Page 1

A DDP Publication

108 Pages • Volume 1 Issue 02 • October–November 2012 • `50


Ale and Hearty

It’s time for

South Africa More fun in the


plus celeb talk: Tom Alter’s Favourite Destination

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

The African Leopard Cover Pic Courtesy: Mohit Midha



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


Deepa Sethi

Features Writer

Neha Oberoi

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


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

Mumbai Advertising

Harshal Ashar

Production Manager

Anil Kharbanda

Circulation Manager

Ashok Rana


from the editor


e received a great response from our readers for the first issue of HolidayTalk, our new bi-monthly leisure travel magazine. We have tried to change and incorporate many of the suggestions we received. The travel syndrome has changed. We don’t just tick off cities on a map anymore. People are well informed about destinations, on and off the tourist track. We are looking for new experiences and are not hesitant to try new cuisines and experience new things. The fear of a foreign language doesn’t bother us anymore. We like to see and live new cultures. And the crux is that we have the money and we are willing to spend it! We understand that scarcity of time pushes us repeatedly towards the same destination because we have enjoyed it once and it forms a comfort zone. Let us do the hard work and help you plan new holidays for you and your family… see the pictures, read about different things to do, where to shop, where to wine and dine, the weather there, even things your kids can do… Holiday Talk will be your guide, giving you information and ideas about destinations abroad and in India. It will cover new places to travel to in each issue, give you information on things to do and see in these cities and the best way to get around in them. We give you visa information and have language tips for the destinations we cover in each magazine. To help you further, we speak to designers and beauty consultants so you can look good and relaxed wherever you are. Please write to us at or on how to improve our product that aims at helping you and being your guide. If you have a special experience to share, please send it to us and win an exciting prize, if we choose your story for our Guest Talk section. We also play a guessing game in Holiday Talk… with the help of your holiday photographs we ask our readers to guess where it has been taken, this way you win a prize for sharing your photographs and you help others win prizes too! Write, Click, Guess, Mail and Win! Deepa Sethi Editor

readers’ letters Received the first issue of “Holiday Talk”. Accept my sincere and hearty appreciation for publishing a travel-related magazine, with a focus for travellers. Generally, magazines provide a mix reading for trade and travellers combined. However, Holiday Talk will enlighten the travellers about even some hidden facts, which are not of common knowledge. I am happy to read about the rights of travellers in various situations concerning airlines, embassies, hotels, insurance and much more. I am confident that Holiday Talk will soon create its special preference among travellers. I wish Holiday Talk all success. Om Prakash Director, ex-Chairman TAAI WR INORBIT Tours Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

Just received a copy of the First Issue of ‘Holiday Talk’. I was waiting with anticipation and needless to mention, I have already gone through it cover to cover. It is indeed crisp and informative! This latest addition to the DDP Publications stable is more than welcome and I take this opportunity to wish you and your team all success. Ashok Singhal CEO, Balaji Travco India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi

Saw the 1st issue of Holiday Talk magazine. Thanks for covering Hong Kong International Airport. It’s a great piece. The HKIA coverage looks awesome. Kathy Chiu Hong Kong Tourism Board

contents 24



features 22

63 regulars 10


Cover Story


It’s time for South Africa 34

62 94

Don’t Miss

Wine & Dine

Tom Alter shares his memories of his favourite destination

Hitler’s favourite restaurant in Munich 46

Page 106

Food Talk

Slice of Spain 54


Globe Talk

Fun Holiday in the Philippines

Guest Talk


Ladakh: Roof of the world

Signature Experience

Peking Opera 56

Tech Talk

Travel-friendly Apps

Shop Talk

Shopping Extravaganza 44


Travel Wear

Getting Around

Navigating Munich 42


News you can use

City Talk

Ale and Hearty Munich 40

Festival Talk


Slice of India

Kerala: Mecca of Ayurveda

Kid Talk

Teens adventure at the Andamans 84

Eco Talk

Peru: Walking through Amazon

information 88

Visa Talk

Information at Your fingertips 102 What’s in a word? 104 World Weather


World Currency

advice 64


Photography on the Move 86

Doctor’s Advice

Keep the glow while travelling



Flight Talk

83 100

Hand Baggage

Baggage Woes

Pitting wheels against the spinners

34 65

Don’t Miss

Quirky shops to scout around for memorabilia across Europe

Page 90


festival talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Oktoberfest When: September 22-October 7, 2012 Where: Munich, Germany Beer-drinking is a competitive sport in Munich and the Oktoberfest is all about drinking beer. This 16-day festival attracts over 6 million people every year. It consists of lots of beer and food, served in huge tents owned by different breweries, restaurants, and other establishments. There are bands playing traditional Bavarian music, as well as bands that play rock, pop, and dance music. Many visitors wear the Bavarian traditional costume. For further information

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta When: October 6-14, 2012 Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world. Over 700 balloonists participate in this event and it draws approximately 100,000 spectators. It is a truly spectacular sight to see the sky filled with hundreds of brightly coloured balloons of different shapes and sizes. The Fiesta includes day and evening activities such as Mass Ascents, Balloon Glows, the Special Shapes Rodeo, America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race and evening fireworks. For further information

Takayama Festival When: April 14-15, October 9-10 Where: Takayama, Japan This is one of the three largest Fall festivals in Japan. The Takayama Festival is renowned for its brilliantly decorated floats (yatai) that move around the city at night. The intricate metal work, embroidered drapes and ornately carved floats mesmerise the onlookers. The puppet show, which also takes place on these days, is known as a ‘cultural asset’. These puppets are made of wood, silk and brocade. For further information takayamafes.html


celebrations Fantasy Fest – ‘A–Conch-Alypse’ When: October 19-28, 2012 Where: Key West, Florida, USA This ten-day event includes parades, AIDS fundraisers, balls, body painting, drag contests and much more. Humourous floats are also a part of the parade and feature the annually chosen Conch King and Queen. There is also a mile-long ‘eater-tainment’ street fair, which features arts, crafts and numerous food vendors. One can also party like Adam and Eve, at the Garden of Eden, a clothing optional rooftop bar. For further information

Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve When: October 31 Where: All over the world All Hallows’ Eve is a yearly holiday observed around the world on 31 October, the night before All Saints’ Day. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-ortreating (also known as “guising”), attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films, as well as the religious observances of praying, fasting and attending vigils or church services.

Day of the Dead When: November 1 Where: Central and South America Day of the Dead sounds like a grim event, but it’s a time to celebrate and remember the lives of dead family members. People decorate their altars and gravesites with candles, flowers, candy skulls and food. This is a gesture to welcome the souls back to earth. People parade through the cities dressed as skeletons, and skeletons are also on display throughout the city. A particular bread, pan de los muertos (bread of the dead) is also baked in the shape of skulls and crossbones, with a toy hidden inside each loaf. Biting into the toy is said to bring good luck. For further information


festival talk


Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Giant Omelette Festival When: November 3-4, 2012 Where: Abbeville, Louisiana, USA

The festival has its roots in the French town of Bessieres, where Napoleon (with his army) once stopped for the night and ate an omelette. He enjoyed it so much that the next morning he ordered all the eggs in the town to be made into a giant omelette for his troops to feast on. Abbeville’s Magdaline Square is the setting for the two-day Arts & Craft Show. Stop and dance to some of Louisiana’s best music. Grab your seat early for the procession of chefs, eggs and bread to the Giant 12 foot skillet for preparing the ‘5000 Egg’ Giant Omelette. For further information

Monkey Buffet Festival When: November 25, 2012 Where: Lopburi, Thailand A central region in Thailand, Lopburi is home to a number of ancient monuments. Along with the many temples, there are a number of monkeys in the area. To the residents of Lopburi, these monkeys are the descendents of Hanuman (Indian god), who according to the Ramayana (Indian holy book) made Lopburi his kingdom. Thus, annually a grand feast is laid out for them on the last Sunday of November, and this public feast attracts many tourists.

Junkanoo When: December 26 & January 1 Where: Bahamas Believed to have begun in the 16th or 17th centuries, Junkanoo has West African origin. Around Christmas time, the black slaves would get a holiday from their work at the plantations. They would then spend the day with their families, and celebrate with their African dance, costumes and music. After slavery was abolished, the festival still continued. The colourful parade sees people dressed in psychedelic costumes which are based on a theme. The whistles, goatskin drums and cowbells belt out rhythmic beats.


Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival When: January (lasts a month) Where: Harbin, China In one of the world’s largest ice and snow festival, the intricately designed sculptures draw tourists to Harbin from across the globe. Located in Northeast China, the cold Siberian wind keeps the temperature of Harbin as low as -16°C. There are ice lantern shows where gravity defying sculptures emit and reflect dazzling colours. A number of competitions also take place, such as international ice sculpture competitions, speed skating, mountain skiing, winter swimming, etc.

Sun Festival at Abu Simbel When: February 22nd & October 22nd every year Where: Abu Simbel, Egypt The Abu Simbel Temple at Aswan, Southern Egypt, built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, nestles in darkness all round the year. An architectural wonder, it is angled in such a way that only twice a year during the months of February and October, at the break of dawn, natural sunlight streams enter the temple and illuminate the statues of the great King Ramses II himself, and the two sun gods to which he dedicated the temple Re-Horakhte and Amen-Re. People gather around the temple during this time to watch the sunrise and meditate. You can also enjoy the dance and singing shows arranged by the local people.

Macaroni Festival When: In November every year Where: Texas, US The Macaroni Festival is celebrated in Victoria, Texas, each year. It is not about the celebration of elbow noodles or spaghetti, instead, it is held to honour the construction of the Macaroni Railroad, built in the 1800s. The festival includes entertainment, demonstrations and – as the name suggests – a Macaroni Cook-Off.


info talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

infotalk Adventure at Singapore Date: Running until 31st December Venue: Mount Faber A new Angry Birds cable car experience is now on offer at Mount Faber, Singapore. Visitors can ride in the special themed car, along with interactive game stations and creative workshops available for fans of the game. A series of Angry Birds activities and giveaways has also been introduced by organisers.

Fun-filled Festival at

Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

Date: Sept. 28-Nov. 12, 2012 Walt Disney World guests can sip new wines, beers and cocktails, savour delicious new marketplace tastes and enjoy live entertainment during the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The 46-day festival at Disney’s Epcot theme park serves up authentic cuisine from six continents; wine, beer and inventive new cocktails; concerts with entertainment ranging from rock and soul to funk and blues; cultural exhibits of more than 25 international regions; and regularly scheduled performances by acrobats, musicians, dancers and comedy troupes. Exotic marketplaces from Hawaii to Belgium offer exciting taste treats.

Sunburn Fest in Sri Lanka From the sunny sands of Goa to the very heart of Sri Lanka, Sunburn – India’s largest live entertainment festival is all set to go global. The day-long event will be held in Colombo on October 7 and then in Noida, Delhi NCR on October 8, 2012. Dj Afro Jack, the Grammy award winner is slated to be the star of the show in Colombo. The festival will move back to beaches of Goa on December 26 – 28.

15 The Queen’s Diamonds on display Date: Open till 7th Oct 2012 This year The Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee – the only monarch to reach such a landmark, other than Queen Victoria. To celebrate this occasion, there’s a special exhibition of royal diamonds at the Buckingham Palace, displaying a spectacular array of diamonds worn by The Queen and other monarchs over the past 200 years. The exhibition also includes an unprecedented display of a number of The Queen’s personal jewels  –  those inherited by Her Majesty or acquired during her reign.

VIA Rail

brings romance on wheels in Canada VIA Rail is offering couples a unique romantic getaway in a private cabin while enjoying picturesque landscapes. Glide through Canada’s winter wonderland free of weather delays and flight cancellations on board the signature Canadian, a four-day journey originating in either Toronto or Vancouver. No matter what destinations guests choose to explore further, the romanticism of the train paired with memorable destinations and iconic hotels make this winter getaway one to remember.

Third Annual Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix Date: From October 12 -14, 2012 The third annual Formula 1 race is scheduled to be held in South Korea. It is the 17th in the line-up of 19 races held around the world. At 5.615km, Korea International Circuit is the longest circuit in Asia and the second longest in the world after Monza Circuit (5.793km) in Italy. One of the highlights of the circuit is that it is set against the ocean background with parts of it stretching along the harbour. One could root for their favourite racer at the prominent international sporting event and also experience the local culture in the bustling coastal town. For more information: detail/korea_879 Book your seats on en/ticket/ticket.jsp


info talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

infotalk Shangri La

All-Star Weekend at Las Vegas

taps into mobile technology As a natural extension of the brand’s recently revamped website, the new app provides easy access and booking for Shangri-La’s 72 hotels and resorts at one’s fingertips, anywhere in the world. Developed to maximise the features of the current smartphone technology, the free Shangri-La app that is available for download through the App Store in English or simplified Chinese, allows guests to search and book real-time reservations at all Shangri-La hotel locations, view all special promotions and receive location-based offers at specific hotels with GPS technology, and manage their Golden Circle loyalty programme membership account efficiently.

3rd Annual Las Vegas’ premier culinary event, FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend will take place on October 5-7, 2012. The weekend will be hosted by FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons along with a talented line-up of celebrity chef superstars, distinguished sommeliers and sophisticated mixologists providing first-class interactive experiences, once-in-a-lifetime moments and exceptional hospitality. Tickets starting at $50 all-inclusive. For the detailed event schedule, to purchase tickets and for more information visit

50th anniversary of the release of

debut single

Love Me Do Date: October 5, 2012 Fans of the Beetles can now flock to Liverpool to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles debut single ‘Love Me Do’. People from across the world can participate at this mass sing-along during the Love Me Do weekend, which promises to be spectacular and will be adjudicated by Guinness World Records! Organised by the Beatles Story and Albert Dock Liverpool, it is expected to attract thousands of people to the city - all eager to play their role in creating a moment of Beatle history. For further information: or call at +91-98996


The Butterfly effect at Macau Macau’s first ever butterfly exhibition, launched in May 2012 for six months, introduces an enchanted world of nature where more than 130 species of Butterflies dance in the air. The exhibition boasts of an array of visual surprises that include the Butterfly pavilion, Giant Pinwheel Trees and willow wine sculptures. Time: 10am-10pm daily Where: At MGM Macau

James’s, London, Launches a New Consumer Website St James’s launched its stylish new website,, an online portal offering detailed information about this prestigious and historic shopping and lifestyle destination. The new website houses a comprehensive directory of retailers, restaurants, hotels, art galleries, residential and business property available in the area and also the local amenities. There is an online calendar detailing events taking place in St James’s, including fashion launches, store openings and exhibitions. An editorial section titled ‘The Correspondent’ will provide a future look at what not to miss and a guide to everything that can be found in St James’s. 

Malaysian Mansion among greatest Mansions The Cheong Fatt Tze mansion in Penang, Malaysia, was voted as one of the top ten “greatest mansions and grand houses”. Built in the 1880s, this famous indigo-blue Chinese courtyard house in Georgetown, Penang, was the residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese figure. The mansion was built by master craftsmen brought in from China and includes 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases, and 220 windows. The building layout is based on feng-shui principles, and is filled with a rare collection of sculptures, carvings, tapestries, and other antiques. Partially converted into a hotel, it offers a unique heritage experience to visitors.


info talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

infotalk Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona’s

New Helicopter Package

Discover Barcelona’s most amazing views with Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona’s new helicopter package which offers a panoramic flight in a twin-engine helicopter over Barcelona’s landmarks. Priced from EUR 95 to EUR 375 per person, guests have the chance to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Barcelona from the Mediterranean Sea to the surrounding mountains, over the towers of Sagrada Família; and the city’s Olympic Stadium. Helicopter tours range from a 10 minute to a three hour flight

Finch Bay Eco Hotel in Tripadvisor Top 25 The Finch Bay Eco Hotel in Puerto Ayora, Galápagos, has been included in Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Best Hotels in South America 2012. The hotel, which already holds the #1 spot on Trip Advisor’s hotels in the islands, now ranks among the finest establishments on the continent. It’s the only hotel in Puerto Ayora to operate its own yachts of surrounding islands: the 16-guest Sea Finch and the 20-guest Sea Lion. It offers attractive “day-trip plus accommodation and meals” packages as well as activities such as snorkeling mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, visits to see giant tortoises, and scuba diving in the world-famous Galápagos Marine Reserve.

Oz Tourism picks Brett Lee to

bowl over India

Brett Lee, the Australian fast bowler, will now appear in a new avatar – as the brand ambassador for Australian Tourism in India. Lee, who has a huge fan following in India, has been chosen as a ‘Friend of Australia’ under the Tourism Australia’s advocacy programme. The cricketer is a perfect choice, as he visits India very frequently and he also plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Tourism Australia is eyeing to grow the Indian visitor market to Australia to 300,000 potential annual visitors by the end of the decade.

19 New “Holiday Offers & Late Availability”

Web Portal by Sunvil

With some good holiday offers in 2012/13 for Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Sicily, Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, plus late availability deals for Greece and the Azores, Sunvil is offering travellers honest deals to promote sustainable tourism. There are no extra costs or hidden fees when booking with Sunvil – just the basic 2% charge if paying by credit card – meaning that the price you see online is the price you pay.

Stay at the ‘Sound of Music’ home in Austria Are you a movie buff? If yes, then Salzburg, Austria is the place for you. Home to the shooting location of the Sound of Music, the former Salzburg home of the real Von Trapp family is open to visitors for overnight stays. There are 14 rooms, from suites to singles, which have been furnished keeping in mind the spirit of the place.

Conrad Maldives

introduces children’s diving Now children can also experience the wonders of the submarine world at Conrad Maldives Rangali alongside the reefs of the resort’s lagoon. Young divers have a choice of seven courses beginning with the SAS (Supplied Air Snorkelling) course for five-year olds, which guides children in a fun and safe way through the basics of diving. Beginner classes take place near the coral gardens of Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant and once they feel confident, children graduate to diving the vibrant reef that runs the length of the resort’s main island. Price of the course: • SAS for 5 yr old kids - US$100 • Bubblemaker course for children aged eight and over - US$100.

For further information on the resort visit or follow on Facebook, ConradMaldivesRangaliIsland and twitter, @ConradMaldives



cover story

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

r o f e m i t s ’ t I

South Africa! There are several euphemisms for South Africa: the ‘Abode of the Big 5’ or the ‘Rainbow Nation’ being the most popular ones. Easily one of the most spectacular nations, both in terms of its sheer size and diversity, a visit to the country can give you several breathless moments.

Getting there

Time Difference India is 3.30 hours ahead of South Africa.

South Africa is five times the size of Japan and three times the size of Texas.

One can reach South Africa from India conveniently on South African Airways, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Jet Airways and Emirates. There are direct flights to Johannesburg from Mumbai. Approximate flight duration time from Mumbai, India, to Johannesburg, South Africa, is 9-10 hrs.

The Kruger National Park

is one of Africa’s finest game reserves and is also the main attraction of Limpopo.

The Northern Cape

is sparsely populated and encompasses dramatic landscapes characterised by interesting faunal diversity.


Kruger National Park Polokwane Gabarone


Sun City

Kgalagadi Transfontier Park


Rustenburg Pretoria


North West

Upington Kimberley





Northern Cape South Atlantic Ocean



Free State


KwaZulu Natal

Cape Town

Indian Ocean 200 Kilometers






Eastern Cape

Western Cape

Addo National Park

Garden Route


East London

200 Miles

Port Elizabeth

African Adventure at The vibrant coastline, winelands and amazing mountain scenery draw millions of visitors each year to the

Western Cape region.

Drakensberg National Park is the highlight of KwaZulu Natal area.


cover story

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Nature at its best Table Mountain Climb the flat-topped 1,086 m-high Table Mountain, that contains more than 300 walking paths. For this, the route through Platteklip Gorge is the most straightforward. It takes 2-3 hours up if you decide to walk but you can go up and descend in about 4 minutes on the cable car, which runs after every 10-20 minutes. If interested in paragliding down you can do that too. Here, you’ll find a couple of souvenier shops, a cafe (serves snacks, beverages and alcohol) and some fascinating easy walks to follow with a spectacular view from all sides. The best time to be here is early morning and evening. The cable car doesn’t operate if it’s dangerously windy or has a cloud cover.

Table Mountain’s top is often shrouded in clouds commonly known as its ‘tablecloth’.

Cape Winelands

Cape winelands, situated east of Cape Town among beautiful hills, create some stunning vistas. Visit the larger wineries like Spier near Stellenbosch and Groot Constantia by car as they are close to Cape Town. Take a look at some of the organic markets that have come up in the area for some homemade jams, sandwiches, salads, chutneys, biltong, handicrafts and more.

Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.

The first European to reach the cape was the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, who named it the ‘Cape of Storms’ (Cabo das Tormentas). It was later renamed by John II of Portugal as ‘Cape of Good Hope’ (Cabo da Boa Esperança) because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India and the East. Cape Route 62 This route meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth. Wine lovers can visit up to 70 wine farms, of which 11 are specialist brandy cellars.

Mpumalanga Known as ‘Paradise Country’, few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty and wildlife of the Escarpment and Lowveld. The magnificent Panorama Route and Highlands Meander are a must-visit.

The Garden Route A coastal corridor on the western coast of South Africa, where ancient forests, rivers, wetlands, dunes, beaches, mountains and indigenous fynbos merge to form a landscape of restorative beauty.


Summers (November to March) Winters (June to August)

When to Go

• Best time to see wildlife is May - September. • Best time to visit Cape Town and Western SA is October - March; • Best time to visit the North and Eastern SA is May - October.

One of the popular tourist destinations in Mpumalanga is the Lisbon Falls.

Sun City Known as Africa’s premier holiday resort, Sun City is a must in every traveller’s itinerary. The $300m Palace, which opened in 1992, is supposed to represent the forgotten citadel of an ancient African king, and it succeeds in matching Vegas for scale and ambition. From international standard golf courses to casinos, South Africa’s largest safari reserves to Valley of the Waves, Sun City has something for everyone. It boasts of a variety of dining options, from casual fast food outlets to fine dining restaurants, guests can choose from Indian, Mediterranean and Oriental cuisines and more.

For Adrenaline Junkies The Cango Caves Here, you can climb a steep ladder and crawl through the narrow holes and explore the caves as an adventure tour facility available there. Enjoy the adventurous journey through the coffin, ice chamber, tunnel of love to King Solomon’s mines. The temperature in the Cango Caves is warm and humid. Wear sensible footwear and light clothes. Arrive 10 minutes early. There are no toilet facilities on the tour.

World’s 3rd highest bungee jump Experience a never-felt-before rush at the Bloukrans Bridge, located near Nature’s Valley, Western Cape, and take the plunge of 216 mt into the gorge below.

Cage Diving with sharks Dyer Island, 100 miles from Cape Town, about a 2 hour-drive by car, Mossel Bay and False Bay, provide an exciting, adventurous and a truly unique opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with sharks.

The De Beers Group of companies control more than 80% of the world supply of rough diamonds.

cover story


The Cango Caves, discovered by a farmer in 1780, situated in the enchanting Klein Karoo in the Western Cape, are a true showcase of evocative dripstones.

From June until November, Southern Right Whales are highly visible along the Cape south coast, making this the perfect time of the year for a whale-watching trip.

Experience the joy of witnessing the colony of over 3,000 birds on Boulders Beach. Travellers can also involve themselves in penguin conservation programmes where they are taught how to catch, hold, feed and tube feed the seabirds. Magnificent marine Whether you visit South Africa’s whale-watching capital Hermanus or choose a scenic spot along the Garden Route or Wild Coast, seeing these marine giants in their natural environment whether from land or a boat is an experience that you won’t want to miss.

A day with penguins at Boulders Beach This is the only place in the world where one can get up-close to African penguins. Each year, around 60,000 visitors flock to Simonstown to photograph and watch these famous penguins. The admission fee to go and see the penguin colony and access the swimming beach is just ZAR 25 per adult and ZAR 5 for children. It is open year round from 9 am to 5 pm. Nearest city is Cape Town

South Africa from above

One of the best ways to experience the scenic landscape of South Africa is from a helicopter. In fact, a number of game parks recommend this as the best way to explore its precincts.

A safari trip to the Kruger National Park is sure to leave you spellbound.

The Safari Trail Kruger National Park

Knysna Elephant Park

Visit the iconic park for its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. Spread across two million hectare of wilderness, it is the best place to witness the ‘Big Five’ - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Kruger National Park entree fee: ZAR 160

Enjoy a range of inspiring experiences. The Daily Tour, for instance, provides the shorter experience of meeting, feeding and interacting with the gentle giants. For longer experiences, it offers elephantback rides or walks, while the exclusive sunrise/ sunset safaris provide more private and intimate encounters and if you still can’t get enough of elephants spend a night with them at the Elephant Lodge. Nearest city - Port Elizabeth. Nearest domestic airport - George Airport. Entry Fee: Adults ZAR 220, Children ZAR 100, Students and pensioners ZAR 165.

Gauteng Nature Reserve

Get up close and personal with these ‘gentle giants’ at the Knysna Elephant Park.

The Lion and Rhino Park, which is part of the Cradle of Humankind (World Heritage Site), is located less than an hour away from Johannesburg. Apart from wildlife and birdlife, this privatelyowned game reserve provides excellent recreational and accommodation facilities.

South Africa is the sole producer of the Mercedes Benz, C Class, right hand drive vehicles.

Cheetah Outreach Facility

Experience the excitement of a personal encounter with domesticated ambassador cheetahs at the outreach faclity located in Somerset West, 25 minutes from Cape Town. Here you get the opportunity to meet adult ambassadors and cubs under 18 months. The animals can be viewed from a safe distance. Entry rates ZAR 10 during the weekdays and ZAR 5 on weekends.


cover story

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Ride an Ostrich, Only in South Africa

Visit Oudtshoorn in the Karoo, and enjoy a ride on ostrich. Multilingual guided tours are conducted every 20 minutes and last up to 45 minutes and can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are petting areas where you can cuddle the chicks or feed an ostrich with your hands.

South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes enjoys an ostrich ride.

Mandela’s Prison Stories Robben Island: A memorial to Nelson Mandela

This UN World heritage site is the most popular attraction at Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years. Getting a ticket in peak times is tough as they are sold out days in advance. Prepare to be hustled around on the island along with a 30 minute boat trip each way. Do not drink & drive because if found guilty then you could be arrested and jailed for up to 6 years. You could also face a fine of up to ZAR 120,000 and you could also have your driver’s license suspended. The legal blood alcohol limit = 0.05g per 100ml. in simple terms, 2 drinks over the space of 1 hour will put you over the limit.

Keep Safe and Sound • Avoid ATMs at night and in secluded places. • Always hail a cab from a trusted location or the hotel you are staying at. • Don’t flash your expensive jewellery. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy

of the police report for insurance claims. Also, report the loss or theft of: • Travellers cheques to the nearest agent of the issuing company • credit cards to the issuing company • airline tickets to the airline or travel agent • passport to the nearest Indian embassy or consulate Photo courtesy: South African Tourism Board and Abercrombie & Kent

An African ostrich egg weighs almost 30 pounds and is so strong that a 200-pound man can stand on it without it breaking the egg.

Exploring the Wilderness

Travel is not simply about seeing new places. It is about pushing boundaries, creating conversations, trying to understand unfamiliar spaces and coming home with new eyes. Wildspace is an organisation dedicated to providing memorable travel experiences in some of the world’s most interesting regions. It has created links with various exciting partners to incorporate an array of experiences: from sitting amongst a pride of lions whilst they play with their cubs to lying on a rock island gazing down over the magnificent Victoria Falls, from wine tasting in the Cape Winelands to dawn prayers at a remote mountain desert monastery. Wildspace operates throughout Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) and East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), as well as in various countries of Asia. From the palaces of Rajasthan and the heights of the Himalayas, to the rolling grasslands of the Serengeti and the unparalleled beauty of the Cape coastline, its trips strive to instill an appreciation for some of the world’s most fascinating cultures and pristine wilderness areas.


city talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

ale and hearty

Munich!! Munich is truly what depicts all things hearty and larger than life. With a giddy mix of museums, historic sites, cosmopolitan shopping, an energetic nightlife, boisterous beer halls and gardens, and but of course, the Oktoberfest. Neha Oberoi

This magnificent castle appears through the mist like something out of a fairytale. It later became the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Must Visit Dream castle of King Ludwig The romantic Neuschwanstein Castle was built by the King to pay homage to his favourite composer, Richard Wagner. It shows plenty of evidence about his obsession for swans and operas. The castle is best visited as a day trip from Munich. Entrance Fee: EUR 12, available only at the village Hohenschwangau below the castle.

Germany is the most populous European country (apart from Russia), with a population of 82 million.

The museum is open daily and admission is free for those 15 years of age and younger. Allow several hours to explore the Residenz Palace.

Residenz…the Royal Effect Munich Residenz is the royal palace that housed the Bavarian rulers from 1385-1918. It showcases more than 500 years of architectural history and features a number of treasures and artworks in the Residenz museum. Outside the Residenz building on Odeonsplatz are a set of brass lion statues. Stand there for a couple of moments and you’ll notice that almost every passer-by rubs the statues with their hands. Why? Apparently rubbing the lions is supposed to bring good luck.


Spring (March, April and May) is the perfect time to visit Munich. Autumn (September-October) is also a good time.

The English Garden (Englischer Garten) Munich´s famous 900-acre park, is known for its four beer gardens, lakes and spaces for recreation – whether playing football, biking, horse riding or sunbathing. The term ‘English Garden’ refers to the British style of informal gardening. Monopteros: You can have a great view of the Munich skyline from an artificial ancient Greek structure, built in 1836 under orders from King Ludwig I. Kleinhesseloher See: Explore the artificial lake built in 1802, with three small islands, in a hired paddle-boat. Remember, disembarking on the islands is strictly forbidden. Access: Bus No. 54 will take you to the place from “Muenchner Freiheit” underground station (exit at stop “Chinesischer Turm”).

* when going to press

Romantic Road

The popular ‘Romantische Strasse’ links a series of quaint and the most picturesque towns in Bavaria. The Romantic Road is connected to Munich by the Europabus. From North to South, it includes the following major stops: Würzburg: The starting point that features 18th-century artistic splendour among the vineyards. Rothenburg ob der Tauber: The medieval walled hub of Bavarian touring. Dinkelsbühl: Another medieval walled city replete with moat and watchtowers. Augsburg: A medieval and Renaissance city with many good places for a beer. On the Stuttgart-Munich train line. Füssen: The southern end of the route and overrun home of King Ludwig’s castles.


Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp during the Third Reich, is a memorial to the Jews who lost their lives due to the atrocities lashed out on them when they were imprisoned here from 1933 to 1945. Here you can see prisoner baths, barracks, courtyards, and the crematorium, as well as an extensive exhibition and various memorials. Admission free, Monday closed

The BMW museum In the shape of a futuristic silver bowl, it is among the most attractive museums in Munich. The “Time Horizons” exhibition showcases the historic BMW sports car along with a futuristic study of automobiles and motorcycles. BMW Junior Museum is a unique satellite classroom that arouses enthusiasm among children and adolescents. Fee: Total Exhibition (permanent and temporary exhibition): € 9.00 for individual visitors, € 6.00 for children and students.

The term ‘ecology’ was first coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866

There’s more to do in Munich! The river Isar splits the city of Munich in two, right from North to South. One can do river rafting on the Isar, where traditional wooden rafts are used.

Go for a guided bike tour of Munich and you will learn so much about the city.

When in Munich, do walk into the courtyards, the best architectural features of the city.


city talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Must Attend

One of the world’s largest and most popular beer festivals, Oktoberfest attracts over six million visitors every year. The festival is associated with the consumption of large amounts of beer and traditional German food, along with a lot of merrymaking. The beer is served in huge tents owned by different breweries, restaurants and other establishments. It starts on the third weekend in September and ends on the first Sunday of October.


The best way to reach Munich’s Oktoberfest is by public transport. The subway brings you right to the gates of the Fest. The S-Bahn train network (S1 – S8) offers weekend night service and trains run till 1 a.m. during the Fest.

Souvenir Mugs

Oktoberfest beer mugs (1-litre-Steins), with a decorative brewery logo on the side, are popular souvenirs among visitors. They can be purchased in the tents at a reasonable price.

Attractions of the Fest Watch the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade that takes place every year on the first Wiesn Sunday. Other important events are the Parade of Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Official Tapping of the Keg, the Oktoberfest Mass, ‘Böllerschießen” (handheld canon salute) in front of the Bavaria statue and - this year- an agricultural festival.

Keep in Mind

Arrive early, especially if in a large group, for those without seats won’t be served any beer! Visiting Munich for the Oktoberfest? Book early as hotels will be full.

Dictionary for Visitors

Look up the ‘Wiesn-Dictionary’ to understand the local dialogue at the fest. This is a lexicon available on the official site of Oktoberfest, solving all problems for nonBavarians.

Into African Wilderness Mountain gorillas and lakes of the Great Rift Valley, volcanoes and pristine white beaches, all this and more amounts to an ebullient East African Holiday. And now African Quest Safaris (AQS), Go Beyond Travels and Destination Holidays have teamed up to provide you with a picture perfect holiday in the African Savannas. African Quest Safaris’ repertory includes classic wildlife safaris, students/group tours, agro tours, cultural interactions, island holidays, mountain trekking and specialised golf safaris. • AQS has its own fleet of transfer and safari vehicles • Trained and experienced naturalists/guides Go Beyond Travels specialises in wildlife and luxury travel in Africa. It aims to show East Africa with different perspective – with ‘offbeat but luxury travel’ as their motto. Destination Holidays specialises in customised and personalised family holidays with stringent efforts to deliver quality service and hassle-free experiences. Together they have synergised to bring the best of East Africa to you. They offer customisable itineraries that suit the needs of travellers in the best possible way. It’s a one stop shop for all your travel needs!


getting around



It’s simpler to orient yourself to Munich from the heart of the city, Marienplatz. It’s a great starting point for getting all that sightseeing done. However, to know and love Munich you must walk it or take a ride. Hiring a bicycle is a good option.

Reaching the heart

Munich’s International Airport is connected by the S8 and the S1 to Marienplatz and the Hauptbahnhof, the two central stations in Munich. The service takes about 40 minutes and there is a train every 10 minutes, with the S8 being a little faster.

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Metro, Trams & Buses The S-Bahn (metro railway) and U-Bahn (subway) systems run throughout the city. The U-Bahn stations are signed with a white capital ‘U’ on a blue background. S-Bahn stations are signed with a white ‘S’ on green background. You can get individual, group, day and week tickets. The same ticket is valid for the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, trams and buses, but it must be time-stamped in the machines at station entrances and aboard buses and trams before use. Failure to validate a ticket will earn you heavy fines from ticket inspectors. All S-Bahn trains run from early in the morning to about 1 a.m. The U–Bahn operates till 12.30a.m. Monday to Friday and till 1.30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There are trams and buses along with night buses and night trams (Nachtlinien) that run at intervals of about 30 minutes. On Fridays and Saturdays, they run all night.

41 Hire a Car/Taxi

Explore on Cycle/Foot

To travel within Germany, there is the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) or you can hire a car or make use of the Taxi Munich Online services. Daily buses (BEX BerlinLinienBus) run between Berlin and Munich (one-way/return €44/81, 9½ hours). It is cheaper for people under the age of 26 and over the age of 60 to travel on the one way fares.

Munich is very much a walkable city. You can enjoy the city on foot or on bike. Munich has an extensive cycle path system (800km) and a safe driving culture. You can rent bikes from Marienplatz and rickshaws are also available for sightseeing.

Travelling time to Munich From Delhi 7 hours and 21 minutes

Rules for driving on the AutoBahn—the highway • There is no speed limit, only an advisory speed limit of 130 kmph • Traffic drives on the right • Seat belts must be worn at all times • Children under 12 are forbidden to travel in the front seat without a child restraint

Must Know

Getting a day pass (Tageskarte) is the best option for using public transport for a whole day. Up to five adults can travel together. Two children aged 6-14 years count as one person (so 2 adults and 6 children can travel together on one ticket). City Tour Card costs a bit more than the Day Tickets. It serves the same purpose, but offers additional discounts on many museums and tourists attractions.

Time difference

Germany is 3.30 hours behind IST (Indian Standard Time)


Shopping Extravaganza Known as one of the best 10 cities to live in the world, Munich offers a plethora of shopping options to visitors. When in Munich, shop at some of the world’s most creative boutiques or visit Munich’s traditional stores. A Dirndl is a traditional dress worn in Germany on special occasions (such as the Oktoberfest) and weddings.

Gourmet Market

An open air market, the Viktualienmarkt has stalls selling spices, game, fish, local and exotic fruit, flowers, plants, etc., and the prices tend to be expensive. Home to the city’s most central beer garden, here you can enjoy local beer and traditional Bavarian fare together.

Main Shopping Centres Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse in the city centre have large department stores and global chains. Smaller and more exclusive shops can be found around Maximilianstrasse and Theatinerstrasse. Leopoldstrasse is a trendy shopping street with tasteful boutiques on the surrounding streets. Even window shopping is fun here!

Bavarian Gifts Typical Bavarian gifts might include traditional clothing such as lederhosen (short or knee-length breeches) for men (Lederhosen Wagner, Tal 2), and a dirndl (traditional attire of skirt, apron, bodice and blouse) for women (Loden Frey, Maffeistrasse 97); beer steins or mugs (Bierkrug), wood carvings (Holzschnitzereien), pewter-ware (Zinn) at Geschenke Kaiser, Rindermarkt 1.

The single busiest shopping hour for the Christmas holiday season is December 24 between 3 and 4 in the afternoon.

shop talk


Opening Hours: Most stores in the city are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, most stores close at noon.

Must Buy • Porcelain figurines or dining ware are a must to buy at Schloss Nymphenburg. • Go for those hand-made chocolates and other sinful sweets at Elly Seidl’s shop. Try the champagne truffles. • The shops in Munich’s museums sell fine reproductions of works of art, limited editions, posters, and reproductions of designer pieces from both their own collections and those of other museums. • The museum shop at the Deutsches Museum carries an outstanding selection of unique toys, from building sets to robots – enthusiastically received by children and adults alike. • Antique dolls, fashioned with artfully painted porcelain heads and draped in precious fabrics are collectors’ items. • Dukatz cups and saucers, inscribed with humorous and subtle quotes by Bavarian author Oskar Maria Graf, can be purchased from Dukatz café.

Visit Classic Outlet in Leopoldstrasse and Lodenfrey outlet near Olympia shopping centre for 70 per cent discount on the most trendy designer labels

VAT refunds Prices in Munich include 19 per cent VAT. If you are a non-EU visitor, taking the purchase to a non-EU country, the VAT can be reimbursed at Terminal 1, Departure B (level 4). Global Blue, a shopping tourism company helps you, but at a price, for they return only about 10 per cent. It is open daily from 6 am to 10 pm.

Hitler’s Favourite Restaurant in


Visit the hip-n-happening nightlife of Munich with HolidayTalk. From trendy bars and beer gardens to restaurants; gorge on the many Bavarian delights, continental, Greek and Mediterranean cuisines served here.

Munich’s trendiest district is Isarvorstadt, one of the boroughs of Munich, just South of the Hauptbahnhof. The nightlife here is very active with streets lined with bars, restaurants, a thriving community of artists and musicians. This area is also famous for its Lesbian & Gay community.

Beer Halls Established in 1589 by Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V, Hofbrauhaus am Platzl is one of the city’s well–known beer halls for tourists. In 1970, two stacks of beer stein (mug) safes were installed for the safe-keep of personal and valuable beer steins of the regulars

Bavarian cuisine Originally a rustic cuisine, the Bavarian cuisine includes various types of meats, Knodel dishes (steamed potato dumplings and variants) and extensive use of flour. Known to have similarities with its neighbours - Austrian and Czech cuisine, a number of Bavarian dishes have also been heavily influenced by French cuisine. Munich marks a greater consumption of meat than its rural counterparts.

Pubs Kultafabrik, Grafingerstrasse: The nightclub mecca ‘Kultfabrik’, located next to Munich’s Eastern railway station, is Europe’s biggest party complex. There’s more

One of the oldest restaurant in Munich, Osteria Italiana was Adolf Hitler’s favourite.

wined& ine In the midst of traditional Bavarian architecture, transport yourself back in time as you dine on fine Bavarian, German and international cuisine.


Restaurants Boettner’s, located in Orlandohaus in the heart of Munich, started in 1901 as a tea and oyster shop. The French influence is evident in its traditional Bavarian dishes served with a modern twist. Andechser Am Dom: What attracts guests to Andechser Am Dom is the beer which is brewed in Andechs, a famous monastery. Make sure you try some of the many sausages available.

Slice of history

• In 1920, Adolf Hitler and a group of National Socialists were known to have held their first meeting on the third floor in the Festival Room. • Wolfgang Mozart, American author Thomas Wolfe and John F Kennedy are also the famed visitors of this beer hall.

than 25 music themes that you can sample from, ranging from techno to live rock. Paradiso, Lehel: Here the nightlife is classic with red curtains, cheap candles and a kaleidoscope dance floor. Jive to the 80’s hits on the dance floor. Smoking is permitted! Bei Carla: One of the best pubs in Munich for women and Lesbian & Gay community, one can enjoy the friendly ambience here, and you can even play darts. NY Club: Known as a stylish and uber cool Gay Dance Club in Munich, it is an aesthetically designed lounge area. There is also a darkroom for one’s special needs. Nektar, Haidhausen: It is an ultra chic super-club for the luxury seekers with its dazzling white interiors, gourmet food and ambient tunes which sets the mood. Edmoses, Lehel: A hangout for the nightlife’s metrolites where you can showcase yourself in a glass box.

Weisswurst, which means white sausage, is a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced pork bacon and veal, and is flavoured with various herbs and spices.

For further information, contact: Photos courtesy: Germany Tourism Board


food talk

Slice f Spain!

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012


Foodies’ Delight

For the epi-curious souls, Spanish cuisine is a culinary delight. Rated among the best cuisines in the world, HolidayTalk picks out some of the ‘must eat dishes’ in Spain. Dency Mathew

The main ingredient of this dish is rice along with a dash of saffron.

Paella Arguably the most famous dish in Spain, the name Paella comes from the Catalan word patella which means ‘pan’ as the preparation of this dish involves the use of a specialised shallow pan. There are several varieties of Paella with the popular ones being seafood, chicken and mixed paella. But be prepared for a 20-25 minutes wait after you order your paella as this dish is usually cooked according to your order. It is a tradition in Spain to cook Paella during festivals and fiestas.

Paella is usually served in the pan it is cooked in and make sure you scrape the pan as you eat.

47 Food is a way of life for the Spaniards and their cuisine has a distinctive and enviable platter of good food to offer. Spain’s gastronomy differs from region to region because of the climate and geography. However, there are a few common dishes found throughout the country.

Most cafes in Spain, however, serve churros in the morning as it is a dish supposed to be eaten for Spain is known for its omelette and no visit to Spainbreakfast.

Tortilla Espanola

is complete without a bite into the Spanish omelette. The tortilla espanola is a commonly found egg omelette cooked with potatoes, onions and paprika. Unlike other omelettes, the Spanish omelette is really thick and can be eaten by itself for lunch. These omelettes are generally served with alioli (garlic mayonnaise).

Tapas Tapas includes a variety of appetisers or snacks. Originally served only with drinks, today tapas have become an important part of meals and can be eaten as a meal itself. The tapas culture has become huge in Spain and around the world with specialised tapas bars and restaurants having mushroomed all across serving an assortment of tapas. At most restaurants before your meal arrives, you will be served tapas made of cherry tomatoes mixed in olive oil and served on bread.


food talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Churros Churros are deep fried Spanish doughnuts, dipped in hot chocolate, dusted with sugar and come in the shape of a loop or long strips. Found easily on roadside carts or stalls, churros are crunchy on the outside and soft from the inside.

Gazpacho A traditional cold soup served mostly in the southern region of Spain, it is often called the liquid salad. Mostly served during the summer season along with bread and olive oil, Spaniards vouch by its thirst quenching quality, and hence, highly recommend it on a hot summer day.

Calameras Fritos A tasty appetiser, served anytime during the day, fried squid rings or Calameras Fritos are commonly available in Spain. ­­­

Cocido madrilène Cocido means stew in Spanish and this dish comes from the capital of Spain, Madrid. Available in various flavours, the common ingredients of this dish are meat, potato and chickpeas. Ask locals for the best place to eat Cocido madrilène as they are not easily found across restaurants in Spain.

Most cafes in Spain, however, serve churros in the morning as it is a dish supposed to be eaten for breakfast.

Photos courtesy: Tourism Office of Spain

Scandinavian Sojourn Rail Europe

Moving from India beyond the cries of the ‘chaiwallahs’, the wiry coolies in their crimson red shirts, the countless vendors and fellow travellers, to the beauty of a serenely organised Europe on the most spectacular rail rides. Offering an extensive train network across Europe, the train and bus journeys with Rail Europe present a perfect window into Scandinavia, its changing topography and exploring its undulated beauty. Here are a few things the discerning traveller needs to look out for: Megha Paul

Experience the sparkling deep blue sea, the salty brush of the northern wind on your cheek, breathtakingly beautiful archipelago and the northern sun.

Finland to Turku You could use other transportation facilities between Helsinki and Turku, but you would not want to miss the rail journey that is an expedition through cultures and across lands. The passenger railway network of Finnish Railways -- VR Railways -- operates an efficient and reliable rail service.

Turku to Sweden Board the Tallink Silja from the Tallink Grupp, which is the leading passenger shipping company on the Baltic Sea. For the fun lovers, the cruise offers on-board entertainment in the form of live music and dance.

Sweden to Gothenburg

The Finland–Turku route offers an awe-inspiring view of the Finnish countryside and valleys around the beautiful mountain ranges.

Introduced in 1990, X2000 is Sweden’s 200km/h (125mph) tilting high-speed train. Linking Stockholm with Gothenburg and a range of other Swedish cities, this is another must-experience rail journey that we recommend. All X2000 trains have first and second class seats and a self-service buffet car. For the Internet buffs, there are power sockets for laptops and mobiles between every pair of seats and onboard Wi-Fi.

Norway in a Nutshell ‘The Norway in a Nutshell trip’ takes you through some of Norway’s most beautiful fjords. The tour that can start in Oslo, Bergen and Voss lets you experience the scenic Bergen Railway, the breathtaking Flam Railway, the Aurlandsfjord and the steep hairpin bends of Stalheimskleiva. The trip runs daily all year.

The Flam Railway is also one of the world’s steepest railway lines on normal gauge. On the 20-kilometre long train ride you can see rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascade down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and mountain farms that cling dizzily to sheer slopes.

Flam Regarded as a masterpiece of Norwegian engineering, Flam Railway takes you through the spectacular waterfalls, in and out of snow-capped mountains and ends up by the Aurlandsfjord. The Flam Railway winds its way from Myrdal to Flam, 865 metres below, nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord.

European Quartet F

When One (Two, Three) Is Simply Not Enough!

orget about the borders and discover this area of European Quartet countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia as one destination. Let it be relaxation or medical treatment for an unbeatable price! Central Europe is all year round destination where more than 4000 events await you. Don’t leave without the unique souvenirs that you can only get in this part of the world. Czech Republic boasts a multitude of historical cities, representing the best of the world’s architecture and art. The capital city Prague, one of the most

beautiful cities in the world, is situated on hills and terraces, overlooking the wide-flowing Vltava River. The map of the country is dotted with historical towns, over 200 castles, chateux, churches and monasteries. Poland is a flourishing country where you can find most pristine landscapes of Europe. The main cities of Warsaw, Krakow, Wrocław and Gdansk are proud to open the doors of their most beautiful palaces and historic monuments to travellers. Slovakia is a developing country with

untamed expanse of mountains and forested valleys, interspersed with rocky landscape. Although, the gate to Slovakia is its capital city Bratislava, the inland is pretty much worth visiting. Hungary is a country with more than 1100 years of history, colorful traditions and folk art, scenic beauty, teeming cultural life and, most of all, friendly, warm hearted people – just a few reasons why Hungary has long been a popular tourist destination. Undoubtedly the number one tourist destination of Hungary is Budapest.


signature experience

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Peking Opera A synthesis of music, art and dance While in China, if you want a slice of a traditional Chinese experience then be sure to head for a show of the Peking Opera, also known as the Beijing Opera.


quintessence of Chinese culture, Peking Opera, like the traditional operas, tells stories through movement, singing and elaborate dancing. However, this particular song and dance form is said to be exquisite because of the pantomime movements and general acting skills. Though comparatively new, with a history of over 200 years, Peking Opera is the most popular of the many forms of traditional opera in China. The characters in the opera are created according to tales or true-life stories of the capital’s region, most of them dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912).

For further information, contact: Photos courtesy: CNTO

The types of role of Peking Opera fall into sheng (male role), dan (female role), jing (painted faces) and chou (clown). The shengs have a very prominent delineation of eyebrows. Different colours of the character’s face reflect his main characteristics or emotional state. The dan makeup is fixed, and does not reveal an emotional state. Costumes, though symbolic in differentiating the characters, do not indicate the change in weather. This is indicated by the actor with his movements. Props that usually form an essential part of stage art are not visible in a Peking Opera show. Through pantomime movements, actors indicate every motion, be it to denote opening a door, closing it, riding a horse, or even rowing a boat. On an average, prices range from RMB 200-580, depending on the seats.


globe talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

fun holiday in the

Philippines It is great fun being in the Philippines and personally witnessing all the excitement, attractions, nature and pristine beaches. HolidayTalk covers cosmopolitan Manila, nature’s paradise in Palawan and white sand beaches of Boracay Island. Vivek Sethi

57 Cosmopolitan Manila A day-long sightseeing tour of Manila necessarily includes a visit to the Manila Bay, Rizal Shrine, Fort Santiago, Casa Manila and San Agustin Church and Museum.

Fort Santiago Known as the ‘Shrine of Freedom’, in memory of the heroic Filipinos imprisoned and killed here during the Spanish and Japanese eras, it has been partly rebuilt from the ruins of World War II.

Rizal Shrine

Casa Manila

Going to the Philippines will not be complete for most tourists if they haven’t shopped. It is a shoppers’ dream, the home of three of the world’s 10 largest malls and lots of street side shops with local flavour.

There is no direct flight from India to Philippines. One can bank on a connecting flight via Singapore. Duration: From Delhi to Singapore - 6 hrs (approx.) From Singapore to Manila - 3 hrs and 35 mins (approx.) Time Difference: Philippines is approximately 2 hrs ahead of India.

Left: Rizal Shrine in all its glory

The shrine inside Fort Santiago houses Rizaliana items like books, sketches, paintings, wood carvings and sculptures, in memory of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. He spent his last few days here before he was executed on December 30, 1896.

USP of Philippines Photo Courtesy: Gustap & Jeroo

A colonial lifestyle museum, it features antique furnishings from China and Europe dating back to the 19th century. Crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs, Chinese ceramics, a four poster ebony bed, religious images, antique piano and harp, marble tables and such other items display the luxury of the era and its healthy trade relationship with foreign countries.

Getting There

Philippines, from the Indian perspective, has a large Englishspeaking population, close foreign exchange parity and shopping amenities to name a few.


1 Peso=1.33 Rupees (approx.)


globe talk

World Heritage Site of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Tourists normally get permission to explore about 1.5km of the river and it is advisable to apply at least a week before the trip is planned.

The underground river flows under the Saint Paul Mountain Range, 81km from the centre of Puerto Princesa City.

The Subterranean River is said to be among the longest in the world measuring up to 8.2km

59 While at the world heritage underground river attraction in Palawan, guides encourage the visitors to join in by singing a song in the local dialect and then translating it in English.

Palawan: A Paradise for Wildlife Lovers

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre It serves as a sanctuary for the Philippine Crocodile that is endemic to the country. Here you get the opportunity to hold a real crocodile and get clicked.

Sparkling Firefly Tour

• Both at Manila and Boracay, one can’t skip being approached by agents on the lookout for clients with a requirement for a massage. However, it’s easy to guard oneself against such suppliers with a polite ‘no’ and request to be left alone. • One should be advised not to withdraw or convert huge sums of money at night, as is the case with any other foreign destination.

Photo Courtesy: Gustap & Jeroo

Declared as a nature sanctuary of the world, it is also known as the country’s last frontier and has managed to preserve its fascinating natural habitat through the years.


A tour on the Iwahig River within the city of Puerto Princesa provides one of the exciting experiences of Firefly watching, as the guide paddles the boat narrating their behaviour.

Mangrove Forest Paddle-boat On this educational tour, the guide narrates various types and benefits of mangrove trees preserving the natural balance. If you are lucky, you may also sight a snake resting on one of the trees.

For some hard-core fun, zip line your way across the lush green-scapes of the Philippines.


globe talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Boracay Island Boracay’s beach, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, boasts of all the elements of a tropical heaven - crystal blue waters, powder white sand and a healthy and diverse marine life. It is well connected from Manila.

Must Try • The ‘FishnFly’ activity, wherein a motor boat challenges the water sport enthusiasts on the inflatable kite shaped boat to save themselves from falling into the sea, as it runs into the direction of the wind. • Helmet diving is another activity to get glimpses of underwater life. The helmet (equipment) weighs 32 kgs approx. on ground but under water, when rested on one’s shoulder, it weighs only 3-4 kgs due to the pressure of water and oxygen inside. Once under water with the helmet, you’ll get the opportunity to feed fishes with your hands in addition to experience undersea ecology.

For further information, contact: Photos courtesy: Philippines Tourism Board, India

The culinary fare at Boracay is equipped to please diverse nationalities. Indians can have a delightful treat at one of the Indian cuisine restaurants owned by a Korean entrepreneur, which serves sumptuous vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights.

Lords Group of Hotels Lords is an Indian Chain which has started out with 3 and 4-star hotels and one which has grown with amazing rapidity over the last two years. The chain is the largest in Gujarat and has maximum operating hotels. it has now started venturing into North as well. With the possible exceptions of Surat, Vadodara, theirs has been a pioneering work of setting up new International Standard hotels where none existed before. It has taken both daring and farsightedness to set up hotels even before the proposed industries in several areas became operational. Hotel development, matched as it has been by the industrial development in these towns, has contributed significantly to the success of Lords. Within the chain, there are some differences made between the Plazas and the Inns, The Plazas being of 4-star standard and the Inns being 3-star. In reality, the difference is in the size of the lobby and

opulence of the public areas which is less in the Inns than in the Plazas. The uniqueness of Lords is that the hotels are positioned to offer a consistent standard of accommodation and food quality throughout the chain quite regardless of the relatively low rates. Though, it is usually true elsewhere, when speaking of Lords, low prices definitely do not mean low quality. The hotels have been found to be acceptable to both senior executives who are usually accustomed to 5 star deluxe hotels and their juniors. When asked where they are headed, Lords gave us the following statement: “Our aim is to present and promote our hotels to their respective target markets in such a manner that lords hotels are automatically the first brand that customers seek.“


in style

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Travel like a

a t s i n o i h s fa How to be a smart packer and a smart dresser! HolidayTalk presents a great checklist to make your trip easier with expert inputs from ‘Purple Paperbag by Shivali’.


alking through towns, hopping at pubs, stopping by to shop and looking at some awesome landscapes and beautiful streets around us, the only ones to complain are our feet… this time we promise to make them happy in a perfect pair of sneakers!

Look Trendy Carry a fashion statement ‘new Barrett’s ponytails’ while on a holiday. There’s one for every occasion - the high pony, the mid-crown pony, the sculpted pony, the braided pony, the low pony and the top knot.

Also, never forget to pack-in your favourite pair of denims (we adore slim fits) and pair it with a frilly blouse or simply a tank top.

A delicate, neutral colour, crochet jacket is a total must for this season’s holiday. It’s great beachwear and can be smartly transformed for the after-party spotlight.

My Favourite Pick My favourite holiday destination is Italy. I love the ‘Apertivo’ culture in the country and the wine sits perfectly with the atmosphere. It’s a fun place for ‘people watching’ (which is what I love to do on every vacation). Visiting the small towns in Tuscany is an amazing experience. A day-long trek by the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea at ‘Chinque Terre’ is one of its kind. In Florence, my ‘dream come true’ city, check out the shops around the Duomo and Santa Maria Novella. Also, my favourite place to shop for rare perfumes is olfatorio with its own tiny museum of powder boxes, etc. Walk every tiny street and find hidden treasures. Do not miss the Salvatore Ferragamo shoe museum (which is every girl’s birth right!) below their store. For further information, contact: Photos courtesy: purplepaperbag


shutter bug

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Photography on the move Long after you have travelled to a place, all that remains are your memories and of course the pictures that you have taken during the trip. We, at HolidayTalk, want to make sure that you get to relive all your trips forever. Here are some tips from Delhi’s well-known professional photographer, Pavan Mahatta, for the next time you go click-happy on your vacation.

Shooting Hours ‘Golden Hours’ – the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset – present the best light for photography, especially to create a standout image. Also, the flat skies or harsh sunlight will have to be dealt with in a creative manner.

When you get old and your kids ask where all the money went, show them the vacations’ photographs and videos.


Expert Advice Think about your travel plans and pick the minimal equipment required – for example bring the basic body with only one or two lenses, and if the camera is point and shoot then it is even easier to transport. Carry a reliable flash, small tripod, extra batteries and memory cards all in a single case, if possible. The less weight you carry, the more you can think about capturing captivating pictures.

You are advised to seek permission from the subject before clicking such images. Photos courtesy: Pavan Mahatta Pic of Mr. Mahatta by: Arjun Mahatta

Ladakh the roof of the world Ladakh is a favourite destination with many people. It is one of those places that people visit and begin planning their next trip there even before they have left it. It is a must see in any person’s lifetime. Mohit Midha explored the coldest desert for Holiday Talk.

guest talk


The drive to Ladakh is an unforgettable part of the whole experience. The landscape seems to change every 20 km and never repeats itself.


stood on the terrace of the monastery, looking out in awe at the vastness of the landscape. The different colours of the mountains never cease to amaze me. The crispness of the air, the clarity of the atmosphere and the blueness of the sky still stand unrivalled by any other place. I have travelled to Ladakh 23 times and it still leaves me wonderstruck each time I visit it.

Getting there Getting to Ladakh has become a lot easier than it was when I first rode there on a motorbike in the early 90s. Now thanks to the brilliant effort put in by the Border Road Organisation, there are welltarred roads most of the way and accommodation facilities are springing up all along.

By Road The route taken by most visitors by road is via

Manali. The presence of only one fuel pump in Tandi serves the entire 500-km route to Leh from Manali. This drive is an unforgettable part of the Ladakh experience. The landscape seems to change every 20 km and never repeats itself. En route, there are mountains in hues of orange, purple, green, red and multiple colours.

Above: En route the Leh-Srinagar Highway Facing Page: The idol at Thiksey Monastery Below: En route to Pangong Lake

The other options of getting to Ladakh by road are the routes via Srinagar and via Spiti Valley. The Spiti route is a destination in itself and joins the Manali route soon after Rohtang Pass.

By Air Various airlines now fly to the capital city of Leh, giving visitors various options to choose from. However, due to the topography and wind conditions, all flights arrive and depart only in the morning.

The region displays some spectacular sights during the winter period. The rivers turn a brilliant aquamarine blue and the trees and bushes are all hues of incredible reds, oranges and yellows.

Facing Page Below: A view of Thiksey Monastery while on the way to Pangong Below: The market at Leh

When to visit

Safety Tip

The best season to visit Ladakh is between June and September, when the weather is clear and temperature is pleasant. The passes are mostly clear of snow and most roads have been repaired by then. Although till around 5 years back these months were mostly dry, the region has now started experiencing some heavy rainfall during this period too.

It is important to note that altitude sickness has nothing to do with an individual’s fitness levels. So it is extremely important for all visitors to acclimatise. Ignoring the warnings could be dangerous and the only treatment then would be immediate air evacuation to a lower altitude. If this is not immediately possible, it could even result in death.

Accommodation Good accommodation facilities are available in Ladakh catering to every budget and level of quality desired. This ranges from `150-a-night rooms let out by locals to some exclusive and expensive well-equipped hotels.

What to see The Ladakh region is dotted with fascinating places of interest. • There are Buddhist monasteries all over. Some of the most famous ones are the monasteries at Thiksey, Lamayuru and Hemis. • There are fascinating lakes nestled between the mountains, including Pangong Tso and Tsokar, which are a must-see for their natural beauty and unbelievable colours.

Annual festivals organised by the Buddhist monasteries render vibrancy to this otherwise bleak location.

Pangong Tso lake is popularly known for the film 3 Idiots. Its climax scene was picturised here. Apart from this, Tashan, Dil Se, LOC and Paap are some other films that have been shot here showcasing the raw and untouched beauty of Ladakh.

The Nubra valley is one of the few places in the world where in the same glance you can see water, sand dunes, trees, mountains and snow.


Acclimatisation is a very important aspect to keep in mind while travelling to Ladakh. Due to the high altitude, the oxygen levels are lower and the human body needs time to get used to this. If travelling by road, this is not a problem as the climb is gradual. However, if a person is flying into Leh, it is imperative not to exert at all the first day and to do minimal exercise even the second day.

• The Nubra valley is another favourite destination. A visit to this area begins with the added bonus of a drive over the highest motorable pass in the world, Khardungla (17,582 ft). It is also famous for its double humped Bactrian camels. At the far end of the Nubra valley is located the end of the famous Siachen glacier.

Mohit Midha is a photographer – writer specialising in wildlife and travel. He honed his skills with a course from the New York Institute of Photography. He has worked with National Geographic, Canon, Ferrari, WWF, Incredible India, Readers Digest, Y.P.O., Lufthansa, amongst many others. He has published his writings and images in publications in India and abroad. Besides this, he is also involved in adventure and wildlife tourism in India. For more information:


Although it looks barren at first glance, Ladakh has abundant wildlife. Amongst others, the more frequently seen animals are the Blue Sheep and the Ibex with their impressive horns. The rare and elusive snow leopard can also be spotted. Amongst the birds, Chukars and the Himalayan Snow Cocks are often seen in the higher reaches, while various varieties of accentors can be seen closer to water sources. One of the rarest birds, the Black-necked crane, can also be seen here during the warmer months.

During Hemis Festival, lamas dressed in bright robes and elaborate head-gear perform masked dances.

Ancient Uzbekistan Uzbekistan is the oldest land in Central Asia, maintaining a twenty-five century long history and a country located at the mid-point of the Great Silk Road! Recently, tourist interest in Uzbekistan has increased and the range of travel is expanding year by year. The Great Silk Road, one of the most significant achievements in history of World civilization, also passed through this country. To enjoy your time in cultural Uzbekistan, Exotic Vacations gives you the opportunity to try out this new destination with tailor-made packages and an assurance for long lasting memories. The company has special kind of business tie-ups to arrange the best services and memorable tours for other CIS Countries like Russia, Kazakistan, Turkmenistan, etc, apart from South East Asia, Europe and South Africa. The company is known for its expertise in handling corporate groups to all the major destinations.


days cities


Udaipur is characterised by the charming beauty of soothing lakes and its breathtaking scenery.

How to reach Udaipur is well-connected by rail and air to all the metropolitan cities in India. Direct flights are available from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Recommended Stay Paras Hill Resort, situated 45 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the main city, offers a breathtaking view of the mighty Aravali hill range. It also has an in-house restaurant and bar, pool and banqueting facilities.

The charm of good old days in Udaipur and Jodhpur and the vigour of the rustic life in Ranakpur, untouched by the hustle and bustle of city life will ensnare travellers in its simplicity and grandeur. HolidayTalk explores more...

Must Visit Palaces

Visit the famed Jal Mahal, situated in the middle of the Pichola Lake, now a five star hotel. From the City Palace, which stands tall over the Pichola Lake, one can get a glimpse of the ‘Rajputana Shaan’ (Pride of the Rajputs).

Lakes Known as the city of lakes, Udaipur’s most famous lakes are Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake. Nearby are the Rajsamand Lake and the Jaisamand Lake, which is the second largest lake in Asia.

Tangles and Bangles Shop for handlooms, ethnic precious and semiprecious stones, contemporary Marcasite Silver jewellery and crafty juttis (handmade shoes) at Hathi Pol, Bada Bazaar, Chetak Circle and Palace Road. However, if there is time constraint then opt for Rajasthan Emporiums in the city.


Heading towards the Blue City of Rajasthan, Jodhpur? Take a break! En route stop at Ranakpur to enjoy the scenic beauty of this pastoral town.

As you enter the hotel, a charming lotus pond leads the way to the pool area, which provides a jaw-dropping view of the lush green expanse and mighty mountain range.

It has a fine dining restaurant, which is also the only air-conditioned restaurant in Ranakpur.

How to reach Ranakpur is a stopover destination between Udaipur and Jodhpur. Therefore, it is advised to reach either of the cities and hire a cab to reach Ranakpur.

Eat & Stay King’s Abode

Located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, it provides a perfect hospitable ambience.

Must See

Kumbhalgarh Fort Located just 35 km from Ranakpur, the fort has perimeter walls that extend 36 km. Wait until after sunset, when the fort is spectacularly lit.

Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary Spread over 578 sqkm, here you can spot a panther, sloth bear and wild boar among other animals.

Jain Temple The unique aspect of this Jain temple is that it has 1,444 pillars, each with a distinct design. Please note: Arms and legs should be covered while in the temple. The temple authority rent pyjamas to those in shorts and sleeveless shirts. Photography is prohibited after 5 pm and foreign tourists are allowed to visit only till 5 pm, while Indian tourists can visit till 6 pm.

You can enjoy the birds-eye view of the fort via zip-lining.


Start early from Ranakpur the next morning towards Jodhpur, known as the ‘Blue City’.

How to reach Jodhpur is well-connected to all Metro cities by air. Flying time to Jodhpur from Delhi is nearly one hour and 10 minutes, while from Mumbai it takes 20 minutes more.

Must See Mehrangarh Fort

This majestic fort is one of the few forts which have amenities for the older and the specially-abled for free. In addition, visitors can enjoy a 20 minute live musical performance in the Raja’s music room. Visit the fort’s museum cum gallery to purchase souvenirs, and traditional Rajasthani jewellery based on the designs of the royal family, at subsidised rates.

Umaid Bhawan It is one of the world’s largest residential palaces. It is now divided into three parts – a luxury hotel managed by the Taj group, residence of the erstwhile royal family and a museum focussing on the history of the ancestors of the current owner, Maharaj Gaj Singh.

Shop Shop for tie-and-dye sarees at Sojati Gate and the famous ‘Lac’ work at Mochi Bazaar. For local handicrafts and textiles, visit Tripolia Bazaar.

Recommended Stay WelcomHeritage Balsamand Lake Palace: Located only 5km from the heart of the city on the banks of Balsamand Lake, the resort has an in-house bar and restaurants and offers activities such as horse riding for kids, ayurvedic and spa massages, etc.

Jet, Set, IndiGo… W

ith the approaching holiday season, planning a vacation is high on everyone’s radar. Steering its customers away from the cumbersome planning processes, long lines, pesky touts and high prices, IndiGo, India’s largest low-fare carrier is launching Get Packing an exclusive holiday package for its customers. Get Packing gives IndiGo travellers a chance to plan for the perfect trip enabling them to book holiday and business packages in one go, either on the website (http://getpacking.goindigo. in) or at the IndiGo Call Centre. Get Packing is designed for people who are looking for a high

quality travel experience at low prices, with the minimum wastage of time and without any hassle. Get Packing will present a unique experience to plan holiday packages at affordable rates without compromises and address all facets of a holiday - flights, hotel accommodation, airport transfers, local conveyance, entertainment, et al. With IndiGo’s extensive network of flights, options to choose exciting itineraries across the country are varied, from Gulmarg to Agra and Ooty. So start packing now!!


slice of india

Kerala Mecca of Ayurveda

Travel to God’s Own Country to strike a harmony between body, mind and soul vis-à-vis the therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments. The lush green expanse and dust-free and cool atmosphere make Kerala an ideal destination for Ayurvedic spa therapies.

It’s only natural in Kerala! Unlike many other places where Ayurveda is an alternative medicinal system, in Kerala, Ayurveda continues to be among the mainstream systems of medicine. Theories of Ayurveda have been interpreted and adapted actively into effective healing systems in everyday life in this southern Indian state. And almost all the contemporary procedures and protocols of Ayurveda have evolved in and around Kerala.

Popular Ayurvedic Therapies •D  hara: Pouring of herbal oils, medicated milk, etc., on the forehead and body in a stream to de-stress •N  asyam: Involves inhaling of medicated herbal preparations, is beneficial for sinuses, migraines, chronic colds, etc. •P  izhichil: Application of herbal oil over the body, is used to treat spondylosis, arthritis, hemiplegia and nervous disorders •N  javarakizhi: Involves external application of medicated rice packs and is known to treat ailments like rheumatism, wasting of muscles, etc. •E  lakizhi: Massaging with herbal poultices to enhance circulation and revitalise the skin •A  bhyanga: Total body massage for complete health and longevity

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

77 Authentic Spas Kerala government has introduced strict quality-control measures to ensure authentic packages for tourists. Hotels, resorts and centres offering Ayurveda, are now being classified into Green Leaf and Olive Leaf categories based on quality standards maintained by the Ayurveda centre. The basic facilities required for Green Leaf Certificate is the same as Olive Leaf. In addition to the requirements for Olive Leaf, the following facilities are essential to get the Green Leaf Certificate: i) a separate hall for meditation/yoga ii) greenery in abundance and quiet atmosphere iii) a herbal garden attached to the centre

Ancient texts have stated cool monsoon seasons (June to July and October to November) as best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and restorative packages.


slice of india

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Popular Ayurvedic Centres Certification



Green Leaf


Ayukshetram Ayurveda Hospital & Health Resort Email:


Krishnendu Ayurveda Hospital Email:


Amba Ayurveda Hospital, Perunna, Changanassery Email:


Ayurveda Centre, The Gateway Hotel, Email: gateway.calicut@tajhotels. com


Acharya Ayurgramam Ayurveda Hospital & Panchakarma Centre Email:


Peace Cottage Email:


Athreya Ayurvedic Centre Email:


Green Ayur Centre Email:

Olive leaf

Perfected over time with the help of age-old traditions, medicated baths, herbal diets coupled with cool monsoons come and experience this 5,000-year-old holistic system of healing in this bounteous southern Indian state.

Enjoy Kerala’s Spa at Imperial, New Delhi Thinking about pampering yourself with an ayurvedic spa treatment, but your itinerary doesn’t include Kerala? Then indulge in the same authentic experience in the new Kerala Suite at The Imperial, New Delhi. The Imperial Spa has a ritual called Takradhara that is a summer version of Shirodhara. Here warm oil is slowly poured onto the centre of forehead for peace and balance. Takradhara uses a blend of cooling butter milk and medicinal herbs that are poured in the same traditional way but without the warmth of oil. Combined with an Abhyanga body massage using Ayurvedic remedies to balance one’s circulation, this is a superb monsoon therapy that draws its benefits from hundreds of years’ experience. For further information

For further information, contact:

Welcome to

God’s Own Country!

Think Kerala and the images that come to mind are beaches dotted with palm trees, the verdant hills, the serenity of pristine backwaters and enchanting forests, the reason it is called God’s Own Country! Nestled between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West, Kerala has something to offer to every traveller. That’s not all, shopaholics too can have a field time here. Apart from the malls that have mushroomed around the state, there are also places that offer beautiful handloom items, mural arts and sandalwood artefacts, and if you get a chance you can also pick tea, spices and local-made honey and pickles from small shops. And after all that sightseeing and shopping, if you want to go back rejuvenated then you should surely opt for the various Ayurvedic treatments. So, have you packed your bags for Kerala?


kid talk

teens adventure in the

Andamans Adventure for young generation is the new thing, offering memories that they will savour forever. Of course, in a framework of safety! Amandeep Randhawa of InMe provides more information on these specially-tailored adventure holidays.


eep water diving programme is introduced specially for teens by InMe in the Andaman Islands. A batch comprises around 26 children in the age group of 14-16 years with 4 instructors. Learning to dive on a holiday can open up a marvellous and bright world of underwater adventure for kids.

Take the plunge The 5-day programme starts with arrival in Port Blair by flights via Chennai or Kolkata. Sightseeing in the capital and a visit to the historic Cellular Jail, help children to revisit the history of freedom fighters. On their second day in Andaman, children enjoy a two and a half hour journey with a fabulous ocean view. A tour of the wheel room gives them a quick lesson on the navigational equipment. The first snorkelling lesson is also given to the children on the same day which enables them to acclimatise with the vast ocean. The elementary diving course is given to them on third day. It includes a half-day theory and equipment familiarisation lesson to help the children to understand the various safety requirements and how to kit themselves up. A good game of beach volleyball and a hearty meal make the day more interesting.

Exploring a whole new world On fourth day, practical diving lessons start with the shallow water session. Safety drill is a must before the first dive. The ocean activity unleashes a new world of ocean life in all its glory; schools of clown fish, sergeant major and butter fish throw a spectrum of colour amidst vibrant corals. The second dive is more psychedelic, fascinating and vibrant. A huge sense of achievement left everyone wanting for more. Deep water diving is not the only thing at Havlock Island. On the last day, kids explore mangroves on single-man sea kayaks and the island on bicycles. For further information, contact: Photos courtesy: InMe

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

A view of the Cellular Jail

Benefits of the programme This programme helps children develop certain skill-sets: • Team building - Feeling of oneness in the midst of a new place and functionally diverse teams • Networking and Relationship building as personal effectiveness tools • Promotes interaction and exchange among the team in an informal setting

Best time to visit

To get a close look at lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature), December to May season is the best choice. For jungle hikes, seeing exotic migratory birds, monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions, choose the warmer, low water season (June to December).


The Amazon rainforest remains hot and humid throughout the year.


Walking through the Amazon in

Neha Oberoi

Did You Know?

As per the Mayan calendar, the world will come to end on Sunday, December 23, 2012. Only a few people will survive the catastrophe that ensues. Did you know that an earthquake hit Peru on the 28th of October, 2011, just as predicted by the Mayan Calendar?


ith the Amazon rainforests representing almost half of our planet’s rainforests, the Peruvian Amazon has become a hot topic to be addressed. The new buzzword is sustainable tourism with the focus being not only on responsible tourism in these lush jungles and rivers of Peru, but also on revenue generation for the local communities through conservation efforts.

Must Visit

Live with locals at Amaru Pay with cash rather than credit cards, in order to avoid hefty surcharges. Peruvian ATMs dispense both local currency (nuevos soles) and US dollars.

Visit Amaru to stay with the native Andean community who mainly earn their living by opening up their homes to the travellers. They allow you to participate in their daily activities and also sell their local wares such as hats, blankets, saddlebags and other textiles made of cotton, straw and plant fibers. The cost of staying with a local family is 30 Peruvian Soles per person including an evening meal (vegetable soup, bread, herbal tea) and breakfast (bread, jam, herbal tea or coffee).

Sunflowers are native to Peru. The Incas venerated the sunflower as an image of their sun god.

eco talk


Tambopata National Reserve Home to piranha, hoatzin and jacana birds, other species found in the Reserve are: • Capybara - The world’s largest rodent - 4 ft long, 100 lbs. looks like a guinea pig • Caiman – its appearance is a cross between an alligator and crocodile

Must Carry

• Waterproof clothing, First-aid kit, a mosquito net and a pair of hiking boots. • With few ATM machines and banks, carry the required cash on person, but one must be wary, since petty theft is rampant.

Peru is ten and a half hours behind IST (Indian Standard Time).

Hike To Machu Picchu The famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a costly affair. The cheapest four-day trips start at around US$300 per person, not including equipment rental, tips for the guides and porters, or any incidental expenses, such as bottled water. Plan on spending US$400 if you’re going with a reputable outfitter. A day trip to Machu Picchu via train and bus isn’t cheap either. 1 Peruvian nuevo sol = 21.1 INR

Must Know

The best places to exchange money are normally casas de cambio (foreign-exchange bureaus), which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Many places accept US dollars. Do not accept torn money as it will not be accepted by Peruvians. It is best not to change money on the street as counterfeits are a problem.

Photos courtesy: Ibex Expeditions email



Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Keep the Glow while travelling

Dr Sangeeta Almadi Head of Medical Services Kaya Skin Clinic

Travel can definitely take a toll on your skin. So, before venturing out on a trip, it’s advisable to prepare your own travel kit with cleanser, toner, moisturiser and other skin care products.

SKIN CARE IN RAINY SEASON To fight all the skin woes during rainy season, follow a simple but effective skin care regime.


For most skin types

Sunscreen is the most critical factor in keeping the skin healthy and protecting it from UVA and UVB rays. For regular use, SPF 15 to 30 is recommended for Indian skin.

 ood and effective cleansing is recommended. Use a gentle G scrub (with uniform mild beads) in the morning to make sure you get rid of all your grime. n Always use an alcohol-free toner, since increased humidity could open up your pores. n Use a sunscreen even on cloudy days. n Use a light lotion-based moisturiser or serum to rehydrate and brighten up your skin. n

I deally one tablespoon of sunscreen lotion is recommended to form a thin film on the face and neck. n Skin takes at least 15 minutes for absorption of the sunscreen. So apply it at least 15 minutes before going out and reapply after every 2-3 hours. n

Avoid heavy makeup and use waterproof makeup, when necessary.

FOR INSTANT GLOW Kaya presents some home remedies to retain the healthy sheen of your skin even while travelling: For most skin types  pply a mixture of 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of plain A yogurt and 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil on your face for 10 min and rinse it off. n Cold yogurt and aloe vera gel helps to cool your skin in summers. n A thick paste of two tbsp of cornmeal mixed with water makes a great facial mask. n

For oily or acne-prone skin n

 lend a ripe banana with 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. B Leave on for 15 minutes.

For dry skin  ix half of a mashed avocado with 1/4 cup of honey and apply for M 10 min. It will add tons of moisture to your face. n Sliced tomatoes, grapes and cucumbers act as natural toners to tighten skin and shrink pores. Just rub the slices over your skin after cleansing. n

To loosen blackheads n

Information courtesy: Dr Sangeeta Almadi

 ombine equal parts of baking soda and water in your hand and C rub gently on your skin for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse with warm water.


visa talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012


• Photograph should not be more than 3 months old, scanned/stapled and should not be used in any of the previous visas. • The mobile number of the applicant should be mentioned in the visa form so that the Embassy/Consulate can contact the applicant during visa processing.

Tourist Visa Requirements General Requirements for Visa

Passport: Original Passport with validity of minimum six months Photo Specification: Two recent passport size coloured photographs with matte or semi matte finish, 60 per cent-80 per cent face coverage, white background and without border (size: 35mm x 45mm). (Only for destinations given below)





Visa Fee

Indian passports can only be accepted if their bio data (name, date of birth, place of birth of holder and sex have not been modified by an “observation”. However, observation regarding the validity of the passport is permitted.

Rs 1,800 cash

Philippines Visa can be applied from Delhi & Mumbai.

Processing Time

Visa Fee

8-10 working days

Single Entry – Rs 2080 (Paid in DD) Single Entry - Same Day – Rs 4680 (Paid in DD) Multiple Entry – 6 months – Rs 4160 (Paid in DD) Multiple Entry – 6 months Same Day – Rs 6760 (Paid in DD)

Visa fee For Ages 6-12 years - Visa Fees (DD): Rs 2,400 VFS charges (Cash): Rs 652 Demand Draft in favour of “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany” - New Delhi. For below 6 – Visa fees: Gratis, VFS Charges (Cash): Rs 652 Normal - Visa fees (DD): Rs 4,100, VFS Charges: Rs 652 Demand Draft in favour of “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany” - New Delhi.

Processing Time Minimum 6-7 working days (For NonInterview Cases For Interview Cases: Minimum 3-4 working days after the Interview (depending on the Interview slots available).

South Africa Please Note: If the 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.

Visa Fees Gratis, VFS Charges – Rs 1,350 (cash)

Processing Time 3 working days Visa Waiver Indian nationals may be granted visa-free entry for a stay up to fourteen (14) days, provided they possess a valid USA , Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore and UK visas. Source Udaan India Pvt Ltd

Processing time 8-10 working days For further information visit

In London Take a piece of Lennon home A shrine to all things related to Beatles on Baker Street, it stocks T-shirts, posters, mugs and records as well as

y k r i u q p o Sh e p o r u in E

In Paris Snap your Aura Aura Photo offers to take pictures of your aura. Welcomed by Madame Danièle Laurent, a qualified practitioner trained in the United States and moreover a charming person, you sit down in her studio after a brief chat about the method. You place each hand on metal plates linked to the camera. Smile and it’s in the box. In the time it takes the Polaroid to dry, your aura is imprinted on paper. Depending on the colours, the size and the intensity of the halo produced by the aura, Madame Laurent can analyse your personality and give you some lifestyle advice. (The session of around an hour costs €30 with photo)

Aqua delight Branded as a must-see in Paris, the uber-chic fashion store, Colette, is truly unique. Located on Rue SaintHonore, it houses everything from perfumes, designer wear to accessories and delectables. It also has a bookshop, exhibition space, and believe-it-or-not, a water bar serving more than 100 brands of bottled water.

original 60s memorabilia.

The geek squad, enter here A cult entertainment megastore, Forbidden Planet is London’s largest science fiction shop. Comics, action figures, graphic novels and collectables from cult films and TV... you’ll find them all here.

Shopping being the favoured past time for most travellers, Holiday Talk brings forth the quirkiest shops and marts open across Europe for adding that tiny spark in your eye whilst looking for that something out of the ordinary. Be it memorablia of your favourite star or a bride!

Macau is Happening! Want to try something new this season? Then head to Macau. Take a walk-tour around the city and embark on a journey through the ‘Land of the Dragon’ once nourished by the Portuguese colonial masters.

Outdoor fun in Colonne Island Try some water sports in Coloane Island. The Island offers the very best of beach holidays on Cheoc Van Beach and Hác-Sá Beach with several restaurants, esplanades, swimming pools, a Portuguese Inn and a Nautical Club with equipment for canoeing and windsurfing. Coloane Village, the main village on the island, has a 20m high white jade statue of the goddess A-Ma, who gave Macau its name. It has religious and cultural buildings and a vegetarian restaurant. It’s a also good spot to get a bird’s-eye view of Hác Sá beach. There is also a Nautical Entertainment Centre, located at the Hác-Sá Reservoir Park where different boats and water scooters are available for rent. It also provides a barbecue area, nature trails, jogging track, coffee shop and a snack bar.

Mast Climb

Where you go up and down the mast’s 100m of vertical ladders to the top in two hours (MOP$1688).


A rail-less walk around the outer rim, some 233m high, on the 61st floor (MOP$588)

Bungy Jump

World’s highest free fall, from a 233m-high platform (MOP$1488).

Sky Jump

(MOP$888) or Tandem Sky Jump (MOP$1688 per two people) which takes you on a 20-second flight over the breathtaking cityscape of the destination.

FACTS Area 28.2Km2

Language Portuguese & Chinese Currency Macau Pataca (MOP), also Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and Renminbi (RMB) are widely used.

Challenge your Limits at the Macau Tower

Conquer Macau’s highest summit at the Macau Tower, a 338m tall architecture, depicting an epitome of incredible designing.

What Else to do

•T  he tower houses observation decks on the 58th and 61st floors, and restaurants and bars such as the revolving 360° Café on the 60th floor, and the 180° Lounge one floor below it. •W  atch the various shows available, like the House of Dancing Water, the Bubble Show, the Tree of Fortune, the Dancing Fountain and many more to be seen at various luxury hotels. •T  he nightlife of Macau is always bustling and like none other.

For further information, contact


tech talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

stay connected

while on the move Today’s travellers are hungry for choices. For them an itinerary provided by a single travel agent is not sufficient. They make a conscious decision after much thought and know where they want to go and why. In this issue of Holiday Talk, we explore the various media through which a traveller can select a destination and explore it even after reaching it.

During exams, students in New Zealand using text-messaging language will not be penalised by their teachers.


A destination squarely measured

Foursquare, a location-based social networking site for mobile devices, has opened new doors to explore any country, city or town. Let the GPS locate you on its radar and suggest places to visit, shops and eating joints in the vicinity. Reveal your plans to visit a particular place and let other Foursquare users pass on their experiences of the same destination. Share your own travel experiences and rate different places for the benefit of other users.

Stumble upon the destination

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine where you figuratively stumble upon interesting information on travel destinations, restaurants, unique places and much more. Here you can find some never before explored areas of a city/country you have been to or to the place where you are planning to travel. With this, you can also discover things to do and places to visit across the world.

A picture speaks a thousand words

Social media s ites and applications such as Flickr and Instagram have opened a new world of images and pictures. Avid photographers and even simple travellers post unique images of their travel exploits on these sites. Here users ‘follow’ each other making this cyber space a virtual tourist guide, taking you to some unknown places like never before. These sites help to discover places that you may have already been to with a fresh perspective making you want to visit the destination again.

Check HolidayTalk online on For regular Holiday Talk updates log on to:


product talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Look after your skin by moisturising with Iraya’s body lotion

In Style with the Season

What’s hot this season? We are here to answer that question especially when it comes to looking your best while you’re on vacation. We want to make sure that you are in tune with the season’s most captivating trends.

Dress up your outfit for the evening with ICE Accessories’ twig Turquiose earrings and a Large cake ring

Chic evening outfits to spice up your evenings from the Pernia Pop up shop

For an instant glow and perfectly soft skin use a cleansing and exfoliating gel from L’OCCITANE

Wear the trendy Silver crumpled cuff and Wild grass cuff accessories from ICE Accessories during the day

Lufthansa enhances facilities in India

Lufthansa rolls out improved services in India with its new B747-8 aircraft, a new lounge at Delhi airport and better business class products.


ufthansa makes India the second destination to receive the B7478 aircraft enhanced with new business class cabins. The aircraft is flying on the Delhi- Frankfurt sector and Bengaluru- Frankfurt network. The arrival of the B747-8 also turns India into the Asian launch market for Lufthansa’s Axel Hilgers sophisticated new Business Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Class, which provides a seat that converts into a 6.5 feet long, horizontal sleeping surface. “We are upgrading Lufthansa in India and are excited about different possibilities. We expect an enthusiastic passenger response for the B747-8 and its great new on-board products. Serving India with this exceptional aircraft underlines our strong commitment to build on our success story here,” says Axel Hilgers, Director, South Asia, Lufthansa.

The new aircraft is configured with 8 First, 92 Business and 262 Economy Class seats. It brings exceptional travel comfort in all classes. The new Business Class offers exceptional comfort in a sitting or horizontal position, with intuitive adjustments, additional storage space and an enhanced entertainment system. Another novelty is the innovative V-shaped seating arrangement. This virtually doubles the distance between two neighboring seats at shoulder level. Flat bed facilities are also available on the Munich-Mumbai route. In their commitment to provide better service to India, the airline has opened a new exclusive lounge at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. This is the first lounge in Asia designed according to the airline’s new global design concept. Lufthansa lounge spreads across 3,767 sqft and seats 131 travellers. For further information, visit:


flight talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Baggage While putting together items for your hand baggage, it’s prudent to keep the ‘Triple S’ rule in mind, Small, Smart and Safe.


Do not carry oversized bags or purses. Carry only essentials for personal use and hygiene and ensure that no liquid container exceeds 100ml

Smart Keep valuables such as money, travellers cheques and jewellery in your cabin baggage

Safe Remember any item that may go against safety norms is best placed in your checked baggage

Mileage Management To keep track of all those frequent flying returns, as to which airline or hotel has an alliance with which carrier, etc., mileage management applications act as a stimulant to our thirsting minds. Now, more and more frequent travellers are turning to such applications to track their account balances.

The Point Tracker application tracks frequent flyer miles and hotel points in one place for over 70 programmes, monitors expiration dates before points expire and sees the miles you need to reach the next status level. AwardWallet is another web-based application that keeps a track of your reward programmes such as your frequent flyer miles, hotel and credit card points. It tracks and monitors your reward programmes and itineraries, notifies your balance changes. And the best is... it’s FREE!

What’s in your Luggage? • Liquids, gels and aerosols in containers larger than 100 ml are not permitted through the security checkpoint. Each of your toiletries must be 100 ml or less, and you must place all the toiletries in a transparent single quartsize zip-top bag. • Liquid medication should be separated from your bag and declared for inspection at the security checkpoint. Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket is allowed. Blood sugar treatment medication is also allowed. • Keep gifts unwrapped, whether they are in your carry-on or checked luggage. Officers may need to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. • Snow globes in Hand baggage are not permitted because they contain an undetermined amount of liquid. Snow globes are permitted in checked baggage. • All lighters are prohibited as carry-on items.

BRYS Fort Jaisalmer With two vintage cars at the main entrance available for drives around the hotel’s premises, BRYS Fort welcomes travellers to experience the ultimate luxury holiday.

Main Features BRYS Haveli

A two-storeyed luxurious bungalow, with services to match its ostentatious décor.

Hindola Mahal and Ras Mahal The hotel boasts of 2 premium suites, 36 Deluxe Rooms and plans to add 42 more rooms.

In-house treats! • BRYS Fort has a discotheque, indoor games area and special kids play area. • The Skandha Spa and Madhosh Bar.

Culinary Delights

BRYS Fort has a 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurant, Dastarkhwan and a rooftop restaurant Phalak that overlooks the Jaisalmer Fort.

Don’t Miss

Jaisalmer Fort: One of the few inhabited forts in India, here you can shop for precious and semi precious stones and traditional Rajasthani handicraft items. Patwon Haveli: Each part of this unique Haveli can be dismantled and put together again without affecting the architecture. Kuldhara: This mysterious village located near the hotel is said to be cursed after 84 families were forced to evacuate the village overnight for the fear of the then general of Jaisalmer, Salem Singh. SAM Sand Dunes (36 km): To enjoy a camel ride to sunset point, visit the SAM sand dunes.

For further information, contact,


baggage woes

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

All my

bags are packed Today when even a simple bag can cause surcharges and tempers to escalate, there’s a lot of pressure to pack it right. So before you start packing, HolidayTalk brings a piece of advice of what to pack and how to pack.

Pitting wheeled luggage against Spinner luggage • Wheeled bags have two wheels on one axis and can be wheeled around with ease • Spinner bags have four wheels on two axes. Of course, they spin. Hence, the name. They’re perfect for heavy bags. • Whether two wheels or four make sure the set of wheels is intact.

Travel Tip While purchasing a suitcase with wheels, take a walk with your bag and check if the bag hits your ankles while strolling. In case it does, the handle of the bag is too short for you. Change the bag.

Airlines mishandle (damage or lose) 7.34 out of 1,000 pieces of luggage. Sounds like a good reason to buy hard sided luggage!

101 Dos • Place a luggage label inside your luggage with your permanent and temporary address on it. • Make an inventory of your luggage contents. Take one with you and leave one at home. • Take a digital photo of your luggage. This will help the baggage agent to complete your claim if it does not arrive at your destination. • Distinguish your luggage from others. Use ribbons, stickers and colourful name tags to

make your bag look different. • Call your bank and credit card companies to let them know when and where you will be travelling to. Obtain their contact phone numbers to have on hand should your cards be stolen. • When buying travel insurance, carefully read the small print regarding luggage loss/ damage. • Travel with a sense of humour and patience. Be flexible. Many things are out of our control.

✘ Don’ts

Roll your clothes

NEVER pack in your checked luggage: • your jewellery, medication, keys, cameras or electronics; • any items from the banned list; • or anything you can’t replace. • Don’t pack large quantities of toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc.), unless you can’t live without a particular brand. You can find these things abroad. • Never retain the price tags from items that you purchase on your travel abroad. Removing the tag helps them from beings stolen if your luggage is misplaced or opened.

• It’s all about making the most of what you have. Remember to make use of all those packets and pouches concealed in your luggage. Open the zippers outside your bag and use the inside seams for all your little items like scarves, underwear, etc. • Roll your socks and stuff them inside your sports shoes. For dress shoes place them one atop the other and wrap in a cloth bag (They take up less space this way) • Carry a travel tote which opens out into a large bag for all those last minute shopping bargains!

To pack right, unpack first! You’ll be pleasantly surprised what all you can fit in your luggage if you pack properly.


advi ce

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Armed with

plastic Money! Carrying credit cards has become the most preferred mode of porting cash around these days. Of course, with the rise of a new trend come associated risks. HolidayTalk gets a better understanding of the facilities available to you from American Express, should someone try to scam you out of your card or if you are unlucky enough to lose it.

Damage control for petty theft or loss

I f the card is damaged, stolen or lost while travelling, it can be replaced immediately by calling the 24x7 helpline. A replacement card can be received in 2 business days, free of cost, anywhere in the world.Your liability is nil once you report the loss and is limited to a maximum of Rs 1,000 before reporting n All disputes can be resolved through the helpline. Moreover, there is safety on the web as you won’t be held responsible for unauthorised charges. n

Points to Remember Never give out your card details on the phone. Always offer to be present in person especially at the hotels you stay in. n Always use your card at certified outlets and use liquid money for street stalls. n

What’s in a English



Good morning

Guten Morgen

Magandáng umaga hô.

What’s your name?

Wie ist dein Name?

Anóng pangalan mo?

My name is.... (John Doe)

Mein Name ist (John Doe)

(John Doe) ang pangalan ko.



Oo (OH-oh)



Hindi (heehn-DEE)

How are you?

Wie geht es Ihnen?

Kumusta koo-moo-STAH?

I’m fine

Mir geht es gut

Mabuti mah-BOO-tee

Thank you


Salamat sah-LAH-maht

Have a nice day!

Haben Sie einen schönen Tag

Maging masayá sana ang araw mo!

I’m sorry

Es tut mir leid

Iskyua/Sori hô

Excuse me

Entschuldigen Sie

Mawaláng-galang na nga hô



Paki Pah-KEE

Where is the toilet?

Wo ist die Toilette?

Nasaan po ang banyo?

How much is it?

Wie viel kostet es?

Magkano itó?

Do you speak English?

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

Nagsasalita ba kayo ng Ingles?

I don’t understand

Ich verstehe nicht.

Hindi ko maintindihan!




Call the police!

Rufen Sie die Polizei!

Tawagan ang pulís!

I’m vegetarian

Ich bin Vegetarier

Vegetarian akó

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!



Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

worldcurrency Country

Currency Units/INR










World Weather












Avg low High

Avg low High

Athens, Greece





Barcelona, Spain





Beijing, China





Berlin, Germany





Brussels, Belgium





Calgary, Canada












Cape Town, SA Lima, Peru








London, UK




















Los, Angeles, USA





Manila, Philippines





New York, USA





Montreal, Canada





Munich, Germany





Paris, France





Prague, Czech Republic 4.3




Rome, Italy





Sydney, Australia












Tokyo, Japan Warsaw, Poland








Vancouver, Canada






























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celeb talk

Holiday Talk | Oct–Nov 2012

Tom Alter


In Scotland I felt very close to India

A veteran theatre artist and known film and TV actor Tom Alter has worked for noted filmmakers like Satyajit Ray in ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’and also in the theatrical reproduction of William Dalrymple’s ‘City of Djinns’ alongside Zohra Sehgal. He has written books such as ‘The Longest Race’, ‘Rerun at Rialto’, ‘The Best in the world’ and is also a sports journalist with various publications. He, along with Naseeruddin Shah and Benjamin Gilani, formed a theatre group called Motley Productions. Which is your favourite destination abroad?

Scotland. I visited Edinburgh, Scotland for the ‘Edinburgh Festival’ in the summer of 1991. We stayed there for three weeks, doing a show of our play ‘Larins Sahib’ every day at the Edinburgh College of Art. It was heaven - the weather, the long evenings, going for runs in the morning through the countryside, the people who were quiet and yet so kind - I felt as if history and the present were one there. I also felt very close to India, for the Scottish people and the Scottish countryside seemed like old friends, even though I had never been there before. I would love to go there for the festival and perform again.

While there, which places did you explore? I visited Campbell Fort, which I found very beautiful; but each street, especially the ‘Royal Mile’ and the castle, are also very beautiful.

Any restaurants you would recommend? My favourite restaurant in Edinburgh is ‘The Verandah’. It is run by a Bangladeshi family and is excellent.

Any special story or an incident to narrate? I used to run in the mornings and cross a very large playing field, where young boys played football. I remember one blond boy who moved so well with the ball and passed superbly. He stood out from all the others with his unique style and skills. Around 10-12 years later, when I saw Darren Fletcher playing, I felt it was the same boy - the same moves, the same style. I am quite certain it was him. He would have been about 8-years-old when I saw him in the summer of 91, which is just the age of the boy I watched. Fascinating!

What kind of a traveller are you? (Adventure, bag-pack, leisure/luxury, etc.) I am a very casual traveller, and a hopeless tourist at that! I go to a place only if I have some work there or to visit some relatives or friends. I travel as light as possible but if I like a place, as I did Scotland, I become one with it.

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