Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventurous Thailand

Most of the resorts in the coast offer adventure games like paragliding, bungee jumping and jet skiing. So, free falling from great heights and cutting through the water at great speeds in easily achievable. For people who enjoy exploring life underwater, places like Phuket and Phi Phi Islands offer diving, snorkeling and also submarine drives.

Many people confine themselves to the south of Thailand and make a mistake of not travelling north. The Northern Thailand is full of adventure with high mountains and terrains with challenging forest areas and waterfalls. Trekking is a very big business in this part of the country and the peak season for trekking is between November and February. During this period the air is clear and the weather is also apt. There are many services in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Pai that offer trekking tours.

The trekking often lasts between three to five days and you will need a good pair of trekking shoes and a back pack to encounter the heat.

The trekking tour is lead by a guide who will take you through small ethnic villages of Lisu, Karen, Meo, Akha and Paduang. All these tribes are very different from each other with different language, dress and culture. These people have migrated to this part of Thailand and also to Vietnam from China within the last century. The trek tour will also include rafting and elephant riding too.

If rafting while trekking is not good enough adventure for you then there are many services that offers the white water variety. In the rainy season starts from June to January and the water level raises with intense rainfalls and it adds to the fun. Pai is the place where you can find the best of such services.

If you are a biker then Thailand offers the best off road motorcycle riding in the world.

The roads passing through the mountain regions with awesome and flabbergasting scenery are simply excellent. There are many developed motels and restaurants in the route and you will never be in need of anything while riding as it makes you forget almost everything. You can chose to go on a tour or hire your own bike/ Chiang Mai offers the best services when it comes to renting bikes. It is good to have a guide with you while travelling off roads; someone who knows the place very well.

Also nowadays mountain biking is getting really popular and there are many operators who run tours. Thailand is a must go place for people who love to live their life at its fullest. You can have almost everything in Thailand. From serenity to adventure; you can get almost everything and the best part is, all these comes real cheap

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trinidad and Tobago, Islands of Adventure

Trinidad and Tobago, two islands set in the Caribbean Sea. The name Caribbean conjures up images of blue seas and white sand beaches set against green hills. It brings to mind images of lying on the beach sipping pina coladas or rum and coca-cola. For the holiday traveler Tobago meets those expectations. For the outdoor enthusiast however, Trinidad and Tobago can be islands of outdoor recreation adventure with hiking trails and hidden waterfalls, bird and turtle watching, cycling through verdant countryside or kayaking past wildlife filled forests.

Trinidad and Tobago has a range of hiking opportunities with many of the hikes leading to waterfalls. Rincon waterfall in the Rincon valley on the north coast of Trinidad is a 250-foot vertical drop. The hike begins in the valley amidst small farms, fording several crystal clear streams and then winds uphill, culminating with a steep descent to the base of the waterfall. The 32 kilometer trail from Blanchissuese to Matelot on Trinidad's north coast is considered a jewel. Along the hike one alternates from unspoiled rainforest to untouched beaches. Starting from Blanchissuese you encounter Paria Bay after two to three hours (depending on the hiker's level of fitness). A short trail from the beach leads to Paria waterfall where there is a deep clear pool below the falls surrounded by heliconia, fringed lilies, and philodendron. If you choose to continue the hike after Paria Bay, the trail rambles over a succession of small ridges, crossing several small streams, until you next encounter Gran Tacarib, which is a 1.2 kilometer crescent shaped beach. From Gran Tacarib the trail continues to the Madamas river and then Madamas Beach. Both Madamas Beach and Gran Tacarib are nesting sites for Leatherback turtles, during the nesting season of March to September. After Madamas it is a continuation of the up and down hiking and crossing small streams and then the Petite Riviere river. The trail continues through abandoned estate lands with cocoa, coffee, tonka bean, nutmeg and papaya (pawpaw) until you arrive at the Matelot River and the village of Matelot.

For those who want to lie on the beach but also engage in some outdoor activity there are several less strenous hikes. Argyle waterfall on the outskirts of Roxborough in Tobago is an easy hike along the Argyle River to a three level waterfall. The hike to the Rio Seco waterfall on Trinidad's north-east coast goes through semi-cultivated land and then through stately mora forests to a small waterfall with a refreshing emerald pool, ideal for swimming.

Both Trinidad and Tobago abound with birds and at almost every turn an avian spectacle can be observed. Trinidad and Tobago has some of the most diverse bird species to be found in one location with over 460. This variety in species can perhaps be attributed to the fact that the islands lie close to South America so migration is easier, resulting in unusually diverse fauna. Asa Wright Nature Center, is Trinidad and Tobago's premier birding location and it has been widely recognized as one of the most successful eco-tourism stories in the world. The listing of birds that can be seen at this center is too long for this article but has been identified in the vicinity of 159. Some of these birds include; Purple Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Crested Oropendola, Silver-beaked Tanager, White-necked Jacobin hummingbirds, Bananaquit, Red-legged Honeycreeper, White-chested Emerald hummingbird, Cocoa Thrush, Chestnut Woodpecker, Great Antshrike. This Nature Center is located at a height of approximately 1,200 feet in the hills of the Northern Range, seven miles from the town of Arima. It is reached by a single lane road that winds through verdant countryside dotted by small villages and isolated houses. There are numerous trails throughout the property and very knowledgeable guides.

Grafton Wildlife Sanctuary, Tobago, is a former cocoa and coconut estate that was destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963 and as a result was converted into a wildlife sanctuary. It is approx. 200 acres in size and is covered in secondary forest. There are three main forest trails. As you enter, the first trail on the right leads downhill and is relatively short. The second trail on the left also gradually leads downhill and then eventually climbs uphill. The main trail, which is directly facing the entrance, leads uphill and winds past several abandoned estate buildings and stables. There are benches along the main trail and at some points they provide panoramic views. There are at least three smaller trails that branch off from the main uphill trail but these are not always maintained. The three main forest trails are maintained. It is possible to spend an enjoyable hour or an intense four hours. The entire sanctuary abounds with birds of varied species.

Trinidad and Tobago are islands in the Caribbean Sea so there are myriad opportunities for kayaking. However for those who do not want to contend with large waves, ocean swells and ocean currents, Trinidad and Tobago offers a choice of sheltered saltwater and freshwater kayaking opportunities. Two kayaking areas of particular note are Bon Accord Lagoon and the Godineau River.

The azure waters of Buccoo Bay and the Bon Accord Lagoon in Tobago are sheltered by the offshore Buccoo reef, providing a kayaking area with only gentle swells. Kayak rentals are available at the nearby Storebay and also at Pigeon Point. The fringing Mangrove swamps of the Bon Accord Lagoon provide a scenic contrast to the white sand beaches along Pigeon Point and at the center of Buccoo bay. The offshoots of the reef also shelter the adjacent Milford Bay, allowing one to kayak to the south-east from Bon Accord Lagoon around Pigeon Point and into Milford Bay or vice-versa.

The Godineau River in south Trinidad, also known as the South Oropouche River, is one of the rivers in Trinidad that provides a year round kayaking opportunity as the water level is always sufficient. Kayaking in the Godineau area takes you through a variety of habitats, from saltwater mangrove swamp to fresh water marshland to partially cultivated areas. A variety of birdlife can be seen on these kayak trips including Scarlet Ibis, Southern Lapwing, Osprey, Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Cattle Egret, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Whistling Duck and a variety of migrating ducks (during the northern winter). This kayak trip can be started either from the sea along the area known as the Mosquito Creek or inland from the Woodland area.

Trinidad's network of old agricultural & oilfield roads plus (relatively) quiet country roads, along with hiking paths provide a range of surfaces and environments for cycling. In addition terrain ranges from flat land to rolling inclines to hillsides. For those with a preference for road biking almost every area of Trinidad has country roads with reduced vehicle traffic. The cross-country rider will be able to find undulating land with natural vistas. Those whose interest lies in mountain biking can find forest trails with logs, bamboo and streams across the trail requiring navigation and dexterity.

Friday, October 21, 2011

All About Adventure

In our time, an era where the internet holds vast amounts of incessant information that overwhelms us each day. Where you can no longer seem to find a forthcoming site where things are just as simple as extracting the information you need without having to leave your credit card details. These are the times that you wish for simplicity and tradition. Now some of you might already be shaking your heads at us "traditionalists" but let me tell you, it probably didn't just fall into your lap either.

Just before I plan for a trip, I start getting worked up and terrified of the journey that lays ahead, and I don't mean my journey to my dream destination, I mean the journey it takes for me to locate and sustain the exact locations and activities I plan on  indulging  in. It feels like I need a holiday from my holiday planning. Now, my point is, booking accommodation after going through the hassle of finding it can be tiresome.

Sometimes you can't even get around to locating and booking activities (things to do) nearby or at the destination you are bunking at because of all the stress and time consuming research you are doing on your destination. Some of us don't always know where we want to go to. We just know we want to get away. And that, my friends, is how I stumbled across Adventure Map.

Yes, I expect you also heard the drum roll. My reasons for sharing this vital piece of knowledge, and trust me, it is vital to us "traditionalists", are numerous. But my main magnetism to it was the simplicity. You simply log onto , click on activities, accommodations or attractions, whatever suits your needs and viola! You have a variety of accommodations, activities and attractions.

That wasn't even the best for me though. The best part is that no matter where in Africa you are, you have the map to show you where the activities and accommodations are. No mess, no fuss, and no stopping to ask for directions. Everything is simply a click away. If you are unsure of the place that groped your attention, well then, you can read a review or simply write one yourself.

I never knew there were so many different types of activities let alone a site that covers both the accommodation and activity locations, descriptions and contact details.

It really is a brilliant site, one that had me pondering, "Are some people just trying to waste our time and money whilst making us feel like we need a degree in mastering the arts of technology?" or "Why didn't something as great as this happen to me when I planned my very first holiday?"

Do yourself, friends and family a favour, plan using Adventure Map.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Islands of Adventure Play Areas For Kids

The Universal Studios theme park in Orlando is another masterpiece of how they incorporate movie magic and how the fans can join in this magic with its rides and attractions. There are four theme parks to choose from namely Universal Studios Florida, Universals Islands of Adventure, the Wet n Wild Waterpark and soon to be opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure. We would take a look right now on some play areas for kids that you can find in Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Jurassic Park Discovery Center - This is the perfect area where you can discover about prehistoric times where dinosaurs rule the earth. Both kids and adults can enjoy the exhibits and displays that can be seen around this area. Some of the highlights you can see are testing your DNA if you would fit as a ruthless carnivorous dinosaur like the Velociraptor or the T-rex or some the tamed ones like the Stegosaurus. There are even some nurseries where you can find some dinosaur eggs and even witness a baby velociraptor come to life. You can learn as well how dinosaurs see and hear the world. Test your knowledge about dinosaurs as you answer some questions in the quiz show game You Bet Jurassic. Of course marvel at some of the fossilized remains of your favorite dinosaurs such as the T-rex and many more.

Camp Jurassic - This play area is perfect for kids who are hyperactive and be able to play in an area with a prehistoric themed environment. Kids can walk down the Thunder Lizard Trail and be able to make the ground roar with its dinosaur sounds. They can use the water cannon in the containment paddock to create a crazy wet fight. Finally for a more adventurous kid, they can explore the area through the dinosaur capture nets, whisk away through some variety themed slides pass through suspension bridges. Also nearby are is the Pteranodon Flyers which every kid can enjoy flying through the air.

If I Ran the Zoo - Another play area where you can be able to imagine yourself as a zoo manager. Use some knobs, gadgets to turn and twist as you would be able to discover some of the unique animals that you would find in this area.

Me Ship, The Olive - Imagine yourself like Popeye as you take charge of this ship. This interactive ship has an obstacle course that kids are capable of playing around through cargo nets, slides and even horns to toot and bells to ring. There are even water cannons to use to squirt some passengers that bother this ship.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Careers in Adventure Sports

Would you like to live life on the edge, full of adventures? A career in adventure sports may be the right option for you. The best thing adventure sports is that you get to spend most of your time outdoors; you will also get the rare opportunity of converting your hobby into your profession.

Adventure sports involve activities which are unusual, risky and exciting. Examples are mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing, river rafting, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, scuba diving etc.

Like in many other fields, basic education is enough to build a career in adventure sports too. Candidates having a bachelor's degree in any discipline will, nevertheless, have an advantage over others. Proficiency in at least one foreign language is necessary as you will have to deal with tourists from different parts of the world.

Personal skills
In this field, your attitude counts as much as your aptitude.

You must be filled with the spirit of adventure. It is essential to have some sporting talent and a lot of interest in outdoor activities too. Since you have to deal with people of different cultures, it is necessary to have a hospitable and sociable nature. Considerable physical fitness and immense mental toughness are the other necessary traits.

Several institutes provide training in adventure sports. Some of the prominent institutes offering training in mountaineering skills are the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, the Western Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali. Training in various kinds of water sports is imparted by the National Institute of Water Sports in Goa.

A number of professional associations across the country also offer courses in adventure sports. The course duration varies from a few days to a few months.

You can find jobs with travel and tourism agencies as Liaison Officers. You can also find jobs in several agencies like sports centres, athletic clubs, sports clubs, holiday resorts, excursion agencies etc. Those who have enough experience in this field can also set up an Adventure Sports Center of their own where they can offer services and impart training in their area of specialization.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Islands of Adventure Entertaining Shows

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure offers some of the best shows that you can find. Here are some of the most entertaining attractions that the family can enjoy.

The Eight Voyages of Sinbad Stunt Show - It 's a stunt show like no other. One of the most famous sailor has come to life in this high octane stunt show that knocks you off your feet. Join Sindbad and his sidekick Kabob as they attempt to save the lovely Princess Amoura from the wicked witch Miseria. The show includes some awesome stunts like a high risk water plunge, pyrotechnics, and well choreographed battle scenes with heroes and some of Miseria's minions. Even the grotto setting complete with shipwrecks creates a backdrop like no other.

Poseidon's Fury - The god of the waters takes you to his temple as an archeologist from the Global Discovery group guides you deeper into this baffling temple. The special effects included in this show creates that fascinating battle scene between two titans Poseidon and Lord Darkenon. From this clash it is a matter of survival of whether you make it back to normal life or not.

Oh the Stories You Will Hear - Your favorite Dr. Seuss characters come to life as they perform stories, tell poems to their audience. The famous characters such as Sam of Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat with Thing One and Thing two and The Grinch provides the kids with some laughter and joy. At the end make sure to get your photo taken and get some autographs too.

The Mystic Fountain - This attraction entertains any passers-by that are in the area. It either gives you jokes, games and music and talks to anyone who comes near. Just watch out as it might get a wet surprise for not answering its riddles. You can even throw coins in the fountain and your wish might come true.

Character Meet and Greet with the Marvel Super Heroes - Of course your favorite superheroes have their own time to spend with their fans. Characters from the X Men, Captain America and Spider-man are there to have their pictures taken with them and sign autographs.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Unexpected Adventures

If you love adventure travel and fancy yourself a bit of a Bear Grylls wannabe (minus the outrageously extreme nature challenges), you don’t necessarily have to find the most obscure, dangerous and uncharted country in the world to get your adventure fix. Here are a few countries which unexpectedly serve up a big dose of excitement.

- Slovakia – Slovakia was recently rated #1 new adventure travel destination amongst a group of developing countries, and is famous for its mountainous terrain. Extremely cheap skiing and snowboarding packages are an opportunity you must take up, as well as week-long mountaineering and hiking trips through the magnificent Carpathian Mountains.

- France – France isn’t just a place for shopping, wine and art galleries. France offers plenty for those who like to adventure travel in style. There are cycling tours around the French countryside and mountains. Destinations include the Loire Valley, with visits to castles, vineyards, and fine dining along the way, or follow in the bicycle tracks of the Tour de France on a week-long Epic Cycling Climbs Trip, previously voted ‘World's Best New Adventure Travel Trip’ by National Geographic. There are flights to Paris on most major airlines from anywhere in Europe, so make sure to set aside some time for romance.

- Greece – If you’re sick of sunbathing on the beach, Greece is also a great adventure travel destination. Almost every area in Greece offers camping, and the country’s hilly terrain makes it perfect for hiking. Corfu Island has long hiking trails with breathtaking views of ancient monasteries and natural landscapes. The Mediterranean Sea is also perfect for water sports. There are daily cheap international flights to Athens from major cities around the world, and Greece’s bus and ferry network connects almost every town and island throughout the country.

What are some of your favourite ways to get the adrenaline pumping when you’re travelling?