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10 travel bucket list ideas inspired by Korean variety show Running Man

Now that international travelling is made possible again, are you looking for some unique travel bucket list ideas?

Korean variety show Running Man is a reality-variety show concept that focused on games.

It has been airing since July 11, 2010 making it one of the longest running Korean variety shows.

The show even made it to the list of Business Insider’s 20 TV Shows of 2016.

The current members are Yoo Jae-suk, HaHa, Jee Seok-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Song Ji-hyo, Jeon So-min and Yang Se-chan.

Over the years, the show has invited hundred of guests including Hollywood stars Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg and Ryan Reynolds.

On top of that, Running Man has also filmed in countless number of different locations both in and out of South Korea.

So here are ten travel bucket list ideas inspired by Korean variety show Running Man:

1.Shop at a Floating Market in Thailand

The first country that the Running Man cast visited for filming is Thailand back in 2011.

During that episode, one of their filming spot is the Pattaya Floating Market.

Located in the heart of Pattaya, this market offers delicacies and handicrafts from four different regions of Thailand.

Let say that you are not in Pattaya but in the capital city of Bangkok, you have up to 17 different floating markets to choose from.

This list include Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Amphawa Floating Market, Wat Sai Floating Market and more.

2.Visit the Great Wall of China

After the successful episode in Thailand, the Running Man cast visited another country in the same year, China.

Besides playing a string of games around Beijing city, the cast members also visited the Great Wall of China.

Do you know that some of these walls were built from as early as the 7th century with some of the stretches later joined by the first emperor of China Qin Shi Huang during 220-206?

This historical site is a definitely a must-visit place in any travel bucket lists.

3.Go for the highest commercial bungee jump in the world from Macau Tower

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Song Ji-hyo bungee jumping from Macao Tower

The episode that the Running Man filmed in Macau is one of the most talked about years down the road all thanks to one legendary scene.

The only female of the group back then, actress Song Ji-hyo was the only cast member who bungee jumped from Macau Tower in the 2013 episode.

With a wide smile on her pretty face while showing as many teeth that she could, Song was seen happily bungee jumped from a platform 233m above the ground point.

Apart from Song, there were many other celebrities who went for the same adventure including Edison Chen, Jack Osbourne, Xie Na and Joe Chen.

Watch the clip here.

4.Skydiving in Dubai

During an episode filmed in Dubai, Kim Jong-kook along with two celebrity guests Jung Il-woo and Lee Da-hae did something that only meant for thrill-seekers out there.

The trio did sky-jumping. After returning to the ground, all of three of them agreed that it is something that you need to do at least once before you die.

With majestic desert landscape, skydiving in Dubai is absolutely an unforgettable experience.

While you are in Dubai, might as well go for the world’s longest urban zipline.

Xline Dubai Marina offers adventurers an experience to ride on a zipline at 170 meters high from the ground, sliding up to 80km/hour for 1 km long.

5.Opt for a paranormal experience at Labyrinth of Fear; Japan’s Most Terrifying Haunted House

How about a dose of paranormal fear added on your travel bucket list?

The Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear (yes, that is the full name) is one of the two haunted attractions in Fuji-Q Highland.

It is a theme park located near the base of Mount Fuji.

The labyrinth holds the record for the world’s first and largest haunted attraction covering a two-storey building with 900m in length.

The attraction is inspired from a legend of a popular hospital where doctors were accused of selling internal organs of their patients. Unsurprisingly, the spirits of the dead victims came back to haunt and avenge their own deaths.

Running Man had done many horror-theme episodes before but this one definitely took the cake.

We were not surprised at all to see Jeon So-min in tears at the end of her scary labyrinth tour.

Watch the clip here.

6.Ride a manual wooden cable car over the crashing waves of Timang Beach at Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Timang Beach in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta is like any other beaches in Indonesia at first glance.

What makes it different is that there is an island called Panjang Island which is a lobster habitat.

The island is the best place to catch lobster for the local community.

But due to the steep hill that is directly adjacent to the sea, crossing over to the island is not an easy task.

Hence, the locals built a wooden cable car fit only for one person which is driven on a rope connecting the beach to the top of the island.

The 200-meter long ride is not a big deal unless there is a raging sea beneath you and huge waves that keep on crashing on your cable car just like what it did to Lee Kwang-soo and Jeon So-min in the 369th till 371th episode of Running Man.

Watch the clip here

7.Get into the Cage of Death at Darwin, Australia

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Lee Kwang-soo inside the Cage of Death

During the 378th and 379th episodes of Running Man, Yoo Jae-suk, Ji Suk-jin, Lee Kwang-soo and Jeon So-min went to Darwin, Australia.

There, they had to complete the mission of going into the Cage of Death.

The Cage of Death is a tourist attraction known for being Australia’s only crocodile dive.

This unique experience offers swimmers the chance to get up and close and personal with saltwater crocodile for 15 minutes.

In that short (or long) period of time depending on how you see it, swimmers can stare into the eyes of this famous predator while witnessing the power of his bite force.

Watch the clip here.

8.Take a swing at one of the world’s biggest swing, Nevis Swing

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Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook riding the world’s biggest swing upside down.

While half of the team were in Darwin, the rest of the members were in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Flinging people in an arc out over 300 meters, Nevis Swing is undoubtedly catered to adrenaline suckers.

You can choose swing by yourself or tandem with a friend – forwards, backwards or upside down like Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook did during their trip.

Later, Song revealed in a show that Kim and her had to go on the swing twice because the first time they rode the swing, the camera was not rolling.

Watch the clip here.

9.Visit Switzerland to walk on the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Alps

During the 540th episode of Running Man, HaHa and actress Kang Han-na were chosen to take up the mission of hiking the world’s longest suspension bridge.

Despite their fear and constant complaints from HaHa, the unlikely duo successfully finished the mission.

The bridge that they crossed is the Charles Kuonen Bridge. It is the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, giving walkers the view of 86 meters above the ground at its highest point.

It is a record-breaking 494 meters long connecting Grachen and Zermatt on the Europaweg foot trail.

Located near the village of Randa, the bridge provides views of Matterhorn, Weisshorn and the Bernese Alps in the distance.

10.Wing Walking in England

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Yoo Jae-suk wing walking in England.

Have you heard of wing walking? Lee Kwang-soo, Yoo Jae-suk and Lee Da-hee had the opportunities to do so during their trip to England.

The experience took them 10-minute flying while being strapped to the top of a plane while flying 500 feet above the ground.

After the episode was aired in 2018, many viewers expressed their concern over the activities raising the question if the production team had went to far.

The then production director assured that wing walking is totally safe and it is a leisure sport that has not seen an accident in 30 years.

Watch the clip here.

So which travel bucket ideas would you pick? Let us know in the comment box.

Beautiful Korean drama filming locations in Slovenia you must visit

Slovenia, or officially known as the Republic of Slovenia, is a beautiful country located in southern central Europe.

Thanks to few Korean dramas being filmed in this mountainous country, it has catapulted itself as a tourist hotspot among Asian travellers, especially South Koreans.

Reports show that tour operators saw anincrease in the number of South Korean visitors after K-drama Dear My Friends used Slovenia a filming location in 2016.

This number was further increased thanks to the hit drama Black Knight (2017) which was shot around the country.

The drama follows the story of self-made CEO Moon Soo-ho (Kim Rae-won) who is in love with his childhood crush Jung Hae-ra (Shin Se-kyung) even after they had been separated for years.

In the meantime, Hae-ra is a travel agent who ironically has never travelled outside of South Korea. When they finally reunite as adults, their reunion takes place in Slovenia.

Looking through these breathtaking locations in Slovenia, it is understandable why they are irresistible to visit for both filming crew and tourists alike.

Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging around the world, it does not mean you cannot plan for your future vacation.

Here are five beautiful Korean drama filming locations in Slovenia you must visit one day:

1.Predjama Castle

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Predjama Castle. This is where Hae-ra accidentally falls and rolls down the hill while Soo-ho with the perfect sun rays behind him come to the rescue.

In Black Knight, Soo-ho and Hae-ra were seen taking photos in front of this majestic castle.

The place is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth located about 11km from the town Postojna.

The Patriarch of Aquileia built the castle in Gothic style sometime during the 13th century, It was purposely built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make it difficult to access.

Legend has it that in the 15th century, there was a robber baron named Erasmus of Lueg.

He came into conflict with the Habsburgs. They are one of the royal families of Europe who sat on the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. Erasmus killed Habsburgs’ commander of the imperial army Marshal Pappenheim.

The then Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III was angry with Erasmus so he sent his force to seek vengeance.

This forced Erasmus to hide at Predjama Castle. Despite the Emperor’s powerful force, Erasmus managed to survive and protect himself from the attack thanks to the secret tunnel between the castle and nearby Postojna Cave.

According to one popular belief is that Erasmus was betrayed by one of his servants and was killed in his lavatory by a shot from a cannon. Not a pleasant way to die is it?

Since then, the ownership of the castle has changed hands numerous times. After World War II, the Yugoslav Communist authorities confiscated the castle and turned it into a museum.

Pledjama Castle was also one of the filming locations for Jackie Chan’s Armour of God (1986).

2.Ljubljana city

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Ljubljana river.

Ljubljana is not only the capital city of Slovenia, it is also the largest.

The history of this city can be traced back to the 12th century. It was the capital of Carniola, a historical region that comprised parts of present day Slovenia.

One of the filming locations in the city for Black Knight is Butcher’s Bridge. It is where Soo-ho and Hae-ra meet again as adults for the first time.

Opened to the public in 2010, the bridge is a footbridge which crosses the Ljubljana river. Shortly after the opening, couples started to put on padlocks on its steel wires to declare eternal love for each other. It is a phenomenon similar to the one on the Parisian Pont dest Arts.

If you are feeling hungry, head to Sorbora Steak House for some proteins.

In the drama Memories of the Alhambra (2018), the main characters Jung Hee-joo (Park Shin-hye) and Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) meet up for lunch supposedly at Granada, Spain. The steak house where they filmed that scene is in fact at a whole different country at Ljubljana.

Speaking of Memories of the Alhambra, other shooting sites for the drama at Ljubljana include Cobblers’ Bridge and Hercules Fountain.

Overall, the city has so much to offer for tourists especially museums, art galleries and castles.

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Ljubljana. at night.

3.Otočec Castle

Do you know there are approximately 500 fortresses, castles and manor houses scattered across Slovenia?

They have a variety of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture so visitors can explore them to their hearts content.

However, there is only one water castle in Slovenia and it is actually hotel. Located on a small island in the middle of the Krka River in Otočec.

In the drama Black Knight, the entrance and the courtyard of Otočec Castle appear as the vacation home owned by Soo-hoo.

Meanwhile in reality, the castle is a small luxury hotel with a world-class restaurant on site.

Tracing back its history, the castle was once owned by Ivan Lenkovic , the chief commander of the Croatia-Slavonia March which used to be part of Habsburg Monarchy.

It was built some time in the middle of 13th century. While it is almost impossible to own a castle like a Korean drama character in real life, you can still stay at this castle hotel for around RM1300 per night.


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Bled Castle

While you might not be able to ride around Bled town on a convertable like Soo-ho and Hae-ra did in the drama, it does not mean you should skip this town when visiting Slovenia.

The town is located near the border with Australia, about 50km northwest of Ljublijana.

Its biggest tourist attractions are glacial Lake Bled and the iconic Bled Castle.

According to earliest records, Bled Castle is the oldest Slovenian castle dating back as early as 1011.

Emperor Henry II donated the castle to the Bishops of Brixen and it became their residence for eight long centuries.

Today, the castle has turned into a museum with exhibitions focusing on Lake Bled’s history.

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Lake Bled


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Piran is another picturesque town featured in the drama Black Knight where Soo-ho and Hae-ra enjoyed ice-creams together. If you noticed in the series, Piran is actually a coastal town.

The town is located in the southwestern Slovenia on the Gulf of Piran on the Adiratic Sea.

Piran is known for its medieval architecture with narrow streets and compact houses.

Before it was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 178 BC, the hills area of Piran was occupied by the Illyrians ( a group of Indo-European tribes).

The name of the town most probably originates from the Greek word for red ‘pyrrhos’. It most probably due to the reddish flysch stones commonly found in the town’s areas.

Like the other locations on this list, Piran is also one of Slovenia’s major tourist attractions.

All photos are under courtesy of

4 Family Friendly Activities to Enjoy in Western Australia

The upcoming week-long school holidays in March holds to arrange a fun-filled family friendly activities with their kids.

With an abundance of crisp and fresh air, alongside the opportunity to get close to mother nature, Western Australia is a must-visit destination for the enjoyment of both parents and kids.

Easily accessible via a 5.5-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, a trip to Western Australia with the family would not be complete without bringing the kids along to experience these family friendly activities:

1.Visit Australia’s cutest inhabitants at Caversham Wildlife Park

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Caversham Wildlife Park, Swan Valley.

Situated in the heart of Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Caversham Wildlife Park is a 30-minute drive north east of Perth and is bound to be a hit with the kids!

Being home to one of the largest collections of native fauna in Western Australia, Caversham Wildlife Park invites visitors to experience magical encounters with many uniquely Australian animals.

Kids of all ages will be thrilled with the chance to hand-feed the kangaroos and have their photo taken with cuddly koalas and wombats.

Visitors can also peek into the interactive zone to witness a variety of farmyard activities, including sheep shearing, sheepdog and droving demonstrations, and try their hand at milking cows and bottle-feeding lambs.

Once the kids have had their fill of mingling with wildlife, visitors can head into the surrounding Whiteman Park which acts as a picnic spot, or head to the on-site restaurant located just a 4-minute walk away.

2.Spend a day at Rottnest Island

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Couple taking selfie with Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) on Rottnest Island.

Perth’s idyllic island playground, Rottnest is just a short 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle and a world away from city life.

For such a tiny island, visitors are in for a treat with the amount of activities families can enjoy at this carefree island in a day.

Being a car-free island, cycling is the best way to get around. With rental bicycles available at the ferry terminals and on the island, kids (and parents) can set off on a journey to explore the island.

Alternatively, the Bayseeker Bus regularly runs around the island, dropping visitors off at some of the more secluded beaches.

More family fun can be enjoyed in the form of golf, tennis, shopping and guided tours that can be found in Thomson Bay.

Don’t miss the chance to take a selfie with the world’s cutest and friendliest marsupial – the quokka. Found only in Western Australia, getting a #QuokkaSelfie with the world-famous quokka is a must-do for visitors headed to Rottnest Island and is sure to be a treat for the kids.

3.Go on a walk at Kings Park Botanic Garden

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DNA Tower, Kings Park and Botanic Garden.

Kids who love to explore are bound to enjoy the 17-hectare Kings Park Botanic Garden.

Located just 1.5km from the Perth central business district and overlooking the Swan River and the iconic Perth skyline, the park is home to over 3,000 flowering plant species.

Before setting of on an adventure, be sure to make a stop at the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a park map before discovering the amazing attractions of the park. Don’t miss going on a walk via the 40-minute Lotterywest Federation Walkway which takes visitors up into the treetops to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the river and city.

For families with more time to explore, follow the Lotterywest Federation Walkway to the tranquil Water Garden and Pioneer Women’s Memorial Fountain and don’t forget to take plenty of pictures along the way.

4.Visit the dolphins of Monkey Mia

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Children feeding dolphins at Monkey Mia.

For families looking to take a road trip up north to the Coral Coast, The Dolphins of Monkey Mia in the Shark Bay World Heritage area will be a worthy addition to a trip with the kids.

Famous for their almost daily ritual of swimming to shore, as many as five wild Bottlenose dolphins will visit the beach, making this spot a popular dolphin-watching destination for families.

For an extra kick of adrenaline, specially-trained rangers who are on hand to control the interaction sessions will even choose a few lucky onlookers to hand feed the dolphins.

Of course, parents are always reminded to keep their kids safe from approaching the dolphins too closely and are refrained from touching the dolphins without the supervision of the specially-trained rangers.

With this list, parents and kids alike are sure to enjoy a stress-free school holiday by enjoying the best family-friendly activities that Western Australia has to offer.

For more details and destination inspirations, head over to Tourism Western Australia’s website at

Top destinations Asia Pacific travelers will visit in 2020

A recent study by Hilton Honors that surveyed 2,300 of the most avid travelers in Asia Pacific revealed a handful of top destinations these jetsetters are most looking forward to visiting in the next 12 months.

The study also revealed that elevated experiences, local culture and authenticity play an important role in attracting Asia Pacific travelers to visit a particular destination.

If money were no object, it’s no surprise that “traveling the world” tops bucket lists – however the desire to try new experiences and connect with local culture were cited most as the important factors in deciding which destinations to visit.

We take a look at some of the destinations and experiences Asia Pacific travelers will likely be booking in 2020.

1.Land of the Rising Sun

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Japan remains one of the most popular countries to visit.

Long prized for its culture, stunning landscapes and way of life, Japan consistently tops destination lists for many travelers around the world.

For Asia Pacific travelers, Japan is the most popular country visited recently, and it is also the destination highest on their list to visit next.

One out of every five avid Asia Pacific travelers has plans to visit Japan in the coming year – and with the highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics happening from 24 July–9 August, this number is only set to rise.

Unsurprisingly, its capital Tokyo topped the list of Japanese cities Asia Pacific travelers are most excited about visiting, followed closely by Osaka.

In both cities, highly unique cultural activities appeal to travelers looking to engage in immersive experiences, such as joining a sake brewery tour to learn more about Japan’s most iconic drink, or training to become a ninja for a day, complete with traditional costume and learning basic sword strokes.

2.Adventures Down Under

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Go for a dive at Down Under.

Australia comes in as a close second-favorite destination for Asia Pacific travelers.

Indian travelers, in particular, see the continent as a bucket list destination – 31% of them want to visit Australia the most, and this far outstrips interest in any other country.

Australia is well known for its food and winery tours, adventure activities like skydiving and surfing, and wildlife, but it’s the beaches, landmarks and spectacular landscapes that have the most influence in travelers’ decision to visit Down Under in 2020.

The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland manages to combine all three elements. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is not just a bucket list destination for scuba divers either.

Enjoy full-day reef snorkeling tours from Cairns, or see the magnificent coral reef system – stretching over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers – from above on a thrilling helicopter ride.

3.K-pop and cooking in South Korea

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Go for a gastronomic adventure at South Korea.

Another destination that Asia Pacific travelers are most excited to visit in the next 12 months is South Korea.

With the unabating popularity of K-pop and K-dramas, it’s not surprising that local experiences around culture and food are key aspects that generate the most excitement among Asia Pacific travelers looking to visit South Korea.

One survey respondent said: “When I watch a Korean drama, it makes me really want to go there… I’d eat the street food, ramyeon (Korean instant noodle dish) and drink soju!”

Seoul is by far the most popular city Asia Pacific travelers want to visit, followed by Jeju and Busan.

Travelers can immerse themselves in the local culture with experiences like visiting a seawater sauna or hot spring “water house” – where locals often go to refresh body and spirit – or even indulge in cooking and tea classes, to cook delicious authentic Korean food or learn more about tea culture respectively.

One of the most iconic aspects of Korean culture can also be embraced first-hand through a “Hallyu Star Makeup Class”.

Learn about the makeup secrets, styles and beauty tips of Korean stars and celebrities during this session – which comes complete with a live makeup tutorial and interactive feedback.

To discover unique and memorable travel experiences like these and more, visit

3 reasons to visit picturesque Ba Ho Waterfalls, Nha Trang

If you are for a change of scenery from the coastal city of Nha Trang, head to Ba Ho Waterfalls.

This nature attraction comprises three natural waterfalls.

Located about 20 kilometers north of Nha Trang, the waterfalls are a favorite spot for hikers and trekkers.

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Relax and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Here are three reasons you need to visit Ba Ho Waterfalls:


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Pick a cliff for to jump down from.

It takes a 30-minute walk from the entrance to the first waterfall. After that, the climb becomes challenging that you need to have proper shoe attires to walk through them.

If you don’t have proper walking shoes for the waterfall, you can buy them at Nha Trang city. Our personal favourite sandals are the Vietnamese local brand, Vento Footwear. They are comfortable, durable and have a strong grip.

Once you reach the second and third waterfalls, watch out for signs indicating where you can jump from, face your fears and try out cliff-jumping. It is a little bit nerve-wracking but definitely worth the try.

If you are not a strong swimmer, make sure you wear the life jackets provided at every waterfall.

2.Enjoy other activities

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Pick a water activity,

If you are not able to hike to the waterfalls, enjoy some activities not far from the entrance of Ba Ho Waterfalls.

You can kayak, ride a water bike or tire yourself out on a hamster water wheel. There is even a swimming pool right next to the river for visitors to swim in. You can use them for no additional charge after showing your entrance tickets to the person-in-charge.

Food and drinks are available at Ba Ho Waterfalls for sale so bring extra money just in case you are famished after all that sweating.

3.Escape from the mainstream tourists

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Escape the crowd at the waterfall.

Since Ba Ho Waterfalls requires a little bit of physical stamina, it is not a popular place for the casual mainstream tourists.

It has relatively less crowd compared to Nha Trang’s other tourist attractions such as Po Nagar and Nha Trang Beach.

Here you can enjoy the solemnity of nature, relieving your stress before bracing yourself for the crowd and noise of Nha Trang city.

How to get to Ba Ho Waterfalls

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The view on the way to Ba Ho Waterfalls.

You can book a Grabcar or a taxi to take you to Ba Ho Waterfalls. If you are confident with your driving skills amidst Vietnamese traffic, you can rent a car or motorcycle to go there. Or you can book a half-day tour using travel platforms such as TripAdvisor and Klook.

The perks of having a tour guide to bring you is to have a local explaining to you about the place, how to enjoy it (e.g. where to jump), telling you where are the best spots to take your photos and of course, take a photo of your scrunching face as you jump from the cliff.

Speaking of photographs, the site offers plenty of photo op backgrounds to choose from such as wooden arches, swings near the river and many more.

Before you make your way there, make sure you are fit, wear proper shoes and bring a spare change of clothes.

The road to the waterfalls will take you along the picturesque coastline of Nha Trang, so enjoy your journey.

5 things you must do at Vinpearl Land Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vinpearl Land Nha Trang is the Vietnamese take on Disneyworld.

Located on the Hon Tre Island, the amusement park is one of the must-visit places of Nha Trang city.

It doesn’t matter if you are a solo traveler, travelling with your better halves or with your whole family, there is something for all ages at Vinpearl Land Nha Trang.

How to buy a Vinpearl Land Nha Trang ticket and how to get there
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Visitors lining up to get on the cable car.

For foreign travelers, there are several ways for you to purchase your entrance ticket to Vinpearl Land Nha Trang.

You can even buy your tickets online ahead of your arrival in Vietnam on travel platforms such as Klook. If you are staying in Nha Trang city, take a Grab ride or taxi from your hotel to Vinpearl Land Cable Car station and from there you can claim your physical ticket.

Secondly, you can purchase your Vinpearl Land Nha Trang ticket at your hotel reception desk. Check with your hotel if they are selling the entrance tickets.

Lastly you can go straight to Vinpearl Cable Car station and purchase your ticket. However, this last option might cause you to wait for a long queue especially during peak season (June to August).

If you are staying on the island, check at your hotel for the entry tickets.

A basic entrance ticket is for the entire day and it gives access to almost all rides and attractions.

Here is a tip: if your time or budget is limited, make your way to the park in the evening. Although you cannot visit some of the attractions such as the water park at night, the ticket is way cheaper.

Additionally, you can purchase entry for lunch buffet at the amusement park along with your entrance ticket.

If lunch buffet is not for you, there are several other eateries at the park so bring extra money for that. Food and drink are not allowed to be brought into the park.

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Try some of the local cuisine at its lunch buffet.

Vinpearl Cable Car

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The view as your cable car cabin approaches the amusement park.

Getting to Vinpearl Land Nha Trang via the cable car is a memorable experience on its own.

The 15-minute ride (depending on wind condition) per trip is one of the longest over-water cable car rides in the world.

Carrying passengers in 48 cabins in an hour, the cable car connects Vinpearl Land and Nha Trang beach.

The best part of the ride is taking in the beauty of Nha Trang Bay, one of the most famous and popular bays in the world.

It uses seven towers to support the cable car system over the sea. At night, these cable towers turn into mini-Eiffel towers lining the bay.

If you have acrophobia, you can also take Vinpearl-owned ferry from Nha Trang Beach to the island.

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The view of the cable car system at night.

With so many things to do at Vinpearl Land, here are at least five activities you should put on your itinerary:

1.Go on all the amusement rides

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The calm before the storm.

The amusement rides at Vinpearl Land cater to all kinds of thrill seekers.

Do you like the feeling of flying in the air? Then ride the Pirate Ship and Swing Carousel where you can have the taste of cruising in the air.

If getting dizzy is your thing, then give the Thrilling Ferris a try. It is perfect for those who do not mind being spun around high up in the air.

Free falling is definitely not for everyone. Imagine getting carried to the top of the tower with a height of over 20m. Before you take your moment to enjoy the ocean view, you are then suddenly dropped like nobody’s business. That is what you get when riding the Sky Drop.

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Fly in the sky like a superman on this ride.

For those who have the need for speed, go on the Roller Coaster, Giant Sky Chaser and Adventures in the Mines.

Of all the rides, we highly suggest taking the Alpine Coaster. There are 50 sleds provided for this ride.

However, since it is one of the more famous rides in the park, it can take up to one hour of queuing before your turn.

The largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, Alpine Coaster Vinpearl Land features a total length of 1,760 meters. The height difference between two stations is up to 133 meter so it is quite a steep ride in the beginning.

At first, the Alpine Coaster ride will take visitors from the downhill station to the top hill station (at 140 meters above sea level) using the straight line pull system. Throughout this 540 meters long journey, visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of Nha Trang Bay.

Once the sled has reached the top hill station, the adrenaline rush begins. This is when visitors will experience the thrills sliding down a 1,220 meter winding road.

Even when you are battling with your fear while riding the Alpine Coaster, watch out for two cameras along your way. Remember to smile at the cameras and purchase your photos at the end of your ride.

For parents, there is a number of rides perfectly catered for young children.

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This is the time to scream your lungs out!

2.Splash away at the waterpark

After all the adrenaline rush, continue your thrilling adventure at Vinpearl Land’s water park.

At the Rafting Slide, there are four slides to choose from with different turns and curves, all towering at 12 meters high.

You can ride alone or a pair but make sure to go on all four of the slides. Each slide promises to bring you different experiences.

If you are coming in a group of four or six, there is Family Rafting Slide for you to enjoy together as a group.

Do not have enough people with you? This is the perfect time for you to make new friends and enjoy the ride together.

Vinpearl Land always has the young travelers in mind. There is a Kid’s Pool with colourful slides for them to enjoy.

If you are sick of the chlorinated water at the water park, then head to Vinpearl Splash Bay. This giant floating game is located right at the shoreline Vinpearl Land covering a total area of 4,200 square meters. It is equipped with slides, climbing cliff, balancing brides and giant balloons.

Make sure you wear your life jackets before you go on the float. But for safety, there are life guards always on standby.

3.Stroll through one of the most beautiful gardens

After all the fun and adventure, slow it down by strolling through the Rose Kingdom at The World Garden of Vinpearl Land.

There is a 5,000 square meter piece of land dedicated only for roses and you can just smell the fragrance of these flowers.

If roses are not your cup of tea, there are many other types of plants at The World Garden. Botany lovers will never get enough of this attraction.

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Smell the roses at Rose Garden.

4.Catch a glimpse of mermaids

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Walk through this tunnel and watch the fishes swim!

Apparently, Vinpearl Land has the most modern aquarium system in Vietnam. Thus, a visit to the park would not be complete without visiting the aquarium.

The entire aquarium is a two-storey building block built in an artificial rock mountain. There are more than 300 marine species up for display.

The highlight of the aquarium is its ‘mermaid’ performances. At selected time of the day, ‘mermaids’ will swim around in front of live audience telling a story about the consequences of marine pollution.

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Go early for the Mermaid Show so that you can have the front row seats.

5.Ride the Vinpearl Sky Wheel

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The Vinpearl Sky Wheel.

Officially opened on Aug 30, 2017, the Vinpearl Sky Wheel is the country’s largest wheel in Vietnam.

At an impressive height of 120m, it is also recognised as one of Top 10 wheels in the world.

It can accommodate up to 480 passengers for every turn. What makes Vinpearl Sky Wheel is not just the humongous size, but also the view it offers. Overlooking the beautiful of Nha Trang Bay, the view from the wheel is simply breathtaking.

The best time is to plan when you want to ride the sky wheel. Let say that you want to catch the sunset from the ride, go early just in case there is a long queue waiting for you.

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Enjoy the scenery of Nha Trang Bay from the top of Vinpearl Sky Wheel.

With so many things to do and so little time in a day, make sure you plan what you want to do.

Some of the ticketing officers at the counter do not speak English fluently so there might be some language barrier.

Nonetheless, make sure to grab an English information pamphlet at the counter. The pamphlets offer visitors information on activities, show times for performances as well as a map of the park. It is informative enough for you to plan your activities for a fun day out at Vinpearl Land Nha Trang.

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Welcome to Vinpearl Land Nha Trang.

5 things to know about Nha Trang Cathedral, Vietnam

Regardless of your religious views, an architecturally beautiful place of worship must be on a travel itinerary when visiting a new city.

So if you are visiting the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang, then you must visit its cathedral.

Here are five things you should know about the beautiful Nha Trang Cathedral:
1.It is known by many different names.

While many call it Nha Trang Cathedral, its official name is the Christ the King Cathedral. It is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Nha Trang in central Vietnam.

The daily masses are held at 5am and 6.30pm.

Beside the Nha Trang Cathedral, the building is also known as the Stone Church or the Mountain Church by the locals.

2.The history of Nha Trang Cathedral

The Nha Trang parish was founded in 1886 by French missionaries. On Sept 3, 1928, the construction of the church began on a small hill named Hon Mot.

The French actually used 500 mines to level the ground, hence the hill on which the cathedral is currently located was higher than it is now.

It was built entirely of stone in the French Gothic style and featured beautiful stained glass windows by Priest Louis Vallet (1869 – 1945).

After Vallet died, he was buried at the foothills of the church.

The church was was consecrated under the title of ‘Christ the King’ on Easter day, 1930.

When the Diocese of Nha Trang was created in 1960, this church was chosen as its cathedral.

3.The features of Nha Trang Cathedral

With the capacity for 600 people, the building is one of the few French architectural remnants in the city.

One of the most interesting features of the cathedral is its three bells. Cast in France in 1789, the bells are still working to this day.

The inside of the cathedral is adorned with neon lights behind its crucifix, tabernacle and statue of Mother Mary.

Meanwhile, the outside of the church has statues of French saints such as St Joan of Arc and St John Vianney.

It also has statues depicting all the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross.

4.Foreign tourists can visit the Nha Trang Cathedral for a minimal entrance fee.

Before, tourists who wanted to visit the Nha Trang Cathedral needed to register one day or at least one hour before the church opened at 8am.

However, many foreign tourists failed to do so and were refused entry.

Now, foreign tourists can conveniently enter the church compound at VND10,000 per entry.

The money collected as entrance fees are used for funding the church’s preservation and conservation efforts.

Visitors can use public transportation such as taxi or book a ride on Grab to go there.

It is a perfect place in Nha Trang to admire French architecture as well as the view of the city.

Since the cathedral is a place of worship, always remember to explore the church with respect.

5.It is a popular spot for wedding photography.

Do not be surprised if you see couples posing for cameras in the church compound.

The cathedral is a famous spot for both foreign and local couples to take their wedding photography.

With its Gothic-style stone building and its high bell tower, it makes beautiful background to commemorate your union in a wedding photo.

Scroll through the photo gallery:

Where to find Thai designers in Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Thailand has talents as proven by numerous occasions when young Thai designers have been recognised on the local and global stages.

For over a decade, the government has been very supportive with various institutions and initiatives aimed at fostering local talents.

Government’s support for Thai designers

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been very supportive of Thai design, old and new. They did this especially through ongoing exhibitions and workshops at its travel trade fairs and international road shows as well as familiarisation trips.

Among the best examples was at a Thailand Travel Mart in Chiang Mai. This is where superbly designed and elegantly crafted products and contemporary arts and crafts were a major hit among buyers.

Other government agencies; such as, the Ministry of Commerce recognises the creativity of Thai designers through its annual Design Excellence Award.

Another government initiative is the OTOP label (OTOP represents the One Tambon (District) One Product project) created 20 years ago. It has been helping to identify and promote iconic products synonymous with each of the 77 provinces.

Many OTOP products have earned global recognition and are sought after by both foreign dealers and visiting tourists.

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An example of OTOP Product. Credit: TAT Newsroom.

“Thai design is in many aspects very different from the way other countries; such as, Japan, South Korea or Taiwan develop their design industry. During the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago, the finance and banking sector saw the needs to convert back to the basics by looking at the way of life. So Thai design is born from emotion, from craft made with heart rather than for mass production. This is what people see today when they think about Thai design,” said Eggarat Wongcharit, a designer and long-term curator of the Thailand Pavilion at the Milan Design Week, the largest event about design in the world.

Thai designers and artists

Thailand designer’s scene is today very lively covering various fields including fashion, home design, jewels, architecture and visual arts. Fashion brands; such as, Greyhound, Kloset, Gin & Milk, Pomelo, Senada or Tube Gallery.

In Thailand, designers and artists are found up and down the country. However, there are two major centres for talents. 

Bangkok is the most important ‘talent fabric’. The capital offers the most opportunities with its universities, the presence of national and international corporations, and the possibility to get a job.

Meanwhile, Chiang Mai is regarded as a centre for young designers. It is backed by a centuries-long tradition of arts and crafts that has been adapted to the taste of modern consumers.

Chiang Mai, home of traditional and contemporary Thai design

Many experts in design will say that most of Bangkok creativit came from talents’ hatching in Chiang Mai or Northern Thailand in general.

Beyond the Night Bazaar, visitors to Chiang Mai will find designer shops settled in 100-year teak houses along Charoen Rat Road. It is an old street running parallel to the Ping River.

The Nimmanhaemin Road Night Market is also turning these days into a new hot spot for hipsters and design fans to admire the latest ideas of local craftsmen.

There are design shops everywhere in Chiang Mai with many brands now leading in their field. 

Angsa Jewellery is one of Chiang Mai finest makers of filigree jewellery. It is the second generation of designers who perpetuate a tradition adding a contemporary touch with delicate jewels all made in pure gold and silver.

The Craft de Quarr shop boasts exquisite contemporary crafts from hill tribes, while Krit Boutique has a fashion line inspired by Lanna traditions.

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Craft de Quarr shop. Credit: TAT Newsroom

Every year in December, the Chiang Mai Design Week celebrates its local design scene.

Designers, craftspeople and creative entrepreneurs showcase their new projects and innovations in design to cater to the needs of modern living.

Emerging Isan design

An emerging area for Thai design is in the Northeast (Isan). It is a place where local wisdom translates into the use of agricultural products; such as, bamboo or rice shoots to create elegant objects.

Silk or cotton weaving has also been part of the local culture and way of life in this region of Thailand for centuries.

At the forefront is the T-Style or Thai style under the concept of ‘Isan object’. Thailand Office of Innovation and Value Creation, Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce spearheaded this project.

Under the project, three renowned Thai designers have travelled across Isan. There, they meet the locals and help them translate local wisdom into lifestyle products as well as fashion items and ornaments for the international market.

They are M.L. Pawinee (Sukhaswasdi) Santisiri, Pichitra Boonyarataphan and Pirada Senivongse Na Ayudhya of the brands Ayodhya, Atelier Pichita and Trimode, respectively.

Many of these ‘Isan objects’ are available in Bangkok’s premium department stores.

Bangkok, the capital of Thai talent

Thailand’s capital is indeed where visitors will find the largest choice of design objects coming from all over the country.

Some of Bangkok’s malls generally dedicate a large section to Thai crafts, design and fashion.

Every year in December, the Chiang Mai Design Week celebrates its local design scene.

Designers, craftspeople and creative entrepreneurs showcase their new projects and innovations in design to cater to the needs of modern living.

Top of the list is Siam Centre and Siam Discovery. Siam Centre was renovated a couple of years ago with a focus on design.

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Siam Centre. Credits: TAT Newsroom

All the shops are bearing a specific funky trendy style with the second and third floor concentrating most on local designers.

In Siam Discovery, ODS (Objects of Desire) boasts the best of Thai design spread across the fourth floor.

The fifth floor also offers a wide range of design objects linked to organic production. ODS recently opened an outlet at the brand new ICONSIAM shopping complex.

Also dedicated to Thai designers, THAITHAI @ZEN at CentralWorld features Thai fashion on the second floor of the Zen Department Store.

Alternatively, and a cheaper option, is Terminal 21mall at the BTS Asok station. There it has a wide choice of products by young Thai designers, ranging from funky T-shirts to innovative design objects. It is definitely difficult to resist!

Check out these six exhibitions during WAK 2019

What About Kuching (WAK 2019) is back for its third and the biggest edition yet.

Featuring a total of 56 collaborations and 99 events, WAK 2019 will turn Kuching city into a hub of colourful activities between Sept 28 to Oct 27.

Since its inception in 2017, WAK had been a true partnership between the public and private sectors while exemplifying its cohesiveness as Sarawakians and patriots of Sarawak.

WAK 2019 has also activated its Location X-traordinaire- the building that was once Ting & Ting Supermarket.

The month-long festival will all kinds of events such as conferences, workshops, live music, parties and sport events.

WAK 2019
But if art is what you are looking far, check out these six exhibitions during WAK 2019:
1.Art Street Kuching: Ruangseni Exhibition
Date: Sept 28 – Oct 27
Time: 8am – 5pm
Location: Location X

From fine art paintings, sculptures to a film photography segment; this WAK 2019 exhibition explores an over-arching theme that offers visitors a metaphorical and literal understanding of ‘Dreams’.

The exhibition will feature the works of Benyamin Bahri, Mj Samaroon, Norma Saini, Sonia Luhong, Syed Rusydie, Billy Simon, Iona Danald, Jack Arjuna Chan, Ida Thien and Bethany Balan.

Do watch out for their workshops which span throughout WAK 2019.

2.The Art of the Tinsmith
Date: Sept 28 – Oct 27
Time: 9am – 6pm
Location: The Japanese Building at the Old Courthouse

Let this exhibition walks you through the craft of the traditional tinsmith’s workshop.

3.Driven by Inspirations – My Artistic Journey: Ramsay Ong
Date: Oct 1 – Oct 27
Time: 10am – 6pm
Location: Location X

Sarawak’s very own renowned artist Ramsay Ong will feature 12 pieces of fine arts at this exhibition.

Visitors will be able to take an insight into his transitions through various mediums and inspirational moments that has shaped him as an artist today.

4.Sarawakiana Carnival 2019: Sale, Demonstration & Exhibition of Sarawak Arts, Sculpture and Handicrafts
Date: Oct 4 – Oct 6
Time: 8.30am – 4.30pm
Location: Sarawak State Library’s lobby

An event about Kuching or Sarawak overall can never be complete without an exhibition about Sarawak craft. This exhibition will feature the art of carving and sculpture in Sarawak.

5.Discover Kuching – Photography Exhibition
Date: Oct 5 – Oct 11
Time: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Location: Ground Floor @The Hills Mall

Organised by Swinburne Photomedia and Design Club, this exhibition aims to showcase and promote local Kuching lifestyle and culture through photography.

Besides exhibition, there will be photography and editing workshops happening at the venue.

Date: Oct 12- Oct 13
Time: 11am – 6pm
Location: Ground Floor @ Plaza Merdeka Mall

Expect to see how four fields of arts (visual art, dance, music and theater) to come together in this exhibition called Symbiosis.

Organised by Visual Art Department from Sekolah Seni Malaysia Sarawak, the exhibition promises it is a showcase to remember.

About WAK

In 2017, Donald and Marina Tan founded a festival which brings together numerous communities in Kuching city to stage their different contents under one roof called ‘What About Kuching’ or better known as WAK.

It is an ‘open access’ festival, meaning that anyone and everyone can participate and all it takes is for those interested to fill in a proposal form during the Call for Proposal period from March to May each year.

Find more about the rest of WAK 2019 events here.

Places to visit near Bangkok’s four new MRT stations

The opening of four new MRT stations in Bangkok’s Old City or Rattanakosin neighbourhood and Chinatown, as part of a longer extension to the city’s subway, has made exploration of the area and its various attractions all the more easier.

The four MRT stations are part of a 14-km extension to the MRT Blue Line, which involves 11 new stations in all.

These are the Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot, Sanam Chai and Itsaraphap MRT Stations.

Additionally, they run in this order after the Hua Lamphong MRT Station from where the extension starts.

The Hua Lamphong MRT Station is connected to the Hua Lamphong Railway Station. This is Bangkok’s main station from where trains run throughout the country.

The area of Bangkok covered by the four new MRT stations is home to many of the city’s most spectacular attractions. These include the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha).

As such, the design and decoration of the stations both celebrates and honours this. Even their above ground architecture aims to help the buildings blend in and look a part of the community.

Between them, the four new MRT stations provide an easy and convenient way to go from attraction to attraction. Tourists can doing away with the need to tackle traffic conditions and having to travel by taxi, tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi.

All in all, it makes for a more enjoyable time spent visiting of the Old City and Chinatown.

Here are the four new MRT stations in Bangkok and interesting places to visit near them:
1.Wat Mangkon MRT Station
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Wat Mangkon MRT Station

While the Hua Lamphong MRT Station is a short walk from Bangkok’s Chinatown, the Wat Mangkon MRT Station on Charoen Krung Road is in the heart of Chinatown.

Hence, this makes it perfect for tourists wanting to experience the pulsating beat and dazzling neon lights of this famous neighbourhood.

The station is named after Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (meaning ‘Dragon Lotus Temple’) the city’s largest Chinese Buddhist temple.

Moreover, it features a striking and very elegant décor of red and gold and a dragon-inspired staircase.

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is within a comfortable walk of the Wat Mangkon MRT Station.

Also known as Wat Leng Nui Yee, the temple is a centre of festivities during important festivals like Chinese New Year and the Vegetarian Festival.

Needless to say anytime is good to visit. The temple’s low rambling structure features dragons playing with a pearl on the roof. Go inside and there are various Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian shrines within.

All the while, the smoke from countless incense sticks fills the air and adds to the overall atmosphere.

Also within a walk of the Wat Mangkon MRT Station is Sampheng Lane, a cluttered, hectic and fun Chinatown market.

Packed along the narrow lane (seriously, it’s about as wide as your outstretched arms) is shop after shop selling all manner of items from jewellery, shoes and watches to toys, fabric and a myriad of exotic foods.

If you’re looking for heaps of people and heaps of goods ranging from the Oriental to the everyday, then Sampheng Lane won’t disappoint you.

More tourist attractions sites in Bangkok’s Chinatown

Yaowarat Road – Chinatown’s high street – is a foodies’ dream, attracting locals from across the city and tourists alike to the scintillating array of street-side food including dim sum, noodles, omelettes and much more that’s on offer during the evening.

Also worth visiting in Chinatown is Wat Traimit, which is actually just a few minutes’ walk from the Hua Lamphong MRT Station.

This temple houses a massive gold seated Buddha, and it is a regular pilgrimage for Buddhists as well as curious tourists. Within a stone’s throw of Wat Traimit is the Chinatown Gate, which marks the entrance to this end of Chinatown.

It was built in 1999 to commemorate the late King Rama IX’s 72nd birthday.

2.Sam Yot MRT Station
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Sam Yot MRT station

Sam Yot MRT station is decorated with a museum-type feel. It includes displays of old photographs and drawings that point to the Station’s historical surroundings.

Additionally, the Station building itself is designed to reflect the local street architecture.

This station is situated on the Western outskirts of Chinatown and Sampheng Lane; for example, can be reached within a comfortable walk. Rommaninat Park is a few minutes’ walk from the Station to the north. Meanwhile, a short stroll beyond the park is Wat Suthat and the towering red Giant Swing at its entrance.

Wat Suthat is among Bangkok’s oldest and most impressive temples. It was commissioned by King Rama I the Great and completed around the mid-19th century during King Rama III’s reign.

The temple features an elegant chapel, magnificent wall murals, and exquisite hand-carved teakwood door panels. The Giant Swing stands over 21 metres tall and is a prominent landmark of the area. The original swing dating from 1784 was replaced in 2004 with a new one crafted from golden teak.

3.Sanam Chai MRT Station
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Sanam Chai MRT Station

The beautiful, elegant decoration of the Sanam Chai MRT Station with its maroon red and gold colours and stately pillars effect pays tribute to the royal heritage nearby.

The Station is around 1 km from the spectacular Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), with Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) located along the way.

Right on the Station’s doorstep is Museum Siam, which is dedicated to ‘Thainess’ and the history of the Thai people, their culture and traditions.

Far from your average run-of-the-mill museum, this place is full of surprising and thought-provoking displays and exhibits.

Bangkok’s most famous landmark, the Grand Palace is the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom. For 150 years, this was the home of the Thai King, the Royal Court and the administrative seat of government.

Today, it stands resplendent and awe-inspiring, and its beautiful architecture a sight to behold. No trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit here.

More tourist attraction sites near Sanam Chai MRT Station

Situated on the grounds of the Grand Palace is Wat Phra Kaeo. It is another must-see for tourists and for Thais the kingdom’s most sacred Buddhist temple.

Enshrined within is the highly revered Emerald Buddha statue named Phra Kaeo Morakot or Phra Buddha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon. It is carved from a single jade block.

Other highlights include a model of Angkor Wat, murals telling the Ramayana epic, and the five-metre tall Yaksa Tavarnbal or Gatekeeping Giants.

Half a kilometre or so from the Sanam Chai MRT Station is Wat Pho. It is another of Bangkok’s best-known temples and also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha for the 46-metre long, gold leaf-covered reclining Buddha that it houses.

Named Phra Buddha Sai Yat, this is the 3rdlargest reclining Buddha in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Wat Pho was Thailand’s first public university and is today known as a centre of traditional massage and medicine. Plus, it is widely considered to be the country’s leading school of massage.

Must-sees are the four chapels containing 394 gilded Buddha images, the intricate murals covering the walkways and the Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho. These were inscribed in 2011 in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

A short walk from the Sanam Chai MRT Station in the other direction is Pak Khlong Talat flower market. It is the city’s biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market.

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Pak Khlong Talat flower market

While it’s open 24 hours, the best time to see the market is after midnight. This is when it’s at its most lively, and in the pre-dawn hours when truckloads of fresh flowers come in from around the country. Plus, it is when traders and retailers come to buy their stock.

4.Itsaraphap MRT Station
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Itsaraphap MRT Station

Itsaraphap MRT station is on the Thon Buri side of the Chao Phraya River.

Its decoration features a swan theme, paying tribute to nearby Wat Hongrattanaram, which has ‘swan’ in its name.

This station is the best choice for visiting Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). Since it is less than a kilometre to the north on the Chao Phraya riverside.

Wat Arun features a different design to other temples in Bangkok. Its main Khmer-style tower rising to a height of some 66 metres. Additionally, it has a decoration of seashells and bits of porcelain that glimmer in the sunlight.

It is also an internationally recognisable landmark, having been used as a location in several Hollywood movies.

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Wat Hongrattanaram

This story is based on a press release provided by Tourism Authority of Thailand.

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