BAROSSA VALLEY – EVERY WINE-LOVING COUPLE’S RETREAT

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With its majestic hills, quiet country roads, picturesque villages, garden-fresh gourmet fare and timeless beauty, Barossa is a little slice of ecstasy

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LUCERNE – WHERE EVERY VISTA IS A POSTCARD

Compact and colourful, Lucerne in Central Switzerland seamlessly portrays a subtle interplay between nature and architecture. Here’s what you can see and do when here

SWISS CITIES

Dainty swans swimming freely in a misty Lake, a flower-lined wooden bridge, gorgeous architectural treasures reflecting in shimmering waters, people cycling and walking on a maze of cobblestone streets and giant mountains looming over a delightful, serene town. Now, imagine immersing yourself in this beautiful view from a sidewalk cafe, accompanied with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of Swiss-made red Pinot Noir! You certainly aren’t at fault if you’re already mesmerised by this inspiring terrain. Located in the geographic heart of Switzerland, Lucerne is where urban life and nature come together to give you endless photo opportunities, and this isn’t an overstatement!

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FLOCK HERE FOR FALL FOLIAGE

Enhance your autumnal excursion by appreciating the romance of nature at these destinations that provide wonderful settings for leaf-peeping

QUEBEC, CANADA

Bridge over Canyon Ste-Anne
View the spectacular Canyon Sainte-Anne from the highest suspension bridge in Québec, at 60 meters above the gorge. A memorable sight in fall!

Head to Montréal and Québec cities – bustling metropolises with a perfect blend of poise, playfulness and history. The towns and villages here have English names, but everything else is French: language, lodging and food. In autumn, millions of maples turn red and gold. Treat your eyes to scenic landscapes by hiking the Parc national de la Jacques Cartier, go bird watching at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area or Marais du Nord, kayak or canoe at Vallée Bras-du-Nord valley or get your fill of fresh air at one of the urban parks. Another highlight the “Magic of Lanterns” event at The Montreal Botanical Garden. Hundreds of hand-painted Chinese lanterns, floating on ponds and hanging from trees beneath starry skies offer a stunning eye candy on a bracing autumn evening.

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LADAKH FOR THE CULTURE VULTURE

Over the years, Ladakhis have proven the fact that satisfying life can be lived even with minimal natural resources, extreme heat and cold, little or no rain, a crumbling mud-brick homestead and a cooperative spirit. You already know that journeying along Ladakh’s spectacular supernatural surroundings is an exceptional experience. Now imagine taking it all in along with heartwarming conversations with the locals about their culture and conventional ways of life! Here’s how to bond with this magnificent region beyond just sightseeing

VOLUNTEER AT A NUNNERY WITH A VIEW

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Travel does go beyond photographing iconic sites and sampling local food. Volunteer at Nyerma nunnery (in Leh) overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas and give your trip a deeper purpose. Shake off the stress of city life and live like a nun for a few days. Relax, meditate and occasionally help the elderly nuns in their day-to-day chores like cooking food, farming, cleaning up and more. If you’re good at something, share your skills and knowledge with the humble nuns who enjoy bonding over activities and conversations. By giving something back to the society as a traveller, you not only understand and respect other cultures better but also work towards finding a clearer direction in life.

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GO FISH OR GO HOME

A pleasant 45-minute drive from Boston, Gloucester in Cape Ann, Essex County is America’s oldest working seaport that beautifully blends incredible food, art, adventure, shopping and culture. The heart of this fishing town beats in the vibrant Downtown and the waterfront. There is so much you can do here to experience its real flavor and quirkiness!

All things ‘fishy’

IMG_20160404_230851_HDR (2)Start your day by meeting the mammoth local residents – the great whales who live just off Gloucester’s shores. The cold, rich waters of the North Atlantic draw whales from thousands of miles away each summer – from April to October – to slurp up tons of tiny fish and krill. Go whale watching just 24 km off Gloucester’s rocky shore or catch cod, haddock and tuna on a deep sea fishing trip. For most people in Gloucester, fishing isn’t just a way of life; it’s an addiction. They live by a simple philosophy: Go fish or go home. There’s nothing in between. Don’t forget to halt at the Gloucester’s Fishermen Memorial – a famous statue of a man steering a ship’s wheel, his eyes searching the horizon – at the scenic seaside promenade.

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7 MUST-DOS IN BOSTON

With Georgian-style houses balanced by soaring glass and steel skyscrapers, Boston efficiently weaves past with the present. Here’s a checklist to help you go about the compact, clean and easily navigable harbour city

1. THE STORIED HARVARD UNIVERSITY

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Don’t miss out on the smallest pleasure of simply sitting and people watching at one of the inviting open spots in the Harvard campus. It gives you a genuine feel of the place

Doesn’t matter if you couldn’t get through Harvard; at least you can feel like a Harvardian for a day! Head to Cambridge, approx 5.5 km north-west of downtown Boston, and register for a 70-minute guided tour ($10 per person) of the Harvard University. Absorb every inch of ivy-leagued glory from your guide who is a fun-loving current Harvard student and enjoy an insider perspective on the history and culture of the institute. Go around the 210-acre main campus while popping into the Memorial Church and one of the eight interesting museums or get some dope on the king-size Widener Library, one of the largest college libraries in the country. Back outside the gates, you can gorge on cheap yet tasty food; try every Harvard student’s favourite thin-crust, Sicilian pizzas from Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs. And if you’re a passionate bibliophile, keep a knapsack handy because you’re going to have a lot to take back. Stores like Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books and Harvard Book Store boast of a collection that can leave you bewildered. Lastly, remember to buy a precious Harvard souvenir for yourself. Read more

8 ABSOLUTE MUST-DOS IN MACAU

While Macau is only famous for its casinos, it has many hidden treasures that are waiting to be explored. From lip-smacking Portuguese food prepared by Michelin-star chefs and adrenaline-pumping adventure to larger-than-life live shows and quaint architecture, Macau has something in store for everyone

IMG_20150826_154900_HDR (2)1. Hang around at Senado Square
They say: If you haven’t been to Senado Square, you haven’t been to Macau! It’s named after the Leal Senado Building and has been Macau’s urban centre for centuries. It is a lovely place to simply relax, may be, have cup of coffee or an ice-cream and take photographs. It is also a shopping and eating hub with numerous bylanes selling different things like souvenirs, clothes, cosmetics and local food items. The square is paved with beautiful Portuguese cobblestones and surrounded by pastel-coloured neo-classical buildings, creating a very European feel. All in all, this place is a splendid blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultural traits. Senado Square is at a walking distance from Ruins of St Pauls.

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