Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Laos' Plain of Jars

asia travel spots, plain of jarsConsidered one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, you may think that Laos has nothing to offer being a tourist destination. That didn't hinder tourists to discover this archaeological wonder that has the makings of being an asia travel spot. Haven't you heard, there's this historical landmark that consists of thousands of jars scattered in the highlands of Laos called Plain of Jars. Situated at Xieng Khouang plain, this Laos pride consists of thousands of stone jars big and small distributed in the place.

asia travel spots, plain of jarsIt is believed that this stone jars ages from 1,500–2,000 years and older. According to a local folktale, the emerging of jars began when the king of the giants Khun Jeuam fought and won a battle against the evil ruler Chao Angka. The king, whose fond of throwing parties brew and store huge amounts of lao lao rice wine in this huge stone jars. When the archaeologists studied the jars, they have found burned bones, beads and iron tools leading them to the conclusion that these jars were used as giant urns to bury the dead. Another mystery yet unsolved is how the jars are made. Locals believed that these jars were made from clay, sand, sugar, and animal products mixing together to form a cement-like mixture.

asia travel spots, plain of jarsSince the time of Pathet Lao-American war began, most of the jars were destroyed by bomb explosions leaving bomb craters and trench systems in the area. This makes the area dangerous until today due to unexploded bombs that was a result of massive bombardment of the recent wars. In fact only three sites of the plain is safe for visitors and locals alike. Aside from the huge stone jars, you can also found original artifacts like Buddhist statues, colonial items and scraps from the exploded bombs in the US war. Like no other, Plain of Jars is the mute witness of Laos' historical occurrence in the past and in the years to come.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Singapore's Night Safari

asian destinations, Night Safari Safaris always fascinates me as a kid and now that I grew up, I still have that interest to go to Africa to have a real encounter with the wild. Not now that I've learned about Singapore's own version of safari but this time, it has a twist. Who will ever thought that it was possible to have your wild park adventure at night? Yes you can in Night Safari as it is the first in the world that caters visitors at night. Awarded as Singapore Tourism Awards Best Leisure Attraction Experience since 1994 up to 2006, you'll be overwhelmed by the experience you can get just by touring here.

asian destinations, Night SafariEcologically it's a good thing specially for nocturnal animals as the animals here are not disturbed at daytime. You can take a closer look at over 1040 animals not to mention the endangered kind in action. This idea is rooted from a wide response of people towards night tours and wholesome entertainment. With the budget of 63 million (in Singapore dollars), this 40 hectares nocturnal zoo came to life. As of now, this open-air zoo is maintained by Wild Reserves Singapore and it is open for 5 hours every night.

asian destinations, Night SafariThe zoo's setting of humid tropical forest gives it an authentic look of a typical African safari and stimulate the animals natural habitat. Visitors may not worry as protected by natural barriers instead of cages while they watch the animals. It is covered by two stretches, the walking trail and the tram rides. Just like any other parks, they offer other attractions such as tribal dances, fire eating stints and a night show which showcases the animals in the Night Safari. Dining is never a problem as it has food outlets and restaurants to satisfy your growling stomachs. One of which is Ulu Ulu Safari restaurant which serves authentic Western and Asian dishes. What you can do next is have it your way here at Night Safari. It is a sure way to enjoy the wild and realize the value of taking care our mother nature as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Azerbaijan's Gobustan Petroglyphs

asian travel, Gobustan Petroglyphs You may think that Azerbaijan didn't exist in your travel destination maps but its is. It has so much to offer and one of which is Gobustan State Reserve who happens to be one of UNESCO's heritage site. Established in 1966, it was declared a protected area since in the caves lies the ancient carvings and rock paintings that is believed to be more than 600,000 in number. The paintings are mostly images of what kind of life early settlers of Azerbaijan had as well as animals, primitive dances, bullfights and others dated from 5,000 to 20,000 years way back.

asian travel, Gobustan Petroglyphs
This nature wonder were only discovered through accident when a group of men go in there to quarry for stones in 1930. Since the area are abundant in boulders and rock formations, one quarry worker noticed the unusual carvings on the rocks. They also discovered these man-made caves where more of the drawings can be found. One of the scientist studied these paintings is the world-renowned anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl.

asian travel, Gobustan PetroglyphsApart from petroglyphs, there is also this musical stone known as Gaval Dash. It makes a tambourine-like sound when it is hit in different points. It is composed of big flat stones with 3 supporting stones. There are also cup-like hollows found there which is believed to be used to gather water, a vessel for preparing blood for sacrifice and others not to mention archaeological materials like hunting tools, utensils and animal bones. If you're into history mood, play like an archaeologist or geologist and plan your vacation here at Gobustan State Reserve particulary in it's caves and mud volcanoes. There's nothing like discovering the things we didn't know existed at that time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Egypt's Ras Mohammed National Park

asian travel spots, Ras MohammedEgypt was known for its majestic pyramid structures, high and mighty pharaohs and it's amazing sand dunes. Who will ever thought that a diver's haven will emerge here in a land of full of sand and scarce water supply? Yes, Ras Mohammed or Cape Mohammed is one of Egypt's important protected area. With a variety of flora and fauna's best, Ras Mohammed showcase marine life in different forms.

asian travel spots, Ras MohammedThis extra-ordinary setting lies in at the south extreme of Sinai Peninsula, facing Gulf Suez and Gulf of Aqaba and included in the tourist region of Red Sea Riviera. Declared as a park and protected area in 1983, this asian travel spot has a name that literally means Mohammed's head. The enormous wildlife is not only present in water but also in land as there are mountains and wadis, gravel and coastal mud plains and sand dunes that will satisfy your panoramic viewing.

asian travel spots, Ras MohammedThis place is not only suitable for diving but also in other activities like snorkeling, bird-watching and nature-tripping. In fact, there is the Mangrove channel where you can view migratory and resident birds. There's also the Eel Garden where you can find it's large population of garden eels and the Shark Observatory where you can have a close encounter with sharks of different kinds.
This park provides excellent and calm experience to their visitors. With this and other nature's reserves around the world, it made us think twice to save this place called Earth since this is the only place and paradise we can live in.