Take a few steps back in time by visiting the Amish County in Lancaster and regain the peacefulness you have been longing for
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
Eddie Cantor, American performer
Our lives move at such a fast pace – being stuck in a traffic jam is a chance to make a quick phone call, travelling home on the local is an opportunity to compile the grocery list and the quick lunch break is the time to finish pending bank work. We often wish we could slow down a bit so that we could have a few more hours in the day to be able to focus on the satisfying simple pleasures our life has to offer.
Apart from an enviable location on the sea, Salem boasts of a rich history and culture encompassing everything from witches to ships to art and they continue to cast a spell of enchantment on its visitors. Remember the popular 1960s sitcom ‘Bewitched’ where Elizabeth Montgomery plays a whimsy witch? It was very much filmed in this Halloween capital. When here, don’t forget to strike a pose with the glamorous Samantha Stephens statue in Lappin Park and twitch your nose for a picture!
TAKE A TRIP TO 1692
There are more witches than ever in modern-day Salem. Housed in the 1845 stone building – originally a former church – the Salem Witch Museum features a fascinating presentation of the 1692 witch trials through an animatronics show, complete with dramatic lighting and pre-recorded voices.
Yes, you can’t get over the Philly cheese steaks but Philadelphia is known for many things apart from this cheap, delicious snack. You’re right! I am talking about it’s streets that are ablaze with paint!
Philly is colourful in a special way. The City of Brotherly Love (as it’s called) boasts of a flourishing street art scene; murals painted by locals adorn the walls of buildings transforming the city’s neighborhoods into outdoor art museums.
Think tent with a view, tasteful luxury and otherworldly, stunning natural beauty. That’s what ‘glamping’ at Chamba Camp Thiksey and Diskit is all about
There are those who yearn to ditch all the present-day luxuries and camp with the basics in God’s flawless setting – Leh-Ladakh. They are okay with roughing it, sleeping on the cold ground, using Mother Nature as lavatory and giving up on warm, comforting showers. Unadulterated air and picture-perfect views keep them happy. And then there are some who want it all – good wifi connectivity, Himalayan earl grey tea on call and a foam mattress for a good night’s sleep – without trading off nature and it’s rugged beauty. You can call them “glampers”. A fry cry from the string of typical white and maroon guest houses and hotels with distinct dragon motifs and wood carvings that dot Leh, glamping in the ‘Land of Lamas’ is all about unrivalled understated luxury.
BE THE LUXE NOMAD
Chamba Camp Thiksey and Diskit by TUTC are set up in mesmerising locations making the surroundings a photographer’s delight. Depart on a photo tour with a local guide or a like-minded outdoorsy-type wildlife enthusiast. They will help you unravel all the little hidden treasures you wouldn’t want to miss capturing in your camera! Read more
The variety of food available in this ex British colony is mind boggling, making it a gastronomic haven for every hungry instagram-ing soul. A few pages from my diary…
Hong Kongers are truly passionate about their food and novelty is their forte. Whether it’s on the sticks or in a pot, fragrant or stinky, intriguing or just weird, the food here is a curious mix of the traditional and western culture. Asia’s culinary capital, the city pretty much lives to eat and boasts of everything edible from Cantonese, Shanghainese, Vietnamese, Japanese, European and many more cuisines around the world. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or a picky desi vegetarian, the city can never leave you disappointed. Not to mention the former obviously has an upper hand. The variety here is so wide that you can consider a customised food tasting trip to Hong Kong. Yes, a tour completely dedicated to the city’s culinary experiences. From delicious egg tarts, wine jellies and ice-creams in flavours of red bean and green tea to a whole range of hot and cold teas, roasted chestnuts, dim sums and curried animal organs, Hong Kong brims with tons of restaurants, well-lit cafes, noodle bars and street joints that rustle up yummy local as well as international fusion delicacies on a daily basis.
When it comes to impressing the taste buds, Hong Kong’s close cousin Macau doesn’t lag behind. Just a 45-minute ferry ride from the noodle town, Macau has its own signature must-eats. What you certainly can’t miss out on is Serradura – a layered Portuguese dessert of crushed sweet biscuits, cream, condensed milk and vanilla and served chilled – and oven-fresh egg tarts.
While Hong Kong and Macau have the ethnic Chinese population in bulk, there is a sizeable presence of food-obsessed people from other places in Europe, America and Asia. Probably, the drool-worthy food scene here says it all about their cosmopolitan nature!
My escape to Krabi with my girlfreinds had everything needed to make an “all girls” vacation awesome – exotic white-sand beaches, charming locals, interesting markets, intoxicating nightlife, adventure galore and not to forget ‘safety’
Who says family vacations aren’t great? But a time away with your best friends is an emotional necessity. You got to go for it to know it. If you haven’t yet, add it to your bucket list now! This way, you not only get to know them better but also get a chance to create loads of memories – these shared stories will be things that you and your friends will reminisce and laugh about forever. In June last year, I decided to take off to Krabi (in Thailand) with my gal pals and it was one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had. Since we were a trio – each with competely different and craziest travel sensibilities – we did have disagreements on things like where to eat and what mode of travel to opt for. Being an undisputed nomad, I would want to explore most places on foot, sample the wierdest of street foods and dive into all kinds of adventure while my best friend, a complusive shopaholic by passion and a desi (jain) vegeterian out of choice, wouldn’t refrain (in spite of all my attempts to demotivate her) from hunting for an Indian restaurant that serves her the tastiest paratha and biryani in town! And trust me, she succeeded every single time! You’re definitely heaving a sigh of relief if you’re another ghaas phus person (as we non-vegeterians call them), but if you’re not one, you can imagine my plight! Thankfully, the third one among us was pretty much okay with anything, as long as we let her put on her ‘selfie-clicking’ mode. Yes, she has this uncanny ability of clicking some amazing mirror selfies even in the loo, pouting with the pot in the background! Nonethless, it was a joy ride as Krabi somehow manages to seduce every kind of globetrotter.
EXPLORING AAO NANG ON FOOT
We started the trip on a lighter note by relaxing a little post the five-hour flight and then exploring the area around our hotel at Aao Nang (40 minutes from Krabi airport) – one of the most happening and attractive spots in Krabi. Compact, easy to navigate and comparatively cleaner than Krabi town, Aao Nang has plenty to offer. Apart from offering midrange and luxurious stay options and tons of restaurants, massage parlours (if you know the art of bargaining here, you know it all!) and local stores for a fun shopping experience, it’s the central spot from where all the adventure tours like snorkelling and island tours are organised. For a dose of relaxation, we straightway hit a decent-looking, no-frills massage joint that had more than 20 beds in a row and a host of over-friendly masseurs; it pretty much did the trick for us! Whether it’s a foot massage with shea butter cream, just a plain head massage or a full body coffee scrub, the menu will make it tough for you to zero in on one treatment. We spent the remaining evening strolling around, picking up some souviners and sampling some local dishes. If shopping or therapy isn’t what you are looking for, think spending a laid-back evening on the beach under the stars. The area is known for its fairytale limestone crags and beautiful beaches with turquoise blue sea, tied together by narrow strips of golden sand. Read more