The ultimate neat guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (or any mountain as a matter of fact).

Friday, March 25, 2016 Hiking and Walking by admin

When my husband told me he would love to climb Mount Kilimanjaro I was skeptical at first.

Don’t get me wrong:

I am an ultimate activity fan and I don’t shy away from tents, camping or absence of shower.

Read more

Koh Samui

Friday, March 18, 2016 Uncategorised by Kyle Jenkins

Koh Samui located in the Gulf of Thailand is the Thailands second largest island. The island is very well known for its crafts and coconut grows as well as 5-star resorts and exquisite spas. Koh Samui is also a mid-point for people travelling to Koh Tao for diving and Koh Pha Ngan for its world famous full moon parties. The island features 12 meters tall statue of Big Buddha located on a small semi-island connected to Koh Samui. Most travellers come to Koh Samui for relaxation and beautiful beaches or stop here for a few days before they continue to other remote islands. There are several boat tours, ATV adventures and jungle trekking experiences available in the isle that will introduce you to the authentic Thai culture and traditions.

places to see in Koh Samui

Lanzarote

Monday, March 14, 2016 Uncategorised by Kyle Jenkins

Lanzarote are well known for being the most volcanic island of the Canaries. Walking through this UNESCO biosphere protected land will lead you discovering this lunar-like landscape covered in craters, valleys, solidified lava, canyons and geysers. See for yourself how this 22 million-year-old volcanic presence captures the magic of Lanzarote. This charming place is a land of bold contrasts, from black and gold sandy beaches to the hidden countrysides and lush forests with exotic species. Holiday resorts are nestled near traditional fishing villages living harmoniously together. Lanzarote accommodates all types of explorers. The ecological wonders of Timanfaya National Park for hikers, Chinijo Archipelago Nature Reserve for bird lovers and colourful underwater sea life for scuba divers. It is the best opportunity to take a break from your urban every-day life and enjoy all the surprises this island has to offer.

places to see in Lanzarote

Climbing in Chiang Mai: Crazy Horse Mountain and many more

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

People visit Thailand for numerous different reasons: the food, the culture, the beaches, the mountains, the diversity. Others visit Thailand for the rocks. Rock climbing in Thailand has been a growing tourist appeal over the past few decades. Most climbers head south to Krabi or Railay Beach for massive limestone cliffs overhanging white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Then there are the other climbers who head north to Chiang Mai for a quieter, cooler climbing experience.

Hidden amongst the bamboo forests and rice paddies lies a collection of cliffs waiting to be scaled. Climbing in Chiang Mai has only been a recent discovery, thanks to a small group of dedicated climbers. The Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co. (CMRCA) was founded in October 2002 and has since been devoted to building the climbing community in Chiang Mai.

The Chiang Mai rock climbing movement started with The Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co. (CMRCA). The firm is devoted to building the climbing community in Chiang Mai. With the help of the climbing community, the cliffs in Chiang Mai became protected. Moreover, the climbers often help the locals and introduce foreigners to the Thai traditions and culture. They collaborate with local companies such as the truck drivers and small restaurants. Instead of having climbers figure out their own means of transportation to Crazy Horse Buttress aka Crazy Horse Mountain, they offer a lift system which helps provide an income for locals.

People who live and work in the Chiang Mai mountains, want to preserve them for as long as they can. When the community started noticing all of the plastic water bottles left around Crazy Horse Mountain from climbers The Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co. decided it was time for a change. They have installed free refill water stations around the climbing walls, hence in some places you can get a free refill when you climb.

Climbing Spots and Rocks in Chiang Mai

All in all, there are several locations where you can do outdoor climbing in Chiang Mai, Crazy Horse Mountain is the most popular one, while Chiang Dao is the most remote and authentic one. Each of them has its own benefits and challenges.

Crazy Horse Buttress

A scenic drive twenty-five miles north of Chiang Mai will take you to Mae On Valley, home of the rock climbing in Chiang Mai. Crazy Horse Mountain, originally called Crazy Hot, is a collection of rocks with one of the largest boulders resembling a horse, hence the name.

Karisak Boonthip laid the first routes on Crazy Horse Mountain back in 1998. Shortly after, Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures took over the development and upkeep turning the handful of routes into over two hundred different climbs.

The area surrounding the mountain has also grown, now providing shady bamboo huts and restaurants as well as a drinkable water system. Installed by The Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co. the mountain has a free water refill system, which helps you find the nearest refill location using a phone app. The app’s name is REFILL and it is free to download. Your phone pinpoints your location by using the GPS system and the app then shows you all of the refill water stations in your area.

The difficulty of the climbs range from beginner to advanced with each route providing a different experience.Crazy Horse Buttress is comprised of 15 or so cliffs with heights ranging from fifteen to ninety meters tall. The cliffs offer a little bit of everything for climbers such from technical slabs to jamming cracks and multi-pitch roof adventures.

There is a restaurant at the base of the mountain that is open for daily lunches at a low price.

Aircon Wall

A short walk from the Crazy Horse Buttress will lead you to Aircon Wall. This has become a popular spot to climb during the peak hours of sunlight as it is close to the mouth of a cave which provides shade and a nice breeze.

Most of the climbs here are short and steep with some sharp rocks in places. Most of the times you can do Aircon Wall together with Crazy Horse Buttress.

Archway North and South

As the name suggest, there is an archway to the far right of Crazy Horse Buttress. A short four-meter climb into the archway leads to routes on both the right and left side. The right-hand side is the Archway South and the left-hand side is the Archway North. The archway provides protection from the elements allowing guests a chance to climb in the rain or sun. It is also a nice place for lunch or an afternoon nap.

The Furnace

The furnace provides quite the mountain climbing adventure. A short walk from the parking lot, the furnace faces south and thus the sunshine bombards the wall all day long. Despite the heat, the climb is consistent and fun as well as a challenge for climbers.

The Ant Hill

The Ant Hill is a collection of six routes on a thirty-meter overhanging limestone cliff. The routes actually fall in a monk’s backyard giving the space an even more quiet and peaceful atmosphere. There are caves surrounding the base of the routes providing a cool breeze. There are ants in the area so if climbing with food it is best to keep it hidden and packed away. Bees are also present along the wall so it’s smartest to stay out of their way.

Anxiety State Crisis Cave

The Anxiety State Crisis Cave is a very different type of climb. Also known as Tham Wiung Fah, the massive cavern excites the adventurous types looking to try something new. Those brave enough to try this crazy rock climbing adventure must have a bit of experience and the proper equipment.

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure originally explored the cave back in January 2009. They returned in April of the same year on a thirty-three-hour trip to reach the deepest part of the cave at more than two-hundred and fifty meters.

In April 2015, they began their first guided tours of the cave. One can access the cave from an entrance near the Air Con wall. The route is just inside the cave and offers insane exposure. You can also climb up and enter from the top descending 70 meters into the cave. Entering from the mouth of the cave is a steep descent along the left-hand side. There are several different chambers and passages in the cave that carry you over slick boulders. At some places, rock climbers must scramble on hands and knees through the dark crevices of the cave. You will need helmets and lights for this adventure.

Chiang Dao

Heading even further north of Chiang Mai sits the Chiang Dao National Park. Inside the national park is Doi Chiang Dao, one of the highest peaks of Daen Lao Range on the Thai side. The Chiang Dao National park is popular for its secluded and beautiful summit and for bird watching. It is one of the most visited spots in Thailand for bird watching with over three hundred different species of birds. There are also caves and hot springs nearby.

Chiang Mai mountain tour

Doi Chiang Dao is a stunning limestone mountain that was discovered by Mountain Design in July 2007. The Chiang Dao area has a total of 25 routes. They provide climbs for beginners starting out as well as intermediate and advanced climbers.

Climbing Training Centers and Tour Organizers

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure Co.

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure Co. has capitalised on the growing rock climbing sport in northern Thailand. One of the originators, Josh Morris, was living in Chiang Mai in 2001 as a local climber. He travelled to the United States with his partner Kat to climb, explore and train. It was shortly after their trip that they decided to open a climbing company in Chiang Mai.

They built up Crazy Horse and are delighted to see it grow from a few simple routes to over one hundred. The staff at Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure was feeling a little down when they weren’t able to climb as often due to booming business. They decided to build a bouldering wall at their office to solve that problem. The Chiang Mai Climbing Club was created in April 2004.

The bouldering wall is twenty-four meters fun and ever changing routes for beginners to learn on and for advanced climbers to practice their skills on. The gym is a safe and comfortable place for the staff and visitors to have fun and explore the world of climbing.

They offer one-day passes or month long memberships for those staying around a little longer. Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure Co. are the only climbing company in Chiang Mai that offers guided climbs and gear for purchase or for rent. The other unique thing that they offer at the climbing club is the chance to find a climbing partner. There is a bulletin board with postings from people passing through the area searching for someone to climb with.

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure is dedicated not only to providing a safe and fun time for guests but also to help their team to grow and develop. The staff at Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure is comprised of twenty or so rock climbing advocates who live and breathe climbing. Most of them are Thai natives who first came to Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure with little to no knowledge of rock climbing.

John Morris has strived to provide the locals with a chance to better themselves by encouraging them to further their education in the climbing world. Certifications such as Wilderness Advanced First Aid from the Wilderness Medical Associates place John’s staff a notch above the rest. They are knowledgeable and excited to share what they know with visitors of Chiang Mai.

One very special person in their family has been around since the very beginning. He is fondly called Uncle and has been a presence at Crazy Horse Buttress through it all. Loong Nan is a sixty-something-year-old Thai man who looks after Crazy Horse as if it was his baby. He is found working to repair bamboo huts near the base of the mountain or clearing the paths of debris. There is never a day that goes by that he is not there looking after things.

They also host a yearly Crag Clean Up Day in which the staff and volunteers spend the day in the mountains helping to maintain the trails, pick up trash and build belaying stands. After lunch, they spend the afternoon climbing together and enjoying each other’s company. Overall, CMRCA is dedicated to providing a safe, clean and enjoyable climbing experience.

No Gravity Co.

No Gravity Co. is an indoor rock climbing gym located in Chiang Mai. While they do not offer an outdoor route or tour, they do provide an alternative climbing atmosphere. Opened in April 2013, No Gravity allows people a chance to explore climbing and see if it’s right for them.

The gym has routes as high as twelve meters and over 370 square meters of climbing space. The routes vary in difficulty with some going straight up and down. While others have obstacles throw in for an added challenge. They teach you the basics of how to belay and secure your ropes. If you are visiting for a day they provide one-day tickets. However, if you live in the area they offer one, three or six-month long memberships.

There are also different courses provided for top rope and lead climbing. No Gravity is a good place for beginners to learn about safety rules and proper use of equipment. After you are done with the basic skills you can head out to the walls in Chiang Mai.

Koh Samui Waterfalls

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. The country is known for its beautiful scenery. The diverse landscape will give you everything from mountains to rainforests to beaches, many of which are available to enjoy on your trip. Many visitors come to Thailand to experience this natural beauty. One of the biggest attractions of Thailand is its waterfalls.

Thailand waterfalls are very unique. There are a lot of waterfalls located around Thailand and offer different experiences when you visit. Some waterfalls are great for viewing purposes only while other waterfalls give you the opportunity to swim in them. You can discover both kinds and much more in Thailand. A destination with the some of the best Thailand waterfalls is Koh Samui.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand. This island is the second largest island in Thailand and has a lot of features that tourists enjoy. The island is a major tourist destination for Thailand, so many of the offerings and activities on Koh Samui are perfect for tourism. The island has many resorts, shopping, and entertainment. Koh Samui’s shores are amazing beaches with views looking out into the gulf with clear waters and white sand. Many people come to Koh Samui for the relaxing beach life. The middle of Koh Samui is a large jungle. This jungle is a great place to explore on Koh Samui to discover the unique nature of the island. The wildlife and plant life is very diverse here. One of the coolest features hidden in the jungles are the Koh Samui waterfalls.

Koh Samui Jungle

The Koh Samui jungle covers a significant portion of the island making it a great place to explore. The jungle is very mountainous, so visitors navigate their way throughout via several methods. Several tours are held for exploring the jungle, and these are often conducted with Jeeps or 4×4 that will wind throughout the jungle and mountains. Another recreational activity includes mountain biking. Hiking is also an option for getting around. Hiking is Koh Samui is one of the best options for getting an up-close experience with everything the jungle has to offer.

where is Koh Samui Jungle

The jungle is home to many attractions of Koh Samui. Hiking the mountainous areas of the jungle will give you some of the best locations for amazing views overlooking Koh Samui. There are several known plateaus throughout the jungle for 360 viewpoints of the island and the Gulf of Thailand. The jungle also holds several religious functions. The Buddhist temple and garden are often visited during many Koh Samui hiking journeys.

The Koh Samui waterfalls are what attracts a lot of people to the jungle. The island has several popular waterfalls, and a lot of visitors enjoy the fact that you can swim in them. Some of the top waterfalls include the Namuang Waterfalls and the Secret Falls.

Namuang Waterfalls

The Namuang Waterfalls consists of two waterfalls, Namuang Waterfall 1 and Namuang Waterfall 2. The Namuang Waterfalls are close by the Nathon Bay of Koh Samui and a short walk inland from this beach. The trails used to reach these falls were developed by the locals before other paved roads were established throughout the jungle.

The Namuang Waterfalls translates in the “Purple Waterfalls.” The rocks that the waterfalls flow down give off a purple tint with the reflection of the water. This is how the falls got their name. The waterfall is considered to be two waterfalls since it has two individual streams that flow into their own respective natural pools. You will reach Namuang Waterfall 1 when you first approach the falls, and as you climb higher, you will run into Namuang Waterfall 2. These waterfalls are great photo opportunities to capture the most well-known waterfalls on Koh Samui.

what is Koh Samui Jungle

The Namuang Waterfalls are often explored while taking a beach break because of its proximity. The water fun is continued at the falls, however. You will come across many travellers, families, and locals enjoying the warm water of the falls. Keep in mind the best times to visit the waterfalls here for the best experience. The wet season is ideal for visiting Namuang Waterfalls because the streams and natural pools will be more full.

There is a variety of things to see and do even while just at the waterfalls. There are several vendors located around the area. You will find many food vendors and can also buy souvenirs of the Namuang Waterfalls. There are also many guided tours for navigating around the waterfalls as well as a nearby Elephant walking tour. The Namuang Safari Park is located in between the two waterfalls which have plenty of family fun entertainment.

Hin Lad Waterfall

The Hin Lad Waterfall is another exciting waterfall that you must see while in Koh Samui. At the beginning of the trail leading up to the waterfall, you will come across the Hin Lad Waterfall Temple. This is an active Buddhist Temple that is open to the public to stop by before the hike up. This is usually crowded during the weekends by locals.

Koh Samui Jungle tour

Part of the pleasure of the Hin Lad Waterfall is reaching it. The waterfall is located in the elevated jungle, so you will be required to hike a short distance. The benefit to the hike is the numerous viewpoints along the way. You will have views over Koh Samui as you walk up. There are also several stalls of food vendors and souvenirs that you will encounter on the way to the falls.

The Hin Lad Waterfall is the second largest waterfall of Koh Samui. This waterfall also flows into small freshwater pools. You’ll surely want to take a swim in these pools after the climb to the falls. The falls are seen best during the wet season when it will be more water flow from the waterfall and into the pools.

Secret Falls

The Koh Samui Secret Falls lives up to its name. The official name of the Secret Falls is the Tang Rua Waterfall, but this is not a familiar name, even to the locals. The Secret Falls got its name because of its location. Reaching these falls takes a bit more navigation and can often be confusing to newcomers to the waterfall. The Secret Falls are located deep in the jungle and within the mountains of Koh Samui. Many routes leading to the waterfall often require both foot and vehicle exploration. This waterfall will surely be worth the trip.

The Secret Falls is the 3rd largest waterfall in Koh Samui. The stream flows into a natural pool, so it’s a great location for swimming. There are several reasons that make the Secret Falls a good choice for a relaxing swim. The falls are a bit more challenging to reach as compared to the other Koh Samui waterfalls, so many tourists opt out of visiting the Secret Falls. This means fewer visitors that are likely to be at the falls, so you have more space to enjoy. The second reason is the surrounding environment of this waterfall. The Secret Falls are within the mountains, so it’s surrounded by cliffs and tall trees which form a canopy overhead, even shielding you from the sun.

Tartain Waterfall

Tartain Waterfall is a waterfall that might have some difficulty with accessibility too but definitely worth the journey once you arrive. This waterfall is located deep in the mountains so it may require some vehicle and hiking skills to navigate the route here. It’s one of the top waterfalls on the island, so there will be plenty of signs directing your way.

The Tartain Waterfall is named after the landowner who discovered the waterfall. The owner proceeded to establish a small park around the waterfall. Much of the area is developed with pavilions, swings, bed, etc. There are also food vendors available here. The park is good for relaxation and taking the time to enjoy the waterfall. The Tartain Waterfall is a large waterfall that flows into a natural pool. This waterfall is also created by a stream, so it’s seen best during the wet season. Many tourists and locals enjoy swimming in the heated water here.

Tar Nim Waterfall

Not all the famous waterfalls on Koh Samui are naturally developed. Tar Nim’s Magic Garden is a common stop for many Koh Samui tours. The magic garden was built as a Buddhist garden and retreat into nature for relaxation. At the entrance to this garden, you will see the Tar Nim Waterfall. This waterfall is man made and now flows into the jungle. Even so, it is recognised as one of the Koh Samui waterfalls. It is small in comparison to the other natural waterfalls found around the island. This waterfall is appreciated more for photos and its contribution to the serene garden atmosphere than for swimming like many others.

Lat Wanorn Waterfall

The Lat Wanorn waterfall is a good waterfall option if you’re looking for a truly unique waterfall to Koh Samui. The waterfall used to be a big attraction on a dedicated eco-tour around Koh Samui. Once the tour route eventually closed and familiarity with this waterfall declined as well. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a private waterfall experience. You have a better chance when you visit Lat Wanorn.

Lat Wanorn differs from the other Koh Samui waterfalls because of how the water flows. It has the same stream characteristics as the other falls, but the water here flows down a flat rock which creates the waterfall effect. There is also a natural pool here for swimming, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take a dip. This waterfall is nearby to a few other waterfalls and even observation decks as you continue along the trail that led here.

Other Koh Samui Waterfalls

Koh Samui has many other waterfalls that each have a different experience to them. This can include the hike to reach the waterfall, the size, or just the surrounding area. The combination of the jungle and mountains of the Koh Samui landscape make it ideal for waterfalls, so there is a range of options all around the island. Some other notable waterfalls include Khun Si, Yhow Yai, Siva Tara, and Wang Sao Thong. Many Koh Samui tours provide the best way to get a look at multiple waterfalls in one trip.

Koh Samui Waterfall Tours

The Koh Samui waterfalls are a must-see for anyone visiting the island, but not all of them are easy to reach. This is especially the case for newcomers to the island. Koh Samui provides many tours that can take you to any waterfall that you wish. You can find many half day tours and whole day tours for the excursion. They typically vary in transportation method, time spent at the waterfall, and how many waterfalls you have time to see.

Many roads have been developed running through the Koh Samui jungle. You can find several tours that will take you on a Jeep or other off-road vehicle through the jungle to reach the falls. These are guided tours that let you sit back to enjoy the ride while enjoying the trip through the brush. The mountains are also great for mountain biking, so these are used during tours as well.

Many tourists take part in elephant trekking tours to the waterfalls organised by elephant shelters throughout the jungle. But we don’t recommend taking one, as elephants are not treated well in these shelters. Moreover, this is a very hard physical exercise for such a big animal, to get up a waterfall through the jungle. If you would like to learn more about the unethical treatment of animals in Thailand and why you should encourage any of them, please read our blog post – https://activityfan.com/thai-elephant-trekking-not-3/.

Explore Koh Samui

Beaches aren’t the only attraction to Koh Samui. There is plenty more to explore about the island if you have time. The Koh Samui jungle is full of opportunities for an exciting experience while on Koh Samui. The Koh Samui waterfalls are one of the perks on the jungle. There are so many waterfalls here that you will surely find an ideal one to enjoy for your taste. Whether that’s large waterfalls, man-made waterfalls, and even secret falls. The Thailand waterfalls at Koh Samui are a gem to the country overall.