Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Planning a trip to Ladakh? You just cannot miss these experiences

Ladakh is India at its most enchantingly scenic. (Ladakh tourism)

It's that time of the year when they say the road to heaven, the 474-km Manali-Leh highway, is thrown open to lesser mortals. Now, you'd have heard endlessly about those awe-inspiring barren mountains, the unforgettable bike trips from Manali, the lakes or those majestic monasteries from adventure seekers who've been there and done all this and much more.
But, Leh-Ladakh is also about its people, the warmth they offer, local football matches, ice hockey, local food and much, much more.
Here's our pick of must-have experiences no first-timer to Leh should miss when in the mountain desert:
1 Ride a scootyYes, you read it right. Royal Enfields or Avengers need not be the only bikes you can ride on in this cold desert. Try a scooty instead and see the difference it makes to what fun means to you! Some of the region's most popular places -- from the Shey, Thikse and Hemis monasteries, the Shanti Stupa, the Magnetic Hill, Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, Alchi village and others -- are not more 70 km away from Leh town and easily accessible on a scooty.
Believe us, riding one on the steep, narrow, zigzag roads of Leh is much more thrilling than hiring one in Goa or anywhere else. It's not too expensive either: You can rent a bike for a full-day for between Rs 800 and Rs 1,500 for a full day from any of the many rental outlets that dot the town. And, here's the more interesting bit: If you wish to ride to father places such as the Pangong Lake or the Nubra Valley, you can actually hire both a bike and a rider!
Mountain biking is another don't miss experience in Leh. It may sound a bit adventurous, but it is actually super fun: You can hire one for between Rs 500 and Rs 700 for a full day.
Local foodCafes and hippy joints not high on your priority list when visiting a new place? Try local food instead. And in Leh, you'll never get tired of the fresh, healthy and delicious flavours the locals can offer you. Yak cheese interests you? You could try yak cheese pizzas and momos. Here's what you must definitely taste at least once before leaving Ladakh.

Sku: Made from local wheat flour kneaded to make thumb-sized small pieces, it is cooked with water, and served with a vegetable broth. Similar to a vegetarian pasta stew, sku is helped by the incredibly sweet peas tomato and potato. It's healthy as all local vegetables harvested from the family's various fields are used in the preparation.

Paba and zathuk: Once the staple food of Ladakh, paba is edible dough prepared with a mixture of roasted flours of barley, wheat, buck wheat, black Ladakhi beans and peas. It is served with Zathuk - a curry of wild plant called Zatsot, abundantly found in Ladakh's mountains. 

Chang: The local brew, Chang is made in a cylindrical porcelain pot by fermenting miller with yeast. Since one of the prime ingredients used by Ladakhis is barley, it is used in the form of roasted flour called tsampa, and in fermented form in the production of a homemade beer called chang. Tsampa provides energy that is especially beneficial in cold weather, and can be eaten individually, or dunked in noodle soup, yogurt and butter tea.

Juices and jams: Fresh apricot juices and jams are also very popular in Ladakh. Fresh Seabuckthorn (berries) juice is also worth a try. Seabuckthorn is a deciduous shrub that grows in the wild, mainly along the Indus and Shayok Rivers in Ladakh.
Home stays
When in Ladakh, live like the Ladakhis. You could stay with a local family in one of the several villages near Leh town, and even at any of the more popular tourist destinations such as Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake among others. You can also experience homestays across several trekking routes in the district. You could get in touch with any of the many non-governmental organisations to help you find homestay options such as Snow Leopard Conservancy, Youth Association for Conservation and Development in Hemis National Park, Himalayan Homestays, among others.
How can a trip to Ladakh trip complete without white water river rafting in Indus? The season is between June and September when the water levels are high. You could experience the non-stop action of both Zanskar and Indus River in Leh with the exciting rapids. There are generally grade I and II rapids in the Indus. However, there are several route options. You can choose the one depending on your physical fitness and rafting experience. There are also options for week-long expeditions for adventure lovers. Going through the gorge, with high cliff walls towering above and sight of several monasteries on hilltops en route, is a unique and unforgettable experience. Rafting options can be explored through several tour operators in the Leh town.
Unexplored placesThere's more to Leh than camping at Pangong Lake and double-humped camels in Nubra Valley. Here are some unexplored places you can visit during the journey:
* Alchi: If you don't want to travel a lot from Leh town, but still wish for some peace, then Alchi is the place to be. It is a village and monastery situated on the bank of Indus River 70 km downstream from Leh. The Alchi monastery is renowned as the oldest Buddhist learning centre in Ladakh. The village is different from other villages in Ladakh as it is lush green. The river flowing just at the base of these majestic mountains adds to the serene surrounding of the place.
* Turtuk: It is often called Ladakh's heaven on earth. Turtuk is about 205 km from Leh on the banks of Shyok River. It is about three-hour drive ahead of Hunder in Nubra Valley, where you will be greeted by Shyok, a turquoise river that snakes through the valley and crosses the Line of Control to enter Pakistan. At the end of this trail, towards the Indian side, is the tiny little hamlet of Turtuk. It was under Pakistan's Control till 1971. Predominantly a Muslim village, travellers can have glimpse of K2 mountain peak located across the border in Pakistan on clear days. It has unforgettable views across the patchwork of wheat and barley fields towards the serrated high peaks of Pakistan. Turtuk is a virgin destination for people who seek peace and an interaction with the tribal community of Ladakh.
Dah and Hanu village: These villages are renowned as 'the Land of Aryans', and are settlements of Drokpa or Brokpa community in Ladakh. These villages are located about 163 km northwest of Leh at the confluence of rivers Shyok and Indus in Kargil region. As per the popular belief, the Brokpas were part of the army of Alexander the Great and came to the region over two thousand years ago. The Brokpas reside in five villages.  However, tourists are allowed only in two villages - Dha and Hanu. Besides tourists, the villages also attract anthropologists. Inner Line Permit (ILP) from District Commissioner, Leh, is required for visiting these villages. These villages are also famous for scenic splendor. This side of Ladakh has more green cover. And the people here are racially and culturally distinct from the common Ladakhis. The community has a unique sense of dressing. Especially women make it a practice to wear flowers on their hats.
* Tsomorri and Tsokar lakes: These are the salt water lakes in the Changtang region, which is a high altitude plateau in western and northern Tibet extending into southeastern Ladakh. The place is a canvas colored with the blue-white skies, blue-green mountains with white tops, the calm blue water of the lake and lush green pastures. There are options for jeep safari as well, which will take you to remote villages around these lakes. There are several trekking options along the shores of Lake Tsomoriri and you can also opt for camping next to the nomads in their yak-hair tents on the banks of this incredibly scenic 26-kilometer lake, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. These areas are sparsely inhabited by semi-nomadic peoples. Tso-kar Lake is situated nearly 240 kilometers southeast of Leh. It is situated at an altitude of around 4,500 meters.

- TravelSpider is a Travel Agent in South Delhi which provides best deals on Leh Ladakh Tour Packages from Delhi

Friday, 17 July 2015

Don't let jet lag ruin your trip, follow these 6 smart tips

All of a sudden, you're wide awake in the middle of the night but you can barely stay awake for dinner. Yes, jet lag can nearly ruin a trip and totally throw you off but one can make it less terrible by following a few simple steps.

Sleep researchers have found ways to make jet lag less complicated. Here are a few ways to beat jet lag, or at least make it more tolerable:

Travel Tips

1 Make sure you're well-rested before traveling: You're probably going to lose some sleep while traveling, so you may as well start off in a good place. No reason to add extra sleep deprivation on top of jet lag. And how do you know if you're sleep-deprived in the first place? If you regularly fall asleep within five minutes of lying down, that's a sign of sleep deprivation.

2 For longer trips, adjust your body's clock a bit ahead of time: If you're planning to be in your new time zone for a while, you can start the adjustment process before you even leave home. Start going to bed and getting up a little later or earlier, depending which direction you're traveling. Shift your light exposure accordingly, too. Seek out bright light when it would be daytime at your destination. Avoid it when it would be nighttime there

3 Drink plenty of water on the plane: Jet lag isn't the only reason people feel terrible after flying - the jet itself can take a toll. That's why researchers recommend drinking plenty of water before and during your flight , walking around during flights to improve circulation and possibly taking an aspirin the day before and the day of your journey (which should also improve circulation).

4 Adjust your eating and exercising, too: Some research has shown in mice that eating causes changes in insulin levels, which in turn influence the body's timekeeping. So try to adjust your meals to wherever you are. The same goes for exercise.

5 Melatonin might help: Traveling from west to east makes it more likely that you're going to have trouble falling asleep at night because your body doesn't think it's bedtime yet. If that's the case, consider taking a melatonin supplement right before bed.

6 Be careful with caffeine: Although you may be tempted to guzzle coffee or soda to stay alert, consuming caffeine later in the day may keep you up at night.

- TravelSpider is travel agency in delhi NCR which offers best deals on international tour packages from India

Top five beaches of Goa

Forget the beaches of Australia, Thailand or Bali and head to some of the most amazing beaches of Goa. The former Portuguese colony boasts of some incredibly scenic beaches that offer everything from parties to adventure, solitude to sunbathing.

We list five of the best beaches of Goa.
Goa holiday packages from Delhi
Mandrem Beach
Situated in North Goa, Mandrem is a tranquil beach and counted among the most beautiful beaches in Asia. Serene and scenic, Mandrem is preferred by honeymooners. The secluded beach provides the much needed privacy for the honeymooners.
A sleepy small village, there is nothing much to do in Mandrem. Laze around on the beach or take a swim in the clear waters or visit the eateries to enjoy local food, Mandrem is ideal for do-nothing vacation.

Agonda Beach
Counted among the most scenic beaches in Asia, Agonda Beach is serene and clean beach. It is ideal if you want to spend time meditating, catch up on your reading or simply, enjoying the sun.

Renowned for its beach parties, some of Goa’s beaches are also ideal for enjoying in solitude
Agonda is relatively less crowded than the other beaches of Goa. And that means lesser crowds, more privacy and loads of opportunities to enjoy solitude.
If you crave for some activity, jump on a country boat and go dolphin spotting. Cabo de rama and Cola beach are also worth a visit.

Baga Beach
One of the most popular tourist spots in Goa, Baga is known for its beach parties, nightlife and amazing seafood served at its beach shacks and restaurants.
During tourist season, the beach is line with rows of shacks. It is famous for its water sports and dolphin cruises. If interested in wind surfing Baga beach also offers an opportunity to enjoy Wind Surfing between January and March. National Wind Surfing Championship is also conducted every year around September – November at the Baga beach.

Sun, surf, sand and awesome cuisine — Goa’s beaches offers it all
Goa holiday packages from Delhi
Candolim Beach
Situated very close to Baga, Candolim’s beach is counted amongst the most beautiful beaches in India. Under the shadow of popular beaches like Baga and Calangute, Candolim escapes the hordes that visit Goa during peak season.
Candolim village has another reason to fame. It was the first village to convert to Christianity in the 16th century.

Cavelossim Beach
Situated at the mouth of Sal River, Cavelossim beach is serene, flanked by paddy fields and coconut groves. As most tourists head for the more popular beaches, Cavelossim witnesses less crowds. Its contrasting black rocks and white sand make it a delightful beach for a pleasant evening.

- TravelSpider is a best travel agent in Delhi NCR which offer best deals on Goa holiday packages from Delhi

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Ten countries that deserve more tourists

There are more than one billion tourists in the world, but some destinations don't get quite as many visitors as you would expect. 

The beaches may be beautiful and the coastline inviting, but you can understand why Tuvalu doesn't get much through-traffic. It's tiny for a start; one of the smallest nations in the world, and not much bigger than Vatican City. It's also about as far from the beaten track as possible—right out in the middle of the South Pacific.

So the 1,200 international arrivals recorded there in 2011—according to the World Bank—had to make quite an effort. It had the least number of recorded visitors for all countries where data was available (and no, there were no figures for North Korea). Incidentally, if you are curious about Tuvalu, the official tourism website is surprisingly enticing.

Low tourism to other nations is less easy to explain. Here we round up some of the places where visitor numbers are surprisingly low.

India - The world's most populous democracy ought to be a huge hitter when it comes to tourism. Right in the centre of Asia, with strong historical links to Britain, it has some amazing attractions, from the Taj Mahal to tigers. But with less than seven million foreign arrivals last year, it is hardly setting the world alight with its visitor numbers. To put that into context, that's less than a third of Thailand's 22.4m during the same year. 

The Philippines - A glorious archipelago with miles and miles of pristine beaches, the Philippines certainly look enticing. On an unscientific level, news that the Philippines featured in Telegraph's 20 places to visit in 2014 was greeted enthusiastically and retweeted widely on social networks. Yet the number of visitors was only just above four million in 2012. It's a shortfall that's recognised within the country's own borders, with tourism officials aiming for more than 10m visitors in 2016. 

Bhutan - This landlocked country in South Asia is a beautiful, mountainous nation. With a strongly Buddhist culture, wonderful treks, remote forests and Himalayan kingdoms, there is a wealth of visitor attractions—yet there were only around 44,000 to appreciate them in 2012. 

Brazil - It may be the most visited country in South America, but that continent as a whole remains relatively unexplored. For a country with such a reputation for its beaches, natural assets and football culture, Brazil is arguably still not punching its full weight. It's comfortably the biggest economy in the region, and its attractions vary from the beaches of Salvador, Rio's Carnival to the remote flora and fauna of the Amazon. 

Greece - For culture and history, few countries can compare with Greece. Often referred to as the birthplace of democracy, with ancient ruins dotting the landscape, it also has glorious beaches, and some wonderful islands—often at good value. 

Japan - For a country that has given so much to the world culturally—from temples to the madness of Tokyo—Japan has a relative dearth of visitors (about 8.4m, only about a million more than for Taiwan).

New Zealand - With The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit offering a giant marketing boost over the last few years, the number of tourists to this beautiful country is on the increase. But at just over 2.5m international arrivals at the last full count, it is still a long way behind Australia, its neighbour across the Tasman—it has only slightly more than a third of the visitors. 

Norway - For a country whose fjords and wooden clapboard houses are almost instantly recognisable, Norway is significantly behind its neighbour Sweden for international arrivals, which has more than double the number of visitors, at around 10m. In some respects, however, business is booming: more Britons went on a cruise to Norway in 2012 than to the Caribbean.

 Zimbabwe - With vast landscapes, natural wonders, and mesmerising wildlife, Zimbabwe should be a rival to South Africa. Once upon a time it was, but visitor numbers have declined in recent years—it now registers around 1.8m visitors (compared to South Africa's 9.2m), and many more head to the mighty Victoria Falls from the Zambian side nowadays. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina - At the intersection of two great empires—the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman—this region has huge historic appeal, perhaps most notably in its capital city, Sarajevo. With its rivers and mountains, it is also being touted as a future adventure capital of Eastern Europe. Yet, of all the countries belonging to the former Yugoslavia, only Croatia has been a true success with its tourist industry (10.4m in 2012), with only 439,000 going to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same year. 

- TraveSpider is one of best Travel Agents in Delhi NCR which offers International Tour Packages from India

Friday, 10 July 2015

Your Travel Essentials

TravelSpider believes that things don’t make you a better traveler, but certain things can make life on the road a lot more comfortable. Here are some of the items that we suggest you to carry:

  • Passport: Everybody should have a passport with extra pages.
  • Cash. When it comes to money, travelers have come full circle with money. Gone are the days of personalized traveler’s checks and easy-breezy global ATM cards.
  • iPad/ iPad: These are some of great gadgets for showing other people pictures.
  • Sunglasses: You can use them to keep your eyes stress free.
  • Pens: You should always travel with 4-5 pens in your bag.
  • iPhone: As you generally do half of your work on your phone, including photography, video, and even editing and publishing this blog.
  • Shaving Cream/ Razor: You shave on the road because you have to. Beards are fine on short camping trips but not tours that last weeks.
  • Deodorant: Just to remove or conceal unpleasant smells, especially bodily odors.
  • Toothbrush/ Toothpaste: To clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of your teeth.
  • Mouthwash: When brushing your teeth is not an option, mouthwash saves you.
  • Shampoo/ Conditioners/ Shower Gel: To clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of your hair without break.
  • Travel Wallet: A little leather sheath can hold all your cards and has a tiny pocket for folded cash. It’s a great way to keep your most valuable items stashed neatly.
  • Atlas of Remote Islands: Atlas book will help you to have a clue about one of your upcoming mountainous destinations.
  • Traveler Guidebooks: You should have guidebooks to familiarize yourself with a place you plan to visit.
  • Hat: To keep sunshine away from your head
  • Hand Sanitizer:  To clean your hand instantly.

- TravelSpider is one of the best tour operators in Delhi NCR

Friday, 3 July 2015

India ranks 52nd on global travel and tourism list

Of approx. 140 countries, India has ranked 52nd in the World Economic Forum’s recent list of travel and tourism. This is yet another morale booster for the T&T industry.

The list states that Spain has topped the charts, followed by France, German, the USA, Britain, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan, and Canada in the top 10 rankers. India’s competitiveness in travel industry looks stronger than ever, now as it has managed to climb up 13 places to reach this rank.

India’s economic growth is catching up speed as it is gradually growing as a top business travel destination. This is a sign of good scope for the current and coming financial years.

Hey Travel Agents in Delhi NCR, you better keep an energy drink handy, as a lot of business prospects are coming your way!

Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2013 had reserved 65th rank for India. This year’s report features ranking across 141 countries in 14 dimensions. The report also states that India needs to improve health, hygiene, information, communication and technological aspects of the travel industry, in order to establish a higher rank for itself.

Tour operators in Delhi NCR must start paying attention to the kind of vendors for transport, food, accommodation, etc. they tie-up with for their travel packages. They must ensure that hygiene is well-maintained to have enhanced health value. Additionally, facilities of urgent health care or first aid should also be arranged.

Security is another concern. Hence, the tour operators must make sure that their agencies offer secured and safe options to the clients. God forbid, yet if anything goes wrong, then along with the agency’s India’s reputation and the market scenario would be at stake.

Current India’s travel and tourism sector accounts for 5 percent of India’s employment. The potential of employability and business growth is huge, considering India’s 7 million international visitors in relation with China’s 55 million. Probably, a microscopic focus on domestic tour packages in India for the offbeat cities would add to huge value additions, in addition to other strategies that can be implemented for expanding the potential of this sector.

India’s travel and tourism industry is likely climb clouds nine or maybe higher. Let’s watch how the industry resolves all the bottlenecks to reach that high and keep our fingers crossed.

TravelSpider is an IATA, ASTA, TAAI & DOT Approved Travel Agency In Delhi NCR