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America is famous as the birthplace of fast food. When it comes to ingredients, taste and attention to detail, no fast food experience beats the real thing. If you’re planning a trip to the USA then make sure you don’t miss sampling these five diner favourites to taste the authentic flavour of the top five great American meals.

1. The Classic Burger

When you visit your first authentic American diner order the burger!

When you visit your first authentic American diner order the burger!

All good diners will have a classic burger on their menu and in most places you’ll be offered a choice of extra toppings, so you can sample the speciality of the house.

If you love to taste a little bit of everything when you eat out then order sliders, mini burgers that provide a bite sized punch of flavour. In New York spend an afternoon or evening at Mark in the East Village and taste your way through their extensive slider menu.

2. Barbecue

Carnivores will adore the amazing array of flame cooked food on offer in the USA.

Carnivores will adore the amazing array of flame cooked food on offer in the USA.

Succulent mega steaks, sweet and gooey babyback ribs that melt off the bone, spicy sausages made in house and slowly smoked chunks of stunningly seasoned pork, beef and lamb dripping with delicious juices.

Wherever you are in the US, you’ll find restaurants serving their own distinct style of barbecue, with establishments like Bill Spoon’s in North Carolina, Bulldog Barbecue in Miami and the Joint in New Orleans attracting worldwide interest.

3. Fried Chicken

In America? Don't miss out on the authentic fried, crispy chicken!

In America? Don’t miss out on the authentic fried, crispy chicken!

Ever since the Colonel introduced his blend of secret spices to the world, fried chicken has become a popular fast food across the globe. However, authentic American fried chicken is in a whole different ballpark!

Fried chicken is a staple of the American diner menu and restaurants put a different twist on their recipes and techniques, so there’s a huge range of exciting flavours to experience. In the USA, chicken isn’t chicken without waffles so make sure you order some of these fluffy treats and remember to add plenty of syrup.

4. Pizza

Pizza is big business in the US and you’ll find joints on every street corner.

Pizza is big business in the US and you’ll find joints on every street corner.

Look for restaurants with their own Pizza oven for pies with that delicious stone baked taste. In New York try Grimaldi’s under Brooklyn Bridge for huge portions and a family atmosphere. In California indulge in a gourmet slice at Oakland’s Pizzaiolo, or taste a unique twist on the traditional Pizza in St Louis, where slices are served in squares and slathered with a mx of American, provolone and Swiss cheese.

5. Key Lime Pie

The dish is named after the small Key limes

The dish is named after the small Key limes & prepared using lime zest and condensed milk

When you’re ready for desert Key Lime Pie is a tart, sweet and delicious pie that originated in the Florida Keyes. Originally made with the limes that grow in abundance in the area, today you can find Key Lime Pie in most US diners.

The pie is famous for its green custard topped with a generous pile of fluffy meringue but if you want to taste the natural flavours of lime then look for a pie with a tinge of green rather than a bright and lurid colour.

Whatever your tastes, you’ll find plenty of food to enjoy in the USA so make sure you don’t miss out on these amazing meals when you visit!

About the Author

This article was written by Rachel Hurley. When she isn’t trawling the web for stunning travel and food inspiration she enjoys grabbing a cold beer and relaxing. Follow her on Twitter @Rachel_Hurley23.

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On November 17th, Travel + Leisure’s India’s Best Awards 2017 showcased the creme dela creme of the travel industry, including the best emerging destination, cruise, business hotel, airport, destination spa, and more. And this year, Cox & Kings is proud to have won the Best Luxury Travel Curator Award, cementing its spot at the top of the chain in world-class travel. Sandeep Dayal, our Head of Sales – Business  Development & Special Projects accepted the award for Cox & Kings.

Sandeep Dayal, Head – Sales & Business Development, received the award on behalf of Cox & Kings

Held in ITC Maurya, New Delhi, the event gave away 97 awards across 57 categories ranging from best country, honeymoon hot spots, ace business hotels to emerging destinations, airlines and airports, and cruises across the world. The winners were elected over two-months through a two-month digital poll, which got an overwhelming 1,48,941 votes this year, i.e., an increase of about 30% from last year.

The evening included several well-known names from the travel and lifestyle industry, including celebrity beautician Shenaz Hussain, Priya Paul, Chairperson of The Apeejay Surendra Park Hotels, Fashion Designer Raghavendra Rathore, and Founder of Lulu & Sky Kalyani Chawla among others, who presented the awards.

Travel+Leisure India & South Asia undoubtedly tops the luxury travel segment in India. It’s entirely devoted to curating premium experiences for high net-worth individuals.

Get Your Taste Of Luxury With Cox & Kings Holidays!
CoxandKings.com

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India’s third largest and second-most populous state, Maharashtra is magnificent, mesmerising and marvelous!  With an expanse of canvas of iconic attractions to see, this state better not be missed on your holiday to India!

Choose from palm fringed beaches of Tarkarli, the exceptional Lonar Crater, the intricate Bibi Ka Maqbara, to the stunning Western Ghats and many more, you have these and 6 more reasons to visit Maharashtra NOW!

Check out the video and make your mind now!

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With over 25,000km of coastline to its name, Australia is a beach lover’s paradise. Every region is home to dozens of beautiful spots, each with their own appeal. This summer, check out the 10 best beaches in Australia.

#1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland

Whitehaven Beach washed by swirls of turquoise, blue and green water

Whitehaven Beach is washed by swirls of turquoise, blue and green water

It should not come as a surprise that the Great Barrier Reef is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located on Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach boasts of 7km of unspoilt sand, swirls of turquoise, green and blue water!

Not only does it consist of 98% pure white silica, it also stays cooler than regular sand, which makes it comfortable to walk on, even in scorching weather. Named both ‘Queensland’s cleanest beach’ and the ‘top eco-friendly beach in the world’, Whitehaven Beach is accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter.

#2. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Asutralia

Broome's Cable Beach is renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Broome’s Cable Beach is renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

Cable Beach is an incredible 22km stretch of sand found near Broome, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Its vast expanse of white sand is contrasted by turquoise water on one side and red ochre cliffs on the other. The gentle waves make it a great spot for swimming and beach-combing, but those up for an adventure shouldn’t miss the chance to explore one of Cable Beach’s famous sunrises or go on a sunset camel ride.

#3. Manly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales

Watch skilled surfers ride the waves at Manly Beach

Watch skilled surfers ride the waves at Manly Beach in Australia

While Bondi Beach is on-trend and glamorous, Manly Beach has a more laid-back personality. There is also a historical significance attached to this coastline, with the first World Surfing Championships in 1964 being held at Manly Beach, which was declared a National Surfing Reserve in 2012. The three sections of Manly Beach (Queenscliff, North Steyne and South Steyne) each have their own Surf Life Saving Clubs, and are skirted by a pleasant esplanade, lined with Norfolk Island pine trees.

#4. Greens Pool, Denmark, Western Australia

Green Pool is famous for its turquoise green waters and pristine white sandy beach

Greens Pool is famous for its turquoise green waters and pristine white sand beach

Part of William Bay National Park, Greens Pool is located roughly an hour west of Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. What makes Greens Pool so unique is the ring of large granite boulders that prevents the waves from reaching the shore. This rocky border has essentially created a natural swimming pool that’s perfect for young children and less-confident swimmers. That being said, its expansive white sands, interesting rock formations and calm, turquoise waters, make Greens Pool a worthwhile destination for every kind of beach lover.

#5. Main Beach, Noosa, Queensland

Main beach, Noosa is the best option for families to enjoy with their loved ones

Main Beach, Noosa, is the best option for families to enjoy with their loved ones

Noosa’s Main Beach is an ideal place to spend a few hours or an entire afternoon. This wide, north-facing stretch of sand is perhaps the Sunshine Coast’s most popular beach. While the waves here are very gentle, the area is also patrolled by lifesavers daily to ensure there are no mishaps.

The beach also backs onto lush nature reserves and gardens, and is just a stone’s throw away from the laid-back shops, restaurants, accommodation and bars of Hastings Street. Talk about fun on the beach!

#6. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia

Turquoise Bay is a top snorkelling destination

Turquoise Bay is a top snorkelling destination in Western Australia

The aptly named Turquoise Bay is situated on Western Australia’s famous Ningaloo Coast. With the main barrier of Australia’s largest fringing coral reef less than 100 metres from the shore, Turquoise Bay is a top destination for snorkellers.

For beginners, the Bay Snorkel Area is a safe spot to discover a variety of fish and coral, while more confident swimmers can head to the Drift Snorkel Area, which is an incredible way to see the reef. Enter near the southern end of the beach, swim about 40 metres out, then simply float while the water current transports you past hundreds of fish and coral structures, all the way to the northern sand bar.

#7. Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland

Watch the endless stream of surfers and fishermen walking through the Burleigh Heads Beach

Watch the endless stream of surfers and fishermen walking along the Burleigh Heads Beach

Although Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast’s most famous beach, many locals prefer to spend their time at Burleigh Heads. A popular spot, Burleigh Beach is known for its reliable surf breaks, towering pine trees, and relaxed food and fashion boutiques. Climb over piles of boulders, watch skilled surfers compete for waves near the headland, or hike through nearby Burleigh Heads National Park to observe the skyscrapers of Surfer Paradise from a peaceful distance.

#8. Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Ned's Beach Sanctuary Zone offers the chance to spot beautiful corals, fish, and other marine life not far from shore.

In Ned’s Beach Sanctuary Zone, you can spot beautiful coral, fish, and other marine life near the shore

One of Australia’s hidden gems can be found on a tiny island about 600km east of Port Macquarie. Ned’s Beach, located on Lord Howe Island, is a sanctuary zone and a fantastic destination for anyone with an interest in marine life.

Visitors can choose to go snorkelling or simply stand in the shallows to get up close with wrasse, mullet, garfish, huge kingfish and more.  The ‘honesty box’ (where snorkelling masks and flippers are stored and can be rented) and the coin-operated fish food machine only add to the old-fashioned charm of Ned’s Beach.

#9. Mooloolaba Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Mooloolaba Beach's clear blue waters and golden sands are just breathtaking

Mooloolaba Beach’s clear blue waters and golden sands are absolutely breathtaking

In recent years, Mooloolaba Beach has gained recognition as one of the best beaches in Southeast Queensland. With a patrolled swimming area that’s sheltered from southerlies and south easterlies, Mooloolaba Beach is a particularly popular spot for families.

A boardwalk runs along the entire length of the beach, and there are plenty of restaurants and barbecue areas nearby that are perfect for quick stops for some food or just to soak up the chilled out atmosphere.

#10. Twilight Beach, Esperance, Western Australia

Experience gorgeous peach-coloured dunes in Twilight Beach

Walk along gorgeous peach-coloured dunes near Twilight Beach in Australia

With whiter-than-white sand and water bordering on turquoise, it’s easy to see how Twilight Beach won the title of “best beach in Australia” a few years ago.

The surrounding cliffs with peach offer spectacular whale-watching opportunities, and the bay also features a huge, flat rock formation as a centrepiece. On sunny days, you’ll often see locals climbing it before jumping into the crystal clear waters below. You can also spot peach-coloured dunes near the beach.

Interested in holidaying in Australia?

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Author Bio:

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson is a 23-year-old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when he finished a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all that life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and others along the way!

 

 

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Did you know the picturesque city of Prague is the proud owner of the largest castle in the world? Read on to know more about this underrated European holiday destination, as Protima Tiwary recites her experience!

A walking tour of Prague is the best way to explore this holiday destination!

A walking tour of Prague is the best way to explore this holiday destination!

The bohemian city of Prague will always hold a special place in my heart. At any given time of day, the skyline of Gothic spires and cobbled streets looks like it’s right out of a painting. As your eyes race from one tower to the next, you realise there is no way you can ever have enough of the charm that this city seems to exude. You switch off your maps, you walk around, you lose yourself in one of the many lanes around Old Town. Prague will have you under her spell in no time.

Walk Around, Get Lost, Discover New Places

Prague has done a brilliant job at shaking off its industrial past, and has transformed itself into a vibrant city, bustling with tourists at all given times of the year. This enigmatic city with churches, synagogues and museums is best explored on foot. Start at the urban Wenceslas Square that is filled with the hustle-bustle of touristy crowds, weave your way through the cobble-stoned lanes to Old Town, and finally reach the Charles Bridge.

We spent three days in Prague walking around, getting lost, and discovering new places while we were at it. While there’s a lot that I’d love to share with you, I’m going to leave you with the essential highlights. Take a look!

1. Charles Bridge

This pedestrian only bridge over the river Vltava is a huge celebration of art, love and life.

This pedestrian-only bridge over the River Vltava is a huge celebration of art, love and life.

Did you know? Once upon a time, this bridge, with its Gothic statues and towers, used to be completely empty! Today, you need to be prepared to make your way through the throng of tourists here. I say this because you will be stopped with requests to click pictures, and of course you’d want to get clicked too. Switch your tourist mode to the highest level, and go at it!

2. Prague Castle

 Cobble-stoned streets take you around Old Town, all the way up to the Prague Castle.

Cobble-stoned streets take you around Old Town, all the way up to Prague Castle

Make sure you visit the Prague Castle complex, with its churches, courtyards, and palaces for an interesting journey back into the city’s history.

Stop by at antique stores, pick up a gingerbread or two, buy a book at one of the hidden libraries, peep into store windows were tarot cards and gypsy clothes are sold, and soak in the charm of the Bohemian Old Town. Don’t forget to bite into a doughnut cone ice-cream, a dessert made of sweet dough, coated with sugar and sprinkled with cinnamon, and filled with the ice cream of your choice.

3. Sigmund Freud Statue

What looks like a suicide in progress is actually a statue of Sigmund Freud

What looks like a suicide in progress is actually a statue of Sigmund Freud

It saddens me to say that not many know about this mysterious structure. One of the buildings in the Old Town has a 7-feet statue of Sigmund Freud dangling in the air over the street; it’s quite a spectacle. When this statue was first created, people thought someone was trying to commit suicide and they reported this to the police. You actually need to see it to know how real this looks, just make sure you keep looking towards the sky as you walk through Old Town.

4. Fred & Ginger Building

This Dancing House in Prague got its name "Fred and Ginger", after the legendary dance duo

This Dancing House in Prague was named “Fred and Ginger” in honour of the legendary dance duo

In the medieval town of Prague, stands a modern-looking glass building that is fondly referred to as the Dancing House. The curvy outlines of this architectural marvel have been named after the iconic dance duo Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. It’s a little out of the way, but you need to stop by to see the beauty of this architectural piece, which is a stark contrast to the historic architecture in the neighbourhood.

5. Wenceslas Square

Easy from here to walk anywhere in the city centre, Wenceslas Square in Prague covers all sights and attractions

Set in the heart of New Town, Wenceslas Square in Prague is filled with some major sights

Wenceslas Square is the focal point in the New Town Quarter, and has a rich history. This is where you find the Jan Palach Square, a memorial built to commemorate two college students who set themselves on fire in 1969 to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of the Czech Republic. Another interesting point here is the statue of King Wenceslas, which is a popular meeting spot for the locals.

6. Astronomical Clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock, which for 600 years has been one of the greatest treasures of the city

The Prague Astronomical Clock, ticking for about 600 years, has been one of the city’s greatest treasures

It’s a pity that the Prague Astronomical Clock was under renovation when we visited, but it didn’t stop us from clicking pictures. When functional, this clock chimes every hour and has a small performance in store for the city of Prague. Every hour, the two windows open up to reveal the 12 apostles who come out greet the city, ending their performance with ringing bells that signify the hour.

7. St. Vitus Cathedral

The magnificent St Vitus Cathedral is unique and famous because of its ancient baroque architectural style. This Roman Catholic cathedral and the seat of the archbishop of Prague, is a must-visit when in the city, especially during the evening.

8. Jewish Quarter

Unveil the stories of the Jewish Ghetto in Prague!

Unveil the mysteries and hidden stories as you explore the Jewish Ghetto in Prague

Here you’ll come across one of the most powerful collection of Jewish sights in Prague. Explore the Jewish Quarter to know more about the Jews in Prague, and do keep the Jewish Cemetery, Jewish Museum and Old New Synagogue on your list.

9. Lunch by the Vltava

Riverside lunch with a view like this? Absolutely!

Riverside lunch with a view like this? Absolutely!

While you’re on your feet all day, do not forget to stop by for some rest (you’ll not realise how tiring it all gets, especially during the summer months). Head to the river bank and stop by for a picnic in the summer sun.

10. John Lennon Wall

This wall was seen as a sign of revolution, and since then has served as a means of expression to many tourists and locals alike.

Seen as a sign of revolution, the John Lennon wall is a means of expression for tourists and locals alike

While John Lennon never visited Prague himself, a wall with his name draws hordes of tourists to the city every year. John Lennon songs were banned during the Communist era, mostly because they spoke of freedom that did not exist at that point. After his murder in 1980, John’s face was painted on the wall near the French Embassy, along with a lot of graffiti against the authorities. The Communist police tried cleaning these messages, but the wall would soon be repainted with new messages.

11. Evenings By The Vltava

A casual stroll around the Embankment of the Vltava River can be a memorable affair!

A casual stroll around the embankment of the Vltava River can be a memorable affair!

It was 10pm as we sat by the Vltava river with a glass of beer and a hot dog, taking in the sights and sounds of Prague. The reflection of the city lights on the calm river surface, boats filled with people in the mood for a drink (or 2, maybe 5), and happy couples in love. Airplanes twinkled against the inky blue night sky, with the silhouette of the Prague Castle in the horizon. Men and women sharing a laugh, families cycling or walking their pets, and runners training along the river bank. It was in this moment that we realised a simple, clichéd and extremely under-rated thing, the world is an open book waiting to be explored. Long story short, this has to be my fondest memory of Prague and I highly recommend you keep an evening aside for this experience.

Prague is a quaint town that has charmed visitors since time immemorial. Some fall in love with her picturesque beauty, some are enchanted by her Bohemian vibe, while others appreciate her history. You cannot go to Prague and return unchanged, she’ll put a spell on you and have you coming back for more! So enjoy a heavy breakfast, lace up and head out to conquer Prague.

What To Keep In Mind?

Please note – whether you’re in a restaurant, crowded market place or even a cab, make sure you keep your belongings safe with you. Prague is known for pickpockets and con artists, so keep your money close, don’t use credit cards, exchange currency at stores instead of on the road, and ensure you check the rates before purchasing anything.

Author Bio

Protima Tiwary

Protima Tiwary

An Army kid in pursuit of culinary nirvana, Protima Tiwary is a freelance content writer by day and a fitness blogger by night. High on love, life and sugar, she is mildly obsessed about cupcakes and to-do lists, and loves her long runs like a fat kid loves cake. While she fumbles towards fame as a writer, she believes living life with a little bit of flair and exaggeration makes things interesting. You can find her work on her website Dumbbells and Drama

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Whenever one thinks of a beach holiday, Mauritius usually tops the list. But that’s not it, there’s more to this quaint paradise than just its breathtaking beaches! Read on as Alefiya Rashiq pens down a few of the places that you visit on your next holiday here (hint: these are not beaches)!

An aerial view of the incredible island of Mauritius

An aerial view of the incredible island of Mauritius

When heaven was being created, this was probably the reference point. Tucked away in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is an island nation that showers you with breathtaking panoramas, sun-kissed beaches and pure sparkling waters. But to make the most of this fabulous destination, explore these 7 amazing experiences and places.

#1 The Wildlife At Black River Gorges National Park

Pack a picnic lunch and hike through the Black River Gorges National Park

Pack a picnic lunch and hike through the Black River Gorges National Park

The biggest national park in Mauritius, the Black River Gorges National Park is spread over 6,574 hectares in the Southwestern part of the nation. Ideal for one-day excursions, you can spend the entire time looking out for flowering plants, endangered species of birds and the many exotic animals that call it home. Don’t miss out on the scenic vistas, rolling hills and waterfalls that will come your way as you move around the park.

#2 The Miracle of Seven-Coloured Earth At Chamarel

Seven colours of sand, anyone?

If you think you’ve seen it all, the multi-colour sand at Chamarel in Mauritius will surely surprise you!

The name may seem surprising, but it’s only when you visit the village of Chamarel that your eyes pop with the beauty of nature. You may think it’s man-made, but you’d be wrong. The sand dunes here have a peculiar chemical composition that colours it in seven different hues, making for one grand spectacle. You can witness it from various observation points and can buy some of this sand from nearby curio shops as souvenirs. On your way back, stop for a peek of the Chamarel Waterfalls, the highest falls in Mauritius, and visit the neighbouring park, which has a few giant tortoises that children will love.

#3 The History At The National Museum & Eureka House

Learn about Mauritius’ colonial past

Learn about Mauritius’ colonial past with a visit to the Mahebourg’s National Museum

The Mahebourg National Museum takes you back to colonial times, when the Europeans ruled the country. Set within a magnificent French mansion, the structure displays an assortment of artefacts, paintings and archeological findings that showcase the country’s rich heritage and vibrant legacy. The Eureka House located in Moka, Central Mauritius, is also a very important historical attraction. Once home to several British and French aristocrats, it has now been converted into a museum. Historical enthusiasts will not be disappointed, because Mauritius even has a Photo Museum, a Sugar Museum and a Blue Penny Museum.

#4 The Beauty At Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens

The flowers of the water lilies change colour, white one day and red another

At Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens, giant water lilies often change colour from white to red

Built by French horticulturist Pierre Poivre, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is  considered among the world’s finest botanical gardens. Admire the gorgeous pond of giant water lilies or set off to find out more about the many families of plants nestled within the garden. We recommend taking a guide along for better understanding. This visit will surely be a refreshing retreat!

#5 The Horse Races At Champ De Mars

Follow your favourite horse until victory, one gallop at a time

Follow your favourite horse until victory, one gallop at a time

The legend of Champ De Mars, the second-oldest racecourse in the world, dates back to the 1800s. As a sport, horse racing is taken very seriously in Mauritius and you will be lucky to catch one of these grand events. Purchase your ticket, sit in one of the tiered stands and cheer for your favourite horse; this unforgettable experience is sure to get your heart racing!

#6 The Vibrant Markets At Port Loius

A pretty display of umbrellas at the Caudan Waterfront in Port Loius

A pretty display of umbrellas at the Caudan Waterfront in Port Loius

Even though Mauritius has some big malls that you can shop at, the duty-free markets of Port Louis steal the cake. The best spot to pick up souvenirs is at the Caudan Waterfront, where a lot of shops sell interesting handicrafts and handmade products; one of the notable items include a quaint replica of a traditional wooden ship. Apart from handicrafts, you can also buy textiles, homemade oils, tea and coffee here, all of which make amazing souvenirs.

#6 The Undersea Walk & Water Sports At Grand Baie

A 25-minute walk under the sea, a memory for a lifetime

A 25-minute walk under the sea, a memory for a lifetime, only at Grand Baie in Mauritius

Have you ever considered strolling across the sea bed, with exotic fish and coral reef for company? At Grand Baie, you can. The Undersea Walk could certainly be the highlight of your Mauritius holiday. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try snorkelling, scuba diving and even surfing here, with the best trained professionals and diving schools at your disposal.

#7 The Street Food Across The Island

The street food is spicy, varied and influenced from Indian and Chinese food

The street food in Mauritius is spicy, varied and influenced by Indian and Chinese flavours

Mauritians love their snacks right off the streets. Try any nook and corner, and you will find fully laden carts with vendors dishing out hot spicy specialties from his mini-kitchen. Dholl Puri (a flatbread wrapped with yellow split-peas) is the most common dish, followed by Roti Chaud (flatbreads served with curries and fresh pickle). The Briani (Biryani), Samosas, Pakoras and Chana Puri will make you forget their Indian counterparts. Owing to a minor Chinese population, you’re sure to find some heavenly dim sums too. Mauritius has two-three significant distilleries that produce rum, so a glass of the flavour-infused brew is a must try.

Looking for a holiday in magical Mauritius?

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Author Bio:

Alefiya Rashiq

Alefiya Rashiq

A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya Rashiq is a copywriter and a communications professional. Breaking into jigs, making quirky observations and her untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!

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The Odisha Annual Adivasi Exhibition, popularly known as Adivasi Mela or Odisha Tribal Fair, showcases the rich culture and heritage of the state’s tribal communities. This year, the event is set up in Bhubaneshwar between January 26th and February 9th, 2018.

Buy handicrafts made by the tribal communities

Pick up colourful handicrafts made by Odisha’s tribal communities!

This uniquely proud festival showcases an ethnic mosaic of handicrafts and traditions by the state’s 62 culturally rich tribes (including 13 primitive tribal groups). Considered one of the oldest and most vibrant festivals of tribal people, this fete features a myriad of forest, natural, and handicraft products manufactured, exhibited and sold by tribal communities. Every evening, for 15 days, the visitors are treated to spectacular shows performed by the tribes, which offer a glimpse of Odisha’s exotic culture.

This is your chance to learn more about this blend of ethnic cultures and interact with the locals in Odisha. So clear your calendar and book a holiday now!

Get to know about Bhubhaneshwar

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Dive into Indian culture through five states, best known for the sacred rivers running through them. Amisha tells us how these sacred rivers have shaped customs and culture of the regions they pass through, creating an identity we proudly call Indian.

#1. Uttar Pradesh

Latthmar Holi of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Latthmar Holi of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

No matter which city of Uttar Pradesh the Ganga flows through, its holy vibe is quite palpable. The sounds of mantras and conch shells are as common a phenomena as the many devotees taking dips in the sacred River Ganga on the Ghats of Banaras.

The Ganga in Kanpur is best visited a week after Holi for the age-old Ganga Mela, where people conduct a procession to commemorate freedom fighters, play with colours and conclude the festivities by taking a dip in the holy river. Allahabad, another city where the Ganga flows, is known for its famous Kumbh Mela and even the Magh Mela. The ‘Ardha Kumbh Mela’ will next be held in Allahabad in 2019.

Kanpur is also known for its ‘nautankis’ and Mathura still celebrates the ancient ‘Braj’ culture by performing on traditional folk songs of Radha and Krishna.

Fact File – Uttar Pradesh

Location: North-central India. Uttar Pradesh is the fourth-largest state in terms of land area. 
How to Reach: The main railhead of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow. If you’re taking a flight, the state has four domestic airports:  Lucknow, Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi.
Official Language: Hindi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Humid subtropical with dry winter
Food & Drink: Paapdi-chaat, kachori, samosa and a must try is paan.

#2. Uttarakhand

The shrine of Goddess Yamuna nestled in the Himalayas

The shrine of Goddess Yamuna nestled in the Himalayas

The River Yamuna originates in the Yamunotri glacier and flows through this state of valleys. Pilgrims on the Char Dham Yatra first visit the Yamunotri temple to seek Goddess Yamuna’s blessings. The Poanta Sahib Gurudwara on the river banks at Sirmour, holds a special place in the hearts of Sikhs.

Like her many mythological forms, the Yamuna flows in different forms throughout this state. She is boiling hot at Surya Kund near Yamunotri, icy cold at the Har Ki Doon valley, and aggressive through the hills, giving us many reasons to visit Uttarakhand. Some would also prefer to experience this state through treks in the Garhwali Mountains, white-water rafting at Rishikesh, or a wildlife safari at Jim Corbett National Park.

The folks of Kumaon, Garhwal and the ethnic tribes here have some interesting traditions and festivals. Devidhura Mela, for example, sees people first fighting to please their Goddess and then hugging each other.

Fact File – Uttarakhand

Location: North India.
How to Reach:
Official Language:
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Summers: temperatures cross the 40°C mark with considerable humidity. Winters: chilly with temperatures going below 5°C
Food & Drink: Bhang Chutney, Kafuli, Jhangora Kheer, Gulgula.

#3. Assam

The Brahmaputra River originates from the Angsi Glacier in Burang County of Tibet

The Brahmaputra River originates from the Angsi Glacier in Burang County of Tibet


Tsangpo, Siang, Brahmaputra, no matter what name it takes, this river is pure bliss. And Assam in northeast India is equally interesting with its blue mountains, green expanses of paddy fields and tea plantations, and the beautiful monasteries and mystical temples.

The Kamakhya temple in Guwahati and the Kaziranga National Park remain on the itineraries of most visitors. However, the best way to discover the essence of Assam is through the Brahmaputra. While the tranquil river island of Majuli shows you the calm face of the river, its grandeur is best witnessed through the fabulous Brahmaputra River Cruise. This river’s importance is seen in the festivals that celebrate its wonderous might, with the Namami Brahmaputra River Festival and the Brahmaputra Beach Festival, held at Guwahati around the time of ‘Magh Bihu’ being two such key events.

Fact File – Assam

Location: Northeastern India
How to Reach: Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is only 25 km away from the city and Guwahati Railway Station welcomes many new faces everyday. 
Official Language: Assamese, Bodo, Bengali
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Summers: temperatures cross the 40°C mark with considerable humidity. Winters: chilly with temperatures going below 5°C
Food & Drink: Meat delicacy Khaar, Duck meat curry, Aloo Pitika

#4. Maharashtra

 Intricate detailing on historical Trimbakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra

Intricate detailing on historical Trimbakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra

Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra, where the Godavari or Dakshin Ganga originates, is counted among one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.

Every 12 years, the grand Simhasta Kumbh Mela, one of the four Kumbh Melas, is held on her banks near Nasik. The event attracts lakhs of people, who gather here to perform the bathing ritual in this sacred river.

The river is also known to support the wildlife at Chandrapur, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, and several other sanctuaries in the Godavari basin. The Nandurmadmeshwar Bird Sanctuary on the backwaters near Nasik has been termed as the ‘Bharatpur of Maharashtra’. Paithan, famous for its Paithani sarees, is set closest to the Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary and is another nesting ground for hundreds of species of birds.

Fact File -Maharashtra

Location: West-central India
How to Reach: Mumbai is one of the major cities with both the domestic as well as an international airport. Also the Mumbai city has a well connected rail network.
Official Language: Marathi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Tropical
Food & Drink: Misal-pav, Poha, Wada-pav, Sol kadhi, Kokam sharbat

#5. Madhya Pradesh

Mahal built for Mughal Emperor Jahangir, at Orchha

Mahal built for Mughal Emperor Jahangir, at Orchha

The journey of Narmada or Reva from Amarkantak, its point of origin, through Madhya Pradesh is beautiful and is considered to have religious merits; a reason why people do a ‘Parikrama’ (travel around the river and back). Temples along the ghats of the Narmada are mostly devoted to Lord Shiva, although Madhya Pradesh is also known for its many Jain shrines and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sanchi Stupa.

Madhya Pradesh’s history is marked by the rule of numerous emperors, a legacy that is reflected in its architectural heritage. The 10th century Bandhavgarh Fort in the Bandhavgarh National Park is believed to be Lord Rama’s gift to Lord Lakshmana. While the fort has since been used by numerous dynasties, it is now a tourist spot.

This state is also gifted with natural wonders like Bhedaghat, formed by the Narmada cutting through marble rock to create a series of tall rock formations, perfect for boat rides on moonlit nights. Another amazing sight is the scenic Dhuandhar Falls, where the Narmada falls with such intensity that it resembles a cloud of white smoke.

Fact File – Madhya Pradesh

Location: Central India
How to Reach: Raja Bhoj in Bhopal and Devi Ahilyabai Holkar in Indore cater to domestic and international flights. Bhopal, Indore, Katni, Jabalpur, Ujjain, and Ratlam are well connected with major cities.
Official Language: Hindi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Subtropical
Food & Drink: Daal bafla, Malpua (sweet), Bhopali gosht korma, Handia (rice beer).

Visiting India?

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amishas-pic
Amisha likes to explore lesser-known places and this she does by studying maps. Once at her destination, she digs out eateries serving local food and soaks in the culture through
the region’s cuisine. Being a sea person, most of her trips are to beach destinations and she intends to cover destinations along India’s coastline.

 

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Louisa Peterson tells you about the top 5 music festivals that you must absolutely attend when in Australia

Capture those splendid moments through your lenses

Capture those splendid moments through your lenses

So what do we know about Australia? It’s full of stunning landscapes and crazy critters that fall into two camps: the cute and cuddly, and the downright deadly. But creatures and pretty scenery aside, if you’re a music-lover, you might be interested to know that Australia hosts some amazing music festivals all year round. These sumptuous banquets feature a diverse mix of the hottest new acts, artists with solid track records, and up-and-coming local bands. In addition to checking out your favourite artists and sampling some of the local talent, this is a chance for you to get up-close-and-personal with the Australian in his natural environment. And don’t forget that actually getting to the festival provides you with the opportunity to catch a few natural wonders on the way. After much deliberation I’ve cut it down to five festivals.

#1 Stereosonic Festival

More than 50000 thousand people attend the Stereosonic festival.

More than 50,000 thousand people attend the Stereosonic festival.

When? November, December

Where? All over Australia

If you are an EDM lover, this is where you need to be! Started in 2009, Stereosonic Sydney broke the record for the largest festival ever held in Australia – since then, it has only gotten bigger. If attending this two day festival once isn’t enough for you, you have an option to go for more! Held in 5 different locations i.e Brisbane, Adelaide, Perthy, Sydney and Melbourne, Stereosonic 2013 lineup included some of the best artists in the EDM industry; Zedd, Nicky Romero, Sebastian Ingrosso, Tommy Trash, Afrojack and a lot more. The 2014 lineup gets better with Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, Tiësto, Skrillex, Dash Berlin, Alesso and many more.

#2 Soundwave Festival

Throngs of people dancing to the songs of popular music artists; Nikola Spasenoski, Shutterstock.com

Throngs of people dancing to the songs of popular music artists; Nikola Spasenoski, Shutterstock.com

When? Mid February early March

Where? Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth

If you’re a rock, metal, punk or hardcore fan, the Soundwave Festival will sort you out with a serving of heavy riffage and double-kick drum action. Whatever style of metal you’re into: thrash, doom, death, grindcore, or industrial, you can headbang to your heart’s content at the Soundwave Festival. The 2014 line-up included Greenday, Panic! At the Disco, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice in Chains,The Living End, A Day To Remember. While 2015 boasts:  Incubus, Lamb of God, Fall Out Boy, Slash, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Slipknot, Faith No More, Gerard Way.

#3 The Byron Bay Bluesfest

Scenic view of the White Byron Bay Lighthouse

Scenic view of the White Byron Bay Lighthouse

When? End of March early April

Where? Byron Bay, NSW

Starting out in 1990, the Byron Bay Bluesfest has been running for 25 years! Over that time the festival has broadened it’s musical scope, so that these days in addition to blues and roots artists, you can catch musicians from all over the world, in one of Australia’s most beautiful locations.The 2014 line-up included: John Mayer, Michael Frenti and Spearhead, Passenger, Backsliders, Aaron Neville, Beth Heart and a lot more amazing talent.   (Pssst! Whether or not you actually make it for the Byron Bay Bluesfest, you should definitely head to Byron Bay!)

#4 WOMADelaide

Crowd at the WOMAdelaide; Frederic Legrand, Shutterstock.com

Crowd at the WOMAdelaide; Frederic Legrand, Shutterstock.com

When? Mid March

Where? Botanic Park, Adelaide

The southern hemisphere’s biggest world music festival, which takes place across seven stages in a beautiful Adelaide park. If you want to hear music you won’t get at any other festival, it’s a must. More than 300 groups from 80 countries have appeared at the festival since 1992 portraying their culture, traditional tunes and dance moves. So let yourself loose and get lost amidst the enchanting cultures of the world. This festival also houses an visual art exhibition, a KidZone and a Global Village market area with a variety of food stalls and bars.

#5 The Falls Festival

The picturesque Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

The picturesque Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

When? 28 December to 1 January

Where? Lorne, Victoria; Marion Bay, Tasmania

If you’re looking for something special to do for New Year’s Eve, then book a ticket to The Falls Festival. This year’s line up includes internationals like Alt-J, Glass Animals, Röyksopp & Robyn, Run The Jewels, Todd Terje, Jamie XX and Australian artists like The Presets, John Butler Trio, DMA’s, Jagwar Ma, Vance Joy, and many more The festival takes place simultaneously at Lorne in Victoria and Marion Bay in Tasmania – both beautiful locations. Before or after the festival at Lorne, take a trip down the Great Ocean Road to experience some of Australia’s most spectacular coastline, including the Twelve Apostles. If you’re a surfer, head to Bells Beach for some of the world’s most serious breaks, or visit the Yarra Valley for some R&R and take the opportunity to taste some of Australia’s best wines.

About the Author

Louisa Peterson is a food, lifestyle and travel blogger from Delivery Hero (making it a cinch to order takeaway since 2011). When she isn’t blogging about all things food-related, ordering takeaway pizza, or experimenting in the kitchen, she likes travelling and going to the beach.

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Cox & Kings reviews The United States of America and tells you about destinations to visit, what to eat, where to stay and things to do!

 
Know everything that's there to know about The United States of America

Here’s a quick guide to one of the most powerful countries in the world

Fact File

Population: 318.9 million (established in July 2014)

People: White 79.96%, Black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007)

Religious Groups: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

Languages: English 79.2%, Spanish 12.9%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 3.3%, other 0.9% (2011 est.)

Government: Constitution-based federal republic

Capital: Washington DC

Time difference: UTC-5 hours (10.5 hours behind India)

Currency: US Dollar

Voltage: 120V, 60Hz, A/B plug type

Telephone Country Code: +1

Internet Country Code: .us

Geography And Location

Situated in North America, the U.S. is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. It rests between the countries of Canada and Mexico. The U.S. includes 50 states and the District of Columbia, and is the world’s third largest country in size.

The Grand Canyon; America showcases diverse landscapes throughout the country.

The Grand Canyon is a testimony to America’s s diverse landscapes

The Weather In The USA

The northern part of the US tends to be cooler than the south. Summer time, which is June to August, is very hot no matter which state you visit. Winter is between November and February, but the weather conditions differ from state to state during this season. Spring begins in the months of March, April and May, making it the perfect time for a visit. Even autumn is great, i.e. during September and October, when the temperature is pleasant and cool.

The History Of The USA

In 1776, the American colonies of Britain parted ways with the mother nation. After the Treaty of Paris, they were recognized as the United States of America in the year 1783. Later between the 19th and 20th century, the original 13 states were merged with 37 new states. The most catastrophic time in the history of the U.S. was during the Civil War, from 1861-65; and in 1930, during the Great Depression. However, the U.S. continued to be the most powerful country of the world after the World War II ended.

American Food

It is no secret that the U.S. is a nation of food-lovers. And their food practices are popular across the word! Also, the American fast food is a global favourite.

Different kinds of meat burgers are a must-try here. Americans love their corn dogs and cinnamon rolls, while steak, ribs and fried chicken are a part of their staple diet. And how can you miss on fries and pizza when in the US?

 

A typical American Menu

A typical American menu

People Of The USA

People belonging to diverse races reside in this country. Therefore, most Americans associate their nationality with citizenship and fidelity instead of their ethnicity. Their love and pride for America is evident during conversations, and in their mannerism.

It’s not too difficult to adjust with the Americans. They are accommodative, except they take privacy very seriously. Also, while making conversations, simply ensure that you speak in a politically correct manner as the crowd here is sensitive to prejudice.

 

Rush Hour at the Times Square

Rush Hour at the Times Square

Getting To & Around The USA

The big cities in the U.S. boast of a good local transport network. The coverage in the small towns is, however, scanty. Buses are available in most cities, and even shuttles are available to take you to the airport. A thick network of subway and trains is present in major cities; they support intra-city as well as inter-city travel. Some smaller cities may have one or two rail routes running, though mainly in downtown. Furthermore, there are metered taxis available for hire. You can also phone and arrange for one.

Note: Avoid hitchhiking in the U.S.

New York City

The Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Times Square, Museum of Modern Art, Big Apple Helicopter Tour, Yankee Stadium and the list goes on. No one leaves U.S. without a visit to the New York city. After all, wouldn’t you like to see for yourself what’s so special about this city that never sleeps?

 

The New York skyline

A glimpse of the fascinating New York skyline

Alaska

This frosty state is the largest in the U.S., and there are many reasons why you should be here. This includes the off-beat destinations, challenging adventures and an astounding wildlife. However, the most incredible one is the Northern Lights. To witness this magical phenomenon will certainly be an experience of a lifetime.

The Northern Lights are definitely a phenomena to see

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis shimmers across the sky

California

The shores of Pacific Ocean will leave you in a daze. The golden sun and sand blend with each other at the beaches for a sight that’s nothing less than spectacular! Trek the Sierra Nevada. Hug the General Sherman Tree, one of the largest in the world. Glide through the clear waters of Lake Tahoe. Get mesmerised by the verdant Yosemite Valley. Explore the eccentric Death Valley. Surf the Californian wave.

The experiences that await you here are endless…

 

Surfers expertly tackling the California wave

Surfing is just one of the exciting activities you can try in California

New Orleans

Want a fun time? New Orleans is where you need to be. For foodies, this city offers the most delectable options in the world! Also, music runs in the blood of New Orleans, especially Jazz. It’s home to an amazing nightlife and a striking art scene. Furthermore, the beautiful and historic French Quarter will sweep you off your feet.

 

New Orleans is never quiet

New Orleans is never quiet, and forever fun!

Colorado

For the adventure-seeker, Colorado is a state you just can’t afford to miss. It offers a host of activities, including treks, mountain climbing, bike routes and river rafting, amongst others. Also, Rocky Mountain National Park located in the north-central region of Colorado is a heaven for anyone who fancies dense forests, abundant wildlife, and alpine lakes – not to mention dizzying heights. So if spectacular vistas and mind-blowing adventure sports is your drug, then you know exactly where to go!

 

Don't know about you but Colorado here we come

Rocky Mountain National Park? Yes, please!

Indianapolis

Family holiday on your mind? Then Indianapolis is perhaps the most ideal destination for you. If you have kids along, then do check out The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis –the biggest of its kind in the world. What’s more, for the literary geeks, Vonnegut Memorial Library is a sheer treat.

The market street of Indianapolis

The market street of Indianapolis

Hawaii

The colourful Hawaii is home to diverse cultures, so be ready for an outstanding mix of folk and art festivals. The music and dance of Hawaii especially, will impress even the most discerning traveller. The only U.S. state composed entirely of islands, Hawaii’s natural beauty features some of the world’s most wonderful beaches and sunsets that will transport you to a dream-like paradise.

Aloha Amigos

Aloha Amigos

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