Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Backpacker’s Paradise: Four Ways to Explore São Paulo Inside Out!!

Sao-PaulooOne of the great things about São Paulo is that you’ll never run out of things to do here. It is friendly, affordable and beguilingly beautiful, making it one of the preeminent backpacking destinations in South America. From captivating landscapes to wild party venues and cheap options for shopping as well as dining, take a look at all that can keep you engrossed as a backpacker in São Paulo.

Soak in Some History

art-and-historyIt wouldn’t take long to understand why São Paulo is considered Brazil’s nucleus of art and history. It is home to numerous museums, historical monuments and cultural centres that stand testimony to the city’s fabulous past. Museu do Ipiranga and Memorial da América Latina are among the must-visit attractions, owing to their splendid architecture and grand historical significance. Many art connoisseurs discover that their flights of fancy get wings at places like Pinacoteca do Estado and useu de Arte Contemporânea.

Enjoy a Crazy Party Scene

Apart from the intriguing history, São Paulo also lives up to its reputation of being a favoured haunt of party animals. Scores of bars, clubs and discotheques here beckon all to get high and wassail in nightlife revelries. Vila Olímpia, Vila Madalena, and Barra Funda – all the major areas in the city have an amazing nightlife that is at its craziest best during the weekends.

Look For Pocket-Friendly Accessories & Memento

São Paulo is known for its high-end fashion boutiques and uber-luxury malls. However, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing for backpackers seeking retail therapy. Head to the Rua 25 de Março, where countless small shops and stalls will certainly quench your appetite! From gadgets to accessories and textiles and gift items – the place offers a diverse range of bargains and is a big hit with shoppers. Brás neighbourhood is another place to indulge in gratifying retail therapy without spending a fortune.

Living the Nature’s Way

Sao-PauloNot too far from this chaotic metropolis lie lofty mountains and lush rainforests that prove to be a nature-lover’s paradise. Apart from the soul-soothing scenery, tourists may enjoy wonderful adventure activities like hiking, trailing and camping. The magnificent Paulista Coast with its heavenly beaches is also just an hour’s drive away.

Colonial v/s Contemporary – Must Visit Architectural Lures in Mumbai

One of the fastest growing cities in India, Mumbai casts a spell over millions of travellers who visit the metropolis for various reasons. Featuring a striking contrast between old and new, swanky and shabby, serenity and chaos; the city exudes a unique enigmatic appeal hard to find anywhere else in the world. Whether you visit for business or leisure, make sure that you include a tour of the beautiful architectural monuments dotting the city in your itinerary. Many of these structures were built in the colonial period, by the British and the Portuguese. Several buildings strongly represent a contemporary architectural style. Here, take a short trip down Mumbai’s memory lane!

Gateway of India

Gateway-of-IndiaSpeaking of monuments, the “Gateway of India” remains one of the most prominent landmarks in Mumbai. An incredible example of the Indo-Saracenic architectural style, the monument was built to honour the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city during the days of the “Raj”. Located majestically on the coast of the Arabian Sea, the structure boasts four beautifully adorned minarets. This brilliant architectural marvel is the key getaway to the Elephanta Caves. An interesting slice of history here; the last of the British troops passed through the Gateway of India on their way out of India, thus symbolising the country’s independence.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

taj-hotel“The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel” is a prominent example of contemporary architectural style. The hotel has long been the favourite pick of well heeled guests looking for ultimate luxury and comfort during their stay in Mumbai.  Besides boasting a highly opulent charisma, the hotel catches the eye with its intriguing architecture. With elaborate arches, stairways and domes, the hotel looks like a palace.

Mumbai University

Mumbai is often called the “Miami of India” as many of the structures here display an art-deco style of architecture. Culture-vultures sniffing around for this genre would do well to snoop down upon Mumbai University, which is perhaps the most dazzling example of this particular style of architecture. Especially, eye catching is the elaborately carved Rajabai Clock Tower. It was modelled on London’s Big Ben clock tower.

Singapore Beckons Music Maniacs with the Future Music Festival Asia 2015

Asia’s two-day cross-genre music festival is just around the corner and hardcore music buffs who have not yet booked their flights to Singapore should pull up their socks and hammer the Internet for last minute ticket deals. After all, the event is none other than the Future Music Festival Asia 2015. This lively carnival is all set to transport people to a glorious world filled with fun, frolic and entertainment from March 13th to March 14th, 2015. The festival is expected to attract thousands of fans from different parts of the world and is set to feature its biggest line up till date.

music festival  by Olga Kruglova/ CC BY

music festival by Olga Kruglova/ CC BY


This year, the festival is all set to be hosted at Singapore’s Changi Exhibition Centre, one of the most celebrated venues in the country. This superb 140,000 square-metre giant convention centre is a popular tourist attraction in itself. This humongous place is almost as big as 14 football fields. There are stunning views of the sea from the Changi Exhibition Centre.


Unlike other music festivals in the region, Future Music Festival Asia maintains its great position as a thrilling Electronic Dance Music (EDM) performer and is amongst the biggest names in Pop, Hip Hop, Indie and Rock. Take a look at some of the most popular international performances.

Friday 13th March 2015: Sancer Van Doorn, Avicii, Prodigy, New World Punx, Giorgio and Moroder.

Saturday 14th March: Afrojack, Fatboy Slim, Ferry Corsten, Knife Party, Marcus Schulz and Public Enemy.

Other Events: Art Department, Bassjackers, Blasterjaxx Darude, Example, Gorgon City, Nero, Protoculture, Robin Schulz, Sigma, Tenishia, Terence C, Thelioncityboy, Wdtfaa, Xu And Ya5th.

With all this and much more, the festival is bound to be a great entertainment for travellers having interest in some great live music.


Visitors can buy tickets for the different events of this festival online through its official website. Tickets can be bought in different categories namely – Single Day, Weekend 2 Day Pass, VIP First class and FMFA Groupie.

Daytona Bike Week – Watch Out for the Best Biking Event in the USA!

Bikers have a special reason to smile when spring comes knocking on the doors of Florida. Their wait for the Daytona Bike Week comes to an end! This is an event where you can take a closer look at stupendous superbikes and daredevils performing jaw-dropping stunts on these mean machines.

Sumptuous shopping options, exciting contests and rock shows add a lot more to the heart-pounding entertainment and fun. All in all, this 10-day event is one of the most spectacular highlights of motorsports culture of the USA. Now, a few details on this swashbuckling Bike Week!

Daytona Bike Week  by Don Richards/ CC     BY

Daytona Bike Week by Don Richards/ CC BY


Many avid bikers are all set to storm Florida to be a part of this biking extravaganza, which is scheduled from 06th to 15th March, 2015. During these 10 days, you get an opportunity to spend a memorable time amidst dream bikes and feel the effervescence of this annual fiesta.

GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship

This is the highlight, which will mark the commencement of the Daytona Bike Week. Ocean Centre is the venue for this action-packed display and it would be the first time in the history of this event that EnduroCross will be part of the show. On the evening of 06th March, the show will start with unbelievable stunt drills. You can show off your biking skills by signing up for sessions like Open Amateur, TrialsCross, Vet 35+ and Women. Tickets are up for sale at EnduroCross’ official portal.


This is the next spotlight of Daytona Bike Week, which is known to lure hordes of tourists and locals alike. At Daytona International Speedway, contestants are going to perform stunts that are definitely not meant for the faint-hearted. Several fans are waiting with bated breath to get a glimpse of past winners of Supercross such as Justin Barcia, James Stewart and Chad Reed. Grab tickets for this longest running Supercross event in the USA before they are gone!

Dining and Accommodation

Daytona Bike Week is flocked by bikers from all walks of life and to cater to every taste and budget, the area features an incredible range of accommodation and dining options. Besides hotels, you can also choose to stay at a camp. As far as dining goes, you are sure to get baffled by a huge range of extensive restaurants and eateries. Take your pick from amongst resto-bars and sports bars to snazzy restaurants and cosy lounges.

Top 4 Restaurants in South Africa That are Straight out of a Foodie’s Dream

There are restaurants that we like, and then there are restaurants we crave to go to, the restaurants that offer dining experience unlike any other. These four restaurants in South Africa are certainly not all you can explore for best eateries in the country, but these most certainly are among the ones that are sky high in terms of popularity.

And just so you know, each of them is hard to book tables at. Do book in advance. Way in advance.

The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen  by CC BY

The Test Kitchen by CC BY

Undisputed champion in the war of restaurants in South Africa, The Test Kitchen transcends the very word restaurant. It is a haven where your taste buds relish some of the most sinfully delicious cuisines. The super chef Luke Dale-Roberts has the mythical ability to mix the ingredients in ways that cast a spell on you. The style he follows is quite distinctive which leaves room for a lot of creativity and taking the fine dining experience to a new level.

Rust en Vrede

Rust en Vrede believes in balance. A balance of ingredients that create irresistible dishes. Thanks to its historic and award winning wine estate, the fine dining experience is sheer bliss every time. The restaurant is passionate about its dishes; each dish is prepared with impossibly fresh ingredients. Oh, and the dedicatedly selected wines to complement the menu are just heavenly. Not just that, each detail is taken into consideration and perfected meticulously. The crockery for instance is a David Walters creation.

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français

“I have no signature dish, South Africa is my signature” – Margot Janse. The award winning chef will win your heart the moment you taste any of her dishes. She is a magician in creating unique, contemporary Africa inspired menus. Sitting inside the Relais and Châteaux Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek, The Tasting Room has fans from all around the world that keep the restaurant packed throughout the year. Diners will find the setting intimate and the food soul satiating.

Five Hundred

Exceptional and engaging, the Five Hundred extends before its guests an experience further than just phenomenal cuisine; it actually seems to immerse them in a fascinating realm of flavours and tastes. Chef David Higgs drives his created menus to a direction where each ingredient marks its own charm. There is no pattern or conventional ways, at Five Hundred. It is all about creating the food that leaves diners speechless. With luxurious ambience, lovely service, and of course, the impressive collection of wines, Five Hundred truly is a place for serious diners.

Auckland Lantern Festival Flaunts Splendid Cultural Treasures of the Kiwi Nation

A plethora of colourful events and festivals add their own bit of charm to New Zealand. In the long line up of carnivals and festivities that dot New Zealand’s calendar, an eagerly anticipated one is the unique 16th edition of the Auckland Lantern Festival. It will be held from 26th February to 1st March, 2015. The event will be held at the popular Albert Park, central Auckland and is expected to entertain the visitors with a pool of exciting activities. Below is a quick rundown on the festival.

About the Festival

The Lantern Festival is one of the biggest and most popular cultural events in Auckland which signify the region’s lively ethnic diversity. This four day carnival is expected to be attended by thousands of people daily. Auckland Lantern Festival even celebrates the Chinese New Year which symbolises celebration of peace and tranquillity. During the event, locals and visitors can show off their creative skills by making beautifully decorated lanterns which are used for decorating the homes and streets.

What to Expect

Bring your family down to Auckland Lantern Festival for a gratifying holiday experience. Over 800 traditional Chinese lanterns are expected to light up the renowned Albert Park which will also be playing host to some stunning dance and cultural performances. A couple of entertaining theatre productions, namely “The Two Farting Sisters” and “Under the Same Moon” will also enthral guests. Traditional and contemporary Chinese culture performances showcasing martial arts, dance and live music are part of the festivities too.

Then there will be several cheerful processions and lantern painting demonstrations with people holding up their lanterns as well as other motifs to show the world their creativity and art skills. The grand finale of the festival will see extravagant fireworks further colouring up the city’s glittering sky.

Some good news for foodies! There will be a street full of massive stalls dishing out delicious Asian and New Zealand cuisines.

A Quick Guide to the most Popular Annual Events in Cuba

While ‘cigarro habano’ certainly has a significant contribution in bringing Cuba to the limelight, there are a number of other charms too that draw people from all around the world to this fascinating country. There is something about Cuba that distinguishes it from the rest of the Americas. Due to its singular taste, culture and preference, Cuba has a special place in the hearts of many.

One of the best ways to explore the country’s spirit is to attend its distinctive events. Here are just three that would make a good start.

Havana’s International Ballet Festival

The Great Theatre of Havana gets action-packed with visitors from all across the globe when the posters say it is Havana’s International Ballet Festival. Held every two years since 1960, this world famous event is awaited impatiently. After all, when it is held, the best ballet performers of the world perform magic on stage! The event, considered to be the oldest and most authentic of its kind is every bit worthy of being mentioned in an ‘at least once in a lifetime’ list of ballet aficionados.

Carnival, Santiago de Cuba

Carnival by Team at Studios/ CC BY

Carnival by Team at Studios/ CC BY

While almost every Africa-influenced city in Cuba hosts remarkable carnivals, the one in Santiago de Cuba is sensational and doubtlessly the best of them all. The carnival features crazy street parties, concerts and a lot more. With hordes of masked revellers in long conga lines, the festival simply overwhelms one and all. Now, would you not love an event that starts exhilarating from the moment it starts? The decorated streets are marked with festivities and some of the most attractive and spirited people, dressed like exotic dolls, perform hilarious antics. Party animals should definitely not miss a chance to attend this colourful carnival.

Havana’s International Jazz Festival

If you like jazz, you will fall in love with it after you attend Havana’s International Jazz Festival. And if you already ‘love’ jazz, you should be making plans to book tickets for the next event. Is your visit for Havana scheduled for December? Well, if the dates between 15 and 23rd are the part of your itinerary, you will catch it easily. Havana’s International Jazz Festival is all about, well “it’s all about jazz”.

Dubai Jazz Fest 2015 is Set to Rock the Music Scene of the UAE

dubaiThe calendar of Dubai is sprinkled with numerous musical events. This world-class city has emerged as a coveted destination among music buffs for watching their favourite international artists in action. Many die hard Jazz fans have already planned their trips to Dubai to catch the Dubai Jazz Fest, which is scheduled from 25th to 27th February. These three days of musical extravaganza will also be a wonderful time for experiencing quintessential Arabian hospitality and the upscale lifestyle of Dubai.

Urban Sessions

While the main gigs will unfurl from 25th to 27th February, the buzz will start with the Urban Sessions from 19th February. It will be held at exclusive locations such as Radisson Blu Hotel’s Up On The Tenth Jazz Bar, Frankie’s Italian The Walk JBR and Jazz@PizzaExpress. You won’t require tickets for these sessions but prior reservation is mandatory. Spending your evenings at these spots will allow you to experience a splendid blend of sumptuous dining and groovy music.


Dubai Media City Amphitheatre will host the main gigs. This venue features numerous concerts, festivals, conferences and events all through the year. Taxis and metro connect this facility to the major points of the city.


On all the three days from 25th – 27th February, power-packed performances will leave the audience spellbound. The entertainment will be dished out by two different international artists every day.

Day 1: Gifted artist Christina Perri would be the first to set the stage on fire with her powerful voice and captivating performance. This US singer is also adept at playing the piano and strumming the guitar. The next artist of the night is James Blunt. Be there before 10:30 to enjoy the soulful numbers by this talented English artist.

Day 2: The startling performance of Lindsey Stirling marks the commencement of the second day of the event.  The act of this American violinist starts at 2100 hrs. At 2230 hrs, Golden Globe and multi-Grammy winner, Sting will rock the podium with his award-winning numbers.

Day 3: On the final day of Dubai Jazz Fest, two renowned American artists, Esperanza Spalding and John Legend, will represent a new facet of jazz music. Both, Spalding and Legend, are Grammy winners and have sold millions of copies of their albums across the globe.

Honk Honk – the Canadian International Autoshow 2015 is Round the Corner

Only a true auto enthusiast knows the amazing feel of getting within touching distance of the latest car models, long before the rest of the world even gets to see pictures in magazines. If you are one of them, the Canadian International Autoshow 2015 is for you! The largest auto show of Canada will be showcasing, or shall we say ‘showing off’, some of the most stunning cars this year. Rivalling some of the best auto shows in the world, Canadian International Autoshow 2015 is grand, exciting and every bit worth visiting.

Date and Place

Canadian International Autoshow 2015    will commence on 13th Feb and continue to dazzle enthusiasts with world-class exhibitions till 22nd Feb. The location is Metro Toronto Convention Centre North building.

Highlights of the Show

There are three highlights that will keep all the car aficionados ecstatically occupied throughout the show – Auto Exotica, AutoConnect and Art and the Automobile. Auto Exotica features some of mankind’s finest creations. Your eyes will pop out when beautiful models will unveil the top of the line vehicles passionately crafted by the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, Pagani, Maserati, Tesla and others. AutoConnect showcases state-of-the-art technologies that keep pushing the boundaries in the world of automobiles. Visitors will find everything from solar powered vehicles to fuel cell technology. AutoConnect also features educational institutions that are there to address inquisitive minds obsessed with automobiles.

Art and the Automobile focus upon, as the name itself suggests, ‘art’ in automobile and automobile in art. What does that mean? It means visitors will get to see the spectacular display of galleries that tell the story of automobiles, going back to the buggy days and the golden era of 60s. At the same time, visitors will also get to see the designs for the next generation.
Auto Exotica: Level 100 in the North Building
AutoConnect: Level 700 in the South Building
Art and the Automobile: Level 700 in the South Building

Additional Features

Are you a gaming buff too?  Unleash the gamer in you at Level 600 in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Xbox One Gaming Area awaits you here! Try the latest games and don’t forget to explore your limits with Forza Horizon 2.  The ones travelling with children can simply drop their kids at Volkswagen Children’s Playcare Centre, lest they choose to do things the mature adult way, err, we mean exploring the exhibitions ‘quietly’. There is also a lovely dining spot to take care of hunger pangs. Muskoka brewery restaurant on Level 600 in the South Building is a refreshing place for enjoying premium craft beers and scrumptious meals.

Holidays in Toronto: Popular Options for City Connectivity and Beyond!

torrontoToronto, one of the largest metropolises of Canada, serves as a leading international gateway to “The Great White North”.Home to the world class Toronto Pearson International Airport which handles international flights from key destinations across the world, thousands of holidaymakers arrive in the city to seek out its many sights and sounds. Following are the best ways to explore the populous city in Canada.

The Economical Way

The Toronto Transit Commission provides residents as well as visitors with a range of transport options after they disembark flights at the airport. The metropolis is well connected by the subway system as well as buses, making its extremely easy to navigate. One can easily transfer from one mode of transport to another in lieu of a fee, making it a popular choice for in-city travel among those arriving here.

The Subterranean Mode

Due to the extreme cold in winter, the planners designed underground walkways in the downtown area for the benefit of both locals and tourists. Named as “Path” and demarcated by brightly coloured signage, travellers can access a wide range of entertainment and shopping options along this subterranean walkway. For those seeking a healthy walk without being bothered by the weather outside, this is by far the best option on offer.

The Lavish Spender

One of the easiest but also the most expensive ways to get around this urban area after reaching there on international flights is to hail a cab. The city is home to numerous companies such as Beck Taxi, CO-OP Cabs, Crown Taxis and others that provide taxis on hire. Travellers seeking a luxurious travel experience within Toronto often prefer to book chauffeured cars and limo services, which can also be easily availed from various locations including the airport or the hotel. One can also rent a self-drive car from the many companies providing this service from various locations across Toronto including the airport.

The Green Explorer

Most of the roads in this metropolis feature designated cycling trails, which make it easy for those taking the green initiative to explore without adversely affecting the environment. Some of Canada’s most popular neighbourhoods for a cycling adventure are the Distillery District, Chinatown, Yorkville as well as Cabbagetown and Kensington market.