Monthly Archives: June 2015

New York is All Set for the Fourth of July Celebrations

new-yorkFourth of July, the Independence Day of the USA, is perhaps the best time to experience the lively culture of New York City. Fireworks are a big highlight of America’s Independence Day celebrations. Besides, the city hosts a variety of events and activities you can be a part of.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

In 2015, the venue for the action is the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the east side of Lower Manhattan are the spots to enjoy this jaw-dropping show. The show starts at 9pm but people are here as early as 5pm to grab the best spots for watching the show.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

This eating contest, at Coney Island, needs a special mention among all the events that New York City hosts on the Independence Day. Contestants have to eat as many hot dogs as possible in 10 minutes. There is no entry fee to watch contestants eating hot dogs and buns at an unbelievable speed. The record of eating 69 hot dogs and buns was set by Joey Chestnut in 2013.  Joey Chestnut is winning the contest since 2007.

Annual Fourth of July Beach Party

This beach party offers you another reason to visit Coney Island. Into its third year, this annual beach party offers loads of entertainment and engagement for everyone. Live music, delicious food, a variety of beers, and fireworks are a few of the highlights of this beach party.

Indie Fest

Also known as Indie-Pendence Day, this music festival is a marathon of concerts and comedy shows. Visit the Peoples Impov Theatre at 12 noon to catch up the first show of the day. Besides stage shows, the Indie Fest is popular for its annual Potluck BBQ and free jam session at midnight. One needs to buy tickets for the shows but the jam session is free.

Tongariro National Park – A Glimpse of the Natural and Adventurous Side of New Zealand

Tongariro-National-ParkNew Zealand is home to many national parks but Tongariro National Park is somewhat special as it features a dual world heritage area. It is also the oldest national park in the Kiwi nation and is home to the most popular hiking sites in the country. Let’s check out what entices travellers to this national park.

Volcanic Mountains

Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro are three volcanic mountains in this national park.

Mt Ruapehu: If you are a ski lover, you will end up spending most of your time at Whakapapaa and Turao, the largest ski fields in New Zealand. The Sacred Crater Lake is surrounded by snow and ice; there are only three such lakes in the world.

Mt Ngauruhoe: This is the most active volcano in New Zealand and the youngest among the three volcanic mountains in the national park. Hikers often climb the mountain from the western side but if you are looking for a challenging trek, try from the northern side.

Mt Tongariro: The most notable aspect of this mountain is Tongariro Alpine Crossing tracks that allure numerous hikers and trekkers all through the year.


Besides being the Carrot Capital of New Zealand, Ohakune also serves as an important base for adventure activities in Tongariro National Park. Summer is the best time to visit this town as you can be a part of various activities such as white water rafting, 4WD driving, mountain biking, canoeing and of course, hiking. Ohakune also hosts popular events such as Annual Carrot Carnival and Mardi Gras.

Whakapapa Village Area

This area is located at the base of Mt Ruapehu and serves as the main entrance to the Tongariro National Park. From here you can capture the captivating views of the volcanic mountains. It also has a variety of tracks for hiking and trekking. These tracks are suitable for people with different skill levels. The range of service here includes a visitor centre, bars, cafés and restaurants.

Top Four Attractions for History Lovers Visiting Thailand

Thailand is as famous for its historical treasures as it is for its beaches and nightlife. Numerous temples and monuments built across the country impress the visitors with their unique architectural beauty and grand historical significance. If you love exploring age-old treasures, here are some must-visit sites for you in Thailand.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

bangkokrand Palace is one of the most magnificent and probably the most revered historical structure in Thailand. It boasts a cluster of royal halls, temples, gardens, and ancient relics, which leave visitors in awe with their spectacular architecture and intricate designs. Wat Phra Kaew is a popular tourist attraction inside the palace. Visit the temple to admire the revered Emerald Buddha statue.  The Outer Court, near the entrance, is also worth visiting.

Sukhothai Old City

SukhothaiSukhothai Old City is renowned for its age-old temples and monuments, most of which are now in ruins. The city has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit place for history enthusiasts planning holidays in Thailand. Apart from admiring the historical treasures, tourists in Sukhothai can learn about the region’s interesting culture at the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.

Wat Arun

Located in the Bangkok Yai District, overlooking the historical Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a beautiful temple in Bangkok. Apart from its religious significance, the temple is also famous from an architectural perspective. It has five mammoth spires, which are extravagantly adorned with colourful seashells and porcelain. The central spire is around 85 metres high.

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Once home to the monarchs of Thailand, Ayutthaya Historical Park is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park consists of many beautiful temples, palaces and buildings that depict the rich cultural heritage of Ayutthaya region. Make sure you visit the Wat Mahathat – famous for the sculpture of a Buddha head entwined amidst tree roots. Other major attractions inside the park include Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Royal Elephant Kraal, and Wat Lokayasutha. Guided tours are arranged by many local travel agencies.

Five Bewitching Places in Thailand beyond Bangkok

Yes, Bangkok is gorgeous and probably the most sought after tourist spot in Thailand. But there is a lot more to Thailand than the cultural and cosmopolitan charms of Bangkok. From pristine beaches to exotic wildlife and fascinating cultural heritage, here’s a glimpse of what awaits you in Thailand other than the “City of Angels”.

Chiang Mai

chiang-maif you love history and nature, Chiang Mai is the place to be. Known for its age-old temples, interesting bazaars, and beautiful surroundings of lush forests, lofty mountains and gushing waterfalls, Chiang Mai is a holidaymaker’s delight. It is about 700kms from Bangkok and is easily accessible by trains (from Bangkok).

Koh Phi Phi


One of the most beautiful beach resorts in Thailand, Koh Phi Phi is popular amongst honeymooners and leisure travellers alike. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing at Monkey Beach, or try snorkelling to explore the region’s fascinating marine life. Long Beach is another popular attraction here, known for its serene beauty and gorgeous sunset views.

Sukhothai Old City

This ancient capital of Thailand boasts some of the most magnificent historical structures in the country. Though, most of the monuments and temples are now in ruins, they still stand proud and depict the rich cultural heritage of Thailand. Sukhothai Old City is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some must visit attractions include Wat Mahathat, Wat Sra Si, Wat Phra Pai Luang, and Ramkhamhaeng Museum.


Kanchanaburi is famous for its magnificent landscapes and charming culture. Only two hours from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi boasts many natural wonders that it stuns even the most discerning of travellers. Trek to the nearby lush forests to enjoy the region’s rich wilderness and exotic wildlife. Many beautiful waterfalls, age-old caves, tranquil rivers and trekking trails in the area make for a perfect adventurous holiday.

Phang Nga


With many virgin beaches, spectacular bays and enthralling marine life, Phang Nga is a wonderful choice for the ones seeking fun by the sun, sand, and the surf. As many of the bays here are sheltered and brim with amazing coral reefs and other aqua species, scuba diving and snorkelling are two highly popular activities at Phang Nga. Avid explorers would love to visit the Phang Nga Bay National Park and explore its many geological wonders including sunken caverns and startling rock formations.

Glamping in Ranthambore National Park: An Experience like No Other!

Ranthambore National Park is fast emerging as a popular glamping destination in India. With plenty of resorts and well-appointed luxury tents promising a delightful stay amidst the wilderness of the region, the nature reserve draws glamping-enthusiasts from far and wide.

ranthamboore First, what’s glamping?

Glamping, or glamorous camping, is one of the latest travel trends, fast catching the attention of discerning modern travellers. A blend of glamorous stay and camping, glamping ensures that travellers experience nature’s touch without compromising on the comforts of a luxury hotel.

Glamping Experience in Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is one of largest and most beautiful nature reserves in India. While tiger spotting is the biggest draw of this national park, spectacular scenery and peaceful atmosphere also leave an indelible imprint on the minds of visitors. There are many luxury resorts in and around the park that feature luxury tents for the guests to enjoy outdoor camping. These places offer many modern amenities and personalized service.

Popular Options for Glamping in the Park

The Oberoi Vanyavilas: With 25 luxury tents set amidst lush green gardens, a well-equipped spa, multi-cuisine restaurants, and an array of recreational activities, the Oberoi Vanyavilas promises you a glamping experience like no other. The regal Rajasthani hospitality makes the experience all the more gratifying.


Sher Bagh: This Sujan property is perfect for those who are looking for an authentic jungle experience. Surrounded by lush green forests, the 12 hand-stitched tents feature everything to make the guests feel like royalty. Enjoy drinking and dining at the alfresco bar and embark on a safari arranged by the camp to spot tigers and other exotic animals of the park.

Jungle Niwas: Located in Khiljipur Ranthambore, Jungle Niwas blends modern luxury with traditional Rajasthani hospitality. The unforgettable ambience is well complemented by breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and forests. Furthermore, guests can enjoy romantic meals at its al fresco bar and restaurant, and explore the nearby area on guided walks arranged by the resort.

Top 3 Destinations for Dolphin Encounters in the Bahamas

The crystal clear waters of the Bahamas are home to numerous interesting marine animals, including the dolphins. There are many areas in this Caribbean nation where you can spot dolphins; at these destinations, you can watch dolphin shows at dedicated facilities or spot these gracious creatures frolic in the sea.



At the Bahamian capital, you have two options to meet the friendly dolphins – Dolphin Encounters and Ocean Explorer.

Dolphin Encounters: Blue Lagoon is the place in Nassau to be a part of this fun-filled interactive educational programme where you can admire, touch, hug and feed the beautiful dolphins. Besides Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, Sea Lion encounters are also available here.

Ocean Explorer: MV Ocean Explorer is an incredible vessel for cruise and dive tours. Hire one to sail through the waters around Nassau and dive with experts to take a closer look at wild dolphins. These tours also offer the chance to explore shipwrecks and fascinating coral reefs.

Grand Bahama Island


UNEXSO is the most notable highlight of Freeport Grand Bahama. Tourists visiting Grand Bahama may meet dolphins in a protected lagoon, while enjoying scuba diving. There are numerous ship wrecks just a few minutes from the coast. Board one of the UNEXSO’s boats to explore shipwrecks like Theo’s Wreck, the La Rose and Sea Star. Some of the most prominent highlights of UNEXSO include diving into the unknown at Ben’s Cavern, feeding Caribbean reef sharks, and of course, dolphin encounters.


Brendal’s Dive Center is a hot spot for diving enthusiasts in Abaco, one of the most popular islands in the Bahamas. This centre is situated at the historic Green Turtle Cay, which is home to kaleidoscopic marine life. This diving centre has several packages to explore the underwater world but wild Dolphin Encounter Package always tops the wish list of divers and snorkellers interested in admiring dolphins in their natural habitat. Usually, this two-day tour includes a dedicated Adventure Day to dive/snorkel with dolphins.

Top Activities for a Memorable Holiday Experience in Los Cabos, Mexico

Blessed with a fascinating natural grandeur, Los Cabos is fast becoming a renowned tourist spot in Mexico. The lively coastal city is nestled on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula and bewitches tourists with its white sandy beaches, delightful dining scene and an array of enthralling water sports suitable for people of all ages. Scroll down to know more about the popular tourist activities in Los Cabos.


Fun in the Sun and Sea

Los Cabos is a paradise for beach bummers. The white sandy beaches here feature captivating natural vistas and at the same time, offer countless ways to keep the tourists happily occupied. Hire a boat and go angling in its world-famous fishing zone. Try scuba-diving to explore the amazing coral reefs and captivating marine life in the Pacific Ocean. Or stroll around the beaches to simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea and rock formations. During winters, Los Cabos offers whale watching experiences as well.

Sample Local Culture and Cuisines


Mexico is globally acclaimed for its invigorating culture and cuisine, and Los Cabos is no exception. Head to Mi Casa, near the town square, to satiate you appetite for delicious Mexican food. Try “Chiles en Nogada”, a local favourite dish that features the colours of the Mexican flag. An array of restaurants, cafes and bars at Cabo Wabo also make the city a hedonist’s delight. For immersing in lively local culture, try partying at beach-side bars, preferably El Squid Roe.

Shop Till you Drop

No trip to Los Cabos is complete without a little retail therapy. From quaint markets to flashy malls and an array of interesting boutiques, San Jose del Cabo has it all and enthrals shopaholics of all budgets and tastes. Some superb places to shop in the city include Luxury Avenue, Plaza Puerto Paraiso, and UltraFemme.

Pamper Yourself with a Spa Session

Los Cabos ranks amongst the best spa destinations in Mexico. Whether you are looking for luxurious spa treatments or just want to unwind on the beach-side with a reviving massage session, this Mexican city has something to rejuvenate every spa-goer. Check out the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa where a five-star spa offers world-class therapies and treatments. Casa Dorada, Armonia Spa and MexSun Spa are other wonderful places to pamper your body and mind.

Oldest and Most Popular Buddhist Monasteries in Ladakh, India


Apart from its breathtaking topography and tranquil atmosphere, India’s Ladakh is revered for its rich cultural heritage. A number of beautiful monasteries that dot this high altitude region serve as a window to the Buddhist way of life and draw culture enthusiasts from far and wide. The stupendous architectural beauty of these ancient structures leaves an indelible impression upon visitors. Here is a quick rundown on some of the oldest and most captivating monasteries in Ladakh.


Hemis Monastery

This is the largest monastery in Ladakh and is well known for its picturesque location. The monastery is also famous for its age-old museum that holds meticulously preserved sacred Buddhist artefacts. The monastery was founded in 1630 A.D. Inside the monastery, there are plenty of Buddha statues, and beautiful murals and sculptures. Every year, the famous Hemis Festival is celebrated here.

Spituk Monastery

This 11th century monastery is built on the side of a hill, about 7kms southwest of Leh. Also known as Spituk Gompa, it features a beautiful mix of halls, stupas and sculptures. More than a hundred monks stay in the monetary. During the annual Spituk Gustor Festival, these monks perform wonderful dances representing the victory of good over evil. Popular attractions include the Maitreya Temple that houses a massive Buddha statue, and a newly constructed gompa within the monastery complex.

Alchi Monastery

What makes this monastery different from the others in the region is the fact that it is built on flat ground instead of on a hill top. The architectural beauty of this multi-storeyed building is quite impressive. The monastery complex is full of beautiful Buddha statues and various interesting structures. One such structure is the temple of Manjushri, famed for its collection of paintings and sculptures by Rinchen Zangpo, a famous translator of Sanskrit Buddhist texts into Tibetan. The Monastery is said to have been built around the 12th century and is located about 70kms west of Leh.

Phyang Monastery

Surrounded by lofty hills and situated about 17kms west of Leh, this ancient and sacred monastery belongs to the Dri-gung-pa sect of Buddhism. It has a 900-year old museum with a lovely collection of old paintings, murals, weapons and Buddhist artefacts. Phyang Monastery also runs a school, where modern education is combined with Buddhist studies.

Three Popular Ways to make the Most of Your Vacation to Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, a beautiful tourist hub in Northern Thailand, packs in so many enthralling attractions that even the most discerning traveller is left craving for more. Besides picturesque landscapes that abound the region, you’ll be enthralled by the city’s interesting cultural heritage, laid-back lifestyle, breathtaking architecture and a fast-mushrooming café culture. Here are three most popular ways to make the most of your Chiang Mai holidays.


Exploring Nature and Adventure

While trekking through the forest-clad hills is the most popular activity, plenty of other natural attractions in the region are also worth exploring. Visit the Mae Sa Waterfall in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park for a peaceful retreat away from the mundane city chaos. Baanchang Elephant Park is another place to head to if you’re inclined towards nature and wildlife. A visit to the area’s interesting hill tribe village is your chance to admire their own unique language, clothing style, and belief systems.

Old City Tour

With over 300 historical temples, and plenty of museums, monuments and galleries, Chiang Mai is a place where the history and heritage of Northern Thailand comes to life. Take a guided tour of the Old City to see some of the most acclaimed temples in Thailand. Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Jet Yod are just some of the prominent ones. A couple of highly popular museums amongst many others are the Chiang Mai National Museum and Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre.

Shopping at Night Markets

Chiang Mai is rightly called a shopaholic’s paradise. Apart from an array of boutique shops and trendy malls, there are buzzing night markets where you can shop till you drop. From unique souvenirs and handicrafts to trendy clothes and bags, the night markets sell everything. Some popular options for a delightful shopping experience include the main Night Bazaar, the Chang Khlan market, and Kalare Night Market. Foodies should not miss the Talat Warorot, the oldest market in Chiang Mai. Here, you can look forward to some of the best culinary delights in Chiang Mai.

Hemis Festival: Another Enthralling Reason to Visit Ladakh

June is probably the best time to visit Ladakh, the largest region in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The warm weather is perfect to explore the region’s unbelievable natural beauty. It is also the time when Ladakh celebrates the much-awaited Hemis Festival at the famous Hemis Gompa. Depicting the region’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage, the fascinating Hemis Festival draws culture-enthusiasts from far and wide. In 2015, the carnival will be held on 26th and 27th June.



Celebrating the birth anniversary of the great Buddhist leader, Guru Padmasambhava, this two-day carnival has a lot in store for the visitors. The Hemis Gompa where this festival takes place comes alive with loads of music and dancing. The ceremony begins at dawn, and showcases the glory of Buddhism with lots of drum beating and clashing of cymbals. The ceremony is followed by the unique dance performance by masked Lamas. The performers gather around the central flagpole and dance in enchanting ways. This performance is the main highlight of Hemis Festival, and is something that never fails to enthral visitors.

Shopping for a variety of souvenirs and handicrafts is another highlight of the festival. You can pick from a range of hand-made shawls, traditional ornaments, and various other items sold at numerous stalls and shops at the fair. Make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to try out the local delicacies.

Hemis-GompaAbout Hemis Gompa

Situated 45kms from Leh, Hemis Gompa is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Jammu & Kashmir. Apart from its unique architectural beauty, the gompa is famous for its awe-inspiring collection of historical paintings, artefacts and Thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings). Inside the gompa are many statues, including the large, ornamented statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava).

How to Reach There

Leh has an airport with regular flights from Delhi, the national capital of India.  From Leh Airport, tourists can hire taxis or board buses to reach Hemis Monastery. Buses and taxis are easily available right outside the airport terminal.