Page 1

108 Pages • Volume 2 Issue 01 • January–February 2013 • `50

A DDP Publication

Go

turkey

Seoul

Searching

Bloomin’ Beautiful

Butchart Gardens, Canada plus celeb talk: Conversation with Kabir Bedi


Happy Landings in

2013

Dear Reader,

W

inter is just such an exciting time for holidays! You can go into the mountains and enjoy the winter snow or go to the seaside and enjoy sunbathing on the beach. Dining and wining in comfortable cosy spaces with friends leaves warm memories. So read about all the places we have brought alive for you in this issue of Holiday Talk. Turkey is the most happening place today! It is not only beautiful and historic but also provides hotels oozing with luxury and there is so much to do, like sailing on the Bosphorus, hot ballooning over the Capadoccia cave houses, skiing on the peaks of Antalya or enjoying its beaches and much more. We take you around the world with experiences that must be tried. Shopping in Thailand, gorging on Middle Eastern cuisine, taking in the fragrance and burst of colours at Butchart Gardens in Canada, walking the streets of Seoul (Gangnam style), island hopping in Fiji or Eurailing it in Europe. Along with this is Kashmir in all its beauty, where the splendour is soon returning to the valley of Srinagar, the rivers and vadis of Pahalgam and Gulmarg. We spoke to the one and only Kabir Bedi, who shared with us his favourite places and talked about restaurants he visits regularly around the world. You will also find regular pages on travel wear, baggage, visa information, flights, currency exchange, weather, what the doctor advises etc. Wishing all our readers a Very Happy New Year and lots of fun filled holidays in 2013.

Deepa Sethi Editor

readers’ letters Received the second copy of Holiday Talk. I really liked it...the layout , content , selection of topics …it really is very crisp. I also like the info talk pages! I think it has something in it for everyone and for once, it’s not trade-centric! Sangeeta Sharma Manager Marketing Communications Lufthansa German Airlines

“To all the readers of Holiday Talk, I would like to wish you a great year ahead and hope you keep evolving!” Kabir Bedi

I am highly impressed by the content and method of presentation of the second issue of HolidayTalk. Kudos for your presentation of countries with magnificent photographs. R Jayaraman


DDP Publications Private Limited New Delhi: 72 Todarmal Road, New Delhi – 110001, India. Tel.: +91 11 23731971, 23710793, Fax: +91 11 23351503, E-mail: holidays@ddppl.com, Website: www.holidaytalk.in Branch Offices: Mumbai: 504, Marine Chambers, New Marine Lines, Mumbai – 400020, India Tel.: +91 22 22070129, 22070130 Fax: +91 11 22070131 E-mail: mumbai@ddppl.com

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Publisher

SanJeet

Middle East: P.O. Box 9348, Saif Zone, Sharjah, UAE Tel.: +971 6 5573508 Fax: +971 6 5573509 Email: uae@ddppl.com

Editor

Deepa Sethi

Features Writer

Peden Doma Bhutia

Desk Editor

Neelam Singh

holidayTALK is a publication of DDP Publications Private Limited. All information in holidayTALK is derived from sources, which we consider reliable and a sincere effort is made to report accurate information. It is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. The publisher regrets that he cannot accept liability for errors and omissions contained in this publication, however caused. Similarly, opinions/views expressed by third parties in abstract and/or in interviews are not necessarily shared by holidayTALK. However, we wish to advice our readers that one or more recognized authorities may hold different views than those reported. Material used in this publication is intended for information purpose only. Readers are advised to seek specific advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. All contents of this publication are copyright. No part of holidayTALK or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publication in writing. The same rule applies when there is a copyright or the article is taken from another publication. An exemption is hereby granted for the extracts used for the purpose of fair review, provided two copies of the same publication are sent to us for our records. Publications reproducing material either in part or in whole, without permission could face legal action. The publisher assumes no responsibility for returning any material solicited or unsolicited nor is he responsible for material lost or damaged. This publication is not meant to be an endorsement of any specific product or services offered. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw, amend or otherwise deal with all advertisements without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian and International Advertisements Code. The publisher will not be liable for any damage or loss caused by delayed publication, error or failure of an advertisement to appear. holidayTALK is printed & published by SanJeet on behalf of DDP Publications Private Limited. and is printed at Cirrus Graphics Pvt. Ltd., B-62/14, Phase-2, Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi – 110028 and is published from 72 Todarmal Road, New Delhi – 110001.

Sub Editor

Ramya JS D’Rozario

Creative Design

Alpana Khare Neeraj Aggarwal

Advertising

Gunjan Sabikhi Prem Sagar Santosh Pandey Shilpi Sharma Shailendra Shukla Udit Pandey

Mumbai Advertising

Harshal Ashar

Production Manager

Anil Kharbanda

Circulation Manager

Ashok Rana

holidays@ddppl.com


contents 20

26

42

54 regulars 10

Festival Talk

Celebrations 14

InfoTalk

News you can use

features 26

50

Resort Wear 94

Cover Story Food Talk

Don’t Miss Chef Talk

Middle East Cuisine 42

Master Chef Australia talks about his favourite cuisines

City Talk

Seoul as a City 54

64

Page 96

Signature Experience

Butchart Gardens Canada

Guest Talk

Shop Talk

66

Siem Reap Cambodia

78 Kashmir as a Winter Destination

75

Fiji Island Nation

86

Shopping in Bangkok 20

Quiz Contest

Guess Where

Destination Turkey 38

InStyle

Jungle Talk

South Africa

Slice of India

Dooars West Bengal


information 97

What’s in a word?

98

Visa Talk

Information at Your fingertips 101 World Weather

102

World Currency

advice 62

Shutterbug

Photography on the Move 99

Flight Talk

Tips for Flight

64 96

100 Doctor’s Advice Eye Care while Flying

78 106

Don’t Miss Celeb Talk

Interview with Kabir Bedi about his favourite places and cuisine in the world

Page 106


10

festival talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

World Buskers Festival 2013 When: January 11 - 27 Where: Christchurch, New Zealand This international festival showcases one of the biggest and most well known street shows. This event transforms the whole city into one big stage with performances, musical extravaganzas, and dance shows. Two main venues of the festival are at The Press Club and The Inflatable (two dome venues). You can book your seats to the shows either online or from WBF Booking Booths. The festival strictly

follows a first come - first serve policy. Remember to bring cash for performers, they appreciate tips. For further information www.worldbuskersfestival.com

Camel Wrestling Championship When: 20th January Where: Selcuk, Turkey As opposed to its name, camel wrestling is quite a gentle sport. An ancient sport originating from the Turkic tribes, it comprises two male camels wrestling each other over a female camel in heat paraded in front of them. These animals are mostly draped in bells, carved saddles and brightly coloured rugs, and a participant is declared the winner if his opponent falls to the ground or flees.

Other events such as camel beauty contests and music performances are also held during these events. For further information www.goturkey.com

Ati-Atihan When: Third week in January Where: Kalibo, The Philippines The name of the festival roughly translates to ‘to be like Aetas’, the first settlers in the Philippines. Music, tribal dances, indigenous colourful costumes and weapons are the highlights of the parade that takes place towards the end of the festival. Groups that represent various tribes also compete for the attention of tourists and win prizes.

The masquerade Ball de Bonhomme with up to 400 participants, held at the Gran ball-room of the Château Frontenac is a major crowd-puller. The masquerade ball officially ends the week-long festival. For further information

www.philippines.hvu.nl/culture3.htm


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celebrations Carnival of Venice 2013 When: January 26 – February 14 Where: Venice, Italy The history of the Carnival of Venice dates back to 1162. A colourful open-air festival where everyone can join in, it is a great excuse to don a mask and costume, parade around the city and enjoy the live music in the main squares of the city. Today, one of the most important events is the contest for the best mask, placed at the last weekend of the Carnival. A jury of international costume and fashion designers votes for ‘La Maschera più bella’. For further information www.carnevale.venezia.it

Up Helly Aa When: 29th January Where: Shetland, Scotland A relatively modern festival, it is generally based on a number of processions by people disguised (known as ‘guizers’) in elaborate costumes. The main guizer is known as the ‘jarl’. The festival involves a number of marches, ending in a torch-lit procession, followed by a number of performing acts, parties and dancing in halls held in local schools, sports facilities or hotels.

Traditionally, women are not allowed to take part in the marching squads, so men dress up as women too, earning the festival the name ‘Transvestite Tuesday’. For further information www.uphellyaa.org/

Chiang Mai Flower Festival When: First weekend of February Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand Known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai blooms in this season where the greatest flower show in Thailand takes place. Floral sculptures are displayed in varying shapes and sizes, be it temples, animals or depicting stories from the scriptures. Floats are also prepared and gorgeous masterpieces are paraded across town.

There are Thai dancers in traditional costumes atop these floats along with girls who take part in the Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival competition. For further information www.tourismthailand.org/home


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festival talk

celebrations

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Québec Winter Carnival When: February 1 - 17 Where: Quebec, Canada

The first large winter carnival in Québec City, took place in 1894. And since 1955, this festival has been organised every year, uninterrupted. In order to spread warmth and joy in the months of cold winter, the festival gathered pace each year.

The night and day carnival parades decorated with ice sculptures and dazzling lights are major attractions. Winter sports, snow sculptures and activities based on the traditional Québec lifestyle, such as canoe races and dogsled races are the other highlights. For further information www.carnaval.qc.ca

Festival au Desert When: February 7 onwards Where: Outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali Held amidst the sandy dunes of Mali, tourists can enjoy world music and Tuareg culture festival in a traditional setting and celebration of the Tuareg tribe, known as the ‘Blue Men of the Desert’. Musicians from the neighbouring countries of Niger, Mauritania and others regale the visitors, along with traditional dancing, singing, camel races, swordplay and crafts exhibits.

Remember, there are no hotels available and visitors must bring sleeping bags, soft luggage and summer wear for the day. For further information www.festival-au-desert.org/

Rio Carnival When: February 8 - 12 Where: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil With the first Rio Carnival dating back to 1723, this festival is said to be the most famous the world over. The parade is filled with decorated floats, revellers and embellished with Samba dancers in elaborate costumes from various Samba schools across Rio. The balls, street parties and street band processions are flamboyant and accompanied with loud music during this period.

The Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace is well attended by the ‘who’s who’ of society, while the Gay Gala Costume Ball in Scala is another must-experience. For further information

www.rio-carnival.net/rio_carnival/carnival_in_rio.php


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The Battle of Oranges When: February 9 - 10 Where: Ivrea, Italy Italy’s largest food fight is a colourful, messy and historic festival that takes place in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday (last day of eating rich food before the Lent season starts) in the medieval town of Ivrea each year. During the battle, nine teams, some representing rebels and others representing authority figures, throw oranges at each other with violent ferocity.

Tourists do not get to participate in the actual fighting, but can align themselves with one of the nine teams. For further information

www.italia.it/en/home.html

Chinese New Year When: February 10, 2013 Where: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand

and other countries with Chinese population

An important traditional Chinese holiday, this festival marks the end of winter. The festivities usually go on for two weeks, culminating with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day. Though the celebrations and customs vary according to the region, people buy gifts, decorations, clothes and more for their festivities. Firecrackers and bamboo sticks are lit, and numerous fireworks herald the start of the festival, however there are rules and regulations in different places. Traditionally, red packets with money are generally handed over to children or youngsters.

Lantern Festival When: February 24 Where: Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia,

Malaysia and Singapore

This festival is held on the fifteenth day of the lunar month. People light lanterns and release them into the air, a symbol of letting the past go and to usher in the new year. The most vibrantly designed lantern is the ‘Dragon Pole’, which spews fireworks from its mouth. In Taiwan, thousands of people trek to the mountainous township of Pingxi. Now this act has eased into a celebration where people purchase lanterns, write their wishes inside and then release them into the sky. For further information

eng.taiwan.net.tw/pda/m1.aspx?sNo=0002021


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info talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

infotalk Seoul encourages

Gangnam Style tourism Following the extraordinary success of the ‘Gangnam Style’ song by the South Korean rap artist PSY, the Seoul Tourism Organisation released a promotional video to encourage Gangnam Style tourism in Seoul. The video highlights the appeal of the upmarket Gangnam neighbourhood in the country’s capital city, which features as the backdrop to the original record-breaking YouTube video. In PSY’s video, the 34-year-old artist performs his distinctive dance moves in the high-rise neighbourhood to the south of the city.

New SpiceJet flights on three

international routes SpiceJet has started daily flights on three new international routes - Kochi-Male, Kochi-Dubai and Dubai-Ahmedabad. Male is the new international destination for the airline, while it already operates daily flights to Dubai from Mumbai and Delhi. With these new routes, the total number of international destinations on SpiceJet network would increase to five. At present, SpiceJet flies to Kathmandu, Colombo, Kabul and Dubai.

Table Mountain

booked its place in Wonders of Nature In December 2012, Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as part of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’. It not only provides a spectacular backdrop for Cape Town city, but also offers visitors the unique experience to actually walk on top of the mountain and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views. Voting that took place across the globe for the New 7 Wonders of Nature closed on November 11, 2011 and then the provisional New 7 Wonders sites were announced. The African icon was the sixth site following the Puerto Princesa, Underground River, the Amazon, Jeju Island, Halong Bay and Iguazu Falls. The seventh site is Komodo in Indonesia known for its large species of the lizard found on the Indonesian islands.


15 Disney’s new

Fantasyland in Florida Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom launched the new Fantasyland under the largest expansion project in the park’s 41-year history. The new spaces are built on what was once the site of the 20,000 Leagues under the Sea experience, and the expansion doubles the size of the original Fantasyland. New Fantasyland sits just past Cinderella Castle, with two sections: Enchanted Forest, where you can meet your favourite Disney Characters from Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Storybook Circus, inspired by the Disney film Dumbo. Major Highlights: A ride called Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid, which tells Ariel’s story, and Enchanted Tales with Belle, a walk-through experience that features a magical mirror and costumed characters. A new restaurant, ‘Be Our Guest Restaurant’ will serve wine and beer with dinner, which is the first time alcohol is being sold at the Magic Kingdom. For further information, please visit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ parks/magic-kingdom/newfantasyland/

The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen will be extended in 2013

In 2013, Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be extended by 600 sqm and offer three new amusement rides in a new theme area in the part of the Gardens called the Merry Corner. The inspiration for the 1200 sq m new area is the world famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, and the theme will circle around stars, galaxies and planets. Among the other attractions is a new, wild ride for adults, found only in few amusement parks in the world. But young children and teens can also look forward to new thrills. The purpose of the new amusement area is to ensure an increase in the number of young visitors and tourists when Tivoli opens on April 11, 2013. For more info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vZHp8Vm_8U

Seychelles Capital

3rd most romantic city

In a survey conducted by a leading news and information channel, Seychelles islands has emerged as the third most romantic destination in the world after ranking New Orleans of the USA as the first one, followed by Moscow, Russia, in second place. A city with charming beaches, beautiful scenery, not densely populated, full of classical British architectural style, Victoria is paradise on Earth. Seychelles is a year-round tourism destination. Its clean and white sandy beaches offer an unrivalled swimming experience in its clear and clean turquoise blue water 365 days of the year.


16

info talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

infotalk

Air New Zealand partners with ‘The Hobbit’ Air New Zealand has unveiled a special new livery to mark its partnership with the latest movie, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’. The airline has adorned one of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with a new livery featuring images and characters from the film. The aircraft is the longest in Air New Zealand’s fleet, and the artwork took six days and nearly 400 man-hours to apply. At 830 sq m, it is the largest ever graphic to be applied on an aircraft.

Sky Dining

in Singapore

Indulge in the world’s first Full Butler Sky Dining experience which comes with a 4-course fine dining menu, personalised butler service, and magnificent skyline views – all in the comfort of a spacious capsule, atop the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel. Celebrity Chef Menu $269++ per couple Available dates: 2 Jan to 7 Feb 25 Feb to 28 Feb Inclusive: 4-course sky dinner menu Designed by Celebrity Chef Eric Teo 2 flight rotations (approx 1 hour) Exclusive check-in (express boarding) In-flight host Free entry to Journey of Dreams


17

Icewine Festival in Niagara, Canada

Icewine Festival is an annual festival that takes place in Niagara for 3 weeks in January. In 2013, it will be held from January 12 – 27. Among the many events, the Ice Queen’s Ball on January 11 will showcase wines from over 30 Ontario wineries and feature Canada’s largest tasting of internationally acclaimed VQA Icewine and table wines. January 12 and 13 will witness the Winter Winefest at Twenty Valley area in Niagara. January 19 and 20 will witness the Icewine Village event in Niagara-on-the-Lake. You can also enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the Niagara Region from the ultimate vantage point with Niagara Helicopters (www.niagarahelicopters.com) or experience Niagara’s ultimate Fallsview dining experience 775 ft above the mighty Falls in the Revolving Dining Room at the Skylon Tower. For more info visit www.niagarawinefestival.com

Red carpet treatment at

the Corinthia Hotel London Daniel Galvin, the top colourist and leading celebrity hairstylist in the UK, presents ‘The Red Carpet by Daniel Galvin’, the world’s first and unique to Daniel Galvin at Corinthia Hotel London, for the upcoming party season and forthcoming awards season. Usually reserved for celebrity guests, it is opening the doors to the Ultimate MakeOver Room designed to offer a secluded haven for hair styling in the most stunning and luxurious surroundings. Guests of the exclusive styling session will be greeted with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and ushered into the unique retreat for a private consultation looking at personal style, occasion, the dress, and most importantly, the desired ‘look’.

Asia’s largest Whisky Bar in Singapore Quaich Bar, a pioneer of fine whiskies in Singapore, launched Quaich Bar@Resorts World Sentosa, Asia’s largest whisky bar located at Resorts World Sentosa. Spread over 8,000 sq ft in a two-storey building, it is designed to offer unrivalled whisky experiences for novices to connoisseurs. Boasting a comprehensive selection of more than 1,000 labels with over 95 per cent from Scotland and a selection from Wales, Japan, India, America and South Africa, the choices run from artisanal distilleries such as Springbank from the almost extinct region of Campbeltown to an impressive fine and rare selection.


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info talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

infotalk Space Tourism on horizon

In 2014, you can enjoy stunning Earth views and the weightless astronaut experience as a space tourist. A Spanish company recently conducted a successful test of a balloon capsule that is large enough to carry humans. The company is planning to offer hours of flight time for space tourists to do whatever they want in a near-space environment. It already has customers on its wait list who have paid an early deposit of almost $13,000 (10,000 Euros) as the first installment out of a total ticket price of $143,000 (110,000 Euros).

A typical pre-dawn flight would take several hours to reach maximum altitude, so that passengers could enjoy seeing the sun rise against the blackness of space and see the curvature of Earth. Getting back would mean cutting the cord between the balloon and the enclosed passenger capsule. Passengers could experience about 40 to 60 seconds of weightlessness during free fall, before parachutes and a parafoil can carry them safely down to Earth.

Visit Korea 2.0

Smartphone App Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has released ‘Visit Korea2.0’, an upgraded version of Smartphone App ‘Visit Korea’. It contains Korea travel content and information, which has been optimised for user friendliness. It is available for free download on iPhone and Android. Around 3,500 database entries have been optimised for mobile use, and grouped into five main categories including attractions, dining, accommodations, shopping and transportation. Besides having a map to assist all foreign travellers find directions for all database entries, ‘Visit Korea 2.0’ allows users to share individual content on their personal social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. It provides a wide range of reading material and travel tools for foreign travellers, especially those less familiar with Korea. www.visitkorea.or.kr

Cathay Pacific introduces Premium

Economy Class on

Chennai-Hong Kong route Cathay Pacific Airways introduces its new Premium Economy Class cabin along with Business Class on Chennai-Hong Kong route. Following the recent increase of Chennai flights, from four times a week to a daily service, Chennai will be the first city in South India to offer a threeclass configuration for passengers – new Business Class, Premium Economy Class and the new longhaul Economy Class. The airline has also recently (December 1, 2012) expanded its operations to India with a new four times a week service on the Hyderabad-Hong Kong route.


19 New Jet aircraft on the Mumbai – Brussels route

Jet Airways commences its new A330-300 aircraft on Mumbai – Brussels route. This flight will operate on the Mumbai – Brussels – Mumbai sector. The airline has also expanded its code-share agreement with Etihad Airways. The airline has now placed its code on Etihad’s flight operating out of Abu Dhabi to Paris’ Charles deGaulle airport. This code-share will allow Jet Airways to offer its passengers connectivity from India to Paris via Abu Dhabi.

Miracle Thailand Card: A gift for Indian travellers Tourism Authority of Thailand in association with Krung Thai Bank and Association of Thai Travel Agents introduces a Miracle Thailand Card to Indian travellers. The card which functions as a debit card can be purchased for 100 THB from a KTB (Krung Thai Bank) money exchange booth or any KTB bank branch. The card allows travellers shopping benefits of up to 5-70% discounts on over 400 brands across top shopping centers, such as Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, The Emporium, Paradise Park, MBK Center, The Mall, etc.; an additional 10% discount at the King Power duty free shop; 10% discount on the show tickets at Siam Niramit. The cardholder will also be given a Personal Accident Insurance for the first seven days of entry within the country. For further info mailto: tatmumbai@tat.or.th

ICEHOTEL of Sweden Located in a village called Jukkasjarvi, in the middle of the archaic landscape of the polar circle, the coolest hotel in the world is built out of ice and snow and is a spectacular art and design project. Each year in autumn the construction starts all over again.There are at least 50 rooms and suites. Every room is designed by an international artist and is unique in nature. Coats of reindeers, pillared corridors, sculptures, and a candelabrum composed of sparkling ice lead to shining eyes among guests. At the ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL, colourful vodka cocktails are served in massive glasses of ice. Snowmobile tours, a safari through the arctic wilderness in order to gaze at reindeers and moose, dog sledge tours, as well as theme walks to the mystic northern lights offer unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Double rooms can be booked from 1150 Swedish Krone (approximately 133 Euros) per person. For further information, please visit www.icehotel.com


20

safari talk

2

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

s i r a f a S e l g Best Jun a c i r f A h t u in So

erves st game res e b e th f o e at som odation. us accomm f the Big Five o o ri ic u x g a lu m d n e a th frica. rangers Experience es in South A killed game c s n e h ri it e w p a x e ic t fr the bes of South A ends two of m m o c re lk a HolidayT

Experience unforgettable interpretive game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, led by expert &Beyond trained rangers and Zulu trackers.

Best Time to visit Phinda April & May August & September

&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal Three and a half hours from Durban &Beyond Phinda Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 23,000 hectares (56,800 acres) of prime wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Showcasing one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, &Beyond Phinda features Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), the endangered black rhino, and 415 bird species.

Experience utter peace and tranquility at Zuka Lodge With just four bush cottages, Zuka lodge is ideal for smaller gatherings and special occasion safari. The charming cottages overlook a busy waterhole where a diversity of wildlife is regularly seen and birdlife flourishes. For more info: www.phinda.com/safari-lodges/phinda-zuka-lodge.html


21 Legend Golf and Safari Resort, Limpopo Four hours from Johannesburg Legend Golf and Safari Resort houses the Entabeni Safari Conservancy. The Sanctuary is home to a number of species of animals, with the Big five taking centrestage.

Helicopter flights

Enjoy the indescribable natural beauty of the Waterberg in a helicopter. It can be a jaw-dropping experience as the copter takes its various ingenuous turns.

White Lions

White Lions are the highlight of this centre. They live in an island, secured with electric fences and guests have plenty of opportunities to capture their beauty on camera, without the obstruction of cages.

Luxurious accommodation

The resort has 201 rooms built across the Bush. Walking out to the patio outside the room after sunset can be a surreal experience as you lose the sense of time and space for a few seconds. Look up to the clear black sky filled with twinkling stars.


22

accessories

Bike

carriers

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Bringing the power of cycling to life is something we take to heart. Simply put, we want you to be able to ride your bike more often.

Bones 2-Bike

Saris Car Racks are now available in India. • Arc-based design fits over most spoilers and separates bikes on different levels. • Injection-molded arms and legs are the strongest on the market. • Built with 100 per cent recyclable, nonrusting materials. Accommodate 2 bikes (35lbs/bike).

Sentinel 3-Bike

• Completely assembled and ready to go, right out of the box. • Unique bike hold-downs separate and firmly hold up to 3 bikes. • Coated hooks protect your car’s finish. • Folds down flat for compact, convenient storage.

Solo: So easy. So convenient

• Low cost, easy installation, convenient size. • Built with 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials. Carries 1 bike up to 35lbs.


26

cover story

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

y e k r u t Go

Turkey is like an intricately woven carpet, a subtle blend of eastern and western cultures. Here is what you can experience at this destination that offers the best of both worlds‌


Did You know?

Turkey has a population of 75 million and it gets 32 million tourists per year.

Time Difference Turkey is 3 hours & 30 minutes behind Indian Standard Time.


Rock-cut cave houses of Göreme in Cappadocia

A stunning area of other-worldly rock formations, there are an estimated 3000 rock churches in this region, not all of which are open to the public. Göreme Open Air Museum, 15 minutes walk from Göreme village centre, houses rock cut Byzantine churches, paintings and frescoes. In summer, avoid visiting the museum mid-day. Entry Fee - 15 TL

 isit the Harem at V Topkapi Palace

A 15th century residential palace in Istanbul was opened to the public as a museum in 1924. The Harem at Topkapi Palace is a must-visit. Entry Fee: Topkapı Palace Museum - 20 TL Harem - 15 TL.

Ephesus on bikes

An archaeological site, it has ruins of the ancient city Troy where the famous Trojan War was fought. Ephesus is 4 km from Selçuk which is 55 km from Izmir. Most of the pensions and hotels in Selçuk provide bikes to go to Ephesus. Entry Fee - 20 TL

There are an estimated 3000 rock churches in Cappadocia


The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is called so because of its blue-tiled interior. • Visit the mosque mid morning, because it is closed for visitors during the five daily prayers for 90 minutes. • Heads should be kept covered while in the mosque. Headscarves and robes are available at the entrance for free. Avoid flash photography and taking pictures of those who are praying.

1 TL = 30 INR 1 Euro = 2.32 TL 1 USD = 1.77 TL Turkish Lira (TL)


30

cover story

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

The balloons rise approximately 1000 feet to show you sunrise and extraordinary views of Cappadocia. The tour is approximately for an hour and the balloon can accommodate 16-21 persons. Tour cost: 150 Euro, Children from 6-12 get 50% discount. Timings: Summer - 7.30 am onwards. Winter - 8am onwards

You cannot leave Turkey without… Hammam bath

Hammam bath, similar to the concept of a steam bath or sauna, has masseurs or tellaks who help wash clients by soaping and scrubbing their bodies. The baths at Cemeberlitas and Cagaloglu are very popular among tourists. Cost starts from Euro 60 (140 TL).

Don’t miss Belly Dancing at Caravanserai

where along with your dinner, Turkish singers and dancers regale you with their antics. The belly dance here is also very popular. And for all this you shell out a cool 100 TL.

Whirling Dervishes

Mevlevi dervishes perform the whirling Sema ceremony in Istanbul at the Hodjapasha Art & Culture Center near Sirkeci Station, just down the hill from Sultanahmet, each evening at 7.30pm, except Tuesday and Thursday. Since it is a spiritual act, you are advised not to applaud while watching. You may do so only after the dervishes have left the stage. Entry Fee - TL 40 for adults, TL 25 for children.


Shopping

Turkey is the best place to shop for carpets, copper, brassware, jewellery, handicrafts, spices and ceramics. Bargaining is a must. • Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a favourite tourist spot for shopping with more than 3,000 shopes. Do visit the narrow lanes behind the Bazaar that have wholesalers selling goods for almost half the price. • Istiklal Street at Taksim Square, Istanbul, is a famous shopping centre. • For luxury brands, head to Nişantaşi, Istanbul’s most popular shopping, entertainment and gourmet centre.


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Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Bosphorus Cruise @ 35TL The 3-hour long cruise provides a fantastic view of Istanbul and is the shortest route to reach Europe to Asia and vice versa. While on the cruise, do visit the Rumelihisari fortress, which is on a hill at Sariyer district, at the European side of the Bosphorus. The Camlica Hill on the Asian side provides a fantastic view of Istanbul. You might also meet some newlyweds in this area as after the wedding ceremony couples come here to drink tea with their relatives.


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Istanbul is my favourite city. It is one of the world’s oldest running cities that has its magical past but also its modern outlook intact. It offers some adventure options like skiing, where the hill town of Erzurum that hosted the World Skiing competition, offers a thrilling experience to skiers at a lesser price than what they would get at any European Ski resort. Burak Akcapar Turkish Ambassador to India


Did You know?

Cicek Pasaji (which translated in English means Flower Passage) is a famous historic arcade on Istikal Avenue in Istanbul, Turkey. The 8-10 food joints at Cicek Pasaji serve authentic Turkish cuisine and you can also have musicians come over to your table and regale you with their music. Don’t forget to tip them!

The cafés that ring the harbour are popular hangout spots for tourists and locals.

Food for Thought

Turkish cuisine is considered to be one of the three main cuisines of the world. For authentic Turkish cuisine, visit the Hamdi Restaurant or Develi Restaurant in Istanbul. For seafood visit Kumkapi Fener Fish Restaurant in Istanbul. A typical meal for two at these restaurants along with a glass of Raki (a Turkish unsweetened, anise-flavoured hard alcoholic drink) will cost anything between 80TL-100TL.

Turkish tea is too strong to be served in large cups thus it’s always offered in little tulip-shaped glasses which you have to hold by the rim. Add sugar to it but no milk.


A sweet tooth

The most wonderful contribution of Turkish cuisine is the milk dessert - the muhallebi that includes a variety of puddings, laced with strands of chicken breast. Try the queen of all desserts at the Ikmal Restaurant on the Ankara-Izmır highway at Afyon.

Indian restaurants in Turkey

1) Tandoori – Visit this 40-seater restaurant for authentic Indian food. It doesn’t sell alcohol. Website: www.tandooriistanbul.com 2) Dubb Indian - The top floor of the fivestorey venue offers a wonderful view of the Haghia Sophia apart from providing wide variety of curries, thalis and dishes from the tandoor, plus lassi. Website : www.dubbindian.com


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cover story

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Tulips Originated in Turkey

Considered as the King of Bulbs, Tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. Emirgan Park in Istanbul is best known for its collection of tulips and in the month of April the park hosts the Istanbul Tulip Festival. There is also a nice tulip garden just behind the Topkapi Palace.

Our Tip for VAT Exemption

When in Turkey, look for the Tax Free Shopping logo for VAT exemption. You can get a Global Refund Cheque from the retailer which you should present to customs officials at the airport with your invoices and purchases for a cash refund while leaving Turkey. But make sure you don’t sign on anything without reading it carefully. By signing the form you may have confirmed that you’ve already received your refund.

Facts for Visitors Driving

Driving in Turkey is on the right side. You can drive in Turkey with an EU, US or International driving license.

Museums

Most of the museums and palaces in Turkey are open every day of the week except Mondays. There are a few notable exceptions: Topkapı Palace is closed on Tuesdays; Dolmabahçe Palace on Mondays and Thursdays and the Chora Church on Wednesdays.

Public Transport

The preferred means of transport in Turkey is by coach, in fact, the air-conditioned intercity coach services are comfortable, fast and inexpensive. Taxis are easy to spot as they are all bright yellow in colour and have a meter, and you should ensure that it is switched on before you embark your journey. If you are travelling outside the city boundaries, it is common practice to agree on a fixed rate in advance. For more information: www.goturkey.com


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food talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. A characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, it is now very popular across the Middle East.

Middle Eastern delights! Think Middle East and golden sand dunes, mesmerising mosques, alluring Arabian nights come to mind. But, there is more than these tourist attractions that need more praise - FOOD. So, if you are a food lover, then a visit to the Middle East should definitely be on your bucket list. Holiday Talk picks out some of Middle East’s famous and finger-lickin’-delicacies. Dency Mathew


39 Middle East is a region that comprises several countries, which have a very distinct cuisine consisting of traditional spices, tastes and of course sumptuous meat! The dishes that are offered differ from each country according to the climate, geography and even history of that country.

Vegetarian delight Falafel

Falafel is a world famous Arabic dish. In Egypt, even McDonald’s has their version of a falafel sandwich called McFalafel. It is a deep fried ball made of chickpeas or fava beans and is flavoured with herbs, garlic and spices. The falafel balls are generally served with salads, pickled vegetables or tahini-based sauces. • Visit Hashem Restaurant in Amman, Jordan, for their delicious falafels, hummus and a true Arab culinary delight. • You could also try Beit Jabri in Damascus, Syria, with its casual dining experience.

Koshari

Considered Egypt’s national dish, it consists of pasta, tomato sauce, rice, lentils, caramelised onions, garlic and chickpeas. Koshari is a fast food meal and is easily found in cities like Cairo. Interestingly, Koshari’s origin is not Egyptian at all, in fact, it was a dish introduced by the British army during the 19th century. The Pasta was imported from Italy, the tomatoes were from Latin America and the rice came from Asia. However, the idea to mix them all together in one extremely delicious and vegetarian dish was conceived in Egypt. • Koshary El Tahrir, in Cairo, Egypt, is a must-stop if you want to try this dish.

Bastani

For a bit of sweet tooth indulgence, bite into a slice of bastani-e za’farani, which is a special Persian ice cream flavoured with saffron and rosewater. • Akbar Mashti, which has been in business since 1950s, is famous for its Bastani.

Did you know?

It is said that Koshari is not of Egyptian origin, despite being its national dish. It supposedly is inspired from the Indian dish – ‘Khichri’, brought to Egypt by the British Occupation Troops.


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food talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Shawarma

A very popular dish in Dubai, Shawarma is a meat preparation where the meat is grilled on a spit after which its shavings are wrapped delicately inside pita bread. They are generally served along with salad or hummus. • Head to the Lebanese Flower in Abu Dhabi in Al Khalidiyah for their delicious Shawarmas. The hotel is open daily. You can also ask for extra sauce or grilled tomatoes to make your shawarmas even juicier. • You can also try the Shawarma stands in the heart of Manama in Bahrain, where the huge rows of customers ensure its tag as the local favourite.

Biryani

Biryani is another popular dish of the region, the preparation of which however, differs from country to country. The famous biryani to relish is the Iraqi biryani, where the rice is usually saffron based with either lamb or chicken being the meat or poultry of choice. • For exquisite Biryani, try Azam Beryani in Isafahan in Iran is a must-try.

Kebabs

You will be spoiled for choice of different varieties of kebabs in the Middle East. The more famous kebabs to indulge in are the Chelo Kebab, Kebab Kenjeh and Kebab Halabi. • Siirt Şeref Büryan Kebap Salonu in Istanbul in Kadinlar Pazari area serves one of the most delicious kebabs in the region. • Zubeyir Ocakbasi in Beyoglu, Istanbul is another great place for kebabs. Close to Taksim Square, the food here is served till late night.

Did you know?

A dining venue, the Al Boom Restaurant in Radisson Blu Hotel in Kuwait City, is housed in the hull of boat built in Calicut, India in 1979. This handmade teak Arab trading dhow took three years to build. Middle Eastern fare is Photos courtesy: Tourism Office of Spain available here from 6 pm to 11.30 pm daily.


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city talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Seoul searching Seoul is a city that is brimming with life and there is never a dull moment here. Having developed into a bustling metropolis, the city is the hub of all economic, social, political and cultural activity. HolidayTalk presents a city that forms a collage of Korean culture. Peden Doma Bhutia

Gyeongbokgung Palace

How to get there: It is a 5 min walk from Exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung Station on subway line 3 or 10 min walk from Exit 2 of Gwanghwamun Station on subway line 5. Timings: March to October 9 am-6 pm November to February 9 am-5 pm Entry Fee: Adults (19-64) = W3,000 Minors (7-18) = W1,500 Closed on Tuesday


The bygone era of Seoul is best lived through a visit to the Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Deoksugung Palaces as well as the Jongmyo Shrine, which transports you back to the days of the Joseon monarchs.


Do not miss

The spectacle of the changing of the royal guard takes place daily from 10 am to 3 pm on the hour. In July and during winters, the ceremony takes an informal colour and on request the guards in Joseon Dynasty costumes even agree to pose for a photograph after the ceremony is over.

Culture Gully Sejong Belt The Sejong Belt located around Gwanghwamun Square is Seoul’s very own Broadway. A cultural hub of about 30 culture and art institutes (performance halls, museums and galleries), Sejong has an integrated Ticketing & Info Center which allows you to purchase tickets for all the 30 institutes. And to ensure that nothing’s lost in translation, there are culture and art coordinators who speak Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese to help you. And what’s more, you can also enjoy a 20-50 per cent discount here.

Insa-dong Visit Insa-dong at different points in the day and you’ll see three different faces of the place. Early morning the place is quiet, in the afternoon you can see tourists all over the place and at night the locals also drop in and there is a rush for a table at the tea-houses. And after shopping for Korean artifacts and antiques, if hunger strikes, head to the traditional teahouses or gourmet restaurants to grab a bite.

Nanta

Nanta is a non-verbal performance of reckless rhythms that dramatise customary Korean percussion in a strikingly comic stage show. It has raised cooking to an art form as kitchen items are turned into percussion instruments.

Nanta is performed at Gangnam Hall in Gangnam, Myeong-dong and Jeongdong Hall in Jeongdong. Entry fee: = W50,000, for VIP seats it costs = W60,000 (1$=1,064 = W)


Seoul Folk Flea Market

Talking Shop Dongdaemun Fashion Town Dongdaemun Fashion Town is a one-stop shop for the latest in garments, fabrics and accessories and all this at a price that doesn’t really eat into your holiday budget.

Hongik Univ Free Market Opened in June 2002, Hongik Univ Free Market is a meeting place for artists and art connoisseurs. Here you come across stacks

Fish Market: This place has fish of every kind from anchovy to shark. Open 24 hours

of paintings resting on easels, where young artists, sell their own paintings and artworks. This market is open only on Saturdays.

Dapsimni Antique Shopping Mall A treasure trove of dolls, silver ornamental daggers, glasses, lamps, stone mortars, stone statues and chests, this is the best place to strike a deal. This market is closed on Sundays.

One of Korea’s largest flea markets, here you can find everything from second-hand cameras, walkmans, record players, LP records, golf and angling equipment to military glasses, antique ornaments, gems and wall clocks. This market is closed on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.


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city talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013


Decoding Oppa’s Gangnam Style

The literal meaning of the word ‘Gangnam’ is ‘south of the river’, and stands for the commercial area located south of the Hangang river. Gangnam is also the economic and cultural hub of Seoul. The Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong shopping areas are lined with upscale designer stores and unique vintage clothes shops. And you might even bump into a celebrity here!

Food Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market Said to be one of the largest markets of its kind in Korea, this place has fish of every kind – from anchovy to shark. Open 24 hours, this fish market also houses restaurants on the second floor. Octopus soup, blue crabs, sea cucumber, snappers, halibuts (flat fish), maeuntang (spicy fish stew), sushi, you can gorge on all this and more.

Bonjuk Bonjuk is a chain of traditional porridge restaurants serving a wide range of tasty and healthy juk (rice porridge). With about 1,000 partner stores nationwide and 10 worldwide (USA, Japan, Malaysia), Bonjuk is at the forefront of popularisation and globalisation of juk.

Kraze Burgers The fast food chain that opened in 1998 now has seven branches. This place is a good pit stop for health junkies as none of the food, seasonings or toppings used here is frozen or canned. However, be prepared to stand in a queue waiting for your turn.

Try the Matiz and Vege & Bean Burgers here

Namdo restaurant owner’s no-phone policy

Namdo Restaurant at Jeongdong-gil offers only one speciality, ‘chueotang’, which is ground loach (freshwater fish) in hot bean paste soup. Located on the right side of the Chongdong Theatre, the owner of this restaurant got rid of its phone as there were too many phone calls asking for its location.


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city talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Kimchi Museum

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is Korea’s national dish, and in the past, Koreans prepared it as a substitute for fresh vegetables during the winter months. The museum retraces the history of the dish, and you can also taste the various kinds of kimchi from each part of Korea.

More than 100 teas to taste Areumdaun Cha Bangmulgwan (Beautiful Tea Museum) is a museum, tea-shop, gallery and café, all rolled into one. The museum exhibits porcelain artwork by young ceramists which can even be purchased here. The museum also offers more than 100 types of tea from Korea, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Europe and more,


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in style

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Resorts Attire for

The dress phrase ‘resort casual’ can be best defined as a style that combines ease with fashion, marrying style with comfort. Top-end resorts carry the dress code as a byline on their brochures. Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant, Shital Kakkar Mehra, shares with HolidayTalk some tips regarding resort casual wear.

T

oday, leading apparel companies and fashion designers have created a separate line of clothing to cater to the growing global demand for such clothes. As a rule, attire in a resort is a notch above your regular casual clothes or clothes that you wear on the weekends. The look can be separated into day and evening wear.

During the Days

While visiting the breakfast or lunch buffet in the resort, both men and women can wear: • Trousers: Linen trousers, formal dress - shorts with folded cuffs for an added dash of style, laundered denims (white or dark blue) • Shirts: Half-sleeve cotton/linen shirts or collared t-shirts - no crew neck please! •S  hoes: Sandals, Crocs, floaters or deck shoes/ moccasins. No bare feet or ill-fitting flip-flops! •C  olours: Whites, khakis, beiges, greens, tans, bright floral or bold stripes •S  wimwear: Best restricted to poolside. Elsewhere on the resort premises, women are advised to wear sarongs to cover their body while men should wear a fresh t-shirt. •A  dditionally, women can wear skorts or wraparound skirts of medium length


In the Evenings

While the resorts maintain an air of causal during the day, they have formal dining areas for the evening. • Trousers: Linen trousers, formal dress shorts with folded cuffs for an added dash of style, laundered denims (white or dark blue) • Trousers: Cotton or linen trousers – no faded or fashionably torn denims! • Shirts: Full-sleeve button-down shirts or collared t-shirts • Shoes: Closed-toe sandals or semi-formal shoes, matching the cut of your trousers. Women should carry a pair of sandals or formal shoes, to mix-n-match during the holiday and while traveling for it • Colours: Darker colours like black, navy blue, olive green, browns, greys • Jackets: While a necessity in colder climates, it’s best to pack one which can be worn for a formal outing • Additionally, women can wear a smart evening dress or a black skirt/trouser combined with an Indo-western kurta or kurti. Carry a matching stole or the timeless Pashmina! Happy Holidays!

Shital Kakkar Mehra is a well-known Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant. She has personally trained several thousand professionals across the country and has worked with several progressive organisations. She has contributed over 125 articles to different publications and has authored a book – Business Etiquette: A Guide for the Indian Professional.


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signature experience

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

It’s Bloomin’ Beautiful!

The Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada

If you’re going to the West coast of Canada, especially to Vancouver, this is an absolute ‘must-see’ for flower and nature lovers!


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If there’s heaven on earth it’s at the Butchart Gardens! It’s a riot of colours with exquisite blooms and intoxicating fragrances. If you’re going to the West coast of Canada, especially to Vancouver, this is an absolute ‘must-see’ for flower and nature lovers! Even the hardest skeptic cannot help but smile. Spend a relaxed day on the landscaped lawns, eat at amazing restaurants and cafes (one especially for a family with children), buy seeds and exquisite memorabilia at the Seed & Gift Store, watch the fireworks on Saturday nights in summer or become a part of the Christmas celebrations in the winter. Deepa Sethi paints the picture by relating the fascinating story of The Butchart Gardens:

I

n 1888, Robert Butchart started his cement manufacturing plant on a 55-acre piece of land where The Butchart Gardens stand today. After the land was depleted of these resources, his family thought the fields, forests, and sheltered ocean waters around made a convivial spot to build their home. The first section of The Residence was completed in 1904. Even though the quarry floor was littered with chunks of rock and stagnant puddles, Mrs. Jennie Butchart standing atop the quarry wall envisaged a garden in the desolation below. Jennie, by her own admission, knew nothing about gardening. Yet she happily accepted the present of some sweet peas and a single rose from a friend. As she planted them by the new house, she little realised this was the modest start to one of the world’s great horticultural adventures. Soon hundreds of tons of farm soil was transported in by horse carts, and little by little, under her supervision and months of backbreaking work, the area blossomed into the globally acclaimed Butchart Gardens. From the beginning, friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers were welcomed as they came to marvel at

A particularly deep portion of the quarry was carefully lined and filled with water to create a shimmering lake fed by a waterfall and stream.


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signature experience

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Natural Adventure

During the summer months, enjoy a 45-minute natural adventure, exploring the history and wildlife of Tod Inlet and the local waters of Brentwood Bay. Wildlife includes seals, herons, eagles, and otters in their natural habitat.

Funny Side

Mrs. Butchart, occasionally unrecognised, was not above serving tea herself. To one gentleman, who attempted to leave her a tip, she replied, “Oh no, thank you, sir! Old Mrs. Butchart would never let me accept anything!”

Sunny Side

On his magnificent grounds, Mr. Butchart refused to put up a single “Do Not” sign; although one tree, in an effort to protect the rest, bore a discreet “Carve Initials Here”.

the horticultural masterpiece. Mr. and Mrs. Butchart named their home “Benvenuto”, Italian for ‘welcome’. Tea was served to all who arrived. In 1915 alone, it is reported that tea was served to 18,000 people. Mr. Butchart added his very considerable collection of birds to The Gardens. He would journey miles just to procure an unusual specimen. At home, trained pigeons lived in what today is the Begonia Bower, ornamental ducks swam in the Star Pond, and an ill-tempered

parrot ruled in The Residence. Also, in the Sunken Garden Lake, trout would come to be fed from his hand. It is no wonder, in an enormously popular move, Victoria granted the Freedom of the City with the traditional key to Mr. and Mrs. Butchart. The Butchart Gardens has become a year round location, welcoming visitors from all over the world. Recognition came when The Gardens were chosen as a National Historic Site of Canada on the occasion of its Centennial Year in 2004.


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Spring Prelude

Jan / Feb / Mar Enjoy a large indoor garden filled with spring plants.

Spring

Mar / Apr / May / Jun As the weather warms, trees burst into flower. The perfumes of spring and vibrant colours of fireworks add extra excitement.

Summer

Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep Mid-summer Night Illuminations, Saturday night plays among daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and others tantalise the senses.

Autumn

Oct / Nov A stunning parade of red, russet and golden maples is joined by dozens of varieties of chrysanthemums in the Japanese Garden.

Christmas

Dec / Jan Enjoy a phenomenal display of coloured lights and decorations.


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On track

Italy on Eurail

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Milano 

2 Venezia Venice

Milan

Pisa

4 3 Firenze florence

Neha Oberoi after her journey on Eurail

Italy can be experienced in its true sense when you get an opportunity to admire its sweeping landscapes and chaotic cities. Because of the feasible option of rail services, travelling across Italy is quite easy and comfortable.

The Journey

Our Eurail journey began in Milan. These trains leave frequently from Milan’s Centrale station every hour through most of the day. It costs €70 for first class and €50 for second class tickets. On the Eurail, you need reservations along with your tickets for the high speed trains with an Italy rail pass as well. Milan – Florence Rail time: 1hr 45min Florence to Rome Rail time: 1hr 30min Rome to Naples Rail time: 1hr 10min Our train journey finally ended in Naples, the pizza capital of Italy. All the cities were brought together by 1-2 hour rides in plush comfort on the Eurail.

Roma 5 Rome

6 Napoli naples

D

iscover Italy through the high-speed train service called the Frecciarossa. It travels at 360km/hr and connects the major cities in the country comfortably, with quick travel times. The Freciarossa trains offer quick movement from city to city in quiet luxury, with an option to book in the Quiet Zone for absolute privacy. This coach follows a rule of ‘no mobile devices’ and ‘no loud noise’.


59 With Eurail’s regional, high-speed or night train, you can visit Italy’s most famous cities Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan and get great views from the train window along the way.

Eurail Passes

Eurail offer a range of rail passes (Global Pass, Select Pass, Regional Pass and One Country Pass) to fit every travel plan and budget. These passes are valid for travelling in local railways as well as some selected bus routes. Remember, only non-European residents can use a Eurail pass. They are available from a wide network of authorised General Sales Agents, operating worldwide.

Facilities

All the coaches are Wi-Fi equipped and serviced with a bar/ food trolley to cater to those hunger and thirst pangs. You can also enjoy a full course gourmet meal complete with wines and desserts in the restaurant of the train.


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On track

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Milan

The fashion capital of Italy, Milan is the city to visit with deep pockets and to catch up with the latest fashion trends

Our tip Please dress appropriately to enter and explore the interiors of the Duomo. You will not be allowed to enter the cathedral if you’re wearing shorts/skirt that is above the knee or a deepnecked blouse or shirt.

Watch out! At the Piazza Duomo, the major square in Milan, you’ll find many shops selling souvenirs. The vendors can be very persistent and often tend to ignore a soft decline or mute shake of the head for their wares. You need to be assertive when refusing.

Aperitif hour The Italians usually head out in the evening during aperitif hour (18:30-21:30) and for the price of a drink can gorge on the buffet. The ‘Noon’ cafe in Milan is one place recommended for its lavish spread for non-vegetarians and vegetarians alike.

Milan’s Duomo is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral and the most well visited spot by tourists and locals alike. Witness the famous football cheer where thousands of football fans gather and chant while gazing up at the four metre tall statue of Madonnina (the little Madonna).


Did you know?

The crowded Ponte Vecchio Bridge is a medieval bridge spanning the river Arno in Florence. It is lined with 300 years old jewellery shops running parallel to each other and it is one of the few remaining bridges with houses built upon it.

Florence

Florence is immensely popular with all travellers because of the city’s charisma, offered by its art and architecture. Michelangelo’s famed David has long remained the most popular and visited sculpture.

Naples is your best bet for bargains on local souvenirs. Naples

Naples offers the finest scenery on the train ride in and whilst here the coast will captivate you. The streets are littered with shops selling pasta in all shapes, sizes and colours. You will even find chocolate flavoured pasta and shops catering to the local tipple. An after meal Italian lemon liqueur, Limonecello made from Sorrento lemons is delicious and very popular.

Italian pastas are world famous. Italy has more than 350 different shapes of dried pasta. They have various shapes ranging from simple tubes to bow ties and naughty shaped pastas.


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shutter bug

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Photography on the move There are so many considerations to make while taking a photograph. What is my subject? How to frame the image? What aperture works best? Do I zoom out or in? Here are some tips on how to handle a camera the next time you are on a vacation.

Natural Lighting

Find a way to use natural lighting to your advantage. For example, the afternoon sun creates intense colours that can add vibrancy to your photographs.


Do not forget

to print your digital files as electronic media may get corrupted and you may lose all your travel pictures. These days there are a lot of options available to creatively print your images like photo books, normal photographic prints, prints on canvas, etc.

Equipment to carry

Plan your travel and pick the minimal equipment required. The less weight you carry, the more time you can devote to composing and capturing captivating pictures. • For a DSLR camera, you can carry one or two lenses, for example an 18-200 mm zoom lens will give you a good focal length range. • A fixed focal length lens like an 85 mm is excellent for portraiture. • A point and shoot camera with a good zoom is perfect for those who want to carry even less equipment.

Pavan Mahatta is Delhi’s well known professional photographer.

Photos courtesy: Pavan Mahatta Pic of Mr. Mahatta by: Arjun Mahatta


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Shop talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Bangkok

A Shopoholic’s Mecca!

A trip to Bangkok is a waste if you fail to lose yourself inside its numerous and humongous shopping malls. Being in Bangkok gives you the privilege of shopping in high-end luxury malls or squeezing your way through the narrow lanes of one of the world’s biggest flea market. Bangkok is synonymous with shopping and is indeed a shopoholic’s heaven. But always remember to do three things in Bangkok while shopping: Bargain, Bargain and Bargain some more! Dency Mathew


65 Chatuchak Market

If it’s a deal for a steal that you are looking out for, then Chatuchak weekend market is the place you need to be at. Arguably the biggest flea market in the world, Chatuchak can easily test your navigation skills. Walk through several stalls and buy a variety of goodies like sovereign T-shirts or antique cutlery. You will also find a lot of kitsch artifacts to traditional jewellery.

How to get there?

On the skytrain, get off at Mo Chit station and just follow the crowd. The market is open only on Saturdays and Sundays till 5 pm.

The key to a successful shopping spree is having lots of local money, lots of energy and lots of bargaining skills.


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Shop talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

MBK mall is where you literally shop till you drop! MBK

A maze in the form of a mall is how one can best describe this place. MBK mall is where you shop till you drop, literally! The mall has electronics, clothes, bags, watches, shoes, gold jewellery and more, spread out across several stores on different floors. The five-floored mall also has a food court for the hungry souls.

How to get there? Get off at National stadium on the skytrain and you can walk right into the mall from the station.


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How to get there?

On the skytrain, get off at Saphan Taksin and get on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. It only takes ten minutes, and the boat runs until 11 pm.

1 INR = 0.5 Thai Baht

Open from 5 pm, Asiatique is definitely worth dedicating one of your nights in Bangkok to. Asiatique Riverfront

If you are a night owl who likes shopping, then this recently opened night market will amaze you. Not only can you shop till midnight here, the open air mall also has a lot of character as it is river facing. Replicating a warehouse, this place is packed with shops, restaurants and theatres. There are many unique shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to clothes. If shopping here doesn’t excite you, then grab a bite in one of the several restaurants housed here that serve authentic Thai cuisine.

Siam Paragon

Located in the heart of Bangkok city, this mall houses many brands like H&M, Espirit, United Colors of Benetton and more. Remember though, bargaining here may be fruitless and embarrassing

How to get there? Get off at Siam on the skytrain, the mall is just next door.


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Shop talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Siam Square

The rustic night market of Siam Square can be a real treasure for shoppers. The street is lined with stalls selling clothes to digital clocks. This market is where the locals shop. And don’t be too surprised if you bump into a lot of teenagers here, a frequent spot for them.

How to get there?

Get off at Siam station on the skytrain and walk in the opposite direction of Siam Paragon Mall. The mall starts where the station ends.

Pantip Plaza

This indoor IT mall is dedicated to the electronics lover. Find good deals on laptops, television sets, cameras, software and more. But be cautious of the products you are buying as a good deal of fake equipment are also available.

How to get there?

Get off at Chidlom station on the skytrain and hire a ‘tuk tuk’ or taxi.


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guest talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Enchanting City of

Siem Reap I had always been fascinated by Cambodia for all that I had heard about its intriguing past and the chances of discovering its untamed jungles and captivating historical relics. The barbaric past of the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime renders it a deep, intense past, which is thrilling and melancholic. Aparupa Ray Ganguly


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W

ith limited time in hand and so much to explore, I decided to head straight to Siem Reap, in the north western part of Cambodia, famous for being the gateway to the Angkor region and the Angkor Wat temple complex. Siem Reap does have a lot of other facets which it could boast of. The city’s colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, the traditional Apsara dance performances, its craft shops, silk farms and its verdant paddy fields stretching out to the distant horizon could just be a few.

What to See & Do Exploring the UNESCO Heritage site of Angkor Wat The spectacular ruins of the Angkor Wat temple complex are quite obviously the main attraction of Siem Reap and they do seem to eclipse the rest of the country’s attractions. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman 2, it was originally a Hindu temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu. However, it was only in the 16th century that it was transformed to a Buddhist temple, after the king abandoned Angkor, the

Hot Air Ballooning @ $15

To get a bird’s eye view of the elaborate Angkor Temples, hop onto a hot air balloon. It is quite a thrilling experience and a perfect way to get some really good pictures of the temples. It usually lasts for about 15 minutes.


Floating fishing villages

Hire a motor boat for a 2–hour ride to witness the fishing villages with their characteristic stilted houses.

capital of the Khmer regime. Built over three levels, the jungle ruins of the Angkor Wat temple complex houses magnificent relief work depicting stories from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata which continue to permeate the Khmer culture.

Angkor is a dramatic monastery, untouched and unfazed by the years it has weathered. Shrouded in unruly foliage, it makes for some incredible photographs. There is also the Lolei temple known for its richly ornamented prasats (towers).

Cycling around

The Tonle Sap lake is yet another fascinating feature of Siem Reap. Hire a motor boat for a 2–hour ride to witness the fishing villages with their characteristic stilted houses and the unusual flooded forests that make for quite an impressive sight.

Hiring a cycle and heading out to many of the other temples and monasteries that dot the city is another great way of exploring the temples of Siem Reap. The stunning stone carved faces of the Bayon temple or even Ta Promh, in the east of

Tonle Sap lake


Where to Shop

The Night Market in Siem Reap is the perfect place to raid post-sundown. There are innumerable shops and shacks selling hand-carved Buddha heads and statues, junk jewellery, sarongs, traditional silk scarves, souvenirs and other handicrafts. And when you get tired, just stop by for a relaxing fish pedicure to re-energise yourself.

Where to Stay

The Pavillon d’Orient hotel is a great place to stay. An old colonial style boutique hotel, just ten minutes away from the town, the traditional French style architecture instantly catches the eye. The corridors are peppered with old French souvenirs and movie posters that add a distinct character to the place. The art-deco rooms overlook the lush tropical gardens and the pool. The hotel also has a spa that offers the traditional Khmer massage.


The buffet in Koulen II is priced at US$ 15 per person and includes a show of the famous Apsara dancers.

Where to Eat

The first impression of Siem Reap is much of a quiet, sleepy town until you hit downtown and the Old Market area which is buzzing with restaurants, pubs and eateries of all kinds. My Siem Reap food memoirs are incomplete without a mention of the two best places that I dined in. Koulen II, a differentlystyled restaurant, is like a massive open-air hall with seating and a traditional Cambodian roof top. It serves buffet dinner comprising more than three or four cuisines and is a great place to sample some traditional Cambodian or Thai food. The buffet is priced at USD 15 per person and includes a show of the famous Apsara dancers. Another great place for authentic Cambodian cuisine would be Bopha Angkor. Situated on the banks of the Siem Reap river, a must-try in this restaurant would be the traditional Fish Amok with lemongrass and coconut cream. If you don’t wish to wind up an early evening, head straight to the Pub Street to hang out in any of the bars that are flushed with foreign tourists who come by for a drink and some great music. Red Piano is a mustvisit. It serves familiar European cuisine, so settling for a classic ‘Fish-n-Chips’ or even a favourite grill/steak would be a good bet. The bright red walls and wooden chairs make for a casual and friendly ambience and lend it a quintessential pubby feel.

Por Pia Juan: A Dim Sum variant with beancurd skin

Aparupa Ray Ganguly is a seasoned hospitality communication professional with over 13 years of experience with revered brands like The Imperial New Delhi and others. She comes with an unquenchable thirst for travel. She believes that creativity is the ability to imagine something that never existed and travel fuels creativity. Eclectic and personalised, her frequent sojourns have spurred travelogues that are fresh and inspiring with a poetic narrative. . Read her stories on www.thejourneysoflife.com


a world in itself An island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Fiji has all amenities a tourist may require, be it water sports or extravagant resorts. It is a paradise for honeymooners, along with its beautiful water villas. Vicky Soin

A

Sandbank Picnic

For a magical experience visit Sandbank, one of the natural wonders, which is accessible only between 9 am - 4 pm. Thereafter, it gets submerged in sea due to high tide. You can enjoy a private picnic here on the pristine sandy stretch and dig into the delectable Fijian fare.

fter spending 17 years in the travel industry and visiting almost 65 cities around the world, my recent trip to the islands of Fiji was an eye opener. Life is different here. The Islanders move at their own pace, unlike in bustling cities. The people are calm, helpful and service-oriented.


About the Island

Fiji has near 330 islands, of which only 100 are inhabited. The Nadi region is the main economic hub and it has a larger number of hotels than any other part of Fiji. Fiji’s largest airport, the Nadi International Airport is located near the city. Other popular islands that can be visited are Savusavu, Taveuni, Mamanuki and Yasmin islands.

Getting There

Fiji is generally known as an excursion destination since it neighbours Australia and New Zealand. There is no direct flight from India to Fiji. Air Pacific Limited is Fiji’s International Airline. Tourists can travel from India to Fiji via Hong Kong. Air Pacific operates direct flights from Hong Kong to Fiji. Since most flights land in Nadi in the morning, the issue of early check-in could arise.

Pic Courtesy: www.honeymoons.com

Things to remember

• Indian nationals do not require a visa • Food is not an issue as a variety of Indian food is readily available • The destination management companies in Fiji are mainly operated by local Indians • Hindi and Gujarati are widely spoken and understood by the locals • The cities and resorts are well connected by speed boats and small aircraft • Budget, upper class and top-of-the-line resorts are widely available


guest talk

77

Hotels/Resorts explored Shangril La’s Fijian Resort & Spa A huge resort, perfect for social events, families and couples, offers several in-house activities to keep everyone busy.

Outrigger Resort This resort provides a comfortable experience. It offers not only Asian cuisine, but various delicacies from around the world. I had one of the best Indian meals here, thanks to the Indian chef. Most of the rooms are sea facing unless you are in a cottage on ground level overlooking the beautiful coral reef which is undoubtedly unbelievable.

Likuliku Resort & Spa

An upscale, high-end resort, it offers breathtaking bungalows and the only water villas available in Fiji. It is the perfect resort for honeymooners.

Vicky Soin is Assistant VP, Outbound MICE, Abercrombie & Kent. He shares his experience in Fiji with HolidayTalk.

Taveuni Resort & Spa Taveuni Island It takes an hour to reach the resort by small 18 or 7 seater aircraft. It is scenically perched on a mountain overlooking the sea and provides an ultimate experience in water sports. Snorkelling is a must-try here, however children are not allowed to participate in this activity.


78

slice of india

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Mission Kashmir This Winter

Kashmir used to be India’s favourite summer retreat, and is very rapidly finding its old glory, which will only be helped along with the increase of tourism. But what very few know is that it has much to offer as an ideal winter destination too. Here’s what you can explore on its snowy slopes…

T

hose who visit Kashmir would stand mesmerised by the elegant shikaras, flaming chinar trees and snow-clad peaks. The beauty of this state lies preserved as a backdrop in many Hindi films shot in its picture-perfect landscapes which captured the locales so beautifully.

Temperature can dip below zero degrees during winter Srinagar

Persian poet Jami’s words Gar Firdaus rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast (If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this) ring clear as you visit Srinagar. Hindi films have always romanticised the shikara ride on Dal Lake, and in winter, the Dal lake is even more enlivening as the lake


79

gets frozen over with a sheet of ice, mirroring the clouds above and the beauty around. While in Srinagar, a night or two on a houseboat will ensure you get an authentic Kashmiri experience to treasure. And you don’t have to fork out a fortune for it—there are houseboats to suit every pocket.


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slice of india

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Pahalgam

Location: 96 km from Srinagar Altitude: 2,130 m Known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’, Pahalgam is situated on the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and Lidder River with breathtaking views. The temperature at Pahalgam drops below freezing point in winter. The place comes alive with heli-skiers and ice skaters as they make a beeline to participate in the various winter sports events.

Known for its wool products, one can shop for gabbas, namdas (rugs), shawls and dress material with Kashmiri embroidery in Pahalgam.

Every year, Shri Amarnathji Yatra commences from Pahalgam and Baltal. Chandanwari (2,895 mt), at a distance of 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the Yatra that takes place in the month of Sawan (July-August). During Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave, which waxes and wanes with the moon. Since the base point for the pilgrims’ trek is picturesque Pahalgam, a large tented township springs up to accommodate them.


Gulmarg

Location: 57 km from Srinagar Altitude: 2,730 m Gulmarg has everything going for it to be dubbed a winner as a winter destination—its beautiful locales, prime location and proximity to the city centre, Srinagar.

Ski Club The British set up the Ski Club of India here in 1927 and hosted two major skiing events during Christmas and Easter. The ski runs range from 200 m to 900 m. If you are keen to learn skiing, head off to Gulmarg in midDecember as skiing on these slopes is perfect up to March.

Tobogganing If skiing is not your cup of tea, try tobogganing which entails sliding downhill on a flat wooden board or snowboarding.

Heli-skiing

Heli-skiing was introduced in Gulmarg—a first for India—in the mid 1980s in collaboration with the acclaimed French skier Sylvain Saudan of the Himalaya Heli-Ski Club of France. Skiers are taken to the very summit of mountain ridges by helicopters from where they ski down.

Gondola Cable Car

Gulmarg has become the highest lift-served ski resort in the world, providing a downhill ski run of 5.2 km from a height of 14,000 ft in the Apharwat range. It is also the longest gondola-served ski-lift in Asia.


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slice of india

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Sonmarg

Location: 81 km from Srinagar Altitude: 2,740 m Sonmarg, the ‘meadow of gold’ offers a spectacular view of the Harmukh Range that dominates the horizon. .

Snow sledge Just 3 km from Sonmarg, Thajiwas Glacier is famous for sledge rides and camps. Ponies can be hired for a trip up to Thajiwas glacier, which is a popular attraction during the summer months.

Trek

Sonmarg is the base of a major trek that covers several mountain lakes — Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. It is also the take-off station for the drive to Ladakh across the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, cut through by the Srinagar-Leh Road. Nichnai Pass is the place that offers breathtaking views of the entire valley. Sonmarg also serves as a base for the yatra to the Amarnath cave.


83 Annual Kashmiri Food Festival at The Imperial New Delhi 1911, the restaurant at The Imperial, New Delhi recreates a slice of Kashmir in the capital every year in November as it hosts the Kashmiri Food Festival. Vishal Atreya, Executive Sous Chef, The Imperial, New Delhi informs, “Three years ago, we had been looking for doing a promotion which would indicate some cuisine from one of the regions of India as a harbinger of winter season. Kashmir came to everyone’s mind, and since it was a cuisine not explored in many hotels, restaurants and not many cooks specialised in Kashmiri cuisine, we decided to try our hand at this. Most of the people from the embassies came over as they all wanted to try Kashmiri cuisine. We also got wazas (chefs) from there.” Kashmir is home to the most traditional styles of cooking in India. Chef Atreya points out that spices play a very important role in Kashmiri delicacies. The meal is accompanied by Kahwa, which is hot cinnamon tea with an almond base. The guests gorged on irresistible delicacies like Tabakmaas, Rista, Ruwagan Kufth, Choag Wagan, Munja Haakh, Al Yakkhn, Roganjosh, Goshtaba, Kashmiri Dum Aloo and Nadar Yakhni, among others.

Srinagar’s culinary lanes

Pay a visit to Mughal Durbar and Ahdoos on Shervani, Ruby in Lambert Lane and Juniper in Lal Chowk for authentic Kashmiri food. Solace and Tao Café on Shervani Road and Shamyana on the Boulevard are three well known garden cafes. Amira Kadal and Dalgate have inexpensive eateries where you can get simple, well cooked meals. A number of bakeries at Dalgate and Shervani Road serve Kashmiri breads like ‘sheermal Tsot’ and ‘tsochvoru’ (small round breads topped with poppy and sesame seeds).


84

product talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Keep your

look Flawless

We all know how important it is to look beautiful and elegant but with so many varieties of beauty products available in the market knowing which to choose can be a tricky task. HolidayTalk helps you to know the latest range of DEBORAH MILANO and Bulgari.

Eye Design Quad Created by Italian designer Mario Trimarchi Available in six colour harmonies, Price: `595

Comfort Mat New mattifying, moisturising and protective foundation Available in 4 shades, Price: `595


85

Guess Seductive Homme A new fragrance for men available in 50 (`2,490) and 100 ml (`2,990) Eau de Toilette

Mon Jasmin Noir, L’Eau Exquise The new eau de toilette from Bulgari

Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Refined and memorable fragrance Price: 30ml (`2,900), 50ml (`4,300), 90ml (`5,700)


86

slice of india

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

A Weekend Destination

Dooars in West Bengal Away from the smoke, pollution and din of city life, the Sinclairs Retreat Dooars, Chalsa, West Bengal, provides the perfect getaway for those seeking a far from the madding crowd experience. As the locals at Chalsa have so far resisted any attempt to commercialise this unique place, HolidayTalk explores this perfect haven for nature lovers. Peden Doma Bhutia


87

Spread over 20 acres of greenery, Sinclairs Retreat Dooars offers 66 well-appointed cottage style air-conditioned rooms and three thematic luxury suites with private gardens, equipped with all modern conveniences and amenities.

Bask in the early morning sun by the swimming pool, or take a walk across the sprawling property. The resort grows its own organic medicinal shrubs, flavouring herbs, uncommon vegetables and aromatic plants.

T

he ride to Chalsa, my chauffeur informed me as I boarded the car from Siliguri, would take a maximum of an hour and a half, but it took nearly three-quarters of an hour. No, the roads weren’t bumpy; nor was the driver wary of the accelerator. With the Himalayas on one side, the emerald green plains of the Dooars on the other, and a sparkling October sky arching over both, I didn’t have the heart to simply drive by. Every scenic point became a photo stop. And of those, there were many. After a prelude so picturesque, the destination did not disappoint.

Must See Samsing Samsing, a 30-minute drive from the resort, provides an unspoilt canvas of mountain peaks and fragrant orange plantations -- the perfect way to recharge your city-battered batteries. Trekking up to Suntalaekhola (‘suntala’ in Nepali means orange, and ‘khola’ stream) offers an invigorating 15-minute exercise. One can easily catch the gush of a mountain stream and the calls of elusive birds, an experience that transfers you to another world.

Facts

• 60 km from Bagdogra Airport • Dooars is 632 km north of Kolkata • This small town was known as Queen of Duars in British India


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slice of india

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

On the way to Samsing, you will find Murti river flowing quietly below with the hills of Bhutan and the Jelepla Pass as its backdrop, makes for a sweeping panorama — like a film playing on a 70-mm screen.

Bicycle rides

In harmony with the celebration of nature, the hotel does its bit in spreading a little eco-friendliness. It offers bicycles for hire to guests so they can ride off and soak in the spirit of the surroundings. You could also pedal down to the nearby tea garden. It is the next best thing to exploring on foot. For many, it is also the best way to burn some holiday calories --- exercise at its greenest!

Park Timings March to September 6:00 AM - 7:30 AM 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM October to February 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Gorumara National Park

•A  Safari jeep trip from the resort to Gorumara National Park costs Rs 2,500 + taxes. An extra Rs 100 is for the guide. •C  amera is allowed inside Gorumara National Park, but there are extra charges for handycams. •G  orumara National Park remains closed between June 15 and September 15.


94

Hotel talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Rooms

Relax & Rejuvenate

There are 60 rooms in the resort, with 6 floating cottages and a two-bedroom luxury houseboat with a private jacuzzi on the upper deck. This houseboat can also be docked at the jetty of the resort, so the guests can avail of the other facilities.

at Vasundhara Sarovar Premier, Vayalar, Kerala Getting there

Nedumbassery International Airport in Kochi is 63 km from the resort. One can drive straight to the hotel by road or opt for a pleasant boat ride, from a private jetty in Kochi, owned by the hotel, to Vayalar.

Spa treatment

The 5,000 sqft luxury spa offers a wide selection of Ayurvedic, western and oriental treatments. Guests can also consult the in-house Ayurvedic doctor for long and short-term treatments and diet.

Forthcoming addition/New

The Company will also open a 50-room Sarovar Portico in Thekkady in 2013.

Tuck in

There are two restaurants - Mystic Spice, an allday dining restaurant serves world cuisine and Chemmeen is a seafood specialty restaurant. At Zephyr, one can enjoy a relaxed drink at the Poolside CafĂŠ & Bar, and Madira bar offers a range of international and domestic spirits and wines along with cocktails and delectable finger food.

Package

2 Nights & 3 Days stay package starts at Rs 18,999 onwards (Includes buffet breakfast & one major meal)


visa talk

95

Tourist Visa Requirements General Requirements for Visa

Passport: Original Passport with validity of minimum three months and minimum two blank pages for visa stamps. Attach all your old passports (if any). Photo Specification: Two recent passport-size coloured photographs with matt or semi matt finish, 60 – 80 per cent face coverage, white background and without border (Size: 35mm x 45mm) Photograph should not be more than 3-months-old, scanned/stapled and should not be used in any of the previous visas. This general information is only for destinations given below. www.udaanindia.com

Italy • Original Passport with validity of minimum three months and minimum two blank pages for visa stamps • Passports issued beyond 10 years will not be accepted by the Embassy • Italian visa can be applied from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and visa requirements vary for all locations

Turkey • Original Passport with validity of minimum three months and minimum two blank pages for visa stamp • Turkish visa can be applied from Delhi and Mumbai, but visa requirements vary for both locations

Thailand • Original Passport with validity of minimum six months and minimum one blank page for visa stamp • Thailand provides Visa-on-Arrival, but it is advisable to get it done before you go there in order to avoid long queues at the airport. Thai visa can be applied from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai but visa requirements vary for all locations

A Traveller

Jayanth Kannaiyan is one among the few who quit their jobs, jump on their bikes and ride away into the sunset following their heart. In 2010, Kannaiyan sold his house, most of his possessions and took off on his motorcycle to explore the rugged roads in the Southern Hemisphere. The 31-year-old engineer working in US, is now busy accomplishing his dream to traverse 25 countries, such as Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala and the likes, and end his trip in Chennai, at his parents’ home.

South Korea • Original Passport with validity of minimum six months and minimum two blank pages for visa stamp • South Korean Visa can be applied from Delhi and Mumbai, but visa requirements vary for both locations

Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme The Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver programme, valid until October 2016, means that bearers of a valid UK ‘C’ general visa can enter the UK for a short-term visit up to 180 days and those who want to travel from there to Ireland will not require an additional visa for Ireland. ‘General visas’ (C Visa) cover short-term visit, tourist and business visitors.


96

chef talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Co-host of the immensely popular reality television series, MasterChef Australia, Chef George Calombaris visited India in October 2012. HolidayTalk caught up with him in the heart of Chandni Chowk. Here are his five favourite cuisines…

Chef

Master

It has to be Greek. It is my background and an important part of my inspiration.

French is something that I always fall back on since that’s how I have been trained.

Italian for its delicious flavours and ingredients.

Indian cuisine for its bombastic flavour. Its spicy Samosas are like fireworks in my mouth! Without a doubt Australian cuisine simply because it is a celebration of the way of life ‘Down Under’ — A true get-together of the beautiful local produce.


in passing

97

What’s in a English

Turkish

Korean

Good morning

Günaydın

joh-eun achim

What’s your name?

Adın ne senin?

ileum-i mueos-ibnikka?

My name is … (John Doe)

Benim adım (John Doe)

je ileum-eun

Yes

Evet

ye

No

Hayır

ani

How are you?

Nasılsın?

eotteohge dangsin-eun?

I’m fine

Ben iyiyim

jeon gwaenchanh-ayo

Thank you

teşekkür ederim

gamsahabnida

Have a nice day!

İyi günler

joh-eun halu doeseyo

I’m sorry

Üzgünüm

mian haeyo

Excuse me

afedersiniz

sillyehabnida

Please

Lütfen

hasigi balabnida

Where is the toilet?

Tuvalet nerede?

hwajangsil-eun eodi ibnikka?

How much is it?

Ne kadar?

neun eolmaibnikka?

Do you speak English?

İngilizce biliyor musunuz?

yeong-eo hal jul aseyo ?

I don’t understand

Anlamıyorum

ihaega an dwaeyo

Help!

Yardım

doum

Call the police!

Polisi ara

gyeongchal-eul bulleo

I’m vegetarian

Ben vejetaryen

jeon chaesigjuui ja-eyo

In German “Mist” means “bird droppings” that caused the Irish perfume brand “Irish Mist” to be renamed “Irisch Moos” (Irish Moss) when it was first introduced to the German market!

Lone Traveller

If travel books fascinate you as much as the real thing, then pick up Anne Mustoe’s ‘Lone Traveller: One woman, two wheels and the world’. At the age of 61, it is the story of a retired British headmistress who cycles around the world and penned the book after her second roundtrip. Her travels take her along the historical routes of the Conquistdors, the paths which lead from Rome to Lisbon, and across the Pacific to Australia, Indonesia and back to Rome. With an interesting narrative, this book is sure to take you on a ride too!


98

Doctor talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Take care of your

eyes while flying Going on a holiday? Depending upon where you are headed, a few essentials need to be packed and one needs to know a bit about basic eye care. Here are some tips as suggested by Dr Ranjit Verma, Senior Consultant, Maxeyecare, Panchsheel Park

Best First-aid for Eyes

Washing eyes with clean water is the best first aid if dust, foreign particles or chemical should accidentally fall into the eye. If the irritation persists, consult a doctor.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are one of the most important accessories on a holiday. They protect against bright sunlight, dust, sand, flying obstacles and even snow, ice and water while skiing. Ensure the goggles are UV protective and should block 99-100 % UV-A and UV-B radiation and 75-90% visible light. They must be free of distortions and fit well. Photo-keratitis (corneal sunburn) is a painful condition that can occur 5-6 hours after exposure to UV light bouncing off sand, concrete, snow or water. Mountain climbers, hikers and skiers are at higher risk. The best treatment is prevention and that’s why investing in a good pair of sunglasses is paramount.

Precautions for Contact lenses

Lubricant eye drops are a must for contact lens wearers, especially during long flights. Ideally, one must remove the lenses because the dry cabin air tends to dry the lenses. Otherwise, lubricants that can be used over the lenses must be instilled every few hours. Also make sure, you don’t doze off on the flight wearing contact lenses! If this does happen and the lenses start to hurt, just put the drops every minute till the lenses get hydrated and are easily removed. Do not try to pluck them out without doing so.

Must Carry One must carry Anti-allergic drops (pink itchy eyes) and Antibiotic drops for any unforeseen infection (redness, sticky discharge). Lubricant eye drops are available everywhere and are safe to use to clean the eyes or just soothe tired irritated eyes.


information

worldcurrency Country

World Weather

Currency Units/INR

USA

USD

54.88

UK

GBP

88.46

EUROPEAN UNION EUR

72.68

AUSTRALIA

56.93

AUD

BRAZIL

BRL

26.77

CANADA

CAD

55.28

99

City/Months Athens, Greece Barcelona, Spain

January

February

Avg low High 5.2

12.5

Avg low High 5.4

13.5

4.4

13.4

5.3

14.6

Beijing, China

-9.4

1.6

-6.9

4.0

Berlin, Germany

-1.9

2.9

-1.5

4.2

0.7

5.6

0.6

6.4

Brussels, Belgium Calgary, Canada

-15.1

-2.8

-12

-0.1

15.7

26.1

15.6

26.5

CHINA

CNY

8.69

Cape Town, SA Lima, Peru

19.1

25.8

19.4

26.5

HONG KONG

HKD

7.08

London, UK

2.4

7.2

2.5

7.6

JPY

0.63

KOREA

KRW

0.051

KUWAIT

KWD

195

MEXICO

MXP

4.22

NEW ZEALAND

NZD

45

JAPAN

PHILLIPINES

PHP

1.33

RUSSIA

RUR

1.8

SAUDI ARABIA

SAR

14.63

SINGAPORE

SGD

44.9

SOUTH AFRICA

ZAD

6.46

SWEDEN

SEK

8.44

SWITZERLAND

CHF

60.1

THAILAND

THB

1.79

TURKEY

TRY

30.6

UAE

AED

14.94

As on 28th Dec, 2012

Los, Angeles, USA

8.8

18.7

9.6

18.8

Manila, Philippines

23.5

29.52

23.8

30.5

New York, USA

-3.9

3.1

-3.2

4.2

Montreal, Canada

-17

-7

-15

-4.6

Munich, Germany

-3.7

2.7

-3.2

4.3

2.5

6.9

2.8

8.2

-5.4

0.4

-4.0

2.7

3.7

12.9

4.4

13.7

19.6

26.5

19.7

26.5

2.5

9.9

2.9

10.4

-4.8

0.4

-4.0

1.9

0.5

6.1

1.5

8.0

Paris, France Prague, Czech Republic Rome, Italy Sydney, Australia Tokyo, Japan Warsaw, Poland Vancouver, Canada

As per http://worldweather.wmo.int/063/c00177.htm


100

event talk

macau

Tie the knot in

‘Destination weddings’ is not just an option for the wealthy to display their opulence, but has now become a value-for-money proposition. Macau offers a plethora of options for Indians, along with the supporting infrastructure to organise ‘the great Indian wedding’.

W

ith new hotels and banquet facilities being added to the already existing lot, Macau is emerging as an ideal destination for holding bigger Indian weddings. A few weddings have already been held in Macau at MGM and Venetian Macau Resort Hotel.

Capturing the market

Macau and its lavish hotels have joined hands with the travel trade industry, wedding planners and event management companies to host the perfect Indian weddings. A regular update is also provided to the agents on Macau and its banquet facilities through road shows, trade fairs, B2B shows, personal visits to corporate offices, distributing brochures, etc.

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013


101 Post-wedding tours

An ideal Indian wedding sees the participation of a minimum of 400-500 guests. Of these, at least 40-50 per cent extend their stay by a few days. Indians love to shop and explore destinations, therefore, time is spent on shopping and entertainment activities – such as casinos, sightseeing, bars and clubs, spas, etc.; thereby helping in boosting the economy. When it comes to Macau, there is no dearth of providing good facilities, giving Indians the perfect venue for their dream weddings.

Incentives for weddings by MGTO

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has introduced incentives to the Indian travel trade as well as the end customers to attract more weddings from India through the ‘Wedding Incentive Scheme’. As per the scheme, the wedding should have a minimum of 50 non-local guests with two consecutive nights of stay in a Macau hotel. A maximum support of MOP $300 will be granted per non-local guest for their activities in Macau. The scheme offers complimentary tourist information kits and welcome gifts with free admission to the Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum.


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baggage woes

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

r Delsey French luggage creato ht and eig htw lig ly offers extreme r Ulite de un cts du resistant pro in a ble ila ava is t category tha rs lou co ive sit po c, variety of energeti k. loo ay lid ho r you to complete

Pack your bag only twothirds full to leave room for souvenirs, or bring along an empty, featherweight nylon bag to use as a carry-on for your return flight. Availability: The collections are available through exclusive Delsey stores in India.

Pack Smart & Travel light A good traveler is judged by the fact how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy and happy. Remember, packing light isn’t just about saving time or money — it makes you mobile and in control. Your choice of luggage reflects your traveling lifestyle.

Ladies Only

Caprese launched a wide range of elegant and fashionable ladies handbags. The colours, designs and silhouette are chosen keeping in mind the fashion forecasts and the tastes of the Indian woman. The range is aggressively priced at Rs. 2000 onwards. For more information visit www.capresebags.com


flight talk 103

Tips for

long-haul flights You are packed and ready, and cannot wait to explore the next destination on your wishlist. But the only thing that stands between you and your dream trip is that deliriously long-haul flight of more than 8 hours. So, before you board that flight, go through the points mentioned below. You will find yourself more relaxed and fresh after a long flight.

On-board entertainment

Sleep

Sleep is essential for your body, especially since it helps you adjust to the new time zone. If you’re flying Economy, carry ear plugs, eye masks and socks to help you sleep. Use the blanket offered – it helps you sleep better.

When preparing for a long-haul flight, ensure that you are well armed with ample entertainment. Browse through the in-flight entertainment. Pick up magazines from the airline collection before the flight takes off. Ensure that all your portable entertainment devices, such as MP3 players, iPad, Kindle or even games for your kids, if electronic, are fully charged before take-off.

Select your seat wisely

We recommend paperback books, nothing serious, but wholly fun and naughty to keep you occupied and far from boredom, unless you prefer the other kind. Keep yourself hydrated

While on that exhausting long flight, keep yourself well supplied with water or juices from the galley. It will help you fight lethargy and you will constantly use the restroom, which will also keep the blood flowing in your legs.

Carry Moisturiser and Lip Balm

Spending hours in a pressurised air-conditioned cabin can cause your skin to dry. Make sure you carry enough moisturiser (keeping in mind the size and quantity allowed – 100 ml) and lip balm to keep dry skin at bay.

Food intake

Caffeine and alcohol are not such a good idea. However, carry candy bars, toffees and chocolates to keep you busy between meals. Keep granola bars handy, in case your meal tastes ‘funny’ or you don’t get what you ordered.

While booking your flight, choose your seat accordingly. Consider the aisle seat, the bulkhead seats (front row of the cabin) or the ones at the emergency exit. Avoid the ones over the wings, if you wish to escape from that constant sound.

‘Comfort’ clothe

Take your contact lenses off

The constant blast of the air conditioning will dry your lenses. Even if you keep hydrating them, chances are that they may irritate your eyes. For a more comfortable experience, wear your glasses in flight.

Wear comfortable clothing for your flight. Spending long hours in the same seat, you do not want to hurt your neck with a stiff collared shirt. Remove your shoes for the flight. Also, try to freshen up and change before you land. It will make you feel better and take off half the tiredness of the flight.


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information

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Win g Exicitins Prize

the e park and th f o e m a ss the n adults. Gue r fo o ls a t ren bu ng for child ti a in c s fa ly e. not on xciting priz e n a in This park is w d an l.com it is located ays@ddpp d li o h city where to s r e il your answ You can ma


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e h t d n A r e n n i W is

e n e Ir

Crocodile Cage Diving Oudtshoorn, South Africa We have recieved an amazing response from our readers! Many of them got it right, so we had to draw from all the correct entries. Irene Pradeep has won 2 nights and 3 days stay at Aranya Safari Resort, Corbett, Uttarakhand


106

celeb talk

Holiday Talk | Jan–Feb 2013

Kabir Bedi

A Luxury Traveller Internationally acclaimed veteran Indian actor, Kabir Bedi has a career that has spanned over three continents. His professional life is enviable as he is among the few international actors from India to have originated from Bollywood and worked in Hollywood and also become a big star in Europe. He has several other exemplary achievements to his name, including being officially knighted and bestowed the title of Cavaliere, the highest ranking civilian honour of the Italian Republic by decree of the President. Having traversed extensively across the globe, Kabir Bedi tells HolidayTalk about his favourite destinations and places he is yet to visit. Which is your favourite destination abroad? I have two favourite destinations actually - Rome and London. Both these cities are full of history, architecture, art and beauty. They also have very rich culture along with world-class cuisines. And of course, they are also special to me because I have a lot of friends and family there.

Any restaurants you would recommend? In Rome, there are a few restaurants that I like. Two of my favourite are near Piazza Popolo. ‘Bolognese’ for great Italian food and ‘Hotel de Russie’ because of its open air restaurant and courtyard, and it’s good for brunch, drinks and aperitifs. I also like ‘Hosteria Romana’ near Largo Argentina. In London, I am fond of ‘Yauatcha’, Camelia Punjabi’s ‘Amaya’ near Harrods for its outstanding Indian and ‘Busaba Eat Thai’, a popular chain for its informal, affordable, quick and good food.

Any country that you are yet to visit and would like to go for a holiday? Again there are two countries that I would like to visit in the near future - Japan and Russia. I have studied about

their history and culture when I was a history student in college, and since then these countries have intrigued me. I also love Japanese food, so Japan is certainly a place I want to visit. St Petersburg is also a place I would like to travel to.

Which are your ‘must visit’ destinations? My ‘must visit’ destinations are Goa, Thailand, Bali and New York. I love these places for their pristine beaches, ambience and cuisine. New York is also a hub of cultural activities which makes it an interesting city. Manhattan is my favourite place in New York as it gives the city a sense of intimacy. You can walk there freely and it has great avenues for shopping too.

What kind of a traveller are you? I am definitely a luxury traveller as I like to have my favourite things around me. Interviewed by Dency Mathew


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