Category: General

Three Great Gardens of Japan

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Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, Koraku-en in Okayama and Kairaku-en in Mito are the Three Great Gardens of Japan (nihon tien). These are the three most famous gardens in Japan. The gardens symbolize the setsugekka which means snow, moon and flowers. These gardens are traditional gardens built for the purpose of expressing and symbolizing native rituals and beliefs and moulding8 landscapes to an idealized form. The gardens were created for the relaxation and recreation of the upper class. Nowadays due to the modernization the concept of the gardens has changed and it is appreciated as an art by all people. The basic idea of the gardens have its roots in China as the concept was established by missionaries from Asian mainland. It was after that the Japanese Imperial court modified the ideas to suit their own style. Emperors and nobles were the first to establish Japanese gardens.

Kenroku-en (Kanazawa) 42454419

Kenroku-en is Japan located in Kanazawa in the Ishiwaka prefecture. Maeda Tsunanori in the year 1676 began the work of its construction and it was developed over a period of two centuries. The garden is well known for its mixture of conflicting elements of spaciousness and seclusion. The garden is constructed on the basis of the theme unbroken space, so that it allows a person to see a good portion of the garden from anywhere on the grounds. The person who enjoys solitude can also find many nooks in the garden. Kaiseki pagoda is one of the popular attraction on the island in the centre of Hisago-ike pond. Kanazawa catle park has got free admission for the people but Kenroku-en garden charges three hundred yen for three adults which is equivalent to three US dollars. One can reach the garden in ten mins from the Kanazawa station by taxi.

Kairaku-en (Mito)

Kairaku-en is located in Mito in the Ibaraki prefecture. The lord of Mito clan Tokugawa Nariaki ruled the region at that time and constructed the park in 1842. He constructed this garden with the thought of sharing its flowers with the royals. Tokugawa Leyasu, a descendent of the Shogun made this garden public in 1841. The best time to visit Kairaku-en is during plum blossom season as it is renowned for its plum trees. During this time one can see over hundred varieties of plum trees each with its own different shade of red, pink and white. The park also has the reputed Kobuntei, a place where all the intellectuals were entertained from all over the country. This garden has free admission but to enter Kobuntei one has to pay hundred and ninety yen which is equivalent to two US dollars. The garden can be reached in twenty mins by bus from Mito station.

Koraku-en (Okayama)

Koraku-en the last one of the three great gardens of Japan is located in Okayama in Okayama prefecture. The feudal lord of Okayama Ikeda Tsunamasa constructed this garden in 1700. This was built as a place for entertaining significant guests and also as a retreat for feudal lords. The place is known for its colours all year round. One can see plum and cherry blossoming in spring, in summer irises and lotuses, in fall maple trees fiery red leaves and place of white in winter. They charge four hundred yen for adults which is equivalent to 4 US dollars and hundred and forty yen for children which is about 1.40 US dollars. The garden can be reached in ten minutes by taxi from JR Okayama station.

Christmas Holiday Destinations

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The best way to spend time with family and friends is during a vacation and if the vacation is during Christmas, nothing gets better than this. Christmas is celebrated almost around the entire world with much joy and enthusiasm. Every holiday destination is unique and enjoyable during the Christmas season. Let us take a look at some of the famous destinations around the globe where you will have utmost fun in various ways.

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New York looks fabulous and invitingwith white snow, colorful lights, pretty decorated trees and brightly lit stores. Though it gets really cold during Christmas, these enchanting sights of the metro city will not dampen your spirits. The Rockefeller Center is one of the main attractions in the city with a 70 feet conifer that is decorated with five miles of Christmas lights. You could also enjoy ice skating there. If nothing, just a lazy walk down the lanes of this lively city with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand and admiring the zillion sparks of colorful lights from the many many stores is a treat to the eyes.

What is Christmas without a Santa Claus? The Santa Claus Village which is also known as Europe’s Christmas capital is located the foot of the Arctic Circle. It has Santa themed parks that has a real reindeer, a tour of Santa’s workshop. Every year around Christmas this place attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world to witness the marvel of Santa Claus.

Caribbean is another classic Christmas destination. With its warm weather and a nature friendly place, you definitely do not want to miss this awesome place. The famous islands to visit are Barbados, Tobago, Anguilla, Dominican Republic. With some of the world famous beaches present here you can have a fantastic vacation with many things to do. You could also rent a Caribbean villa for a family together.

Reykjavik in Iceland offers a beautiful Yule Town Christmas with a city filled with peculiar Christmas traditions. You could also get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The winter trips to Iceland is very exciting with its humungous glaciers, warm hot springs and geysers, epic volcanic craters and cascading waterfalls.

Provence in France has music played in medieval churches that is perfect for the Christmas festive feel. There is a huge Christmas market where people throng and celebrate with fervor and joy. The lights across these cobble stoned streets are a pretty sight which can not be missed.

Nuremberg in Germany boasts of an impressive Christmas market with over 200 vendors who put some excellent stalls to compete for the most beautiful stall design award. There are some breathtaking historic castles and museums to visit here in Nuremberg.

Barcelona in Spain is worth a stay during the holiday season. The city looks magnificent with canons, fireworks and a huge parade of camels, elephants and giraffes. The pristine beaches, the modern art and architecture, the mountains all are a beauty in Barcelona. This is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Spain and is a major tourist attraction.

Durango in Colorado offers a mountainous Christmas with no much hype and fanfare. Its serene white snowy surroundings relaxes your mind and helps you celebrate a peaceful Christmas. You could try skiing in this famous ski spot.

World’s Best Islands

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The world is a perfect place with diverse destinations around every corner to rejuvenate and revive the human soul. The word holiday by itself stirs up joy iSkopelos island, Greecen our minds. Among all the wonderful holidays you could ever have, beach holidays are the best. There cannot be one person complaining of a perfect beach holiday. Everybody loves the sea, sand and the sun. It is the only place where you can get dirty and still have the time of your life. Talking about beach holidays, here are some amazing island destinations to motivate you on a perfect beach holiday.

Beach holidays:

There could be no other place like a beautiful island to spend your holiday. A crystal clear beach and a platter of seafood is a dream come true. Here are some of the beach destinations if you consider spending your holiday season at the seafront, snorkeling and all.

Skopelos Island, Greece:

Nothing could be more pleasant than a fine Greek holiday. Skopelos Island is a perfect place for every visitor. It’s tranquil hilltop havens, clear beaches and authentic Greek cuisine is a magical combination. If you want to have a silent vacation free from buzzing tourists, then this is the ideal spot for you. This place has little visitors and it is yet the most enjoyable place for a quick vacation.

Canary Islands, Spain:

This is an amazing archipelago of seven unique islands distinguished from each other with different personalities. This place has a pleasant year-round climate ideal for year-round holidays. These are a group of volcanic islands with breathtaking panoramic views and sandy beaches. Each island has an airport for easy access. They have exotic spa retreats as part of holiday packages.

Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia:

Bora Bora, the pearl of the Pacific is indeed a dream destination to most of the travel enthusiasts. The pristine cerulean waters, the exclusive over the water bungalows hovering over the lagoons, the magnificent Mount Otemanu, the lush green volcano surrounded by beautiful islands, all of this sounds like a fairy tale. This is what Bora Bora is all about. It ranks #2 in the world’s best places to visit and the best and the most expensive honeymoon destinations. How cool is that? Here are some travel tips to help you discover Bora Bora, the most beautiful island in the world. As Bora Bora is a very expensive place, the best thing to do is to visit off-season when the rates will be comparatively less than the usual seasonal rates. This way it would be more affordable for you to have a comfortable stay and enjoy all the goodness of the island without burning a hole in your pocket. The best off-season to visit is between December and March.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India:

These are a vast group of about 300 islands dotting the Bay of Bengal so brilliantly. This magical archipelago is one of a kind with its exotic white, sandy beaches lined with palm trees, extraordinary mangrove backwaters and lively rainforests deep inside. The islands have no bounds for entertainment with fishing, scuba diving, skiing, water-surfing, Oceanside camping and hiking as well. Not to mention it has the most wonderful grounds of coral reefs that is home to some of the exotic species of sharks and stingrays. It is indeed the most visited island in all of India.

Dubai Shopping Festival 2016

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dsc_8581The Persian Gulf coast in the northern coast of the UAE will be the world’s most glamorous place from January 2016 to February 2016 as the Dubai Shopping Festival celebrates its 21st anniversary. Fashion fanatics and shopping enthusiasts around the world are eagerly looking forward to explore this extravagant gala. This shopper’s paradise is getting ready and it is on its full fledge to entertain hungry shoppers and travellers of all ages groups.

This month long festivity has so much to offer with 50 grand malls around Dubai and several traditional Arabian souks selling exotic items along the twisted passageways. These souks are the exact places where you can bargain on your favourite products before hitting the mega malls. Grab your best pieces of gold jewellery at the Gold souk at incredible prices. Take a stroll along the souk Al Bahar to experience the air filled with the scent of fresh spices.

This luxurious event is not limited just to shopping alone, but it has no bounds when it comes to sheer entertainment and fun. Lively music shows and concerts by renowned international artists, Fashion shows hosted by international brands, fun-filled indoor and outdoor sports and an array of gastronomic treats are all here at DSF 2016 to make each and every moment very special for you and your family.

The good news is that DSF is not all about satisfying the upper end travellers, it also about offering a memorable trip to an average traveller with a limited budget. If budget is your problem, DSF offers just the right solution for you. This treasure trove is full of surprises to satisfy your fashion needs. You can delve your hands into the genuine international luxury brands available at huge discounts from 50% and above. This is your one and only chance to do duty free shopping on a variety of designer clothes and accessories, footwear, jewellery, carpets, spices, perfumes and handicrafts. To top it all, they have new rewards and contests held every day. This is your turn to try your hand at the Infiniti Mega Raffle 2016 to win AED 500,000 worth of prizes every day.

If you are looking forward to have a fabulous beginning in the upcoming year, then DSF is where you should be. Start your life in style and boost your senses right here with all the luxury that you truly deserve. Shop the Dubai way to enjoy a unique shopping like nowhere else. DSF 2016 promises a fabulous shopping experience to every traveller. So grab your tickets to experience life at Dubai Shopping Festival 2016.

Solo travel tips for women

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Travelling solo as a women traveler can be both exciting and challenging as it has its own risks. But you definitely got hope to avoid those risks by being cautious about the place you travel. Women travelers often find themselves in challenging situations like theft and harassment. But by taking a little extra effort in educating yourself about the place you travel will help you to pre-plan and gives you all the time you need to get geared up for the travel. Here are some useful tips that will enable you to have a safe and enjoyable travel.

Be confident:

Get rid of your fears and try to be confident. When you are in a foreign country, don’t give chances to strangers by being vulnerable. Put up a confident attitude and make an impression that you are well aware about the place. Keep a local map handy so that you can refer for directions whenever you need. In case you are lost, know where to approach. Do not ask directions to strangers. Approach another woman or a family or a shop or a well crowded place to get directions.

Be resourceful:

When you are on foreign grounds, dress like a local. Try to learn a few important words of their colloquial language so that you can use them to confront locals the right way. Always have some money with you. Have the map handy. Have some of the local emergency numbers like the police which might help you in case something goes wrong.

Avoid night strolls:

Avoid touring at night. If you want to go out, tour the place in the daytime. Going out at night can be very dangerous for you as a solo female traveler. No matter wherever you go, know the directions to reach your place of stay. If you want to use the ATM, use it only during the daytime. Also use an ATM located in a crowded area.

Say no to cabs:

You could be surrounded by compelling cab drivers. Be careful not to go in these local cabs which are totally unsafe. Use the public transport system like the bus or train. They also charge nominally and are extremely safe for you.

Choose good hotels:

When you choose your accommodation, be sure not to go for hotels located away from the city. Always opt for well-known hotels located within the city. If it is somewhere closer to the local police station or hospital, it would be fine.

Update your social status:

Always make it a point to leave the breadcrumbs of your travel. Post your pictures then and there on your regular social media platforms. Inform your family beforehand about this and give them a timeframe. Ask them to check it on a daily basis and if you don’t post anything for more than 4 days that means something is wrong. This will allow your family and friends to know your whereabouts. In case something goes wrong, your people will be able to track you from these vital clues.

Follow these simple tips to enjoy a safe and interesting travel.

Adventurous travel places for kids

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Kids are hard to please members in the family. They are very selective about what they eat, what they watch and where they want to go. They hang out only with their ideal pals who share their likes and dislikes and attitudes. They are smart and informative so much that we can learn a lot from them. With these implicit qualities we have to be extra careful in crafting the best holiday travel to treat their senses. To help you in doing so, here are a few very interesting places around the world that are not only interesting to you but also to your toddler or teenager.

African safari:

The Zambia African Safari takes the centre stage when it comes to an adventurous safari in the wild Africa. This is the apt safari experience for your kids to be awe-inspired with a complete Africa experience. The highlight of this expedition is the top-notch animal view. The best part of the trip includes the 300 ft Victoria Falls, tiger fishing, canoeing, and rafting in the Zambezi River and bungee jumping. The Livingstone Island at the brink of the waterfall is the perfect place to gaze at the rainbow and swim towards the infinity pool. The South Luangwa National Park offers a three-day walking safari that gives you a chance to spot exotic creatures and a pride of lions. The Puku Ridge overlooking the wetlands gives you a chance to spot the elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, impalas, leopards, rhinos and hippos. What more could fascinate your kids than this safari filled with shrills and thrills.

The Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon, Bryce and the Zion National Parks are the best grounds for an adventure of the American Southwest. This is a wonderful opportunity for the kids and teens to go on an all-hike and all-bike tour through the high-desert landscape. The north rim camping site is an amazing camping site right at the Grand Canyon. Kids can ride mules while the adults can enjoy a windy hike down the Kaibab Trail. The Bryce Canyon is the next stop for another interesting hike from a maze of arches and pinnacles. Teens can enjoy a biking trail through the blue spruce, Douglas fir forests to rainbow point which is the highest lookout at Bryce Canyon.

The Galapagos Islands:

The ultimate kid-friendly destination like no other is the Galapagos Islands. This wonder world has clear sandy beaches where the exploration starts for your kids. They can sit and wait while curious sea lions provide company. Kids can spend all day on the waters or on beaches without getting tired. As part of their adventure, they can venture into the waters, snorkeling along with the 306 species of fish. They will be amazed at the glance of sea turtles nest. Kids get a chance to play with the marine iguanas or paddle in the water alongside white-tipped reef sharks. The beaches are bordered with the beautiful moss-draped highlands that can be explored on an interesting hike trail. These highlands are the living grounds to the giant tortoises that roam freely and do not hesitate to say hello to the kids.

Great Alaska:

The Glacier Bay at Alaska is your ultimate chance to sneak out from your regular boredom and enter into the bay of dreams. Unlike the Alaskan Cruises that offer you only a bit of Alaska, you can choose to go aboard your own base camp and come face to face with sea lions, minke whales, humpback whales, pods of orca and otters, up-close and up-front. Small boat expeditions are available for kids to venture out to explore the beauty of hidden inlets, coves and calving glaciers. Kayaking and running skiffs to the shore gives you the time to track bears, walkout onto a glacier and pick wild strawberries. Back in the bay, explore the moss-draped forests and wildflower meadows and listen to the amazing underwater whale calls with a hydrophone and enjoy a meal of fresh Dungeness crab for dinner along with kids.

Top tips for a healthy travel

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A vacation sounds great. It is exciting the moment we even think about it. But too much excitement takes you off-road from seeing the real picture. Of course, a jolly good travel uplifts you physically and mentally but you must never forget that it could come with a few unpleasant surprises too. So it is very important that you prepare yourself to encounter those culprits that tend to ruin your holiday mood. Here are some simple tips that will be of vital help for you to have a safe, healthy and happy travel.

Get vaccinated:

Discuss with your doctor to find out if you have to be vaccinated specifically for any disease that could possibly harm you in the place where you visit. This absolutely depends on the country you visit. By getting the proper vaccination, you can stay safe even in a place where hygiene and healthcare are major issues. Your safety measure will keep you safe from disease causing germs, insects like mosquitoes and other harmful elements.

 Keep your first aid kit handy:

Give priority to your first aid kit while packing your luggage. You may have to deal with a lot of issues like nausea, headache, jetlag, cramps and so on. So make sure to include a liquid hand sanitizer, a couple of Avomine tablets to deal air-sickness and other prescribed drugs to treat stomach problems. Also include some bandages and Neosporin to treat wounds and cuts.

Stay dehydrated:

Drink plenty of water throughout your journey. This will keep you calm and relaxed during long flights. This will also help you take frequent trips to the toilet which helps you to move around. This way you can have a little exercise. Avoid alcoholic drinks on the plane as those drinks might deprive your sleep.

Pack your sunscreen:

Don’t ever forget to pack a good sunscreen lotion in your luggage. It is very important to protect yourself from the harsh sun and heat. Especially, if you are on a beach vacation, using a branded sunscreen lotion is a must.

Change positions:

Staying in the same position during long flights will hurt your legs. This could cause muscle pain and blood clots. As a result you will find difficulty in walking normally. So keep changing your position often. Walk down the aisle at regular intervals to keep the blood flow normal.

Eat light:

Don’t get excited and try all of the local food available. Look for hygienic eat-outs. Particularly, if you have food allergies, stay away from those meals that you suspect of containing such ingredients.

Beware of bugs:

Bug bites are annoying. They could ruin your entire vacation and also after that. When you check-in to a hotel, make sure you don’t let the bed bugs bite. Place your luggage somewhere in an open shelf. Don’t place it on the ground or on the floor. Check the beddings, if you find bugs, inform the authorities to clean the room or ask for another room. When you return home after the vacation, be sure to clean your entire luggage thoroughly so that you will not spread those bugs in your house.

These are some of the useful tips that will help you prepare for a healthy travel.

World’s top 5 museums

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Museums, as we know, are houses of treasured artifacts that are of historical, scientific or cultural importance. The articles conserved are the priceless possessions of any museum. A popular museum will be known for the quantum and worth of the articles it preserves. Other aspects like architecture, location and, cultural and historical value of a museum are taken into consideration while assessing its popularity and worth. On the basis of these aspects, here are the most popular and noteworthy museums from around the world.

1.  Le louvre, Paris, France

Paris is one of the most adored places of the world with a number of historical sites. It hosts the best known and the most visited museum of the world- Le louvre. It was originally the fortress and palace of medieval kings of France, until the 19th century. Le louvre was inaugurated in the August of 1793, displaying 537 paintings. As of today, it holds about 35000 objects which are centuries old. The museum has a glass pyramidal structure at the entrance, which brings together the scattered parts of the palace. The objects include preserves dated since ancient times till the early 19th century. The “Sully Wing” is the heart of this museum. World renowned collections like the “Mona Lisa”, “Venus de Milo”, and “Winged Victory of Samothrace” are found here. A tour to Paris is complete only if you make it to this timeless museum.

2. State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Russia is hardly popular for its artistic attractions. One of the few such attraction centres in Russia is the State Hermitage Museum at St. Petersburg. It conserves over three million inestimable articles dating back from the Old Stone Age till the early 20th century. The museum consists of exemplary works of da Vinci, Picasso, Gauguin, van Gogh, Goya, Cézanne, Titian, Tiepolo and many more. The prime attractions of this museum include the Treasure Gallery’s Gold rooms which present golden masterpieces from Eurasia, the Black Sea Littoral in antiquity and the Orient.

3. The British Museum, London, England

This museum, embraces archaeology and ethnography and is the largest of its kind. It showcases over eight million objects varying from prehistoric bone leftovers to some chunks of Athens’ Pertheon. Others such as the Assyrian palace rooms and exquisite gold jewels are some of the noteworthy insights of this museum. The Egyptian gallery at the British Museum portrays the world’s second finest assortment of Egyptian antiquities found outside Egypt. It includes the famous Rosetta stone, chiselled in 196 B.C.

4. The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

The highlight of this museum lies with its “Gallery of Slopes” at the ground floor. A transparent slope of glass covering, gives a spectacular view of the excavations preserved underneath. Findings from the sanctuaries, smaller shrines and settlements developed on the slopes of Acropolis are showcased here. Yet another important attraction is the frieze of Parthenon which is fixed on a structure that replicates the dimensions of the Cella of Parthenon. An exclusive feature of the Acropolis museum is that, it lets the visitors take views from all dimensions for every object preserved as they are displayed open.

5. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome

The Vatican museums are located on the borders of the Vatican City, founded by Pope Julius II. The “Collection of Modern Religious Art” at the Vatican museums, boasts the artistic works of painters and sculptors like Carlo Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico. There is this group of Sculpture museums which house around 800 awe-inspiring sculpted works of over 250 world renowned artists. Several other sections like the Tapestries, Chapel of Nicholas V, Minature Mosaics and Ceramics, here in the Vatican Museums, are adorable and worth a visit.

Countries that Offer Best Food

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Thailand

Thai foodFor a healthy, fast and spicy food Thailand cuisine is the best choice. Thailand is full of yummy treats from noodles that are fried with spices, to juicy steamed pork and curries that are World famous. They all come with exotic sauces of all sorts. Thailand is the ultimate destination for foodies who want their food served in time for a lesser price with a good amount of healthy vegetables. Picking will be a great task as the cuisine offers so much of variety and whatever chosen is guaranteed to be cooked to perfection.

France

For people with classic taste France is the country. It will take quite a taste to beat the boeuf bourgignon on a chily night or a generous slice of the tarts with cream or a good serving of onion soup. There are a varied reasons why France is always in the top of the best country with good food. The complex sauces that are served with cold meats and shellfish are a tasty treat to the palate. It is a visual treat to look at the fresh produce displayed and the

Tips for booking tours online

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The mere word HOLIDAY brings a smile on everyone’s lips especially with mercury soaring all around us. Weekend getaways and planning for summer holidays becomes the only topic of conversation on breakfast table, among families.

Holidays and package tours go hand in hand. With most of the things available just a click away or ordering through Flipkart, checking for package tours on the net is a must. With so many lucrative offers and tempting schemes in newspapers, online or just people talking about it, one cannot refrain oneself from checking the options available.

As every offer or product comes with a warning, there are certain important points one has to keep in mind while booking package tours. They are as follows-

Planning– The success of a good holiday depends on how good is the planning for it. If the tour is well planned with a proper itinerary then the money spent on the complete package turns out to be quite nominal. Last minute planning would leave a gaping hole in the pocket and a situation where one is a beggar than a chooser.

Budget– Like every perfect dish carries the most important ingredient SALT to taste,
similarly, budget for package tours play a pivotal role in terms of number of days, type of travel arrangement, places to visit, shopping and type of accomodation.

Advertisements/ Reality– Internet is flooded with numerous travel sites offering many deals including discounts, tickets,transfers in case of foreign trips and photographs of the accomodation. But Beware because many a times ,the reality is the stark opposite of ones expectation.Generally in hurry to do the bookings, people ignore to read the fine print which might carry vital information. Doubts creep up in terms of actual payments including taxes, the strict timetable one has to follow, the meals being offered and extra payment for it and also the hygenic factor in terms of washrooms and bedlinen. If terms and conditions are not properly looked into, the whole holiday could turn out to be a case of sour grapes.

Important Documents– It is always advisable to carry ones passport, pan card, voter I card

Credit cards, booking papers, photographs, photocopies of important papers, emergency contact numbers and basic medicines for precaution. These are of importance for verification and also for transactions.

Site Seeing and Shopping– As dry ingredients and raw products are necessary for a dish, no holiday is complete without visiting the places of interest, tasting local cuisine and carrying momentos and souveneir of the places visited. If one opts for a tourist guide, it is a big possibility that he would take only to his specific or fixed places. Sometimes the hotel is at a large distance so a lot of time gets wasted in commuting. It is aiways better to check the official websites or government retail or wholesale shops along with bargaining to buy the desired items.

Holidays play an important role in getting families spend quality time with each other so it is of utmost importance to check, recheck and verify with reliable sources for a rejuvenating holiday