A Dane's Destinations

Month: January 2020


The ancient Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument. This alone is reason enough to have this destination on your bucket list of ‘must visit’ places. Constructed in the 12th century, today the Angkor Wat temple is seen as a symbol of Cambodia. The temple complex is located over approximately 400 square km and was recognized as a UNESCO World heritage sight in 1992.

Angkor Wat temple

Location

The temple is located just a few miles from the modern-day town of Siem Reap. Like the rest of Cambodia, the weather in this location is hot. So, be prepared for a day of heat and humidity when undertaking this journey.

Traveler’s Tip

You can rent a bike from Siem Reap to visit this tourist spot. It is easily accessible via main roads and streets.

Visiting Angkor Wat

While the weather is usually hot and humid, there is some respite during the months of December, January, and February. So, make sure that you plan your visit sometime during these three months. It is amazing that there is anything left of the site considering how overgrown it was when it was rediscovered. Especially with the large strangler fig trees that have roots going everywhere.

Angkor Wat strangler figs

Traveler’s Tip

Avoid the rainy season which begins in May.

How to Reach?

Siem Reap is the closest town to the temple of Angkor Wat. You can reach Siem Reap by flight, train, or bus. The city also boasts of plenty of hotel accommodation for tourists that arrive from all over the world. From Siem Reap, you can rent bicycles, motor bikes, or even tuk-tuks to reach the temple.

Traveler’s Tip

Make sure you avoid transportation and visa scams that are rampant in this region.

Entrance Fees

While the temple complex attracts a substantial entrance fee, very little of this is pumped back into the Cambodian economy. Additionally, most of the temple restoration activities are handled by international organizations. The entrance fees as of 2017 are as follows,

  • Day pass – $37
  • 3-day pass – $62
  • 7-day pass – $72

Traveler’s Tip

Dress appropriately, meaning, keep your shoulders and knees covered.

Tours & Guides

Angkor Wat is rich in history, so hiring guidance services can also be a good option. You can consider an independent guide or be part of a tour. A tour might feel slightly rushed, but if you are pressed for time then you can cover more ground with it.

Traveler’s Tip

Make sure you hire a licensed guide. There are plenty of rogue guides around.

Although the civilization that built the magnificent Angkor Wat temple went extinct centuries ago, it left behind a structure that has awed millions of tourists to date. Even though the Angkor Wat failed to make it to the 7 wonders of the modern world, it still remains one of the most popular tourist destinations globally. This concise guide is designed to help first time travelers to Cambodia. While the country has moved into the twenty-first century, you are likely to find scamsters every now and then. So, make sure that you do thorough research before you board your plane and avoid getting caught up in a scam.


Hawaii, the 50th state of the USA, is a famous holiday destination. An archipelago with 8 main islands, Hawaii is famous for its breathtaking volcanic landscapes, as well as colored sand beaches, rich native culture, and delicious cuisine.

It offers a large variety of activities, including but not limited to surfing, snorkeling, hiking, camping, fishing, scuba diving, and skiing.

Information for planning

The best time to visit is either April-May or September-October as the weather is favorable, the crowd is sporadic and the flight and lodging fares are not inflated. December-March is the peak season.

The average temperatures range from 22°C to 33°C almost throughout the year. The summers, June through October, are generally hot while the winters, December through March, are mild and pleasant.

Decide on how many islands you want to visit and plan to spend between 5 and 7 days per island.

What to see?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kīlauea and Mauna Loa) and the famous Chain of Craters Road. It also features some unique volcanic exhibits. There are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds too.

Hawaii Volcano

Honolulu, Oahu

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. The primary attractions are the Waikiki crescent beach and Diamond Head, a dormant volcano, next to the beach. The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates the events of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Also, not to be missed is the fining dining, shopping and nightlife experience while in the city.

Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai

Waimea Canyon State Park is a large canyon, 10 miles long and 3000 feet deep, also known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. A geological wonder with red and orange canyon walls with tinges of lush green vegetation, it’s a must-see.

Haleakalā National Park, Maui

This national park is named after the dormant Haleakalā volcano and is famous for views of the sun rising over the crater walls. Divided into the Summit and Kīpahulu (Coastal) districts, each with several breathtaking attractions, the park also cares for several endangered native bird species including the magnificent Hawaiian Geese.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Regarded as one of the most beaches beautiful in the world, this picturesque white sand beach is known for its calm waters and also its excellent beach side facilities.

Nā Pali Coast State Park, Kauai

Nā Pali is a mesmerizing coastline accentuated by towering emerald cliffs, splendid waterfalls and lush valleys that can be explored by land, water, or air.

North Shore of Oahu

North Shore of Oahu is a 17-mile long coastal area known as a paradise for surfing and snorkeling enthusiasts. Professional surfing contests take place throughout the surfing season.

Road to Hana, Maui

Road to Hana is a 64-mile long route connecting Kahului to the town of Hana. The drive has panoramic views on both sides and has legendary tales associated with many of those sites.

Road to Hana

Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Molokaʻi

Once a leper colony and prison, the park is now a major tourist attraction in remote Hawaii. People keen about exploring the native history, find it especially enchanting.

Parting note

If you haven’t already visited Hawaii, it deserves to be a candidate destination for your next dream vacation. Its unique offerings would not only ensure an enjoyment-filled and satisfactory vacation, but also a memorable one for years to come. 

An avid skier? You might like this article about skiing here.


When you search for the best skiing destinations in the world, the name “Whistler” or “Whistler Blackcomb” will likely feature at or near the top in the results. This ski resort, the largest in North America, attracts nearly two million visitors per year. It has also been the venue for several continental and international ski events, including the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

This article is an attempt to familiarize the reader with Whistler, its ski slopes, and facilities.

Location and ideal time to visit

Whistler is located on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia. It is 80 miles (2 hours) away from Vancouver and 220 miles (4 hours) from Seattle. It experiences snow from mid-November until May. The average annual snowfall is roughly 12m.

The place is very crowded around Christmas, New Year, and public holidays. Weekends also draw large crowds, especially when the forecast is for clear skies.

The place and the surroundings

There are three bases in all, namely Whistler Village, Upper Village, and Creekside. The Whistler Village is neat and car-free, which makes it ideal for roaming around when one is not out skiing.

The slopes lie on the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb with a combined ski area of 8,171-acre. Whistler is slightly larger in terms of acreage. Both mountains have about 100 trails each.

The resort also operates on-site heli-skiing, which opens up an additional 400,000-plus acres to the skiers.

The facilities

The resort boasts extensive top-to-bottom slopes with roughly 1,600m on Blackcomb and 1,500m on Whistler.

There are more than 200 marked trails. The two mountains share eight terrain parks between them, sprawling over 100 acres. The terrains are rated according to their difficulty levels and contain an Olympic standard superpipe, 150-plus features, and 40-plus jumps. There is also a course for ski cross events. Twenty percent of the overall ski area is for beginners, fifty percent for intermediate-skilled, and thirty percent for experts.

The Dave Murray downhill slope, with a 900m descent culminating in Creekside, is one of the most popular. It was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The lift system

The skiing area is served by ~40 lifts with a Peak-2-Peak gondola linking Whistler and Blackcomb at mid-mountain. Both mountains can thus be accessed with equal ease from any of the three resort bases. Each cabin in the Peak-2-Peak gondola can hold nearly 30 skiers at a time.

There is a 10-passenger gondola at Blackcomb to reach the top. Both the mountains have modern, high-speed 4 and 6 passenger chair lifts to ascend. Collectively, the system can lift 4,000 skiers per hour to ski down.

Conclusion

If you’re an ardent skiing fan and haven’t yet been to Whistler, it’s time to plan as part of your next skiing vacation. You’ll never find yourself skiing the same slope repeatedly as you’ll never run out of new terrain to explore.

January 2020
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