Haw Par Villa: Singapore’s hell on earth

In 1935, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the scions of the developer of the famous Tiger Balm decided to build the Tiger Balm Gardens as a life sized demonstration of the key facets of Chinese mythology. Now called Haw Par Villa, the uncannily real depiction of the Ten Courts of Hell makes this the most unique experience of Chinese folklore and otherworldly retribution you’ll ever have.

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Pench Tree Lodge: Where the Veranda Spoke

Pench Tree Lodge in Seoni is where the veranda seemed to have a voice. In the mornings, it sang of sunrises, birds, and a sky drunk on gold. During the day, it soaked my skin in mellow warmth. And at night, it came alive with the whispers of secret night creatures.

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Q Bar, Mumbai: A quarter of cheer

Over the years, Q Bar has donned many names and avatars (Behind Bars, Jalsa Bar) but its current form is particularly pleasing, ensconced in a shadowy space next to the pool. The energetic dance music, purple lights and combination of sofa tables, bar stools and dance floor seek to achieve the quintessential lounge ambience. Residents of the area and suited corporates looking for a breather after a long day at work compose the lion’s share of Q Bar’s customers. But the real draw here is their ‘club’ concept.

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An Indian fiesta at Gaylord Restaurant

Gaylord symbolises old world elegance and one automatically feels like lowering one’s voice in the presence of the other stately guests. But Chef Zaheer’s master strokes ensured that we couldn’t stay dignified as we stuffed our faces with dahi cheese rolls, kulhar ki tangdi and khumani ka meetha.

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Tea Trails: A date with world teas

After eating and drinking my way through a substantial part of their menu, I can say with confidence that Tea Trails is the best tea café in Mumbai, as per my experience. Like wine, tea can also be paired with various food items and so for each course, we had something to sip and something to bite into.

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Offbeat travel agents we like

There are several well-known travel agencies in India but when you’re looking for an offbeat holiday, they may not have the expertise you need. These unusual travel companies may not make it to the list of top 10 travel companies in India but they can definitely help you plan the perfect holiday. From rugged trails in Leh-Ladakh to all-women trips to chase fireflies in Coorg, they help you scale unchartered territory with aplomb.

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Top 10 summer getaways in 2016

Summer in most parts of Europe occurs between May and October (June-August are the peak summer months) and these are the glorious months in which countries like France, Spain, Greece and Turkey are most tourist-friendly. While there are some evergreen favourites that would definitely feature in your travel bucket list, we present 10 stunning destinations that are particularly attractive this year.

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The Best of Singapore in 5 Days

The best holiday I’ve had in recent times was a five-day trip to Singapore, where I customised my itinerary as per my penchant for nature, offbeat travel and food. Somewhere between the primeval charms of Pulau Ubin island and the macabre depictions at Haw Par Villa, a unique theme park, I discovered the true nature of Singapore – happy, quirky and all-embracing.

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Travelling to India? Here’s a checklist

Despite the negative rhetoric about safety, cleanliness and ease of getting around in India, the country attracts tourists by the hordes. Is it the chaos that enchants the foreigners or the colours? Is it the curious rural faces or the endless expanses of untouched green (dwindling but still there)? Whatever the reason, the travellers aren’t deterred by the disorderly potpourri that is India. Here are a few travel tips to make your sojourn through India easier and more magical.

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The Resort Madh-Marve: An Escape Within Mumbai City

The Resort Madh Marve is a wonderful family getaway that lets you take a break without leaving the confines of Mumbai city. With the beach right beyond your doorstep, a stay here is the perfect way to refresh your spirits.

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