Author: Sarah Rees

A Magical Christmas in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and most famous Christmas Markets in the whole of Europe. From late November until the end of December, the city is transformed – and it now attracts around two million visitors each year!   This is a place where children’s eyes shine – a place where fairy tales could quite easily come to life…   In fact, lots of fairy tale characters grace the buildings here! Strasbourg considers itself ‘The Capital of Christmas’ – and on arrival at the futuristic train station, there are posters and billboards promoting ‘Strasbourg Capital de...

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Watching Sunset on Railay Beach, Thailand

The beach had come alive with visitors – all congregating with cameras in hand.  The sunset here always draws a big crowd…   The clouds began to change into a golden, candyfloss pink behind the palm trees at the back of the beach.  At Railay Beach the golden hour was upon us and the sand had started to catch the hazy reflections of the sunset… The spectacular limestone karst scenery and the little boats moored at the shore began turning into striking silhouettes. The shoreline was getting busy with photographers and tourists hoping to capture the perfect photo souvenir....

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Thailand – Railay Beach Vibes

Once in a while you visit a place that just feels ‘special’ and Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand is one of those special places.  The beach itself is vast and sandy, set against a dramatic backdrop of limestone cliffs.  The cliffs themselves are a huge draw to climbers from around the world and the bay is sheltered and calm, perfect for young families. But it is the ‘vibe’ here that is so appealing.  No-one is in a hurry.  We sat watching people for a while – couples ambling along the shoreline, kids playing football on the sand and young...

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Discovering Tropical Rainforests

Forests in the tropics can be considered ‘biodiversity hotspots’.  As well as supporting a vast array of vegetation, they provide shelter and nourishment for a wealth of wildlife.   Depending on the area of land covered, forests can even affect the local and regional climate – cooling and refreshing the tropical atmosphere. Rainforests have a clearly identifiable structure – and each vertical layer has a distinctly different type of vegetation and wildlife associated with it.  The ‘bushy’ leafy tree level of the forest is known as the ‘canopy’.  This is where birds and primates predominantly live.  Occasionally huge trees pierce...

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Hiking ‘Dragon Crest’ Mountain in Thailand

I knew hiking a mountain forest in 98% humidity in Thailand was going to be a challenge.  I also knew that it would be slow-going, as there would be so many photo opportunities!  It would take over three hours to reach the summit of Ngorn Nak or ‘Dragon Crest’ Mountain – a sacred mountain towards the north of Krabi in Thailand.   At the start of the hike, the forest trail led through lush jungle.  Big leaves and bright flowers greeted us – along with a little shrine for the dragon mountain.   The jungle canopy provided welcome shade...

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The Secret Lagoon of Hong Island

After visiting the incredible white powder beach of Hong Island, our boat then headed back out to sea and we started to cruise along the rocky coastline. We were looking for a narrow entrance in the rock face… At the centre of Hong Island is a cavern that can only be entered when the sea is above a certain level.  This is what inspired the island’s name as Hong in Thai means ‘room’ or ‘cavern’.   Small boats can enter this concealed lagoon through the narrow gap in the rocky cliffs. Once inside, we were able to slowly explore this...

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