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Chile set to amaze adventure-seekers with its myriad attractions

by amit.uniyal 30. July 2015 03:00
The beautifully landscaped Chile spanning into 2,670 miles from north to south and 271 miles from east to west offers a stunning array of man-made and natural wonders. The panoramic regions of this Latin American country are a veritable paradise for the tourists with its varied offerings such as 100-year-old finniculars, colourful historic houses, Valparaiso’s steep hillsides, islands of Patagonia, peninsulas, canals, inlets, and isolated and dream-like fjords.

These natural wonders are enough to prompt the adventure-seekers to go for a blissful sojourn in Chile. Whether you are visiting the central Andes region or the country’s mainland, get ready to be amazed with all that you will see and experience. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider spending your vacation in Chile.

Chile to amaze adventure-seekers with Fare Buzz

Intriguing attractions in Santiago’s neighbourhoods

You will come across myriad intriguing attractions when visiting many distinctive neighbourhoods of the pedestrian-friendly 
capital city of Santiago. Explore the Barrio de Lastarria district where you’ll come across antique manor homes and baroque balconies intertwined with bookstores and retail shops. The district is also home to a small hill Cerro Santa Lucia in the center of Santiago. The hill was formed by the remnant of a volcano and offers picturesque views of the city. The hill also has a fort Castillo Hidalgo, which was built in 1820. 

The sprawling Mercado Central market in Santiago is also worth exploring. The market is housed in a huge historic cast iron building. You can see Chileans of all hues buying daily essentials or enjoying delectable cuisines at the restaurants. While in Santiago, don’t miss out visiting ‘La Chascona’,  the home of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Pablo Neruda. It is situated in Barrio Bellevista, a bohemian neighbourhood at the foot of San Cristobal Hill.  

Visit UNESCO World Heritage city Valparaiso

Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage city, provides yet another great reason to visit Chile. The historic coastal city is renowned world over for its 100-year-old finniculars. Valparaiso, which is also known by its nicknames “Jewel of the Pacific” and “San Francisco of the South”, has been built upon an extensive network of 42 steep hills prominently featuring brightly colored buildings spiralling upward from the shore. The city is a pedestrian’s paradise. While leisurely strolling through the town you will come across many restored Victorian-era buildings, trendy 
restaurants and small hotels overlooking the Pacific Ocean’s deep blue waters.

Valparaiso is renowned for other reasons as well. The historic city is also home to the oldest stock exchange of Latin America and the first public library of Chile. The oldest Spanish-language newspaper ‘El Mercurio de Valparaiso’ is also published from here. 

Tours of wine-making regions

Chile is presently the fifth-largest exporter and eighth-largest producer of wine in the world. It produces at least 10 times more wine when compared to neighboring Argentina. If you are planning to spend your holidays in Chile, then you can look forward to visiting the major wine-making regions in the country, which are accessible for personalized tours and within an hour of downtown 
Santiago. The Colchagua Valley is considered to be the premier wine-making region in Chile. It is home to 20 wineries, which together formed the base of the original wine route that came into being 15 years ago. Chile’s flagship varietal red wine Carmenere is produced in the Colchagua Valley. Other wine-making regions worth visiting in the country include San Antonio and Casa Marin.

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America’s Best Beach Towns

by amit.uniyal 28. July 2015 05:00
Who doesn’t love summer? Endless sun, refreshing swims, shorts and summer dresses, golden tans icy drinks, vacations and travel are just a few of the many pleasures of the summer season. 

America is home to several coastal cities and beach towns. These destinations are popular haunts during the summer months as they offer a plethora of warm weather delights. 

Carmel By the Sea, California

American Beaches     
The quaint and picturesque seaside town of Carmel by the Sea in Monterey County on the California Coast was established as a Spanish settlement in the late 18th Century.  Today, this delightful town is renowned for its beautiful beaches such as Carmel Beach, Carmel River State Beach and Monastery Beach. This exceptionally dog-friendly town is also home to a thriving arts community and features various points of interest in the form of charming cottages, plentiful browse-worthy art galleries, boutiques, and vineyards.

Edgartown, Massachusetts 

Located on the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown is an immensely popular vacation destination. The many attractions on offer in this former whaling town include pristine beaches and water-based recreations, museums, historic homes, wine tours and exquisite restaurants.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, a town on Desert Island, in Hancock County, Maine is renowned for its stunning coastal beauty and beautiful sandy beaches. This historic town, which once welcomed tall ships and schooners sailing in from England and Europe is also within easy access of Acadia National Park.  Outdoorsy pursuits, cultural jaunts, great lobster based meals; Bar Harbor offers them all and more.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Situated on a peninsula in Westerly, Rhode Island, the tiny community of Watch Hill is famed for stunning beaches, East Beach and Napatree Point.  A favored holiday spot of America’s rich and famous Watch Hill offers several landmark attractions. The Watch Hill Lighthouse, the Flying Horse Carousel (one of America’s oldest), the Olympia Tea Room that dates back to 1916 and the Luxe Ocean House hotel, a restored Victorian-era hotel are its most famous sights.

St Augustine, Florida

The historic city of St Augustine, located on the northeastern coast of Florida dates back more than 450 years. Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain founded St Augustine in September 1565, and it continues to be the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the US.  The city offers several points of interest including old churches, forts, museums and attractions such as Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and the oldest wooden school house.  The city also boasts of a lively dining scene and offers easy access to several area beaches such as St Augustine Beach, Ponte Verde Beach, Crescent Beach, Anastasia State Park and others. 

Pawleys Island, South Carolina 

Pawleys Island is a small barrier island located at a distance of seventy miles from Charleston. A salt marsh separates the island from the mainland as two short causeways serve as the main conduit for the island. The Island, which once served as the summer getaway of the area’s rice farmers, is secluded and unspoiled. Lined with historic antebellum homes the island offers abundant opportunities for summertime outdoor pursuits such as swimming, beach combing, fishing, kayaking, biking and sunbathing.

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Best Yoga Retreats from around the world

by amit.uniyal 23. July 2015 02:59
The popularity of yoga as a fitness form and a holistic pursuit has increased tremendously during recent times. The fast-paced nature of modern life and the stresses and strains associated with it have contributed significantly to the growth of interest in yoga and other mind, body and spirit wellness activities. As a result, hotel and resorts around the world have yoga retreats and camps that cater to the rejuvenation of tired minds, bodies, and spirits.

Yoga Retreats

The Farm at San Benito, Batangas, Philippines

The Farm at San Benito is a wellness resort located at the base of Mount Malarayat on the outskirts of Lipa City in the Batangas province of the Philippines. Visitors can reach the resort via a two-hour drive from the 
capital city of the Philippines, Manila or then avail of the resort’s helicopter service. The resort is built around a 250-year old mango tree and is a tropical paradise that features lush coconut plantations, tumbling waterfalls and much native flora and fauna.  The resort offers both individual and group yoga sessions catering to all levels of yoga enthusiasts.  Accommodations at the Farm range include tastefully appointed rooms, suites, and villas.  The resort also has two on-site restaurants, a fitness center, swimming pool and a spa offering several detox and beauty treatments.

SwaSara, Gokarna, Karnataka, India

The secluded temple town of Gokarna is home to the SwaSara wellness resort. The resort, which lies within easy access to the town’s pristine Om beach, offers a program that features 
a mix of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda treatments. These various treatments aim to provide mental, physical and spiritual benefits to participants. The resort’s restaurant serves healthy vegetarian meals prepared with the freshest local ingredients. The staff at the Swaswara resort also organizes and conducts excursions to the area’s many temples and markets for guests who enjoy soaking in the local atmosphere.

Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand 

Set on the unspoiled Laem Sor beach on the south coast of the Thai island resort of Koh Samui, the Samahita Retreat is a yoga, detox and wellness center. Breathing exercises, restorative and de-stressing yoga sessions and meditation concourses are some of the many recuperative activities available at this palm tree speckled retreat surrounded by much tropical splendor.  The health food restaurant at Samahita dishes up delectable Thai cuisine prepared according to the principles of “Sattva” meaning the food is made with fresh locally sourced ingredients and is pure, light and easily digestible. The resort also offers yoga, Reiki, and personal training sessions and features a therapeutic salt-water swimming pool. Aside from healing and soothing therapies and programs, Samahita also organizes island and boat tours for guests who wish to leave the premises and explore the island.

Thirty-Eight Degrees North, Ibiza

The Balearic island of Ibiza is renowned as a party capital of Europe. However, Ibiza is not only about clubs and pubs, in fact, but the island like its fellow Balearic siblings is also several stunning beaches and quaint market towns. 

The Thirty-Eight Degrees North resort is located in the tranquil town of Santa Eulalia situated in the northeast half of the island within proximity to the airport, golf course and the historic town of Dalt Vila.

The Thirty-Eight Degrees North is a fitness and wellness resort that offers yoga, Pilates, meditation, detox and weight loss programs that aim to restore and balance optimal health and focus.

Florblanca, Costa Rica, America

The luxury Florblanca resort on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast sits in the midst of virgin beaches and dense tropical jungles of the Nicoya Peninsula. The resort overlooks the famous surfing paradise of Playa Santa Teresa and offers professionally guided Pilates and Yoga programs suitable for all levels of enthusiasts. The resort also encompasses a restaurant and has a spa that offers an assortment of 
beauty, detox, and cleansing therapies. Aside from yoga, this luxurious tropical heaven provides opportunities for surfing, hiking, horseback riding and even zip-lining.

Parrot Cay Yoga and Pilates, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean

The stunningly beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean have in recent years become a much sought-after vacation destination. The Parrot Cay resort is located on a private island accessible via a 35-minute boat transfer from the main island of Providenciales. The resort offers restful private and group yoga and Pilates sessions along with Pranayama and meditation programs. Other amenities available at this untouched sanctuary include three swimming pools, a fitness center, an 18-hole championship golf course and facilities for tennis, biking and kayaking.

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Maine - Enjoy Summer Holidays in fabled Vacationland State!

by amit.uniyal 16. July 2015 05:37

Maine is a wonderland for vacationers. The varied vacation options that this beautiful place offers has made it popular as the "Vacationland State". Whichever season you choose to spend your holidays, Maine forever remains to be a truly vacationland. You will find some great reasons to visit the state during summer for your vacations.

Maine - Enjoy Summer Holidays

Blissful vacation in Coastal Maine

Come summer season, and Maine Coast is transformed into a popular destination for plenty of vacationers from across the United States and other parts of the world. Its beaches, and seaside villages and towns, become instant attraction for the holidayers. The resort towns also become one of the preferred places to enjoy a weeklong vacation. You can indulge in various kinds of recreational activities. A vacation in the resort towns along the Maine Coast is yet another way to explore the diversity of this place and see varied tourist attractions along the way. Boating and kayaking are some of the popular recreational activities to indulge in during your holidays.

As you set to explore the coastal towns in Maine, you will find them to be quite unique when compared to inland towns. The coastal towns are rather small, with a slow-paced atmosphere and friendly people. These towns though may be small, but you will find a large number of restaurants, bars and boutique shops similar to those found in bigger towns. With many beachside bars, chic boutique stores, antique shops, and of course, yummy lobster rolls and fried clams at food shacks, a vacation in Maine during the summer is what you must be surely looking for.

Vacationing on the beach

Vacationing in Maine's coastal towns are simply not enough unless you visit the beach. It's absoultely the best thing during a vacation. Enjoy sunbathing, indulge in leisurely beachsport such as playing Frisbee or bocce ball, relish exotic seafood and snacks at beachside restaurants, buy souvenirs from beachside shops or simply swim in the refreshing waters of the Atlantic – all these activities will make your vacation enjoyable and memorable. Maine Beach offers oodles of fun during summertime. However, there are some vacationers who prefer exploring the beach during the winter. They consider it to be the best time as summer crowds are gone and the cold is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean.

Entertain with a Boating vacation

Your vacation in Maine during summer isn't complete unless you take a boating excursion along the coast. It is an entertaining activity, and offers a chance to all those who couldn't get out on the Atlantic Ocean. A boating tour along the Maine coast helps you to unwind, relax and discover the nature's bounty that this beautoful place has been gifted. The boating excursion will unravel long stretches of gorgeous sandy beaches along the coastline, bustling harbors, islands outlying the coast, lighthouses atop granite cliffs, and rivers emptying fresh water into the ocean. Apart from boating excursion, you can also consider taking a kayak tour for a more intimate views of hidden coves and inlets.

After all, a vacation in Maine during summer is a dream come true for all vacationers. So, the next time you think of spending your holidays, Maine is the place to visit.


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Traveling solo – An out-of-the-world experience!

by amit.uniyal 13. July 2015 03:56

Traveling to distant destinations is an exciting and exhilarating experience. But have you ever thought of traveling alone. If you haven't, then it will seem wierd to you. The very thought of being a solo traveler will send shivers down your spine. However, for most people solo travel is an adventure. It's simply an out-of-the-world experience. You need to try at least once and see what it would be really like.

If you get a travel companion, then you are fortunate. There will be at least someone to share your burden. But if you have decided to travel solo, there's a lot that will go into preparations. So go ahead and start putting your plans into practice. Here are some of the valuable tips that would be helpful to you as a solo traveler.

Solo travel

Be an effective decision maker

Making a good and effective decision is one of the prerequisites for a solo traveler. You are the only one who will have to face obstacles or make your sojourn smooth. Your burdens and responsibilities will be of your own making and will be completely up to you. Just imagine you might have to travel to a remote area or who knows it might even be a dangerous place. Here your decision-making skills will come into play. Your decisions will be yours, whether it's right or wrong. So be strong enough. You got to be a good and effective decision maker.

Seek as much information you can

Traveling alone is a difficult thing, particularly for all those who are doing so for the first time. You might be unaware about the place heading for. Getting maximum information is the only way to make things easy for yourself. Do a lot of research on the internet. If possible, buy a handy book about the destination and be your self-guide. The best thing to get information about the place and know the experiences of solo travelers is to visit a lot of forums. You might come across people who would guide you. If you are lucky then you might also come across a potential travel companion as well.

You will become confident and more assertive

Solo travel comes with its own challenges. You will confront obstacles on your way and handle them with tact and ease. It will make you more confident than before. You won't feel shy. You will be prompted to take initiative and start communicating with strangers. You are even going to become more assertive and start tackling with problems and unforeseen situations. Traveling solo is a great opportunity to rediscover yourself and your hidden traits.

Great opportunity to meet diverse people

Those traveling solo can look forward to meet different people. It is a great opportunity to find out like-minded people and hang out with them. You will even be tempted to prolong your journey if you succeed in finding a travel companion of your choice. Traveling alone will not only boost your confidence, but will also make you more open to contact and meet with the locals and other travelers. There are great possibilities that some of the people you got in contact with might prove to be good friends in future.

Solo travel offers great flexibility

The decision to travel solo is completely yours. You are offered greater flexibility with your decisions – whether to change your travel plans or not. You are your own master. Who knows you might have thought of somewhere else, but landed at quite a different place. This is what flexibility offers. You also don't have to compromise anything as you don't have to discuss with your partner.

Traveling solo is indeed rewarding. It's a journey to rediscover yourself. You will get to know yourself more, realize your inherent potential, know your likes and dislikes, and develop your personal skills. You won't regret to be a solo traveler, after all!


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Affordable restaurants in Singapore

by amit.uniyal 6. July 2015 02:32
Singapore according to the various cost of living surveys is today one of the most expensive cities on earth. Nonetheless, this small S.East Asian city-state with its plethora of attractions and much lauded culinary scene continues to feature as a hot favourite on the travel circuit. 

Singapore’s gastronomic landscape is home to a wide array of restaurants and eateries. In fact, the city is known for its plentiful hawker centers and food courts which dish out multi-ethnic eats at extremely wallet-friendly prices. However, aside from these hawker centers, the city is also home to quite a few well-priced restaurants where you can enjoy a good meal without burning a hole in your wallet. 

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Little Diner
Little Diner, as its name suggests, is a cosy eatery located in the heart of Singapore’s lush Bukit Timah neighborhood. The owners of this all day dining cafe claim to draw inspiration from the diverse eateries of New York City’s Lower East Side. Little Diner offers a menu that features comfort and familiar western eats like burgers, Mac n Cheese and more. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, brunch and offers a kid’s menu apart from hosting ‘happy hour specials’. Little Diner is closed on Mondays.

Toss & Turn
Fresh and hearty salads are an ideal antidote for combating Singapore’s perennially muggy climate. Toss&Turn is housed in the luxe environs of the ION Orchard mall on Singapore’s main shopping drag, Orchard Road and it offers patrons a chance to design their custom leafy meals. You can do so by first choosing a salad base and then building your salad by adding two protein or deli selections and four vegetable or crunch additions. A choice of dressing then completes your salad.  Aside from salads, the eatery serves soups, sandwiches and wholesome dishes like Lasagne. 

Orange Lantern
The Orange Lantern chain of Vietnamese restaurants offers traditional Vietnamese fare like pho(noodle soups), rice paper fresh rolls, mango salad, beef stew rice noodle and avocado shakes and more.  

Food for Thought Cafe
The Food for Thought chain of  casual dining eateries is housed in some of Singapore’s most well-known attractions like the Botanic Gardens, the National Museum and the Singapore Art Museum. The casual dining cafes serve a menu that feature a selection of comfort eats such as soups, salads, burgers along with an assortment of local dishes. 

Nakhon Kitchen
Nakhon Kitchen has been delighting diners with its authentic Thai fare for some years now. The restaurant operates from two locations in Singapore. One branch is located in the charming, expat-heavy enclave of  Holland Village while the other is in Hougang in the northern half of the city.  Enjoy Thai food staples like Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry, Pad Thai and Pandan Chicken at extremely wallet-friendly prices at Nakhon Kitchen.

Ananda Bhavan
Ananda Bhavan, which opened for business in 1924 on Selgie Road in the Little India enclave of Singapore, is the oldest Indian vegetarian restaurant in the city. In recent years, this popular restaurant has expanded and now operates from four locations. Three of these locations are within the Serangoon Road area while one outlet is situated at Terminal Two of Changi Airport.  On offer at Ananda Bhavan is a menu that features North Indian, South Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. 

La Petite Cuisine 
La Petite Cuisine is a well-entrenched player on Singapore’s dining scene. This rather rustic French bistro is located on the lower level of Serene Centre on Jalan Serene near Orchard Road. The menu at La Petit Cuisine offers staples of French cuisine like duck confit, escargots, foie gras, chicken liver salad, beef steak and more. Portions at the restaurant are substantial, and you can expect to pay S$20 to S$30 per head for a good meal.

Bar Bar Black Sheep
Bar Bar Black Sheep is the name of a chain of casual dining cafes that operates from various locations around the island. These cafes offer an assortment of beers, wines and spirits along with well-mixed cocktails. The food menu at the cafe features North Indian, Japanese and Western dishes and ensures that the cafe caters to diverse tastes and preferences 

Flock Cafe     
Located in the trendy, hipster neighborhood of Tiong Bahru, this family-owned and stylish cafe is known for its reasonably priced eats. The menu offerings at Flock Cafe include all-day breakfast items, sandwiches, pasta and baked goods. Do try the highly recommended Pork Cheek Gruyere Sandwich and the Portobello Mushroom Salad

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