Guest Post || A Perfect Guide to Travel in Dubai by Kritika

Culturally rooted and yet deeply modern, Dubai is the perfect holiday spot for families, honeymooners and even a group of friends. Be it a short stopover between flights or a proper long vacation, this guide would help you to have a memorable Dubai holiday.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Dubai is between the months of November and March, when the climate is the most pleasant. However, as this is the peak holiday season, expect the city swarming with tourists from all over the world. If you want to save yourself from the crowd and also save some money, plan your trip during the summer seasons between April to October. However, the temperature can be quite high during this time.

Where to Stay

When it comes to accommodation, Dubai has everything from budget to luxury hotels. If you are planning to stay in Dubai for a long time, AirBnB is also a good option.

How to Travel

Taxis are the quickest way to travel in Dubai. However, if you have time in your hands and want to save money, the Dubai metro is a reliable and efficient way to travel within the city. Local buses are great to travel to most of the popular locations.

What to Eat and Where to Eat

When it comes to food, you are spoilt for choice in Dubai. Right from the local Emirati cuisine to Indian, Japanese and European, there is rarely a cuisine on earth that you would not find in the city. Although you have several options, do try the local Mediterranean cuisine at least once during your tour. As for where to eat, there are endless choices here too. Depending on your budget, you can eat anywhere from small restaurants and food courts to quaint cafes and high-end restaurants in the city.

What to See and Do

Dubai thrives on tourism, and the city strives to make it interesting for the tourists by adding unique and thrilling places and activities to it, almost every year. Some of the things that you should not miss in Dubai are as follows.

Burj Khalifa: Apart from being the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa has broken several world records and is worth the visit. Containing 162 floors in total, the Burj Khalifa is home to high-end restaurants, a 5-star hotel, luxury apartment complex, corporate offices and two observation decks. You can book your tickets online to avoid standing in queues.

Desert Safari: For the most authentic Arabic experience, going on the Dubai desert safari is necessary. The desert safari is a mix of thrilling adventure, good food and fantastic entertainment. You can choose amongst evening, morning and overnight desert safaris.desert-safari

Dubai Museum: There is so much more to Dubai than its shiny glamour, and to know more about it, you must visit the Dubai Museum. Located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum takes you back in time when the city was a simple fishing village.

Dubai Mall: One of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is the epitome of shopping, entertainment and great food. Apart from the 1200 retail stores, Dubai Mall Aquarium, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Ice Rink, the food court, etc. are some of the other popular attractions of the mall. Do check out the Dubai Fountain Show that happens every day from 6 PM to 11 PM (every 30 minutes), right outside the Dubai Mall.

dubai-mall

Dubai Miracle Garden: Spread around 72,000 square meters, the Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world. You would find more than 109 million flowers here arranged in beautiful and unique designs.

 

Dubai Frame: The largest frame in the world, the Dubai Frame is strategically placed so that you can see the old Dubai from one side and the new and modern Dubai from the other. You can get your Dubai Frame tickets online to avoid standing in line.

dubai-frame

Few other places that should be on your itinerary include Kite Beach, Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina, Bastakiya Quarter, Jumeirah Mosque, etc.

Conclusion

Dubai is one of the finest Arab city, where the old blends beautifully with the new, making it ideal place for a holiday.

 

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from the guest Author / Google

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Guest Post || Things you should Know before Booking your Resort in Wayanad by Krishnendu

Nestled in the unparalleled beauty of the Western Ghats, lies a scintillating place teeming with natural splendours – Wayanad. Offering some of the most exquisite gems in the form of natural sights, water bodies, flora and fauna, Wayanad is one of those places that will never let you forget it! From mystical and deep forests that are full of millions of different forms of life to streams and rivulets that have been nourishing them; from wonderful remnants of the past to the ancient caves that have once housed people – the list of tourist attractions in Wayanad is impressive and unique. 

wayanad 2
Image Courtesy – Youtube(google)

Well, Wayanad is a place that offers a totally new side of the coastal State of Kerala. So, if you are looking for travel destination inspirations, stop doing that and visit Wayanad. And, to make your stay in Wayanad a truly exotic experience, read the following post. It comprises the things that you should know before booking a resort in Wayanad. 

So, here we go!

Nature Resorts in Wayanad – Why not hotels?

Whenever we travel we opt for hotels for accommodation which is a satisfactory choice. However, Wayanad is a place that offers many boutique nature resorts that offer much more than a standard hotel. Further, a hotel will not be able to give you the feeling of staying the lap of luxury and nature. The nature resorts are surrounded by forests and trees on all sides. There are plantations and farms to enjoy long walks and fresh organic produce. 

wayanad - Pic Courtesy Kerala tourism
Image Courtesy – Kerala Tourism

Most of the reputed nature resorts offer the in-house spas where you can enjoy traditional Kerala Ayurvedic Massages and therapies. There are many resorts that offer complimentary packages as well. There are dedicated areas for playing, recreation and swimming pools etc. So, all in all, a resort is much better than a typical hotel. 

Now, let us move on to know more about booking a resort in Wayanad. 

Services and Features to look for:

Before booking the nature resorts in Wayanad you must check the service portfolios. The service portfolios will offer you a better overview of the property and you will be able to make a better decision. Instead of settling for some average accommodation that offers generic services; plan your stay at the resorts that offer commendable services. Laundry, Safety Deposit Boxes, Airport Pickup, Non-Smoking Rooms, Tours and Concierge etc are some services that you should look for. 

You must check the customer reviews for the resort. Almost all the major resorts are listed on the travel information websites and you can find genuine customer feedbacks there. So, you must read them before making the final bookings. 

Checking the photos uploaded by the previous visitors is also a must. These pictures will be the actual representation of the property and will show you how the property actually looks. You will be able to check whether the property suits your requirements and expectations or not. Hospitality Services offered at the Resorts vary greatly from one place to another. So, check them in order to avoid any troubles later. 

Wayanad is a premium holiday destination for honeymooners as well. So, if you are looking for the honeymoon resorts in Wayanad, then you must pay attention to safety and security as well. 

If you are travelling for business or you are going to Wayanad on a Corporate Tour, you need to book a resort that offers MICE or equivalent services. Finally, if you are travelling with your family, then you must book the best resorts in Wayanad for family. You cannot take risks with family at your side.  Having covered the things that should be considered while booking the Resorts in Wayanad, let us move ahead. 

Resorts in Wayanad – The Best Options:

You can find a good number of resorts in Wayanad that offers a perfect mix of luxury and nature, this is one place that you can trust when it comes to quality. While choosing the resort, make sure that it offers a pleasant stay, tours, satellite TV, Swimming Pool and amazing balconies to enjoy the surrounding nature in the best manner. 

Abad Brookside is a perfect destination for honeymooners and families. Apart from the very many facilities, this resort has a large hanging pool that overlooks the nearby forest and is a mesmerizing sight. Corporate travellers, business people and travellers that are seeking refuge in nature with all luxuries available at their disposal – Abad Brookside is a place that you can book without thinking twice.

There are many tourist attractions nearby that you can explore. Pookode Lake, Kuruva Dweep, Lakkidi View Point, Edakkal Caves, Soochipara Waterfalls and Banasura Sagar Dam – all of them can be explored while staying here. 

Wayanad is an excellent place to enjoy nature at its best. If you are planning to explore Wayanad and its nearby place, you just need to hire any car rental service in Kerala and experience this amazing land of beauty. 

 

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from google

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My Own Honeymoon Package || Bali & Gili Travangan

ITINERARY

Day 1. Bali – Arrival

Arrival in the Denpasar Airport, meets with our representative, and will directly proceed to Hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure by own arrangement.

Day 2. WATER SPORT + 60 MINUTES MASSAGE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning at 09:00am pick up to Tanjung Benoa is a very suitable place for Water sport activities or water sports. Water sports can be enjoyed here include a Jet Sky, Fly fish, and Banana boat.

Water-sport-bali-insidebalitrekking

 Afternoon enjoy 60 Minutes massage for relax your body and mind.

 

Day 3. TRANSFER TO GILI TRAWANGAN (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning at 07.00am will pick up for transfer to Padangbai/ Serangan Harbor for transfer to Gili Trawangan.

Arrive at Gili, take Cidomo transfer ( arrange on clients own) and transfer to hotel at Gili Trawangan.

Gili-Trawangan-1

Day 4. FREE AT LEISURE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning Free at leisure by own arrangement

 

Day 5. TRANSFER GILI TRAWANGAN TO BALI (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning around at 08.00am take Cidomo transfer to Gili Harbor ( arrange by clients on own)

Arrive at Gili Harbor check in at boat counter and transfer by boat to Bali. Arrive at Serangan/Padangbai harbor will transfer to hotel at Bali.

Rest of the days free leisure at own arrangement.

 

Day 6. HD ULUWATU KECAK TOUR (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free leisure at own arrangement.

Afternoon at 15.00pm will pick up for trip to the most southern tip of the island: Uluwatu temple hanging on a cliff over a 100 meters sheer drop to the ocean. Within this area, we also have a chance to see the map view of Bali. As the evening approaches, enjoy the Kecak and Fire Dance to enrich your afternoon.

kecak dance

Day 7. BOUNTY SUNSET DINNER CRUISE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free leisure at own arrangement.

 Afternoon there’s no better way to spend a balmy tropical evening than on Bounty evening Dinner Cruise. As the sun goes down we set off on a relaxing cruise around the harbour.

Cruise Include

·         Return hotel transfer (Nusa Dua, Kuta, Sanur, Seminyak, Denpasar hotel area only)

·         Welcome drink

·         International Buffet Dinner

·         Traditional Balinesse Dance

·         Live Music

·         DJ on board

·         Comedy Cabaret Show

·         On Board Entertainment

·         Duration : 17:30 pm – 20:30 pm

·         Boarding commences : 17:30 pm

 Day 8. Bali – Out (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning Free at leisure by own arrangement until departure time to be proceed to the Airport.

 

Package cost – INR 1,20,000/-* Approx. (Ex-Delhi/ Mumba) for a Couple.

If you like the package, please email us or call/whatsapp us on 9975712713, we would be happy to book it for you. 

Of-course we would be glad to tweak and modify this to suit your desired trip.

Story by : Abhimanyu@yatripandit

Image Source : Google images 

Guest Post || 7 Things to do in Hong Kong – By Arliss

Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant places in the world, having more than 7 million people. According to Wikipedia, it is also one of the world’s most important financial centers. If you are travelling to Hong Kong and are still unsure as to what you should do, that is probably because you couldn’t eliminate your choices (it is one of the most amazing places and the safest to visit). To ease your decisions, here are the seven things you should do in Hong Kong.

hong kong

1. Experience Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is probably the first thing you should visit. The Peak grants a grand view of Victoria Harbor, Central, and other surrounding islands, and is one of the most notable places for tourists.

Also, if luck is on your side, you will even witness Kowloon’s eight mountains. Take the Peak Tram, and enjoy the ride to the top. Once you get there, you will experience one of the most amazing views!

2. Try Local Cuisine

Cuisine is an integral part of every culture. If you do not have any particular restaurant in mind, just enter the one that seems appealing to yours. It is likely the restaurant serves somewhat unusual food (like chicken feet dim sum) but trying it will change your perception of the food.

If possible, try the Sweet and Sour Pork, the most notable food of the region. If you don’t want to go to restaurants, there are plenty of street options if you’re adventurous, the most notable being the fish balls, a snack made of fish meat (served cooked or uncooked).

3. Experience The Everyday Street Life

If you are an easygoing person, just pick a sidewalk and start walking. The point of travelling is that you experience new things, relax and enjoy yourself, and walking the streets of this fantastic city. You will hear people conversing and merchants and traders yelling at each other.temple-street-hong-kong-03

Moreover, you will smell and taste the food that is made right before your eyes, buy souvenirs in antique stores. However, this is probably not for everyone; if you are only interested in taking pictures of famous sites and sharing them on social media, then walking the streets is not something you should do, especially overnight. However, if you want to experience the life in this city, even for a few hours, then you have to try this, especially at night.

4. Enjoy the Star Ferry Ride

Starry Ferry functions for over a hundred years, transporting millions of people across Victoria Harbour. The ride will also allow you to have a better look at the Victoria Harbor and will distant you from the city itself, providing you with a new perspective of the city.

The price is reasonable for both day and night rides, and if you can, you should try both trips. It will also allow you to witness the city from a distance, with the focus on its skyscrapers (the city has the most skyscrapers in the world).

5. See the Tian Tan Buddha

Made entirely of bronze, the Tian Tan Buddha is the world’s most gigantic statue of Buddha in the world. The way you get there is by taking the Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail, a cable car that will provide you a fantastic view as you are travelling towards the destination. You have two options: you can take a regular ride or a ride in a glass bottom cabin.Tian_Tan_Buddha_August_2013

Latter is more expensive than the first, but it does provide you with a unique view of the environment. Be aware of the fact that you will be floating in the air in a glass cabin, which can be pretty scary for many people.

6. Attend the Happy Valley Racecourse

Happy Valley Racecourse is the primary destination for everyone who loves to gamble, especially on a Wednesday night. Moreover, even if you do not care that much about gambling, horse races, or gambling on horse races, visit this place if you have the time for it. Find a seat in the stands (you can sit in a garden), order some food and beer and soak up as much as you can: the sounds, the smells, the overall atmosphere.

Note that this is one of the most popular places to go to amongst local population as well as tourists, so make sure that you book your ticket on time, especially if you are planning to visit the place on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Happy Valley Racecourse hosts a total of eight races on that day; it can turn into a pretty crowded place!

7. Visit the Wong Tai Sin Temple

The Wong Tai Sin Temple is the city’s famous and busiest shrine. According to the kau cim practitioners, you make a wish, and your wish will be granted (“What you request is what you get.”) It is a top-rated tourist attraction. You will walk through the religious history, see The Nine Dragon Wall and lamp holding statues.

If feeling ambitious or adventurous, you should also try the fortune-telling stalls (you can also find your fortune on the streets of the city). The shrine was built to honor the shepherd boy that supposedly had healing powers. Whether you are religious or not, it is a place to visit if you are interested in the Taoist culture, its architecture, and art.

arliss-veldhuizen-1About the author : Arliss is the Managing Editor here at trekbible as well a social media editor at IncomeStore. She is also a writer and aspiring novelist. Arliss has family all over the world including the Ivory Coast, Denmark, Germany, and the Dominican Republic, a fact that greatly contributes to her passion for travel and culture.”

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Guest Post || 11 tips for traveling in Japan – by Globazine

We compiled a list of eleven tips and tricks that can make your stay in Japan easier, more efficient, cheaper and special! We even threw in some bonus tips. Let us know your tips in the comments down below or on social media!

 Tip one

If, like us, you are planning to see a lot of Japan, make sure you order the Japan Rail Pass in advance. There are several rules conditions of use and requirements for eligibility, so check the official site for more information.

Although now, the Rail Pass can be bought as part of a trail in Japan, it really pays off to order it in advance since that is much cheaper. Prices differ following exchange rate differences and between companies. So, it pays to shop around. We used Japan Experience and were really satisfied with their service.

Tip two

This tip mainly concerns those of you going to use the train and public transport. To plan your journey, use the website and or app HyperDia. They have the latest timetables for all the trains in Japan, both for the different Japan Railways (JR) companies and all the private companies operating in Japan.

The app can do a Japan Rail Pass search, providing you with all the options which are free with your Japan rail pass. To enable this option you must pay €2.99, the app and website themselves are free to use.

Tip three

Another railway tip. When travelling by train, make sure you reserve a (window)seat before departure. You can do this at the station, until five minutes for departure, but also in advance for the rest of your trip, if you already know which train you plan to take. Making a reservation is not mandatory, but it ensures your seat on the train, as the trains can be quite full.

train-view
A scenic view from Train

Bonus Tip Look for the Limited Express (WIDE VIEW) trains for even better views. They are for example available in the Japanese Alps between Nagano and Matsumoto and between Toyama and Nagoya.

Tip four

If you do not want to feel lost in Kanji-translation during your whole trip, we have some tips for translation help. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and one area where a lot of advances have been made in, is machine translation. Translate apps can scan menu’s and signs and even translate speech back and forth. Although the universal translator still is a few years away, these free apps come pretty close.

Microsoft translator

Google translate

Tip five

Roaming costs may be a thing of the past inside the EU, but roaming can still carry quite a hefty price elsewhere. There are two solutions for this problem, our preferred solution is using a pocket Wi-Fi. The alternative is buying a Japanese SIM card for your phone. The advantage of the SIM card is the price, they are a lot cheaper than a pocket Wi-Fi. But the pocket Wi-Fi has the advantage that you can connect several different devices to it at once and so spare the battery life of your phone. The disadvantage of the SIM in your phone is that at the moment it’s not easy to tether and have a VPN running at the same time. If you’re a bit privacy minded this might be a disadvantage for you.

You can order a pocket Wi-Fi in advance and have it mailed to the airport where you arrive or the hotel you’ll be staying at. If you want to get the best of both worlds, then buy a pocket Wi-Fi device for yourselves and use a pre-paid SIM card of the country that you are travelling to.

Tip six

This tip concerns booking the best places to stay. We just loved to alternate between staying in hotels and staying in an Airbnb to experience best of both worlds: the luxury of hotels and the insights that Airbnb apartments can give in the Japanese lifestyle. There is not much price difference between either option in Japan. The main tip wherever you want to stay, is to arrange your stays as early as possible to secure the best stay on the best location for the best price. Don’t think in days or weeks, think in months in advance. Especially for stays in popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, or popular/special places like Beppu and Koyasan. The same is also valid when you want to stay in a Ryokan or sleep in a temple.

However, be aware when using Airbnb, and this happens quite a lot: if the host says they offer only half a bathroom, it really is just half a bathroom, without a shower.

Tip seven

Arrange to stay in Osaka if you are planning to visit Kyoto. Osaka is just a short 15-minute train ride away, but the restaurants and nightlife are just something else and won’t bore you. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

osaka
A night in Osaka

Tip eight

We can’t give tips about Japan without giving some advice on where to go. And while tastes and interests differ, here are some of our favourite places to visit:

  • It takes some time to get there, but we cannot think of much that beats our stay in a temple in Koyasan, joining the morning prayer with the monks and strolling around in the mystic mountains.

  • Cycling on the modern art island Naoshima was a very welcome change from all the temples and pagoda’s that we saw right before and after our stay there.

  • When in Tokyo, a must visit is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where you can have a free panoramic view from the top floor. Another insiders tip is the boat ride from Hama-rikyu garden to Asakusa. Read our Tokyo itinerary for more tips.

Tip nine

japanese-alps
Japanese Alps

If you are going to travel on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, read here to see why we advise you to do. Then our tip: buy the ticket in advance at certain JR rail stations. This gives you a reduction of 25% and will save you 3.090 yen per ticket. See this website for more information on where and how to buy these relatively cheap tickets.


Tip ten

Get your breakfast at the convenience store (7-Eleven, Lawson, etc). This way you can eat on the way to your first activity of the day and save some money at the same time. You can even choose to do this when you are staying in a hotel, as excluding the breakfast option will save you more money than a convenience store breakfast will cost. And while you’re at it get some bento boxes for lunch.

Bonus tip 7-Eleven is the best place for finding ATM’s that work with European bank cards.

Tip eleven

Get up early, so you arrive at the main highlights before the tourist busses do. Especially when you are planning to visit great sites as the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. You don’t want all your photos ruined by crazy tourist groups, do you? An added bonus depending on the season is the beautiful and photogenic qualities of morning light.

About Globazine:

pic of olga and timWe’re Tim and Olga, a married Dutch couple, living in Brussels and traveling the world for work and pleasure. Tim is a history nerd (studied history and tries to cover all the bits and pieces that are left of the Roman empire) and Olga loves art (Johannes Vermeer, Edvard Munch, Yayoi Kusama are one of her favorites). We prepare our travels very well, to be able to pack as much art, culture, history and nature as possible in our days.

With Globazine, we want to share our travel experiences, tips, tricks and pleasure. Hoping to inspire others to get the most out of their travel experiences. We write most of the content ourselves, but we’ll also ask our friends to write about their travels, to have a more exhaustive overview of possible destinations for you.

More from Globazine:

  • globazine.com
  • @Globazine1 on Twitter
  • @Globazine on Facebook
  • globazinegram on Instagram

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

* All pictures by Tim and Olga

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Cheers !!

Abhimanyu@yatripandit

Guest Post || Bhutan beyond Mountains and Monasteries – by Neha

When I informed my dear ones that I was going on a trip to Bhutan, many of them questioned my decision; some reasoned Bhutan was not an interesting place to travel, some asserted there were only monasteries to see there, some suggested I should go to Ladakh instead. While a few baffled at my choice, just asked ‘Why?’

My only reply to all of them was – ‘You will know when I get back!’

I am back and my answer lies in this post. Bhutan is definitely a lot more than its Mountains and Monasteries. Sharing a list of things to look forward to when you are in Bhutan:

Treks and Trails

From a day to month long, Bhutan has all kinds of treks for adventure lovers.

The most clichéd but certainly not overrated is the Taktsang Monastery Trek. It is popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is literally perched on a cliff and is one of the most important Buddhist sites. It is believed that Yeshe Tsogval who was a follower of Guru Rinpoche, transformed herself into a tigress and carried Guru Rinpoche on her back from Tibet to Taktsang. Here is one of the nine caves where he meditated.

Tiger's Nest
Tiger’s Nest

Another popular trek of Bhutan is the Druk Path trek, which is about 6 days long. This trek not only greets you with beautiful landscapes but also introduces you to some ancient Lhakhangs and Dzongs.

For people who find trekking arduous, you could soak in nature while walking on the breathtaking trails of Bhutan.

At an elevation of 3000 meters, Phobjika Glacial Valley is surrounded by huge mountains on all sides. This is a short (4 kms) but beautiful trail. During winters, black necked cranes migrate to Phobjika from Tibet, and the monastery in Gangtey holds a special festival to celebrate their arrival.

Phobjika Valley
Phobjika Valley

Camping
Bhutan is blessed with natural beauty. Owing to its forest reserves, which are about 70%, it becomes a wonderful place to camp.We camped under the star lit sky, by the river stream, in the forests of Gasa. There was no network connectivity in the forest which was the best thing about the camp. This disconnect from the virtual world helped me establish a wonderful connect with myself.

Gasa
Camping

Tshechu Festival
Tshechu is the biggest festival of Bhutan, which is held on the tenth day of the lunar month in dzongs of each district. Participating in this festival is the best way to experience the culture of Bhutan. The Bhutanese men and women attend this festival dressed in their traditional attire. In this festival, mask dances and other traditional Bhutanese dances are performed. These events have deep religious and mythological significance.

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The Bhutanese believe that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins.

Hot Stone Bath
You will miss out on something really awesome if you go to Bhutan and not try Datsho, the traditional Hot Stone Bath. I rate it as one of the finest experiences of Bhutan.In this therapy, river stones are heated and put in a wooden tub filled with water. Sometimes medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.

It is believed that the heat of the water, the minerals released from the rock, and the local herbs all combine to produce medicinal benefits for joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders and arthritis.

Happiness

While all other countries of the world measure their progress by GDP, Bhutan measures its progress by Gross National Happiness.

I had my doubts when I read Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia. But it took me just a 10 days trip to realize that Bhutan is truly a country of happy, shiny people! Their clothes, their houses, their bank accounts don’t define their happiness. They don’t need reasons to be happy. Happiness comes naturally to them. It was on this trip that I truly understood that Happiness is a state of mind.

Gawa rang gi zon go zo; choem rang gi choen go choel 

This popular Bhutanese proverb means, Whatever joy you seek, it can be achieved by yourself; whatever misery you seek, it can be found by yourself. (It is a state of mind)

He is definitely a Happy Old Man

About the Author:

IMG-20170126-WA0012

Neha is a very dear friend and a fabulous company to hangout with. She is an avid traveler and always encourages yatripandit.com.

She describes herself as,”I live to write and I wish I wrote to live! By profession, I am a Software Engineer and currently working in a Multinational IT company. There is a stability in this field, albeit my heart truly wants to get rid of this software job and unleash my creative skills. I share an ardent relationship with writing. My mind is my canvas and I pen hundred’s of thoughts there every single minute. I aspire to devote my entire time to writing and take up writing as my career very soon.”

PS: This story was originally published on http://nehasharmahere.blogspot.in

Click on the link to find out more on Bhutan food, Shopping and architecture http://nehasharmahere.blogspot.in/2016/05/bhutan-beyond-mountains-and-monasteries.html

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Cheers !!

Credits

Story By

Neha Sharma

Edited by 

Abhimanyu

Guest Post || Lucknow – The City of Nawabs and Kebabs by Anushree

Sprinkled with exceptional British Raj–era buildings, Literature, performing arts, tehzeeb and famous throughout India for its lip smacking food, the capital of Uttar Pradesh is surely worth visiting.

Lucknow’s reputation as a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine has continued to this day from ages – the phrase for which conveniently rhymes in Urdu as: Nawab, aadaab (‘respect’), kebab and shabab (‘beauty’).

So “Muskuraiye ki aap Lucknow mein hain” (Please smile because you are in Lucknow)

 

Places to visit in Lucknow:

  1. Rumi Darwaza: Rumi Darwaza is a spectacular gateway and a popular monument of Lucknow city. It is an example of Awadhi architecture. It is also referred to as the Turkish gate which is 60 feet high. It was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula to generate employment during the famine of 1784.It is adjacent to the Asafi Imambara in Lucknow and has become a logo for the city of Lucknow. It used to mark the entrance to Old Lucknow City, but as the City of Nawabs grew and expanded, it was later used as an entrance to a palace which was later demolished by the British insurgents.Rumi Darwaza IC - Google Images
  1. Bara Imambara: The Bara Imambara is Asia’s largest hall without any external support from beams and is a symbol of Awadhi culture and architecture. This magnificent structure was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and is one of the architectural wonders of that era. It is also famous for its “Bhool Bhulaiya” a labyrinth.

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  1. Chota Imambara: Also known as Hussainabad Imambara, was built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah between (1837-1842).  The Imambara has a white dome and is richly decorated with chandeliers and a good number of crystal glass lamp-stands. For this profuse decoration Imambara was referred by European visitors and writers as The Palace of Lights. The exterior is also beautifully decorated with Quranic verses in Islamic calligraphy.

chota imambara IC - Google Images

  1. Ambedkar Memorial Park:  The foundation stone of the memorial was first laid in 1995.It is situated in the posh locality of Gomti Nagar.The construction is the heart of the entire memorial. The entire memorial is built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan.

Ambedkar memorial Park - IC - Google Images

  1. The Residency: The British Residency was the place that served as a refuge for approximately 3000 British inhabitants during the time of the uprising of 1857 – The Mangal Pandey Revolt. It reminds us of the Colonial past. The Residency still has within its walls; the graves of around 2000 British soldiers who died in the Revolt of 1857. You can also treat your eyes with a lot of greenery around.

Residency-Buildings IC - Google Images

You can also visit the famous Hazratganj market, Lucknow Zoo, Clock Tower, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, Gandhi Museum, Dewa Sharif, Jama Masjid, Janeshwar, Mishra park, etc during your stay in this beautiful city of Lucknow.

What to Eat?

Lucknow is famous for its mouth watering cuisines, especially Non Vegetarian dishes. Lucknow is the perfect blend of Nawabi delicacies and Awadhi cuisines. From Kebabs to paan and biryanis you have it all!

You can miss tasting anything but not the world famous Tunday- Kebab!You have to try these dishes when you are in Lucknow or your visit is just incomplete!

  • Galawati Kebab
  • Boti Kebab
  • Tunday Kebab
  • Rogan Josh
  • Lucknowi Biryani
  • Tokri Chaat
  • Paya Ki Nihari
  • Malai Ki Gilori
  • Sheermals
  • Lucknawi Paan

And last but not the least- Prakash ki Kulfi

I believe, nothing can beat the delicious food of Lucknow.

I am sure next time if Anyone tells you, he/she is travelling to Lucknow, the first thing You tell him in case they are non-vegetarian that they should without fail try Tunde-Kabab and also get some packed for you!

What to buy?

The first thing that comes to mind while talking about shopping in Lucknow is of course the famous Chikan work of Lucknow. Chikan is a very famous thread work that is done by the skilled craftsmen of Lucknow. A white chikan kurta is a must buy! Chic and Designer Chikan garments  are available in stores like Ada chikan, Seva Chikan, Nazrana Chikan,Saraswati Chikan Store amongst a few.You can also buy chikan garments in wholesale prices with a lot of variety and colors from Chowk and Aminabad.

You can also visit Gadbadjhala, which is quite reputed for its exquisite jewellery works.

Hazratganj is also a major shopping area in the heart of the city. You can enjoy “Ganjing”Along with some mouth watering delights from Royal Cafe or your personal cup of coffee from Cafe Coffee Day.

chikankari - IC - Google Images

Among the malls, one finds some malls like Sahara Ganj, Fun Republic and East End Mall. One also finds some multiplexes like PVR, Waves and Fun Cinemas,,Inox, Cinepolis which provide entertainment around the clock.

Nightlife: Over the last decade Lucknow has witnessed a massive change when it comes to pub culture and nightlife. There are a lot of party places and nightclubs to enjoy your weekend.

These include the Resto bars, pubs, Hookah bars, and sports bars.

To name a few – Underdogs Sports Bar, Mocha, Zero Degree, EOS club, Lebua, Cappuccino blast are very famous amongst the youngsters.

How to reach?

Lucknow being the capital city is well connected to all major cities by air, rail and road.So do not think twice if you have to visit Lucknow. I am sure you are very likely to fall in love with it.

About the Author:

Anushree SinghStory contributed to yatripandit.com by Anushree Singh who is fondly called by nickname Anu and is a Marketing Professional. She loves to travel to new places exploring local food, shopping and has been lucky to have done what she loves the most.

She is a girl with many aspirations in life likes to read books and write.She believes in reading the firsthand experience about places before planning a visit to a new place and yatripandit.com has been her one of the handpicked websites to read travel tales.

Disclaimer :  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.** Some of the images are taken from google images. Yatripandit owns neither images nor the story.

Picture Courtesy : Shravani Ayyagari(food photography) and Google images

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

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Raiding Mighty Himalayas – Himachal Pradesh

As you might have understood by far that I am a road trip person.

Before getting to the trip, let me introduce to a new member – A white Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and the owner is none other than, my brother from another mother, Sandy. He has recently shifted to the capital city, New Delhi imparting me a chance to plan and RAID the Mighty Himalayas.The new family member Swift VDi

Coming back to the journey, I booked myself on late night flight to Delhi from Mumbai and landed to be received by Sandy at the Airport. Trust me I was more excited to see the car than seeing him. We reached Sandy’s place around 2am and tried to get some sleep before the Raid, but the butterflies of excitement in our stomach had planned the other way round.

We left early in the morning and our breakfast haul was at Sukhdev Dhaba in Moorthal just outside the national capital. The paranthas are to die for and you cannot afford to miss the white makkhan (butter) even if you are on diet. Filling out tummies and satisfying our souls we are all set to hit the road again.Sukhdev dhaba

We stopped at Ambala to meet an old friend from the university and continued our journey. After crossing Chandigarh bypass, we were welcomed by a board saying, “Welcome to great Himalayan Highways.” There we are, the commencement of uphill journey begins. After, a few KMs we could not control of emotions and urge to have Maggie noodles on one of the Maggie points (Any hill u go in India, Maggie points are omnipresent)

In about 10 hours we reached Kasauli (our would be basecamp) and wasting no time we booked Hotel Pine View located off Chandigarh – Shimla Highway, towards Kasauli. It was a budget hotel, which offered us a Room for two in Rs 1300/- (excluding Meals). Not a bad deal at all, being a long weekend.Hotel pinewood

Kufri:

We decided to rest that night and dozed off after having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant itself.

On the 2nd day, we left after having tea and breakfast to reach Kufri, on the journey we drove through Solan, Shoghi and Shimla (bypass) . The dist. Is about 100 kms but Kandaghat is not easy to drive on, the average speed was about 20 km/h. We obviously stopped at some Monsoon waterfalls and Maggie points to grab a hot tea and Maggie. Reached Kufri in around 6 hours and then our guide (avoid hiring one) told us to take a horse ride to see some sightseeing points (we came back half way disappointed by the ruthless way the horses are treated and made to walk in the mud slurry till knee height) We had to pay the full amt. about Rs. 350/- per horse. Nonetheless, we decided to visit, The Himalayan Nature Park. It is home to about 30 Himalayan wild animals and birds. Witnessing this was a true delight. We started our return journey at 4:30 pm from Kufri ( as we had decided to avoid driving after dusk ) we managed to reach our base camp by 8pm. We had dinner at very famous Giani Dhaba, but it turned out to be even worse than what we could have got at some other not so famous place. AVOID GIANI DHABA.

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Note: The area is a landslide prone, so be cautious while driving and follow sign boards strictly.

Shimla:

Next Morning was the most pleasant one, I have experienced in my lifetime. The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds and the fog was waiting to embrace us in its arms. Wasting no time we head started our journey to state capital – Shimla. Driving through Kandaghat was not as difficult as the weather was pretty clear.Fresh apple from the orchid

Do not forget to take an apple break at the magnificent apple mandi(market) in Solan.

Reached Shimla in about 5 hours and had to struggle a lot to find a Parking place. We headed straight to Mall Road, which is a must visit when you are in Shimla. Bought some Pashmina shawls and stoles for our loved ones, after a lot of bargaining. We were mesmerized to know about the history and importance of Gaity theater. This theater was constructed by British and is one of the six theater left on the planet to be built on Victorian Gothic Architecture. After wandering around and having luscious Chole bature and Chole Samose, in a local Stall, at Mall road. We decided to explore Shimla a little more and click some pictures.

We were back to Kasauli by 8:30 pm and decided to have dinner at Haveli, trust me the food was delicious and way better than what we had @Giani Dhaba last night.

It was an amazing journey with Sandy who got hitched recently. We enjoyed every bit of the mountains. Pure air, green mountains, warm hospitality, well maintained roads, lip smacking food and the most welcoming Pahadis. That’s Himachal for you.

This trip to Himachal Pradesh – The land of Gods will be relished till we leave the land to meet Gods in heaven.

Signing off with a song playing in my mind in loop,”maye ni meriye” by Mohit Chauhan. Here is the link

Trip Duration – 5 days

Expense – Approx. INR 9000 PP (Excluding Flight tickets)

— Abhimanyu@yatripandit

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Warangal- Weekend gateway to kakatiya’s dynasty

Spending an extended weekend sitting idle at home is never a good idea. So, as always I planned a roadtrip to nearby place called Warangal, approximately 150 km away from Hyderabad with my husband. Warangal is referred as the cultural capital of Telangana state. It was the capital city during the flourishing days of mighty Kakatiya dynasty.

We started our journey from Hyderabad around 8 am just to stop for breakfast at one of our favorite places called Udipi Uphar. After that we started our journey towards the city of Warangal. Reached the destination around 1:00pm in the afternoon and checked in our hotel immediately.

How to reach Warangal:

Nearest airport to Warangal is Hyderabad which is approx. 150 Kms

Public Buses- There is direct connectivity from Hyderabad. Buses leave very frequently and take around 6-7 hours to reach Warangal

Train- Warangal is well connected by train routes to major railway corridors in India.

Roadtrip- This is my favorite. The roads are in good condition and one can easily reach within 5 hours.

Accommodation:

1. Haritha kakatiya, Warangal- This hotel is managed by government of Telangana and offers good accommodation, restaurant and a health club

2. Hotel Suprabha- This lovely mid range hotel lets you stay with complimentary breakfast option. This is located in Hannamkonda in Warangal

Places to visit:

Warangal fort– This places is in ruins form but maintained well by Archaeological survey of India (ASI). Fort was commissioned by king Ganpathi Deva. It has beautifully carved arches and pillars that surprised us. Also, has four main ornamental gates to welcome. One can find a Shiva temple with statue of Nandi and many more idols of Hindu Gods like lord Ganesh, Vishnu, Shiva. The extensive rock carvings on the pillars and arches will leave you mesmerized.

Kush Mahal – This architectural masterpiece built by Shitabh khan is located very close to the Warangal fort and is of great historic and architectural importance.

Ramappa Temple – This temple is around 60 km away from Warangal city. It is also called as Rudreshwara temple as this temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Temple is a legendary example of kakatiya art. The temple was constructed during the reign of kakatiya ruler Ganpati deva. Here we hired a guide, who explained the history and other details of the carved pillars of temple. There are three entrances to the temple the main entrance to the temple faces the east where a Nandi mandapa placed. The interesting part is that, across India you will find Nandi sitting in relaxed position in all Shiva temples but here the Nandi is sitting in an alert position waiting to execute the command of lord Shiva.

Thousand pillars temple– It is located in Hanamkonda also called as Tirkutalayam signifying three gods as lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. The six feet high monolithic Nandi is a sight to watch. The temple was built by king Rudra-1 of the Kakatiya dynasty. Temple is situated on a platform raised above ground level and consists of a central hall with three shrines in different directions.

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Nandi at Thousand Pillar Temple

Shri Bhadrakali temple– Close to thousand pillar temple is Bhadrakali temple which has an idol of goddess kali in a sitting posture. The nearby lake called as bhadrakali lake which gives a magnificent view of the place surrounded with lush green hills. It imparts the temple and its serene surrounding a mystical air.

Nearby places:

Pakkhal lake– This huge manmade lake is enveloped by forested hills around few miles away from main city. The Pakkhal wildlife sanctuary can also be visited to unwind in the wilderness.

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Pakkal Lake

Laknavaram lake– Approximately 50 km away from Warangal, Laknavaram lake is located. Built by the Kakatiya rulers, this massive lake is of a bowl like structure having 13 small islands which are scattered amidst the jungle. This makes it a serene and perfect bird watching spot. Also, has a one of a kind suspension bridge connecting three islands managed and maintained by Telangana tourism department.

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Laknavaram Lake

Few quick Tips:

1. Plan your trip during winters (October to January) as in summer it’s too hot and you will not enjoy your trip to the fullest.

2. Carry sufficient cash as ATMs are rare in the villages around Warangal.

3. If you are going by train or bus please book your cabs for city travel and sightseeing in advance for a hassle free trip.

 

Story by -Shikha@yatripandit

Pictures by – Utkarsh Tiwari

Story appreciated and shared by Telangana Tourism Facebook page. 🙂

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Falling in Love with Chinese Tea – Nanjing, China

Imagine the feeling when a road side Romeo gets to date the prettiest girl in town, I felt the same when my CEO asked me to accompany him to China for a week’s tour. Ahan !! Yatripundit ki pehli videsh yatra aur who bhi company ke kharche par (yatripundit’s 1st foreign trip and that too on company’s expenses), I could not have asked for it. Although, the country was China and the city was Nanjing, which isn’t a famous city as Beijing or Shanghai. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to the core.chinese-tea-image-courtesy-google-images

Passport – Check

Visa – Check

Flight Tickets – Check

Hotel Bookings – Check

Shopping – Check

Preparation to execute the tasks – Check

Checked in the hotel Crystal blue bay on a Sunday evening after changing flights at Delhi and Hong Kong (so ideally my 1st foreign landing was in Hong Kong). I always felt New Delhi airport was massive and beautiful but only till I Saw HK airport. It was Monstrous. This magnificent modern world wonder faces sea on one side and mountains on the other. It had trains running from 1 terminal to another, massive shopping areas, giant busses which had driver cabins on both ends, more than 150 airline offices. Since, our preceding flight got a bit delayed, we had to rush across the terminals and check-in gates but a huge thanks to the Airport staff for their support and helping us in boarding the Dragon Air flight to Nanjing, China.

Okay!! Coming back to Hotel Crystal blue bay, Nanjing. It’s a beautiful property in the city. Marvel flooring and off white color walls and pillars with Golden and Chandeliers was a perfect match. It also houses a games room, swimming pool, 2 restaurants (a Chinese and a continental). Rooms were spacious and had all comforts. There is a huge park besides and open area besides the hotel and evenings are pleasant. You will spot people practicing dance in small groups, skate boarding, chatting or just lazing around. There was a shopping mall on the other side of the hotel.

The only discomfort for a Non- Mandarin (Language in China) speaking person is even the front desk official were not able to converse in English.

Nanjing is a beautiful city with wide roads, brilliant infrastructure, designated market places, shopping malls, community centers, restaurants (Chinese, Mongolian, Thai, continental and 1 or 2 Indian as well) parks and brilliant public transport.  Public transport includes battery operated buses, rickshaw and metro rails.

The main city area is crowded and I discovered this while I visited Fuzimiao – A temple located in southern Nanjing City on banks of the Qinhuai River. Within the area are cultural attractions, arts, shopping, and entertainment. There is a market area surrounding the temple and you are expected to demonstrate the best of your bargaining skills with the shopkeepers. Usually shop keepers can speak English as this is a tourist area. I bought some souvenirs from this place including Chinese green tea, small umbrella, sunglasses and shawls. It’s always better be accompanied by a Chinese speaking mate, helps in finalizing the best stuffs in best rates. It’s been 3 months since I am back in India and I still treat myself with aromatic Chinese green tea often.

The Chinese tea is the easiest to cook. Just put some tea leaves in boiling water and leave to brew for a couple of minutes with lid closed. Your Chinese green tea is ready to be cherished.

I also recommend you to go for boating in Quihuai River.

Overall it was a great experience to visit Nanjing and I wish to explore more during my next visit to this beautiful Chinese city.

In my next post I will share Dos and Donts when in China which will be followed by A Vegetarian’s guide for visiting China.

-Lots of Love

Abhimanyu@Yatripandit

PS: Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel.     This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media.