Most Beautiful Tourist Places Of North East India

Rajasthan is stretched with vast shopping locales, throughout its huge expanse,  for an extensive range of merchandise, such as clothes, sarees, linen and fabric in that ethnic and traditional `bandhini’, tye and dye , in cotton, silk, chiffon and georgette, pottery, lacquer, curios in semi precious stones and ornated marble, paintings in `batik’ and varied art, crafted wooden furniture  in vibrant colours and hand-painted, jewellery in gold, diamond and polki diamond, showcasing the gold and silver `thewa’ and `naqashi’ range,in addition to silver trinkets and authentic gems .

North East India Tourist Attraction

Shops in Karnataka are full of clothes, shoes, electronics, books, souvenirs, handicrafts in wood, metal, bronze, copper, brass, silver and gold-polished items, and shawls.  You could pick up designer clothes, bags and jewellery from the high end malls. The swish set towering complex of UB City has all international brands from Louis Vuitton to Jimmy Choo and a piazza-style food court to spend an afternoon swooning about the ambience.  Exquisite fabric in silk, georgette, crepe and chiffon is available, besides some outstanding bed linen, cushion covers, table covers, coasters and bolster covers. Packets of coffee, as well as richly fragrant spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, star anise and cloves make famous specialities!

Loktak Lake North East India

In Sikkim, stores are stocked with famous hand-carved wood choktse tables, carpets, blankets, shawls and prayer rugs.  A vast variety of thangkas, curios and souvenirs, vividly coloured mugs and teacups embraced by dragons and floral patterns, yak-bone ornaments, statuettes made of metal, stones, bronze, copper, brass and those with a silver and gold-polished finish, and yummy local pickles, are an unavoidable indulgence!

Meghalaya could offer fabrics such as muga silk, cotton, kantha work and handlooms which are very famous purchases in the North-East region. There are shops lined up with bamboo and cane products, and colourful stalls are full with local village produce such as forest honey, souvenirs like handmade knives, bags, shawls, bamboo cutlery and other crafts, including fruit such as saying and saflang, sold wrapped in banana leaves. You may also pick up the Jainsayem, the traditional Khasi skirt or Khasi jackets, pullovers and shawls! Packets of dried wild apples and gooseberries are also available for the tourists to carry along with them. Artefacts made of wood, bronze, brass, metal and stone and thangkas, curios and statues of different deities are also tempting purchases!

Cuisine:
Visiting the Jewel of the Desert as Rajasthan is called, the place would entice your culinary desires with the earthy rustic core dishes such as dal bhatti, bajra roti and kheer, along with delicious Indian vegetarian food in desi ghee and minimal oil for all tastes, including a varied range of International dishes to entice tourist attraction!

Around the areas of Karnataka and Kerala, they have a way with pork  or pandi curry, fowl or koli curry, prawn curry and mango and rice. Their akki rotis and kadumputtus are a treat. Besides this, you would find biryani stalls, mutton rolls and a variety of Indian, both North and South  and International cuisine!  Also, a vegetarian Kannada meal thali and bajjis are available in pilgrim spots and around town! The cities and towns would be abuzz with international chains serving Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Continental food, in addition to fast food centres selling pizzas, pastas, steaks, sandwiches, croissants, burgers, Danish and cakes, pastries, sundaes and delectable desserts!

You could find typical Sikkimese meals that include dishes made form stinging nettles and Alpine fiddlehead fern, along with the local speciality of the famed cherry brandy. Most restaurants serve regular Indian and Chinese food from chowmein and momos to dishes such as shakbaley or deep-fried meat bread. There are eateries selling Chinese, South Indian and Bengali food, including a blend of Continental, Italian, Tibetan and a variety of Indian cuisine!

For the gastronomical fare, the Meghalaya region has restaurants serving simple food like noodles, vegetables, dal, rice, roti, tandoori food and snacks. You would also find fast food spots selling éclairs, cookies, ice-creams, sundaes, cakes, pastries, croissants, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, muffins, pancakes, milk shake, cold coffee, hot tea and coffee. Excellent Chinese, Japanese and Korean food is served in some outlets. Piping hot momos and ubiquitous little shops selling a rice-and-pork preparation would be an interesting experience. Ofcourse, multi-cuisine fare consisting of Indian, Chinese,Tibetan and International food  along with khasi specialities is also available!

Best Things to Do in Brussels Belgium

An exciting destination……so  get ready to exploit………go berserk with your adventure……..splurge………indulge…….on your visit to Brussels  with an access to the city’s most popular attractions and activities which give your family  and companions fantastic views of the sights on board as you stroll around colourful resorts, traditional culture and tropical natural wonders……artistic architecture, green areas and vibrant restaurants, cafes and bars…….this adventure is seasoned with a blend of all the  spices……….lending versatility and uniqueness in it’s contrast……..and familiarity!

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and of Brussels Capital Region. It might also be considered something of a capital for the European Union.  Being at the crossroads of cultures…… the Germanic in the North and the Romance in the South and playing an important role in Europe, Brussels fits the definition of the archetypal “melting pot”, but still retains its own unique character.  It operates as a bilingual city where both French  and Dutch or Flemish  are official languages.  Thus all the streets have two names, which can sound totally different.  For example, the Main Square is called both la Grand Place and de Grote Markt.  Although officially bilingual, French is undoubtedly Brussels’ lingua franca.  English is also widely understood, but not always widely spoken.

The grand and opulent city is split into nineteen communes or gemeenten or municipalities……boroughs……which are worth exploring to bring that sparkle in your eyes, as you move along different paths, vividly described…… as under………through some experiences…….

Bruxelles/Brussel encompasses many charming and beautiful attractions, with deeply ornate buildings on the Grand Place/Grote Markt, and a fish-and-crustacean overdose of St. Catherine’s Square Stroll along, and stop in for a drink at one of the many bars on Place St-Géry/Sint-Goriksplein, or max out your credit card on the trendy Rue Antoine Dansaert/Antoine Dansaertstraat.

Marolles/Marollen  is a neighbourhood close to the city’s heart, and one of the few places where Dutch or Flemish could still be heard. The area is best known for the flea market held daily on the Place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein as well as a plethora of shops selling everything from old radios and bent wipers to fine china and expensive Art Nouveau trinkets. Visit on Saturdays or Sundays……..in case you decide to splurge!

Brussels/Ixelles-Elsene…… is a vibrant part of the town with a high concentration of restaurants, bars and other services to satisfy the good-looking or the heavy-spending. Some wandering around will reveal small bookshops, affordable ethnic restaurants or independent record shops tucked away in side streets. The Matongé district just off Chaussée d’Ixelles/Elsenesteenweg is the city’s main African neighbourhood. It is a large district spreading from newly gentrified immigrant neighbourhoods to leafy suburbs close to the Bois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos…………..enlivened with plenty of green space!

Molenbeek|Molenbeek  is a commune with a very large Moroccan and, lately, Romani or Gypsy population……..charming enough for a walk!

Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis……  is the  city’s bohemian epicentre with thriving French, Portuguese, Spanish, Maghrebi and Polish communities. The area around the Parvis de St-Gilles/St-Gillisvoorplein is the arty part, with the area around the Chatelain/Kastelein and the Church of the Holy Trinity being definitely more glorified. It boasts of several Art Nouveau and Haussmann-style buildings.

St-Josse/Sint-Joost……  has a few small, welcoming streets. A part of it is also home to a relatively small Indo-Pakistani community, so this is the place to head to for a tikka masala.

Uccle/Ukkel……  is  Brussels’ poshest commune as green, bourgeois and starched- like all posh communes should be, and  has retained many of it’s enchanting medieval cul-de-sacs, tiny squares and small townhouses as has some nearby areas.

Woluwé-Saint-Pierre/Sint-Pieters-Woluwe and Woluwé-Saint-Lambert/Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe are two communes at the eastern end of the city. Mainly residential, with a mixture of housing blocks, quaint neighbourhoods and green areas….. this place is well-loved by Eurocrats and other professional strata. The enormous Wolubilis cultural complex is well worth a visit.

You may accommodate the above commumes……as many as you can….otherwise spare some time to discover the most important landmarks of Brussels that  would leave you spellbound…….

Grand Place or Grote Markt……. is  surrounded by the city tower and a range of beautiful three hundred year old buildings.  In the evening, surrounded by bright illumination, it is simply ravishing.  During some evenings a music and light show is provided with the buildings serving as a canvas.   Have a “gaufre de Liège-Luikse wafel” here …a Belgian waffle with caramelized sugar…..delectable, isn’t it?

A unique sight……but  thought-provoking……..perhaps for a change in vision and mind-set……Manneken Pis……  just a short walk from the Grand Place-Grote Markt is the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue thought to represent the “irreverent spirit” of Brussels.  This statue of a child performing one of Nature’s most basic functions.  Belgians have created hundreds of outfits for this statue, and  there are many stories of the statue’s significance.   It is believed to have been inspired by a child who, while in a tree, found a special way to drive away invading troops.  Another story goes that a father was missing his child and made a declaration to the city that when he found him he would build a statue of him, doing whatever it was that he was doing.  It has also been said a witch turned him to stone for  committing an undesiring social etiquette on her property.  These are all myths……..may not be believed! Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark ……definitely check out the Arc de Triomphe-Triomfboog on the east side of town.  It is possible to go up to the terrasse above the arch, from where you’ll have a good view of the city. Entry is through the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History and is free.

Atomium, Square de l’Atomium/Atomiumplein…. the unavoidable icon of Brussels and Belgium, important place for international tourism, unique creation in the history of architecture and emblematic vestige of the World Fair in Brussels….. this continues to embody it’s ideas of the future and universality, half a century later.    Five of the nine spheres are open to the public….. one of them is housing a permanent exhibition dedicated to some small models of some countries pavillions.  Another sphere is dedicated to temporary exhibitions with scientific themes The upper sphere offers spectacular views of the city.  When the sky is clear, the view reaches till Antwerp. Basically, there are only three spheres……. the top which has a restaurant, the middle has a snack bar  and  the bottom where  the only thing to see really is the view….. at night, all the spheres are illuminated to  offer a very special show Palais de Justice/Justitiepaleis  is  larger than St. Peter’s basilica in Rome…… Basiliek van het Heilig Hart /Basilique du Sacré Coeur…..  is the fifth biggest church in the world, with an impressive interior and an amazing view over Brussels and it’s surroundings. Palais Royale/Koninklijk Paleis is a Royal Palace with a park out front. Mini-Europe…… hosts a set of scale models of famous European structures. Statue of Europe  also referred to as Unity in Peace…. the sculpture symbolises peace through European integration. Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire is a  museum  that has an important collection of art objects from different civilizations from all over the world…… Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique…… features both historical art and modern art in the one building. In a vast museum of several buildings, this complex combines the Musée d’Art Ancien-Museum voor Oude Kunst and the Musée d’Art Moderne…..Museum voor Moderne Kunst under one roof connected by a passage. The collection shows off works, most of them Belgian, from the fourteenth to the twentieth- century, starting in the historical section, with Hans Memling’s portraits from the  fifteenth -century, which are marked by sharp life-like details, works by Hiëronymus Bosch, and Lucas Cranach’s Adam and Eve.  You should particularly seek out the subsequent rooms featuring Pieter Brueghel, including his Adoration of the Magi.  Don’t miss his unusual Fall of the Rebel Angels, with grotesque faces and beasts.  But don’t fear, many of Brueghel’s paintings, like those depicting Flemish village life, are of a less fiery nature.  Later artists represented include Rubens, Van Dyck, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt.  Next door, in a circular building connected to the main entrance, the modern art section has an emphasis on underground works…..the collection includes works by van Gogh, Matisse, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst.

Musées d’Extrême-Orient comprise a Japanese tower, a Chinese pavilion, and a museum of Japanese art. The architecture and decor may seem over the top to today’s tastes, but there are some outstanding examples of Chinese export porcelain, and rotating exhibitions of Japanese artefacts from the Edo period…….. Musée BELvue features Belgium’s history……..  before it became a museum, the former eighteenth -century luxury hotel was a royal residence……the Natural Sciences Museum of Belgium…..which  is well-known for its famous collection of iguanodons  or dinosaurs discovered in a coal-mine in Belgium.  The dinosaur collection has been refreshed and includes discovery activities for the children.  The other parts of the museum are also interesting, as an exhibit of all animals that live in our houses and a collection of mammals……..

The Horta Museum…… is the home of noted Belgian Art Nouveau architect and designer Victor Horta. It can be very busy on rainy Sundays and the queue is outside, so don’t forget your umbrella……….dancing in the rain……..breathing in every drop of water….and also sipping a hot or cold beverage! The Royal Museum for Central Africa collection of ethnographic objects from Central Africa is in fact the only one of it’s kind in the world.  It also contains the entire archives of Henry Morton Stanley which are of great historical value.  The actual state of the museum makes it some kind of “museum in the museum” The Belgian Comic Strip Center……  is a permanent exposition featuring the early beginning of comics as well as its’ development.  There is enough room for other varying expositions.  The bookshop at the ground floor sells many different comics.  A readers’ library operates on the ground floor, where, for a low entrance fee, you can read many different comic books and buy fries.

The Musical Instruments Museum……the mim houses more than seven thousand instruments, from all times and all over the world……..it’s reputation is built on the extraordinary collection. The exhibits are displayed on four different floors featuring a wide range of instruments from all time periods and areas of the world. The MIM is a place to experience music. An infrared headphone system allows each visitor to enjoy the sound and melodies played by the instruments presented. The restaurant on the roof is also famous because of it’s panoramic view over Brussels. You need some hours to really enjoy the whole museum and  make sure you have enough time…….The  Musée Juif de Belgique is dedicated to the craft, folk art, culture and religion of the Jewish people in Belgium.

Bibliotheca Wittockiana is a  museum that is dedicated to the art of binding books, with one of the most prestigious bookbinding collections in the world. Quite interesting. A discovery of forgotten discipline……another food for thought and a change in ideology and philosophy or acceptance…..each to his own but to the best of being positive……if possible…….without impositions!  Amazing use of materials, that unexpectedly gives room to innovation…… Scientastic has one hundred and one  surprising and wonderful hands-on science exhibits.

The Bourse is the stock market building in Brussels.  Locals like to sit on the steps, and you may do the same….. sometimes with fries, sipping a beverage. Several turn-of-the-century houses and manors can still be seen today……such as the Stoclet/Stokkel House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built on a design by Josef Hoffmann and contains mosaics and paintings by Gustav Klimt. The Paleis voor Schone Kunsten  or Dutch or Palais des Beaux…..arts is often referred to as “Bozar” or “PSK”……… contains a large concert hall, a recital room, a chamber music room, lecture rooms and a vast gallery for temporary exhibitions………showcasing it’s various divisions….. Bozar Architecture is open to the public with exhibitions and lectures……. Bozar Cinema has showings of quality films for the general public……. Bozar Dance hosts international contemporary dance productions…… Bozar Expo has many exhibitions every year, alternating the great collections with contemporary art, various national heritages, and support for young artists…….. Bozar Literature hosts meetings with Belgian and foreign writers…….. Bozar Music  concerts in almost a dozen venues, both at the Centre for Fine Arts and elsewhere in Brussels, with Western classical music from the Middle Ages to our times, as well as non-European classical music, traditional music, jazz, blues, rock in a great variety of line-ups and genres, from chamber ensembles to big bands, from recitals to concert performances of the opera…….. Bozar Theatre is oriented towards avant-garde theatre………. Bozar Studios is the Centre’s educational service, operating as an artistic department in its own right.

Belgian lace and Belgian chocolates…..  how can any visitor leave without souvenirs of the country’s two most famous products?  For pralines, the Belgian term for chocolates, visitors can do no better than Leonidas, the Belgian chocolatier with the Greek name.  This chain sells high-quality, handmade pralines at reasonable prices.  For lace, the city’s largest maker is Manufacture Belge de Dent. Their selection is large, their lace is handmade, and the quality is top-notch.  For another excellent souvenir, purchase some of Belgium’s many celebrated brews.  Comic lovers will also want to stock up on Tintin memorabilia…… the best selection is at Boutique de Tintin.  In addition, fashionistas don’t need Paris for the hottest designers.  Desirable boutiques line Avenue Louise, and the Kaat Tilley shop offers terrific designs too.  Boutiques, not to mention excellent window shopping, are available in the Galleries Saint-Hubert, considered by many to be Europe’s oldest “mall”  Speaking of old, antique lovers should venture to the chic Place du Grand Sablon for the city’s largest selection. Be sure to stop in at Wittamer, Brussels’ most famous patisserie, for a snack.  On weekend mornings, an antiques fair is held in the Sablon square.  Bargain hunters, however, will find the Vieux Marche more to their tastes.  This flea market has been in operation since the seventeenth- century selling…… antiques, old postcards, retro clothing, household items.

Marche Du Midi is the largest…… colourful outdoor market in open places around Brussels and has everything from food to flowers to bathroom accessories, with many ethnic stalls of Turks, Middle-Eastern and Africans. Place Du Grand Sablon is a shopping district……dotting art galleries, boutiques, upscale cafes,  epicentre of Brussels’ antiques trade,  historic homes surrounding the square have been turned into antique shops, and an antique weekly market is held here on each weekend……. Christa Reniers….  Belgium’s top contemporary jewellery designer with exquisite ornaments….. Claude-Noelle has an elegant setting on Place Du Grand Sablon….a  jewellery store selling  shiny  jewellery and expensive antiques objects.

Brussels is chock full of chocolates, but the ultimate indulgence for the chocoholic is Place du Grand Sablon-Grote Zavel Plein, where you will find three shops selling some of the best chocolate in the world……. Neuhaus, Pierre Marcolini and Wittamer. Each store has it’s own specialities Passion Chocolat is a bit out of the way but it’s artisan chocolate is worth a visit, and you can taste lots of it for free at the entrance.

The French Marvel

Street art, city views, coffee and markets…… exploring Belleville, Paris’ hip new neighbourhood……may introduce you to this…….once a patchwork of farms and windmills, Edith Piaf’s….. old stomping ground and a staunchly working-class quartier  or neighbourhood, known as brilliantly multicultural Belleville…..  now home to neobistros, coffee roasters and burgeoning art projects….. and with some of the city’s best street art, panoramic views and a rising food scene, this is clearly a slice of northeastern Paris worth checking out……move on to exotic Burgundy and savour the cultural heritage of Lyon…….with it’s famous heritage walls and delectable wineries…….. to rejuvenate yourselves on………The French Marvel!!!!

Tourist Attractions:
Arrive in Paris and head for Belleville’s rue Dénoyez sports …….the most dazzling street art. Everything on the short street, from rubbish bins and flowerpots to lamp posts and window shutters, is covered from head to toe in colourful art. Artist workshops line the street where local kids kick footballs around and street art ‘happenings’ break out on sultry summer nights. At the end of the street, break for an organic jasmine ice tea, homemade lemonade or glass of warm vanilla milk at Le Barbouquin, a mellow literary cafe with books, vintage armchairs and cultural events such as violin-accompanied poetry readings on weekends.

From blvd de Belleville walk east along rue des Couronnes until you reach rue de la Mare, a plain unassuming street brightened with the odd splash of street art and hidden artist studios and workshops. Seek out ceramists, potters and highly creative milliners such as Estelle Ramousse  known for her theatrical made-to-measure hats. On nearby rue Envierges, haute-couture fashion designer Stéphanie Coudert tailor-makes unique pieces in her hip studio with striking, raw-wood façade. The best time to encounter local artists at work is during the annual Portes Ouvertes  or ‘Open House’ in May when  a group of artists open their studio doors to visitors for four days. Some of their work is displayed year-round in the gallery of Les Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville.

Below the panoramic terrace on rue Piat the green lawns, fountains and trimmed hedgerows of Parc de Belleville tumble down the hillside. Amid hectares of urban greenery is a gargantuan slide, toboggan ride and climbing frame for kids. Right under your feet, beneath the panoramic terrace, actually a rooftop, is the Maison de l’Air …… inside is a green exhibition on air quality in Paris.

For city views, wander along rue des Envierges, past old-fashioned bistro Le Vieux Belleville where you can hear accordion music and chansons  or songs still being performed of an evening. At the end of street the stunning city panorama sweeps across the horizon from the terrace on rue Piat. An orientation table, designed in colour ceramic mosaics by local artists, maps out the Eiffel Tower and other key monuments on the skyline………as you continue on…….this French Marvel!!!

Take a break and tuck into a baguette sandwich filled with Morbier cheese, walnuts and honey from gourmet bakery Le Panorama Gourmand and flop on the rather funky chaise lounge….  built from recycled wooden pallets……  on the square here……. or stop in at L’O’Paris,  a modern cafe with sky blue façade, bright pink interior and live jazz at weekends.

This region was put on the hipster map by Belleville Brûlerie, a ground-breaking roastery that brought good  creative coffee to Paris. Belleville beans go into espressos and cappuccinos served at some of the city’s coolest barista-run cafes such as Fondation Café, Holybelly and Lockwood…….lo…..and….. if in you’re in Belleville on a Saturday you can taste, buy and drink coffee in situ at the roastery  as  ‘cupping’ sessions on Saturday mornings are a highlight.

For an authentic taste of an Asian food scene on this side…..head to Tai Yen for Chinese and Don Huong for Vietnamese…… both offer outstanding value. The neighbourhood’s crop of hip neo-bistros includes Felicity Lemon, which sells itself as the cantine de quartier  or neighbourhood canteen….. the place where everyone goes, and rising star Chatomat. Natural wines accompany homemade bistro platters at the stylish wine cellar Chapeau Melon, while an unpretentious favourite is Mon Oncle Le Vigneron …. Pascal and Chika have cooked and entertained guests around shared tables at this upmarket grocery store and kitchen for the last nineteen years. For Sunday brunch there is one address….. beneath a hundred-year olive tree at  a buzzing arts centre Le Bellevilloise……..sumptuous fare on……..the French Marvel!!!!

Stall holders shout out loud to flog their wares in a din of different languages at raucous open-air food market, Marché de Belleville. Its stalls have filled busy thoroughfare blvd de Belleville and shopping here for fruit, vegetables and other fresh produce is a fantastic entry into the large, vibrant community, home to artists, students and immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. End your foodie shop with a more sedate shopping experience at Fromagerie Beaufils, a family-run fromagerie and affineur or ripener…… rated as one of the best cheese shops in Paris. Crunchy baguettes and other wood-oven-baked bread from Belleville’s prize-winning boulangerie  or bakery Au 140 make the perfect picnic partner.

Splendid India Holiday Package

Experience the Taj Mahal at sunrise, capture colourful Rajasthan in your viewfinder, relax on quiet beaches in Goa, connect with the locals in a homestay, and sample delicious Indian cuisine.

From the hectic pace of northern Delhi to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi, this epic journey packages the subcontinent’s highlights into a well-placed flexible vacation, with the duration at your discretion. Watch the sunrise at Savitri temple in Pushkar and explore the canals of Alleppey on your way to a homestay with a local family. Pack your trip with everything you want and nothing that you don’t desire. What are you waiting for? Lush hills, bustling cities and mouth-watering curries are calling you on this Splendid India Holiday Pacakge!

If you arrive early, wander through the heart of India’s capital city and explore Old and New Delhi. Travel by the new metro or auto rickshaws and visit the famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) where you could climb the minaret for a bird’s eye view of the old city. Explore Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets or head to the colourful spice market, a great photo opportunity. From Old Delhi it is easy to get to Connaught Place, more commonly known as CP, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule, by the metro (station at CP is called Rajiv Chowk). In CP wander the markets and shops or visit the Gandhi museum, built on the site of his assassination. If people watching is your interest, head down to India Gate and relax on the lawns, or enjoy a stroll through the peaceful Lodi Gardens in the nearby upmarket South Delhi. Other options include the ruins of Qutab Minar, the fabulous architecture of Humayun’s Tomb, the beautifully lotus- shaped Bahai Temple (closed Monday), or the stunning Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple carved out of pink sandstone and white marble. The amazing Craft Museum or the huge and rambling National Museum is also worth a visit. (Note many museums are closed on Monday). There are so many options for dining, from age-old eateries in the by lanes of the Old Walled City to glitzy, specialty restaurants in five-star hotels, as Delhi is a movable feast. Restaurants and bars cater to all tastes and budgets. A delightful outlet offering a range of Indian cuisines are the food stalls at Dilli Haat, where the cuisine of different states is made available. Set in the midst of a spacious crafts bazaar, these cafes are a very pleasant place to enjoy food and indulge in great shopping!

Travel by the early morning train to the Muslim city of Agra, as no visit is complete without at least one train trip. This city is best known as the site of India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided visit to this icon of Mughal architecture either in the morning or late afternoon for the best light, and be sure to bring lots of camera film! Ride one of the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws to visit the Lal Qila or Red Fort, the Taj’s less famous, but no less impressive, sister monument. The Taj Mahal was built by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal., It is the romantic origin of the Taj as much as its architectural splendour that has led to its fame worldwide. Actually an integrated complex of many structures, the Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, itself a combination of Islamic, Hindu, Persian and Turkish elements. The walled palatial city of Lal Qila, or the Red Fort, was first taken over by the Moghuls, at that time led by Akbar the Great. Akbar liked to build from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble and intricate decorations, and it was during his reign that the fort began changing into more of a royal estate. However, it was only during the rule of Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan (who eventually built the Taj Mahal) that the site finally took on its current state. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan preferred buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems and at the end of his life the Emperor was imprisoned in the fort by his son, Aurangzeb. It is said that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal.

Guilin Yu Hill Park & Guilin Tourist Attractions

The Yu Hill Park is the cradle of the city’s history.  Legend has it that one of the ancestors of Chinese nationality, Shun or Yu visited here and the Qin people set up a temple to memorize him. …..thus has a strong influence of Confucianism.A solid fantasy…..the Yuzi Paradise is the largest sculpture park in China.  One hundred and fourteen artists from no less than forty-seven different countries have contributed to this magnificent symphony of nature and humanity…..making it  a harmonious blend of life and art.  Visitors are given the opportunity to make clay wares under instruction.  Also you can enjoy the delights of the art salon, cafe, barbeque and buffet.In addition to the above-mentioned parks, Nanxi Park in the south of the city and Chuanshan Park in the southern suburbs….. each has their own beauty and attractions. The Guilin Ocean World is on the south of Nanxi Park. Here can be seen many aquaria containing some thousand or so divided varieties of fish. The centre has an observation area, performance area, tropical forest and waterfall area, a touching area, underwater tunnel, sea area and so on. Marine treasures like giant hundreds-year old salamander, lungfish, clownfish, sea flowers, nautilus, living coral and sharks from around the world can all be seen here.

The Bear and Tiger Park is the largest wild animal centre.  Four breeds of tigers facing extinction can be seen here….  over three hundred tigers, four hundred bears and a hundred lions will give you a fresh idea of the survival needs of such wild animals.  Also there are animal performances to   excite and charm both kids and adults.

Another grand site…..the Guihu Lake Scenic Area has a large number of precious arbors and flowers  planted along the lake, such as banyan tree garden, gingko garden, white pines garden, redwood garden, magnolia garden and palm garden.  It is also a world of bridges such as Xiqing Bridge, Baoxian Bridge, Lize Bridge, Yingbin Bridge and Guanyin Bridge where visitors can enjoy the beautiful landscape and find them a good setting to take photos.  It is not exaggerating to call it an Expo combining famous gardens, flowers, trees and bridges……all compact into  one stupendous zone.  Walk in it, and you will feel fresh and comfortable as if attaining the perfection of the synchronisation between man and nature. The Ronghu-Shanhu Lake Scenic Area  is where the rich and the famous all built their houses on the lakeside one after another………dwell in the opulent and luxurious view……perhaps some day your dream might also come true. Many poets and intellectuals have written a lot of poems and literary pieces to describe the charming beauty of the lake.

Top-selling products are Guilin sanhua alcohol, fermented bean curd and chilli sauce, besides tea, sugar and wine made of osmanthus. Gingko is believed to improve blood circulation and snacks and drinks made of it are a healthy buy. The bright, solid Guilin stones have unique forms, and sell as curios.  Embroidered balls from Guilin are a speciality …… in ancient times, a Chinese maiden would throw her embroidered balls at her Prince Charming…… whoever caught the ball, would marry her!  Handcrafted items such as plates, pails and wall decorations, are popular, as are  marble and jade curios, bamboo and wood-carvings, and paper umbrellas.  Delicately-designed earrings, necklaces, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches made of gold, silver, pearls and jade tempt tourists, besides an endless variety of curios, paintings and hand-painted screens.  The traditional Chinese paintings depicting mountains and water are also popular with tourists.  The Huang Changdian brush pen is available in over seventy sizes, made of wool, wolf and rabbit hair.

Guilin has Chinese, Indonesian, German, Italian, other Western food and Indian cuisine, with several traditional favourites, innumerable non-vegetarian preparations, rice and noodles apart. There are discotheques, karaoke, modern nightclubs and romantic cruises down the Li.  Ling Nan in Guilin’s centre is influenced by several types of Chinese cuisine.  Local snacks such as mifen….. Guilin rice noodles, banli zong…….. chestnut rice dumplings, nun noodles, and stewed duck cooked with gingko or ginger are highly popular.  Lipu taro pork, Lo Han boiled chicken, fried chicken with chestnut, steamed pork or stewed duck wrapped in a lotus leaf are delicious and favourite dishes. Sour fried, dried fish and fried pork are other hot favourites.  Rice noodles are the most popular of all snacks for which Youyi Xuan, Qin Ji, Rong Gui, Liu Bo Niang, Shi Ji, Shengli and Weixiang Guan are popular eateries.  Nun noodles, said to have been introduced by a nun, are also widely popular.  Many dishes are made with glutinous rice while zhutongfan or bamboo-cooked rice and youcha or oil tree are two ancient delicacies.  Hao Da Ma Cate Square offers a buffet and numerous snacks.  For those desiring to have Western food, Guilin Ren Western Restaurant and Weixiao serve good cuisine, besides Sharon Coffee which serves German and Western cuisine including soups, salads, baguette, burgers, steaks, pizzas and schnitzels.  Binjiang Road, Jiefang West Street, Meishi Cheng, Zhishan Road and Putuo Road are the places where most of the restaurants are located.  Some of the other popular foods are Guilin chufas, Luohan Kuo, Shaddock or fruit, Cumquat or citrus-like fruit, Lipu taro, chestnut, persimmon and green tea, all worth trying.

Guilin experiences a humid sub-tropical climate.March to mid-April is spring-time and can bring light rain, but Guilin’s nature and beauty are blooming. End April to mid-August is the summer, with very heavy rain from May to June. End August to end- October is autumn, which is the best season for touring this city!  November to February is winter-time when it is cold, though snowfall is rare………….yet……… it is enchanting  and abundantly mystical…….to get you here in all seasons!!!!!

China’s Top Tourist Destinations

One of China’s top tourist destinations, the Li River is honoured to the most beautiful gallery of the world. The picturesque river is a major component of Guilin scenery.  As it sparkles in the sunlight the river meanders through lush mountains like a liquid jade belt. To really appreciate the scenery a cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is a must and your voyage of discovery can be divided roughly into three sections… the first of these is from downtown Guilin where you board the cruiser to Huangniu Xia valley. As soon as you leave the landing stage you will begin to enjoy the natural wonder and local customs. Upon reaching this Valley, the cruise enters upon the second section. This part is the very essence of Li River. The gorgeous mountains and the crystal water together with the romantic and mystical legends are certain to impress you. Shuiluo Village marks the beginning of the third and final section that ends at Yangshuo. Along this stretch of the river you pass through pastoral scenes unchanged for generations as the banks are lined with quaint fishing villages, farmland and bamboo groves. Peasants reap rice paddies, water buffaloes patrol the fields, and school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts.  The Li River cruise is the centre-piece of any trip to north-eastern Guangxi Province. Gorgeous Karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the divine river under the blue sky. With its breath-taking scenery and a taste of  life far removed from the maddening rush of the metropolis, the scenery along the Li River becomes one of China’s  most admired tourist destinations, as the eye-feasting landscape and country scenery will never disappoint you.

Perching on the northern bank of the Li River, the ancient Daxu  town keeps in its antique style from the Ming Dynasty….. a flagging street, lined with old residences, shops and stalls…. runs two kilometers along the river bank through the town.  Some well-preserved residences hidden behind the street door may give you surprises when you occasionally explore further into a shop. These are quarters for businessmen in the past times.  Have a try on various dumping snacks on the stalls or peddle cars along the street.  Some will surprise you with both its taste and reasonable price.  People in the town are very kind to tourists.  Further to  the south, there is a single-arched bridge in the town named Longevity Bridge. The town is really a sight off-the-beaten track.  Opposite the town on the other side of the river, a millstone-like rock with the running waters creates the scene of Grinding Grain.

Another glorious site…….the Folded Brocade Hill or Diecai Hill is one of the most popular attractions….. a place known for it’s amazing scenery and stone carvings. It gained it’s name because of the resemblance of the rock formations, piled up layer upon layer on each other, to folded brocade. Many other special names have been given to this picturesque spot…. the name Laurel Hill or Gui Hill, derived from the laurels that have spread across the slopes since ancient times, and the name of Wind Cave Hill, due to the remarkable wind cave on the hill. Four small hills, Yuyue Hill, All-Direction-Looking Hill or Siwang Hill, Crane Peak and Bright Moon Peak surround  the Folded Brocade Hill.

A visual feast of magnificent scenes such as Folded Brocade Pavilion, Wind Cave and Cloud-Catching Pavilion, along with countless stones with inscriptions created by famous Chinese scribes, awaits your eyes. The distinctive Folded Brocade Pavilion a single storey high is well designed and elaborately built with red poles, green tiles, and four unique angles. Your fantastic journey will start from here. The Wind Cave, which the wind blows through in all seasons, waits for you a little further along. This cave penetrates Bright Moon Peak, with a wide mouth protruding from either side of the slope and a narrow part in the middle. What makes it famous is the changing temperature of its winds. Whatever the weather  outside, a cool breeze is always blowing in the Wind Cave. For this reason it is known as  ‘Cool World’ by many people. The cave is worth a visit not only for its winds but for its rock-stone carvings, both inside and outside…. this is a journey through  marvellous landscapes and you can congratulate yourselves as you reach the top of Bright Moon Peak.  This is where the Cloud-Catching Pavilion, a building with a round shape, single eave and a pinnacle, is located. No other place offers you a better vantage position to admire the sparkling Li River, as well as the magnificent city of Guilin in its entirety. A journey to the summit will also offer you the opportunity to admire the Solitary Beauty Peak and Wave-Subduing Hill or Fubo Hill, the other two notable hills in Guilin.

Move to….. the Mulong Lake Scenic Area and thence….. it features the integration of historical culture into nature. To the north of Mulong Lake, visitors can find a group of manmade sights such as Dongzhen Gate and the site of the City Wall in Song Dynasty. A very large building complex is scattered around. The construction includes Song Street, Half-side Street, Mulong Pagoda, Mulong at Night, and Ancient Song City……..deserving kudos…..for their artistic expressions! Besides, there is an ecological landscape zone between the southern Mulong Lake and Diecai Hill where visitors can admire forest, grass, falls and streams.

The Merry-land Resort is a comprehensive resort with a five-star hotel, a golf club, a forest village with a cottage area and a campsite area, a theme park featured by exotic flavors. The Solitary Beauty Peak is known as the Sky-Supporting Pillar in the South. This is the oldest place of interest in the city.Go on and explore……the Tombs of Prince Jingjiang…… a state cultural relic where these tombs are well preserved  dating from the Ming Dynasty, located in the eastern suburbs of the city. The Xishan Park is the second largest park which is comprised of Xi Hill and Yin Hill. This used to be a shrine of Buddhism and one of the five Buddha Temples in the south. The Guilin Museum is also located in the park.

Guilin and A Yangshuo Cruise

‘East or west, Guilin landscape is the best!’  Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China, this city is considered to be the pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. The strangely shaped hills or karsts, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters and wonderful caves make this such an appealing destination……….tempting and inciting enough for a bewildering vacation…….as you read on about it’s attractions!!!!!

The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction with a natural limestone cave and multicolored lighting. It is over a hundred and eighty million years old.  The cave got its name from the type of reed growing outside, which can be made into melodious flutes.  The Reed Flute Cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes.

When you visit the Seven-Star Cave……. an extensive limestone cave complex in the Seven-Star Park…….you would find it hard to believe your eye!  The park and cave’s name derive from the fact that the main karst limestone peaks roughly resemble the stars of the Big Dipper constellation.  Artificial lighting for walkways and displays is staged throughout, including colored accents, and various formations have names such as “A Natural Fresco” and “The Chessboard”. The cave has scheduled tours about once an hour, conducted in Mandarin Chinese, usually with a megaphone, irrespective of group size, explaining in detail the origins of various formation names, such as a dragon eating a bear, or a bear catching a tiger.

The Elephant Trunk Hill is the proud symbol of the city of Guilin.  It got its name because it looks like an elephant drinking water. The round opening that would be under the elephant’s trunk is known as Water-Moon Cave because at night the reflection of the moon can be seen through the arch and it looks like as if it is under the water and floating on the surface of the water at the same time.  A few minutes down from the Elephant Hill on the west bank is a small hill topped with a pagoda. The hexagonal pagoda is called Longevity Buddha Pagoda or Shoufo Ta dating from the Ming Dynasty.  It is said that the second floor has stone Buddha figurines on display and the hill is compassed in Chuanshan Park.  In autumn, illuminated with red maples, the site is very charming.

The Moon Hill  has a natural arch through it  and is located a few kilometers outside Yangshuo. It is so named for a wide, semicircular hole through the hill……all that remains of what was once a limestone cave formed in the phreatic zone.  Like most formations in the region, it is a karst and also a popular tourist attraction. Souvenirs and refreshment vendors often follow climbers up and down the path and this Hill has several rock climbing routes but is  also  used for abseils in several adventure races. It offers some broad, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, which is characterized by the knobby karst hills found throughout the region.

Do not miss the Longji  or Dragon’s Backbone Terraced Rice Fields…… which received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.  Visitors standing on the top of the mountain can see the dragon’s backbone twisting off into the distance.  In the early morning, when the weather is fine, the sunrise on the summit of Longji Rice Terraces is magnificent. They are often considered most beautiful in early June.  At this time, water is pumped over the rice paddies and young plants are transferred to the main terraces.

Another fantastic destination is the Crown Cave or Guanyan….  a crown-like crag that earns the hill it’s name. What makes the hill a worthy stop for both river cruise tourists and those arriving by bus tour is it’s twelve kilometer long water-eroded cave. It is a wonderland of various stalactite, stone pillars and rock formations in the cave. Illuminating lights, sound control tour guide system and escalators are equipped in the scenic area and sightseeing cars and boats enable visitors to tour inside the cave. It is estimated to become an important excursion site along the Li River including cave visiting, country sightseeing and ethnic minority exploration. You can stay in the hotels and villas in the scenic area.

Not very far from the Crown Cave on the western bank, a huge rock descends into the river and cuts off a footpath by the water edge. The villagers have to take a ferry to reach the other side and continue the way. So, this spot gets its name Half-Side Ferry or Ban Bian Du……worth a visit!!!!

Downstream from Yangdi to Xingping, take a cruise and discover that the river passes an endless procession of distinct peaks and bamboo groves and the stunning landscape. This part is the highlight of the ride. Pinnacled peaks pop up and surprise you at each bend of the river. Water buffalos patrol on the fields…. ducks paddle in the waters… peasants reap paddies in front of village houses….. fishermen use the cormorants to catch the fish and return them to the boat and kids go home singing songs. All these create an idyllic and beautiful scene of the life removed far away from concrete cities……..inviting isn’t it??

A reputed attraction is Mural Hill, a hundred-meter-high cliff face, which has been weathered and has stratified rock surface in various shades of colours. It is rumoured that the colours present nine horses and a person who can identify them out is considered smart. Legendary stories are given to hill rocks and peaks and it is a delightful experience to appreciate the stunning landscape while listening to your tour guide’s interpretation of the stories behind it.

As a centre for tourism, Guilin boasts of magnificent natural beauty and many precious cultural relics. The colorful ethnic background lends a touch of mystery that enhances it’s fame. Why delay …..come and enjoy this huge natural theme park.

Exotic Hill Station in North East India

High above the hazy valleys and foaming rivers, hidden in the rolling clouds and perched on an headland, lies Cherrapunji, in the north eastern state of Meghalaya,  a spectacular location with the year-round rain. Long ago, it  had earned the coveted place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the wettest place on the earth. This is one place all over the world, where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.  This pristine land with ever-lasting beauty, is perhaps the only place in India, which has just one season,- the monsoon. The rainfall varies from heavy to medium to light, but there is no month without rain. Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji Meghalaya is that, it rains mostly at night, and day-to-day activity does not really get disrupted by the downpour!  The alluring, spectacular and cascading Mawsmai Falls,  the fourth highest in India, lie just a few kilometers beyond Cherrapunji on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!
Close by is located a beautiful labyrinth of underground passages beneath age-old caves and this is a must visit place for amateur and experienced explorers where Khasi monoliths stones in memory of their ancestors lie scattered around.There are a series of memorable views, and one can see as far as Bangladesh. Orchids blooming a few feet away form a belt lacking of vegetation, as the  place exhibits  dense woods interspersed by rocky, cliffs broken by erosion. An amazing variety of rare orchids, ferns, and moss convert each sector into a botanist’s paradise as this place also produces the best quality of oranges as well as pineapples. In fact, Cherrapunji oranges are the forefathers of the famous Nagpuri oranges in the Central India.Hill Station in North East India

The trekking opportunity in Meghalaya is outstanding for the fact that the terrain is very challenging in the Himalayan areas but with the advantage of not being snow-wrapped. An added attraction is the possibility of intimating with many rare species of flora and fauna, impossible to find elsewhere. You can hire guides to walk through the most alluring and confusing terrains of the Meghalaya, which is characterised by flowing rivers, rolling hills and towering waterfalls.

Climate:
Being a desert region with hot days and cool nights, the summer is unbearingly hot but a `Eureka’ enough, though in winter the pleasant days are definitely tempting and even the nights, though cold, are enjoyable, for an escapade!  Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan with a lake, a mammoth Wildlife Sanctuary,  a centuries’ old Achalgarh Fort, a temple carved out of solid rock, and many Jain temples including the charming complex of Dilwara Temples, a symphony in white marble, but resting at a phenomenal height  above sea level, and having a salubrious climate.

The southern regions of Karnataka and Kerala is recommended for a visit all year round as there is enough recreation for indoor and outdoor areas. The winters are pleasantly cool and summers may get a little humid or warm.  Showers are unpredictable and may drizzle or pour throughout the year!

North East India Trip

Sikkim is recommended for a visit throughout the year, as even during heavy snowfall in winters or a thundering downpour during the rains, there is a plethora of opportunities to keep the tourists involved in this wondrous  land, gulping hot tea or coffee with piping hot snacks or meals in the blaring cold or sipping some cool beverage during pleasant weather!

Shillong is recommended for a visit throughout the year, though it can get very cold from December to February, and June to August can be very wet. The climate  in Meghalaya is highly hot and humid at the lower altitudes and in the valleys wrapped by marshy thick forest particularly in the eastern region, while it becomes too cold in the higher altitudes. The rainfall  is amongst the heaviest in the country. The Meghalayan Sky seldom remains free of clouds and it is neither too warm in summer nor too cold in winter.

Bakhim Cave Sikkim

Another wild, wild experience is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Kerala where in the course of a day’s drive, you can expect to see elephants, gaur, herds of deer and wild pigs, may be a leopard or, if you are lucky, even a tiger. This Sanctuary is a paradise of birdwatching and you can look for the crested hawk eagle, the king vulture, the crested serpent eagle and the Malabar grey hornbill. Ofcourse, you could avail of a jeep safari!

Yet another rolling direction and a new destination!Bakhim Cave Sikkim

Drive to the border of southern Sikkim and the delightful drive through the foothills to the former capital of Yuksom! From Yuksom, you engage either porters or yak herder’s to carry your loads on the trail. Before doing so, you may spend some time at leisure doing some sight-seeing in this capital, as there are some important locations such as the Dub-di monastery or the hermit’s cell, the coronation throne of Norbugang, and the tiny Katok Lake nearby. The Khecheopalri Lake is a `wishing lake’ and is situated in a bowl-like declivity. The chief attraction of the Tashiding Monastery is its holy chorten, a monolith shaped like a sarcophagus and the most common religious symbol in the region, called Thong-Wa-Rang-Dol, the very view of which is supposed to wash away of sins. You may take a diversion to Gangtok just for a short visit to the Tibetan Buddhism’s most important centres, the magnificent Rumtek Monastery, a repository of countless invaluable artefacts , precious metal statues, gem-studded cenotaphs, exotic ritualistic paraphernalia, stacked within its cavernous portals. The official, though currently vacant, seat of the revered Karmapa Lama, the monastery is especially attractive during the Mahakala Dance in February, when giant figurines of protector deities raise hell in the courtyard and fight off evil demons. Revel in this epitome of adventure on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!

The trek to Bakhim can take several hours so for the first day a packed lunch may be the order of the day. You may follow a well marked forest trail that winds high above the Rathong river. The trail winds through forests of conifer and oaks, mosses and ferns and past frequent side streams that tumble down the hillside. En route there are plenty of opportunities for bathing and some rest as the trail crosses a substantial bridge just upstream of the confluence of the Rathong River and the Prek River. From the bridge, it is a further one hour ascent to the small settlement of Bakhim, where a single Lepcha family lives, these being the original inhabitants of Sikkim who moved to the remote regions when large numbers of Tibetans migrated to Sikkim in the century. The Lepcha Heritage Museum has an offbeat collection of Lepcha treasures and is best likened to rummaging through the attic of a grandfather’s house, if he were their tribal elder. A guide will explain Lepcha creation myths, while pointing out the religious texts, sacred porcupine quill hat and several old pangolin skins. Although there is a Rest House in Bakhim, you normally camp in the forest immediately below the village.

Sikkim Sightseeing

From Bakhim, you ascend the meadows above before reaching the village of Tsoska. Tibetans who were granted this tract of land by the Sikkim government founded the village about a generation ago. From Tsoska the trail ascends steeply through magnificent rhododendron forests to the grazing meadow at Pethang, and enjoy the cold and calm weather enwrapping yourselves in the bliss of nature’s sparkling environs! A short stage, but necessary for acclimatisation before continuing to Dzongri. After some rest, an early start is imperative, the trail ascends steeply for an hour before you gain your first uninterrupted views of the peak of Kangchenjunga and Pandim . From the vantage point it is a further two to three kilometers, across the open meadows to the camp at Dzongri. Here you gain views of the main peaks of Khangchendzonga for sunrise views along the Singali Ridge, the impressive divide between Nepal and Sikkim. The panorama includes Kokthang , Rathong and Kabru. A more strenuous option is to descend on down to the Rathong Valley and from there complete a circular trek!

Beautiful Lakes in North East India

A trip to Sikim would be incomplete without a trip to Gangtok, a town which on a fresh morning meets you all bathed and combed, ready to go to school, its eyes sparkling and a hint of dimples on its hill-child cheeks. Impeccably dressed women go off to work, monks hurry down to the bazaar, young men in shiny jackets amble along and tourists try out momos! In autumn, the tall mountain goddess peak of Kangchendzonga can be seen from hotel windows, restaurants and roads! The town spreads down the hillside with its prettily painted roofs and up on a hill, at Enchey Monastery, young monks cross paths with the crowds as they rush on a path ablaze with coloured flags! On the ridge, people would be meeting, orchids being nurtured and an archery competition may be held somewhere. Down in the market, sit on the sunny terrace of a restaurant munching cakes and coffee and plan your trip to Nathu La!

The Ridge is a walk up the bazaar with a delightful stretch of flat road lined with trees where everyone comes for a stroll, enclosing the White Hall and a beautifully designed palace gate. Near the White Hall, there is a Flower Exhibition Centre where you can see a beautiful display of a stunning variety of orchids. The Enchey Monastery, meaning the `high strong place’  speaks of enchanting mornings here listening to the hypnotic chants of the monks during morning prayers!  The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology would have the heritage lovers overwhelmed by ancient statues and artefacts while the more contemporary-minded would be charmed by the beauty, grace and silence of the building. It has a museum that exhibits a rare collection of ancient manuscripts, statues, ritual objects and thangkas.  The exhibition is dominated by a majestic silver image of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of knowledge, that was brought from Tibet! The Himalayan Zoological Park  or   the Gangtok Zoo has a lavish hillside haven of wild flowers and misty views. Near the Ganesh Tok Viewpoint, this open zoo sprawls across the mountainous terrain and is a place for long walks and spotting some rare animals. The enclosures are large spaces harbouring a snow leopard, Tibetan wolves, some adorable red pandas, Himalayan palm civets, leopard cats and different kinds of colourful Himalayan pheasants, which are the main attractions on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package 

Around Gangtok, the large Rumtek Monastery is located on a picturesque road across the Rangeet river and houses a school, an aviary and a special section for monks to meditate. You could also stop by at the orchid centre at Wayside Gardens and Nurseries. A pleasant drive to the mature beauty of a wet temperate forest with slopes laden with oaks, pines and ash is the pathway leading to the serene Tsomgo Lake, though midway you could stop at Kyongnosla for tea, which is a picture postcard alpine village beside the Rongchu stream, where unprepared travellers can buy gloves and woollen socks, due to the presence of the mountains nearby which give way to the glacial frozen streams defining the solid shining white trajectories down these slopes. Once you reach the Lake, it looks like pure glass, capable of reflecting the divine, depicting the gap between this world and another. There are yaks wearing knitted decorations on their horns.  As you return from this frozen sight, you could thaw out, gobbling steaming masala Maggi and black tea or hot masala tea!

Meghalaya is a treasure trove of nature, with its rich variation of dense endemic and cultivated flora, where charm in its plenteous abundance, had blessed  this place with a unique array of plantation, and turned it into a  happy hunting ground for the zoologists to keep them interested in the rare and diverse fauna wealth.  It is also abound with a rich wealth of  mammal genera, which is enough to captivate the tourists!
Contemporary Shillong is a small town, inhabited by a church-going, guitar-and-piano-playing population, glorifying  its restaurants and tourist infrastructure, Indian heritage manors, waterfalls, golfing, and Shillong peaks and museums. The Umiam Khwan or Barapani, near Shillong,  offers water sports facilities including sailing, water skiing, water scooter.  The Orchid Lake Resort and the adjacent Lum Nehru Park is an ideal quiet holiday spot.  The Botanical Garden is a secluded but captivating area with a plethora of indigenous and exotic plants and is located just below another notable site, the Ward’s Lake.