Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top 10 Experiences in Madrid

TOP 10 EXPERIENCES IN MADRID


ROYAL PALACE
The Palacio Real de Madrid (literally: Royal Palace of Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but is only used for state ceremonies. King Felipe VI and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén (Bailén Street), in the Western part of downtown Madrid, East of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public except during state functions. An admission fee of €11 is required except for residents of the Iberian Peninsula. (Wikipedia)

PRADO MUSEUM
The Museo del Prado - Prado Museum - is considered to house one of the finest art collections in the world. It displays thousands of European paintings, sculptures, and other works of art throughout its halls - and this is only a fraction of their collection! The Prado specializes in European art from the 12th-19th century (Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum is home to the post-19th century art), that was built from the Spanish Royal Collection. The most famous piece in the collection that is on display at the Prado is Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez.

PLAZA MAYOR
Plaza Mayor, a large square in central Madrid, serves as a meeting place for tourists and locals alike, and has hosted a variety of festivities throughout history, including bull fights, soccer matches, and executions during the Spanish Inquisition. The plaza was built in the early 17th century during King Felipe III's reign. The most prominent of the buildings in the plaza is the Casa de la Panaderia - House of the Baker's Guild, which today serves municipal and cultural functions. You can find many shops and eateries around Plaza Mayor. If you are looking for food, this is the best place to come. La Escondida is a small bar, but it is very comfortable, and the music being played at the bar is normally some sort of jazz or blues. And you can find an excellent selection of cheese; in particular the 'Torta al Casar' - a soft sheep's milk cheese from the province of Extremadura - is very good. There is also a house speciality of cured meats which you must try. Their address is: Puerta Cerrada 6. Tel. 91 365 91 9.

MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL
Take a walk through this local market and you can find all the different seafood being sold here. Enjoy the salmon sashimi, and buy the jamon  Iberico (best ham in the world)



SHOPPING IN GRAN VIA
This is the best place for you to do your shopping. You find a mixture of high end shops, eateries, and bars that cover both ends of the spectrum, and thus this lively bustling street is best enjoyed at night when the locals and tourists alike come out to eat, drink, and mingle into the wee hours of the morning.
Gran Vía runs through central Madrid from Calle de Alcalá in the east to Plaza de España in the west. There are a number of hotels which are located here.
Go up to the top floor in El Corte Ingles, which is a big department store in Plaza Callao to the Gourmet section. You will find the best selection of cheese, wines, caviar, foie gras, or even ingredients for making the tacos.

TAPAS - SPANISH CUISINE
The good thing about these modern Tapas is that they provide the customer with a wide variety of foods, meaning you can sample many different Spanish delicacies all at the same time. And you often see the pictures of the various kinds of tapas being displayed outside the restaurant, below the sign board. Do not forget to try paella.



BOTIN RESTAURANT
This is listed on the Guinness World of Records as the oldest restaurant in the world and it was opened in 1725. It serves Mediterranean food in a traditional setting. You must try the cuchinillo asado (roast suckling pig) as well as the cordero asado (roast lamb) here. The average price of a 3-course meal is about 40 euros. Hemingway mentioned that this was the best restaurant to him.



FLAMENCO SHOW
Tablao Las Carboneras
Tablao Las Carboneras is located in the most traditional Madrid, the Madrid of the Austrias, in the basement of the old palace of the Count of Miranda.
Born from the idea of recovering the old cabarets, this tablao and restaurant combines flamenco and avant-garde image with the best of nowadays flamenco.
Since opening in October 2000, renowned figures have passed through our tablao. Artists such as Pastora Galván, Jorge Pardo , Rocío Molina, Montse Cortés, Belén Maya, Manuel Liñán, Alfonso Losa, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, “La Shica”… prestigious names that have been integrated into a group of artists who was founded by the members and dancers Manuela Vega, Tacha and Ana Romero, who have created a new approach to tablao flamenco through its long experience in these research areas and in other areas within dance. Tablao Las Carboneras has created his own label and has driven a trend renewing this art in Madrid.


BULL FIGHTING SHOW

Bullfights are among the most popular shows in Madrid. This is one of the oldest and most established customs in Spain. The origins of bullfighting go back to the 17th century. Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring (Plaza de Toros de las Ventas) has bullfights every Sunday from the beginning of March until October. The main holidays surrounding the custom are the Feria de San Isidro and the Feria de Otoño (autumn). The bullfights begin in the afternoon and can last up to three hours, depending on the type of bull and the performance of the bullfighter. The entrance fee for a bullfight can range from 10€ to 100€, according to the seat and the bullfighter’s popularity.


DAY TRIPS

SEGOVIA
From its ancient Roman aqueduct to its 13th century castle, this city is full of symbols representing its inhabitants of the past. Originally established by the Romans, Segovia later became a summer retreat for Spanish monarchs as a hide away in their castle on the hillside. The castle, known as the "Alcazar", was destroyed in the 19th century and rebuilt later. This is one day trip you need to go and this is the place for you to eat the roast suckling pig.

TOLEDO - World UNESCO Heritage Site

In December 1987, the UNESCO declared Toledo a World Heritage Site. Due to its special history, since in the past the city was host to Christian, Islamic and Hebrew culture, there are many ancient mosque, Gothic or Mudejar churches of Romanesque or Visigothic structure, synagogues and even Renaissance palace.
The historic city centre sits on a craggy rock, and it is encircled by a wide meander of the Tagus river, called the Tajo in Spanish. The Roman historian Tito Livio mentioned the city of Toletum, a term whose origin would be Tollitum, meaning "raised aloft". The city's historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, and has more than 100 monuments. This is a MUST VISIT place and you should visit it on a day trip from Madrid.




Make a trip to Spain and enjoy in Madrid, the capital city of Spain.




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jomtien Night Market

You can find many delicious food at the Jomtien Night Market, in Pattaya.

Fruits, Liquer, snacks, seafood and so on...

All pictures taken with Samsung Note4.





I


Pattaya



Contact
Bell Travel Service
Reservation - Bangkok - 02-747-4675-6
                      Pattaya -    038-370-055

From Bangkok Airport
(level 1 Gate 7)
8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm.
Door to door Service from Arrival Hall to Pattaya Hotels & Vice Versa

From PATTAYA
6 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm.


SHOPPING

Central Festival Pattaya Beach
220,000 sq meters of retail space spread over 7 floors next to Pattaya Beach. Every label that you can think of is available along with food from around the world, cinema, bowling, kids entertainment and lots more.

Central Centre
A long time favorite shopping hangout with some branded goods, local fashion labels, fast food restaurants, and a big IT Mall section. There's a Big C Supermarket inside the mall where you can pick up cheap clothes, food, ad household products.

Royal Garden Plaza
An upmarket shopping mall offering much the same brands as every other mall with a few boutique shops thrown in. There is some good dining outlets including lots of fast food and some restaurants overlooking the beach. Entertainment includes Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Tukcom
The home of electronics and computer are in Pattaya. If you need anything relating to IT, then this is the place, it also has mobiles, repair services and obligatory restaurants and coffee shops.

Thepprasit Market
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from around 6 pm to 10 pm selling just about everything. Goods are generally very cheap with lots of copy designer stuff ranging from handbags to clothes to watches, pets, fruit and so on.

Pattaya Floating Market
A purpose built attraction that highlights what a real floating market is like for tourists. It can get very busy at weekends and holidays and also very hot. 200 Baht for entry.

Ferera
Handbags and other beautifully crafted lifestyle accessories available at their many stores around town. Quaint boutique shops that are a delight to browse offering unique designs with the best quality assured.

Thai Beauty Plus & Organic Life Plus (2nd Road)
Two shops selling beauty and lifestyle products fashioned mostly from organic produce. Think handmade soaps, herbals toothpastes, fruity body scrubs, natural pile and stacks more. You'll find a ton of things for yourself and also the perfect gift for loved ones .

Look out for my next post with pictures of Jomtien Night Market.

Olevia Cheong

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lahaul & Spiti (Himachal Pradesh)

Exotic India

I will be organizing a trip to Lahaul & Spiti in Jul.
12/7-24/7 2015

Jeep Safari trip
Daily walking  , 1-2 hours per day to go visiting to the villages
Culture, Sightseeing, Exploration, Hiking.

#exotictravel #exploreindiawitholevia

Suitable for those who love photography, hiking, culture, history, landscape, exotic travel, off the beaten track!

Contact Olevia Cheong
olevia@gmail.com

India - Lahaul & Spiti

The valley of Lahoul is situated to the south of Ladakh. For this very reason this place derived its name “Lho-Yul” meaning "Southern Country". To its south is situated the beautiful valley of Kullu across the Rohtang Pass (3195Mtrs) and the Bara Bangahal (Kangra) across the “Asakh” pass (5051Mtrs) . Its western boundaries touch the Pangi and Churah areas of Distt. Chamba. To its north situated the valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh across Shingola (5090 Mtrs) and Baralacha la (5450 Mtrs) respectively. Its eastern and south eastern boundaries coincide with those of Spiti and Western Tibet across the Kunzom Pass (4500 Mtrs).

Spiti
Spiti (locally pronounced 'Piti') or the 'middle country', has its sub divisional headquarters at Kaza. The river Spiti originates at the base of the Kunzam range and flows eastward to join the Sutlej at Khab in Kinnaur. In practical isolation for centuries, Spiti has an intensely introvertive culture centred around its several monasteries- Dhankar, Ki, Tabo, Mud, Gungri, Lidang, Hikim, Sagnam, Mane Gogma and Giu to name a few. Spiti was loosely ruled for many centuries by a hereditary wazir, styled Nono. The majority of the people are Buddhists, followers of the Geluk-pa sect. The repetition of the mantra "Om mani padme hum" (literally, 'Behold, the jewel is in the lotus'), is constant; it is believed to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. For all the seeming bleakness, Spiti possesses a haunting beauty. The wildlife in the region includes the elusive snow leopard and ibex, found in the Pin valley.
Spiti has come to be known as the "fossil park of the world". The three villages Kibber, Kaza & Kye fall on the route faovourite among those looking for fossils. These villages are situated at heights between 13,500 ft. and 14,400 ft. above msl. Langza is famous for fossils of maritime life. These fossils are found on either side of Kang-yur and Paapen-yu nullahs near the village.

Going on a jeep safari to Lahaul and Spiti area in the HIMACHAL PRADESH State of India.
Visiting Manali
Kullu and Shimla.

Drive pass Rohtang Pass as well as the Kunzum Pass


SPITI

Spiti (locally pronounced 'Piti') or the 'middle country', has its sub divisional headquarters at Kaza. The river Spiti originates at the base of the Kunzam range and flows eastward to join the Sutlej at Khab in Kinnaur. In practical isolation for centuries, Spiti has an intensely introvertive culture centred around its several monasteries- Dhankar, Ki, Tabo, Mud, Gungri, Lidang, Hikim, Sagnam, Mane Gogma and Giu to name a few. Spiti was loosely ruled for many centuries by a hereditary wazir, styled Nono. The majority of the people are Buddhists, followers of the Geluk-pa sect. The repetition of the mantra "Om mani padme hum" (literally, 'Behold, the jewel is in the lotus'), is constant; it is believed to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. For all the seeming bleakness, Spiti possesses a haunting beauty. The wildlife in the region includes the elusive snow leopard and ibex, found in the Pin valley.
Spiti has come to be known as the "fossil park of the world". The three villages Kibber, Kaza & Kye fall on the route faovourite among those looking for fossils. These villages are situated at heights between 13,500 ft. and 14,400 ft. above msl. Langza is famous for fossils of maritime life. These fossils are found on either side of Kang-yur and Paapen-yu nullahs near the village.



KAZA
Kaza, the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti, is situated on the left bank of the Spiti river at an altitude of about 12,500 ft. above msl. The village is overlooked by steep ridges. The otherwise soporific place hums with activity of tourists during summer, who converge here for permits, current exchange, information, accommodation, petrol and to witness the annual trade fair which a number of visitors compare with the fairs in some of the gompa towns of Ladakh. Besides, Kaza makes a ideal base camp for all treks and tours within the valley. Guides, porters, pack animals and most importantly permits for treks can be obtained in Kaza.


There are two rest houses in Kaza proper. The Electricity Board rest house is at Rangrik just 4 km away. It is the best in the valley.  Kaza has one of the two Sa- kya- pa sect monasteries. The other monastery is at Hikkim. Opposite Kaza on the right bank of the Spiti river is Kyuling from where the nono of Spiti ruled over his subjects. Rani Damyanti, a descendent of this ruling, family, now resides in Kaza preserving all the stately charm of the yester years.

Rohtang pass (altitude 13050 feet) separates Kullu, from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. In Tibetan Rohtang means "a heap of dead bodies" and the pass stands true to its notorious name. Every year it must take toll of life and property. This is so because after 11 A.M. sudden blizzerds and snow storms called Biannas are only to be expected. The pass becomes all the more hazardous to negotiate due to frequent avalanches.

 The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summer studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. Butterflies of numerous and rare kind and varigated hues also draw the attention of' the visitor.

 At the highest point on top to the right as one faces Lahaul, is a small stone enclosure and a water spring which is the principal source of the river Beas; .the other, Beas kund is at the head of the Solang nullah. The place gained religious significance because of sojourn of Beas Rishi (the famous Vyasa Rishi, author of the epic Mahabharata.

 To the left of this pass is the little lake Sarkund. On the 20th Bhadon (early September) every year a large number of people visit this lake with the belief and hope that an early morning bath in it will cure all their ailments.

 Almost directly opposite and obviously only a few kms away is the well defined Sonapani glacier. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of Gyephang La, seats of Pre Aryan Himalayan gods Jamulu and his younger brother Gyephang. These peaks are snow streaked and snow covered. The higher peak is 5856 m. high. Gyephang La can be seen from Kunzom, Pangi Lahaul and from Serchu plains across the Baralacha La. The higher of the two peaks can be seen on a clear day from as far as the Ridge in Shimla.

Spiti (locally pronounced 'Piti') or the 'middle country', has its sub divisional headquarters at Kaza. The river Spiti originates at the base of the Kunzam range and flows eastward to join the Sutlej at Khab in Kinnaur. In practical isolation for centuries, Spiti has an intensely introvertive culture centred around its several monasteries- Dhankar, Ki, Tabo, Mud, Gungri, Lidang, Hikim, Sagnam, Mane Gogma and Giu to name a few. Spiti was loosely ruled for many centuries by a hereditary wazir, styled Nono. The majority of the people are Buddhists, followers of the Geluk-pa sect. The repetition of the mantra "Om mani padme hum" (literally, 'Behold, the jewel is in the lotus'), is constant; it is believed to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. For all the seeming bleakness, Spiti possesses a haunting beauty. The wildlife in the region includes the elusive snow leopard and ibex, found in the Pin valley.
Spiti has come to be known as the "fossil park of the world". The three villages Kibber, Kaza & Kye fall on the route faovourite among those looking for fossils. These villages are situated at heights between 13,500 ft. and 14,400 ft. above msl. Langza is famous for fossils of maritime life. These fossils are found on either side of Kang-yur and Paapen-yu nullahs near the village.



KAZA
Kaza, the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti, is situated on the left bank of the Spiti river at an altitude of about 12,500 ft. above msl. The village is overlooked by steep ridges. The otherwise soporific place hums with activity of tourists during summer, who converge here for permits, current exchange, information, accommodation, petrol and to witness the annual trade fair which a number of visitors compare with the fairs in some of the gompa towns of Ladakh. Besides, Kaza makes a ideal base camp for all treks and tours within the valley. Guides, porters, pack animals and most importantly permits for treks can be obtained in Kaza.


There are two rest houses in Kaza proper. The Electricity Board rest house is at Rangrik just 4 km away. It is the best in the valley.  Kaza has one of the two Sa- kya- pa sect monasteries. The other monastery is at Hikkim. Opposite Kaza on the right bank of the Spiti river is Kyuling from where the nono of Spiti ruled over his subjects. Rani Damyanti, a descendent of this ruling, family, now resides in Kaza preserving all the stately charm of the yester years.

Rohtang pass (altitude 13050 feet) separates Kullu, from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. In Tibetan Rohtang means "a heap of dead bodies" and the pass stands true to its notorious name. Every year it must take toll of life and property. This is so because after 11 A.M. sudden blizzerds and snow storms called Biannas are only to be expected. The pass becomes all the more hazardous to negotiate due to frequent avalanches.

 The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summer studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. Butterflies of numerous and rare kind and varigated hues also draw the attention of' the visitor.

 At the highest point on top to the right as one faces Lahaul, is a small stone enclosure and a water spring which is the principal source of the river Beas; .the other, Beas kund is at the head of the Solang nullah. The place gained religious significance because of sojourn of Beas Rishi (the famous Vyasa Rishi, author of the epic Mahabharata.

 To the left of this pass is the little lake Sarkund. On the 20th Bhadon (early September) every year a large number of people visit this lake with the belief and hope that an early morning bath in it will cure all their ailments.

 Almost directly opposite and obviously only a few kms away is the well defined Sonapani glacier. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of Gyephang La, seats of Pre Aryan Himalayan gods Jamulu and his younger brother Gyephang. These peaks are snow streaked and snow covered. The higher peak is 5856 m. high. Gyephang La can be seen from Kunzom, Pangi Lahaul and from Serchu plains across the Baralacha La. The higher of the two peaks can be seen on a clear day from as far as the Ridge in Shimla.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Best Airfare to Central Asia

Welcome back to my blog. And I am in the midst of creating a new website, with more travel tips as well as adding more pictures to share my experience on my various travel/trip.


I was in Central Asia in June 2013, and I organized for my group to fly into Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Then, we travelled overland and then returned back to Tajikistan before we continued by flight into Almaty, Kazakhstan to continue our journey into Kyrgyzstan. It was a wonderful experience, and now I share the travel tip on getting your best deal in airfare to Central Asia.




BEST AIRFARES TO CENTRAL ASIA


CENTRAL ASIA – UZBEKISTAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, TURMENISTAN, TAJIKISTAN.


Do these countries fascinate you?


Uzbekistan


The home country of Tamerlane, the Central Asian conqueror.. Towering blue minarets dominating the skyline in the beautiful cities of Bukhara & Samarkand.


Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan are both excellent countries for hiking and outdoor activities with the large concentration of the mountains. You will travel into Tajikistan overland from Uzbekistan, as there is no direct flight from Uzbekistan. As for Kyrgyzstan, you can also travel overland but there are flights from Tashkent into Bishkek.


To Travel to Central Asia –


You can fly into Tashkent, and continue your journey overland into Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or even Kazakhstan.  By far, Bangkok is the best city to get your flights into the cities of


  1. Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Airport code - TAS
  2. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan -    Airport code - FRU
  3. Almaty, Kazakhstan -    Airport code - ALA
  4. Astana, Kazakhstan -    Airport code – AST


Flights to Tashkent (TAS), Uzbekistan


From Bangkok


Fly Astana Airlines, Korean Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways


By Uzbekistan Airways (Direct from Bangkok)


BKKTAS – WED flight –   BKKTAS  2255 / 0345 +1


                   TUE                     BKKTAS  1005 / 1455


TASBKK -  MON flight     TASBKK  2315 / 0715 +1 (ARR on TUE)


                                WED      TASBKK  1040 / 1840


There are daily flights into Almaty, Kazakhstan from Bangkok by Air Astana.


From Singapore  


Direct flight by Uzbekistan Airways (fly on Tuesday) 


DEP  TUE – SINTAS   1145 / 1850   (Direct)


ARR  Wed TASSIN 1025 / 2359 (via KUL, Malaysia)


 


SINTAS – Airfare on Uzbekistan Airways fr USD1,450


China Southern Airways (2 stops via Guangzhou & Urumqi) fr USD1,050


Korean Airlines (1 stop) fr USD1,300


For flight/hotel bookings – go to http://olevia.dreamtrips.com


We have the Rate Shrinker Technology – After your tickets are issued, our system will continue to check online everyday for any change especially for a decrease in airfare (might be due to airline promotion at a later date), and if there is a lower fare compared to what you pay, your ticket will be AUTOMATICALLY cancelled, and then you will have a new ticket issued at the lower airfare, with the difference being credited back into your credit card.


This Rate Shrinker Technology also applies to your hotel bookings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pictures of Emerald Lake Canada

Dear all,

I like to show you some of the pictures that I took for my recent trip in September 2014.

Canadian Rockies is well known for its many beautiful shimmering lakes, and the snow-capped mountains. In this particular instance, I like to show you some of the pictures that I took at Emerald Lake.months, the lake is a popular cross country skiing destination.

Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park, in British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest of the 61 lakes and ponds in the Yoho National Park. For those who are more active, they can choose to go on the hike around the lake, which is 5.2 km long. During the summer months, visitors can also rent canoes to go canoeing in the lake. During the winter months, this lake is a popular cross country skiing destination.

Due the high altitude, this lake is frozen from November until June.

Take a self drive holiday to the Canadian Rockies. Fly into Calgary or Edmunton, and start your drive to Emerald Lake. You can have lunch at the Lake Louis Village before continuing here.

Here are the pictures -










There are more pictures of the other lakes in Canada. Keep a look out for my next post to see the beautiful lakes.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Pictures of Juneau

Dear all,

Thank you for checking out my blog.

I went on a Alaska Cruise on Golden Princess Cruise Ship. And please find the pictures that I took while we went ashore at Juneau.

Cruise Schedule -
Day 1 Seattle - Embarkation
Day 2 Out at Sea
Day 3 Juneau
Day 4 Skagway
Day 5 Glacier Bay National Park
Day 6 Ketchikan
Day 7 Victoria
Day 8 Seattle - Disembarkation.

Best flight/ hotel booking - Best Flight / Hotel / Cruise Booking 
PRICE PLEDGE - Hotel/ Flight
You will get a REFUND of 150% Price Difference if you were to find a cheaper flight/hotel rate after booking with us.

Disembarking at Juneau port.


              People enjoying under the sun, while we walk along the boardwalk to the town. The                                      downtown area is only about 5 minutes walk away from the pier.
Lovely views and it was a beautiful day.

Enjoyed the views while we take our city tour.


                      A little stream while we take the 45 minute round trip walk to the view point of                                                           Mendenhall Glacier as well as the Nugget Falls.


                                                   At the view point of the Nugget Falls.

A photo for one of our tour group member.

Love the reflection of the waterfall.

Took the tramway up to Mt Roberts and enjoy the sunset up there.

At the end of the day, we reboard the cruise .

Golden Princess organises a number of the shore excursions, which you could book directly with them even before your departure. Juneau, is very easy to move around, and you could easily book for excursions after you disembark. Otherwise, you can walk around the town easily. The Tramway up to Mt Roberts was closeby, and you could see the trams while you disembark from the ship. If you love nature, you could choose to do the hiking up the mountain, and there are trails up there to enjoy the beautiful view of the mountain.

Remember to come back for my next post on the Alaska Cruise.