Splendid Sakura: the handy guide to the 2020 Japan Cherry Blossom Season

Japan: The land of the rising sun and unending fun

Japan tour packages

A timeless place with an amazing amalgamation of ancient traditions and modern life, Japan is a traveler’s delight. Be it a night in a traditional Japanese inn called ryokan or meditation with monks followed by powdered green tea, there is so much to this country. Japan has something to enthrall everyone. When it comes to the cuisine, there is so much to relish, more so because Japanese are sticklers for perfection. They pay a lot of attention to sourcing the freshest of produces and presenting a dish in its most attractive form. Japan is also known for its excellent public transport system, an example of which is the shinkansen (bullet train) network. Most of the major cities have subway networks too. What is more, is that Japan is different at various times of the year and has something new for everyone who visits. One major attraction is the cherry blossoms season and the flowers are famously known in Japanese as Sakura. Here is a brief guide to cherry blossom season in Japan. Take a deep dive into the Sakura celebrations, learn the best time and places to experience the cherry blossoms at its best.

What are cherry blossoms?

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Cherry blossoms are Japan’s national flower and a cultural icon. They are small, delicate pink flowers and Spring is the Sakura season in Japan. Cherry blossoms are highly cherished in Japan and are widely featured across Japanese paintings, film, and poetry. In April every year, families gather in large numbers ceremoniously for what is called Hanami (or the cherry blossom festival in Japan) and elaborate feasts are organized along with the music. What accompanies is giant, feathery canopies of soft pink cherry blossom flowers.

When do cherry blossom bloom?

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Although traditionally, cherry blossoms bloom in the spring, there are some best cherry blossom spots in Japan you should know about. For instance, the subtropical islands of Okinawa where they bloom as early as January; or the Hokkaido where they bloom a little later in May. The other cities include Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Furthermore, the blooming time of cherry differs from year to year depending on the weather. A full cherry blossom is called mankai and the first blossom is called kaika. 

What is the significance of cherry blossoms?

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There is a spiritual angle to cherry blossoms and why their blooming is celebrated in Japan. Just like human existence, cherry blossoms also last only for a short span of time. They are a reminder to marvel at our lives for whatever duration it lasts and be thankful for all the things we have. Sakura is also an embodiment of beauty and grace in Japan. They indicate the arrival of spring which also signifies renewal and optimism.

In ancient times, the sakura trees were believed to enshrine deities. For this reason, farmers made offerings to these trees and prayed for an abundant harvest. With time, the tradition changed meanings and the way it was celebrated also changed. Another story is that during the Heian era (794 – 1185), there were aristocrats who composed poems about the sakura trees. Hanami or cherry blossom festival in Japan is thus celebrated with gratitude and glasses filled with sake, boxes of bento, and sweet mochi. You must also read the following mention of cherry blossoms in Japanese literature.

  • The Sound of Water – a selection of 200 haiku translated by Sam Hamill, including bite-sized poems by masters such as Basho, Isso and Buson.
  • Cherry Blossoms by James T Ulak and Howard S Kaplan – an illustrated hardback book devoted to cherry blossoms in Japanese art and culture, in all their pink glory.

It is also interesting to note that no part of the cherry blossom tree is wasted in Japan. While the leaves are preserved and used as edible mochi wrappers, several snacks use sakura as one of their key ingredients. There are also Kit Kats in sakura flavor, sakura sake and even sakura matcha!

Best spots to see cherry blossoms in Japan

Japan is home to hundreds of cherry blossom varieties. Some also bear fruits and the flowers of some trees change color from dark to light pink to even white throughout various stages. A special variety called Kanzan has been bred to have double blossoms. It can have up to 28 petals on each flower.

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One of the most prominent species of cherry blossoms is Somei Yoshino and forms about 80% of all the sakura trees in Japan. Another well-known variety is the Shidare-zakura which has dangling branches and bright color. In the Shizuoka Prefecture, there is what you call the wild Kawazu-zakura which has big beautiful petals and deep pink color. The best part is that it is there for an extended period of about a month.

While there are over 1000 spots where you can find cherry blossoms, here is the lowdown on some of the best places where you can marvel at the cherry blossoms in Japan. However, since the nature of blossoms is unpredictable, it is good to keep an eye on the local forecasts to know the exact spots.

  • Yoshino This is the most famous of all destinations. One can witness a carpet of cherry blooms carpeting the mountains.
  • Maruyama Park There is a huge tree in the park where the branches bow down to the ground in a marvelous display of the cherry blossoms. The area is illuminated till dusk. You should also visit Mount Yishino, which is a pilgrimage.
  • Himeji Castle If you wish to see striking white wooden walls provide the perfect backdrop for cherry blossom trees, this is the place you should be.
  • Fuji Five Lakes Witness the beauty of cherry blossom trees with the backdrop of Mount Fuji. You can even visit the volcanic island of Honshu.
  • Hirosaki Castle This is one of the prettiest places for viewing the cherry blossoms in full bloom. The area is illuminated in the evening, making it one of the best spots ever.
  • Ueno Park Although this is Japan’s cosmo capital, there are beautiful parks and gardens that become home to the cherry blossom festivals.
  • Maruyama Park Kyoto is deep-rooted in tradition and there are temples and other attractions in this city. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the tall shidarezakura, the weeping cherry tree illuminated at night.
  • Matsumae Park This park’s swaying cherry blossom trees maintain the serenity of the Buddhist artifacts. There are over 250 varieties of cherry blossom trees that are illuminated beautifully at dusk.
  • Hanamiyama Park, Fukushima This place is situated on the slopes surrounding a rural farming community in Fukushima Prefecture. Local farmers started the park and planted ornamental plants and trees in the area. There is a wide variety of cherry blossom trees here and this in combination with lovely views of the Azuma Mountains can leave you awestruck.
  • Takato Castle Ruins, Nagano The Takato Castle Ruins Park is located in Nagano Prefecture. The park is at a distance of 60 km from Matsumoto and a visit here during April will take you right to the middle of the annual cherry blossom festival. The place is illuminated beautifully from sunset until 10 pm. This is one of the busiest destinations, so you may want to book prior to your visit.
  • Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto A lovely stone walkway in the Higashiyama district, this place is named after the philosopher Nishida Kitaro. The 2-km path has several restaurants, cafes, and shops and is lined with many cherry blossom trees that bloom in April and is one of the most famous hanami spots in the city.
  • Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa This place is one of the top three landscape gardens in Japan and beautiful for a visit any time of the year. It is a large garden and viewers may lose track of time as they wander through admiring the beautiful cherry blossoms.
  • Himeji Castle, Hyogo Prefecture This place is Japan’s largest and most impressive castle and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There have been several fires, wars, earthquakes, and the Meiji Restoration as well. This place is surrounded by sakura trees and is undoubtedly at its best in the spring season.

On another note, all Japanese castles are some of the best hanami spots and full of sakura trees.

How can you enjoy Sakura like the locals

Cherry Blossom in Japan

The best way to enjoy Sakura like a traditional Japanese is as follows. Get some food, perhaps the seasonal bento box. You can find these at the local supermarket or the food floor of a departmental store. The next step is to buy some drinks and disposable cups. Finally, find some empty space beneath a cherry blossom tree, spread your tarpaulin, and enjoy Hanami.

Tips for first time travelers to Japan

No matter whether you are going to visit Japan in its entirety or to witness the cherry blossom season, here are some tips for first time travelers to Japan.

Get a JR pass
For about $250, you can get a JR pass which will allow you access to any JR line in Japan. This will last for about seven days. Tokyo subway fares are also very cheap and are easy to get from the electronic ticket machines. A JR pass for seven days will be as much as a round trip ticket to Kyoto.

Do keep cash handy
Japan is cash-based and many places including those like McDonald’s or even stores do not accept credit cards. Anything up to five dollars is coins, so make sure you get a coin purse with you. Even in many of the souvenir shops, a coin purse is the most common item.

Find your convenience store
These are your best bet since you can a filling and semi-nutritious meal for as little as five dollars. Be it the ambient music or the easy-to-operate ATMs, the staff will go all the way to comfortable.

Do not forget a hand sanitizer and a plastic bag
Many places in Japan do not have a soap dispenser, even in public restrooms. To avoid this situation, it is a good idea to carry a hand sanitizer with you always. There are also not many trash cans in public spaces, an anti-terrorism measure taken in 1995, and so make sure you carry a plastic bag with you.

Best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan in 2020

Here is a handy guide on the five best spots where you can witness the beauty of cherry blossoms in Japan in 2020.

Sapporo

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This is the capital of Hokkaido and was once home to the Ainu people called “Ezo.” Some of the famous dishes such as Sapporo Ramen and Genghis Khan originate here. You can visit the Sapporo Clock Tower here and in winter marvel at the Sapporo Snow Festival. While summer is highly refreshing in this place, in winter you can relish snow. For those who wish to see cherry blossoms in Sapporo, the best time is around the first week of May for full bloom.

Hakodate

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This place is Hokkaido’s first international trading port and there are some great sights to behold including old churches and western-style buildings. At night, some of the places you can visit include Mt. Hakodate Observation Deck and the Goryokaku Park where cherry blossoms will greet you. If you are a foodie, you should try out the fresh seafood rice bowls, squid dishes, or shio ramen. This is also a good place to enjoy shopping. You can visit this place around the first week of May to relish in the magnificent beauty of the full bloom cherry blossoms.

Furano

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This is an area right in the middle of Hokkaido with lovely hills and the very well-known lavender farms. Enjoy some picture-perfect scenery along with fresh vegetables and Furano’s wine and cheese. This place is also about 2 to 3 hours from Sapporo. One of the major attractions here is Sounkyo which is a hot spring destination.

Otaru

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This is a port town that is also Hokkaido’s commerce center. There are several sightseeing places to visit here including old storehouses at Otaru Canal or the Sakaimachi Street where you get to shop to your heart’s content. Also visit this place for its sweets, sushi, and the best rice bowls.

Asahikawa

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Hokkaido’s second most populous city, this place has many attractions including Asahiyama Zoo, gardens, cycling routes, campgrounds, and horse-riding. If you are here, do not forget to try the Asahikawa Ramen. As you enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom, you can later indulge in culinary delicacies Shinko-yaki charcoal-grilled chicken dish, and local sake.

The best time to witness the cherry blossoms in eastern Japan (Kanto-Koshin region) is around the 3rd and 4th week of May. Tokyo, Yokohama, Kofu, and Nagano are some of the must-visit places to watch the cherry blossoms.

Some of the unarguably ultimate spots in Tokyo to witness the cherry blooms are Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Ueno park, Chidorigafuchi, Sumida Park in Taito-ku, Inokashira Park, Meguro River (Megurogawa), Yoyogi Park, Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Rikugien Gardens, and Asukayama Park.

Ueno park has been a sakura destination since the 16th century; be there in the evening to watch the cherry blooms at its glory being lit by lanterns. Chidorigafuchi is one of the most scenic spots to watch the cherry blooming with the stone walls of the Edo castle being the stunning backdrop. You can even stroll through the Sakura tunnel, a 700m-long footpath adorned with the cherry blossoms.

Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) and Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture) in central Japan, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and Nara in western central Japan, Hiroshima and Matsuyama in south-western Japan and Fukuoka and Kumamoto in west Japan experience an early cherry blossoms around the first week of April.

Tips to keep in mind during Hanami

  • In some places, it is not allowed to consume food and drinks, so it is good to check beforehand.
  • Understand that there will be many people wanting to sit under the cherry blossoms. Occupy only as much space as is needed.
  • Avoid touching the trees or breaking branches, plucking leaves, etc.
  • Avoid getting overdrunk as this can amount to a breach of etiquette
  • Leave the place clean and do not throw litter anywhere in the open. If you do not find dustbins, make sure to carry a bag with you to put the wrappers, etc.

Lastly, do remember to take a camera, a selfie stick, some reasonably warm clothes, and a flask if you want some hot drinks. The cherry blossom season in Japan is one of the busiest times in the entire year, and you must remember this if you are heading to any popular places like Kyoto or Tokyo. Although there are several last-minute japan tour packages available, booking as early as possible can help you avoid many travel- and boarding-related hassles and make your cherry blossom experience worth the while.

5 Romantic Destinations to Consider for Your Honeymoon

We get multiple options for Honeymoon tour packages to various destinations in the world. Yet, we have selected the top 5 romantic places to visit for an extraordinary honeymoon. These are islands, hill stations, and rain-forest areas.

Honeymoon is one of the most special moments of married life when two people come together and know each other for lifetime. The starting of such moment should be blissful and beautiful. That’s the reason why couples choose beautiful, romantic and cozy locations where they can spend time with each other and experience some special moments. If you are planning to plan your honeymoon soon and looking for honeymoon tour packages online then here are some destinations that you would like to check first.

1. Manali

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Manali is a high-altitude honeymoon place on the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is an international honeymoon resort tourism place with snow adventure and ski slopes. The romantic couples must visit Solang Valley for fun and entertainment. You both must trek in Parvati Valley to see the alpine forest cover with snow. You can thrill her with assisted paragliding at Pir Panjal. You both can hike near Beas River and enjoy recreational activities like fishing, and white river rafting. A rope way journey to Ski Manali will give you the full glimpse of the snow beauty of the Himalayas. Manali honeymoon holiday tour packages are available in all seasons.

2. Munnar

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Munnar is an exotic hill station in Idukki District of Kerala state, India. It is a bio-reserve and highest place on the Western Ghats Mountain Ranges. There are many Mountain View, lake view, tea garden view, and spice estate view resorts for the honeymoon couples to stay and enjoy the cool climate throughout the year. You both must-visit Mesapulimalai to see the Ghats beauty form the 3rd highest Mountain Peak of the Western Ghats. You can delight her by taking a boat ride in Thekkady Lake. A day trip to Eravikulam National Park will be the best to see the rain forest and misty mountains. Most of the Kerala honeymoon tours include Munnar as spa and wellness retreat for the honeymoon couples.

3. Bali

Bali Honeymoon Tour Packages

There is no natural wonder place like the Bali on this planet Earth. Bali is the right place to land for romantic couples to spend their honeymoon on a scenic island in Southeast Asia. You both must hike and reach Uluwatu Temple. You can enjoy the vastness of the Indian Ocean as you both will hike on an extended sea cliff. Boating in Ulun Danu Beratan will be amazing to see a lake temple amidst the lake water. You must visit Seminyak to enjoy the beach, nightlife, and shopping. Bali Holiday Tour Packages are the best to book throughout the year.

4. Maldives

Maldives honeymoon tour packages

The honeymoon couples seeking luxury, private beach and comforts must visit the Maldives. It has many private resorts in small islands and floating luxury resorts for the honeymooners only. You both can swim in the infinity pool with vistas of the Indian Ocean. You both can do island hopping by swimming in its shallow seawater and by a traditional boat. There are couples spa and under seawater lodging and cafe to surprise your spouse with the utmost luxury in the Maldives.

5. Coorg

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The Coorg or Kodagu is a hill station in Karnataka State India. It is known for the Rive Cauvery, coffee plantation, rain-forest, lakes, and scenic waterfalls. It is the coolest place to land for the honeymooners to spend their private time in a tree-house. Kodagu looks more lush green during the monsoon rain June to September. The flow of water from the waterfalls will be at the fullest with milky color water. You both can hike in the rain forest, coffee plantation and go for white river rafting. There are many home-stays available for the honeymooners with home cooked food in Coorg attraction places. Honeymoon tour packages with nature are good for romantic people to enjoy Mother Nature and spend their honeymoon holidays.

5 Magnificent Temples to Visit in Bali

Bali is known for its Balinese form of Hindu culture. They practice a different custom and belief, which is not a part of the Hindu origin place India. Yet, Balinese temples are a must-visit in any of the Bali Holiday Tour Packages. These are lake temples, sea temples and beautiful temples in the rain-forest of the Bali Island. Bali is a tourist-friendly place in Indonesia. We have listed here the top 5 magnificent temples to visit once in your Bali vacation.

Bali has gradually gained the top 5 positions in the destination list which is most visited by tourists from all over the world. Previously, Switzerland, Thailand and Mauritius were one such locations which was the most favorite of all tourists. But now Bali has been added in the list which is highly rated for tourist friendliness, tourist spots, temples and cultural spots, etc.

If you are looking for some place where you can spend some lone time with family or friends to revive your mind and body then Bali is one good location. The temples across Bali are not only offer peaceful and healing experience but also it interesting know about the Buddhist religions. Here are some of the must visit temples in Bali that you would not want to miss.

1. Tanah Lot Temple

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This is a magnificent ancient sea temple in Bali. During high-tide, one must take a boat to reach this temple. However, it is accessible by walk during the low tide on knee level seawater. This temple is dedicated to sea goddesses. It is known to build by a Hindu saint, who meditated here in the ancient time. This temple looks like an architectural marvel on the Indian Ocean. It is built over a huge monolith sea rock. It looks exotic with huge trees and coral life surrounding this temple. A Bali tour without visiting this temple will be incomplete.

2. Uluwatu Temple

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It is a magnificent ancient sea cliff-top temple in Bali. Visiting this temple is through hiking its 25-ft sea cliff. It will be an amazing hike as you can see the vastness of the Indian Ocean from this place. It is the best place to take photos with drowning sun and this temple as a backdrop. You must be here till the evening to see the Kecak dance. This is performed by the young Balinese girls with live traditional music band inside the temple premises. Most of the Bali packages for honeymooners include this temple for hiking the sea cliff.

3. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

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This is a mind-blowing lake temple in Bali. It is the best place for romantic couples and nature lovers to visit and enjoy its aquatic vistas. The temple is present amidst the lake water, which is surrounded by colorful water flowers. You can find the shadow of rolling hills, which is surrounded by this lake area. You can do boating and hike the lake-shore. This temple is a cute example of Balinese architecture. Bali tour package from Mumbai is the best to book through online travel channels.

4. Tirta Empul Temple

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This is a magnificent rain-forest temple in Bali. It will be a natural wonder to see this beautiful temple amidst the tropical plants and coconut trees. It is known for its sacred waters. It is advisable to take a dip in the temple pond to get salvation from your sins. This temple water is used for many holy rituals by the Balinese Hindu people. It is the best temple to perform a ritual bath and get a peaceful mind with its natural surroundings.

5. Besakih Temple

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Bali honeymoon packages without Besakih Temple visit will be incomplete for the romantic couples. You both will feel like reaching a paradise as you step up to reach this mountain temple. You can see the blue skies and gateway to this temple as a mystery as you step up. On reaching the gate, you will find a magnificent Balinese Hindu temple. This temple is surrounded by streams and tropical flowering plants.

Bali is  loaded with temples for nature, spiritual, lakes and to see the mountainous beauty of Bali. Tourists of any religion and sects can enter Balinese Hindu Temples in Bali.

Famous Markets To Visit In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a paradise for shoppers and tourists as you can explore several tourist spots, explore multi-culture western life and Chinese customs. In addition, you can also enjoy a wide range of cuisines and know more about Buddhist religion. If you are looking for Hong Kong tour package then this post will be of interest to you.

A Hong Kong tour without shopping will be incomplete. This is because most of the tourists go with bigger luggage while they return to their country from Hong Kong. This is because; Hong Kong is the cheapest place to shop for branded products at a lower price. There are fabrics, electronics, antiquities, and toys. Here, we have discussed the top 5 famous shopping market to visit in your Hong Kong holiday packages.

1. Tai Yuen Street Toy Market

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Who does not love toys? The toys available in Tai Yuen Street are of export quality. The tourists can buy a permissible limit of toys and carry in their baggage too. These toys are of an electronic and mechanical type of working mechanism. You can also find toys for babies and kids. They are safe to play and non-toxic one. There are thousands of varieties of toys meant for boys and girls. Your bargain power will work to come down on price too. Most of the tour packages include this Toy Market as shopping in Hong Kong.

2. Yau Ma Tei Jade Market

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The tourists with love for jade can visit this Jade market in Yau Ma Tai. The use of jade has many social and cultural values. Yet, one can find the best jade artifacts of Chinese tradition. They are the colorful and original one. You can buy some jade accessories for your loved ones from this market. However, you must be selective of jade colors as they symbolize luck, love, and favor and remove negative energies.  Hong Kong tour packages from Mumbai is best to book online.

3. Cat Street Antique Market

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Once in Hong Kong trip, one can buy authentic Chinese antiques from this market. You must reach Sheung Wan to buy a rear collection of antiques. If you are particular to bay an antique worth high-value, you must consult with an antique expert and buy from this market. However, they do not sell any duplicate antiques of the classic period. You can find many Chinese vintage collections, which are much affordable to bargain and buy from this market. A week-long Hong Kong packages are the best to book for shopping.

4. Apliu Street Electronics Market

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The tourists must reach Sham Shui Po to shop cheap electronic products and accessories. If you are looking for the latest Smartphone at a cheaper price, this is the best market to shop. You can also find many Smartphone accessories at an unbelievable price. If you wish to buy consumer electronic products, it has many second sale items in working conditions. Most of the Hong Kong Packages for electronic shopping include this market in the list of shopping places.

5. Ladies’ Market

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The name itself says it is something special for ladies only. Females can find many clothing accessories, which are never seen before in their nation. Yes, this is the best market to shop. This is the best place to buy women footwear to top hair accessories in one place. When it comes to cosmetics, you will get the top brands at affordable price. A solo woman can book Hong Kong tour packages from Ahmedabad.

International travel agent for Hong Kong trip is the best to avail from online travel channels. Hong Kong is a safe place to travel by a solo woman. It is a tourist-friendly place too.

Art Forms You Can Witness In Kerala!

Kerala is known as the God’s own country for a reason because of the natural beauty that it has been blessed with. Apart from natural beauty, the state is also known for various dance forms in India and across the world.

Kerala is known for its colorful performance art forms than Gods Own Country. The Theiyam, Kathakali, Mohinattam, and Oppana dances are sponsored by KTDC and private tour operators in many of the touristic places in Kerala. Here, we have discussed their origin, importance, and occasion to see those performance art forms one can experience in the Kerala State, India. One must not miss seeing these dances forms during a Kerala Honeymoon Packages.

1. Mohini Attam

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Mohiniattam is one of the classical dance forms, which is more popular in Kerala.  This performance art is practiced since the Vedic Era. Mohini is an incarnate of Lord Vishnu as per the Sama Veda or Vedic Text of the Hinduism. Here attam or dance did pull the attention of the demons. In this way, they were destroyed in various places. However, this dance form is meant for woman dancers only. Kerala Holiday Tour Packages with cultural importance do arrange a Mohini dance for tourists.

Mohiniattam Costumes

The Mohini Attam dancers wear a white cotton sari with silk borders. This is a drape attire of the royal women in Kerala. In recent times, the silk borders are with fertile colors. It has a top with silk lining on the hands. The style of wearing this dance attire is similar to a Sari (Drape Clothing). However, they look beautiful with folds and turns.

Performance Occasions

This dance is performed during all Hindu festival occasions. It has a history of Devadasi or prostitution culture for those women attached to this dance form in Kerala. However, the British stopped such dance practices. In the present days, it is a part of welcoming foreign tourists in Kerala. There are many dance schools, who tech this dance for their girl students to take part in various dance competitions in Kerala.

2. Theiyam & Kathakali

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The Theiyam and Kathakali are related to temple dance art form in Kerala. Both the dance forms use the same attire. Theiyam is performed by males only. However, Kathakali is a form of storytelling, which includes female in woman characters. These dance forms are practiced since the ancient terms in Kerala.

Theiyam & Kathakali Costumes

The Theiyam and Kathakali costumes are of colorful cotton clothes. They use bamboo sticks to support and fix the head crown and pant part. They use natural colors for face painting. It takes 3 to 4 hours to wear the entire costume of Theiyam and Kathakali.

Performance Occasion

The Theiyam and Kathakali dance is a part of Hindu temple festival cultural programs. However, many Hindu families call them to their home to bring good fortune. In recent times, they are even called to perform inside or outside a home during family get to gather. One must not miss this dance while on Kerala trip.

3. Oppana

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This dance form originated in Kerala with Muslim communities since medieval times. It is performed by females mostly on the marriage reception. They used to surround the bride and does a clap dance by singing.

Oppana Dance Costumes

There is no special costume for the Oppana dance. However, Muslim women wear their regular dress, which is with a full top and a down drape. In the present days, Muslim women wear churidars and Sari too.

Performance Occasion

One can see this dance form on the reception day of marriage at the bride’s home. These days females from other religion do learn this dance to perform during their Muslim friend’s marriage, school competitions and state level dance competitions.

An all-inclusive Kerala Packages with cultural importance is best to book online. This will cover all performance art forms of Kerala. The destination is tourist-friendly and an all-season tourist place in South India.

Famous Adventure Locations in Australia and New Zealand

There are millions of places in the world and Australia is one of the famous across the world but New Zealand is one hidden gem that most people miss. If you are looking for some place where you can enjoy the nature and natural wonders then book Australia New Zealand tour package which you can cover in single visit. This post describes the most adventurous locations in Australia and New Zealand that you should visit.

Australia New Zealand Tour in combined is most sought for adventure activities. This is because these two nations boast beachfront of Oceania and the Pacific Ocean makes them a busy place for seawater adventure activities. The Southern Alps and the desert region is the best fit for snow and desert adventures. Here, we have mentioned the top 5 places to visit for various adventure activities in the Aotearoa and Kangaroo nation.

1. Scuba Diving at Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Witness one of the rarest places on this planet Earth to see the marine beauty of Mother Nature once in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the finest place to go for scuba diving and see the exotic marine life unlimited. You can explore this sea reef under crystal clear seawater. You can find colorful coral species everywhere. Scuba diving in this place is recommended for the solo, couples, and group of people. August to December is the best time to visit for scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef on the East Coast of Australia.

2. Outback Tour at Uluru, Australia

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Uluru is one of the famous places to go for an outback tour in Australia. A jeep safari is the best to take by a group of people. On the way, one can find many reptile species along with the Kangaroos. It will look fine while traveling through the marshland. However, one will feel lost in the desert once you reach the outback area. You can find a giant monolith stone with changing colors. There is a hot spring in this region. It is worth taking a bath here as a natural spa. April to September is the cool season to take an outback adventure tour in Uluru, Australia. You must check your Australia Holiday Tour Packages combined package include this place for desert adventure activities.

3. Yacht Sailing at Airlie Beach, Australia

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One must land in Airlie Beach for yacht sailing and island hopping in Whitsunday Island. It is a cool beach to go swimming and snorkeling too. Yacht sailing from this scenic beach to this island is an adventure activity. Once you land in this Island, its bush-walk trails is a popular one among the adventure tourist. The beachfront is also one of the stopping places is East Coast scenic driveway or ocean driveway in Australia. April to December is the best time to visit here for sea adventure sports activities.

4. Sky Diving at Queenstown, New Zealand

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The high altitude adventure seekers must visit Queenstown for a breathtaking sky diving. It is one of the preferred places for sky diving in the Southern hemisphere. One can see the beauty of the Southern Alps, Snowy Mountains, and scenic grassland as you descend through sky diving. The plane will take you up to 15,000-ft AMSL. You will freefall for a minute at the rate of 200-km/h.  An all-inclusive Australia New Zealand Tour Package from Mumbai is the best to book online.

5. Heli Skiing at Harris Mountains, New Zealand

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Heli-skiing in the Harris Mountains is the best for intermediate and professional skiers. The helicopter will take you to the top as such one will get the best views of the snowy Southern Alps. From the top, one can safely land and do skiing on the virgin snow. It is advisable to go in a group to enjoy the heli-skiing adventure activity once in New Zealand holidaying. September to October is the best season to visit here for heli-skiing. Australia New Zealand Tour Package from Ahmedabad is the best to book for heli-skiing in Harris Mountains.

Australia New Zealand Tours Packages are available with all kind of adventure activities. It is advisable to check online and book according to your budget. Australia and New Zealand are tourist-friendly nations and has excellent touristic facilities and amenities.

Top 5 Best Experiences In Norway

As part of the Scandinavian country, Norway is known for exploring the most remote locations and incredibly beautiful places. If you are looking for Scandinavia tour package then here are some of the most interesting things to do here.

Norway is the most preferred destination among the Scandinavia Holiday Tour PackagesThis is because it boasts enigmatic Fjords, mesmerizing islands, blue seafront, ice mountain vistas, and picturesque grasslands. It is a scenic country too. Here, we have discussed the top 5 interesting places to visit on your Norway tour.

1. Geirangerfjord

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Once in Geirangerfjord, you must take a boat ride to feel the enigma of massive Fjords in Norway. There are many breathtaking scenic places as you travel through its seawater inlet. A day trip is enough to explore its Fjord, waterfalls and scenic villages. It is the best place for honeymooners, nature lovers and all age of people to see this aquatic and rolling hill beauty in Norway. June to August is the best season to visit Geirangerfjord.

2. Arctic Norway

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Arctic Norway comes under the north Arctic Circle. The places like Mainland Norway, Svalbard, Bear Island, and Jan Mayen are the Arctic region in Norway. These are the best places to visit to see the midnight sun and the Northern Aurora. You will be in a different land to see where the sun nerve sleeps in certain months of a year. It will be enigmatic to see the northern lights waving like anything in the night sky. Scandinavia Tour Packages from Mumbai does include the attraction of the northern lights.

3. Atlantic Ocean Road

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AOR is a scenic ocean drive in Norway. Things to do on this scenic drive are to see the beauty of the Norwegian Sea and its small reefs. There are many sea viewpoints, where you can park your car and enjoy the sea wave’s splashing on you and cool sea breeze. You will travel from Eide to More og Romsdal for a stretch of 8.3-km. One can see the sea on both sides and from the front. It will be a memorable ocean road drive once in your Norway tour.

4. Lyngen Alps

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One must reach the Troms County to enjoy the ski slopes of Lyngen Alps. Skiing in Norway is a recreational and sporting activity. The skiing enthusiast must visit here to enjoy its thrill. Others can do Scandinavia style snow safari by dog sledding. During the night, one can find the colorful aurora in the night sky. Once you reach here, you will be at an altitude between 5,000-ft to 6,000-ft AMSL. These high-altitude ranges are covered with snow in all seasons.  Majority of the Scandinavia Tour Packages include this place for things to do a dog sledding in Norway.

5. Fjellheisen

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It is a scenic viewpoint in Norway. One can reach here in tram during the summer season. A Rope-way is available in the winter season. Rope-way ascend and descend on this mount will give you a scenic view of the Tromso City, Island, and waterways. There are a vantage point and restaurant for the tourists. You can see the aurora during the night. It has trail routs to go by walk and enjoy its vistas. You will be at 1,378-ft AMSL when you reach the top peak. The rope-way takes 4-minutes to reach the top viewpoint.

An all-inclusive Scandinavia Tour Package is the best to book online. Norway is a tourist-friendly nation. It is the preferred place for solo women to travel safely and enjoy the things to do in Norway. It has modern facilities and amenities for tourists.

7 Popular Tourist Attractions in China

China is a vast nation with diversified topography. Here, we have selected popular lakes, hill station, river, city, cultural and heritage sites as major attractions. The all-inclusive China Holiday Tour Packages are the best to book for an individual and groups as well.

If you are looking for a destination that is full of exotic places, power packed with variety of activities to experience and enjoy some of best natural wonders in the world, then welcome to China! Exploring China is not just like exploring any country but a mix of culture, ancient history, heritage, cuisines, wild life and much more!

1. Mount Emei

Mount Emei (10,167-ft AMSL) is a cultural heritage place in China. You can find the first Buddhist temple built on its summit. You will get the views of Sichuan Basin, where you can see the confluence of three rivers. You must trek through pine forest and stone steps adjoining its Cliffside. It will be breathtaking to see the mountain mist and the panoramic view of the Sichuan Province. It is also a pilgrim place in China. Most of the China Packages include this place as hilltop temple attractions.

2. Badaling

Once in Beijing, you must not miss seeing the Great Wall of China at Badaling. This is the only well-preserved part of this wall in China. You can hike up to 50-miles on this majestic structure in China. This is a cultural heritage site in China. You can see the evergreen valleys on both the side of these great walls. You can visit here as a day-trip in all seasons. China-Japan group Tour is a great combination to explore together and is best to book through online travel channels.

3. Mount Kailash

This is a pilgrim place and a high-altitude mountain trekking site on the Himalayas present in China. You will be enchanted by its heavenly surrounding and silence. It is 21,778-ft AMSL, where people with high-altitude sickness must not travel. You can find snow throughout the year. You must visit Lake Mansarovar. You can see the reflection of Mount Kailash peak on the lake water.

4. Shanghai

You must visit this most happening city in China once you land in China. It is known for its skyscrapers. The tallest building and freestanding structures are the Shanghai World Financial Centre and the Oriental Pearl Tower. You can see this city from the observation deck (1555-ft AMSL) from the financial tower. You can stay in its hotel, eat in the restaurant and do shopping too. The China tour packages from Mumbai include this place as a global city tour.

5. Terracotta Army

This is a mysterious place and the site of Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum which is also one of the UNESCO’s heritage site. You will be mesmerized to see the large life-size terracotta army in this museum. As per mythic belief, these soldiers are guarding this king. This is a part of ancient funerary art depiction, which dates backs to 210-BC. This terracotta army will stun you where ever you go inside this museum. This is the best place for history buffs.

6. Li River

This is a popular river attraction in China with Karst Mountains on the side of the river. The tourist must take a Li River cruise to explore its enchanting beauty. You can see the river surrounding with rolling hills, meadows and caves. You must see the Elephant-Trunk Hill, which is a natural rock formation in this shape of an elephant drinking this river water from its trunk.

7. West Lake

This is the exotic lake in China, which you can visit in all seasons. It is the best recreational place to take a boat cruise and enjoy its attractions. You must visit its lakeside attraction like the Qian King Temple, Bamboo Grove, Misty Trees, Tiger Spring, and West Lake Museum. The lake-shore will glitter with lights during the night. It is the best lake to see the mirroring of the sun and moon on clam .

 

Glacier Okjokull Becomes The First Victim Of The Climate Change

Located in the North Atlantic region, Iceland is a popular Nordic island country and is widely known as “The Land of Ice and Fire.” This beautiful country is home to some of the largest and popular glaciers in Europe and many of the world’s most active volcanoes. But unfortunately, the otherwise also known as the “Land of the Northern Light” has recently hold a funeral for one of its most prestigious glacier, Okjokull when the world marked the warmest July ever on record. Okjokull had succumbed to the climate change in the year 2014. It was a 700 years old glacier and was Iceland’s first glacier lost to the alarming climate change and once covered thriving glacial mass spanning 16 square kilometers. It was the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) declared the glacier officially as dead when the glacier was no longer big and thick enough to move downhill and flow on its own. The nation commemorated their once huge Okjokull glacier with a bronze plague which is the first ever monument to be a lost glacier.

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It was the Rice University anthropologists in Texas who came up with the idea of holding a funeral for the Okjokull glacier when making a documentary about its death last year, i.e. 2018. People in Iceland really took this up and came together to commemorate the loss of Okjokull glacier. People attending the ceremony had walked up to the volcano northeast of capital Reykjavik to place a bronze plaque which carries a letter to future and warns action is needed to prevent climate change.  Even the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir was present in the commemoration ceremony of the glacier.

The plague has been mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on barren terrain which was once covered by Okjokull glacier in the western Iceland. Plaque has also been labelled as ‘415 ppm CO2’, which refers to the records level of the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere this May. In other words, the monument acknowledges that the people are aware of the climate thing that is happening and what is needed to be done. The plague also serves as a letter to the future generation expressing deep grief in the inevitable fact that all of Iceland’s 400-plus glaciers are in danger of getting extinct.

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After the ceremony was over the documentary director, Dominic Boyer with his Rice University colleague Cymene Howe said, “Part of the ceremony felt like a funeral, in which many expressed their grief, sadness and concern during the hike to the mountain and also at the ceremony itself.” Their documentary about the passing of the glacier has been titled as “Not Ok”. Okjokull was also otherwise used to be called as OK.

Anthropologists Boyer also tells about the Snaefellsjokull glacier. He says that from Reykjavik one can see Snaefeelsjokull which is arguably the most popular glacier in Iceland. This glacier is also an important part of the Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Boyer further stated, “The glacier is gone, but now Iceland has its highest glacial lake- which is interesting. Otherwise, it’s quite barren at the top.”

People are saddened over the fact that which was once upon a time, a glacier for a period of 700 years has now been reduced to a small patch of ice on top of a volcano. While people have been raising their concern on the global issue which is climate change, even scientists have come forward and raised a warning that hundreds of other subarctic island are under the same risky fate. In fact, Iceland has been losing about 11 billion tonnes of ice every year. And going by this Iceland might lose every other main glaciers in the next 200 years while by 2200 all island countries can lose up to 400-plus glaciers.

Therefore, it’s important to create a mass awareness about Climate Change and educating them while the governments of every nation must have to come together and find out measures to counter or balance climate change. Otherwise, it’s barely just a matter of time the inevitable melts down glaciers after glaciers while probably causing a global catastrophe.

Let us all be responsible and initiate steps to save the earth from loosing important monuments like these. Travel with Flamingo Iceland tour packages!

Photoholic? Check Out The Most Colorful Streets in Europe

Any Europe tour package will be incomplete without exploring the below mentioned  colorful streets. Europe is a treasure stash of colorful locations waiting to be explored. It is loaded with prettiest towns and remote villages, uncommon buildings, fisherman’s unique houses and more.

Travelling to Europe offers an option to wide range of experiences because even in a short trip to Europe you can visit multiple countries, explore different culture, languages, cuisines, places, natural wonders and much more. In addition to that, the architecture of Europe, city planning, building constructions, ancient heritage sites, etc. are beautifully constructed that you will be just amazed. If you are planning to book Europe Holiday Tour Packages then here are some of colorful and most beautiful streets that you should not miss to visit during your travel.

1. Colmar, France

Colmar has the best streets to see colorful renaissance buildings alongside the Colmar’s Lauch River. It is also popular as a little Venice in France. You can see the below-mentioned attractions once in Colmar streets.

  • Adolph House
  • Christmas Market
  • Dominican Church
  • Eglise St Matthieu Protestante
  • Maison Pfister
  • Musee Bartholdi
  • St Martin’s Church
  • Unterlinden Museum

These colorfully painted medieval time buildings are eye-soothing. You can find budget accommodation, street foods, and wines. You must do shopping with your bargaining power once in its crowded market places. Most of the Europe group tours include this place for shopping and cultural heritage place to visit once in France.

2. Burano, Italy

Burano in Italy is popular for its colorful houses alongside canal streets. They are much appealing to look as they have a pattern and color representation with a timeline. You can see the below-mentioned attractions once in Burano.

  • Bepi’s House
  • Burano Canals
  • Localita Burano
  • San Martino Church
  • Terranova Sestiere
  • The leaning campanile

These are the best place to wine and dine alongside the canals.

3. Stortorget, Stockholm

Stortoget is an important square with colorful streets. One must walk from street number 1 – 25 to see bright color structure of this old town. It is the best place for shopping and tasting foods. The below-mentioned are notable colorful buildings.

  • Christmas Market
  • Gamla Stan
  • Kopmangatan
  • Nobel Museum
  • Stock Exchange Building
  • Stockholm Palace
  • The Grill House

These buildings are classic structures. They are painted in different colors. Our Packages do include this place in Sweden Attractions.

4. Nyhaven, Copenhagen

Nyhaven has one of the colorful facades of medieval time structures. These are now serving bars, restaurant and shopping places. You must not miss seeing its cultural heritage. These are as follows.

  • Canal Harbour
  • Charlottenborg Palace
  • Hans Christian Andersen House
  • Nyhavn Canal
  • Royal Playhouse

Most of the International tour packages include this place as an important attraction in Denmark. Walking through the canal side is the best to see the veteran and old ships.

5. Vernazza, Italy

This is a four-century-old village with colorful buildings. You cannot find the car traffic due to its small streets on a small sea cliff. The notable structures to see are as follows. This is a small town mostly serving tourism.

  • Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia
  • Doria Castle
  • Belforte bastion

It is the best place to relax with seafront hotels. You must check your Europe holiday packages include this place as one of the attractions in Italy.

Europe tour packages with cultural heritage places are worth exploring. You must book online to get some discounts and seasonal offers with Flamingo Transworld.