Head to LEGOLAND Malaysia this Diwali vacation!

If fun tops your agenda, then head to Legoland Malaysia theme park, a 15-minute drive from the Singapore – Tuas check point.

The 76-acre park opened last September and since then has attracted millions of visitors since then. At its centre is Miniland, in which some of Asia’s best-known landmarks have been recreated with more than 30 million Lego bricks Legoland Malaysia is packed full of family fun with more than 40 rides, shows and attractions. Almost everything is hands-on, so you can push, pedal and program, or steer, squirt and splash, your way through a truly interactive experience – and of course there’s building too.

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20130724%20LLM%2004 Lego

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Not only this, Legoland Malaysia has seven themed areas of attractions for all ages such as The Beginning, LEGO® Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure and MINILAND. It’s an inspirational land where the children are the heroes. From LEGO experiment centres to roller coasters, the park is a day-long voyage of discovery for all the family.

The centrepiece is Miniland, where Asian landmarks have been recreated using more than 30 million LEGO bricks. It’s an interactive world on a scale of 1:20, where people, trains and aeroplanes come to life at the touch of a button.

A brand new model display from a galaxy far, far away has made its way to Legoland. The Death Star, one of the most famous icons from the Star Wars saga is now open to the public in a special area at Miniland. The model is constructed from more than half a million Lego bricks and is the biggest ever made. The Lego Star Wars Miniland Death Star will be on display at Legoland Malaysia for a limited time, so don’t miss it!

A brand new Legoland Water Park will open on 21st October 2013 right next to Legoland Malaysia. It will be the largest Legoland Water Park in the world and the first in Asia. In total, the Legoland Water Park will feature 20 rides and attractions and over 70 LEGO® models. One of the highlights is the Build-A Raft River where kids customize their own raft made of soft LEGO bricks before floating down a lazy river. Apart from several body slides and tube slides there’s also a wave pool and water play area designed especially for toddlers. There are three small slides and interactive DUPLO® characters modelled after the actual pieces found in LEGO sets: an alligator, polar bear and an elephant.

Also Legoland Hotel is scheduled to open later this year.

Contact details for Legoland Malaysia: LL
Malaysia Taman Tema Sdn Bhd
Bandar Medini Iskandar Malaysia
79250, Nusajaya,
Johor Darul Takzim,
Service Tel.: +607 597 8888 (Mon – Sun, 8.30am – 5.30pm)
Service Fax.: +607 597 8804

World Celebrates Tourism TODAY…We travel Bloggers Celebrate it EVERYDAY!

September 27, is celebrated as the United Nations’ (UN) World Tourism Day.

The day aims to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values. The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invites people worldwide to participate in World Tourism Day on September 27 every year. The UNWTO Secretary-General annually sends out a message to the general public to mark the occasion. Many tourism enterprises and organizations, as well as government agencies with a special interest in tourism, celebrate the event with various special events and festivities.

Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions promoting tourism, as well as tourism award presentations in areas such as ecotourism, are held on World Tourism Day. Other activities include free entries, discounts or special offers for the general public to any site of tourism interest. Government and community leaders, as tourism business representatives, may make public announcements or offer special tours or fares to promote both their region and World Tourism Day on or around September 27.

Today tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and includes more new destinations for tourists. These dynamics turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎ Tourism has become one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income ‎sources for many developing countries.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will mark World Tourism Day with celebrations on September 26 and 27. Various programmes have been organised to mark the occasion. On September 26, we will honour 10 people as ‘tourists’ friends’ at the hands of commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar and superintendent of police, Aurangabad rural, Ishu Sindhu. The event will start at 12.30 pm at the MTDC office. Aurangabad “tourists’ friends” are people who have been in direct contact with tourists for many years.




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It is worth mentioning and noticing that Maharashtra Tourism has released an Advertisement today captioned: Maharashtra has a legacy of safeguarding the dignity of women – On World Tourism Day – Lets pledge India to lead by Example. Indeed a great thought and initiative by Maharashtra Tourism.

Mah images

Your favourite Buddy COFFEE celebrated by Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Comes with unique concept of ‘Everything Tastes Better With Coffee’ combos at an unbelievable prices. Lounge with your best buddy- coffee and pair it with sandwich of your choice at Gloria Jean’s Coffees. Go for Mocha Caramel latte or White Chocolate latte or good old Cappuccino with gourmet sandwiches like Chipotle Mexicana or Smoked Chicken Ham or Tex Mex Chicken in crusty panini for just 189 and 199!!!



Rising inflation rate and fall in rupee has left you blue and now it’s time to turn Coffee (Brown). Gloria Jean’s Coffees wants you to beat the blues with their super saver combo-‘Everything tastes better with coffee’. The gourmet coffee offered by one of the world’s leading global specialty coffee company- Gloria Jean’s Coffees, paired with your favorite vegetarian or non-vegetarian sandwiches are now just for INR 189 and INR 199 respectively. This exciting super saver combo offer has been introduced across all the outlets to celebrate International Coffee Day.
Celebration is on at all Gloria Jeans Outlets except Ahmedabad and Pune from September 25-October 15, 2013.

Gloria Jean’s Coffees is a global Icon, committed to delivering the ultimate coffee experience. With 1000 outlets in over 42 countries, including 450+ coffee shops in Australia. Gloria Jean’s Coffees is a leading specialty coffee retailer and one of the fastest growing franchise organizations in the world. Gloria Jean’s Coffees provides consumers with a large range of specialty coffee including estate, origins and delicious flavoured coffees, and a complete menu of espresso-based beverages such as lattes, cappuccinos, smoothie chillers, cocoas and gourmet teas. They also offer a selection of coffee brewing equipment, grinders, quality merchandise and gift packs.

International Coffee Day Offer


Gloria Jean’s Coffees has flourished in Asia since the first coffee house was opened in Japan in 1995. Today there are 80+ stores across Asia in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. As makers of quality handmade coffee, from bean to cup, Gloria Jean’s Coffees is committed to building a unified family, consistently serving the highest quality coffee and providing outstanding personalized service in a vibrant store atmosphere.

M P Mesmerises…One & All !

Madhya Pradesh Tourism commercial could not have escaped my fancy! MP Tourism has come up with this incredible Commercial to show case the tourism strength of biggest state of India. Beautifully picturized, conceptualised and executed…you can’t miss the lyrics, the colours, the vibrancy and music in this commercial. One by one it captures the soul of each tourist destination, depicted in colours of Indian festival of colours (Holi). The commercial indeed is a riot of colours. Having been to all these places personally, I relive those moments when I visited these places as a child. Indeed things have come a long way…since!

I reproduce the ad verbatim translation of lyrics used in the commercial so that all my global friends are able to enjoy…& do not miss the visit to heart of India – Incredible Madhya Pradesh!

Must watch video:

M P Tourism – Incredible state, incredible commercial
Enjoy it with English translation!

Hundred types of colours!
Hundreds of lions roar in Kanha…
Which leaves every tourist wide eyed…wide eyed!
The silent statues of Khajuraho
Which are epitomes of love!
M P amazes everyone…amazes everyone!
Those who come to see Mandu’s Raj Mahal
Surprised to see the Johar
Visited Sanchi’s Stupa ( Buddha’s abode)
This is where violence was removed
M P mesmerises every one…mesmerises every one.
Worship of Mahakaal
No one like Krishna here
Every soul has bewildering experience in MP.

Madhya Pradesh – The heart of incredible India

For my friends in India, lyrics in Hindi of M P Tourism commercial

मध्य प्रदेश टूरिज्म – अतुल्य भारत

रंग हैं रंग हैं…रंग हैं
सौ तरह के रंग हैं
कान्हा में सैकड़ों शेर दहाड़े
हर कोई देखे आंखे फाड़े …ऑंखें फाड़े…आंखे फाड़े…आंखे फाड़े
खजुराहो की खामोश मूरत
प्यार की कितनी प्यारी सूरत
एम् पी आया हर कोई दंग है… दंग है… दंग है… दंग है!
मांडू का देखने राज महल आये
जोहर देखा चक्कर खाए
साँची में आकर स्तूप देखा
अंत में आकर हिंसा को फेका
एम् पी में आकर हर रूह मलंग है
महाकाल की पूजा
कृष्णा न कोई दूजा
एम् पी आई हर रूह मलंग है

एम् पी – अतुल्य भारत

India’s Gujrat’s Navratri, World’s most spectacular dance festival

Lakhs clap, swirl and swing to dandiya beats.

Gujrat Tourism is offering “Navratri” tour package of 3 nights and 4 days inviting everyone across the Globe for nine nights of dancing bliss from Oct. 5-13, 2013. This is NRI Gujrati’s chance to expose their children to Gujrati culture in full bloom and reliving the moment of their childhood.







India Hindu Festival

According to the legend, Goddess Amba came to Earth to rescue it from the terrors of the Demon Mahishasura. The nine nights of her valour came to be celebrated as Navratri, where followers please and appease her with their devotion and dancing. There is colour, festivities, lights, music, food and lots of fun.
You can look forward to a truly blessed holiday.

For the uninitiated,Navratri, meaning ‘nine nights’, is one of the most popular and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in many parts of India. Gujarat, however, is the only state that erupts into a nine-night dance festival, perhaps the longest in the world. Each night, all over the state, villages and cities alike, people gather in open spaces to celebrate feminine divinity, referred to as Shakti.

Must watch video of Phalguni Pathak’s Navratri Celebration

After the puja begins the music; it is unmistakable to those who are familiar with the style and irresistible to many. People begin to dance in a circle, whirling away till late into the night. It is not uncommon to find dancers with swords or lit flames and other spectacles. The traditional dance steps are simple, though over the years people have been inventing more complex steps. Similarly, the music was traditionally acoustic, principally composed of drums and singing, but most people now use amplified sound systems or a blend in the form of a live band with modern instruments. Vadodara is a good place to find the full range of these styles, traditional to modern, acoustic to amplified, simple to complicated, each one represented in its extreme somewhere in the city.




Religion and tradition aside, a garba circle can take on a surprising spiritual power. Women often give up certain eatables during these nights, which can be quite a purifying experience, if done right. It is a time for even the most traditional and housebound women to be out of the house and whirling, uninhibited, towards the divinity that hides within her own body. Many of the songs begin slow and gradually speed up, sending the dancers into a trance, especially when the music and dance is in its rawest form. When you come to a garba, wherever in Gujarat you may find yourself for Navratri, imagine this: A circle, or concentric circles, moving around the central representation of a universal creative force, the source of life; everybody performing the same step; a mandala of energetic potential; the Mother Goddess unleashed.

Each night the village or urban neighborhood gathers to perform a puja to one of the nine forms of Goddess. The nine nights are also broken up into sections of three; the first is for Durga, the goddess who destroyed an evil force represented by the demon Mahishasura, and who destroys human impurities; the second is for Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the third is for Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art. It is a time to celebrate fertility and the monsoon harvest, represented by a mound of fresh soil in which grains are sown.

The dance form also known as ras garba (also joined sometimes by dandiya, which uses small wooden sticks), comes from Lord Krishna’s worship rather than Goddess worship, from the Gopi culture of Saurashtra and Kutch. Stories of relationships between Krishna and the Gopis, and their emotions, also often make their way into the ras garba music.

Nevertheless, the focal point of every garba circle is the small Goddess shrine erected by each community to mark the beginning of the festival, on the first day of the Hindu month of Ashwin. The shrine includes a garbo, an earthenware pot, in which a betel nut, coconut, and silver coin are placed.

Mumbai bids adieu to Ganpati Bappa

Dancing feet, Accompanying music, Masti, Mazaa and a Heavy heart, Mumbaikars bid adieu to favourite God – Ganpati Bappa in all its splendour & grandeur on 10th day of Ganpati Utsav. The site is amazing where huge Ganpati’s are taken to visarjan on huge trollies strolling on the Mumbai cities with lakhs of devotees following him.

There is a prayer on all the lips that following days are blessed by Bappa so that we had good year ahead to welcome him again next year. The final day of Ganeshotsav in Mumbai witness lakhs of people gather at the city’s Girgaum, Dadar and Juhu Chowpatty beaches. The famous Lalbaughcha Raja which sees tons of devotees visit it is one of the highlights of visarjan day as many devotees accompany it and other idols to the various beaches. Lalbaughcha Raja’s visarjan yatra starts at 9 AM in the morning and after covering the distance of few kilometers it reaches Dadar Chowpatti for Visarjan at 6 AM on the following day. The sight is to be seen it to believe it. People throng not only from various states across the country but from various nations who come to join the celebrations.

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The police and lifeguards in the city will be on high alert as they try to maintain law and order as well as ensure that people do not drown in the waters as they immerse the idols.
Many television channels cover the visarjan so that people sitting in their homes can bid adieu to their favourite elephant God with lips on their prayers.

Mastiii in Morocco, this October!

Morocco is hugely popular as a family destination, and these two guided trips into the desert and Atlas mountains – by camel or mule – will appeal as much to adults as kids.

Morocco has become such a popular family destination that virtually every major travel company now offers some variation on an Atlas Mountains or desert adventure, but these two are the ones which are cynosure of all eyes. You can take up family trek, Les Petits Caravaniers, starts in the Draa valley, and travels in camel convoy on the edge of the Sahara, across sand dunes and along ridges, and camping out at night.

You can walk up to five hours each day but there are plenty of stops to explore the desert, examine the rock art and search for fossils. Equipment is carried by camel and kids can also hitch a ride, which should keep cries of “I’m tired…” to a minimum. You can end your day with a free day in Marrakech.

Orange juice seller, Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech
Orange juice seller, Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech
flamingoes on oualidia beach
flamingoes on oualidia beach

Draa valley, Morocco

Net practice: fishermen on Oualidia’s 11km-long sheltered lagoon

L’Hippocampe hotel in Oualidia has an English-syle garden

Marrakech and Mountains can be best described as “an adult holiday that children will enjoy”, pointing out that the accommodation is not specifically aimed at families and swimming pools may be unattended. Starting in Marrakech, you transfer to Imlil in the Atlas mountains where you begin a three-day trek, walking four to five hours a day and staying overnight in Berber villages. Instead of camels, the trip is accompanied by mules, which the children can ride too. You can keep two full days in Marrakech at the end of the trip.

The Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb – the “Arab West”. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, a rugged mountain interior and a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber, European and African influences.
Morocco was a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, when Sultan Mohammed became king. He was succeeded in 1961 by his son, Hassan II, who ruled for 38 years and played a prominent role in the search for peace in the Middle East.

Hassan’s son and successor in 1999, Mohammed VI, is a cautious moderniser who has introduced some economic and social liberalisation.

KE Adventure: Departures October 12 and 26. The trip costs £475 per person and includes airport transfers, guide, most meals, hotel accommodation and camping equipment. The desert landscape is often stark. If you crave greenery, or the sea, try their other Morocco adventures which include surf lessons and coastal camping.
Tour dust: £442 land only or £537 with flights, including transfers, B&B accommodation in Marrakech, tour guide while trekking, all meals while trekking.

Source: The Guardian Travel

Indian Tourists Love to have Paisa Vasool trip!

It was an afternoon to remember when I get to meet Mr Manoharan, Director, Malaysia Tourism for an informal luncheon meeting at Wong Wong, Nariman Point, Mumbai.  It was indeed a pleasure and honour to be in his company over most authentic and sumptuous Chinese cuisine when our conversation revolved around Malaysia.  With great respect for Blogger community, Manoharan shared that nowadays people refer to blogs for their travel related needs as it gives them firsthand experience.

I couldn’t have agreed for more!


Conversation moved towards Malaysia’s Mega Sale which is a big draw not only with Indians but whole of Asean region.  While I wanted to know about the Shoe festivals like Jimmy Choo which happens to be my favourite brand as well, he elaborated that Jimmy Choo is part such Shoe festivals and all other festivals are part of Malaysian Mega Sale which is spread all over Malaysia and draws large number of visitors across the Globe. It is being organised three times in a year. Festival have theatrical shows with dance, drama, music and cuisine festivals and large number of visitors are attracted towards them from China, Japan and Asean.  Incidentally China accounts for highest number of tourists for Malaysia followed by India who love to shop, wine and dine and enjoy. During Mega Sales, genuine branded items offer huge discount. Moreover huge celebrations and promotions are part of Mega Sales.”

Elaborating on characteristics of tourists, he made a very interesting observation. Manoharan said, “ Tourists from the US and Europe are very focussed on what kind of tourism they want like if they want to have adventure tourism then they will remain focussed on that only whereas Indian look for Paisa Vasool trip. They want to derive maximum value out of their trip by way getting complete experience on shopping, dining, sight-seeing, events what not. And Malaysia is well equipped to cater all types of ourists.” 

Finally when I raised the topic of Film City of Malaysia which has been a talk- of- the- town of late, Manoharan said, “Malaysians love Bollywood movies and are crazy for stars, every household watches Bollywood movies, whether they understand Hindi or not.” 

He added, “Film City in Zohor Bahru is well – equipped for production and post-production of films. It is highly digitised and hi-tech laced with complete film making facilities. Many Hollywood and Bollywood movies have been shot here. Film makers across the globe are coming here and availing the facilities and choosing it as location of their movies.”

He concluded that people from all across the world have chosen as their home away from home in want of better life at value for money costs. 

It was really a ‘Manohari’ evening! 

Breathtakingly Beautiful, Picturesque BALI in Indonesia

Bali is magical. As probably the most famous island in Indonesia, Bali blends spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful beaches with warm and friendly people, a vibrant culture and out of this world resorts. Travel & Leisure Magazine has awarded Bali the World’s Best Island in 2009, while the Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2010 ranked Bali second place.

Bali’s reputation as a tourist destination is already established in the minds of so many people around the world. It is known as a beautiful island with mountains, temples, palaces and visits of terraced rice fields. Bali has been the favorite destination for locals and international tourists for ages. Bali has been the favorite destination for locals and international tourists for ages. Full of magnificent beaches, breathtaking sceneries, marvellous trinkets and interesting culture, Bali is ideal for people wanting to escape from daily activities, enjoy a honeymoon, or even, have a great time with family and friends.

Legong Dance
Legong Dance

Paddy in Bali
Paddy in Bali
Shopping in Bali
Shopping in Bali


It is known as a place where traditions of art and culture predominate, where the village way of life based on their strong religious beliefs is still in place. But, it is also a place where modern sports such as diving, sailing, rafting and above all surfing have taken hold and are enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. It is a place where the ultimate luxuries of life: fine dining, spas and massage have reached the peak of perfection.

Behind all of this is a single unseen premise; none of these practices, pursuits and pleasures are created as tourist industries in Bali, but are based on the talents, dedication and skills of the Balinese people in their normal course of life.

Like the food of other regions in Indonesia, Balinese food is rice as the central dish served with small portions of spicy, pungent vegetables, fish or meat and served almost always with sambal or chili paste. Bali is a few of the regions in Indonesia whose majority of its people are non Muslims, thus babi guling or roasted suckling pig is a specialty, as is bebek betutu, smoked stuffed duck wrapped in bamboo leaves.
There are are thousands of giftshops in Bali. Everywhere you go, from Denpasar to Ubud, you’ll find many things you’d like to bring back home. Try clicking the “Find a Shop” button on the bottom right if you need some pointers.

Surfing in Bali
Surfing in Bali
Amankila Bali
Amankila Bali
Intercontinental Bali Resort
Intercontinental Bali Resort

Many beautiful resorts offer fine lodgings. Most of the starred hotels are located near the beach. Otherwise, they usually have their own private spots at certain beaches. You can find them easily at popular spots like Kuta or Sanur. If you’re in a serene highland like Ubud, forget starred hotels. You’re there to embrace the atmosphere. Just pick one of the small lodgings lining up the streets. And even the smallest one’s ready to make you feel welcome.

Bali’s white beaches are favourite for family holidays. There are a variety of water sports available, such as banana boats, parasailing or jet skiing, swimming or plain sunbathing. Cruises to the surrounding islands can be taken from here as well as submarine dives to watch the tropical underwater life from within safe compartments.
Entry: Most international visitors will fly to Bali directly.

Flights: Numerous direct flights from Europe, America, Australia and most Asian Countries:

Domestic flights to and from major cities within Indonesia.
Sea: Regular passenger ferries from Java and Lombok.
Cruise ship stop-offs.
Overland: By car or bus from Java.
Visa: It offers arrival visa to many countries including India

With increasing number of direct flights from many parts of the world, getting to Bali is easy. Flights from Jakarta to Bali take about 1.5 hours, from Singapore and Perth (Australia) around 2.5 and 3 hours, from Hong Kong about 4.5 hours, and from Sydney/Melbourne about 5.5 to 6 hours on many national and international carriers. Just make sure that you look for “Denpasar (DPS)” instead of “Bali” in airline time tables. Denpasar is the capital of Bali.

Circa: 2014 – Dylan Thomas’ centenary to be celebrated with elan!

The sixteenth annual Dylan Thomas Festival returns to Swansea, Wales from 27 October until 9 November 2013. This year’s festival will be especially exciting as it lead up to Dylan Thomas’ centenary in 2014.

Jo Furber, Swansea Council’s Literature Officer
Jo Furber, Swansea Council’s Literature Officer

Speaking on the festival, Jo Furber, Swansea Council’s Literature Officer, said “The Dylan Thomas Festival celebrates arts and entertainment including music, theatre, art and prose. We are thrilled to welcome our impressive range of talented guests to the 2013 Festival.” She added, “We expect to attract visitors from across Britain and as far a field as the USA, Japan and Australia.


With the Dylan Thomas Centre as its hub, festival highlights include the launch of a new centenary commission from Gillian Clarke and a day packed with talks, events, special guests, workshops and Daleks to celebrate Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary.

The Dylan Thomas Centre presents an evening based on the fantastically popular Danish drama, The Killing, featuring two of the biggest names writing about it: crime and mystery novelist David Hewson, who has adapted series one and two as novels, and actor, writer and television presenter Emma Kennedy, author of The Killing Handbook.


Fluellen Theatre Company offers a preview and discussion of their new production of Dylan’s Rebecca’s Daughters. There will also be an evening featuring readings from Dylan’s work in his old local, The Uplands Tavern.


The Festival and Bluestocking Lounge join forces to present ‘Wordy Shapes of Women’, a night where burlesque collides with Dylan Thomas’ poetry, preceded by a free creative writing workshop led by performer and poet Primrose Proper on how the art and creativity of burlesque can open a whole new artistic avenue.

Further information and booking details will be available at http://www.dylanthomas.com.