Browsing CategoryAsia

I was recently in Seoul on an assignment. When I was told I’d be headed to South Korea my heart nearly exploded with joy. It’s a country that has been on my never ending wishlist and I was finally going to tick it off. It also has an incredible array of food and Korean cuisine with its bulgogi and korean bbq has been one I really couldn’t wait to explore. So image my surprise when I’m told that my assignment is to cover the ongoing Halal Restaurant Week in Korea. Halal ? Korea ? Huh ? That was my reaction.…

I still can’t fathom why it took me so long to visit Nepal but I will say that I’m glad I finally got here. I think a big turn off for me is that this is a trekkers country and the idea of hiking up a mountain for days hold very little appeal for me. However witnessing the majestic sight without the laborious trek is more up my alley which is why Pokhara turned out to be such a wonderful surprise. Pokhara is what is commonly referred to as the Gateway to the Himalayas as it’s where a lot of…

A very well respected lady in the hospitality industry once told me  “a hotel is a hotel is a hotel is a hotel”. It sounds like the silliest statement but it made complete sense to me. Hotels across the world are the same. The format is the same in terms of multiple dining spaces, an all day cafe, recreation, even the layout at times seems familiar. What really makes one stand out from another is the overall experience and my 2 very comfortable and rather short lived nights at the Shangri La Colombo made me remember this peculiar statement. It…

For a Mumbaikar a weekend getaway often means Lonavala, Pune or someplace close by. Pushkar is seldom features but the truth is, it really should. This small Rajasthani town with it’s crazy holi celebrations, backpacking tourists and pretty lanes and temples is a wonderful place to visit. What makes the getaway truly marvellous is when you stay at the Westin Resort & Spa in Pushkar. Westin is a global brand that needs no introduction and this relatively new resort in Pushkar is a haven of tranquility and greenery. The USP here is their approach to Wellness keeping with the 6…

Nepal’s culinary landscape takes heavy inspiration from its neighbours ll its local highlights evokes a sense of familiarity for me. Be it the Dal Bhat that is their staple or the thali or the remarkably delicious Chinese fare or even the street style chaat. It isn’t uncommon to find samosa with chole and dahi puri in the street corners of Kathmandu nor a big plate of steaming fried rice. They’re all dishes that I find back home in India but with a distinct Nepali flavour. Regrettably I didn’t have enough time or opportunity to dig deeper into rustic local fare…

For someone who still squeals at the sight of a lizard and has yet to accept that a garden frog will not kill her, I am shocked at how deeply in love I am with wildlife. If I could, I think I would do a minimum of 5 visits a year to different jungles. I had hear great tales of how stunning Chitwan was in Nepal and tried on a number of occasions to plan a trip but to no avail. Last month thanks to a gracious invitation by the Nepal Tourism Board I finally  made it to Chitwan and…

When I think of travelling, I have this terrible habit of avoiding the countries closest to me. Any rational human being would pick something that’s close by but I always think that it’s so close, it’s not going anywhere I can always visit later. This is the only reason why it has taken me so long to visit Nepal which is literally a 2 hour flight away from me. It’s also the stupidest excuse, a thought that occered to me  after 10 days in the country. I realised 3 days into my trip what a grave mistake it was to…

India is a diverse country and the cuisine is possibly it’s biggest tresure. Hyderabad is a haven for foodies with a voracious appetite. There’s Andhra cuisine, Telangana cuisine and then there’s Hyderabad’s famous Mughlai cuisine. During the holy month of Ramzan, the old city comes alive at night and the streets are flooded with restaurants and vendors selling some of the most delectable food. Biryani kebabs, haleem, sweets, falooda and even fresh juice, there is an abundance of food available and thanks to the ingenious team at the Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel I was able to sample some. I’ve had…

When you think of a tiger safari in India, jungles like Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgadh or Ranthambore. The big jungles that have a loyal fan following and eager safari enthusiasts voraciously recommending them. What most people don’t realise is that India has nearly 50 tiger reserves and is possibly the best country in the world to spot a big cat. With everyone flocking to the 10 most popular reserves, it’s the smaller parks that get left behind but are equally stunning and home to big cats as well. Last minute planning in the peak of what is commonly called Tiger Season…

Tourist often visit Thailand and flock to the beach or enjoy the fast pace of Bangkok. For a more local experience I’d highly recommend travelling East, just 245 kms away from Bangkok to the sleepy town of Chanthaburi. While it might not currently be on the tourist trail like the Koh islands or even Chiang Mai up north, it’s got its own appeal that seasoned travelers now find charming and most importantly untouched by throngs of tourists. You can visit the temple where a 100 year old pagoda is situated, shop of semi precious stones ( sapphires and emeralds anyone…