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5 Foods Relished on A Sri Lankan Plate

Sri Lanka’s food culture was born after years of colonisation and influence from other countries. The cuisine may seem similar to South Indian cuisines but it has created a presence of its own. Much preferred by those who thoroughly enjoy a lot of spice in food, every bite of Sri Lankan food causes explosion of flavours in the mouth.

Do note that the best eats in this country are deep-fried or tempered with a lot of oil and condiments. The street eats in particular are crisp and dangerously addictive. The curries are made in coconut milk making rice its perfect partner on the plate.

My favourite treats on this beautiful island nation include:

  1. Cassava Chips

Keeping up with the love for street food, lighter-than-air cassava chips are a great snack to munch on while strolling down the road. I had the best variety near the famous snacking paradise, Galle Face Green in Colombo. Sprinkled with just the right amount of salt, you will find yourself buying one packet after the other. No one can eat just one.

  1. Vegetarian Kothu

Roti or flatbread chopped up with the curry of your choice in vegetable, chicken, fish, prawn, and beef is a sumptuous treat. Vegetarian was my favourite due to its crunch factor. It is hypnotising to watch the street vendors prepping up your meal, working as seamlessly as at a live teppanyaki bar! If you are staying at any of the hotels in Rajagiriya, I recommend heading down to Chop Chop Kottu in Cinnamon Gardens. The service was amiable and they also customised the spiciness of the Kothu mix as per my preference.

  1. Hoppers with Eggs/Sambol

A breakfast item that was an absolute delight, hoppers were refreshing and flavourful. A take on the steamed appams from Tamil Nadu, hopper is a pancake served with eggs in the middle and crisp edges. Hoppers are served in the evening with pol sambol and chutneys. I had the best hoppers at Green Cabin in Nuwala, Colombo. Don’t miss out on this place if you’re in the capital city.

  1. Dhal Curry and Rice

Among the spicy curries and its preparations, the simplicity of the dhal curry and rice struck me in a pleasant way. It was the perfect break from the fiery fried snacks and treats. When staying in any of the Habarana hotels, order in this dish with some wambatu moju (brinjal based pickle) for lunch. There are fewer eating out options in and Habarana so sit back and relax indoors with this delicacy.

  1. Watalappam

One should always end their meals with a dessert. Watalappam is a perfect way to end your Sri Lankan meal. Made with coconut milk, eggs, jaggery, and spiked with cardamom and nutmeg, the dessert is the perfect way to end your meal with, soothing your tongue with its creamy sweetness after having all that spicy food. Blue Water Hotel in Wadduwa should be your pit stop for this indulgence – their buffet spread is a must try for the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Boutique Hotel: the trendy luxury hotel

The boutique hotel are intimate, extravagant, state-of-the-art, trendy but sometimes funky hotels and above all classic and luxurious. We have used so many different adjectives to emphasize unique services that each year attract thousands and thousands of customers from all over the world who love this kind of hospitality and want to know new and interesting accommodation structures.
Despite this description, it is often difficult to understand what distinguishes boutique hotels from other hotels, apart from the high quality standards and the incredible attention to detail.

Boutique hotel can be found in the metropolis and in the countryside, in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, within wineries as well as in the midst of an African safari tour. Who is usually the guest-type of these particular hotels? The boutique hotel are attended by a sophisticated guest, artist, politician, and all those travelers looking for a hospitable formula rich in personality and distinctive traits, in short, a structure with a soul that has as its goal not only that To offer a more or less large room in which to relax but above all to provide the customer with a 360 degree wellness and satisfaction experience.

The boutique hotel here are usually luxurious or eccentric accomodation but at the same time refined to a particular clientele that is looking for an experiential journey as well as in a place to discover. Let’s find out more about these accommodations.


Place
First of all, all boutique hotels are characterized by two types of accommodation: urban accommodations and resorts. Boutique hotels located in urban accommodation are immersed in a fashionable atmosphere and in a style that we find in cities like Rome, Venice, Palermo, Milan, which affect design, architecture or style. Boutique hotels in resort-type accommodations are characterized by their proximity to the most important tourist centers and are generally located in hidden and lesser-known places, as well as in islets.

Style
Secondly, boutique hotel do not belong to hotel chains and have no more than 150 rooms. They contain comfortable and elegant accommodation, different from each other. Most of them are also called “design hotels”, as the boutique hotel furnishings keep up-to-date local materials, completely white-colored furnishings or bright colors, a mix of success between modern and antique. The boutique hotels in Italy are also a tribute to the furnishings, materials and details “Made in Italy”.

Atmosphere
The warmth and intimacy are the key points that describe the atmosphere of boutique hotels. In addition, this enveloping and intimate environment coexists with the idea of accommodation provided with all the necessary services and the mission of offering only quality products, and for those hotels located in the heart of the city, the presence of technology will be indispensable Wi-Fi to music and light games).

Experience
Finally, a boutique hotel provides a strong connection between the guest and the host. This category of hotel attracts a niche of travelers looking for different and particular accommodations, able to satisfy all their needs. The guest wants to be surprised and often choose a Boutique Hotel to spend their holidays, not just as a place to sleep, is a kind of accommodation that allows you to experience a real experience. Many boutique hotel have built-in facilities to consume meals, bars, and salt rooms open to the public as well, which also give the opportunity to make new vacations.

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Visiting Paris on Budget

If you are on vacation at Paris, you should take the opportunity to visit some of the attraction sites there. Visiting these attraction sites is not expensive if you use a city pass. There are a few types of city passes for tourists in Paris including Paris Pass, Paris Museum Pass and Paris Passlib.

Paris Pass vs Paris Museum Pass vs Passlib

Paris Pass allows you to save more than one hundred dollars on the entry tickets to the attraction sites. When you come to an attraction site, you just swipe the card and you can enter without paying the entrance fee. Besides, you can enjoy fast track entry in museums that have a lot of visitors lining up in a long queue. You just need to show the guard your pass and they will let you queue up in front. A free guidebook that is full of tips on how to explore Paris is included.

With Paris Pass, you can board on any public transportation within zones 1 -3. Zones 1 – 3 cover a few types of public transportations including metro, bus and RER in the center part of Paris. You have the option of purchasing a 2, 3, 4, or 6 days Paris Pass depending on how long you are staying at Paris.

Paris Museum Pass is for tourists who specifically want to visit museums. The pass allows you to get free access to over 50 museums and monuments. The museums and monuments actually can be accessed by teenagers under 18, and disabled people for free of charge. But, if you are an adult, you have to pay entry fee and getting the Paris Museum Pass will waive the entry ticket fee. It must be noted that the museums are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. You can get the Paris Pass with validity of 2, 4, or 6 days.

Paris Passlib is available for tourists who are staying just one day or longer period. For tourists that are staying 1 day in Paris, the Paris Passlib Mini is the best option because it offers unlimited hop-on hop-off on L’Open Tour sightseeing bus for 1 day. You can also treat yourself to a one hour of cruise at Seine with the Compagnie Bateaux Parisiens. The Passlib Mini also gives you fast track entry if you want to visit the 2nd floor of Eiffel Tower.

If you need a pass with a longer period, you should get the Paris Passlib with 2, 3, or 5 days validity. It offers unlimited travel on any transport system in zones 1 – 3. The Paris Passlib also includes a museum pass that allows you to get free entries to important museums and monuments.

Big Bus Sightseeing Tours vs Paris L’Open Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

Another economical way to explore Paris is to board on the hop-on hop-off tour. Big Bus Tour, which was used to be known as Les Cars Rouges previously, offers hop-on hop-off bus tour services at 10 stops in Paris. Getting the Big Bus Tour ticket online will be cheaper. There are 2 types of tickets including classic 1 day tour and premium 2 day tour. Some of the attractions you can visit with Big Bus Tour include Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Trocaero, Moulin Rouge, and Gare Du Nord.

Another company called L’ Open Tours, offers hop-on hop-off tour via four routes. L’ Open Tours buses will pull over at 50 stops that gives you access to more than 100 attractions in Paris. L’ Open Tours is definitely more worthwhile for your money compared to Big Bus Tours because it offers four times more stops. L’ Open Tours is ideal for people who plan to visit as many attractions as they can. It is recommended that you get a longer ticket as it takes some time to hop off the bus and also some time to walk around the attraction site to explore it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Paris city pass and bus tours can give tourists a chance to cover all the attraction sites during their short visits at Paris. If you are to visit the place on your own, you wouldn’t be able to cover so many attractions due to expensive travel cost.…

Visiting Palma de Mallorca on Budget

Palma de Mallorca is a vibrant capital filled with many historic buildings, shops, refreshment stops and other attractions. The city is walkable with pedestrian streets in many places. There are two options for travelers who are on budget but want to get around the city to see as many attractions as possible. The first option is to get a city pass like Palma Pass.

Palma Pass

Palma pass offers access to tons of museums and monuments such as Majorca Cathedral, Almudaina Royal Palace, and Bellver Castle. The pass allows you to make 10 free trips on EMT city buses. The EMT city buses belong to the Municipal Transport Company. The pass also includes an airport transfer from the city center to the airport. Additionally, it offers discounts on the entry tickets to lots of attraction sites including Palma Aquarium, stores, souvenir shops and restaurants. Along with the pass, you will receive a guidebook that is written in 6 languages.

There are two types of Palma passes including 48 and 72 hours. The 48 hours pass costs $34 euros while the 72 hours pass costs $41 euros. The tickets for those below 18 years old will be cheaper. If you purchase the pass online, you’ll have to print it out. You can also purchase the city pass at a local tourist information center or the hotel.

The validity of the pass is counted from the moment you use it for the first service. So, if you buy a pass with a validity of more than one day, make sure you try to use the pass every day until you have visited all your destinations. There is no additional fee that you need to pay after paying the initial price for the city pass.

Palma de Mallorca Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours

Buying the hop-on hop-off bus ticket is the second option if you are not interested in the attractions included in the city pass and just want to visit a few places that are reachable by bus. Hop-on hop-off bus ticket means that you can get on or off the bus at any time. After finishing visiting an attraction, you can go back to the bus stop and wait for another bus to take you to your next destination.

With the hop-on hop-off ticket, you can take a bus from one of the 18 bus stops to visit the Palma attractions. You can expect to see a new bus arriving at the bus stop  approximately every 20 – 25 minutes. The hop-on hop-off ticket is available in a 24 or 48 hour validity. Buying the 48 hour ticket can help you to save more money. The ticket is a flat rate ticket that allows you to go onboard the bus as many times as you want.

You will be able to find a bus for every tourist destination including beaches, fish markets, fountains, gardens monuments, cathedral, palaces, and plazas. The bus ticket can be upgraded to include walking and boat tours. There are different operating times for the bus tours in the spring, summer and winter. It is important that you know when the tours run in different season of the year so that you know when you can or cannot catch a bus.

Most of the time, the bus is a double decker bus with an open roof. Passengers can climb to the roof of the double decker bus and admire the scenery as the bus travels to the destination. The double decker buses are equipped with multilingual audio systems. While on the bus, you can listen to stories and learn about the culture of the city with the free headphones.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you will be able to save money taking your family touring around the city no matter if you purchase a Palma Pass or hop-on hop-off bus. By saving money, you will have more money to spend on other stuff and services that make the trip more worthwhile and fun.…

Top 5 tips to book a hotel in Delhi

Want to stay in a five-star hotel on your next Delhi visit? We list a few ways to book the best hotels.

In the age of the Internet, the world has shrunk to such an extent that you can communicate or transact across regions using just a smartphone. This connectivity helps you shop, bank, conduct business and even plan your holidays.

If you are looking for hotel bookings for Delhi, you can book from anywhere in the world using just your smartphone. You can go online to check out recommended hotels and the amenities they offer. You might even entrust the job of booking to an OTA. But there are certain essentials you must do right, such as –

* Make the hotel booking first. The very first booking, even before you book your flight tickets, should be the hotel booking. Once your stay at the preferred dates is sorted out, you can book your flights and plan your itinerary. There are many superb hotels near Delhi airport, such as The Leela Palace Hotel Delhi[1]. One of the leading New Delhi hotels, The Leela promises an excellent stay replete with joyous moments every single day.

* Contact the hotel for bookings. You might be tempted to book with an OTA (Online Travel Agency) because you get reward points, cashback offers and discounts. But you get good benefits by booking with the hotel directly, and a confirmation the moment you pay for the stay. The hotel can also explain its latest offers, recommend the best room options and also help you plan your itinerary – which the OTA cannot do. Besides, it is better to be in touch with the hotel directly if there are last-minute delays or cancellations.

* Ask for a written list of amenities and inclusions. The amenities you can use during your stay depend on the duration of your visit, the type of room you have booked, or whether your booking is a part of a pre-designed offer. When you book, ask the hotel to send you a list of the hotel amenities you have access to, on email. The hotel will send the list, which includes the pool, wet spa, restaurants, gym, etc. Also ask for complimentary airport transfers – you don’t want to waste your time looking for cabs, and the hotel can easily arrange to have you picked up and dropped off.

* Ask for the final bill including GST. Since July 1, 2017, all 5 star hotels in New Delhi and the rest of the country have revised their billing to include 18% GST. Previously, you would be charged up to 15% or more on Service Tax, VAT, Sales Tax, etc. Now, all other taxes are abolished. The tariff presented to you will be taxed at 18%, so do factor this number in your final payment.

[1] https://www.theleela.com/en_us/hotels-in-delhi/the-leela-palace-hotel-new-delhi/…

Most Offbeat European Places to Visit

Every destination in the world has a unique tale to tell and unique experiences can be relished only when you plan and venture out on holidays. You can seek out a place where you can just sit and relax with a good book while sipping on a refreshing cocktail and gazing at the vast mountain ranges from the confines of your luxurious resort. One should take it upon themselves to embark on timely sojourns to different and offbeat locations to relax the mind and body. These unusual experiences often prove to be the most memorable part of a trip. Unchartered locations have their own unique charm and aura attached to them which can invigorate your soul and create memories to last for a lifetime.

Gone are the days when travelling was a niche of the rich and the famous as expensive air tickets used to put the convenience of flights out of a common man’s reach. With several special discounts on flight bookings, cheap flight tickets have paved the way to spontaneous travel across the globe. With great deals on flight tickets and stupendous flight offers available at the click of a button, planning holidays isn’t a hassle anymore. Now, you can focus on having a relaxing time and unwind on your well-deserved holiday without worrying about the budget. Here are some of the most offbeat locations in Europe which you can opt for if you want to travel off the beaten path.

  • Galesnjak, Croatia

Buzzing with activity all year round, Galesnjak is also nicknamed the Entrancing Lover’s Island.  Set amidst the crystal clear waters of the Pasman Channel, this spectacular heart-shaped island creates a mesmerising atmosphere.  With breathtaking views of the majestic blue Adriatic waters, this place is the ideal to lose yourself.  Essentially, a privately owned islandand a walk along this island grants sweeping views of the clean & unscathed beaches. Furthermore, this beautiful heart-shaped island features two gorgeous mountain peaks, the highest of which is 36 m high above sea level.

Owing to its isolated location, this island makes for the perfect place to relish a romantic moment uninterrupted. This island rose to popularity a few years back when curious Google Earth users stumbled upon an image that resembled a clumsily scrawled heart. Spread across just 130,000 square yards, Galešnjak is virtually uninhabited and does not have any hotels, houses or any sort of tourist facilities. The best way to visit this island is by renting a boat and riding to the island or alternatively taking up one of the cruises which make stopovers on the island.

  • Nuuk, Greenland

Experience the heart of Greenland in Nuuk, the small, colourful capital city and its biggestand most cosmopolitan town. Although getting to Nuuk might prove to be an ordeal, once you get there, you will be thankful that you made the journey. Greenland’s capital and hub of trade and commerce, Nuuk is blessed with some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet. From the guided whale watching tours, elegant museumsand thrilling dog sledging expeditions to the marvellous sight of the Northern Lights, Nuuk is famed for its spectacular sights, sounds, and outdoor activities.

When in Nuuk, you can take a historical city walk down Nuuk’s famed city centre and admire the old, quaint traditional architecture. You could even pay a visit to the majestic National Greenland Museum which holds intricate handicrafts and artefacts and showcases much of the nation’s 4,500-year old history. Nuuk has several activities and offerings catering to both the culture & heritage seeking visitor and the nature-loving visitor.

Foodies will have a ball with several café’s and restaurants spread across the city serving amazing versions of Greenlandic cuisine. Theideal time to visit this place is between June and August so make sure you make cheap flight bookings in advance. If you want to revel in summer cruises under the midnight sun or partake in some natural sightseeing as well as some thrill blazing adventures, Nuuk is the place to be.

  • Tromsø, Norway

Sitting 400km north of the Arctic Circle at 69˚N, Tromsø is famed for its natural beauty, dramatic architecture, superlative hiking facilities and its ubiquitous local music scenes. Easily the most picturesque city in Norway, Tromsø is a fascinating and beautiful place to visit. This city exudes an irresistible small-town feel with its winding cobblestone streets, adorable wooden houses, gothic churches and a maze of white houses.  It is indeed a paradise for party fanatics and pet lovers alike.

Additionally, Tromsø offers one of the highest probabilities of experiencing the northern lights. A boon for adventure buffs, in Tromsø you can opt to go on a dog sledging or a whale safari excursion, or even attempt to get a selfie clicked with the local reindeer, whales and sea eagles amidst the surrounding nature. …

How to Plan a Trip

Travelling is something that almost all of us enjoy! A perfect getaway from the humdrum and stress of daily life, it leaves us rejuvenated and energized in a unique way! A trip can be undertaken solo or with family for both business and leisure purposes. Can by planned thanks to specialized travel website or travel applications, or only with Google. Regardless of the purpose, its success depends on how well it has been planned.

Plan your trip carefully

Thus, it is not surprising that many find themselves extremely stressed and overwhelmed with this task! To make things easier and more fun, we present below a comprehensive guideline that would not only make planning hordes easier but fun as well!

Decide on destination and time
Foremost, you must choose the location you want to travel. It can be in the country or overseas. The destination and time during which you wish to travel will have a major impact on your travel plans. For instance, planning a visit to a holiday destination like Bangkok is a lot easier that planning a trip to England! Even here, you need to be concrete and narrow down to a particular location. Bangkok is huge but limiting it to Pattaya and Phucket Islands makes the planning specific.
Again, if you plan to travel during a festive or holiday season, you need to take into account the holiday considerations like extra costs or lack of availability.
In contrast, the off-season might bring you easy booking and a cheaper travel expense but you are likely to face many off-season close doors!

Decide on duration and travel partners

Next, you need to decide if the vacation would a couple of days, weeks or months. The travel plans are also hugely impacted by whether you would be traveling alone, with a partner, with family or even group of friends.

Choose your right travel partner

All these play a pivotal role in selecting accommodation, mode of travel and various other
aspects of travel.

Research the location

It is very important that you research well on the destination you plan to visit. You must know the weather, the excitement it offers at the time of your travel plans, places of interest etc.
If you are going in a group or family; you need to discuss with everybody so that all come to some common conclusions. It is important that you hear about every body’s aspirations and must have at least one favorite included for each traveling member. Create a list and then prepare a loose itinerary for it.

Take the cost factor into account

Traveling is an expensive affair.


Take the cost factor into account
Thus, it is crucial that you look into each cost factor of all activities, transportation, meals etc. In case you would be hiring the services of a travel agent, the costs would be higher per person.

It is always a smart move that you start saving for your leisure trip from the moment you return back from one.

This helps you to enjoy your holiday to the hilt with no worries. Simultaneously, you need to remember the earlier you decide and start bookings, you are likely to get discounted deals. For instance, flights, hotel accommodation etc. often tend to be cheaper if you are booking well in advance!

However, if you are booking everything at the eleventh hour, your costs are likely to spike. While deciphering and planning the costs do not forget to add local transportation costs, costs of meals, each event and even your shopping budget!

Some extra money of adequate amount must also be included to cover for any unexpected or emergency expenses!

Book your transportation and accommodation

You must now book your flights in case you are traveling overseas. You can also book other modes of transportation like trains, car rentals etc. If you plan to take a vacation within the country.

The bookings should be done at the earliest so that you get some early bird discounts and can use that fund elsewhere or investing them in a liberal dose of fun.

Simultaneously you need to book accommodation within your budget range. While booking, do not forget to compare several hotels within that price range, their location, availability of food of your choice, luxuries that you desire etc. Today, there are several sites that provide you with some clear comparisons to decide.

Get the legal and medical job done

If you are traveling abroad, you must apply for a visa and complete all other legal formalities at the earliest to avoid any last minute crisis that can even lead to the cancellation of your trip!

Nothing can be more catastrophic than that! Any legal approval takes time and you must have adequate time to get all the required travel papers in order.…