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Stairway to Heaven : A Journey to Ladakh

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Shafts of sunlight wake you up from a much needed slumber that was brought upon by a crazy work schedule and the vanishing weekends in between. You look outside, and are momentarily stymied by this…

Aerial view of Laddakh…the sight of  hundreds of snow capped peaks, stretching as far as the eye can see. The Mountain Kingdom awaits, and you catch your breath, only to lose it again as you land in the pleasantly cold Kushok Bakula Rinpoche airport. That’s how my ten day tryst with Ladakh began.

We arrived at the lovely Hotel Gawaling International, a proud and quiet oasis in the little town of Leh, with an impressive backdrop of majestic mountains and a little creek that in the mornings almost dry, gushed forth in the evenings. Little hotels may lack fancy accouterments, but they make up for it with unabashedly warm service, and an enthusiasm we soon discovered was characteristic of the Ladakhi soul.

The rest of the day was spent acclimatizing; if that’s what you call mimicking a sloth bear before hibernation. On a serious note, most of Ladakh averages a height of about 12000 feet above sea level (carry altitude sickness tablets with you) and the overzealous traveler would do well to spend the first day in bed.  Prepare to have little to no cellphone coverage at all. No complaints though, not when you have soup, momos and Jenga blocks for company.

A journey to Ladakh

Enroute to Khardung La

The northern frontier is best seen in the summer months of June and July, when there is enough sun to take a dip in the Indus and traipse around the monasteries that dot this land, but also enough Jack Frost in the air to keep some chilly winds and snow flakes swirling around you as you climb higher and higher, searching for those treacherous high passes the land is named after ( La Dakh, land of high passes).

Khardung La, easily one of the world’s highest motorable roads, is a must, even if you do get snowed in for four hours (we did). In such times, take comfort in the stories your amiable driver will tell you. Better yet, ask your travel guide his story, and he will tell you how he is actually saving up to go to France someday. Let him chip into your conversation about the meaning of life and all the while, know that you are high above most people anywhere in the world(literally).

Head back to Leh after your adventures, for this charming town has much culture and love to offer. Shanti Stupa is the Buddhist answer to a stress buster. Instead of letting your hair down and sipping cosmos, let the winds caress your tresses as you scarf down some Tibetan butter tea. Walk into the Leh palace, and let the ageing paint, wood, and dust stir a feeling of deep seated imperialism in you. Buy turquoise jewelry, pashmina shawls or apricots if you’re a keen shopper. Visit a monastery, spin the prayer wheels of dharma, and let your sins escape into the mountains.  If you’re lucky, you will sight little Llamas, boy monks robed in maroon that are schooled on the temple grounds.

A journey to Ladakh

Wheels of Dharma

 A journey to Ladakh

Shanti Stupa, an Indo Japanese token for peace

Speaking of schools, trivia alert: the school featured in the 3 Idiots movie is worth a quick look – Drukpa White Lotus School in Ladakh is famous all over the world, for its award winning sustainable and eco friendly design. Besides, who wouldn’t want to play basketball in a playground encircled by the Himalayas? This place is witnessing quite the wave of education and reform. A dear friend swears by an educational NGO called SECMOL in the village of Phey, some twenty kilometers from Leh, so if you have the luxury of time, you might want to investigate, if only to applaud the spirit of the little pink faced cherubs in these schools.

If you have a day to spare, make for the camping grounds in Nubra Valley. The journey alone is enchanting. I’ve always loved wild landscapes, and the ride didn’t disappoint. Sudden sandstorms chase your heels, rogue waterfalls beckon, and amidst bare stone, there is that sudden  emerald lagoon, blazing trails of green. Keep your windows rolled down, and if you squint hard enough, you can spot some native wildlife-gorgeous horses, furry marmuks, even Bactrian camels. These camels once carried trade along the historic Silk Route from Central Asia into India.  They now ship tourist upstarts like yours truly and indulge in the occasional photoshoot.

A journey to Ladakh

Nubra Valley from afar

 Mystique Meadows Camp,Nubra Valley

Mystique Meadows, one of the camps at the  Valley.

I’ve saved the best for the last – a slice of heaven the locals call Pangong Tso. Nestled in land that is both India and China, the lake is exquisite, almost something out of Tolkien’s world. When the wind and clouds are just right, it is a mirror, with the endless skies reflected to create a heady view.  Lofty mountains stand guard over this precious pool, their peaks at once chocolate, beige, sawdust, and every other color you can think of. This is my favorite thing about the trip-that I could throw my head back anywhere, and the skyline would be anything but buildings and neon signs.

A journey to Ladakh

Pangong Tso.

When I was there, I sought refuge in the lakeside Martsemik Camp for the night so I could get me some more shutterbug time in the morning, when the light is just right. Resigned to hiding under layers of sweaters and chaddars,  I was more than surprised when the staff braved their way to my tent, armed with heating pads for my bed. It is the little things, truly, that count. Why then, should we indulge the giant hotel chains that threaten to quash these thriving tourism industries with all their monstrous commercialism? Why indeed.

A little more wanderlust will lead you to the Indus Zanskar confluence in central Ladakh, where you can ride the rapids. Pick a route and a grade (Beginner to challenger) and before you know it, you’re riding through valleys and little hamlets singing some Denver while you drift. Jump out of the raft and into the river during the last leg, and swim along…even if it leaves you with chattering teeth and aching muscles, the adrenaline will have been worth it.

A journey to Ladakh

Is Ladakh an easy trip to make? Surely not, but the locals will shell out some Zen wisdom ,tell you to let go of inhibition, and let Nature lead the way. As for me, it was my Indian Winterfell summer, and by Jove, I’d love to do it all again sometime.

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Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights

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aircraft flight travel packing

When you plan your trip, one of the major expenses tend to be the airfare as it is hard to avail last minute cheap flights. In other words, airfare has a detrimental impact on selecting the destination where you wish to go as you have to cut down your expenditure somewhere. So that you do not have to change your travel destination to avail of an affordable flight we are here with some Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights. These are as follows:

1. Try to book early

Just like an early worm catches the bird, similarly to avail Emirates Airlines Booking at a cheap rate it is necessary that you book the flight as soon as you have decided to leave. 3 weeks prior to departure, the price of the flight tends to jump by leaps and bound. If you are able to book your tickets between 3 months to 30 days prior to the departure, you are sure to get the best deals on flight tickets. Another advantage of doing so is that you get to book the seat of your choice

2. Don’t be adamant about travel dates

airport waiting

One of the best ways to ensure savings on ticket booking is by being flexible. Here, by flexibility, we imply that you need to have travel plans that can be set as per the availability of cheap tickets. If you fly mid-week or on days when people usually avoid traveling, like Christmas, you tend to get airplane tickets at a very cheap price. You can surely not be flexible to the place you are traveling to or the airport you are opting for but you can surely be flexible as far as the traveling dates are concerned.

3. Opt for a connecting flight

connecting flight

Another way of saving on your airplane ticket is by booking a connecting flight. The non-stop flight is known to be comfortable but very expensive as compared to their counterpart. However, this is only possible if you are not in a hurry to reach the destination but this way you can really save a lot of money on air tickets.

4. Take help of price alerts

It is not necessary that you have to book the flight today for the travel that you ought to make after 4 months to avail of a better deal. Instead, you can opt for setting the alerts for the price change and price drop. If you witness that prices are fluctuating then you can wait for the moment when the price drop to the best but if these are witnessed going upwards you should book instantly before letting it reach the peak.

All in all, these are the Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights. By availing the best deals on airfare, you end up saving a lot that can then be utilized in planning the trip in a better and more lavish way. so, next time you book a flight be sure to keep these tips in mind.

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What You Don’t Know About Broadway

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New York is famous all over the world for Broadway and the West End, but there’s a lot that you probably don’t know about the area. 

Most people, for instance, are stunned to find out just how many theatres there are. At the last count, there were nearly fifty along Broadway and off Times Square, with the number steadily rising over the decades to accommodate the new global audience. 

Phantom of the Opera is the currently title-holder for the longest-running West End show. It started in 1988 and is still going today, more than thirty years later. Chicago is the second-longest-running show. 

The West End is also much more popular among women than it is men. Estimates suggest that 66 percent of the audience is female at most shows. 

Finding a show that you actually want to see on Broadway, however, can be a challenge. What makes a great theatre experience for one person might not for another. 

Fortunately, we’re offering some help. Below, you’ll find a helpful decision tree that can guide you to the type of show that you’ll like the most based on your answers to a series of questions. You’ll end up in one of five categories of musical, each designed to fit your personality and experience of the West End. Try it for yourself now. 


Get Broadway Tickets

So what did you think? Which type of Broadway-goer are you? Somebody who lives to love it up with a romantic production, or a person who just wants something that makes you feel good? 

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6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids

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Dubai is one of the favourite tourist destinations owing to the fact that it has in store something or the other for all and sundry. It is well supplies with entertainment and attractions. Every year a lot of visitors from all across the globe come to visit this beautiful and charming city. Some come as couple and other with their friends but there are few who also get their kids along. There are a plenty of things to be done with family, friends and kids. Here we are going to share with you the 6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids.

6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids

Though when it comes to an adult, we do not give a second thought to agreeing doing an activity that we have heard of but this cannot be the case when we are with kids. You ought to carefully tailor your trip so that you can have fun yourself and let you children also enjoy without posing any risk to them. The list of things to see and do in Dubai is endless, so here we are going to restrict ourselves with the popular activities for kids in Dubai.

1. Dinner Cruise Dubai Marina

If you are in Dubai with your kids then instead of exposing them to the play areas and other things immediately, it is better to take them out for a cruise dinner that is surely going to be a dazzling start from them. Kids and aged alike are fond of the cruise dinners and if it has to be one like Dubai Marina then you need not give it a second thought. Your kids are sure to enjoy the mouth-watering dishes belonging to different cuisines at Dinner Cruise Dubai Marina and a variety of soft drinks served on board. There are also the live performances to charm your children though they will be able to enjoy it a little more if they are 12 years or above.

2. Motiongate Dubai

To the major places of attractions in Dubai there has been a recent addition and it is Motiongate. Opened back in 2016, it claims to be in the list of one of the largest themed entertainment parks across the region. It also comprises of the three largest as well as the most prolific Hollywood studios including Dreamworks, Lionsgate, and Columbia Pictures. It is popular for bringing to life the most loved animated stories as well as characters. You get to be the part of the golden age of filmmaking as you get to actually go behind the scenes to get the real life experience of the movie sets in addition to exploring the inner workings of the production studio. At the end you can also witness the live action stage show that is based on movies like the The Hunger Games or Step Up.

3. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Unlike the other aquariums around the world, this one is unique as it is a home to the largest acrylic sheet of the world showing off the sharks along with fish and sting rays. You simply need to walk around the pedestrian tube and you get an opportunity to go extremely close to the marine life. Exactly above the aquarium there is an Underwater Zoo which is another mesmerizing activity to do. Here you get to witness the painting otters that are trained along with the interesting insects as well as playful penguins. Do make visiting tis aquarium and zoo a priority to do item in your list and witness it doing miracle to the happiness of your child.

4. KidZania

If you have a kid accompany you to Dubai then there is one thing that you must not forget to do. It is paying a visit to KidZania. KidZania is basically a play club that is located in Dubai Mall. To children who are above 4 to children less than 16, this place offers them a safety to explore all the play dreams that they have ever had. While some can go in for exploring the role-playing activities mimicking the real-world counterparts, there are a myriad of other interesting things also to do for kids.

5. Dubai Fountains

Children are naturally inclined towards finding the fountains mesmerizing and if it has to be the one that is the tallest then you cannot even imagine the happiness that it gets to your kid. Dubai Fountain Show is based over the enormous crystal clear man-made lake in the tallest building of the world. These fountain shows take place every half hour for around ten minutes in the evening. There are two shows that take place during the day. These are very beautiful and stunning to look at and are sure to make your kid surprised and give him an experience that he will cherish his entire life.

6. Waterpark

If it Dubai, the vacation of your kid cannot be counted complete unless and until he has not witnessed the waterpark of the city. There can be nothing more soothing on a sunny day than a visit to the waterpark, primarily if you are in Dubai. This waterpark that we are talking about finds a decent location at the tip of the colossal man-made island, termed as The Palm. The waterpark is known to feature a number of heart-pumping slides that also includes The Leap of Faith, implying a 9-storey drop and Shark Attack.

7. Sega Republic

In other parts of the world you are more familiar with the term Time zone, that here in Dubai is popular as Sega Republic. Here, you get to explore the two floors of the theme park rides in addition to the endless rows of the arcade games. There is also an enormous indoor playground  to be found here that is entirely supervised so that the adults can drop off their kids free of care to compete in the round of the head-to-head car simulator racing.

All in all, these are the Things To Do In Dubai With Kids. These activities are surely going to keep your kids engaged without compromising on their safety. Meanwhile you can enjoy strolling around the place.

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