Monthly Archives: October 2016

Top Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka!

Rich and beautiful Ceylon, popularly called Sri Lanka, is a popular destination in Asia. The island country lures travellers with its myriad charms – it has serene golden beaches, lush mountains, grand historical attractions, and exotic wildlife to name a few.


While here, sip the world-famous Ceylon tea and also enjoy exotic ayurvedic spa experiences to collect memories of a lifetime. Check out some of the top reasons to book flights to this amazing country.

Spectacular Natural Beauty

Sri Lanka is blessed with diverse landscapes spread across and also extending beyond several national parks and nature reserves. It is surrounded by the ocean and has a majestic coastline punctuated by numerous pristine beaches, rocky coves, and lagoons. Also, there are dense forests, wetlands, waterfalls, and misty mountains. A true heaven for nature enthusiasts!

Diverse Wildlife

Wildlife spotting is one of the most famous activities here. The country shelters a variety of animals, birds, and marine species. It is home to the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site; the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and has around 14 national parks. You are likely to spot huge elephants, leopards, sloth bears, sambhar, spotted deer, and many other wild animals. A bird watcher’s paradise, the country is home to around 233 resident species and many migratory species.

Adventure sports

Sri Lanka’s wonderful landscapes make it a paradise for adventure seekers. The country’s long coastline makes it a perfect place for water-based sports such as wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing, and scuba-diving across popular sites such as Negombo, Wadduwa, Kalutara, and Beruwela. Go kayaking, white-water rafting, and canoeing on Kalu Ganga, Kelani Ganga, and scores of other rivers are also quite popular. Besides, here are plenty of trekking trails, with some of the most popular ones being at the Sinharaja rainforest, the cloud-forests of Horton Plains, and the Knuckles mountain range.


The delectable local cuisine is another highlight of a trip to Sri Lanka. The country is well endowed with the best of vegetation, including several kinds of rice, spices, vegetables, and fruits. So while here, enjoy its staple rice with an assortment of curries of eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, or fish. Don’t forget the local favourites; hoppers and pittu (a flour and coconut delicacy). Seafood aficionados will be spoilt for choice with abundant and fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid, and crayfish.

Historical Sites

The island country has a rich cultural heritage. It is home to around six World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO. Explore the likes of the sacred ruins of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, sacred temples of Dambulla and Kandy, and the historical and colonial heritage of Galle. Discover the gems of the ancient world with a tour of the ancient royal capital Kandy, which now houses the Sacred Temple of the Tooth.

Ayurveda & Spa

The relaxing and soothing Ayurvedic treatments and rejuvenating spa treatments are a must for travellers. Don’t leave the country without getting a massage. The massages truly rejuvenate one’s body, mind, and soul.

Enjoy India’s Cultural Celebration: Rann Utsav 2016-2017!


The vibrant cultural festival of Rann Utsav 2016-17 awaits you again at the sprawling Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. Explore this massive and heavenly place as it turns into a joyful celebration from 1st November, 2016 to 20th February, 2017.


Also known as the Rann of Kutch festival or the Kutch festival, an entire tent city is set up by the Gujarat tourism department during the festival.


The festival is very popular with tourists and thousands from across the world who come to witness the festivities of this amazing cultural event. This unique festival acts as a great opportunity for visitors to witness the splendour of the great Rann of Kutch desert in all its glory. Nearby attractions include historical palaces, tribal villages, and temples. One may also spot wildlife, including colourful birds.

Some of the most popular nearby attractions are listed below.

Aina Mahal

Visit the Aina Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors, which is located close to the Hamirsar Lake in Bhuj. Marvel at the 18th century palace’s Indo-European artistry and the white marble walls covered with mirrors and gilded ornaments. Also admire its other outstanding features such as the Venetian glass candelabra and the pleasure pool.

Kala Dungar

Travel to the highest point in Kutch, the Kala Dungar, which is about 95 kms from Bhuj. Visitors come to this place to view the spectacular sunset over the white desert from the sunset point. Travellers can also visit the temple known as the Dattatreya Temple here. The journey itself to the Kala Dungar offers amazing photo opportunities.

Vijay Vilas Palace

The Vijay Vilas Palace is a must visit attraction for travellers visiting Rann of Kutch. The palace was built in 1929 and reflects the fusion of local Kutch, Rajasthan, and Bengal architectural styles. Surrounded by around 450 acres of greenery, the palace boasts around 2 kilometres of private beach. Many blockbuster Bollywood movies have been filmed at this beautiful palace.

Mandvi Beach

The secluded and peaceful Mandvi Beach stretches along the Gujarat coastline. The beach is situated close to the Kashi – Vishvanath Temple due to which it is also called the Kashi – Vishvanath Beach. Marvel at the golden sands and enjoy the cool, breezy waters of the Mandvi Beach. Travellers can also enjoy a camel ride here.

Swaminarayan Temple

This beautiful example of Indian temple architecture is located near the Ramkund step well and the Alfred High school. The spot where the temple is built marks the place where Swaminarayan used to sit with local holy men in Bhuj. The temple contains wood carvings showing Lord Krishna and Radha.

Charming Not to be Missed Places in Cebu, Philippines


Charming Not to be Missed Places in Cebu, Philippines, scuba diving spots, historical attractions, and numerous luxury resorts. It is a very popular destination in the Philippines; let’s take a quick look at some of the most famous places in Cebu.

Bantayan Island and its Beaches

Visit the picturesque Bantayan Island and relax along its sunny tropical beaches. The beaches of Bantayan Island are among some of the most pristine ones. Once there, you can enjoy the hard to find combination of beauty and isolation together. Enjoy a laidback holiday here.

Magellan’s Cross

The Magellan’s Cross is a well-known historical landmark in Cebu. It is a wooden cross that was put in place by the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan who brought Catholicism to the Philippines. Today, it is part of a chapel located close to Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino on Magallanes Street.

Basilica Minor del Santo Niño

Visit the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño, or the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child, in Cebu. It is said to be the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines. The church was constructed on the site where the image of Santo Niño de Cebu was discovered by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.

Mactan Island

The Mactan Island is a beautiful coral island, which is known for its scuba diving spots and as a stunning beach retreat. The island is famous with travellers for its pristine beaches and five star beach resorts. A perfect leisure getaway to spend a few relaxing moments!

Olango Wildlife Sanctuary

Avid birdwatchers should not forget to visit the Olango Wildlife Sanctuary at the Olango Island. The island is full of exotic migratory birds from Siberia, Northern China, and Japan. Olango is used by these migratory birds as an important wintering ground. You will definitely spot rare and exotic birds at this bird watcher’s paradise.

Taoist Temple

The Taoist Temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Beverly Hills, Cebu. It was constructed by the local Chinese community and is open to ardent devotees as well as tourists. The teachings of a famous Chinese philosopher called Lao-Tse are preserved here. The teachings are said to date back to 600 B.C. You may light joss sticks and worship here but you will need to climb 81 stairs.

The Heritage of Cebu Monument

Visit the Heritage of Cebu Monument to revisit the history of this beautiful island country. The monument is located in the original Plaza Parain and has sculptures depicting the significant and symbolic events that have happened in the history of the province.

Explore the Charms of Sharm-El-Sheikh


The picture-perfect seaside city of Sharm-El-Sheikh is located in the southern region of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The destination is well known for its scenic beauty accentuated by the Red Sea and the mountainous appeal of St.


Catherine and Mount Sinai. The City of Peace, as it’s often referred to, is a popular holiday destination among travellers visiting Egypt. Read on to know about some of the major attractions of this peaceful and scenic city.

Ras Mohammed National Park

A must-visit attraction, the Ras Mohammed National Park is a nature reserve sprawling across nearly 480 square kilometres of serene deserts, pearly white beaches, and several exotic dive and snorkelling sites such as Shark Reef, Anemone City, and Jackfish Alley. Here, you can explore the vivid waters of the Red Sea containing coral-reefs, over 1,000 species of fish, and a plethora of other aquatic creatures such as hammerheads, manta rays, and whale sharks. Visit its Main Beach for a memorable snorkelling experience, camp at the Khashaba Beach, swim at the Salt Lake, or relax by the Marsa Bareika. Besides, you may also explore the mangrove forests of the Mangrove Channel; there is sure a lot to do at the Ras Mohammed National Park.

Naama Bay

One of the most popular attractions is the Naama Bay; a long, sandy natural bay in Sharm El Sheikh. The place teems with tourists, particularly in the evenings. Stroll along its fully developed shoreline along the well-paved walkway covered with bougainvillaea and oleander on the sides. The Naama Bay also contains local bazaars, restaurants, bars, and ‘Sheesha’ cafes.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Travellers should visit the historical site of Saint Catherine’s Monastery, which is located at the foot of Mount Sinai. Explore this ancient monastery, which is considered to be one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. It is also a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site and has the oldest operating library in the world.

Ras Um Sid Cliff

The Ras Um Sid Cliff is a very high cliff-top location with several hotels and links the Na’ama Bay to the bay of Sharm El Maya. Visit this region and marvel at its vibrant and abundant coral reefs that make it so popular.

Sharm El Maya

Visit the Sharm El Maya, or the old town of Sharm El Sheikh. It is a stunning bay, which acts as a natural harbour. Check out its beach area, which has been recently developed and boasts several 5 star hotels.

Travel Trolley Announces Instagram PhotoedAt Contest Winner

Firstly, thank you to everyone who participated in our Instagram #PhotoedAt contest (! We received dozens of entries and it was indeed a difficult task selecting our final winner. However, our panel of judges, including members of Travel Trolley’s Social Media team, selected Edita Mikutenaite (@devido888) as the winner of #PhotoedAt contest based on how well her photograph demonstrates the entry requirements.

Congratulations to Edita! She will win a £150 holiday voucher from Travel Trolley!  Here is her winning entry.


Here are some of the other impressive contest entries.


Click to see all contest entries.

Follow Travel Trolley on Social Media. We have many more contests and giveaways coming up. Stay tuned.

Five Places for a Luxurious Hunting Experience

The patience and thrill of locating your quarry and lining it up in the sights of your gun, the heart thudding moment when you squeeze the trigger, the heady smell of burnt gunpowder, and the satisfaction of making a clean kill – only a hunter can appreciate these feelings.


If you want to go hunting but are not ready to rough it out in jungles, there are many options for you. Sounds interesting? Well, we have picked a handful of luxury hunting resorts from different parts of the world, where you can enjoy the sport without facing the discomforts of a jungle life.

Barnsley Gardens – Adairsville, Georgia

Barnsley Gardens found its way into Conde Nast Traveller’s list of Top Places to Stay in the World. This sprawling resort has 30 acres of heirloom gardens, shooting grounds, and historical ruins. The 33 Old World English cottages and 87 guest suites all but scream luxury. The scenery is perfect for wingshooting. Well, this is what many veteran hunters have to say about the place.

Three Forks Hunting Ranch – Savery, Wyoming

The 50,000 private acres of Colorado countryside here are well stocked with game by way of antelope, elk, and deer. After a deeply satiating day of hunting, it feels great to return to the ranch’s comforting old world charm characterised by open fireplaces, stone walls, hand carved European panelling, beamed cathedral ceilings, and plaid armchairs. The ranch also has an in-house spa and a world-class restaurant.

Tarr Farm – Dulverton, Exmoor, England

Now, this place is said to be one of the best spots for hunting in Europe and many guests claim that the facilities are simply five-star. The restaurant serves wonderful varieties of meats and the roast saddle of venison is especially recommended. Besides, there are facilities for abseiling, biking, fishing, hiking, horse riding, kayaking, and rock climbing. Take your pick from nine unbelievably luxurious rooms and enjoy amenities such as organic bath products, DVD players, and Egyptian cotton sheets.

The Aloes Camp – South Africa

The Aloes Camp by IKAMVA Safaris is one of the world’s most luxurious hunting lodges. A professional hunter will help you bag a variety of game such as wildebeest, fallow deer, bushpig, and black-backed jackal. Originally built as a farmhouse in 1870, this place has been sufficiently renovated to ensure a rustic yet luxurious experience. Make sure that you try the fillet of wildebeest marinated in South African spices at the restaurant here

Glenroy Hunting Lodge – Queenstown, New Zealand

Glenroy Hunting Lodge is a wonderful choice if you are travelling in a group of 10-12 hunting buddies. With its own spa pool as well as house bar and a large barbecue area, Glenroy Hunting Lodge is the largest private hunting reserve in New Zealand. The feeling of setting out in the morning with your shotgun is indescribably exhilarating as you go looking for American elk, fallow deer, Himalayan tahr, and red stags.

Get Set for Dubai Shopping Festival 2017!


Get ready to attend the Mecca of all shopping festivals: the Dubai Shopping Festival 2017! This month long event is an extravagant shopping festival packed with amazing activities and festivities to keep you on your toes. The Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 will mark the 22nd anniversary of this amazing shopping and entertainment event. Billed as one of the largest shopping festivals in the Middle East, the event offers discounts up to 75%.


The Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 will be held from 26th December, 2016 to 28th January, 2017. It is one of the longest running shopping festivals across the world.


The event is a major tourist attraction in Dubai, not just for shopping, but also for vibrant festivities involving spectacular fireworks, fashion flash mobs, film screenings, and street plays.


There is not one single venue for the event, but the festival is held across all shopping avenues such as shopping malls, traditional souks, and flea markets across the city of Dubai. Travellers will see special deals and offers at all shops, big or small, to attract visitors. The entire city revels in this international shopping bonanza, with not just shops, but also restaurants and hotels offering irresistible discounts and deals.

What Are The Best Things To Buy?

You’ll feel dizzy at the plethora of things being sold during the event across the city. So, here is a simplified list of the best things to keep an eye for during the event.

Clothing – From designer clothes to international brands to local creations – there is something for everyone.

Gold – Dubai is already a popular destination to buy tax free gold at cheaper rates. This festival takes the incentive even further and lets you buy gold jewellery, ranging from traditional to modern designs, as per your needs.

Cosmetics – Ladies, it will be criminal not to buy international beauty brands such as Chanel, Bvlgari, Estee Lauder, and Bobbi Brown at cheaper rates during the festival.

Perfumes – Buy duty free premium perfumes brands such as Bvlgari, Chanel, Burberry at discounts.

Watches – Be it non-branded diamond-studded watches or branded watches such as Cartier, Rado or Burberry, buy all these at discounted rates.

Leather Goods – Buy Dubai’s best quality leather products, including bags, belts and jackets, or choose from international leather brands such as Condotti, Burberry, and Prada!

Home Decor – Bag beautiful home decor items including amazing floor carpets at 50 or even 75% discounts.

Electronics – Reputed international electronic brands such as Sony, Bose, Apple, Acer, and Fujitsu can be bought at very low prices here.

Local Produce – Buy local specialities such as spices and dry fruits at discounts at local stores and shops.

What Else to Look Out For?

The amazing festival is not all about shopping and sales. During the festival, the city of Dubai turns into a cultural hub with many celebrity performances, fireworks, international fashion shows, and rock concerts at cultural centres across the city. Some of the other major attractions to look out for at Dubai Shopping Festival 2017 are as follows.

•    Be sure to witness the vibrant fireworks held at night during the festival.

•    Many local companies also offer amazing desert safaris, hot air balloon rides, and dune bashing experiences as part of the festival.

•    There are several world-class concerts, musical shows, and acrobatic performances held at cultural centres during the event.

•    Learn about the latest fashion treads at fashion shows of leading international designers and brands at various venues across the city.

Unravel Ancient Mysteries in Cairo


The mention of Egypt’s capital city Cairo brings to mind the mysterious, ancient and awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza. This bustling city is a popular travel destination due to its endless list of historical attractions. Some of these world famous historical attractions are well-preserved while some are in half dilapidated condition. However, these are all-time favourites. Listed below are some of Egypt’s pearls of the ancient world.

Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are undoubtedly the most popular and most visited attraction in Egypt, let alone its capital Cairo. The Pyramids of Giza are a collection of three primary pyramids or mortuary monuments, which were built around 4,500 years ago. Admire the architecture of the Pyramid of Cheops, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, which is the biggest pyramid of the three. Travellers can explore the interiors of its narrow passages, which contain a tomb chamber and a sarcophagus. The Pyramid of Chephren, popular as the Pyramid of Khefre, is the second pyramid. The Pyramid of Mycerinus, also known as the Pyramid of Menkaure, is the third and the smallest pyramid of the three.

Great Sphinx

Lying close to the Pyramids of Giza is the lion-bodied and pharaoh-faced Sphinx. Another world-famous and must-visit attraction, the Sphinx is said to be the guard of the Pyramids of Giza! Admire this ancient sculpture, which has a massive height of 66 feet and is 234 feet long. The monument is flanked by two ancient temples; one belongs to the Old Kingdom, while the other belongs to the New Kingdom.

Al-Azhar Mosque

Visit the serene Al-Azhar Mosque located in the centre of the Islamic Cairo district in Cairo. The mosque is a fine example of ancient architecture and is said to be one of the earliest surviving mosques in Cairo. Enter from the main entrance, the Gate of the Barbers, and reach the central courtyard to soak in fantastic views of the five minarets of the mosque. Walk through the courtyard to the main prayer hall, which covers a massive area of 3,000 square meters.


Another marvellous ancient site in Cairo, the Saqqara is located between Giza and Dahshur in southern Cairo. Saqqara is home to the oldest stone pyramid in Egypt, the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The archaeological site, surrounded by palm trees, houses the Step Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt’s oldest stone pyramid. The Step Pyramid is believed to have been built for pharaoh Djoser by architect Imhotep. The monument contains beautiful ancient graffiti on its walls.

The Citadel

Visit Cairo’s equally mystifying ancient site of the Citadel, which is located at the foot of the Mokattam Hills in Cairo. The Citadel contains many ancient monuments including the famous Mosque of Muhammad Ali, also popular as the Alabaster Mosque, the El-Nasir Mosque, and the Gawhara Terrace among others.

Experience Chicago without Shelling Out a Dime!!

Staying at luxury hotels and dining in expensive restaurants is not the only way to enjoy your trip. As they say, ‘the best things in life are free’ and soaking in the beauty and culture of a new destination can also include free attractions.


Chicago too offers plenty of interesting attractions to tourists and locals alike for which you don’t have to shell out a dime. Our list below will give you some ways to have fun in the ‘Windy City’ free of cost.

The Highest Church in the World

Visit the First United Methodist Church located at the Chicago Temple Building in Chicago. The church, also known as ‘the Chapel in the Sky’, is located at the base and the topmost floors of a 568 ft high skyscraper.

Lincoln Park Zoo

A visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo will be a rewarding experience for travellers. The zoo is home to over 1,200 animals and can be visited for free. Explore its Kovler Lion House or visit the Regenstein Center to spot African apes.

Harold Washington Library Center

A paradise for book worms, the Harold Washington Library, is one of the world’s largest public libraries. One need not buy a ticket to enter this huge library, which houses more than 13 million published works. Travellers can also enjoy exploring the other attractions at the centre such as architecture, the Winter Garden on the 9th floor, or the art collection of more than 50 national and international artists.

Millennium Park

A number of free events are held at the Millennium Park such as concerts, festivals, and art shows. Marvel at its collection of iconic structures, including the Cloud Gate, or the Bean and the Crown Fountain.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago’s new Riverwalk is a blessing for those seeking free or affordable fun. All along the Riverwalk, there are great options to eat and drink and have lots of fun. Enjoy the views of a bridge, which lifts from within a bridge house. Also explore the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum and marvel at the famous architecture installed all along the Chicago River.

Chicago Botanic Garden

This fantastic getaway for nature lovers lets you discover the gems of Chicago Botanic Garden for free as you stroll through the garden. Explore its small islands of water plants and 24 stunning landscapes, which include the Japanese Garden and the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden.

Parks & Beaches

We saved the best one for the last! Chicago has plenty of beautiful public parks and lively beaches that are accessible free of cost. Play in lagoons at Humboldt Park, visit the Cricket Hill of Lincoln Park, fish in the ponds of Washington Park, or stroll amidst the relaxing environs of the Japanese-styled Osaka Garden of the Jackson Park. Beach bums can flock to the fantastic beaches along the coast of Lake Michigan.

Spectacular Surfing Spots Across South Africa


South Africa is a popular tourist destination for beach bums and surfing enthusiasts due to its nearly 3000 kilometre coastline famed for waters with great swells and waves. It has become a Mecca of sorts for the high adrenaline water sport – surfing! The fact that the sport has become an important part of its culture is an added advantage for surfers visiting the beaches to collect some great surfing memories. Some of the most stunning surfing spots across the country are mentioned below. So go ahead and book your flight to enjoy surfing.

Jeffrey’s Bay

Jeffrey’s Bay is a world famous surfing spot in South Africa. Surfers from all over the world visit the spot to surf on its consistent tubes and supertubes waves. The place also hosts the famous international surfing event, the Billabong pro surfing challenge at Supertubes every year.


The popular fishing town of Gansbaai, which is located in Southern Cape, is a good and less crowded surfing spot in the country. Just watch out for the Great White Sharks. The waters around this town offer some big waves.


The Dungeons is a famous surfing spot for seasoned surfers. Beginners should best leave this spot alone! The spot offers huge waves and swells that categorises it as one of the ‘big wave’ spots in the world.  The swells and waves it creates can reach as high as 15-30 feet. Body surfing is another popular activity here.

Durban Cave Rock

This is the place to head to if you want to surf alongside the locals. This welcoming surfing spot comes alive with locals and foreign surfers particularly during the months of April to September each year. The place is ideal for experienced surfers and is frequented by the braver local surfers used to its swells and waves.

Eland’s Bay

This fantastic surfing spot, the Eland’s Bay, has everything to make it a surfer’s paradise. There are some reasonably priced hotels and guest-houses and a campsite for backpackers and picture-perfect beach beauty. Summer months are the best time to visit the place to surf on fine waves and swells. Only experienced surfers should surf in its waters.

Long Beach

The Long Beach is well-known to offer some of the country’s best and most consistent shore breaks. The beach is quite popular with surfers as at some spots it offers small to medium swells for beginners and less experienced surfers as well as huge swells for the more experienced and daring surfers.

Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty in Durban is a popular surfing spot, which offers waves and swells for all levels of surfers. The waves here are consistent on most of the days at most of the times. Surfers can choose a spot according to their comfort levels and enjoy world class surfing experience.