Kite festival of Malaysia

With a Malaysia holiday package this season, you may experience some really out-of-the-world moments. The World Kite Festival of Malaysia is all set to begin on 18th February. The 6-day festival shall be held at Pasir Gudang and is going to lure tourists and photographers in large numbers. Needless to say that this internationally acclaimed kite festival is amongst the top kite festivals on the planet and is a famed annual event. It sees participation from kite designers from around the world and is a glorious ceremony for both the revelers and the kite-makers.


From February 18-23, Malaysia will be under the grip of the kite fever and if you love kite or art in its most colorful form, you should make your presence felt too. Competition and contests will take place no doubt and the prizes to be awarded on 23rd will add the icing on the cake.


You can simply watch in fascination the plethora of kites painting the skies in all colors. You can also run through the numerous shops and stalls where you can either browse or buy (or both) the huge assortment of kites. They can be plain, they can be funky and they can be outrageously whacky. They can take all shapes and sizes and many designers manufacture kites which assume shapes of a popular comic figure or some endearing fictional character.


As for the main festival, it witnesses contestants in hundreds. They are all too eager to showcase their skills. It is also enthralling to note that each contestant brings something new from his/her country. Since the kite designers and the kite-flyers hail from different countries, their kites reflect the various cultures. So, at any point, you will find all these kites floating together in the same sky under the same cloud and creating an interesting dichotomy.


School children too take part in the festival with unrestrained enthusiasm. In addition, workshops are also held. So, if you do not know how to fly a kite or in case you want to improvise on your skills, you can learn a thing or two from these workshops.

Malaysia, with its kites or without them, is nevertheless an absorbing destination. Full of landmarks, restaurants, markets and malls, it finds a place in the best honeymoon packages.


From Keswick to Windermere

One of the towns in Cumbria that provides access to the fells is Keswick. The town was originally famous for the production of graphite pencils but has recently bid adieu to the industry that lasted three centuries. While serving as one of the launching pad for the lakes of Cumbria, the town is also renowned for hosting a Christian gathering, a film festival, a beer festival and a jazz festival. The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway was in operation from 1864 to 1972. A new company bearing the initials of the erstwhile company has been attempting to reopen the line, initially between Keswick and Penrith. Keswick is 17 miles to the west of Penrith. The business has been structured as a public limited company and has raised funds from the public for the purpose. In the future, proposals of the company are to extend the line to Workington and Appleby.

Parts of the A66 are built on the rail line that ran from Workington to Keswick but which was wound down in 1966, earlier than the stoppage of the link to Penrith. CKP Plc expects the link to renew business interest in the region.Penrith is situated on the West Coast line which can act as a connecting point for travellers from the south. The extension of the line to Keswick is expected to be utilised by nearly half a million travellers to the lakes of Cumbria. Boutique Hotels Windermere and the hospitality industry are not the only expected beneficiaries from the reopening. The economy in Keswick is expected to benefit from the increased traffic and the creation of jobs. One of the biggest benefits is estimated to be made through savings of fuel as car travel stands to be reduced.


Traffic will be a corollary beneficiary of the line according to the planners. Many stone and metal bridges are in good condition which is a boost to the proposal. The population of Keswick is just under 5000 while that of Penrith is upwards of 15,000. The population of Cockermouth is between that of Keswick and Penrith. The rivers Crocker and Derwent join together at Cockermouth. The distance between Cockermouth and Penrith is 30 miles. From Cockermouth, travellers can access the lakes of Crummock Water, Loweswater and Bassenthwaite.

From Keswick, the A591 can be taken to connect to Kendal via Windermere. The drive from Keswick to Windermere is a very popular stretch. Derwentwaterlake is approachable by walk from Keswick. Another attraction in Keswick is the Castlerigg Stone Circle which is five thousand years old. Travellers can tour the local brewery by booking tickets online. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are not currently available for the rest of 2014. The available tour tickets are those for the remaining days of the week. Derwentwater has many activities for visitors from mountain bike trails and a tour of a slate mine. A boating service provides a 50-minute ride on the lake while tourists can get down in between and climb on board later.

My bachelor’s party in Pattaya

I had heard a lot about nightlife in Pattaya but had never experienced it until last month when I finally headed to this destination. Thailand has always lured Indians since it is quite close by and is perhaps the cheapest foreign destination which is there to be had. Besides, with cities like Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya amongst others, who needs any other place in the world? Pattaya, true to its notorious reputation, lived up to the billing. I was hoping to have a full-on blast with my gang of friends without any curb on the number of glasses drowned or on the time spent outside after midnight. Since most of us are about to get married off, it was also one last hurrah for us bachelors who have been on many Indian trips and excursions together.


The immediate image which comes to mind when one thinks of Pattaya is Walking Street after dusk. This place is the real hub for the party animals. If you are a freak who revels in the neon lights and sound of music, you better be at Walking Street for your Pattaya nightlife. The zing, the ambiance and the crowd will have you swooned. Plus, sex sells like anything out here. There are strip clubs where you can just go and have your glass of alcohol while hot girls will strip live on stage before your very eyes, dressing down to their itsy bitsy lingerie. Though, me and my friends didn’t wish to get embroiled with the sex girls, despite the natural temptation, I am sure that they do not have any dearth of clients. So, unless you know how to control your urges, you may just find yourself in a very hot bed. But a note of caution which I would like to float out is that Pattaya’s girls are not safe to get laid with. Cases of HIV have been rampant and it’s no secret that many of these girls carry STDs. So, better stay out of the real stuff and just drink, party and have fun.


Bachelor parties can also be organized on the beach. On a certain evening I remember, we just decided to spend the entire night on the beach. It was really awesome though it was turning a bit nippy by around midnight and we decided to head back to the warm comforts of our hotels. Next, I may revisit the city albeit with my wife. I have found myself browsing the net for Pattaya honeymoon packages for the last few days.


Top 10 pilgrimage sites in India

With India holiday package, tourists can take a breather from their silly hectic lifestyle and go soul-searching to spiritual destinations. Thankfully, the country is inundated with pilgrimage sites and most of them have nature and history to offer as well. So, even if you are not into divine destinations, you can still visit them and have your kind of fun. Here are the top 10 pilgrimage sites in India (in no ranking order):

1. Jagannath Puri: Orissa’s Jagannath Puri town is well-known for its temple of Lord Jagannath and for its Swargdwar Beach. So, traveling to Puri involves both beach-time fun and temple-hopping.

2. Tirupati: Tirupati’s Tirumala Temple is an ode to Lord Venkateswara and is counted amongst the richest temples in the world. Situated in Andhra Pradesh, it is a temple which is visited by rich and poor alike, sportsmen and celebs in unison. Serene hamlets and quiet parks & waterfalls make this place a happy retreat for nature lovers as well.


3. Vaishno Devi: The caves of Vaishno Devi in the state of Jammu & Kashmir may entail a rigorous journey, but for the most pious men and women, these caves are amongst the places to visit in India before you die.

4. Haji Ali Mosque, Mumbai: Mumbai’s Haji Ali Mosque is a spiritual attraction as well as a tourist spot since this holy landmark stands on a narrow strip of land in the middle of the sea.

Haji Ali Dargah

5. Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Varanasi is one of the holiest towns in the country and its Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the major stopovers for a devout pilgrim in his journey to spiritual life.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

6. Meenakshi Temple: Down south in Madurai, you will come across Meenakshi Temple, another beautifully engineered architectural piece which is entombed in divinity.


7. Amarnath: Jammu & Kashmir again finds a mention for its sacred cave of Amarnath. It is difficult to reach the place and requires peak fitness, but young and old make the journey alive (or dead) at least once in their lifetime.


8. Dakshineswar: West Bengal’s Dakshineswar is another pilgrimage site which is very famous. It is also steeped in Indian history and is the abode of Goddess Kali.


9. Haridwar: India holiday package often recommends Haridwar to both local and foreign tourists for its fast-flowing Ganga, the crowded temples and the evening ghat aarti.

Haridwar aarti

10. Shirdi: The bhakts (disciples) of Sai Baba find the ultimate form of peace and salvation once they reach this small town in Maharasthra and pay their homage to Baba’s memorial.


Best places to eat in Singapore

Some people rate a place based on the gastronomical delights and varieties it has to offer. On this count, Singapore should get 9 on 10, if not a full 10 on 10. With Singapore packages, tourists book themselves up for things which give more pleasure than a Federer’s backhand or a Depp’s maverick grins. After all, if you are a foodie, there is no bigger pleasure than the sight of a waiter trudging in with a tray full of your favorite things.

Here are some of the best places to eat in Singapore:

Jalan Sultan Prawn Mee:

If you are into prawns, this restaurant located at 2 Jalan Ayer should be a really satisfying place for you. While prawn noodles are its USP, you can also expect to discover some really crunchy crabs and relish-worthy cuttlefish. This place is good for breakfast, brunch and lunch. It stays closed on Mondays.



To savor a taste of local dishes in authentic traditional style, Immigrants at 467 Joo Chiat Road is a recommended joint. Here, the style is rather archaic and you can rediscover your love for heritage dishes. It opens its doors at 5 pm daily and is a great place to slip in for a supper or a dinner.


Andhra Curry:

Just so that you don’t miss your Indian food, we would recommend Andhra Curry. Located at 41 Kerbau Road by Little India, this is a rather quirky-looking restaurant where you can find some drool-worthy Hyderabadi biryani. At the same time, it is a strong contender for serving the best south Indian dishes in the whole of Singapore. So, this is one to keep an eye on!

Andhra Curry

Maxwell Food Centre:


Try as we might, we just couldn’t put Chinatown out of the list. So, this age-old Maxwell Food Centre had to find a mention. When you are in Chinatown (a top attraction that features in almost all the Singapore honeymoon packages), you have got to sniff your way through scores of stalls and eateries which collectively make up this food centre. While you can devour almost anything, ranging from chicken to noodle to what not, your wallet doesn’t need to suffer since the food out here is pretty cheap.