Reset Inspiration #007
Making decisions is hard, especially when it comes to some well deserved R&R. We've taken the hard work out of your holiday planning, so you can sit back, relax, and rest assured that we're here to offer a helping hand with some inspiration each month, covering the why, when, and most importantly, where.
Relax : Hikkaduwa - Sri Lanka
When: January - March
Sri Lanka has something for every kind of traveller - whether you're into heart-pounding adventures or cocktails on the beach - but if you're looking for a bit of both, Hikkaduwa is the place to go. A hipster town on the southern coast of the island, Hikkaduwa has become known for becoming a second home to many a surfer, as well as those with a penchant for smoothie bowls.
With a number of sandy beaches to surf, sip, and watch the sun set, a turtle sanctuary, a coral sanctuary, snorkelling trips and surfing lessons, you will find plenty to do - and plenty to eat. We can recommend 'Eat Fresh' - where you quite literally will eat the freshest and most delicious seafood you've ever had (if you do swing by we advise you go for the prawn mango curry. It's one of those dishes you won't stop thinking about for years afterward).
If you have time, take a train over to Ella for gorgeous mountains, hikes, and laid-back hippy vibes, but shorter visits to nearby coastal towns like Bentota and Galle are worth a visit too if you're on a shorter schedule.
Adventure : El Nido - Philippines
When: November - April
El Nido makes it onto many people's bucket lists, and for good reason. The archipelago's beauty exceeds the rumours, and you won't know what will awe you first - the crystal clear waters, the towering rock formations, or the golden sunsets over the cove. With more than four boat tours to choose from each day you'll have plenty to do, but if you fancy a break from exploring the sea, Nacpan Beach offers a day of relaxing in the sunshine with a drink in hand.
El Nido is also home to some delicious restaurants with expats from all over the globe having brought a taste of their culture to the tiny beach town - from Israel to Spain, there is something for everyone to experience when the sun sets. If you're looking to get away from the crowds, a ferry to Coron will take you to some diving hotspots for those looking to get away from it all. A word of warning about both destinations - both El Nido and Coron have very, very patchy internet, so download any Netflix for long journeys before you get here.
Culture : Angkor Wat - Cambodia
When: November - March
A sprawling complex of history and culture just a short tuk-tuk ride away from Cambodia's buzzing city of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is a must-see for anyone visiting the country. It's rare to be able to explore ruins at your leisure, and with a variety of different tuk-tuk tours that can take you on a whirlwind of top spots or a leisurely, lengthy exploration of the sites. You can tailor the experience to suit your interests - if you're a history buff and want to spend three days exploring from dawn 'til dusk, or if you're just interested in the hot spots.
If you want some funny looks from your tuk-tuk driver, you can even explore the complex on foot - just ask them to meet you at a certain point and time later on. We recommend a two day tour - the first by tuk-tuk to see all the main temples, beginning at sunrise at Angkor Wat itself, and the second at Srah Srang Lake, where you ask your driver to meet you back at Angkor Wat as you explore the smaller, lesser known temples yourself in between (bring lots of water, and expect to walk between 10-15km)
For tips on where to stay in the city, we recommend one of our favourite stays, Viroth's Hotel, which has made it onto Trip Advisor's top hotels in the world every single year. Winding down in the city at night after a £10 massage, or dinner in a riverside food market can be the perfect end to a day or two of exploration.