Reims- A Day Trip From Paris

If you are on a trip to Paris, you surely haven’t seen all of France, because there’s a plethora of places for you to discover in its off beat routes, which are less crowded and you get to choose your own ways of exploring them. Among these off beat attractions, Reims- the Champagne region of France, is ideal to spend a day away from the capital, and taste one of the finest brands of Champagne made and fermented on the major Champagne houses. Witness the handpicking of the finest grapes from the vineyards and finally being converted into a sweet liquid that are kept on the dark cellars for maturation- giving them the finest taste.

 

How to reach Reims?

 

The easiest route is by opting a TGV train from GaredeL’Est metro station in Paris and directly reach Reims within 45 minutes. However, your tickets must be booked 3 months prior to your arrival.

 

What to see in Reims? 

 

Your checklist in Reims must include visiting the cathedral, the best cellars and a walk in the beautiful streets of the city.

 

Explore the holy Reims Cathedral

 

Begin your day by visiting the holy cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims built in High- Gothic style in the early 13th century with the finest carvings, sculptures, and glass decorations. This age-old church is not only antique, but also holds its traces of being burned and then renovated. Don’t forget to spot the Smiling Angel.

        

Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.

 

Visit the popular Cellars and taste the best brands of Champagne:

 

The highlight of your trip must be visiting the Champagne houses around the city and their cellar that resemble dimly lit caves, that would give you an unforgettable experience, this however might sound eerie but surely it isn’t as you would be guided by the tour guides throughout your visit.

 

  • Vineyards and Cellar of Veuve Clicquot

 

The vineyards and cellars of Veuve Clicquot are very popular in the region and offer a tour to its caves where you could see thousands of bottled champagne undergoing a process of maturation to bring out the finest taste in them. One gets to see the process of making of champagne, hear its historic tale of its early days and finally taste the  Grande Dame Champagne and savour its taste.

             

Wine Tasting in Veuve Cliquot.

 

 

  • The Cellar of Tattinger

 

Head to your next destination- the Champagne house of Tattinger. The most fascinating truth about the cellars of Tattinger lies on the fact that they were carved out from the age-old Roman mines. As you visit the caves of Tattinger to witness the maturation of botlled champagnes, you would feel the historic aura that these cellars hold in this modern world.

                

Caves of Tattinger.

 

  • H. Mumm Cellar

 

One of the largest producers of Champagne in Northern France, G.H. Mumm is another Champagne house in Reims with an impressive building. The word “mumm” itself suggests “from the inside” and hence offers its visitors a clear view of their inside world of champagne-making.

G.H. Mumm Cellar House.

 

Wander around the picturesque streets of Reims:

 

Lastly end your day by wandering among the streets of Reims and see some of its unpopular attractions such as the Palais du Tau, the cathedral of Saint Remi, Museum of Surrender and so on.

           

A walk among the lovely streets of Reims

 

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Day Trip to Britanny- An Unseen Beauty of France

Britanny is one of those unpopular attractions that treasure the unseen beauty of France. Britanny is the perfect off beat spot to explore its untamed wild beauty, thick forests, dramatic coastlines, some man-made wonders and medieval, picturesque towns. It is often chosen as a side trip from Paris, and is truly worth a visit.

 

How to reach Britanny:

 

The easiest route to reach Britanny is by opting a TGV (high speed trains of France) from Paris and reach Rennes, Britanny, where the journey lasts for 1hoursand30minutes approximately. Britanny has a wonderful transportation service either of trains or planes for people to visit from all around.

 

Places to explore:

 

  • Fort du Guesclin

 

Sitting on a tidal island, Fort du Guesclin is situated on a very unique location, as during the times of high tides it would seem that the island is seated offshore. However, this fort can be reached by walking when it’s a low tide, and it is indeed a place that you would admire.

                          

Fort du Guesclin

 

  • Saint-Malo

 

Saint Malo is an old port of France holding its history in every nook and corner. Stepping into the land of Saint Malo would feel like travelling back into the 18thcentury where every house bears the traces of their time in their patched glass windows and dusty gothic buildings.

                                       

Saint Malo

  

  • Mont Saint Michel

 

One of the major attractions of Britanny is Mont Saint Michel. However, there is a small controversy related to its exact location as some regard it as standing on the land of Normandy while others declare it as a part of Britanny. Mont Saint Michel is considered one of the jewels of France as it has been an ecclesiastical center and pilgrimage since the early 700’s. The outer structure of the church is as pleasing as its high-walled interiors that dates back to centuries.

  

The holy Mont Saint Michel

 

  • Exploring the popular Castles of Britanny

 

Britanny also has a number of majestic castles around its towns that are a paradigm of French history and power, and also their excellence in artistry. Among the castles of Britanny, Josselin Castle, Castle of Suscinio, Castle of Vitre, Chateaude Pontivy, Chateaudela Bourbansais, and Castle of Fougeres are popular among tourists.

                               

Chateau de Josselin

 

  • Dinan

 

Dinan is a picturesque town in Britanny that is embraced in scenic beauty and its streets are very photogenic. With bricked paths, gothic architectures and towers, bridges, and museums, Dinan is a perfect place to escape into.

Dinan, Britanny

 

For people who love hiking, Britanny has many spots for you to have a look  such as the Pointedu Raz that would give you the breathtaking view of powerful waves striking the sandy cliffs, the elegant lighthouse, a dreamy sunset amidst the rhythm of the sea.

 

Aurevoir!

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

 

 

A Guide to Thermal Baths in Budapest

The capital city of Hungary, Budapest is a beautiful city in Europe bisected by the river Danube and connected with its Buda and Pest districts through the iconic Chain Bridge . With the most dramatic history, dreamy castles, majestic Hungarian National Parliament , historic squares with gothic architectures, Budapest also has enticing scenic beauty. Well, Budapest is not just limited to these things, it is also popular for its Baths and is often termed as the “City of Baths”. Including the historic thermal public baths, Turkish Baths and other pools and spas, Budapest has all the kinds of baths you need to relax and rejuvenate yourselves. The most amazing truth of these baths lies in the fact that  they are naturally fed by 120 hot springs around the city so there is no waste of electricity.

 

What to expect in these Baths?

 

The baths in Budapest are much different from hot Springs of India, as each of them have some different specifications. Some Baths are “male only” or “female only” or some have availability for both in different areas. Also some of these baths are  designed to relax solo while others have no bars and are available for everybody like a public pool. The baths in Budapest are found in two ways indoor and open-air like Szechenyi Baths are open-air and Rudas, Gellert Baths are indoor baths. More fun awaits for you in the Bath parties, passes for these parties are available online on the different websites so that you can grab the opportunity to have the best experience with your loved ones. However, It is important to know the specifications before you get there so as there are places where admission of children are, here’s a detailed information about the best baths around the city.

 

Historic Thermal Baths in Budapest:

 

Historic Thermal Baths were first set by Romans, and then they were re-opened at the time of Turkish invasions. These thermal baths were not only used for the purpose of relaxing and rejuvenating, and keeping them warm and hygenic, but also the public encouraged them for the medicinal uses of Hotsprings. These historic thermal baths are still found around the city of Budapest and the best ones among them are:

 

  • Szechenyi Baths

 

Considered as the largest medicinal bath in Europe, Szechenyi Baths were built in the early 20th century and consist of 18 pools, 10 steam cabins, and sections that offer several massage and therapies and so on. These baths among the richly decorated palace is a delight to visit.

 

Temperature of Pools: 20-40C.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                         

Szechenyi Baths.

 

 

  • Gellert Baths

 

 

Gellert Baths- a part of Gellert Hotel was opened in the year 1918 and is among the few Art Deco baths in the world whose interior was influenced by the French art movements. The interior of the baths were built in Art Nouveau style and is still evident to the Modern word for the last 100 years.

 

Temperature of Pool: 26 to 40⁰.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                      

Gellert Baths.

 

 

  • Veli Bej- Csaszar Baths

 

 

The Veli Bej Baths also known as Csaszar baths, are indoor Turkish baths and are among the few baths in Budapest that have no outdoor pools for the public. Veli Bej reflects its Ottoman time through its designed halls and pools and is truly a peaceful place with less crowd.

 

Temperature of Pool: 32– 34C.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                                

Veli Bej Baths.

 

 

  • Rudas Baths

 

Another famous bath of the city, Rudas baths have an impressive modern interior decoration, various spas and Turkish baths. However, the center of attraction here is the rooftoppool that provides a panaromic view of the city and the river Danube. Rudas Baths are also children- friendly and allow children’s admission in few of its pools with moderate temperatures.

 

Temperature of Pools: 16– 42C.

 

Admission: Everyone according to terms.

 

                                      

Rudas Baths

 

 

  • Kiraly Baths

 

Built in 1570, Kiraly Baths will give you the most authentic essence of Turkish bath in its indoor pools. The building of Kiraly Baths reflect their history associated with Ottoman invasion, and the domes represent their Turkish origins.

 

Temperature: 26– 40C.

 

Admission:  Everyone above 14 years of age.

 

 

                

Kiraly Baths

 

 

  • Lukacs Baths

 

Located on the Buda side of the city, Lukacs baths are situated inside the impressive 19th century building and its history dates back to the 12th century. These baths have both indoor and outdoor pools along with saunas and other spa treatments, and are very popular among tourists for its lively nights where people can drink, enjoy bath parties, pamper themselves in various massage treatments.

 

Temperature of Pools: 30– 40C.

 

Admission:  Above 14 years of age.

 

 

                             

Lukacs Baths

If you want some more of this pampering and refreshment, you can also visit the other attractive spas around the city such as, the Spa at the Four Seasons,  Danubius Health Spa Margitsziget and Thermal Beer Spa– that lets you enjoy your baths and treatments with mugs of beer! Sounds great right? Nothing is impossible in Budapest when it comes to Baths.

 

 

 

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

An avid traveller, a voracious reader and a passionate writer!

 

 

Loire Valley- The Valley of Castles

Loire Valley is a mesmerizingly beautiful destination often called the jewel of France for  its  dreamy castles, scenic beauty, peaceful ambience and photogenic sites. For people who are fascinated by fairytales, castles and its everlasting tales of Kings and Queens, Loire Valley is exactly the destination you have been searching for. As the region of Loire Valley is quite big, it is not possible to cover every spot in just a few days, hence it is suggested to spend at least 34 days to discover this dreamland.

 

How to reach Loire Valley?

 

When it comes to visiting Loire Valley, there are many options available for reaching here. One can rent a car from Paris which would take 2-3 hours drive, or take TGV (super-fast trains of France) from Montparnesse station to reach the heart of this valley. One can also fly and directly land in ToursValdeLoire airport from London or Dublin.

 

What to see in Loire Valley?

 

Explore the best castles of this region and taste the original and authentic French Cuisines in a royal style.

 

  • Chateau de Chenonceau

 

Situated near the small village of Chenonceaux, Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the best- known castle of Loire Valley and was built on  CherRiver in the early 16th century in a gothic, renaissance architectural style.  This stunning castle is a treasure trove of French history and has many fascinating gossips of Kings and Queens to tell to the Modern World. Chenonceau is also among the most visited and photographed castles in the valley and has both architectural and scenic beauty encompassing it.

                       

Chateau de Chenonceau on Cher River.

 

  • Chateau de Chambord

 

The largest and the most recognisible castle of Loire Valley, the castle of Chambord serves as an important symbol of French Renaissance and reflects its history related to the powerful king Francis. This majestic castle has an enticing structure and its interior is lavishly decorated with a touch of Renaissance. The Chateaude Chambord Park is the largest enclosed park in Europe, its well-maintained French-Style gardens are magnificent.

Chateau de Chambord.

 

  • Azay-le-Rideau

 

Built during the beginning of 16th century, Chateau Azay-le-Rideau is another popular castle of Loire Valley situated on the shore of Indre river in the Touraine region. Much smaller as compared to Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau has an impressive renaissance structure encompassed in natural beauty.

                 

Azay-le Rideau.

 

  • Villandry Castle and Gardens

 

Situated in the region of Villandry, Villandry Castle is a grand country residense of Loire Valley. The castle’s speciality lies within its exquisite French-style gardens full of vibrant flowers that are very pleasant to watch. Villandry Castle is considered to be the last Renaissance residense built on the banks of the river Loire.

Chateau Villandry and Gardens.

 

  • Chateau d’ Usse

 

Chateau d’ Usse often called the “SleepingBeauty castle” is exactly what you see in Fairytales. The castle of Usse is built on the edges of Chinon Forest and is the best spot to enjoy the panoramic view of Indre Valley.

The castle of Usse originally provided an inspiration to the writer Charles Perrault for his celebrated classic fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty

Chateau d’ Usse.

 

 

  • Chateau de Saumur

 

Chateau de Saumur is located in the French town of Saumur in the Loire Valley. The castle was once a fortress, and later was converted to a chateau, now this castle stands as a renouned castle of Loire Valley with an amazing gothic structure. Built during the 10thcentury, the castle of Saumur has lots of tales to tell to the modern world.

 

Chateau de Saumur. 

 

There are 42  Chateauxregistered under UNESCOin Loire Valley, and it isimpossible to visit all of them in a single trip. Head towards the most popular Chateaus and some off beat populars for the best experience. 

 

Wine Tasting in Loire Valley:

 

  

Wine Grapes.

Your trip to Loire Valley is incomplete without visiting the vineyards and tasting the purest wine and also hearing the tales of wine-making from the local Winemakers. Loire Valley has more than thousand world-famous vineyards for you to explore, breath the sweet scent of ripening grapes, and taste wines from the best cellars. Visit Vouvray, Henry Bourgeoi’s wine tasting, Chinon for the best wine.

 

Loire Valley is not just a perfect destination for adults but also for kids. You have been reading bed-time fairy tales for them explaining how big and majestic castles are, or they have been watching these classics in movies fantasizing themselves, imagine the happiness on their face when they see these castles in real life, precious isn’t it? Don’t think twice, just plan your next  trip to Loire Valley of France for an unforgettable experience.

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

An avid Traveller and a passionate writer.

 

Process of Obtaining A Schengen Visa

 

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, congrats! You’re about to have the time of your life. However you need to take care of some paperwork before you can embark on your adventure, most importantly your passport and visa.

 

26 countries in Europe allow you to travel with one common visa- the Schengen visa. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland

 

You can travel to one or more of these states with a Schengen visa obtained from the embassy of any one of these states.

 

In this article, I will take you through the process of obtaining a Schengen visa for your travel to Europe.

 

Firstly, if you’re travelling to multiple destinations, you need to decide which consulate you will be applying to. Ordinarily, it is advised that you apply to the consulate or embassy of the country in which you will be spending the most time. If this is undecided or the number of days is equal, apply to the country in which you will be landing first.

 

It is advisable to apply for your visa at least three weeks before your trip but no more than 3 months prior. Book an appointment with the VFS office, either online or via a phone call, sufficiently in advance (about a week before you want the appointment)

 

The next leg of the application process can be a little tiresome, but with the following checklist in mind, you should be good to go. Always make sure you have two sets of all the necessary documents- one file containing the originals, and another containing photocopies. Make handwritten checklists of the document list that you find at the end of this blog, and on the VFS website.

 

1. A valid passport – Issued within the last 10 years and with at least 3 months validity after your scheduled return. It must have at least two blank pages.

 

2. Two passport size photos according to the embassy specifications, taken not more than 6 months ago. The photo must be against a light (preferably white) backdrop. The photo must be 35 mm in length and 45 mm in height. Your face must be fully visible, from the bottom of the chin up to the hairline, and the size of the face should be between 32 and 36 mm.

 

3. A No-objection certificate (NOC) from your school or university (for students) or a leave letter from your company- clearly stating your designation and leave dates as well as the date on which you return to work.

 

4. Proof of financial status – Salary slips of the last three month, in order to prove that you can afford the trip. Certificate of proprietorship will suffice if you are self employed.

 

5. Income Tax Return (ITR) form or form 16 ((Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary) for three years. If you do not file an ITR you will need to submit an ITR of the person who is gifting the trip to you.

 

6. Bank statement of the last six months to prove sufficient funds. It is   recommended that you have a minimum of Rs 1.5 lacs per person in your account as closing balance

 

7. Proof of accommodation  for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen area. If staying with friends or relatives for the whole or part of your trip, please check with VFS for documents required based on the country you are applying to – usually their passport and letter of invitation will suffice, but we strongly recommended checking with VFS before hand.

 

8. Flight tickets both to and from the Schengen area.

 

9. Travel insurance which you can buy online. The travel insurance must be valid for 30 days from your trip start date. Also, the sum insured must be a minimum of Euro 30,000.00 for hospitalization and must cover emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

 

10. One copy of your passport’s data page Print the first two pages and last two pages of your passport in an A4 size paper.

 

11. Proof of residence – You are required to apply for your visa in the region in which you have been residing for the 6 months prior to applying for the visa. If it so happens that the region in which you are currently residing, and from which you are applying for your visa is not the same as the address mentioned in your passport, you will have to provide proof of residence in the form of an official document- such as your rent agreement or a utility bill (electricity or water or phone bill)

 

12. Application form – This can be downloaded from the VFS office of the respective country, and must be duly filled.

 

13. Cover Letter A letter addressed to the consulate to which you are applying. It must elaborate upon the following details

Purpose of visit (tourism, visiting friends or family)

Detailed itinerary, If you have a sponsor

Explain your personal relationship with your sponsor and the reason why they will be   sponsoring your trip

If you cannot submit any of the required documents, write about the reasons why you cannot submit and explain alternative documents that you may have submitted

You can also mention the reasons why you will not overstay the visa period (employment, personal assets, etc.), explain your rootedness to the country

 

   14.  VFS appointment letter.

Once you have made an appointment, show up to the VFS office 15 minutes before your appointed time. Ensure you have photocopies and originals of all documents and a printout of your VFS appointment letter. Once you have cleared security, you will be issued a token number. After this, you will have to submit your documents when your token number is called. If your documents are in order, they will give you a receipt to make the payment. The payment desks are in the same area, and you have to pay around Euro 60 per application + VFS service fees ,so ensure you carry a sufficient amount. Payment can be made via cash, card or DD.
Once  you come completed the payment, show your paid receipt at the counter where you submitted documents. You will be issued a tracking number and taken to the biometric room where your fingerprints will be recorded.

This is the complete process at the VFS office. You can track the status of your visa application on the VFS website. Once it has been processed you can collect your passport from the same office. The post document submission process usually takes around 15 days.

 

For any other queries, feel free to write to us at wiseyatra@gmail.com

—Meenakshi Kumar

An avid traveller who is a voracious reader!

How to Plan a Packed Four Days in Dubai

 

Dubai has a surprising amount of things to do for those looking to spend more time there. It’s a city trapped between the old and the new. A place in a conservative culture with old world customs while at the same time a Middle-Eastern Vegas where anything goes. Dubai is a fascinating, multi-cultural city that deserves a lot more than stopover.

Day 1 in Dubai:

Burj Khalifa

As you step out on your first day, plan a visit to the Dubai Mall (world’s largest mall!): go to the Dubai Aquarium, explore its restaurants for lunch, do some good shopping and then walk to the Burj Khalifa entrance to see the sunset from the tallest building in the world.

Start your adventure with the Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall – The 10-million liter Dubai Aquarium tank, located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, is the largest suspended aquariums in the world. Come face-to-face with some of the ocean’s most fascinating predators, at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. For the first time, you don’t need diving experience to get up-close at feeding time, in a brand new shark feeding encounter – which brings you closer than ever to the creatures behind the exhilarating Shark Week exhibition (ticket price on average $50 USD depending on the experience).

Underwater Dining at Al Mahara

Have an early lunch at one of the many restaurants in the mall which will give you the required energy to shop. The best mall for completing your 10,000 step goal and enjoying the Dubai splendor in malls is Dubai Mall. For all shopping we recommend you wear your most comfortable sneakers ever- you could be there for hours!

You can buy Burj Khalifa tickets either on the site or pre book them online. If you are not booking tickets in advance, it’s advisable that before you settle down for lunch/shopping at the Dubai Mall, you first head to the Burj Khalifa (enter through the Dubai Mall) and check for availability of tickets. On weekends (which are Friday and Saturday in the ME), and around sun set time, you will see larger crowds of tourists and three things may happen: all tickets are sold out/you have tickets available but nor for the time slot you would like/ticket prices are too steep, especially for the 148th floor at sunset time. So ensure you reach the venue a few hours in advance and buy tickets. The 128th floor ticket should be cheaper while that of the 148th floor will be more expensive. In any case, if you find the ticket to the 148th floor to be priced AED 500, do not buy it, it’s too expensive and not worth it! From either floors, you will get panoramic views of the city and desert. At night, the building is illuminated by a spectacular light show of fish, palm trees, and other scenes while the fountain below at Dubai Mall dances to music. You can always catch the fountain show at the Dubai Mall (frequency is every 30 minutes starting 6:30PM, the last one being 11:00PM) if you don’t feel like going that high.

A Fountain Show at The Dubai Fountain

The Armani Lounge on the 1st floor lets you have your favourite drinks and nibbles (dinner too) and watch the fountains. There is also a fantastic restaurant called Atmosphere on the 122nd floor but you need to book it prior- you can book for drinks or for dinner. Remember that it doesn’t come cheap. You can watch the fountains from there as well, we promise they will be a delight.

Day 2 in Dubai:

Camel Safari Through the Desert

Take a desert safari – If you want to get a taste of the desert, head out on a day-long safari with Arabian Adventure. They will pick you up from your hotel as well as drop you back. You’ll be able to ride a camel, hold a falcon, explore the desert, and eat some traditional food while watching traditional Arabic dance. A day-long excursion will cost around 315 AED ($85 USD). (Note: there are other desert safaris that may be cheaper, but this is the full experience). Given the temperatures, the outdoors part is scheduled towards the evenings. During the heat of the afternoons, you spend time in the comfort of the car riding sand dunes – just remember to have had a light lunch as your stomach can churn during this exercise. It’s fun though!

Safari in a car

Day 3 in Dubai:

Visit Kite Beach – If you’re into kite surfing or water sports, this is a great place to catch some waves. The winds pick up in the afternoon, making it a good time to hit the water or just sit back and watch others do it. If watersports isn’t your thing, just come here to catch some rays and relax. While the UAE is a Muslim country, it’s not as conservative as you might expect. Dress as you would do in Europe: shorts and bikinis are fine. There’s no need to cover your head either. Once you are done, you can go back to your hotel to change and relax. Your next destination will be the Dubai Museum.

Dubai Museum – A small museum in old Dubai with not a lot of information but some really cool displays. It teaches you the history and culture of Dubai and life in the desert. At $1 USD admission, you can’t go wrong. While you can take a metro or a cab to get there, nothing beats the charm of getting there on a ferry, although it is not the most straight forward way to get there since you will still need a metro/cab till Deira. You will cross the Dubai creek from the neighbourhood of Deira using a traditional boat called ‘Abra’. This takes you to the Bur Dubai Old Souq and Water Bus Station. Here you can explore the Souq first or explore it on your way back. To go to the museum, walk towards Al Fahidi Street where the museum is located. There are several attractions around the museum that you can also see so ensure you keep your energy going.

Watch La Perle in the evening – Dubai’s one of a kind live masterpiece. A new era of entertainment has swept over Dubai with the debut of La Perle. Created and produced by one of the world’s most renowned artistic directors, Franco Dragone, La Perle transports audiences into another world. This interactive theatre experience should not be missed. Immerse yourself in the live show that takes inspiration from Dubai’s past, present and future. (https://laperle.com/en/)

 

Day 4 in Dubai:

Mosque

Hire a taxi and head out to Abu Dhabi. The journey takes an hour each way so is very convenient. The star attraction is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a pristine white marble mosque that will mesmerize your senses. Beneath white-marble domes, the vast Mosque features an immense Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and a capacity for 41,000 worshipers. In case you are looking for a lunch stop-over in Abu Dhabi, pre book one of the restaurants in the Emirates Palace (entry is not allowed to guests unless they have a reservation), which is a palatial hotel with a private marina. On your way back to Dubai, spend some time at the Ferrari World (remember it closes at 8PM), a mostly indoors amusement park on Yas island – it is connected to Yas Mall so can explore the Mall as well. A Bronze Pass entitles you to unlimited all-day access to the Ferrari World. There are restaurants inside where you can have your meals.

 

Day 5 in Dubai:

Depending on when your return flight is in the evening, you can check out the other Malls that will help you to shop till you drop. We will recommend the Mall of the Emirates and the Ibn Battuta Mall. The latter is inspired by the Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta and is the largest themed mall in the world. The countries that Ibn Battuta explored in his lifetime have their own distinct retail court and you will not regret the experience. The Mall of the Emirates also has an indoor ski resort called the Ski Dubai where you can also play with Penguins.

 

Catch your flight in the evening with beautiful memories to share with your loved ones!

 

–Kunal

5-yoga-asanas-for-travellers

The world is a book and all those who do not travel read only one page.

 

Who doesn’t love to travel? Traveling is meant to revitalize us!

 

But along with the blissful travelling comes fatigue, unending flights, uncooperative passengers and uncomfortable seating. But then there’s always a solution! And one such solution is yoga. Here is a list of 5 yoga asanas that are a great stress and fatigue reliever!

1.Garud asana

Garudasana

 

How To Do The Garudasana

Begin by standing in the Tadasana. Move your left leg up and cross it over the right one. Try to hook your left foot behind the right calf. Bend a bit, if you must. Now bring your arms forward and bend them at the elbows. Cross the right arm over the left one and bring the palms together. Stretch your arms upwards.

 

Strengthens:Ankle, Calf

Pose Type:Balance, Hip opener, Standing

Also Known As: Eagle Pose

 

2.Bhujang asana

Bhujangasana

 

How To Do The Bhujang Asana

Lie face down on the floor. Place your palms on the floor, on either side of you, slightly lower than your shoulders. Lift your upper body off the floor by pushing your palms against the floor. Get into a cobra pose by using your back and abdominal muscles. Keep your thighs firmly on the ground as you arch your back upwards. Maintain the pose for a full 10 seconds.

Goal: Start your day on a fresh note, salute the sun and feel rejuvenated the entire day.

Strengthens: Vertebral column

Pose Type: Prone

Also Known As: Cobra Pose

 

3.Tadasana

 

Tadasana

Goal: To relax after long drives

How To Do The Tadasana

This simple asana sets the base for all other yoga poses. Stand straight, placing both your legs slightly apart. Your hands should hang freely alongside your body. Raise your arms and stretch upwards, from feet to your head. Exhale and release. Repeat.

To relax yourself after a long flight or a car ride, Tadasana is the perfect yoga pose to wake up your muscles, limbs and joints.

Strengthens: Knee, Thigh, Ankle

Pose Type: Standing

Also Known As: Mountain Pose

4.Utkatasana

 

Utkatasana

Goal: To ease your muscles and freshen your mind

How To Do The Utkatasana

In a need of some serious stretching on a road trip? Stand with your feet slightly apart, stretch your arms to the front and over your head. Bend your knees and lower yourself slightly as if you are sitting on a chair. Be comfortable.

Missing your intense gym workout but on a vacation? Compensate with this advance asana!

Strengthens: Vertebral column, Thigh, Ankle, Calf

Pose Type: Standing, Core

Also Known As: Chair pose

5. Shavasana

 

Shavasana

Goal: To rejuvenate body, mind and spirit

How To Do The Shavasana

Shavasana is perhaps one of the easiest, yet most important asanas in yoga. Lie flat on your back (make sure not to use a cushion) with your legs slightly apart. Leave your palms open, facing upward. Close your eyes, breathe deep. Relax your entire body.

Wind up your yoga session with Shavasana to develop a deep, meditative state of rest to your body.

Strengthens: Relaxes body and mind

Pose Type: Restorative

Also Known As: Corpse pose

 

Now travel and move around the globe actively! The world is waiting for you. Go and explore it. These yoga asanas are your tour guide! They won’t let you get tired.

Happy Journey😊

 

–Molisha Sachdeva

 

A prolific writer and a health buff Molisha enjoys the benefits of yoga. She likes to research more and more about yoga and spread the benefits!

 

 

Welcome to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Are you missing something my fellow travelers?

 

“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God”.

 

“Sounds like you have traveled almost every renowned destination, yet you feel something missing”.

 

What’s that something?

Romance of Rome, elegance of France, charm of Spain, beauty of Belgium, anything or everything about these places is that, these places are all very crowded most of the tourism season as these are amongst the most preferred traveling destination.

We don’t even spend time on trying places where not many people have already traveled.

 

Have you considered a trip to Asian continent, what countries would you choose, if yes?

I’m pretty sure if not confirm, the answer would be countries like China, India, Tibet and relevant on your top priority lists. No doubt, again these countries experience a heavy foreign tourism every year.

 

The point I’m trying to make is try places where few of your buddies have traveled, if any. You would rule the discussion at the parties and teas as they won’t have any experience of what you are talking about.

 

Worry not! Your host which is me, would be guiding you through the entire journey. Follow me ….

 

 

Today! We take you to this very beautiful country Uzbekistan, I’m sure you would find what experiences I was talking about in a moment.

 

Welcome to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

 

 

Tashkent Railway station

Even though the entire Asian continent only is culturally very rich and diverse, Uzbek is one where you would get an entire different experience.

 

Note: We suggest you to go for around a couple of weeks of visa to comfortably cover all the cities of Uzbekistan.

 

The most desired cities and destinations are as shown below…

 

Tashkent

 

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan. It’s known for its many museums and its mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture.

 

Architecture

The Amir Timur Museum houses manuscripts, weapons and other relics from the Timurid dynasty. Nearby, the huge State Museum of History of Uzbekistan has centuries-old Buddhist artifacts.

The city’s skyline is distinguished by Tashkent Tower, which offers city views from its observation deck.

 

Chorsu Bazar in Tashkent:

 

The market has been going for centuries, but it was the Soviets who constructed and covered it with the blue-domed building. All the locals come to the bazaar, which means that this is also a great place to observe the ethnic and cultural blend Tashkent is famous for.

Chorsu Bazar

 

We strongly recommend you buy kurut, a Central Asian snack which consists of dried cheese balls.

 

Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent:

 

Best thing about traveling to ex-Soviet countries is visiting Soviet buildings. They are massive, old-fashioned and made of concrete.

 

Hotel Uzbekistan

In Tashkent, our favorite Soviet building would be, definitely, Hotel Uzbekistan, whose size and elegance won’t leave you any less than wow.

 

Tashkent metro: 

 

Tashkent metro is an artistic masterpiece amongst the Soviet republics. Built extremely deep in the ground, almost every station of the Tashkent Metro is absolutely gorgeous, all very different from each other.

 

Tashkent Metro

From beautiful mosaics to massive, goldish-candelabras, we spent hours just going up and down the metro, while stopping at its many gorgeous stations.

 

Cultural Art and Sculptures in Tashkent:

 

 The culture has formed over millenniums and has taken in traditions and customs of various nations settled on the territory of todays’ Uzbekistan.

 

Art and culture

The Great Silk Road played a great role in the development of Uzbekistan culture. Being the trade route, it ran from China to two destinations: first one was to Ferghana Valley and Kazakh steppes and second route led to Bactria, and then to Parthia, India and Middle East up to Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

Hazrat Imam Complex in Tashkent:

 

 An official religious center in the city and, of course, one of the top Tashkent tourist attractions. Composed of mosques with turquoise domes. Hazrat Imam Complex is the main reason to visit Tashkent and the place where you will understand why this Central Asian metropolis had been such an important place.

 

Hazrat Imam Complex

 

Muyi Mubarak Library is the most important building, as it contains the world’s oldest Quran and a relic which is nothing less than a hair from Prophet Muhammad (that’s what they claim, verify yourself and let us know).

 

 Tashkent TV tower:

 

 TV tower, the highest building in Central Asia. You can actually visit it, but the observation deck is at only 96 meters, even though you get a pretty good panoramic view of Tashkent’s skyline.

 

Tashkent TV tower

Price for foreigners is 15USD but if you could manage to get through a local, pay the local price, which is 36,000UZS (4.30USD).

 

Tashkent Stadium

“There are several other beautiful attraction sites to visit, not a week is enough once you start getting involved and feeling the culture and lifestyle”.

 

Delicious regional cuisines are always add-ons to the elegance of the tourist destinations. Try out as much of delicious varieties of sweets and meals as you can.

 

Do share with us your personal experiences, once you get to visit the city.

 

We’ll visit other cities as well in our upcoming blogs.

 

“Stay connected and keep exploring new destinations with WiseYatra” .

 

—Kaushik Raj

He is a “Marketing professional and Lifestyle Entrepreneur” who has a passion for travelling and writing. Loves traveling to Europe. Reads travel books in his free time!

 

Attractions in Croatia and Czech Republic

Have you been thinking about visiting some European countries? Well,  you must begin your exploration by visiting the two beautiful countries, Croatia and Czech Republic. Both have plethora of tourist attractions and scenic beauty, like one has never seen before. Give a spur to your wanderlust soul and begin exploring the unseen places with your loved ones.

 

Croatia

One of the popular Countries of Eastern Europe, Croatia has a lot to contribute to your priceless travel memories. The list of places you should check out ,when on a trip to Croatia, is listed below-

 

  • Zagreb in Croatia-

 

Capital of Croatia, Zagreb has plenty to explore including its landmarks and astounding scenic beauty. The city is divided into two sections- Upper Town and the Lower Town. Upper Town has iconic buildings like, Gornji Grad, St. Mark’s Church, the quirky museum,Museum of Broken Relationships. Whereas the Lower Town includes,Croatian National Theatre, Mimara Museum, Green Horseshoe park, Ethnographic Museum depicting the culture of Croatia, and Maksimir Park. One must also visit the age-old Austro-Hungarian style Square of Zagreb, Ban Jelacic Square located at the centre of the city which has a phenomenal number of restaurants, cafes and shops .

View of the city of Zagreb

 

 

  • Zadar in Croatia-

 

An ancient Roman City, Zadar is a wonderful coastal city with a breathtaking water front. Visit the ancient square of Zadar and explore its ancientry such as the St. Donatus Church, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Glass and  Museum of Illusions.

Stroll through the Kalelarga Street and Five Wells Square. Walk to the Promenade and experience the most magical sunsets near the Adriatic sea by visiting the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun.

Sea Organ- Zadar

 

 

  • Split in Croatia-

 

Split is a buzzing city with just the right blend of modernity with tradition.While visiting Split, one must visit its major attraction, the Roman Palace,a Diocletian’s Palace built during the 4th century.

Head towards the Old Town, watch the Gregory of Nin Statue and explore the Gallery of Art.

Visit the ancient square Peristil and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius and enjoy the panoramic view of the beautiful city from the Bell Tower.

Go for exploring the outdoor of Split by visiting the Underground Market or its restaurants and cafes in the Riva Promenade. One can visit the Marjan Hill and admire the view of the city or relax on the lovely beaches such as Bacvice and watch the beautiful sunsets.

 

View of Split

 

  • Plitvice in Croatia-

 

 Use public transport and visit the lakes of Plitvice which actually seem like a paradise.  Plitvice National Park is made up of sixteen lakes that are connected by a series of waterfalls and surrounded by picture-perfect woodlands.Just a tip ,reach really early to avoid getting stuck behind the long queue of tourists and carry a picnic lunch.Everything inside the park is quite pricey.

 

Aerial view of Plitvice Lakes

 

  • Dubrovnik in Croatia-

 

 The beauty of Dubrovnik never fails to amaze the visitor.The grand Old Town has still preserved its magnificence and medieval charm. Dubrovnik has a plethora of things to do and see.Stroll around the Old Town and explore the ageold Stradun Street. Visit the old City Walls of Dubrovnik and opt for a cable ride to the highest point, Srd Hill ,which has a breathtaking view . Also visit the Cathedral Of The Assumption Of Mary,Rector’s Palace,Dominican Monastery and Museum. A twenty minute walk from the Old Town  takes you to Lapad area .Reach and walk the Uvala Street and enjoy the restaurants,shops,live music and then relax on the beach.

 

View of Dubrovnik

 

Czech Republic

 

With breathtakingly beautiful picturesque sites, Czech Republic is sure to win your heart. Places to enjoy include the following-

 

  • Prague in Czech Republic-

 

 The capital city of Czech Republic, Prague is all about castles, bridges, scenic night life and beautiful landscapes. While exploring the city one must visit the following places, the centuries old St. Charles Bridge crossing the Vltava River, Old Town Astronomical Clock, churches such as, St. Nicholas Church and Our Lady Before Tyn, also the Kinsky Palace, Jan Hus Memorial, House at the Stone Bell.

Also visit the most popular castle, Prague Castle, believed to be one of the largest castles in the world.

 

 

Night Scene of Prague

 

  • Brno in Czech Republic-

 

 When in Brno, begin with Spilberk Castle, and then visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Explore the Cabbage Market,the most popular one in the city, and then head towards the Old Town Hall to explore its historic beauty. There are a number of squares in Brno, pay a visit to each one of them to get a good grip of the town.

 

 

Church at Brno

 

  • Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic-

 

 Another beautiful and popular attraction of Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov has  magical atmosphere. Begin your journey with a  visit to the Castle Tower and Castle Gardens and admire the stunning view. Afterwards, wander into the Old Town and check out the buildings and architecture that has a blend of Gothic and Renaissance style. Go for rafting in the river Vltava and get a different perspective of the city.

 

 

Cesky Krumlov

 

  • Kutna Hora in Czech Republic-

 

 Kutna Hora is an ancient Silver mining town and a popular city of the Czech Republic, also  known as the Haunting Town. This place has an eerie atmosphereand is popular for the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church, and Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel decorated with human skeletons. There’s also the Czech Museum of Silver which represents the city’s history.

 

The Bone Church in Kutna Hora

 

  • Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic-

 

With its Colonnades and thermal springs,Karlovy Vary offers carefree roaming combined with energetic treks .Have a good look at the panoramic view of the city by reaching the Diana Observation Tower .After enjoying the view, come down to Dvorak Park, take a stroll in the scenic park. Visit the historical building of Mill Colonnade and the Russian Orthodox Church with Golden domes. One can also just simply walk across the river and admire the beauty of the city and its lively city life.

 

Karlovy Vary

Don’t keep waiting for the right time, just make plans!

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

Dubai: A City Of Wonders

Why is it a good idea to visit Dubai?

Dubai, a land of eminent success and a paradigm of ultramodern architecture is surely a dream destination that one should add in their bucket list. Dubai is luxurious, embraced in the beauty of the great Arabian Desert, it is a place of lively nightlife scenes with glimmering towers, making it an unforgettable experience for the one who visits here. The magnificent towers, the essence of Safari through the great sandy desert, the beautiful beaches, the delicious food along with luxurious  hotels and shopping, amusement parks, Dubai is one of its kind. The architectural elegance you get to see in Dubai has no comparisons. Here are some not to miss destinations in Dubai:

The Burj Khalifa 

 

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest skyscraper in the world comprising of 163 floors, thus making it a major tourist attraction. This man-made architectural masterpiece offers a number of Observatory Decks at various floors giving a “top of the world” experience to its tourists. Well Burj Khalifa is not only famous for its height, it is also the tallest building to have a residential place which offers suits by Armani Hotels. Have you ever wondered where the world’s highest Nightclub is? Yes, it is here in the 144th floor of Burj Khalifa offering a lifetime experience for the “party people” . And lastly a “cherry on top”, this tallest building also has the world’s highest restaurant in it named Atmosphere, which offers luxurious food along with a mesmerizing view of the great sandy Desert and the wonders of Dubai. So, when you visit Dubai, The Burj Khalifa will surely catch your eyes and you cannot resist from visiting it.

 

Burj Khalifa

 

A view from the Top of Burj Khalifa


Burj Al Arab 

 

The Burj Al Arab is a luxurious hotel which stands alone on an artificial island and is structurally connected to the Jumeirah Beach. The architecture of this hotel is unique, as it stands in the form of a ship’s sail, and offers a view which the eyes never forget. The Burj Al Arab is the third tallest hotel in the world and is connected to the mainland through a private bridge. The Al Muntaha is a restaurant in Al Arab which is 660ft high situated above the Pursian Gulf offering a mesmerizing view of Dubai. And Al Mahara is widely famous for its underwater dining offering a view which is unimaginably beautiful. This Five-star hotel is managed by the Jumeirah Group and is sometimes stated as “the only seven-star hotel” in the world. Hence this hotel gives its guests the best luxurious experience.

Burj Al Arab
Underwater Dining at Al Mahara

 

Jumeirah Mosque

 

Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Dubai, which also offers a tour for the non-muslims. Jumeirah Mosque is famous for its artistic beauty and the peaceful ambience that encompasses this place.

 

Jumeirah Mosque


Desert Safari

 

When you are in Dubai, Safari comes first in the “to do” list. Dubai offers an exquisite experience of Safari to its tourists, which includes Camel Rides through the great Arabian desert, where the camels are beautifully decorated, it also offers Dune Bashing, and lastly a delicious mouth-watering Arabian Dinner accompanied by the essence of Belly Dancing.

 

Camel Safari Through the Desert

 

Palm Jumeirah

 

The Palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago  situated on the Persian Gulf. The Palm Jumeirah is known for its posh hotels and residential towers along with globally famous restaurants. At the Broadwalk, there are a number of food trucks that offer snacks specially “Shawarma” the famous Middle-Eastern food. Apart from these, Palm Jumeirah has many Beach Spas and Nightclubs offering live Dj evenings. This place is surely a “fun place” to visit and relax yourselves, but the most amazing fact about Palm Jumeirah is that they are clearly visible from the space.

 

The Palm Jumeirah


Jumeirah Beach

 

Jumeirah Beach is named after the Jumeirah district of Dubai, and is situated at the coast of Persian Gulf. This white sandy beach is the most popular beach of Dubai attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. This beach not only provides a relaxing ambience, but also the tourists get to see the majestic Burj Al Arab.

 

Jumeirah beach

 

The Dubai Fountain

 

The Dubai Fountain is famous worldwide for its marvellous choreographed fountain system, which is also the largest choreographed fountain system in the world. The shows occur at evenings on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake where the fountains are made to sparkle through thousands of light beams and the jets change their formation according to  the music played.

 

A Fountain Show at The Dubai Fountain

 

Atlantis The Palm

 

Atlantis The Palm is a luxurious hotel resort located at the apex of Palm Jumeirah, which is famous worldwide for providing  Underwater Dining and a personalized aquarium with underwater halls and tunnels called The Lost Chambers Aquarium. This resort is “luxury at its peak”.

 

Atlantis The Palm

Dubai Miracle Gardens

 

Dubai Miracle Gardens is like the “Eden of Dubai”. It is the largest Natural Flower Garden in the world and contains an exquisite varieties of flowers. A flower garden like this in a land of desert is a miracle, with its extravagant decoration, this place surely feels like heaven.

 

Al Bastakiya

 

Build during the 1890’s, Al Bastakiya serves as the heritage of UAE. It is a museum that contains a number of art gallaries and also cafes and restaurants. These museum gallaries display pure Arabic artistry and is bound to make you fall in love with them.

 

Dubai Gold Souk

 

“Souk” is an Arabic term for street market or bazaar, it was believed that the Iranians and the Indians set up gold shop at first at the district of DeiraAs you know Dubai is also worldly famous for its gold trades, so when you are in Dubai you must never miss to visit its Gold Markets. It is also believed that this market sells gold cheaper in price than its neighbouring places, so if you know a little bit of bargaining, you might get lucky to get unbelievable discounts.


Wild Wadi Park

 

Wild Wadi Park is a famous water park in Dubai. This water park is situated next to Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and is popular for its fun rides. The Jumeirah Sceriah is the tallest and fastest free-falling water slide (outside of N and S America). This is the perfect “fun place” for families, and it also has a separate kids play area with over 100 water rides and games.

 

Wild Wadi Park

 

Skydive Dubai

 

One of the major attractions in Dubai is the Skydive. The Skydiving enables you to admire Dubai from the top and you can “fly as free as a bird” and take away a breathtaking experience with you. Dubai offers Skydiving at its two famous places, the Palm Jumeirah or over the Arabian Desert, the experience that you will get would be mixed up with fear and joy, but you need not to worry as the instructors would guide you and take care of your safety., So go and have some real fun.

 

Skydiving Above the Palm Jumeirah

 

The Dubai Mall

 

The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall in the world. Well its Dubai and it can’t be just a simple one, this mall contains an Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and also has a huge gaming area, a famous cafe with artistic excellence, and a genuine fossil of a Dinosaur (Diplodocus). It also has an indoor themed park and a haunted house named Hysteria which gives its visitors a spine-chilling experience.

 

Interior of Dubai Mall


Helicopter Ride

 

One of the most splendid experiences of Dubai includes its Helicopter rides. The rides enable you to admire the beauty of Dubai and enjoy the views of the Burj Khalifa, Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis The Palm, The World (the globe made through artificial islands and is visible even from the space), and gives you a lifetime experience.

 

Ride Above Atlantis The Palm

Dubai calling…Pack your bags!


—Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels.

An Unforgettable Trip to Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are ideal getaways to escape the boredom of routine life and immerse your senses in a world comprising of vibrant and densely populated streets full of life, modern skyscrapers and a plethora of amazing places to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

The Vegas of China: Macau City

The city of Macau is often referred as “the Vegas of China” known as it is for its Casinos. It is the epicenter of gambling and lavish, luxurious night life.
Macau was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years and hence the architecture here is a blend of Portuguese and Chinese styles. The effect is reflected mostly in Buddhist Temples of the city that have many Portuguese features.

Let’s get to know the must visit places of this city:

1. Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Macau-

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral date back to the 17th century. Among one of the most visited attractions of Macau, this ruin was once the greatest Church in the region but was burnt down in an unfortunate fire during 1835. Now all that remain are its ruins that remind us of its good old days.

Ruins of St. Paul’s Church

2. Macau Tower-

One of the highest and most important landmarks in Macau, Macau Tower is certainly worth a visit. The tower is 338 meters high and offers a breathtaking view of the city surrounded by water. One can do Bungee Jumping, Sky Walking or one can simply admire the city from its observation deck.

 

Macau Tower

3. Taipa in Macau –

Taipa is an island in Macau joined to the Coloane Island by Cotai strip. Taipa reflects its history of colonialism, and there are a lot of things one can do here such as visiting the famous Taipa Houses Museum and Museum of Taipa and Coloane History. One can gamble in a number of casinos here, or go hiking or cycling in the small hills of the picturesque Taipa village.

 

Taipa Houses Museum

4. Mount Fortress in Macau-

Historic centre of Macau and a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, Mount Fortress belongs to the 17th century and was built as a primary defense from the pirates attacking from the sea. The fort is spread for about 10,000 square meters and is amongst the oldest buildings of Macau.

 

Mount Fortress

5. A-Ma Templein Macau-

Built in the early 15th century, A- Ma Temple is the oldest temple of Macau and is dedicated to the Chinese Sea Goddess- “Mazu”.

A- Ma Temple

Cosmopolitan City of Hong Kong

The city of Hong Kong is so full of life that it is bound to captivate your heart and give you memories to cherish for life. The city is not only about its success in modern architecture but also about its scenic beauty and culture. When in Hong Kong these places are a must visit:

1. Victoria Peak in Hong Kong:

Also known as Mount Austin, this peak is the highest mountain in Hong Kong and an ideal place to admire the mesmerizing cityscape. One can experience beautiful sunsets and watch the city light up and dazzle as the sun goes down. Also don’t forget to have a Tram Ride at the peak, and visit the Peak Tower, a modern shopping complex with lots of restaurants. There is also an observatory platform to enjoy the view.

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong from Victoria’s Peak

2. Central and Sheung Wan in Hong Kong:

One can take a stroll along the Central and Sheung Wan, a market full of Chinese Art and Crafts including clothing, accessories and street food.

3. Kowloon Walled City Park in Hong Kong:

A themed park in Hong Kong that features the preserved artifacts of the Kwoolon City which was once a Chinese garrison.

 

Kowloon Walled City Park

4. Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery in Hong Kong:

Visit the most famous monastery in Sha Tin of Hong Kong that includes ten thousand statues of Buddha in different postures.

 

Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery

5. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden in Hong Kong-

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden are islands of serenity among the chaos of Central depicting the rich Chinese culture, varieties of species of flora and fauna, and especially Chinese architecture.

 

Chi Lin Nunnery

6. Hong Kong Disneyland:-

When you visit Hong Kong, there’s no way you can go back without visiting the Hong Kong Disneyland, a place that is bound to give you immense joy and plentiful memories. Your must dos include

1. Rides-

From easy to scary you can have your pick from the rides on offer.

2. Cultural Shows-

Disneyland Hong Kong also arranges cultural shows, some famous festivals and laser light shows that thrill.

3. Disney Parade-

Watch the Carnival of world famous Disney Characters parade and dance.

Hong Kong Disneyland

7. Ocean’s Park in Hong Kong:

Ocean’s Park is located in the South of Hong Kong, and is a theme park that consists of Marine Mammal park, Oceanarium, Animal theme park and Amusement park. Not only does the park have a stunning interior, but is itself embraced by small hills and water bodies. When in Ocean’s Park explore the Sky Gondola that gives a panoramic view of the park, Old Hong Kong that resembles a film set, Polar Adventure to say hello to the Arctic Penguins and Seals, Ocean Theatre to watch the Dolphin shows, Roller Coasters and other rides. One must also meet the Asian animals such as Pandas and Red Raccoons and dine at the Neptune’s Restaurant beside the huge aquariums with exquisite varieties of tropical fishes.

Panoramic view of Ocean Park Hong Kong.

So why wait? Plan an unforgettable trip to Hong Kong and Macau!

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty
A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels

Ideal International Trips For the Girl Gang  

Being an economically independent woman is an amazing thing. No bars of‘ do’s and don’ts set by someone who does not really get you. Doing things because you believe in them, not because you  have been told to do all that. When womanhood is such a positive, vibrant and beautiful feeling, why not celebrate it with your girl gang? You don’t need legit reasons to celebrate with your gang, do you? If you don’t, then we have come up with a few of our own. So, just pack your bags and fly off to amazing locations and explore!

 

  1. Craving to escape diet? Visit China:

When you have been eating healthy for months but now you crave for some spicy treats, visit China. Once you step into this incredible country you have innumerable choice of food and who says no to Chinese food anyway? Wontons, dumplings, noodles and several other edibles with authentic flavours, are the choices, you are spoilt with.

 

 

Chinese Cuisine

Well ,would you only travel for food to a different country? Of Course not, explore this joyous country by visiting Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau to see the best of China.

Shanghai

Explore the city of Shanghai which is rich in history and an excellent window to the Chinese culture. Begin your exploration with Yuyan Garden, the most popular and ancient garden of the city built during the Ming Dynasty.  Head towards Suzhou and visit the 1000 years old town of Tongli , having  traces of Ming and Qing Dynasty.  And finally head to Hangzhou and explore the West Lake, also the Lingyin Temple.

 

View of Shanghai at night

 

Beijing- The capital city of China-

Beijing offers the best sights. Begin your explorations  from Tiananmen Square and see some famous landmarks. Then head towards The National Museum of China which is worth a visit. Other popular attractions include The Forbidden City, Mao’s Mausoleum,Temple of Heaven and Lama’s Temple.

A trip to China is incomplete without visiting The Great Wall of China, a man made wonder. Just 75 kms away from Beijing, it’s easily  accessible  and an opportunity which should not be missed.

 

 

Temple of Heaven in Beijing

 

Hong Kong-

 

Hong Kong is an absolute joy to visit. Days here are fun-filled but nights are even   more attractive with the casinos and the wonderful city-lights. See the panoramic view of the city and watch the most beautiful sunsets along with the cityscape from Victoria Peak. Head towards the city and pay a visit to the Kowloon Walled City with the ruins of Kowloon City and also the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery which has thousand statues of Buddha in different postures. One can also visit Chi Lin Nunnery and admire its greenery and of course, the Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean’s Park.

 

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong

 

Macau-

 

Macau is another popular attraction of China and has often been called Vegas of Asia. Admire the beauteous view of the island from the iconic Macau Tower or explore Macau’s history in the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral,  Mount Fortress  and the 15th century old temple A- Ma Temple. One can also visit Taipa to explore the history of colonialism in Macau.

 

 

Macau Tower

 

 

 

  1. Dying to try those beautiful Boho dresses ? Grab your bags and hop to Bali:

 

It isn’t the time for vacation yet but you are dying to wear those beautiful Boho dresses lying idle in your closet giving you beach vibes. Why wait for the right time? Grab your dresses, flip flops, beach hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and head to Bali to spend  time with your girl gang relaxing on the famous beach or  getting pampered in the luxurious spas. The attractions not to miss in Bali are:

 

Boho and the Beach
Ubud-

When in Bali, Ubud is a must visit. This place has some traditional age-old temples and a serene view surrounded by paddy fields and also unimaginably beautiful resorts. Explore the scenic beauty of Ubud by visiting the Tegenungan Waterfall, strolling at the Campuhan Ridge Walk, rafting  along Ayung River and finally visiting the Ubud Market.

 

Ubud

 

Uluwatu-

Uluwatu is magical and ideal for beach lovers, surrounded by sapphire waters and greenery,  it has eye soothing sites that would rejuvenate your soul. Uluwatu has some of the most beautiful beaches of the world, Uluwatu Beach, Blue Point Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, to name a few. Apart from those there is, the Uluwatu Temple and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park depicting the Balinese culture, which are worth your time.

 

Uluwantu

 

Seminyak-

 

Another tourist- friendly spot, when in Seminyak, explore the Seminyak Beach full of  happy faces, having a great time. One can also relax at the beach after sunset with drinks. Visit the Petitenget Temple, most popular in the region. For all those back home, go shopping in the Seminyak Village or Jalan Raya Seminyak Shopping Street.

 

Seminyak

 

 

 

  1. Wish to see the best pubs of the world? Visit London:

 

You and your girls are party people,  you love  dancing and laughing your hearts out with merriment, also you have  great taste when it comes to alcohol? Then, no place in the world is better  for you, than London. With innumerable world-famous  English pubs spread across the busy streets, sophisticated people, a variety of Tequilas and cocktails and also “Beer! Beer! everywhere!”,  it’s just perfect .

 

Drinking in London

Well don’t just  go drink-happy all night, go around this wonderful and the most popular city of Europe. While in London, try these things:

 

Take a ride on the London Eye to get a panoramic view of the captivating city especially at night when the city lights are  dazzling .

 

 

London Eye

Don’t miss the iconic Clock tower, Big Ben. Also enjoy the cityscape beside the clock tower, visit  the majestic Westminster Palace.

 

Big Ben

River Thames-Admire the beauty of river Thames and that absolutely delightful Tower Bridge built above the river. Also stroll among the busy streets to have a dream-like experience.

 

 

Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace- Embellish your trip by visiting the royal Buckingham Palace that  bears the legacy of British Monarch for ages. Your trip to London is incomplete without visiting ‘the Queen’s place’.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

 

  1. Garmi lagi (Feeling Hot)? Visit Switzerland   

    (Don’t just wait for your honeymoon when you have your Girl Gang):

India has hot and humid weather for most of the  year and the wait for winters is too long for the winter lovers. When the scorching heat is driving you crazy, why not visit ‘the heaven on earth’,  cloaked in snow along with scenic landscapes. Most  women dream of honeymooning in Switzerland but when you have the perfect group why wait so long for it? Come over and say cheers to womanhood with cups of hot chocolate!

 

 

Scenic Train Rides in Switzerland

Nothing can compete with the scenic beauty of Switzerland, visit these places to witness heaven-like landscapes:

Zurich-

When in Zurich, begin your journey by visiting Fraumunster Church with famous stained glass window giving it a unique look.  Have a stroll around the Town Hall or Stadthaus and watch the colourful buildings and wonderful scenery beside the river.  Head towards the Lindenh of hill to have a panoramic view of this beautiful city. You can also visit Charles Tower, a popular observatory in the city.

 

Zurich
Geneva-

Head to the Geneva Lake surrounded by the Alpine Mountains and enjoy the view .There you would get to see the famous Jet d’ Eau, a jet amongst the lake. Also visit the Cathedral de St. Pierre, Geneva’s most popular History Museum (MAMCO) and the Chillon Castle. While strolling around the city visit the popular Palais des Nations or take a break and head to the beautiful villages Mont Blanc, Chamonix and Gruyeres.

 

Geneva
Lucerne-

Lucerne is a charming lake city that is  full of swans and ducks ,making it more beautiful. Wander in the Old Town to see the beautiful wooden bridge.Take a cruise to explore the city and enjoy the mesmerising sites. Also visit Mt. Pilatus and admire the charming landscape.

 

Lucerne

 

 

Don’t forget to have a race with your gang while Skiing.

 

 

  1. Party Mood? Celebrate with your Girl Gang in Thailand:

Festivals are miles away, but you cannot shake off  that party mood? Head to Thailand to have  the best parties of your lives. Say cheers to life! Enjoy the lively nights in Pattaya, Bangkok. Relax on the beaches or have a beach party, stay on the luxurious resorts and also have a splendid shopping time with your girl gang around the city.

 

 

Cheers to Life in Thailand

 

Bangkok-

Vibrant Streets along with ornate shrines, Bangkok has a lot to offer . Khaosan Road is an ideal place for the ‘party people’ as this place is all for lively nights with itsbars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and food stalls. To see the other side of Bangkok,visit the sacred Buddhist temples such as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Also, don’t miss the majestic Grand Palace.

 

Bangkok at night
Pattaya-

Party on the beautiful beaches of Pattaya,the most famous one being Jometien Beach. Visit the Walking Street that is known for its jovial nightlife, and don’t forget to see the Truth of Sanctuary, a massive temple carved out of wood, which has a unique look.

 

Beach of Pattaya
Phuket-

 

Phuket has beautiful beaches, temples and small islands that can be reached by speedboats such as Koh Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga. Watch the cultural show at the Fanta Sea and Simon Cabaret, get tanned on the Bang Tao Beach, and watch the best sunset from Windmill Viewpoint.

 

 

Koh Phi Phi Island at Phuket

 

 

  1. Feeling Romantic? Visit Paris.

Who needs a partner when you have the perfect girl gang?

Happily single but the weather is stirring up the romantic self in you? Get lost into the romantic aura of Paris with your girl gang and take lots of instagram worthy pictures.

 

Eiffel Tower-

Paris is synonymous with Eiffel Tower. Admire the beauty of this man-made architectural masterpiece and get into its two observatories to have the best view of the city. Also dine in the restaurant of Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne.

 

Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum-

 

One of the most popular museums in the world, Louvre Museum has authentic collection of art and sculpture, and aunique entrance that resembles a pyramid ,made of glass.

 

 

Pic-24 Louvre Museum
Notre Dame Cathedral

Visit the century old Notre Dame Cathedral and admire the extra-ordinary interior.

 

Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral
Moulin Rouge-

 

Situated at the foot of Montmartre Hill, Moulin Rouge is all about ‘partying all night’, as it is totally a fun place full of nightclubs and restaurants, perfect for girls night out.

 

 

Moulin Rouge

 

 

  1. Having a hectic month, elope with your Girl Gang to the peaceful island of Sri Lanka:

When your days are hectic with loads of work  and your mind is screaming  for a break, visit the peaceful  island of Sri Lanka and rejuvenate yourselves on its serene hills.

 

Ella-

A small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is enticing, and has tea estates, waterfalls and hills along with breathtaking views and fresh air.

 

Ella

 

Kandy-

Take a train ride from Ella to Kandy which would prove to be the most beautiful and scenic journey of your life. Kandy is popular for Kandy Lake and its sacred Buddhist sites and also the Royal Palace of Kandy and its gardens.

 

Train ride from Ella to Kandy
Sigiriya

Sigiriya is most popular for its ruins of the ancient Rock Fortress situated at the top of Sigiriya Rock. Climb the stairs to reach the top  and enjoy the panoramic view.

 

Sigiriya Rock

 

  1. In a mood for some shopping ? Visit the worlds most luxurious malls and markets in Dubai:

Dubai Shopping Mall-

Fulfil your desires of luxurious shopping in Dubai Shopping Mall, which has a collection of world famous brands. Also this mall has theme places for entertainment and of course delicious food stalls and multiple restaurants.

Dubai Shopping Mall
Burj Khalifa-

A visit to Dubai is incomplete without visiting the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa. Get into the various observation decks of the tower and get to see the mesmerising view of Dubai encompassed by the great Arabian Desert. Dine in the restaurants of Burj Khalifa or have a great party night at the highest nightclub in the world. One can also enjoy the Fountain shows held at the base of the tower.

Burj Khalifa
Jumeirah Beach-

Relax with your gang on the most popular beach of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, and have a look at the stunning architecture of Burj-Al- Arab.

 

Pic-32 Jumeirah Beach
Palm Jumeirah-

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial Palm- shaped archipelago visible even from the space. Palm Jumeirah is an ideal place to party  with various nightclubs, or have a couple of drinks and food at its world famous restaurants and bars, or simply pamper yourself at the exotic spas.

 

Palm Jumeirah
Safari-

Get an experience of safari in the great Arabian Desert. Ride the camels ,have dinner on the sands accompanied with the traditional belly dancing,the most perfect setting to enjoy with your girl gang.

 

 

Safari

One can also have a lifetime experience of watching Dubai from above by taking a helicopter ride or skydiving.

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels.

Cambodia: One of the Best Countries with Rich Cultural Heritage

Cambodia is a South-East Asian nation that is famous for its Ancient Temples and the remains of the Khmer Empire, the lovely sandy beaches, authentic Buddhist architecture, scenic beauty, a variety of special Tea along with delicious Cambodian cuisines. Charmingly, people of Cambodia are polite and soft-spoken and maintain chivalry with their visitors. Major towns to attract tourists to Cambodia, which flock in large numbers are listed below-

A. Phnom Penh, Capital of Cambodia

Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia is a globally famous tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of rivers Mekong, Bassac and the Lake Tonle Sap, this city provides a mesmerizing view to its visitors along with a number of historical architecture. It is the economic, industrial and cultural center of Cambodia, what’s interesting is that this city still holds the marks of the French Colonialism in a number of buildings. Some interesting sites in Phnom Penh that you must check out are listed here.

 

 

Riverside of Phnom Penh

1. The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Royal Palace is situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, which serves as the residence for the King Of Cambodia. With the gleaming gold roof,this is the most beautiful example of architectural wonder of Phnom Penh. However as compared to the Khmer Architectures of Cambodia, the event of building this palace is quite recent as it was built in the 1860’s. This Palace is situated at the old site of the town near the rivers Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake.

The Royal Palace
2. National Museum Of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

The National Museum of Cambodia, situated at Phnom Penh is the largest museum of Cambodia. This museum is associated with the Cultural History of Cambodia and gives interesting insight into the Khmer Empire in the 21st century. This museum has the world’s largest collection of Khmer Art and Sculptures including over fourteen thousand items preserved from the Prehistoric age, before and after the Khmer Empire. For people who love art and history this place is a treasure .

 

 

National Museum

 

3. Killing Fields of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Cambodia is also famous or infamous, for its horrific sites of various Killing Fields which are reminders of a terrible time. The Killing Fields contain the remains of numerous skeleton of the people who were brutally executed under the dictatorship of of the Khmer Rogue. The idea that the country did this to its own people is truly sad and horrific. It is believed that Cambodians were massacred with “Palm Knife” made of Palm leaves that had edges sharp as a razor. Though these sites are horrific, these killing fields serve as tourist attraction.

A view of killing fields
4. Prison Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Prison Museum in Phnom Penh, usually visited alongside the Killing fields, is important in understanding the terrible recent history of the region, in understanding the functioning of the cruel Khmer Rouge. The museum, located in a school used as a prison during the regime, contains artefacts such as the torture devices and weapons used, along with the preservation of some rooms used as cells in that time. You might even run into some of the 4 remaining survivors of that particular prison.

Prison Museum

 

5. Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wat Phnom is a Buddhist Temple (Pagoda) situated at the city of Phnom Penh. This Temple has its own story about a wealthy widow who found a statue of Buddha made of Bronze inside a large Koki Tree, which led to the construction of the shrine in an artificial hill. The interior of the Temple has a large statue of Buddha made of bronze in a seated posture, and is surrounded by many other statues depicting the Khmer version of Ramayana. Wat Phnom is the tallest religious structure in the city and is surrounded by a serene, peaceful environment.

 

A view of Wat Phnom

 

B. Siem Reap, The City of Angkor Wat Temple

Siem Reap is located at the North-West of Cambodia and is considered the gateway to the famous Angkor Wat Temple. This place is all about Silk farms, Rice paddy fields, Chinese-Style architectures, Old markets, Bird Sanctuary near the river Tonle Sap, nearby Fishing Villages and a number of beautifully decorated resorts that offer Cosmopolitan Drinking and Dining for its tourists. What’s more interesting, is that Siem Reap offers a number of dance shows, which include the traditional dance of Cambodia, the Apsara Dance that has been the part of Cambodia since the Khmer Empire. As Apsara means the dance of the divinities, the women dress themselves as graceful goddesses and depict the tales of Cambodian culture through their elegant moves.

The Angkor Wat Temple
1. Floating Village, Siem Reap , Cambodia

Floating Village known as Kampong Phluk in Cambodia is a must visit. The Floating Village is located on the river Tonle Sap and can be reached through a boat from Siem Reap. It is also popular as a Fishing Village . This village is a unique and unusual as the houses seem floating on water .The place includes a church,school, cottages,restaurants, wooden cages containing Crocodiles. This Floating Village is a perfect site for fishing and watching beautiful sunsets.

 

 

The Floating Village
2. Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

The Pub Street in Cambodia is a part of Siem Reap Province and is largely famous among tourists for lively nightlife scenes. This place reflects the traces of French Colonialism and has numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants, a perfect place for “party people”. So when you visit Siem Reap, make sure you check out Pub Street and enjoy the fun experience.

A View of Pub Street

 

3. Cultural Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Apsara Dance in Siem Reap

Cultural Village in Siem Reap is also widely famous, it is a theme park and museum that depicts the traditional, cultural and ethnic style of living of the people of Cambodia. Each village here contains wood houses, carvings and artists who present traditional dance shows such as the Apsara Dance and Peacock dance . Together these villages display the varied culture of Nineteen ethnic groups of Cambodia.

A View of Cultural Village
A dance show in the Cultural Village
4. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a globally famous tourist attraction of Cambodia. The Angkor Wat Temple is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world which was originally constructed in the 12th century as a Hindu Temple devoted to the Lord Vishnu and later on transformed into a Buddhist Temple during the 16th century. Angkor Wat is considered as the Seventh Wonder of the World, and you surely don’t want to miss this wonder that mingles the culture of Hinduism and Buddhism. The scenic and artistic beauty of Angkor Wat is surely going to mesmerize you and would make you travel back to the Khmer Empire.

The Angkor Wat Temple
5. Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Phnom Kulen is a range of mountains, and is considered as Holy Mountains in Cambodia as it preserves the remains of Khmer Empire. It is located at the Siem Reap province and is symbolic to the Hindus and Buddhists for pilgrimage.

A Hidden Architecture in Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen has a National Park which is a protected area, a famous waterfall named Chup Preah , and the KuLen mountain with two Waterfalls. This place offers trekking to its famous Waterfalls that have carved Lingas in them. Phnom Kulen has a fresh, peaceful and holy ambience.

A Waterfall in Phnom Kulen

 

C. Preah Vihear, Cambodia

 

88 kilometres away from Siem Reap ,Preah Vihear in Cambodia is also one of the remains of the Khmer Empire. Preah Vihear is a mountain , which was built for the purpose of serving Lord Shiva.

The Temple of Preah Vihear

It is believed that it took about 300 years to complete this temple by Khmerian Kings. This Temple is situated at the cliff of Dangrek Mountains across the border of Saket (Thailand ), and offers an eye soothing view from the top. If you are fascinated with heights, this place is a must visit.

A View from Preah Vihear

 

D. Mondulkiri, Cambodia

 

 

Trekking in Mountains

Mondulkiri is an Eastern Province of Cambodia which is popular for its dense forests, mountains, powerful waterfalls, a whole set of serene scenic beauty. Mondulkiri also has a Wildlife Sanctuary that include Elephants, and also offers trekkings in its mountains.

A Waterfall at Mondulkiri

The Bou Sra, Senmonorom and Romnea are the three Waterfalls in Mondulkiri. There is an interesting sport offered by the Maurya Hill Resort called Ziplining over the Bou Sra waterfall which gives a lifetime experience to the people bitten by the adventure bug.

 

E. Sihanoukville, Cambodia

 

Sihanoukville is a sea-side town and has the best beaches of Cambodia. These beaches are calm and peaceful, not very crowded and hence these places are the best to connect with nature. The beaches include the Victory Beach, Independence Beach, Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and the Otres Beach, these beaches are as interesting as their names.

A View of one of the Beaches in Sihanoukville

A 3$ drive from the Otres Beach leads to an evening market named the Otres Market, which is an interesting place for the tourists. The market offers a number of Live Music shows, with an arrangement of various Food Stalls which offer delicious Wraps and other snacks including alcohol. These beaches offer Scuba Diving, Island trips, Spas, Fishing with a number of beautifully decorated resorts near the beach.

F. Kep, Cambodia

 

 

Kep is one of the newest province of Cambodia and is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches. Kep is often termed as an archipelago, as this place has a number of nearby islands, such as the Rabbit Island which is named after its shape, Egret Island, Chilli Island, Mango Island, Milestone Island, Dry Fish Island, Wild Mango Island, Sarang Island, Pura Island, Makprang Island, Angkrong Island, Horseback Riding Island and lastly the Dry Island.

Kep

All of these islands have their own speciality and interesting facts and offer beautiful sites. Apart from this, Kep has its individual beach, offers Jungle Trekking, and also has a Zoo. Kep is also famous for its Crab Market and delicious Sea food, you surely do not want to miss the Crab Curry here. Give it a try.

G. Battambang, Cambodia

 

Bamboo Trains in Battambang

Battambang is a popular tourist destination of Cambodia. This city has a number of Ancient Temples, Buddhist Shrines and the unique, Bamboo Railway, the traditional style of running a bamboo cart through the rail tracks, which is fun, and offers a beautiful tour of Battambang.

Battambang has a museum and a number of other interesting places, along with its Central Market and a variety of Cafes. Battambang is the second most popular city in Cambodia.

A Scenic Ride in Battambang

 

With this wide range of attractions, Cambodia deserves that you grab your luggage, camera, beach hats and flip flops, and reach this beautiful and diverse land and explore its rich history and culture.

 

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing,traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels

Five Most Visited Places in Europe

 

Europe is the dream destination for most of us, an indispensable item of everybody’s bucket list ,but when it actually comes to planning a trip to this enchanting continent ,we feel lost . So many countries,so many cities- going to one ,leaving another ….which are the absolute musts…..which should not be missed at any cost .WiseYatra comes to your aid here to help you in choosing the five must-visit places of Europe. Here goes the list:

 

1. Paris- France

 

Capital of France, Paris is one of the most popular cities  in Europe and is known as the romantic capital of the world. The extremely beautiful buildings,the boulevard ,the serene Siene and most importantly the celebrated  ,Eiffel Tower ,make it one of the most -visited cities of the world. Couples around the world visit Eiffel Tower for hitting the relationship goals and making everlasting memories. But , Paris is not  only Eiffel Tower, it has a number of other attractions :

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral with amazing architectural  details  . It’s a unique example of religion ,beauty,history , architecture and known for its enticing spires ,columns,glass windows,statues and carvings . It is the most visited monument of Paris.

Interiors of Notredame Cathedral

 

Louvre Museum

 

The entrance of Louvre Museum

 

Synonymous with Paris ,the Louvre Museum is like no other on earth.This place is massive from the outside as well as from the inside and has an astounding collection of classical,neo classical and renaissance art .Visiting this place will leave you extremely impressed and also very tired because of its sheer vastness.It is home to the world famous Mona Lisa ,the Winged Victory,The Venus,The Raft of Medusa,the Dying Slave,to name a few.

 

The Arc De Triomphe

 

Arc De Triomphe

 

TheArc De Triomphe was a commissioned work of Napolean to memorialize his victory, but unfortunately he was expelled before the completion of the monument. Later completed by Louis Philipp in the year 1863. The Arc of Triumph is engraved with the names of Generals who commanded the French Army during the reign of Napolean. Now the architecture stands as a legacy of French history and Napoleanic Wars, and also has an observation deck at the top of the monument that offers a great view.

 

Cruise on the Siene

 

Cruise on Siene

Paris is termed as the “City Of Lights” and one of the best ways of exploring it is through the Cruise on the Siene. Paris is more beautiful after sunsets, the city sparkles in light, along with joy and romance. Join the evening cruise and enjoy  the uninhibited view of tree-lined boulevards and spot all the famous monuments on way .

 

Palace of Versailles

 

Palace of Versailles

 

The Palace of Versailles in Paris is the most famous castle of France , which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This castle is an epitome of power and represents its history associated with 17th century France. Palace of Versailles has beautiful gardens, and the interior of the castle is lavishly designed. The Castle that was once a seat of power has now been converted into a museum displaying the history of France

 

Latin Quarter- Luxembourg Park

 

 

Latin Quarters- Luxembourg Park

 

Located on the left bank of Siene, Luxembourg Park is a beautiful Parisian Park where you can discover the famous Latin Quarter, and explore the beautiful French style Gardens . Luxembourg Park is not only a perfect place for grown ups, but also for children as Toy Ships are available near the river bank and children would love to sail them in the water of Siene.

 

Moulin Rouge

 

Moulin Rouge

MoulinRouge in Paris is located at the foot of MontmartreHill and  is famous for the  performances. Moulin Rogue is basically a fun place as it has many nightclubs, restaurants, perfect for having a fun night in Paris.

 

Disneyland Paris

 

 

Disneyland Paris

 

Whether you are with your kids or just your partner  , do visit the most splendid place of Paris- Disneyland ,Paris. This place is  ideal for kids but well-suited for  grown ups to spend quality time and have  an unforgettable experience. Explore this astonishing park  and don’t forget to try theworld-famousrides.

2.  Rome- Italy

 

Rome, the capital city of Italy, is an iconic city of Europeand a must visit . Rome is termed as the “Eternal City” because of its everlasting  myths, and the fact that it is the religious WorldCentre of CatholicChurch(Vatican)and lastly it holds the ruins of the great RomanEmpire, everything conspiring to make the city “eternal”. When you are in Rome, these are the places to check out:

 

Colosseum

 

 

A view of Colosseum

Colosseum ,also known as Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome ,is  one of theNewSevenWonders oftheWorld , built during the Roman Empire. It was  built by the Romans for the entertainment of public. The public entertainment included Gladiatorial games, armed men fighting each other to death, Venatio, where wild animals were slaughtered ruthlessly. The remains of the Colosseum has a lot to teach the modern world .

 

Vatican City

 

 

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel- Painting by Michelangelo

Vatican City in Rome is the smallest independent state of the world  recognised globally.It is known  for St. Peter’s Basilica Church, St. Peter’s Square and  Sistine Chapel. The interior of St. Peter’s Basilica includes the world famous sculpture of Michelangelo, The Pieta Sistine Chapel has a collection of unique art which  never fails to enthral the visitors

 

Vatican Palace

 

The Pantheon

 

 

Pantheon

 

Pantheon is a monument of Roman antiquity which was the burial place for Italian Kings and later also became the burial for famous Italians such as the famous painter Raphael.

 

Trastevere

 

Trastevere, located on the South of VaticanCity is a charming urban neighbourhood , much different from the main city, and home to famous SantaMaria church. One can explore Trastevere and take a look at the real Roman life and have mouth-watering Italian cuisines. The food here is cheap, there are also places for shopping.

 

A View of Trastevere

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Another highlight of Rome is TreviFountain, the world’s largest Baroque fountain built in the 18th century. It is a popular belief herethat if you throw a coin into this  fountain you will return to Rome someday- try your luck!

 

Spanish Steps

 

Another famous site of Rome is  the SpanishSteps, 135 steps staircase leading to the TrinitiadeiMonte Church, which was built in 1735 to link with the Spanish Embassy, now in the Modern world this is a popular spot to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

 

The Spanish Steps

 

3. London- United Kingdom

 

London, the capital city of UnitedKingdom is World’s one of the most popular cities  and a must visit European destination. London is a name that resides on the mind of the people globally and has always played a special role in Hollywood movies such as ‘James Bond’. London is often called  the ‘city of dreams’.London is  home to 170 museums,  several parks, 230 theatres including  Shakespeare’sGlobeTheatre, iconic buildings, and TheLondonEye. While visiting London don’t miss  these places-

 

 

London Eye

 

London Eye

 

A giant Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of river Thames, London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction and a perfect observatory to have a view of the magical city of London. London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel and has nearly 3.5 million visitors every year.

 

Big Ben

 

Dingdong – Yes that’s the sound of the biggest Clock Tower of London, The Big Ben. Made in the year 1859, this Neo-gothic style tower is 96 metres tall and  was once the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben is the nick name of Great Bell of the clock and is situated at the North of Palace of Westminster. In 1970, the Clock Tower was declared a World  Heritage Site  by UNESCO.

 

 

The Big Ben

 

 

British Museum

 

The British Museum

 

BritishMuseum in London is among the top attractions of London. Established  in 1753, this museum has collections from all over the world such as Egyptian collections, Assyrian collections, Middle-Eastern, Asian, American and many more.  The British Museum consists of The SmirkeBuilding, PantheonGallaries, The GreatCourt with a huge collection of Global Antiquities.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

Buckingham Palace in London is the residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of United Kingdom. This palace is the legacy of British Monarch, and is the centre stage of occasions and royal hospitality. The palace may reveal its age- old tale from the outside, but the interior of the palace is exquisitely decorated and there are many things to see,  such as – the GrandStaircase,the StateRooms, ThroneRoom, finest collection of porcelain, the garden tour, flags and Clocks and so on. It is said , one can know if the Queen is inside the residence or not ,by the flag flying from the mast.

Buckingham Palace

 

Other than these historically important sites London is full of  fun places  like t MadameTussauds Museum, WarnerBros. Studios , NationalGallery, Greenwich Park, BoroughMarket and so on.

 

4.  Athens- Greece

 

We all have read GreekMythology and at some point or the other wished to visit its home ,Greece. Athens, the capital city of Greece is one such place ,stuff of childhood dreams .A home to landmarks that are existing since 5th century BC, it is  termed as  ‘Temple City’ because of the numerous Greek Ancient temples . There are plenty of surprises to unearth in Athens ,such as:

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon in Greek meaning “Virgin Woman”, is the former temple on the hill of Acropolis, dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena.  This ruins of the holy temple stands as a proud example of grand  Ancient Greek History and is a world famous tourist attraction. Parthenon can be seen from any direction of the city and serves as a crown to the Acropolis Hill.

 

Acropolis Museum

 

Collection at Acropolis Museum

 

The visit to the AcropolisHill is incomplete without a visit to the AcropolisMuseum which is  an Archaeological Museum exhibiting the significant discoveries from the sacred rock.

 

Poros Island

 

Poros Island

 

Less than a hour away from Athens, PorosIslandis a popular attraction with lively, beautiful streets, blooming flowers on the walls of almost every building, happy faces, hotels, restaurantsand of course ,a stunning view Saronic Gulf. Take a ferry ride and stay here to admire the beauty of this small GreekIsland.

 

Plaka

 

A View of Streets of Plaka Village

 

Plaka is  a village in the shadows of Acropolis. Plaka in Athens has beautiful streets with markets, restaurants, shops selling jewellery, clothes, ceramics, and also many sidewalk cafes. Take a walk and immerse yourself into the beautiful Greek lifestyle.

 

Some of the other places to visit in Athens include the Byzantine& Christian Museum, BenakiMuseum, Temple of Olympian Zeus,Temple of Poseidon and Kerameikos Museum. Don’t miss any of these for surely they are going to be the highlights of your Europe trip.If your schedule permits , you must visit Santorini once, to experience a slice of  paradise on earth.

 

5.  Amsterdam- Netherlands

 

Another beauteous city of Europe, Amsterdam- capital of Netherlands is all about rich architectural history, museums, water canals, food, drinking and impressive night life. Let’s get to know the must visits of this place:

 

 

Museum Quarter

 

Rijksmuseum

Visit the most popular museums in Amsterdam- Rijksmuseum , Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum serving as the cultural hub of the city, and  displaying art from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. These museums hold the collection of some world renowned works by famous painters and are  always crowded with tourists visiting from different parts of the world.

 

Vondle Park

 

Vondle Park

A few miles away from the Rijks Museum, VondlePark is an ideal place for picnics or relaxing  among the lush green gardens and beautiful flowers. Perfect place to escape the crowd and spend some time in a  serene, peaceful environment.

 

Canal Cruises

 

Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

 

What else can be better than exploring the wonderful city of Amsterdam through CanalCruises? Opt the cruise rides to admire this gorgeous city which is at its best during the evenings. Illuminated canals, dazzling city lights reflecting on the waters of the canals, happy faces, everything seems magical in this city.

 

Be it a stroll in the lively streets or visiting the architectural masterpieces  or enjoying a drink and saying cheers to life, Amsterdam provides an opportunity to the tourist which is one of a kind.

Europe has all this and much more to offer to the tourists. Come visit these stunning cities-Paris, Rome, London, Athens and Amsterdam and be transported to another realm. Europe’s beauty is captivating and would give you a lifetime experience along with memories to cherish for life.

–Sampurna Chakraborty

Mesmerizing Switzerland in Winters

 

Beautifully nestled between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura Mountains, Switzerland encompasses a great diversity of landscapes and climates. It is like a home to snow-clad mountains and speaks the language of picturesque villages and beautiful lakes.

 

The winters in Switzerland are no less than magic. Christmas lights and cheers in the cities and the snow-clad mountains are just few of the wonderful things that welcome the tourists visiting Switzerland in winters. It is more heaven than country.

 

To make the most out of a winter holiday, Switzerland is a must visit! Here are some of the reasons why visit Switzerland:

 

  • Skiing in Switzerland

 

Winter is the time when Switzerland becomes the abode of skiing offering numerous amazing activities and courses in the sport. The experience is one of a lifetime and cannot, or rather should not be missed.
There are also a dozen of ski resorts that make the country an attractive option for a holiday. These resorts are relatively snow-covered with plenty of glacier skiing.

 

  • The Matterhorn in Switzerland

The Matterhorn is one of the mountains of the Alps and is recognized as the symbol of Switzerland and visiting it in person is extremely breathtaking. Climbing this beauty is taken up as a challenge by mountaineers. It welcomes tourists and nature-lovers as well to admire its tranquility.
The Matterhorn Glacier paradise is the highest summer ski region in Europe and is open 365 days a year.

 

  • The Waterfalls in Switzerland

In addition to being a land of fascinating lakes, villages and mountains, Switzerland also offers spectacular waterfalls, Rhine waterfalls being the biggest in Europe!

The Trümmelbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley are a series of ten glacier-fed waterfalls inside the mountain made accessible to visitors.

These are just some of the 72 spectacular waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley!

 

  • The Swiss National Museum in Switzerland

 

The Swiss National Museum in Zurich is one the city’s top tourist attractions and is one of the most important art museums of cultural history in Europe.
Captivating the eyes of amateur historians, culture lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike, its impressive architecture with dozens of towers, courts and its astonishing park on a peninsula between the rivers Sihl and Limmat has become one of the main sights of the Old City District of Zurich.
The museum contains a very rich section with gothic art, chivalry and a comprehensive collection of liturgical wooden sculptures, panel paintings and carved altars which is not worth missing!

 

  • Canton of Ticino in Switzerland

 

 

Ticino is an Italian speaking part in the southernmost canton of Switzerland also referred to as the ‘land of culture’ with plenty of things to do from both Swiss and Italian food, to music and art performances around every corner.
It’s also a great region for cycling—from the stunning mountainous scenery and sparkling lakes to the red-roofed village houses clustered along the shores.

These are a whole lot of reasons to persuade anyone to visit Switzerland in winters because it’s no less than heaven.

 

–Nikita Kabra

An aspiring writer who aims at having a life changing impact on her readers through her writing and travel experience.

 

 

 

BALI: UN-BALI-EVABLY SERENE  

 

There are some places you just visit and then there places that make you fall in love with them, Bali is the latter. What makes Bali stand out amongst the other destinations is that despite its small size it has something to cater to the likes of everyone and that too at extremely affordable prices! So whether you’re bewitched partners wishing for a honeymoon trip, a family looking for some quality time through a cheap vacation or going on a soul-searching solo escapade Bali is just the place you are looking for.

 

BLISSFUL BEACHES IN BALI

 

Savor in nature’s lap and escape the monotony of our mechanical lives sunbathing at various beaches of Bali. Seminyak Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Echo Beach, Balangan Beach, Padang Padang Beach are some of the famous beaches. With the idyllic movement of waves crashing down the shore and touching your feet, you’ll feel as if time has stopped and you are there in the moment, living.  You can even indulge in the most adrenaline-inducing water sports at very economical prices. In fact, what makes Bali’s beaches stand out is the sheer variety of them. Unlike the typical sleek white sand beaches, there are black sand beaches in Bali which are alluring, to say the least.

 

THE IMMENSE NATURAL BEAUTY IN BALI

 

The first thing that strikes the mind when one hears of Bali is its powdery beaches. However, Bali has so much more to offer. In fact, Bali has so much scenic beauty that it is a delight for photography enthusiasts. With its viridescent highlands, waterfalls that are an absolute feast for the eyes and mind, swathes of paddy dipped in emerald and sunrises and sunsets from the vast coastline make Bali an ideal destination for a wedding. If destination or an exotic wedding is on your dream then look no more because Bali is here for you.

 

FASCINATING CULTURAL CORNOCUPIA  IN BALI

 

There is more to Bali than what meets the eye.  The Balinese people take immense pride in their age-old customs and traditions which they embrace and practice wholeheartedly to this day. A plethora of celebrations and ceremonies take place throughout the year which can be enjoyed by tourists too. From the fun Omed-Omedan kissing festival to the day of silence (Nyepi), Bali has it all.

 

MYSTICAL TEMPLES IN BALI

 

Bali is dotted with many temples. They may be sea-facing or mounted at the top. Be that as it may, they will blow you away with their splendid architecture and soothing aesthetics.  Transcending the levels of materialistic pleasures the tranquil spiritual experiences would stay with you for a long time. Temple visits are highly recommended whilst in Bali. Some must see include Besakih Temple, Taman Ayun Temple, Pura Penataran Sasih, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Tirta Empul and Pura Taman Sarswati Temple.

 

THE PEOPLE IN BALI

 

They say more than places and worldly pleasures it’s the people who are the most eventful and impactful part of a journey. It couldn’t be truer in the case of Balinese people. A major chunk of tourists who have been to Bali are strong advocates of the Balinese warmth. The people, especially the locals are extremely welcoming and often go out of their way to help tourists. They’ll make you feel home away from home!

 

SHOPPING HUB-BALI

 

Bali has scores of locally made handicrafts, wood carvings and native artwork that can be purchased from the various markets popping all over the island. More so, other items such as clothes, furniture, souvenirs are also available aplenty.

 

THE CUISINE IN BALI

 

The Balinese cuisine would not disappoint you with plenty a options at your disposal. Often labeled as a complex cuisine which is not a part of the mainstream discourse you would miss an experience if you don’t try out the very palatable dishes and enthrall your taste buds. The cuisine primarily uses a lot of spices, indigenous fruits and vegetables and of course tons of meat and fish making it a non- vegetarian’s happy place.  In case, you have reservations with respect to your dietary cravings then fret not Bali harbors some of the best restaurants around the globe that serve all sorts of cuisines.

 

ADVENTURE HAVEN-BALI

 

Bali has a wide array of water sports available. It has become synonymous with the surfer’s paradise tag. There many family-friendly adventure parks too. Some of the mandatory tries are white water rafting ,ATV quad biking at Ubud; canyoning at gitgit waterfall; kite surfing is available at most beaches in Bali; jet pack at Nusa Dua; cave diving at Gili Biaha;Bali Flying Fish at Tanjung Benoa.

 

SPAS AND YOGAS IN BALI

 

Bali is the ideal hotspot for yoga lovers, Zen promoters and you can get the traditional massage at numerous parlors. Famous spas of Bali are Thermes Marins & Spa On the Rocks, Riverside Spa at Maya, Royal Kirana Spa and Lemba Spa.

POCKET-FRIENDLY-BALI

 

With so much to see and experience you must be thinking that a trip to Bali would burn a hole in your pocket. Guess what? NO! It is super affordable and has services and accommodations available in every range.

 

There are innumerable reasons which make Bali truly a traveler’s delight, be it the weather, the cultured people, the majestic temples, the exotic food, the hypnotic nightlife, the stunning skies, beaches and everything that makes you feel that maybe nature is the artist with the most gorgeous colors. With one visit, I am sure you will find your own reason to fall for this place.  So pack on your bags let this island charm you into loving it for eternity. Bali calling!!

 

Anvita Goel

Currently pursuing law harbours interest in International law and aspiring to become a renowned lawyer. Fascinated by beautiful places in the world she does not miss any opportunity to travel.

 

 

 

What to do in Paris: The City of Love

 

If you are from India and reading this, chances are that you are planning to go to Paris for the first time. Paris is rightly called, the most romantic city of the world. But you might come back disappointed from here, if you don’t really know what to do in the city or what to see. Fret not, we are here to guide you to  a wonderful trip to this lovely  place.

 

  1. Climb Eiffel Tower in Paris

  

Paris would not have been what it is today, had it not been for lofty Eiffel Tower. Forget what the sceptics are saying about this monument, climb on top of it and enjoy a beautiful landscape of the whole city. To have the best of it, you have to be smart with the timings. Go up when there is still daylight ,you can see the city from top.  Then come down and sit in the nearby park and enjoy the bewitching sight of tower lights.

 

  1. Louvre and the other museums in Paris

 

Paris has a number of museums,130 ,to be precise ,Louvre being the most glorious one of them. Not only because of the world famous lady residing there, but for many such magnificent artefacts. For the rest, take your pick as per your taste. You can consider visiting Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Armée, Grand Palace and Small Palace .

 

3.Notre Dame and many more in Paris

 

After museums ,Paris comes on top of having a number of churches too. By all means visit the most iconic, Notre Dame ,which is beautiful but don’t forget to explore others like the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur at Montmartre. This towering white -domed church will win your heart. Just sit outside and gaze at the beautiful landscape of the city it offers.

 

4.Other must see monuments in Paris

 

 This historic city has some of the most alluring monuments of the world. Do visit the imposing structures of Arc de triomphe, Luxembourg Palace and garden, City hall and Opera house but also save time for the eerie Catacombs, the ethereal Pere Lachaise Cemetery. These are some of the spots which most tourists miss, but are a must for a complete experience of Paris.

 

5.Take a walking tour in Paris

 

Your first day in the city should begin with a free walking tour starting from Fountain in the old city. They have the most interesting tales to share with the tourists, including trivia like ,why should you wave at the passing boats and why are the horses of different statues have different postures. This four hour tour familiarizes you with the city so intimately that afterwards you can easily roam around exploring it in depth  at your pace .

 

 

6.Walk the glorious avenue of Champs Elysees in Paris

 

From Louvre to Arc de triumph, this road is in a straight line through the  Tuilerie Gardens and the Place Concord. Old timers shed tears for the commercialization of this place but for the tourists it’s the most happening road to walk on. It has numerous stores like Sephora, Gap ,Virgin, Louis Vuitton and also several cafes. Have a look at all but the decision to buy should be your own as the stuff is also available in India. But just walking on the wide pathways ,lined with tall trees is a pleasure .

 

7.Take a cruise on river Seine in Paris

 

 Paris offers many magical things to do and see, a boat trip along the Seine comes quite on top of it. You will pass under the numerous bridges, have an uninhabited view of the tree-lined boulevards and spot all the enchanting monuments on way. You can see Notre Dame, Louvre, Grand Palais, Petite Palais, Musee de Orsa, Lock Bridge and the cherry on top, Eiffel Tower. Take the evening cruise which allows you to have a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower after it has been lit up.

 

8.Spend time in the Tuilerie Garden in Paris

 

 In a rush to see everything, we often miss to experience in this city. Don’t make that mistake. After visiting the Louvre or Arc de Triomphe or strolling Champs Elysees, just grab a chair in the Tuilerie Garden and enjoy the beauty. I can assure you, if after some years somebody asks you about your favourite memory of the city, these moments will be very high on your list.

 

9.Sit outside a bistro and have a crepe in Paris

 

 Relish Paris as the locals do. Take an outside table in any of the bistros and order a crepe. This wafer thin pancake ,famous in Paris ,is a must have before you plan to leave the city. Also have a Cafe au Lait with it. Soak in the atmosphere around you while waiting for the delicacy .

 

These are some of our favourites when in the city of love. Go ahead and create some of your own and love the city for those.

 

Bon voyage!

 

Mamta Kumar

 

An avid traveller who has a passion for reading and writing! She has been into writing blogs on different topics since a long time now. She enjoys watching TV with a cup of coffee when she is all by herself!

 

 

VISA Guide to Iran

 

  1. Visa on Arrival:

“As per directive issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indian travelers can now obtain visas on arrival in all 12 international airports in Iran.

Nationals of all countries, except for those from Colombia, Somalia, USA, UK, Canada, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, holding valid ordinary passports and wishing to visit Iran’s mainland, can obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival in international airports.

As per the directive, before leaving India, the visitor should take a tracking code from the Iran Embassy e-visa system on their website and submit the required details . On arrival in Iran,the applicant will need to pay visa fees and get the Visa on arrival.

Iran’s international airports include Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and airports located in cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Ahvaz, Kish, Qeshm, Kerman, Uremia, Bandar Abbas and Bushehr.

  1. Visa process from India

The website of BLS Iran Visa Application Center, New Delhi, India  provides information on procedures applicable for Tourist, Student & pilgrimage categories of visas for Iran to the residents of India.

BLS International Services Ltd. has been authorized by the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, in New Delhi, India to accept visa applications from Indian Nationals residing in India on its behalf.

Now Indian Nationals residing in India can apply for an Iranian visa at the BLS Iran Visa Application Center, New Delhi.

This site provides the applicants with all the information about the visa types and the procedure to apply for an Iranian visa from BLS Iran visa application center.

Tourist visa is issued for foreign nationals who are interested to travel to Iran individually or with a group for the purpose of visiting Iran or their relatives.

Required Documents:-

  1. Original Passport Minimum Validity six months
  2. Approval for the visa from Ministry of Foreign Affair Tehran.( Visa Grant Notice)
  3. Typed Visa Application form completed and signed
  4. Two latest passport size colored photographs with background
  5. Air ticket itinerary

Processing time – 6 to 7 working days.

Visa fee And Service Charges – Rs. 6500/ Passport

BLS Courier charges is Rs.500/

PHOTOGRAPH SPECIFICATIONS

  1. Applicant’s latest (not more than six months old) color photograph
  2. White background
  3. Size 35 X 45 mm

Note: Scanned photographs are not allowed

WHERE TO APPLY

You can reach to them at

Visa Processing Services

BLS International Services ltd.
912, Indraprakash Bldg., Barakhamba Road
Connaught Place, New Delhi

Landmark: Barakhamba Metro Station

Email: infoiranvisa@blsgroup.in
Website: www.blsinternational.com
Phone Number: 011 23716531 / +91-8448790440

Timings for applications Submission: – 10.00 am to 5:00 pm Monday – Friday (Except holidays)

Timings for collections of passports: – 10:00 am to 5.00 pm Monday – Friday (Except holidays)

 

Happy Journey!

 

Please note: Visa requirements keep changing for every country. This findings were the latest at the time of publishing this post.

Cheap trip to Europe-a few tips

Travelling to Europe is a dream for most of us. The exotic locales, the wonderful history, the abundant natural beauty, all call out to us. But the supposed drain in our bank balance deters us sometimes. Don’t worry. We bring with us, a few hacks for you to have a great trip to the remarkable destination. Just follow these simple tips and enjoy the trip of your lifetime, within limited resources .

 

1.Plan much in advance-

One of the simplest way to have a  trip which does not cost you exorbitantly, is to plan much in advance.You will get air tickets at a much lower rate ,hotels will mostly have vacancy for you to choose a cheaper option.You will get more time to hunt for days when there are offers on eurail passes and other attractions like museums,amusement parks etc.

 

2.Go off -season-

The months of June,July,August seem like the ideal months to go to Europe ,escaping the excruciating heat of Indian cities.But these can be the worst month for the same.Apart from the problems of long queues at all attractions and maddening crowds there is also the consideration of spiralling rates of everything.Though ,it may not be always possible but try and plan your trips during less popular months.

 

3.Choose your place of stay wisely-

 The maximum drain on your pocket when going out is on accommodation, so choosing your place of stay wisely will help you in controlling that .Explore all options, even couch surfing and house minding. You can practically live for free. If ,it’s a family trip, try staying in home-stays and apartments ,where you save on other costs like food and laundry .Check out the deals in hotels too, you might just hit the jackpot.

 

  1. Eat smart-

After lodging ,the major spend -category happens to be ,food. But, it’s not very difficult to  eat a wholesome meal at a reasonable expense.

First of all, raid the supermarket. Buy whatever you think you can eat without cooking and carry it with you the whole day and have a picnic whenever you are hungry. This way you avoid restaurant food which can cost a bomb in Europe.

Secondly, use the facility if you have a kitchen in your apartment or hostel. Cook a basic but wholesome meal ,like sandwiches, bread-omlette, rolls and have in breakfast before leaving for the day. Similarly you can cook a good filling dinner  at night .You can also carry a few packets of ready-to-eat meals from India and have them when you come back late at night to your place of stay.

 

5.Explore maximum and spend minimum-

A little thought into your trip planning will help you in saving a lot of mullah.

First thing to be done after landing up in a new city ,is to go to the tourist information centre. You will get valuable information regarding various attractions and also save time and money by not wandering aimlessly.

Wherever you go, find out about the free walking-tours and make it a point to attend the same .They take you to most of the points of attraction and give you a fair idea of the city. You can decide after that which attractions you want to spend more time on.

Museum  entry fees can be quite high in Europe but most of them have a day in a month ,when entry is free. If possible, plan your itinerary accordingly.

local transport can be expensive .Try and  stay close to the city-centre and walk to the attractions. You will save a lot .If you must take some transport, avoid cabs, go for bus or metro.

 

 

6.Use free wi-fi-

Although staying connected seems like the most important thing to the millennium generation but when on a trip to Europe,curb that sentiment.It’s okay to invest in a basic plan for an international sim for emergencies but for the rest just  make use of the free wi-fi available almost everywhere in this post-modern continent.With the sim also,be very careful because even the incoming calls have different charge rules in different countries.

 

  1. Consider your cash options-

ATM withdrawals can be costly and you may get charged extra at every withdrawal.Go for a credit card which ,in most of the cases, more reasonable.

 

8.Travel light-

Apart from the fact that you will have to carry your luggage a lot of times, travelling light makes sense for monetary reasons also. Low cost carriers give you fares which are dirt cheap but they also charge a hefty premium for extra luggage. Whatever you save on fare ,you will have paid in double if your baggage exceeds their limit.

If you follow these simple tips ,you can have a great trip to this wonderland without spending a fortune. So, go ahead and enjoy.

 

Mamta Kumar

Budget Friendly Foreign Trips For Indians

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry.

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry. There are  many international destinations to visit, in pocket friendly budgets. Here is the list of the countries that are ideal for a shoe-string budget:

  • Sri Lanka:

Located on the South of continent India, Sri Lanka is an Island Nation famous for its beaches, Buddhist Temples, hills, mixed colonial architecture, sea food and lovely people. For people who love  relaxing on a beach and also  exploring scenic beauty of hills, Sri Lanka is an ideal place to visit.

Must Visits:-

  • Colombo-Visit the Capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo and explore the National Museum, Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, Cinnamon Gardens and Dehiwala Zoo and also the public beaches where you can enjoy ,delicious sea food.
  • Ella-Ella is an enticing small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka .It offersbreathtaking views of tea estates, waterfalls, mountains and lets you breathe in the wonderful fresh air it has. A Train ride from Kandy to Ella is the most enchanting scenic journey, you will ever experience.
  • Kandy Kandy in Sri Lanka is a city famous for sacred Buddhist s While on a trip to this city visit the Kandy Lake and the  most popular Temple of Tooth. Also pay a visit to the Royal Palace of Kandy, Royal Botanical Gardens and Udawattakele Forest Reserve.  .
  • Sigiriya– Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is an ancient fortress overlooking exuberant forests. It is famous for its ancient Rock Fortress which is situated at the top of Sigiriya Cliff.
  • Dambulla Cave Temple – This 2000 years old temple is situated 148km East of Colombo and it is the best preserved cave temple of Sri Lanka.
  • Galle– Famous for the age-old Galle Fort built by the Portuguese during 16th century, located on the shore of the most popular Galle Beach, this Fort also has a Lighthouse at its Southern tip.
  • Mirrisa- Relax and swim on the beach of Mirrisa.
  • Yala National Park– Experience the wildlife in Sri Lanka and get a chance to see elephants, deer, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys and colourful birds.
  • Polonnaruwa- Enjoy a trip to an ancient city in the middle of dense vegetation that has the ruins of old temples.

Number of Days in Sri Lanka: Ideal for 7-10 days trip.

 

Train Ride from Kandy to Ella

 Bhutan

A Buddhist Kingdom,  Bhutan is located on the Eastern Edge of the Himalayas having dramatic landscapes which seems almost surreal in its beauty. Bhutan has steep mountains, beautiful valleys, Buddhist Monasteries, pagodas, along with a lot of mesmerizing locations.

Must Visits:

  • Paro in Bhutan– On arriving at the International Airport of Paro, the journey of Bhutan begins. Visit the Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger’s Nest which is the most iconic and world famous site of Bhutan. A 3-4 hours trek ,through the mountainous path ,takes you to this monastery . Also visit Rinpung Dzong (pronounced as Zong), Kyichu Lakhang,one of the oldest shrines of the kingdom,drive through Chele La Pass leading to the most beautiful Haa Valley.
  • Thimphu in Bhutan-It is the capital city of Bhutan and an unusual mix of modern and traditional.Sightseeing in Thimphu Valley includes the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, The National Library, Textile And Folk Heritage Museum, Handicrafts Emporium and lastly Institute of Zorig Chusum.
  • Punakha in Bhutan-Punakha Valley is mesmerisingly beautiful, and is mostly famous for Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the two rivers ,Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Also visit the Punakha Suspension Bridge, along with the nearby sites,Chimi Lakhang , Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.

Number Of Days:- Ideal for 5-7 days trip.

Tiger’s  Nest  Monastery              
  • Nepal

Nepal, a country lying along the Southern slopes Of Himalayas, is landlocked between India and the vast empty lands of Tibet. Nepal has beautiful landscapes, being  closest to Himalayas and is ideal for

‘take a break’ trip, as the mesmerizing sites of valleys, mountains, temples and monasteries are going to rejuvenate you. Places to see include the following-

  • Kathmandu in Nepal –Explore the capital of Nepal, and visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhnath Stupa, one can go for sightseeing along the beautiful valley of Kathmandu and do some shopping in Thamel.
  • Pokhara in Nepal-Pokhara is a city among the Phewa Lake and mountains, a beautiful place for boating and enjoying the scenic beauty. Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit,popular trail of Himalayas. Visit the Tal Brahi Temple, International Mountain Museum,showcasing the history of mountaineering and the people of Himalayas.
  • Nagarkot in Nepal- Located at the rim of Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot has the best spots to view the ‘top of the world’, Mt. Everest.This place is ideal for watching the best sunrise and sunset views of the world.

Number of Days: One can plan a trip for 5-7 days.

Phewa Lake
  • Thailand

A Southeast Asian country, Thailand is a popular international destination that fits in a pocket friendly budget. It is mostly popular for beaches, Royal Palaces, ruins of ancient temples of Buddha, crowded cities and authentic Thai Food. Pay a visit to:

  • Bangkok in Thailand-The capital city of Thailand- Bangkok, has captivating street lifeand ornate shrines. Visit the majestic Grand Palace and its sacred Buddhist Temple Wat Phra Kaew, along with nearby Wat Pho and Wat Arun Temple. Explore the Khaosan Road that has abundant shops, hotels, restaurants and lively night life.
  • Pattaya in Thailand-A city of Thailand located on the Eastern Gulf coast, Pattaya is popular for beautiful beaches among which Pattaya and Jomtien Beach are the most popular . Visit the Truth of Sanctuary ,a massive temple carved out of wood.Enjoy the wonderful nightlife and do some shopping on the Walking Street.
  • Nong Nooch Village in Thailand -Explore the Thai Culture and breathtakingly beautiful landscaped gardens. Also, this place organises Thai cultural One can visit Nong Nooch From Bangkok or Pattaya through road routes.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

  1. Maldives

A South-Asian Sovereign state, Maldives lies Southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean. Maldives is popular worldwide for its white sandy beaches that are indeed paradise. Coral Reefs, lagoons, scuba diving &snorkelling, luxury hotels,resorts and spas, all comprise together to make Maldives an ideal international destination. The must visits are:

  • Hulhumale in Maldives-An Island in Maldives that marks the beginning of the journey, can be reached by road through public or private transport. Hulhumale is an ideal place to relax at the beach where the water is turquoise in colour,hence more beautiful than usual.
  • Male in Maldives-Take a boat from Hulhumale Island and reach the capital city of Maldives,Male. Explore the city life of Maldives and pay a visit to the Male Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre, National Museum, Male Fish Market, stay in a private resort and enjoy the private beaches.
  • Maafushi in Maldives-From Villingili Ferry Terminal,Male, begin your journey to the biggest island of Maldives, Maafushi. Explore the most popular beaches, Bikini Beach, Public Beach, Water Sport Beach and Coral Beach. Do scuba diving, snorkelling and get a chance to see the school of dolphins.
  • Fihalhohi in Maldives-Located on the South of Male, this island has overwater bungalows giving you a once in a lifetime experience. Fihalhohi is luxurious, with exquisitely decorated bungalows, exotic spas and restaurants.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

Maldives

So, what are you waiting for? Let go of your worries and come visit these beautiful international destinations that won’t cause a drain in your pockets.