CUSCO – FOR EVERY CULTURE VULTURE

Often regarded as the gateway to the “lost” city of Machu Picchu, Cusco in Peru is a powerhouse of culture and a living monument to Inca history

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Enter the colonial city of Cusco and the first thing that strikes the eye is its archetypal architecture and stone-walled alleys. For individuals used to living in fabricated urban spaces and cities dotted with skyscrapers, a visit to South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city is nothing short of time travel!

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CAPE TOWN – A DELICIOUS SLICE OF THE “RAINBOW NATION”

Known as the most European city in South Africa, Cape Town is a magical melagne of art, history, culture, and striking topography

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Many talk about quitting the city life for the beauty and tranquility of the mountains, but very few end up taking the plunge. With a paradise like Cape Town in existence, you may want to change your plans. When you visit the city, you come to the realisation that you can savour the best of both worlds without having to give up on either. Yes, Cape Town is a jewel in South Africa’s crown that’s endlessly fascinating. While its beaches and mountains burst with flora and fauna, the harbour and streets are buzzing with contemporary coffee joints and nightlife destinations. This is where age-old architecture blends seamlessly with minimalist avant-garde designs.

Jaw-dropping scenery, immaculate beaches, delicious food, untouched wildlife, rich history, diverse culture, gorgeous hiking trails, world-class wine – Cape Town has it all and a lot more.

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A TASTE OF MOD OZ (What to eat when in South Australia)

In South Australia, what’s on your plate is as diverse as the region’s people and scenery. Here’s an epicurean’s guide to the mecca of “fusion food

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SWISS CUISINE – A POTPOURRI OF INFLUENCES

Apart from being a harmonious tableau of beautiful images, Switzerland is home to a hearty traditional cuisine. Stay with me as I find out what’s cooking in the land of four languages

ENGADIN St. Moritz: Champagner-Feeling in Engadin St. Moritz

While Switzerland borders France in the West, Germany in the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein in the east and Italy in the south, you can only imagine its culinary diversity.

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TO DOS IN THE 20-MINUTE CITY – ADELAIDE

Cool, cultured and casual are the words that aptly describe South Australia’s capital city – Adelaide.  When here, keep these at the top of your list

LET A BAMBOO TREECYCLE TAKE YOU AROUND

P9390183These eco-friendly bicycle tours (starting $5) are cheaper than catching a bus, train, or taxi

When in Adelaide, travel slow, literally. How about going around the city in an eco-friendly passenger bike built from bamboo? The treecycle is run by young, fit and charismatic home-grown caddies who know the city well and promise to show you around with all their passion, providing interesting insights now and then. All you got to do is download the Eco Caddy app and choose your favourite caddy to pick you up. With Adelaide being the 20-minute city – it’s called so as everything is pretty close and easy to get to – with a flat terrain, it’s perfect for bike rides. Plus, there’s so much buzz that if you move through it too quickly, you’re likely to miss out on the fun. When travelling in this treecycle, you can easily hop on and hop off wherever you like!

GET ON THAT ROOF

0719182Z-AOCLD6A161008H5~AO62820719182ZVY (2)If you’re a cricket-loving Indian, you’re definitely in for one of the most exhilarating adventures at the picturesque test cricket ground – Adelaide Oval. Register for a 2-hour guided climb across the stadium’s unique roofline, put on your suit and safety harness and enjoy stunning views of Adelaide, stretching out to the Adelaide Hills on one side and the coast on the other. Or book an evening climb to see the city bathed in magical twilight glow. At the end of the tour, you not only return with an achievement certificate and a printed snap for memory, but also knowing a lot more about the city. Read more

5 ULTIMATE THINGS TO DO IN HONG KONG

Here’s what your tour planner is most likely to bypass when devising your itinerary for the futuristic city. I pick something for every kind of soul

1. HOP ON, HOP OFF BUS TOUR (For the history and culture enthusiast)

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This open-top bus tour takes you past Hong Kong’s most magnificent sights, accompanied by informative commentary that points out all the landmarks of significance, whilst offering insight into Cantonese culture and tradition. The tour is hassle-free too meaning you can hop on and off at various break points along the route whenever you like. Among the three separate routes, choose to take the green route of The Stanley Tour. Leaving the bustling city, it winds its way to the south of Hong Kong Island, providing stunning views of lush countryside and coastline. There are several stops on route including Lower Peak Tram Terminus, Ocean Park, the picturesque Repulse Bay, Stanley’s world famous market and Aberdeen.

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PAMPER YOUR MIND, BODY & SOUL AT HILTON SHILLIM ESTATE RETREAT & SPA

When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I said some peace and solitude. So, we opted for a three-day getaway to Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, near Pawana Lake, a 45-minute drive from Lonavala. Set amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, the 320 acre property offers undisturbed natural beauty, topped with complete seclusion and serenity.

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Since it was a warm summer’s day, it was nice being greeted with a cold, fragrant towel, a glass of fresh juice and some homemade energy bars that instantly helped us regain all the vitality we had lost during the five-hour road journey from Mumbai to Pawana Lake, courtesy the traffic jam at Mumbai-Pune expressway. Yes, our stomachs were growling with hunger and we headed straight for breakfast, obviously a healthy one.

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Post a hearty breakfast, we were escorted to our discreet King Spa Pool Villa – a 205 sq m villa, with a private pool and lawn area as the name suggests – and we were more than delighted to make it our home.

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Apart from offering breathtaking views of the valley from the private deck, the villa featured a sun bed to spend some relaxing time outdoors, a beautiful stone bathtub with candles to amp up the romance factor, outdoor and indoor shower with indulgent bath amenities and, not-to-forget, a royal four poster bed. Clean, contemporary and elegant. Read more