Articles

Let’s Go to India: All You Need to Know About India

Some people love to travel and if you are one of them, you should not forget to include India in your travel destinations. You can either find fascinating travel locations that you can visit by yourself or join the tours given by the different travel agencies, such as Travel Treasures Tour. If you want to make the most out of your travel in India, there are some things that you need to do and consider. Once you’re through, you can enjoy a holiday in India.

The very first to do is to conduct background reading about India. This will help in familiarizing yourself with the foreign country. The living conditions in India are also quite good. You can find five and four-star hotels offering international standards. Palace hotels have garnered a world status that can’t be compared to other hotels around the globe. For the budget traveller, you can check-in in three-star hotels. You can also find tourist bungalows, traveller’s lodges, youth hotels, holiday homes, and YWCA/YMCA’s.

For a worry-free traveller, you need to make arrangements in advance. October until March are considered the peak tourist season, while from May until June is the season of the Indian holiday. If you plan to travel during these months, it is highly advisable that you book in advance because at this time there are limited travel amenities.

If you want, you can also learn the local language, but English is used in all the tourist centres. The Indian locals are gracious and friendly. Now, if you find staring a bit rude, just relax if the locals stare at you because it is natural for them. However, you should not let your guard down because you will never know what can happen. Try to be friendly with the locals but you should always be careful. You will understand more about the locals with the help of your tour guide.

Indian food is very much different from your usual food. Make sure that you eat only one serving of Indian dish for each meal. Eat peeled fresh fruits and mostly cooked foods first. This way, your body system can easily adjust to the Indian food. It is also advisable that you drink only bottled drinks, water, tea and coffee. The hotels have filtration systems, so you will not encounter many problems.

If you are taking medications, buy it before you leave for India. You see, you may not be able to find the same brand of medications there. However, the local doctors may suggest alternative medications just in case you really need immediate medical attention.

When you are visiting a temple or mausoleum, make sure that you remove your shoes, sandals or slippers. There are also Indian temples that will not allow non-Hindus to enter. Your tourist guide will be the one to explain these matters!

Travelling to India is more comfortable and easier if you have someone who looks after you. Book your travel with the right travel agency and get the suitable tour package that can meet all your travelling needs.  Make sure that you do this in advance.

Why India?

India is a mix of incredible combination of modernity and tradition. This country is also among the leading tourist destinations all over the world with millions of people visit every year. What attracts them to come to India? You see, there are many beautiful and attractive places that you can visit in the different regions. They are also beaches, mountains, wildlife, hill stations, sports and adventure, heritage sites, deserts, pilgrim sites, palaces and monuments.

Each tourist spots can give you a different experience. Make sure you do your homework; surf the net and visit India’s official site. Check out the comments from the previous visitors. Planning for a trip to India is quite easy. You can easily contact a travel agency, such as Travel Treasures Tour, and ask them to guide you. In choosing the right travel agency, make sure you choose a reputable one and the one who has been in service for quite some time. Ask for the travel packages that suit your needs. Decide your budget as it is another thing to consider when travelling to a foreign country. In case you prefer to go on with no string attached from any travel agency, you must gather all important information about India. Get a map and get used to it! You will be alright.

New Delhi – India’s Magnificent Capital

If you travel to north India, you will find New Delhi. This India’s capital can be found near the Yamuna River. It was only in 1931 when the city was inaugurated as India’s new capital. You can find printing plants, textile mills and other manufacturing establishments within the city. New Delhi India travel is a very exciting trip that you should look forward to.

The city streets are symmetrically laid out. Lutyens was the architect who drew the city plan. He was also the same person who designed Rashtrapati Bhawan which happens to be the residence of the country’s president. The buildings in the city reflect an Indian style but the architecture is primarily European. A boulevard is found east of the presidential palace that is bordered by canals and trees which lead to a memorial war arch. These particular sights are already eye-catching but wait until you see the rest of the city.

Heritage monuments, palaces, temples and wildlife reserves are found almost in every region of India. You can find these sights in New Delhi as well. Ask your tour guide to take you to the lovely spots of the city. Daily tours are conducted, and you only need to ask the tour itinerary for the day. You can join the city tour or explore it alone. Some individuals prefer to walk around the city to witness the breath-catching sights within the area. Aside from that, this will also give them a chance to meet the locals. Local people are most gracious and friendly, so you will surely have a great time wandering all over the city.

Travelling to New Delhi can be an exciting experience, especially if you know the best tourist spots to visit. To make the most out of your India travel, visit only the places that interest you. If you are interested in animals, visit the wildlife reserves. If you like scenic spots, ask your tour guide to a scenic spot in the city. For those who love unique architectures, visit the palaces, temples or monuments.

Visit Majestic Mumbai

In the states, New York is known as the ‘city that never sleeps’. Its counterpart in India is Mumbai. Despite the small troubles that occur in the streets of India, tourists still love to go to this magnificent and alluring country. Maybe because of its glorious past or perhaps of its scenic tourist spots.

Mumbai is a very important commercial centre in India. So far, it is the largest metropolitan area and is densely populated. The so-called Star Machine of the country is found in Mumbai, Bollywood. This Star Machine is able to come up with motion pictures more than what Hollywood can produce. The entertainment industry in India is booming and its popularity around the world is ever increasing. Indian cinema has definitely contributed to the country’s cultural and economic context.

The metropolitan area is located in the coastal area. Almost half of India’s sea cargo and traffic is catered in this sea harbour. Many years ago, Mumbai was a 7-island archipelago. Way back in the nineteenth century, the archipelago was amalgamated.  Geographical features in Mumbai are diverse and so if you visit this city at any time of the year, you will experience tropical weather.

Mumbai’s culture is a reflection of many cultural influences. The city celebrates both the eastern and western festivals. These festivals are much awaited by the tourists. This represents unity despite the differences within the city. India is a country with different religions and beliefs but still, the entire country remains peaceful and very accommodating to tourists.

The city was only called Mumbai in 1995 but before that, local residents called it Bombay. The city is a hub for the manufacturing industry, transportation and commercial. The name Mumbai was derived from a Hindu Goddess known as Mumba or Parvati.

While you are in Mumbai, you should also see India’s Gateway. This is a structure that sea travellers first see when they arrive at the harbour. There are also monuments in the city like the Gothic Style Presidency Secretariat, University Hall and Tower, Clock Tower of Rajabai, and High Court. If you are looking for a castle in this city, you should go to the Horniman Circle. Heritage sites are also located in Mumbai, which includes Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Aside from those mentioned awhile earlier, there are still so many things to see in Mumbai. Your tourist guide can show you around the city of Mumbai. If you want, before you travel to India, you should already conduct a research about Mumbai and choose the specific locations that you want to visit.

Travel Recommendations for Northern India in Winter

The geographical position and unusual topography of India are responsible for the country’s diverse climate. If you have plans of visiting northern India, you can expect the climate to be hotter during the summer and cooler in winter. Before going there, you have to consider these travel recommendations for northern India in winter.

The northern plains of India during the winter season which happens to be from October to March brings very cold temperatures. In fact, the temperature in the Thar Desert can reach freezing point. The central city of the north is New Delhi and the temperature there is from 8 degrees to 21 degrees Celsius.

You can find a rich history of culture in north India. Aside from New Delhi, you can also visit other destinations, such as Uttranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jamma, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Kashmir. There are many activities that you can do in north India, such as river rafting, camel safari, mountain biking, skiing and trekking. You can also find exquisite architectures, incredible wildlife, sand dunes and historical charm in this Indian region.

If you plan to tour Delhi, you can explore the city’s religious face. There are many temples that you can visit Akshardham, Birla, Bangla Sahib, and ISKCON temples. Aside from the temples, there are also forts in Delhi like Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, and Red Fort. Taj Mahal is found in north India, specifically in Uttar Pradesh. If you have plans of travelling to Uttaranchal, don’t do this during the winter season as it is very cold. You can do it between April and June or from September to November.

Individuals who love mall shopping can go to Shimla. You can find malls offering great sights there. The Golden Temple can be found in Punjab. Other places that you should visit are Srinagar, Jammu, Dal Lake, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Solan, Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Kullu, Manali, Kangra, and Chamba. You can have the best holiday experience in north India.

As mentioned earlier, winter in north India is quite cold. If you go there during winter, you have to bring the appropriate clothes. If you don’t have them, you can start purchasing winter clothes. This way, you can avoid stressing out your body and ending up sick. Make sure that you take your vitamins and some medications with you, just in case you catch fever, cough or colds. The medicines sold in India are not the same as those sold in your home country. So better be prepared especially if you’re travelling there during the winter. You can enjoy the sights and tourist spots in north India if you have a healthy body. Still, if you can’t withstand the cold, you should go to North India during the summer season. The temperature during that time is not as cold as the winter season.

Now that you know the places that you can visit in north India, you can contact a travel agency and book your travel in advance. The winter season in India is also the peak season for the influx of tourists and so it would be best to plan ahead, otherwise, you will not get the best services because the accommodations are limited. Planning can really take so much of your time but with the help of a travel agency, your troubles are lessened. If you take into consideration these travel recommendations for northern India in winter, you will have the greatest time of your life despite the cold climate.

India Wildlife Tour and Hiking Adventure

Why is it that many tourists love to visit India over and over again? The country is rich in heritage and culture; not only that, there are many picturesque and adventure spots all over the country. If you plan for an India wildlife tour and hiking adventure, this is the ultimate experience that you shouldn’t miss.

There are only very few countries that offer tourists with a broad range of tours, and India is one of them. All throughout an India tour, you can surely experience an outstanding and awe-inspiring expedition. If you like a hiking adventure, you can visit the Himalayan range in India. By going on a hiking adventure to the Himalayas, you can take part in other adventure sports such as river rafting, mountaineering, trekking, and climbing. Aside from that, by hiking in the Himalayas, you can also go on a wildlife tour because you can find wildlife sanctuaries and blossoming forests there as well. Hikers like you can enjoy nature’s pleasure including majestic landscapes and waterfalls.

An ideal hiking adventure provides you with all factors of attraction and ecstasy. When you’re on nature’s trail, you can feel an unknown force that seems to draw you closer to things around you. You don’t have to be an expert in hiking in order to enjoy this adventure. You simply have to make sure that your individual stamina can withstand the weather conditions while hiking. If you plan to go on hiking, make sure that a guide is with you especially if this is your first time in the Himalayas.

Aside from hiking, you can also visit India’s wildlife reserves. You can find about eighty national parks and more than 500 animal sanctuaries all over India. You can visit the most popular animal reserves in Madhya Pradesh (Bandhavgarh sanctuary and Kanha), Rajasthan (Ranthambore and Sariska), and Uttar Pradesh (Dudhwa and Corbett Park). To enjoy these wildlife destinations, it would be best to join safari tours and trekking adventures.

If you like bird watching, you can visit Keoladeo Ghana and you can see tigers in Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Park. By joining wildlife tours, you can explore nature more closely and you will see how animals live peacefully and in unity.

India is a religious country. Respect and unity are strongly reflected in their culture. The country is home to many different religions but despite these differences, you can enjoy the peace and serenity in almost all the tourist spots of India. Because of this, you can make the most of your vacation holiday. Every day, tours are conducted in the various regions of the country. Get in touch with your travel agency and ask for the schedule of hiking adventures and wildlife tours. Having a tourist guide with you wherever you go will make you feel safer and protected. But for those who want to explore India alone, you can create your very own adventure. Your unforgettable adventure will depend largely on your choice of tours.

The good thing is that while you’re hiking the Himalayas, you can already witness the wildlife reserves of the country. You can do two things at a time. That will save you time and energy. On your next day in India, you can try another adventure tour. Travelling to a foreign country gives you limited time to explore the places that you’ve never been to, so better make sure that you join as many tours as possible.

 

Applying for an India Travel Visa

You can’t travel abroad without a visa. But what is a visa anyway? Visa is a stamp, an official stamp, from the high commission or embassy in your travelling document or passport. It authorizes you and other travellers to go to India (or any other country) for a specific period and purpose. Take note of the word ‘official’. You see, there are a lot of scammers out there who are able to go out of the country and enter into another without having an official visa.

Getting an India travel visa? That’s quite easy. All you have to do is satisfy all the rules and visa regulations. After doing so, you can be issued an India travel visa. Some individuals fail to get visas but not because they are unqualified. The main reason why most people are denied is that they fail to understand the visa officer. Consider the following suggestions when applying for an India travel visa or any other visa.

For the passport, first-time travellers have ‘virgin passports’. To the visa officer, this may mean that this is your first time to travel overseas or your previous visa applications to other countries were denied. Your passport may also have more than one visa. This can mean that other countries have confidence in you, that is why they gave you a visa.

If this is your first time to apply for a visa, you have to determine first if India has a high rejection rate for visas. India is not that strict in the visa applications so even if you are a first-time India visa applicant, you have a high chance to get an approved visa.

You can acquire India visa easily through the help of travel agencies, such as Travel Treasures. They will gladly assist you while you apply for a visa.

Getting an India travel visa is not that hard, especially if you know your way around the embassy. Learn more about visa application online because you can find a lot of helpful information on the net. Prepare yourself. You can’t afford to be denied a visa application because you cannot reach India without it and not only that, your passport will be affected as well and all your other visa applications in the future.

Phuket – The Pearl of the Andaman

The culture of any destination is a manifestation of its civilization. Phuket culture is very captivating as well as fascinating. It tells regarding the people of the destination, their beliefs, and their lifestyle. I viewed the culture of Phuket that gave me a reasonable idea regarding the practices and traditions that are yet pursued by the locals. The attractions, the events, the festivals, all imitate the culture of Phuket. I met some local people of Phuket who have a quite high level of affluence and are fairly prosperous as well as being gracious and polite towards me and maybe to all travelers. Though, it was hard for me to talk with older people because they generally speak in their local language. The younger crowd, learned in the English lingo, is more amicable. Get nearer and be enthralled by the invigorating culture of Phuket.

I visited Baan Panwa Resort and Spa which is rightly situated for leisure and business visitors in Phuket. This hotel is situated at 5.13 km away from ko rok nok region in the city and 8.43 km away from Phi Phi Island. It is 31.25 km far from the nearby airdrome – Phuket airport. A 24-hour reception is available here for guests as well as the hotel provides free parking space. From the moment I entered to the time I left, I felt as if I was in a delusion. This is no doubt the greatest hotel I have ever lived in. The hotel staff were incredibly welcoming always greeting me with a beautiful smile and were indisputably happy to help me with whatever I needed.

The hotel was eye-catching, the rooms are furnished and are perfectly clean with excellent maid facility. The main swimming pool along with swim-up bar are all unbelievable as is the foodstuff. I also went to the Dream Beach Club often where the whole thing was the identical all to the high-standard with exquisite staff who oversee everyone and so you feel incredibly special. Again the food was awesome with a different menu to gratify most people’s necessities. The view was superb neglecting the Andaman ocean with the striking sunset. The amusement was again extraordinary and I also attended various evening programs which were exceptional. Unsurprisingly I would greatly suggest the Baan Panwa Resort and Spa unluckily my dream is over for the moment but I will be coming back as anyone visiting Phuket must go to Baan Panwa Resort and Spa to see how comfortable this hotel is. I genuinely found this hotel best in terms of locality and amenities.

Baan Panwa Resort and Spa also has a café that caters a range of beverages, snacks and food. The resort features an inclusive list of facilities to make the stay of all the visitors a comfortable one.  The service-minded staff of the resort is always ready to welcome and guide the visitors. Comfortable guestrooms at Baan Panwa Resort and Spa make sure a good night’s nap with some rooms offering amenities such as television, toiletries, air conditioning, refrigerator, and desk. You can also enjoy the resort’s leisure facilities which include fitness center, solarium, garden, private beach, outdoor pool, before getting back to the room for a well-merited rest. Close proximity, great amenities, and friendly staff are three big reasons you must stay at Baan Panwa Resort and Spa. There are various attractions in the city close to the Baan Panwa Resort and Spa. Some of the tourist attractions include Chalong Beach, Phuket Zoo, Boxing stadion Phuket, Chalong Temple, Clocktower, Tri Trang Beach, Phuket Aquarium, and many more.

After having some rest from travelling to the city I decided to go to the Ko Phi Phi Island. I spend a lot of time there and it was definitely the best time of my whole Thailand experience. Phi Phi is an attraction for young (typically gorgeous young Swedish) party lovers, and people with thoughts of discovering their Beach. The island is very chaotic and touristy, and fairly classy for Thailand. There are in fact more than a few islands, and most tours stop for a snorkeling journey on the way. Packed lunch is typically served once you arrive at PhiPhi Ley’s heaven-like Maya bay. As no one but campers and park rangers are permitted to stay here overnight. PhiPhi Don is more theatrical and was terribly overdeveloped earlier than the tsunami cleaned it all away.

Bali’s Fantasy Land

Finding an exclusive time to spend with our kids is not easy, but it is definitely rewarding. The fact that parents are so busy with their daily activities makes it difficult for them to know what their little ones really want during the weekend. Children are always curious about anything. Their minds are set for any challenge and adventure ahead. For that reason, as parents, we have an obligation to free our kids’ wild sense of imagination. So, the next question is, “Where should I take my kids in this weekend?”

Ideas pile up, but all kids’ centres in the southern part of the island have been checked from your list. If you are running out of an idea, why not take a momentarily break from the typical island attraction and head north to experience a fun day at Krisna Funtastic Land.

Located on Bali’s northern coast, near the famous Lovina Beach, this park is designed to entertain the visitors into the fascinating world of modern science and technology. To arrive there, you need to drive 4 hours from Denpasar. Start your daytrip in the morning is not necessary because they open daily from 4 – 10 PM. However, in case you arrive early, you can spend time visiting souvenir shop after the entrance gate or take your late lunch at the restaurants inside the complex on your way to the park.

As the newest addition to the island’s growing recreation facilities, this fantasy land consists of 16 enthralling rides to excite your child to the core. With varying levels of excitement for each ride, children of all age can enjoy it equally. From Viking boat to bumper cars, to the Dragon Coaster or the Flying Cakra, all rides are exciting and provide the same level of adrenaline rush. Please note that height limits are advisable for some rides. Star Tour is the popular one, where you can ride a vehicle on a floating rail while at the same time get a bird’s eye view of the entire park. At night-time, the lights instantly make the place to be livelier.

 

The entry fee to the park is IDR 10,000 for weekdays and IDR 15,000 during weekends or public holidays. You also need to purchase the tickets for the rides, ranging from IDR 10,000 to 22,000 (the fees are different on weekdays and weekends). Alternatively, you can purchase a one-time ticket to enjoy all the rides for IDR 85,000 (weekdays) or IDR 95,000 (weekends). Kids below 85 centimetres can enter all facilities for free as long as they are under the supervision of adults. Please be advised that no food or drinks are allowed inside the premises. There will be a security check at the entrance for this.

A few words of caution, parents should keep an eye on your kids at all times. The rides are dangerous while in motion and it is mandatory to keep a safe distance from them. Ensure that the seat belts are always fastened and locked in place before the rides start.

All the rides at Krisna Funtastic Land involve a lot of science and physics that you can explain a bit to your kids and give them a small understanding of the concept. Spending time doing such activities also strengthens the bond between parents and their little ones. At the end of the day, it is not all about having fun, but also making your child feel important. An extra benefit for parents is to help them destress from daily life with refreshing and energy-packed activities.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Bali’s Birthday Party Checklist

The most significant part of childhood is birthday parties. Whether it is ours or a friend’s, birthday parties hold the same level of importance. The excitement doubles when your kids celebrate their own birthday. Getting a year older is considered an achievement in the growing years opposed to some years later on! Birthday parties are thus the celebration of growing up, becoming more matured, intelligent and the important one in the playgroup. The parent’s excitement is no less than their kids. In the earlier days, birthday parties were all about fun and merry making. Nowadays, birthday parties have become a status quo and every couple does their best to ensure that their kid has a fabulous birthday where everyone not only has their share of fun, but in return give loads of appreciation on how well the part was organized.

Venue

The party begins with the planning stage. The budget should be decided foremost so that it can be distributed amongst all aspects of the party. It is always better to write down the guest list to be precise. The venue should be convenient for all the guests and the timings should be clearly mentioned in the invites.

If you are looking for a beachfront venue, The Pirates Bay offers a unique environment to throw kids’ parties. Build upon the friendliest white sand of Nusa Dua Beach, the place is creatively set up with wooden tree houses where your kiddos can freely climb up to the bamboo decks. Carrying “Pirate-for-a-day” concept, the kids will be directed to find the hidden treasure by solving clues, and completing challenges. The clues are presented in images or written in symbols, easy for juniors to understand. All the game properties will be provided by the venue, including Pirates Bandana, Pirates Treasure Pocket, Pirates Birthday Cap, Pirates Certificate, a guide who will assist during the Treasure Hunt Game, and even an authentic-looking pirate ship. This birthday activity will definitely leave a solid impression to your little ones.

While Pirates Bay is more about outdoor activity, you can go to Peek A Boo for indoor birthday party. With over 1,000 square metres, this venue features soft playhouse and pool with balls, creative corner, interactive toys, educational books, car rides, play kitchens and many more, definitely will make your kids’ Birthday extra special. Peek A Boo offer parents a stress-free and hassle-free party that is affordable for today’s busy parents. Please note private parties are available only from 6 PM onwards.

 

Decoration

The next thing to get noticed in a birthday party is how well the place has been decorated. Depending on whether your kid is a boy or a girl, all the decoration, colour and ambience has to be arranged with that in mind. It can be an indoor party at home, a rented convention hall, a restaurant or an outdoor party in a garden, park or resort. In either case, make sure that a lot of birthday specific decorative are used. Lots of big, coloured balloons are quintessential. Use honeycomb balls, swirl decorations, streamers and garlands, bright lanterns, banners, tissue pompons, khoi bags and party poppers. Hand out funny cartoon blowouts or themed horned to the kids to blow incessantly and have fun.

When it comes to decorating your party space, Bali Kids Party is supremely talented and capable in designing and creating magical party spaces for all occasions. They hand-craft all the decorations themselves, making them anew for every party, creating a special, tailor-made environment which beautifully transforms a party space into a Magical Wonderland! Whether it’s an Indian theme, a Minion party, Mexican Paper Flowers or Pirate Party, the event is brought alive by the team’s clever ingenuity. Bali Kids Party can transform your home into a fairy palace, or a sky blue and ivory Frozen castle, pink and purple Tipi Village, or a horse-racing course. They use tasteful, sophisticated and beautiful colours, with an innate understanding of design and a sense of colour which perfectly matches both Western and Indonesian tastes.

Costume

Kids will love the idea of having a costume party. You can either give out a dress theme in the invites or hand them special party costumes when they come in. Wizard hats, colourful wigs, headbands, crowns/tiaras, feather boas, party sashes, ties, sunglasses, beards/moustaches, wings, eye masks are some of the accessories you can choose from. Let them keep it on throughout the party where they can enact characters. Fancy dress can never be boring for the kids. Keep lots of games lined up to keep the kids engaged and having fun. Arrange photo sessions for the kids to click photos with funny expressions and faces. Kids loved to be given attention.

Julia Costumes produce and rent wide selections costumes and accessories for kids’ parties. With more than 8,000 unit costumes in collection, they cover various themes from superheroes, fairy-tale, traditional, Halloween, animals, and characters. Some costume themes are available in tens, making it possible for large groups to wear the same theme. Since they produce most of the costumes, the exclusivity and quality of the fabric, colour and models are guaranteed.

 

Face Painting

Make your party magical and transform your birthday party guests into a pack of tigers, a group of fairy princesses, a cluster of space-faring astronauts, a pack of ferocious lions or a family of cheeky monkeys. Before you start face painting, make sure that the kids do not have any skin allergies or infections. You also need to make sure the face paints are presented on a clean towel and that you have a good supply of water for washing brushes and sponges between faces. Water based face paint is best applied directly onto clean, dry skin. Keep the hair away from the face with a hair band or clips. Always apply the base colour first, using a damp sponge. To achieve a deeper colour, allow the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat. You can have hours of fun sparking creativity and unleashing kids’ wildest dreams, knowing that when party time is over, a quick sweep with a wash cloth and some soap and Voilà, your little princes and princesses are back to normal, with no tears.

Almost all children love to have their faces painted, especially at parties where they can share their new identities with their friends in a heightened atmosphere. Bali Kids Party are very popular with their Face Painting services. They are always busy with guests to cater special events, such as kids’ birthday, Halloween or Full Moon Parties. They only use European, skin-safe face paint, to ensure that all children are unblemished after you wash away the artwork.

Resorts include Face Painting as one of their kids’ activities or on special events. In Anvaya Beach Resort, Face Painting is available on Mondays and Fridays at the Kids Club at 11AM, while Karma Kandara put Face Painting as part of the activities on Sunday Easter.

Cake

The star of a birthday party is the cake. All the guests should enjoy a decent slice of the cake. Cake shortage is a big no-no. The flavour has to be the favourite one of the birthday kid. The cakes can be in the shape of cartoon characters, swimming pools, jungles, castles, pirate ships, trains, butterflies and many more. The most popular flavours among kids are the simple ones like vanilla, strawberry, lemon or chocolate. The icing has to be creamy and sweet with lots of small decoration on the top of the cake, made of hard edible sugars which can be picked up and eaten separately. You can either order a huge single cake or go for the multi-tier cake, depending on your kid’s choice and the number of guests. Choose colourful, animated, musical candles or small fire crackers type candles on the cakes to make your kid feel special.

For Birthday Cakes selection, there are a few places to be highly considered. Delivering excellent cakes since 1994, Bali Bakery birthday cakes come with simple flavours of chocolate mud, vanilla or fruit cake. They may seem common, but they surely are yummy! Price starts at IDR 300,000. Still in the same location, The Harvest’s Chocolate Devils really stands out at kids’ birthday party. This most prominent cake among kiddos has a luscious garnish on top of creamy chocolate glaze, with a combination of chocolate cream and moist chocolate sponge. The cake prices are between IDR 180,000 – IDR 2,440,000, depending on the sizes.

Similar with Beecup, for a customized cake, Ixora have various flavours available, and they will run a test to make sure whether or not the flavours you choose will bland perfectly. Their standard for one-tiered cake is 4 layers, depending on number of servings or size, with the thickness of each layer is 3 cm. For requested cakes with higher layers, they will use Styrofoam to give the impression of higher layer. The price is subject to be discussed later on, depending on level of difficulty, time consumed and materials.

Birthday party is a very special occasion for a kid. Parents should make the most of their budget and throw a warm and fun-filled birthday bash. With lots of options easily available nowadays, there is absolutely no issue even if you have a tight budget. Plan well and execute it with a lot of enthusiasm. Children are forever thankful to their parents for all the birthday parties they remember from their childhood days, and these moments are always cherished by both the parents and the kids.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

The Island’s Bling Shops & Classes – Jewellery in Bali

Jewellery is a form of expression, individuality and emotion. It has become part of people lives. Shopping jewellery in Bali can be an unnerving task with an array of options available due to the presence of some of the best jewellers. The artistry in the creation of jewellery on the Island offers a huge range of diversity. They are not only enticing but also extremely vibrant. The range of items available varies from modern to tribal. Jewellery shopping involves not only the shops as there are other things to be considered, such as the design and creativity which essentially combines gold, silver and other precious metals. Some locally boutique stores incorporate Balinese jewellery creation techniques by independent designers in creating distinct and elegant pieces that define the Balinese art form and culture. For them, jewellery is more than just a fashion accessory. Each piece and design holds a profound meaning, and communicating the heritage of Indonesia and its culture.

Jemme (www.jemmebali.com) in Seminyak believes that the exceptional design of the human hand can only be completed with the careful construction of this special adornment, Red Hot Ruby. Harder than any other natural gem with the exception of only diamond, Ruby is a precious stone to be reckoned with. That captivating colour, which inspired ruby’s rather obvious name deriving from the Latin ‘ruber’ meaning ‘red’, ranges from deep to pale rose red. Delicate design sparkles with diamonds, adding intrigue and delight to any fashion situation. This piece of jewellery is an eye catcher and will look good on you! Traditionally given to celebrate 40th wedding anniversaries, July babies can also rejoice in the fact that theirs is a gem associated with health, wealth, wisdom and love.

Still around the neighbourhood, Tulola Jewellery (www.shoptulola.com) is known for its amalgamation of the traditional jewellery making techniques and the familiar motifs in the creation of contemporary shapes and pieces that are finely carved by hand to perfection that adds a layer of beauty. Using high quality materials and offering its customers rare pieces of art, this jewellery shop is the destination of those desiring to have a touch of the Indonesian rich cultural heritage through the intricate jewellery designs of gemstones, pearls and gold. You have the option of either learning or shopping for a wide range of bracelets, earrings, hair accessories, bangles, rings and necklaces etc.

On the way to Ubud, having been in existence for almost three decades, UC Silver (www.ucsilverbali.com) has stood the test of the times, emerging as a formidable jewellery store in Bali. Featuring some ecstatic interiors and amazing exteriors, visitors will also get the option of coming to have a look at the making process. Specialise in Dragonfly design, the workshop is highlighting an experience of expert craftsmanship and true Balinese style jewellery. Carrying vison to involve in the maintenance and reservation of the Balinese culture, they courageously take up the initiative and bold steps necessary to become the foremost and the best in jewellery industry, resulting in producing fine arts of jewellery.

All the way up in Ubud, John Hardy (www.johnhardy.com) designs are inspired by community, nature, legends, and mythical creatures – each one represents a magical element meant to empower the wearer. Thoughtfully crafted based on a tradition of ancient Balinese artistry, every piece is powerful, dramatic and inspiring in its own, unique way. In this Spring, John Hardy is introducing a seasonal collection invoked from the nature of duality. Like the magnetic dance of the sun and moon, light and dark, masculine and feminine, myth and modernity – this artisan handcrafted collection draws its power from the ritual of divine contrast.

Such a love for jewellery has kindled the interest of many into the sector, with many people these days enrolling into jewellery making classes. There are numerous workshops offering different packages. However, before deciding anything, always ensure that you go extra miles to ascertain whether their promotions correspond to what they offer. Consider taking a class in fun surroundings with light-hearted and open-minded professionals.

In Ubud, there are so many places you can learn about jewellery. Taking class in the family compound, Chez Monique Jewelry (www.chezmoniquejewelry.com) invite you to explore your creativity in using jewellery making tools to create a beautiful custom-made piece of silver jewellery. With a combined experience of over 5 decades, their certificated master silversmiths will guide you step-by-step through the entire process. Available for all ages, every class will have at least two expert silversmiths to maximize the attention to each student. Featuring original designs, the classes take up to 3 hours with starting time at 9.30AM, 11Am and 1.30PM. One session class will cost IDR 450,000 per one item, weigh no more than 10 grams of silver. Please be advised for larger designs, additional silver or stones may be required, and therefore an extra cost will be charged. Very complex designs may also incur an extra cost.

Located in a friendly atmosphere, full of creativity one can imagine, Studio Perak silversmithing class (www.studioperak.com) runs by Pak Ketut, as the owner and the silversmith expert, specialises in Balinese silver smiting. His knowledge of silver making and designs are inspired by nature and simplicity, as well as the natural shape and properties of semi-precious stones. The classes are held in the airconditioned studio, and cost IDR 400,000 per person which includes 5 grams of silver. The weight of the piece will depend on how big and how thick the material that you use. The half-day course fuels your knowledge about the basic skills of silversmithing. Available to book from Monday to Saturday starting 9AM to 12PM and 2PM to 5PM, you can make a silver ring, pendant, bangle or an earring of your own design. Children above 8 years old can also participate, but make sure they have a basic understanding of English.

In Wahana Silver Art Studio (www.craftworkshopbali.com), you will learn to create your own heirloom piece of silver Jewellery from one of Bali’s most creative and innovative jewellery designers and entrepreneurs, Ibu Ayu. Starting from creating the design through each step of the production process, you will be skilfully guided until you understand how to work a silver into a wearable art. By all means you can share your ideas and she will help you to craft that idea into a wearable piece of silver jewellery. In a few short hours, you will be introduced to this special realm of art-making. Wahana Silver Art Studio strives to make everyone’s craft class experience not just challenging, but also a fun way to spend your leisure time in Ubud.

 

 

 

This article is also published at NOW! BALI Magazine

An Upbeat Experience at the Rooftop Bar of Above Eleven Bali

Located on the top floor of Movenpick Resort Spa Jimbaran, Bali, the Peruvian – Japanese Sky Bar of Above Eleven Bali is a trendy rooftop sky bar, restaurant and entertainment venue. Open daily from 4 PM to 1 AM, this newly hangout spot appeals to everyone with its distinctively delicious cuisine, stunning interiors and enthralling views from the rooftop ambience of Samasta Lifestyle Village. You might want to be there when the sky turns bright orange while enjoying some sips of delightful cocktails.

The design of the place is about the greenery theme, inspired by the urban parks and mimicking the New York’s Central Park. This basically works out as a park created in the sky and matches with the greenery theme. The matchless views over Jimbaran Bay supplement inventive cocktails and creative cuisine, making Above Eleven a great place to soak up the sunset with your near and dear ones.

Above Eleven offers an upbeat experience for everyone starting when you step into the venue. As you exit the elevator, the journey starts immediately through green pathways that lead you to the park in the sky. This dimly-lit-maze restaurant presents both indoor and outdoor seating for the guests. For a more beautiful experience, the restaurant allows you to experience the tunnel of greenery which is an extended part of this venue.

Gramercy Park is a happening part of this place with its own cocktail & spirits bar that resembles a trendy food-truck. Entice your taste buds with a wide selection of raw seafood dishes in a colourful presentation at the Raw Bar. The cuisine boasts of Nikkei cuisine which is a well-created fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. Creative and well-presented dishes with robust flavours take your senses on a stimulating adventure.

Every night is a musical night here! Sway to live tunes of music, salsa night dancing and lively DJ’s on rotation every night with occasional entertainment lined up for the guests. Above Eleven Bali is currently the most happening and entertaining rooftop bar and restaurant on the island. Foodies should try the Tiradito Snapper dish which is Peruvian style sashimi with sprinkled red chilli, ponzu sauce, and truffle oil.

A Peaceful Family Treat at Royal Tulip Saranam Resort & Spa

Bali’s popular northern region is a home to some of the best luxury hotels on the island. This is particularly noteworthy for those with a penchant for only the best in accommodation, service quality and facilities during their stay. Unlike the typical southern attractions where beach resorts are a big hit and crowds are more, the northern portion provides accommodation which is not necessarily five-star resorts or international hotel chains but still lives up to the standard for a luxury living. The luxury accommodation here allows you to enjoy and experience the area, allowing peace of mind and pleasure from the hustle and bustle of crowded places. With lush green surroundings and harmonious setup, the luxurious Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa offers a total serene and calm experience.

Located on the way to Bedugul, this 5-star hotel offers a village-like atmosphere combined with luxury accommodation. This essentially means that you can explore and enjoy the beauty associated with Bedugul while living in this 5-star sanctuary, surrounded by vast open spaces and rice fields. Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa offers peace and tranquillity to its guests along with luxury living with the highest international standards of service and quality. Each of the rooms here is outfitted with plush furnishings and bedding for a sumptuous stay.

Unwind with wonderful views from the countryside while enjoying the privacy of large living rooms and bathrooms in your accommodation. Another notable feature is that all the rooms in this hotel are fully equipped with a wide range of amenities. The decoration of the room is extremely soothing thereby helping you relax during your stay here. It is also possible to choose villas with the kind of view that suits you. There are villas with the view of mountains, the large pool, or the lush rice paddies. Even the standard and deluxe rooms come with balconies with beautiful views that will make you feel rejuvenated.

This accommodation also has a big outdoor pool dedicated to families with kids, a perfect playground to relax while soaking under a cool weather. Along with the natural beauty, guests can pamper with the host of facilities inside the hotel and enjoy some delicious cuisine in the restaurants. Families can also take part in the family activities at this hotel, which includes both art and cooking classes. Along with that, there are some traditional Balinese activities like rice harvesting and offerings at water temple. Fitness conscious guests can work out at the fully equipped modern gym and outdoor running track in the valley of the hotel.

Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa is also located within a close distance to a number of attractions, such as the Botanical Garden, Jatiluwih Rice Fields, Hot Springs and Ulun Danu Temple. For shopping fans, guests can visit the Bedugul Market, while Bali Treetop Adventure Park is in the neighbourhood to entertain the adventure enthusiasts. Nicely located in Bali’s Lake District, the Royal Tulip Saranam is a perfect vacation destination for families who are in desperate need a peace of mind in a peaceful environment.

A Fluid Mix of The Ancient and The Modern of South Korea

South Korea is a dream destination – an engaging, welcoming place where the benefits of a high-tech nation are balanced alongside a reverence for tradition and the ways of the old Asia. It might be scary to visit a war-infuriated country, but a quick visit to South Korea is actually worth your time and money!

Korea might be known as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’, but dive into its capital Seoul, the powerhouse of Asia’s third-largest economy, and serenity is the last thing you’ll feel. This round-the-clock city is constantly on the move, with its work-hard and play-hard population, the epitome of the nation’s indefatigable, can-do spirit. You can hardly turn a corner without stumbling across a tourist information booth, a subway station or a taxi in this multifaceted metropolis where meticulously reconstructed palaces rub shoulders with teeming night markets and the latest technological marvel. In short, it is an urban marvel.

South Korea’s compact size and superb transport infrastructure mean that tranquillity can be found within an easy reach of the urban sprawl. Hike to the summits of craggy mountains enclosed by densely forested national parks. Some of those same mountains transform into ski slopes come winter. Get further off-the-beaten-path than you thought possible by sailing to remote islands, where farming and fishing folk welcome you into their homes and simple seafood cafes. Chill out in serene villages surrounded by rice fields, sleeping in a rustic traditional wooden guesthouse called ‘Hanok’.

A packed calendar of festivals and events means there’s almost always a celebration of some sort to attend wherever you are – it might be Boryeong for its mud fest, or Gwangju for its Biennale or its annual salute to that most Korean of foods: kimchi. Friendly Koreans are always delighted to share their culture with visitors – often that means over a shared meal with a tantalising array of dishes and plenty of toasts with local alcoholic beverages.

There are loads of activities to indulge in when you are in South Korea. Learn how to make tasty kimchi at the Kimchi Academy House! At the Kimchi Academy House, you can learn about Korean history and culture through kimchi. Visitors can take kimchi-making classes taught by a professional kimchi instructor. Participants can taste the kimchi they make, have it vacuum-packed, and take it home with them.

 

 

An amazing site you could visit in the neighbourhood is the humongous Gwongeumseong Fortress, which is the site of castle ruins located on Seoraksan Mountain. At the left side of Sogongwon, past the Biryonggyo Bridge over the ravine, there is a path which leads to Gwongeumseong Castle, but it takes over an hour of travel through a steep, rocky path, so a cable car is used. You could also hike through the beautiful mountains up there. Another amazing place is the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces in South Korea. It also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum within the premises of the complex.

Amid the majestic mountains of Seoraksan National Park sits an ancient Zen Buddhist temple and a monument to a peaceful unification for Korea. The temple is not only for local monks; it is also available for multi-day paid Mountain Temple Stays by visitors looking to experience Zen meditation and asceticism.

On the path to Sinheungsa, there is a great bronze statue called Bronze Jwabul Statue, which is well over 10 meters high. The Great Unification Buddha sits on a lotus pedestal, flanked with 16 inscribed panels, is the largest seated bronze Buddha statue in the world, at 14.6m high, excluding the halo, lightning rod and pedestal.

If you thought office places are plain and boring, you ought to visit the Blue Palace. The Blue House; literally “pavilion of blue tiles”, is the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state. The signature markings of the Presidential Residence of Cheong Wa Dae are its blue tiles. It is the first thing that catches one’s attention upon entering the premises. The blue tiles and the smooth roof blend beautifully with Bugaksan Mountain in the backdrop.

To your surprise, Ginseng is one of the most protected items in Korea, but the Matinal Ginseng outlet gives you a peek into this secret. Here, you will be briefed on the different types of Ginseng and the quality and usefulness. The Korean government has blocked and prevented 6-year-old ginseng is sold to other countries. 4 years old Ginseng and below are allowed to be sold to other countries. You will also learn how to plant and the way to take a look at Ginseng which is so sensitive to land use.

Here are some rules of thumb you need to keep in mind when visiting South Korea:

                     Don’t call a person over with your palm facing up

                     Don’t take a seat on the first half of the bus

                     Don’t tip in restaurants

                     Try your best not to refuse food or drinks

                     Learn the social conventions for friendships

                     Do get out and experience South Korean festival culture

                     Korea is a country with a rich drinking culture. So, do drink!

No matter when you travel to South Korea, you will be surprised with breath-taking seasonal changes in nature, such as cherry blossoms in the spring, flower fields in the summer, colourful foliage in the fall and a white wonderland in the winter. So, pick a date from your calendar and head straight to this heavenly destination for your next trip with Travel Treasures!

 

 

 

The Architectural Marvels of Russia

A trip to Europe is the best thing that one can enjoy in their lifetime. With varied culture, architectural marvels, delicious food, natural wonders and much more on offer, there is nothing better than a well-planned trip to this continent. However, before you experience the architectural marvels, enjoyable food, or enjoy the culture and natural wonders, it is important to create your to-do list.

A European vacation can be overwhelming but with good planning (like setting up an itinerary, arranging proper transportation and having expectations in place), it would surely become one of the most memorable trips. Getting a tour package helps to set up a fixed plan in place, however, that is at the cost of flexibility. The usual recommendation is to plan your trip on your own to extract the maximum from your holidays. Make sure to get your documents in order so that you have the required permit to travel across Europe.

Don’t forget to establish a budget for your European trip as costs can go higher, or if not, set in order. Plan your itinerary and pick the destinations carefully. Make sure to arrange your trip to cut down on unnecessary travelling across Europe. Pick up the locations that are on your must-see list. Research cities and the sites that you want to explore, and book your transportation accordingly. Due to numerous types of accommodations and the associated costs, it is important to plan your stay as per your planned budget.

Accommodation and travel during peak seasons, like summer, will be costly. Therefore, make sure to plan and book early to get the best deals. Consider travel insurance from a proper insurance company. This helps avoid any unfortunate incidents related to flight cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies and similar situations during your holidays. Understand the local rules and laws of the places you plan to visit.

Okay. This time Russia is our destination. What’s there awaits? The imposing snow-capped mountains, golden coloured sandy beaches, deep lakes, numerous rivers, icy tundra and picturesque villages. Those are the perfect destination for holidays. The world’s largest country also boasts of culture, architecture, history, and some incredible works of art. With its large coastline and impressive cities with charisma and drama, there is a plenty on offer for travellers in this country.

Moscow, one of the main cities has an extensive history of fabulous art and culture. Many major historical places for tourism is located in this mega-metropolis. Red Square, for example, one of the largest and famous squares in the country is located here. This place has a hypnotic pull on visitors to the city. In the past, the Red square used to be a big marketplace with traders from all over the world descending here. Post the Revolution, Red square continued to remain as one of the most important locations in Moscow. All major roads in the city lead to this spacious place surrounded by attractions, such as Lenin’s Mausoleum, GUM Mall, St Basil’s Cathedral, The Armoury Chamber and Kremlin.

St. Basil’s Cathedral was constructed by Ivan “The Terrible” in the mid-16th century to honour his military conquest. This Cathedral looms majestically close to Kremlin and is one of the centrepieces of the Red Square. This building is witness to countless historical and political events in Russia’s history. The Cathedral has a 156-foot central nave surrounded by nine small separate chapels, four of which are raised such that their position displays the location between heaven and earth.

The Armoury Chamber in the Kremlin Museum showcases valuable gold, silverware, ceremonial arms and armours, as well as artefacts that peak into 12th to 17th century. Another major attraction is The Moscow Kremlin. This fortified complex near the Red Square serves as the official residence for the President of Russia. The complex is majestic and overlooks the Moskva River to the south. The Moscow Kremlin is one of the best-known Russian citadels with the Grand Kremlin Palace located inside it.

Lenin’s Mausoleum also famously known as Lenin’s Tomb is situated in the centre of Moscow near the Red Square. This granite structure monument is the resting place of the famous Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin. His preserved body kept here is on public display since shortly after his death.

For shopping enthusiasts, the Red Square has the GUM and TSUM malls. These are the most over-the-top shopping destinations in Moscow with a wide variety of things on sale.

While you are in Russia, for sure you want to swing by at St. Petersburg’s. This city boasts of culture and heritage with palaces, museums, winding canals and broad avenues. St. Petersburg’s history is filled with numerous architectural and artistic treasures, making it one of the most visited cities in Russia. Often referred to as the Museum city and cultural capital of the country, this place has close to 100 museums showcasing the Russian history of literature, art, theatre and music.

One of the famous attractions, The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, was constructed at the same location where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated. The summer and Winter Palaces located in this city were the official residences of the Russian Monarchs. These attractive buildings have a lot of history associated with them.

Another major tourist attraction is the Hermitage Museum that has an impressive collection of paintings. This museum of art and culture is the second largest in the world and is home to the largest collections of paintings in the world with six historic buildings containing these collections.

Well, that’s all folks! I’ll see you on the next trip!