the other islands. You can take this feeling to the next level by experiencing the beauty of the island like the natives of old used to.

If you enjoy snorkeling, this is a great way to view the area and also see the under sea wildlife that is abundant in the area. For beginners, you can get expert help and those who are experienced at snorkeling will have no problem exploring the reefs, fish and sea turtles. The waters off the Na Pali coast are clear and beautiful. You will see the coral reefs that are among the oldest in Hawaii. There is also a strict conservation effort so the reefs will be pristine and gorgeous. The sea life found in the area touts hundreds of various species. Many of these species are only found in this area and can not be found anywhere else in the world. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these fish in their natural habitat.

The Na Pali coast is a stunning area filled with rich greenery, steep cliffs, waterfalls, pools, streams, reefs and sea life. The scenery is both beautiful and dangerous and much of it is inaccessible by foot. Portions are available for hiking and some for experienced hikers only. The best way to get the full experience, though, is by sea. Taking a boat or kayak will allow you to explore the area. You can even go snorkeling to view the life that is found under the sea.

About the Author
The Na Pali Coast can be the adventure of a lifetime! You will be able to see tall, plummeting cliffs, waterfalls, and lush greenery on this adventure. For more ideas on Kauai Activities visit our site.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Discovering Deluxe Martinique Vacation Destinations

by Stanley Davis

Escaping to a tropical island is most people's idea of a fantasy vacation, but when that island comes complete with a little bit of France, it can be even more appealing.

That's what many vacationers love about Martinique, which has become the Caribbean island to discover or rediscover. Not only is it beautiful-with lush gardens, pristine beaches and tropical rainforests-it's rich in French culture, food and joie de vivre.

Blessed with an idyllic climate and a wealth of cultural, artistic and scenic attractions, Martinique is unlike any other tropical destination. Not only is the flower-filled island full of visual delights, it offers soothing spas and luxury hotels in which you can pamper yourself.

If nurturing yourself is in your nature, you may want to book yourself into the visually stunning Relais and Chateaux Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa. Cap Est has 50 suites, two restaurants, two beaches and a lavish swimming pool. The fashionable, four-star deluxe hotel offers windsurfing, sea kayaking, a tennis court and a heart fitness room, plus the Belem restaurant, cited in Condé Nast Traveler's list of Hot Tables. The spa, in partnership with Guerlain, exudes Japanese ambience, featuring jet showers, algae baths, Jacuzzis and hydrotherapy.

Located on the grounds of a former coconut plantation, Club Med Buccaneer's Creek offers countless ways to pamper yourself, from an exquisite afternoon at the spa-which has five different treatment rooms-to a delicious evening of cocktails and fine island cuisine at their international and Creole restaurants and poolside grill.

The chic, trendy Sofitel Bakoua offers an outstanding level of comfort: excellent tropical cocktails, a swimming pool and the My Bed program with extremely comfortable beds and lots of pillows to promote a peaceful and serene night.

When you're hungry, there's plenty of fine dining. Favorites include La Plantation, which specializes in foie gras terrine, and Le Belem, which serves superb French food in an innovative and warm decor. You must travel through a cane field to discover La Case Thai, nestled among Asian sacred lotus and orchids. The Thai food it serves is fit for its stunning surroundings. Tantalize your taste buds with Creole cooking, which features local ingredients and a melange of African, Indian and French seasonings.

About the Author
For more information, visit Sofitel Bakoua is a chic, trendy hotel with all the comforts. Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa has 50 luxurious suites. The Tower of Club Med Bucca- neer's Creek is a famous landmark on the island.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Attractions Guide for Singapore


There are myriad reasons for you to visit Singapore! Although it is the smallest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The combination of dream-like, exotic landscapes, imposing ancient temples and worship sites grant the island a mysterious, almost unreal feature, immersing travellers into a deep state of relaxation, appeasement and contemplation towards the wonders of nature. As soon as you arrive in Singapore, you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent sites and ancient architectonic structures, emerging from a landscape that seems to be untouched by man. The multitude of parks, botanical gardens and the beauty of the beaches found in Singapore render the diamond-shaped island a marvellous destination for tourists from all over the world.

Contrasting with the exotic landscapes, vast parks and ancient architectonic remains, imposing sky-scrapers, wide boulevards and modern monuments suggest the advanced civilization characteristic to Singapore, defying the struggled history of the country afflicted by many political conflicts in the past. With a population of around 4.5 million people, Singapore has a pronounced syncretic character, bringing together people of different ethnical groups and various religious beliefs.

Due to the multitude of Singapore attractions, the best thing to do is to seek the help of a local guide. Singapore guides can take you to the most interesting sites and local attractions, helping you discover the beauty of the island. Considering the fact that the majority of people in Singapore are fluent English speakers, the language barrier shouldn't be an impediment in interacting with the locals. If you decide to seek the help of a Singapore guide, you will be taken to a wide variety of ancient temples, monuments, parks, botanical gardens and even ports, sites of great importance to Singapore.

One of the most important Singapore attractions is the temple Thian Hock Keng, referred to as the Temple of Heavenly Bliss. Thian Hock Keng is an ancient Chinese worship site, initially built in tribute to Ma Po Cho, the patron goddess of sailors, also known as the Mother of the Heavenly Sages. The temple was reconstructed in the 19th century by Tan Tock Seng and Tan Kim Seng, highly respected personalities in the history of Singapore. The entrance inside the temple is guarded by the statues of two imposing lions, symbols of strength and fertility in Asian culture. At the temple gates, "door gods" provide further protection against evil spirits, purifying temple visitors from malignant energies. In front of the altar is the statue of Ma Po Cho, flanked by statues of the Protector of Life and the God of War.

Singapore is a country with a very interesting culture, built on the scaffolds of different ancient traditions and beliefs. If you decide to visit Singapore, you will be amazed by the intriguing contrast between ancient and modern, old and new, tradition and libertinism. A trip to Singapore is undoubtedly a remarkable and unforgettable experience for tourists from all over the world!

About the Author provides comprehensive travel information about Singapore & Asia. Singapore Guide, Accommodation, Singapore Travel Reviews, Singapore Maps, Asia Hotels, Hotel reservations & Singapore Real Estate.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Quick Guide To The Maldives

by Chic Retreats

The Maldives is a haven for snorkellers and scuba divers, with its abundance of coral and sea life. Its beaches and hotels don't disappoint either.

Where is it?

The Maldives is a group of over 1000 coral islands, set in the Indian Ocean, off the south west coast of India. The tiny islands are dotted in a string heading south and they provide a peaceful, if expensive getaway for the traveller in search of quiet relaxation.

Where can I stay?

It's hard to beat the perfect combination of wide, white sandy beaches, perfect blue seas and tropical sun, and most hotels in the Maldives make the most of their surroundings by offering guests access to the beach direct from their rooms, or creating romantic areas for dinner and drinking. Boutique hotels go a step further than this by creating a cool, contemporary feel that makes guests feel right at home, whilst anticipating their every need, so that a simple holiday really does become a paradise for its duration. On the Ari Atoll lies the most exclusive hotel in the island group, the Dhoni Mighili. This stunning hotel sleeps just twelve people and guests arrive either by luxury speedboat, private plane or romantic Dhoni. A butler sees to your every need. Eat, drink and sleep to your own schedule and make the most of every minute. Or, if the North Male Atoll is more to your taste, the Hufaven Fushi is a decadent boutique hotel just 25 minutes by speedboat from the Male' International Airport. Relax by your private pool, because there's only your villa and one other on the whole complex. If you want a candlelit dinner on the beach, just say so. Truly indulgent, but worth every penny.

What can I see?

The islands that make up the Maldives are all small and you can island hop between some of them. Many people come for the diving and snorkelling, but it may be worthwhile taking a trip to Male, the capital city, where markets, mosques and small shops may bring you back to reality. Otherwise, just take in the beauty of the coastlines and the ocean from your boutique retreat and soak up the sun.

How do I get around?

Only some of the islands fall within the heavily regulated tourist zone, which the Government has imposed to prevent destruction of natural landscapes and villages. If you want to move between permitted islands, then you can fly or use a dhoni or speedboat. Most islands, however, are small enough to walk or bike round easily.

The Maldives might be exclusive, but if you have the time and you're prepared to indulge yourself, then there's nowhere better to go.

About the Author
Chic Retreats is a collection of small, sophisticated hotels around the world that offer the traveller a true taste of luxury and service. Visit their website now by clicking on Boutique Hotels

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Quick Guide To Morocco

by Chic Retreats

Morocco has something of an aura about it - created mainly by the major tourist destinations of Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez and Rabat.

Where is it?

Morocco is on the North West coast of Africa, just across the sea from the southern tip of Spain. This means that it's easy for most Europeans to reach by plane and even by road or train. Its proximity, mixed with its unique style and culture make it an increasingly popular destination.

Where can I stay?

There are a number of small, exquisite boutique hotels in Morocco. It seems to have the boutique style and attention to detail all wrapped up, making it difficult for the traveller to choose which unique hotel to stay in. There's the Dar Zemora in Marrakech which has just five rooms, but where the decoration, furnishing and service ensure that you have the best of both worlds - a perfect place to stay, with the many attractions of Marrakesh just around the corner. Alternatively, stay in the Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains, which reportedly has the best views in North Africa, and where your stay is enhanced by the informal feel of the hotel and the services offered. Surrounded by the peaceful beauty of the landscape, it is a place that has inspired anyone who's stayed there. Whether you want to stay in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, on the beaches of Essaouira or in the heart of the mountains, there's a perfect hotel waiting for you.

What can I see?

Wherever you're staying, you should make an effort to visit Marrakech. The coming together of civilisations, conquerors and craftsmen makes it a truly eclectic city, yet one that's bound together by the beauty of its buildings, the simplicity of its crafts and the awe of its visitors. Its souks, or markets, which are organised by trade, are a fascinating insight into the life of Marrakech's residents and an experience not to be missed. Spend some time in the Place Djemma El Fna - the city's main square, where regular entertainment keep the crowds amused, and then walk through the streets of the old town, taking in the magnificent medieval buildings and romantic gardens. The rest of Morocco holds its own delights - the whitewashed buildings in the simple coastal resort of Essaouira, the regal buildings of Rabat or the market town of Tata in the Sahara - you will find plenty of reasons to return to Morocco.

How do I get around?

You can hire a car in Morocco, as driving is fairly easy and it will let you explore more of the area around your chosen destination. Petrol can be expensive, so it may be wise just to hire a car for a day or two rather than for your whole stay. Morocco operates a system of shared taxis, which works out pretty cheaply and is fairly straightforward to use. Alternatively, try the bus network, which is generally comfortable and, although they may reach their destination later than a shared taxi, it will be a smoother, safer ride. If you're travelling between cities, then choose the trains, which are also comfortable and affordable.

About the Author
Chic Retreats is a worldwide collection of cool, smart hotels with less than 30 rooms and an eye for design and style. Visit the website at Boutique Hotels