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Best Disneyland off-site hotels worth staying in Anaheim

by amit.uniyal 16. June 2015 07:37
Is Disneyland on your vacation itinerary this summer? It’s undoubtedly a must-see place for all those traveling to Southern California along with their kids. Why not make the most out for your vacation with your family here? Searching for suitable accommodations for your stay during the holidays wouldn’t be difficult at all. Here are some of the best Disneyland off-site hotels in Anaheim you should consider staying during your fun-filled vacation.

Residence Inn Maingate Anaheim
The Residence Inn Maingate Anaheim is situated quite nearby iconic attractions such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Downtown Disney and Disneyland theme park. The location of this budget-friendly hotel is also best suited for visiting many other attractions such as the Angels Stadium, The Block at Orange, Arrowhead Pond and the Movieland Wax Museum. The hotel also offers various amenities to those staying here. These include complimentary buffet breakfast, a whirlpool, a kid-friendly pool, free Wi-Fi, coffee makers, cable, full kitchens, and beds with pillow-top mattresses. A coin operated laundry is also present on site. Pets are also welcome here. The hotel also offers complimentary grocery shopping services and free guest parking as well.

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Sheraton Hotel Anaheim
The Sheraton Hotel Anaheim is situated right in the heart of Orange County, adjacent to Disney’s California Adventure Park. The hotel is quite expansive and spread in 13 acres area. Staying at the hotel makes some attractions easily accessible. These include Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, the Orange County Fairgrounds, Anaheim Hills Golf Course, Chapman University, the Crystal Cathedral and the Angels Stadium. The castle-themed hotel offers a total of 489 guestrooms prominently featuring amenities such as granite-topped vanities, minibars, Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds, coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee, refrigerators and free Wi-Fi.
  
Hilton Hotel Anaheim
The Hilton Hotel Anaheim is situated just one block from the Disneyland Resort. Staying here not only offers great value for your money, but also is best suited to visit Disney's California Adventure Park, the Crystal Cathedral and Knott’s Berry Farm. The hotel offers 96 luxurious studio suites and newly-renovated guestrooms. The visitors here are provided with various amenities such as Hilton Serenity Beds, cable TV, Cuisinart coffee makers, high-speed internet access, Health Club, and a fully-equipped fitness center. If you are staying along with your family, cribs or rollaway beds are also available on request.

Ayres Hotel Anaheim
The Ayres Hotel Anaheim is situated adjacent to the Honda Center. Its convenient location makes it easy to reach the Angels Stadium. Staying here at the 4-story kid-friendly hotel is simply great as you will get opportunity to visit Downtown Disney, California Adventure and Knott’s Berry Farm, which are only a short distance away from here. You can look forward to staying at one of the 133 deluxe guestrooms offering many amenities like TVs, mini-refrigerators, microwaves, hair dryers, desks, coffee makers, free Wi-Fi, two-poster beds and voicemail. The guests staying at the hotel are also offered complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet, on-site laundry, a fitness center, whirlpool and a swimming pool.

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel

The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel is situated right in the heart of Anaheim. It is a family-friendly hotel. It is easy to see attractions such as Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure while staying here. Downtown Disney is also quite accessible and can be reached within 10 minutes. This budget-friendly hotel offers many facilities to all those staying here. These include on-site laundry, microwave, bunk beds, garden, game rooms for kids, water slides and pools, and free Wi-Fi.

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Best Golf Courses in Asia

by amit.uniyal 15. June 2015 08:44

The sport of golf enjoys worldwide appeal. In Asia, the sport’s popularity in recent years has been growing in leaps and bounds. As a result, several Asian countries now play host to several top-notch golf courses. While some of these golf courses are located within exclusive clubs, many are attached to luxurious resorts and welcome day visitors. So if you are visiting a destination in Asia and feel the urge to practice your swing, you may want to venture out to one of the public access courses mentioned on our list.

Golf

Thailand

The ‘land of smiles’ Thailand is home to more than 250 golf courses. Spread over diverse terrains, in Thailand you can tee off in the hills or then soak in stunning water views as you practice your swing on a golf course within a beach resort.

Laguna Phuket Golf Club

The Laguna Phuket Golf Club is one of Thailand’s top golfing resorts. The resort is located on the stunning island of Phuket and is linked to six Laguna group hotels. However, this 18-hole, verdant course is open to day visitors as well. Aside from golf, the club also has tennis courts, a café, a Pro shop and training and practice facilities.

Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort

The ancient city of Chiang Mai nestled in the foothills of Northern Thailand offers an 18-hole green course at its Chiang Mai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort.

The course at is open to hotel guests as well as day visitors. The course features firm and fast greens that run between 9.5 and 10.5 on the Stimpmeter(a device used to measure the speed of a golf course).  A Spa, Pro Shop, restaurant, a swimming pool and fitness center are also available at the resort, which features a range of luxurious villas as its accommodation options. Hotel guests enjoy a preferred green rate during their stay.

Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort and Spa

Occupying a convenient location near Bangkok’s international airport, the Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort and Spa encompasses a scenic Nick Faldo designed 18-hole golf course.  This golf resort has facilities for day and night golfing sessions and the course is suitable for golfers of all levels. The hotel offers all the trimmings of a five starred hotel property and features facilities such as a well-equipped fitness center, a swimming pool, and a full-service spa. The property is an ideal locale for a golfing vacation with family, for it is also within easy access to the city center and a large shopping mall. So if you are busy with a golf session, your fellow vacationers can easily occupy themselves.

Indonesia

Ria Bintan Golf Club

Bintan, the Indonesian resort island lies within easy access of Singapore. Regular ferry services, which traverse the Singapore Strait, transport day tripping golfers from Singapore to the northwest coast of Bintan Island, home to a clutch of resorts. Ria Bintan Golf Club is one such popular golfing haunt. The club offers Gary Player designed 27-hole championship golf course that is made up of an 18-hole Ocean course and a 9-hole Forest course. The club also has a driving range and offers other facilities such as a relaxing spa, a restaurant, a Pro Shop and function rooms. The club’s on-site lodge also has accommodation facilities in case you want to stay for a night or two.

Bali National Golf Club

The Bali National Golf Club is located in the pristine, oceanfront, luxe resort area of the island of Bali. Surrounded by coconut groves and a lush, tropical forest, the Bali National Club offers a recently, renovated verdant 18-hole course.  The famed firm, Nelson, Haworth Golf Course Architects has designed the layout of the course whose 17th hole almost plays out to the surrounding azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The club also features a luxurious clubhouse, a Pro shop, bars and restaurants and villas for hire. Day visitors can hire golf clubs and golfing shoes at the club. The Bali National Golf Club is the host club of many a prestigious golfing tournament all year round.

Malaysia

Malaysia like Thailand abounds with first-rate golf courses where tee times and golfing rates are affordable.  

Mines Resort and Golf Club

Located close to the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, the extravagant Mines Resort and Golf Club features a Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed 18-hole championship course occupying a space that once was a working mine. The course is built around a large man-made lake, which along with the lush, green surroundings plays host to many exotic species of birds. The resort also has a grand clubhouse, a driving range, and a restaurant with a terrace. A variety of accommodation options are available at the Palace of Golden Horses Hotel and the Mines Wellness Hotel located close-by.

Saujana Golf and Country Club

The Saujana Golf and Country Club located just outside Kuala Lumpur city features two award-winning 18-hole golf courses. The Palm Course and the Bunga Raya course both these courses have been designed by famed golf course architect, Ronald Fream. While the Palm course has been fashioned out of a Palm oil plantation and features a craggy landscape, the Bunga Raya course features expansive water bodies set amongst the greens.

Singapore

Marina Bay Golf Course

The Marina Bay Golf Course is Singapore’s only 18-hole public access golf course. Nestled in the shadow of the city-state’s landmark attractions like the Marina Bay Sands complex, the course offers panoramic views of the Singapore skyline. The course has facilities for golfing by day and at night. The complex offers additional on-site amenities like a café, lockers for hire, a Pro shop, a golfing academy, a Spa and oddly enough even a car-detailing center.

Hong Kong

The Kau Sai Chau Golf Course

The Kau Sai Chau golf course operated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only public access golf course in Hong Kong. Located on the islet of Kau Sai Chau and accessible by ferry from Sai Kung in the New Territories region of Hong Kong, the club offers three 18-hole golf courses. The Garry Player designed North and South Courses and the Nelson and Haworth designed East Course all offer stunning views of the leafy landscape of Sai Kung and the South China Sea. Other facilities at the club include a floodlit driving range, a practice area, a Pro shop and a café.
    
China

Mission Hills Golf Club

Golf is immensely popular in China. In fact, China is home to the world’s biggest golfing facility, the Mission Hills Golf Club that extends over 80,000 square meters in Shenzhen, a town on the border with Hong Kong. This huge facility also extends into the neighboring areas of Dongguan and Haikou. Mission Hills along with its myriad accommodation and entertainment facilities offers a dozen 18-hole championship golf courses designed by many of the leading lights of the golfing world like Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, and others.

 

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Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

by amit.uniyal 4. June 2015 07:03

If you haven’t yet booked this year’s summer vacation, you’ve come to the right place. Here at FareBuzz, we’ve put together the best summer vacation hotspots for 2015. So you don’t need to waste hours upon hours trawling through the internet choosing this year’s top destinations – we’ve already done it for you! All you need to do is decide which one’s right for you.

So whether you prefer beach breaks with maximum sunbathing and water sport opportunities, exiting adventures where you push yourself to the limit, relaxing retreats which require as little from you as possible or city escapes where your sole aims are to get lost in winding narrow streets and window shop, this post should give you all the inspiration you need to start planning your next amazing vacation for summer 2015.

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Barcelona, Spain
With the British Pound and the American Dollar both being incredibly strong against the Euro, there’s never been a better time to take a trip to Europe. Between June and September, the average temperature for Barcelona lies between 72°F and 79°F, making it ideal for travelers who love warm temperatures but can’t stand excessive heat.

This Spanish city is one of the very best locations in Europe for artsy creative types. Here you’ll find iconic pieces of architecture like the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló alongside captivating theatres like the Palau de la Musica Orfeo Catalana and the charismatic Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) where you can lose a whole day just wandering the cobbled streets. For foodies, there are the never-ending lines of tapas bars, high-end cocktail lounges and hand-crafted chocolate shops, whilst sports fans are catered for with Barcelona FC’s Camp Nou and the Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona. Barcelona really is the perfect summer city vacation destination to visit this year, whatever you’re into.

Montreal, Canada
It’s not often Montreal appears on a best vacation destination list, which makes it a fantastic place to go if you want to avoid the crowds. During July and August, the city enjoys pleasantly mild average temperatures of around 70°F, peaking at highs of 79°C in the heat of the daytime.

But it’s not the weather that attracts the tourists the city receives in summer – it’s the amazing festivals it hosts.

Between June and August this year, Montreal is hosting no fewer than 46 festivals. Here’s the pick of the bunch: Grand Prix (June 5th-7th), Le Mondial de la Biére/Beer Festival (June 10th-14th), International Jazz Festival (June 26th – July 5th), Comic-Con (July 3rd-5th), Juste Pour Rire/Just for Laughs (July 11th-25th), St-Jean-sur-Richelieur Hot Air Balloon Festival (August 8th-16th) and the World Film Festival (August 14th-16th). From music and drinks to high-speed racing and comic books – there’s something for everyone.

San Francisco, US
San Francisco is ideal for travelers who hate being stuck indoors and want to spend every moment of their vacation out in the sunshine. Here temperatures are marginally cooler than the other destinations we’ve covered so far – varying between averages of 61°F and 68°F in the daytime – so the heat shouldn’t be so harsh as to make you seek shelter indoors.

Must-do activities include a leisurely stroll around Golden Gate Park, a trip in one of the emblematic yellow cable cars and a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping every few yards to take another selfie to post online and show off to your friends back home. If you want to tie a bit of history into your vacation, make sure you take the time to stop by Alcatraz.

The only downside is that since San Francisco is a really popular summer vacation destination, hotel prices shoot up at this time of year. Keep an eye out for a bargain or book a last-minute deal if you want to save some cash.

Kanazawa, Japan
One of the few cities in Japan to escape with just minor destruction following WWII, Kanazawa is, as a result, brimming with colorful heritage and rich culture that you simply won’t find in many other parts of the country. Visitors to the city at summertime can expect to soak up the sun during their trip, with average temperatures being around 79°C.

But just like Montreal, the weather shouldn’t be what attracts you to Kanazawa – this city is even more of a culture vulture’s haven than Barcelona. From breathtakingly beautiful gardens and welcoming teahouses to majestic temples and the only geisha community outside Kyoto, Kanazawa is a mesmerizing location for travelers who want to delve into Japanese history and traditions.
 
In March 2015, the Hokuriku Shinkansen – a high-speed railway line – was completed, allowing travelers to nip between Tokyo and Kanazawa in two and a half hours instead of the previous four, making it more accessible than ever before.
 
Cuba
In December 2014, President Obama announced that the US plans to re-establish its diplomatic relations with Cuba. So if you want to enjoy the island’s unique charm, you need to go there fast and there’s no better time than this summer. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the founding of Santiago de Cuba, the city will host an out-of-this-world party during the week of July 25th 2015, with late-night partying and a spectacular carnival to be rivaled by Rio.

Even if you’re not a party animal and prefer taking it easy to staying up all night, Cuba will undoubtedly win you over with its picture-perfect golden sandy beaches which give way to sparkling aquamarine waters. Here you can also learn how to roll your own cigar – even if you’re not interested in smoking it – get a bizarre few of Havana through Da Vinci’s Camera Obscura and drink mojitos more delicious and authentic than you’ve ever tasted.

Which of these summer vacation spots piques your interest the most? Or if you’ve already booked your summer vacation this year, where are you going? Leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you!

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Best Airport Hotels from Around the World

by amit.uniyal 3. June 2015 03:07

The air travel industry is growing by leaps and bounds. As passenger traffic increases around the world, on ground facilities are also changing to adapt to new demands and needs of travelers. One such growing want is the accommodation of passengers who are required to spend a long duration or even a night at the airport.

Delayed or missed connections, inclement weather, long layovers are a part and parcel of modern day travel. Airports around the globe are gearing up to offer travelers a variety of ‘rest’ options including sleep pods for hire, padded recliners, lounges with shower facilities and full-service hotels.

We examine some of the best hotel options located within or connected to major international airports all over the world. Given the growing number of these hotels, spending a night or a long wait at a major airport doesn’t seem as daunting a prospect as in the past.

 

Airport Hotels from Around the World


North America

Toronto Pearson International Airport
The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is easily accessible via a climate-controlled walkway from terminals 1 and 3 of the Toronto International Airport. Aside from soundproof guest rooms, the hotel also offers amenities like a heated swimming pool; 24-hour fitness center and on-site restaurant and grill SPG members can avail of free Internet access at the hotel.

Vancouver International Airport
The Fairmont is a luxury hotel is located in Vancouver’s International Airport above the US departures terminal. The hotel is completely soundproofed and offers day room packages between the 8am and 8pm. The facilities at this award-winning hotel include a restaurant, bar, an indoor pool and health club, and spa.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
The Grand Hyatt DFW is a luxury hotel attached to Terminal D of the Dallas Fort Worth hotel. The hotel offers a total of 239 rooms and suites and is accessible via Skylink High-Speed train or Terminal Link shuttle services of the airport. The hotel also has a limited number of rooms available for day room access. On offer at the hotel are an array of facilities and services including meeting rooms, laundry services, in-room dining, soda and ice machines and more. The hotel also features restaurants, a café and bar along with a 24-hour rooftop fitness center, a Spa and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel is within proximity to two golf clubs, the Cowboys Golf Club, and the Bear Creek Golf Club.  The Grand Hyatt is not the only hotel located at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, another hotel from the Hyatt brand offering similar facilities; the Hyatt Regency DFW is located adjacent to the airport’s Terminal C.

Boston Logan Airport

The Hilton Boston Logan Airport connects to the Terminals A&C of the Logan airport (International departure and arrival terminals) via a climate-controlled Sky Bridge. The Hilton Boston Logan Airport offers soundproofed guest rooms and suites outfitted with Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs. An indoor pool, fitness center, gift shop, and clothing store, on-site restaurant, bar, and cafe are included in its bouquet of amenities.

Europe

London Heathrow
London’s biggest and busiest airport has two hotels attached to it. The Sofitel, reachable by covered walkway to Terminal 5 and the Hilton Hotel, which connects to Terminal 4 via a covered walkway. The Sofitel Heathrow is a luxury hotel that offers 605 plush rooms and suites outfitted with complimentary Wi-Fi services. The hotel also has three restaurants and two bars and a well-equipped spa apart from facilities for hosting meetings and conferences. Similar luxe accommodations are on offer at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Hotel. The hotel offers 398 well-appointed rooms and has a variety of onsite facilities including a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool, a spa, a beauty salon, three restaurants and two bars. One of the hotel's bars is located on the rooftop alongside a man-made beach and is a favorite summertime haunt.

Amsterdam Schiphol
The Mercure Schiphol Terminal Hotel is a comfortable three-star hotel located within the transit area of Lounge 3 of the Schiphol airport. To stay at this Transit hotel, you have to have a ticket for an onward journey for that particular day or the next along your passport.  The rooms all feature en suite bathrooms and offer amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and so forth. The hotel features a 24-hour self-service restaurant and has an on-site bar.

Frankfurt International Airport
The Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel connects to Terminal 1 of the Frankfurt Airport by way of a covered pedestrian bridge. The hotel offers 1008 well-appointed, soundproofed rooms, which can also be reserved on a day basis as well. The hotel offers various categories of rooms geared for single as well as family travelers. All rooms are outfitted with free Internet access for one device. The hotel also features two restaurants, a bar, a cigar lounge and a café and full-service fitness-cum-wellness center.

Paris Charles de Gaulle
Paris’s expansive Charles de Gaulle airport offers as many as five hotels within its environs. While The Hilton Charles de Gaulle and the Novotel CDG Terminal are within walking distance of Terminal 3, the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel is reachable via a two-minute walk from Terminal 2. All three hotels offer day rooms aside from overnight stays.

Middle East

Dubai International Airport
The Dubai International Airport Hotel is an airside hotel located on the third level of the city’s Sheikh Rashid Terminal. This luxe hotel is accessible from Concourse C in Terminal 1 and Concourse A&B of Terminal 3. The hotel offers a variety of rooms and suites at its three branches. Other facilities on offer at the hotel are a spa, swimming pool and segregated Jacuzzis and steam and sauna rooms.
 
Hamad International Hotel Doha
Doha’s Hamad International Airport has an airside hotel just called the Airport Hotel. The hotel offers a variety of rooms and suites and provides services such as in-room dining. The hotel also has a fitness and wellness center, which is equipped with a swimming pool, gym and squash courts.

Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi International Airport hosts’ two hotels one is located in Terminal 1 and the second; the Premium Inn Hotel is accessible from Terminals 1 and 3, via the Skypark retail corridor. The comfortable rooms at the Premium Inn Abu Dhabi feature free Internet access and are elegantly adorned with modern-day conveniences. The hotel also offers a range of leisure and fitness facilities like a swimming pool, a whirlpool bath, and gyms.

Asia

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
The Louis’Tavern Transit Hotel Dayrooms Suvarnabhumi Airport is onsite at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport on the fourth floor of the International Departure Hall at Concourse G. The hotel offers an assortment of superior rooms and suites that feature free Internet access along with other conveniences. Other facilities include a massage salon, saunas and steam rooms for men and women and a barber and beauty salon and 24-hour restaurant.

Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore’s much-admired Changi Airport offers four transit hotels. These include the Ambassador Transit Hotels at Terminals 1, 2, and 3 and the Crowne Plaza hotel located near Terminal 3. All four hotels located at Changi Airport offer travelers the chance to book rooms for day use.
 
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport has two hotels attached to its premises the Sama-Sama Express, and the Sama-Sama(adjacent to the airport connected via Skybridge). The Sama Sama Express hotel is only available for those travelers who are connecting to onward international flights. Passengers do not need to clear Malaysian Immigration and Customs to gain access to the hotel but have to produce boarding cards for their next flight at check-in.  Both the Sama Sama hotels offer sleek, modern, soundproofed rooms equipped with free Wi-Fi and other necessities such as flat-screen TVs with an array of satellite channels and in room coffee and tea making services. The hotels also offer rooms for day use with a minimum stay requirement of six hours.

Hong Kong International Airport
The Regal Airport Hotel is the transit hotel attached to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport.  An air-conditioned walkway connects the airport to Terminal 1. The hotel offers 1,171 well-appointed, soundproofed guest rooms and suites of various grades. On-site, facilities include a spa, restaurants, a business center, and a fitness center.

Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport hosts the Eaton Smart New Delhi Transit Hotel, which has outlets in both the domestic and international wings of the airport. The hotel offers well-designed rooms outfitted with amenities like free Internet access and LCD TVs with in-room entertainment. The hotel also features a dining lounge, a fitness center, a full-service spa, and business center.

 

Discovering the world’s best underwater sites

by amit.uniyal 14. May 2015 03:02

Exploring the unexplored has always been a fascinating idea for the human beings. Discovering little-known or famous underwater sites is also something that has always been a major source of attraction for snorkelers and scuba divers. Let us now set off on a voyage to explore some of the world’s best underwater sites.

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Underwater Sculpture Park, St. George's, Grenada
The Underwater Sculpture Park was created by Jason de Caires Taylor, an avid diver, sculptor and English artist. It is situated in the Molinere Beausejour Marine Protected Area, right outside St. Georges in Grenada. The Underwater Sculpture Park came into being only after the severe damage suffered by Molinere Bay by storm surge. Jason designed the sculptures in order to help in the regeneration of the area. The sculptures were meant to provide habitat for marine animals and new surfaces would accordingly help the corals to grow. The Underwater Sculpture Park has for the past 4 years since its existence been playing a major role in the regeneration of this area and has also provided it a new dimension. The first new sculpture was placed in the underwater park in February 2010. A new sculpture has been added every year. Most of the sculptures here are based on Amerindian art, culture and spiritual worship. The Underwater Sculpture Park has now become a must-visit attraction for all those visiting Grenada.

Christ of the Abyss, San Fruttuoso, Italy
The Christ of the Abyss is essentially a bronze statue. It was placed 15 meters deep on the bottom of the bay of San Fruttuoso in 1954. San Fruttuoso is situated between Portofino and Camogli inside Portofino's Protected Natural Marine Area in Itlay. It was Duilio Marcante who first conceived the idea of the statue following Dario Gonzatti’s death during a dive in 1950. He was one of the pioneers of scuba diving. The 2.50-meters-high statue of the Christ of the Abyss was built by sculptor Guido Galletti and finally placed in the bay in front of San Fruttuoso on August 22, 1954. The statue of the Christ is showing his hands towards the surface (or heaven) in a sign of peace.
 
The Underwater Room, Manta Resort, Zanzibar
The Underwater Room at Manta Resort in Zanzibar is an exciting, nerve-wrecking experience. For a moment it will seem as though your heartbeat has stopped briefly. The Underwater Room is a floating structure and a remarkable example of Swedish engineering. It has three levels, with each of them offering a unique experience. The room is in the downstairs in the third level. As you enter the room to spend your night you will find a soft double bed surrounded by windows with glass panes offering unparalleled 360 degree views underwater where you can watch the shoals of reef fish swimming around the windows. It will instantly provide you magical and exhilarating feeling. The second level of the Underwater Room is however the landing deck at the sea level. Here you will find bathroom facility and lounge area. A ladder will lead you to the first level up to the roof for lounging. This is simply great for sun worshippers. The Underwater Room is absolutely a must-visit place whenever you plan to spend your vacations in Zanzibar.

Museo Subacuático de Arte, Cancun
The Museo Subacuático de Arte is an enchanting underwater museum situated between Isla Mujeres and Cancún. More than 500 permanent life-size sculptures are prominently featured on the ocean floor. All the sculptures have been designed to appropriately promote marine and coral life. Visitors are first required to take a boat ride in order to reach the museum. They then snorkel above the sculptures, which ranges from a Volkswagen coated with seaweed to groups of people. The monumental underwater museum, which came into being in 2009, is presently one of the most ambitious and largest underwater artificial art attractions in the world. The museum is visited by over 750,000 visitors every year from different parts of the world.

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Tips to remember for your next road trip adventure

by amit.uniyal 13. May 2015 04:56

Are you the one who more often hit the roads for a long haul fun and adventurous ride? For most of them, adventure is just another passion. The quintessential roadies simply love setting off on a sojourn to explore the uncharted territories. This is for sheer fun, new experiences and information. If the craving for adventure is getting the better of you then surely a road trip along with your kids and family is the best way to know the unknown and simultaneously have unlimited fun. Here are some valuable tips for all those who are preparing or ready to embark on a road trip involving several days.

Enjoy Road Trip

First things first! Now that you are all set to go on a memorable ride, what should be your first step that should go into your preparation? Whether you will use your recreational vehicle or a car for the road trip, you must ensure that it is perfect working order. An inspection shortly before your trip is a must to make sure that everything is functioning appropriately and in perfect order.

Keep navigation tools handy
Navigation tools are a prerequisite whether you hit out on the roads frequently or for the first time. You must buy a good paper map or make use of smartphone for downloading it. This is essential for finding your destination easily. There many mobile apps available these days that will let you know the interesting sites and the stops that you need to take along your route. Apart from using the maps and guidebooks, you should also make it a point to double check your path from a local. Technology is good, but a confirmation from a human being is surely the best. This is absolutely a good way to save yourself from frustration and wasting time.

Come well equipped with emergency needs
Just imagine a scenario that you are all alone fending for yourself with no help at hand on the route you are taking. If you are not well equipped for any eventuality that might come along your way, it’s simply frustrating. And, you will know this better than others. The best way, of course, is to come fully equipped with the emergency supplies such as a spare tire, extra fuses, at least a quart of motor oil, pillows and sleeping bags (just in case you want to set up camp during night), cell phone along with a charger, emergency tool kit (comprising of duct tape, tire sealant, a multipurpose tool, a flashlight, a knife and jumper cables), a first-aid kit, a credit card, and plenty of cash (in case you are unable to find an ATM on the route). These things are absolutely important to carry along with you to avoid untoward happenings and save from frustration.

Stock up snacks, meals, music and games

A long haul road trip should a pleasurable and memorable experience. So, while driving you should also simultaneously enjoy music, games, snacks and good meals as well. While setting off for your ride, do remember to stock up on meals, snacks and drinks. And, don’t forget to bring along with you travel games and some good music suiting everyone’s tastes. This will not only keep you entertained, but also help save money by choosing to eat your own meals and snacks instead of stopping at fast food joints along your way. A collapsible cooler filled with ice is also an important thing to carry along with you in order to keep your food fresh and beverages cold.

Lastly, here’s the most important thing that you should always take as a precaution. Try to be always realistic. Don’t put yourself in unnecessary stress. Do only as much driving that you can handle. If you think you should call it a day or night, then just don’t hesitate and do it anyway. These are some of the helpful tips that are going to help you prepare well for your road adventure trip and make it more fun and enjoyable.

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Galle -- The jewel of Sri Lanka’s southern coast

by amit.uniyal 12. May 2015 05:19

The capital of Sri Lanka’s southern province, the ocean facing the city of Galle has come into prominence once again. The devastating Asian Tsunami of December 2004 had all but destroyed this ancient trading city, founded by the Portuguese and developed by the Dutch colonists during the 16th century. Over the last ten years, the city has slowly been rebuilt with local and foreign aid. Today, this beautiful port city once again brims with stylish hotels, boutiques, cafes and restaurants especially within its fortified area and is firmly registered on the global travel radar.

Getting to Galle

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the primary access point for international travelers to Sri Lanka. Several local tour operators have kiosks at the airport. In order to get to Galle in relative comfort, you can hire a private car at the airport. The travel time to Galle from Colombo is approximately three hours depending on traffic conditions.

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However, if you are looking for a cheaper option to get to Galle, you could use the local train or express bus.

Express buses to Galle leave from Colombo’s Mahagrama bus station every twenty minutes from 5am onwards daily. This bus station is located to the southeast of Colombo city center. Travel by express bus to Galle from Colombo usually takes three hours as well.

To get to Galle by train from Colombo, you need to start your journey from Colombo’s Maradana Station. You’re more likely to secure a seat here than at Colombo Fort Station where the train usually arrives packed. Train tickets for this second-class train journey cannot be reserved in advance, so it makes sense to buy your ticket at Mardana Station, the starting point of this train trip.  There is also a first-class train service for which tickets can be reserved in advance, but this service operates only once a week on Thursdays and departs from Colombo at the ungodly hour of 6.30 AM.

No matter which route you choose, your journey will take you through the lush Lankan countryside, along the coast while you traverse charming whitewashed villages, lush green fields, and dense coconut groves.

Best time to travel to Galle

Sri Lanka like neighboring India has a year round tropical climate with distinct dry and wet seasons. The Southwest monsoon arrives on the island of Sri Lanka during the months of June to September. This period is Sri Lanka’s wet season, a season when torrential rain showers are common. The best time to visit Galle is between December and February when average daily temperatures hover around 27 to 29 C (80 to 82F). During this time, the dry season rainfall is scarce, and breezes from the sea produce an air-conditioning effect on the island.

Attractions

Galle Fort

Galle Fort, a fortified city, built by the Portuguese and then enhanced by the Dutch in the 16th century is the most prominent attraction in Galle. The Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that extends over 36 hectares and contains several ochre colored colonial era buildings that once housed administrative headquarters and homes of the Dutch colonists. Today many of these buildings have been restored and house stylish hotels, boutiques, and cafes. Thick, granite ramparts encircle the fort until today. These ramparts prevented it from being destroyed by the devastating Tsunami of 2004.

The Lighthouse

The Galle Fort lighthouse is one of the first structures that you will spot while exploring the fort city. The lighthouse is one of the fourteen lighthouses that remain in Sri Lanka and is the oldest one on the island. The Galle Fort lighthouse dates back to 1848 though a fire destroyed the original structure in 1936. Its replacement, which stands until today was built in 1949 and rises to a height of 26 meters. Visitors are not allowed to enter the lighthouse but can view it from the outside.  

Flag Rock

Flag Rock located at the southernmost end of the fort is a bastion, which was built on the top of a natural rock outcrop. The Portuguese and the Dutch used to signal approaching ships from this bastion. They used flags as signals during good visibility conditions and fired muskets from nearby Pigeon Island during times of reduced visibility. Today, Flag Rock is the favored locale for a sunset stroll and attracts locals (brave young lads today use flag rock as a diving platform) and tourists alike.

The Dutch Reformed Church

The Dutch Reformed Church is located near the new entrance to Galle Fort. This beautiful edifice dates back to 1754, and it stands on the site of an older church built by the Portuguese in 1640. The church is an architectural marvel as the building’s walls support its roof, as there are no pillars located inside the church. The caretaker of the church is often on hand and acts as a guide for sightseers offering insights about the construction of the church. For instance, gravestones from the old Dutch cemetery make up the floor of the church and the organ, is the original instrument that dates back to 1760.

The Dutch Hospital

This large, colonnaded structure, which once served as an infirmary for the European colonists ravaged by tropical diseases has recently been restored and is now a smart shopping and dining destination at Galle Fort.

Galle Cricket Ground

If you follow the game of cricket, you must know the historic Galle cricket ground that is located near Galle Fort. The ground is more than hundred years old, but the tsunami wrecked havoc on the field and surrounding stands and almost wiped them out completely. However, the grounds and stadium have now been restored and are ready to host games once again.

Sea Turtle Hatchery

The small but fascinating Sea Turtle Hatchery is a non-profit organization that works to protect Sri Lanka’s turtle population. Sri Lanka is home to five varieties of turtles, the Olive Ridley, the Loggerhead, the Hawksbill, the Green and the Leatherhead turtle. These turtles come to nest at various locations on the island including Galle. The hatchery aims to protect the turtles of Sri Lanka by collecting and securing the turtle eggs from fishermen and other residents of the area. The hatchery's staffs store the eggs in the hatchery’s onsite incubators and when the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are released into the wild. The hatchery aims to educate the local population who are prone to consuming these precious turtle eggs.

Where to stay

Accommodation choices are abundant in Galle. There are lodgings to suit every travel budget. The UNESCO recognized Galle Fort Hotel, the Amangalla, the Kahanda Kanda, the Fortress and the Fort Printers Hotel are some of the well-known luxury hotels located in Galle. Aside from conventional hotels, travelers can also choose to stay in fully staffed villas and boutique residences for a more intimate stay. Villa Indisch, the Frangipani Tree, and the Turtle Beach House are some of the well-known villa resorts of the Galle Area.

Eat, shop and play

Galle is a coastal city and is known for its beautiful beaches. No matter where you choose to stay, you should rent a tuk tuk and tour the area’s beaches such as Unawatuna, Weligama, Hikkaduwa, and Tangalle.

The narrow, winding streets and colonial edifices of the Galle Fort play host to several chic shops and restaurants. Visit stores like Barefoot and Odel LUV SL two homegrown lifestyle brands that offer stylish clothing, accessories, gift items, cosmetics, local foods and much more at reasonable prices.

Other stores worth perusing include Mimimango, Sithuvilli(artworks and artifacts), Souk 58 and the Dutch Gallery (curios and souvenirs) and Mansion Crafts(local handicrafts). Sri Lanka is famous for its gemstones and many small jewelry stores dot the streets of the Galle Fort. Laksana, Pedlar’s Inn Jewelers, and Jo Jo are some favorite haunts for jewelry shopping at the Galle Fort.  Also worth a visit is the Laksala store (the Government owned souvenir and gift boutique), which is located just outside the main gate of the Galle Fort.

If you need a respite from the relentless Lankan heat, head to the bars at the Amangalla and Galle Fort Hotels. Both these watering holes are favored pit spots during excursions of the Galle Fort Area. Try area restaurants like Mamas Roof  Café( Western and Sri Lankan cuisine), Pedlar’s Inn Café (coffee and casual fare), Serendipity Arts Café  or Nicos@Olanda if you need to grab a bite or want to stop for a coffee or tea.  If you rather eat on the beach, then the beachfront Wijeya Beach Hut, which serves a selection of western eats including wood-oven pizzas, is worth a visit.

 

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Mornington Peninsula, Australia - Stunning Victorian wine region

by amit.uniyal 8. May 2015 06:18

Wineries, cider tasting, delicious lunches and a home away from home.

Go on a weekend away in this stunning Victorian wine region, or stay longer and really immerse yourself. Whether you’re a local Aussie or a visiting traveler, this beautiful spot has got all you need for a chilled out break from city life.

Rent a House

Use Airbnb to rent out a great house for an even better price. You can get stunning properties with swimming pools, Jacuzzis and more for an absolute steal. There are around 770 properties for rent in Mornington Peninsula on Airbnb so there are plenty of options out there to suit a variety of budgets and tastes.

Cider Tasting

Swing by Mock Red Hill’s Cider Lounge, which is a unique cellar space where you can taste a variety of fantastic homegrown ciders. And it’s not even only ciders on offer – there are juices, apple cider vinegar and some fresh produce that the dedicated team have grown themselves on site.

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The cider is light, clean and crisp in taste and made from bio-dynamically grown apples. If you fancy a bite to eat, you can order a cheese platter, which comes complete with homegrown produce, cheese and dried fruit. Before you leave, don’t forget to buy a few bottles of cider for the road!

Lunch at Foxys

Enjoy a light lunch in the cellar door at Foxys Hangout. Share some light bites and small plates that are designed to suit the wines that you’ll be sipping on at the same time.

The Foxys winemaker Tony Lee is himself a qualified chef so you know that he’s perfectly selected the wines and dishes to complement each other. Some of the herb-laden dishes include zucchini fritters with goat curd and basil, tomato salad with red wine vinegar, mint and feta, and barbecued quail served with a lemon wedge. To go all out, opt for the ‘chef’s menu’, which gets you a little plate of everything so you know you’re not missing out.

5-star Winery

Pop into Lindenderry’s cellar door to try some award-winning vintages. Named a 5-star winery in the James Halliday 2014 Wine Competition, you know you’ll be trying some decent vinos. The setting isn’t too shabby, either - it’s set into a 30-acre estate of gardens, lawns, vineyards and a lake. It’s a beautiful spot to kick back and crack open a bottle of your favorite variety.

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Optimal time to purchase your plane tickets

by amit.uniyal 7. May 2015 06:44

Are you a frequent traveler visiting places to clinch business deals or promote your business interests? Then, purchasing plane tickets, sometimes at short notice as well, might be a tedious task. After all, is there any best time to make your purchases and save some money in the process?

Recent studies in the aviation sector have suggested that an optimal time indeed exists for buying airplane tickets. The studies said that air travelers are either often confused or swapping theories about the right and/or wrong time for booking a flight ticket. Most of the times even you are likely to get a wise counsel from the fellow traveler guiding you the right time to make your bookings. Someone might suggest you to book on Tuesdays at 3 pm as you are most likely to get the lowest fares. Others would prompt you to make the bookings on Wednesdays at 1 am. There are few others who will go on to suggest purchasing your tickets at least two months in advance before your scheduled departure date. Then, there are some that will suggest you to look for a last minute flight deal and travel right away. There are several suggestions about the best time to make your air tickets purchases, based on varied experiences and online date. The question is: what after all is the right time to book your tickets.

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However, the recent studies are an eye opener. The studies have been conducted after analyzing data from various aviation industry sources. The studies have indicated a particular time frame suggest the best position for getting a good deal. The studies have also taken into account as to when the U.S. consumers typically book their domestic or international plane tickets.

According to a particular study titled “Preparing for Takeoff. Air Travel Trends 2015”, most of the surveyed consumers have at least agreed on one thing. Tuesdays seem to continue to remain as the best day of the week for finding low fares on airline tickets booked at least three weeks in advance.

The studies have concluded thus:
 
(1) The average purchase time for booking domestic flights in advance is currently 32 days.
(2.) For booking international flights the average advance purchase time is presently 59 days.
(3.) The ideal purchase time for booking domestic flights in advance should be 57 days in order to snag the lowest average airfare.
(4.) The ideal time for purchasing international flights in advance should be 171 days.

Whether you have decided your holidays, going on a spring break or want to enjoy your summer vacation, it’s never too early to begin your preparations for your next trip. The only concern should be when to book your airplane tickets. The secret to saving big is, getting to know the right time to make your ticket bookings!

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Things worth considering to prepare well for a long haul flight

by amit.uniyal 17. April 2015 07:14

Are you planning a long haul travel that will involve 8 hours and more? The very idea of a long haul air travel sends jitters down the spines because of the long, strenuous hours involved in the journey. But, you shouldn’t worry at all as your travel might even become luxurious and comfortable. For this you just need to consider some of the important things that would help you prepare well for your travel. You need to prepare for your comfort and entertainment. You should take all the steps required to stay healthy and fit on board the aircraft. Let us now discuss in detail these important things so that you are better equipped to handle a long haul air travel.

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How to make your travel comfortable
Clothes play a significant role in making your travel comfortable. The clothes that you wear may either add to your comfort or make you weary. Wearing tight, stiff or itchy clothes should be strictly avoided. If you do so then you will have to regret it later on. Don’t wear synthetic materials as well. The best thing is to wear loose fitting clothes that can be quite easily cleaned. You should also avoid wearing jewelry as it might pose hurdles at security checkpoints or attract attention of unwanted elements.
 
Some of the essential items that you should always remember to carry along with you during a long haul flight are sanitary wipes, eye mask and noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs. Sanitary wipes are important for keeping your hands and face clean. These can also be used to clean up your tray table as well. Carrying eye mask is always good. There are some airlines that provide eye masks, but there are some that don’t offer these. You will require them during the time of sleeping on an overnight flight. These provide extra protection for your eyes and help you doze off well. Similarly, ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones have their own utility. This will help you drown out the sounds on the aircraft while seek to take rest.

Carrying along with you toothpaste and toothbrush also helps. This is particularly important for all those who are in the habit of brushing their teeth after their meals or before going to sleep. Also do remember to bring some gum for keeping your teeth fresh. Chewing gum not only helps in refreshing your breath, but also helps avoid having your ears pop because of rapid change in pressure during takeoff or landing.

Keep fit and healthy while on board the flight
Staying healthy and fit on board the flight should be everybody’s concern. For this you need to take some precautions and heed to some valuable advice given here. Do remember to bring healthy snacks. This is essential for you to curb your hunger pangs in between the meals on your flight. Snacks not only satiate your hunger but also boost your energy as well. Some of the snacks that you should carry include dried mango or bananas, pretzels, yogurt-covered raisins, granola bar, trail mix, apples, and pistachios, cashews or almonds. Another way to keep fit is always keeping hydrated by drinking a lot of water. You should buy a bottle of water near the terminal before boarding the flight. Water is also available on the flight and you can simple press the call button and ask the stewardess for it.
 
Necessary medications are a vital part of your long haul flight preparation. Bring eye drops along with you. This will help your eyes being prevented from drying out during the flight. The container of eye drops should be small enough to pass through the security check easily. Keep yourself active on the flight. This is important to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from taking place. Try to walk down the aisles, and move, flex and stretch your legs to keep your blood flowing. You must carry medicines that you just might require such as sleep aids, pain relief pills and anti-nausea medication.

Keep entertained with personal entertainment devices

A long haul flight might be boring. So what do you do to keep yourself entertained? Your personal electronic gadgets will help you out. Decide on the entertainment devices you want to carry along with you. You may consider bringing your iPod, Tablet, Smartphone, eReader or even a laptop. If you love reading then you should think about bringing a book, novel or magazine. Though there are many airlines that offer complimentary in-flight entertainment, but if you carry your own gadgets then these always help.

With all these valuable suggestions, you now know that long haul flight won’t be tiresome or boring at all. So, do remember to prepare well before taking a long haul air travel.

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