Journey Idea » Asia Travel across the world with Journey Idea Mon, 15 Apr 2013 07:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Unusual Asian Hotels Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:50:37 +0000 Ricky Visit Asia and find the pleasures of a lovely land filled with the best kind of travel destinations and the most comfortable hotels in this part of the world. Asia is one of the creative continents in the entire world. With the latest technology and the best of designs the hotels in Asia are a force to reckon with.

With the emerging Asian nations proving to be a great source of entertainment, the hotel stays here are very refreshing, relaxing and comfortable. Asia has some of the best off beat hotels so let us see how these hotels are strangely interesting and fascinatingly magnificent.

Unusual Asian Hotels

Visit the Safariland Tree house Resort in India and enjoy the lovely sights in this part of the world. Located in a deep jungle this is a weird and unusual Asian hotel. It has four tree houses and these are found standing around 15 feet above the ground. Each tree house is constructed out of materials obtained from local sources like bamboos. These huge tree houses give the best views of the jungle streams and them mountains below. Each of the rooms here are paid for and thus this Asian hotel is one of the most unusual ones here. Also it is a great eco tourist destination and also a wildlife region filled with activities like mountain hikes, elephant rides, bonfires and wildlife treks.

Safariland Tree house Resort

Then you have the Imperial Boat House in Thailand which is situated on the lovely Cheong Mon Beach in Thailand. Made up of around 34 authentic teakwood rice barges, this has been modified into a luxurious beachfront suite. With a ship shaped swimming pool, this Asian hotel has barges that are converted into around 91 square metres of living space. It also has a magnificent sundeck and separate living rooms alongwith a sky lit bathroom. Imperial Boat House Hotel has the pleasures of elephant rides on the beach and the recycled barges are very comfortable and convenient and surely provide unique ways of spending holidays in Asian hotels.

Three Camel Lodge

Visit the Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia and enjoy this nomadic retreat in this part of the world in Gobi desert. This is a hotel with a traditional design  and is an ideal eco friendly region here. There are many shades of Mongolian Buddhist architecture here and the hotel has around 30 gers or tents. These tents are made of wood and felt and the uniqueness is because of the fact that it doesn’t have any nail to bind it together. It is a wilderness camp in the true making and is an ecologically developed zone and has both solar as well as wind power. The tents here are expensive but comfortable to stay. So if you want an authentic Mongolian ger in the middle of a desert then visit this lovely hotel in this part of Asia.

World Hotel

Then you have the First World Hotel which is the second largest hotel in the world, the first largest hotel being the MGM Grand in las Vegas. It has around 6000 rooms and is situated in the Genting Highlands in Pahang in Malaysia. The hotel by itself is not what makes the hotel weird; instead it is the exuberant colours in the hotel that makes it a special and unusual hotel. The façade of the hotel is what makes the hotel feature as one of the most unusual hotels in Asia.

The bright colours of the hotel are a perfect match for the manner in which the hotel provides entertainment and relaxation and has a theme park which provides the tourists every reason to come back. T he lounges and the casinos notwithstanding the trips here to this hotel are filled with a lot of memories and travel delights.

The Hang Nga Guesthouse

Then there is the Crazy Hotel in Vietnam which is another unusual hotel in this part of Asia. It is officially called the hang Nga Guesthouse and the locals call the hotel The crazy Hose Hotel. Constructed in the year 1990, in Dalagt this is a hotel that resembles a tree house and is more like a fairytale castle than a hotel in its true sense. It has a curved exterior and interior and many stone structures all of them resembling animals. The entire place is surrounded by these structures and thus the trips to this part of Vietnam are surely one that provides a great tour attraction.

Asia is a continent that offers the best kind of travel pleasures and Asian hotels stand out in terms of hospitality and warmth. There are some unusual Asian hotels which provide the tourists with a lot of comfort and travel delights.

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Mannarasala Pilgrim Tales and Pleasures Mon, 21 May 2012 07:02:59 +0000 Ricky Kerala, God’s own country is the best place in the world for a green pilgrimage. Filled with the purity of a green ambience and loaded with the ideal kind of absolutely pure pleasures, this is one land that has the best temples and the most fascinating architecture. Come here and experience the pleasures of being in this land of lovely sights.

Of all the beautiful places, the worship of serpents in Kerala is very famous and popular and Mannarasala is one place that is popular for serpent worship. Very legendry, very benign and very real, Mannarasala is the right place to be in for all the devotees. This is place that has been envisaged by Lord Parasurama, the creator of the state of Kerala.

Mannarasala temple
Many devotees have experienced a lot of miracles here in the land of serpents and have felt the close presence of God here and have felt blessed. There are many stories that govern the temple of Mannarasala in Kerala.

It is a very common thing to see the same serpent come in the same area for many days in the vicinity of the temple. In fact serpents are found here everywhere from the gatehouse to the hedgerows, to the creepers and to the place where the people perform the bhajans.

There is a legend which says how once a yellow serpent came here and danced on the banks of the pond lying near the temple Appoopan Kavu. It carried a very evil snake in the mouth. Then legend has it that it vomited the evil snake and thus spit it out. Then the serpent raised the hood as if to show a lot of revenge or maybe fear. Then the yellow snake swallowed the cobra. It is said that the cobra was released after a lot of chanting. Even today the legends of the Appopan kavu yellow snakes are very famous.

The story of Mannarasala is deeply related to the creator of the state of Kerala, Parasurama. In fact it is said that the story of the evolution of the temple as the place where the serpent are worshipped is closely linked to the creator Parasurama. It is said that Sage Parsuram wanted to atone for the sins caused by killing the Kshatriyas. So he prayed and got a land for himself which he named as Kerala. But the story goes that the soil here was very saline and it was said that only if he gets the blessings of the Snake god by spreading the poison all over the land could the land get purified.  It is said that Parsuram penanced and Lord Nagraj the serpent god came in front of him and granted him the boon of spreading poison all over the sate. Because of this, the present day Kerala got desalinated and had luscious greenery. Thus a temple was installed with the idol of Nagaraja who is believed to be a combination of Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. The place was filled with Mandara trees and thus came to be known as Mannarasala.

Mannarasala temple
The idol in the temple is representative of Vishnuswaroopa or Anantha, and Vasuki the spirit of Lord Siva. So the Nagachamundi, Nagayakshi, and Sarpayakshi were installed here and thus Parasurama brought a lot of happiness to this beautiful land.

It is said that there were a couple Vasudeva and Sree Devi who were childless. They performed a lot of pujas to the Lord Nagraj here and finally bestowed them with a son. Thus the temple of Mandarshala or Mannarsala became the place where childless couples still visit to beget the blessings of Lord Nagraja and get children. It is said that Vasudev and Sreedevi got the five hooded serpent child who is believed to be Lord Nagraja himself. After he finished the aim of his incarnation he went into a cellar. It is believed that even today, the five hooded Nagraj lives here. He is called Muttachan or grandfather. It is said that Ayilyam star in the Malayalam month of Kanni is the birthday of this great serpent. So this is a very important festival in the temple of Mannarasala.

There are many more tales to relate to Mannarsala and the list is endless. Visit this serene and powerful temple in Kerela and rekindle the light of divinity.

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Pilgrim Pleasures at the Sabarimala Temple Mon, 09 Apr 2012 08:38:18 +0000 Ricky While in India, temples are a must see in travel destinations. There are many delights here in travels which provide the best experiences and give the tourist ideal travel luxury. If the tourist is in a pilgrim locale then the pleasures of travels are doubled.

Amongst the many temple destinations in India, Sabarimala in the state of Kerala is a sure sight for all the pilgrims. As the most sought after pilgrim destination, the Sabarimala temple is situated in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of the district of Pathanamthitta in the state of Kerala. This is the largest pilgrimage that is held annually in the world and has around 45 to 50 million devotees coming here each year. It is believed that this is the place where the Hindu God Ayappan performed meditation after he killed Mahishi the demons. The temple that is found in Sabarimala is the Ayappa temple and this is located here amidst the hills that are found here. There are eighteen of them. Located on a hilltop at a height of around 468 m, this has dense forests and mountains. Sabarimala is a land of temples and forest land. So the area is surrounded by temples like Kalaketi, Nilackal, Karimala and many other important temples. In fact Sabarimala has some of the remains of temples of the past here. These are found in the hills that are found in this temple region.

Sabarimala Temple
All Hindus normally undertake the pilgrimage to Sabarimala and it is mainly a pilgrimage observed by the men. Women who are in the ages of 10 and 50 are not permitted here in the temple. The story goes that Ayappa prohibited the entry of women in this age group. Ayappa is a celibate and so the temple does not permit women to worship here. It is open during the days from November 15 to December 26. January 14 is called the Makaravillakku and this is also celebrated as Makara Sankranti across the Indian subcontinent. April 14 is Vishu or the Malayalam New Year. The temple is open during Vishu and also the first six days of the Malayalam month.

All devotees coming to Sabarimala take a vratham or fast which is observed for around 41 days before the pilgrimage. This normally starts with wearing a garland that is made of tulsi or the holy Rudraksha. They refrain from tobacco, non vegetarian food and also alcohol during this time. The Sabarimala visit is said to make the Shani planet better for the lifespan.

There is a forest path that is traversed through to complete the journey to this temple. This is normally taken from Erumely and this was the path that was taken by Lord Ayappa himself. The path starts from Erumely to the River Aludha and then passes the Aludha Mountain and then crosses the karivalam thodu. Then the Karimala is crossed and then the river Pamba. The path is filled with forests that dominate the region and they are around 9 kilometres up a steep hill and the devotees have a lot of religious fervour and devotion when they come here. The temple land is a lovely destination and a totally memorable experience for all.

Lord Ayappa River Pamba

As the devotees climb the eighteen steps to the temple they go in a religious frenzy. The eighteen steps are the mainstay of the temple and then the sight of the flagstaff here in the middle of the temple courtyard is a great landmark.

The Prasad at the temple is the Aravana kheer and the appam. This is prepared by mixing ghee, sugar and rice. The rice is given from the Chettikulangara Devi temple. This is the second largest temple in the Travancore Devaswom board.

Chettikulangara Devi temple
Harivarasanam is a hymn that is changed before the temple closes every night. This is sung at the Sabarimala as a lullaby for the Lord at night and is called the Urakkapattu. It was Sri Kambangudi Kulathur Srinivasa Iyer who composed this famous Ayappa hymn.

The Sabarimala temple is one of the most popular pilgrim destinations in the state of Kerala in India and Lord Ayappa is surely a favourite of many Indians.

Sabarimala Temple

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Tales from Chiang Mai Travels in Thailand Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:02:07 +0000 Ricky Come to Thailand in Asia tours, and enjoy the lovely culture surrounding this lovely land of greatest delights. Experience the pleasures of being in this charming and lovely paradise in this part of Asia. Enjoy the laidback ambience here and enjoy the ancientness of this 700 year old town. This is very famous for trekking, sightseeing and also is an adventure hub in this part of the world. There are shopping areas, spas, and mountain resorts which provide the ultimate tour delights in this part of the word. Chiang Mai in Thailand is one such adventurous locale which is truly a great paradise for all the nature enthusiasts.

Thais living here are very proud of this region of Chiang Mai and the region is filled with the ultimate travel delights. Chiang Mai is the keystone of any Thailand tour and provides the most ecstatic and memorable travel experiences. This was the first state in the South Eastern Asian state to make the great transition from the Mon domination and cultures of Khmer to the new Thai era.

Chiang mai temple

Situated around 700 km to the northwest of Bangkok the region of Chiang Mai has a lot of temples and has as many temples as there are in Bangkok. This is what makes the entire city centre very amazing. Thais have a lot of respect for the walled city and the strange ambience here is what makes the travels here very enterprising. Chiang Mai is a greatly dynamic city filled with the best sights to experience and has a rich tradition and history of the past which makes the tours to this part of the world very exciting. Today Chiang Mai is a very developed region and provides the greatest tour ecstasies.

With the rich culture and the beautiful handicrafts to exhibit the simple pleasures of shopping here lend a lot of excitement in the tour experiences here. The city is slowly growing up to the demands of the customers and tourists and gives the best tour delights. This city is changing its identity and with the cultural activities and the temple pleasures here, Chiang Mai is surely an interesting place to visit.

Visit the Chiang Mai Zoo which is a home to many hundreds of birds and animas. There is an aquatic park here which provides the greatest pleasures of avifauna attractions. This has in fact the largest South East Asian aviary. There is a popular picnic and camping ground facility which is open to all tourists providing great entertainment value.

Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiangmai has more than 12 waterfalls and is around 750 metres above the sea level. These beautiful cascades with their lovely tiers of racing water come as a total delight to the tourists here. With the water hitting the rocks below there is a grand sight of the water splitting into many colours and gives the best pleasures of the green vegetation around. Come here just to enjoy the loveliest natural sights and the most fascinating visual delights.

There are pools at the base of the waterfalls which provide facilities for swimming and make the trip here very memorable. AS the tourists bask in the pleasures of the watery paradise, it is really a great feeling to be in this part of the world and experience the best of travel delights.

The waterfalls are all reached easily by boat and these ensure that the public are transported easily.

Chiangmai has many festivals which keep the fun enthusiasts satiated with a lot of memories. There are many events held here and the celebrations like the “Loy Krathong” the “Songkran” are all festivals that surely deserve a mention here in this land of heavenly pleasures.

As the handmade floats are decorated with flowers and then let out into the water it is indeed a pleasurable sight to experience the best of travel sights.

While in Asia, Thailand is certainly a greatly fascinating land with the best delights and most mesmerizing travel pleasures.

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Hotels of Udaipur: Review of the Aashiya Haveli Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:04:38 +0000 Ricky The Aashiya Haveli is one of many heritage buildings of Udaipur.  It is located on Lake Pichhola’s eastern bank, an area owned by Udaipur’s famous Aashiya family for more than 224 years. The Aashiya Haveli underwent detailed renovations in the year 2006 and by the end of 2008 the building was ready to welcome guests. The tourists will be welcomed here with authentic vegetarian foods of Rajasthan (traditionally, people of Aashiya family are purely vegetarian and thus even eggs are not served here) and all the modern amenities that one can expect during his stay at a Luxury hotel. The hotel, Aashiya Haveli is run solely by members of the Aashiya family.

Aashiya Haveli

Every guestroom of the Aashiya Haveli is unique. There will be something to surprise you in each of these rooms. Moreover, the set up and the décor of the rooms are modified every year; the entire process involved a lot of hard work; fresh colors are added thoughtfully for making these rooms appear more inviting. Items like beddings, towels, colorful pillows, curtains and glass chandeliers are chosen carefully for every guestroom of Aashiya Haveli.

Aashiya Haveli room Aashiya Haveli room

The stay at this hotel is more like staying in a luxurious home. The rooms do not have television sets and telephones; the management has decided to exclude these modern day amenities from the rooms for ensuring that the serenity and tranquility of the rooms are not destroyed. People coming here will surely start loving the place and would wish to stay here for the rest of their lives.

If you want to enjoy the picturesque view of Lake Pichhola, spend some time at the roof top of Aashiya Haveli; the hotel’s rooftop is adorned by comfortable furniture. This part of Aashiya Haveli is also ideal for having private conversations, reading, meditating and relaxing. If you are looking to arrange a get-together, the courtyard of the hotel is the place to be. You can enjoy drinking and spend time going through current newspapers and wide range of magazines when at the hotel’s courtyard.

Roof top of Aashiya Haveli

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Review of Hotel Gemini Continental, Lucknow Mon, 14 Nov 2011 07:05:51 +0000 Ricky Hotel Gemini ContinentalLucknow, the Indian city that used to be the place of Nawabs is a city of vibrant culture, ancient traditions and rich architecture. Hotel Gemini Continental is constructed keeping all these features of Lucknow in mind. The hotel is situated at the center of the business district of the city, Hazratganj; however, still, it has managed to keep its guests away from the city’s hustle bustle. To be more precise, Gemini Continental is situated opposite to the famous Laxman Park.

If you are looking for ultimate luxury during your Lucknow travel, there are a few better places to stay in than Hotel Gemini Continental. Each of the services offered at this hotel boast of the contemporary elegance in an amalgamation with traditional hospitality, for which India, especially Lucknow is famous. The hotel will also be the foremost choice of any business person; this is because the corporate attributes of the hotel.

Hotel Gemini Continental houses two types of guestrooms, the Superior Rooms and the Luxury Rooms. Let us first get acquainted with the facilities offered during the stay at the Superior Rooms of the hotel. Each of these rooms is equipped with facilities that one can need for staying connected with the outer world. As soon as you remove the curtain of the large windows of these rooms, you will get to see the magnificent view of the expansive city of Lucknow. The amenities present in the Superior Rooms include: Hair Dryer, Satellite TV, Mini Bar, Wardrobe, in-room dining family.

Hotel Gemini Continental room Hotel Gemini Continental room Hotel Gemini Continental room

The Luxury Rooms are located facing the Laxman Park and the Historical Monument. Another specialty of these rooms is the wooden floor. It is advisable that people visiting the city for business purposes should hire these rooms. The extra amenities you can expect during the stay in Luxury Rooms of Gemini Continental are: Tea/Coffee Maker, DVD Player, Cotton Slippers, Bathrobe, Fruit Basket and Mineral Water and a Digital Safe.

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Kailasanatha in the Ellora Caves Mon, 26 Sep 2011 07:30:53 +0000 Ricky Kailasanatha, also referred to as cave 16 is the unparalleled part of the Ellora Caves. It was designed following the structure of the Mount Kailash, which according to Hindu mythology is Lord Shiva’s abode. From a distance, the Kailasanatha appears like a separate multistoried temple complex. The most surprising fact about Kailasanatha is that it was curved from a single rock; moreover, the area covered by this magnificent cave is double that of Parthenon, Athens. Earlier, the entire temple complex was coated by white plaster, which made it look almost similar to the snow covered terrain of Mount Kailash.

Kailasanatha at Ellora

Each carving of this temple complex is consisted of more than 1 level. The gateway of the Kailasanatha is a two-storied structure; it has significant resemblance with gopuram i.e. the South Indian version of gateways, mostly used in temples. As you cross the gateway, you will reach the Kailasanatha’s U-shaped courtyard.  On the edges of the courtyard there are columned galleries, which are three-storied structures.

Kailasanatha Temple

Like majority of the traditional temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kailasanatha also has 3 primary segments. The first segment has the idol of Shiva’s sacred bull, Nandi. Then comes the central temple, locally referred to as the Nandi Mandap; here, you will come across the Shiva Lingam. Nandi Mandap is a structure built on 16 columns and has a height of 29.3 meters. The next segment is the Shiva Temple, situated just behind the Nandi Mandap. The Nandi Mandap is connected to the Shiva Temple by a rock bridge. The Shiva Temple is a lofty pyramidal structure having distinct similarities with the Dravidian temple of South India. The shrine is designed excellently and comprises of outer and inner rooms, windows, pillars, gathering halls and a huge Lingam, worshiped as Lord Shiva.

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Visiting the Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan Tue, 23 Aug 2011 07:30:51 +0000 Ricky Are you planning to spend your next vacation in Bhutan? Then, the first thing you must do is deciding the places you will be visiting during your stay in this wonderful landlocked state situated in the eastern side of the Himalayan Mountain range. One place that should be included in every tour plan made for exploring Bhutan is the Jigme Dorji National Park. This natural reserve is named after late Jigme Dorji, Bhutan’s 3rd Druk Gyalpo (or the head of the state of Bhutan).

Jigme Dorji National Park

The Jigme Dorji National Park is the state’s second biggest National Park. Jigme Dorji National Park was inaugurated in the year 1974 and covers a total area of 4316sq km. The area of this park encompasses a big share of Bhutan’s Gasa District; the other areas of Bhutan occupied by some parts of this National Park are the Punakha District, Paro District and Thimphu District. This means the National Park spans over Bhutan’s 3 major climate zones; the altitude of the National Park varies from 1400 meters to 7000 meters at different regions. There are also residential areas located within the Jigme Dorji National Park. The population of the park is around 6,500 and there are over 1000 households residing here. The professions of these people include occupations like animal husbandry and subsistence agriculture.

Jigme Dorji National Park

Jigme Dorji National Park is home to more than 37 mammal species, most of which are known to us. Several species housed by this National park are vulnerable, threatened or endangered species; some examples of such species include names like: snow leopard, bharal, Bengal tiger, black beer, clouded leopard, dhole, red panda and many more. The other interesting species present in this Bhutanese National Park are: marmot, goral, pika, sambar, serow and Indian leopard. Besides all these, there are also over 300 bird species flying around the Jigme Dorji National Park. The Jigme Dorji National Park also plays the role of nursery for a wide variety of plant species.

Snow leopard Bengal tiger Marmot Goral Indian leopard

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The Creative Side of Lahore Thu, 23 Jun 2011 07:30:40 +0000 Ricky If you judge cities of these world based on their creative features, then Lahore in Pakistan will definitely rank pretty high in your list. Art of Lahore is significantly influenced by Mughal period. Majority of the historical buildings and monuments in this city are specimens of architecture and creativity of the Mughal period. There’s also significant touch of the art form practiced by the Persians, Greeks and Aryans. The most famous architectural works of Lahore that has great historical importance include: Shalimar Bagh, Shahi Qila, Char Minar, Badshai Masjid, Jahangir Ka Maqbara, Nur Jahan Ka Maqbara etc. The forts, palaces, mosques of Lahore make it an interesting place to visit for people all around the globe.

Lahore is also home to several art galleries. Most of these art galleries house artifacts belonging to Mughal period. However, you will also get to see contemporary artworks in some galleries of Lahore. The most well known art galleries of the city are: Ejaz galleriesm, Alhamra, Royaat Gallery, Croweaters Gallery etc.

The culture of Lahore and the people based in the city are also extremely famed. The city witnesses celebration of several festivals throughout the year. These festivals represent heritage and tradition of Lahore. The most famous festivals of the city are: Shabe-Barat, Bassant, Jashane-Larkhana, Jashane-Shikarpur and Eid-ul-Fitar. Social ceremonies and marriages are also significant parts of Lahore’s culture.  Every social ceremony including marriages involves lot of rituals and several days of celebration.

Now let us come to the entertainment options available in the city of Lahore. The entertainment options offered by this city are a lot different from all other cities of Pakistan. The city play host to musical shows and dance performances regularly. The nightlife of this city is also quite vibrant, a feature that makes Lahore one of the most preferred Asian tourist destinations among visitors from the Western Hemisphere. Lahore houses several bars and pubs, which are scattered in different corners of the city.

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The Sky Park in marina bay sands Has Made Singapore More Beautiful Fri, 27 May 2011 08:37:39 +0000 Ricky We know Singapore as one of the smallest and also one of the most beautiful countries of the world. It’s true that the area of Singapore is quite petite, but it scores extremely high when it comes to global tourism. Singapore never falls short when compared with the quality of tourism offered by big shots like France, USA and Britain. One of the latest additions to the great array of sightseeing opportunities in Singapore is the Sky Park. This write up will inform the travel enthusiasts around the world about Sky Park in Singapore.

Sky Park, Singapore is designated as the world’s highest and biggest floating park. It beats even the Eifel Tower quite comfortably as far as the height is concerned. The Sky Park or the Sands Skypark is basically a terrace of an area of 1 hectare constructed on the top of the Marina Bay Sands. This floating terrace connects the 3 towers of Marina Bay Sands, the integrated resort of Marina Bay, Singapore. The resort was opened officially on the 23rd of June, 2010. The 2nd day of the 2 day inauguration celebration saw opening of the Sky Park. More than 2,000 visitors from around the world witnessed the celebration.

So what does the Sky Park has in offer for the visitors? The list is quite big. The most alluring possession of this skyscraping terrace is the most elevated and longest swimming pool having a vanishing edge of 146 meters; the swimming pool is perched above ground by 191 meters. The pool is constructed using stainless steel weighing 422,000 lb and possesses the ability of holding 376,500 gallons of water.

If you are foodie, you will love to know that the Sky Park also hosts a rooftop restaurant serving lip smacking international cuisines. The nightclub located on the Sky Park is managed by some of the most well known DJs of Singapore. The makers of this sky terrace have also made sure that people enjoying their leisure here stays in a pollution free environment. The garden of the Sky Park has hundred of plants and trees, some of which are of rare species. Other than all these there’s an observatory open for the public. You can enjoy 360-degree view of Singapore skyline from this observatory.

This new addition to the treasure of Singapore will surely attract more international tourists to the country every year.

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