Fun-filled Weekend at Caliraya Spring’s Mountain Lake Resort | Laguna

I woke up earlier than usual to meet my friends at the terminal. From there, we will take the bus bound to Sta.Cruz, Laguna and I almost didn’t make it. haha! This time, the group’s destination is Caliraya Spring’s Mountain Lake Resort. Check rates or book here.

1 Caliraya Mountain Spring Clubhouse

When we arrived, the staff welcomed and assisted us inside the clubhouse. We settled down first, had some snack that they prepared and proceeded to the pond for our first activity, feeding the ducks. Yes! You read it right, we can’t keep our giggles seeing how they run and bumped with each other just to get fed. Cute was the only word I can think of to describe how they run together while swaying their tails. Besides, how often do you experience feeding a group of duck in your lifetime? Continue reading

Four Fascinating Historical Facts about Tenerife

At this moment in time, Tenerife is an admired and approved destination among numerous travellers wanting to escape daily life in search of sun, sea, and sand. The biggest of the Canary Islands is also home to nearly half the region’s residents, but it wasn’t always this way.

Tenerife was uninhabited until around 200BC when cave dwellers known as Guanches settled here. For over a millennium, these natives were isolated from the outside world until the Spanish arrived in the 15th century.

From then until the present day, Tenerife has been a part of Spain, which is heavily reflected in the island’s culture and cuisine. But what other facts are there about the island’s fascinating past?

1. The word “Tinerfe” refers to one of the original Guanche monarchs
Although the word “Tinerfe” closely resembles the island’s name and can be seen on various buildings and businesses, it is actually honouring one of the original Guanche monarchs.

Tinerfe had nine children and after his death, each one received a “menceyatos” or municipality on the island to rule over. While Tenerife now consists of 31 municipalities, they are divided up in much the same way.

2. It took two years for Spain to complete its conquest
Military leader Javier Alonso Luis Fernández de Lugo along with around 2,200 soldiers sailed to the shores of Tenerife at the end of 1493 to begin Spain’s conquest of the island. However, the last of the defending Guanches did not surrender until late December 1495.

In addition to fatal injuries suffered in battle, the Guanches also succumbed to various diseases that the Spanish brought over, as the natives had little natural immunity or resistance.

3. Tenerife survived a famous attack from the British
Even though Horatio Nelson was one of Great Britain’s finest military leaders, he failed to conquer the island in 1797. In fact, the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was where a musket ball hit him in his right arm, which later had to be amputated.

To commemorate this victory, Castle Negrillo close to the Parque Maritimo César Manrique hosts an annual re-enactment on 25th July. As you would expect, Nelson always loses.

4. Tenerife was a tourist destination before the 20th century
After a period of stability, Tenerife warmly welcomed visitors to its shores and by the 1890s it was a popular holiday destination. While visitors typically stayed around Santa Cruz and Puero de la Cruz, the whole island embraced the idea of tourism.

However, Tenerife soon entered yet another turbulent period and growth was hampered when the Spanish Civil War began in 1936. After General Francisco Franco was installed as leader of a dictatorship, several of his opponents in Tenerife fled to Cuba and Latin America.

But today, there are no signs of turmoil or trouble and Tenerife has firmly established itself as a thoroughly charming and captivating destination.

Images by Tony Hisgett and Jörg Lange used under the Creative Commons license.

Five Must-do Things for Your Trip to Thailand

A vacation to Thailand is a great way to relax and enjoy some of the finest beaches and natural wonders the world has to offer, while also learning about and experiencing a new culture that is made-up of great cuisine, beautiful art and religious monuments, as well as kind and generous people. While your time in Thailand is bound to present you with a great time no matter what you decide to do, here are five things that you won’t want to miss out on when planning your next trip.

1 Krabi

1. The beaches of Krabi
If you’ve seen a poster advertising the scenic spots of Thailand, odds are you were drawn towards the stunning beaches of Krabi, whose limestone cliffs and caves provide the ultimate seaside atmosphere for any beach goer. Whether you’re interested in water sports and rock climbing, or simply want to sip cocktails, swim, and take in the rays, the beaches of Tham Phra Nang, Railay, and Koh Hong are some of the area’s best.

2 Grand Palace

2. The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are the main attraction that must not be missed while spending time in the vibrant capital city of Bangkok. The Grand Palace was finished in the late 19th-century and features an eclectic mix of elegant European architecture, and traditional Thai artworks and design. The attached grounds of Wat Phra Kaew is home to the Emerald Buddha, and the temple is considered to be the most important religious site for Thai Buddhists.

3 Erawan Falls

3. Erawan Falls and the Bridge on the River Kwai
Located just outside the sleeping jungle village of Kanchanaburi, Erawan Falls and the Death Railway (made famous by the film the Bridge on the River Kwai) provide visitors with a natural wonder and a historic site. The multi-tiered falls are some of the finest in the country and feature wonderful swimming holes, natural rock slides and crystal clear waters. The railway is an emotionally powerful site, where many forced labourers and POWs lost their lives working under the Japanese military in WWII.

4 Chiang Mai

4. Chiang Mai
The capital of the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai sits in the foothills and is a quaint and picturesque town that has ancient city walls and is surrounded by mountain jungle and rainforest. If anyone is looking to spend a little time outdoors, you’ll find great trekking, elephant sanctuaries, and rafting just a short drive from the center of town (which you can access through tours). Be sure to also try out some of the north’s famous street food.

5 Sukhothai

5. Sukhothai
One of the ancient capitals of the Kingdom of Siam, Sukhothai came of age in the 13th and 14th century, and today features a vast variety of relics that are the best examples of the era’s architecture and style. From massive sculptures of Buddha to ancient temples, a bike ride through these grounds will make you feel as if you’ve travelled back in time.
Wherever you decide to head to in Thailand, there are plenty of great sites to see and natural wonders to explore, all of which will add up to an extremely special experience.

Images by Nicolas Vollmer , Thomas Jaehnel , Ian Armstorng , xiquinhosilva and Brian Fagan used under the Creative Commons License.