Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal: Ubud’s Spiritual Ground

Away from Bali’s breathtaking coastline and Bali Surf Resorts lies Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal tucked away in the serene quiet of the island’s famous Sacred Monkey Forest. Dedicated to Durga, the Goddess of Death, Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal or Great Temple of Death is often described as a frightening place to visit.

A short drive from Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, Ubud is Bali’s spiritual town and birthplace of the Balinese religion which is a curious blend of ancient Animism and Ancestor Worship traditions alongside Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. With temples dedicated to birth and death scattered across Bali, the 14th century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is an ideal example of a Pura Dalem or Temple of the Dead.

Believed to have been a part a temple complex in the Sacred Monkey Forest, Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is famous for its imposing stone structures and intricate carvings of deities and mythical creatures. True to Balinese tradition, the temple exists in harmony with nature surrounded by trees including the Majegan and Berigin trees, where the bark of the former is used to build shrines and the latter’s leaves used in cremation ceremonies. Stone statues of monkeys, ox and elephants can be found alongside frightening statues of fang-bearing vampire children and Durga, the Godess of Death, who bears her fangs and curls her long tongue around her victims to frighten lingering evil spirits from the temple compound and the nearby temple cemetery. The Balinese tradition believes that spirits inhabit trees and statues and often flowers are laid in worship at Durga’s feet.

While at Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, visit the Holy Bathing Temple and admire the mythical dragon carvings of the ancient Dragon Bridge and don’t be intimidated by the playful Balinese Crab-eating Macaque monkeys that live in the forest although be warned, they are known to snatch unguarded bags! The Animistic tradition of Balinese faith believe that spirits possess animals and the lingering of monkeys, numbering over 600 in the 27 acre forest sanctuary, just adds another dimension to Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal’s spirituality.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Mulee Aage Palace – The Office of the President of the Republic of Maldives

When recounting famous volcanoes in history, the historic and destructive eruption of Mount Vesuvius which covered the nearby city of Pompeii in a layer of volcanic ash and molten lava is easily one of the most well known. Other prehistoric volcanoes include the Painted Hills in the American state of Oregon which are believed to be over thirty million years old and the Mammoth Hot Springs found in the famed Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Volcanic eruptions such as the eruption of Mount Etna in the Italian city of Sicily continue to remind us of its deadly and destructive force. However, many would find it extremely surprising to learn that one of the most beautiful remnants of a prehistoric volcano lies beneath villas Maldives resorts in the Indian Ocean for the Maldivian islands are the modern remnants of ancient volcanoes that have become extinct.

For those visiting the islands and staying in resorts such as Anantara Kihavah Maldives, both the natural beauty as well as the cultural and social structures are worth exploring. While the natural surroundings can be explored extensively by engaging in water sports and other activities, making a trip to the capital city, Male, can provide tourists with the opportunity to explore the everyday life of the locals.

One place that must be visited when exploring Male is situated in the vicinity of the famed Friday Mosque i.e. the Mulee Aage Palace. At present, the Palace houses the office of the president even though it was initially constructed in 1906 by Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen III for his son. It was declared to be property that belongs to the state only in 1936 when the Sultan was removed from power. Since then the Palace has operated as the President’s Official Residence and its architectural beauty coupled with its historic and present importance makes it an ideal place to visit when exploring the city of Male.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Visit to Dubai – The Global City of the Middle East

Dubai, located on the Southeast Coast of the Persian Gulf, is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Second only to Abu Dhabi in size, Dubai is a global city and serves as a regional hub for business and investment. This large and urban city is home to some of the most dazzling skyscrapers and landmarks, making its skyline a truly iconic one. For a comfortable stay in a Dubai luxury hotel make a reservation at the Desert Palm Dubai.

Dubai is also one of the Middle East’s most popular tourist destinations, as it urban lifestyle and quality of life is most welcoming. The city is home to numerous cultural highlights, as well as many tourist attractions; ranging from recreational activities to shopping. Thus, a visit to Dubai offers you a variety of attractions and options to choose from, ensuring a memorable and exciting stay.

Dubai’s mix of cultural and recreational & entertainment attractions makes it an ideal destination as culture lovers, adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, and sightsee-ers. Dubai is home to many cultural attractions and museums such as the Jumeirah Archeological Site, the Heritage Village, the Al Fahigi Fort Museum, the Dubai International Art Centre, and the Hatta Heritage Village, which are great if you want to learn the culture and heritage of the Middle East and its people. It recreation & entertainment is what you are after then check out Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Water Park, the Dubai Autodrome, the Dubai Festival City, and the Dubai Opera House. Apart from these amazing attractions, a visit to Dubai allows you to see Burj Khalifa; the tallest building in the world, Palm Jumerirah; one of the most magnificent man-made islands, and numerous expos and festivals that the city hosts. Dubai is also great for shopping, and is in fact home to the Dubai Mall; the largest mall in the world.

There is little doubt as to why Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world, so head on over to the fascinating city of Dubai.

Yoga – A Balanced Mind in a Balanced Body

Feeling aches and pains in your body? Stressed out by work? Feeling depressed, gloomy and groggy since late? Well you’ll be glad to know that there is a solution to all these distressing issues. Yoga- an ancient art of achieving peace in both body and mind…

A physical, mental and spiritual practice or discipline, Yoga aims to transform body and mind by integrating advanced breathing techniques, yoga postures (asanas) and meditation. At the Yoga and meditation sessions offered by Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, a luxury Yoga and Ayurveda retreat renowned for premier Sri Lanka Ayurveda treatment, you can get a thorough knowledge and experience of this ancient art and its many benefits.

The speculated origin of Yoga goes back to the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, to pre-vedic traditions. Yoga is not just about stretching and complex poses. The meaning of Yoga in the simple form means ‘Union’ while the ultimate goal of Yoga is ‘moksha’ (liberation). Thus, Yoga is about the union of a person’s own consciousness and the universal consciousness. However, modern day yoga differs from the more deep and extensive study of the past, concentrating more on fitness for health and relaxation.

The many benefits of Yoga range to the physical to psychological. If you’re feeling rigid and stiff, yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility and strength as various different yoga positions work on all the different joints found in the human body. Linked to lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and better immune system function; Yoga has long been known to also lower blood pressure.

Do you find yourself depressed, stressed out and unhappy? Well now you can smile because a study has found that consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels (a chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance) and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol aka ‘the stress hormone’.

Whether be it physical, mental or spiritual, with the ancient art of Yoga you will be able to relieve stress, tension in all levels and finally achieve harmony in mind and body.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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How to Plan a Private Dhoni Excursion in the Maldives

There is no other way to explore the scattered islands of the Maldives and the country’s beautiful seascapes other than by dhoni. A private dhoni is even better as it offers the means of having an idyllic holiday experience even for people who don’t dive or snorkel. Visitors can choose from over a hundred registered dhonis and safari boats that cruise the Maldivian waters fitted up to suit water sports, diving and fishing enthusiasts. Dhoni cruises focus on the pristine reefs of the North and South Male and Ari Atolls to give their guests the best Maldives experience within a short period.

Planning Private Excursions

Private dhoni excursions in Maldivian waters are the stuff of romance and make unforgettable holiday memories. Private sunset cruises are the most common while multiday excursions are favoured by those wishing to enjoy cruising around the islands, snorkeling diving, surfing and fishing at different locations and enjoying time under the stars and dining on sandbanks far from civilization. In order to select an excursion suited to personal requirements go online to find details of private dhoni excursions. The route, the duration of the trip, type of boat, on board facilities and the operator is of utmost importance as they are the key to making the excursion an extraordinary experience. If having a multi day cruise experience it is important the go for the dhoni excursions with personalized service, special cruise itineraries and all the luxury trimmings. However if it’s a moment in time that is required, many resorts offer private sunset dhoni excursions. A glass of champagne and finger foods are provided as part of this one hour experience. Day excursions on a private dhoni around an Atoll are another alternative to enjoy surroundings near resorts. Day trippers can picnic on a desert island and swim and snorkel in private lagoons. Sunset fishing in a private dhoni is another way to have a great experience. The fish landed during trips can be barbecues for dinner afterwards. The best time to go on private dhoni excursions would be between December and April when the monsoons have died down, the sea is calm and sunsets are gorgeous. Stay at Anantara Dighu Resort & Spa Maldives one of popular Maldives five star resorts to have an exceptional luxurious Maldivian experience and to enjoy private dhoni excursions to explore the surrounding waters.

Assessing Costs

Costs depend on the type of excursion chosen. Naturally the multi day all inclusive private dhoni excursions with guide and crew will be hugely expensive while the one hour romantic private dhoni excursion and day excursions can fit into many a budget. However everything depends on personal objectives and how visitors want to experience the Maldives. Private dhoni excursions are available throughout the year including during periods of low demand when the rates are very attractive.

Facilities & Amenities

Hand built wooden dhonis come in various sizes. The smaller ones with the lanteen sails are generally used in the coastal waters and the multi decked larger dhonis with two or more sails and fitted with diesel engines are used for multi day excursions in open waters. Guests are offered every luxury on the larger vessels and they are geared to provide support for diving, fishing and other water sports expeditions. The larger vessels have a deck area with a lounge, dining spaces and a fully functioning bar and kitchen. Meals are prepared fresh on board. Privacy and personalized service is guaranteed.

Sightseeing

The advantage of all day and multiday private dhoni excursions are a bigger area of the Maldives can be enjoyed other than the surroundings of a resort and for enthusiastic divers this is the best way to experience fabulous dive sites. Guests can disembark at other resort islands and Maldivian villages to enjoy some cultural connections.

Before Boarding

Once a the type of private dhoni excursion has been identified and all details have been checked, book the excursion well in advance as there is usually a big demand for the shorter private excursions during the tourist high season. Longer excursion may have to be booked with a private operator although some resorts are able to offer this facility as well as they have access to a range of sailing craft.

Excursions of Quy Nhon – Discover the pristine beauty of this blissfully unspoiled town

Quy Nhon is a lively, prosperous city in Vietnam, which is home to a magnificent shoreline of sandy beaches. The city is known for it’s beautiful surroundings with tidy litter free streets, the beautiful ocean, the calming Cham temples and of course the fresh seafood you can enjoy, everyday!

This vibrant city is one of the best places to spend some time soaking up the sun when you are in Vietnam. Since the town is renowned for its beautiful beaches many holidaymakers prefer to find beachside Quy Nhon Resorts. For the beach lovers the ideal upscale hideaway is the AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, located along the gorgeous shores of the town. The resort that is located in an isolated land boasts as the only internationally managed resort in the region. There are plenty of ways to relax at the resort, you can sunbathe, take plunge on the crystal clear waters or have a quiet picnic on their private island.

The number one thing you can do at the Quy Nhon is to explore the town. A half-day tour in the city will be sufficient to view the breathtaking countryside, visit the ancient temples, go to the history museum and mingle with the locals at the busy market. A short drive from Quy Nhon will take you to the Dap Da Village, which is a well-known traditional artisanal village in Vietnam. You find handcrafted pottery, woodwork, blacksmiths and Vietnamese rice hats being produced in this village. You can also purchase some if you are interested to take them home as souvenirs.

If you want to experience some water activities then take an island adventure on a Kayak. Paddle on kayak to a secluded beach and spend your day enjoying some exciting snorkeling or fishing.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.Google+

Scenic Helicopter Tours in Port Stephens – View from the bird’s eye

Located in the Hunter region of New South Wales, just a half hour drive from Sydney is Port Stephens. It’s a large natural harbor that has an abundance of un-spoilt natural scenery and is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. One of the most popular Port Stephens accommodation apartments is Oaks Lure, which is situated on the beaches of Hamlet Bay. The property promises a family-friendly environment with cozy self-contained accommodation balanced with the luxuries of a four point five star rated hotel such as a heated spa, swimming pools and panoramic balconies.

Dubbed as the ‘Dolphin Capital of Australia’, Port Stephens plays host to a population of more than one hundred and forty bottle-neck dolphins, and has a multitude of dolphin-cruises available daily from May to November. As far as accommodation is concerned, the small island has plenty of properties to suit any budget.

In addition to their various water-bound activities, Port Stephens has a reputation for helicopter tours that enables travelers to have a bird’s eye view of the splendors of the island, such as Fingal Bay, a breath-taking coastal suburb. The majority of Fingal Bay is comprised of Tomaree National Park, which contains both scenic beaches and sprawling greens. Some of the helicopter tours contain packages that are truly unforgettable. Such as the Ales and Altitudes package where travelers are flown to a brewery and treated to beer and great food prior to being shown the natural glory of the island. The unique and eclectic mix of adventure and luxury that a vacation in Port Stephens is guaranteed to deliver cannot be found anywhere else. The serenity of blissful coastal beaches, the thrill and enigma of lush forests, and the luxury of hotel accommodation couples with all the comforts of a metropolitan sounds like a definitive slice of heaven.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.Google+

Sunset Cruise Maldives – Enjoy a Colourful Evening Spectacle with a First Class View

For those fleeing from the frost bitten winters in various parts of the world, the constantly sunny and inviting shores of Maldives is a godsend. The Maldivian islands have been ranked alongside the secluded yet beautiful islands of Seychelles, Bali, fondly known as one of the best islands in the world, and Hawaii, one of the states belonging to the United States of America, as one of the best destinations for a tropical, sun kissed vacation. Encapsulating idyllic ideas of relaxing beaches, seclusion and snoozing whilst surrounded by the glorious beauty of the sea, the cluster of islands in the heart of Indian Ocean never fail to deliver.

When residing in resorts Maldives, guests will be faced with an abundance of choice in terms of water sports, beachside activities and leisure. Resorts such as Niyama Maldives provide their patrons with engaging in a variety of water sports, hiring a ‘dhoni’ which is a traditional Maldivian boat made of wood as well as mainstream distractions and leisure choices such as Xbox and PS3. Therefore, when in Maldives, it is truly up to you to make what you wish of your holiday in paradise.

A particularly suitable excursion for couples on their honeymoon is the sunset cruise. While certain resorts offer such cruise packages, guests can also opt consult the services of a local tour operator. Such sunset cruises generally begin well before sunset and journey towards the horizon in order to offer their guests the best possible view of the sunset. Guests can then view a spectacular tropical sunset while enjoying some wine or some champagne and relaxing as the sky darkens with each passing minute heralding the night. However, as such cruises tend to be quite popular amongst tourists, it is best to arrange a cruise well in advance to avoid disappoint for a sunset cruise in the Maldives is truly an experience that is scarcely forgotten.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.Google+

Queen Victoria Park – A place to relax and refresh in the hill country

Nuwara Eliya often referred to as ‘Little England’ is the favoured cool-climate escape for many in Sri Lanka; however beside this cool refreshing atmosphere there is volume of appeal in this beautiful town for one to experience. The velvety green tea estates, misty mountain peaks, the touch of an English country village are some of the occurrences in this charming hill country at a glance. The Queen Victoria Park is located in this charismatic town that exudes the best climate to nurture greenery.

Nuwara Eliya is a touristic town but never congested with travellers. Hotels in Nuwara Eliya are diverse, you find luxury five stars, guest houses, cottage bungalow accommodation and low budget motels, so you have much to choose from. If you are confused on how to find the perfect accommodation to suit your holiday you can log on to the Cvisit website, which is a secure online booking service that will make life easier for you.

The Queen Victoria Park was established in 1897 to commemorate the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria. Covering twenty seven acres of land the Victoria Park is the ideal place to relax and inhale the fresh highland air. The park is a paradise for birders and bird enthusiasts since you find varieties of feathered friends being drawn to the park due to the abundance of trees and plants available. You find rare bird species such as Indian Pitta, Pied Thrush, Grey Tit and Kashmir Flycatcher coming to the park so whether you are a birder or not you may want to bring your camera to capture some rare birds during a visit.

During the month of April you find the park filled with colorful flowers especially roses in bloom. Although this is the ‘season’ to visit Nuwara Eliya and the park gets pretty filled up with more locals than tourists, it’s worth a visit.

Intrigued by history, art and food, Shazzana Hamid is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary. Disguised as Lavinia Woolf she writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.

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Senayan City Visit – A wonderful shopping spree!

Wherever we travel, regardless about the time of the year, we never forget to shop! Shopping in Indonesia becomes a distinctive experience because it presents you many amazing opportunities at very low prices. Senayan City which is also known as the Sen-C stands upright as the most preferred shopping destination when visiting Jakarta. Thus,Countrywoods Residencies is an excellent choice for long stay accommodation, Jakarta that gives way to your shopping dream.

Senayan City is a mixed use development that is seven floors high. It accommodates an attractive Shopping mall, two modern office towers, a luxury apartment tower and a 5 star hotel. It is absolutely the embodiment of a shopper’s dream and the modern architecture used to design this location is truly very charming as well as breathtaking.

The shopping complex is a place of sale for all kinds of goods. You are lucky to purchase anything you wish from the vast collection of shops available here. Electronics, clothes, souvenirs, shoes, accessories, DVDs and CDs, you name it and you can get it here. If you are looking for famous brands, do not worry! You can find the famous department stores like Zara, Marks & Spencer, Nike and Adidas that you love here.

Furthermore, this setting is complimented with a cinema and an immense Food court that accommodates more than 20 food stalls. You will be able to taste from local to international cuisines while observing the hustle of the crowded shopping complex. There are many franchise shops like Starbucks, Burger king, KFC and McDonalds.

The famous Sen-C always holds various promotional programmes and sales to attract large crowds to this exciting location. Do not miss it if you come across one because there will be plenty of entertainment activities made available along with very good deals! Finally, Senayan city is an amzing place fpr shopping as well as to hangout!

Intrigued by history, art and food, Shazzana Hamid is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary. Disguised as Lavinia Woolf she writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.

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