Friday, August 13, 2010

Malaysia Travel

Location – South East Asia
Capital – Kuala Lumpur
Best time to visit Malaysia – May to September
STD code - +60

Multicultural buffet and a dazzling example of regions tourism success, beguiling Malaysia trounces senses of the first time traveler. Populated by the coalesce of Malayas, Indians and Chinese, the region presents exotic mix of culture along with the huge variety of annual festivals as well as the interesting mixture of traditional cuisines, that makes it a strikingly colorful and fascinating place to visit. 

Malaysia is not only interesting, it is in fact one of the most enjoyable cities of the South East Asia. The remote tropical islands and endless list of white sandy beaches transfers you to the dreamland, while the magical tour to the world’s famous diving sites beneath warm coral seas awaits exploration.  Apart from that dazzling coastline along with the world’s oldest rain-forests - Orang utans, the city skyscrapers and vibrant temples and mosques, are enough to allure even the most outwore traveler.

Slice of Paradise

Attractions of Malaysia

Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur –
Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur has been a central point of many historical events. It is the same place where flag of Malaysia was first hoisted on August 31, 1957. For the purpose of knowledge it was hoisted on a 100 m high flagpole – tallest in the world.  The place holds great political and historical significance. It was once the cricket green and rugby field, property of Royal Selangor Club. It has now been converted into the shopping mall cum parking area, with a new field rested on top of it.

If you have enough time, scroll down some of the great complexes around including the Gothic style building of St. Mary's Anglican cathedral, National History Museum, the Memorial Library and many more.

Cheng Hoon Teng – Malacca –
Discover the interesting story of faith and perseverance. Visit Cheng Hoon Teng, the popular historical monument in Malaysia and a place of pilgrims- reaching here from all over the world. Built in the total area of 4600 m2,  Cheng Hoon is the most renowned centre of pilgrimage for Hoklo community. The temple is divided into one main prayer hall along with many small prayer halls, as per the principles of Feng Shui.

Bako National Park - Borneo –
Head to one of the legendary national park in Malaysia known as Bako National Park. Located in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, the park is petrified with the great floral and faunal asset. The fascinating rainforests inhabit variety animal species including long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards, palm civet cat, proboscis monkeys and many species of reptiles.

Batu Caves –
On the excursion trip from Kuala Lumpur, explore the ancient Batu caves, the natural scenic attraction and important pilgrimage destination in Malaysia. There is a temple inside the cave, which has been dedicated to Lord Murugan. You need to make lot of efforts to get to the caves. You are required to reach there through the stairs but the magnificent view of the caves is worth every moment of these efforts. The major attraction of the place is the huge statue of Lord Murugan ( 42.7 metres), It is the world’s largest statue of Lord Murugan.
Tourists Activities in Malaysia –

Trek in the high hills (Malaysia Trekking Tours) –
Malaysia offers excellent trekking options for tourists from easy walking excursions through the jungles and forests to the strenuous trekking tours to national parks in Malaysia. Penang Hill is one of the most popular scenic spot for trekking as it provides treks that are less challenging. But, if you an ardent trekker choose Mount Kinabulu as your trekking destination -the highest peak in Southeast Asia.

Not to Forget – Scuba Diving Experience -
Scuba diving in Malaysia is a big part of ultimate fun and majority of tourists have diving as a part of their itinerary. Some of the best diving sites in Malaysia are popular through out the world, where visibility beneath the sea is as good as 30 m which makes the experience of scuba diving truly enjoyable. Some of the best voted out diving sites in the country includes Borneo, Pulau Sipadan Island, and Mabul.

Bird watching Tours in Taman Negara –
The charm of leisurely picnics and birding at Taman Negara is all yours on the special sightseeing tour to Malaysia. Binoculars and books on birds are essential accompaniments, if you want to stalk Fishing eagle, masked finfoot, crested fireback pheasant, and blue throated bee-eater. Here you can spot more than 54% of the total bird species. So, birding tour to Malaysia is definitely not a bad idea.

Fishing and Angling -
If fishing is what you love doing, than River Sungai Tahan is right place for you. Catch kelah fish along with the other species of fresh water fishes. Best time for fishing in Malaysia lies between Feb to Aug.

Popular Cuisines of Malaysia –
Popular Delicacies – Satay, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Nasi Dagang, Rojak, Char Kway Teow, Chicken Rice, Curry Laksa, A Steamboat, Rendang

Seafood – Prawn, Shrimp, Crab, Cuttlefish, Cockles, Octopus

Accommodation in Malaysia
-The Legend Hotel KL
-Tanjong Jara Resort
-Berjaya Penang Hotel
-Le Meridein Kota Kinabalu
-Hotel Casa dela Rosa
-Impiana KLCC Hotel and Spa
-Hotel Equatorial Melaka

How to reach Malaysia-

By Air - Malaysia Airlines – Takes approx 13 hours from London to Kuala Lumpur and approx 20 - 21hours from New York

Major Airports in Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) (Sepang)
Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
Kuching (KCH)

Iceland Volcano Eyjafjallajokull

Iceland Volcano Eyjafjallajokull is one of the “island mountain glacier” of our world. Eyjafjallajokull is one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland, located to the north of Skogar and to the west of Mýrdalsjökull. 

There is a volcano located over the icecap of the glacier, at an elevation of 1, 666m(5, 466 ft). This volcano has a crater of 3 to 4 km in diameter. 

Apart from located in a glacier, another important feature of this volcano is that it is a dormant volcano. Most of its historical eruptions have been explosive. According to available data this has erupted in 920, 1612 and again 1821 to 1823. During the last glacial period from 1821 to 1823, eruption of this volcano has caused a glacial lake outburst.

 With the recent volcanic eruption on April 14, 2010,this Eyjafjallajokull volcano once again came into limelight. Till date, this volcano has erupted for twice.First on 20th March and second on 14th April. 

The Volcanic eruption of March was quite less powerful as compare to the eruption of 14th April. The eruption of 14th April was accompanied by earthquakes and has opened up a new vent. On both sides of Gígjökull, glacial flood has been occurred.

Eruption of March 20 has forced nearly 500 local people to evacuate the region whereas the eruption of 14th April was 10 to 20 times more powerful and has caused substantial disruption of air traffic in the entire Northern Europe region. About 45 people in Langidalur valley north of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier have been isolated by the eruption, and 800 people were evacuated from areas at risk of flooding.

Brisbane Festival, Australia

As the name reflects, Brisbane festival is one of the premiere festival of Australia. It is one of the prime attraction of Brisbane town and showcases the artistic skill of people of this town.

This annual festival of Brisbane town was developed by Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in 1996 to cherish various art forms. The main source of inspiration behind the esteemed Brsibane festival is Brisbane's Warana Festival, which was first held in 1961. From 1996 to 2008, Brisbane festival was held as biennial festival.

Since that time, this festival was developed as one of the most highly respected and an acclaimed international art festival. But, in the year 2009, a twist came in the history of Brisbane festival. In that year, Brisbane festival merged with River festival and organized as Brisbane's annual festival. Currently, this festival operates under the direction of the board of Major Brisbane Festival Pty Ltd.

The annual Brisbane Festival is an amalgamation of theater, dance, music and conversation and visual art programs. These colorful programs are organized at various venues throughout the Brisbane city for three exciting weeks in the month of September. Some of these programs are free whereas some are ticketed. Both acclaimed international and Australian performers participates in these programs and shows their talent to nearly 1.5 million spectators from world wide.

This year's Brisbane Festival is going to held from 4 to 25 September. Similar to Brisbane festival of Australia, Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India too has some vibrant festivals which includes Natyanjali Dance Festival, Music and Dance Festival, Chennai etc. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Varanasi Holidays

Times Tourism - Varanasi Holidays
Varanasi, the old Kashi, is the city of sadhus in saffron chaddars and wooden sandals, a city where faint strains of shastriya sangeet blend with the bam of temple bells.  For Kashi is the religious center for Hindus who come here to die in hope to attain moksha and get freedom from worldly desires  and from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Unlike most other sacred cities in India, Varanasi is the perfect package for the mind and soul.
From ancient times, Varanasi has been a sacred place of pilgrimage (real or imaginary tirtha) and definitely the most unique as you will immediately discover after reaching there. The city known for its rich cultural heritage – dance, music and craftsmanship has attracted artists over the ages. Visitors are irresistibly drawn to this vibrant, divine, colorful city epitomizing all that India is.
Sip of Nirvana
Things to see and do in Varanasi:
Most of the religious cities in India are known for their temples, only Varanasi stands out as the city of so many Ghats – hundred in all. The Ghats are series of steps leading to sacred river Ganga, built by ancient rulers, businessmen and altruists after whom they have been named.
The busy Ghats of Varanasi thrum with activity all through the day. Chanting here starts even before the sun rise in the morning. Thousand of pilgrims as well as the local residents, throng to the Ghats to take a holy dip in sacred water of Ganga, while many come here for performing the daily ritual of sun worship popularly known as ‘Surya Namaskar’.
As the popular spiritual tour to India, Varanasi has gained popularity not only among the domestic tourists but also among the foreign tourists and NRI brigade, who come here seek Nirvana.
Burning Ghats of Varanasi
Discover the famous attractions of Varanasi:
Dasashwamedh Ghat is regarded as the Varanasi’s most sacred spot. Try to get up early in the morning and be there before the sun rises. There is no better way to experience the life of this pious city other than taking a boat ride on the Ghats of Varanasi.  The sight of divine morning, constant chime of temple bells, and the smell of incense is spiritually exhilarating.
Take a turn from the Dasashwamedh Ghat to one of the two Varanasi’s burning Ghats known as Manikarnika Ghat (another one is Harishchandra Ghat). As you pass through this Ghat the emphatic expressions start to come out of you effortlessly. It’s the popular cremation Ghat, permanently lined with bodes in shrouds awaiting for the last cremation rites.   
Stop next at Sant Tulsidas Ghat, which is regarded as the oldest Ghat in Varanasi. Close by is the famous Darbhanga Ghat, said to have built by one of the royal family of Bihar. Not to miss is the popular Man Mandir Ghat, built by ruler of Jaipur - Raja Jai Singh II, here you get the chance to visit one of his four Jantar Mantars and a massive horologe.
Some other Ghats you come across includes Hanuman Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Tulsidas Ghat, Mir Ghat, Gai Ghat, Lalita Ghat, each with its own unique identity and myths.
Temples of Varanasi
Vishwanath Golden Temple :- Very close to the Dasashwamedh Ghat is the poplar temple of Varanasi known as Vishwanath Golden Temple, consecrated to Lord Shiva, the patron deity of this city.
Durga Temple :- Built in the 18th century, Durga temple is dedicated to Goddess Paravati, the consort of Lord Shiva. The temple is also referred to as the ‘Monkey Temple’ because of the presence of hordes of monkeys, who live here.
Bharat Mata Temple :- This is the most unusual temple in city of Varanasi, it has marble  relief map of the country dedicated to ‘Mother India’, epitomizing  nation as Mother instead of God and Goddess.
Not to Miss !!!
·         Evening Aarti at Dasashwamedh Ghat
·         Shopping for silk brocades and saris
·         Holy Dip at Ganges
·         Unnerving experience - cremation sights at Manikarnika Ghat
·         Sunset View over the ganges
Staying Option at Varanasi – Taj Ganes, Clarks Varanasi, Pallavi International Hotel, Hindustan International Hotel, Padmini International Hotel
Eating Options – Thali of puri sabzi, tikki, dal, rive, rotis, Kashi ka laddu and rabri 

City – Uttar Pradesh
Location – On the banks of river Ganga in UP, 290 kms from Lucknow
Best Time to visit Varanasi - October to March
STD code – 0542
How t Reach Varanasoi
By Air – Babatpur Airport is the nearest airport – Flights Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Sahara
By Train – Well connected to the capital city of India- Delhi by Varansi Cantt and Mughal Sarai
By Road - Varanasi  is linked to Delhi by NH2 

Friday, April 23, 2010

World Environment Day 2010

Our environment is the future of our world and if it doesn't remain healthy than we can't think of taking a breath of peace. And, to make people aware of environment problems, World Environment Day is a great help.

As the name suggests, World Environment Day(WED) is the principal weapon of United Nation through which U.N.O stimulates its worldwide awareness campaigns for environment issues among the common men. Another significance of this day is that it enhances public attention and public action towards environmental issues.

World Environment Day is an annual affair which is celebrated on 5 June. It was the day when United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was organized for the first time, in the year 1972.This day was established by United Nations General Assembly.

5th June 1973 was marked as a red letter day in the history of environment conservation. For the first time, World Environment Day was organised on this day. Every year different city of nearly 100 nations of our world participates in World Environment Day. Different themes are kept for each year's environment celebration.

But, the main agenda remain same, which includes various issues like - to give human face to environment, empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

Theme for this year i.e 2010's Environment Day is “Biodiversity — Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy”.

Similar to other nations of the world, every year Indians too celebrates World Environment Day with lots of enthusiasm.