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PLACES TO GO
PLACES TO GO

Best places to travel to in April

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Source: Ian Sane

April is the time when temperatures start to warm up in northern countries, marking the arrival of spring. It’s the perfect time to escape the Malaysian heat, but at the same time not freeze to death.

Looking for places to travel to in April? Here are some of my top picks:

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is a popular destination in April because of its famed scenery of cherry blossoms blooming along the streets. Because of how popular the cherry blossoms are, the city organises rafts of events to welcome the spring.

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Source: Onihide

One of the more memorable events for me is Kitano Odori (taking place from 1-8 April this year). Kyoto has five geisha districts that each hold a major series of dance performances, or odori. This particular one is held in the Kamishichiken Geisha District, on a grand scale. The whole experience is so unique because of the geishas. To put simply, they are entertainers, trained from a young age to become highly-skilled performers.

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Source: Kate Nevens

To actually see a geisha is not cheap, which is why Kitano Odori is good for people on a budget, but to actually get an admission ticket (for lower budget trips), you might actually want to line up early in the morning, before they sell out. If you have a slightly higher budget, you can try to seek help from high-end hotels to help source the tickets.

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Source: Kimon Berlin

And of course, while you’re there, don’t miss out on taking pictures with fully-bloomed cherry blossoms. I went to the Okazaki Canal, because of their boat tours that lets you take in the beautiful scenery from a river.

Taipei, Taiwan

While not as popular as Japan’s, Taiwan also boasts beautiful streets lined with fully-bloomed cherry blossoms. Although I’d say that the cherry blossoms in Taiwan are slightly different compared to the ones in Japan. In fact, they are similar to those pink flower decorations we buy to adorn our houses during Chinese New Year.

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Source: Dodd Lu

Spring does come a little earlier in Taiwan, so you might want to head there early April to catch the view. The Alishan National Scenic Area is very popular, mainly because you get to see many different types of cherry blossoms, depending on the time that you go. In April, you’re likely to see Yoshino Cherries.

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Source: 小宗宗

I also loved the Tianyuan Temple, although it’s a bet to catch cherry blossoms in April. But even if you don’t manage to see them, the temple itself is a sight to see.

Clearwater, Florida

I know Florida sounds just about a bit too far-fetched, but in April they have the 10-day Pier 60 Sugar and Sand Festival. I’ve watched a lot of American series and cartoons growing up, so I have always wanted to do some sand sculpting, but never really got the chance to at Malaysian beaches. During the festival, they have a Sugar Sand Sculpting Class, and although it was more recommended for kids, I went for it anyway (no regrets!).

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Source: Walter

The most unique part of the event is the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, where they invite 11 world-class sculptors to sculpt elaborate sand sculptures with the beach’s famed sugar sand. Imagine sculptures taller than even yourself made out of sand. I can never comprehend how the sand doesn’t just fall off.

In the evening, they have different concerts every day, mostly by local bands. In this year’s line-up, one that really intrigues me is the Tobacco Rd Band, mainly because of their genre: hard rock country.

I could go on and on, or you would just watch this video instead:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLWBzVST9Xo

Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza is located in the southern hemisphere, so where other countries would be experiencing spring, it would be autumn over there, which is all the more reason to visit. Mendoza is famous for its vineyards (yes, grape), and autumn is its harvest season, so if you pick your time right, you’ll get to reap a bountiful harvest.

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Source: Dan Noon

If you go sometime between late April to early May, you’ll probably be able to participate in the Harvest Festival in Mendoza, which means you’ll get to watch performances, rituals, and the best part of it all, you get to party– with wine, no less!

New Zealand

April is also a good time to visit New Zealand, because there are many things that you can do around that time. I’d recommend you make this a nature trip, because the weather during this time is usually sunny, with clear blue skies, but at a cool temperature of about 16-20 ℃, very much suitable for walks or hikes.

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Source: Jon Sullivan

One interesting thing that you can do there is to watch baby fur seals at the foot of the Ohau Waterfall. The baby seals come out to enjoy themselves and play some water games while the mothers would go out to hunt for fish in the ocean.

 

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Source: Ben

Other than the usual hiking and biking, you would also want to do some stargazing, or perhaps catch the view of the Aurora Australis at night. The green and pink hues of the aurora make you feel like you’re looking at a magical spell in a fantasy setting… just mesmerising.

Amsterdam

Around late April to early May is one of the best times to visit Amsterdam, because of all the events and festivals that will be held, and of course, since it’s spring, Keukenhof will be a great choice to go to. Imagine basking in a garden of seven million flowers blooming around you. Definitely great for taking photos.

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Source: Luc Mercelis

I’d highly recommend the Springsnow Festival in Amsterdam. The official event page describes it as elm trees throwing confetti to welcome in spring. I thought it was pretty well put. There’s nowhere else in the world where you can find so many elm trees lining the streets, and when they blossom, they release their seeds like a natural confetti parade.

https://vimeo.com/64261853

And if you’re a romantic person, they have an app called Digital Poetree, where you can attach a message to a Springsnow seed just by tapping it. You can even dedicate the message to someone you know, so that when the seed drifts around taken by the wind, the receiver will be notified and can view it on Google Maps and Streetview.

 

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