Thursday, 10 October 2013

Buckle up for a Wor(l)d Tour

It's not just a 'vacation' anymore. Here's how you can update your trip lingo.

Were you left confused when a colleague recently told you about his 'staycation' at a hotel? Or how about the time you heard that your niece said she was travelling to Vietnam to do some 'voluntourism'? These hybrid, mashed-up words find their way into everyday vocabulary as quick as lightning. We give you a list of a few more new words in travel and what they mean, and while the Oxford Dictionary may not be jumping with joy to welcome these, we think they are fun anyway.

On their 'babymoon' in Rio

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West did it in Paris and Rio de Janeiro, while Duchess Kate and Prince William did it at Caribbean's Mustique Island.

We're talking about 'Babymooning' - a special, stroller-less holiday where you can get that last bit of alone time before parenthood comes a-knocking. The term was coined in 1996 by author Sheila Kitzinger in The Year after Childbirth. While she talked about it as private time between parents and their newborn, this has been turned around to mean a trip before the birth of a child.

Many hotels around the world also offer Babymoon packages that include facials, gift sets for newborns, yoga sessions, pre-natal massages and even 24-hr room service for food cravings — The Reef in Sri Lanka, Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand or The Chateau Spa and Organic  Wellness Resort in Malaysia, are a few.


Glamping in Jodhpur
As a traveller, you love your air-conditioner, steaming hot water and the works, but still want the outdoorsy feel with your besties? Glamping is for you, my friend. A contraction of 'glamorous camping', glamping offers a luxurious twist to the camp tent. Sleeping bags give way to soft beds, outhouses to en suite bathrooms, torches and knives are replaced by hot tubs and luxury fittings.

Here are a few examples: The Serai, Jaisalmer has luxury canvas tents, each over 1,000 sq. ft. in size; Oberoi Vanyavilas' luxury tents have sunbathing decks, king-size fourposter beds, roll-top baths; Nature Zone in Munnar has bamboo houses on tree tops, with modern bathrooms and verandahs.


‘Hangover’ has done for brocations, what penicillin has for medicine – given it a good shot in the arm! A holiday for the boys, with the boys, ‘brocations’ are vacations with the lads, where they can be beach bums, party, gamble or anything else minus their better halves and families. Think road trips, bachelor parties, bike tours. The preferred choices for brocations within the country have been sunny Goa and Ladakh. Other international hot favourites include Las Vegas, Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand and Amsterdam.

Thirty-year old Dave Malhotra, director of MHPL, who helped plan his friend’s bachelor party in Hong Kong & Macau says, “It was a luxury, guy trip, with a limo waiting to pick us up at the airport, ready with champagne to celebrate as soon as we landed. There was a yacht that took us to Macau; there were casino nights and more. Everything was planned meticulously for a fun trip for the boys, a total bachelor package, in fact, from pick up to drop off, with us not remembering anything in between!” 'guess what happens on a brocation, stays on a brocation!

Shreela and friends

You carry a backpack on your trips, but wouldn't mind splurging occasionally? Well then, hello there flashpacker. The grown-up, next-gen backpacker is one with more money, and who loves his/her laptop, iPad, DSLR and smart phone. They don't mind splurging on good restaurants, either.

Mumbai-based Public Relations professional Shreela Roy shares details from her trip to Vietnam and Cambodia last year. "While the only thing that made us look like backpackers were our backpacks, we didn't penny-pinch at all. We indulged in everything from massages to good food at upscale restaurants and shopping." She also checked in on Facebook everywhere she went and tweeted about the pubs she visited and people she met. "Staying connected helped keep a flow of comments, tips and advice coming in," she says.


Have only a day off? Low on finances? For those quick getaways, there’s nothing better than the one-day vacation or the ‘daycation’. Try a spa day with your loved one, a picnic to a nearby park, or just a lazy day spent at a luxury hotel in your city including meals and a good swim in their pool! In Mumbai, go for a day trip to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Kanheri Caves, spend a day at Gorai or Manori beaches, hang loose at theme parks like Adlabs Imagica and Esselworld or Della Adventure park, take a ferry ride to Elephanta Caves - whatever you do, just think vacation!

And while it’s more fun than it sounds, you can even go international sitting at home. How? If you’re craving a holiday to Italy, rent an Italian movie (with English-subtitles of course), whip up some Pasta Primavera or order in that thin-crust pizza you love, and wash it all down with a few chilled glasses of the finest Sauvignon Blanc! Aaahh! Who needs a plane??!


Map tatt
Forget shot glasses and fridge magnets. Tattoos of skylines, coordinates and local scripts are the new keepsakes, creating the wave that is tattoo tourism or 'tattourism'. Whodunit? Tattoo aficionado Angelina Jolie visited Thailand twice to finish up her tattoo work by master artist Sompong Kanphai. Scarlett Johansson flaunted a new horseshoe one by graffiti artist Fuzi Uvtpk after she visited Paris last November. With waiting periods of between two-six months, tourists gladly plan their travel around tattoo appointments with renowned artists.

 Janus, a 33-yr-old Mumbai based businessman has a rocker's tattoo collection, which includes a 3/4th sleeve, obtained at Goa. "A great place to start," he says, "is at tattoo conventions. Visited by thousands of tattoo buffs and talented artists, these allow people to meet artists, explore ideas and get inked right there." Popular tattoo conventions happen in New York and Copenhagen, to name a few.


Ah, a glorious holiday at last. You've got the sun, surf, sea and .... Send. Welcome to your fake-ation, which is a rather depressing kind of vacation where, no thanks to the Internet, a lot of the traveller's time is spent working, checking e-mails, lining up meetings, speaking with the boss or handling a presentation. The term was coined by travel and hotel review website in a travel trends forecast for 2011, which studied how greater connectivity was leading to such cheat vacations.

Whether you're an eager beaver employee or just a plain pushover, fret not, almost all working individuals are plagued by this dilemma today. The only way out is to summon your inner strength, power down your laptop and get off your behind. And, if that big bonus is on the way and logging off is just not an option, there's only one thing we can say to you - get back to your city and try a daycation.        You know what that is, right?

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Six websites to get you ‘Mumbai Ready’

(photo credit: Akash Banerjee, Flickr)

Does this happen to you? It’s a Friday evening and you’re wondering where do you even begin planning your weekend? Look no further, here’s a compilation of 6 Mumbai city guide websites that’ll help you scan parties, restaurants, plays, comedy shows, events and so much more. C’mon already, go ahead and get that weekend started!

Their magazine is colourful, pictorial, and a light and easy read. It’s just the thing to flip through while sipping coffee some afternoon at your local café. If you enjoy this, then you’ll surely like the website that carries the features from the magazine. It also covers more information listing everything from restaurants and cafes, to bars and pubs, shopping, events. Also watch out for a great weekly calendar of ‘Five things to do in Mumbai today’. Categorised by ‘what?’ as well as ‘where?’ that is specific locations within the city, to make it that much easier for you to narrow down your search.
This brand has become synonymous with the framed certificates seen hanging in restaurants, spas, clubs and other hang out spots. The website is a cross between a listings site and a city guide. It covers just about everything from nightlife to events, what’s happening around town and where to eat to movie listings and shopping streets. The site also has something called ‘bitch slapped!’ where customers who’ve been let down have voiced their opinion about an establishment that in turn is ‘bitch slapped!’ by Burrp…now how cool is that!
Besides Mumbai, it covers 11 other cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Goa, Chandigarh & Kochi. A weekly newsletter is available that comes right to your inbox
With a catchy, tongue-in-cheek voice, Brown Paper Bag lists the freshest happenings around the city, contests & discounts and even recipes from your favourite restaurants! The website also has cool, novel sections like ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Invent!’.
Subscribe to the site and you’ll have a couple of newsletters in your inbox each week telling you about cool new places to eat at, things to do, a weekend guide and lots more. Starting with Mumbai, BPB has also now launched its Delhi site! Now this is one site we’d like to see covering many more cities.
The home page immediately starts off by telling you ‘What’s Hot in Mumbai’ be it clubs, parties, food joints, and more. Making life easier for foodies, the website also lists restaurants according to some 100 different cuisines! This is not surprising as the parent company publishes the popular ‘Times Food Guide’ and the ‘Times Nightlife Guide’ each year, for which it seems they’ve done ample research.
Besides Mumbai, it covers 10 other cities including Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Goa, Chandigarh.
Where’s the party, you ask? These guys will tell you. Food, drink and party are what Life’s A Party covers. Whether it is new restopubs, latest party scenes, concerts or party listings, this site covers them all for Mumbai and Delhi. The site’s got an electric, edgy feel to it. The Party Calendar on the home page is highly recommended for those wondering where to party next.
Covering everything from events, movies, restaurants, nightlife to getaways even (linked through, Buzzintown is a clean, easy-to-read website. One can also make bookings for events and movies right here.
This is one of the city guide sites that covers multiple cities – 19 to be precise - including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Goa, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Thiruvananthapuram. Phew!

Compiled by Surina Sayal

Thursday, 20 December 2012

New Year Escapes from Mumbai

Matheran: Nature walk

It’s that time of the year again! New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and everyone’s wondering how to celebrate it. Fret not, as for those looking to head out of the city with family, friends or your better halves, we have a few ideas on where you could ring in 2013:


A quiet, peaceful hill station tucked away in the Western Ghats, Matheran is known for its red soil, vehicle-free surroundings and, of course, its monkey population. Dotted with a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses, a bustling market street, and surrounded by lush hills and valleys, Matheran is a getaway in the true sense. Chilly evenings draped with a velvety blanket of star-speckled skies, bonfires and a deck of cards can complete an enjoyable evening or two with friends and family.
Make it Happen: Situated 90km from Mumbai, local trains to Neral are the closest that run to Matheran. From here either take the toy train straight up to Matheran or a share-a-cab up to Dasturi Point (beyond which vehicles are not allowed) followed by a forest walk or horseback ride for the remaining 30-40 minutes. If driving, take your car up to Dasturi Point, park and walk or horseback it up.

Nasik: Red Red Wine

Wonderful weather coupled with acres of verdant vineyards make Nasik a wonderful setting for ringing in the New Year. Known to be an educational hub and a pilgrimage destination, over the past few years Nasik has also gained another reputation, that of being India’s ‘Napa Valley’. A number of the wine companies here host memorable New Year parties with free flowing wine, food and fun music. Go with family or friends and unwind over delicious local cuisine and a goblet of chilled vino tinto.
Make it Happen: Nasik lies approximately 170km from Mumbai and can be reached in a short 3 hours. A smooth drive over the NH3 via foggy Igatpuri makes for a scenic, comfortable trip.

Daman: Fishing boats bobbing around

This well-planned town is a wonderful seaside getaway and offers an escape into the bylanes of history with its imposing forts, heritage lighthouses and churches. Its past is evident in the blend of cultures seen here: Portuguese, Roman Catholic and Gujarati; thanks to which a unique assortment of lip-smacking cuisines are on the menu. Wash this down with the easily accessible duty-free spirits and begin that NYE countdown.
Make it Happen: Daman can be reached via the Mumbai-Gujarat highway (NH8) that leads to Vapi. From Vapi, a left turn and 10km to the west is Daman (190 kms from Mumbai, 4 hours away).

Saputara (Gujarat)

If a commercial hill station is what you’re looking for rather than the tried-and-tested Khandala-Lonavla, try Saputara in the south of Gujarat. This well planned and maintained holiday destination has an abundance of pretty gardens, lakes, waterfalls, and a national park, making it a wonderful nature escape. What’s more, many hotels host New Year bashes for guests who choose to revel yet be surrounded by nature’s bounty.
Make it Happen: A 5-6 hour drive from Mumbai, Saputara can be reached via the NH3 and the Surat-Nasik Highway.

Goa: The ever-popular Baga Beach
That ‘susegaado’ Goa comes alive around New Year’s is a well-known fact. Head down south to the beach state for a true-blue party weekend. Many large-scale beach parties featuring international artists are usually held in Goa each year. Take in the electric party atmosphere or simply kick back on a sandy stretch and bring in 2013 over a chilled pint or six!
Make it Happen: Goa can be reached via road, train or air. Flights to Goa operate on a daily basis and take just 45 minutes, while drive time is about 12-13 hours. An exciting getaway for the whole jing-bang and the neighbours!


The neighbouring beach getaways of Alibaug and Kashid are for those who want to get away from the chaos and crowds of New Year brouhahas. Stay at a nice hotel on one of these sandy stretches, enjoy delicious seafood along with the balmy sea breeze, and if you please, join in the merriment of folks celebrating New Year’s Eve at one of its many hotels.
Make it Happen: Alibaug & Kashid can be reached within 4 hours by road from Mumbai either via Navi Mumbai or the NH66. Alternatively, ferries to Alibaug leave Gateway of India for Mandwa Jetty at regular intervals daily. From here local vehicles can be hired to Alibaug and Kashid.

Panchgani : View from Tableland 

Wrap yourself in light woollens and explore the quaint strawberry county of Panchgani. Delightful Parsi-run heritage hotels here offer an old-world charm and a wonderful sanctuary to weary city dwellers. Enjoy the scenic valley views, try some of the local bakeries or sink your teeth into some delicious strawberry and cream, the area’s most famous offering. Better yet, take a walk through some of the strawberry farms and pluck your own fruit! A truly delightful and different way to ring in the New Year, we say.
Make it Happen: Panchgani is a 6-7 hour drive from Mumbai. Private buses ply this route daily. There are two ways to get there, either drive down the NH4 Mumbai-Pune Expressway or the older route, NH17. The little town makes for a pleasing getaway for couples and families alike.
Photographs by: Surina Sayal

Article as seen on Lonely Planet India website:

Monday, 10 December 2012

*CHRISTMAS MARKETS* - ‘Tis the Season to go Shopping

Tuck into some Lebkuchen, Stollen, Glühwein and Eierpunsch – all food items by the way! Shop for Christmas decorations and local handicrafts, enjoy music, dance and more at the much-loved traditional Christmas Markets that have made their way across countries and continents...

Christmas Market at Cologne Cathedral
(Photograph by Roshelle Fernandes)
Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Weihnachtsmarkt - Christmas Markets - street markets associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent - are known by many names across the cities and towns these are held in. Originating in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol and Alsace these markets are now seen in many other countries, even India!

Have a look at some of the popular ones across Europe:

Frankfurt Christmas Market, Germany: 
Dating back to 1393, the Frankfurt Christmas Market brims with history and tradition being one of Germany’s oldest and most popular Christmas markets. Go to this one to enjoy hot Applewine and Bethmännchen almond candies under Germany's tallest Christmas tree! Smaller sibling versions take place in the UK cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh, giving rise to international popularity, over the last few years.

Brightly-lit Frankfurt Christmas Market
(Photograph by Roshelle Fernandes)

Strasbourg Christmas Market, France: 
Strasbourg in eastern France has been holding its famous Christmas market the ‘Marchés de Noël’ around its remarkable cathedral since 1570. In addition to the spiced wine usually offered at the markets, those in Strasbourg have a tradition of spicy hot orange juice. Don’t miss the Bredle (traditional little delicious cakes) and Wine market here.

Vienna Christmas Market, Austria: 
The classic Christmas market or ‘Christkindlmarkt’ as known here in Vienna, Austria is held in the square in front of the splendid Town Hall. It is one of the oldest, dating back over seven hundred years and most popular of Christmas Markets being visited by millions of visitors coming in from all over the world. This market starts early – from mid-November – which is great for those wanting to avoid pre-Christmas shopping crowds. Here besides the crafts and foods, in keeping with the musical history of the city, there are also choir performances in City Hall and a daily performance by the Christmas tree.

Shop for Christmas goodies and decor
(Photograph by Roshelle Fernandes)
Prague Christmas Market, Czech Republic: 
The Christmas markets here known as ‘Vanocni trh’ are family friendly, with the largest being held on the busy Old Town Square. In addition to the usual fare of wooden toys and holiday décor, these markets in Prague also sell Czech specialties, like Bohemian crystal, marionettes (puppets) and ceramics. The food is slightly different from the German standard: though grog (a type of beer) sausage, gingerbread are offered, there are also vendors with corn on the cob and Trdelnik (cooked dough with cinnamon and sugar).

Brussels Christmas Market, Belgium:
In Brussels, the Christmas Markets at the Grand Place and Place St. Catherine’s area brim with activities for children and adults. A highlight here is the Fish Market that gets converted into a temporary ice rink! The food stalls dish out some delicious fare and don’t forget to tuck into some of the best chocolates – Belgian after all! Another highlight here is the 240 wooden Christmas chalets that set up during this time. Resembling gingerbread houses, these stalls are bedecked with twinkling with fairy lights and covered with snow-top roofs and sell a variety of Christmas items, decorations, gifts and Christmas season food.

So what are you waiting for?! It’s time to plan a holiday and include these markets in your travel itinerary. With all that food, shopping, and festive fervour, there's no doubt it will be a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, 30 November 2012


Planning a trip to the Sentosa Island in Singapore? Go beyond just revelling in the beauty of this exquisitely planned paradise and experience the 4-D theatre, explore The Underwater World, be enchanted by The Songs of the Sea musical, Universal Studios and lots more...

Situated just off the Singapore mainland, activity-filled Sentosa, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, is as fun as it is relaxing. (Sentosa stands for peace and tranquility in Malay).

Travel around the island in colourful open-top buses and trams as you try out the zillion activities available. Here's just some of the fun to be had:

   1.  Be amazed at Underwater World & Dolphin Lagoon
Walk through the tunnelled Underwater World and be overawed by the graceful sting rays and deadly sharks as they swim above you. Five-foot crabs, bright yellow seahorses, jellyfish and numerous exotic sea creatures call this place home. Later pay a visit to the pink Dolphins that will entertain and amaze you at the Dolphin Lagoon.

2.                Scream and shout at Universal Studios

Indulge the child in you at the Universal Studios that features 24 movie-themed rides and attractions, 18 of which are unique to Singapore! Be entertained by Shrek and gang in the Far Far Away Castle, meet characters from Madagascar and more. With countless rides and shows, entertainment, shopping and seven different zones - like Hollywood, Lost World, Far Far Away, New York, Sci-Fi City, Madagascar and Ancient Egypt - there’s ample opportunities to let your hair down with family or friends and escape into another world….or into many other worlds for that matter!    

3. Visit Mount Faber with the Singapore Cable Car
The Cable Car ride from Sentosa crosses over Singapore and gives you glimpses of the harbour, Universal Studios and zipping highways. It takes you to Mount Faber where you can relax on the terrace-top restobar, sipping a drink while taking in the lovely views of the city.

4.                  Enjoy Sentosa 4D Magix
Three D is old news, try the Sentosa 4D Magix where you will be surprised by water sprays, seat vibration, leg ticklers. All these effects and more will put you in the middle of all the action.

5.                  Climb the Merlion
A larger-than-life 37-metre high replica of the ‘Merlion’ - the half-lion and half-fish Singaporean icon - stands tall in Sentosa. Atop this icon you’ll be enchanted by the superb 360 degree view of the lush Sentosa Island and Singapore skyline.

6.                Enjoy the exciting Songs of the Sea musical

Watch this captivating entertainment show from an open-air viewing gallery where you’ll be mesmerized by projections on water sprays, a brilliant live cast, pyrotechnics, flame bursts, lasers and music. Really a unique experience and immense fun for adults and kids alike!

7.                  Take in sky-high views from Tiger Sky Tower
Take in the sights as you are elevated a stomach-twirling 131 metres in a disc-shaped air-conditioned cabin with glass windows all round, that revolves slowly as it ascends the tower’s column. It allows you panoramic views of Singapore's islands, and even Malaysia and Indonesia!

8.                  Be enchanted at Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom
This outdoor experience at the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom amazes with sights and sounds of an authentic tropical rainforest. Be transported to another world amidst fluttering butterflies at the picturesque Meadow Bridge and Butterfly Eden.

9.                  Take the Fort Siloso Tour
Explore old tunnels, real guns and cannons at Fort Siloso that houses the nation's largest collection of World War II memorabilia. A tram-ride down history helps illustrate the fort's role in defending the Malayan region. It also features exhibits that recreate the drama of those times with authentic aromas!

10.              Visit the Southernmost Point of the Asia Continent
Conclude your trip with a visit to the man-made Palawan Beach that offers vast open views of the South China Sea. A suspension-bridge walk across to this tiny islet brings you to the southernmost point of the Asian Continent!    

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


The Spanish festival, La Tomatina gained immense coverage in the hit Bollywood flick ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. Others like the beer-guzzler Oktoberfest, street carnival Mardi Gras, green fervour at St. Patrick’s Day Parades have gained great popularity across the globe as well. But there are numerous global festivals that one must experience at least once in this lifetime! Sharing with you an exciting must-attend list right here!

(Glastonbury Festival, pic credit:

1.       Glastonbury Festival
Commonly known as the ‘Glasto’, The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England. This festival is renowned for its contemporary music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts! While 2012 won’t see the Glastonbury festival, tickets for the 2013 festival will be on sale from October 7th, 2012 onwards.
Next festival date: 26-30th June, 2013
Official website:

2.       Rio Carnival
Who hasn’t heard about the Rio Carnival! The 4-day Carnival held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a wild celebration, starting 40 days before Easter. The colourful carnival parade is filled with people and floats from various samba schools. It is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets, with foreign visitors alone amounting to about five lakh every year! Got your tickets to Rio yet??
Next festival date: 9-12th February, 2013
Official website:

(  Rio Carnivalpic credit:

3.       Calgary Stampede
On a different note, the Calgary Stampede which is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival is held every year in July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary’s identity is tied to the event and it is known as the ‘Stampede City’. In fact, the local Canadian Football League team is called the ‘Stampeders’. Every July, the 10-day festival kicks in with concerts, dance parties, and competitive events like bull riding and barrel racing.  The city and its people don a festive atmosphere gearing up in cowboy themes. In 2012, the Stampede celebrated its centenary year from July 6 to 15, with a bigger and brasher than ever before celebration. What fun! Ready, steady, saddle up!
Next festival date: 5-14th July, 2013
Official website:

4.       Montreal Jazz Festival
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (Montreal International Jazz Festival) is an annual jazz festival held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It holds the 2004 Guinness World Record as the world's largest jazz festival. From its modest beginning in 1979, founders André Ménard and Alain Simard wanted to launch a Jazz festival of truly International scale. The festival now annually offers about 650 concerts, of which three-quarters are free of charge, hosting about 3,000 musicians, from over 30 countries and over 2.5 million visitors coming in from all over the planet. Shows are held in a wide variety of venues, from relatively small jazz clubs to the large concert halls, to cordoned-off streets, while others are in terraced parks.
Next festival date: 28th June-7th July, 2013
Official website:

(Full Moon Partypic credit:

5.       Full Moon Party
A party purely for the sake of partying! The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that originated in Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand on the night before or after every full moon. The first Full Moon Party dates back to 1985 where it was held to give thanks to about 20-30 travellers. This quickly gained fame through word of mouth, and the event now draws approximately 20,000-30,000 people every full moon evening with the party carrying on until the sunrise the next morning. The bars stay open and play R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae music.
Next festival date: 2012: September 1st and 30th, October 30th, November 28th, December 25th (Christmas Party), 28th and 31st (New Year Countdown Party)
Official website:

So if you thought India was the land of festivals, think again. Internationally too, Indians have been ‘party’ to countless carnivals and fiestas in some way or the other. We just love our celebrations, don’t we! So get your bags packed and schedules re-scheduled and hey, don’t forget your party hats!

Article as seen on Femina India website:

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Get a Mouthful of Sky!

Sky diving is a liberating experience and has found a spot in many a bucket list. Here are the top drop zones, (yes that is what they're called!!) where you should try it for the mind-blowing views...

(That's me!!Woohooo!)

1. Cape Town, South Africa

The blue waters of the Atlantic, the Table Mountain and Robben Island make skydiving in Cape Town a visual delight! On the way up in the aircraft, the view is awe-inspiring where to the South, the city lies between the impressive Table Mountain and bustling Table Bay harbour. Further to the south lie the shark-infested waters of False Bay and Hout Bay. To the West, one can spot Robben Island - where former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades during the apartheid era. Check out these views while you go for the stomach-wrenching jump 13,000 feet from ground level!

2. Dubai

Thousands of tourists have seen this particular emirate from the ground view, shopped at the gazillion malls, admired the tall structures of the Burj Khalifa and the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and some have even visited the impossible-turned-possible Palm Island and World Islands. But we suggest you take in these jaw-dropping views as you soar thousands of feet high above Dubai. This is ‘sight-seeing' like never-before!

3. Taupo, New Zealand

Easily one of the most popular skydiving destinations in the world, Taupo is a town on the shore of Lake Taupo, located in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. It offers jumpers spectacular views of Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park and the North Island's most active volcano. Enjoy these views while you can as you come screaming down from the skies. Just make sure you're not heading anywhere close to that bubbling volcano!

4. Interlaken, Switzerland

For a truly heavenly experience we suggest skydiving in the picturesque Interlaken where one is literally diving into the talcum white snow-capped jagged Swiss Alps. During the scenic flight up, the view of the all-white canvas of mountains will blow you away. It also takes you over two lakes through the Swiss Alps, allowing you views of magnificent peaks of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau. We can bet you're going to wish that time could stand still when you leap off that plane.

5. Hawaii, US

With numerous skydiving companies offering competitive packages in Hawaii's third largest (of eight) island, Oahu, you can take your pick but the view at any of these locales is to die for!. Drink in the gorgeous views of Waikiki, Honululu and places around - rich in lush greens, mountain sides, waterfalls, active volcanos, sandy strips of beaches and the ocean. Celebrate your courageous leap of faith on one of the stunning beaches at sunset with a tall colourful cocktail drink, topped with a twirly umbrella of course!

Article as seen on Femina India website: