Tourism Malaysia and Malindo Air launch direct flights from Trichy to Penang

Launch flight(1)

Tourism Malaysia and Malindo Air, a Malaysia based hybrid Airline, announced the launch of the first direct flight from Trichy to Penang today. Trichy Airport has become the first international airport to have direct flight services to Penang, Malaysia which is in addition to the 10 flight operations of Malindo Air to Kuala Lumpur from Trichy.
Malindo Air will operate two services a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The flight will depart from Penang airport at 8.30 pm and arrive at Trichy airport at 9.40 pm. In the return direction, it will depart from Trichy at 10.30 pm and reach Penang at 4.45 am, the following day. Malindo Air’s network carrier allows passengers from Trichy to Penang in connecting other domestic destinations in Malaysia as well.

Speaking at the launch Mr Noor Azman Samsudin, Director, Tourism Malaysia, Chennai said, “The decision by Malindo Air to start this new route emphasizes the value and importance of tourism, trade and business links between India and Malaysia. In fact, India is the 6th largest contributor to the tourism sector in Malaysia. We hope that this new air link will contribute to boost tourism in support of MYFEST 2015, encouraging Indian tourists to come more often and stay longer in order to enjoy the festival offerings nationwide”.

Mr Chandran Rama Muthy, Chief Executive Officer of Malindo Air said, “Firstly, we are excited to announce the wonderful news of our expansion in the cities of India. We foresee an encouraging passenger growth from South India, particularly Trichy, a huge market for Malaysia as a large portion of Malaysia’s Indian population is from this region of India.”

The special introductory offer is available now with return fares for Economy starting from INR 16852 inclusive of taxes with 30kgs baggage allowance, meals on board and the business class return fares of INR 48474 inclusive of taxes with 40kgs baggage allowance and meals on board for Trichy-Penang-Trichy. The Boeing 737-900ER series aircraft will operate in this sector, with a seating capacity of 180 which includes 168 Economy and 12 Business class seats.
A fascinating fusion of the East and West, Penang embraces modernity while retaining its traditions and old world charm. These are reflected in its harmonious multiracial populace and well-preserved heritage buildings which led to George Town being accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site recently. Long regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang also entices visitors with its beautiful coasts and scrumptious cuisines. A must visit is by the funicular train to the top of the Penang Hill that offers fantastic views of the island, lush greenery, quaint colonial style architecture and cooler temperatures.

So if there is a place to be, it’s Penang!

Last year, Malaysia received 27.4 million tourists, which was an increase of 6.7%. This year Malaysia is expected to welcome of 29.4 million tourist arrivals and garner RM89 billion in tourist receipts.


About Tourism Malaysia: MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia at all levels. Since its inception, Tourism Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds and it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2014, Malaysia registered 27.4 million tourist arrivals and RM72 billion in receipts, making tourism its second largest foreign exchange earner.

Blogadda #WIN 15 – Won many a hearts!

After a long dry spell of nearly a month, it started raining profusely on the weekend of 19-20th September which brought cheer to all Mumbaikars. But considering Mumbai rains, roads & traffic, I was quite sceptical whether I would be able to make it to most awaited event for bloggers – #WIN15. The rains were just not stopping and my fear was growing…


On the rainy morning of September 20, I left from my home for beautiful drive to J W Marriot Sahar, only to be warmly welcomed by Shrushti and other team members of Blogadda at the registration counter. As I entered, I was asked to record my expectations from the event. I felt like a celebrity for the moment! In many years, I have not been so thrilled like I was for #WIN15 event, felt like a college going teenager, and why not it was an occasion to celebrate blogging!

The day started with sumptuous breakfast which I enjoyed very much on the Sunday’s rainy morning amidst so many bloggers friends and must mention my old blogger friend – Sunita Rajawade. The session started with a very warm young energetic host, none other than Siddharth Kannan who kept us in splits all through. His unique description of speakers created lot of curiosity amidst bloggers. Speakers like Laxmi Praturi who gave us some real invaluable insights from her experience on writing and blogging, Blogger from Bangladesh Rezwan Islam who shared with us how much life is difficult for bloggers in Bangladesh. Harini Calamur shared with us how we can take our blogs to places with digital marketing strategies, Ajay Jain of Kunzum Café for whom life is all about travelling shared his experiences and inspired one and all present to travel, travel and more travel.

The lunch was exotic, especially the decorative line up of cakes.
Oh yes! The workshops by Ajay Jain and Natasha Badhwar are really to talk home about. Ajay Jain elaborated on how we can monetize our blog and he really gave us some invaluable tips in his own inimitable style. His workshop kept us hooked for over an hour. His friendly ways inspired us to ask many questions.

Natasha Badhwar, celebrity columnist workshop had taken me back to my Journalism student days where we were given tasks to think and write. She dwelled on some real unthinkable aspects of writing and why do we shy away from writing and how do we overcome that.


In the evening we were again with our favourite host for the evening Siddharth Kannan. He started Awards ceremony with élan but was disappointed to note that many distinguished guest did not make it. More disappointing was the fact that many of the winners too did not make it.


So event looked somewhat hollow but a great discussion between celebrity Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, who is a celebrated blogger too and Natasha Badhwar made up for the evening.

Now was the time for book launch Game of Blogs where we too had participated as a team Wordoholics, but could not make it. Though I have very few regrets in life and one among those would be – Losing GAME OF BLOGS – I fondly remembered my team mates – Gitanjali, Parul, Remya, Dipanjan and Anunoy!

Over all day was well – spent! The event was nicely and lavishly put together by Nirav, Harish, Shrusti in fact entire blogadda team. The most important aspect was that #WIN15 was trending at no.1 spot that morning and kudos for the digital team of blogadda which had phenomenally contributed to create big buzz around the event.

Happy with a blogger friend Sunita Rajwade.
Happy with a blogger friend Sunita Rajwade.

Happy Babies, Happier Moms, Confident Grand Moms with Pampers!

The secret I knew at the exclusive preview of the ‘New Pampers Premium Care Pants’ – Softest Diaper Pants ever, Soft as a Mother’s Touch #softestforbabyskin at #WIN15 on September 20, 2015 at J W Marriot Sahar when I was there for this exclusive Blogadda event.


It was a down memory lane sort of an event where I successfully relived those moments when I was a young and restless mother some 19 odd years ago… caught unawares what the motherhood entailed. Indeed the most shocking part was handling of pee and poo business! Indeed those were very difficult days. I felt very nice to be amidst young and exuberant celebrity mothers – Mandira Bedi and Tara Sharma, for whom handling small babies was quite a joyful experience, of course with the aid of products like Pampers. How I wished, I too had the aid of Pampers when my daughter was growing up. After Pampers event I felt like super-confident grandmother to be!

What changed my thinking was Blogadda and Pampers #SoftestforBabySkin event which was part of Celebrating WIN15. This launch of India’s softest diaper ever – so soft that a baby won’t even notice was anchored by Actress & Television presenter-MandiraBedi who also shared her hands on mothering experiences with Actress & Celebrity mother-Tara Sharma. Here leading Baby Sleep Consultant consultant-Ajita Gopal Seethepalli told us how important sleep is especially unhampered, undisturbed sleep! And the icing on the cake was a demonstration by Pampers R&D Expert–Dr.Wei Sing Long who proved the truth of Pamper’s claims.

Speaking on the occasion Ms Seethapalli said, “The importance of a good diaper (in terms of softness, dryness and fit) should not be underestimated. Babies have to be physically interacting with their environment in order to learn and understand it. Diapering baby in soft and dry pants like Pampers Premium Care can be a great way to help enable uninstructed exploration, giving him the giggling feeling of freedom you both love.”

In this exclusive preview organised for bloggers and Mommy bloggers, Pampers the #1 diaper brand in the world for babies happy healthy development, showcased a never seen before innovation via powerful demonstrations highlighting the softness and dryness of the new Pampers Premium Care Pants.

Pampers today previewed India’s softest diaper ever – so soft that a baby won’t even notice!

The Pampers Panel of experts engaged in a never seen before product demonstration clearly showcasing Pampers Premium Care Pants as the softest diaper amongst all, through touch and feel of softness. Scientist & R&D expert Dr. WeiSing Long highlighted the unique features of Premium Care Pants. Premium Care Pants come with a 5 Star skin protection promise that provides the baby with all-around softness, upto 12 hours dryness, breathable materials, all-around fit, baby lotion and a wetness indicator that directs mothers to change the diaper timely.

Pampers Premium Care Pants Logo

We as moms know from experience that their babies love the feeling of being free. We cherish the giggling excitement of our baby running around the house! That feeling of freedom gives babies the chance to experience the world their own way, which is a very important part of their development. That’s why some moms allow their babies a little time each day, out of their clothes to roam free. What if you could give this feeling to your baby all day long?

I must confess that, I was a under – confident mother, but yes I would be super – confident grandmother with Pampers Hamper!

Grandmother hood is far but I am handing over this hamper to my colleague Ikwinder Singh whose wife Harpreet has just delivered little bundle of joy – Baby Boy!

This blog post is written for the Pampers #SoftestForBabySkin activity in association with BlogAdda.
















Events to look forward to in coming TRAVEL season!

Mark your Travel Calendar for these interesting line up of Cultural Festival across India like Shantiniketan, Odisha and Mumbai.

Poush Mela at Shantiniketan, West Bengal, December 23, 2015 as Indie is not confined to Electronic Guitars and turntables, this is a peak into the rich heritage of Bengal in particular and India in general. Most notably, Baul Music – an eclectic blend of folk songs relating to Bhakti Movement. Commencing on the 7th day of the month of Poush, the fair officially lasts for three days, although vendors may stay up until the month-end. The key characteristic of this fair includes live performances of Bengali folk music, notably Baul music. Poush Mela is characterized by the live performances of Bengali folk music, especially the Baul music. It includes folk songs, dances and tribal sports. This fair offers a perfect insight of true heritage of the state. The students of Shantiniketan present their magnificent performance and make this festival more enjoyable and glamorous. Each day of this festival is filled with different activities. The last day of this fair is devoted to those who are related to Shantiniketan.

Indian Surf Festival (ISF) at Ramchandi Beach, Odisha in the first week of February 2016.

Indi surf fest

Not just for the music, but also simultaneously bask in the Sun at serene beach, go surfing and kite surfing, and for water yoga. Musically its last two chapters featured some of the country’s best less – known facts like Thaalavatam and Sitarsonic. The festival was curated by Bengaluru-based artist Vinay Pateel, who has been the Festival Curator since the second edition. The sweeping theme of the art was called Soul Flowers. About 30 flowers made out of bamboo were spread all over the festival, with a large central interactive installation. Motion controlled lighting on the installation engaged people one by one to play and express themselves through the flow of light that responded to their gestures.

‘A Rising Tide’ is a short documentary surf film, created by Indian surfer/filmmaker trio Tushar Pathiyan, Ishita Malaviya and Krish Makhija in association with Quiksilver India.

The Girl Power Zone was a special zone created to bring together female artists. Lizzy from Portugal, Nikkie from Odisha along with fashion labels Livingarts Lifestyles and Galang Gabaan. The geodesic domes made by Sebastian Vilarino from Argentina hosted the stage and performances. Sachin Shetty from Mumbai and Krilly from Australia made exquisite live paintings over the course of 3 days. BeeVee from Bengaluru had an exclusive Projection Mapping show visualizing the story of ISF Girl Power.

Mahindra Blues Festival at Mehboob Studios, Mumbai, Second week of February, 2016.

Mahindra Blues

The festival focuses on a genre of music which is slowly fading away from festivals radars: Blues. It’s no nonsense, and focuses only on best-known practitioners of Blues Music.
Known as Asia’s largest and finest Blues phenomenon, the Mahindra Blues Festival brings together some of the best Blues musicians in the world for two days of guitar-rippin’, soul-trippin’ music at the iconic Mehboob Studio in Mumbai.

Since its inception in 2011, the Mahindra Blues Festival has been instrumental in bringing down international Blues legends like Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker Jr., Taj Mahal, and Walter Trout, among others, to Mumbai – fuelling a burgeoning interest in Blues music in the country. MBF has also become a great platform for Indian Blues bands to perform along with the best Blues musicians in the world. MBF was also nominated in 2014 for the ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ award presented by the The Blues Foundation of America.
In 2015, MBF returned in its fifth year with a fantastic line-up featuring the likes of Buddy Guy, Quinn Sullivan, Doyle Bramhall II, Rich Robinson, Nikki Hill, Thorbjørn Risager and The Black Tornado along with homegrown talent like Warren Mendonsa of Blackstratblues, The True School Experience and the winners of The Mahindra Blues Band Hunt 2015.

So what are you waiting for? Get set for some super musical and cultural adventures!

Tourism Malaysia unveils special tourism packages at PATA Travel Mart 2015

As part of its continuing efforts to promote awareness on the celebration of Malaysia Year of Festivals (MyFest) 2015 in India and to boost arrivals from here, Tourism Malaysia launched special tourism packages at the PATA Travel Mart 2015 in Bangalore.


At a special media briefing session, Tourism Malaysia’s Deputy Director-General (International Promotion) Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin announced that special tourism packages have been developed in conjunction with the upcoming 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (1MYES), to be held from 14 November 2015 to 3 January 2016. Dato’ Azizan is also the Chairman of PATA Malaysia Chapter.

“India is a significant contributor to tourism in Malaysia. In fact, India is the sixth top tourist market for us. Last year, we had 770108 Indian visitors which is 18% growth from 2013 (650989). We are hopeful that MyFEST 2015 will keep Malaysia as top-of-the-mind tourist destination, encouraging Indian tourists to stay longer in order to enjoy the festival offerings nationwide,” said Dato’ Azizan. Updating the media about new tourism developments and products in Malaysia, Dato’ Azizan emphasized that besides shopping, leisure and luxury holidays are also key focus areas this year. The media briefing session included presentations by the Shopping Secretariat, Legoland and Hello Kitty Representatives.

Dato’ Haji Azizan is accompanied by Malaysian sellers who will help promote the country to the global tourism market. Among the sellers include big names in the local tourism industry, such as Tourism Johor, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Lexis Hotel, Tourland Travel, Borneo Nature Tours, Asian Overland, World Express, Planet Borneo Tours, Legoland Malaysia, Theme Attractions & Resorts, and Flexiroam.

The décor of Tourism Malaysia’s booth at the PATA Travel Mart highlights the Malaysia Year of Festivals (MyFest) 2015 in an effort to step up promotion of the tourism campaign. It is also in line with the Government’s efforts to promote Malaysia as a culturally rich travel destination. As part of its promotional activity, Tourism Malaysia’s booth featured Teh Tarik and Batik drawing demonstrations.

During the participation at the PATA Travel Mart, Tourism Malaysia also organised various programmes for travel trade players to meet up and network among themselves, providing Malaysia’s tourism industry players the opportunity to strengthen ties with their Indian counterparts.

This year, the 38th PATA Travel Mart attracted more than 1,000 delegates from over 60 countries and facilitating over 10,000 pre-matched appointments, as well as brought together qualified international buyers and sellers for face-to face meetings, educational forums and networking functions.

Last year, Malaysia received 27.4 million tourists, which was an increase of 6.7%. This year Malaysia is expected to welcome of 29.4 million tourist arrivals and garner RM89 billion in tourist receipts.

About Tourism Malaysia: MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia at all levels. Since its inception, Tourism Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds and it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2014, Malaysia registered 27.4 million tourist arrivals and RM72 billion in receipts, making tourism its second largest foreign exchange earner.

India-Myanmar-Thailand highway, a reality in 2016

Dreaming of driving to Thailand, you dream is coming true!

If you still haven’t heard about it, there is some epic news for you: the 3200-kilometre India-Myanmar-Thailand highway which will open up in 2016. This means an incredible India-Thailand road trip is now a reality like never before!

The route map from New Delhi to Thailand.
The route map from New Delhi to Thailand.

The 26.5-kilometre Myawaddy-Thinggan Nyenaung-Kawkareik stretch of the Asian Highway is now operational. This has reduced the travel time between Thinggan Nyenaung and Kawkareik from three hours to only about 45 minutes!

Post the inauguration of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway in 2016, a bus service connecting Imphal, Manipur and Mandalay may be introduced to make it all the more easy for you to take this one-of-a-kind road trip!

to the old world charm of Myanmar’s ancient city, Bagan
to the old world charm of Myanmar’s ancient city, Bagan
from the endless shades of green and beautiful Buddhist temples in Mandalay
from the endless shades of green and beautiful Buddhist temples in Mandalay
From the serene hills of Shillong…
From the serene hills of Shillong…
to the culturally rich Thailand village, Mae Sot...
to the culturally rich Thailand village, Mae Sot…

An International Drivers’ Permit is recommended if you are planning to self-drive. Travelling from India to Thailand by road promises to be one of the most exhilarating experiences ever.

And that’s not it, you’ll be welcomed by Bangkok’s countless attractions, its mouthwatering cuisine and happening nightlife at the end of this extraordinary road trip.

Still wondering where your next big holiday will be to? It’s going to be one road trip that changes your life.

Courtesy: Make my trip

लाल बाग़ का राजा, परेल मुंबई, बप्पा के भव्य दर्शन

Even after working in Lower Parel and Dadar area for over a decade, I couldn’t make it to visit Lalbag ka Raja which I would always regret. Inspite of planning it many times, it never got materialized. May be I was not destined to be there! Like every year, Lalbag ka Raja is here in all its glory and splendour, don’t miss…particularly if you are not crowd phobic like me.  Here is the sneak peek:

Lal Bagh ka Raja, Mumbai
Lal Bagh ka Raja, Mumbai

The pandal is designed as a sheesh mahal (glass palace) here the idea is for the idol to be reflected from every corner of the pandal to project the larger-than-life image of Lord Ganesha.

A brief history:

When Peru Chawl was shut down in 1932, fishermen and vendors who were ousted from their marketplace prayed for a permanent place to set up their wares. They vowed to organise a Ganesh festival if their wish came true. After sustained efforts by local leaders and residents, the landlord agreed to give them a plot, which is the present-day Lalbaug market. Devotees believe Lalbaugcharaja grants wishes and the mandal attracts thousands of visitors.

Legacy: In its 82nd year

Location: Lalbaug market, GD Goenka Road

Nearest stations: Western line: Lower Parel; Harbour line: Cotton Green; Central line: Currey Road

Best time to visit: Anytime during the day

Courtesy: Hindustan Times