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Destinations Lifestyle Travel Insights

10 Rooftop Pools to Dream About While Waiting For Your Next Holiday

Oh, imagine the cool water gliding over your outstretched legs as you sip on a sangria, watching a spectacular sunset that reflects off the pool. Or imagine lying with your back on a float and watching the clouds drift away without a care in the world. 

In the hectic hustle and bustle of our daily lives, what could be better than a short getaway to a rooftop pool that offers a beautiful view and ultimate relaxation too? What a beautiful way to soak up Vitamin D! It truly would be a dream come true, for me at least. 

All we can do right now is dream — as the pandemic has left us grounded to our home countries — and here are ten rooftop pools we can all dream about until we get the chance to pack our bags and set off.

1. Four Seasons Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai

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The rooftop pool on the seventh floor of this magnificent hotel is equally remarkable, holding a Mediterranean style. You could look out at the Dubai skyline with the Burj Khalifa on one side and the Arabia Gulf on the other. At night, the sight is truly one to behold as internal lighting illuminates the pool, making it shimmer.

2. The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, Australia

A 69-room boutique hotel situated between two iconic buildings, The Clare Hotel Pub and the Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building, The Old Clare Hotel retains major architectural features of them both. It incorporates both vintage furnishings and modern, urban decor. The rooftop pool comes with a bar, a lounge and a heated pool, of course.

3. NH Collection Mexico City Reforma, Mexico City, Mexico

Situated in the heart of the upscaled neighborhood of Zona Rosa, it is surrounded by high-end boutiques, and restaurants. It is also just a stone’s throw away from the financial hub of Mexico. The red-tiled pool gives an illusion of a never-ending brilliant sunset with crimson hues. You could laze in a heated outdoor pool, admiring the urban views from a chic sun terrace.

4. Hotel Le Crystal, Montréal, Canada

Hotel Le Crystal is conveniently located just a mere twenty minutes away from Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport (YUL). On the twelfth floor, there is an outdoor hot tub, along with a rooftop hot tub, indoor saltwater pool, and a spa overlooking the breathtaking Canadian skyline.

5. Perivolas Hotel, Santorini, Greece

The Perivolas had a humble beginning, where a sailor and his wife purchased a piece of cliff, wishing to transform it into a picturesque holiday retreat. Today, some 300-year-old cliff faces have been changed to 20 beautiful individual suites. The infinity pool overlooking the crystal blue Aegean seas makes you feel like you’re taking a dip in the ocean itself.

6. The Norman, Tel Aviv, Israel

There is a beautiful rooftop infinity pool right next to a pampering wellness center, with complimentary drinking water and towels available at all times. You could unwind after some business meetings, and soak up the terrific cityscape fringed with fragrant orange trees.

7. The W, Santiago, Chile

Situated in the bustling financial district of Santiago, urban life coexists with the unspoiled view of the Andes Mountains. A fine sight to behold indeed, as you unwind and do a few laps.

8. Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

Located on Passeig de Gràcia, the Mandarin Oriental is one of the city’s best loved hotels. It provides a wonderful balance of style and luxury as the rooftop pool offers a 360-degree view of the city as well as an iconic landmark of Casa Batlló.

9. Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Rome, Italy

Indeed a mouthful, but the sights are truly mind-blowing. A shimmering canvas of blue awaits you, as you dip your toes in the rooftop pool and soak in the rich sights of Rome. Or perhaps you could splurge a little and get a private Jacuzzi that overlooks St. Peter’s Basilica.

10. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Last but not least, a little treat from our home country. Did you know that the massive infinity pool on the fifty eighth floor of Marina Bay Sands’ SkyPark, is one of the worlds longest pools at five hundred feet? It also boasts an observation deck at the same level, for more views.

So what are you waiting for? Hurry now, and pick one of these amazing rooftop pools for a quick vacation or stay-cation, once you are able to travel!

Categories
Adventure & travel Asia Bali Indonesia Lifestyle Philippines

Adrenaline-Packed Adventure Sports to Try in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a slice of heaven truly. Deep cerulean oceans fringed with luxuriant verdant forests, atavistic temples and colossal skyscrapers — old yet new, if I may be pardoned for the paradox. The possibilities are endless, and I personally consider Southeast Asia as the best destination spot to have some incredible adventures,without damaging your pockets too much. 

Here are five amazing adventures you should not miss on your trip to Southeast Asia.

1. Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng was previously well known for drunk-tubing across the river. People would consume a lot of alcohol from riverside bars and jump on an inflatable tube to drift across the river.

However, that questionable scene has changed and the focus has now shifted to an array of exhilarating sports, ranging from kayaking to zip-lining. Surrounded by towering limestone mountains, it seems like a no-brainer to opt for a climbing tour! 

Adam’s Climbing School is the most well known company in the area to provide several set routes and climbing courses that range from half-day to even three days. Personally, rock-climbing the magnificent karsts in Laos with Adam’s has been a truly unforgettable experience for me.

2. Quad biking in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Imagine racing into the beautiful Cambodian sunset on your ATV. If you do not mind getting a little dirt on yourself, you could ride down muddy terrains to explore the province’s paddy fields, sacred waterfalls, secret temples, and the quiet countrysides for as low as USD 30. It is a one of a kind experience indeed!

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3. Surfing, Indonesia

I would go as far to say that the Disneyland of surfing is Indonesia. Located in the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian archipelago has one of the best wave-rich zones in the world, with thousands of reef passes, reef points and beach breaks scattered across its many islands. With consistent swells year-round, it offers world-class waves to anyone who’s brave enough to ride it. 

The first surf spot that comes to my mind is Bali, of course. Kuta serves the beginners, but if you want a challenge, go for the massive swells of Padang Padang or left-hand reefs in Uluwatu. 

4. Parasailing in Boracay, Philippines

Always wanted to fly? How about getting a bird’s eye view of the pristine, white sandy beaches of Boracay island? This is your chance. Get strapped to a parachute dragged by a speedboat, and soar up high. You have fifteen minutes to make your aviation dreams come true, and you could extend it if you don’t mind spending a little more.

5. Kayaking in Ha-Long Bay, Vietnam

Serene waters, tranquil waves, and peaceful scenery. What more could you ask for? Imagine kayaking through the clear water, rowing past magnificent cave systems, and trailing your fingers across stone stalactites! There are various kayaking services available, but make sure you check the safety and quality provided by them to avoid potential scams!

Overall, Southeast Asia is a wonderful melting pot with people from various walks of life. The culture and ethnicity that every single one of the countries bring to the region is incredibly rich. Don’t wait to explore what these enriching, breathtaking spread of lands have to offer!

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Culture Lifestyle

5 Essential Travel Tips for Female Solo Travellers

“It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into the world and to be brave, and to want, to need, to hunger for adventures. To embrace the chance and risk so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free.”

– Mae Chevrette

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As much as this shouldn’t rightfully be an issue, it is a reality that women face certain risks on the road. Travelling alone to any country can be intimidating, especially if you are female. The risks are greater. It might not be possible to get your friends or family to come along with you all the time, but that shouldn’t stop you from going places. 

In this day and age, women know that there is close to nothing that men can do that women can’t. We are roughly at par with our male counterparts, even exceeding them in some fields. If men can travel alone, why not women too? In fact, according to George Washington University School of Business, almost two-thirds of today’s travelers are female.

So how do women make sure they make the most out of their solo trips?

Here are five tips that guarantee you a very safe and memorable solo travel as a female. 

Research

It is crucial to research about the country you are travelling to. Read up about what to expect when you step off the plane — the local customs, culture, tradition, societal norms, and more in order to avoid a culture shock. 

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If this is your first time traveling alone, consider a country that has a relatively stable political climate and low crime rates. The last thing you want is to be involved in street violence or civil uprisings, or get mugged. With that said, choose destinations which will make you step out of your comfort zone as well. A little risk is essential for growth, and will definitely make you a stronger person.

Check out safe places of accommodation to spend the night in, and make sure you book them beforehand! Have a physical copy of the address itself, and not saved in your phone such that you need WiFi to access it. This is to prevent scenarios where you are not able to access the internet and are unable to search your destination. Carry some extra cash and keep it along with your passport in a sealed compartment in your bag.

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Inform your close contacts

Maybe you want to pursue a solo trip just to get away, maybe you need some space to clear your head. But informing your close friends or family about your plan ensures at least someone knows where you’re at, in case of an emergency. It is always a good idea to leave a breadcrumb trail of your travels on social media — provided it’s private only to those your trust! — to reassure your close ones that you are safe and well.

Learn the basics of the local tongue

There is no harm in learning a few useful words of the local language commonly spoken in the country you are travelling to, especially the translations for basic necessities and directions. 

A communication barrier is most disadvantageous to a solo traveler, but can be easily overcome with an open mind, and Google Translate. This will also make you more confident in dealing with your daily activities, and avoid potential rip-offs. It bodes well with the locals when a foreigner attempts to learn a little of their native tongue, and they in turn, show more respect and become more friendly.

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Pack light 

It is a common trap to fall into whether you are travelling alone or as a group. Imagine you are on the side of a deserted road waiting for the past hour to hitch a ride, and your shoulders are crying in agony from your heavy backpack. That might sound quite dramatic, but you really don’t want to lug around a heavy luggage when you hit the roads. In any cases of emergency where you need to make a quick run for it, having less items on you will work in your favour.

Make a list of the things you want to bring, and cancel out at least a half of those items. Bring along clothes which you can mix and match, such as shirts, shorts, pants, and dresses. I usually opt for three pairs of footwear myself when I want to travel — a casual pair of sandals, a pair of comfortable sneakers, and a pair of cross-fit sports shoes.

Also, be informed of the way the locals dress in the country you are visiting. Most Southeast Asian countries have a more conservative dress code than some Western countries, so ensure you are dressed appropriately — that prevents you from garnering much unwanted attention as well. 

Wear a smile!

Do not forget to bring along your best possession — your smile! Many might think that traveling solo means you get lonely, you are never truly alone. Solo journeys are the best ways to connect with fascinating like-minded travelers such as yourself. I personally find it is easier to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger when I am alone. It makes me more approachable and more open to the idea of meeting new people. However, do not make the mistake of broadcasting the fact that you are indeed travelling alone, as it could attract some unwanted attention your way.

Wearing a smile and a positive body language goes a long way in giving a good first impression to locals when you first meet them.

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Traveling solo does not have to be scary and lonely. I have the best memories by traveling alone and making friends along the way. Sure, it came with a fair share of risks, but I have no regrets. Any woman regardless of her status or age can indeed travel solo.

You make the rules. You have nobody to answer to except yourself. Everything is absolutely in your hands. Let yourself discover the independent woman in you, and go out there and own it!