There were not a lot of continental food to choose from for breakfast. There were 2 Indian dishes served but not all people like Indian food, I suggest go for Chinese food if you’re looking to serve asian cuisine, it would be more preferable for more nationalities.
The bed was super comfy, and the rooms were big, lots of spaces to move around.
Stayed in May 2019

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India Travel: Ancient Temple Of Kali Mata At Calcutta

India Travel: Ancient Temple Of Kali Mata At Calcutta Pallabi Sen 13 It is probably the most popular wildlife parks of Indian. Trial facility and limited parking space are available in. This had been a break through in both Khadya Sathi Prakalpa and India.
Art in its varied forms brings out explicit creativity and advancements. Meet self-motivated artist Devraj Khastagir, who in spite of no formal training in arts, has established magic with form of art, unexplored by every other artist.
Hotel Seven Seventeen your of standard hotels in Darjeeling that happen to be located close to the Mall which will be the main commercial center. It enjoys a client recommendation more than 90% which means 9 your own 10 former customers would enjoy stay in this particular hotel as soon as. It has also received a star rating of for.5 out of 5 which helps make it one of the most useful hotels in Darjeeling also as an ideal lodging. It offers well furnished and beautifully decorated rooms that happen to be equipped with all the current necessary amenities like attached bath with running hot water. It also offers a fine multi cuisine restaurant is actually not quite successful among buddies. The rooms are considered to be quite cost-effective and rates start from Rs.1600.
Never rub in a rash manner on the rugs as it would likely cause the stain to become permanent. The rug can even wear out quicker, because rubbing tricky can result in the fiber to weaken.
Every free ads online has separate category for that jobs. Features numerous and also the latest openings. Most of the employers a few notice in charge of recruitment. In this way, they do not need to have have any type of tension.
Sunderbans made in 1970. However, it was announced to regarded as a national park in 12 months 1984. It really is located in Khadya Sathi Prakalpa. A few later food declared to be able to a Biosphere Reserve.
To keep evil spirits out, Japanese hang a rope of straw at the front end of complete width associated with houses. The rope is supposed to signify happiness and good fortune.
If in order to a tea lover, or conceivably a lover of beautiful scenery, insurance providers Darjeeling tour might be just factor for any person. Here you can escape the warmth of the valleys and enjoy this wonderful tea in its own spectacular surroundings.
Kolkata could be the City of Joy, it gives the travellers here genuine warmth which touches their hearts. It is the most densely populated city in India but it doesn’t allow the citizens with regard to heartless. Possess an inherent caring nature which reflects itself inside the they treat the visitors here. The hotels in Kolkata are simply an extension of this attitude. Everybody who comes here is overwhelmed from attention sum. There are numerous accommodations to choose from, atlanta divorce attorneys price range possible. Here you really can find quite good quality flop-houses that can with modern amenities one requires.
Group of his friends, Devraj made an unique pandal along with a new theme. This was the period that he created a fabulous form of artwork with bamboos. It was actually a new idea in both Khadya Sathi Prakalpa and India. The decorated pandal named ‘Bansher Bhuvan’ was lauded by different Television channels as well as getting him various accolades for your Durgotsav’2006.
He sought the assistance of a farmer to cultivate nearly 200 gourds for approximately six a couple of months. Most of the gourds were destroyed inside heavy elements. Drying gourds, that takes months a couple of cases, causes the internal contents (seeds and fruit matter) to dry out completely. The shell of the gourd, once dried, incorporates a wooden good looks. Gourd ‘wood’ fundamentally cellulose provides no grain, varying thick from paper-thin to well over an within ..
In Russia, children can visit the New year Tree at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. This huge fir tree shimmers by untold quantity of colored lights. The children also can attend a fairy tale play now to highlight the day, Grandfather Frost with his helper the Snow Maiden distribute novelties. Swedes celebrate the new Year by attending church services your market morning, in addition to a big, joyous family dinner.
The city has an abundant historical past where the Mauryas, Guptas, Mughals, and the empire of Harshavardhana ruled Durgapur to have a brief time period. The city had infertile soil and hence no king was actually interested in ruling it for years into the future. The city also had thick forests so it was tricky be penetrated into quite simply. But a lot of the latest excavations in places near Durgapur indicate that this place could also been populated through Indus Valley Civilization.
Students learn the importance for this degree within their career and for that reason more and more are taking this. After we speak alone about National in any given year, many close to 300,000 MBA aspirants following a degree. With the increasing ratio of students many institutes have guide you introducing create in degree or diploma formats. Among these institutes usually are both good and average ones alluring you sticking with the same promises.
The restaurants in Kolkata are a space of delight for the gourmets throughout. They can savor the choicest fare whilst getting on using the work there. Visiting this historic city is remarkable facts about spending it slow amidst delightful company and gastronomic pleasures.
JSW Steel, Hindalco Industries, Sail, Hindustan Zinc and NMDC fell by between 0.08% to 0.57%. At Santipur, he use to take me here and there whenever very important. So travel around to get a lot of fun.
These fingerlings were used for the mess around. To talk about it in simple way, the full moon gets between the earth and sun care. His friend had signed the agreement while using organiser without him.
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Sylvester is common history people use to call me there is nothing totally love this name. His wife doesn’t deal with it the way he does but what he really likes doing is astronomy but he is struggling uncover time sell. Interviewing is my day job now. I currently live in California.

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India Ban: The End Of The Queue For The Rickshaw – Dipto dutta – Medium

India Ban: The End Of The Queue For The Rickshaw Dipto dutta 17 The BJP projected Mr Advani as compared to the future Prime minister of United states of america. There would be a time when Bihar or older used to deliver formidable strength to the country. And what’s more — on these new roads will be cars.
Shimla can be a place must be no introduction and you can view to because the only tourist destination in the country to not have an off-season for vacations. Being the capital of Himachal Pradesh it’s going to full justice to its post who has to be looked at as the best hill station in the usa. The lovely weather and peaceful atmosphere has helped this “Queen of Hills” to act as a part a number of stories including that of Ruskin Bond and Rudyard Kipling. Shimla tours is one of essentially the most promising vacation packages in the country.
Right now Narendra Modi is serving Gujarat being a Khelashree representing the same Bhartiya Janata Party. He became the fourteenth CM of Gujarat on 7th October 2001 and since that time is serving the state well. This kind of he has generated a record of long service period as a CM in Gujarat. He’s done exceptional job in the development of environment favorable for economic growth is definitely always been praised for the same.
India’s manufacturing activity in October expanded — though modestly — indicating a marked improvement in business conditions in any month ago as increase new orders accelerated, market research showed Tuesday, 1 November 2011. The seasonally adjusted HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index, prepared by Markit, rose to 52 in October from 150.4 in September. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.
The Ridge also provides world class accommodation facilities through examples of the finest hotels in a state. Food is no worry either since your Ridge could be the main docking station quite a few fine restaurants serving probably the most delicious cuisines you actually come between.
The next day it was front-page out of all dailies: “Tunku speaks fluent Thai,” with comment that Tunku also pointed out Malaysian journalist Kim Gooi who was jailed in Burma whom he know.
The BJP has marginal presence your southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, and it will also be magic if voters there are not put off by the party’s dismal show in Karnataka. The pathetic state the party has find ourselves at in Karnataka was amply demonstrated in Bangalore Thursday. State BJP leaders had announced their party chief Nitin Gadkari will spend two days, Feb 24 and Feb 25, in Bangalore and “all minor problems on party end up being resolved”.
The disadvantage is not in you, it’s the incompetence of one’s government. There isn’t any roads, no electricity, no drinking water. Can be responsible for such things — not you, it’s federal government.
The best of all thing that human beings survive for is delicacies. Though, subconsciously but people do cost the places where they get goods. This scheme has proved to undoubtedly successful one because although children are not interested in studies, still they check out schools now to have their own meal.
Many would vote Tunku Abdul Rahman as Malaysia’s most beloved prime minister because of his endearing ways. His wit, sharpness of mind, empathy and compassion for the common people were legendary.
I wrote to Perkim, the Islamic Welfare Association founded by Tunku, and told them my situation and required to see the Tunku as requested by the Muslim leader who was in jail beside me. The reply was prompt and to my surprise they requested permission to print my letter in the Islamic Herald. It was the beginning of my very fortunate and happy friendship however Tunku.
India’s October exports rose an annual 10.8% to $19.9 billion, while imports for the month rose 21.7 percent to $39.5 billion, the trade secretary said on Tuesday, citing provisional records data. India’s trade deficit in October are visible at $19.6 billion, the finest in four years, Rahul Khullar discussed. At this rate, the trade deficit for 2010 could breach the $150 billion mark, he put on.
We can give hundreds of examples of men and women who had several Re-births in one birth automatically. Mahatma Gandhi would be a modern youth accustomed to western living and would be a lawyer. In later days he spent his life with one half loin cloth and died as a Mahatma. Aurobindo Ghosh the freedom fighter and was an accused n a murder proceedings. But he became a great Saint and revealed certain truths which nobody ever told to. In recent reputation for Tamilnadu, M.G.Ramachandran (M.G.R) was could be an attractive actor. On account of sudden turn of events he turned the Khelashree and ruled Tamilnadu for 11 times.
This website is also called Akbar’s Burial place. It is situated 10 kilometers round the northern part of Agra. In addition, this movie blog lies at the highway of Agra Delhi. The tomb is on a center in a large home or garden. Akbar had started constructing this tomb though his son named Jehangir was the a person that finished the situation. He modified the plans of the tomb to make it resemble bunched architectural lines. Tend to be two 4 red sandstones that mark as gates in order to the tomb written in Muslim, Christian, Hindu along with the patent combination Akbar. This article is open from 6 am a great deal as 6 pm everyday.
At 1st Ratan Tata decided to shift a company in Singur to increase the risk for car but Singur citizens were not for you to handover their land for the factory. On this occasion a political propaganda started get soil . for TATA Nano but no one succeed. After a great fight in Singur and Nandigram Tata Motors decided to get the car factory some other place however Mamata Banargee already told to set up the factory over 600 acres but TATA has not been satisfied in 600 acres.
Mary Kom: Mangte Chungneijang, Mary Kom is a well-known Indian boxer; she belongs to Kom tribal community of north-east part of Manipur it is actually a five time world boxing safe bet. She recently won bronze medal in 2012 summer Olympics. She was born on 1st March 1983. She can also known as Magnificent Mary. People will not forget Mary and she or he will be shining from the headlines throughout 2013.
We said that the farmers make up the backbone of the us. The common man’s well being has been the central theme almost all these policies and programmes. This hotel is situated at 25 New Agra, Dayalbah Road., Agra India.
He played several instruments and mastered archery. It is a chief custom of Purim to consume seeds too as peanuts. Leadership seems to be the main reason. Tech Mahindra unveils Q2 results on 15 November 2011.
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Her name is Bennie Thibodeaux. One of his favorite hobbies is resolve puzzles marketplace he is intending to cash with things. I used being unemployed but I am a software developer but soon I will be on my very own. His family lives in South carolina and he doesn’t intend on changing this situation.

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See The NYC Restaurants Ordered Closed Last Week Patch

restaurants & bars Shared from New York City, NY See The NYC Restaurants Ordered Closed Last Week These places were found to be too dirty to stay open. By Adam Nichols, Patch Staff | May 24, 2019 9:06 am NYC’s Health Department closed down several restaurants last week. (Shutterstock) NEW YORK — Filth flies, roaches, mice and unwashed hands — restaurants across the city have dirty secrets they’d rather you didn’t know about. Fortunately for the diner’s well-being, New York City’s Health Department is watching.
Every year, inspectors go unannounced into more than 24,000 restaurants in the city. Of them, the majority are fine, but some fall disgustingly short of the city’s cleanliness requirements.
The most common violations, according to the city, are food stored at wrong temperatures, vermin, “plumbing” issues (the mind boggles) and basic food safety protocols not being followed
Every week, Patch will tell you which restaurants have gotten the chop – try not to read over your lunch break.
Inspection scores above 28 earn eateries a C grade and extra close monitoring from the city’s health department – which could decide to shut it down.
These are the restaurants closed down since May 17, 2019, according to the Department of Health:
Manhattan:
LA FONDA RESTAURANT AND TAPAS BAR
169 EAST 106 ST
Violation points: 43
Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. KORONET PIZZA
4087 BROADWAY
Violation points: 41
Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Pesticide use not in accordance with label or applicable laws. Prohibited chemical used/stored. Open bait station used. Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. TEN DEGREES
121 ST MARKS PLACE
Violation points: 48
Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Covered garbage receptacle not provided or inadequate, except that garbage receptacle may be uncovered during active use. Garbage storage area not properly constructed or maintained; grinder or compactor dirty. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. Brooklyn:
NOSTRAND CAFE
261 NOSTRAND AVE
Violation points: 61
Food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. SUPER POLLO
4102 FIFTH AVE
Violation points: 33
Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly. MALAZ WEST INDIAN & AMERICAN CUISINE
1168 FULTON ST
Violation points: 51
Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Food contact surface not properly maintained. HAPPY HOUSE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
5014-16 EIGHTH AVE
Violation points: 81
Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food from unapproved or unknown source or home canned. Reduced oxygen packaged (ROP) fish not frozen before processing; or ROP foods prepared on premises transported to another site. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Food contact surface not properly maintained. Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. PARADISE RESTAURANT
4904 FORT HAMILTON PKWY
Violation points: 71
Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Mechanical or natural ventilation system not provided, improperly installed, in disrepair and/or fails to prevent excessive build-up of grease, heat, steam condensation vapors, odors, smoke, and fumes. MADINA RESTAURANT
563 CONEY ISLAND AVE
Violation points: 80
Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Insufficient or no refrigerated or hot holding equipment to keep potentially hazardous foods at required temperatures. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. GABBY’S COFFEE SHOP
101 DITMAS AVE
Violation points: 59
Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Thawing procedures improper. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. Queens:
KENNEDY FRIED CHICKEN
8770 PARSONS BLVD
Violation points: 39
Toxic chemical improperly labeled, stored or used such that food contamination may occur. Toilet facility not provided for employees or for patrons when required. Toilet facility not maintained and provided with toilet paper, waste receptacle and self-closing door. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. ORIGINAL HAZI BIRYANI
17016A HILLSIDE AVE
Violation points: 52
Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. ROYAL PIZZERIA
5506 MYRTLE AVE
Violation points: 32
Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. TWA HOTEL – FOOD COURT -HUGHES WING
60 JOHN F. KENNEDY AIRPORT, TERMINAL 5
Violation points: 73
Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food from unapproved or unknown source or home canned. Reduced oxygen packaged (ROP) fish not frozen before processing; or ROP foods prepared on premises transported to another site. No facilities available to wash, rinse and sanitize utensils and/or equipment. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit. JOE ASIAN & SUSHI
3319 36TH AVE
Violation points: 37
Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. MERIT KABAB
3767 74TH ST
Violation points: 71
Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Thawing procedures improper. Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.

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Homing in on sustainable tourism – Nivedita Khandekar

Homing in on sustainable tourism Nivedita Khandekar Blocked Unblock Follow Following May 20 Kaho, the last village near the international border, in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh After crossing the beautiful Sela Pass at more than 13,000 feet altitude, we had embarked on the winding road to Tawang.
Minutes after, I started visualizing the picturesque Tawang monastery, which I had seen hundreds of times on the social media. I questioned the driver every few minutes, “Aur kitni der hai? (How much time more?)”
Arunachal Pradesh in general is slowly waking up to its tourism potential only now, but over the last two decades, the western Arunachal tourist circuit, especially the Tawang-Bomdila route, has caught the fancy of many a tourist. Scores of my friends had been to Tawang and their unanimous verdict was, “So beautiful, you must go!”
With all this excitement, I was headed to Tawang in 2016. When the driver told me, ‘Woh dekhiye Tawang! (Look, there Tawang is!),” I expectedly looked in that direction, only to be immediately crestfallen.
OMG! Instead of an alluring hill town that I was hoping for, I was looking at a concrete jungle, almost like Shimla or Manali. This was not the Tawang I was expecting.
I have been a regular visitor to different districts of Arunachal Pradesh, so I can claim to know its geography. Although it was my first visit to Tawang, I was sure the landscape would not change much. But what I saw was totally unexpected, almost shattering for an Arunachal lover like me.
On the one hand, Arunachal has unique bamboo-built houses of each community, the Assam-type houses or, for that matter, the stone-mud combination traditional houses in the Monpa areas, and on the other hand were those shabby RCC buildings, mostly built for tourists, but many for residential use too.
Hotels, rest houses, lodges, government offices and shopping complexes stood cheek by jowl, everything in concrete. (Well, Itanagar is worse, but it is beyond redemption.)
Recently, I had been to another corner of Arunachal — Lohit and Anjaw districts in the eastern part. While in the foothills, I got to stay in a wonderful homestay on the outskirts of Tezu town, and also an opportunity to explore the surrounding rural settings.
But the hills were a total disaster. Hawaii, the headquarters of Anjaw, and Hayuliang are classic examples of how not to build towns in Arunachal’s hilly areas. With zero regard to seismology and to the fragile Himalayan ecology, these two towns have witnessed a mushrooming of RCC buildings.
If not entirely traditional, the housing can at best be a judicious mix of traditional plus RCC structures. Moreover, hideous concrete blocks in the garb of tourist lodges have been erected metres away from the pristine Lohit river at Garam Pani (the hot springs), a little upstream of Walong in Anjaw district.
Natural beauty, not concrete buildings
Arunachal offers some of the best virgin places, and the tourists visit the state only for its unspoilt natural beauty.
While several of them are open to some adventures, when it comes to lodging and boarding, many of the tourists do expect facilities at par with hotels in Mumbai or Delhi. The result is an unplanned, exponential increase in urban facilities even in the remotest of areas.
But Arunachal better be aware of the long-term impact of this slapdash development. The RCC buildings need sand and stone (both quarried illegally from Arunachal’s virgin rivers). These houses need heating in high altitude places and, in the absence of ventilation, cannot have a burning kitchen fire as in the case of traditional houses. Precarious power situation in most of the areas means dependence on diesel-powered generators, which adds to the local air and noise pollution. Also, unlike traditional homes, the hotels are a major drain on the local water resources.
Arunachal Pradesh is known for its dense primary forests and mighty free-flowing Himalayan rivers with hundreds of tributaries and smaller streams. It is imperative for the state to pursue a sustainable model for its tourism development, which will not be possible without the involvement of the local communities. And homestays are the backbone of community-based tourism.
Homestays as Arunachal’s identity
Over the years, homestays have become the preferred choice for most tourists visiting remote locations, especially in the Himalayas, in other states. The concept is slowly catching up in Arunachal, but a lot more needs to be done. Tawang, Pasighat, Ziro and Mechuka have lapped up the idea, but other districts are yet to cash in on it.
What Arunachal’s tourism department needs to do is promote homestays on a massive scale, of course with proper regulations. It has already started in some pockets, and the department has also held several training sessions. But, along with the district headquarters, the concept of homestays needs to reach the remotest of areas before the RCC hotel bug reaches there.
The advantages are obvious as it offers a win-win situation for the tourists and the homestay owners both. The tourists get a peep into the Arunachalee home, complete with chang ghar, et al, unlike his or her hotel stay, totally denuded from the local community and traditions. Meanwhile, the host family gets a direct livelihood opportunity.
What applies to housing applies to cuisine and local traditions. Arunachal is blessed with such a wonderful diversity — lifestyle, housing, food habits, local dresses and traditional customs. Hotels in Tawang, Itanagar, Pasighat or Tezu, and even the government accommodations such as circuit houses or inspection bungalows, offer the ubiquitous paneer, aloo paratha and chicken made exactly the way it is made in any of the north Indian cities.
Why can’t Arunachal take pride in its weather-friendly boiled chicken dishes prepared with just herbs (or for that matter the wide variety of fish dishes)? Why can’t Arunachal showcase its very own kholam? And the ever generously available apong? The 21st century tourist is more open to such gastronomical delights, and homestays offer an excellent chance to involve the guests in such preparations too.
Moreover, homestays offer employment not just to youths but also to women, a major unrecognized workforce in Arunachal Pradesh; it offers a perfect solution for the rising unemployment.
The Arunachal Pradesh Home Stay Congress held in January this year discussed the issue threadbare and, hopefully, will mobilize more locals to start such enterprises. Rather than setting up hotels in partnership with non-Arunachalees, the locals can immensely profit from the upsurge in tourism.
Digital technology and social media can be harnessed to the benefit of the homestay owners, be it in Roing or Mechuka or Longding. Sikkim and Ladakh, the two regions in the Himalayas, have made a mark on the homestays’ map, and the onus is now on Arunachal Pradesh to build its own brand of sustainable tourism.
(The opinion piece first appeared on the edit pages and the website of the Arunachal Times newspaper on May 17, 2019 and can be read here .)

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Ramadan 2019: Day 16-18

Day 15 Tuesday
In the morning, I blocked the person who was man-trolling my posts and also wrote celebrated Modi’s electoral success on Faceb00k.
In the afternoon, Walid and I ventured to the MIT area because I was scheduled to meet a friend from college, as well as her parents. Walid and I parted at H-Mart. I felt nervous because I hadn’t seen her since 2014 when she was interning in D.C. She looked good, with a new lipstick habit she picked up from Columbia University. She seemed to have enjoyed my company and her mother was very interested in my Ph.D.-student life. Her mother probably worried that her daughter might suffer if she went on the path of academia. I found out later in the meeting that she was working at a New York corporation. Her father spoke little and us three women enjoyed his non-intrusive presence. We parted ways, and I thought they went to their hotel in Allston.
When I tried to find Walid again in H-Mart, I saw his text that he was in the Cambridge mosque. I felt upset because I did not being in Cambridge on a busy afternoon by myself. I also felt that he ditched me. When I called him I was upset and informed him to meet me. Coincidentally, I also saw my friend and her parents buying sushi and food from the supermarket. My friend’s father commented on my purchased good–a bag of frozen dumplings. They did not seem to be very free or talkative as before. When I finally found Walid at the door of H-Mart and we left for the red line, we ran into her parents again. I introduced them to Walid and he greeted them, graceful as always during such occasions. I was ill at ease and we later fought in the subway. I was ready to forgive him when we arrived at my home station. He helped me return my frozen dumplings to my fridge while I hurried to meet Manho at Malden Center. Manho was early as usual. The Vietnamese restaurant we intended to eat was closed on Tuesdays. So we walked around, saw the older-than-America First Baptist church and went to Ming’s (See my post on Day 1 of Ramadan). Manho was very pleased by the cleanliness of Malden, in comparison to Boston’s Chinatown.
We ordered seafood and veggies. We ate and chatted, even though Manho felt that it was rude to eat before Walid. At around 8pm, Walid broke fast with my friend, Manho, and I. Manho was happy to leave Boston; we celebrated his birthday. By the end, the waiters almost forgot about us as well as the dessert they usually served to everyone. But Walid remembered, and we ate our share of a taro sweet soup.
Here are some other observations we had about tea and eating habits, which I wrote in Chinese: 看得出成长环境的不同 比如喝茶的习惯我到了17才有 而我对象和文豪都是从小喝茶。另,文豪如果早点来 是有机会认识一个四姨太的小孩 结果没撞上。我和对象翻译了这个故事 他没反应到点是什么 . 还有Nutella 我到了德国才吃到 吃过ferroro 但没想到还有如此平凡的酱版。文豪以前吃过 他来到美国惊奇于人对花生酱的热衷 觉得pb&j是一种懒人的食物。对象说他某一天并不知该三明治的做法 但自己却“发明”出来了 所以也很难说到底是美国人造就了pb&j 还是环境使然
In the evening, I was too full to fall asleep. I delved deeper into my insecurities in regards to Walid’s visit to the holy place of the mosque. The membership system seems very strict, even though it does not appear as such at the surface. The same issue occurred with a Sikh temple in Germany–diasporas guard such spaces with more scrutiny as well. Walid understood my concerns about his sudden departure today. We made up a scenario about if all humans became 5-year-old children, there would probably still be hierarchies among us. We fell asleep at 3am.
Day 16 Wednesday
I went to Zumba in the afternoon and Walid broke his fast at his work. Ahmad messaged me the day before, “My mobile has been dead for the last few days and I could not have it fixed yet.” I found our friendship as resilient as ever, despite the presumed difficulties.
I chatted with Amina about a new e-magazine founded by Chinese youngsters that tried to carry on our legacy from our e-magazine ( South Asian Hutong ). She was bored by their electoral analysis, whereas I was a bit happier: at least some Chinese-speakers continued to study and write about South Asia, albeit from a more practical lens. We also chatted about the new social media industry of youtubers and gamers. She decided to attend a talk on Afghanistan.
Day 17 Thursday
Riyadh I went to a therapy session, which I am increasingly suspicious of the efficacy, but Walid finds that it might be helpful for me. He is more patient than me in many matters. On the way there, I read about the Greek architect Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis’ contribution to Riyadh’s current city layout. I was surprised the extent to which modernist aesthetics and urban standards affected parts of the world I was connected to. One could argue that Zaha Hadid was as much a child of “Iraqi” (premodern) art as she was of modernist architecture. What I found troubling about Chinese history is that so much of Communism is mixed up with modernist aspirations, such as Doxiadis-style architecture. Yet many of Doxiadis’ architectural works were designed for repressing social revolts. Arguably, modernist architecture was not very effective in preventing uprisings on either side of the Cold War. I thought (in an abstract way), that modern architecture largely failed to live up to its expectations of engineering modern human societies. After digesting this information, I experienced a breakthrough in my research presentation for the MESA 2019 conference.
Riyadh Development plan
Al-Shaab Stadium, by Francisco Keil do Amaral and Carlos M. Ramos (and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation), Baghdad, c1966
ملعب الشعب، تصميم فرانسيسكو كيل دو امارال و كارلوس م راموس (و مؤسسة كالوست كلبنكيان)، بغداد، ١٩٦٦
After therapy, I saw a short exhibition for the Asian American Heritage month at the Brookline library and also took a short tour of the Brookline townhall.
I ate at a Pakistani restaurant called Nachlo. I expected a more vibrant eating environment but perhaps due to fasting, I was one of the two customers inside. I wondered when did Pakistani cuisine emerge in America as a distinct genre and how it must have fought hard in the face of competition from the more popular (North) “Indian” cuisine. The owner was a person who looked like he worked in Saudi Arabia and saved enough money to open his own store in America. The main person handling business was a young man Walid’s age. I felt that his job was quite difficult. Another more reticent man who looked like me was not speaking. I felt judged for eating at a place where people were fasting. Another Bangladeshi man bought some food and asked enthusiastically about the store’s offerings, such as sweets. I found it amazing that he, as a Bangladeshi person, had let certain bygones be bygones and found comfort in desi Muslim brotherhood.
I paid, left and went home. At 1am, Walid told me that he volunteered for free. I was quite upset about it, and I said that we are not in the position to offer that kind of help to workplaces, even if we find it ethically sound. I also read about Betty Shabazz and her fights with Malcolm about similar issues later, and I found my situation very similar to hers.

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The best Asian restaurants in London

China Tang
If you like your Asian food luxe, it doesn’t get swankier or more renowned than Mayfair’s China Tang, which specialises in Cantonese cuisine. Based at the Dorchester Hotel, decor is opulent and Art Deco-inspired. Do take a look at the Dim Sum menu and if you’re going all out, the Bird’s Nest Chicken Soup is a delicacy. The restaurant has also recently launched a particularly special afternoon tea. Sushisamba
Sushisamba is always a hit for Asian dining, with excellent food (think Japanese with a South American twist) and stellar views at its City site. The Covent Garden restaurant has dreamy interiors, alongside a limited edition new menu (until June 5). Celebrating all things spring with a floral installation, edible art and a focus on sustainability, go along for delicious toro tartar, sashimi hanataba and more. Jinjuu
Jinjuu is a Korean restaurant in Soho, founded by chef Judy Joo. It is influenced by traditional and contemporary street food – signature dishes include the famous Korean fried chicken and house made kimchi. The bibimbap is great too – Jinjuu works well for date night, pre-theatre, meeting friends or just about anything. Pleasant Lady
Alex Peffly and Z He, co-founders of popular Asian eateries Bun House and Tea Room, have opened Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Trading Stall on Greek Street serving China’s most loved street food – jian bing. Jian bing is sort of like a super-stuffed crepe, that’s wrapped and folded right in front of you. Everything from eggs, fried dough (that’s right) to lamb goes in there. It’s seriously filling, and cheap, too. This may be less of a restaurant and more of a hole in the wall, but it’s great. Flesh and Buns Fitzrovia
A big site, this place is always busy for good reason. The Maki Mondays are good value for sushi, and the buns themselves are light, fluffy and delicious – we like the salmon teriyaki option. The restaurant has an on-site smoker should you wish to go for something heartier, and the Smore’s for dessert are unmissable. XU
This Taiwanese teahouse and restaurant is inspired by the luxurious dining rooms of 1930’s Taipei. Offering a modernised take on classic Chinese and Taiwanese cuisines, ingredients are impeccably sourced from artisan suppliers. Its Taiwanese aged white soy sauce from Ping Tung is created after pressing the fermented soy bean, after an ageing process that lasts up to 16 months. You can taste the difference. The restaurant also has a games room for some epic Mah Jong playing. Yen
Yen serves up London’s first handmade Soba (noodles) from master chefs. There’s also a sushi chef, as the menu showcases Japanese dishes alongside Soba, which are prepared twice a day in the restaurant’s dedicated soba room (London’s only glass-fronted Soba room). Choose from à la carte (sushi, tempura, sashimi and robata), or a daily changing omakase menu chosen by the chefs, for the freshest dishes around. Kanishka
Atul Kochhar is the first Indian chef in the world to receive a Michelin star. His new restaurant, Kanishka, on Maddox Street, explores lesser known regions of Indian food. Cooking methods include salting, smoking and fermenting, made necessary by the remoteness of the regions. He has also been inspired by the influence of bordering countries such as Nepal, China, and Bangladesh – expect soya and dumplings, as well as locally sourced British produce where possible. Mains include a Seafood Alleppey Curry and drinks are a key element – the Roast Banana Old Fashioned is made from Tandoor roasted banana and the more savoury Ingrita is, somewhat unusually, served alongside a chilled lightly spiced tomato broth. Bambusa
Disclaimer: this doesn’t really qualify as a restaurant as it’s an extremely casual to-go option, but is worth mentioning as it’s new and offers extremely affordable Asian options. Bambusa on Charlotte Street offers an array of Asian flavours – Japan, Singapore and Laos – with fermented and umami foods like kimchi and miso. Good for a convenient midweek take out lunch, but remember the interiors and atmosphere aren’t the focus here.
Main photo: Bambusa

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Constance Halaveli review – one of the best hotels in the Maldives

Home Luxury Hotel Reviews Constance Halaveli review – one of the best hotels in the Maldives Constance Halaveli from above Constance Halaveli review – one of the best hotels in the Maldives May 25, 2019 An unsponsored review of the Constance Halaveli Resort: What to expect of the island and the overwater bungalows.
Are you currently planning a trip to the Maldives, maybe even a honeymoon? And now you are wondering about the best hotel in the Maldives ? Then this Constance Halaveli review is probably just what you were looking for! Me sitting on a palm tree in front of the bar
I stayed 8 amazing nights on the beautiful island in the North Ari Atoll and had the chance to explore every niche and cranny ( click for booking & prices ). I tested all the restaurants, the diving center, the excursions, and the waters sports facilities.
Here is my Constance Halaveli review. View of the main jetty from the diving center
Note: This is a non-sponsored review . I had no association with Constance at all and paid for my 8-night stay myself. I do earn a small commission from purchases through the links in this article. Constance Halaveli island overview full view of the island
The Constance Halaveli resort won quite a couple of rewards (like the best resort in the Maldives in 2014) and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group. With its gigantic jetty (some 890 meters long!!) it’s among the larger luxury resorts in the Maldives. Me walking down the main jetty (on my way to the diving center)
There are, altogether, 47 water villas, and 28 beach villas and one lavish presidential villa. Halavevli is a lovely place for couples to enjoy their honeymoon (and most of the activities are designed for couples), though there are also some neat family villas. The main pool
Halaveli is a natural atoll (unlike many of the newer hotels), so it also has its own house reef. Due to various El Niño events in the past years, the reef is not in the best condition any longer. Still, it offers some of the best diving opportunities in the Maldives . Between whitetip reef sharks, turtles, and manta rays, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a dive or two (I certainly did).
Tip: Constance operates a couple of other noteworthy hotels in the wider area of the Indian Ocean. I can really recommend the Prince Maurice on Mauritius ( check out my guide )! The villas & over-water bungalows A row of overwater bungalows
At Constance Halaveli you got the choice between beach villas and over-water bungalows – depending on your personal preferences. The bathroom of an overwater bungalow A bedroom of an overwater bungalow
The over-water bungalows are all lined up on the longest jetty in the Maldives (890 meters) and all share the same basic layout, a private pool and direct access to the snorkeling grounds in front of it. The only difference is the view – choose between lagoon or sunset view. The private pool of the overwater bungalows
A huge bedroom and a very lovely bathroom complete the setup. Certainly not the largest bungalows in the Maldives, but tastefully decorated in a style reminiscent of traditional Indian Ocean architecture.
You can call for golf-carts to bring you to the main island any time, so don’t worry if you are not that sure-footed anymore! It’s all been taking care of. View of the double-story beach villas
I stayed in a beach villa , as I love to be able to walk right into the ocean from my room. An overwater bungalow may look beautiful on pictures, and the view from the bedroom will be fantastic, but I enjoy open space over confinement every day. The private freshwater pool of the beach villas
Each beach villa has access to a little private beach , on top of a private pool. In your backyard, there will be a sunken bathtub as well as an open-air bathroom, quite beautiful appointed. There’s also a second set of private sun-loungers in your garden, as well as a hammock.
If you are traveling with family, picking one of the eight two-story beach villas will be a smart move. I loved them, as the second apartment on the top floor has its own bathroom and balcony – essentially granting a welcome combination of privacy and shared living . The open-air bathroom of the beach villas
The villas are not overly large, but I loved the traditional island decor and the ample storage space. The mini-bar (not complimentary, but most of it included in the all-inclusive offer) was well stocked, though I hardly used it (due to the abundance of eating and drinking opportunities throughout the resort). A standard bedroom of a beach villa
There is quite the fancy entertainment system , but as I don’t watch tv and rarely watch movies, I really can’t include them in my Constance Halaveli review. There was, however, a fresh fruit basket, towel art every night and small canapes under little glass cloches to lighten up my day. There were light cotton day robes and heavy terrycloth bathrobes, free slippers and flip-flops, as well as a lovely beach bag. The restaurants / food at Constance Halaveli The Jahaz restaurant & bar
Constance Halaveli is home to four restaurants and two bars . I urge you to book the all-inclusive package, as prices will add-up pretty fast, and it takes away one more worry while enjoying this beautiful island.
Constance is known, above all, for its good restaurants, and I have yet to visit one of their properties to dissappoint me in this regard. Jahaz restaurant The lunch buffet in the Jahaz restaurant
The main restaurants and the place you will enjoy your daily breakfast is called Jahaz. There are enough tables to allow for privacy and enough waiters to guarantee good service. The buffet at the Jahaz restaurant
Jahaz is a buffet restaurant – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A few selected delicacies are made to order at a bar for each meal. As buffets go, the quality of the food was always excellent. Not outstanding, but indeed excellent. Still, you always have to take into account that all food has to be imported from far away and the logistics are not especially easy. The breakfast fruit bar (just one of many stations)
The buffet changed daily and even after a week, it didn’t grow boring. Every evening had a motto (like Meditteranean, sushi or Indian night) and from starters to deserts, the choices were always greater than the amount you could reasonably ingest.
That being said, you shouldn’t expect haute cuisine here – but rather a plain fare with a pleasant twist. The beach bar
I really loved the casual main bar at the Jahaz. It quickly became our favorite spot to watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail or two . Except for very fine spirits and champagnes (we are talking Hennessy Paradise or Dom Pérignon), everything is covered by the all-inclusive package.
The service was very attentive, though another barkeeper would have helped around peak times. The cocktails were also quite enjoyable, though pretty standard in their execution. I’m pretty sure, a well trained international bartender could tremendously add to Jahaz bar (. Meeru Beach Grill The Meeru Beach Grill
Right next to the Jahaz, you’ll find the best restaurant of the island . The Meeru Beach Grill offers, just like the name indicates, grilled delicacies in all their variants.
The menu isn’t all that big, but between fish and meats, I’m pretty positive everyone will find enough choices to warrant a visit or two – especially as you sit right on the beach under the starlit canopy of the night. The Lobster Bisque (very recommended)
I did not eat a single dish I did not enjoy and the service was always very attentive. The large wine cellar of the restaurant (18,000 bottles, no less) did help to alleviate that joy.
Note: If you got the all-inclusive package, one starter, one main course and one dessert (as well as all drinks) are covered. Only the lobster and like two other special dishes aren’t covered. Jing Speciality Restaurant The bar at the Jing restaurant
In the middle of the jetty, right opposite the spa, is the fine dining venue of the Constance Halaveli Resort. Said to be one of the best restaurants of the Maldives, you definitely should drop by once – if only for the fantastic view of the sunset from its adjacent bar. Enjoying a passion fruit cocktail at the Jing bar
I do have to say that the whole setting of the Jing is so unique: The way warm lights illuminate the well-designed interiors, while cool blue spotlights highlight the passing schools of fish and shark .
But a review of the Constance Halaveli wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a couple of the negative points. To be quite frank with you, the food at the Jing restaurant did not live up to its promise of excellence. While I loved the bread and the little amuse bouche , my starters of tuna were barely edible. Duck breast main course at the Jing Restaurant
The main course, crispy duck, was so chewy I had to send it back to the kitchen. I also sampled the oysters, but as they came all the way from Japan, they smelled and tasted of fishy brine, instead of a delightfully fresh ocean breeze. An oriental desert at the Jing Restaurant
Of the oriental desert, I only ate the tangerine slices, as the rest had a very dense, bready and alltogether unpleasant texture.
All in all, I can’t really recommend it , as this was, alas a shared opinion of 5 other people I enjoyed my dinner with. If you got the all-inclusive package, you should probably try it out once, nevertheless. But I don’t think paying around 200 US-Dollar per person would be worth it.
But like I said, the adjacent bar is entirely recommendable. Especially as the Jing also had an impressive (and very well decorated) wine cellar . The wine cellar at the Jing Restaurant
You can even arrange for a special dinner IN the wine cellar, but given the overall quality of the food at the JING, I’d rather settle for a nice wine tasting. The Sushi Bar Me with the Beach Bar & sushi restaurant in the background
Right next to the Jahaz restaurant, overlooking the premises of the pool and the beach bar is a little Sushi bar. As this is not covered by the all-inclusive package , I did not eat here.
I did, however, sample the sushi at the buffet and the Sushi Night, and found it to be a bit wanting. Not bad, if you’ll enjoy a casual California roll, but nothing to pay a premium for. The watersports & diving center The watersports club
For me, the most important reason to visit the Maldives is the amazing marine wildlife , combined with the calm sea around the atoll. That’s why the quality of any given resort on the Maldives is probably best measured by its water sports center.
Thus, you will be delighted to hear that Constance Halaveli has an excellent and well equipped diving center. In fact, I did my SSI open water diving license there. They got like 10 permanent diving instructors/guides and a resident marine biologist, plus a host of motor boats and traditional dhonis. Another view of the watersports center
All non-motorized activities are free of charge . This means stand-up paddling, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, pedal boast, and snorkeling. Instructors will happily assist you if it’s your first time trying out these fun activities.
Constance Halaveli also offers plenty of fun motorsport : Jet-ski, waterskiing, wakeboards, parasailing, banana boats, water jet packs, and so much more are available. You could even go to high sea fishing.
While all of them are fun, the prices for those motorized activities were not exactly cheap . 150 US-Dollar (plus tax) for 30 minutes of jet-skiing makes you consider twice – especially as you probably don’t want to do it alone.
That being said, I found all the equipment to be in pristine shape . Which is both important for your personal safety and (sadly) not always the case – even in luxury hotels. Me on a boat excursion
As I said, I also took one of the diving courses. The instructors were all both very professional and friendly . The whole process was incredibly smooth and all my questions were answered. After 7 days I felt like Jacques Cousteau himself (well, almost). I can recommend them from my heart (though, for obvious, reasons, I do lack the comparison). sharks gathered for a feeding frenzy
I also went on two excursions (turtle snorkeling, saw 2!) and dolphin watching. On these, I would have expected a bit more refined snacks and drinks, and I feel this is something Constance has still work to do. While I do love apples and pears, I would have expected a personalized snack-box instead of a self-serve fruit basket. The Constance Halaveli Spa One of the pools in the spa
Let me tell you, the spa at Constance Halaveli is out of this world . I have rarely seen a better (and more beautiful) spa in my years and years of traveling. So, many spas are either only beautiful or only got good treatments – it’s incredibly rare to find both in the same spot.
Right in the middle of the Constance Halaveli jetty, is a majestic cluster of altogether 8 over-water-bungalows dedicated to your wellbeing . Each of them shares vistas of the turquoise waters beyond, and the treatment rooms even have glass windows in the floor to observe the marine life while enjoying a nice massage. They call it the USpa.
I booked the 90 minutes signature massage and was thoroughly impressed. After filling out the anamnesis form and being treated to a welcome drink, my therapist led me to the changing room, where I changed into a plush bathrobe. View of the treatment room (please excuse the crappy mobile phone picture)
The treatment bungalow itself was utterly divine and very well designed. On a special bench, I enjoyed an initial footbath, all the while enjoying the beautiful view of the waters. After choosing my oil and music preferences, my massage began.
Obviously, I cannot speak for all therapists, but my massage was just perfect in every way. There were no disturbances, it was very well paced and custom-tailored to my personal liking. The level of privacy and respect offered was astonishing, as was the training that must have gone into creating such a smooth process. 90-minutes truly felt like a blissful eternity. the relaxation room you enter after your massage
Afterward, I did feel thoroughly relaxed and was lead to another bungalow to enjoy a lovely ice tea cocktail, and the luxurious haven of two infinity pools (one warm, one cold).
The USpa isn’t especially the cheapest place. Expect around 200 US-Dollar for a 90-minutes treatment. Given the extremely high quality, I found it to be a reasonable price . Other facilities at Constance Halaveli A swinging bed at the far end of the island
Halaveli isn’t all that big, but there are some other facilities I did not mention so far. Of course, there is a big gym and even a tennis court , where you can enjoy a casual game or take lessons. The gym on the main island
There is also a lovely kids club , which I’m sure the parents will love as it will give them a welcome respite from the constant care of their children.
There are also two boutiques on the island . Here you’ll mainly find beachwear and some selected souvenirs. I rather liked them and bought a lovely rash guard and some trunks. Overall service at Constance Halaveli enjoying the last minutes before sunset
When you spend a week on the Maldives, the make-or-break factor will always be the service. The Constance Halaveli employs 325 people to manage the resort , and 48 of them work in the restaurants. They got their own carpentry shop, their own water purifying facilities and their own generators. The generators powering the island
If you like, you can ask the reception for a tour of the maintenance facilities . That way you’ll learn that the generators use 6,000 liters of oil to power the resort each day. Sunset behind the jetty
Despite these impressive numbers I came to learn that you should not expect a hotel on the Maldives to meet European hotelier standards . As I visited during Ramadan (and most of the waiters couldn’t eat or drink while they worked), I do have to point out that service was at times a bit lackluster.
Mind you, not bad at all, but a lot of the local waiters appeared a bit bored by their job – which stood in stark contrast to the western part of the staff. Walking along that beautiful beach
Housekeeping did a decent job , though there seems to be no communication with the other parts of the resort. Instead of using breakfast and lunch times to tidy up the rooms, my room usually saw housekeeping in the early afternoon.
Especially for a beach resort, I’d expect it to be finished no later than noon. The overall results were decent but lacked the perfect finishing touches of other luxury resorts I came to experience throughout my years of traveling. Welcome snacks in our room
I do like to point out that I lost my sunglasses three times and a bracelet once (shows how relaxed I was), and it was always returned to me . In a way, this should be obvious, but I had quite a lot of different experiences in the past, which is why I wanted to highlight it. Celebrati special events at Constance Halaveli Setting for a private dinner at the beach
The Maldives is a favorite honeymoon destination . So, it comes as little surprise that there is a multitude of options to choose from to celebrate these special occasions.
Some of them are quite beautiful, like private beach dinners . They’ll set up torches, candles, and fires, you can even hire a musician from Malé, and will design a special menu right for you! Couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to celebrate an engagement! Private wine tasting in the water
You could even have a wine tasting on the beach . So special!
Other events, like the breakfast on a boat, are a bit questionable. These floats are more or less anchored right in the lagoon in front of the main restaurant, and a sunset dinner on a special Dhoni would probably be a better option. Not sure, why Constance didn’t get more creative here. Arrival & transfer to Constance Halaveli A sea plane of the Trans Maldivian Airways
International travel to the Maldives is limited to the capital island Malé. You can only reach the resorts by boat or seaplane. Sadly, Constance Halaveli does not operate its own planes, so you are a bit bound to the schedule of Trans Maldivian Airways. The Constance airport lounge in Malé
Constance operates its own lounge at the airport , however, so the waiting time for your connecting flights is kept as pleasant as possible. They also pick you up at the International airport with a private van, so the whole process is quite seamless and pleasant – especially as you will use the waiting time to check into the hotel. The signature welcome cocktails
Once you leave the seaplane, you can leave all your worries behind, as the rest has already been taken care of. You can focus fully on sipping your welcome cocktail and planning the days ahead according to your personal preferences. Summary of my Constance Halaveli review
Constance Halaveli is a lovely luxury resort with a nice touch of local flavors and design . It’s favored by Asian honeymooners, but a family of 4 or more will find a relaxing haven of tranquility all the same.
The luxury resort benefits from its own beautiful house reef and well-appointed watersports and diving center. The spa is out of this world, while the culinary experience is, except for the Jing, quite a pleasant surprise that will satisfy most demanding guests. The jetty close before sunset
Like most Maldives luxury resorts, it is not exactly cheap, and costs can ramp up quite fast – especially if you book extra activities. Still, I found most of these to be well worth their price (except maybe the dolphin cruise).
So, is it the best luxury hotel in the Maldives? I’m not sure if Constance Halaveli can compare to the very top luxury hotels (like the Four Seasons, Soneva, One & Only, and St Regis), but there’s a significant price difference as well. The beautiful beach
If you enjoy casual luxury and barefoot restaurants, traditional decors rather than design classics, then the Constance Halaveli is your resort. As the hotel is a bit under the radar (unrightfully so), it is also quite relaxed.
The island itself is not overly large (300 meters x 400 meters) and some people might not like the view of the wave blockers. At the same time, you are close to one of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the Maldives , so I feel this makes up for it. Me walking down the main jetty
Other than the price, I couldn’t imagine a single important reason why you shouldn’t book a week at Constance Halaveli ( booking.com usually offers the cheapest rates ). Is it perfect? Probably not, but the overall picture is very harmonic and pleasant. So, this was my Constance Halaveli review. I hope I was able to help you deciding whether this is the best hotel in the Maldives for you or not. Got any questions? Feel free to ask them below! Pin me to your Pinterest board TAGS

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Scotland’s 15 best gastropubs

In years gone by, the food that you could expect at your local wouldn’t have been much more than a packet of crisps and some nuts. But many pubs have long since upped their game: offering high-quality food and increasingly ambitious menus. There are plenty of great gastropubs to choose from across Scotland , but here is our pick of the best
1. The Old Smiddy Inn, near Wick
6 Stewart Crescent, Thrumster, Wick, Caithness
01955 651256
If it’s a cosy, traditional pub that you want, then you can’t do much better than The Old Smiddy. Twenty miles south of John o’Groats, it provides a welcome hub for the residents of the village of Thrumster and any visitors. The staff are hospitable, there is a roaring coal fire in the corner, and the menu is comfort food at its best. We recommend the steak pie, which comes in a richly succulent sauce, with a side of homemade chips for a real indulgence. If you time your visit right, then you might also be able to enjoy some live folk music and ceilidh dancing.
2. The Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh
1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
0131 332 6281
www.scranandscallie.com
Describing itself as “Edinburgh’s leading gastropub” might be a bold claim, but the team behind The Scran & Scallie have already received a Michelin star at their sister venue The Kitchin. The Scran & Scallie has itself been awarded a Michelin’s Bib Gourmand (an honour that recognises restaurants which serve high-quality food at a reasonable price) and it isn’t hard to see why. The smoked haddock rarebit, in particular, is exquisite.
3. Pitcairngreen Inn, Perth
Pitcairngreen, Perth
01738 583 022
www.pitcairngreeninn.co.uk
Head chef Calum Macleod is a local man with plenty of passion for Perthshire produce. And it comes across in his food: with the Pitcairngreen Inn offering fresh, seasonal ingredients in a country pub setting. Their skin-on handmade chips are particularly popular, but the homemade burger and macaroni cheese are also well worth a try.
4. McGinty’s Meal and Ale, Aberdeen
504 Union Street, Aberdeen
01224 626720
www.mcgintysmealanale.co.uk
It does what it says on the tin. McGinty’s offers excellent food and cask ales and more than 100 whiskies, rums and gins. It was renovated in 2017 to create more of a gastropub feel, but McGinty’s prides itself on being one of the last independent pubs in Aberdeen. And while the menu is extensive, if you go for the haggis bon bons or the Cajun chicken tagliatelle then you shouldn’t be disappointed.
5. The Cross Keys, Kippen
Main Street, Kippen, Stirling
01786 870 293
www.kippencrosskeys.com
The Cross Keys has been the recipient of several (deserved) industry awards that have recognised the excellence of its food. Forget stale ham and chips: diners here can expect dishes like guinea fowl and tarragon mousse, roast lamb rump with dauphinoise potatoes and a Moroccan lamb stew. But while the food is haute cuisine, the pub itself couldn’t be more traditional. The Cross Keys is the oldest inn of its kind in Stirlingshire, having been built in 1703, and it offers both a warm fire inside and a beer garden outside, alongside plenty of local ales.
6. Chinaski’s, Glasgow
239 North Street, Glasgow
0141 221 0061
www.chinaskis.com
If you are passing through Glasgow’s Charing Cross, it would be all too easy to miss Chinaski’s. But for those in the know, its anonymous facade conceals a gem of a pub that offers good food, beer and live music. There is a gourmet a la carte menu as well as a dedicated vegan menu that offers plant-based pizza, lasagne, burgers and even a vegan brownie and ice cream. Visit on a Friday or Saturday evening to hear the in-house DJ, if that’s your bag.
Scotland’s 15 best Indian restaurants 7. The Sorn Inn, Ayrshire
35 Main Street, Sorn, East Ayrshire
01290 551305
www.sorninn.com
The tiny Ayrshire village of Sorn might only have one pub, but you couldn’t ask for much better than the Sorn Inn. Its decadent menu offers the likes of braised pork cheeks, spiced monkfish and spaghetti cauliflower alongside more conventional steak pie or fish and chips. The Sunday roast is particularly good too, with perfectly cooked meat that is paired with delicate veg and duck fat potatoes.
8. The Ship Inn, Elie
The Toft, Elie, East Neuk of Fife
01333 330246
www.shipinn.scot
When the sun is out, getting a seat in the Ship Inn beer garden becomes a nigh-on impossible task. It boasts unrivalled views of the expansive Elie and Earlsferry beach and provides an excellent sun trap for those looking to make the most of good weather. But, beer garden aside, the food served at the Ship Inn is well worthy of praise of its own. There is plenty of fish and seafood -as you might expect for a harbour village- as well as delicately dry-aged meat that is sourced directly from a local butcher. Finish with their Cranachan for a real treat.
9. The Other Place, Edinburgh
2-4 Broughton Road, Edinburgh
0131 556 1024
www.theotherplaceedinburgh.com
With over 90 varieties of cider and craft beer, The Other Place might seem like another one of the many hipster pubs that are popping up all over the country. But while it has a high-grade menu -with all ingredients fresh and sourced locally- this Edinburgh venue also offers a fair amount of traditional pub grub. You can get a choice of morning rolls on a Saturday and Sunday and an array of ‘bar bites’ that include chicken wings, onion rings and (best of all) curly chips.
10. Stravaigin, Glasgow
28 Gibson Street, Glasgow
0141 334 2665
www.stravaigin.co.uk
Stravaigin is a bit of an institution among Glaswegians, who know that it offers a continually evolving, adventurous menu. All their seafood and meat are sourced from Scotland -and most of their vegetables too- but the food has a firmly international feel and offers dishes that you would struggle to get elsewhere in Scotland. This global influence is also mirrored in the eclectic wine list and wide selection of beers. Well worth a visit if you haven’t already been.
11. The Tinsmith, Dundee
11-13 Old Hawkhill, Dundee
01382 204 198
www.thetinsmith.co.uk
The Tinsmith offers pub food at its best. Think bangers and mash, burgers and mac and cheese, along with a ‘pick a pie’ option where you can customise a range of succulent homemade pies. And, for dessert, they have a particularly Scottish option in the shape of a deep-fried Mars bar served with Irn-Bru ice cream.
12. The Rum Shack, Glasgow
657-659 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow
0141 237 4432
www.rumshackglasgow.com
Glasgow’s south side has experienced a bit of a resurgence in the last few years, with more and more trendy venues opening up in and around Strathbungo and Shawlands. The Rum Shack is one such place, a Caribbean-inspired pub and canteen that doubles up as a dancehall over the weekends. Visitors can sample a range of authentic Caribbean dishes like Dutch pot, jerk meats and plantain, as well as more than 100 different rums.
13. The Barn, Oban
Cologin, Lerags Glen, Oban, Argyll
01631 564 501
www.cologin.co.uk/the-barn-bar
Run by father and son duo Michael and Glen Hewitt, The Barn is home-style pub food at its best. The rustic interior makes for an inviting atmosphere, with pets welcomed and spontaneous musical jam sessions not uncommon. They specialise in a Sunday lunch carvery but there are plenty of other options, including a fair few vegan and vegetarian dishes.
14. Buccleuch Arms, Scottish Borders
The Green, St. Boswells, Melrose, Scottish Borders
01835 822243
www.buccleucharms.com
This inn was given a major refit to bring its decor up to scratch, but it still retains the feel of an old country pub. The owners, who come from a farming background, focus on a ‘field to fork ethos’, where they prioritise local produce. Their beef, which is a particular speciality, all comes from Aberdeen Angus steaks that are sourced from the nearby Hardiesm farm.
15. The Mallard, Dingwall
Station Square, Dingwall
01349 866286
Located just a stone’s throw from Ross County’s stadium, this cosy little pub is well used to dealing with big crowds. Their food is of an impressive quality, with traditional roasts and carveries popular at the weekends. Gluten-free diets can also be catered to with no trouble.
Scotland’s 15 best Indian restaurants

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Granta.com/Binyavanga Wainaina: How to Write About Africa

Granta.com
How to Write About Africa
Binyavanga Wainaina
Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.
Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.
In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.
Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African’s cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it—because you care.
Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.
Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader, and a sad I-expected-so-much tone. Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can’t live without her. Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this. If you are a man, thrust yourself into her warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.
Your African characters may include naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermitic splendour. Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. The Loyal Servant always behaves like a seven-year-old and needs a firm hand; he is scared of snakes, good with children, and always involving you in his complex domestic dramas. The Ancient Wise Man always comes from a noble tribe (not the money-grubbing tribes like the Gikuyu, the Igbo or the Shona). He has rheumy eyes and is close to the Earth. The Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Or he is an Oxford-educated intellectual turned serial-killing politician in a Savile Row suit. He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country.
Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West. Her children have flies on their eyelids and pot bellies, and her breasts are flat and empty. She must look utterly helpless. She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment. Moans are good. She must never say anything about herself in the dialogue except to speak of her (unspeakable) suffering. Also be sure to include a warm and motherly woman who has a rolling laugh and who is concerned for your well-being. Just call her Mama. Her children are all delinquent. These characters should buzz around your main hero, making him look good. Your hero can teach them, bathe them, feed them; he carries lots of babies and has seen Death. Your hero is you (if reportage), or a beautiful, tragic international celebrity/aristocrat who now cares for animals (if fiction).
Bad Western characters may include children of Tory cabinet ministers, Afrikaners, employees of the World Bank. When talking about exploitation by foreigners mention the Chinese and Indian traders. Blame the West for Africa’s situation. But do not be too specific.
Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life—but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause.
Describe, in detail, naked breasts (young, old, conservative, recently raped, big, small) or mutilated genitals, or enhanced genitals. Or any kind of genitals. And dead bodies. Or, better, naked dead bodies. And especially rotting naked dead bodies. Remember, any work you submit in which people look filthy and miserable will be referred to as the ‘real Africa’, and you want that on your dust jacket. Do not feel queasy about this: you are trying to help them to get aid from the West. The biggest taboo in writing about Africa is to describe or show dead or suffering white people.
Animals, on the other hand, must be treated as well rounded, complex characters. They speak (or grunt while tossing their manes proudly) and have names, ambitions and desires. They also have family values: see how lions teach their children? Elephants are caring, and are good feminists or dignified patriarchs. So are gorillas. Never, ever say anything negative about an elephant or a gorilla. Elephants may attack people’s property, destroy their crops, and even kill them. Always take the side of the elephant. Big cats have public-school accents. Hyenas are fair game and have vaguely Middle Eastern accents. Any short Africans who live in the jungle or desert may be portrayed with good humour (unless they are in conflict with an elephant or chimpanzee or gorilla, in which case they are pure evil).
After celebrity activists and aid workers, conservationists are Africa’s most important people. Do not offend them. You need them to invite you to their 30,000-acre game ranch or ‘conservation area’, and this is the only way you will get to interview the celebrity activist. Often a book cover with a heroic-looking conservationist on it works magic for sales. Anybody white, tanned and wearing khaki who once had a pet antelope or a farm is a conservationist, one who is preserving Africa’s rich heritage. When interviewing him or her, do not ask how much funding they have; do not ask how much money they make off their game. Never ask how much they pay their employees.
Readers will be put off if you don’t mention the light in Africa. And sunsets, the African sunset is a must. It is always big and red. There is always a big sky. Wide empty spaces and game are critical—Africa is the Land of Wide Empty Spaces. When writing about the plight of flora and fauna, make sure you mention that Africa is overpopulated. When your main character is in a desert or jungle living with indigenous peoples (anybody short) it is okay to mention that Africa has been severely depopulated by Aids and War (use caps).
You’ll also need a nightclub called Tropicana, where mercenaries, evil nouveau riche Africans and prostitutes and guerrillas and expats hang out.
Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care. Originally published in Granta 92, 2005
‘How to Write About Africa’, by Binyavanga Wainaina. © Binyavanga Wainaina, 2005. Reproduced by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Ltd.
Artwork © Lost In The Island, Shift, 2019
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