Monthly Archives: September 2015

Top 3 Things to do on your Holiday in St. Lucia

St. Lucia, a small island state in the Caribbean Sea, is famous for its beaches. The island’s stupendous natural beauty has made it a honeymooner’s paradise. Furthermore, there are many unique and interesting activities for you to look forward to, if you are planning to book tickets to this paradisiacal place.  Here are the top 3 unconventional activities that you may try on your holiday to St. Lucia.

Take a Mud-bath at Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs, one of the most visited tourist attractions of the island, is a geothermal area, situated close to the centre of the “Qualibou” caldera. A road passes through the rim of the crater which makes it one of the rare “drive-through” volcanoes in the world. One of the main highlights of the tour is taking a mud-bath in the famous mineral rich black water pool. The pool is said to have therapeutic properties due to its mineral content. After the mud-bath, you can wash-off the mud by bathing at the hot water springs. It is the perfect natural spa experience that leaves you completely refreshed. There is a minimal entrance fee of EC $3 for adults and $1.50 for children under the age of 11 for this one-of-a-kind experience.

Bathe Under the Toraille Falls

Toraille Falls by Laramie Bates/ CC BY

Toraille Falls by Laramie Bates/ CC BY

This scenic trip takes you to one of the most picturesque places in St. Lucia; the Toraille Falls. It is a tropical paradise, nestled amidst lush green trees and you can even take a refreshing shower under the waterfall. Changing room facilities and seating areas for a family picnic are available at the site. The car-parking is spacious and proper signage ensures convenient accessibility to the place. Entrance fee is minimal and you just have to walk a short distance to reach a fabulous modified pool to take a plunge. You may also consider strolling in the beautiful botanical garden.

Watch the Marine Life Up-Close

The Jalousie beach is the perfect place to go for snorkelling. Cosol St. Lucia Tour offers one of the best snorkelling experiences wherein you can witness some of the best examples of marine biodiversity, complete with dazzling coral reefs and vibrant fish species such as needle fish, parrot fish and puffer fish.  Other species of marine life found here include lobsters and octopus. Take an underwater camera and capture some of the best underwater views. The waters are clear and calm making it the perfect site to swim or snorkel.

Popular September/October Events and Festivals in New Zealand

The month of September marks the onset of spring in New Zealand and an array of colourful events and festivals are celebrated to welcome the season.

newzealand

In fact, there are events and festivals for various tastes and interests. For instance, there are events for food and wine lovers, art enthusiasts as well as music freaks. The Kiwi nation hosts several events and festivals in the month of October as well. Let’s check out some of the most popular events during these two months.

Alexandra Blossom Festival

This more than half a century old festival features a variety of events such as The News Mardi Gras, Round the Clock Race and Princesses. But the main highlight is Contact Saturday in the Park. This family friendly event is scheduled for 26th September, 2015 at Pioneer Park where you will find two stages; one for kids and another for music concerts. Kids can enjoy the performances of jugglers and clowns. If you are a souvenir hunter, look forward to great moments at the craft markets.

Kaikoura Seafest

The town of Kaikoura becomes a hot destination among seafood lovers during Kaikoura Seafest, a popular annual event which was started in 1995. This food festival is held on the first Saturday of October and this year round, 03rd October will be the day to gorge on seafood and enjoy live shows. All through the day, you can enjoy action-packed performances by artists and bands like The New Entrants, Steve McDonald and Ricochet.

Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival

If you are fond of food, wine, dance, music and also love to interact with the locals, this festival must be a part of your wish list. It is scheduled to be held on 24th October at Paihia Village Green.  A number of exciting activities and lots of good food and booze at the event will lure people of all ages. You can savour delicious food and vintage wines while enjoying live performances by popular Kiwi artists. Kids have a range of entertainment options such as face painting and magic shows to look forward to at the Children’s Area. Competitions like Oyster Shucking and Eating, Kina Sucking and Pie Eating add another exciting dimension to the Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival.

Explore Mayan Jungles and Revel in the Essence of Mexican Culture at Xcaret, Mexico

Xcaret is an ecological and archaeological park with more than 40 natural and cultural attractions that suit people of all ages. Located towards the south of Cancun in the Riviera Maya, this park displays the replica of a Mayan village. The colourful Mexican cemetery and the Papantla Flying Men here portray the perfect cultural amalgamation of Spanish and Mexican traditions. Xcaret

offers you a lovely opportunity to indulge in and learn about the Mayan jungles and Mexican culture. You can also take a snorkelling tour, swim through underground rivers, and enjoy the sight of playful dolphins. In Xcaret you would never run short of exciting attractions to explore. Here are our top picks amongst such attractions.

Scenic Tower

The Scenic Tower in Xacret can rise up to a height of 80 metres and rotate 360 degrees, thus offering spectacular views of the Riviera Maya and Cozumel Island. In fact, the panoramic view of the majestic Caribbean Sea and the beautiful Xcaret Park from the highest point of Riviera Maya is a class-apart experience. The scenic tower gives you a wonderful chance to admire the entire beauty of Xcaret in one go and collect a fond lifelong memory.

House of Whispers

Located at one of the highest points of the Xcaret Park, next to the Mexican Cemetery, House of Whispers is a vibrant gift shop that stocks traditional crafts and unique products from Mexico. The special thing about this place is an interesting echoing sound; this sound is caused due the unique architecture of the building. You can buy beautiful souvenirs from this shop while enjoying the echoing whispers.

Paradise River

Paradise River lets you admire the beauty of Xcaret from a small raft. This raft sails over clear water channels running through the deep jungles and gives you the chance to explore ancient Mayan caves as well as unique rock formations and marine fossils. You can also spot wildlife such as deer, monkeys, macaws, and a lot more from the raft. Adventure enthusiasts can rent snorkelling gear and experience underwater paradise as well.

5 Most Beautiful Lakes in India

India is famous for its numerous beautiful lakes, rivers and other inland water-bodies that are to be found all over the country. From Kashmir in the north to Kerala in the south and from Assam in the east to Rajasthan in the west, the country is home to various water bodies and attracts nature-lovers from all around the world.  Take a look at the top five lakes in India.

Wular Lake

Wular Lake, the largest freshwater lake in India and one of the largest in Asia, is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled amidst beautiful mountains, Wular Lake boasts jaw dropping natural beauty. Besides scenic beauty, the lake plays a significant role in maintaining the natural habitat for avian, aquatic, and overall wildlife. A large number of people living around the shores of the lake earn their livelihood by fishing in the lake.

Loktak Lake

Loktak Lake, located in Manipur, is known as the largest freshwater lake in the north-eastern part of India. It is called the floating lake because of a series of floating phumdis (islands) in the lake. The whole lake looks surreal and attracts many tourists from all around the world. The lake is an important part of Manipur as it is used for various important activities such as generation of hydro-power, drinking, irrigation, and maintenance of the natural habitat. It is also a refuge to the highly endangered Sangai, the state animal of Manipur.

Dal Lake

Kashmir Valley, known throughout the world as the most beautiful place on earth, is home to the Dal Lake. It is counted amongst the most famous lakes in India and is one of the most important attractions.

dal lake

From the shikaras and houseboats to the floating gardens, Dal Lake has a distinct essence of the native culture and traditions. The lake is situated in Srinagar, known as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world. Situated in the north-eastern part of the Kanchenjunga region in Sikkim, it is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes on earth. There are many other lakes here but this one is the biggest and the most striking one. Many of these lakes, apart from being thriving tourist destinations, are also used as places of worship by the locals. The other lakes worth visiting include Khecheopalri Lake also known as the wishing lake and the Tsomgo Lake or frozen Lake.

Chilka Lake

Chilka Lake, the largest coastal lake in India, is a saltwater lake situated in Orissa. It is Asia’s largest inland salt water lagoon. The brackish waters of the lake are more saline than freshwater but lesser than seawater.

chilka lake

Chilka is labelled as the queen of natural scenery in the state. People can enjoy ferry rides on the lake and also view Irrawaddy dolphins and various species of migratory birds. Because of its beauty and appeal, it is also known as the Swiss-lake of Asia.

 

New York for the Newlyweds

Honeymoon is said to be the romantic phase in the life of a married couple. This is the time to enjoy the first few days of marital bliss together far away from the mundane routine of life. New York City is one of the best and most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world. The city offers a wide

New York

array of attractions to honeymooners. From enjoying breath-taking scenic views together to dining at incredibly romantic restaurants, the possibilities for romance in New York City are limitless. To help you sort through these possibilities, here is a collection of flirtatious and romantic things to do in the city.

Dinner at River Cafe

Stroll down the Brooklyn Bridge hand in hand to spend some relaxing moments together. After you’ve crossed into Brooklyn, head to the River Cafe for a romantic dinner. The scenic views from the restaurant make it one of the most romantic places of New York. Located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the cafe offers serene views of the East River beautifully reflecting the brilliant lights of Manhattan.

Carriage Rides at Central Park

A carriage ride with your beloved through the Central Park of New York City spells sheer romance! Grab an ice-cream and share it with your beloved, while riding in a horse-drawn vintage carriage. Central Park is one of the liveliest places of New York but some parts of the park have a very relaxed ambience in the evening. You would love to sit back and relax in your stylish coach and watch some of Central Park’s most popular attractions pass by. Carriages can be easily found lined up along Central Park South between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Musical Performance at the Lincoln Center

If music is what puts you in the mood, then Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the best place for you in New York City. Lincoln Center delivers an extensive lineup of concerts, plays and film screenings throughout the week and ensures an enriching afternoon or evening with your partner. Whether it is the ballet, the New York Metropolitan Opera, or the New York Philharmonic, the musical performance would certainly accentuate your romantic mood.

 

Hermanus Whale Festival – Welcoming the Whales

The Hermanus Whale Festival is the only Enviro-Arts extravaganza in South Africa. This event is held every year to welcome the return of the Southern Right whales to the Walker Bay and the arrival of spring. The festival will be celebrated from 2nd to 4th October, 2015 and this year will mark its 24th anniversary.

Origin of the Hermanus Whale Festival

Situated in the extreme South of Africa, Hermanus offers a front-row view of the Cape Whale Route and is known as the best land based whale watching destination in the world. During the season of migration, it plays host to thousands of visitors who climb cliffs to spot the endangered southern right whales. The event was started to make the cliff-top viewing a formal affair and a whale crier was put in place. The world-famous whale-crier of Hermanus blasts out different sequences of long and short notes from his kelp horn to alert eager whale-watchers about the presence of whales.

Celebrations of the Fest

The whales are the star performers and overshadow the musicians, sports celebrities and thousands of visitors. The Hermanus Whale Festival is a fantastic opportunity to learn about these mysterious beasts of the deep seas. The biggest highlight is the Welcome Whale Wave Walk. For this activity about 5000 people create a 5km long human chain to welcome the whales. This festival is one of its kind and also among the most enthusiastically celebrated events in Africa.

Main attractions at the event

You can exhilarate in the unique natural environment, watch the magnificent whales, participate in the world’s only Welcome Whales Wave Walk, and enjoy music, comedy shows, cabaret performances, and African rhythms every night during the festival. However, apart from that you will get to see a variety of eco-marine displays and educational shows by environmental researchers. Furthermore, you will also spot attractions like vibrant craft markets, wine and beer tents, sound systems for bands, DJs, music arts, magic shows, art classes, vintage car shows, and sports events like bike races, and marathons.

Top 4 Tourist Attractions in Jamaica

Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba and Hispaniola, has many claims to fame. Known as the land of reggae, Jamaica has a vibrant African vibe, complete with great food and friendly people. This attractive tourist destination also boasts beautiful surroundings. The natives are fluent in English and make life easier for tourists. Take a look at the top four attractions in Jamaica.

Dunn’s River Falls

Dunn’s River Waterfalls are one of the most popular natural attractions in Jamaica. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery and promise a relaxing and tranquil spot for visitors. Rock climbing is

jamaica

Jamaica by Evo Flash/ CC BY

a popular activity at the Dunn’s River Falls. It takes about 30 minutes to climb the falls. If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, go to the falls before 10 AM.

Black River Safari

Black River Safari treats you to sights of crocodiles basking in the sun, countless colourful birds, and lots of other wildlife. A safari on the Black River on the south coast of Jamaica spells sheer bliss for nature lovers indeed. Besides observing the wildlife, you can sample local dishes in the huts on the water’s edge. These guided tours are conducted on comfortable boats and give you the opportunity to learn a lot about the flora and fauna. You might also get a chance to touch the crocodiles under proper guidance and supervision.

Bob Marley Museum

Bob Marley Museum in Kingston is a tribute to the life and works of the legendary reggae singer Bob Marley. Located in the former home and studio of Bob Marley on Hope Road, the museum is the most visited of all tourist attractions in Kingston. The guided tour lasts an hour and provides insights into the fascinating life of Bob Marley and ends with a short film on the last days of the reggae superstar.

Doctor’s Cave Beach

No trip to Jamaica is complete without visiting Doctor’s Cave Beach. Among the major tourist attractions in Jamaica, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay has a very touristy appeal. Located in Montego Bay, the beach with its white sands and calm turquoise waters promises beautiful unforgettable memories. This five-mile long beach is equipped with amenities such as changing rooms and bar.

Enjoy a Tour of the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg

The Newtown Cultural Precinct, located in the heart of the bustling city of Johannesburg, has become the cultural hub of the destination.

johannesburg

Newtown wasn’t always as vibrant and charming. It was in a dilapidated state some years ago. However, Johannesburg Metropolitan started making improvements and revived the area by implementing the iGoli 2000 programme. The goal was to turn Newtown into the creative capital of the city and the efforts seem to have paid off. Today, renowned art galleries, cosy coffee shops, restaurants, and many other tourist trappings dot Newtown Cultural Precinct.

Newtown definitely has a unique, colourful character of its own. Take a look.

A Festive Atmosphere

The culturally and ethnically diverse people here celebrate festivals from all around the world with great pomp and show. From the splendid fireworks during Diwali to the huge fire-breathing dragons during Chinese New Year and from Queen’s samba on the Nelson Mandela Bridge during Gay Pride to the merry festivities of the Joy and Jazz Festival of Newtown – every festival here is celebrated with great passion! Some of the other exciting festivals hosted here include SA Fashion Week, the Africa Day, Arts Alive, and the Dance Umbrella.

Places of Interest

Newtown is full of art galleries, museums, live music venues, restaurants and bars. Some of the famous landmarks of Newtown Cultural Precinct are the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, and Gramadoelas Restaurant. These culturally diverse spots have been infused together to form a multicultural enclave. Other popular places here are SAB World of Beer, Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the Oriental Plaza.

A Warm Welcoming Vibe

You will definitely feel the friendly vibe of acceptance and harmony here. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Newtown Cultural Precinct follows a colour-blind approach towards race. After all, right since the middle of the twentieth century, Newtown has been the place of refuge for artists, rebels, revolutionary leaders, musicians, dancers and poets, who expressed their sentiments through various arts during the Apartheid.

Top Spots to Satiate your Thirst for Shopping in Singapore

When in Singapore, shopping is almost irresistible. Brimming with world-class malls, lively markets, and independent boutiques, the island nation is a Mecca for shopaholics.

singaore

After all, shopping is Singapore’s national pastime. With so many options available, you must be wondering where to go to quench your thirst for shopping. To help you out, here is our guide to the top shopping spots in Singapore.

Orchard Road

Myriad shopping venues, great deals & discounts, and a festive vibe – this 2.2km shopping boulevard has all this and much more. Most of the malls and shopping venues here are interconnected by underground tunnels, promising an endless and delightful shopping experience. With shopping spots like the Orchard Store, Plaza Singapura, and ION Orchard, and an eclectic array of bars, food joints and entertainment venues, Orchard Road will charm you in myriad ways.

Haji Lane

When it comes to a vintage shopping experience in Singapore, there is hardly a better place than Haji Lane. This narrow alley in Kampong Glam is lined, on either side, with glittering boutiques selling a wide array of local items at reasonable prices. Some of the great buys here include winter-wear, accessories, handicrafts and household items. The place is also famous for its dining spots. Here, you can find a range of restaurants and street hawkers serving local and inter-continental delicacies. Some of the popular shopping stores here are Dulcetfig, Loft, Soon Lee, and Rusty Button.

Mustafa Centre, Little India

At Mustafa Centre, you can shop any time, even in the wee hours of the morning. Open round the clock and selling everything from ethnic jewellery and handicrafts to modern clothing and the latest electronics, Mustafa Centre is indeed one of the best shopping sites in Singapore. During daytime, the place is often overcrowded. So if you want to avoid the chaos and crowds, visit early in the morning or late at night.

Chinatown

If you are hunting for a good bargain, Singapore’s Chinatown won’t disappoint you. The market here is a treasure trove of souvenirs, spices, cheap clothes, jewellery and made-in-China gadgets. Of course, haggling is the key to crack a good deal. However, be polite and don’t argue with shopkeepers.