A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
Booking in advance is recommended: Stonehenge Booking. To avoid the busier times book either the first slot (9:00 AM in summer / 9:30 in winter) or the very last slot (different times depending on the season). Additionally, try to avoid weekends.
Best light for photos is in the morning. Another way to avoid crowds is booking a private sunset tour, where you could even take stunning golden hour shots.
The area is open year-round and entrance free. If you like to have a look inside a windmill to see how families lived centuries ago and you like to learn more running a windmill please note the opening hours for the museum and the interpretive center:
- Peak season: April to October from 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Off-season: November to March from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The UNESCO World Heritage site is very popular and a must when visiting Holland, the Netherlands. Either go early in the day before the tour buses arrive or visit the windmills after 4 p.m. in the peak season. Limited parking is the other reason when traveling by car.
Even more crowded at the tulip season in April when tour buses combine Keukenhof with Kinderdijk.
The difference between visiting in the morning, evening or at night:
Morning until Afternoon: Least crowded. Especially in the morning, you can experience the view without many other tourists. Even without the beautiful night view, it’s still a great experience in daylight.
Twilight / Dusk: Right before dusk it usually gets more crowded. Even more after dark. Top tip: Be there just before dusk to experience the fascinating change from daylight to darkness, while the city lights turn on slowly. Check sunset times here: http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/j...
After Dusk / at Night: Usually crowded year-round from dusk till 10 PM. That’s the time when both the last bus or the last ropeway runs (operating from 9 AM to 10 PM). After 10 PM it thins out and you experience a much quieter place. Great experience around midnight. However, staying that late means you have to pay a taxi to get back down. Otherwise, you’d have to walk and navigate down in the dark. You could also get up there and back down with your own (rental) car.
Open year-round (maintenance closure early December). Consider that even in summer it’s windy and colder up there. Bring an extra sweater in spring/summer/fall and a thick coat in winter, when it’s really cold and chilly on top of Mt. Inasa.
In general, to avoid heavy crowds don’t go during the following very busy times in Japan:
End of Dec - Jan 4: New Year’s travelers
April 29 - May 5: Golden Week
July 19 through August: School summer vacation
It's very popular hiking to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple. Therefore, start either early morning with a pleasant temp before the buses arrive or in the late afternoon when it starts to cool down, and the stairs are in the shade. The entrance to the stairway is always open, and there isn't any fee requested. Sunrise and sunset are marvelous, but you need a flashlight for the way up or down.
The summit from the distance
You get the best shot with the Buddha Statues on the top with sunlight in the morning. The downside the sun is heating up the stairs which makes it even harder to climb 1.237 steps up and down. After rainfall, the stairs are a bit slippery.
The Tiger Cave Temple is part of many day trips combined with the Emerald Pools. When the buses arrive, it gets crowded and can spoil this awesome experience. Therefore, rent a scooter or take a tuk-tuk to get there independent either early morning or late afternoon. It's also the best time to handle the heat.
The view from the summit
Weather, Seasons, and Crowds
Dry Season from December to April
It's always pretty hot day temps are above 30°C throughout the year but drier the reason that the humidity is more bearable. Showers occur mostly in the afternoon or night. Between January and March, you get frequently a clear blue sky. However, it's the peak season, very busy, and hotel prices are the highest.
Rainy Season from May to November
Wet season with higher humidity. The temps are still around 30°C but muggy. Most precipitation occurs in September. During the rainy season, everything can happen: Typical are days with 1-2 brief showers. You might even get two weeks of perfect dry weather or sometimes almost a week of straight rain. If you don't like crowds at all and can deal with unpredictable weather and rain, this is your season. Preferably not September, which is the wettest month. In the rainy season, no tourist crowds spoil the experience. It’s also the green season when rich fauna comes to life.
The best time for a visit to this beautiful region is the dry season from December to late April. It’s Thailand’s wettest region with an annual rainfall of 3.500 mm. The reason is the limestone mountain range from north to south. It gets hit by the monsoons from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand between late April and end of November. In the rainy season, it’s very rare to spot wildlife at the lake. Trails are slippery; it’s cold and wet on the one or two hours boat rides. The famous Nam Talu Cave is closed in the rainy season since it got flooded and people died.
The boat tours which are usually offered are for bigger groups, and it takes around an hour to get to one of the raft houses. These groups visit the easy accessible Coral Cave (Pakarang Cave) mostly as we did instead of the adventurous water flooded Nam Talu Cave. Ask before booking! Overall these trips are nice to get an idea of the immense size of the lake. The price p.p. in a group for one day visit is roughly 1.500 Baht / 40 € / $ 45 plus 300 Baht / 8 € / 9 $ National Park fee.
The dry season lasts from December to late April. Anyway, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temps up to 34°C and even more and high humidity. The rainy season starts roughly late April until the end of November. Most precipitation from May to July and from October to November.
The lake pier is always crowded but as soon as the longtail boat leaves the dock the crowds disappear. There are plenty of boats with tourists, but they have good timing not too many people visit one of the caves at the same time. Lunch is served on one of the many floating raft houses. It was very well organized that people can enjoy the marvelous scenery.
To experience the amazing rainforest, wildlife, and birds it's recommended to book a private tour far to the north-west. To get there, it takes minimum two hours by boat. The only available accommodation is basic and running by the National Park. Early morning you may spot wildlife by boat along the lake. Of course, independent tours are expensive and need to be booked in advance.
Geierlay is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany. It's very popular to visit if in the Hunsrück area. The bridge is open 24/7. The so-called visitor center is opened each day from 10 am to 4 pm except Tuesdays. Don't expect too much of it. Unfortunately, they don't provide you with lots of information in English.
It's ridiculously crowded during the summer and at weekends, especially on sunny days. In autumn the views are just spectacular with the fall foliage. To avoid the crowds visit the bridge early morning or late evening in the summer. Fewer visitors in winter only.
Tip for photographers; The sunlight is best in the evening. The sunset is just gorgeous here.