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Must-see places and can’t miss things to do from Malé to Bali

Island Adventures and Family Fun in Phuket and Koh Samui

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Planning a family vacation to Phuket or Koh Samui and accommodating the needs of an entire family is no easy feat. The mind boggles with such a wide range of both indoor and outdoor activities available. What are the most reputable and safe options, and which activity could satisfy everyone equally – from the oldest to the youngest? Staying at an elite haven makes the decision-making process simple.  Not only will you receive the attentive care and local tips from your dedicated Villa Manager, but you also have the assurance of the Elite Havens’ Concierge to assist with all your booking requirements and to personally manage your experience. So, you can sit back, relax and simply enjoy your holiday.

Phuket

The Phuket Aquarium, on the island’s southernmost tip at Cape Panwa, is a great place to discover Phuket’s underwater world and learn about local marine conservation at the same time. The aquarium is especially suitable for younger kids who will delight at the sight of sea turtles, manta rays and, of course, those cute clownfish of Finding Nemo fame. Top Tip: Walk along the nature trail at the exit of the aquarium and you’ll find a sanctuary for injured turtles.

Phang Nga Bay, with its magical hidden lagoons and towering limestone karsts, is a sea kayaker’s dream. Day trips from Phuket accommodate paddlers of all ages* and abilities and are a wonderful way to discover this unique seascape. Alternatively, ride the waves aboard a traditional long-tail fishing boat, or charter a luxury sail or motor yacht for the day.

*If your kids are very young, we recommend checking with the tour organiser before you book, as full day trips may not be suitable.

Bikes, Boats and Beaches. If you fancy something a little more energetic, we highly recommend a day out with Andaman Nature Tours (Feel Phuket). This three-in-one tour starts with a boat trip over to one of Phuket sister islands Koh Yao Noi. From here, saddle up for a bike ride. The terrain is relatively easy-going and the scenery is stunning. You’ll ride through paddy fields and meet local farmers who are the real organic hipsters, then up into the rubber plantations. For your lunch stop, hop aboard a traditional fishing boat and cruise to a secluded palm-fringed white sandy beach,

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Selong Selo’s Best-Kept Secrets, From Surf Breaks to Fishing Spots

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Imagine what you could do in a land of lulling seas, tropical breezes and endless fields. From high-adrenaline activities to pure relaxation escapes, Lombok has it all.  There’s a wealth of activities to be enjoyed and savoured. At Selong Selo, water activities to explore the unadulterated beauty of the ocean can be tailor-made to suit your desires. Where do you begin?

SURFING

Beginners will enjoy Selong Belanak Beach. It’s a sandy-bottom shore break and thus has a perfect set-up for foam boards. It offers a beach break across the 1.7 km stretch of the beach, with most surfing in the Eastern corner.

Location: Selong Belanak Beach

Surfing Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Length: ½ day trip

Gerpuk is best for beginner to advanced surfers. Five different surf breaks makes it South Lombok’s most popular surfing bay. Only 50 minutes away from Selong Selo, it is protected from the winds via surrounding hills.

Location: Gerpuk

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Length: ½ day trip

Mawi is best for intermediate and advanced surfers. This reef break offers a charming peak with short hollow rights and lefts. At 6 ft. plus, Mawi transforms into a heaving left barrel, with elevator drops and heavy hold-downs. At 8-10 ft., it’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s best on mid-tides and a south-east trade wind from May to September, but holds swell all year round.

Location: Mawi

Surfing Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Length: ½ day trip

Located West of Selong Belanak beach, Serangan Beach is a popular “secret” beach. This break is best for intermediate to advanced surfers. It is only 15 minutes from Selong Selo and mornings are perfect for a solo surf. 

Location: Serangan

Surfing Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Length: ½ day trip

STAND UP PADDLEBOARD (SUP)

For a gentle first experience in Stand-Up Paddleboard, Selong Belanak and Kuta beaches are great locations. There are several expansive and protected bays to explore. A sunset paddleboard is recommended because it’s an apt time of day to experience cooling down. An added bonus? You’ll see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Asia.

Locations: Selong Belanak,

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The Ultimate Bali Summer Events Guide You’ll Need

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No matter what time of year, expect a holiday in Bali to be bustling with activity. But in the months of July and August, when the days are sunniest and the weather is driest, the island turns into a veritable party island. A wealth of activities are on-hand. Whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or your significant other, expect to be flooded with choice. Festivals, concerts, events and conventions are aplenty. These are the months Bali is most alive.

In September, as things die down, there is still a plethora of activities – what with less traffic and cheaper airfare. Everyday is a discovery, but with less people populating the streets.

Whichever month you choose to come to Bali, an elite haven will always be waiting for you. Grab your suitcase and head to the Island of the Gods!

JULY
Surfing Contests

The sponsors and activities change every year but you’ll find top international surf contests being held throughout the summer. It’s not just peak tourist season but also peak wave season! Surf to your heart’s content!

When: July and August

Where: Padang Padang Beach, West Sumatra

Gypsy Land

Equivalent to Burning Man – but in Bali – Gyspy Land is an art-filled techno festival in Seminyak. Three hectares of land are flooded with revelers dressed in outrageous gear and costumes that will make your eyes pop. There are two themes to explore: Alice in Wonderland and Mad Max.

When: July 13-14

Where: Seminyak

Bali Blues Festival 

Does the smooth sounds of the Blues titillate you? Then this is where you need to be. The Bali Blues Festival is back for its fifth year, featuring musicians from around the globe.

When: July 13 – 14

Where: Peninsula Island, Nusa Dua

Makepung Race, Governor’s Cup

Makepung is a tradition from the agrarian livelihood of the island and the race of water buffalo is a wonderful spectacle. The racing course is about 2 kilometres and the farmers come to race for honour.

When: July 14

Where: Jembrana, West Bali

Tulamben Festival

This event highlights exhibitions and a fantastic art and culture parade.

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Visiting Galle? Do Not Miss These 5 Attraction Sites

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Galle in Sri Lanka is a perfect example of the fusion of European and Asian styles. Its natural beauty, superb archaeological location and rich heritage have made it an outstanding coastal city of Sri Lanka.

It is hard to believe that a city that is buzzing with business activities has managed to successfully preserve ancient heritage in such an amazing manner. If you are travelling to Galle for the first time, include these 5 attraction sites into your list of must-visits.

The UNESCO-Listed Galle Fort

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The Galle Dutch Fort is a rare historical jewel protected by dark, thick stone walls – with the endless ocean on one side. It was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th-century from 1649 onwards. Even after more than 428 years, the roads inside the Galle Fort have hardly changed, like the squares on a chess board crisscrossing in regular patches. Straight and narrow lanes branch in and out inviting the visitor to a delightful walk into the 17th century. The fort is big enough to feel a tiny bit lost at times, but small enough to explore on foot.

No.39 Galle Fort is tucked along Lighthouse Street in Galle Fort. The historic heritage house is airy, spacious and charming. Ideal for families and a group of friends looking for an easy access to the many iconic attractions on this historic locale – Galle Fort’s iconic landmarks are only footsteps away.

1Galle Fort Lighthouse

Another fantastic landmark is the Galle Lighthouse, Sri Lanka’s oldest light station, dating back to 1848. The original 24.5-metre-high lighthouse (built by the British) was destroyed by fire in 1934. Standing tall at 26.5-metre-high, the current lighthouse was erected in 1939 to replace it.

Come here early morning and you might catch the fishermen on their stilts, or late afternoon to see the sunset. A relaxing walk on the fortification along the sea is highly recommended.

4Japanese Peace Pagoda

Built by Nipponzan Myohoji monks, the Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the most tranquil attractions of the city and exudes a sense of calm. If you came to Galle seeking for spirituality and inner peace, this is the place to be.

The Pagoda is only a short walk to Jungle Beach.

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The Best Beach Clubs in Bali

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You’ve arrived on the Island of the Gods. There is so much to do on your bucket list, so many cultural, spiritual, artistic and gastronomical places to visit. Don’t forget to unwind from it all with a delicious cocktail, vibrant beats, gorgeous people and an equally stunning view. You are, after all, on the vacation of a lifetime! Dance the night or day away, Bali-style!

FINNS VIP

The absolute beachfront club offers another level of beach club chic. Choose from Meditteranean dining on a vast oceanfront lawn, dining al fresco on a terrace,  having powerhouse meetings in the VIP Lounge or the fabulous Rooftop Bar. Be mesmerised by the stunning Instagram-worthy sunsets and the quirky nighttime surfing under spotlights. 

If Finns VIP is up your alley, why not book an elite haven in the Canggu area?

SUNDAYS BEACH CLUB

Kick back and enjoy life at this chic day retreat that is nestled on a white sandy crescent beach on Bali’s Bukit peninsula. Pull up a beanbag or sun lounger and enjoy a day of sea kayaking, snorkelling or stand up paddle boarding while listening to cool island beats and grazing from a perfect beachside menu. Expect butter-soft yellow fin tuna sushi, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. Sip hand crafted cocktails and watch the sun set while making fabulous holiday memories.

Sundays Beach Club is in the Bukit region, where the fabulous Uluwatu and Jimbaran are.

KUDETA

A restaurant, bar and beach lounge is coupled with eclectic soulful soundtracks and panoramic views. The club is known as Bali’s original sunset-watching venue, and rightfully so. It boasts not just magnificent views but amazing sounds that set it apart from the others.

Kudeta is located in hip Seminyak. Enjoy your stay at a luxury villa in the region.

KARMA BEACH

Enter one of the globe’s hottest beach clubs high above the glittering azure ocean. Ride an inclinator down the limestone cliff to a white crescent of sandy beach that is perfect for a party. Bamboo and thatch buildings encircle an intimate scene, with hedonistic drinks and delectable food completing the whole experience.

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