Traveling to India – Time to sample the world’s best curries

There are so many stunning things about India and one thing not to be over looked is the food. Often people think that the poor may not be hygienic or may all be too spicy but they really couldn’t be more wrong as India is home to some of the most beautiful curry dishes in the world!
Here’s some to sample during your stay-
Karahi – this is a beautiful dish that’s often served at a medium level of spicyness, it is often lamb or though can be chicken cooked in ginger, garlic, capsicum and peppers with fresh coriander. It smells and tastes divine if you’re after just a little chilli kick.
Pathia – this dish is sweet and sour with no real heat to it (perfect for those with a more delicate pallet) it’s made using mango chutney, garlic, onions and tomato so isn’t too rich but still tasty and is a great alternative to a korma style dish.
Balti Achar – this is quite an unusual dish with quite a deep complex taste cooked using coriander, methi seeds, aniseeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves so is quite hot and peppery. A great dish for those who like it hot!

Staying safe when travelling by car

Often people neglect to think about the safety issues when travelling to a destination by car. We are all aware of the need to wear a seat belt, not just for legal reasons, but that it may in fact save your life but do you consider other factors?

Tiredness is one of the biggest killers on our roads, you may think that once you start to drive you will wake up, but if you are feeling sleepy when you set off the chances are this will only get worse. Reaction times are a lot slower when you are tired so even if you are driving ok, you may find that you cannot brake in time to avoid an accident.

Taking regular 15 minute breaks and getting a coffee can be enough sometimes to recharge your batteries but if you are really tired then you need someone else to drive or find somewhere that you can sleep for a little while before commencing travelling again.

Finding a pet friendly holiday

There is a huge percentage of the population that own a dog and many of them could not bear to go on holiday with out it. If you are going abroad, this can be extremely difficult and expensive as the dog will have to be in quarantine for a number of months prior to travelling and this alone can be distressful on the animal let alone the actual travelling.

If you are holidaying in the UK and are driving to your destination then you will need to ensure you have regular breaks where you can get the dog out of the car for a short while and have a drink before returning to the road. There are some dog friendly camping sites and even hotels dotted throughout the UK. You may still have to pay an additional fee to have a dog so always make sure that you specify this when booking.

You need to consider what you will do with the dog whilst you are out. It may be that you want to go out for an evening meal where you cannot take the pet and in this case need to be sure that the dog will not start chewing the furniture or spend the whole time barking while you are away.

Yellowstone National Park

Widely regarded as the world’s first national park, and certainly its most famous, The USA’s Yellowstone National Park encompasses nearly 3500 miles of stunning and varied scenery. Established in 1872, it’s mainly situated in the state of Wyoming, spreading over the borders into Montana and Idaho. The park is teeming with wildlife and is home to packs of wolves and grizzly bears. Hiking and camping are great activities for getting in touch with nature and the great outdoors.
The landscape varies from rugged mountains, through sweeping pine forests to the world renowned hot springs and geysers. These are one of the premiere attractions and draw crowds of tourists every year. The most famous geyser is Old Faithful, so named for the regularity of its eruptions. The source of these geological marvels is the Yellowstone caldera, a vast underground magma chamber that heats the rocks below the park and forces hot water and gases up through the ground.
Being such a long established and popular park, Yellowstone has an excellent infrastructure, with a high quality road network to provide access to the most popular sites. The park is a must for those seeking a glimpse of America’s rich natural history.

Luxury accommodation in India

Finding the best accommodation in India is quite a challenge, there are so many stunning hotels ideal for every kind of budget, providing everything you could ever want from a break away.

The luxury style accommodation is simply out of this world with stunning hotels such as the Ananda in the Himalayas that looks like a beautiful castle from the outside surrounded by lush forests and boasts an enormous spa that offers over 80 different relaxing treatments. Le Meridien Pune is an incredible hotel set out like an Indian palace with floor to ceiling white marble, it is huge with 177 rooms as well as a spar tennis courts and 6 restaurants and bars all on site, you’d never even need to leave the hotel grounds!

If you have money to spend on a luxury trip then India should definitely be a consideration with fabulous culture, food and sites to see it’s the perfect destination for a once in a lifetime trip.

Things to do in Thailand

Thailand is a great place to visit with many amazing things to see and do, why not start by visiting one of the infamous floating markets? Local market traders sell their wares from little rickety wooden boats, its truly brilliant to see and worth getting a picture of.

The Golden Triangle is very popular with tourists, you can stand on the river bank and peruse the market stalls here as well as learn the drug growing history of the area at the Hall of Opium.

Going elephant trekking is a great experience whilst in Thailand, the elephant is Thailand’s national symbol and they are greatly respected by the Thai people. Trekking is a great way to see an area and be able to get involved with bathing and caring for the elephants.

Places to visit in East Asia

When travelling to East Asia there can be so many places to go and things to see that it’s hard to know where to start. Places such as Bangkok are always popular with tourists, this capital city of Thailand is a buzzing place with lots to see but can be extremely busy and feel quite hectic so you possibly wouldn’t want to spend a long time there.

Beijing in China is also very popular amongst tourists, you can go and see the Forbidden City as well as the Great Wall of China and really immerse yourself in the Chinese culture.

If you’re looking for somewhere truly beautiful and rich in culture then Burma is a great option, its rich in Buddhist beliefs with beautiful temples to see and breath taking mountain top monasteries to discover.

If you travel into India then a must see place to go would have to be Bandhavgarh National Park, with their leopards, tigers and exotic bird life, you can really get a good taste of Asia there.

With so much to see and do your only problem will be fitting it all in!

Unusual delicacies in East Asia

Most countries have their delicacies that are traditional to local culture such as Paella in Spain, Pasta in Italy and Crepes in France, however East Asia is home to some very unusual ones that you may need to be brave (and have a strong stomach) to attempt!

  • Birds nest soup – this is quite literally a soup made from bird saliva! It’s extremely high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron so is considered very good for you!
  •  Turtle Jelly – this is made from ground up turtle shells and herbs and is said to have medicinal properties when eaten, but it’s VERY bitter so is often eaten with honey.
  • Inago – these are crunchy crickets and crispy grasshoppers seasoned with sugar and soy sauce, particularly popular in Japan.

And possibly one of the strangest….

  •  Fugu – this is puffer fish that is full of deadly toxins and can only be safely eaten if it is cut and prepared in a very specific way… better hope the chef is not having an ‘off’ day!!

United Kingdom – World Heritage sites (WHS)

We have a total of 28 of these sites across the UK, 16 in England, 5 in Scotland, 3 in Wales, 1 in Northern Ireland and 3 in overseas Territories. UNESCO World Heritage sites are split into two types: Cultural and/or Natural. In the UK there are a total of twenty three Cultural sites, four Natural sites and one mixed. The UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC), the Government and UNESCO are committed to protecting these sites for future generations. A number of parties all work together to ensure this and the close work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and other partners, such as English Heritage, Cadw and Historic Scotland. These parties provide expert analysis and give advice. The UKNC act as coordinator and facilitator on specific World Heritage matters.
We have a number of archaeological sites, historic buildings, natural formations, urban centres and industrial landscapes for example: The Ironbridge Gorge became a Cultural WHS in 1986; Dorset and East Devon Coast became a Natural WHS in 2001 and Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites became WHS’s in 1986.

UNESCO World Heritage sites

We strongly suggest you visit the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! These sites are deemed to be of special cultural or physical significance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of just 981 World Heritage Sites across the world. (There are 28 in the UK alone!)
This is the largest unbroken, un-flooded volcanic caldera in the world. It was formed over three million years ago when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself. It is about 19kms wide and about 600 meters deep with a total area of 260 square kilometres which now acts as a natural enclosure for wildlife. It has been labelled as a conservation area, which protects numerous animal species including the “Big five” with a large population of Lions.
If you want to see one of these UNESCO World Heritage sites you can visit one closer to home as we have 16 in England, 5 in Scotland, 3 in wales and 1 in Northern Ireland, we also have 3 located within overseas territories.