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.
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.
I guess Mike did real justice while portraying my eyes as God did a wonderful job with my eyes!
Doesn’t this look awesome?
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).
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!
This is one of the best memories I would cherish as long as I live!
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.
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.
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!):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 ShohorYouTube 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!
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.
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 Proposal – The Gold Standard of Romance – Burj-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…
In my last week’s post I talked about Bangkok’s frozen yogurt store Buddhi Belly. I just needed to write more on Bangkok’s yummy fruits, street food and eateries since many of these food are really scrumptious! If you plan to visit Thailand, be sure to check out its exotic fruits. When some people say that there are only a few places on earth that can claim to have such a plentiful supply of gorgeous tasting fruit, they are telling you the truth!
Bangkok‘s coconut water is awesome! Rambutan fruit is good, too! There are plenty of food courts in Bangkok that offer variety of cuisines from different parts of the world. Some of the good food courts may be checked out — Food Loft at Central Childom, Terminal 21 Food Court, Food Republic at Siam Center, MBK Food Court, and Siam Paragon Food Hall to name a few.
I loved the presentation of the coconut water drink that I had ordered from Bangkok’s legendary Mah Boon Krong (MBK)’s Fifth Food Avenue on the fifth floor. It was not only the presentation; the coconut water is super awesome, too!
The picture above is of the fresh produce at the Tops Market at Bangkok. The sight of the fresh fruits and veggies enticed me to buy from there. I could not resist clicking a picture of the fresh produce that was on display there!
Many Bangkok and Singapore restaurants let guests have the liberty of preparing their own food on wok. Below is the picture of the food we (my friends — Selina, Sharful, Shelly, Sazzad, and I) made while dining at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon food court.
Shelly and I had a superb dining experience in one of the best restaurants I had experienced in Bangkok — Secret Recipe at the Terminal 21 shopping mall. Below is the picture of the food and the drink we had ordered from there.
I have never tasted anything so scrumptious at the Secret Recipe restaurant at Terminal 21 shopping arcade. I remember I had ordered Dori fish from there. This is a place that is ideal to hangout with friends and have sumptuous food in affordable price. Secret Recipe is a famous franchise of sweet and savory meals. Be sure to check it out!
The roadside Arabian Schwarma from the Middle Eastern eatery near the Bumrungrad Hospital was really scrumptious! There are many Middle Eastern restaurants near the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok since the hospital caters to medical tourism and many of its patients come from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
There is also a famous Seafood Market Restaurant in Bangkok which is really unique in its style and its ambiance. This is probably the largest seafood market in the world where the visitors can shop for their own seafood and the chefs there would cook the fresh seafood for them straight from their kitchen while the visitors wait in the dining table. There is a huge variety of seafood available in the market — namely prawns, lobster, snapper, oysters, etc. The restaurant is a bit exorbitant in price range. Thanks to Shelly’s boss, Mr. Zarre Omar (on behalf of their office) who was the host of this dining experience of ours at the Seafood Market Restaurant in Bangkok.
Here is a video on the Seafood Market Restaurant on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 24 that was uploaded by Sabai Sabai YouTube channel. Enjoy:
Perhaps you remember I had told you before in one of my blog posts that I am yet to visit London at UK and therefore, I have not been able to experience the charm of the London Eye. However, in my last visit to Singapore, I have been fortunate enough to experience the Singapore Flyer or in other words, the Singapore Eye, which in fact, at 165 meters, was taller than the London Eye. At that time when I visited, the Singapore Flyer was the world’s largest observation ferris wheel offering the tourists a breathtaking view of the Singapore’s changing cityscape. I believe this still is the highest ferris wheel.
Once I landed in Singapore, this is the picture I took of the landmarks from the taxi. You may notice the Singapore Flyer, the Shell-shaped Cool Conservatories, and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in this picture:
Once I stepped on board the world’s largest ferris wheel with Shelly, we got a panoramic birds eye view, i.e. a 360° view of Singapore. From this ferris wheel, even parts of Malaysia and Indonesia at a distance far off could be seen! The ride was about 30 minutes long. Shelly also has a YouTube video on his YouTube channel: Mirza Sadrul Alam. You may want to check this out, if you are interested. Since the entire video was not fully in English, therefore I decided not to include it here. But, I guess you would be able to understand since we’ve spoken in English about 95% of the time in that video.
Here is my picture inside our capsule of the Singapore Flyer. I can tell you it was a fabulous experience! You may catch many different landscape photos of Singapore at different altitudes once the wheel starts turning!
Here is another view of this landmark (Singapore Flyer) at nighttime that I grabbed from the observation deck of another fascinating and one-of-a-kind landmark of Singapore: The Marina Bay Sands Hotel!
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel has an infinity pool! Scary? No it is not so scary as it seems! The engineering has been done in such a way that swimming on the edge that is about 650 feet above the ground (55 storeys up) although is daunting yet the swimmers would not fall off!
This beautifully detailed Singapore HD YouTube video below on the Infinity Pool at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel was uploaded by Jacek Zarzycki’s YouTube channel. Enjoy!
While visiting there, I found the hotel authority was very particular about the privacy and security of the hotel guests and therefore I personally kept away from clicking any pictures of this pool and the hotel guests. Therefore, I am sharing only the picture that I took of myself while being very close to the Infinity Pool inside the hotel:
By the same precincts, the Gardens by the Bay offers a fascinating experience for the tourists of Singapore. This park offers a beautiful experience of a park spanning 101 hectares!
This botanical techno garden has the iconic shell-shaped conservatories. These two conservatories are the largest climate-controlled greenhouses in the world! One of these has flowers from Mediterranean regions, and the other contains the tropical plants inside. There is man-made waterfall inside one of these shells (i.e., one of these cool conservatories) which is 30 meters high. Here is a beautiful YouTube video of Singapore vacation travel guide by Expedia channel that also features Singapore’s Landmark Gardens, i.e. Gardens by the Bay, and SuperTree Grove:
I hope you enjoyed this post from the Umini’s Itchy Feet! I would like to conclude by featuring another lovely YouTube video on the fireworks display at The Marina Bay Sands uploaded by Genesis3417 channel:
Be sure to check out all these fascinating attractions once you are at Singapore!
I have been to Bangkok many a times till now. My Bangkok experience is not that great due to the reason that it is the only place where I have been to for check-ups which, unfortunately have not been a very pleasant experience that I would want to remember when I look back. Nonetheless, there are some very good experiences that I could rather reflect on. Bangkok is a haven for branded items you can have in good price. But, beware of the fake items! You need to have a keen understanding in this matter in order to differentiate the fake from the genuine.
Like I said, there are also some positive aspects that I could find in Bangkok. Firstly, there are some really good bookstores at Bangkok like Kinokuniya and Borders. Also there are sumptuous as well as scrumptious street food items and franchise food outlets that are only available in Bangkok. One such franchise is Buddhi Belly. This is a frozen yogurt store that serves slightly sour taste of yogurt with prodigal amounts of fresh fruits and granola that they sprinkle on top of the light, frozen yogurt lavishly when the dessert get delivered.
Below is the picture of the marvelous icon of the frozen yogurt store that I could not help to refrain myself from clicking the photo in the Siam Paragon shopping mall.
Here is one of the store-fronts of Buddhi Belly at a Bangkok shopping mall:
Never have I tasted any frozen yogurt as tasty as ’Buddhi Belly’!
I have become such a fan of the yogurt that I asked Shelly, my travel mate to click a picture of mine with the banner of the store at Siam Paragon.
I was in so love with the cute icon of the brand that I took picture of the trade character imprinted on the things that usually are supplied from the store with the delivery of the dessert (pictured above).
The above pictureis the dessert that I took at Siam Paragon! Unless you have tasted it yourself, you will never know how awesome it is! Now, I do not get any commission to spread this positive word of mouth! I really do appreciate whatever is truly good according to my opinion!
Here is the assorted menu of Buddhi Belly from their website that I felt I should share with you:
Here is the video of the store that Bo Christensen YouTube channel had uploaded. The title of the video is ’Thai CityDeals Buddhi Belly’:
If you happen to taste Buddhi Belly yourself, please do remember that ’Umini’s Itchy Feet’ suggested this ambrosia to you!
People say that the picturesque Nilgiri at Bandarban in Bangladesh is surreal and the heaven on Earth. The clouds touch down to the Earth in this place! Being in the Nilgiri Resort is awesome, as if ‘being above the clouds!’ since Nilgiri is surrounded by the hills and the clouds most of the time.
It is a fabulous and aesthetically pleasing breathing space to enjoy the serenity of the mother Earth. Those who want to meditate and indulge with ultimate relaxation can book cottages at the Nilgiri resort. This is a place for unwinding far away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Want to embrace the clouds? Nilgiri in Bangladesh is the ideal place. Many compare this place to Darjeeling in India. Nilgiri is located in ThansiUpazilla in Bandarban district which is about 48 km away from the town of Bandarban. There is a neat resort at the top of the hills hosted by Bandarban Officers’ Club, which is a sister concern of Bangladesh Army. Anybody wanting to visit the resort has to take permission from the Army.
Here is a video on this beautiful heaven on Earth! This amazing video has been uploaded by Mr. Pavel Shahriyar in 2010. Enjoy this video that is bound to give you a truly magical experience!
Like Nilgiri, there is another place that I know in the world where the clouds touch down the Earth. This is Darjeeling in India. I went to Darjeeling in 2007 with my travel mates. We went there by road via Burimari Point in Bangladesh.
Here are some of the pictures that I had clicked of Darjeeling during our trip in 2007:
This is a picture of the bluish mountains of Darjeeling.
Here is the picture of the train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also popularly known as the ‘toy train’. The railway basically follows the tract of the Hill Cart Road. This railway has a very special place in the Indian popular culture as so many popular films in India had portrayed this railway.
I had clicked this picture while the train was plying on the hills:
Here is an extremely popular Indian song ’Meri Sapnon Ki Raani Kab Aaye Gi Tu’ from the film Aaradhna. Enjoy this beautifully melodious song sung by legendary Indian vocalist Kishore Kumar (with English subtitles). This song was pictured in Darjeeling. Many YouTube channels have uploaded this song. Among the all the uploads, the only video of the song with English subtitles was uploaded by bollyoldisgold channel.
You can take pleasure of watching this splendid short video of the beautiful Kanchenjunga peak of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India. Lying on the eastern border of Nepal with India, Kanchenjunga is the third highest peak in the world. The video credit goes to Mr. Chandan Prakash, who has uploaded this in his YouTube channel.
Like Darjeeling Himalayan Railway train, KanchenjungaHimalayan peaks also have a very popular place in Bengali Indian popular culture.
Stay tuned for more blog posts on enchanting Darjeeling.
Once I went to Singapore for the third time, I made it a point to check out the Peanuts comic strip themed ’Charlie Brown Café’. The Peanuts characters have always been a favorite to me, especially Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Lucy. Shelly looked up the location in Google Maps and he figured out that we could go and explore the Charlie Brown Café at Orchard Road. There we went to the café and spent some time with the Peanuts characters!
The picture above is the picture that I had clicked about the entrance view of the Charlie Brown Café at Orchard Road in Singapore. Currently there is one more at Cathay Cine-leisure Orchard. At the entrance of the Orchard road café one could find the sculpture of Snoopy and Charlie Brown welcoming the guests at the shop-front. Charlie Brown Café is the first Peanuts comic strip themed café in the region of South East Asia. This café is thoughtfully decked with adorable Peanuts character sculptures and many of Peanuts collector’s items.
Here is another picture of the Charlie Brown Café entrance that I collected. This café is near Hongik University Station, Seoul, South Korea. Photo credit: daniellekoffler’s travel blog ‘travel tale and good eats’. You may notice a little difference in the costume of Charlie here.
Here is the store-front of the café in Malaysia (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Ho):
In Singapore café, Shelly ordered this coffee (pictured below) that came with a Charlie Brown face and before he drank the coffee, I quickly grabbed a snapshot of the presentation of the drink.
The coffee was not really great but it was okay. I faintly remember we shared a dessert. It was good. Many say that the desserts and cakes here are “rather delicious!” Here the pancakes, crepes and pastries — every item has a character face stenciled on it. Character butter cookies are also sold in some of the Charlie Brown Cafés in Hong Kong. Here is a video of the café uploaded by Jayoung Lee in her YouTube channel. This video features the cafe in tsim sha tsui at Hong Kong:
Here is a cute version of cappuccino picture prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk froth with having the coco powder on top of the coffee to create the Charlie Brown character designs was posted by The Moon Cafe blog.
Here are some more ambiance photos throughout Asia of the café uploaded by various fans.
The photo above was posted by Mike Powell in his blog post on Busan, South Korea Charlie Brown Café. I remember, the Singapore café also had similar tables.
Another café staircase featured above in South Korea near Ewha University. Photo Credit: roseline, Source: roseline’s blog post on ’uniquecafe’.
The above store ambiance pictures were posted by Nigel Low about this café by the Straits Quay Retail Marina, Penang, Malaysia. Below is the in-store picture of the café in Orchard Road, Singapore uploaded by @spiceover. This was one of my favorite ambiances of this café. I had dined there exactly in that place.
Below is the dessert (ice cream with pancake) served by this particular café in Thailand. Photo Credit: Charlie Brown Café, Thailand.
This photo credit featured below of ’Snoopy, Woodstock & Charlie Brown inside lunchbox’ goes to Charlie Brown Café, Orchard Road, Singapore Facebook page. I had taken this from the photo uploads of the café during January 2013.
This photo of the ‘whole plate with Snoopy & Friends’ was also posted by Charlie Brown Café, Orchard Road, Singapore on its Facebook page during January 2013.
During our visit to this café, Shelly and I had ordered a quick late lunch that featured Snoopy’s inside the lunch plate. The culinary creation that featured this was done with rice, fish, and vegetables. We were so famished with hunger that I forgot to grab a picture of the dish. However, thanks to the benefit of social media, with the café’s own Facebook page photo posts, I could at least give you an idea of what we had at the Charlie Brown Café during our lunch time in Singapore!