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A DDP Publication • 76 Pages • Volume 3 Issue 01 • Feb - Mar 2014 • `50

Passenger Rights Looking for

exotic vacations

New Therapies in

Spa Travel


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 Middle East: Z1-02, PO Box: 9348, Saif Zone, Sharjah, UAE Tel.: +971-6-5528954 Fax: +971-6-5528956 Email: uae@ddppl.com holidays@ddppl.com 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.

Calgary Zoo Lights, Canada

Editor & Publisher

SanJeet

Editorial

Deepa Sethi Neelam Singh Peden Doma Bhutia

Creative Design

Pooja Kalra

Advertising

Gunjan Sabikhi Tejinder Kaur Sharma Udit Pandey Baljinder Singh Bharat Chawla

Mumbai Advertising

Harshal Ashar

Production Manager

Anil Kharbanda

Circulation Manager

Ashok Rana

holidays@ddppl.com


Editor’s Note

Happy New Year Dear Reader,

I

t’s 2014! What’s going to be different and what will be new this year? People will continue to travel and take vacations… less money means the need to prove that you can still do it (it’s like the shopping therapy for a depressed woman!) and more money means they just need to get away from the luxury of their homes to even more luxury! ‘Experiential’ remains the buzzword in tourism. Experiencing luxury, rejuvenation, food, cruising, adventure, sport, wildlife, pilgrimage, or earning ‘brag’ points by going for the World Cup, Formula 1 races and the many other talked of events. Regional travel is the most popular amongst Indians today with the high conversion rate to the Dollar. Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Oman and some of the closer European countries like Bulgaria and Cyprus are some of the popular destinations, offering both: value for money and the right experiences. Play Golf on a cliff top in Bulgaria with the sea lapping the rocks below, or visit the I-city in Malaysia, chill on the beaches of Cyprus where Aphrodite rose from the waves, shop in Durban or at the Souks in Oman, eat at Michelin Star restaurants and if you want to go further then there are the Signature Experiences in Canada… Read about all this and more on the pages of HOLIDAYtalk. Also, learn about your rights as a passenger. Wishing everyone a 2014 filled with holidays, adventure and relaxation! Deepa Sethi


CONTENTS

features 12 Cover Story

Unique Malaysia

30 Destination Talk Cyprus

42 Adventure Talk Oman

Unique Malaysia12


24

67

Signature Experience Canada

Don’t Miss Celeb Talk Soha Ali Khan

54

Don’t Miss Food Talk

Savour food around the world

advice 52 Wellness Talk 68 Doc Talk 70 Passenger Rights

information 58 Flight Talk

Malaysia Airlines

71 Visa Talk 72 TechTalk 73 World Weather World Currency

regulars 10 Festival Talk Celebrations

20 InfoTalk News you can use

36 Guest Talk Travel sojourns of celebs

48 Shop Talk Ethnic Shopping in Durban

54 Food Talk Michelin Star dining

67 Celeb Talk Soha Ali Khan (Film Actor)

74 Quiz Contest Guess Where


talk

festival

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celebrations 1

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival When: January 5- February 5 Where: Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China

Many ice sculpture experts, artists and fans from around the world gather in the city of Harbin to participate in ice sculpting competitions. The festival includes many sporting competitions like ice-skating, sledding, etc. It also covers the Chinese Spring Festival, Chinese Lantern Festival and winter activities that last up till February 28, 2014. Do Not Miss: The Ice Lantern Show at night is fantastic. For more info visit www.harbinice.com

Yamayaki (Grass Burning on Mt. Wakakusayama)

When: Fourth Saturday of January Where: Mt. Wakakusayama, Nara City, Japan

2

An entire hill is set ablaze in winter in Japan. First, the hill is ignited with the sacred fire, then 200 fireworks are launched and the hill continues to burn for some 30 minutes. This fire spectacle can be seen from the surrounding towns, but Nara City which faces the hill offers the most beautiful views. Tip: As it is very cold, make sure you are warmly clothed, and don’t forget to take binoculars with you for a better view.

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Chiang Mai Flower Festival When: First weekend in February Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand

During the festival, sculptures of temples, animals and even scenes from the Ramayana (Hindu epic) are made from flowers and paraded through the streets of Chiang Mai. The parades attract big crowds along with endless floral displays, local handicraft sales and beauty pageants. Do Not Miss the Damask Rose, a special variety found in Chiang Mai, as well as yellow and white chrysanthemums. For more details visit www.tourismthailand.org


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Pingxi Lantern Festival When: February 13, 2014 Where: Pingxi, Taipai, Taiwan

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During this festival 100,000 to 200,000 sky lanterns emblazon a full moonlit sky. The collective launches start at 6:30pm and happen three times an hour until 9:30 pm. It’s breathtaking to see the pitch-dark firmament, uncorrupted by light pollution, suddenly turn crimson against a backdrop of jagged peaks. What to do? Buy a lantern, scribble your desires and ambitions on it and send it into the heavens. For more info visit www.taiwanholidays.com.au/ taiwan-lantern-festival

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Sitges Carnival

When: February 25 – March 5, 2014 Where: The Streets of Sitges, Spain Known as Spain’s wildest party, the Carnival entertains even the most demanding visitor. On the most popular days you will find more than 300,000 partygoers dancing on major streets across the town. The special costumes, the typical disguises and wizards make this carnival so worth seeing. Tip: Dress warmly as the temperature is guaranteed to be near freezing and arrange for return transport if you go on Tuesday, as trains stop running around midnight.

Rio Carnival

When: February 28 – March 4, 2014 Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A wild 5-day celebration, 40 days before Easter, the carnival officially starts on Friday and finishes on Fat Tuesday. It is a euphoric event where people dance, sing, party and have tons of fun. Tip: Try to organise your accommodation well in advance and costumes for the Samba Parade. For more details visit www.rio-carnival.net

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Unique

Malaysia Peden Doma Bhutia


Malaysia is a popular destination among Indians, so writing about the popular things to do in the country may not be anything new. However, we have managed to dig out 5 experiences that may give a fresh perspective to the country.


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story

COVER

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

I-city

Amidst man-made trees Technology park located on the outskirts

of Shah Alam, comes alive with an amazing forest of man-made trees brightly illuminated with millions of colourful Digital Lights. Chill out at Snowalk, an indoor snow park where visitors can escape from the tropical heat.

What more? Other attractions at i-City include a reptile house, Laser Warzone (a laser tag game), amusement arcade/ indoor funfair games, food stalls, shops, a full size cinema screen and restaurants.

Entrance Fee Free For Snowalk, RM25 per adult and RM20 per child till 6pm. RM35 per adult and RM30 per child after 6pm. This includes rental of a jacket.

Getting there The best way to get to I-City is by driving. The nearest KTM (Malayan Train Service) is in Padang Jawa, so you can take a cab from there. From KL Sentral, you can take U82 bus till Section 2, Shah Alam. There, take rapid KL 601 or Seranas Bus to reach I-City.

Man-made trees brightly illuminated with millions of colourful LED lights at night


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Hunting Fireflies Dinner amidst Mangrove trees, Native birds & Fireflies Drive down to the rural town of Kuala Selangor, renowned for its historic past and natural heritage of Mangrove forest and bird sanctuary. Take a short sampan boat ride upstream to an area of river covered by thick mangroves on both sides. Here you can witness millions of fireflies buzzing along the Selangor River. Also, learn about the Mangrove trees and native birds before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

TIP

Best time to see fireflies is on a new moon night, about 1-4 hours after sunset.

Remember

Sighting of fireflies is subject to weather conditions.


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story

COVER

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Tower Dining Kuala Lumpur Tower

Standing tall at 421m, take a high-speed lift to the Seri Angkasa Revolving Restaurant for a sumptuous buffet dinner with a breathtaking panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur by night. Cost The restaurant serves buffet service only. Lunch - RM60 adult, RM35 child; tea - RM35; dinner RM135 adults, RM75 child.

FACTS

The Arabic scripts, motifs and Islamic tiles that adorn the Kuala Lumpur Tower reflect Malaysia’s Islamic heritage.

DID YOU KNOW? At 282m, the restaurant is ranked the 4th highest revolving restaurant in the world and the highest in Southeast Asia.


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Cave Exploring Visiting Niah Caves of Sungai Niah

It consists of one big cave called The Great Cave and several smaller ones including the popular Painted Cave and The Large Chamber or Padang. The Great Cave is easy to access as there are planks for tourists to walk on. While walking through the tropical rainforest different species of trees and plants are to be seen. If you are lucky, you may spot hornbills.

Did you know?

Paintings are carved on the walls of the ‘Painted Cave’. The ancient burial site of the ‘death ship’ is also in the cave. The ‘death ship’ refers to the boat-like coffins that used to contain the bodies of the dead.

Tip: From August to December and January to March, you have a chance to experience and watch how the locals collect birds’ nests with tall bamboo ladders. Entrance Fee: RM10 per adult. Boat rental: RM1 per person per way. It takes 1 minute to cross the width of Niah river. Getting there: Take a bus or taxi to the National Park from either Miri or Bintulu. The ride from Bintulu is longer.


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story

COVER

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Jalan TAR

The old shopping Hub Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, aka Jalan TAR, is the old shopping

hub of Kuala Lumpur city. While shopping, see glimpses of pre-war buildings with facades that have been preserved and readapted for modern retailing business. This place is ideal to shop for textiles, silver, crystalware, imported leather goods - like bags and luggage, carpets, sports goods and winter clothing. GS Gill, P Lal and PH Henry are some of the oldest shops here.

Did you know?

On Saturday between 5-10pm, Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman is transformed into a night market. Here traders and hawkers come with their wares and you can bargain your way through.

What to shop Pick a Batik, a beautiful Malay silk fabric used for clothing, accessories and homes. Select a wood carving. Terengganu and Kuantan are especially recognised for their craftsmanship and wood work.


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info

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

infotalk

Giant Dragon on NZ Plane

New Zealand’s national carrier has unveiled a giant image of Smaug the dragon on its plane to celebrate the premiere of the second film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in the Hobbit trilogy. The 54 m high giant dragon logo is sprawled across both sides of the Boeing 777-300. The airline plans to keep the image on the plane until the opening of the third film of The Hobbit trilogy.

New Zealand Etiquette guide for Paris Metro Paris has released etiquette guide for using its Metro system. Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’ - it lists few ‘commandments’ to abide. For Parisians, it insists that they must offer help to tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’ and hold the door open for passengers behind them. For travellers, the key no-nos are not playing music too loudly through headphones, resisting the temptation to stare for a long time at beautiful women and holding back from starting a fight with someone who’s just stepped on your toes.

Paris


21 High Speed Trains connect Paris and Barcelona

Spain and France are connected for the first time by the trains of Alta Velocidad EspaĂąola (AVE). This historic step will not only bring the Spanish and the French closer but also connect Spain with the rest of Europe in a better way.

Spain Pay-as-youuse lounge in in HKIA HKIA

Plaza Premium has launched its new facility at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Located in the airport’s West Hall, the new lounge will open 24 hours a day and will be available to all passengers on a pay-as-you-use basis. It has a range of facilities, with separate areas for relaxing, dining or working. F&B offerings include a tea station, salad bar and noodle bar, plus an area for hot and cold tapas. There will also be an a la carte menu and a self-serve wine dispenser.

Hong Kong


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info

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Visit The Beatles at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary release of the band’s first album, ‘Please Please Me’, the figures of the ‘Fab Four’ – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – is now on a world tour, to greet local fans with a fresh look. To mark this memorable occasion, the ‘Fab Four’ hiked up to Sky Terrace 428 to enjoy the stunning 360-degree panoramic view across Hong Kong before continuing their walk along the classic Abbey Road setting at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Here they will be on display until February 16, 2014.

Hong Kong

Explore Greece and Spain with

new walking tours

A new walking tour through the world’s deepest gorge and the pillar-top monasteries of Meteora in northern Greece and a hike through the spectacular mountains of Mallorca are the latest routes to be offered by a European walking tour company. Both tours are self-guided hikes, with walkers spending each night in local B&Bs. Available from May to November, the seven-day Corfu and the Vikos Gorge walk tour is priced from £725 per person. The longer nine-night tour, including the Meteora extension, is priced from £840 per person. For more visit www.onfootholidays.co.uk

Greece & Spain


23 Indian Restaurant retains its Michelin Star status in Geneva

Mandarin Oriental Geneva’s Rasoi by Vineet restaurant has retained its Michelin star for 2014 for the excellence of the hotel both in accommodation and dining. A venue for experimentation in modern Indian cuisine with touches of European influences, it brings a bouquet of flavours to the plates of the patrons, who enjoy the elegant contemporary ambience as much as the dining experiences. The first fine-dining Indian restaurant in Geneva, it is the only Indian restaurant in all of Continental Europe to have a Michelin star.

Geneva Frankfurt

Online duty free shopping at Frankfurt Airport

Now you can enjoy online duty-free shopping at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Germany, up to 12 hours before flight time. Go to www.frankfurtairport.com/content/frankfurt_airport/en/shop_enjoy0/duty_free.html. Browse the extensive range of perfumes, cosmetics, wines and spirits, sweets, toys and games, and tobacco products available. Enter the date of your flight and your destination airport. Your purchase will be waiting at the service counter of a selected Heinemann Duty Free shop in the passenger terminals at Frankfurt Airport for pick-up on the day of your flight. Find out more at www.frankfurt-airport.com


a d a CanIFFERENTLY See D

The Canadian Tourism Commission recently launched the Canadian Signature Experiences in India. It offers a great medley of unique, exotic and compelling experiences like taking the railway, to very unique experiences in the wilderness like polar bear watching. We bring you 5 such experiences‌

Canadian Signature Experiences


1 Northern Lights A lightshow like no other... Watch mysterious curtains of colour ripple across the sky. Warm your hands around a mug of steaming hot chocolate. To watch Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, grab a seat on a multi-day Yukon Aurora Tour. From Whitehorse, shuttle into the wilderness every night to the Northern Lights Trading Post, a cheerful tent heated by a wood-fired stove. Look up and watch a glimmer of ghostly green ebb and flow. Suddenly it bursts across the entire sky in shades of emerald, red and yellow.

Our Tip Stay warm with hot drinks during the show. Early morning head back to your hotel. Bundle up again the next evening for an encore performance of nature’s technicolor fireworks.


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xe perience

Signature

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

2 Calgary Stampede

Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

Don your denim, grab your Stetson and saddle up for 10 days of Western fun. This happening hoedown kicks off with a parade that features marching bands, over 150 floats and hundreds of horses. Next, watch the world’s best rodeo athletes go head-to-head riding wild horses and bulls, roping cattle and more. Then hold onto your hat for the heart-pounding rush of the chuckwagon races. Venture to the Stampede showcase for a closer look at cattle, horses, sheep, miniature horses, donkeys amidst fun and more.

Do Not Miss The Grandstand Show - a staged spectacle featuring horses, singers, dancers and inspiring music. And before you head back to the ranch, sidle up to the Western Oasis where you can pick up an authentic cowboy keepsake.


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3 Niagara Falls

Thrilling HelicopterExperience

High above the World, snap pictures of the iconic scene below and the rainbows in front of you. You never have to wrestle with tourists. It happens so quickly - one moment you’re making your way, heart pumping, into the helicopter; the next you’re up. Below you a view experienced by few - the crashing waters of one of the greatest wonders of the world.


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xe perience

Signature

4 Tundra Buggy & Polar Bears Close Encounters

An outback train trip or a 2.5 hour flight from Winnipeg lands you in the northern Manitoba town of Churchill, Canada’s Polar Bear Capital and the jump-off point for close encounters with bears at Hudson Bay. Frontiers North’s experienced guides lead safaris into polar bear country on monster wheeled Tundra Buggies. You might see mother bears feeding fuzzy white cubs or big males rearing up on hind legs, eyes locked with yours. The sturdy Buggy sways when a bear shows a little ‘buggy love’, rubbing against the mobile hide that keeps you safe.

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014


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5 Explore on VIA Rail

Romance of Train Travel

On the first morning of your cross-country railway adventure awaken to a brilliant sunrise over the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. Leisurely savour a delicious breakfast omelet and then head to the Skyline car, sip or socialise and swap stories with fellow travellers amid 360 degree views of glacier lakes, unspoiled forests and plunging canyons. Onboard, dine in elegance with linen and china, while attentive staff attends to your every need. And be gently rocked to a peaceful sleep each night, awakening refreshed and ready for another day’s adventure. Experience the breadth of this vast country from an entirely unique perspective as you relive the romance of train travel.


Discovering

Cyprus


Strategically located at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa - Cyprus is the perfect example of an ‘Eastmeets-West’ experience. The place, most famous for being the legendary birthplace of Goddess Aphrodite, possesses an impressive range of cultural treasures, from Crusader castles to the tomb of Prophet Mohammed’s aunt. The island’s interesting geography that boasts of sun, sea, beaches and mountains, ensures plenty of activity all year round. Here are 5 places that you just can’t miss when you visit Cyprus…

Language

Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the GreekCypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities, respectively. English is widely spoken.

Currency Euro


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Destination

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Kykkos Monastery at Hill Resorts, Troodos

The richest and most lavish of monasteries in Cyprus, it is situated on a mountain peak, at an altitude of 1318m. Dedicated to Panagia, it houses the icon of the Virgin Mary painted by St Luke. Getting there: Cyprus Tourism offers scheduled day trips to Troodos Mountains, starting from Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol. Operating Hours: The Monastery and the Museum are open daily: November-May 10am-4pm, June - October 10am-6pm.

Entrance Fee For the Museum: €5 per person (€3 in Groups)

Tombs of the Kings A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Tombs of the Kings is situated close to the sea in the Northwestern necropolis of Pafos (Paphos). Carved out of solid rock, many of the underground tombs date back to the early Roman period and are similar to tombs found in Alexandria. Some of them imitate houses of the living, with rooms, here burial chambers, opening onto a peristyle atrium. Note: Accessible by wheelchair

Entrance Fee: €4.50 There is a reduction of 20 per cent for groups consisting more than 10 persons. Special Entry Cards: 1 day for €8.50 3 days for €17 7 days for €25

Did You Know? The name - Tombs of the Kings - comes from the magnificence of the tombs; no kings were buried here. Operating Hours 8am-5pm November-March, 8am-6pm April-May, September-October 8am-7:30pm June-August


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Petra tou Romiou

Rock of Aphrodite

According to the legend, here Aphrodite rose from the waves and was then escorted on a shell to the rocks known as ‘Rock of Aphrodite’ or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. Another story is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with his amazing strength. It is said that he heaved a huge rock into the sea, destroying the enemy’s ships. Entrance: Free

Did You Know? In certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this looks for just a moment like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape.

The oldestWine Villages

Krasochoria

The oldest vineyard region of Cyprus, it produces the island’s famous dry red wine. A number of small wineries welcome visitors on wine tasting tours.

Do not Miss Take a tour of the wineries and apart from wine-tasting, sample some grape-based delicacies. There are several picturesque villages famous for their pottery or other handicrafts with some traditional coffee shops and restaurants serving authentic Cypriot cuisine.


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Destination

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Kourion Archaeological Site

in Lemesos

Noted particularly for its magnificent Greco-Roman Theatre, Kourion is a proud home to stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors and an early Christian Basilica among other treasures. The 2nd century AD stadium is located outside the main Kourion site. The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, situated about 2.5 km west of the ancient city, is also an impressive attraction.

Entrance Fee: €4.50 (20 per cent reduction for groups consisting more than 10 persons.) Special Entry Cards are available for a period of 1 day for €8.50, 3 days for €17 and for 7 days for €25.

Operating Hours: 8am-5pm November March, 8am-6pm April-May, September-October, 8am-7.30pm June-August

Do not Miss a performance at the theatre.


Adorn Timeless Jewellery

Shiv Mehar Jewellers presents best quality Diamond, Ethnic and Kundan jewellery in innovative designs for those who look for new trends and variety in jewellery. Here are few points, as shared by Shiv Meher Jewellers, to know more about diamond jewellery: 4Cs of Diamonds: Colour, Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight Keep your diamond insured: Insurance of jewellery relies on diamond grading and identification reports to evaluate the value of diamonds. Diamonds are precious: Diamonds are durable but they are not indestructible. So learn about care and cleaning tips to keep them strong and beautiful.


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Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Magical Bulgaria

Stefan Ionkov Welcome to Bulgaria! A country of sunshine, beautiful landscapes, golden sand beaches, and friendly people. Begin with me your magical journey through Europe’s most ancient culture. We will satiate your thirst for opulent entertainments in Roman Emperors’ amphitheatres, for welcoming Renaissance inns, for a feast of the senses in the best wineries surrounded by the 5-star hotels offering amazing value for money and so on...

Gary Player designed signature golf course on Thracian Cliffs


37 The Ancient city of Sofia Arriving at the airport you enter Sofia – the most ancient existing European capital, contemporary to only Athens. Its must-see landmarks include: Saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral - the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan Peninsular, the Saint Sofia Basilica, which has given its name to the city, the Royal Palace, the Parliament, the antique Roman Theatre and the National Theatre building where you can join the chess players in its park.

Do not Miss a visit to Mountain Vitosha foothill for Boyana Church – a UNESCO heritage site, to admire the precious frescoes and enjoy the greenery of the Natural park reserve surrounding it.

Night life in Sofia: Go for dinner at a fine dining restaurant or bar like Happy Bar & Grill, BESO, Corner, Baskerville, Murpie’s, and end it by 10pm, then raise your sprits with live music at night clubs, Yalta and Chervilo which are the best for house and electronic music; or go to LaRocca, Brilliantine or Liqueur for good retro music; Alcohol and Backstage are good for those who love Rock; a good number of piano bars are also available like My Way, Sinatra, Big Apple and Lime Light.


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Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Fun & Historic Plovdiv The city is a contemporary of Troy, and is much older than Athens and Rome. Visit the old part of the town with the Ethnographical Museum, the St. Constantine and Elena Church, the Slatiu Bojadjiev Gallery, the Antique Amphitheater, the Roman Stadium and the National Revival Houses Complex.

Street Shopping The city provides the best street shopping in Bulgaria such as leather products at competitive prices, shoes, purses, belts, rose oil cosmetics, brandies & wines and fashion brands including local designer brands.

Enjoy wine-tasting at the cellar Castra Rubra. Their showpiece wine is ‘Via Diagonalis’, which bears the name of the famous road that connected Rome with Constantinople. Strong yet delicate, this is one of the best wines from Bulgaria.

Do not Miss Bunardjik Hill Admire the all-town view and see the whole Thracian valley and The Rhodopean and the Balkan Mountains. In the evening, dance in the company of the many local students, choosing from Plazma light bar, Paparazi, Marmalad and Naylona bars, Club Pasha, folk-club Galaxy and many more.


39 Romance in Sozopol Sozopol is one of the oldest Black Sea settlements in Bulgaria. The old part of the town has been declared an architectural and historical reserve, offering romantic sites for honeymooners and couples.

Do not Miss The Fairytale Castle The castle ‘In Love with the Wind’, with its beautiful garden and swan lake, is famous for being the only one in Europe, having a living owner who has built it himself. The castle hosts Hollywood film productions and many romantic events with its magical ambience in the moonlight.

Sozopol gives you an amazing seaside atmosphere, combining fresh sea food in various restaurants, vivid nightlife and some of the best beaches in eastern Europe such as Green Life Beach.


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Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

FOOD in Bulgaria Try Bulgarian salads, made with tasty organic vegetables and cheese. I recommend the Shopska Salad made of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and Bulgarian feta cheese. Another typical dish, especially in the summer is the cold soup ‘Tarator’ made of tasty Bulgarian yoghurt, cucumbers and dill. When you visit Bulgaria you will not miss Indian food at all since we have various Indian cuisine restaurants, but if you like pizzas and pastas, we have an abundance of such restaurants and they are also amazing.

AVERAGE PRICING OF FOOD AND SERVICES IN BULGARIA Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant (3-course) - €22 Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar - €3.50 Domestic Beer (0.5 lt draught) - €1 Imported Beer (0.33 lt bottle) - €1.50 Cappuccino (regular) - €1 Coke/Pepsi (0.33 lt bottle) - €0.75 Water (0.33 lt bottle) - €0.50

Author: Stefan Ionkov Head of Commercial & Economic Office of Bulgaria to India Embassy of Republic of Bulgaria


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Hotel

MAYFAIR

Spa Resort & Casino, Gangtok

‘MAYFAIR’ has become synonymous of a brand that promises its guests’ the ultimate in luxury, in the lap of nature. Mayfair’s motto ‘Stay with us, Stay with nature’, is implemented in all its properties in the form of rain water harvesting, organic farming and recycling and reusing of products. A dedicated team of friendly staff deliver service that has few equals, where the guests’ every predilection is noted and gratified and personal privacy is given utmost respect. Future Plans MAYFAIR group’s future projects include its second luxury resort at Puri, a 5 star deluxe property in Kolkata and a business hotel at Siliguri - the gateway to the North East. CSR Initiatives Generating direct employment to over a 2000 strong workforce, the group’s commitment to CSR practices, has been unfailing along with Mr. Dilip Ray’s (CMD – MAYFAIR Group) vision to make a significant contribution to the tourism sector and its development in India. MAYFAIR Spa Resort & Casino – a 5-Star Deluxe Resort in Gangtok (Sikkim) has been awarded for Excellence in the ‘Best Hotel - Five Star Category’ for the year 2013 by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Govt. of Sikkim.

For more details write to gangtok@mayfairhotels.com

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Explore Oman on land and in water


Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha shot in Oman for their movie Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara.

Stunning landscape dotted with rippling dunes, ornate mosques, historical forts, bustling souks, sunkissed beaches, classy hotels, friendly locals and incredible hospitality, Oman, in a nutshell, is for the ‘uninitiated’ traveller.


5 things to do on Land

1

Camel Safari

Ride on the back of the ‘Ship of the desert’ in Oman. The dunes of Oman vary in colour from terracotta red to golden to white. It’s an extremely relaxing activity to go for a camel safari in Oman.

2 Camping

Camping is great fun in Oman both for children and adults. You can pitch your tent anywhere for a night out under the stars.

3 Caving

One of the geological miracles in the world, Oman’s caves provide a mystical underground world containing glittering stalagmites and stalactites and underground lakes.

4 Shopping in Souks

You could spend many enjoyable hours in the souks, haggling over handicrafts. For traditional artifacts and souvenirs, Mutrah Souk in Muscat is your one stop. Lose yourself in the alleyways of this colourful souk and find treasures to keep for a lifetime. Or stroll round Nizwa’s expansive souk and be amazed by the array of products on sale.


and Bike in 5 Hike the Mountains Avid mountain bikers will love pedaling along the tracks that wind their way through Oman’s Rocky Mountains. Or lace your sneakers, pick up the stick and get ready for a hike in the Hajar mountains. For more info visit bikeandhikeoman.com


5 things to do in Water

1

Dhow Cruise Take a dhow cruise to the remote islands of Oman for breathtaking scenery. A full day tour will transport you into a magical world of soaring mountains surging out of the sea, crystal clear waters shimmering in the sunlight and pristine beaches.

2 Dive into adventure sports Oman has some of the best marine life and coral reefs making it one of the best dive spots in the world.

For more Info visit www.omandivecenter.com

Dolphin Watching Enjoy watching a school of dolphins playfully skirting around the prow of a boat in the waters of Oman. Dolphins come to the shores of Oman in large numbers.

3

Tip: Tours for dolphin watching leave before 8am from the marina at Sidab along the coast east from old Muscat.


4 Wadi Bashing

For an off-roader’s paradise, go for the Wadis (valleys) of Oman. Filled with superb scenery, welcoming water and testing trails, the Wadis of Oman are not to be missed attractions.

5 Marvel at the Turtles

A trip to see the nesting turtles is a must. Watching these huge creatures walk up to the beach to lay their eggs, then make their way back into the sea, is to experience nature at its marvelous best. Thousands of turtles emerge from Ras Al Jinz beach. For more Info visit rasaljinz-turtlereserve.com


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shop

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

c i n Eth ping p n i o h S n a b r Du Neelam Singh

Durban offers many different shopping experiences. Street markets in and around the city offer a variety of crafts and beadwork. The Indian district in downtown Durban offers a huge selection of goods from the East as well as spices and curry powders. Boutique clothing shops are dotted here and there, while the shopping malls house all the big chain stores and are bursting with the latest clothes, fashion accessories and toys.

What to Buy?

Traditional Masks

Ostrich eggs

Ilala Palm baskets

Pottery

Beadwork and jewellery


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The Victoria Market Located in the city’s Indian Quarter, between Grey Street north and West Street, is bright with colour and heady with the perfume of spices and offers rich pickings for both souvenir hunters and photographers. The African Art Centre on Florida Road has an extraordinary array of work from antique bead and basketwork to funky painted clogs and boots and designer jewellery, textiles and ceramics.

Street Markets Every other Sunday, the Amphitheatre Gardens, on Snell Promenade, are taken over by an art market. On the last Sunday of every month, this is joined by a pretty good flea market selling everything from clothes to antiques. An even better hunting ground is the Saturday Essenwood Craft Market in Essenwood Park.

Florida Road has good range of boutiques with plenty of cafés and bars to rest and mull over your purchases.

Heritage Market The Heritage Market in Hillcrest incorporates some 160 Victorian-style shops offering a wide range of goods from rare books to arts and crafts, clothes, fashion accessories, fire-places, barbecues and novelty gifts. To top it off, there are tea gardens, restaurants, cocktail bars and a supper theatre.


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shop

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Shopping Malls Gateway Theatre of Shopping Gateway Mall in Umhlanga provides a world class range of shopping from chain stores to fashion boutiques and sports goods. It features a cinema complex, an iMax theatre, a supper theatre, fun science centre for kids and numerous restaurants (including some good Indian restaurants) to choose from. Also, it has the world’s highest freestanding rock climbing wall, the D-Rex double-point break standing wave and a 4000m2 Skate Park.

Pavilion Shopping Centre Conveniently located in Westville close to the N3, the mall offers widest selection of restaurants, shops, banking facilities, fashion outlets and entertainment areas under one roof.

g

Out of Town The Valley of a 1000 Hills is home to many a small boutique, craft gallery, artist’s studio, bijou gift shop and café including The Heritage Mall and the 1000 Hills Craft Village.


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Bazaar Talk


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Wellness

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Latest

spa therapies

for Travellers Since ancient times, evolution of spas has been in tandem with our changing needs. The modern spa is all about prevention, longevity and definably looking good. Nobody wants to return from a holiday looking anything less than well-rested and refreshed. With this in mind, health spas have sprung up in popular holiday destinations across the world.


53 Earthing in Spas Whilst generally spas combine old and new, the newest trend is ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’, where guests are encouraged to shed their shoes to come into direct contact with electrons from the earth to stabilise their electrical rhythms. Claiming that earthing reduces inflammation throughout the body which is considered a major cause of premature ageing. At some spas, earthing mats are placed under the bed to earth guests as they sleep. Mindfulness massage This massage combined with guided meditation or visualisation increases relaxation and mental peace. Combination of hot and cold stones in the massage is a favourite with travellers providing far more than the usual massage-and-sauna routine.

Some latest trends With craniosacral therapy, holographic memory realisation, auras are balanced and crystals are used to heal in a ‘colour therapy room’ with one light for each of the body’s seven chakras.

Hotels are realising that as people travel they want to stay healthy. While gyms, pools and spas are standard at many hotels, many international chains and boutique hotels are offering customised services such as in-room workouts, sleep programs, plus gluten-free and vegan menus and features such as luggage racks that double as gym benches.

From 'mindfulness massages' to vitamin C-infused showers, from bathing in beer to salt-iodine caves mimicking the effect of the Black Sea, innovations gallore for travellers.

Stay a Happy and Healthy Traveller! Inputs by: Seema Nanda Promoter and Director, Provado Spa Pvt Ltd Provadoindia@gmail.com


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FOOD

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Michelin Star Dining Ramya J S D’Rozario

With the global food scene becoming more vibrant, and people travelling to taste the fine, exquisite food in exotic lands, HolidayTalk lists 5 Michelin Restaurants across the world.


The Fat Duck

Where: Berkshire, UK

Run by the world-renowned Chef Heston Blumenthal, the food served here is akin to molecular gastronomy, with all the senses being made a part of the experience. Guests sit through a 14-course meal, where each dish is unique and can range from ‘Salmon poached in liquorice gel served with an artichoke vanilla mayonnaise’ to ‘Violet tartlets and applepie toffee wrapped in edible sweet-paper’. How to get there: Located on High Street, Bray, Berkshire in England, one can travel by rail from London Paddington to Maidenhead, which takes 40-50 minutes. The Fat Duck is a 5-minute taxi ride from the station. Cost £195 per person. Drinks and extras are in addition to this. Timings Lunch: Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon to 2 pm (last order) Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 7 pm – 9 pm (last order)

Unique offering: The ‘Sounds of the Sea’ dish involves a platter comprising oysters, mussels, clams and seaweed along with an iPod offering ambient music to go with the dish. Tip: Reservations are available 2 months in advance by the date and can be booked online between 11am and 2pm, (Monday to Friday). The maximum capacity for a reservation is 6.

Formel B

Where: Copenhagen, Denmark Offering a fusion mix of Danish and French cuisine, its menu changes frequently depending on the season. How to get there: This restaurant is located on 82 Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen, Denmark. The metro stations that are in Central Frederiksberg are Forum, Fasanvej and Frederiksberg. Timings: Open for dinner from 5.30 pm to 12 midnight. Closed on Sundays.

Unique offering: Diners can dig into Danish lamb with baked tomatoes, salted foie gras with grape juice, apple and crisp rye bread and other fusion delights.


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FOOD

Masa

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Where: New York, USA Chef Masa Takayama opened this Japanese and Sushi restaurant in 2004. With most of the fish being flown in from Japan, and extensive use of exotic ingredients, such as truffles, it makes Masa one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. How to get there: The restaurant is located on 10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center, New York. Columbus Circle is a well-known location in Manhattan. Timings: Lunch: Tuesday to Friday: 12 noon -1 pm Dinner: Monday to Saturday: 6pm – 9 pm Tip: A cancellation must be made prior to 48 hours of reservation to avoid a $200 charge per person. A party of eight or more requires a 50 per cent deposit one week prior to the reservation.

Unique offering: Try the poisonous blowfish, Alaskan king crab leg, seaweed salad… the food is beyond comparison.

Reale Restaurant

Where: Castel di Sangro, Italy Housed in a restored 16th century convent and run by siblings Cristiana and Niko Romito, it offers Italian cuisine. Cost: Each dish ranges between Euro 28 – 40* (prices are subject to change) Unique offering: Diners can enjoy Baccalà (salted cod) with roasted pepper and rosemary, veal with dried porcini mushrooms, almonds, thyme and black truffle gel or suckling pig drenched in orange caramel sauce accompanied with potato mayonnaise with oil.

How to get there: The restaurant is situated in the lush countryside in Contrada Santa Liberata, along the outskirts of the town Castel di Sangro, Italy.


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Rasoi

Where: London, UK Opened by the first Indian Michelin Starred chef, Vineet Bhatia, Rasoi (Indian word for kitchen) is located within an upscale 100-year-old Chelsea townhouse, and one must ring a doorbell to gain entry. Timings: Lunch: Monday to Friday, Sunday: 12 noon – 2.30pm (last orders) Dinner: Monday to Saturday: 6 pm – 10.30pm (last orders), Sunday: 6pm -9.45 pm (last orders) How to get there: The restaurant is situated on 10 Lincoln Street in London. The closest tube station is Sloane Square.

Unique offering: The set menu, Prestige offers a seven course meal, worth Pounds 89 per person and one can taste wild fusion food, such as spice grilled foie gras, wild mushroom naan, lemongrass crusted foie gras coins, green apple chutney, smoke cloud- herbed lamb rack, goji berry upma and crab lolly, crab chutney-mustard caviar with lime-coconut soup.


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flight

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Fly Malaysia Luxury at its best

Malaysia Airlines offers world class services to its patrons travelling on First Class and Business class segments, making it a journey in itself.

Settle in for a good night’s rest with the bed tuck-in service, surrounded by the comforts of a quilted mattress, large pillows and cosy down-filled duvet.

First Class Travel comfort First class provides wide and comfy seats with relaxing ottoman with all the space and privacy you need. Settle in for a good night’s rest with the bed tuck-in service, surrounded by the comforts of a quilted mattress, large pillows and cosy down-filled duvet. Exclusive waiting lounges The Airlines promises to make your waiting time worth it with its well-equipped lounges, business centre, Internet access, special food menu, entertainment opportunities and a lot more.

Dine like royalty Malaysia Airlines has a great choice of best gourmet cuisine in the skies. Choose your meal from the SKYSNAX selection onboard or ask its friendly staff for your special meal requests including vegetarian meals, regional meals, medical meals and children meals. Indulge in luxurious amenities During a night flight, slip into the cotton pajamas provided and worry not about arriving in creased clothes. Also, in the lavatory you will find linen towels, cologne, aftershave, body lotion and hand wash from the house of Aigner.

Baggage allowance - 50 kg. You may also bring along two pieces of hand luggage, each weighing up to 7 kg.


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Business Class Exclusive Lounge for customers Freshen up with a quick shower, grab a hot drink, squeeze in some work thanks to free Wi-Fi, or sit back and relax before your next flight at Malaysia Airlines exclusive Golden Lounges worldwide. Enough space Business Class seats in Malaysia airlines are designed with ample leg-room and feature angled lie-flat seats or seats that can recline freely so you can rest and enjoy unparalleled privacy throughout the journey.

Gifts for your travel comfort On a long-haul flight, enjoy its amenity bag containing a Clarins lip balm, moisturiser, hand and nail treatment cream, and other comfort items. Amenities such as slippers, ear plugs, and stationery are also available on request.

Baggage allowance of 40 kg plus a two-piece hand-carry allowance (max 7 kg each) ensures there’s plenty of space for all you need.


Hassel-free travel with Bonton

Budapest

Bonton Tours Pvt. Ltd., a 360 degree travel management company, provides travellers a hassle-free holiday and travel experience through its re-launched programme, Europe Group Departures - 2014.

USP of Bonton The Group Departures by Bonton offer flexibility in terms of Indian Meals for Veg, Non-Veg and Jain clients which is usually a challenge for International tourists.

Bonton’s ‘Beat the Price’ Challenge It is a novel concept, introduced for the first time in India, by Bonton. Any individual planning to travel to Europe through Group Departures is eligible to participate. Bonton encourages customers to get a final quote from competitors and accepts the challenge to Beat the Price without compromising on the services and the quality of the tour. If they can Beat the Price, Bonton assures to pay Rs 25,000 to the couple who wins the challenge. Bonton operates its departure from three hubs - Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. With 19 fixed departures operating between April to July, Bonton covers different countries like Rome, Venice, Vatican, Zagreb, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Prague, Munich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Switzerland, Germany, Paris, Brussels and London. Based on the time available, the client can choose between a mini vacation of seven days to a fun-filled extensive holiday of 20 days.


Answers on Page 74


Soha Ali Khan While travelling, Soha prefers to take only what is necessary as she keeps some space in her suitcase for her shopping spree. The actor, who is fairly well travelled, says Ladakh and Sikkim are on her wishlist.

“I am a practical traveller” A light traveller

I’m a very light traveller. I don’t like to carry too much with me. While packing I only take what is necessary because I like to shop as well and get back things that represent the place I’m visiting.

An

insider’s view is important

While going to a new place, it’s always nice to know someone local there, who can give you an insider’s view of the place, show you around, take you to places where you can get good food, basically someone who knows their way around the place.

Souvenirs from travels

I always bring back souvenirs. I mostly like to get clothes. Instead of going to flagship stores that are available everywhere, I like to go to local boutiques and bring something that is particular to that part of the world, as well as jewellery and traditional handicrafts.

Travelling with a filmy entourage travelling with friends

vs.

Travelling for a film is very different from travelling on vacation. While shooting for a film you travel with an entourage of support staff. and you don’t get to enjoy so much because you are working. I like to go on a holiday just by myself, but then I don’t like to travel alone, I like to travel with friends.

My

wishlist

My favourite international destination is Maldives. I love the sea, beach and the sun.I like to swim there. In India I want to go to Leh in Ladakh and Sikkim. Interviewed by Peden Doma Bhutia Picture by Simran Kaur


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doc

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Skincare tips

for travellers by

Shahnaz Husain

Trying to look good while you’re travelling is pretty much on top of the list of a traveller. During winter it becomes all the more important to maintain a glowing skin. With just a few travel beauty survival tips by Shahnaz Husain, you can face your winter vacation with a smile. Prevent moisture depletion For normal to dry skin: Discontinue soap and water washing and cleanse the face twice a day with a cleansing cream or gel containing aloe vera, in order to check moisture loss and also rehydrate the skin. Apply the cleanser with a light massage and wipe it off with moist cotton wool. For oily skin, use cleansing milk or face wash. During the day: Protect the skin from moisture loss during the day. Apply a sunscreen, before going out in the sun. A liquid moisturiser should also be used under make-up. Keep the skin well moisturised. During night: After cleansing at night, apply nourishing cream on the face and massage it with upward and outward movements for 3 to 4 minutes. Wipe off excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime.

Use mild glycerine soap. Immediately after your bath, apply a body lotion while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture.

The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate. During winter apply an under-eye cream and wipe it off after 15 minutes with moist cotton wool. In winter, the skin on the lips becomes dry and chaps easily. After cleansing, apply almond cream on the lips and leave it on all night. Sun-protective lip balms are also useful.

Before travelling, consider the climate at your destination. If it is drier, then you need a heavier moisturiser; if it’s more humid, you might not need moisturiser at all. Those travelling to hot, sunny places or ski resorts (where sun reflects off snow) should be careful about sun protection.


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Survey

Indians keen to

69

travel this winter

A survey conducted by Yatra.com, among 15,000 individuals, revealed that the typical travel budget this winter will range between Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000 per person with majority of the respondents preferring to go for a 5-10 days holiday. As per the survey, 69 per cent travellers are planning to go on a holiday this winter. Know more about its findings:

India is the most preferred destination this winter season

24

76

per cent respondents like to plan their vacations abroad to destinations like Dubai, Europe and South East Asia. Majority of the respondents, around 46 per cent, prefer holiday packages to weekend breaks and road trips.

Travelling with Minor Alterations Despite the rising cost of travel, 22 per cent of the respondents are willing to travel but will do so by cutting down on their shopping spends followed closely by 21 per cent who will choose to travel with a budget carrier and 20 per cent who have said that they don't mind reducing the duration of their holiday. This is a strong indication of the sentiment of travellers this season who will travel although with minor alterations to neutralise the rise in costs.

per cent respondents are willing to take their year-end holidays within the country. The top domestic destinations include Goa, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar islands.

59

per cent of the respondents are looking forward to a relaxed holiday at some exotic location (with more than 44 per cent keen to go with their families), and around 20 per cent are planning to spend quality time with their loved ones on a romantic getaway.


70

information

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

Passenger Rights in India With a view to publicise passenger rights for airfare refunds, facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights, delays in flights, passenger grievances redressal mechanisms, several Civil Aviation requirements/ Air Transport Circulars issued by the office of The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) are as follows: •Facilities to be provided to the passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delay of flights •Refund of airline tickets to passengers of public transport undertaking •Carriage by air of person with disability and or with reduced mobility •Procedure for passenger grievance redressal Mechanism •Nodal officer and Appellate Authority are designated by each airline to settle passenger grievances in a stipulated time-frame •When affected by denied boarding, a cancellation or a long delay, the passenger may

Source: The Director General of Civil Aviation, New Delhi

complain directly to the airline, in the event the airline has not provided the compensation or reasonable facilities as listed by the DGCA. •If the airlines fail to fulfill their obligations, the passenger may complain to the statutory bodies set up under relevant applicable laws.

In 1913, the Russian Airline became the first to introduce a toilet on board.


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visa

Important Tourist Visa requirements Malaysia • Visa for Malaysia can be applied through agents authorised by High Commission of Malaysia, Delhi & Consulate General of Malaysia, Mumbai & Chennai at Malaysian Visa Application Centres (MVAC) • Three photographs are required for a Malaysian visa. One photograph is to be pasted on the form and the other two photographs are to be clipped. • Visa fee for Malaysia is Rs 1000 for Indian national and service charge for MVAC is Rs 2000.

Oman • You can easily get a pre-arranged Oman Tourist Visa through a hotel booking. • Applicant has to share his/her passport copy showing Name, Address, Date of Issue, Date of Expiry and Nationality with the visa form with Hotel in Oman where the applicant will stay.

China • Visa form should be typed and printed as the VFS centre is not accepting illegible forms. If it has to be handwritten then it should be clearly legible and there should not be any cutting, overwriting, use of whitener, etc. While filling up the form, the instructions given on the top and the date formats mentioned in the columns should be followed strictly. • If the inviter is a Chinese National then invitation letter has to be signed in Chinese language.

Cyprus Applicant can enter Cyprus w/o a Cyprus Visa if there is a valid Schengen Multiple Entry Visa, provided the applicant stays minimum 2 days in the Country that has granted the Schengen Visa and then proceeds to Cyprus. He can stay as per the number of days stay allowed as per the Schengen Visa.

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Source: Udaan India Pvt. Ltd.

Bulgaria Hotel Confirmation/proof of accommodation is required for non-prearranged tours. Also, original documents/vouchers issued by a tourist organisation/ tour operator for pre-paid tourist service is required, containing the license number of the tourist organisation/tour operator, it should be issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, along with the name, license no of the Hotel, and the duration of the pre-paid tour services.

South Africa If applicant is travelling from a yellow fever risk country (including low risk countries such as Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia) or is transiting through a yellow fever risk country then Yellow Fever Certificate is mandatory.


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Tech

72

Holiday Talk | Feb-Mar 2014

Your Phone

Your travel buddy! Hritvick Sen

Confused over multiple flight timings? Have the time, but no idea for where to go? Gone, but no idea what to do? Rest my friend! HolidayTalk presents some of the best travel apps you will lay your eyes upon. Right from planning your itinerary, to getting the best fares, what to do once you get there, and thereon there’s an app for everything.

FLIGHT SEARCH

Expedia (Android/ iOS)

Expedia’s mobile app also gives its users mobile-exclusive discounts and lastminute deals. The travel giant also backs up its mobile services with its gargantuan web inventory of flight and hotel searches.

SkyScanner (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)

Want a cheap flight? Look no further than SkyScanner. Besides having a smashing interface for dirt-cheap flights, it has a super cool graph where you can track flight fares from anywhere to everywhere.

Skyscanner searches more than 1,000 airlines and 1 million routes to find the cheapest flights possible. There are no handling fees and the app allows you to book directly.

Imagine a personal assistant who coordinates all your flights, cabs, what to do between flights and more. The name is GateGuru. A TripAdvisor app, it covers over 125 top US airports, 17 Canadian, 31 European, 29 Asian and 2 Australian airports. It also covers car rentals and what to do when you’re waiting for your connecting flights.

Packing Pro (iOS, ~Rs 200)

Just tell it where you’re going, how long for and with whom and it creates lists of what you might need to pack. The lists are split up into essentials (passport, foreign currency and the like), gadgets, clothes and more.

AMENITIES

GateGuru (Android, iOS, Windows)


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AROUND THE CITY

AroundME (Android, iOS, Windows) Lost in a new city? Need to find an ATM? ‘AroundME’ quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket and taxi. It shows you a complete list along with the distance from where you are. Fast, easy, accurate and FREE.

Foodspotting (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)

This app gives you over 2.5 million user-generated recommendations for whichever city you touchdown in. Search by dish and it will rate What’s its USP? restaurants accordingly. It will pop up photos, too.

world currency Country

Currency Units/INR

World Weather

Malaysia MYR 18.79 Cyprus EUR 85.24 Bulgaria BGN 43.56 South Africa

ZAR

5.88

City/Months

November

December

Avg low High

Avg low High

Oman OMR 160.7

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 22.5

Canada CAD 57.79

Bulgaria

-4.9 2.2 -2.9 4.9

Durban, South Africa

21.1

Japan JPY 0.58

Cyprus

Oman

32.1

5.8 15.7 27.8

16.7 25.1

China CNY 10.20

Canada

thailand THB 1.88

China

-9.4

Thailand

21.0 32.0

Spain EUR 85.24

Spain

Brazil BRL 26.52 As on Dec 30th, 2013

Japan

Brazil

22.8

32.9

6.0 16.3 21.1

28.0

17.8 26.4

-15.3 -6.1 -13.3 -4.1 2.5 9.9 1.6

2.6 9.7 17.4 26.9

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

2.9 10.4 -6.9

4.0

23.3 32.7 3.7 12.0 17.4 26.7


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quiz

Holiday Talk | Feb–Mar 2014

CITING P X ESend the correct R

S IZE

WI N

74

answer to holidays@ddppl.com and win

2-night and 3-day stay at Estuary View Resort, Karwar, Karnataka. The correct answer of November-December 2013 quiz is ‘The Giant Daisy in front of the Maritime

Museum of Turku, Finland’.

We have received an amazing response from our readers and quite a few got it right, so we had to draw from all the correct entries.

Answers for Page 66

And the winner is Sanjay Kaw

of Philoxenia Ecotel Pvt. Ltd. Sanjay has won ‘Relaxation Therapy Vouchers for Kairali Ayurvedic Centre’.


HOLIDAYtalk Feb-March 2014  

HOLIDAYtalk Feb-March 2014