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Adventure

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.

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

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

A Day to The Far East of Bali

Everyone wants to travel at one point or another to cool off from life’s routine worries and hard work. But travelling is not only about visiting from one place to another, it is more about satisfying one’s inner yearnings for taste and class. Many people assume that travelling to the far east of Bali is time consuming, which is not entirely a wrong assumption. However, it is actually doable for a day trip.

Some destinations in the east coast are just magical! They are a combination of unspoiled surroundings, remote locations, intense vistas and snuggly warm people. For adventure lovers, this is probably it; an opportunity to engage with the natural wonders. In addition to that, the presence of Balinese historical sites along the area is such a delight for those who want to go deeper into an understanding of Balinese culture. Definitely worth the time and effort!

Starting early in the morning is a must. Driving 2.5 hours from Denpasar, you will reach at Candidasa. You can make a quick stop here. Feel the tropical climate and smell the fresh morning air from the ocean, it creates an intoxicating perfume to mark the start of the day.

Driving another 30 minutes further up, you will pass by Bugbug village. Since you are here, you may want to consider visiting Bukit Asah Bugbug. If you are looking for a silent and a peaceful scene, this semi-hidden spot offers green hills with the exotic expanse of blue sea. While hearing the roar of the ocean waves, embrace the blowing cool breeze to maximize the relaxation of your solitude. Morning visit doesn’t attract many visitors, which is a perfect time to retreat from the frenetic city.

Moving on from your solitary moment, the next stop is the neatly crafted garden of Tirtagangga Water Palace. Quite well known for its holy water and religious ceremonies, this location consists of three separate complexes each having its own set of ponds and attractive sculptures which simply add to the beauty of the overall water garden. As you enter the place, the first thing that comes into view is a long row of sculptures of guardian figures. You will also notice the neatly placed polygonal stepping stones to tour the area over the ponds and pools. Pools in the complex have designs from the olden days and created with natural materials like sandstone. There are a lot of stories behind the creation of this garden.

 

Another historical site nearby is Ujung Water Palace. Located at Tumbu village, a short distance from Tirtagangga, Ujung Water Palace was basically the resting and entertainment place for the Kings of Karangasem and their guests. On similar lines like Tirtagangga, this place has a beautiful park with huge fish ponds surrounding the heritage buildings. From the highest level of this palace, you can have an enchanting view of the sea line and hills with absolute greenery. It also displays the beauty of Mount Agung and nearby green terraced rice fields.

 

Driving another 30 minutes to the north, slightly after lunchtime, you will arrive at Amed Beach. Almost 90 percent of the population in Amed relies on fishing, which explain the traditional fishing boats line the beach area. Apart from fishing, hospitable people can also be spotted selling salt, trinkets, and other items to support their families and the community. Unlike in the southern coast, the local people of Amed are genuinely warm and friendly to visitors. With the large number of tourists flocking to this part of the island each year, this village has transformed from quiet fishing village and is currently on verge of change. Amed village has now become backpacker’s area near the coast with ease of access to Jemeluk Bay, which is the next stop.

Jemeluk Bay is only a short drive up from Amed Beach. Be prepared for a bumpy road! However, the view is breath-taking. One of the first beautiful glimpses of the Jemeluk Bay is from the sunset point. Along with the scenic view of Amed Beach coastline, it is easy not to capture Mount Agung of your sight. Several options for lodging have come up in this area along with new restaurants and shops popping up, making it a much sought-after tourism destination.

With easy access, Tulamben Beach is located 30 minutes’ drive from Amed village. Overlooking the Lombok strait, the sea water in this beach is calm and clear with gradations of bluish green colour. Rich in marine bio life with a thousand-year-old shipwreck and coral gardens, Tulamben is an all-year diving destination for the diving enthusiasts. A perfect place for underwater photography. With the overall surge in tourism, the small village of Tulamben is developing.

Not far from the beach, Paibon Tulamben Temple is just around the corner. This temple signifies and highlights the Balinese Hindu culture and religion. Like many other temples on the island, Paibon Tulamben Temple signifies the honour shown to the Sea Gods. The temple complex has multiple temples in it and each one is visible from the next one forming a chain. This was built as early as the 16th century during the Majapahit era to offer spiritual protection to the people living in the area.

There you have it! A one-day trip to the eastern part of Bali doesn’t seem impossible to do. Of course, there are still tons of places and hidden spots need to be discovered. However, the list mentioned above suits for either tourists who have limited visiting time and scheduled plans or local people who need to get away from the chaotic southern part over the weekend.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Embracing Life at The Gillis

Life offers stupendous opportunities to everyone to explore and to dig out the real meaning of life as well as to comprehend the intricate and obscure working of nature. As for as I am concerned, the opportunity has been bestowed to me in the form of travelling as it allows me to accumulate the unknown and to complete what is missing.

So, there I was, visiting the Gili Islands. Starting with the most famous one, Gili Trawangan tenders to unveil the uniqueness and different colors of joy in the form of music, parties, excursions and other amazements. Being Human, variety is the necessity of the life, and sometimes we need to enthuse ourselves with the excitements of dance and parties. Pubs, beaches and clubs in the island furnish these desires to its pinnacle and then there is no needing felt to go elsewhere. Gili Trawangan is the place to exert all extra energies. The local pub, Tîr na Nôg, though doesn’t render enormous options but its fresh juices are one of the best in the island. Blue Marlin Café not only excels at rendering the indigenous drinks and food but also provides elegant foreign drinks and food as well. However, too much party and drinking sometimes make the environment unbearable as well and thus compels me to seek out placid and smooth spot.

Gili Meno is the place that alleviates that commotion and ruffle of daily life by providing calm and sedating surroundings. Here the environment is tranquil and nature can be felt more lucidly. As smaller in size and having lower tourists’ density, the place offers me a unique opportunity to completely revive my inner soul with sense of ultimate content. The beautiful beaches incite people to have a walk over it. While walking on these charming beaches, it seems that the nature is uttering its melody through the composition of winds with waves striking the shores. The sun setting scene at the white beach of Gili Meno hazes my brain confusing the scenery with that of the heavens. The aroma of the atmosphere in the evening seems to uttering some untold romantic story. Sasak Café and Ya Ya Warung are two of my favourite dining resorts. In the evening, I grazed upon that lonely bunch of trees. The scenery reminded me of the words of Robert Frost, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

When it comes to Gili Air, the island offers an exquisite blend of traditional values with the beautification carried out by craftsman of science and technology. It is composed of modern resorts with most up to date technologies and at the same time provides the opportunity of seeing natural bounties in its full exposure. Being an epicurean person, it gives me great delight to get taste of several types of food. Bel Air Resort gives the yummy food. Its pasta is one of my favorite dish. The island not only suffices the need of having delicious and luscious food but also comes in hand by providing one of the world’s most sorts after snorkeling spots. For me, it’s not simply the island; it is completely a novel world exhibiting the experiences that can’t be narrated by simple words.

Bus Access in South Iceland

South Iceland offers a rich amalgamation of attractive locations to visit as it has a reputation of being home to the most exotic natural wonders in Iceland. The area offers a splendid blend of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and how can we forget the multiple UNESCO listed historic marvels at Thingvellir. South Iceland is the most regularly and fervently visited tourist attraction. The joy of visiting marvelous locales of South Iceland would become twofold if you tour the amazing sites by bus. So, for your convenience, we are listing the top locations that can be easily reached by bus.

Hveragerði
HveragerðiHveragerdi or the Flower Village is the charismatic gateway town to South Iceland. It is situated in a huge geothermal area. The town features the largest array of greenhouses in the entire country and hence received the nickname flower village. You can visit a number of highly active hot springs that discharge colorful mud and warm water into the air, which needless to say is a rare feat. Also, you can enjoy trout and salmon fishing in the Varma River and berry picking during summers.

 

Höfn í Hornafirði
Höfn í HornafirðiHofn town in Hornafjordur is home to the biggest glacier in Europe called Vatnajokull. The scenery at Hofn is breathtaking. The largest national park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park, is also situated here. You can enjoy diverse range of services over here including camping sites, restaurants, swimming pools, hiking trails, golf courses, shopping arenas and multiple museums. The much popular Lobster Festival is also being held every year in summer.

 

Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón The incredible Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon is situated on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park. To enjoy icebergs in a wide range of shapes and styles from charcoal black soot to powder blue chunks and white streaked logs to glass like translucent formations, there is simply no end to their versatility. The Skaftafell glacier hike is the tipping point of your glacier voyage at Jökulsárlón. It is a very popular and picturesque location, where various Hollywood movies have been filmed.

 

Laugarvatn
LaugarvatnLaugarvatn Fontana, located at the mesmerizing Laugarvatn Lake, is a very relaxing place where tourists get to relish the authentic Icelandic adventures and get a taste of the geothermal pools and natural saunas. There are three steam rooms that are called GUFAN. These steam baths are a treat for people from all age groups. The depth, size and temperature of the steam baths vary as these have been built over natural hot springs gradually since 1929 so you can expect the weather to be between 40°C (104°F) and 50°C (122°F). At the Grids, the steam rooms’ floor, visitors can hear and smell the boiling hot spring present underneath, which is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Vík / Mýrdalshreppur
MýrdalshreppurSouth Iceland’s most frequently visited tourist destination is the Vik and in its Mýrdalur district’s western part lays the Dyrhólaey at a 120meter high promontory. It is a popular location where the mystic rock arch is located. The major portion of the fourth largest glacier in Iceland the km2 Mýrdalsjökull glacier is also situated in Vik. Around 600m below the ice you can expect to witness one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, the dormant sub-glacial volcano Katla. Vik features a number of sea and land attractions such as you can enjoy salmon and trout fishing, horseback riding, dogsledding and ice-climbing on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, snowmobile trips, sight-seeing in boats, wool center and fish farm, etc. It won’t be an overstatement that there are very few other locations in Iceland that offer such amazing contrasts of natural attractions than Mýrdalur.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Kirkjubæjarklaustur In olden times, Kirkjubæjarklaustur village was known as Kirkjubær, which means Church Farm. The name refers to the fact that this location served as an important farming estate. The name of the village is also used as a tongue-twister in Iceland because of its complex pronunciation. The Church Floor called Kirkjugólf is a well-protected natural pavement and a famous attraction in the village. It is a natural pavement at the basalt columns. The basalt columns’ shape has been modified by wind and waves and they give away the look of a paved church floor now.

Author: John Grotti

Email: johngrotti@yahoo.com

Le Marais – The City of Light

Le MaraisParis is full of wonderful treasures, but the Le Marais is one of the best jewels in the city of light. Spanning in the third and fourth districts, the Le Marais has become one of the most exotic and popular city of Paris. However, it is quite far from as being a gay area when it had just established a stronghold in the late seventeenth century. The Marais has a beautiful, palpable cosmopolitan atmosphere, where you will definitely feel very comfortable.

 

Actually, the gay community blends with the local artists and as well as the Jewish community, who have a good and strong presence. In addition, to this, the neighborhood is quite very lively. You can easily treat yourself to a bit of shopping and can purchase beautiful and elegant products. The neighborhood perfectly offers a good mix of the luxury labels, specialty boutiques and some beautiful thrift shops.

See the numerous art galleries that are located throughout all the Marais. These walls are quite beautiful as framed by genuine artists. To start exploring the area the perfect place to start is to just take a metro to the Bastille unless you walk from the Notre Dame and as well as the Hotel de Ville. Musse Carnavalet, Musse Picasso, Institut Sudedois and the Le Carreau du Temple are some of the exotic nearby destinations that you can see in the Le Marais.

Freelance Writer: Sue Ann Klosterman Becker

Email: klostermanbecker@gmail.com