A Majestic Rickshaw Ride in the Central Park of New York!

The rickshaw is a regular mode of transport in a country like Bangladesh! Those who are not able to afford a car, opt for a rickshaw ride where the light, two-wheeled carrier is drawn by a human. This cycle-like very affordable transport is used in order to enable many passengers to ply from one place to another. Rickshaws, though have a negative connotation since it is the sign of underdevelopment and inefficiency in the country, yet this mode of transportation in Bangladesh still is not phasing out. Rickshaw art has been very popular in the country and there also is a rickshaw art gallery in Bakshibazaar in Dhaka.

May rickshaw art lovers have touted this creatively colorful embellishments of the rickshaws of Bangladesh through books and blogs. One such book is ‘Rickshaw Art in Bangladesh’ and another blog which is worth mentioning is http://www.kathmanduandbeyond.com/rickshaw-art-bangladesh/ by Kristy. Another beautiful site is superbly showcasing the art, which is http://www.rickshaw-paint.net/ One may also find it interesting to take a look at this Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RickshawPaintInBangladesh/

Here are some colorful rickshaw paintings that are being sold on the rickshaw-paint.net site (disclaimer: the author of this travel blog site does not monetize the free promotion that she is doing for the rickshaw art on her blog!):

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(photo courtesy: www.rickshawpaint.net)

France Lasnier was possibly the pioneer in authoring this book on rickshaw art in Bangladesh:
https://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/books/rickshaw-art-in-bangladesh-9789840515783/ You may find this book fascinating.

Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce you to the rickshaw ride that I took in the Central Park of New York City! Considering the enormity of the park, Shelly and I decided to take a rickshaw ride in the park to cover the distance in about half an hour. The guide gave us A commentary while he drove us to different spots. It was worth the money and time spent there. The guide told us different stories relating to the diverse trees, the surrounding buildings, the history of shootings there.

We took a rickshaw tour that covered the lower loop of the Central Park from 59th to 72nd Street. Here are some of the pictures that I had clicked.

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The tour was worth it. You may want to learn more about the tour from this site: http://www.centralparkrickshaws.com/

Enjoy your rickshaw tour! See you soon!

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The Gardens By the Bay Expedition: A Tree-top Walk on the ‘Skyway’ and Awakening of Senses with the Garden Rhapsody!

22 meters above the ground, the bridge connected by the spectacular supertrees towering vertical gardens extending into the sky are the man-made wonders that allow humans to walk and enjoy the panoramic views of the Singapore skyline!

I had been to Singapore more than a couple of times yet I could not have the chance to see the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. It is a beautiful complex showcasing the best of horticulture, sustainability, and an idea relating to the out-of-the-box architectural design. This beautiful complex hosts myriad edutainment opportunities for the young and the old. The tourist site is replete with diverse plant life and award-winning cooled conservatories. One can reach the complex by taking Bayfront MRT (monorail transport) or via an uber from one’s hotel. One can also book a guided tour or an audio tour if they want. With so many edutainment offerings from the garden, and due to the scarcity of time we had left for Singapore, all we could enjoy was the OCBC Skyway and the Garden Rhapsody of the park and that, too, was not a matter of a couple of hours! We had to set aside the entire evening for that and I have no regret as it was totally worth it!

I believe everyone should make it a point to watch this spectacular evening show if they can set aside some time for themselves in Singapore. Here’s the picture that I took from the ground of the light show in the evening.

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Here’s a YouTube video of the ‘Garden Rhapsody’ uploaded by Genesis3417 channel, enjoy:

See you all soon!

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Exciting ‘Kilimanjaro Safari’ at the Disney World

Dear All:

I beg your pardon for not being around for a while. I was kind of busy as well as disheartened due to the fact that so many comments for these posts were possibly generated by bots! You might notice as to why so many readers’ comments seem so identical! This is the reason why I had lost my zeal of being around for so many apparent postings by the so-called bots and not real human beings!

Anyway, finally I realized I should not deprive my genuine ‘real human’ readers, and now let me start today’s post with Disney’s beautiful big idea of having the Disney customers experience a safari right in the midst of the Disney park! I can tell you, this was the best experience I had among all the features that I experienced at Disney World.

I would like to give credit and acknowledge a magnificent YouTube video shared by BigFatPanda YouTube channel. You would get a feel of the ride from here, too!

Too bad it was amidst torrential rains while I and Shelly tried this experience! I was completely doused despite having a poncho over me! You can see in the picture how I was completely awash with rain!

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I had experienced night safari in Singapore Zoo but each safari has a beauty of its own. One should definitely check out this beautiful safari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. There are hippos, lions, gazels, giraffes, elephants, storks, ostriches, hippos, and so many exotic animals in Disney’s Animal Kingdom there.

The tour was about less than half an hour but I wished we could stay in that ride a little longer! The torrential rains also possibly truncated the time and the fun one could enjoy. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend this to everyone visiting the World Disney World in Florida. The pictures actually are worth a thousand words, so I wouldn’t want to blabber much! I just want to let you all know that since I am not a robot, I would ignore the duplicate comments that would possibly be posted by the so-called ‘bots’! And therefore, I might not reply to those comments that don’t seem authentic/seem questionable to me!

Without further ado, let me take you to a virtual tour of this magnificent ride with the snapshots of the pictures that I took while being on the safari:

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Here are some more…

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A Rare Footages of the Royal Bengal Tigers at the Sunderbans in Bangladesh!

Hello readers! Hope you all are doing great!

I am very excited to share this particular post that would feature the endangered species — the Royal Bengal Tigers that roam around majestically in the Sunderbans — the greatest mangrove forest in the world. Here is a television commercial by Bangladesh Tourism Board that features this beautiful creature. The theme of this television commercial is Bangladesh: The Land of Rivers. I thank the golam kibria YouTube channel for uploading this video. Enjoy!

This Sky Vision documentary on the legendary ‘The Royal Bengal Tigers’ is a renowned, multi-award winning film that features the life of the most elusive of cats in the Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, situated in Bangladesh.

A part of the beautiful forest Sunderbans is also situated in India. This documentary captures the rare footage of the elusive ‘big cat’ and is a must-see!

The Royal Bengal Tiger has been classified as endangered species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). According to Wikipedia, By 2011, the total population of this rare species was estimated at fewer than 2,500 tigers with a decreasing trend.

I stumbled across this YouTube video of the tiger that the videographer could catch live. Enjoy this footage from Beautiful Places To See YouTube channel:

The population of this species is around 440 in Bangladesh, more than 2000 in India, around less than 150 in Nepal and less than 100 in Bhutan.

Without further ado, let me ask you to enjoy this wonderful YouTube video by Free Documentary channel:

Mind you, there are Sunderban travel packages available if you want to relish the beauty of this largest mangrove forest in the world. Best of luck with everything including the tiger watching expedition!

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More on Bosphorous… and the Legend of Maiden’s Tower

Hello all! Do you remember the last time I talked about the Bosphorus Cruise at Istanbul? Many of you readers wanted me to write more on Bosphorous and so here I am with some more information.

I and Shelly were quite pleased with the Big Bus hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus service elsewhere in Dubai and Singapore and once I found that the service existed in Istanbul, Turkey, too; I looked nowhere else and opted for taking their service. One of the biggest attractions was when the bus crossed the Bosphorus bridge that spanned the two continents, i.e. when the bus plied between Asia and Europe in the same country, i.e. Turkey. Nowhere else you could experience such a wonderfully varied experience in the world! This is the only bridge I know that connected the two continents!

Here’s the picture of our trip when we were about to cross the bridge:

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When the bus takes you to the two continents, you get to see the continents in a short span of time! Words cannot express the excitement of how it feels once you cross the two continents in about an hour’s time! Here are some more pictures of my experiences of this amazing trip!

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In one side of the suspension bridge, experience Europe and on the other side you experience Asia!

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I don’t know how many times I and Shelly took the same ride while we were in Turkey! Anyway, there was one more nice thing I would want to talk about among so many things that could be explored while you are in Turkey. When the bus takes you on a ride, the commentary played in the bus talks about the legend of the Maiden’s Tower. It really is a fascinating story and makes you feel rather sad once you get to hear it! I don’t know if it is really true or not but would like to tell you about that. Here’s the picture of the site I took while the bus talks about the Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul:

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I would like to thank Gufo Ajans channel of YouTube to upload this video on the Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul. Enjoy!

There are numerous legends about the development of the tower and its area. Here goes the story: As indicated by the most well known Turkish legend, a King had a highly cherished little girl and one day, a saint in the Kingdom prophesized that the princess would be killed by a venomous snake on her eighteenth birthday. The emperor, with an end goal to defeat his little girl’s misfortune put her far away in order to keep her far from any snakes, had the tower constructed amidst the Bosphorus to ensure his little girl until her eighteenth birthday. The princess was set in the tower, where she was every now and again gone by just by her dad.

On the eighteenth birthday of the princess, the emperor gifted to her a wicker bin of fascinating luxurious organic products as a birthday present, pleased that he could keep the prescience. After venturing into the wicker bin, on the other hand, an asp that had been stowing away among the organic product bit the youthful princess and she kicked the bucket, succumbed to death in her dad’s arms, generally as the prophet had anticipated. Consequently, the name had to be the Maiden’s Tower.

Here’s a YouTube video of the Big Bus Tour Istanbul Bosphorus Bridge tour uploaded by Тимур Аманов YouTube channel. Many thanks to the Тимур Аманов channel. Enjoy the video!

Hope you all enjoyed my post. Wishing you all a very happy and propitious year 2016!

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Caricature Saga of Umini at the Disney World!

Hi everyone! I had been meaning to write a little on my last year’s visit to the Disney World in Florida where Shelly gave me a unique gift of my caricature portrait there. We checked in at the Disney’s Pop Resort that was based on Disney’s popular culture theme. I was actually a bit hesitant to pose in front of an artist for a caricature as I don’t have much confidence in my appearance yet sportingly gave it a try.

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The artist named Mike made me quite at ease while he started to draw my caricature. I had to pick from the designs and I chose the design that featured a teacher. While starting to draw my eyes, Mike’s comment was ‘You have pretty eyes!’ That was really an awesome comment I would never forget! Actually, my last name containing ‘Anjal’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘Wide Eyed’ which my mother chose to name me.

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I guess Mike did real justice while portraying my eyes as God did a wonderful job with my eyes! :-D

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Doesn’t this look awesome?

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While finishing the caricature, Mike asked me what should he write as the last name of the ‘teacher’ and I said, Ms. Anjalin! He also asked me, what should the teacher be writing on the (white/black)board? I asked Mike to write, ‘Dream On!’ (as back home in Bangladesh while I teach, my motto is to always ignite passion in my students to achieve something that they can look forward to).

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Isn’t this a pretty picture? I really love it! This is one of the best gifts I have received in my life! Thank you Shelly and thank you Mike!

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This is one of the best memories I would cherish as long as I live!

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My Visit to A Resort in the Midst of Lush Tea Gardens, A Sequel…

Hi there everybody! In my last post I said I shall be making a sequel to my post on the resort I visited this summer while I was in my home country – Bangladesh. Today I would write some more on that topic. While I went for a visit there my friends were looking forward to spending some quality time in a relatively new resort somewhere in Bangladesh and therefore we chose The Palace Resort  in Habiganj at Sylhet, which is a hilly region of the country. Here are some of the pictures I clicked while I was there. It was rainy out there. The dark clouds and the verdant green was pretty awesome though.

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I usually like to share my travel experiences with my readers so this is no different and I do not get patronized by any business brands so whatever I like or dislike, I am free to express in my blog. Let me share some videos of the relatively new resorts I have found in the area while browsing through the YouTube.

Here’s the video uploaded by The Palace Luxury Resort‘s own YouTube channel:

A serendipitous find in Monzurul Alam YouTube channel on this trip to this resort. Here are the two videos. Thanks to him, with his videos a quick tour of the resort could be presented to my audience. So here goes. Enjoy!

Actually our group had gone there when it was in the stage of soft-opening. At that time 02 days max was good enough. The staff was friendly there and could speak good English. Food was okay. Pineapple juice was quite good. By the way, there is humid and rainy climate out there. While we were there it rained cats and dogs. The resort is quite huge and nice. It was 10k of BDT per night at that time. For the chauffeurs there wasn’t much entertainment except television at that time. The chauffeurs weren’t allowed to roam around freely in the resort most probably due to security reasons. There were two movie theaters, separate gyms as well as a common gym facility. There was an ‘infinity’ pool but that wasn’t like the Singapore Marina Bay Sands infinity pool. Overall, the experience was good. But I guess it could’ve been better. There were many ongoing projects so hopefully there would be some more attractions by now.

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The lobby of the resort was not enormous but it was cozy enough to make the guests comfortable after a long journey. What I found interesting in the lobby was the balloon-shaped lights that changed colors! It was very nice to took at. Here are some more interesting colors that were displayed while we waited at the lobby (There were more pictures on the balloons yet I am sharing only a few!):

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The place is verdant green. And they grow pineapples nearby. So I found the pineapples stacked in the vicinity which was quite interesting. The pineapple juice that I ordered and the pineapple juice I took while they served during buffet breakfast was pretty awesome, too.

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You can see the stack of pineapple they hoard for each day’s supply (pictured above). The picture below is quite a favorite picture of mine while we were leaving from the tower to take a stroll through the resort.

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On the last day me and Shelly went to experience fishing at the resort. You can see there was an attendant who helped Shelly with the fish food and the snare for fishing.

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Shelly enjoyed his fishing expedition a lot and so did my friends. The resort is preparing to have an arrangement for guests’ fishing and cooking afterwards in the resort area. Hopefully there would be so much more to enjoy in all the resorts in Sylhet in the coming years. Shall be updating the site if I get any more information. Till then, take care and do visit this site for updates.

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A Resort in the Midst of Lush Teagardens

Hello everyone! Today I shall be talking about a place leaning against the sky where the mountains sleep! This is a place none other than Habiganj, Bangladesh where you also will find the picturesque tea gardens. A couple of us went for a sojourn there for some respite far away from the madding crowd. The Palace Resort in Bahubal is a nice resort in the midst of Habiganj‘s lush tea gardens. 2015 September 428
The most fascinating about this resort is you can see greenery everywhere you go. Hills and mountains, ravine, lake – all in one area which comprises of 150 acres mother nature. The reception was decked with dynamic colorful lights that changed colors in a couple of seconds. Our luggage was delivered with a buggy which was pretty interesting. We stayed at the main building called ‘tower’ were there were a number of rooms yet there were also a number of fashionable bungalows in the resort, too. The bungalows all were booked when we went even at that particular time the hotel did make a soft opening then! Below is the picture I took of the hanging bridge while we were plying through the buggy. The buggy was being driven by one of the resort staff to take us to the movie theater and snack bar.

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The resort bungalows had balconies from where the mountains, the garden, and the big lakes were visible. Here is my picture in front of the building called the ‘tower’ where we all stayed. Here is my picture where I was standing in front of a nice waterbed and faountains in front of the main tower. There are 107 rooms in the ‘tower’.

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Under the supervision of the British general manager of the system was quite satisfactory, and the resort staff there were sincere, and friendly. always eager to help. The positive side is all of them could speak fluent English! The resort had children’s play area, billiards, gym, ‘infinity’ pool, two movie theaters when we went there. The restaurants started to operate when we went there last summer.

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Interestingly, the resort also had helicopter landing helipads, and the most interesting was the fishing lakes there. Guests can do fishing there. Assistance is also provided if someone needs. Here is the picture of the buggy that is used to take the guests from one destination to another destination of the huge resort.

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The resort has two Presidential Villas by the names of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. I guess the resorts were dedicated to the names of these luminaries who were actively involved in raising awareness of Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.

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Once we were there, it was summer and pineapple was available there. The pineapple juice was served in breakfast and we also ordered pineapple juice with sandwich while we took snack in one of the cafes there. The Caribbean Passion Mocktail was really awesome! Here is the picture of the drink:

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Below is the picture of one of the Presidential Suites in the resort. I don’t exactly remember if it was George Harrison or Ravi Shankar suite, but I had taken a quick snapshot of the suite once the buggy was plying through the adjacent premises.

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Here are the Unicef USA YouTube videos on the 1971 charity for Bangladesh that George Harrison and Pundit Ravi Shankar put together when raising money for the cause of Bangladesh 1971 War:

 

Here’s the lyric of the George Harrison song on ‘Bangladesh’ that he sung at the wake of Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 (posted by nowhereman113 YouTube channel):

More on it (i.e., the resort) soon. I am sure there would be more activities for the guests in the future. I shall be updating this feature once I would get more information. Stay tuned and stay well. Till then, take care.

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A Breathing Space Gallery: Lush Green Tea Gardens in Bangladesh

Hi there! Any plans to visit Bangladesh?

I would like to invite you to visit the lush green tea gardens of Srimongal in Bangladesh. Some beautiful attractions Srimongal offers are dense rain-forests, rubber gardens, and picturesque lakes.

This tea kingdom is about 191 kilometers from the capital city of the country. Here you may experience the verdant green of tree plantation, visually charming lake, and lush rainforest. Gibbons and Hornbills and many other animals live here in the Lauawachara rainforest. You may also explore Manipuri tribal folk culture, Khashia and Tripura way of life. Be sure to checkout Madhabkunda waterfall from the hilly river at Jaflong. Want to indulge in luscious fruits? Check out the local fruits like pineapples, oranges, and lemons, etc. A bird-watch of the local, as well as migratory birds, should be an experience of a lifetime!

Without further ado, let me share this surreal tea garden video of the place uploaded by Srimongol Amar Shohor YouTube channel.

Here’s a YouTube video on Lauawachara rain forest by ToBangladesh channel:

Below is a picturesque video on the country’s tea capital and the surrounding accommodation by ‘Bengal Voice‘ YouTube channel:

Enjoy this awesome video of Madhabkunda waterfall by Tiham Traveler YouTube channel:

Hope you enjoyed the breathing space gallery! All these videos should give you a soothing break this weekend. I look forward to doing a feature on the resorts in Srimongal at Sylhet soon. You all take care till then!

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The Gold Standard of Romance

Remember the last time I spoke about this mega structure? This is the world’s tallest hotel Burj-Al-Arab which is also the only seven-star hotel in the world! The hop on and hop off tour via Big Bus currently is around $66 per day per person. This is a picture I took of this structure from my double-decker Big Bus Dubai tour in 2010.

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In addition to the open-top hop-on-hop-off guided bus tours, one can also have the pleasure of experiencing this signature landmark up close and personal by making an advance booking in any of its restaurants. However, they charge a hefty fee for this sightseeing inside the hotel.

I promised I would speak more about the hotel’s opulence. Without further ado, let me show you some videos on this one of a kind hotel. Now sit back and relax, indulge yourself in a seven star experience!

This video was uploaded by the hotel’s very own YouTube channel (i.e., Burj-Al-Arab) in 2013. The caption of the video reads: “Burj-Al-Arab – The World’s Most Luxurious Hotel: Burj-Al-Arab suite-only accommodation offers discreet check-in within your suite, a private reception on every floor and a host of personal butlers, each a warm messenger of our unparalleled hospitality.”

The video portrays the immaculate precision and behind-the-scenes efficiency of this seven-star hotel:

Lets take a stroll through the amazing bathrooms of the hotel:

This following video is uploaded by the same YouTube channel during 2013. The caption reads: “Bathrooms in Burj-Al-Arab Suites: Each bathroom in Burj-Al-Arab Suites is a masterpiece, representing the ultimate in luxury.”

These bathrooms have been impeccably designed to represent the ultimate opulence in the world that one could ever ask for!

With the Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not enjoy some romantic advertisements on the hotel, shall we?

The ad was uploaded by Jumeirah in YouTube during 2014 having the caption: “Wedding in the Skies on Burj-Al-Arab helipad: A once-in-a-lifetime event deserves a one-of-a-kind venue. Take a look at this breathtaking Burj-Al-Arab wedding, 212 meters above the Arabian Gulf on the famous helipad.”

The first ad in the series is about a daydream — a reverie between the couple where a wedding scene is shot in the Burj-Al-Arab helipad:

There were two more ads in the series. These were on ‘Romance’ and ‘Love’. Finally, this ad (’The ProposalThe Gold Standard of RomanceBurj-Al-Arab’) was uploaded by the same Jumeirah YouTube channel during 2014. This is the final ad on the ’Gold Standard of Romance’ series. In this final ad in the series, the reverie between the couple ultimately turns into a reality! Enjoy:

Here’s the link to the 360 degree view of the hotel. You may want to check it out…

http://inside.jumeirah.com/en/

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the world’s only seven-star hotel! See you again soon with some more out of the box travel experience! Stay well.

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