Hilton Phuket Tailors Personalized Experiences for Indian Guests

Hilton Phuket Tailors Personalized Experiences for Indian Guests

Admin Hilton Phuket , Indian Food , Phuket Restaurant Reviews
PHUKET, THAILAND – April 4, 2019 – In the South of Thailand, the island of Phuket has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations with the multitude of exciting experiences it has to offer. Apart from clear blue waters and picturesque sceneries, Phuket is an island filled with an assortment of adventures for foodies, adrenaline junkies, families, couples, and all kinds of travelers.
With IndiGo ( link here ) and GoAir ( link here ) recently operating direct flights to Phuket from various metro cities in India, an influx of Indian tourists are anticipated and welcomed with open arms. Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, one of the island’s biggest resorts, proves once again how it is able to provide exceptional and personalized experiences to its guests- this time by bringing a new addition to its diverse dining offers with its new Indian chef, Chef Mangesh Kawle, bringing the taste of India to Phuket through his culinary masterpieces. Chef MK
Chef MK, as he is fondly called, showcases his authentic Indian cuisine at Hilton Phuket’s Sails Restaurant during the Sunday Family Brunch and Thursday Asian-themed nights. Chef MK has a unique cooking style, adding a twist to every dish, making his masterpieces truly one of a kind. His specialties include Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken which are truly a hit among guests and a must-try for foodies!
Also providing personalized meals for guests with special dietary needs, Chef MK has his Indian dishes available on the resort’s dining menu for those who’d like to get a taste of home away from home, any time of the day. To top it all off, Chef MK spices up the kitchen during special occasions like Indian weddings and corporate functions.
Hilton Phuket caters to almost all sorts of events with its 75 acres of lush tropical gardens offering spacious indoor and outdoor venues, with a professional in-house events team to transform your visions into reality. Apart from being an excellent venue for events and functions, Hilton Phuket is the perfect hideaway for families who are looking into experiencing a fun-filled holiday together. Located conveniently near the beach with 5 different pools, among the many family-friendly features of the resort include its family rooms, interconnecting rooms, a kids’ menu, a kids’ club, and game room. The resort’s award-winning eforea Spa has 15 private villas and is well recommended for those who seek pampering and relaxation.
Having been established as a leader in the hospitality industry, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa leads in providing exceptional experiences by personalizing every guest’s stay according to their preference and needs.

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Queens Night Market Returns With 50+ Food Vendors | Patch

seasonal & holidays Shared from Flushing-Murray Hill, NY Queens Night Market Returns With 50+ Food Vendors Get ready for some late-night snacking: The Queens Night Market returns to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on April 20. By Maya Kaufman, Patch Staff | Apr 10, 2019 5:42 pm ET | Updated Apr 10, 2019 6:37 pm The Queens Night Market returns for its fifth season April 20. (Courtesy of Sharon Medina-Chavez) FLUSHING, QUEENS — Get ready for some late-night snacking: The Queens Night Market is back.
The popular international food fair returns for its fifth season April 20 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, with more than 50 vendors offering delicacies from across the world.
The Saturday market’s first two weekends — April 20 and 27 — are only open to those who purchase $5 “sneak preview” tickets, with a portion of proceeds going to The New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest.
The market, located behind the New York Hall of Science, will be free and open to the public starting May 4.
Since the Queens Night Market started in 2015, it has featured cuisine from over 80 countries and attracted nearly one million attendees, according to founder John Wang. Food options cost $6 maximum so the market will be affordable to all, Wang said.
The 2019 market debuts several changes. The market will start an hour earlier than in years past, operating from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays. In past years, attendees over 21 could only consume alcohol in a barricaded beer-and-wine garden; now, they will be able to drink alcohol throughout the market. Vendor fees are also lower to make the market more accessible to food business owners, according to Wang.
“I always say we curate stories more than we curate food or menus, and I’d love to eventually feature vendors from every country represented here in NYC,” Wang told Forbes .
Some of this year’s new food offerings include: Egyptian Hawawshi, Singaporean mee pok and chai tow kway, Ukrainian blintzes, Mexican huaraches, Puerto Rican rellenos de papa, South African bunny chow and Haitian Diri ak Djon Djon.
The market will also have live performances and craft vendors.
Here is the full list of 2019 food vendors:
American Pharaohs – Egyptian Hawawshi & Shawarmas Anda Café – Bubble Tea & Shaved Ice Arepalicious – Colombian Arepas Berg’s Pastrami – Smoked Pastrami La Brasa – Roasted Corn & Skewers Bohemian Trade – Czech-style Langosh Bstro – Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Burmese Bites – Burmese Palatas C Bao – Asian Duck and Pork Buns La Carnada – Mexican Huaraches Caribbean Street Eats – Trinidadian Shark Sandwiches ChefBoyarNetty – Southern Fried Chicken Chinese Sugar Painting Cilantro & Mint – Indian Kachori, Masala Noodles & Phulka Cocotazo – Puerto Rican Pastelles & Rellenos de Papa Delicacy Brigadeiros Craft – Brazilian Pão de Queijo & Brigadeiros Dottie’s Norwegian Kitchen – Norwegian Fårikål and Fiskegrot DiLena’s Dolcini – Cannoli and Boozy Gummy Bears Don Ceviche – Peruvian Ceviche and Jalea Em – Vietnamese Noodles & Rolls Grilla in Manila – Filipino Choribuger, Dinuguan & Balut HoneyGramz – Local Queens Honey Hong Kong Street Food K’s European Jams Kini – Korean Dakgangjeong & Ganjang Chicken Jaa Dijo Dom – South African Voetkoek, Bunny Chow & Kota Janie’s – Pie-Crust Cookies Jessie Foodie – Japanese Oyaki Jibarito Shack – Puerto Rican Jibaritos Joey Bats Café – Portuguese Pasteis de Nata & Stuffed Bica Joon – Persian Crispy Rice Kanin NYC – Filipino Lugaw & Halo-Halo Karl’s Balls – Japanese Takoyaki Lapu Lapu Foods – Filipino Peanuts & Chicken Adobo Lion City Coffee – Singaporean Mee Pok & Chai Tow Kway The Malaysian Project – Malaysian “Ramly” Burgers and Kaya Toast Mama Food – Squid Skewers Moffle Bar – Mochi Waffles Moon Man – Indonesian Kue Pancong Native Noodles – Singaporean Hae Mee & Laksa Oy Benne! – Chopped Liver & Matzo Brei Parantha Alley – Indian Parantha Pereybeurre – Mauritian Biryani & Dhal Puri Primos Variedades –Tacos al Pastor & Tacos de Canasta Sam’s Fried Ice Cream San Antonio’s Wood Fired Pizza Seoul Pancake – Korean Pancakes Sunflower Kitchen – Austrian Wiener Rindsgulasch, Paprikahendl & Sachertorte Sweet & Salty – Colombian Empanadas Tania’s Kitchen – Haitian Diri ak Djon Djon & Pikliz Taste of Ukraine – Ukrainian Blintzes, Chebureki & Borscht Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken T-swirl Crepes – Sweet Rice Flour Crepes Twisted Potato – Fried Potato Twists Twistercake – Romanian/Hungarian Chimney Cakes Warung Jancook – Indonesian Sate, Tahu Pong & Ote Ote Wembie – Moldovan Waffle Rolls & Bashkir Farm Cheese Donuts Click here to purchase tickets for the Queens Night Market sneak preview events. For more information, visit queensnightmarket.com .
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Indian Poultry Market Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity & Forecast 2019-2024 – ResearchAndMarkets.com

The “Indian Poultry Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.
The Indian poultry market, consisting of broilers and eggs was worth INR 1,750 Billion in 2018. The market is further projected to reach INR 4,340 Billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 16.2% during 2019-2024.
This report provides a deep insight into the Indian poultry market covering all its essential aspects. This ranges from macro overview of the market to micro details of the industry performance, recent trends, key market drivers and challenges, SWOT analysis, Porter’s five forces analysis, value chain analysis, etc.
India today is the one of the world’s largest producer of eggs and broiler meat. The poultry industry in India has undergone a major shift in structure and operation during the last two decades transforming from a mere backyard activity into a major industry with the presence of a large number of integrated players. This transformation has involved a sizeable investment in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing activities.
Market Drivers
Increasing Incomes Coupled by Changing Food Habits: Broiler meat in the past had been considered to be a delicacy but as a result of increasing levels of urbanization and higher levels of disposable incomes, poultry meat is increasingly seen as less of a luxury product and more as a daily staple. Further with changing food habits and increasing exposure to global cuisines, the Indian population is increasingly converting to a non-vegetarian diet. Poultry meat is preferred over other meat products as it is considered more hygienic and is available throughout the year across the country at relatively lesser prices than fish/mutton.
Large Unpenetrated Market: The annual per capita consumption of broiler meat and eggs remains one of the lowest in the world and is significantly lower than many emerging and developed markets. As a result of the low penetration levels and continuously increasing income levels, however, we expect the per capita consumption of both broiler meat and eggs to increase continuously during the next five years.
Growth in the Food Services Market: Growth in the food services market such as restaurant and fast food joints are also creating a positive impact on the consumption of broiler meat and eggs. Both broiler meats as well as eggs represent important ingredients in both traditional Indian non-vegetarian recipes as well as fast foods.
Growth in the Bakery Foods Market: Eggs represent an important ingredient in bakery foods. The Indian bakery foods market is currently exhibiting strong growth rates. We expect the growth of the bakery foods market to create a positive impact on the consumption of eggs in India.
Key Questions Answered
How has the Indian poultry market performed so far and how will it perform in the coming years? What are the major segments in the Indian poultry industry? What is the breakup of institution and retail sales in the Indian poultry market? What are the major distribution channels in the Indian poultry industry? What is the breakup of the Indian poultry market on the basis of various states? What are the various stages in the value chain of the Indian poultry market? What are the key driving factors and challenges in the Indian poultry market? What is the structure of the Indian poultry market and who are the key players? What is the degree of competition in the Indian poultry market? Topics Covered
1 Preface
2 Scope and Methodology
2.1 Objectives of the Study
2.2 Stakeholders
2.3 Data Sources
2.4 Market Estimation
2.5 Forecasting Methodology
3 Executive Summary
4 Introduction
4.1 Overview
4.2 Key Industry Trends
5 Indian Poultry Market
5.1 Market Overview
5.2 Market Performance
5.3 Market Breakup by Segment
5.4 Market Breakup by End-Use
5.5 Market Breakup by Distribution Channel
5.6 Market Breakup by State
5.7 Market Forecast
5.8 SWOT Analysis
5.9 Value Chain Analysis
5.10 Porters Five Forces Analysis
5.11 Price Analysis
6 Market Breakup by Segment
6.1 Broiler
6.2 Eggs
7 Competitive Landscape
7.1 Market Structure
7.2 Key Players
7.3 Profiles of Key Players
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/px9jlw
//www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190416005473/en/
Contacts:
ResearchAndMarkets.com
Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
press@researchandmarkets.com
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
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For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
Related Topics: Meat, Poultry and Eggs

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Apple Cider Vinegar Honey Turmeric

Apple Cider Vinegar Honey Turmeric Apple cider vinegar and honey can help balance your body’s ph, especially if you are overly acidic. p.s. remember, just like with all of my products, your purchase of organic apple cider vinegar with ginger and turmeric is protected with my money back guarantee. please see complete details below! view complete content. best selling!. Turmeric and apple cider vinegar detox tea – healthy detox tea made with turmeric, apple cider vinegar and honey. a beverage that you can drink daily! we have all heard about the amazing health benefits of consuming super foods, such as turmeric , which is a root vegetable and spice used in many indian and southeast asian cuisines.. Apple cider vinegar has been used medicinally for centuries. it is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. it can help release certain vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat such as iron to help to oxygenate the blood, which helps regenerate cells.. The most powerful natural antibiotic. kills any infection Apple cider vinegar detox drink recipes – the indian spot Health benefits of banana, banana benefits for heart “re: really bad breath after apple cider vinegar and lemon (candida & dysbiosis forum) 4/13/2016 2314087 – re: really bad breath after apple cider vinegar and lemon this is a reply to # 2,297,338 re: really bad breath after apple cider vinegar and lemon advertisement turmeric bowel cleanse hulda clark cleanses hello.. Incredible turmeric & apple cider vinegar weight loss facts! august 27, 2018 by adam kemp 24 comments after you read these facts about the benefits of turmeric and apple cider vinegar for weight loss, i am sure i can convince you holistic weight loss methods are as good as any other.. Morning turmeric detox drink with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne. lots of health benefits in this elixir to kickstart your day! i’ve long heard about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, turmeric and lemon water.. Related Posts by Categories

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Iftar Preview at Marriott Al Forsan

Khayal Restuarant is a great dining concept with tasting portions of appetizers, salads and desserts, prepared at 6 live action cooking stations.
K
hayal Restaurant is offering a Amazing Selection of Six Different Cuisine. Ramadan is one of the This year Ramadan begins mid-May and ends mid-June. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset to reflect on their blessings. Like many special occasions around the world, the Holy Month of Ramadan is a time to be generous, thankful and to spend quality moments with friends and family.
Khayal Restaurant is giving a special Promotion for Iftar.
Rate: 5/5 Food: 5/5 Delicious and amazing wide variety of Different Cuisines. 6 different live cooking stations per cuisine. freshly made/cook just for you. sushi is the best and asian food also. arabic food and indian is a must try specially for expats and travelers. Middle Eastern & Italian too.
Ambiance:4.5/5 Very Spacious, neat, Kid Friendly & Private Dining Area Available. Great Ambiance.
Staff: 5/5 Accomodating and very friendly. once you entered they will greet you with warm welcome and big smile.
Visit https://www.marriottalforsanlife.com/ for Bookings & New Promotions
Iftar: Daily, 6.30 pm to 9 pm Location: Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Street 12, Khalifa City-Abu Dhabi Call: +971 2 201 4131 For group enquiries: mhrs.auhal.sales@marriott.com

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Delectable treat: How Delhi’s iconic eateries evolved

One reason why some eateries in Delhi have attained iconic status is the nostalgia attached to them, and the stories behind their journeys. Over the past few decades, the frenzied pace at which Delhi has transformed, finds reflection in its food scene. Many millennials have just two demands of an eating joint: that the restaurant is stylish and the liquor is served quickly. In South Delhi, hipper restaurants in Hauz Khas Village still find takers even as a large number of restaurants have disappeared after a stint of less than two years. In the demanding club and barhopping scene of 2019, it is somewhat astonishing that several decades-old eateries have not just survived, they are flourishing.
A number of these old haunts from the pre-Partition era are located in Connaught Place. Others, such as York, Ginza and La Boheme, says renowned food critic and academic Pushpesh Pant, survive on the marquee but their souls have departed.
“The footfalls are heading towards more permissive resto-bars and franchised fast food joints,” adds Pant. Some of the restaurants haven’t just preserved their businesses and their identities, they are perceived as some of the biggest food brands in Delhi.
So, how does an eatery attain iconic status?
KWALITY, NOSTALIGIA’S NEW FACE
Started in 1940 by Pishori Lal Lamba as an ice cream store which catered to American GIs, Kwality has undergone a dramatic makeover. As it grew, its clientele expanded to rich Delhiites and Anglo-Indians. But it stood out from other restaurants even in the beginning, says Pant, “Kwality was far less intimidating than the other upscale restaurants. PL Lamba, who came to Delhi from Lahore in Pakistan, never forgot his humble beginnings as a refugee and his eatery bravely bridged the divide between social classes.
Kwality after the renovation in 2018. It served Fish Portuguesa, Hamburger Steaks, Fish n Chips along with Chhole Bhature”. Divij Lamba, grandson of PL Lamba, and director, Kwality, explains, “These dishes were a mix of traditional Punjabi food and British club food to appeal to both the Indian and Anglo-Indian clientele. But we’ve lost a lot of the recipes.”
Building, it is now a multi-storey, dimly lit restaurant, with black and white photographs lining the walls, and silverware. But Kwality’s chole bhature is still a favourite, as is the Chicken A la Kiev. It took a new avatar last year, with a complete revamp. Lamba adds, “We wanted it to retain its historical charm, and appeal to a new range of customers.” AC Chawla, 63, a retired statistician, agrees, “It was a place where you went with your family.”
Adds Shikha Bansal, a 59-year-old teacher, “I used to go there every Saturday for their sizzler dishes. They didn’t have as many choices as they do now, but even then, it was good.”
UNITED COFFEE HOUSE: A HUB TO EXCHANGE IDEAS
While Kwality has drastically changed its avatar, United Coffee House, also a Connaught Place landmark, has kept up the appearance of its original form, even as it experimented with a number of cuisines.
MF Husain was a regular, and the famed Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi also used to come when he was in town. Says Akash Kalra, who has been running UCH for the past 28 years, “Built in 1942, we are Delhi’s first café. When we began, we conceived the idea of a coffee place where people could gather and share ideas.”
Gradually, spurred by the demands of its patrons, UCH became a multi-cuisine restaurant. “From Jawaharlal Nehru, to Indira Gandhi, and all the Raja Sahebs, including the Maharaja of Patiala, they all came here.”
MF Husain was a regular, and the famed Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi also used to come when he was in town. As eminent food historian Osama Jalali puts it, “Even when they revamped, the décor remained the same. They replicated the chandeliers which originally came from Belgium, with new replicas, which also came from Belgium.”
KARIM’S, 100 NOT OUT
Karim’s, near the Jama Masjid, began as a small outlet that served meat dishes to 14-15 customers on benches in 1913. As Anuj Sahani, 64, an artist, says “We didn’t really go there for the atmosphere, as it was just benches and tables; we went for the quality of the food, and extremely reasonable prices.”
Now, it is a large AC restaurant, that can seat up to 200. Zaeemuddin Ahmed, director of Karim’s Pvt Ltd, and the great grandson of Haji Karimuddin who founded the eatery, says, “We have flourished for 106 years, as we have been taught that when it comes to food and spices, never compromise on quality.” Ahmed goes on to say, “We have been maintaining the same taste since 1913.”
Haji Karimuddin (L) founder of Karim’s, his great-grandson Zaeemuddin Ahmed, the current director. “It is essentially the same food that was eaten in Mughal times. We even use the same spices, such as cardamom and pepper, the same way, as well as dahi and garam masala,” says Ahmed.
On the roster of celebrities who’ve savoured Karim’s succulent delicacies over the years are actors Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Raj Kapoor and Shabana Azmi; singer Lata Mangeshkar, and cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Ajay Jadeja. To keep in sync with the sensibilities of their modern clients, says Ahmed, Karim’s underwent a series of renovations. On the roster of celebrities who’ve savoured Karim’s succulent delicacies over the years are actors Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Raj Kapoor and Shabana Azmi; singer Lata Mangeshkar, and cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Ajay Jadeja.
Today it has become a city milestone. “Tourists come here see the Lal Qila, India Gate, and Karim’s. Our mutton seekh kebab, badam pasanda, brain curry are the hot selling items ,” claims Ahmed.
MOTI MAHAL, FLEXIBLE DOES IT
Another old brand located in Daryaganj that has withstood the ravages of time is Moti Mahal. Set up by Kundan Lal Gujral in 1947 in Delhi, it can be credited with creating the butter chicken, and propagating the spread of tandoori cuisine in Delhi.
One tradition that has continued in the restaurant are the weekly qawwali sessions first promoted by KL Gujral. Gujral’s grandson, Monish Gujral, who joined the family business in 1983, explains why they are going strong after a century.
“Every brand needs reinvention over the years. My grandfather had started it, but expectations, along with people change over the years,” He goes on to say, “To keep pace with the changing palates of our patrons, we had to stay relevant. Food is like the fashion industry, so we need to keep up with the flavour of the month,” he explains.
Since millennials prefer their food to include lighter options, Moti Mahal is using oats, bajra etc. “Many who come in don’t want to pick up the menu, they order butter chicken and chicken pakoras.” Gujral admits to being flexible giving the menu a twist whenever necessary. Among its celebrity patrons, freedom fighter Maulana Azad, is said to have remarked, “Coming to Delhi without eating at Moti Mahal, is like going to Agra without seeing the Taj.”
The Kennedys, Gordon Ramsey and Justin Trudeau are also said to have visited the place.
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Exotic Sri Lanka!

Life’s simple. You make choices and you don’t look back. But it doesn’t mean you can’t bitch and rave about it. Saturday, March 30, 2019 Exotic Sri Lanka! Well, my oh my. Back from my first vacation of the year, and damn do I have mixed feelings about it, haha. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. It was actually not bad, and there were definitely some highlights for me, especially with the national parks. But the weather was just so darn scorching hot! I swear, I have never taken more Panadols than on this particular vacation. A grand total of 6 tablets, including the 2 that I still had to take prior to departing! 14 March, Thursday Freaking early start to the day, to catch a 0840-flight out to Colombo, Sri Lanka. . I slept like only 4 or 5 hours during the night, and was tired enough to knock out fairly quickly upon boarding the flight. Arrived in Colombo International Airport safe and sound, maneuvered our way out of the terminal, and our local tour guide was right there waiting for us, with my big name on a placard. Greeted us with orchid garlands, and then we were off to our first location of the day! Turned out he’s not just our tour guide, he’s the driver too. But we quickly realized we were fine with him not constantly talking and telling us things on the road, because we really wanted his full attention on the roads itself. Because, the culture of driving on the 2-way, single-lane roads of Sri Lanka is pretty insane. Speeding, jamming on brakes, overtaking, honking and all that. As drivers, we all knew damn well that you need to be real focused to be doing all of that, so that you do not get into a freaking car accident. But at least we all got complimentary data SIMs, and there was really decent WiFi on our van as well, which made me very happy indeed. So then we drove away, out of Colombo, and came to our first spot of the first day, which was the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Had lunch there by the riverside, which meant having a lovely view of some of these majestic beasts playing in the water while we ate! After lunch, we were given a quick rundown of how they make paper from recycled elephant poo, and they call it aptly, “Poo Paper”, haha. We were kinda just hiding from the sun and chilling in their air-conditioned souvenir shop, when the time came for us to witness whole herds of elephants lumbering down the street and crossing the road – traffic stops for them! — as they commute between the river and the orphanage itself! We spotted a poor ol’ elephant walking with a limp due to his broken leg, and then there was this huge-ass one who’s a respectable 80 years old. Dad was so awed by the size of this one too. It was awesome to see them lumbering right past our very eyes, barely 3 metres away. We moved on to the Dambullah Royal Temple Caves after this fun start to the trip, and that’s where the torturous hot weather set in for us. Upon arrival at the Caves, when it was clear that Mom and Aunty Shui Lan weren’t going to be able to make it up the long flight of stairs, the guide took us via another route, which was longer, but a gradual uphill slope rather than steps. Got some nice views on our way up, and even saw the Sigiriya Rock in the distance on the horizon. Very impressive. Going through all 5 of the cave temples wasn’t such hardship, to be fair, but when you bundle it with the early morning we’d started out with and the heat so far, we were getting really tired. Though it was interesting to see the caves with all the Buddha statues and the well-maintained frescoes of countless Buddhas, we were nothing short of relieved when we finally made it to our hotel for the first 2 nights. Jetwing Lake Dambullah is in a location as remote as the Dambullah Caves themselves, but it was set amidst nature and quiet. The rooms we got were on the ground level, real spacious with the pool practically right in our backyard – not that I used the pool anyway. I loved that there was a lot of natural light coming in… but Dad hated the apparent lack of privacy and proceeded to draw the blinds immediately. Which then elicited my protests. Which then started a debate. Vicious cycle on Day 1 already. *Rolls eyes* 15 March, Friday Breakfast with a view! We started out bright and early, were among the first to be at breakfast, so we got a table right by the edge of the restaurant and had our first meal of the day in the company of the sounds of nature, and a peaceful grassy field with a pond, right beside us. Hit Sigiriya first as we set out from the hotel at 0800 hrs. It was another bloody hot day, under the sweltering sun as we walked in places without shade, through this old, naturally-formed rock fortress. We heard lots of interesting stories about how this place came to be, complete with some legends and rumours thrown in. But true to some of the stories, we did see signs of a lot of destroyed frescoes on the rocky walls. Destroyed by monks who came after the downfall of this fortress’ king, because those frescoes portrayed nothing but beautiful, naked women, and proved to be way too much of a distraction for the monks. It goes to show… Monks are afterall, still men with dicks. We gradually approached the Sigiriya Rock itself, and when we came to the bottom of the rock, we saw that there was a queue to ascend it. That queue, by the way, was directly under the scorching sun, and I sure as hell did not want to join. In the first place, queue or not, I was already unsure if I’d be able to make it all the way up to the top of the rock anyway. Throw in the heat and the exhaustion that was already starting to set in from the heat? Uh-uh, no thank you. So as a result, we left early and gave the ascension of the Rock a complete miss – all of us – and took our time with lunch instead. Then since we still had time to kill, we dropped by this place selling silk, but ultimately didn’t buy anything either. On our way to Polonnaruwa, we drove through the roads of the Minneriya National Park. Well now, Minneriya National Park isn’t actually on our itinerary, but because our journey took us through it anyway, we got to spot our first wild elephant here!… Yep, so apparently the tour vans were kinda communicating with one another, flashing their headlights as they came from the opposite direction. And apparently, that appeared to be the code for “Elephant sighted, 50 metres down the road”, so our guide pulled up by the shoulder to let us gawk at this solo male wild elephant munching on leaves on a short tree, without a care in the world, giving no regard to the vehicles zipping past him on the road. Color me thrilled to see my first wild elephant! We arrived at the ancient city ruins of Polonnaruwa, but first we went through their museum, which was interesting, but the air ventilation and air conditioning was god-awful . It was all enclosed, the real air conditioners fixed on the ceilings weren’t working, and instead it was just a few standing fans and air coolers trying to do the job. Jesus Christ, we were practically suffocating and baking inside, which really didn’t help with our levels of exhaustion from the morning. After the baking experience in the museum, we then had to actually cover the humongous grounds of the ruins of Polonnuaruwa proper. That involved going out under the sun again, of course, and also having to board and alight from our van at least 4 times, seeing different spots and buildings of the ruins. So glad when we were finally done, and on our way back to the hotel, we went through the same road via Minneriya National Park again, and this time, in the hours of the early evening, we saw an entire herd of elephants grazing in the distance! Babies and females in the herd, about 15 to 16 of them, going about their business. Loads of cars stopped by the roadside to snap photos of them – mostly tourists like us. We stood there marvelling at the sight… until something seemed to have spooked the herd and they all started running for the cover of the forest. Well, that cued us to get going too; afterall we’d had a long, hot day and were nothing short of looking forward to returning to the comfort of our hotel rooms. 16 March, Saturday Last day that I’d have to cover myself up and dress “decent” for the sacred and holy grounds of Buddhism! Gosh, it has been excruciating, to say the least, having to wear the long pants and T-shirts to cover my knees and shoulders in this brutal heat. Simply because we’re visiting all these religious places. The truth is, 2 days past of visiting religious places, and attentively listening to all these Buddha stories from our guide, and I realized that most of the time, I understood at most just 70% of what he was talking about. Because the fact is, I’m not religious at all, and couldn’t care less about how many times Buddha reincarnated, where she’d been, what she’d done or even what she’d worn.… Wait. Buddha is female, right? I don’t even know. Gosh. Whatever. My point is, it just makes the whole thing a little less interesting for me, when I don’t know much about this godly character, nor even care to know about it. If I’m to be honest here. But today, before we visited the holy Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, we first made a stop at the Spice Gardens in Matale. Matale is a region best known for the production of spices, and we had an interesting talk through the this particular spice gardens, led by this well-dressed Sri Lankan middle-aged dude speaking some mediocre Mandarin. It was a fairly interesting and entertaining process… until we stepped into the unavoidable products store and ended up not buying anything because those things are really overpriced. Like wow, that dude’s demeanor just changed immediately, and was instantly curt and unsmiling. He was inches short of literally kicking us out of the spice gardens. We knew very well the reason for this 180-degree change, but still it was really off-putting customer service. Tsk tsk. After that eyeroll-worthy experience where we saw societal pragmatism at its best, we hit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Said tooth, just to be clear, belongs to Buddha, and hence the holiness. Anyway, because it was a Saturday, we ran right into the throngs of devout locals cramming into this temple to offer their prayers, ask for blessings, and whatnots. It was seriously crowded, I kid you not. We basically just moved along with the crowds, looking at the temple interior, as well as the shrines built for the tooth. Mingling with the locals dressed in white (because it represents purity), while listening to stories of how the tooth came to be, how it passed between India and Sri Lanka and all that. When we finally emerged from the crazy crowd that is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, we were dropped at the jewellers, who are famous for their sapphires. We got shown a video of how they mine for these precious stones, followed by a simple tour of their even simpler museum, and then it came down to the store… again. This middle-aged salesman was trying so hard to sell me something, and when he saw me wearing my stud earrings, he tried to recommend some pink sapphire earrings to me. Pink. Seriously dude, big mistake. And then he made another mistake by thinking we were PRCs, and quoted us a price in CNY. For a while Dad and I thought he was quoting us in Sri Lankan rupees, and were mystified as to how their sapphires could be so bloody cheap. Then he said something which made me pause, made him clarify what currency he was quoting us in, and that was when it dawned upon us. Well the difference in currencies made a hell of of difference to the price in SGD, which in reality, also made more sense. But I simply wasn’t interested in spending hundreds on these baubles anymore, so I declined and moved on. Shortly after, he came to me again, said he was just told we aren’t PRCs, and proceeded to give us a “special” price for Singaporeans. And it was actually near a hundred bucks cheaper. However I simply wasn’t interested in buying baubles, period. Though it proved a point, about how they really charge those idiot PRCs a much higher price for the same things. Well, them PRCs like to flaunt their wealth and launder their money, so I guess they get what they wish for. Thankfully though, Mom did buy a pendant, so at least they stopped pestering the apparent “young lady aka easy target”. Just for the record, this young lady ain’t an easy target, as seen from what she had ended up buying from the jewellers. Nothing. Enroute to our hotel in Kandy for the night, we made a quick stop at this panoramic viewpoint somewhere midway up the hill. Saw the entire town of Kandy there, took some pics, then checked into our luxurious hilltop hotel! Pano view of Kandy After we settled down quickly, we headed out again, for a late afternoon show of the Kandyan Cultural Dances. It turned out to be in this place which is just like one of our school halls – an indoor badminton court with a stage, and plastic chairs lined up for audience seating. Oh, and only fans above our heads, air-conditioning is zilch. The performance itself, I have to say, was unfortunately bland. I really hoped to see something that would wow me, but nada, it was just alright. Even got a little boring at one point. The performers were obviously not all that professional, and there was even a male dancer who looked too damn middle-aged and paunchy to be doing any dancing at all. And then, the best part was the end, when, for the first time in my life, I saw the audience get chased out of their seats onto the stage and the sides of the hall, to watch this Thaipusam-reminiscent performance being done on the ground. Seriously. I’m not entirely sure why this couldn’t have been done on-stage as well, either. These guys are geniuses, eh. … First time ever. 17 March, Sunday The toughest part of this particular itinerary may be finally over, methinks. No more sacred or holy places that require covering up, just cool mountaintops and thrilling safari adventures for the next few days. But first, the Royal Botanical Gardens this morning. Tank tops and shorts on! So, as can be seen from its name, the Royal Botanical Gardens is obviously, well, a very nice, big garden. Very much like ours, and also left behind by the Brits during their occupation of this country back in the day. Except ours is actually nicer in some ways. Afterall, ours is bigger, and has been given the UNESCO World Heritage honour, y’know? Still, it was very nice to walk around in the green surroundings of this garden, albeit with the weather getting more humid and warm as the morning wore on. Saw some interesting plants and trees, while learning that there are 3 colors of labels for these botany – black means they can be found in other countries too, yellow means they’re poisonous! And red means they are exclusive only to Sri Lanka. Saw some fauna too… and speaking of fauna, we saw the amazing sight of hoardes of flying foxes around, either hanging from the tree tops, or flying wildly around in the skies, looking for a good place to hang from! It was such an eye-opener. After the morning spent in the Botanic Gardens, we got onto the winding mountain roads up toward Nuwara Eliya. Finally, we approached the naturally cool climate of these highlands, which the locals call “Little England”. Again, obviously , it’s the kinda place that those damn Brits made for themselves to R&R, during their occupation of Sri Lanka. We first made a stop for our lunch, which was really meh. But at least it came with a nice view of the Ramboda Falls. The guide told us that during this time of the year, the waterfall is unfortunately not at its full strength, but it was nonetheless pretty impressive and made for a good picture. We rounded off lunch in a refined way by heading off to Damro Tea Plantation for some Ceylon tea tasting! However, I have to admit our “tour” of the tea plantation ended up not involving the actual tea plantation at all. We had some very nice English Breakfast Tea in some lovely porcelain, then took the tour of the processing plant – just the processing plant, not the plantation. It wasn’t that bad though, you gain some knowledge and see something you don’t usually get to see. Anyway, by then we were all in a placid mood, because the temperatures were nice and cool, so we were no longer hot and antsy. So hey, no biggie. Finally arrived in Nuwara Eliya, passed by the oldest post office in Sri Lanka on the way – courtesy of the Brits again – and arrived at our hotel! We had a Tamil way of welcome here, which involed a girl at the door to dot the center of our foreheads with a red dot once we stepped into the hotel building. Nice – only a Tamil could’ve dotted it so nicely for us! It was late afternoon by then, and I was tired already. I wanted nothing more than to kick off my shoes, eat my Japanese cup noodles, then relax in this naturally cool temperatures for the rest of the night in the comfort of the hotel room. So while the senior citizens headed back out to the Nuwara Eliya town center to do some shopping and look-see, I did exactly that. It was great. Haha. 18 & 19 March, Monday – Tuesday Goodbye to the rolling clouds over mountain tops, goodbye to the cool climate of Nuwara Eliya, hello to the heat again, and hello wild animal safari! Off to the Yala National Park we headed today – the one highlight of this itinerary that I’ve been most looking forward to! On our way down from Nuwara Eliya, we also passed by the other little town popular with European backpackers, Ella. Ella had been one of the spots we seriously considered going, in place of Nuwara Eliya, when we’d been planning to do a F&E in Sri Lanka. But now, after actually driving through Ella, I’m kinda glad we didn’t end up here eventually. Ella is not as high as Nuwara Eliya, so it was certainly not much of a cool climate, comparatively. Furthermore, it really was packed with European backpackers, which we could see even while just driving along the streets. Which, in essence, makes it less ideal for the 3 senior citizens with me, probably. Still, we did get to see the famous Ella Gap, which was pretty impressive. The Ella Gap It was a long drive, and I even freaked out a bit when it started raining when we were near. But after lunch, the rain tahnkfully stopped, the sun with its blistering rays returned, and we finally arrived proper in Yala, and our hotel, Cinnamon Wild. It was a bit of a rush once more, as our check-in process, though more high-tech, ironically took more time. Then we had to search for our rooms, which essentially are individual units set out in the nature. And then , we had to rush out again for our first afternoon game drive in Yala National Park! We clambered into this small truck-turned-safari-jeep vehicle, and headed out to the national park, along with a number of these other same type of 4WDs. It was thrilling, our first game drive, and we saw some really pretty little birds with such vibrant colors, and our first real sighting – and as close as we can get to the wildlife here – was of this single male elephant. It appeared out of the woods while we were stopped at a clearing, trying to spot the leopard. So instead of any leopard, this big bull materialized, making its way to the waterhole and proceeding to splash water over itself, before drinking some water the way an elephant does. After it was done at the waterhole, it then grazed a little on the grassy patch beside it, and slowly, gradually, it made its way towards the rows of safari jeeps, and maneuvered its way through us, crossing the dirt road. Holy wow , man. Close encounter! After that nice start to our game drive, we spotted a whole lot of other wild animals too. Spotted deers, jungle fowls, peacocks and peahens, buffaloes, crocs, boars, civets, and lots of different breeds of birds. Simply no sloth bears nor leopards though, which are the coveted wildlife to be sighted here. We made a toilet stop midway through the drive, and there, we saw the Indian Ocean for the first time too! Strong waves there, and strong winds! But the blowing winds felt awesome on a hot day. By the time we returned to the resort, it was evening, and after showering and all, we had dinner in the resort’s restaurant. Theoretically we were supposed to get a staff to accompany us everytime we want to walk outside our rooms after 1930 hrs at night for safety reasons. Y’know, in case a wild elephant decided to visit or something. But after the first time, Dad got impatient with this requirement and we all just ignored that little guideline. … You could say we were lucky not to run into any bad-tempered elephants for the 2 nights we were there. Our 2nd day at Yala started bright and early… or rather, it was dark and early at 0500 hrs. Crawled outta bed in the wee hours, and in the darkness, headed out for our morning game drive. We didn’t stop for any of those animals that we’d seen the day before this time, because we were out for the leopard! … Though it was a change to see those animals from yesterday basking in the gentle morning sun, instead of hiding in the shade from the afternoon heat. But long story short, this morning drive was not so well-planned this time. We got hungry and needed to pee badly after about 3 hours, but there were no toilet stops for us. Apparently they expected us to go 4 hours without food nor relieving our bladders, and then leave only 30 minutes for us to have breakfast back at the hotel. Seriously? After 3.5 hours, it was more of the fact that our bladders simply couldn’t take it anymore, so we asked them to bring us back early. It was cut short by only 30 minutes from the intended game drive length anyway, not to mention by then we hadd just about lost all hope of seeing the elusive leopard. In honesty, I’m pretty sure no one saw the leopard that day, so what the heck. No harm, no foul. We spent the rest of the day in the resort just chillin’… I actually wanted to get a massage, but changed my mind in an instant when I saw just how expensive their spa packages are. I’m better off using my massage package that I already have back home. Same price range. Dad and I basked in the nature – and heat – on our patio, and were rewarded by the some chirpy bird calling from a nearby tree. We watched a “squirrel” burglar nose around the housekeeping staff’s cart, and when we heard rustling in the tall bushes right next to our patio, I investigated and found 2 wild boars taking an afternoon nap in the shade! Then in the late afternoon, we headed out to a waterhole right outside the hotel grounds, and staked out for more wildlife. We just sat on some rocks about 50 metres away from the waterhole, and kept our eyes trained for the movements around it. More birds, storks and whatnots feeding, even crocs prowling. Also a peacock strutting his stuff, and a family of wild boars digging around for food. Unfortunately, still no leopard – not that we were really expecting one out there, when we hadn’t even be able to see one in the national park proper. Regardless, the “stakeout” was really nice, some sort of an experience in itself too, and I enjoyed it. 20 March, Wednesday So that was it for our stay in Yala National Park! We departed from Cinnamon Wild Yala in the morning, as I reluctantly bade goodbye to the resident monkeys sharing the pool area with hotel guests, lapping up water from the pool haha, and drove away, out of the national park area. We came to Galle, this beachside city famous for all these forts and city walls built and/or improved by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and finally the Brits — their occupation of this country pretty much in that order. The guide told us their infrastructures, and their intelligence in setting up underground tunnels for transport and all, which was interesting. Since it’s a beachside city, of course we got great views of the ocean from the forts too. But it was, again, another of those insanely hot, scorching days, so we sure didn’t have the incentive to hang around that much. We just took the photos of the nice view and the fort walls, and then bailed. After lunch, we made the stop at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, and while it wasn’t like we got to release baby turtles into the ocean — that’s not how it works here anyway — we got a rather detailed lowdown on how the turtles are rescued and nurtured and all that. We saw a number of adult turtles that, sadly, are all disabled somehow. Missing one or more of their flippers, and hence unable to balance or dive into the water and such. And most of them were maimed because of fishermen nets that they had been caught in. It hurt my chest to hear these stories, man. The Hatchery is looking into working with those in the more developed countries like the UK and Australia, to 3D-print prosthetic flippers for these maimed turtles, so that they can eventually be rehabilitated and released back into the ocean, where they truly belong. I also held one baby turtle, which apparently had only been hatched that morning, just 2 to 3 hours old! And young as it may be, I tell ya, that little guy had some strong flippers anyway as it struggled to get out of my fingers! Jiayou Baby Turtle. May you grow up well and strong! Just a few minutes away from the Hatchery, we went to see the “stilt fishermen”, which turned out to be a touristy, money-grubbing gimmick. Those men just put on their costumes, run into the water, climb onto these stilts already erected there, and ask you to take photos of them. And then they take photos with you, and finally… they ask for tips. Like, big tips. The Parents only gave the one guy who took a photo with us a small tip, and we quickly slipped away — just as the other “performers” came running out to ask for their share. Luckily we got out of there in time, otherwise it would’ve been a ridiculously hefty tip for something so simple; as it is, the Parents did see those men totally ripping off a Caucasian couple who were also there to see “stilt fishermen”. Anyway, this is how it looks like: We finally headed to our hotel at Weligama Bay after this last stop for the day, and for our last hotel in Sri Lanka, we were put up at Marriott! The check-in process irked me some at the beginning, because there was a group of PRC tourists who’d just arrived, and thanks to Mom, when we missed our first opportunity to sit at the check-in counter, we were left standing around, having to wait again for our turn. But when they finally escorted us into the air-conditioned check-in desks in the building, I ended up having a very nice chat with the duty manager, and when I declined paying an additional USD20 to upgrade our rooms to a higher level, she upgraded us anyway, sans the USD20. And the room really was awesome! Spacious and bright with lots of natural light, full-length windows looking out to the beach and the Indian Ocean, and of course, a balcony to go with it! After settling in, we all went to the beach to dip our feet into the Indian Ocean — at least, I did — and then in the evening, we had our buffet dinner in the restaurant, which was again, awesome. Finally, some decent food of all cuisines, I think because after all, this is Marriott, an international 5-star hotel chain. 21 March, Thursday Last day in Sri Lanka! After we reluctantly checked out of our super-nice rooms in Marriott to head back to the outdoors heat, we made full circle and returned to the capital, Colombo. And just like any other capital city out there, traffic in Colombo was insane . Jams everywhere, packed with cars, trucks and tuk-tuks all trying to squeeze in between one another, creating new lanes on an already-packed road and yada yada yada. Certainly not for the faint-hearted. We did a city tour which basically involved your typical landmarks, like their Independence Square, the Wolfendaal Church, and did drive-by’s to see the city hall, the beautiful Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, and the madness of the different districts in Colombo city center itself. We did get an exclusive inside look of their Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre — kinda like our Esplanade — and that was pretty nice. We then did some shopping in one of their departmental stores, where Mom bought some clothes, and then we had dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Here, we got to try the supposedly famous Sri Lankan crab, though just a small one. I ate a little as well, and while I obviously know nothing about crabs, I thought it was quite sweet and fresh. And then that was it for our 8-day tour of the exotic Sri Lanka! We were brought to the airport and bade our goodbyes to our driver-cum-guide of the last 8 days, and I was so darn glad when we finally left their airport — which, in my state of headache, I found absolutely annoying, chaotic and suffering a severe lack of seating — to board our homebound SQ flight. Well, not a bad trip, all in all! Rather interesting and enjoyable, albeit the horrendous heat on most days that rendered me a freaking zombie more than half the time. The 2-night stay in Yala was still my favorite out of the entire trip, and the only regret was that we never got to find any leopards. Guess we couldn’t have it all, eh. Another Random Raving @

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The food was not good. I’d rate it 3 out of 10. They focus on Indian cuisine too much. No chocolate tea for kids at breakfast and limited choices for cereals.
The waiter Suleiman was very friendly and helpful. Our room cleaner Rajgiri was also very tidy and kept our room clean.
Stayed in April 2019

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The food was not good. I’d rate it 3 out of 10. They focus on Indian cuisine too much. No chocolate tea for kids at breakfast and limited choices for cereals.
The waiter Suleiman was very friendly and helpful. Our room cleaner Rajgiri was also very tidy and kept our room clean.
Stayed in April 2019

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‘Eat, Enjoy and Entertain’: Vijayawada’s brand new recreation zone coming up- The New Indian Express

Home Cities Vijayawada ‘Eat, Enjoy and Entertain’: Vijayawada’s brand new recreation zone coming up
A walking track alongside the river bed, an arena for cultural performances, LED screens and water fountains will also be installed on the premises. Share Via Email Published: 14th April 2019 09:00 AM | Last Updated: 14th April 2019 09:00 AM | A+ A A- The food and recreation zone coming up at the new Vijayawada Municipal Corporation facility at Padmavathi Ghat in Vijayawada. (Photo | RVK Rao, EPS) By Sistla Dakshina Murthy Express News Service VIJAYAWADA: In a respite to those who look for hangout spots in Vijayawada, the civic body is coming up with a recreation zone at Padmavathi Ghat. The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has named it E3 (Eat, Enjoy and Entertain), which is likely to start operating by the end of this month. Spread over 1.1 km, the Padmavathi Ghat is very close to the Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS). On May 1, 2018, the civic body had inked a pact with Jaan Entertainment Private Limited for the establishment of the same as part of a riverfront development project. According to VMC officials, JAAN Entertainment had quoted bids at an estimated Rs 24.50 lakh per annum (for seven years) and it has invested Rs 12 crore in the project. As per the agreement, the operator would take care of the construction and maintenance of the food court for a period of seven years. Basing on the response on the food court, the corporation might extend the agreement by two years. Works for the project commenced last November after permission from all the departments concerned was attained. As part of the project, different cuisines will be made available on the premises. A walking track alongside the river bed, an arena for cultural performances, LED screens and water fountains will also be installed on the premises. The entry into the campus will be free for the public from 9 am to 2 am. However, one has to pay `100 for an access card that will have the validity for five years. People can register themselves at www.ethree.in to avail these access cards by submitting details such as Aadhar number and mobile number. This decision was taken for safety and security reasons, the CEO added. As many as 60 CCTVs are arranged on the premises and its link has been connected to nearby police stations; about 24 security personnel will be deployed on the premises. “Initially, we are planning to issue 20,000 access cards and increase this number in a phased manner. The premises could facilitate parking for 150 cars at one time. As of now, the tariff for the gaming zone is yet to be decided,” the CEO said. Premises to be fully secured Different cuisines will be made available on the premises. The entry into the premises is free for the public from 9 am to 2 am. However, one has to pay Rs 100 for an access card that will have the validity of five years. Links of 60 CCTVs have been connected to nearby police stations; about 24 security personnel will be deployed on the premises Stay up to date on all the latest Vijayawada news with The New Indian Express App. Download now (Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit ‘Click to Subscribe’ . Follow the instructions after that.) TAGS

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