Monthly Archives: February 2015

Most Dangerous Treks in South America to Add Novelty to your Adventure Experiences

The diversified grandeur of South America entices hordes of travellers. South American destinations offer an abundance of soothing natural beauty, thought-provoking historic sites, spectacular cultural insights, and loads of beach adventure. Now, talking of adventure, South America is a paradise for the ones who love to flirt with danger by way of going on difficult and often risky treks. For instance, Argentina and Peru are a couple of such destinations. A tryst with difficult trekking involves high risk and is not recommended for the faint-hearted. If you have such an action on your to-do list, here are a few treks that are named among the most dangerous treks not only in South America but in the world.

Huayna Picchu, Peru

Huayna Picchu, Peru by Rocco Lucia/ CC     BY

Huayna Picchu, Peru by Rocco Lucia/ CC BY

Your visit to Peru is incomplete without experiencing the enchantment of Machu Picchu. Inca Trail here is among the most popular trekking trails in Peru. The real danger starts when you reach Huayna Picchu or the Hike of Death. This 1000 foot hike comprises of exposed corners, slippery stones and crumbling stones. Besides, mist and clouds would add more difficulties to your trekking drill. Once you reach at the top, the captivating bird’s eye view washes away all the fear and pain.

Cerro Torre, Patagonia, Argentina

Cerro Torre, Patagonia, Argentina by lluis Cabarrocas Ribas/ CC BY

Cerro Torre, Patagonia, Argentina by lluis Cabarrocas Ribas/ CC BY

This vertical granite peak is more than 3120 metres in height with glacier accounting for a sizeable portion. Of course, there are taller peaks in the world but its steep incline and the harsh weather conditions together make it very difficult to climb. In fact, over the decades, mountaineers have even been accused of making false claims about conquering this peak. It was only as late as 1974 that four climbers from “Ragini de Lecco” were officially acknowledged to have actually scaled this peak.

Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru

Among hiking and trekking enthusiasts, this is name is quite popular. While there are main mountain peaks here, not everyone dares to conquer them. Cordillera Huayhuash is strategically located in the Andes of Peru and is easily accessible from Lima Region. Trekkers may choose from a variety of trekking tours facilitated by reputed operators.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is Ready to Rock Australia and New Zealand!!

World cup by vijay chennupati/ CC     BY

World cup by vijay chennupati/ CC BY

This year’s Valentine’s Day is not only about love and romance; it would also mark the commencement of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. This is the most important cricket competition in the world and takes place after every four years. This time round, the action is going Down Under – Australia and New Zealand. So, if cricket fires your passion, it would be a lovely time to visit these countries. You will catch the action first hand and of course also explore the cultural richness of Australia and New Zealand. Now, let’s check out a few details of this quadrennial sporting event.

Teams

The cricket world cup features 14 teams that are divided into two pools, Pools A and Pool B.
Pool A – England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland
Pool B – South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and United Arab Emirates

Schedule

The 2015 Cricket World Cup is scheduled from 14th February to 29th March. In total, 49 matches will be played and Australia and New Zealand will host 26 and 23 matches, respectively.

Venues

These 49 matches will be played across 14 venues; 7 each in Australia and New Zealand. The opening ceremony will take place at North Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, and Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. The public will have free access to both the events.

Teams to Look Out for

Australia – The co-host is the only team to clinch the title of the world champion as many as four times in the past. Undoubtedly, Australia is ready to fight “tooth, nail, and claw” for a chance to lift the coveted cup once again.

India – The defending champions would sweat it out in the field to retain the title. It’s going to be interesting as the declining form of the country has made experts a little sceptical about India winning the title.

New Zealand – The six time semi-finalist, New Zealand is striving to surprise the world with its best show on the field. Being the co-host, the Black Caps will get the benefit of playing on its own turf.

South Africa – South Africa is one of the strongest teams in the game. They have reached semi-finals thrice but haven’t made it to the finals yet. This time they would be going all out to break the jinx.

National Cherry Blossom Festival – Heralding Spring the Washington DC Way

Spring is over a month away but National Cherry Blossom Festival has started creating a buzz in Washington DC, the capital of the USA. The festival celebrates the historical chapter where the Mayor of Tokyo gifted 3000 Japanese cherry trees to the city in 1912. Today, the fiesta has become one of the most impressive annual festivities in Washington DC and marks the commencement of the spring season. In 2015, the festival is scheduled to be held from 20th March to 12th April. Let’s check out a few highlights of National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Opening Ceremony

National Cherry Blossom Festival is a free event. However, to watch the action-packed opening ceremony, you would need to buy tickets. Entry tickets for this important event are available online. The ceremony will take place at The Warner Theatre and it will feature an array of traditional as well as contemporary performances.

ArtJamz

Art lovers boarding flights to be in Washington DC during March-April would love be part of this event. This 15-day event allows you to flaunt your creativity from 26th March to 09th April. Unlike many other painting competitions, this event is open for anyone who is 21 or above. This event is hosted by ArtJamz and before creating your masterpiece, you would be taken on a tour of the Freer Gallery.

Blossom Kite Festival

Be a part of this fun-filled kite festival to experience the authentic spring flavour of National Cherry Blossom Festival. Reach Washington Monument Grounds on 28th March to the infectious enthusiasm of the participants whose kites would soar high in the skies. The venue is divided into five areas namely Public Field, Activity Tents, Kite Club Display Area, Family Field and Competition & Demonstration Field. No tickets are required to admire Hot Tricks Showdown and competition called Rokkaku Battle.

Chaukhandi Tombs: Memories of Karachi’s Long-Forgotten Past

Chaukhandi-TombsKarachi, one of the largest cities of Pakistan, ranks as one of the preferred entry points among international tourists booking flights for the country as the metropolis is home to one of the busiest airports in the sub-continent. Though this part of the nation is more famous as a hub for commercial activities, Karachi features a number of historic monuments that have impressed travellers from across the world. One of the often-overlooked historic sites close to city is the Chaukhandi Tombs, the relics of a long forgotten past in this historic land. Read on to know more about the memorable experiences on offer in case you are planning to book flights to this top urban centre of Pakistan.

The Little Known History

The Chaukhandi Tombs are characterised by elaborate and delicate designs that are sure to leave tourists at Karachi awestruck with their sheer brilliance. These early remnants of Islam date back to the later medieval times and house the remains of prominent members of the Baluch and Jokhio tribes. As an example of architectural styles originating in Sindh, they truly have no equal and being located close to the Karachi city they are easy to reach for anyone who lands from flights at Karachi.

The Unique Architectural Confluence

Though the entire area features influences of early Islamic architecture, there is also evidence of Rajput-style of architecture that dominated the region before the Mughal era. The geometric designs though carved out of stone are so delicately and beautifully done that they seem similar to patterns commonly associated with woodwork and textiles. Another unique aspect is the dedication of tombs to both women and men, which bear different markings. Jewellery designs (necklaces, bracelets, earring etc.) denote the remains of women while turbans, swords, daggers etc. denote men, but, human figures are few if any, according to Islamic beliefs.

Tour Options

Travellers who plan a visit to this necropolis after arriving at Karachi can look forward to an enjoyable daytrip far from the bustle of the city. Apart from the chance to get a peek at the region’s rich historic heritage, the experience is also sure to be memorable as one of the best picnic during holidays in Pakistan.

Two Lovely Resorts Assuring a Sybaritic Stay in Phuket

PhuketWith its incredible weather, pristine beaches and an extensive list of wonderful attractions, Phuket certainly lives up to its nickname of ‘Pearl of the Andaman Sea’. Many find that the best way to explore and experience this spellbinding paradise on earth is by staying at one of the lavish resorts that dot the destination. Feast your eyes on scarlet sunsets, dip your toes in azure waters and experience a newfound world for rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul. Here are a few popular luxury resorts in Phuket.

Amari Coral Beach Resort

Featuring its own small sandy cove and an impressive view of the bay, Amari Coral Beach Resort is one of the most sought after places on Patong Beach, Phuket. The resort boasts over 180 stylish rooms, five plush restaurants, and a sophisticated open air spa among other thoughtful amenities. All this go a long way in making Amari a popular choice of accommodation among the well heeled set disembarking flights in Thailand. Guests may even try some thrilling adventure activities like scuba diving and snorkelling at the resort’s private dive centre. The wonderful experience of visiting this opulent property truly justifies the value of money spent on air tickets for the island.

Paresa Resort

Perched on a seaside cliff of Kamala, Phuket’s western coast, Paresa Resort is another incredible accommodation alternative, promising the best of coastal charm and unrivalled hospitality. Precisely designed, this marvellous property impressively blends in with the surrounding natural beauty to offer an experience, which is hard to find anywhere else. Guests may choose from amongst six different types of accommodation options – Cielo, Dima, Cliff, Aqua, Talay, and Grand Villa, all facing the beautiful sea. Some basic features and amenities of the rooms include a private infinity pool, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, private living and dining pavilion, sun bathing space, luxury bedding and much more. Paresa also features a fine dining restaurant Diavolo, which offers great Thai and international cuisines.

These Attractions in Barbados Will Surely Make a Great Place in Your Itinerary

A tropical allure, rich old culture, poetry-inspiring landscapes and satin sandy beaches, Barbados is a place for romance and adventure (most of the times, a mix of both). This West Indian island paradise welcomes everyone. Whether you are an obsessed ‘beach-o-phile’ or an insatiable culture vulture, Barbados will gratify your soul.

Barbados  by Berit Watkin/ CC BY

Barbados by Berit Watkin/ CC BY

Welchman Hall Gully

When you visit Welchman Hall Gully, you get to experience an unspoilt piece of nature and feel what this place was hundreds of years ago. Once part of a plantation owned by a Welshman, thus the name, Welchman Hall Gully is a place that travellers would not want to miss. Embellished with exotic trees dotting a tropical forest, it is nature’s true gift to travellers who have a thing for natural beauty, culture, and also hiking.

Soup Bowl

Resting on the East Coast of Barbados, Soup Bowl is to surfers what library is to bibliomaniacs. The exciting surfing spot witnesses a heavy crowd of surfers. Waves here come unbroken from far behind and when they break, the sight proves irresistible for surfers. Rent a car if you wish to make the most of your trip and yes, do consult a professional if you are new to surfing before riding the big waves.

Harrison’s Cave

Harrison’s Cave is a unique phenomenon of nature that enchants the beholder with its breathtakingly beautiful views. One of the greatest wonders, Harrison’s Cave seems to have been formed when the creator was at his creative best. Crystallized limestone cavern, gushing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and imposing columns shape this place. Travellers who are booking their tickets aboard flights to Barbados will get a one of a kind experience under the ground.

Hunte’s Gardens

These are not your not your next-door gardens. It is a creation by the legendary horticulturist, Anthony Hunte. The gardens spellbind even the most knowledgeable and experienced scholars of botany. Meander along its picturesque and walker-friendly paths to explore the marvellously created series of mini-gardens, statues, antiques and more.

Book Flights to Thailand for Songkran this April!!

Apart from its soul-soothing natural beauty and sassy nightlife, Thailand is globally applauded for its rich cultural heritage and perhaps the best way to absorb it is to partake in any of the country’s colourful cultural fests. For those planning a visit to Thailand in mid-April, one such cultural extravaganza – the famous water festival ‘Songkran’ – awaits with loads of fun and merrymaking. A nation-wide celebration of the traditional Thai New Year, Songkran Festival allows travellers to combine their holidays in Thailand with unlimited fun, food, cultural festivity and a lot more.

How

It’s fundamentally a water fight, purely for fun. Heaps of locals and tourists alike come out on the streets with water-guns, buckets and other water-containers to drench each other. Only clean water is thrown, which is a symbol of purity. It is much like the Holi Festival in India and La Tomatino in Spain. But Songkran is not just about splashing water. It is a day of great spiritual significance. People pray at Buddhist temples and pay homage to the Lord Buddha. The markets offer delicious Thai cuisines, leaving foodies gloating about their decision of picking this time to board flights to Thailand.

When

Traditionally, the fest is the New Year Eve celebration that takes place in mid-April in Thailand. In 2015, it will be celebrated from April 13 to 15.

Where

Bangkok hosts one of the most boisterous cultural celebrations in Thailand. The conviviality takes a whole new meaning, with scores of international tourists flocking to the Thai capital to celebrate this amazing fest with the locals. Chiang Mai is another place where Songkran festivities engulf all major tourist spots. People in the province of Ratchaburi use herbal coloured water to make the festival more special.

More on Thai Holidays in April

April is a great time for a sojourn to Thailand’s sprawling islands and beaches. Buy tickets to Hua Hin for a serene escape or choose Pattaya or Phuket to enjoy enthralling water sports and the colourful Thai nightlife! Bangkok itself offers an abundance of tourist delights that make your trip worth much more than what the flights and holiday packages to Thailand cost.