10 Places To Explore In Tobermory

Tobermory is nestled in Bruce Peninsula, 4 hours north of Toronto. This place is incredibly beautiful and breathtaking. It’s hard to believe that it’s only 4 hours away from home. Surrounded by luscious beauty and clear blue waters, you wouldn’t want to leave once you get there.

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Here are a few things you can do besides admiring the clear blue Lake Huron water:

1. Fish & Chips

Lake Huron has one of world’s cleanest water, making it transparent and beautiful. Since Tobermory is surrounded by water, fishing is very popular in this area. You can enjoy the fresh caught fish at some of the restaurants here:
I. The Fish & Chip Place
II. Shipwreck Lee’s Pirate Bistro

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2. Big Tub Harbour

Kayaks can be found to rent here. You can take a kayak and check out the underwater wrecked ships. Snorkeling/scuba diving are also options to get up close and personal with the wrecked ships! This is very close to the lighthouse.

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3. Light House

The lighthouse is not very far from the main area (especially if you’re driving). It’s a 10 minute drive. You can check out this historic site and enjoy the views from there.

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4. Flowerpot Island

The flower pot island is a 4-5 hour trip. You would have to take a boat from one of the cruise lines (insert here). It gets really busy during the summer time so make sure to do your bookings ahead of time. Flowerpot Island is a beautiful place consisting of flowerpots along the gorgeous coast. Swimming seems blissful here, however beware of the extremely cold glacier water here. There are short hiking trails on this island and don’t say I didn’t warn you to look out for snakes! You will spot many rattlesnakes here. Please watch out and it is best to not provoke them if you do come across any.

5. Bruce Peninsula National Park

With hiking trails to cliffs rising from turquoise blue waters to beautiful and unique species of animals and plants, this place will completely leave you wanting more. You can also visit the Grotto here. The Bruce Peninsula hiking trail is very long and you can easily get carried away. This is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, consisting of 782 km hiking trail. This happens to be Canada’s oldest and longest trail. There are camp sites here as well, allowing you to take breaks and spend some nights on your way to completing the entire trail.

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6. Singing Sands Beach/Park

A bit of a hidden place. You would have to drive here from the main town. Biking won’t be too bad either. It’s a big beach and grass on the sands and water being shallow. It’s a nice park to stroll around or stargaze on a clear night. There’s also a short trail where you can go hiking if you’re up for an adventure.

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7. Little Tub Harbour

Surrounded by shops and restaurants, this harbour has boats and ships that are docked here. There are also cruises that leave from here to the Flowerpot Island and other places. The gift shops here have creative pieces that you’d surely want to take home with you.

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8. Fathom Five National Park

A great place to see sparkling waters, 22 shipwrecks, ancient rock formations. This is a great place to explore nature and admire the beauty of Canadian landscape.

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9. The Grotto

Located in the Bruce Peninsula National Park, this place is the most popular attraction of Tobermory. Most people visit this town just to see the Grotto. It gets very crowded there during summers so you would have to book your parking spot from ahead of time. There are 4 hour parking time slots and this is more than enough if you are just visiting the Grotto at the national park. The hike from the parking lot to the Grotto is not very long (about half hour). Many people go diving but I would advise to be careful if you are not very good at swimming or have not gone diving before. There are no lifeguards or anyone to help you so go diving at your own risk!

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10. Explore the Coasts

There are many hidden gems in Tobermory. All you have to do is look at the map and find the beaches and coasts by the water. You will be amazed by your discovery!

Transportation: You can book buses that bring you from Toronto to Tobermory or drive for 4 hours from Toronto.

Accommodation: Princess Hotel is right in the heart of Tobermory. There are other hotels but very limited, since it’s such a small town. If places are booked, you can also stay nearby in Lion’s Head or Owen Sound, keeping in mind that you’d have to drive 30-60 mins every day to get to Tobermory during your stay.

When in Penang

Malaysia’s Food Capital!

Penang is a very unique place with it’s own culture and amazing views. The three main ethnicities here are the Chinese, Indians and Malays. Penang is also known as “Pearl of the Orient”.

Here are a few things to do in Penang –

Kek Lok Si – largest budhist temple of southeast asia – combines Chinese, Thai and Burmese architectural styles.

The Goddess of Mercy Temple, also known as Kuan Yin Teng is by far the most intricate temple I have ever been to. This historic temple was built in the 1700’s and is located in George Town. Add this one to your list of sight seeing in Penang!

Penang Hill Railway – Launched in 1923. Penang Hill – approximately 6500 ft in height. It’s quite steep and I was a bit anxious but it’s truly an exhilarating experience. The views from top of the hill are incredible. You will be able to see almost all of Penang. I highly recommend going there before sunset so you are able to see the view during daylight, along with the sunset and also the city lit up at night. You won’t be disappointed!

I really liked cruising through George Town and spotting pieces of art work everywhere.

As mentioned earlier, Penang is also Malaysia’s food capital so if you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat!

5 Reasons To Visit the Phi Phi Islands

For those of you who don’t know this place – let me introduce you!
The Phi Phi Islands is a tiny island located in the KRABI district of Thailand. This island has beautiful turquoise waters and is completely secluded from the modern world. The streets are so narrow that there are no vehicles there.

 

5 Reasons why you must go there –

1. If you want to disconnect from technology and the urban life – welcome to Phi Phi Islands! Internet is not the greatest here. You will find wifi in some areas but the connection is not the best. Just relax and enjoy the beach vibes.

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2. The viewpoint is absolutely stunning! It’s a 40 min hike and really worth the view!

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3. Explore Maya Bay and the bioluminescent (glow in the dark) planktons! Maya Bay is an island close to Phi Phi. You can take a island hopping trip that takes you there. I have been to Maya Bay, however, only during the day. Definitely want to check out the planktons while camping in Maya Bay at night.

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4. Nightlife is great! If you like music, people and entertainment then I recommend checking out the main beach at night. There are many bars lined up along the beach and each have their own entertainment. It gets pretty lively there!

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5. It is close to many other islands, including Langkawi in Malaysia! You can easily take the ferry and hop on to the next island, making overnight stops and finally arriving in Langkawi (click here for blog on Langkawi).

Below is a short clip of the viewpoint –

https://youtu.be/nIuxyZRTxF4

8 Beautiful Places To See In Snaefellsnes -West Iceland

Snaefellsnes is a GORGEOUS 90 km long peninsula on the west coast of Iceland. This place consists of all the beautiful things you can imagine. It has spectacular mountains, waterfalls, beaches, cliffs and all the wonderful things that nature has to offer.

 1. Yellow Sand Beach by Langaholt

Yes that’s right, yellow sand beaches are rare in Iceland! This is mostly due to the volcanic activities, causing the beaches there to have black sand. A few seals can be spotted here! You will also notice mountains and glaciers surrounding you in this area.


 

2. Arnarstapi to Hellnar Coastal Walk

You can go for a beautiful coastal walk in Snaefellsnes. Stunning views from here. The ocean on one side and mountains on the other. 

The most captivating of all mountains here is Mt. Stapafell. 


3.  Grabok Lava Field

This lava field was created by a fissure eruption about 4000 years ago. This field is covered by fringe moss and bushes which look unreal.

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4. Purkhólahraun Lava Field

Stopped by some view points of glaciers and volcanoes, you will also find a lava cave which was created by lava flows. People can actually go here and in fact, it’s believed that you can actually get to the center of the earth through this tunnel!

5. Djúpalónssandur or the Black Lava Pearl Beach

There is a black sand beach which has pieces of a wrecked ship. This was my first black sand beach and I was completely taken aback by it. It looks like a black&white filter but truly, it’s real!

Behind the beach is this lagoon called the black lagoon – crystal clear water as you can see below.


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A rock formation with a hole in it, through which you can see the glacier! This is known as the Gatklettur rock and is a hot spot for photo shoots here!

6. Snæfellsjökull glacier

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You can see this glacier from many places in Snaefellsnes. It’s massive! Of course, you can also actually go to this glacier for a magical experience!

7. Black sand beach

The black sand beach was quite an incredible site!

 

7. Kirkjufellsfoss

We visited this cute little waterfall by the volcano, it was pretty and magical 🙂


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8. Mt. Kirkjufell

This is the most photographed mountain of Iceland!

Blog on Reykjavik, Iceland is available here

10 Things To Do in Reykjavik, Iceland

Discovering Iceland

A few years ago, my fascination towards volcanoes began. I was so intrigued that I started watching documentaries about them. Then I discovered this magical place called Iceland. One thing led to another and I was super intrigued by the Aurora Borealis or as some may call it, the Northern Lights.

Reykjavik is probably the most populated place in Iceland, especially with it’s tourists. It’s downtown is very small. You can walk to everywhere which is very convenient for travelers. Like most people, I stayed in town and explored every chance I could. There are several things to do in Reykjavik.

1. Museums

My first day in Reykjavik was quite rainy. It rained pretty much all day. What’s better than staying indoors and checking out museums? Can’t think of anything else! Reykjavik has many, many and many museums so you will never get bored if you run out of things to do. 


2. Outdoor Geothermal Pools

Although Iceland is known for it’s natural hot springs, there are some outdoor pools in Reykjavik that you can visit if you’re not up for an adventure and just want to relax. There are local buses that you can take. Normally the water temperature in those pools are 35-39 degree Celcius. There are different ranges of water temperatures. They also have steam rooms – which can be way too hot. The geothermal pools are absolutely awesome if you’re looking for some relaxation!

3. Food

The Icelandic people love whales and puffins so much that they like to eat them! I’m not a fan of the idea so I stayed away from that but if you’re into trying authentic local food then some restaurants will provide this type of food for you to try. I loved trying hot chocolate at different restaurants/cafe’s. Food in Iceland is also quite expensive so just a heads up! Expect any simple meal to be at least $20 CAD. They love their hot dogs. I didn’t really catch the hype. It tasted pretty basic and they were very small compared to hot dogs that you can find in Canada. I thought Icelandic coke is the best coke you can ever find. Their water is known to be the cleanest and best water of the world so their coke being SO good did not take me by surprise at all. Of course, you would have to actually enjoy drinking CocaCola to appreciate this.


4. Flea Market (Weekends Only)

You can explore the Icelandic culture through your flea market experience. There are traditional clothes, accessories and Icelandic food available for you to enjoy!

5. The Harpa

This beautiful place hosts concerts and other events such as Operas if you’re ever in the mood for entertainment. The lighting and architecture of this building is outstanding!

The Harpa

6. Sculpture by the Sea – The Sun Voyager

A symbolic art piece of Iceland. This sculpture is located along the shore which is just a 5 minute walk from downtown.

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Sculpture by the Sea – The Sun Voyager

 7. The Harbour

Go for a nice walk by the harbour and enjoy some hot chocolate and food at the restaurants nearby!

The Harbour

8. Hallgrimskirkja Church 

This is an iconic landmark in Reykjavik. You can go to the top of the church (during the day) for a panoramic view of the entire city. Definitely worth going!


9. The Culture House

Learn about the Icelandic culture through history and cool historic pieces at this place!


10. Nightlife

You obviously have to experience the nightlife when in Reykjavik – there are lots of bars and their nightlife continues on until sunrise or in the summer that would be 24 hours!

Top Things To Do In Langkawi, Malaysia

My first time in Langkawi was in 2011, when I first stepped into Malaysia. I instantly fell in LOVE. I think Langkawi is what made me fall hard for Malaysia. I can’t really describe the feeling but it felt something like magic.
I have been here twice and both the times I have done different things and these are memories that will truly be cherished forever. I will share some of them with you.
I stayed at this hotel by the beach and both the times I stayed at the same place as it was super convenient; near shops and restaurants and right by the Pantai Cenang beach!

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Shop Duty Free
Langkawi is the only place in Malaysia where you can shop duty free. Everything is unbelievably cheap, including alcohol and cigarettes. Given that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is the only place in Malaysia where you can drink alcohol freely. It is indeed their domestic holiday destination.
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Langkawi Eagle Square

Island Hopping

My first activity in Langkawi was the island hopping tour. This is something I did on my own and it was so refreshing. This is why I encourage everyone to explore at least one place on their own.
Learn to love your own company and you will need nothing more in life. You will never feel lonely.
This island hopping tour holds a significant amount of value to my life as it gave me the chance to really focus on an unknown place without knowing anyone or having any technology (for the first time – I’ve done it tons since!). It made me appreciate nature, Langkawi and just the Earth overall.
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Sunset by the beach
This tour takes you to a lake where they throw fish as eagles come and pick em from water within a split of a second. It’s pretty amazing. Langkawi is known to have many eagles.
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Eagles!
Then we went to the “pregnant” lake. Yes, that’s exactly what they call it! Apparently this is a myth, that if a woman is infertile or having difficulty being pregnant then swimming in this lake will make them fertile. Not sure if this actually works. Let me know if it did for you!
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Pregnant Lake
Next stop is this beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful island where you will see nothing but blue water. You can also see fish from the bridge, without even having to snorkel.

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Sight seeing

If you rent a car for the day, the driver will actually take you on a tour around the big island. There are some secluded beaches which are very gorgeous. They will also take you to this park and from there you can go to the skybridge.
Skybridge
The cable car will take you 702 m above sea level. When you get to the top, you won’t believe your eyes. It feels like a painting when you look around. It’s indescribable.
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View from the cable car
The Seven Falls
The driver will also take you to the “seven falls” where you can go walk on a trail that leads to the waterfalls. Along the way you will see many monkeys. Those monkeys are everywhere in Asia, really. Very cheeky but very cute.

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Cute lil cheeky monkeys

Activities

The last time I visited Langkawi, I went paragliding and this was the highlight of my trip. I must admit, I was so scared that I prayed the entire time I was up in the sky. BUT, it was THE most amazing and exhilarating feeling EVER. The boat was pulling me and the parachute kept going higher and higher. I was above the sun, looking over the sunset. It was beautiful. Feeling the breeze, flying above the sea, looking over the seashore and the sun on the other side. It was breathtaking. I would do it over and over again.
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Having the time of my life, paragliding over the sunset.

At night though, I loved being at the beach. Since there isn’t much traffic there at this time, you can hear the silence, the winds and the waves of the sea. To top it off, you can feel the lukewarm water touching your skin while you sit on the soft sand.
And there you have it!
Tip
Ohhh and a little tip if you are ever in Asia! There are ways of getting to Langkawi from the Thai islands. Koh Phi Phi is an amazing island and you can certainly take the ferry from there. I prefer getting to Langkawi from Thailand and then making your way to Kuala Lumpur, if you are planning on traveling that part of the world. It is much more preferable than going to Langkawi from KL and then back. Trust me, you will save yourself a journey and a half!
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View from the skybridge

A beautiful sunset in Langkawi can be viewed here:

10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What can I say about this place? In 2011, I instantly fell in love with Malaysia when I first stepped in. I have been there thrice since, 2015 being the last time there.
Let’s start with the trains from the airport. What a nice and clean train with air conditioner in it. It only took forever long to get where we are today but a “developing” country such as Malaysia had already had this established. I was amazed. WiFi. Let’s talk about that. Malaysia has WiFi everywhere! Like literally. Everywhere! I love it.
Usually I’m not much of a shopper while I’m traveling but the malls in Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, has many shopping centres which consist of a lot of pretty things. Shoes. OMG. Shoes! So many amazing shoes! I think every time I go there, I end up buying at least 2 pairs of shoes or sandals.

 

Cyberjaya

 

Cyberjaya is one of the outskirts of KL. I stayed there the first couple of times I visited, mainly because I had friends staying there. Cyberjaya is so beautiful. It is quite different than Kuala Lumpur. Personally, I really like Cyberjaya and Putrajaya because they are the prettier cities of Malaysia that have everything you need.

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Indoor skating rink at the shopping centre

 
The very first thing that caught my attention there was the little trees which were nicely cut and shaped like mushrooms. I found that so cute!

 

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Cyberjaya with neat trees

 
They have a bridge in Putrajaya which lights up. It switches colours every few seconds. You can walk around on the sidewalk of the bridge and hangout. At night, there’s a nice breeze by the lake and you have a satisfying view of the city.

 

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Kuala Lumpur is just like any other city. Their downtown is very commercial with all brand named stores with lots of people and lots of traffic. What excited me the most there was to see Sephora! I couldn’t believe it! Had a girl moment there.

 

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The Pavilion is a very colourful place. It won’t feel like you’re in a developing country at all. Of course, like any downtown, KL’s is also not so clean. It’s very polluted. This is why I liked Cyberjaya. So neat and clean with less people.

 

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View of Patronas Towers from KLCC

 

The Petronas Towers

 

The Petronas Towers, or as they call it the “twin towers” are also downtown. I’ve actually never made an effort to go to the top but it looks beautiful from KLCC.

 

China Town

 

China Town in Bukit Bintang is a place you can go to for affordable shopping. You can even bargain. Most things are fake brand named products. If you are into that then it’s a great place to shop. Alternatively, you can also buy souvenirs from there. There is a place called Jalan Alor behind Bukit Bintang, where you can go for local food. This place has really good food! If you are looking for an authentic experience, I highly recommend this.

 

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KL

 

Batu Caves

 

Batu Caves is a train commute away from KL. It’s not a bad journey as you can take the local trains. You can see the temples there and finally climb up the stairs to see the Batu caves. I haven’t seen any bats but mainly monkeys. They are quite amusing so you won’t be bored there! The climb is steep so you will get a workout but its nice to go up to the caves. You will also see many statues there.

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Batu Caves

 

Genting highlands

 

Genting highlands is a bus ride away from KL. You will have to take the cable car to go up the hill (1865 m above ) where they built a casino and a theme park. I was a bit skeptical about going on those rides, so I just did some sight seeing and amateur gambling.

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Genting highlands indoor rides

Things to do while in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Petronas Towers
  2. China Town
  3. Batu Cave
  4. Aquaria KLCC
  5. Jalan Alor
  6. Genting Highlands
  7. Putrajaya Bridge
  8. KLCC
  9. Cameron Highlands
  10. Sunway shopping centre and theme park