The Okavango Delta is an amazing and impressive wildlife area in Botswana. This lush, tranquil and beautiful area is one of the most well known destinations in Botswana, and when the Okavango plains flood during May, the delta becomes a focal point for a huge range of wildlife, so if you are a fan of big game you will find this to be an incredible destination. This look at the top 5 Camps Okavango Delta visitors enjoy will help you to find the best places to stay - whether you enjoy luxurious camping or want something a little more 'authentic' but still with the main home comforts, you will find somewhere in the Okavango Delta that you will enjoy. The Okavango Delta is the ultimate destination on any luxury Botswana Safari.
1 - Jao Camp
The Jao camp is one oaf the most luxurious and hip camps in the region. It features 9 rooms, and is a wonderful hideaway that you can use as a home base while you explore the lagoons, floodplains and grasslands around the delta. These luxurious accommodations are very close to the Moremi game reserve, which is home to buffalo, elephants, a huge range of birds, and many other animals.
The nine rooms are all incredibly spacious and feature thatched roofs and beautiful decor. They are elevated from the ground for warmth and comfort, and offer panoramic views of the surrounding plains. Each room has a double vanity and an en-suite bath, as well as an outdoor shower. The furniture is luxurious and would not look out of place in a more traditional city hotel. If you want a luxury camping experience that includes everything from a massage therapist to a wine cellar, then this is the perfect camp for you.
2 - Mombo Camp
Mombo camp is the ideal destination for anyone who wants to really get up close and personal with the animals in Botswana. There are two safari game drives each day, and it is not unheard of for animals to actually wander right through the camp itself.
The landscape is beautiful, and the tent suites are constructed so that they stand six feet above the ground - so that you're safe and protected from those wandering animals. You can expect to see buffalo, elephants, rhinos and dingoes and even giraffes in the nearby area.
Each of the nine suites is beautifully equipped and presented. The camp has a living area and a dining room in addition to the dedicated tends, as well as a plunge pool and a pub - so you can be confident that you'll enjoy your favorite home comforts while you relax in the camp, and look out over the delta to enjoy an amazing view.
3 - The Sanctuary Chief's Camp
This twelve room camp is named after Chief Moremi, who is the 'king' of the area, and who once used the lands as a hunting grounds. The camp is located on an island which is created by Okavango's seasonal floodwaters, and that is known as Africa's predator capital. It is home to several large herds of elephants and buffalos and there are several hundred species of bird that also pass through the area.
The camp features a well equipped lounge and dining area, a fire pit for atmospheric evening relaxation, and a beautiful view of the floodplains, so you can relax and keep on watching game in the evenings. There are 12 secluded pavilions, each of which is luxuriously furnished. The split-level main deck area boasts a nice viewing area as well as a swimming pool on the lower deck. Visitors can also enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in the special treatment room which offers amazing views, and there are many activity options - including helicopter tours of the delta and floodways, and game drives.
2021 Update: There are some amazing safari specials on at the moment in Africa, especially for Botswana and some incredible Kruger National Park Specials.
4 - Abu Camp
The Abu camp is a relatively small, classical camp that offers incredible luxury, being a home away from home in the Okavango Delta. Featuring just 6 suites, this high-end camp lets visitors enjoy a range of activities, including elephant tours of the delta.
Visitors can enjoy watching elephants while chilling out by the camp fire, sip a gin and tonic on the camp's deck, and relax in a tent that has been decorated in Afro-Bedouin style. The tents feature en-suite showers and baths, and there's a swimming pool too, as well as a well-stocked bar, so there's no shortage of opportunities to indulge yourself while you sit and watch the passing wildlife.
After an evening of indulgence, you can head out on a guided walk, go on a mokoro safari, or head out for a night drive. The options are endless.
5 - Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
Ending our Top 5 Camps Okavango Delta visitors enjoy is the Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, which is a little more affordably priced than some of the others, but still an extraordinary lodge. The camp has eight suites, and is a classic safari camp with a dose of luxury. It is well-equipped, tranquil, and the perfect place to enjoy the untamed beauty of the delta. Babboons and birds surround the area, ready to entertain people first thing in the morning. There are expert guides attached to the camp, so you can head out on a safari whenever you wish.
The thatched cottages stand in leafy clearings that are conveniently close to the waterways of the delta. The outer appearance of the camp is subtle, and animals often wander by, undisturbed by the nature of the 'building's nearby.
There's plenty to do - safari drives, bush walks, suburb service, and cruises, for example. There's a gin shop, laundry service, outdoor swimming pool and plenty of other amenities, so you'll not feel too far from home, even as you get close to nature.
This concludes the list of Top 5 Camps Okavango Delta holidaymakers love. There are many other camps to choose from that only just missed out on the Top 5 Camps Okavango delta list, so if the place you're considering isn't included, don't panic - read some impartial reviews and make your own mind up. There is no shortage of great camp accommodation in Botswana, so you can be confident that you'll have a great time wherever you choose to stay.
Most of these lodges are easy to get to - with short flights from the Maun airport transporting you to the lodges and camps in question. The transfer from the airstrip to your camp may take a while, but the camp grounds will manage this for you and make sure that you are met at the airport and get to your camp safely. They'll also help you with itineraries and with arrangements for entertainment, and for stocks for the campground during your stay. All you need to do is show up with your luggage, and be ready to have fun and explore the amazing world of Africa and the game that occupies
Each private reserve is open only to the residents and their guests, this is not some 'public safari ground' crowded with travellers - it's somewhere that you can get truly close to nature; unspoilt, incredible, and exclusive. This is your chance to enjoy game in their own habitat, something that you will struggle to find in other parts of the world - and even in other areas of Africa, where tourism is (for better or worse) more open, and the endless streams of visitors have made the animals more nervous and camera-shy.
The Seychelles Islands have grown as a hotspot for American tourists, who have discovered the unrivaled sense of peace and solitude that this little oasis has to offer. Located in the Indian Ocean near the East African coastline, each of the 115 islands has its own mystique. If you are planning a trip to Seychelles, here are three of the top hotels for you to stay in.
The Four Seasons Seychelles is one of the most popular spots to stay at, so make sure to book your stay early. The oceanfront villas provide one of the gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean available, and the allure of the crystal clear waters of Petite Anse Bay will inspire feelings of serenity in you.
The villas are very spacious, and the food is unrivaled. The Four Seasons prides itself on customer service, and it staffs accordingly. You are encouraged to call upon any member of the staff for any reason whatsoever, and when you do they jump into action. When you stay at the Four Seasons, expect to be pampered, and when your stay has come to its conclusion you'll head back home fully recharged.
Choose to stay at the exclusive Savoy Resort and Spa located in Beau Vallon, and you'll feel like you've entered a paradise protected by nature from all the pollution that afflicts our modern cities. The clear blue sky and the impeccably manicured grounds will be the first thing that you'll notice when you arrive. One of the favorite attractions is the beach, where the blue waves will lash the shoreline as you take an exhilarating early morning stroll to get your day started.
As is common throughout Seychelles, there is an abundance of wildlife to see here from a wide variety of colorful songbirds, to the multitude of fish that call the beautiful corals their home. There is just so much to do and see, from parasailing, waterskiing, diving, kayaking, and you can even rent a jet ski to explore Beau Vallon bay.
For a more intimate experience, the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa is the place to go. Whereas other luxury resorts in Seychelles are much larger, often with well over 100 accommodations, the Maia is a much smaller, "boutique" resort with only 40 villas within the hotel property.
Located at Anse Louis, Mahe Island, this luxury resort is all about creating the most exquisite experience for you during your visit to Seychelles. The level of service is everything that you'd expect from a five-star hotel, and more. You'll have a butler that will be at your beck and call. The desire to wake up to a warm, outdoor bath, complete with a bottle of champagne and strawberries? Your butler can arrange that for you. He'll even hand squeeze fresh orange juice for you to enjoy your breakfast.
The food is fantastic, and the hotel has a policy that you can eat your meals wherever you'd like to. Ask for your dinner to be served to you poolside, and they'll make it happen. If you stay here, be sure to try the mouth-watering snapper.
While the beach-side villas are probably the most popular, it must be pointed out that the villas without the beach view have a mountain view that is simply breathtaking. This is one reason why this resort is very desirable for honeymooners and for weddings. In fact, the hotel helipad often doubles as a wedding location with unmatched views to create those special memories. When it's time to leave, you'll feel like you're leaving an old friend, and you'll long to return again.
Regardless of the hotel that you choose for your visit to Seychelles, you'll receive the five-star treatment from the moment you arrive until you depart back for home. Seychelles is truly a hidden gem that you deserve to pamper yourself with a visit too.
When most people think about planning a vacation to an exotic beach, they picture places like the Caribbean, Mexico, or Australia. Although there are beautiful beaches in all of these locations, you may want to think of traveling somewhere a little bit unique. For instance, India has some really incredible beaches that are well worth taking the time to explore.
Beaches in this fascinating country offer some of the most beautiful scenery that you will see anywhere. Their white sand and beautiful blue water beckon to travelers, providing a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
If you are going to be visiting the best beaches in India, it is a good idea to have a plan. For instance, you may want to try to time your trip so that it is at the least busy time of the day or of the year. That way, you won't have to share the beach with a lot of other people.
There is also a lot of diversity in terms of what the beaches are like. Some of the beaches, like Radhanagar Beach, have fine white sand like you would expect at a tropical beach. Others are a bit rockier. Some are ideal for activities like swimming in scuba diving while others are better for sunbathing and other onshore activities.
The more you can educate yourself about the beaches in India, the better able you will be to plan the perfect trip. Fortunately, doing research on exotic destinations is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. You can find a wealth of information online that you can use to help you plan the perfect trip.
One of the best things about the Internet is that it allows you to tap into the collective knowledge of other travelers who have visited the area before you. You can do this through reviews sites or through online forums.
Review sites provide you with an opportunity to read reviews from people who have visited the best beaches in India before. Oftentimes, reviews include photographs or videos that can help you get a better sense of what each particular beach is like. You can also gather information on what activities are available, how crowded the beach is, how easy it is to get to, and whether or not it is worth visiting.
Online travel forums can also be an excellent resource. You can post a question asking for suggestions on which beaches you should visit in India. Before you know it, you will most likely have a lot of different responses from people telling you the best places to go.
Make sure to mention what types of activities you are interested in so that people know exactly what you are looking for. For instance, if you want to spend a quiet, secluded evening with someone special, mention that upfront so that you don't get sent to a family beach that is crawling with people.
Once you decide which of India's incredible beaches you are going to visit, research the types of items that you need to bring along with you. It goes without saying that you should bring sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. You may also want to pack a sun hat, beach towels, chairs, plenty of water, and any other items that could help make your adventure more enjoyable.
Exploring the best beaches in India is an incredible experience. The memories that you make during your time in this beautiful country will last a lifetime. Doing plenty of research beforehand can help ensure that you have a fantastic time on your trip.
Due to its location, Sri Lanka offers up some of the best surfing conditions in the world. This is especially true during monsoon season when winds and tides tend to be extremely consistent. Some locations on the coasts are better than others, of course. Below you will find the top spots to get the most out of the amazing surf.
Sri Lanka has two coastlines, one on the east and one on the west side. Each offers different surfing conditions during different times of the year due to natural weather patterns. The ideal surf is in the southwest region, near Hikkaduwa, during the months from November to March. The peak surfing season on the east coast is from May to September and if you ask the locals they will tell you that the best location is in the Arugam Bay area.
If you plan to visit these are the best times and locations, but that does not mean that there aren't great surf locations no matter when you will be there. You will find people enjoying the surf in just about every area that has the coastline. These are just recommendations if you are able to visit a specific area and are going there primarily to surf.
No matter where on the coast you will be you will be sure to find the best of instructors to teach you the ins and outs of the surf in that area. Just like any other area, there are certain things that you should know to get the most of the experience and ensure that you are safe. It is best to take the advice of locals about tides and under toes as only they have the experience necessary to ensure your safety. It can be tempting to hit regions that are not populated, but unless you have verification that they are safe it is not advisable.
If you are looking to hit some very high surf you will want to check out Gurubebila Beach. There you will find up to 5-foot waves on the best days from the months of October thru April. Typically you can expect about 450-meter trips. This, of course, depends on your ability to maintain on these extremely awesome waves. If you are traveling in a group of different experience levels this is the ideal area as there are local beaches that are not nearly as extreme.
Another benefit of this area is that it is not typically very crowded. If you are an early riser you will be able to get in some surfing without seeing much of anyone except maybe the local fishermen. It is a relatively small and quiet part of the country, so, for the most part, you will be spending the majority of your time among the locals.
If you like to enjoy what the beauty of nature has to offer this is ideal for that as well. Due to its location, you will get to see some of the most amazing sunsets of your lifetime. Do not forget to check out the local beers and food as well so that you can really enjoy Sri Lanka at its finest.
If you love to surf or simply want to see the waves while you are visiting Sri Lanka it really is hard to pick one must go to the location. As you read above, however, depending on what you are looking for and when you will be visiting there are a number of great spots to try out. Use the tips above to experience Sri Lanka as you would like to.
Traveling to Africa is a great way to see some of the different types of wildlife, but to see them in their natural habitat instead of being inside of a zoo. The problem for a lot of people is they are not sure which of the animals they are going to see when they are on a Serengeti Safari and this often makes it easier for people to know more about the joys they can have. Without this people may have some problems in getting to enjoy the beauty that is present in this region because they are not aware of what animals to watch out for.
Common Animals Seen
When you are traveling to this region, you will find that their are some very common animals that you can see. These are going to be listed below, with a quick little description of each animal to help you figure out which animal you are seeing.
The African elephant is one of the first animals that you are going to notice is common throughout the park. These animals are illegally hunted for their ivory tusks, but they are beautiful creatures that are often times the largest land animal, but the key feature is the long nose that is seen as a trunk.
Giraffes are another common animal in the Serengeti. With these animals, they are going to have a long neck that people can see above all else. However, people will find these animals do have a distinctive camouflage pattern that is going to make it easier for them to hide in the brush and other parts of the plains.
Hippos are an animal people may want to see, but they need to realize these are a very dangerous animal as well. These animals look almost like a large overgrown hog, but they are very beautiful and often are found in and around the water that is present. So these are a common animal that people can easily see when they are traveling in this region and know the animals are going to be beautiful.
Buffalo and Zebras are animals that are going to be found as well as being very common in the group. These animals are a herding type of animal so it is easy to see them in the different herds. However, what is nice is the fact these animals are great to see and just sit back and watch their majesty as they go about their daily business.
Hunting animals are also a common find in this region and a lot of times you will notice their are animals that are going to be interesting and easy for you to spot, if you have the proper guide.
Lions are a common animal that you will enjoy seeing. Unless you are out when the lions are on their hunt, which can be a dangerous time, you may only see them lying around, but you need to realize these are some of the best hunters in the world. So it is important to use the proper caution because you are not at the top of the food chain here.
Cheetahs are a quick cat that can strike without much notice. However, these animals generally will pursue their prey and are commonly seen. So it will be a lot easier for you to see these animals and know they are going to give you the great views and adventure you would want to have.
Unfortunately because of hunting and in some cases loss of habitat people will find their are some animals that are very rarely seen on the Serengeti now. However, if people have the proper guide their is a chance they will be able to see these animals and enjoy their company.
Black rhinos are animals that are very hard to find, but this is because they are rare. These animals have a great horn in the middle of their head and often are seen as a majestic animal for people to look at.
The African Wild Dog is another animal that is rarely found in the region. However, what people need to realize is these are a beautiful animal and they should feel good about being able to see. These animals are looking like all the other dogs around, but they are often seen as a great hunter and survivor.
When people are looking at taking a Serengeti Safari, they may want to know about some of the animals they are going to see when they are taking the trip. By getting this information it will be easy for people to keep their eyes open, but also know if the animals are going to be easy for them to see, like the Elephant or nearly impossible like the Rhino.
Cambodia is one of the most gorgeous and unique places in the world. I highly recommend going there and visiting some of the tourist attractions that I visited on my second trip to Cambodia. If you want to find out what those attractions are, then continue to read on.
1. Siem Reap- This is a resort town that is located in northwestern Cambodia and I recommend you visit this place as soon as you arrive in Cambodia. One of the most amazing ruins can be found there and that is the ruins of Angkor, which is where you can find Angkor Wat, which is the main temple. You can also find various stone buildings. If you are looking for a chic city to visit, as well as one of the most famous ruins in the region, then you will want to pay a visit to Siem Reap.
2. Kampot- This amazing city is home to some of the best things to do in Cambodia, and on my second trip I made it a point to visit it. Some of the things you can do while in Kampot include backpacking, checking out the rivers and hiking and visiting the beaches. There are also zoos you can visit, and if you're looking for a great place that the entire family will enjoy, then look no further than Kampot. The city has something for everyone and you will find that there are many affordable things you can do while there.
3. Ream National Park- My second trip to Cambodia included a visit to Ream National Park, which is one of the most gorgeous national parks in the world. Amazing rivers and gorgeous beaches and coral reefs can be found there. Not only that, but the park is home to an abundance of wildlife and marine life. However, the park is quite large and you can easily spend a few hours there or an entire day, so it's a good idea to get to the park as early as possible because the chances are you will want to explore as much of it as you possible can.
4. Poipet- Are you more of a nightlife type of person, or are you curious about the nightlife in Cambodia? If you are, then do what I did and take a trip to Poipet, which is an amazing town located right near the border of Thailand, and the nightlife there is impressive. You'll find that there are quite a few things to do, and this includes visiting a casino, gambling and dancing the night away at some of the best bars/nightclubs you have ever been to.
5. Virachey National Park- Another national park I have been to and recommend you go to is Virachey National Park, which offers you the chance to do things such as backpacking and being able to view various animals, including elephants, sun bears and even tigers. However, the chances are you won't get to see those animals in the wild, but you may very well hear them afar. If you're looking for a good day out and you enjoy doing a lot of hiking and you like being surrounded by gorgeous scenery, then you will love spending the day at this park and it should be one of the first places you go to in Cambodia.
If you have never been to Cambodia, then you are missing out. My second trip to Cambodia was just as amazing as the first trip, and that says a lot. If you like adventure and gorgeous scenery and unique tourist attractions, then book a trip to Cambodia as soon as possible.
The Masai Mara is a National Reserve of primarily open grassland situated southwest of Kenya. It lies in the Great Rift valley, a fault line which stretches from the Red Sea in Ethiopia to Kenya for about 5,600km or 3,500 miles. The Reserve is a vast protected landscape with abundant wildlife, endless plains and breath-taking vistas covering some 1,510 square kilometres. It is the flagship conservation area of Kenya and shares fenceless borders with several neighbouring private conservancies, including the world famous Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
GAME VIEWING AND SAFARIS
Well known as Kenyaís jewel of wildlife viewing areas, the Masai Mara is one of the most sought after tourism destinations in Africa, particularly during July to November when the annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest takes place. Game viewing is excellent any time of the year, with the most wildlife tending to be concentrated on the western escarpment.
The Masai Mara National Reserve has recorded some 95 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians and more than 400 species of birds. With this abundant and diverse resident wildlife population, it is no wonder that visitors seldom miss seeing the Big Five (elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard). Other popular animals include giraffe, zebra, eland, gazelle and hyena. The big cats in Masai Mara have often been shown in popular wildlife television series all over the world.
The Wildebeest Migration
One of the greatest spectacles of the world takes place each year from July to November when a staggering amount of wild animals arrive in the Masai Mara area, heralding the famous wildebeest migration. A dramatic and spectacular mass movement takes place when more than 2 million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra take part in an annual seasonal cycle, driven by the need for water. In a frenzy to reach fresh grazing to regain their strength, the wildebeest face dramatic river crossings infested with enormous hungry crocodiles and cover thousands of miles of open grassland where lions and leopards feast on any stray or lagging animal.
The last leg of the migration is triggered by the short summer rainfall in November when the wildebeest migrate south towards their calving grounds in the Serengeti. The calving season in the Masai Mara happens at the same time, during December to January. This is known as the ìgreen seasonî when there is an abundance of surface water and the wildebeest, antelope and zebra birth their calves, fawns and foals. This is also the time when predators give birth to their cubs and pups as there is plenty of prey around, presenting wonderful opportunities for wildlife photography.
THE MARA TRIANGLE
The Masai Mara consists of an ever-changing landscape of endless grasslands of oat grass which gradually changes from green to ripe golden waves, gently parted when herds of visiting wild animals move among it. A seamless union is formed by Kenyaís Greater Mara ecosystem, Tanzaniaís Serengeti National Park and the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem thanks to the lack of fences. The sheer distances means that visitors can wake up in the morning to a herd of over 500 elephant slowly making their way across the Ol Punyata swamp in the middle of the triangle, only to find that they have vanished the next day.
A rainfall of 1,55mm per year, a large swamp, several fresh water streams, the meandering Mara River and the salt lick means that there is enough water and food for the wildlife even during the driest months. Three African mammalian species in triangle face the threat of extinction: elephants, lions and black rhinoceros.
The Masai Mara offers a range of tourist accommodation from romantic to child-friendly. When the Reserve becomes too crowded during the high season, there is plenty of accommodation available in one of the neighboring private conservancies with easy access to the Mara. The Mara offers superb migration and game-viewing scenes as well as retreats to crowd-free settings in the conservancy where you can partake in game viewing by day or night, or guided nature walks.
Hot-air balloon flights come highly recommended as well as an opportunity to experience cultural interaction with authentic Maasai people in the area. Also popular is combining a Masai Mara safari with one of the other top destinations in Kenya such as the Amboseli National Park or an island break to the glorious, sun-drenched beaches of the Seychelles.
Two all-weather airstrips service the Masai Mara Triangle:
The Mara Serena
The Kichwa Tembo.
Main road access to the Triangle is through two gates: the Narok and the Sekenani.
There are only two lodges situated in the Mara Triangle:
- Mara Serena (150 beds)
- Little Governors Camp (36 beds)
Situated on the periphery with access to the Triangle are:
- Kichwa Tembo,
- Mpata Club,
- Mara Siria
- Kilima Camp
The best time to visit is peak season between July and November when the migration takes place. From November to February also offers excellent wildlife viewing.
Activities include game viewing, game drives, camping, nature walks, visits to cultural villages, bush dining and ballooning.
Not long ago, I decided that I was going to make a trip to Thailand. I had always loved the area and been intrigued by the culture and the animals of the country. I decided to study up on Thailand and learn even more about the people, the animals, the geography, and more. After I did, I would plan a trip so I could see all that I had learned about and solidify my knowledge.
It took me a few months to learn all I could and to secure my passport, plane tickets, and other reservations I needed for the trip. I had already planned out so many things that I wanted to do while I was there and I knew that I would not have time to do them all, but I could always hope. I decided to make a list of all the things I would like to experience and then prioritize the list.
I knew that one of the main things I wanted to do was go on a Thailand Elephant Park Visit. I had read so much about the park and I was really excited to go and see all the animals that lived there. For as long as I could remember, I was a big fan of elephants and the ones at the park in Thailand would be my dream come true.
I took some time to learn about about the Elephant Nature Park. The space was a sanctuary for elephants and a natural home for cats, birds, dogs, buffalos and many other animals that had been rescued. I knew that I wanted to spend at least an entire day in the park, maybe longer.
So, after learning all I did, and making all my plans, I arrived in Thailand. I was super excited and just like a kid at Christmastime. It had been my dream for so many years to visit the country and I finally made my dreams come true.
The first thing I did was have a car bring me to my hotel. I unloaded my suitcases and took a short rest. I was quite tired from the trip and I wanted to have the energy I needed to start enjoying my time in this amazing country.
My very first full day in Thailand, I visited the Elephant Park. I was so excited to get started. Once I arrived, we took a drive though the countryside to get to the park. During the drive, stories were shared about the elephants that had been rescued. It was quite inspiring to learn how they got free from the abuse and become members of a herd. The time spent driving was so relaxing and I loved watching the elephants in the sanctuary roaming free. My overall experience at the Elephant Park in Thailand was an amazing day that I would never forget.
After the elephant experience, I had many other great adventures in the country. I tried a lot of delicious foods and loved almost everything that I had tried. I also met so many amazing people and was so glad that I made the decision to visit the area. Once it got close to time for me to leave, I decided to visit the elephant park since I loved it so much. I knew that I would not be able to get the experience again unless I visited the country again. Just like my first visit, the second visit was just as amazing. I wasn't sure if I would learn anything the second time around, but actually I learned more than I had ever imagined. I knew that I would try to come back soon and bring a friend of mine that seemed to love the area as much as I do.
In conclusion, I was appreciative of the trip that I took to Thailand. I learned so much more then I could ever learn in books. I knew, too, that I would continue my studies of the country and plan another visit for the future. I sure did hope, though, that I was able to find group, though, so I could share my experience with a big group of people.
As a seasoned traveler, I have been to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but none of the architectural splendors spoke to me as much as Cambodia's Angkor Wat. In fact, I will go as far as saying that it should be on everyone's bucket list to visit at least once in their lifetime. Cambodia is an incredible country to visit, steeped in Hindu culture and many history buffs will undoubtedly recall the Khmer civilization as the builder of the Angkor Wat temple complex.
The jungles and tropical climate of Cambodia make it a truly magical place that's worth exploring. Though everyone will undoubtedly find something else to love about the country, here are the reasons I loved Angkor Wat:
1. Deeply Mystical
There are few things in this world that are still able to retain their mystical appeal. Most world heritage sites have been picked apart by tourists and historians, but Angkor Wat still has that aura of mystery. It is deeply rooted in Hindu symbolism as it was built to symbolize Mount Meru, the mountain where the famous Hindu gods were said to reside.
Surrounded by a moat, the imposing towers stand testament to the peaks of Mount Meru. In addition to a central tower flanked by four smaller towers, visitors can be awed by the massive wall enclosure built to protect the temple.
2. Largest Temple Complex Outside Of India
The sheer magnitude of this Hindu temple complex is enough to take your breath away. Spanning 500 acres, Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex located outside of India. In fact, if you were to translate the meaning of Angkor Wat, it would literally mean 'Temple City'.
3. Stunning Architecture
Though I am more of a history buff, I couldn't help but be awed by the beauty of the architecture itself. Just imagining that this temple complex is about a thousand years old and built with complete accuracy is absolutely mind blowing. If you visit Angkor Wat, I highly urge you to take an aerial tour of the complex as it will reveal an amazing maze of architecture. From ground level, you will be wowed by the perfectly executed corridors, walls, towers, and entrances.
4. Beautiful Sunrise And Sunset
The way the temple complex was built puts it in the path of the rising and the setting sun. Angkor Wat's silhouette during sunrise is absolutely breathtaking and can easily be viewed as a wonder of our world. If you want to see something even more stunning, wait until sunset to see the same silhouette illuminated by the soft glow of the setting sun. Don't forget to peer into the lotus pond as the reflection of the temple and the sky seem to meld into one.
5. Close To Ta Prohm
Next to the Angkor Wat complex, if you're ready for more adventure, you can take a peek at the Ta Prohm complex of temples. The great thing about this particular complex is that it has been nearly untouched by human hands, standing testament to the original architecture of an old civilization. Overgrown by massive tree roots, Ta Prohm has been slowly reclaimed by the surrounding jungle, making it the most photogenic and adventurous spot to visit.
If you have an adventurous alter ego that rivals Indiana Jones, you must see the complex! Equally stunning, but less populated, Ta Prohm is the perfect spot for reflecting upon the past.
6. Intricate Stone Reliefs
Carved into the stone walls of the temple, tourists can glimpse images from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The stunning bas-relief carvings are worth the hike through the jungle alone! The walls almost look alive when you catch a glimpse of the Hindu epics. Even if you don't know much about Hindu religion, you can still marvel at the painstakingly beautiful carvings on the walls of the temple.
Since 1992, Angkor Wat has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It definitely deserves the recognition it has received over the years and we can't help but feel awed and inspired by the stunning architecture. Why I loved Angkor Wat may not be the same reasons you will, but I urge you to make the trip!