Top 5 Things to Do In Switzerland

Think Switzerland, think Yash Chopra. Switzerland wasn’t just a ‘place’ in Mr. Director’s movies; she was an impeccable beauty who enchanted the viewer. While our steeped-in-Bollywood Indian sensibilities beg of us to dance in the lush Swiss fields and address every woman as ‘Senorita’, there are things apart from these to do in Switzerland; activities and experiences that must be done and lived, at least once in your lifetime.

1.       Meet SRK & Kajol at Jungfraujoch

No, I am not kidding. It is SRK and Kajol (their cardboard cut-outs dressed in DDLJ costumes) who will welcome you in Jungfraujoch, the highest point in Europe. Once in Jungfraujoch, visit the Ice Palace and Sphinx Observation Terrace and get your family photograph clicked, dressed in local attire. It is a given that you will play in the snow and when the cold gets too much, sip on the sumptuous hot chocolate served in the local canteen. Divine!

 2.       Cheese and Chocolate

No trip to Switzerland is complete till you gorge on delectable chocolates and down mouthfuls of cheese. Visit local eateries and treat yourself to the world’s best cheese fondue; visit chocolate factories/stores (Lindt, Nestle, Sprungli) and allow sinful chocolate to purge your soul.

 3.       Train-ride

One of the best ways to take in Switzerland’s beauty is to embark on a train-ride. There are many train services to choose from but one that is chosen most often in various Switzerland tour packages is The Glacial Express. This train travels between St. Moritz and Zermatt and makes for a gorgeous journey as it crosses 291 bridges and passes Rhaetian Railway, a World Heritage Site.

4.       Go hiking

Switzerland has thousands of well-marked trails, so it only makes sense to go hiking to experience the natural beauty this destination has to offer. Some Switzerland packages include hikes along the Zermatt Lake Trail whereas others allow you take in the country’s history on the Swiss Path along Lake Lucerne.  No matter the trail you choose, be sure to wear comfortable clothes and boots.

5.       Explore Lucerne

Lucerne has many sites to see and activities to offer. In the morning pay a visit to the Lucerne Lion Monument and get move by its simplicity and splendour. Then walk through the Chapel Bridge that was built in the 14th century and reach the main shopping district from where you absolutely must buy watches. Once the walking and shopping tires you, take a serene boat ride on Lake Lucerne and wear your tiredness off as you witness a magnificent sunset.

Allow Switzerland’s beauty to enliven you and you will come home rejuvenated and recharged.

Author Bio:

“Hilonee Furia”

Sometimes I wish I was Shandler – quirky like Sheldon and sarcastic + funny like Chandler. But then, I am me. The girl who needs her life to be a collage of small joys, brain-tickling conversations and as impulsive as it is cautious.

Top Islands of Greece

When I think of Greece (Hellenic Republic) today, two things come to my mind: Greek mythology and Greek economic crisis.

When, just for a moment, I rid my mind of the grandeur of the past and the emergency of today I see before me a land of unparalleled beauty and grace. Located in South-East Europe, Greece is surely one of the less-explored-yet-outrageously-gorgeous destinations of the world. The country primarily has a mountainous mainland and its indented coastline and several islands result in it having one of the longest coastlines in the world.

Yes, you must visit Greece at least once in your lifetime and when you plan to, here are the islands that you must head to.

Santorini

Greece travel is incomplete without a visit to the island of Santorini. Santorini, named after Saint Irene, is a group of volcanic islands and offers one of the most breath-taking sunset views in the world. The beaches have emerald waters and black + red volcanic sand. There are sufficient luxurious and budget hotel options to choose from and the tiny Santorini villages perched on top of cliffs make for a perfect romantic setting.

Mykonos

Mykonos is located in the Aegean Sea and can be called a party island. Mykonos has its share of pristine beaches but most importantly it has an adrenaline pumping nightlife, a cosmopolitan vibe and a thriving gay community. Given the vibrancy of this island, it tends to get very crowded. So if you want some me-time or want to be left alone with your partner then this isn’t the place for you.

Crete

Crete attracts its fair share of tourists but it isn’t very touristy. This island offers picturesque resorts, deserted beaches, and tiny cafes serving sumptuous food as well as challenging trekking paths.  If you want a fun yet relaxedGreece holidays then Crete is where you must head.

Rhodes

If you wish to mix culture and history with beaches and long party nights, then Rhodes is the island for you. Home to the ‘Colossus’, one of the previous Seven Wonders of the World, you can take a ferry from the Piraeus island to get to Rhodes. Alternatively, you can charter a flight. The island has a number of museums that you can visit and offers multiple and equally good resort and five star accommodation options.

Greece tours almost always include a visit to all or at least one of these islands. In case you decide to customise your travel then make it a point to include a visit to these islands if none other.

 

About Author:

“Hilonee Furia” 

“Sometimes I wish I was Shandler – quirky like Sheldon and sarcastic + funny like Chandler. But then, I am me. The girl who needs her life to be a collage of small joys, brain-tickling conversations and as impulsive as it is cautious.”

The Dubai Shopping Festival

If Dubai’s glitz and glamour have you clamoring for more, and if retail therapy is your thing, then the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is the place to be. Now in its 18th year, this annual shopping festival is a collage of culture, entertainment, good food, fun and retail. This time around, the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) has come up with the slogan “Dubai at its best” to promote the 32 day long festival that commences on the 3rd of January and goes on till the 3rd of February, 2013. Extremely attractive Dubai tour packages await eager shoppers from all over the world.

Dubai Shopping festival

Every year the Dubai Shopping Festival is an extravaganza that has something for everyone. Are you looking for jewelry? There are gold souks where you can pick out some of the most exquisite pieces to take back home. Are you lusting after that Gucci bag? Well, you may just get a heavy discount on it at the DSF. So right from branded products to antiques and handmade carpets, you have it all under one roof. Kids are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment, what with an amusement park open throughout the duration of the festival. A Global Village which showcases culture and heritage from different countries is a huge hit among tourists.

This year, the highlights of the festival include a street fashion show, performances by the famous Cirque de Soleil, and a Carpet Oasis which will display Persian and other exquisite carpets. Dubai’s famous landmark, the Burj Khalifa will host the world’s highest catwalk. Shah Rukh Khan, popular Bollywood star, will kick off his tour “Access All Area” with a performance at the DSF 2013, and this is a lure for not just Indians, but fans from all over. The Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a golf tournament slated to take place between January 28th and February 3rd, is expected to see some big golfing names in attendance. A Tea Oasis which will offer gourmet teas from around the globe will thrill tea drinkers with its variety.

Dubai Shopping Holidays

Dubai holidays are elevated to a different level by the Dubai Shopping Festival, and if you’ve been waiting for great deals on anything ranging from cellphones to cars, this is the place to check them out. Dubai tours and Dubai tour packages around this time of the year come at very tempting fares and you can go shopping guilt-free!

About Author:

Nandini Muralidharan is an engineer-turned-writer, possessive bibliophile and a travel junkie. She loves love collecting random bits of information about any place she visits, and weaving a story out of it. An obsessive photographer, she records any memory of a place from the beautiful Helsingor castle to the “Delizia icecream – keeps you tongue tied” signboard on the highway. Currently, she writes for WeAreHolidays.

Floating Markets in Bangkok

Thailand earlier depended heavily on its rivers and canals for trade and transportation. Even now, it does, even if not as much, and now there is the added icing of tourism. Floating markets in and around Bangkok give you a glimpse of the Thai way of life, one of hospitality, vivacity, and culinary excellence. Thailand holidays are incomplete without paying a visit to these floating markets, indulging in some bargaining and enjoying some local treats. Fresh fruits, vegetables, handcrafted jewelry, embroidered handbags, and various other trinkets are sold on boats at these markets. Quite often, Thailand packages offer boat cruises along these floating markets.

floating-market-in-Bangkok

The Taling Chan market is located in Bangkok city, and is a conventional Thai market frequented mostly by locals. You will see fewer tourists here compared to the other markets outside the city such as the Damnoen Saduak or the Amphawa. It operates on weekends only, and it is a good idea to reach slightly early, around 8 am. Take a long-tail boat cruise along the canals and watch the vendors sell their ware. Sample some excellent roasted seafood that is served in the floating restaurants.

Even before it featured in a James Bond film a few decades ago, The Damnoen Saduak floating market was already popular among tourists. If you want that perfect shot of the vibrance and color of a Thai market, this is where you should head. Traditional puppets, handbags, the wide-brimmed hats characteristic of the Thai, and a variety of knick knacks can be found here. Most Thailand tour packages offer a trip to the Damnoen Saduak market. Located in the Ratchaburi province, this market is always brimming with tourists, but it is also always teeming with life. So don’t let the fact that it’s a cliched tourist experience put you off, because it’s well worth a visit when you’re in Thailand.

Drive an hour outside of Bangkok, and you will be in Samut Songkram, home to two famous markets, the Amphawa and Tha Kha. On your way, you will see traditional Thai houses and several salt fields on either side of the road. The Amphawa sees fewer Western tourists than the Damnoen Saduak. Pick up a few souvenirs here, they’re less expensive here than in the other markets. Sample some local pastries and if possible, go on a Firefly Tour, which takes you to spot thousands of fireflies after dusk.

The Tha Kha is a 10 or 15 minute minute drive from Amphawa, and is an equally authentic Thai experience. Take a boat ride along the market, and perhaps also visit a local palm sugar factory.

A visit to a floating market in Thailand is an opportunity to see life in Thailand, as it is. The friendly faces of the locals as they yell out to each other, the sweet coconut pancakes and delectable Pad Thai, the hundred different colors of the landscape – it’s all here. So the next time you’re checking out Thailand holiday packages, make sure you have a trip to at least one floating market on your itinerary.

About Author:

Nandini Muralidharan is an engineer-turned-writer, possessive bibliophile and a travel junkie. She loves love collecting random bits of information about any place she visits, and weaving a story out of it. An obsessive photographer, she records any memory of a place from the beautiful Helsingor castle to the “Delizia icecream – keeps you tongue tied” signboard on the highway. Currently, she writes for WeAreHolidays. At WeAreHolidays she is responsible for writing about holiday packages.

Top 5 Holiday Destinations in Thailand

I recently spoke with a friend from Philadelphia, who spent three weeks in Thailand. Three weeks? I wondered what all the fuss was about. His excuse was some coveted sun, sand and waves; but if I tell you to visit Thailand to soak up some sun, you’re going to hit back with a speech about how you’ve had enough sun for years to come and if I push it, you’ll pack your bags and run away to Goa – sending me some pictures of you soaking up the sun, just for good measure. But, think tuk tuks, glittering temples, cheap shopping, food and go-go bars and you’ll be out the door in a jiffy.

Thailand1

Where to go in Thailand depends; will you be with kids or alone? Do you want to lounge around a beach searching for the perfect Thai massage (Wat Pho in Bangkok is a good place to start) or see the inside of a temple? Whatever it may be, I’m sure you’re already doing your research, so to help you out (or confuse you just a tiny bit more), here are a few destinations you should add to your list.

Bangkok: It’s a cliché, but can you imagine coming off a trip and not having seen Bangkok? They say you can soak up a lot of Thai culture, but if you’re not motoring through tourists and bargaining over cheap clothes, you’re not in the right place. Shop till you drop by all means, but don’t miss the grandeur of the city because you’re busy looking at shoes. The city has some spectacular temples, the Floating Market and the beautiful Grand Palace, all of which you must see.

Koh Phangan: This one’s for the young and the young at heart. Home to the famous Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan is also a beautiful, beach-y place off-season. It’s not a family destination so avoid it with children. But, it’s great for all-nighters, good music and the sound of waves.

Koh Mak: If you’re tired of running around, have had your fair share of bars and tourist attractions and want some peace and calm, head over to the serene Koh Mak. What’s to see? Stunning stretches of sand, pristine, clear blue waters and coconut plantations.

Kanchanaburi: If you’re a fan of old war movies, you can’t miss seeing the bridge over the river Kwai in person, can you? The famous World War II Bridge, cool weather and museums across the city make it a good place to stop over. If you want to backpack, relax by a river, soak up some historical sights and archeological wonders, this is the place to be.

Krabi: Include a trip to the Phi Phi islands to get your fill of sun and sand when you’re here. However, for lush, verdant hues and a spectacular cave or two, this is the place to be for sanctuaries, national parks, lagoons springs and falls.

Planning a tour to Thailand? Book a holiday package to Thailand from WAH Holidays with lots of options to choose from Thailand tour packages.