Golden Rules for Bali:
One thing I like about Bali is that it’s a Visa free country so no issues of getting all documents in place to apply for a Visa. One just has to carry flight tickets and currency but I would suggest you to carry hotel reservations as well.
For currency, I took dollars with myself from India as you get a good rate for Indonesian rupiah in exchange of dollars. Central Kuta gives the best rate. There are multiple outlets in Bali.
If you are not taking a packaged tour, it’s important to book the right transport service. I booked my car from Sanura Tours & Travels. We explored a number of places with them. The efficient drivers came on time, the cars were clean, the drivers were friendly, spoke English, and even clicked our beautiful family pictures. Not to forget, they coordinated with us on WhatsApp too and told us about local attractions as well.
Whether you are travelling with kids or as a couple, Bali Zoo is must in your itinerary. Night at the Zoo was about fun with elephants, snakes, deers, kangaroos, lions, sunbears and tigers in their nocturnal habitat- from feeding the lions, tigers, elephants and deers to touching and playing with the deers & kangaroos who loved us too. Taking a Python snake on us was another adventure and experience altogether! Breakfast with Orangutans was also once in a lifetime experience!
Bali Swing is also a must visit if you wanna be captured at a high. Bali Swing houses numerous jungle swings ranging from 10m, to 78m above the ground and everyone has ample options to choose from a total of 18 swings. A spectacular view which overlooks the river, tropical greenery and waterfalls is a given whichever swing(s) you choose along with its own thrill and adventure. So whether you are on a solo trip or are a couple, a family or are accompanied with friends, this is a must visit.
Devil’s Tear was one of the highlights of our trip. A must must visit! Waves come in force and what we see is epic. A rainbow formed in the midst of water. Wow! What a sight. One can just sit there for hours and watch the amazing sight. Me and my family were simply awestruck with the sight. Though, one must be careful going too close to the waves. This was a part of our Nusa Lembongan trip which we booked through Sunrise Fast Cruise Bali.
Once our dates were decided, we thought of checking out the flight which works well according to our itinerary. We checked tariffs and reviews of various flights and zeroed down on Malindo Air. I had taken Malindo Air to Malaysia earlier and loved my experience and had no second thoughts about this one. We were booked on Malindo flight OD 206 which had to fly out from Delhi at 10:05 PM IST and reach Bali Denpasar Airport at 12:15 PM (Indonesia time) with a three hour stop over at Kuala Lumpur. We were happy to see that the flight was on time and after a smooth check-in at the Malindo Air counter, collecting boarding pass, immigration and security check, me and my family were relaxed. With services like extra legroom, inflight entertainment, baggage allowance and meals on board, the flights are just perfect! Regional selections in entertainment section is just what an Indian traveler would love. Another highlight was the meal. I have hated having cold meals in almost every flight whether domestic or international but Malindo was a pleasant surprise. The meals were hot and yum! Such a pleasure!
Chhindwara: A city spreading its wings with developing its people and celebrating the local produce- Corn
One of my best memories while growing up is having bhutta from the street vendor. Our bhutta in the dining concept changed to corn chaat as well as corn on the cob. Little did I know that the crop ‘corn’ has 300 variations and types which are coded with numbers. ‘9126’ is grown on heavy soil and has disease resistance power, 9198 is grown on heavy/ medium soil while 9141 is grown on medium soil. What we eat as bhutta or corn on the cob is 2212…Isn’t this so interesting!
Yes, that’s what I discovered at the recently concluded Corn Festival 2019 held at Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh. Honestly, when I got an invitation from Chhindwara District Administration, CM Kamal Nath Ji & MP Government, I wasn’t sure if I should go. Chhindwara is known to be a Tier 3 city and being in a metro we have a perception of how a Tier 3 city looks like. I did my research and said yes to the invitation which I am till date glad about.
I love the vivid culture India has where one gets to learn about different religions as well as their festivities. I have enjoyed the splendour of Christmas as much as I enjoy Diwali so when I got an invitation for a Ramadan Food Walk from Novotel Hyderabad Airport we could not say ‘NO’. After a 2 hour flight we landed in Hyderabad, the City of Nizams from where in a few minutes we entered the plush and beautiful hotel. A look around and I was captivated with the serene surroundings filled with greenery and nature.
Well, if I think of Rajasthan, the first few things which come to my mind are Jaipur, havelis, forts, history…and this time my Rajasthan trip was about all these things except Jaipur. Yes, it was a trip to Bikaner. It was time to visit Gaj Kesri, Bikaner. I did a little research on the property and its website said “Gaj Kesri is a small elegant hotel in the outskirts of Bikaner with easy access to the city and its chief attraction”. The gallery showcased the best of pictures combined with modernity and tradition and I instantly said yes to visit the place.
Always ready to explore the unexplored, we caught an early morning flight (ATR) to Bikaner. It’s the only flight operated between Delhi and Bikaner. I was quite amazed to see the cozy Bikaner airport operated by Indian Air Force where the luggage does not come on a conveyer belt but it’s transported manually. Due to security reasons, photography is not permitted and I controlled my urge to take pictures.
Let me tell you about my third trip to Jaipur, actually first with parents! My first trip to Jaipur was with friends which was after college when we had started working and saved our meagre salary for a trip to the touristy city, my second trip was for my Corporate Communications job and now I am in Jaipur again which is a trip with parents. When parents travel, they want everything to be comfortable and cozy that too at a central location. It wouldn’t have been ok if I had booked a secluded place for our little getaway! At times I become melodramatic! 😉
So we chose Lemon Tree Premier Jaipur to be our abode. Located at Bani Park, Jaipur, the property is known for plush and spacious interiors taking the zing up a notch. The hotel is a short distance away from Collectorate Circle and MI Road in addition to being be easily accessible from the railway station (2.5 kms). Since ours was road travel, it was a smooth drive for us as the hotel is 3 kms from Ajmer-Delhi National Highway. The hotel is also in close proximity to major tourist attractions like Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, City Palace and the walled city of Jaipur. Hence, we were sorted whether we wanted to go for shopping or visiting tourist attractions.
It was Nidhi’s birthday recently on 19th Jan and we as family thought of celebrating her birthday as a getaway! While growing up her birthday used to be during exams and we were mostly confined at home. Now that we are pass through those grilling school and college days, it’s time to look at bigger celebrations. Afterall we work day and night, why not cherish those special moments!
Surprisingly, what we got was not only a getaway but an experience in itself! You would have got a glimpse of our experience on our Instagram stories and posts too, but now is the time to tell you every bit of our experience!
We started at 9 AM from Delhi by road to reach Alila Fort Bishangarh, a luxurious 22 acre heritage fort-hotel. Opened in July 2017, Alila Fort Bishangarh is the only warrior fort that has been converted into heritage resort. With 10 years of restoration, the fort retains the fantastic combination of the rugged, untouched inhabited parts of the old fort. It is a magnificent property which boasts of carefully reconstructed royal residential areas, recreating the truly authentic flavour of Shahpura’s royalty. The navigation was simple and the highway led us to Bishangarh village and then to the gates leading us to the majestic property. We were welcomed at the Haveli tent- a massive space which welcomes its guests under a tent with fountains on the sides. It’s such an amazing feeling that you get! There is no front office and one relaxes at the comfortable Haveli tent where welcome drinks in the form of shikanji/tea are served along with gur (jaggery). Then comes the twist in the tale. A jeep comes and takes you up to Pehla Darwaza and into the fort. An ancient era is what we were reminded of when we looked around after coming out of the lift.
Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport: The perfect stay as well as food that too a few minutes from landing
I was planning to travel to Mumbai and while deciding where to stay Holiday Inn came up in the options. I had already stayed at Holiday Inn at Phuket and had loved my experience so without a doubt I finalized it. Stepping in at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport brought back the lovely memories of my time at Holiday Inn Phuket!
The end of the calendar year is usually busy considering the festivities, weddings and holidays. It’s time to travel whether it’s a destination wedding or a holiday which makes it imperative that we book flight tickets well in advance. We all know the more we delay our bookings, it gets more and more expensive. It’s always good to be relaxing at a beach or enjoying your time at a visually appealing place rather than fretting and regretting about a higher fare price.