Kodaikanal Travel Guide – Check Out The Gift Of The Forest

Kodaikanal is one of the beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu marked by enchanting waterfalls, beautiful lakes and many more attractions. It is also rich in flora and fauna. The place is located at an altitude of 7200 feet above mean sea level. This has been one of the favorite honeymoon destinations of the young couples for ages. Any nature lover is sure to be taken away by the charms it has in store.

Kodaikanal literally means the gift of the forest. It has dense vegetations with various types of trees and shrubs growing in abundance. The visitors of Kodaikanal would love to purchase the pure eucalyptus oil, homemade chocolates, fresh vegetables and fruits like plums, pears and carrots. The kurinji flower that blossoms once in twelve years is one of the attractions of this place.

If you want to reach Kodaikanal by air, then the nearest airports are located in Trichirapalli, Madurai and Coimbatore. If you want to reach by train then you have to stop at Kodai Road at a distance of 100 kilometers from Kodaikanal. However there are frequent buses to the town from Dindigul and Palani and from many other places of Tamil Nadu.

There are many places of interest in Kodaikanal namely Berijam Lake, Coakers Walk, Bryant Park, Kodai Lake, Kurinjiandavar Temple, Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks, Silent Valley View, Devil’s Kitchen, Guna Caves and Pine Forest. The pine forests and the exotic vegetation of Kodaikanal are real feast for the eyes.

You can enjoy boating at the Kodai Lake and these are available at per hour basis. Trekking and cycling around are other activities that you can enjoy here. Horse riding is available at the entrance to the boat club and you can rent a horse if you want to enjoy the ride. The kids would love to explore the Fun Park near the Fairy Falls.

Though there are many good hotels in Kodaikanal, staying in cottage or bungalow would give you a unique adventure. If you prefer Kodaikanal hotels near the lake it will be easier for you to have nice walk in the evening time. There are some best budget hotels near the Coakers Walk. If your choice is a splurge then, Carlton Hotel will give you a comfortable stay with a great view of the lake.

There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants in Kodaikanal. The noodles and soup varieties served at the Royal Tibet and the mouth watering and authentic Tibetan and Chinese foods at Tibetan Brothers and pastry, cakes and tea at the Pastry Corner will melt into your mouth. A good Kodaikanal travel guide will help you to pick out the right Kodaikanal hotels and Kodaikanal restaurants during your stay. You can enjoy the ecological lifestyle, tour around the Potters Shed to have a look at and buy the crockery and artifacts and relish the herbal teas and mouth watering chocolates of this exotic location.

10 Travel Adventures That Won’t Break the Bank

Dreaming of taking a Big Trip in 2010? Finances a bit tight? Well, take a look at the following destinations. Magic, thrills and adventure, yes. But for the budget-conscious globe-trotter, what’s equally important is that these are places where your dollars will stretch a long, long way. As a travel writer, I’m lucky enough to have experienced all 10–but I’d love to revisit every single one as a vacationer.

Vietnam

Vietnam packs a lot into its borders. Highlights include misty Halong Bay with its fairytale seascapes of limestone outcrops and islands; the Mekong delta with its floating markets; the old Vietcong tunnels at Cu-Chi near Saigon–now officially known as Ho Chi Minh City. (Don’t worry about getting stuck: one tunnel has been specially widened for westerners.) Backpacker beds are exceptionally cheap, but decent hotels often cost less than $40. A filling bowl of pho bo beef noodle soup or six seafood spring rolls is less than a dollar. In local hangouts, Saigon Export beer costs 40 cents a bottle.

For the ultimate traffic tale to tell the folks back home, head for Hanoi’s old quarter. Any attempt to cross the road turns into a heart-racing adventure. Not only are you contending with psycho-cyclos (rickshaw bicycles), there are thousands of motorbikes and scooters whose riders regard a red traffic signal as a suggestion rather than an instruction. Best place to experience the utter chaos is from within a cyclo rickshaw.

Lithuania, Eastern Europe

The southernmost of the Baltic States, visitors usually couple Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia. However, you can easily spend a week in Lithuania alone. Quirky cities like Vilnius and Kaunas are steeped in art, music and historical curiosities…mushroom-scented woods and farmers riding on haycarts…mysterious sites steeped in pagan traditions…the windswept sands of the Curonian Spit where you can beach-comb for amber.

Mid-June would be a great time to go. A national holiday in Lithuania, the old pagan festival of Rasos marks the summer solstice. It’s an all-night affair with singing, dancing, bonfire-leaping, hunting for “magic” ferns, and floating garlands down rivers. Despite some serious alcoholic partying, most people manage to stay awake to greet the sunrise. As for prices, how about $2.54 for three potato pancakes with smoked salmon and sour cream and $1 for a glass of Svyturnys beer?

Granada, Nicaragua

From the laid-back colonial city of Granada, you can do a lot in a week in Nicaragua: tackle volcanoes…take Spanish lessons…visit Masaya craft market and also the villages where rocking chairs, hammocks, and pottery are made…explore the Selva Negra’s cloud forests and coffee plantations…chat with expats in the beach surfing town of San Juan del Sur…go to colonial Leon, where you might get to meet indigenous Indians.

Settling into a rocking chair with a cold Victoria beer is a pleasure that generally costs under $1 and spending more than $7 on a meal is difficult. The Alhambra Hotel on Granada’s main square costs a mere $30 a night.

Goa, Southern India

India is beyond fascinating, beyond anything you’ll ever experience elsewhere. The easiest introduction to this teeming country is the seaside state of Goa. Baking below a tropical canopy of banana, coconut and mango trees, this drowsy world of Arabian Sea beaches, backwaters, and spice-laden breezes is stamped with more than a few reminders of Old Portugal. You’ll find sunrise yoga on the beach, full massages for $8, dolphin trips for about $6, and colorful hippie markets.

Including four beers, two people can eat in a beach shack for under $10. And if you want to cut your expenses to the bone, there’s accommodation in simple beach chalets for as little as $8 a night.

Porto and Northern Portugal

Famed for its port wine lodges (yes, they do offer free samples), Porto is Portugal’s second city. An historic Atlantic trading port, its warren of laundry-hung alleys plunges down to a waterfront of boats, nets and fish restaurants. Sheets of cod (bacalhau) hang outside grocery stores with original art nouveau tiled facades; the church of Sao Francisco has a gold leaf interior that would make King Midas salivate. Don’t miss the Bolhau food market or the Torre dos Clerigos, Portugal’s highest belfry tower. From the top, you’ll get great views over the jumbled cityscape of churches, bridges and red-roofed houses.

By EU standards, the price of dining, accommodation, and public transport throughout the region is astounding. Trains and buses are an affordable way to make exploratory day-trips along the coast and into the interior of terraced vineyards and green river valleys. Don’t miss Braga and the thousand-stepped stairway of Bom Jesus church. On holy days, some pilgrims tackle these steps on their knees.

Montenegro

After its split from Serbia, Montenegro is Europe’s latest holiday hot spot–and also the world’s newest independent nation. Along with three-course meals for $7 and rooms in private houses for $10, you’ll find a land of craggy mountains with a switch-backed Adriatic coastline of bays, beaches and villages of pale gray stone. The sea sparkles like blue topaz and medieval walled towns with crumbling fortresses and palaces are often emblazoned with the winged lion emblem of the Venetian Republic.

Now paint in monasteries slotted into mountain crevices and fishing villages of red-tiled roofs and deep-green shutters. Roman mosaics…olive groves…water-lilied lakes…deep canyons and the mighty Boka Kotorska, Europe’s southernmost fjord…the border town of Ulcinj with its minarets and tales of pirate slave-trading.

Austria

The Alps? There’s no denying that Switzerland is one of the most scenically gorgeous countries on earth. But unless you’re armed with an expense account, I can promise you that exploring its mountains, lakes and medieval towns will wreak havoc on your finances.

Winter or summer, neighboring Austria has just as much of the alpine wow factor…plus the city splendors of Vienna and Salzburg. And it’s a lot less expensive than you may think. For example, in the Tyrolean village of Fendels, you could rent a furnished apartment for two in a chalet next spring for as little as 175 euro ($230) per week. Surrounded by hiking trails, Fendels village makes an excellent base–the Tyrolean Oberland is close to the borders of Switzerland and Italy. (Go to the Austrian Tourist Board’s web site at http://www.tiscover.at and you’ll find plenty more self-catering accommodation at similar prices.)

Penang, Malaysia

A melting-pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture, Malaysia offers up powder white beaches and virgin rainforest teeming with wildlife; the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur and the historic port city of Malacca; inexpensive seafood and inexpensive spa pampering; sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, golf and island-hopping.

With a distinct Chinese flavor, one of Malaysia’s star turns is Georgetown, capital of Penang island. You come across snake temples, arcaded shophouses and tiny workshops specializing in mahjong tiles and dice; kong-teik craftsmen who make funerary paper artifacts; fish getting dried like laundry in the open air. On the Weld Quay waterfront, around 2,000 fishing families live in rickety wooden dwellings on the Clan Quay jetties.

Chania, Crete

On the Greek island of Crete, Chania is one town that it would be criminal to miss. Crete’s former capital, its history goes back 5,000 years. In the Old Town’s skinny alleyways you’ll find icon workshops…lyres hanging in dusty musical instrument repair-shops…bursts of white jasmine cascading from archways…cats snoozing on balconies…the unlikely sights of a pencil-thin minaret above church towers and a mosque squatting on the waterfront.

Strung with garlands of colored light-bulbs, Chania’s old Venetian harbor at dusk truly is the stuff of romance. The water shimmers in waves of crimson, sapphire and emerald, the Venetian lighthouse sends out its beady wink, and stalls do a steady trade in pistachio nuts. Alleys that were afternoon-silent become thronged with locals taking the volta–the evening stroll. Even in July and August, you’ll find studio apartments here for under $40 a night…plus you can eat well for $10.

Bohemia, the Czech Republic

Prague teems with tourists but few people realize what the rest of the Czech Republic offers. One of its regions is Bohemia, blessed with a spellbinding mosaic of castles, frescoed houses and Rapunzel-style turrets straight from a sword-and-sorcery tale. At Cesky Krumlov you can peer into a medieval bear pit complete with bears. Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora has a chapel entirely decorated with human bones, right down to its chandelier.

Many towns have stoupas…lofty “plague pillars” adorned with chained devils. They commemorate deliverance from the plagues, which swept Europe during the Middle Ages. Then there’s Karlovy Vary, the oldest of Bohemia’s grand spa towns. With spa water bubbling up all over town which visitors can collect for free, it’s a gorgeous place of baroque buildings in sugar-plum colors, flowery parks, and shops glittering with Bohemian crystal.

Finding a Thailand Travel Agent

Finding a Thailand travel agent is a key task to enjoy a memorable and interesting trip to this great country. The agent will help find the cheapest air fare, book your hotels, find the right tour guide and organize excursions.

Thailand is the leader in attendance among the countries of South-East Asia. Thousands of Buddhist temples and monasteries, magnificent palaces and pagodas in Bangkok, the beautiful beaches of Pattaya, Patong, Samui and Phuket, active nightlife with a variety of shows and entertainment, the infamous sex tourism of all kinds attract tourists from other countries. The famous Thai massage and martial arts, riding on elephants, diving, unique floating markets and hundreds of exotic uninhabited islands of the Andaman Sea, the famous dishes of Thai cuisine and colorful Buddhist festivals offer an unforgettable cultural experience.

Bangkok, which means ‘wild plum city’, was built by King Rama I in the 18th century. It is famous for its magnificent monuments of architecture and culture. Hundreds of Buddhist temples and peaked roofs of palaces, thousands of cars and thousands of ships, the constant stench of exhaust fumes, and small cozy English-style parks are woven together and create a perfect ensemble of sights. The city is often called Krung Tep, or the City of Angels, but the official name of the capital is much longer and quite unpronounceable for tourists.

The historic city center is formed by the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding areas. The main attraction here is the Grand Palace, the residence of Thai kings with a magnificent park and the buildings in traditional Thai style. The length of the walls of the palace are more than 2 km long. In the royal palace complex, one will also find the Library and the mausoleum that houses cremated remains of all members of the royal family. There is also the favorite residence of King Rama V and the largest building in the world, built entirely of golden teak wood, Vimanmek, which is now used as a museum.

To the north of the royal residence, one will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It houses one of the shrines of Buddhism, the famous statue of a seated Buddha on a golden altar. It is carved entirely from one large piece of jade, and the first mention of the statue goes back to 1464.

In general, the city has about 400 magnificent temples, the most famous of which is the Temple of the Golden Buddha, where a statue of Buddha made of pure gold weighing 5.5 tons.

Bangkok used to be called ‘Venice of the East’ because of its 140 channels, which continue to maintain the rhythm of the city even today. The largest avenue in Bangkok, Sukhumvit, is considered the center of international tourism, there are hundreds of cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as some of the best shopping centers. The city has several museums, a planetarium, an art gallery and a cultural center. The most popular among the guests are the National Theatre, the National Museum and the Museum of Science. The largest park of the capital, Lumpini, is famous for its nurseries of wildlife, excellent Marina Park dolphinarium and a huge water park Siam Park.

Ayutthaya is famous for its ancient temple ruins of Wat Phra Chao Phanan Choeng, Wat Phra Meru, Wat Chai Vattanaram, as well as the ruins of the palace of Bang Pa In, the summer residence of the first kings of the Chakri dynasty. The city is declared a World Heritage Site.

To the west of Bangkok, near the town of Nakhon Pathom, one will see the world’s largest statue of Buddha, which is 127-meter high. Northern Thailand is the birthplace of Thai civilization and a picturesque area of forests, waterfalls, colorful national holidays, and dozens of ancient cities and temples. Chiang Mai is the second largest and most important city in the country. The city is famous for about 300 temples and historical monuments, which give it a special charm. Some of them are about 2 thousand years old. Nearby is the mysterious city of Mehongson with Wat Kham Chhong, one of the oldest buildings of the country.