Kenya’s Road Less Traveled: The Undiscovered Taita Taveta Hills

Hidden gems in Kenya

Kenya is well-known among foreigners for its stunning safaris. It is a pity that this is the main picture many travelers have as Kenya is so much more than just that. I live in Kenya myself and the last couple of years I have been amazed by its mesmerizing beauty and its diversity. Recently, I have discovered a part of Kenya that again stunned me. My goal is to show these different sides of Kenya and help putting Kenya in a different perspective than just a safari destination.

In this blog post I will share my recent discovery and hope it inspires you to hit the road less traveled as well.

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13 Nature Wonders in Asia That you Didn’t Know About

JIGOKU VALLEY, JAPAN

Who doesn’t want to see some truly unique and stunning places. I have selected for you some nature wonders in Asia that you probably didn’t know about.

1. Ban Gioc Falls – Vietnam

BAN GIOC-DETIAN FALLS Vietnam
Ban Gioc – Detian Falls Vietnam

These widest waterfalls of Vietnam naturally created over the river called Quay Son, are a sight to behold. These falls are a must for any travel bucket list. The surroundings around these falls have been equally bestowed with natural beauty to enhance the entire experience of visiting them. Till date, despite the popularity and potential of natural tourism of these falls, these remain safe from human intervention. These falls are located in the province of Cao Bang in Vietnam. To see more unique places in Vietnam you can download a free travel guide here.

2. Gokyo Lakes Trek – Nepal

Gokyo Lakes Trek - Nepal
Gokyo Lakes Trek – Nepal

The Himalayan Range with the world’s highest peaks is incomplete without the beauty of this gorgeous lake that belongs to some of the natural wonders in Asia. The lake boasts of being the highest freshwater lake with multiple experiences for travelers seeking its beauty. Your bucket list of natural wonders in Asia would be incomplete without gazing at the pristine waters of this water body in Nepal. Treks, glaciers, breathtaking views and unique topography add to the splendor of this lake.

3. Chocolate Hills – the Philippines

Chocolate hills by Nicole Law
Chocolate hills by Nicole Law

The uniqueness of these hills lies in the creation of these hills. They are a true natural wonder, and even geologists are at a loss to explain their formation within the known realms of their science. The top of these hills is usually covered with grass and trees only surround the periphery of these hills. Once the grass dries up and turns brown, the name of these hills becomes all too apparent. These hills have been a favorite candidate for the almost eighth wonder of the world poll for their inexplicable geographical features. To see more unique places in the Philippines you can download a free travel guide here.

4. Zhangye Danxia Landform – China

Danxia landform-China by lwtt93 on Flickr
Danxia landform-China by lwtt93 on Flickr

UNESCO has named these mountains in China a world heritage site, and there will be hardly any human eye that would disagree. This natural wonder of colors takes the definition of magnificent to another level. Another geological wonder that could not have been kept out of this unique list. The layers of minerals and grains sandstone with a reaction to groundwater have left geologists baffled. The mystery and wonder of the Earth and Nature manifest in them.

5. Living Tree Bridges of Cherrapunji – India

Bridges-Photo-by-Rex-Features
Bridges-Photo by Rex Features

The subcontinent of India with the tapestry of seasons and landscapes doesn’t fail to deliver in natural wonders. This natural bridge created through roots of rubber trees is nothing less than the amalgamation of nature and humankind. It signifies nature is reaching out in its unique ways to awe humans. Located in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, the indigenous people are supporting these bridges created through roots. The tribes around the areas are helping the roots find directions to come together and form these natural architectural wonders.

6. Zhangjiajie National Park – China

Zhangjiajie National Park, China_photo Le Zenit Flickr
Zhangjiajie National Park, China_photo Le Zenit Flickr

Zhangjiajie National Forest Parkis a unique park located in northern Hunan Province. The most notable geographic features are the pillar like formations. They are the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7. Huanglong Scenic Valley

Huanglong by Yeung Ming
Huanglong by Yeung Ming

Huanglong is located in the northwest part of Sichuan Province and encompasses the Huanglong and Muni Valley. It is well known for its colorful lakes, snow clad mountains, valleys and virgin forest. Beautiful scenery and fresh air. The mountains have snow on the tops and green trees covering the areas further down. Best is to go in spring when the luxuriant trees, blooming flowers, butterflies and birdsong enhances the glamour of the ponds even more.

8.Taroko Gorge – Taiwan

Taroko Gorge Taiwan by Robert_z_Ziemi
Taroko Gorge Taiwan by Robert Ziemi

This Gorge has been named Taroko for its magnificence and beauty. It is located in eastern Taiwan in Hualien County. The River Liwu or the River of Mist has created this wonder by cascading through marble cliffs in the region over time. Some of these cliffs are 1000 meters high and spread over a distance of about twenty kilometers.

9. Mount Zao – Japan

Volcano Crater of Mount Zao in Yamagata, Japan
Volcano Crater of Mount Zao in Yamagata, Japan

Mount Zao has breathtaking views and promises of a wholesome experience of sightseeing, sports, and rejuvenation. It is an active volcano located between Yamagata and Miyagi districts in Japan and provides a spectacular mixture of nature walks, skiing, and natural hot springs. This mountain along with its surrounding areas receives large amounts of snowfall during winters and is a must for the travel connoisseurs of natural wonders.

10. Kirirom national park – Cambodia

Kirirom national park Cambodia
Kirirom national park Cambodia

You can’t imagine that tropical Cambodia also has an alpine scenery. Well, it has. Just two hours’ drive southwest of Phnom Penh you can find Kirirom national park where you can find mountains covered with pine tries, crisp fresh air that reminds you almost of Switzerland. It has plenty of trekking opportunities, mountain biking trails and is rich of waterfalls. You can stay for example in Kirirom Mountain Lodge, a 1940s villa with amazing views of the cardamom forest below. You can enjoy delicious flatbread, honey-dripped and dotted with raisins.

11. North Maluku – Indonesia

North Maluku is unique in its sort. It is rich with unteaming jungle, has amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities, is still home to hunter-gathering nomads, has a rich history of clove trading and gives you the chance of diving an underwater volcano.

12. Sidemen – Bali

Jatiluweh by Roberto Faccenda
Photo by Roberto Faccenda

Wake up by the local roosters to the stunning views of Mount Agung. Welcome to Sidemen, a laid-back village at the foot of Mount Agung and known for its beautiful rice terraces. If you want to experience the true Balinese countryside, then this is your cup of tea. It is Ubud 30-years back. For great places to sleep and eat, please check out our blog Bali off the beaten track: itinerary for the true wanderer.

13. Yakushima – Japan

Yakushima Island, Japan
Yakushima Island, Japan

Off the coast of Kyushu, Japan lies Yakushima. This mountainous and mossy forest island is home to trees that date back thousands of years ago, which gives it a very mystic vibe. It just recently started to get attention from travelers.

Author’s Bio:

Yogi and Suchna believe in taking the road less travelled and stumbling upon some hidden gems along the way! For over a decade, they’ve mapped their way across various continents, sniffed out unusual routes, discovered new flavours and stayed at quirky hostels. TheVillaEscape is their expression of soul travel. To check Iceland Tour From India you can catch up with them at TheVillaEscape.

 

 

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11 Travel Photography Tips to Capture a Destination Fully

Our little ‘ol planet is a pretty fascinating place floating around in the cosmos. With so many places to go, people to see, and experiences to live, the desire to put them all in our pockets drives us collect pictures. Millions of them. The challenge often is how to shoot the best pictures while being present and enjoying the moment at the same time.

“Photography is not about the camera,” Ami Vitale writes in Explora. “It’s not even about the beautiful images we create. It is about telling powerful stories and capturing memories. ”

In this blog post I will show you how you can do this with some great photography tips from the best photographers in the world while you travel around the world

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The world’s best islands in Asia to visit in 2018

Little finger or Leingking Indonesia

Asia has one of the most amazing islands in the world from the tropical secluded islands in Indonesia, the old Portuguese enclave of Sri Lanka to the entertaining island of Macau that is even supposed to be better than Vegas. For every type of traveler Asia seems to have an island ready.

If you are the type of traveler that is longing for a couple of days relaxing at a white sandy beach with a crystal clear blue sea, but don’t want to be overrun by tourists then this blog post is for you.

I have selected the world’s most stunning islands in Asia for 2018 that are still not receiving mass tourism with some handy tips and recommendations.

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Travel Kenya on a budget

Safari Kenya

Kenya is an amazing country to travel to. It has so much more to offer than just going on a safari. Nevertheless, many travelers have the idea that Kenya just consists of vast savannah plains with amazing wildlife that you are only going to visit if you want to do a safari. And safaris in Kenya are not cheap so many people don’t even consider it as an option.

In this article I will show you that traveling to Kenya on a budget is possible and that this country has way more to offer than safaris only. I will help you planning your Kenya trip, give insights in the transportation options and most amazing places to stay for less than 100 USD.

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7 Ways How Female Travelers Can Create The Most Memorable Travel Experiences

Herbal walk ubud

A typical traveler rushes from the airport to their hotel or apartment booked via their favorite booking platform after which comes the mad rush to check off must-see places listed in the itinerary. A few days pass by, then it’s all about getting to the airport in time for the return flight or the next destination.

If this is familiar to you, maybe it’s time to ask: How much value are you getting from travelling? Why do you travel?

We all know the main tourist spots that are in everybody’s bucket list. Whether it’s the Statue of Liberty in New York, or the Great Wall of China, or perhaps the sprawling temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia — everybody has a must-see site in mind. When looking back did these places and hotels create lasting memories?

I will reveal how you can get the most out of your travel so that it creates lasting memories, develops you and you look back at and think ‘wow’!

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Ultimate Asia guide for women traveling alone

Ultimate guide for solo female travel Asia

Did you know that we, women, are making up nearly two-thirds of travelers today? If you also do a quick Google search on ‘solo female travel’ you can see that in the past 5 years, the interest in this topic has more than tripled.

Even when we’re traveling with a male partner it is 85% of the time us who’re in charge of planning the trip and making the decisions, as cited in the Skift Trends Report 2017.

It is interesting to see that more women than men are interested in immersive travel experiences and connecting with local communities. We have reached a time that we want to be inspired by the places we visit and the people we meet and truly connect.

I wanted to create a guide for women traveling alone in Asia that cover unique and safe travel destinations and experiences that let you truly connect with a country, recommend some handy travel apps and travel items that shouldn’t be missing. Curious? Have a further read.

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Hidden things to do in Singapore for the true traveler

Peranakan house in Singapore

When you think of Singapore, a few things might come to mind. Some are towering cities flooded with international business people; others is sprawling resort complexes that essentially act as entertainment centers. These are certainly among the prevailing images of this metropole at the southern edge of Malaysia, and they maybe give a feeling that Singapore is simply a crossroads for travelers and business types.

In some respect this is true. Many people travel to Singapore for work, and millions more pass through to visit other countries like Indonesia for example.

But did you know that Singapore has a hidden sight with unique local markets, small restaurants and an art scene only locals know about. We want to reveal these hidden gems in Singapore to you when you maybe visit Singapore on your next trip.

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Northern Thailand off the tourist trail

Northern Thailand off the beaten track

The northern region of Thailand differs considerably from the rest of the country, both in climate and geography as well as culturally and linguistically. An area with hill tribes, green mountains, rivers and waterfalls, often set against a backdrop of swirling mists and fog. It is an area that is perfect for the more adventurous traveler. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai are the most famous places. If you want to see northern Thailand beyond its standard tourist attractions, have a further read. We have composed three different itineraries that will take you off the tourist trail. 

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