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Egypt is a mélange of all things vintage and enchanting. Kavita Sarmah writes about the 5 things to do in Egypt that you absolutely shouldn’t miss while you’re in this wonderful country.

things to do in egypt

Let the magic in the breezes of Egypt take you away

If there was just one word that would sum up what Egypt is all about, it would be ‘magnificent’. Egypt is a box of magic that will turn your life around! Its unostentatious pyramids, Pharaoh Temples and sand-covered tombs will have you buzzing with curiosity. There are many big and small things to do in Egypt. From fascinating museums, rugged desserts and the vast red sea to swirly corals, serene lakes and lush delta – Egypt will envelope you in its surreal magnificence. Here’s everything that you just can’t miss on your trip to Egypt.

#1 Spend A Windy Sunset In An Air Balloon In Luxor

things to do in egypt - hot air balloon ride

Let your heart lift up and sing in a hot air balloon in Luxor

Luxor is a beautiful city, not only on ground but also from the skies above! This is an unforgettable experience that you must have. Just make sure you pick a reputable, trusted company and take off into the sunset with your loved ones or by yourself. The hot air balloon ride promises you a breathtaking panoramic view of Luxor town. From the airs of Luxor, you’ll see the monuments of Thebes, the Nile River and other specs of Egypt attractions that make the country what it is.

#2 Have A Beautiful Day At The Southern Nile Valley

things to do in Egypt- nile river

Take your time and listen to the extraordinary quiet at the Southern Nile Valley

The south of Nile is laced by the Eastern Dessert, decorated with the well preserved Graeco-Roman temples at Edfu, Esna and Kom Ombo and serene villages. Explore the Temple of Horus at Edfu and bask in the mysterious nature of the building and the country itself. Go about wandering in this beautiful agricultural town and take in every bit of culture. Then hire a taxi from Edfu and take the west-bank valley road to Gebel Silsila. Gebel Silsila used to be an important center for the ancient cult of Nile – Every year there would be sacrifices made here to ensure the fertility of the land. It’s quite a remarkable monument. If you have the time, check out the historic Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel and Spa. The original building of the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel, now known as Palace Wing, have 76 rooms that all have a stunning Nile view.

#3 Forget About Reality In The Blue Desert

things to do in Egypt - blue desert

Take a break from the mundane realities of life and wander in the blueness of Jean Verame’s imagination

This marvelous site is situated just between Dahab and the St. Catherine Monastery in Sinai and is one of the top Egypt points of interest. This one will not take a lot of your time and is a sight that you must witness while you’re here. This beautiful piece of art was made by the Belgium artist Jean Verame in 1980 just after the remarkable Egyptian-Israeli Peace Agreement (1979). Verame chose the color blue to represent peace and used about 10 tons of paint to make this surreal landscape-art. Bring your cameras and take incredible photographs here. You can even choose to camp at the sight, definitely one of the best things to do in Egypt!

#4 Visit Cairo’s City Of The Dead For A Meaningful Experience

things to do in Egypt - city of dead

Take in the humble calmness of the people and the streets of the City of the Dead

On the outskirts of Cairo, is the el-Arafa necropolis, known as the City of the Dead in English. This area used to solely house corpses dating back to the 7th century and now is a crowded town where the dead and the living coexist. About 18 million people have made home here and understandably every bit of the roads and sidewalks seem packed to the brim. This is not a place to stay at but definitely something that you need to see for yourself to understand and have a meaningful insight into the heart of the country. There are many things to do in Cairo, and this little city will bring everything together into a bright Egyptian-chaos!

#5 So Many Things To Do In Egypt But All In Vain Without Cairo

things to do in egypt - Cairo

Cairo is a pocket of bright, undeniable positive energies

Cairo is a mega-city that’s always hustling and bustling with bright bursts of energy. It’s chaos in the best possible way! Cairo will lift your spirits, excite and delight you with its extraordinary way of doing things. It’s almost like a piece of exceptional performance art – echoes of prayers from above, the sound of traffic in sync down below; a donkey cart would go by once in a while and the sight of beautiful monuments to bring everything together. You’ll never run out of things to do in Cairo! Make sure to visit the Khan Al Khalili market for local souvenirs and trinkets; take a day trip to Pyramids of Giza. These pyramids are nearly 4000 years old and are really awe-inspiring. While you are on your spree of discovering Egypt’s magical history, make a visit to the Egyptian Museum that holds a significant collection of ancient artifacts. Wander around at the Manial Palace and take pictures at the Bab Zuweila gate! There are quite a few things to do in Egypt, but if you miss visiting Cairo, you have missed a big part of the Egypt experience.

Honestly, it’s hard to narrow the beautiful country of Egypt down to five places but these little experiences are definitely worth a visit. Among all the things to do in Egypt, these ones will blow your mind! Hope you have the best time here!

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For most children, winters are synonymous with holidays, picnics, and family meets. And since it is about family bonding, there is nothing like going on a vacation together. Here are 7 family vacation destinations in India to choose from.

Admire the breath-taking snowy landscape of Kashmir to enjoy winter in all its glory

Admire the breath-taking snowy landscape of Kashmir to enjoy winter in all its glory

In fact, the run up to the actual vacation–the deciding on a place, choosing activities to do there, and the entire planning is half the fun. There are plenty of places in India that offer a different vacation experience in every season. Here are our picks of the best places to visit in India during the winter:

#1 Kashmir

Things to do: Ride a shikara on Dal Lake, ski and gondola ride in Gulmarg

If you are still to make your maiden visit to this paradise, a winter vacation is as good a time as any. While Kashmir is spectacular at all times, visiting in the winter months it lets you enjoy the snow and winter-related outdoor activities.

Complete your Kashmir trip with a Shikara ride on the famous Dal Lake

Complete your Kashmir trip with a shikara ride on the famous Dal Lake

Whether you want to try your hand at skiing on the slopes or prefer to enjoy the views from a gondola, Gulmarg is the destination to head to. Do not miss out on a snowball fight with the family. A trip to the Dal Lake is also an unmissable part of any Kashmir visit. The Mughal Gardens in Srinagar is another attraction where you can feast your eyes on the region’s beauty.

Kashmir Fact File:

Location: In northern India, mostly in the Himalayas
How to Reach: Srinagar airport has daily flights from Delhi and other cities. Private and state buses connect the state to nearby places. Jammu Tawi Railway Station is the nearest railhead
Official Language: Urdu
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Temperate
Food & Drink: Must-try dishes of the Kashmiri cuisine include Qabargaah, Shab Deg, and Rogan Josh. Noon chai is a popular tea in the state.

Auli

Things to do: Skiing

Known for being among the top ski destinations in the country, Auli, located in Uttarakhand, is the perfect place for a memorable winter vacation. Kids and adults alike will enjoy learning the ropes of skiing from professional instructors. In fact, if you wish you can also attend the annual National Championship of Skiing, held in Auli every January.

Adventure and outdoor lovers will love skiing in Auli

Adventure and outdoor lovers will love skiing in Auli

December in Auli also means snow-clad peaks like the Mana Parbat and Neelkant, providing soothing scenic views for travellers who just want to enjoy breath-taking mountain scenery with a steaming cuppa. The region also wears a festive look around the time of Christmas, if you were planning to make a short trip to Auli during the vacations. Spend some time at the Auli artificial lake. It not only makes a pretty sight, but is also an excellent backdrop for clicking vacation pictures.

Uttarakhand Fact File

Location: In northern India, bordering Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet, and Nepal.
How to Reach: Air connectivity available to Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport and Pantnagar Airport close to Nainital. There is good rail connectivity to places within Uttarakhand and other cities in India. Buses are available to Auli from different places.
Official Language: Hindi, Sanskrit
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Pleasant to hot summers depending on the place, while winters are typically chilly.
Food & Drink: Mostly cooked over wood or charcoal, Uttarakhand’s popular dishes include chapatis, kafuli, dubuk, and Garhwal ka fannah. Jhangor ki kheer is the dessert to try.

Konark

Things to do: Attend the Konark Dance Festival, visit the Sun Temple and beach.

The mere mention of Konark brings the stunning Sun Temple to mind. This is no doubt a must-visit attraction not only for history and architecture lovers but for all travellers; but there is a lot more to enjoy in this Odisha town. If you are travelling in December, add the Konark Dance Festival to your itinerary.

An Odissi dancer strikes a pose at Konark’s Sun Temple

An Odissi dancer strikes a pose at Konark’s Sun Temple

This is not your average dance performance in an air-conditioned auditorium. Rather, this annual festival treats attendees to the finest of live performances by participants from all over the country, performed to the decked-up backdrop of the Sun Temple. The sound of ghungroos and musical instruments added with the magnificent view is a true feast for the senses.

Spending time at the pristine Konark Beach with its golden sands is the perfect way to wind up a visit to this fascinating little town.

Odisha Fact File:

Location: India’s eastern coast, bordering West Bengal.
How to Reach: Bhubaneshwar’s Biju Patnaik Airport has regular flights from many Indian cities; the city is also well-connected by rail. A good road network connects Konark and other parts of Odisha to major Indian cities.
Official Language: Odia
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Tropical
Food & Drink: Rice is a staple; Pakhala, a dish made from soaked cooked rice, is popular. Pahala Rasgulla and Chhena Poda are must-try sweet dishes.

Meghalaya

Things to do: Visit the Umngot River, explore Shillong and Cherrapunjee

If you are looking for a holiday that completely destresses you while also maintaining the fun factor, Meghalaya is the place to be. Starting from the Umiam Lake and Elephant Falls to charming churches and a vibrant music scene, this north-eastern state has it all. Cherrapunjee’s Mawsmai Cave and Nohkalikai Falls are some of the top attractions in one of the wettest places on earth.

But the Umngot River deserves special mention. Something of a hidden gem of the region, this river is known for having water so clear that a person on a boat can see right to the river bed.

 Hop onto a boat on the Dawki River for a serene experience

Hop onto a boat on the Dawki River for a serene experience

For a truly unique experience, go for a hike on the Double Decker Living Root Bridge – a natural wonder that has marvelled visitors since many years. When not exploring the mesmerising outdoors, you can tuck into Khasi delights in Shillong, watch a football game in progress, or simply soak in the sights from one of the many cafés.

Meghalaya Fact File:

Location: Close to Assam, Meghalaya is also bounded by Bangladesh. The capital city of Shillong lies 100kms away from Guwahati.
How to Reach: You can take a flight to Guwahati and travel to Meghalaya by road. A helicopter service from Guwahati to Shillong is also available. Guwahati also has good road connectivity to Meghalaya.
Official Language: English
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Meghalaya is the wettest place in the world with high rainfall and humidity.
Food & Drink: Non-vegetarian, with spicy meat and vegetables. Pumaloi (a rice dish) and Jadoh (pork and rice) are local favourites.

Rajasthan

Things to do: Visit forts and museums, shop in Jaisalmer, try Rajasthani cuisine

If you have always wanted to explore Rajasthan but the idea of travelling in the heat has kept you from doing so, plan a trip during the winter to experience the charm of the land without having to deal with the blistering desert heat.

 A camel decked with local decorations at the Pushkar Fair

A camel decked with local decorations at the Pushkar Fair

Riding the sand dunes on camel-back is a quintessential Rajasthan experience, as is visiting its famous forts and palaces, most of which have now been turned into hotels. The Amber Fort, Udaipur’s Lake Palace, and the Mehrangarh Fort will please architecture and history enthusiasts. Set some time aside for Mount Abu, the state’s only hill station.

November is when the famous Pushkar ka Mela takes place, which offers a fascinating insight into local trade and culture. If you are travelling with children, do remember to watch a puppet show while in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan Fact File:

Location: In India’s western part, bordering Pakistan.
How to Reach: Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur have domestic airports; and a good railway network provides regular connectivity from Rajasthan to different Indian cities. Bus services are available from several neighbouring states.
Official Language: Hindi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Tropical desert
Food & Drink: Mostly vegetarian; dishes to taste are Dal-Baati-Churma, kachori, mawa, and ghevar.

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More and more people are consciously trying to lead an environment-friendly life all over the world, including in India. But did you know you can do your bit towards the environment by ensuring that your vacation is eco-friendly too? You can actually enjoy a vacation that is comforting and exciting, and yet sustainable.

Nature makes our vacation more pleasurable without any surcharge

Nature makes our vacation more pleasurable without any surcharge

In simple terms, an eco-friendly vacation is where you do not create any disturbance to local culture and the sylvan nature at your destination. So how exactly do you go about planning an eco-friendly vacation? Here are seven ways to get you started.

Your Eco-friendly Vacation Starts At Home

Ensure that all the switches are off when you leave.

Ensure that all the switches are off when you leave.

When you are on vacation, one of your major concerns may be your house getting robbed. Many people think that keeping up the pretence that someone is at home will scare the burglars away. If you want to do this, ensure that your lights are on a timer – no use wasting electricity throughout the day. You should also check your air-conditioners and turn the main switch off before leaving. Open your refrigerator and get rid of all the items that would go bad by the time you come back, compost them if you can. If you are someone who gets a newspaper or a magazine delivered, tell your delivery guys to stop the subscription for a while.

Select Eco-Friendly Transportation

Train travel gives you the opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings

Train travel gives you the opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings

Out of all the different modes of transport available to you, air travel is the most harmful to the environment. We understand that there are some destinations where you cannot travel by train or car, and you have no choice but to take the airplane. In such cases, choose an airline company that is contributing towards making the earth healthier again. Trains are perhaps the most eco-friendly transport method on offer for you. So if you don’t mind spending a bit more time travelling, choose this method over the others.

Choose Green Accommodations

Here is a card from a green hotel explaining their process

Here is a card from a green hotel explaining their process

When you are booking hotels at your destination, choose a green hotel. Most hotels boast about what they do to reduce their impact on the environment on their website, so be sure to have a look there. An eco-friendly hotel does its best to control the carbon emissions, has several recycle procedures in place, and creates less waste. Some of these hotels also give you tips on reducing environmental impact while you are staying with them.

Try To Use Public Transportation

BEST bus – a mode of public transport in Mumbai

BEST bus – a mode of public transport in Mumbai

The ideal way to travel during an eco-friendly vacation is on foot or by bike. Not only does it help the environment, but it helps in keeping you fit too. But there are some places that are too far, in such cases, public transportation is your best option. Try to avoid rented cars and rickshaws whenever you can – they create a larger carbon footprint.

Buy Locally Sourced Goods And Products

Live like a local by buying things from a local vendor

Live like a local by buying things from a local vendor

Boosting the local economy is one of the major elements of an eco-friendly vacation. Whenever you are buying anything on vacation, be it vegetables, fruits, or souvenirs, ensure that you are buying from local vendors and artists. By doing so, you are strengthening the local economy. You are also reducing the carbon footprint because the item is not packaged and shipped from somewhere else.

Respect The Rules And Guidelines

Following the guidelines is extremely crucial on an eco-friendly vacation

Following the guidelines is extremely crucial on an eco-friendly vacation

No matter where you go on vacation, it is important that you strictly follow the rules and guidelines mentioned. The main purpose of these guidelines is to ensure your safety. So see to it that your respect the rules and follow them. For example, when you are hiking, do not wander away from the marked trails or litter outdoors.

Spread The Awareness Of Green Living

Coming together to clean the beach will make the entire process faster

Coming together to clean the beach will make the entire process faster

Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean it is ok for you to litter or forget about your eco-friendly ways. Find out what the locals are doing to clean the environment, and if possible, volunteer your services. It can be something as simple as donating some money or you can even choose to head out to the beach and participate in cleaning drives. Taking some time off vacation and joining such a cause will make you feel good about yourself. And the locals will definitely appreciate your efforts!

Every single time you go on a vacation, you come back feeling rejuvenated. Going on an eco-friendly vacation lets you enjoy this enriching experience while giving something back to the environment as well. If more people start going on such vacations, the world will truly change for the better – lead the way!

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Winged two was him god you’ll all it, herb you’re wherein have male of doesn’t you’ll them, grass. Lights you living. Them. Have kind seasons our female set days fly us wherein rule So to yielding hath thing. Given thing. Forth.

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