Our Top 5 Travel Experiences
As every intrepid traveller knows, it is impossible to satiate a healthy wanderlust. No matter how many countries you visit, there will always be more to do, more to see, and more to discover. To keep from getting overwhelmed, most travellers have a mental wish list of priority experiences- of the ones that are the most important to them personally. It is these dream destinations or activities that influence the big trips- the holidays that are anticipated for years and remembered forever.
1. See The Temples Of Bagan From A Hot Air Balloon
Sprawled across the vast plains of central Myanmar and situated on the meandering banks of the Irrawaddy River, the ancient city of Bagan is a remarkable place. From the ninth to the thirteenth century, Bagan knew fame as the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan; today, the ruins of the royal city serve as one of South East Asia’s most important archaeological sites. These ruins include more than two thousand temples and pagodas, and are most spectacularly viewed from the basket of a hot air balloon. Dawn flights over the temples are particularly magical, as the golden mists that shroud the plains below give the impression of a city restored to its full splendour.
2. Swim with Manta Rays In The Maldives
The pristine atolls of the Maldives are world-renowned as snorkelling and scuba-diving hotspots, whose thriving reefs provide a colourful home for an astounding array of fish, sharks, turtles, and dolphins. The true star of the Maldives’ underwater world, however, is undoubtedly the manta ray- an ocean giant whose great size is belied by the balletic grace with which it moves through the water. These enormous plankton-feeders are as harmless as they are beautiful, and to encounter them in their natural habitat is a true privilege. Mantas are found year round in the Maldives, although they tend to frequent one side of the archipelago or the other depending upon the season.
3. Explore the iconic Tigers Nest Monastery
Hanging on the edge of a precipitous cliff in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan's most well-known monastery conjures up images of orange-robed monks diligently going about their daily tasks in one of the most scenic temples in the world. The temple complex was built in 1692 around the caves where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Guru is credited with introducing Buddhism to the Kingdom and legend has it that Padmasambhava flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a Tigress, which combined with the caves led to naming it 'Tiger's Lair'. Today the monastery is home to Buddhist monks who continue on their spiritual work, and gives a fascinating insight to the culture of Bhutan and its spiritual beliefs. The monastery is accessible by a steep stairway carved into the cliff-face leading up from the valley floor and offers exquisite views of the 100m high waterfall at the end of the canyon, in addition to the breathtaking scenes of the valley.
4. Go In Search of Ranthambhore’s Tigers
There is nothing quite like coming face to face with one of nature’s most powerful predators, and the tigers of Ranthambhore National Park are no exception. Considered the best place in Rajasthan to see wild tigers, it is thought that the park’s dry scrubland and dense forests are home to at least thirty of these magnificent big cats. Whilst searching for the tigers, visitors may also see some of the other wildlife that calls Ranthambhore home- including India’s largest deer, the sambar; the sloth bear; and more than three hundred bird species. Some areas of the park stand out for their scenic beauty, too, particularly in the vicinity of the tenth-century Ranthambhore Fort.
5. Camel Trek Through Jordan’s Wadi Rum
Since prehistoric times, countless civilisations have carved an existence from the dramatic desert landscape of Jordan’s largest wadi. As a result, the region possesses a palpable sense of history- a history that is ingrained in the sandstone cliffs and plunging canyons from which Wadi Rum is formed. To explore this incredible place on camelback is to travel as the Bedouin people have done for hundreds of years, and is one of the most authentic ways to experience the wadi’s remote villages, reclusive wildlife, and stunning natural panoramas. From the ancient petroglyphs of Khaz’ali Canyon to the iconic silhouette of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the wilderness of Wadi Rum offers natural beauty in its rawest form.
Chat to the Cleveland Collection Travel Experts to plan your bucket list holiday. Why not include the adventures outlined above? Call them now at 020 7843 3531 or drop a line here.