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Vientiane: Exploring the Capital City

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Vientiane is a more a small village than a bustling city. It has a serene and relaxed vibe to it. I came across several attractions which makes it the ideal place to spend your weekend prior to heading off to the other parts of the country. The natural beauty and galore of Buddhist temples make it a must-visit destination. Here are some things that you can do when you are in Vientiane.

Check Out the Patuxai Victory Monument

It was my first stop in the city. It is one of the most well-known landmarks. The structure has been designed to resemble Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. I found the structure to be carved with Hindu symbols. You will come across 5 towers that resemble the makings of Laotian buildings. I loved walking through this serene area. Climbing to the top of the monument, I caught a glimpse across Vientiane.

Drop in at Xieng Khuan

About 25 kilometers outside the city, you are going to find Xieng Khuan. It is also known as Buddha Park. What surprised me was that this place harbors over 200 religious statues which are strewn over the green field. The piece to watch out for is the 40 meters high Buddha which had been created by a monk in 1958. The sculpture of Indra, the kind of Hindu God, is also quite unique.

Marvel at Wat Ho Phra Keo

It is a Buddhist temple I found in the city. This structure is simply spectacular. It has become popular since it used to be the place that had statues of Emerald Buddha that had been stolen from Laotian royalty of Thailand prior to being retaken in the year 1778 and then being returned. The temple is quite pretty in itself. It was worth a visit.

Vang Vieng: Spending Time amongst Nature

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Vang Vieng used to have a pretty wild reputation in previous times. The reason is it used to attract a young crowd that came in for a cheap drink and to take a swim in the river. However, in 2012, the government decided on renewing its image. Now, it is more focused on cultural activities rather than just partying hard.  It is the natural beauty of the city that attracted me here.

Here is my list of things to do when you are visiting Vang Vieng.

Go Rock Climbing

I love adventure. This is the reason I planned for a little rock-climbing. You can rent the equipment if you don’t have one. Also, if you are new to this, there is a school to train you. There are many options available. I went for a full day but there are half-day and multi-day options available. Keep in mind that some routes are going to be closed in the rainy season.

Tubing

Get an inflatable tube to go to the Mulberry Farm for some tuk-tuk. Floating down the stream you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful scenery. Make a pit stop to play volleyball. Make sure that you carry your sunscreen. I got a dry bag from the souvenir shop as it is important to keep your clothes and your phone dry.

Hiking

Go hiking on the flat land around the river. I simply fell in love with the natural beauty of the spot. You can also go for uphill climbing wading across the river and scrambling up rocks. I hiked to Phagern Mountain top. The clear blue sky against the white flag is just ethereal. It is actually a 30 minutes climb to the top against boulders and wooden ladders. However, the view makes the visit worth it.

El Jadida – The Magnificent City

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The city is the oldest and the largest city among Morocco. The city more than being the holiday destination for the tourists is used as one for the residents around the country. My friend Mark who owns UJS Inc told me about the numerous beaches with sands so deep that you can feel it to your knees. He said I should consider visiting during the summer months but be warned that the beaches here get really busy and the streets of the town start getting bustled up with lots and lots of tourists. The city might seem like a poor city but is filled with welcoming and happy people all around. The city was designed in the early sixteenth century. Here are some of my recommendations for visitation in the city.

El Jadida Beach

This is the main beach in the city which is always bustling with either the locals or the visitors or both of them, the residents of the city are very keen of visiting the beaches even in the slightest of the winter season that falls upon Morocco. This is the prime attractions of the city, which brings almost half of the tourists here. The beach is really premier because of the sand here. The sand here is cool as ice, even in the summers when the sun is shining right upon them giving away all its heat with the mightiest of its power.

Portuguese Cuisines

If you have come to the city, you have to have the Portuguese cuisines that are offered by almost every restaurant here. The atmosphere in most of the restaurants is very gloomy and gothic given the atmosphere around the city. Several restaurants also offer you story reading shows where you can actually hear about all the spooky stories locals have to offer and you hear them from the locals itself. It is very fascinating and interesting.

At Mazatlán Have The Fun Unlimited

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Mexico has some of the most wonderful cities and Mazatlán is one of them. It is the Mexican resort town that has the Pacific shoreline and the city is in Sinaloa. I got to know about this city through one of my friends who is from Mexico only. He told me about the sandy beaches of Mazatlan and the fun of fishing there, some of the cities most famous landmarks. So, I decided to travel to Mazatlan to check it. There is no shortage of accommodation here; you will get good and affordable hotels anytime. And the city is really a fun place to come on holiday.

The first place that I visited in the city was the beach that my friend told me about. It is a 21km-long Clearwater beach. And it is world renowned for big-game fishing. Then I saw the Centro Histórico landmarks belong to the 19th century, along with the performance hall Teatro Ángela Peralta as well as Immaculate Conception basilica the towering. He had told me about the Zona Dorada as well, about its nightlife, so I decided to explore that as well as trust me if you are a nightlife lover, don’t miss the place. There are ample discs present with lots and lots of entertainment and food options.

It is not like beach and nightlife are the only attraction of Mazatlán. The offshore is equally vibrant. Isla de Pájaros, Isla de Venados, and Isla de Lobos have water in surrounding and it encompasses the marine reserve. It attracts the kayakers and snorkelers from all over the world. I too tried this and my experience was amazing. You can also try snorkeling and kayaking under expert supervision.

The other popular and interesting beaches here are Playa Gaviotas, Playa Olas Altas, and Playa Sábalo. These are famous for water sports such as surfing, water skiing etc. So, when you in Mazatlán, you will have water fun unlimited.

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