Saturday, May 31, 2014

Explore the Caves Khao Khanap Nam,Krabi, Thailand. Elsie Gabriel

Explore the Caves Khao Khanap Nam,Krabi, Thailand.
Kayak Trip to Khao Khanap Nam,Krabi,Thailand.

Elsie Gabriel
Drifting in the beautiful lagoon, exploring the spectacular rivers, inlets and limestone caves on your own personal kayak, is how one can best enjoy Krabi, in Thailand. As one of the first settlements in southern Thailand, Krabi offers numerous cave destinations which are rich in archeological treasures, artifacts and cave drawings.

Thailand is not all about the sunshine, massages, night life, beach swims and food, it is deeply embedded in history to say the least, and do not forget to unearth that aspect of it.
Krabi is a southern province on Thailand's Andaman seaboard with perhaps the country's oldest history of continued settlement. Krabi has many cliffs and caves where ancient colour paintings, stone tools, beads, pottery and skeletal remains have been found. The mountainous geography, broken by highlands and plains on the mainland, and 130 big and small islands in the Andaman Sea make Krabi a perfect place for recreation.

We were privileged to stay at the Maritime Park and Spa Resort which features over 25 acres of tropical gardens, and is located approximately two miles from Krabi Town, and ten miles from Krabi International Airport. The hotel has a jungle pathway which leads out into the natural river waters and exotic mangroves leading to the spiritual caves.

As you emerge out into clearer waters, you are over whelmed by natures bounty.
The tail boat takes us lowly to the mystic Khao Khanap Nam caves surrounded by a couple of raged hills. Stretching  out of the natural waters is the Khao Khanap Nam rocky structures, where there are several magnificent caves with impressive clusters of stalactites and stalagmites. A number are said to be the home of spirits and are steeped in local forklore, containing images and items of spiritual worship. One climbs a staircase to see caves with endless stalactites and stalagmites. It is quite dark inside with little rays of light seeping in.Finally, make your way through the cave's numerous grottoes until you arrive at a viewpoint overlooking the mangrove forest and sprawling ocean. It's quite a sight to behold. Almost ethereal. Step into the cave's cavernous mouth to marvel at the ancient paintings and pictoglyphs found inside. Wander through the numerous stalagmites and beneath the beautiful stalactites to study the paintings and understand a piece of Thailand’s rich cultural past.

Of course my lessons in Spiritual ecology came reeling in, rushing in to help me to reawaken my self with the mystery of the existence of the ‘Earth’. I almost froze soaking in the awakening. There is nothing greater than Gods creation, nothing compares to this. When I headed down from the stairs I saw numerous skulls and skeletons all elaborately laid out on the sandy beaches below. The guide explained how ‘ancestors’ were worshipped and honored and then the skulls explained their ornamental value, sacred and surrounded by flowers and twigs. Deep.

 The only other way tourists can get there is by boat from the Chao Fah Bridge in Krabi. The two iconic magnificent hills, roughly 100 meters high, flank the Krabi River running between them to form a picturesque post card. Kilometers of pristine Mangrove forest, home to an astonishing variety of birds are spotted which have drawn birdwatchers from all over the world. While cruising in a longtail boat or a sea canoe, keep your eyes open for species such as Gurney’s Pittas, Brown-winged Kingfishers, Flame backs, Pacific Reef Eagles and Dollarbirds.
It takes 15 minutes to reach Khao Khanap Nam’s twin peaks by ‘long tail boat’ from Chao Fa Pier.A boat can be rented at 300 baht per trip to visit Khao Khanap Nam, mangrove forests and Koh Klang fishery village.

You will enter the small canals of the mangrove forest and see different types of mangrove trees as well as local wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and fish.

Thailand only has a few areas that have been recognized as wetlands of the world and the mangrove forest of Krabi Province, stretching from the city to Koh Si Boya, is ranked in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The protected area also covers 12 square kilometers of up to 2-kilometer wide tidal mudflats.
So far the best wetlands that I have visited around the world!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Try Waving like Miss World at Sun city! South Africa.Elsie Gabriel

 Waving like Miss World at Sun city! South Africa.

If you ever want to dive into a lush and tropical fantasyland deep in the African bushveld, try the Sun city! Two words- pure luxury. Pamper yourself and soak in the sun.
Located in South Africa's North West Province, only  two hours drive from Johannesburg, Sun City is a vibrant mix of entertainment, spas, swimming pools, wave pools, water sports, golf, gambling and family fun.  Besides all the shopping and games, the hotel group has not forgotten to maintain its natural spots.
The kids loved the twenty five hectare botanical gardens, with an aviary and pet corner too. We got to take a ride in the chuga chuga train ride which takes you all around the expanse of the hotels. The birding experience was awesome and fish in the lakes were plenty. The green jungle is threaded with meandering paths, boat rides, cascades, lakes, pools and a variety of water adventure rides.


I found the whole experience exhilarating.  Sun City is internationally renowned as Africa’s premier holiday resort. You are spoilt for choice. You simply don't know where to begin.The Sun city offers four  hotels to choose from, The Cascades, Sun City Cabanas,  The Palace of the Lost City and the Cabana’s.
 Sun City is often called the South African Las Vegas. Try your luck with any of the 852 slot machines and 38 gaming tables on Sun City's casino.  You can see a concert at the Sun City Superbowl  City Hotel where ‘The Beach Boys’, "Frank Sinatra', 'Paul Anka' 'Elton John' and 'Rod Stewart' are some of the big names who have performed there.

Sun city is famous for Miss World pageants and Miss South Africa Teen Pageants, which attract thousands of visitors to the site.

I of course was attracted to the Pilanesburg Safari treks which were close by and ventured to simply get lost in the jungles. But kept coming back to  pose and wave the famous Miss World ‘wave’ each time I took a dip in the pool to cool down!!
I knew I had missed the Miss World bus a long time ago!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Waterfront Amphitheater at Cape town South Africa. South Africa tourism. Cape Town holiday. Elsie Gabriel

Waterfront Amphitheater at Cape town South Africa.

Elsie Gabriel

Many budding artists have found their bedrock of success at this very Waterfront Amphitheater in Cape Town. It is said to be one of the best open air theaters in the world. And I second that.
It was a privilege to watch so many young artists perform live and entertain. One artist signed his autograph for the kids and serenaded us passionately. I guess, truly all the worlds really a stage literally! And it depends on how you make the most of your moment on that stage?

 You can enjoy an evening here and be swept away by the summer breeze filled with notes of music.

Choose Cape Town when arriving at South Africa as a tourist. You get to have a cauldron of experiences fitted well into your agenda. From Nature, to Penguins, Cape of Good Hope, Table mountains, celebrity beaches, whale watching, shopping and good food; all with a laid back atmosphere.

Just a few meters away from the amphitheater is the Cape Town harbour.
The magic of Cape Town comes alive with about a hundred habour restaurants all lined up to give you a gourmet experience of a life time. I had Calamari crispy rings and champagne all through the evening with seagulls as my food friends and family by my side, live music strumming away some old numbers gently,what more can a woman ask for ? Huh?
The mesmerizing experience of the mountain and sea views is intoxicating. The leisurely experience is relaxing. I couldn’t be more pampered.
Around the corner at the wharf you can also pickup some food items for your trip at Cape town.

The fresh market is located in the Pumphouse building off Nobel Square and the price tags will not hurt your wallets.
 And when you’re done with the ground work, you can takeoff on a 360 degree panoramic view of Cape Town from the Waterfront area on the Wheel of Excellence, a huge Giant wheel which moves slowly letting you soak in the views across the Mother City  which include City of Cape Town ,Table Mountain, Robben Island, Paarl Mountains and the Cape Town Stadium.

Cape Town launched its state-of-the-art Wheel of Excellence in 2010, from which World Cup fans would be able to see the whole of the Mother City.
I have seen the London Eye’s in U.K and this South African counterpart matches it well. The wheel has 36 luxury cabins with glass floors, air conditioning and LED lighting. About eight people can fit per cabin. You and your kids will love this twenty minute rendezvous.
And then you can gently set sail on a cruise around Cape Town's historic harbor, you get a closer look at the various fishing vessels and cargo ships in action, with the African seals joining in the fun.

Earth, Water and Wind, there you have it, Cape Town waterfront is perfect with all the elements of the planet sweetly smothering your coastal visit!
Cape Town is easily accessible from all airports around the world. This is only the beginning, starting point to your exotic South African journey. Believe me choose Cape Town to kick start your discovery of Africa.