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By Pablo N
Traveling around the world is one of the best experiences you can have. If you are looking for your next trip, Hong Kong is the perfect destination. Hong Kong is a city with an electrifying personality in Cantonese culture.
It is also known as 'Fragrant Harbour' because of its deep-water harbor. The city is renowned as a tourist choice in southern-eastern Asia.
You can talk of the tea shops, dense neighborhoods, ornate temples, family-owned outdoor restaurants, Ocean Park, Golden Bauhinia Square, excellent public transit system. Hong Kong has everything you are looking for in a perfect adventure.
Below, we will share some previous tips to keep in mind when embarking on this trip. For India Nationals not planning to stay more than 14 days, a visit visa is not needed, however, you need to know what is required to apply for pre-arrival registration for Indians before departing the airport. The good news is that you can file for this registration online.
To proceed to enter Hong Kong is not difficult, you can apply for a visit visa to this destination at the Chinese embassy or at the immigration departments of the HKSAR. In this way, you will get all the information required to undertake the trip.
The perfect time to visit Hong Kong is from mid-October to late December. The period is the time of the year when the weather is refreshing and comfortable.
During your visit, you can also enjoy numerous festivals such as Monkey God Festival, Buddha Birthday, Chinese New Year, Mid- Autumn Festival, Art Week, among many others.
Hong Kong is renowned for being the food market of the world. Make sure to try out the Chinese, American, Italian, Cantonese, Mexican, and other cultural meals.Unsplash
Hong Kong boasts, one of the best public transit system in the world. Getting around the city should not pose any form of trouble. You can get around the city by taxi, rail, ferry, or even the Octopus Card Payment Method.
There are about 27 ferry routes that cover movements from Hong Kong Island to different neighboring islands like Peng Chai, Cheung Chau, Lamma Island, etc. The MTR System Mass Transit Railway is the best way to enjoy the famous sites to visit in the city.
All of these transport systems are cheap and convenient.
This destination is a buzzing city and can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Here are three Do's and Don'ts when you are in Hong Kong.
●Enjoy the varieties of food culture
Limiting yourself to only a variety of food in a multicultural city like Hong Kong is nothing but a waste. This city is renowned for being the food market of the world. Before you leave, make sure to try out the Chinese, American, Italian, Cantonese, Mexican, and other cultural meals.
●Get an Octopus Card
The Octopus cards are your most reliable pass to most public transit in Hong Kong. You can obtain it at the airport or any transit station. 'Octopus cards' can be used to pay for transactions in stores, restaurants, cinemas, parks, etc.
●Avoid getting caught up with the crowd
You can save yourself a lot of annoyance and irritation by avoiding being caught up in the large crowd of the town. Fix your shopping to the weekdays and avoid getting on the MTR during rush hours.
●Don't break the smoking laws
Hong Kong frowns strictly on smoking in public places. Avoid smoking in clubs, parks, lifts, restaurants, transits, workplaces, and strict. Fines and punishments that amount up to 5,000HKD are charged on offenders for smoking in public places.
●Don't miss the festivals
When you visit the city during a festival period, don't miss out on the opportunity to witness some carnivals or events. Hong Kong is also a great place to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve.
●Don't stand on the left
Whenever you are on the escalators or a walkway, always remember to stand on the right-hand side and let people walk on your left. Citizens get angry whenever people block the left side of the walkway, and it's evident that you are a visitor.
This town is one of the most beautiful tourist centers around the world. You can decide to organize all the places to visit in order to discover the best attractions in Hong Kong.
One point to add, is that the citizens are friendly and approachable. You will be surprised to know that many of the residents also speak English. You will find the city easy to navigate and enjoy as there are many activities to do and witness.
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By Olivia Sarkar
For most, Kaashi is the seat of the gods, one sees colourful throngs of pilgrims, a vast sacred-scape, and life-ending climactic ceremonies at the undulating ganga while navigating its crowded streets, which unfold like a broadway production and a costume drama all at once. Many seekers, literary personalities, old world flaneurs, and residents flock to the ghats at Varanasi to take their redemptive holy plunge; with its antique charm, it has served as a continual muse.
In its attempt to enchant its apostles and acolytes with another perspective, on the occasion of Dev Deepawali, the city presented another distinct perspective for travellers to enjoy its mystic appeal and floating lights on its river. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism organised the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, for visitors to enjoy the joyous celebration of gods celebrating Diwali, and see the city in all its glory from an aerial view.
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties. | File
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties - temples, old paths, craft traditions, gastronomic cornucopia, and unravelling legends in every nook and corner. This new offering, according to Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary, Culture and Tourism, adds another experience for explorers and will position Varanasi as a top destination for many premium and high-value travellers from around the world. He also stated that the post Covid tourism will focus on creating authentic experiences and traditions into modern packaging for long-term tourism sustainability.
On the occasion, Samit Garg, Founder and CEO of E-factor Entertainment who hosted the event said that this new offering adds an authentic and high-value offering for the city's 'living heritage,' and that the city's breath-taking terrain and bird's eye view match perfectly in splendour with its wonderfully preserved wonders on the ground. He also stated that New Age travellers are looking for a new type of tourism that is not based on a single product but rather on a succession of fresh and transforming 'experiences.' There is a growing desire for 'exploratory and experience travel' over traditional leisure activities such as visiting tourist attractions. The Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, which runs from November 17 to 19, is intended to usher in a new era in Uttar Pradesh tourism for well-heeled global visitors.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Varanasi, hot air balloon, festival, diwali, tourists
Gurupurab is a Sikh tradition and festival of celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. This year, Gurupurab is being celebrated on November 19.
'Gurupurab' comes from two words namely, “guru" meaning mentor, and “purab" meaning festival. Gurupurab is also known as Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav and is celebrated will full zeal and zest throughout the world.
Interestingly, the celebration of Gurupurab begins with Prabhat Pheri (morning walk-around). These are early morning processions which begin at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the localities singing hymns and Shabd.
In fact, two days before Gurupurab, Akhand Paath, which involves forty-eight hours non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, takes place in almost all the Gurudwaras.
Then, a day prior to Gurupurab, Nagarkirtan is held, which is led by the Panj Pyaare (Five Beloved Ones) by carrying Nishan Sahib (the Sikh flag) and the Palki (palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib. In the Nagarkirtan, devotees sing hymns and play brass bands. Not only this, but the Gatka teams also display their swordsmanship through various martial arts and mock battles using traditional weapons.
On the final day, that is on Gurupurab, the celebrations commence early in the morning at about 4 to 5 a.m. It must be noted that this time of the day is known as Amrit Vela (the time of Amrit), and singing of Asaa-Ki-Vaar (morning hymns) takes place. This is then followed by Katha (exposition of the scripture) and Kirtan (hymns from the Sikh scriptures), in the praise of the Guru.
After the Kirtan, Langar is held. This is a special lunch which is arranged at the Gurudwaras by volunteers. The main idea behind this activity is that everyone, irrespective of gender, caste, class or creed, should be offered food in the spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion).
In some Gurudwaras, night prayers are also held because that is the time when Guru Nanak Dev was born.
Here's to wishing everyone a Happy Gurupurab!
Keywords: Gurupurab, Festival, Guru Nanak, Birth Anniversary, Guru Nanak Dev.
Every Indian has eaten it at least once in their lifetime, and many times during festivals, weddings, or after a sumptuous meal. Payasam is the bedrock of Indian dessert cuisine and the lingering flavour of every single festival.
Made with milk and sugar, or jaggery in the south, payasam takes on a multitude of core ingredients. Some cultures prefer adding rice into the mix, some add vermicelli, still others use broken wheat. The milk is boiled with sugar and the core ingredient is added. Saffron, cardamom, or nutmeg is added to elicit a spicy balance to the sweetness. The mixture is stirred until all the ingredients together begin to emit an aromatic fragrance. It is garnished with nuts like almond and cashew.
Payasam made with nuts and jaggery Image credit: wikimedia commons
The payasam originates from a legend. Krishna disguised as a sage visits the king of Ambalappuzha who challenged him to a game of chess. The wager is set for grains of rice that will increase exponentially for each win. The sage wins all the games, and the kings debt grows enormous. The sage reveals his identity and tells the king to serve payasam to the people in the temple every day to repay his debt. This is how payasam became food served as prasad in temples.
On festivals like Deepavali, the fragrance of payasam comes from the kitchen in the early hours of the morning, as the women prepare food to offer the gods. The entire family comes together for this dessert, and its creamy taste sweetens the atmosphere throughout the day.
Keywords: Payasam, Legend, Deepavali, Festival, Dessert