June 18 (TravelAndy): The troubled north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir organised a familiarization trip for five foreign travel writers earlier this month, Greater Kashmir reported.
The writers from Australia and the UK visited Leh and Srinagar during their trip.
At the end of their trip, the visitors met the state’s tourism minister who told them about the wonderful experiences that the mountainous state had to offer. They were also made aware of the steps the authorities were taking to ensure safety of tourists. Continue reading Trouble-torn Kashmir seeks to attract foreign tourists
July 16 (Notintown.net): The mosques of Sharjah are distinctive for their eye-catching aesthetic architecture and the tourism authorities are wooing the visitors with a new focus on these beautiful monuments. Tourists and believers alike visit Sharjah for the tranquil and hospitable nature of the cultural hub of the UAE.
The cultural ethos of Sharjah has made it the emirate for visitors looking for an experiential journey. It is an emirate routed in tradition, while opening its doors to the contemporary world, thereby offering the best of all worlds. Those seeking greater knowledge of and connection to Islam will certainly find it in this emirate graced with over 600 mosques.
The largest house of worship is the King Faisal Mosque. The complex geometric design and the likeness of the massive structure to a multi-pointed star make it the most recognizable landmark of Sharjah. The charm of this mosque is that it is very well-suited for worship with admirable acoustics, a very useful audio guide and the captivating voice of the Imam in the vast but quiet space, it all comes together to create a very special atmosphere.
Situated on the banks of the Khalid Lagoon, the Al Noor Mosque has a dream setting. Construction of the structure was completed in the year 2005. Visitors can take inspiration from architectural trademarks such as the minarets, domes and arches, which are reminiscent of traditional Ottoman architecture. This is because the mosque is modelled after the ‘Blue Mosque’ or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Turkey. Private tour bookings are possible, or one may opt for the regular free tours that are held every Monday at 10:00 am.
In order to promote a cross-cultural understanding, an excellent briefing program covering basic principles of Islam is provided for visitors, along with an opportunity to try on the ‘abaya’ and scarves that the local women of Sharjah generally wear.
The Al Noor Mosque is known for its guided tours and hospitable treatment to guests, however, it is also of great religious significance to the locals and outsiders who follow the faith. On Ramadan evenings, the mosque becomes unusually busy due to a large number of worshippers. The interlaced decorative interiors and architecture, in addition to the cooling effect of the use of gypsum (traditional building material made of coral) in building the mosque, creates a relaxing Islamic cultural ambience where peace and contentment permeate
The Al Noor Mosque is also one of the ten locations in Sharjah from where the Iftar(the breaking of the Ramadan fast) cannons are fired. On the Ramadan days building up to the much-awaited Eid al-Fitr, throngs of visitors arrive to witness the firing of cannons announcing Iftar time. This old custom of announcing the breaking of the fast is a charming cultural tradition that keeps Islamic heritage alive in the emirate.
Sharjah offers a true glimpse into modern life combining heritage and Islamic traditions with a cultural and educational identity that goes back many centuries and an enduring, gracious welcome.
The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums.
June 11 (TravelAndy): Celebrity chefs Adam Liaw and Marion Grasby will headline this year’s Shinju Matsuri (festival of the pearl) to be held August 25 – September 2 in Broome – the pearling capital of Australia in WA’s North West.
Shinju Matsuri is the much loved festival which encapsulates everything that is Broome and the surrounding areas of the Kimberley region. Featuring an incredible kaleidoscope of events, Shinju Matsuri pays tribute to their heritage and culture.
Celebrating four diverse cultures that have come together in Broome for pearls – Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and Indigenous Australian – Shinju Matsuri features a unique dining program in extraordinary locations. Continue reading Broome in Western Australia gears up for Shinju Matsuri
June 10 (TravelAndy): Tourism Ireland aims to increase the number of the Chinese visitors to the island to 175,000 by the year 2025, Xinhua reported.
“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years,” the report quoted James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s China manager, as saying.
Hainan Airlines will launch a direct Beijing-Dublin flight service starting on June 12. This is the first direct flight ever to be launched between the Chinese mainland and Ireland. Continue reading Ireland woos tourists from China
June 8 (TravelAndy): The government of India plans to build airports at several popular tourist spots in the country under a regional connectivity scheme.
According to reports, the government is looking at popular tourist destinations such as Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Hampi in Karnataka, Kaziranga in Assam and Colva beach in Goa. Continue reading Air connect for more Indian destinations
June 4 (TravelAndy): From brass band competitions, film screenings and poetry slams to music festivals, graphic novel exhibitions and carnival parades, a wealth of events, co-designed by Scotland’s young people, is set to celebrate the Year of Young People 2018, capturing the spirit of summertime, as well as the interest of parents for school-holiday inspiration throughout June and July.
Kicking off the events in June is the North-East’s largest food and drink showcase, Taste of Grampian which returns to the Thainstone Centre in Inverurie on 2 June. In addition to a wide range of high-quality food and drink produce from the area, masterclasses and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, you will also be able to get a taste of Grampian’s best young bands, singers and musicians on the brand new Year of Young People Stage. Fun for your ears and taste buds is guaranteed!
On 3 June, Custom House Quay in Greenock will be transformed by Evolve Fest 2018, a vibrant summer festival with fun for all, planned by Inverclyde’s young people. Try your hands at arts, crafts and upcycling during pop-up workshops, see two unique films created by young filmmakers, dance along to brand-new music composed by young musicians working with ‘Love and Money’ frontman James Grant, enjoy specially choreographed performances by the Beacon Youth Dance Club and Clydeview Academy students and be inspired by a visual art exhibition created by local high school students from St Columba’s High School, Gourock. Continue reading Year of Young People events to kick-start Scottish summer
June 3 (TravelAndy): Japan has consolidated its spot at the top of the Henley Passport Index, now offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a record total of 189 destinations. Following closely behind Japan are Singapore and Germany in joint 2nd place, with 188 destinations accessible without a prior visa. 3rd place is shared by six countries: one Asian (South Korea) and the rest European (Finland, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden).
India is ranked 76th with visa-free access to 59 countries.
While Schengen Area countries have traditionally topped the index as a result of their open access to Europe, developed Asian nations have been able to secure equally high scores in recent years thanks to their strong international trade and diplomatic relations. With close to 40 visa-waiver agreements signed by governments since the start of the year, passport-holders around the world go into the summer season with greater collective access than ever before. Continue reading Japan passport strongest, India ranks 76th
April 10 (TravelAndy): Four women from Hyderabad in India recently completed a 17,000km road trip on motorcycles that saw them travel through 15 Indian states and six foreign countries.
With the objective to promote tourism and road trips in India, Shilpa Balakrishnan, Piya Bahadur, Shanti Susan and Jai Bharathi had left Hyderabad on their Bajaj Dominar motorcycles on February 11, said reports.
Apart from India, the four travelled through Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam as part of the trip, which was named Road to Mekong. Continue reading Four women bike 17000km through SE Asia
Have you come across this news where a Reddit user realised she had forgotten her passport at a Kyoto hotel when she was in Tokyo and had to take a flight out of the city only a few hours later?
The woman posted on Reddit and asked if anyone could help her. A random stranger did.
The man, who was in Osaka, took a train to Kyoto, collected the passport, and got on the next Shinkanshen (bullet train) to Tokyo. Continue reading There are a lot of good people around
April 9 (TravelAndy): The world’s first luxury space hotel will launch late in 2021 and start welcoming guests the following year.
For a cool USD9.5 million, you can book your space adventure on the Aurora Station from where you can see 16 sunrises (and sunsets) in a single day for the hotel will orbit the earth every 90 minutes.
Reports said the hotel will be able to accommodate six people at a time, including two crew members. The USD9.5 million is the all-inclusive price for a 12-day trip, said reports. Continue reading Luxury hotel to open in space
February 24 (TravelAndy): Indonesia intends to promote 10 new tourist destinations as “the new Bali”, the South China Morning Post said.
The beautiful beaches and picturesque rice fields attract millions of tourists to Bali every year and Indonesia intends to cash in on the island’s popularity through this tourism promotion exercise. (ALSO READ: My 2016 prediction on Bali is coming true now)
Indonesia, which is looking to increase it’s tourism revenue from 4 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2014 to 20 per cent in 2019, is looking at China to be its major investor in this initiative. Chinese tourists outnumbered Australians for the first time in Indonesia in 2017 and the archipelago nation expects this trend to continue. Continue reading Indonesia to promote 10 ‘new Balis’
December 23 (TravelAndy): An attendant of a tiger at a zoo near Thailand’s popular tourist destination Pattaya has been transferred after he was seen poking a chained tiger to make it road for visitors.
A video that has gone viral on social media shows people posing with a chained tiger to take photographs. Armed with a stick, this attendant is seen poking the tiger in the head to make it road for all the visitors.
The video earned a lot of criticism and has brought under the scanner the condition of animals at Thai zoos. Continue reading Furore over tiger poke video