Three of the Best Asian Cities to Rent An Apartment

June 22, 2011 by  
Filed under General Fun, Hotels

Singapore City - Photo Credit - Singapore Tourism Board

With so much to see and do in Asia, sometimes a holiday isn’t enough time, and back-packing isn’t the most comfortable way to see what some of the cities have to offer. Somewhere in-between, is staying a week or so in a luxury apartment right in the heart of all the sights and amenities, but with enough autonomy to gain a sense of what it’s like to live there.

Shanghai

Shanghai is speedily becoming one of the most desirable destinations for tourists. With a growing high-fashion reputation, and some beautiful classic gardens; Shanghai appeals to everyone. For an exclusive luxury apartment in the heart of the city, take a look City Base Apartments for the Somerset Xu Hui Apartments. With an indoor pool, a fully-equipped gym, and a children’s playground; a stay here is the perfect indulgence in the increasingly glamorous and sophisticated Chinese city.

With a 3.4-mile long premier shopping street; Nanjing Road; Shanghai has some of the best clothes shops in the world, and is a must-visit for the fashion-savvy. Take a step into another world and visit the Yuyuan Garden, an expanse of five acres filled with 400 year-old rockeries and pavilions, stunning exotic flowers, and glistening ponds.

Singapore

Whether for business or pleasure, a stay in Singapore City will leave you wanting more. Situated next to the Central Business District, the Orchard Parksuites provide a stay drenched in luxury and affluence. Fully-equipped with every modern convenience thinkable, and boasting its very own maid service; there is no other way to experience Singapore city-living than here.

A visit to Singapore City wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the world’s largest observation wheel, the Singapore flyer. This is a once in a lifetime experience which is equally as breath-taking by day as it is by night. With an array of elegant restaurants, indulgent spas, and the finest shopping malls; a trip to Singapore City is the ultimate extravagance.

Bangalore

Known as the centre of software development, Bangalore in India has a reputation as the economic and IT hub of India. However, this culturally-diverse city is also home to many parks and gardens which provide relief from the bustling city streets. The Lal Bagh is a garden located in the southern part of the city, packed with lotus ponds, fountains, glass houses, and ancient stone formations.

The Residency Road Apartments can be found in the heart of the city, and these elegantly furnished apartments are just a two-minute walk from the beautiful Cubbon Park. With plenty of traditional food stores, you can experience new flavours and a healthy way of life all whilst cooking in a luxury apartment.

Staying in an apartment offers you a luxurious, secure, and comfortable stay; all whilst enjoying your own independence. Providing you with a unique experience with which you can truly appreciate the local way of life; apartment renting offers the perfect balance between a package holiday, and traveling.

A cheap car rental opens new doors to the holiday-maker. Explore the places you want to visit and be in control of your trip. There are gorgeous spots that are off the beaten track.

Delhi, the Immortal City

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Culture, Mythical Himalayas


Delhi, the capital of India, presents a vast panorama of fascinating images. It is a city where forts, tombs and ruins share the same skyline with high-rise buildings and stately homes. The wide tree-lined avenues of New Delhi give way to the crowded narrow lanes of Old Delhi, and along with this change comes a diametrically different culture and lifestyle. The presence of contrasts is a historical legacy of the city.

Delhi is a metropolitan city in the truest sense of the word. For centuries, it has attracted rulers, invaders, businessmen, builders, poets, painters and intellectuals from all over the world. Today, Delhi encloses many older cities and its stone walls have seen countless empires rise and fall.


Modern India’s history is synonymous with Delhi. It was from the ramparts of its Red Fort that India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, unfurled the national flag on August 15 1947. Today, as India’s capital and the seat of its parliament, the city hosts world leaders, diplomats, international missions, sports meets, cultural festivals and conferences.

Delhi is a major point of entry for foreign travelers to India. Boosts of a tourism infractructure which compares with the best in the world from international hotels with extensive facilities to gourmet restaurants, air conditioned limousines, luxury coaches, bargain shopping and much more. Delhi has everything going, and it is the ultimate travel experience.

While Egypt is most famous for its ancient monuments, it also offers luxurious beach resorts. Check out the Red Sea scuba diving or other water-sport. You will agree that Cheap Holidays to Egypt are delightful.

Six Romantic Asian Backdrops

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, General Fun, Nature

There’s no doubt that Asian is the land of inspiration and romance. It has often been the place for honeymoons, destination weddings, one night stands and I don’t know specifically but I bet a handful of marriage proposals too! But where to go to find that spark that will make your heart skip a beat? Here are six great backdrops – but no matter where you go, be sure to head off the beaten path, walk a little further, and see if you can find that perfect spot to lose everyone else and maybe find yourself.

Photo credit - farbfilm

Photo credit - farbfilm

Halong Bay, Vietnam

I know what you’re thinking – how cliché. But try taking a sunset cruise along Halong Bay – it is one of those experiences that is hard to forget. The bay is one of Vietnam’s crowded UNESCO World Heritage sites, so why not book the junk boat that actually spends the night in the bay and get away from it all? The junk boat to Cat Ba Island is also nice and a little less overpopulated. You can get by in Halong Bay on the cheap, but don’t – spend that little bit extra and you’ll get a lot more for your money, particularly when it comes to excursions and anything out on the water.

Photo credit - nurpax

Photo credit - nurpax

Jeju Island, South Korea

One of the stops in this island will definitely make your heart skip a beat – and give you a good giggle in the process. Some things are “oh gads, only in Asia” and Jeju Loveland is one of them. It’s a theme park dedicated to sex. From the phallus gardens to the interactive exhibits (link is NSFW!), you and your lover will see in 3D every sexual position possible. Skip the kama sutra and see this stuff in action! Other than that, Jeju Island is a popular honeymoon spot for Koreans, so once you’ve had your laughs get out and explore the island’s other natural attractions. Hike towards the top of Sunrise Peak for a mesmerizing sunset, or head towards one of the many beautiful waterfalls adorning the island.

Photo credit - tboothhk

Photo credit - tboothhk

Stanley, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is great, but the hustle and bustle (not to mention the pollution) aren’t exactly romantic bliss. I prefer to cross the island and head to Stanley, a very quaint little fishing village. Spend a few hours exploring the markets, then sit and watch the sunset. It’s dreamy. Stanley has some excellent restaurants, including a few fabulous dim sum shops, so come hungry. There are some walking trails in the area and other little towns to explore, so you don’t have to spend your time confined in Stanley itself.

Photo credit - Dave B

Photo credit - Dave B

Siem Reap, Cambodia

So Siem Reap is no tourism secret – in fact, it’s so popular it is sinking back into the ground. Not cool. But hire an air conditioned van (or a tuk-tuk, if you prefer the wind in your hair and can stomach the bumpy roads) and go off exploring into the countryside. The Angkor Wat complex is absolutely massive and few tourists manage to get very far off the beaten path. It’s a shame because some of the temples are just as amazing and a sight less busy. Check out Banteay Srei, one of the more popular ones but still more quiet. The carvings in the stone are so intricate, you won’t believe it is stone. Inspiring.

Photo credit - ManojVasanth

Photo credit - ManojVasanth

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

The state of Rajasthan in India is the country’s largest and has many unique sights to visit for romantic inspiration. From the Great Indian Desert to the hundreds of massive palaces and temples, you could spend weeks finding yourself in Rajasthan. I suggest a few special days in Jaipur, the state capital. It’s known as the pink city, and is one of India’s first planned cities. Because of this, I think, the views are just endless, from the Albert Hall Museum to the Jal Mahal or the Amber Fort. You’ll be blown away by the color and never look at the world the same. You don’t have to build your lover a temple, but you can take them to one.

Eastern and Oriental Express, Southeast Asia

Just saying the worlds orient express conjures up visions of sensual seduction while you glide across the rails. The reality is that while this is one of very few ultra-deluxe trains, there are more than one. But the Asian version is called the Eastern and Oriental Express and it has a number of routes between the cities of Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Vientiane, and Chiang Mai. What better way to spend a romantic retreat than by tucking away into the luxury of this iconic train between visits to any of these classic Asian destinations?

About the Author. Andy Hayes. Andy Hayes is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not crossing the world to have his next Asian travel adventures, he is hitting the walking trails near home. To get in touch or see Andy’s other travelogues, visit his website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Top of the World at the Land of the High Passes

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Feature Highlights, Mythical Himalayas, Nature

Ladakh, India, is a sparsely populated mountainous area tucked away high in the Himalayas. It is a land known for its remote beauty and culture, often called “Little Tibet”. Back in the third issue of our magazine, we shared about Ladakh and the amazing journey there. Here we’d like to showcase the amazing photographs of Scott Sporleder, which was featured then in our magazine. Enjoy this photographic journey through the Land of the High Passes!

The amazing view from the top of the world - Leh Ladakh

The amazing view from the top of the world - Leh Ladakh

Colourful prayer flags can be found all around the Himalayas

Colourful prayer flags can be found all around the Himalayas

People, ceremonies and temples

People, ceremonies and temples

A religious ceremony in Ladakh

A religious ceremony in Ladakh

Temples and stone carvings

Temples and stone carvings

Temple interiors

Temple interiors

Leh Ladakh - the Land of the High Passes

Leh Ladakh - the Land of the High Passes


Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best last minute holidays ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of must do things in Bali.

Mysore Dasara

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture, Mythical Himalayas

Mysore Dasara is a popular event in Karnataka State, South India, a world famous festival lasting all through 10 days. The city of Mysore will look at its best during the festival, with all the major roads in the city, heritage buildings, palaces, historical monuments, ancient temples and shops illuminated. Here the Dasara is an elaborate affair and attract a large audience including both local and foreign tourists.

Photo credits - antkriz

Photo credits - antkriz

Photo credits - kkalyan

Photo credits - kkalyan

According to the legends, Dasara is celebrated as a victory of Goddess Chamundeswari over the demon Mahishasura. The 10th day of the festival – the most auspicious day of the Dasara – is Vijayadashami, which is symbolically celebrated as the victory of good over evil. This final event of the festival usually falls in the month of September or October.

This historical festival started during the period of Vijayanagar Kingdom in 15th century. Later, the Mysore Wodeyars carried over the tradition of Vijayanagara rulers. After the fall of Tipu Sulthan, the Wodeyars shifted to Mysore and continued the tradition. The Dasara festivities are held at the Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Kalamandira and the Town hall. Renowned artists in classical music, dance and folk perform during this festival. Apart from cultural events, sports and wrestling events are also there to entertain the viewers. However, the main attractions of Dasara are the colourful procession of Goddess Chamundeshwari on the decorated royal elephant, torchlight parade and the exotic fireworks at Bannimantap and exhibition.

Photo credits - Distra

Photo credits - Distra

Photo credits - kkalyan

Photo credits - kkalyan

Dasara (Navaratri) starts on the first day of Ashwija month, and it ends with the world famous Jambu Savari on the last day. Colourful tableaux, folk dancers, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession. Dolls are also arranged in the houses in an artistic way, and illuminated.

On Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession is held on the streets of Mysore city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed on a golden mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant. Colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree is worshipped. The Dasara festivities would culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with an event held in the grounds at Bannimantap called as Panjina Kavayatthu (torch-light parade).

Another major attraction during the festival is the Dasara exhibition which is held in the exhibition grounds opposite to the Mysore Palace. This exhibition starts during Dasara and goes on till December. Various stalls which sell items like clothes, plastic items, kitchenware, cosmetics and eatables are set up and they attract a significant number of people. A play area containing attractions like Ferris wheel is also present to provide entertainment to the people. Various Governmental agencies setup stalls to signify the achievements and projects that they have undertaken.

About the Author. Lakshmi Menon. Lakshmi Menon writes articles on various topics, including South India tourism. Please visit her website for more information on her background expertise and services.

10 Stunning Mountain Attractions in India

September 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions, Feature Highlights, Mythical Himalayas, Nature

India is a land of many wonders, blessed with a amazing geography and cultural diversity that is unmatched throughout the region. Naturally, one of its main attraction is the Himalayas in the North East. Travelers are able to trek through to the Deccan Plateau and the smaller hills and waterfalls of the South, passing by regions each clad with their own charm of Indian history and culture. Here’s my list of 10 stunning high-altitude destinations in India, ranging from the popular and famous to the unknown, tranquil and serene.

Photo credits – Shikhar Sethi

Photo credits – Shikhar Sethi

Auli

State: Uttarakhand / Region – Garwal Himalayas
This popular ski resort is approximately 492km from Delhi, nestled at an altitude of around 3km above sea level. To reach the snow clad slopes, you treat yourself to a 4km long gondola ride, the longest in Asia. Apart from skiing, Auli also offers other attractions such as the highest man-made lake in the world and a stunning 180 degree view of the Himalayan Peaks.

Munsiyari

State: Uttarakhand / Region – Kumaon Himalayas
Munsiyari offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, trekking routes into a never ending horizon, high altitude glacier walks and the whispering of the wind in the God’s own natural amphitheater. Situated approximately 588km from Delhi, Munsiyari, meaning “place with snow”, stands at an altitude of 2,200m high. It gives you the chance to view some of the most beautiful snow-capped landscape in the region, with the road towards it filled with scintillating scenery.

Photo credits - thaddeus

Photo credits - thaddeus

Sangla

State: Himachal Pradesh
This is popularly considered as the most beautiful Himalayan valleys in India. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Sangla is situated on the historically famouse Hindustan-Tibet highway, a charming experience often dubbed, the Swiss Countryside of India. Visitors can enjoy a day out angling on the Baspa River, trekking to Kinner Kailash or pay a visit to the monastery at Rekong Peo.

Gangtok

State: Sikkim
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a popular haven for tourists, trekkers and mountaineers looking to explore the scenery of Sikkim. There is much to see within a day’s drive from Gangtok, such as the Tsomgo or Changu Lake, the famed Nathu La Pass which connects India to China’s Tibet autonomous region, as well as the valley of Yumthang. There are also numerous trekking routes starting from Gangtok, including the famed Mount Kanchenjunga (third highest in the world) trek and the Dzongri trek.

Photo credits - appaji

Photo credits - appaji

Tawang

State: Arunachal Pradesh
Located between the border of India and Bhutan, Tawang is yet another station boasting stunning views of the Eastern Himalayas. At the heart of this small hill station lies the Tawang Gompa, a Buddhist monastery home to not more than 40 monks. Nearby is the beautiful Sela Lake, pristine and untouched, while trekkers would enjoy a hike to the Sela Top Pass.

Igatpuri

State: Maharastra
Igatpuri is a small slepey town in the Western Ghats not far from Mumbai, approximately 138km. During the Monsoons, the landscape transforms into a riot of colors and waterfalls dot every nook and cranny of this valley. It is also home to the Vipasana center, where believers flock to meditate and renew their spirituality. The Tringalwadi Fort is a popular picturesque spot, offering one a wide angle view of the entire valley and the Talegaon Lake.

Photo credits - abeerarts

Photo credits - abeerarts

Araku Valley

State: Andhra Pradesh
For some of the coolest summer in Southern India, head straight to Araku Valley. Enjoy a picturesque train ride passing through numerous tunnels enroute, before finally reaching the rolling hills and waterfalls of the Araku Valley. The Borra Caves, 35km from Araku Valley, dates back to a million years back and are pure stalactite and stalagmite formations that tells a story from a different era.

Nagarhole National Park: Irpu Falls

State: Karnataka
Spread over 640 square km of virgin forests, streams and cascading waterfalls, the Nagarhole National Park is home to the mystical Irupu Falls (also known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls). This stunning waterfall cascades down and takes a plunge of 170ft! The park is a haven of flora and fauna, and you can find wild elephants, leopards, spotted dear and Gaur, among others. It is also an excellent place for bird-watching.

Photo credits - likenew

Photo credits - likenew

Lakkidi

State: Kerala
When you travel to the land of Gods, what would you expect? Naturally, stunning scenic beauty fit for the Gods, exactly the type Kerala offers. Lakkidi, often referred to as the Tarzan territory, is the highest point in the Wayanad region of Kerala. It’s a forest canopy so dense that you can barely see the sky, where you can truly walk through the wilderness. Here, you can experience treetop living and walking 100 feet above the ground to get from one tree to another.

Bellikal

State: Tamil Nadu
Bellikal is a picturesque village situated on the Nilgiri Montains, with the famed Mudumalai forest on one end and the Sigur Plateau on the other. It is a place of isolation and tranquility, 5,500 ft above sea level. A trekker’s paradise, there are various trails here leading to various attractions such as the Kalhatti Falls, as well as the Bison valley, where you can spy on these amazing beasts. The biggest attraction here however, is the Kurinji Bush, which blooms only once every 12 years!

Photo credit (front) Sirwatkyn

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About the Author. Parthajit. Parthajit is a nature & landscape photographer and trekker with travel experience in the Indian Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Western Ghats (India), Thailand, New Zealand, and Japan.

Cape Comorin – the Far end of India

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Mythical Himalayas, Nature

Cape Comorin is popularly known as Kanyakumari and it is situated at the southernmost tip of India. This is a place of high religious importance but from a travel perspective, you’ll be surprised to find much more than you expected. The Cape is the meeting point between the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal, and is separated from Sri Lanka by the Gulf of Mannar.

Getting there

Photo credits - localsurfer

Photo credits - localsurfer

There are mainly two ways to reach Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin, which is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu: you can take a flight from Delhi or Mumbai or you can travel by train through the green landscape and rolling hills of the Western Ghats and then cross through Tamil Nadu to reach the place that Indians call their “lands end”. But be forewarned that the train journey could scratch to as long as 51 hours compared to a much shorter 3 hours flight.

The top tourist attractions in and around Kanyakumari is varied and will suit all tastes. The adventurous trekkers would enjoy a trip to the Tirparappu Waterfalls and the Mathoor Hanging Bridge. Those looking for a day of relaxation can head to Muttom Beach, a mere 32km away. There are also various temples, churches and museums bound to captivate your imagination.

Suchindram Temple

Photo credits - Skip The Budgie

Photo credits - Skip The Budgie

The Suchindram Temple is one of its kinds, a beautiful Hindu temple dating way back to the 17th century. The three main deities of Hindu religion (Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma) are represented through just one image placed in the inner sanctum called Sthanumalayan. It is situated 11km from Cape and the priest of the temple would gladly give you a tour. The temple boasts exquisite architecture and sculpture, a perfect place to discover your inner spirituality.

Vattakottai Fort

Photo credits - santhosh_trans

Photo credits - santhosh_trans

Vattakottai Fort, around 7km away from the Cape, is a beautiful picnic spot popular with the locals. There is an elevated level on the Fort with well-manicured gardens from where I could see the blue waters of the sea merging into the deep blue sky. Sitting there was a pleasant experience as the cool wind kissed my face and I enjoyed a hearty lunch. There is a natural beach nearby where you can relax and have a tan or even go for a swim.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Photo credits - Skip The Budgie

Photo credits - Skip The Budgie

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, one of the most famous monument in Kanyakumari, is a popular tourist destination. This memorial rock is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of India in the 20th century. According to legend, this was where he had gone into deep meditation and saw the past, present, and future of India. It was also the place where he achieved salvation and his soul left his body at the age of 39 while he was deep in meditation. From the Cape, you can hire a boat to get to the Memorial Rock. During sunset, the Memorial Rock is always jam-packed with tourists trying to get the best vantage point form which to enjoy and capture the sunset.

The best time to visit Kanyakumari is from November to March, the time of the returning monsoons. The weather will neither be hot or humid and most of the days will be partly cloudy with cool wind. Cape Comorin is a popular destination for local domestic tourists on a one day trip, but I urge you to spend a little more time here and enjoy the serene beauty of India’s southern-most tip!

About the Author. Parthajit. Parthajit is a nature & landscape photographer and trekker with travel experience in the Indian Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Western Ghats (India), Thailand, New Zealand, and Japan.

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