The highlight of my autumn in 2013 was undoubtedly my trip to the majestic Niagara Falls. After hearing so much about this natural beauty, my sister and I decided to witness the massive waterfall first-hand. Unable to choose which side – the Canadian or American side – to go to, we decided to get travel visas to both countries, enabling us to have the full Niagara Falls experience.
Upon arrival at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, we took an approximately 30-minute shuttle bus ride to the Niagara Falls. Once we reached the American side of the falls, we went into the visitors’ centre, which contained a helpful exhibit about the history and geography of the falls.
To have a good view of the waterfalls, we paid USD$1 each to walk out onto a 280-foot observation deck which juts into the gorge. From here, we were able to see a side view of the American Falls and part of the Horseshoe Falls. The gushing waterfalls were cascading down the whinstone, creating a tremendous splash – truly a mesmerizing sight, believe me.
Unlike the Maid of the Mist boat ride, which is offered on both sides of the Falls, the Cave of the Winds is only offered on the American side.
We began our journey with an elevator ride 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. After, we geared up in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals and followed the wooden walkways along the Niagara River to the Hurricane Deck. The feeling of being a few breath-taking feet away from the torrents of Niagara Falls was completely overwhelming – I was actually clinging on to the rails for fear of being washed away!
While we were undeniably close to the falls at the American side, the spectacular view of the falls from the Canadian side made me inclined to the latter. The Canadian side is where you get to witness a gorgeous panorama of both the American Falls and the mighty Horseshoe Falls. To get to the Canadian side, we had to cross the Rainbow Bridge, requiring our passport and Canadian visa.
Once we were there, we decided to try out the Maid of the Mist, the boat tour that literally takes you into the very heart of the waterfalls. We were so close to the 3 waterfalls that the strong winds were almost storm-like!
We explored the other attractions at the Canadian side too, such as the Butterfly Conservatory, home to about 45 species of beautiful butterflies. I’d recommend that you wear really colourful clothing as this increases the chance of a butterfly landing on you! Once it was 9pm, we made our way to the observatory to witness the illumination of the Niagara Falls in colours of the rainbow – you simply can’t miss this unmatched beauty of the Falls!
You may be wondering, so which side of the Niagara Falls is better? Well, I can safely say that the American side is definitely quieter and relatively less commercialised than the Canadian side. However, as it depends on the individual’s preference, it will be difficult to say which side would be better.
If you are thinking of visiting the Niagara Falls, do contact the travel experts at Flight Centre Singapore (6692 9778) for the best advice available!