The Ultimate Travel Guide To Japan, Do It Yourself !
Japan: the land of Rising Sun
If you want to go to Japan, wait till the time is right. Even if you have to wait for a long time, the reason being, Japan isn’t like any other country in the world. You need to have enough time to actually be a little satisfied with your experience. Japan is another planet in a planet. It is like a big joint family living in peace together and having tea; from the traditional grandpa, to highly futuristic tech expert kid. Japan is quirky and offbeat, swaying on its own composed rhythm. Having a reputation for having one of the most distinctive cultures with sui generis traditions, Japan attracts millions of travellers every year. Shinto is the religion of Japan and while no Japanese throw bricks in the name of it, the people of Japan weave many peculiar traditions around it. The Japanese are also known to be one of the most kind and helpful people in the world. Really humble and down-to-earth, the Japanese are known to have one of the most excellent customer services. The Japanese pay respect to each other by bowing, as a way to show their gratitude and delight. Make sure to try everything Japan offers, from its traditional food (edamme, sushi, miso ) to its lifestyle and clothing (Kimono). The country also has a unique eye with which it constructs stories and movies. All the anime and Manga fans would agree to that. There are Manga fans all over the world with Japan in their top five countries to visit. I hope you get to have the proper Japanese experience, wearing a Kimono, and sitting on the Tatami at a traditional restaurant, drinking tea, else being able to witness a sumo wrestling match and other authentic things which I will mention below…
Delhi- Narita International Airport Tokyo (Round trip)
1:10 am – 12:35 pm
17:30 pm – 23:45 pm
Travel Guide To Japan
Here are the things you should know before you step in the land of Rising Sun.
Japan is known to have one of the most sophisticated and comfortable transportation system. All the train lovers, attention attention!!! We can finally satisfy Sheldon Cooper I guess.
Trains are the best way but an expensive way to travel in Japan. Buy a JR pass depending on the no. Of days you are visiting Japan. The pass comes for, 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. The pass gives access to all of the trains including limited express, express, rapid, local, most shikansen (bullet train) lines, the ferry to Miyajima island, monorail to and from Haneda Airport and some local buses. The Green Car option, while a bit more expensive is JR’s version of first class. You HAVE to purchase the pass before entering the country because once you arrive; there is no option at all. Once you purchase the pass, you will receive a voucher via your mail which you would have to exchange upon your arrival at Japan at a JR ticket booth at the station.
Japan Rail Pass
7 consecutive days
14 consecutive days
21 consecutive days
Reduced rates (50% off) apply to children aged 6-11.
To save more money you can even get a Japan Bus pass, if you don’t mind sleeping in bus overnight. You can get a 3-day, 5-day and 7-day pass.
Best time to visit Japan is Spring (March-May)
Cherry Blossoms and lots of festivals
Another best time is autumn (September- November)
Colourful environment and fewer crowds.
You should be aware of the GOLDEN WEEK, during spring season in Japan, made up of four national Holidays and which falls in 7 days span. It would be extremely crowded so bookings should be done in advance.
1 rs= 1.55 yen
Getting in or around Tokyo, either you can walk, bicycle or you should buy a prepaid IC card available in subway stations. There are two types, Suica and Pasmo that you can charge up with credit. You can even get the IC cards at Airports and after you have used up the initial credit, you can top them up using any of the machines at any station.
A note about Kyoto’s public transportation: Unlike Tokyo, Kyoto relies on large public buses.
If you decide to travel by public transport, first you should carry an unlimited capacity Wifi transmitter to look up information and find the way
Passes: Fuji Hakone Paas
The Fuji Hakone Pass is a discount pass for exclusive use by non-Japanese passport holders. It provides unlimited use of designated buses, trains, boats, cablecars and ropeways in the Hakoneand the Fuji Five Lake areas and discounted admission to selected tourist attractions on three consecutive days. It optionally also includes a one-way ticket for Odakyu Railway trains between Tokyo and Hakone and a one-way ticket for a highway bus between Tokyo and the Fuji Five Lakes.
Fuji Hakone Pass
From Shinjuku (including round trip)
From Odawara (without round trip)
Reduced rates (50% off) apply for children aged 6-11.
The map below shows the train, cablecar, ropeway, boat and major bus lines to be used for the round trip and within the free area of the Hakone Free Pass:
The round trip is to be done by Odakyu Railways between Shinjuku and Odawara and by Fujikyu/Keio highway bus between Kawaguchiko Station and Shinjuku. You have to use the train for one of the two journeys and the bus for the other.
Between Shinjuku and Odawara, you may use local or express trains; however, if using a Romance Car train, a supplement fee of 1090 yen has to be paid.
Between Shinjuku and Lake Kawaguchiko, free seat reservations have to be made in advance of boarding for the highway bus.
It is not possible to get off at stations between your departure station and the free area.
Passes purchased at Odawara Station do not cover the train trip between Tokyo and Hakone and the highway bus ride between Tokyo and the Fuji Five Lakes.
Unlimited use of the Hakone Tozan Railway(Odawara-Gora), the cablecar and ropeway from Gora to Lake Ashinoko, sightseeing ships on Lake Ashinoko and many buses in the Hakone area, including Hakone Tozan buses and the Odakyu bus between Togendai and Gotemba.
Unlimited use of the Fujikyuko Railway Line between Kawaguchiko Station and Shimoyoshida Station and of regular Fujikyu buses in the Fuji Five Lake region, including the retro buses around Lake Kawaguchikoand Lake Saiko (but not including the bus to the 5th Station).
You can get the paas at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo and Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Odawara Station.
Make sure that your accommodation is near centrally located train stations, since you will be travelling a lot and it gets easier for the day trips.
You will be living in
Tokyo, Kawaguchiko and Kyoto.
– Luxury- Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shangri-la Hotel, The Peninsula
Mid Price- Hotel Century Southern Tower, Shibuya excel Hotel, Prince Park
Budget: Shibuya Tokyo Rei Hotel, Cerulean Tower Tokyo
– Luxury: Ritz Carlton, Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Mid Price: Citadines Karasuma, Kyoto Century Hotel
Budget: Guest house Soi, Hotel Gran MS, Kyoto Hana Hotel
Budget: Maruei, Kawaguchiko Lake side hotel, Hotel new century
Travel Guide To Japan Itinerary
Travel Guide To Japan Day 1 to 3
Tokyo: Tokyo is the kind of place that one would need a lifetime to unravel. And since you have a very limited time, you have a lot to look out for. Tokyo appears like a family where the old traditional grandpa and the futuristic tech expert kid have the morning tea together. From Temples and palaces to hip clubs, bars restaurants, shopping complexes, everything is there in Tokyo, enough that when you come back from your day’s sightseeing, your eyes would be so tired and you would directly head for your bed.
Amazing things to look out for in Tokyo
West Tokyo (Day 2) Shibuya-ku: Shibuya is the shopping and entertainment district and exactly like what you saw in Lost in Translation. Hullabaloos of people going here and there and mesmerising neon signs will leave you astound. The vibe around will be so lit, considering the energy around, Shibuya has to be on the list when you visit Tokyo.
Hanamaru : a fast casual udon chain, quite budget friendly and delicious.
Hachiko Memorial statue: The world’s most loyal dog
Shibuya scramble: world’s busiest pedestrian intersection. Thousands of people scramble at a crossing from all the directions at once.
100 yen shops
Harajuku : A popular shopping neighbourhood, a hub of Japanese pop culture.
Kiddy land and line
Shinjuku: The largest neighbourhood in Japan, it captures the modern essence of Tokyo
Japanese street food
Shinjuku Golden Gai
Tokyo Metropolitan Building: just to look at the Tokyo city, best do it at evening or night.
Red District: Kabukicho, Asia’s largest entertainment District
East Tokyo (Day 3): (If you’re staying in Shibuya, you’ll need to take the train from Shibuya Station to Asakusa Station (35-45 min on train) via the JR Yamanote Line to Ginza or Asakusa Line. Make sure to purchase single tickets – do NOT activate your JR pass yet!)
Asakusa: Spiritual heart of Tokyo
Ueno park: A large Park, in central Tokyo and another amazing spot for Cherry blossom spot
Here are a lot of museums and temples to visit.
Museums: Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Metropolitan art museum, National Science Museum, Shitamachi Museum
Kamakura: Time to get out of the city and enjoy a little country while you are in it. With the perfect blend of spirituality and the seaside air, the view in Kamakura is extremely stunning and picturesque. Here you can enjoy many temples and shrines and try the mouth-tasting street food while you don’t forget to relax in the traditional Japanese tea house and take a Zen- break.
Once a great fortress town and a capital and significant political centre, it is now full of the shadows of past seen in the quaint shopping streets, shrines and temples. Here a peaceful stroll at beach, after a full day sightseeing can relax your whole body and mind.
You can reach Kamakura by train using the JR Yokosuka line from Tokyo station
and back to Tokyo via same.
Things to do in Kamakura
Daibutsu Great Buddha
Tsurugaoka- Hachiman-gu shrine
Relax at the beach
Tenen Hiking Trail
Travel Guide To Japan Day 5 and 6 Day Trip from Tokyo
*(You can also take the Fuji Hakone Pass)
Stay around Lake kawaguchiko station, to leave in the morning for Hakone.
Mt Fuji is one of the most popular spot of course because Mt fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. The 3776m high icon of Japan attracts millions of people from different countries every year. Lake Kawaguchiko is the gateway to Mount Fuji. It’s not a surprise that it’s also a Cultural Site on the UNESCO’S World Heritage List. In Japanese the mountain is called Fuji-san.
There are five lakes around Fuji-san, Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Saiko, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji.
Travelling from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi there are many ways.
Travel through a highway bus from Shinjuku station to Kawaguchi lake
Fujikyu and Keio Bus operate one to two direct buses per hour between the Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyoand Kawaguchiko Station in the Fuji Five Lakes region.The one way journey takes just under two hours and costs 1750 yen. Then take a 50-minute bus trip to the Station No.5-Muji Subaru Line costing ¥1,540. Most buses stop at Fujisan Station and Fuji Q Highlandbefore arriving at Kawaguchiko Station and many of them continue on to Lake Yamanakako (just over two hours, 2050 yen one way from Shinjuku). TheJapan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.
By bus from Shibuya Station
Fujikyu operates approximately one bus every two hours between Shibuya (Mark City), Fuji Q Highland, Kawaguchiko Station and Fujisan Station. The one way journey takes 2 to 2.5 hours and costs 1800 yen. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.
Take the JR Chuo Line from Tokyo‘s Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station (70 minutes, about 2500 yen by direct limited express train or 100 minutes, 1320 yen by local trains with usually one transfer along the way). From Otsuki, take the Fujikyu Railway Line to Kawaguchiko Station (55 minutes, 1140 yen one way). The JR Tokyo Wide Pass covers the entire journey (except panorama seats on limited express trains); however, the Japan Rail Pass and other JR passes are not valid between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko.
You can also book a guided day trip by bus. Also You should note that at Kawaguchiko station there is only 1 bus after every hour.
How to get around Mount Fuji
Now, to do all the five lakes in one day isn’t possible, because you wont be able to enjoy even one properly and it will be all too cramped.
This itinerary will include
Station no. 5: (Fuji Subaru Line) Station no.5 is the highest station the bus can reach, and though you may not get a complete view of the mountain from this close, you will feel like a new day, refreshed and awake. This station is for those who do not want to climb the mountain. Also before the tourists go o the 5th station, they usually and are expected to visit the Murayama Sengen Jinja temple because Japanese people believe that Mt Fuji is a sacred mountain firmly connected to God. It is believed that those who visit the temple will get good things in life.
Lake Kawaguchiko: Most easily accessible of the five lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko provides for an excellent view for the great mountain. The view is especially breathtaking during Cherry blossom season and when leaves turn in colours of red. One of the nicest spots for cherry blossoms is the seaside promenade near theKawaguchiko Music Forest.
Apart from the stupendous view of Mount Fuji, there are various museums and park which stands up their own uniqueness. A stroll around the town would be another new experience for you.
Chureito Pagoda: Chureito Pagoda is part of the Arakurayama Sengen Shrine. To get to Cheureito Pagoda, from Lake Kawaguchiko, take a train from Kawaguchiko station to Shimoyoshida Station which takes approx 10 minutes and costs 3 euros per ticket. From there you can easily walk to Cheurito Pagoda. People here especially go for the picture perfect scene of the pagoda, the city behind and standing tall behind it, Mount Fuji.
Fuji Shibazakura Festival: About 800,000 Shibazakura, bloom in an expansive site at the base of the Mount Fuji. A festival of flowers, Pink never looked so best before.
Entrance fees: Individuals, adults- 600 yen; Group, adults- 500 yen
Individuals, Children- 250 yen, Group, Children- 200 yen
Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus
A shuttle bus, called the Shibazakura Liner, connects Kawaguchiko Station and the Fuji Shibazakura Festival’s venue (30 minutes, 1-2 departures per hour) during the festival period. A 2000 yen ticket includes the round trip and the admission fee.
By regular bus
There is one regular bus every 1-2 hours between Fujisan Station, Kawaguchiko Station, Lake Motosuko and Shin-Fuji Station. During the festival period, some of these buses make a stop outside the festival venue at the Fuji Shibazakura Iriguchi bus stop. The ride takes 50 minutes and costs 1230 yen from Kawaguchiko Station, or 75 minutes and 1710 yen from Shin-Fuji Station.
Lake Motosu: Western most lake of Mount Fuji, Lake motosu, the most natural and underdeveloped provides another excellent view of Mount fuji. It is just 3 kms from Shibazakura Festival, so you can also walk till there. Take the bus back to Kawaguchiko Station to From Shibazakua.
Fuji q Highland Amusement Park (Fujiyoshida): There is nothing as much fun as a Japanese amusement park, with exotic rides and thrill. Fuji q Highland Amusement is a classic thrilling experience and should not be missed at all.
Day 7- Hakone
I recommend taking a bus from Kawaguchiko to the Gotemba Outlet and then a bus from the outlet to Gora (hourly departures). There are coin lockers at Gora station where you can keep your luggage. Depart for Kyoto at night itself.
Hakone is a mountainous town famous for serene onsens (hot springs), a time of their live for art- lovers at world class art museums and how can I forget, Mount Fuji!! Though you need to lucky to be able to see it as it is almost always covered in clouds but It is always worth the shot. Crystal clear rivers running down the mountain, through the town, traditional Japanese houses situated in the hills and cobblestoned path would make you feel at home and to this extent that you would never want to leave the place.
Hike to owakudini
Old tokaido road
Open air museum
Day 7(Reach at day 7 around night), 8 and 9: Kyoto
Take a train from Gora Station to Odawara from where you can take the Shikansen (Bullet train) to Kyoto.
Once in Kyoto, the JR passworks on some trains, but for the two subway lines – Tozai and Karasuma – you need a different ticket. If you buy a ticket for one, it can’t be used on the other, unless you buy a day pass. The bus network is also good and useful forgetting to places such as the Kinkaku-ji Temple.
Passes for both the bus and subway cost ¥1,200 for one day and ¥2,00 for two days.
Kyoto is the cultural Capital of Japan; make sure you have enough memory in your camera because Kyoto is so photogenic that you might need one or two extra memory cards. One can spend many -many days without getting bored. Kyoto has over 2000 temples and so many gardens that it would take years to see them all. Tokyo is the future mind and Kyoto is the ancient heart that keeps the tradition alive. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some geisha walking to their secret rendezvous.
(Famous temples, shrines and wandering)
Travel Guide To Japan Day 10
Day trip to Nara and back to Kyoto:
Head to Nara from Kyoto Station (via JR Nara Line – roughly 1 hour on the express train).
Nara is an ex-Capital of Japan, well way ancient ex and here you will get to dwell in the unique past of Japan. Here, colossal Buddhist temples and intricate Shinto shrines survived the ages as a testament to its former glory. Hence the UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. It is a peaceful and relaxing place and no person in his right mind would skip Nara. Again here are a lot of temples and shrines.
The main attractions are
Todai ji temple
The sacred deer of Nara park
Nara National Museum
Travel Guide To Japan Day 11
Day trip to Himeji and back to Kyoto:
Shinkansen: Kyoto and Himeji are connected via the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. With the Hikari shinkansen, the journey takes 55 minutes (you can use your Japan Rail Pass if you have one). Nozomi trains take 45 minutes (but you cannot use the Japan Rail Pass).
JR Special Rapid Train: Local trains take 90 minutes on JR Special Rapid Trains (Shin-kaisoku).
Once in Himeji, exit the north side of the Himeji Station. Walk approximately 1 km on Otemae-dori Street to the castle. If you are not up for walking, hire a taxi or take the local bus from the train station.
The Himeji Castle is the most popular attraction in this area, and if you have seen The last Samurai, well I need not say the rest. Himeji Castle is the largest, most visited castle in Japan. It started off as a fort in 1333, and has proven to be a survivor after world war 2. The castle is really beautiful and worth visiting.
9 am to 5 pm; last entry at 4 pm
During the summer (April 27 – August 31): 9 am to 6 pm; last entry at 5 pm
Travel Guide To Japan Day 12
Hiroshima and Miyajima and back to Kyoto
Take a Bullet train, out of Kyoto station and you will reach Miyajima, in 3 hours. From Miyajima station, hop on the ferry, that will take you to Miyajima Island. All included in your JR pass.
Miyajima or Itsukushima is an island where it is believed God dwells and the whole place is spiritualised. At night the whole shrine lights up and it feels like heaven. And also since it is the “city of god” there would be of course temples and shrines( LOL).
Head straight to Tori Gate, also the floating shrine. Take the Miyajima Ropeway (15 minutes, $17 roundtrip) for better-than-great views of the whole area from the top of Mt. Misen. There’s a bus at the base of Miyajima Island which will take you to the ropeway station fo’ free as well
Take the ferry back to Miyajimaguchi Station, then the JR train to Hiroshima. Note that you’ll need to either take a tram or buy a Hiroshima Sightseeing Hop-On, Hop-Off Loop Bus “Meipuru-pu” to get around in Hiroshima super easily – which is free of cost for JR pass users.
An important Historic site, because of the World War 2 obviously, Hiroshima is another city worth visiting, either to pay respects to the past or witness the rebirth of the city which was once considered impossible, either ways this city has a lot to offer.
Take a sightseeing bus to Hiroshima Castle, and then to the area with the A-Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument, and Peace Memorial Museum and Park.
Take a bullet train, to get back to Kyoto.
Travel Guide To Japan Day 13
Take the shikansen from Kyoto, back to Tokyo to catch your flight.
10 Reasons Why To Visit The Reunion Islands.Réunion Island can be found in the Indian Ocean. And while it is part of France, almost everyone on the island speaks Reunion Creole in addition to French. This island has been inhabited since the 16th century and today is considered quite prosperous.
1. It is very easy to get a visa for travel to the island. Which means that there is little to do in preparation for this trip.
2. There are numerous direct flights available to Reunion Island, and anyone that flies from France will find themselves on a domestic flight.
3. The active basaltic volcano of Piton de la Fournaise found on this island. It is quite site. When it is erupting people can see lava pouring down the sides. It is not possible for everyone can hike it to see the crater and the volcanic plains.
4. Some of the villages on the island can be found inside large craters and they are begging to be seen by visitors. Cirque de Cilaos is a popular one for peoples attraction.There is only one road in and out of the crater and once inside everyone will feel the temperature drop. See lush rainforests and waterfalls instead of ragged rocks.
5. There are one thousand kilometers of hiking trails on the island and they all lead through breathtaking areas with each one being more beautiful than the last. As people are walking along these trails they will want to keep count of how many waterfalls they pass by as there are so many on the island.
6.Divers will want to visit Reunion Island for the clear water, five hundred different fish species, and the one hundred and fifty different species of coral. Diving is easiest on the west coast. Superb underwater lava flows can see while diving on the east coast.
7.The island produces some of the best rum in the world and there is a museum dedicated to this delicious alcohol, La Saga du Rhum, in Saint-Pierre. The rum can be drank alone or with any number of self-blending herbs and spices.
8.Everyone must eat the traditional carri while visiting the island. It is an authentic Creole dish made with meat, fish, seafood or poultry. Garlic, tomatoes, onion, turmeric, cloves and ginger is added. Other foods that must be eat include buttery pastries, curried lentils and dragon fruit.
9. The markets are a wonderful place to learn more about the local cuisine while also picking up some souvenirs. There are numerous markets on the island we recommend the Saturday market in Saint Pierre.
10. The weather on the island is quite tropical year-round. If it does happen to rain it will be a light shower in the afternoon for a minute or two.
Planning For Reunion Honeymoon Package ?
Anyone that hasn’t been to Reunion Island the above 10 Reasons Why To Visit The Reunion Islands will want to plan their trip there soon as this destination sounds like paradise in the middle of the ocean!
WTFARES Amongst India’s Top Sellers for Seychelles!
WTFARES.com (India’s #1 Free Flight Cancellation Website) was honored by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB). Recognized as India’s Top Sellers for Seychelles destination as performers and promoters.
The Seychelles Tourism board in a private ceremony held at the Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai awarded Top 5 Travel Agencies across the country for India’s Top Sellers for Seychelles destination as performers and promoters and WTFARES.com was one of them.
Varun Sarda, the Founder And CEO of WTFARES.com received the award on behalf of TEAM WTFARES.
Starting January 1 next year, any citizen from around the world, including India, holding a valid passport, can eligible for
Visa On Arrival For Rwanda From 2018 by air, sea, or road, by getting a visa-on-arrival, its envoy said in New Delhi on Thursday.
The facility is currently available only to African countries and a few countries outside of the continent, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to India Ernest Rwamucyo said.
“With India we already have good bilateral relations, which was elevated to a strategic level. And, during India’s (former) Vice President Hamid Ansari visit to our country in February, an agreement was signed to allow the two countries to mutually exempt visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holder,” he said.
That agreement has been “ratified” and so will come into effect soon. But, our government recently took a very bold decision on relaxing visa regime for all travellers, he said.
“From January 1 next year, any citizen from around the world, holding a valid passport, can enter Rwanda by air, sea, or road, and get a visa stamped on their arrival. So, we are really opening up our borders to people globally,” Mr Rwamucyo said.
The Rwandan High Commissioner was interacting with journalists at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club here on India-Rwanda ties and later fielded a number of questions on various subjects.
“The visa-on-arrival would be applicable for 30 days under the new relaxed visa regime. The entrants would need to pay a fee where applicable.
“As of now, the visa-on-arrival facility is available only to African countries and few other countries like the US, the UK, Germany, Singapore. Also, for some countries in Africa, no visa fee is charged,” Mr Rwamucyo said.
On the new Indian mission proposed to be opened in its capital city Kigali, billed one of the cleanest and the safest cities globally, he said, “Work is going on, on that as well.”
On the new RwandAir service that was launched on April 3 this year, in pursuant of Mr Ansari’s visit, from Mumbai to Kigali, he said, the response so far has been “good”.
Disclaimer: VISA REGULATIONS ARE OFTEN CHANGED WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION. ALWAYS BETTER TO CHECK THE EMBASSY’S WEBSITE BEFORE PLANNING.
Israel Visa For Indians – Israel Relaxes Visa Rules
Now Israel visa for Indians is easy due to relaxed visa rules. If Indian applicant availed visas of
And have completed their travel to these countries. Then Bank statement, flight ticket and hotel accommodation is not mandatory ( applicable for all Israel centers in India).
The Embassy of Israel is also announced the opening of their Visa Application Centers operated by Israel Visa Services in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Documentation For Visa Application
The relaxed visa rule involves less documentation for Indians who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries. For these travellers, the documents include a valid passport, completed visa application form, two photographs (5.5cm x 5.5cm), cover letter with travel information, traveller’s insurance and passport copy (first and last page).
“This is an initiative we have been working very closely with Interior Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry to introduce in India and I am happy to see this change for the Indian travellers who wish to travel to Israel. Easing the visa requirements will not only make the application process faster, I am confident it will also increase travel to Israel as well. We are also working on an express service with VFS which will be introduced soon. In addition to this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process,” said Hassan Madah – director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, India.
Galit LaRoche Falach, consul at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai stated that she is glad with the new visa requirements that have been introduced for Indian travellers to visit and experience Israel. In September this year, one-year multiple entry visas for business travellers was introduced and the ministries are working together towards bringing more changes like these to make the process faster and easier for Indian travellers to Israel.
Visa processing is available through VFS Global processing centers located all over India for the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as the Embassy of Israel in Delhi. The ministries are working with the VFS offices to introduce express visa services at the earliest, which will be available to applicants for an additional fee.
Disclaimer: VISA REGULATIONS ARE OFTEN CHANGED WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION. ALWAYS BETTER TO CHECK THE EMBASSY’S WEBSITE BEFORE PLANNING.
“The world is a book, and those who do not Travel read only one page”
– Saint Augustine
Carrying on from where we left…. our one day sojourn in Ko Phi Phi Don …we proceeded to our next destination in Thailand..which is quite popular – Krabi! We will guide you here for 10 amazing things to do in krabi .
If you are planning to reach Krabi from Phi Phi or Phuket, you can use the ferry service (PhuketFerry). From Phuket or Bangkok you can even take a flight to Krabi airport but it is nice to experience the ferry ride as well.
From the Tonsai Pier, the ferry takes around 1.5-2 hours. Based on the checkout time and the time to reach Tonsai pier, one can book the Ferry accordingly. Our drop off location was the Ao Nang Pier. There are shops at the Piers from where you can buy water bottles or eatables. As mentioned earlier, eatables are available on the Ferry but are priced higher. But what 10 amazing things to do in krabi ?
Note: You can avail the option of a drop-off to your hotel and choose the mode of transport – whether you prefer your own vehicle or a minibus which you can share with people.
There are a lot of budget hotels and luxury ones in Krabi – one can choose as per your budget. We found Krabi to be much quieter and less crowded as compared to Phuket. While we are taking nothing away from the awesomeness and buzz that Phuket possesses, Krabi has its own charm in its beauty and serenity.
We chose Centara Andha Devi Resort and Spa in Krabi for our 2-day stay. The hotel is a mid-range one and was about 30 mins from the Ao Nang Pier. The Ao Nang beach is just around 1.5 kms (~1 mile) from the hotel – you can take a leisurely walk.
View from the room @Centara Andha Devi Hotel – Krabi
The breakfast at the Centara is good and the in-room dining is pretty good. After burning so many calories for the last 5 days, we decided to indulge – PIZZA! We were not disappointed at all.
The hotel is situated on a busy street in Krabi with lots of restaurants and other hotels. And of course, there are a couple on “7-Eleven” stores to buy stuff.
We always choose restaurants through Tripadvisor app with the maps interface. There are quite a few vegetarian restaurants nearby – someIndian restaurants too 🙂
Just like Phuket there are lot of Day tours that you can take from Krabi. The road-side kiosks and even the hotel front-desks have flyers and pamphlets with great deals for Full-Day and Half day tours.
Many of the island tours can be taken from both Phuket and Krabi, so you can plan the duration of your stay accordingly. Railay Beach is very popular and beautiful – around 30-45 mins by cab. You can spend one day there just sun-bathing with the view of the beautiful blue water!
One other attraction is the Tiger Cave Temple which is again around 30-45 mins inside the city via a cab. It is a sacred Buddhist site and meditation centre located amidst tropical vegetation. If you are adventurous and have the energy…then you will have a great time climbing 1237 steps up to the temple :O
Try the nearby hot-springs for a relaxing soak in the water so head down for a stroll in the lowland forests.
You can also try shopping on the streets of Krabi – many artifacts available….along with clothes and beachwear. We managed to catch this structure and couldn’t resist clicking a pic with this in the background.
We strongly condemn cruelty to fishes…..but won’t mind clicking a pic in front of this one 🙂
Note: If you bargain a lot…they will ask you if you are from India 🙂 and then refuse to sell any stuff!
We stayed at Krabi for only 2 nights only…again too short but time well spent. We were too tired to explore the Krabi town and had to be content with the memories we gathered within those 2 days!
Time to go to the Krabi Airport to board the flight to our next and final pitstop – Bangkok – coming soon
“The only time we like to dance is to the song of the sea”
– partly Anonymous & partly us 🙂
The Maldives holds a special place in our hearts as it was our first foray in foreign lands..individually and together. Though it would be awesome to be marooned on an island like Tom Hanks in Castaway cooking your own food would be too much of an ask….ain’t it? How to reach the Maldives for Amazing Things To Do In Maldives.
The Maldives is a paradise situated to the south of India, in the Indian Ocean. The best time to visit this gem would between November to April. It rains a lot from May to October so it is best to avoid traveling to the Maldives during this period. The best and I guess the only way to reach Male (capital of Maldives) is by Air. There are direct flights from India (Kochi & Bengaluru).
One of the most painful aspects of travel to a foreign country is availing Visa but in this case, you have the convenience of Free Visa on Arrival which issued to you when you land in Male Airport. The tourist visa is valid for 30 days from the day of arrival but what Amazing Things To Do In Maldives.
The best place to stay in the Maldives is to stay in any of the numerous island resorts rather than in Male the city. We chose Paradise Island Resort & Spa for our 5-night stay in the Maldives. You can either use Tripadvisor or any other online travel aggregators to book your stay.
Once you exit Male airport, there are a lot of kiosks where your resort representatives would be waiting to welcome you. Based on the distance from the airport, you can travel to the resort either by Seaplane or a speed boat.
Note: Usually the speed boat transfers are free inclusions in the package. However, if you have to travel by seaplane, you will have to shell out additional money.
Inside the Water Villa – from the deck
When you think Amazing Things To Do In Maldives. All the resorts have Beach villas (or by any other name) and Water villas. Going by the description, water villas are more expensive than beach villas. One can either split the stay between Beach villas & Water Villas to reduce the overall expense. But if that’s not a constraint, then we would suggest you opt for a Water Villa.
Private Deck with tub and stairs to the water!
We were so mesmerized by the photos of the Water Villas that we opted for them for our entire stay. Each of the water villas had a huge room with a private deck with 2 chairs and an open tub – luxury over water! The icing on the cake was private access directly into the waters through a flight of stairs from the villa.
We spent a good half an hour admiring the villa, immensely happy about spending the next 5 unforgettable nights in the lap of luxury.
Since most of the resorts are secluded and the only way to travel anywhere is seaplane or speed boat, you will have to rely on the restaurants on the resort. If you are particular about a certain cuisine and are not in a mood to experiment, you could include all the meals in your holiday package.
The brekkie desert spread..yummmm!
Otherwise almost every resort has 3-4 restaurants and even bars to provide a host of options. Paradise island resort had 3 restaurants – Multi-cuisine, Italian and Chinese restaurants and a bar on the beach. We had opted for an all-in meals option as a part of the package. One would think that a buffet meal 3 times a day for 5 days would end up being boring, but the spread was changing every day much to our delight. <slurp>
Note: It is advisable to buy a crate of water bottles from the Airport (there is a shop at the airport) as the water bottles at resorts are around 3 times as expensive. Once you are at the resort, you will be at their mercy. With the tropical climate, and the sun beating down during the noon – 1 liter of water will not be enough for a couple. We bought a crate of 24 (half a liter) bottles from the airport costs around $24 overall.
With most of the resorts secluded from other islands while they usually have a host of activities. For people who like to relax can laze on the beach for hours or opt for Spa. For adventure seekers, there is Scuba Diving – led by a PAID instructor on the resort. The overall dive is for 1 hour and would cost around $350-400 for a couple with the dive being as deep as 12 m below sea level. There is a training – theory for around 30 mins followed by a test (which anyone can clear) and post that you need to sign the declaration form. Post all this, we enter the water with the bulky scuba outfits to swim along with the fishes.
Note: Please ensure you use sunscreen before you enter the water and also bring along a couple of water bottles – drink some water before you dive. Since you would breath using the mouth the entire time, it will be very dry. We had forgotten to bring the water bottles and one of us had to actually drink the saline dirty seawater because the thirst was unbearable. <yuck>
Snorkeling is another option to explore the underwater without any bulky apparatus like that used in Scuba. For those who do not know swimming, can we use a life-jacket and then try snorkeling – it is equally amazing! The transparent blue waters in the Maldives is treating to the eyes. It would cost you around $35 per person including the equipment.
The snorkeling experience starts from the shores and ends at the Italian restaurant. After burning all the calories during snorkeling, it wouldn’t harm to have a cheese pizza as a reward! 🙂
Other activities would include trips to nearby villages (half-day and full-day trips) on speedboats or watching dolphins during sunset.
Well, if you do not want to travel in the middle of the sea to watch Dolphins, you can watch and feed sharks every evening near the Chinese restaurant at the resort.
Important: Things to Remember while you thinking Amazing Things To Do In Maldives
The Maldives currency is very weak so it would be prudent to use dollars instead of the local currency unless you end up using every penny. All the resorts prefer credit cards to dollars over the local currency. We used credit cards to settle the dues and dollars wherever required.
Also, it is better to get a crate full of water bottles from the airport.
Do pack a few medicines in case you feel sea-sick or get bruises from corals during scuba or snorkeling. An in-house doc is available but the medicines will be expensive.
Just like any vacation, the journey back is the most painful after Amazing Things To Do In Maldives. We literally dragged ourselves back to the Speedboat to go back to the airport…not before we went to the souvenir shop to collect some memorabilia to remind us of this awesome trip!
Oman Relaxes VISA for Indians, Chinese and Russian Nationals
Oman Relaxes VISA for Indians, Chinese and Russian Nationals in order to attract more tourists from these countries.
Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) announced the revised terms and conditions issued by the Omani authorities on the granting of non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia,
1.Who reside in or
2. Who hold an entry visa to one of the these countries — United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Schengen states to enter the Sultanate of Oman.
Terms And Conditions For Getting Non-Sponsored Tourist Visa For The Citizens Of India.
Visa applicant shall be holding a passport valid for not less than six month.
Applicants must also have a return ticket and confirmed hotel reservation in order to be granted the visa.
The statement said the visa will be granted for a period of one month for a fee of 20 Omani rial.
According to OAMC circular the spouse and children of the visa holder would also be allowed to enter the Sultanate.
The competent authority may prohibit the citizens of these countries who meet the terms and conditions for obtaining the visa from entering the Sultanate if the public interest so require.
Disclaimer: VISA REGULATIONS ARE OFTEN CHANGED WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION. ALWAYS BETTER TO CHECK THE EMBASSY’S WEBSITE BEFORE PLANNING.