The Most Beautiful Places in Greece

February 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Attractions, Destinations, General Fun


Ah, Greece, the land of one of the greatest and most glorious ancient civilizations of all. With its fascinating history, its scenic coastlines, and its elegant ruins that reminiscent its glorious past, how could anyone not help but be drawn to it like a moth to a mesmerizing dancing flame. There is so much to see within its historical shores but for now, let us look at ten of the most popular. Be sure not to miss these attractions on your next cheap holidays to Greece!

Athenian Acropolis and the Parthenon

On a tall rock in the midst of modern-day Athens stands the Acropolis of Athens, a beautiful citadel that is perhaps the best illustration of the power and sophistication of the ancient Greek civilization. Twenty-one archaeological structures still remain in or at the base of the Acropolis today. At its center is the Parthenon, the intricately designed Doric temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. With its elegant avenues and beautiful sacred structures, the Acropolis is one historical site that should not be missed.

The Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion, a popular summer haven for the Athenians, is home to the Temple of Poseidon, one of the most powerful Olympians in Greek mythology. The temple stands near a cliff, looking out to the Aegean Sea, and offers a romantic view of the sunset. Only a few columns of the once great temple remain today; still, tourists visit this site where ancient mariners and communities offered prayers and left gifts to the god of the sea to gain his favor.

Santorini

Near the southeastern tip of Greece is the beautiful volcanic archipelago of Santorini, a tourist destination famous for its different colored beaches and warm waters. Santorini also boasts charming towns, and several wineries. Several of its islands are inhabited by villages and each island offers a different experience for tourists – the island of Oia, for example, has the most beautiful sunsets, the island of Perissa has the best beaches, and Fira, the largest island, has a beautiful Grecian village perched on a cliff.

The Ruins of Delphi

The oracle of Apollo is perhaps the most famous oracle in the world. Naturally, people flock the oracle’s ancient site and home, Delphi. In ancient times, Delphi was very significant to the Greeks because it was the site of the omphalos, a stone that supposedly marked the center of the universe. Today, tourists visit Delphi to see the mysterious Sanctuary of Athena with the Tholos and the remnants of the Sanctuary of Apollo, the most sacred site to the ancient Greeks.

Mykonos

Mykonos is where people go to party. The island is known for its dance clubs, bars, and vibrant nightlife. Mykonos has more to offer visitors, however. Its towns boast museums, little local shops and boutiques, quaint cafes, and restaurants that serve delicious food. On the western side of town sits the Mykonos Windmills and the lovely Byzantine church of Panagia Paraportiani and 30 minutes away from town is the archaeological island of Delos, Artemis and Apollo’s birthplace.

Crete

Once the center of the Minoan civilization, Crete today is perhaps the most beautiful place in the Greek islands. With its various landscapes, ancient Minoan and Roman ruins, a sunken city (Olous) where mermaids supposedly live, sandy beaches, ancient Neolithic tombs (Zarkos Gorge), the cave (Ideon Andron) where the infant Zeus was supposedly hidden from his murdering father, and the supposed tree where Zeus and Europa made love for the first time; Crete is truly a romantic and picturesque place to visit.

Mycenae

Mycenae is one of the most famous ancient kingdoms in Greece due in large part to its role in the legendary Trojan War. It was King Agamemnon of Mycenae who led the Greeks to wage war against the city of Troy for the kidnap of Helen, Queen of Sparta. Today, people visit ruins of the once great Mycenaean acropolis, the royal tombs that lay just outside the acropolis, the famous Lion Gate that serves as entrance to the city, and the Treasury of Atreus or the Tomb of Agamemnon.

Knossos, the Minoan Palace

Knossos is the largest archaeological site in the city of Crete and was once the administrative center of the Minoan civilization in Greece. It is said to be the inspiration for the story of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. Much of Knossos today is a reconstruction of the ancient city that would have been wrecked when the Mycenaeans took over.

Corinth

Corinth was one of the major and flourishing cities in the ancient Greek civilization. It was where Alexander the Great officially agreed to lead the Greeks into battle with the Persians. Today, tourists visit Corinth to see the ruins of the temples of Apollo, Aphrodite, and Octavia as well as the Acrocorinth, the Pelrene Fountain, and the Asklepielon. Corinth is considered a sacred site in Greece.

Rhodes

This Greek island in the Aegean Sea was historically famous for the 107-foot the statue of Titan Helios, known to the world as the Colossus of Rhodes, that stood at the city’s entrance. The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The famous statue is long gone, completely destroyed by an earthquake around 224 BC but tourists flock in this historical island for its acropoleis, ancient towns, castles, and monasteries.

Queenstown, New Zealand Adventure Capital

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Enchanting Oceania, Nature

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life occurred on a cool moonlit night in New Zealand. I gazed up from my ground-level lodge’s balcony and saw the most amazing thing: hundreds of thousands of stars radiantly shining like diamonds in the skies. In the background, the vast, snow-capped Remarkables framed an image that I would remember for all time. It was mesmerizing. I didn’t want the moment to end. As it turned out, I was able to repeatedly watch the same star-studded display in almost every place I visited in this vast country of four million people.

New Zealand was once thought of as just a lush, exotic destination somewhere down there, where there are more sheep than human beings, until Peter Jackson brought the country’s stunningly varied terrain to life on the silver screen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Filmed in more than 150 locations all over New Zealand, the trilogy won 17 Oscar awards and catapulted New Zealand into a coveted spot as one of the “must-see destinations” in the world. Its stunning landscapes left audiences so awed that Britain’s Express on Sunday wrote, “If locations were awarded Oscars, New Zealand would scoop the lot.”

But there’s more to New Zealand than movie locations and bungy jumping. The youngest country on earth is swathed in natural and man-made assets making it the perfect place for a holiday, especially during the hot and humid summer months in Asia. Autumn (March to May) and winter (June to August) are great seasons to cool off in one of New Zealand’s sensational spots.

The Karawau Bridge Bungy  © AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

The Karawau Bridge Bungy © AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

It is tempting to follow the throng of holiday-makers in Asia who head to the beach for temporary relief from heat. I, however, say ditch the beach! Instead, pack some warm gear and escape to Queenstown (South Island) to chill out. Celebrated for its magnificent scenery, adventure opportunities and luxury lifestyle, Queenstown sits prettily on Lake Wakatipu. The birthplace of bungy jumping, Queenstown’s wildly exciting environment is irresistible to adventure seekers. It is for this reason that it has been dubbed the adventure capital of the world. This bustling year-round destination simply rocks with adrenalin-stirring, sanity-reducing exploits of the most extreme kind—and a few leisurely pursuits.

Autumn is a relaxing time to witness nature’s landscape transform from luscious green to brilliant red and gold. From March to May, Queenstown has stable, clear weather that allows most outdoor excursions. Every visitor to Queenstown should hike or ride to somewhere high. From the top of almost any hill, magnificent views await. Climb Queenstown Hill or Ben Lomond for fantastic views of Queenstown and beyond. Ride the Skyline Gondola for the classic postcard-perfect shot across Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown. Ride a horse into the high country on a guided trek.

Queenstown’s astounding mountain scenery is even more enjoyable from the deck of a private luxury lodge © Azur

Queenstown’s astounding mountain scenery is even more enjoyable from the deck of a private luxury lodge © Azur

Queenstown is part of the Central Otago region, the fastest growing wine district in the country. Book a wine tour or hire a car and visit the vineyards in Gibbston Valley, known for its seriously good lunches and wine tasting. You can also tour Gibbston’s wine cave and cheese factory. From June to August, Queenstown turns into a winter playground, positively vibrating with snow activities and enthusiasm. With two ski areas in close proximity, this resort town is the place to escape to if you want to beat the sweltering heat in Asia.

Fancy being a part of the apres scene? Queenstown is filled with chic restaurants, nightclubs and cafes. If you’re lucky, you might even get a window seat overlooking snow-capped mountains. A cozy seat by a roaring fireplace where you can snuggle up and drink the night away is also a delightful way to spent an evening.

Head over to minus5º where you can have a drink in a bar that is made of hand-sculpted ice. The walls, the bar, the sculptures, the seats and even the glasses your drinks are poured in, are all crafted out of ice! It is a unique experience that will chill your bones and delight your senses. Let one of the ice guides take you on a tour you will never forget.

Fun in the snow © Chris McLennan

Fun in the snow © Chris McLennan

The two ski fields closest to Queenstown are Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. A mere 20-minute drive uphill, Coronet Peak probably has the most European feel of the lot. Choose a bar or restaurant to relax at and enjoy some of the love music acts on the outdoor stage. You might even see the occasional celebrity accompanied by an entourage.

If your legs are skied-out, try your hands on a gold pan or a fishing rod. There are plenty of exciting activities to choose from. Bungy jumping, horse trekking, 4×4 bike adventures, fishing, golfing, jet boating, tandem skydiving, and white water rafting are just a few of the activities on offer here. Better yet, enjoy lunch on a steam boat or soar in the air in a hot air balloon. There is also a pedestrian mall that links souvenir shops with ski stores and high fashion boutiques to satisfy your shopping itch.

Explore Skippers Canyon with Nomad Safaris. This area offers both amazing man-made and natural features. Following the Shotover River valley, the Skippers Road was carved by hand through solid rock. The road clings to sheer cliff sides with breathtaking drops into the river gorge below. This route has breathtaking views at every hairpin turn, across the spectacular Skippers suspension bridge.
 
The Ledge and Nevis Highwire Bungy sites reinforce the reputation of Queenstown as the “home of bungy”. It offers Queenstown’s only winter night-bungy—suspended 400m above the night lights of Queenstown (open from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 pm). The Ledge Bungy is a harness jump as opposed to the traditional foot tie jump of other sites. It is accessible via the Skyline gondola making this a one-hour return trip experience. 

Queenstown and its neighboring towns are only the tip of the iceberg. There is an abundance of places to experience and attractions to explore. Nature has bequeathed New Zealand with unrivaled beauty. This is the one place on earth that will absolutely take your breath away.

Greek island holidays are very attractive. The various islands all have their own flavour, so you can choose according to your preference. Do you just want the beach or night-life? The right holiday is there for you.

Jimbaran, Bali’s Hip Hotspot

February 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

Bali is an amazing destination that is perfect for your family holiday. But with Kuta and Seminyak filling to the brim with a slew of inhabitants, more and more people are flocking to Jimbaran. Previously famed for its cliff-hugging villas and fresh seafood, more and more establishments are cropping up in the area to serve all kinds of travelers. Could this area be the latest hip spot in Bali in the near future? Follow us, as we unearth the best Jimbaran has to offer.

Photo credit - Chrissy Olson

Photo credit - Chrissy Olson

Eats – Jimbaran Seafood Gallery

Located on the rows of luxury villas in Jimbaran Bay, this area is a popular place with the tourists. The area consisted of around twenty or so restaurants offering fresh seafood and excellent ambiance, with the setting sun, live music and strong winds, right by the beach. Unfortunately, the popularity of the area means the price are quite exorbitant, and some restaurants are not as good as the others. Be sure to come early

Eats – Kedongan Fish Market

The smell of fresh seafood will make your mouth water as you patiently wait for your order to be grilled to perfection. At Kedongan Fish Market, you are able to pick your fresh seafood, and then simply visit one of the many stalls that helps you cook your fish before you can finally eat your catch on the shores of Jimbaran beach. The freshness of seafood and price on offer, a portion of the usual restaurant price, will leave you craving for more.

Eats – PEPeNERO Cucina Italiana

A homey and friendly spot where good times and good food reign – this is the philosophy behind PEPeNERO’s rich taste. This little Italian trattoria has now expanded and even has branches in Jakarta. But the team behind the success has not let that gone to their heads, PEPeNERO is still a cordial trattoria serving some of the best creamy goodness of Italian cuisine. Try out their daily special, and be prepared to fall in gastronomical love all over again.

Photo credit - Valerio Veo

Photo credit - Valerio Veo

Drinks – Rock Bar

Perched on jutting cliffs blessed with breathtaking views, and with the live music stage roosted atop a natural rock that is part of the cliff itself, the Rock Bar is an amazing feat of architectural engineering. Add to that the innovative ways of drinks and food presentation, the Rock Bar is currently the place to see and be seen, and to enjoy that magnificent Balinese sunset as you groove to the music.

Drinks – Nammos Beach Club

Nestled below rugged cliffs, placed atop soft white sand, with beach-side gazebos scattered across the shore facing the mesmerizing waves of the private beach at Karma Kandara, Nammos Beach Club not only offers a heavenly setting, but also a savory Meditteranean and pan-Indonesian cuisine all day long. Check out their international DJ events and twilight screenings of old-time favorite flicks.

Drinks – The Martini Club

The Martini Club is home to 35 classic and contemporary martini mixes, and unlike the other venues at the AYANA Resort, this one is located in the Cliff Villa complex and has an indoor club atmosphere. Drink selecti

Photo credit - Purple Butterfly

Photo credit - Purple Butterfly

ons vary from Ian Fleming 007 Martini to Menehune Martini, and other martini mixes in between with equally interesting monikers. Definitely the place to style your suit up and mingle with other agent in training.

Being a place filled with transplants, Bali also play hosts to plenty other gastronomical delights, such as the Crispy Duck, Nuri’s Spareribs and plenty more. Find out all about it in our list of 12 Must-Do Things in Bali!

Do – Sea Kayaking

A good dose of sea kayaking will do your mind and body well, and Jimbaran has some of the best kayaking spots on the island for you. During the guided kayak tour of Jimbaran Bay, you’ll get to explore caves, coves, blowholes and limestone cliffs before finally riding the wild waves on the paddle back to the starting point. Plenty of companies offer tour packages of Jimbaran Bay sea kayaking, so you’ll do well to shop around and get the best possible deal.

Do – Surf Up

The Balangan beach in Jimbaran is home to one of the best swells the island has to offer. The great thing for surfers is that the beach is decent, and the break is spread out between 3 peaks, all left handers. The swells can hold up to 10 feet, so its more for the advanced surfers.

Photo credit - William Cho

Photo credit - William Cho

See – Pura Luhur Uluwatu

The Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the most important temples on the island. The temple is located on top of the eastern-most cliff in Bali, with amazing views of the Jimbaran Bay all around. The temple also hosts a Kecak Fire Dance performance, a traditional Balinese dance based on an ancient Hindu folklore, the Ramayana. Visitors have to beware however, that there are monkeys all around the temple, and they are prone to snatching anything shiny and glittering.

See – Jenggala Ceramics

Jenggala designs, manufactures and sells stoneware and porcelain ceramics and tabletop accessories. Established in 1976, Jenggala is the foremost producer of quality handcrafted ceramic ware in Indonesia. not only does the compound have a production area, but also a cafe, shop, gallery and workshop space, where the public can take ceramics-making and painting workshops. Their Paint-A-Pot workshops are a fun activity for the little ones, and there are classes for adults too.

For more traveling inspirations in the Island of God, don’t forget to check out our list of 12 Must-Do Things in Bali!


Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of divers paradise in Indonesia.

Kuta Beach Getaway

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

Bali has been Indonesia’s top tourist destination for decades, with Kuta Beach establishing itself as a surfing mecca on Asia’s popular backpacking route in South East Asia. Long golden beaches, stunning coral reefs, a vibrant island culture, international cuisines, luxury shopping, and world-class surfing are just a few of the activities that visitors can enjoy here. Today, Kuta is known as much for its luxury accommodations, fancy restaurants, and posh nightclubs as it is for its wild parties and festivities. Amongst it all we managed to find a few rare gems that have injected a fresh dose of creativity to the lifestyle and glamour of this once sedate fishing village.

Eats – Local Favorites

Smack in the middle of Kuta Square, Dulang Cafe serves unpretentious local cuisine at a reasonable price. You’ll probably notice the bright greenish-blue canopy while you walk and shop around the area. Head in and you’ll find some of the best local fare in town, such as the juicy Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup), which comes in two versions – one with fried meat, and another with stewed meat. Other local favorites include Ayam Penyet and the spicy Sambal Terasi that comes with it!

surf

Play – Surf and Turf

Surfing is the name of the game at Kuta Beach. There are a number of options for surfers of every age and ability, so there’s no reason to miss out on the fun. Kuta Beach is famous for its sandy bottom, which not only creates a relatively safe environment for those just learning, but also allows surfers to cut loose without having to think about any coral reefs or rocks lurking below the surface of the water. Beginners can take their pick of various surfing schools in the area. Two of the most popular are Rip Curl School of Surf and Quiksilver Surf School Bali.

Photo credot - Meaduva

Photo credot - Meaduva

Drinks – Party On

Not far from the Bali bombing memorial, M-Bar-Go, a large two-story bar has recently opened and created some fierce competition with other dance bars in the area. A favorite with expats and locals alike, M-Bar-Go has great music and even holds the occasional fashion show to spice up the atmosphere. Right next to it, Sky Garden is another happening venue.

Stay – Boutique Charm

Deep inside the famed Poppies Lane, dekuta boutique hotel has just recently opened its doors. The hotel is just steps away from the Kuta beachfront, but secluded enough to keep you away from the bin and din of the local nightlife. This unpretentious hotel offers a blend of unique personality and chic interior design. Travelers can expect comfort, ambiance, and flair at an affordable price. We recommend heading to the depalm rooftop bar and lounge to enjoy a mesmerizing Kuta sunset for a fresh change from the usual crowded bars of Kuta.


Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best Family Holiday Deals and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of divers paradise in Indonesia.

Capital Adventures in Canberra

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions, Culture, Enchanting Oceania

Despite the southeast coast of Australia being the most populous and the most popular with tourists, many visitors speed by Australia’s capital city of Canberra on their travels. Others don’t even realise that Australia built Canberra in 1913 for the purpose of being a new capital to stop the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. But no true Australian itinerary is complete without a peek into the orderly streets of Canberra.

Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88

Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88


On first glance, some may find the city a little bland. Despite its straight-laced planned layout and the fact that much of it (including Lake Burley Griffin) is artificial, once you get a feel for the place you’ll quickly find the Canberra charm is undeniable.
Photo credits - avlxyz

Photo credits - avlxyz

Markets

While yes you can head for the traditional high street shopping in the commercial district, why would you when Canberra has so many fantastic Markets? There’s the Old Bus Depot Market which is held every Sunday and a great place to pick up arts and craft souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Come hungry, though, as there are plenty of food vendors offering up lunch and farms selling homemade products also offer up samples. Yum!

If antiques is your thing, you can’t miss the Canberra Antiques Centre east of the city centre in Fyshwick; it’s piled high with fun and funky clothing, art, and all sorts. I kind of feel like it’s a museum in its own right. If you go on Sunday you can also visit the Fyshwick Market. Alas if you can’t make it out to Fyshwick, then check out the Gorman House market on Saturday, which is a bit closer to town and has loads of great antiques.

Alas, if you can’t find what you need at the markets, there’s always the Canberra Centre or City Walk.

Photo credits - Christopher Chan

Photo credits - Christopher Chan

Museums

For a relatively small city, Canberra is just packed full of museums. I suggest you start at the National Capital Museum, which not only offers a great view over the city centre, it also gives a history of how Canberra came to be and more details on its planned layout.

Another must-see is the Australia War Memorial, which isn’t just a war memorial but in fact a world-class museum. It is focused on Australia’s military history, which may sound like a snooze, but the wide range of collections offer a bit of something for everyone.

Lastly, you can’t miss out on exploring both the Old Parliament House and Parliament House of Australia — even though Canberra is quite young, the parliament moved to the new building in 1988. When the new Parliament was built it was the most expensive building in the Southern Hemisphere, but once you see it you won’t question the cost. It is simply stunning, especially at night.

Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88

Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88


Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88

Photo credits - Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88

Scenic Views

This is Australia, after all, so there is no shortage of great views and outdoor scenery. After checking out the Parliamentary views, you should head out of town and see the view from the Black Mountain Tower, a communication tower just a few miles from town. It’s got sweeping views of the city and there’s even a café/restaurant at the top.

Back in town, head straight for the National Botanic Gardens, which has the largest collection of native Australian flora in the country. Check your travel dates to see if you can catch one of their famous jazz evenings – truly a spectacular event, they are free; don’t forget to pack a picnic!

If You Go

Being the capital, Canberra is relatively easy to reach via air, bus, or train. Check out the four hour direct train service from Sydney; it’s better than driving and you’ll pass though the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, a gorgeous spot of land, especially when the train crosses through the Molonglo Gorge.

Unearthing Asia now offers travel packages throughout the region of Asia. Check out our promotional offers of Luxury Private Villas in Bali, perfect for Honeymooners or those looking for a little romance. We also have great offers for hotels in Singapore, resorts in Phuket and many more.

About the Author. Andy Hayes. Andy Hayes is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not crossing the world to have his next Asian travel adventures, he is hitting the walking trails near home. To get in touch or see Andy’s other travelogues, visit his website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Rockingham, Your Aquatic Playground

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Enchanting Oceania

They say Perth is the most isolated city in the world, a fact that gives the impression of a lonely city in the middle of nowhere, far from civilization and any other vestiges of humanity. But in truth Perth’s surroundings leave visitors spoiled for choice for ideas for a driving holiday.

Whichever direction you travel there are fresh and different destinations to explore and quaint holiday resorts set amidst beautiful scenery.

The Rockingham beach is popular with kids. Photo credit - AAAlain.

The Rockingham beach is popular with kids. Photo credit - AAAlain.

On a recent visit to Perth I decided to take a day out and head south to the vibrant and growing coastal centre of Rockingham. The 50 kilometers run down the Kwinana Highway took me about 45 minutes, and although I was expecting just another seaside resort the general feeling of the town and the outstanding scenery gave me a pleasant surprise.

The standout feature and the basis for much of the recreational activity are the beaches. The main beach is Rockingham beach, a white expanse that borders the smooth waters of the Cockburn Sound. Not as crowded as I thought it would be on a summers day, its a great beach for swimming and has a very family atmosphere. There is a wide, concrete cycle-way running up its length that will please exercise junkies, and on the grassy foreshore there are a number of picnic and barbeque areas.

The beach runs down to Point Peron, and below the point is Shoalwater Bay Beach, which is popular because we are allowed to walk our furry four-legged friends on it. Below that beach we come to Warnbro Sound, where apparently there is a nudist beach at Port Kennedy, at the south of the town.

Point Peron. Photo credit - Candice Lee.

Point Peron. Photo credit - Candice Lee.

The slogan that Rockingham has used to promote their tourism is “Your Aquatic Playground”, so much of the recreational activity is water based. The diving and the snorkeling is apparently spectacular although I didn’t do any of it myself, and it is easy to hire the necessary gear and to hire other equipment like jet-skis and tinnies. Tinnies are the transport of choice for fishermen who frequent the bays, coves and beaches of the shoreline trying their luck for the many species here. Jew-fish grow especially large, and are a popular prey.

Point Peron is a popular fishing spot as well, as it has lots of rocky feature and borders a large sandy bay. Its also a great place for a walk, as most of it is a nature reserve and there are a number of footpaths that criss cross the point. Another haunt for fishermen is the jetty at Palm Beach, which has a very tasty deli right next door.

Fairy penguings in Penguing Island. Photo credit - rosswebsdale (top) and Spiros2004 (bottom).

Fairy penguings in Penguing Island. Photo credit - rosswebsdale (top) and Spiros2004 (bottom).

There are a few islands lying off the coastline that are popular amongst tourists seeking a days adventure. Penguin Island lies 700 meters off shore and is home to a colony of fairy penguins from March through to December. You are also likely to see the other local resident, the Australian Sea Lion, on your tour of the island which departs from Mersey Point just south of the township.

There are a few islands lying off the coastline that are popular amongst tourists seeking a days adventure. Penguin Island lies 700 meters off shore and is home to a colony of fairy penguins from March through to December. You are also likely to see the other local resident, the Australian Sea Lion, on your tour of the island which departs from Mersey Point just south of the township.

Further offshore is the larger Garden Island, which is over 10 kilometers in length and has a shoreline which contains an exciting mix of beaches and bays. A haven for wildlife, look out for the native tammar wallaby while you are there.

I was impressed by the upbeat vibe of Rockingham. This is a town that is clearly looking to the future, especially if the huge developments taking place at the Waterfront are anything to go by.

I’d expect that as the Perth city-sprawl extends outwards there will be little to differentiate between Rockingham, Fremantle and Perth, but something tells me that even as this happens it will still hold onto those qualities that make it a classy and peaceful seaside resort. I hope so anyway!

About the Author. Gavin Wyatt. A journalist with a passion for travel. Originally from Zambia he has traveled around the world to end up on the sunny shores of Australia. For more of his articles visit Perth Car Hire.

Tanah Lot – Temple in the Ocean

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Exotic South East

The setting sun paints a mixture of magenta and orange against the dark blue sky. As the tide rises, the spectacular sight of the sacred Tanah Lot Temple takes you in and mesmerizes you. But then, a stray tourist passes by, blocking your line of sight. Not long after, a small children accidentally bumps into you.

The magic is gone, and as you look around it’s easy to see why. Tanah Lot has become a victim of its own popularity. Throngs of tourists crowd the place during sunset, its secret whispers no longer closed to the rest of the world.

The iconic Temple in the Sea. Photo credit - Bram & Vera.

The iconic Temple in the Sea. Photo credit - Bram & Vera.

In 1998, when I first visited the temple, I could still see it from the road side, before I entered the parking area. Cars and visitors were plenty but not packed, you can still park next to the seashore. But now, the area has been commercialized and developed. Hotels were built to fulfill market demand, and every visitor and car has to pay for entrance.

From the parking lot to the temple, lines of handicraft sellers formed orderly on both sides of the pedestal. Numerous tourists inched their way towards the temple, stopping occasionally to buy various goods and souvenirs. Finally, we reached the beach between the temple and the mainland. Hundreds of people are packed there, but you make do and enjoy the mesmerizing view as much as you can.

A low-lying beach separates the temple and the cliff. Photo credit - night86mare (top) and rief (bottom).

A low-lying beach separates the temple and the cliff. Photo credit - night86mare (top) and rief (bottom).

Tanah Lot means Land in the Middle of the Sea. Located in the coast of West Bali, it is one of the sacred temples of Bali which were made to give protection to the island. It was built in the 16th century by Dang Hyang Nirartha, a priest from Java during his travels through south-west coast of Bali. He spent the night on a small island near the main land, and felt a holy atmosphere there. The next morning, he asked the local fisherman to build a temple to worship the God of the Sea on that rock.

Sunset over the Tanah Lot Temple. Photo credit - Hanoian.

Sunset over the Tanah Lot Temple. Photo credit - Hanoian.

The sunset is a popular time to visit, so be warned that the tourist crush can be quite severe. Despite all this however, Tanah Lot remains one of the must-see attractions of Bali.

My suggestion? Splurge a little and enjoy a fine dining experience as you take in the mesmerizing sunset. That way you won’t have to jostle for a spot with the other sight-seers. Stay back later through the sunset, or maybe even come in the wee hours of the morning to catch the rising sun.

About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. Freelance graphic artist and travel fanatic. Twiter-addict and social media novice. Adventure budget traveler and stay home weekend worker. Before working on Unearthing Asia, Nik’s journeyman career has seen him do work for various creative studios in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Singapore and Jakarta. Now that he’s settled down for the time being (till 2010) in Jakarta, he’s focusing his efforts on Unearthing Asia.