Indonesia has always been one of the top holiday destinations in Asia. It has all the appeal of a tropical haven with modern amenities every discerning vacationer can expect from a world class tourist spot. Indonesia also has some of ultimate adventure travel activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and diving.
Listed below are few of the best dive locations in Indonesia, as well as a number of practical travel tips to help people make the most out of their travel adventure to this part of Asia.
Best Dive Locations in Indonesia
Gili Islands, Lomb
For diving novices, the Gili Islands is by far one of the best places to go to learn diving. Not only is this one of the best dive locations in Indonesia, but there are also highly qualified instructors that offer their services to keen tourists. These islands are popular among young travellers as there are many affordable places to stay and cheap adventure activities for anyone looking.
Gili Islands are about 80 kilometers away from Bali so it is a rather convenient for tourists to visit this location even if they are staying at in the metropolis. Transportation is easy to arrange and there are several daily trips to and from the island.
Located approximately 132 kilometers southeast of Ambon, these islands are among the remotest and most beautiful parts of Indonesia. While many tourists frequent this dive site each year, it remains pristine and well maintained as the local government are committed to keeping Banda clean and untainted.
What makes this one of the best dive locations in Indonesia, as well as the world, is the large collection of colourful saltwater fish that inhabit the Banda Islands.
The multi-coloured reefs that reside in the deep blue waters of Banda Islands are also a sight to behold for diving enthusiasts as they get to see them up close. The exotic marine life in this island also includes rare plants that are bring more depth to the beauty of underwater Banda.
With over 25 different diving sites in the island, you can be sure to have the best underwater adventure. For those who are not as fond of diving as their companions, there are other activities to look forward to such as shark diving, snorkelling with turtles, and manta ray watching.
Apart from its fantastic coffee beans, Sulawesi is also known for its fantastic diving in Wakatobi. This site is famous for its pristine coral reefs that have been effectively protected from the ravages of modern commercialism. Its highly diversified marine life is one of the best features of this diving site, not to mention its incredible white sand beach.
Most tourists who have had the pleasure to visit this little piece of diving heaven marvel at the clearness of the waters as well as the lack of pollution in the surrounding area. Seafood is another excellent reason to visit this part of Indonesia as it is always freshly caught and expertly cooked by local chefs.
Diving in Indonesia can be such an unforgettable experience especially for those who do their research prior to booking the trip. There are many other excellent destinations apart from the three listed above so there is no shortage of options as far as diving spots are concerned.
Layang Layang Island – ‘The Jewel of The Waters’
If you’re in search of new ways to put your diving abilities and your jandals to the test and to hone them, or if you’re simply looking for a little more thrill in your life, the Layang Layang Island is the ultimate place to visit.
The 15 square kilometre reef island boasts awe-inspiring exclusive dive resorts including a rich marine heritage that is made up of many fish species and kaleidoscopic underwater plants. The 20 meters deep man-made lagoon is home to some rare sea creatures like pipefish, cuttlefish, sea horses, grey reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, silver tips sharks and leopard sharks. Pygmy devil rays, manta rays and eagle rays are also frequent spotted around this breathtaking island.
Layang Layang, like a seasoned mariner’s dream, stands all alone and from a distance appears like a striking jewel dotting the middle of a wide ocean. Majority of people who’ve visited this place before describe it as an oasis of fun waiting to be discovered.
Apart from providing you with a chance to get acquainted with some top-notch diving skills, the island is located in an exclusive and tranquil region necessary for absolute isolation. It is one of the few places in the world you can go to celebrate quiet moments away from the glare of the public.
It’s worth noting that the island does not have a decompression chamber which means that you have consult one of the experienced instructors to avoid unwanted incidents while sampling its underwater treasures. Also, the island is located next to a military base meaning that you have to be prepared to respect some basic interdictions set in place. Note that there are no shops on the island so make sure to buy all the things you need at Kota Kinabalu on your way to the island.
If you want to find the best dive locations in Indonesia then consider an Asia Diving Vacation for your next travel adventure.
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Portugal is a hive of culture, history, and architecture and is home to fifteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you plan a holiday to Portugal to discover some of its glorious histories, look through our top five Portuguese historical landmarks.
This beautiful monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça is a prime example of early Gothic architecture. The sanctuary is home to the ornate tombs of Ines de Castro and King Pedro I. There is a tragic love story associated with the burials. Ines de Castro was assassinated in 1355, and the king ordered his tomb to be placed next to hers so that he could face the woman he loved on the day of resurrection. They are considered to be the most beautiful medieval tombs in Portugal. There are also living quarters, including a refectory, dormitory, kitchen, and cloisters that have been inhabited by monks for 800 years.
Convent of Christ
The Convent of Christ is a beautiful roman catholic building located in Tomar. It was initially a stronghold for the Order of the Knights Templar. The building houses impressive art and examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance architecture. The walls inside are exquisitely decorated with paintings, carved stone sculptures, and a window depicting symbols and motifs. This site has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
Évora is a Portuguese city home to several historical sights, some over two thousand years old. The Cathedral of Évora is considered one of Portugal’s most important gothic monuments. Moorish palaces and courtyards, a renaissance fountain built-in 1559, and a one-of-a-kind Roman temple have become the city’s most famous landmarks. It is not surprising that Évorahas is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Belém Tower was built to be a fortress in 1515 to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. The tower is constructed from lioz limestone that is local to Lisbon. It is considered one of the prominent examples of the late gothic Manueline style. There is a drawbridge, spaces for cannons, turrets, and arches that have been decorated with images of animals, plants, and royal coats of arms. Inside there are statues, pillars, and gargoyle facets. UNESCO has listed the tower as a World Heritage monument.
Jerónimos Monastery is considered one of the most beautiful monasteries in Portugal and Europe. Located in Lisbon, the monastery has various entrances that have been decorated with carved figures, gables, and pinnacles. There is a 16th Century Portuguese sculpture of Our Lady of Belém in the central doorway, a figure of Prince Henry the Navigator in the center of the monastery, and a statue of King Manuel I. The monastery has been classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
We hope this has inspired you to start planning your trip to Portugal today.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
Find out why Sand boarding, Diving and Safaris through the desert are included in the Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar.
Qatar is a country of reinvention. Shimmering towerblocks rise against a desert horizon, and maze-like souks thrive next to 21st-century shopping palaces. It’s also one of the more accessible countries of the Arab Gulf, with a welcoming reputation towards visitors and plenty of attractions to keep them coming. Some of the best holiday activities you’ll find in Qatar are the adventurous kind. And these are the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
The Gulf Sea is famed for its crystal waters and the exuberant marine life which lurks just beneath the surface. Messaid is a good jumping-off point where you’ll find angelfish and barracuda, while those intrigued by underwater wrecks will love the Hall Island dive site at Al-Sharqi, where bright clownfish circle the abandoned boat.
Many of the sports here have been adapted from colder climates, so instead of skiing down a mountain piste, try Khor Al Adaid beach to glide down the impressive dunes on a sand-board. Alternatively, race your blo-kart along the sands of Al Wakrah, south of capital Doha, to experience the thrill of wind-sailing on dry land.
The ancient carvings of Al Jassasiya lie to the north near Al Shamal, amid a truly remote landscape of village ruins and limestone. Hire a 4×4 of your own and make the journey to see the 900 petroglyphs which riddle the rocks here. The carvings denote flowers, animals, fleets of shows, or traditional Arab boats, and to this day, their origins remain a mystery.
When the time comes for a more relaxed excursion, you can do no better than a sunset cruise onboard a wooden dhow as you drift past the super-modern Doha seafront of Al-Corniche and the old harbor at Al Khor. If you’re still hankering after some adventure, rent a smaller vessel and go for a fishing trip the following day.
Much of the inland desert in Qatar remains inaccessible on foot, but fortunately, that’s where a 4×4 comes in very handy for a safari trip you won’t easily forget. There are numerous options available from Doha, including day-long excursions, bumping, and rolling to the inland sea at Khor Al Adaid. Or make the trip at dusk for a spot of star-gazing before you settle in Bedouin-style tents for the night.
Most activities can be arranged via a tour company. Although cash has been the predominant payment method in Qatar, this is beginning to change, which is good news for tourists since HSBC offers protection against loss or theft. If you’re planning on taking part in several activities, it can be handy to have some plastic on you to avoid expensive traveler’s cheques, plus credit cards from HSBC and other familiar providers also enable easy access to money at the ATMs. However, it’s wise to exercise caution, using only official bank machines here and sticking with local currency at the market and in smaller shops.
There’s no doubt that Qatar offers some world-class cultural attractions beyond the more energetic highlights, and while you’re in the country, set aside some time for the historic Al Zubarah fort or browse the recreated 19th-century Souk-Waqif, in Doha.
This country has been undervalued in the past but is now coming to the world’s attention. With its desert adventures, ancient sites, and thriving culture, this attention is thoroughly deserved.
This is a travel feature by world traveler, Jose Capelo. He loves exploring the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar and has spent many trips exploring the wild deserts of Qatar.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
Bondi is well known for sun, surf, and fun, but what can you do if you find yourself there in the colder months from June to August? Here are a few suggestions for things to do in Sydney’s most popular suburb when the temperature drops.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
1. Go on an art tour
If the weather doesn’t allow for the typical outdoorsy activities Bondi is known for, a tour of some of its first-rate art galleries can be a great way to spend an afternoon. Don’t miss the Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, dedicated to promoting Indigenous art, and the Bondi Art Lounge, where you can view works from local artists or even take a beginner class and create a masterpiece of your own.
2. Take a hike
In crisp cool temperatures, a hike along the coastal cliffs with a view of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean below can’t be beaten. One of the most popular hikes is the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which is 6 km and takes you through Sydney’s eastern suburbs and past plenty of cafes, restaurants, and kiosks where you can stop to rest and take in the sights.
3. Head to Bondi Icebergs for some winter swimming
Even during winter, swimming is not entirely out of the question in Bondi. The Oceanside pool at Bondi Icebergs Club is open year-round, and the winter swims every Sunday from May to September have become a time-honored tradition. Although club members must complete at least three winter swims a year to retain their lofty membership title, non-members who are up for the challenge can pay a one-time fee to use the pool and sauna.
4. Strap on your skates and visit the only beachside skating rink in Australia
If winter swimming is a step too far for you, why not skate instead? Bondi has Australia’s only beachside ice rink, and the ocean view in the background makes for a striking contrast. The ice rink is open from June 27 to July 13, and aside from hosting skating sessions that are open to the public, it also features spectacular ice shows from Stars On Ice.
5. Settle in for brunch at one of Bondi’s decadent cafes
Winter wouldn’t be the same without a few indulgences, and after all your skating and hiking, you’ve probably earned a hearty brunch anyway. Fortunately, Bondi is full of great brunch options, from Trio Café with delicacies like poached eggs with truffle oil and char-grilled halloumi; to the rustic Brown Sugar, where you can indulge in classic comfort food like buttermilk pancakes and English muffins with bacon.
6. Join a cooking class, dodge ball game, or salsa lesson
During the winter, it may seem like most people have gone off to hibernate, but if you know where to look, you can still find plenty of social things to do. Start by checking out the Bondi community page on Gumtree. You can find like-minded individuals to explore the area with or even join a group for fun activities like hiking, biking, or cooking.
7. Score some vintage fashion at Bondi Markets
The Bondi Markets, held every Sunday on Bondi Beach, are known in Sydney for being the best place to shop for vintage clothing and accessories and hip new fashions from emerging designers. Aside from style, you can also shop for art, furniture, flowers, books, local produce, and delicious street eats. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great place to do some people-watching and see the Bondi locals in their element.
8. Stop by the Bondi Pavilion
The Bondi Pavilion is one of the suburb’s oldest landmarks dating back to 1928 when it first opened, featuring grand dining rooms, a lounge, a ballroom, and the Turkish and Hot Sea Water Baths. Today, it’s used as an art and cultural center and is home to a theatre group, recording studio, and art gallery. There’s always something going on here, from pottery classes to festivals to open-air cinemas, so check it out if you have a chance.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
New on Four Jandals
- Adventurer’s Manual: How to Successfully Explore Germany September 12, 2023
- 12 Pieces of Useful Advice for First-Time Travellers to Singapore August 1, 2023
- 7 Tips for Levelling up Your London Business Trip July 15, 2023
What Are You Looking For?
See Our Favorite Topics
Adventure Travel2 months ago
A Beginner’s Guide to Yacht Charters: How to Choose the Right Yacht and Plan the Perfect Trip
Business2 months ago
7 Tips for Levelling up Your London Business Trip
Travel Tips2 months ago
The Benefits of Bundling Car Rentals with Hotel Stays in Orlando
Entertainment2 months ago
7 Tips for Organising an Amazing NYC Bachelor Party
Travel Tips3 months ago
The Essential Guide to Exploring Cancun’s Nightlife
Asia2 months ago
12 Pieces of Useful Advice for First-Time Travellers to Singapore
Travel Tips2 weeks ago
Adventurer’s Manual: How to Successfully Explore Germany