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Family Packages India
India is a huge country with holiday options in many places. Go on vacations with your family to the hills, beach or a historically rich place and make your holidays special. Family tours can also include family adventure sports and places where you can unwind and relax. Explore the hilly greens of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and North-East as you discover ancient temples, beautiful monasteries, rock formations, springs with the stunning vistas of the great Himalayas. Enjoy cultural and historical tours to Delhi, Kolkata, Agra and Jaipur. Visit South India with your family tour for the ideal laid back family vacation. Go on a holidays in India with your family with an India tour package with cheap vacation packages and great travel deals. Cultural Tours, Packages - Cultural Tour Packages India, Cultural Tourism India, Cultural Holidays - MakeMyTrip.comFamily Packages - Best Family Tour Destinations in India and International. Explore best deals on Family vacation packages at lowest prices with MakeMyTrip.
Stepping on the soil of Goa is like entering a dream. You feel right at home and light-hearted, as the holiday spirit takes over. There is something in the Goan air that makes fun & cheer infectious, and you can't help but throw away your worries and eat, drink, laugh and enjoy instinctively.
Hop on to a two-wheeler, may be a guttural Enfield. It's not hard to find a ride with rental guys pitching their scooters with corny comments. It is the best way to get around town and to the open invitation of the sun, sand and seafood.
Noisy north Goan beaches, action packed water sports, bright markets, medieval forts, pre-historic rocks, calmer white sand beaches and a parallel hippie culture are some aspects of Goa that you'll come across. History has settled comfortably in Goa, evident in its architecture and the many churches and cathedrals. Old Goa takes her place in the sun once a year during the feast of St Xavier, which is a crowd puller and the trademark celebratory spirit is at its peak. Let's begin the voyage to the craziest Land of India...
Century-old English architecture, a rich yet equally confusing Anglican tradition, gabled cottages set amidst mystifying blue hills, Ooty is perhaps the only hill station that has refused to keep fair-weather friends. So much so, at some point, it was called Snooty Ooty' even by the early Madras government, for its notorious snobbishness tells it from the rest of Tamil Nadu. Guarding its warbled British, Anglo-Indian, and native heritage while slowly giving in to commercialisation, Ooty or Ootacamund still manages to lure those in need of low-key rest and relaxation. Walk the length of Commercial Road, spend a day strolling by the misty Ooty Lake, or gorge on some hot Bondas and a cup of Cardamom Tea from a tea stall. It is hard not to fall in love with its temperament. Calm, cool and collected are not just keywords here, but a way of life.
Soak in the beauty of the hills from the toy train (the Nilgiri Mountain Railway) as it chugs along the hillside just as it did hundreds of years ago, ever so often stopping for no rhyme or reason. Get a snapshot of the 20 million year old fossil tree stump at the Botanical Gardens where it is overshadowed by a thousand other rare plants. Sink into the crumbling, torn seat at the Assembly Rooms theatre and watch a movie that probably released years ago. Lick on a puffy pink swirl of cotton candy as you skim through second hand book stalls that still sell obsolete prints. Taste Anglo-Indian delights at the stately British Fern Hills Palace, the former summer retreat of the Mysore Maharaja and let the sounds of the piano gently lull you to sleep soon after.
Run across the untouched wilderness of Avalanche Reservoir, and try your hand at Trout fishing in the ramshackle Wilson Fish Farm nearby. Squint and swipe with your lucky hand at the 100 year old Ootacamund Golf Course or mumble a prayer at the century-old St. Stephen's Church as the last rays of sun illuminate the altar through beautifully glass-painted windows. Enjoy a late evening walk as the last strains of the choir waft in the breeze onto town. There is simply no denying that Ooty remains regal, ravishing and royal no matter when you visit. See for yourself...
In 1853, Jaipur's prosperous ruler King Sawai Man Singh got all city walls painted in pink to welcome the Prince of Wales, Edward VII. In the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan, Jaipur is the place for you if you are tired of frequenting hill stations in Northern India. A glorious past of Kings and palaces blended with a culture of pride and hospitality and topped up with a sepia urbanism, that's Jaipur for you!
No holiday in India is complete without a trip to Manali. Tucked away in the shade of dense pinewoods and snowy mountains, there is something about Kulu Valley's premier hill station, that will make you recall childhood fairytales. The earth almost meets the sky all around, the meandering Beas River winds its way through the valley mysteriously, and between the imposing peaks of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges, hundreds flock to experience how it must be to live in Paradise.
Known famously for its lush green valleys, this beautiful hill station in the lower Himalayas is closely connected to Indian mythology as the legendary King Manu is said to have lived here. It is believed that the ark of Manu was found here after the great flood. Today, the name Manali is almost forgotten for what it truly stands forthe Abode of Manu or the Abode of the Gods. And needless to say, this is precisely why everyone heads to the hills every year: to ski down the icy slopes of the Himalayas, where the gods once lived.
'Queen of Hill Stations' is no hyperbole for Shimla. Not just weather, it is the atmosphere of the glory days gone by, a hint of which continues to cling. During the British Raj, Shamla was declared the summer capital and it thus became Shimla. Then love, politics and grand balls were talked about for long.
The summer capital is now a holidayer's paradise with romantic air for honeymooners, frolicking avenues for friends and scenic mountains and verdant forests of pines, oaks & deodars for just about everyone. No wonder movies like Black, Gadar, Jab We Met and 3 Idiots were shot here.
The town brings more. The single gauge toy train running between forests and towns from Kalka to Shimla, the soft shawls, antique books, colourful hats and wooden handicrafts present themselves with a chance to bargain! The temples with folklores and the grandiose churches offering views of valleys, the treks, solitary hiking sessions and Victorian buildings are what Shimla is. Let's take you to a quick ride through the hill town...
The land of warriors and home of the famous Coorgi Pork, Coorg (officially called Kodagu) is peppered with coffee plantations, gurgling streams and tumbledown town markets. Once the base of some of the most powerful empires in south India, Coorg will enchant you in more ways than you can imagine!
Madikeri (Mercara) is famously known as the "Scotland of India" for no lesser reasons. Quaint cottages, waterfalls, plantations, serenity and peace are all pervasive here. The warrior clan of Kodavas who have called Coorg their home over centuries, today offer an insight into their unique culture with good cheer and warm nature.
Explore lush wilderness at Nagarhole National Park, picnic by the majestic Iruppu Falls, stroll along Madikeri's enchanting evening market, enjoy rafting on Barapole River, trail into the unknown depths towards the Brahmagiri Peak, and discover Coorg"s rich history with a visit to Raja's Seat, Talacauvery, Madikeri Fort or Bhagamandala. Also tour coffee plantations or gorge on spicy, Coorgi curry at a local restaurant. The hills will soothe your mind beyond compare.
From hockey festivals to traditional archery, the fervent love for eco-tourism and nature, and the oh-so-obvious love of food and wine, Coorg will bowl you over indefinitely.
The picturesque Srinagar, the Summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is a city of lakes and gardens. It possesses the quiet calm of someone who has seen too much of life. Since its history began - some date it back to the 3rd century BC-it has witnessed opulence and horror.
Shaken to destruction by an earthquake and washed away by floods in recent times, the city picked up the pieces. Its mystique was not missed by the powerful and the wise. Many rulers left a trace of their rule in Srinagar: Asoka, Vikramaditya, the Moghuls and the Dogra. The echo of the Sufi saints's wisdom still reverberates in Srinagar if you are willing to listen.
Urs at Sufi shrines revisit the saints' teachings on their death anniversary. Rozabal Shrine brings people to its door out of curiosity. It is said to be the tomb of Jesus Christ, a controversial claim. A Shiva temple on the Shankaracharya Hill is where Adi Shankaracharya meditated.
It is easy to forget the harsh reality in the enchanting gardens. The Mughal Gardens are like paradise recreated: Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh and Chashma Shahi Gardens. They are all designed to give you a magnificent view of Dal Lake.
Udaipur's biggest charm lies in its location: the foot of the Aravallis. They surround the city protectively, gifting it breathtaking views of the hills that rise and fall. Famous as the City of Lakes, evenings in Udaipur, especially by the lake side is an amazing experience, which can also be enjoyed from the city's numerous rooftop restaurants.
Udaipur is a jewel of Mewar with rich history, culture and Rajput-era palaces. Also called the most romantic city in India, it definitely is the most serene of all.
It is said that Kerala's best kept secrets lie in the heart of Thekkady. A lush green oasis that sprawls across the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, this is where man and beast live as one. Snarling Tigers, screeching Crickets and naughty Langurs, the mysterious calm of the jungle is enough to tempt anyone who yearns to explore the wild. Thekkady is a naturalist's dream. With tea and spice plantations, it has lent much to Kerala's commerce as much as it has to its beauty. The incredible wildlife preserved in Periyar Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary today attracts naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. Declared a tiger reserve in 1978, the Periyar Wildlife Reserve is one of the few reserves where one can catch sight of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger that is fast dwindling in population. Shed your inhibitions and take a day off to enjoy a bamboo raft ride across the Periyar river, explore the forest at night, never knowing what is to come, and succumb to the temptation of traditional Kerala Fish Curry and Rice in every restaurant you visit.
Ride through the jungle on elephant back or make your way through the village on a bullock cart. Wild and raw, the countryside embraces you with warmth that is almost forgotten. On a longer day, visit the Mangala Devi Temple, a short distance from Thekkady town, or to its bustling cousin Kumily, known for its spice plantations. Peermade is another plantation town that lures people on that extended weekend in Thekkady. Cascading waterfalls, misty hilltops and plunging valleys of emerald green, let loose your wild side.
Visit the Tribal Heritage museum inside the Mannan settlement and explore artefacts from a lost generation. Finally, give in to the mellow breeze and soothe your mind as you enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, and let time stop at its tracks. Virgin and raw, Thekkady is for those who yearn to leave the world behind and retrace a journey back in time.
Nestled in the heart of the Palani Hills in south Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal, a charming little hill station is a picture perfect postcard with its spectacular greenery, waterfalls, cliffs and blossoms. Long for a cool break this summer? Kodaikanal is where you need to be!
The main street-Annasalai is the beating pulse of the hills. Bhajji (fritters) stalls brimming with mouth-watering delights, evening joggers, couples walking hand in hand - no environment could be as laidback and relaxing. Buy a glass of sweet, Masala Chai (tea) and enjoy the scene. Virtually everything revolves around the feeling of goodness and getting in touch with your inner side. Cycle around the magnificent Kodai Lake early in the morning and lose yourself in the chill, misty state of calm.
Kodaikanal is the only hill station that was set up by American missionaries back in the 20th century. Trekkers will love a visit to Pillar Rocks, three massive stone faces that provide a stunning, panoramic view of the valley. Those who want to rest their feet will love sitting in the shade and enjoying a small picnic and snacks. Dolphin's Nose (a cliff), the Bear Shola Falls, Bryant Park and the Pambar Falls are great alternative options too.
Retire into a puffy leather couch in the well-stocked library of the Kodai Club. The old English aura of the bar is truly remarkable and evokes old memories with its all yesteryear English decor. Kodaikanal revels in the simple pleasures of life. No matter what kind of a break you are seeking, it makes sure you feel at home; the soft winds, the scented fragrance of eucalyptus trees and tea, the sprawling plum orchards and the delightful aroma of homemade chocolates will seduce you completely. It is difficult to say goodbye.
A wondrous port city that braved colonisation and ethnic conflicts with grace and now stands with a poise to grow, that's Colombo. The colonial charm of temples, monasteries and bungalows coexists with skyscrapers, malls, tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) and flavours of a city on ocean banks. Stroll along Pettah Market miles away from the affluent world of Cinnamon Gardens and haggle over merchandise. Wander into narrow alleyways at Galle Road, and devour steaming Egg Rotis and fresh Lemon Juice, and you're beginning to feel Colombo.
Colombo is packed with surprises, relaxation and fun. Let's begin our journey...
Pattaya's forthrightness might appear somewhat audacious at first, but behind this veneer are many a delighting experiences that you will enjoy indulging in, living a pleasant leisure holiday.A certain sense of abandon underlies all that you do in this city, be it splashing around in water on Songkran, shrieking as a ghoul tries to get you at the Haunted House, screaming with giggles as the fish attack you at a fish spa, or gorging on spicy Papaya Salads.
The city is a mish mash of many sights and activities. The Underwater World will take you on a journey through a tunnel as divers tempt sharks and rays with food. At Sriracha Tiger Zoo you will see the hard to digest image of tiger cubs feeding off a sow along with her piglets. A crocodile keeper places his head in a crocodile's jaws and you wonder what would happen if the croc decides to snap it shut.
Mini Siam is a tribute to architecture and has miniature replicas of buildings in Thailand and Europe that have mesmerised the world. Other ways of getting around the city are less spectacular: baht buses and motorcycle taxis.
The beaches draw sunbathers and diving enthusiasts. A few coral islands off the shores of Pattaya have some excellent diving ops that allow you to go beyond acrylic tunnels and really feel the life underwater. If you prefer to stay on the water, jet skiing, kite surfing and windsurfing are exciting.
For more spicy and adventurous affairs, take on the Walking Street at night. Hit the go-go bars and beer bars. Fend off advances by raunchy women. Or don't. Then head to the cabaret shows- Tiffany and Alcazar have made quite an impression-for a snazzy, glamorous show by some of the most gorgeous transvestites (kathoey) in fabulous costumes. It is a fitting finale to a holiday in Pattaya.
Once nothing more than a small hamlet on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is today more than just the capital of Thailand; it is the confluence of Asia's richest cultures. With stumbling religious architecture, myths, futuristic business towers, pulsating streets and after-dark pleasures, this cosmopolitan city is a delight to the senses.
Enjoy a cruise along the historical Chao Phraya River that was once used for trade, through the heart of Bangkok. Drift past the Taling Chan Floating Market and stop awhile at a floating restaurant. Bask in the warmth of Bangkok's bustling Chinatown, as you wander into a maze of excited chatter, vivacious crowds and burgeoning street vendors. Rejuvenate your senses with a traditional Thai massage in the late afternoon to soothe your tired mind. Bangkok beckons you to indulge in every temptation.
Revel in ancient marvels. Unwind soon after at the rooftop of the State Tower taking in the sweeping view of the city. Ruffle your wild side at night as the city lures you into a notorious world of pleasure and fantasy at Bangkok's after-dark districts like Patpong district and Nana Plaza.
Bangkok is, in many ways, more than just any other Asian city; it is an exotic visual experience that dares to defy time and traditions.
Gangtok, an unassuming Himalayan town comes with the quaint charms very much like most hillside towns. And yet its culture and its influences stop it from being clubbed with the rest.
Flung away from the heart of India and in proximity with Tibet, it is most certainly not the quintessential Indian town. Buddhism is prevalent. So are entrancing views of mountains and foliage.
Monks cruising down the street in bikes is a common sight. You cannot miss the numerous monasteries in the city. The mystical Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Gompa Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Tashiling Monastery and Phensong Monastery are quite beautiful. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology offers an intimate rendezvous with its culture. Even better are the masked dances and processions during festivals.
Gangtok offers some incredible views of the mighty Kanchenjunga from Tashi Point and its quaint temple, Ganesh Tok. Hanuman Tok is another Hindu temple in this city.
Shoppers and foodies will be delighted. From yummy tea to Tibetan handicrafts and fur jackets, Gangtok's MG Road and Lal Bazaar are only too happy to please. The food is diverse and restaurants serve you traditional Sikkimese dishes, steamed and fried Momos, the wicked Chang and succulent meat that will have you asking for more.
Changu Lake, Saramsa Garden and Banjhakri Falls are all a short drive from the city and are neat getaways whether you want to ride a Yak, sip on hot tea meditatively or have a scrumptious picnic. For a few lessons in history, just drive up to the Nathu La Pass.
Orchids, Snow Leopards, Red Pandas and bamboos have their own sanctuaries in Gangtok that takes the conservation of its greenscape and wildlife seriously.
Not a tourist trap, with little to do and much to discover, experience the art of doing nothing and being everything in Gangtok.
A small town in Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling has evolved from pensioner's paradise to a beautiful destination envied for its beauty, culture and location.
While Darjeeling has largely been sought after for treats of trekking, camping and bird watching, there is a sudden surge of travelers seeking old world charm of tea, atrophy and beauty. And much more.
White water rafting and rapids of furious Teesta and Rangeet rivers is a relatively newfound craze for tourists. Besides, the freshness of water, the air and the fragrance of deodars is enough to intoxicate you with nature.
Even if mountaineering is not your calling, there are plenty of countryside trails you'll love trekking along. Climb up the tiger hills or the alpine forests of rhododendron, magnolias, spruce and orchid, and quietly watch wildlife living unperturbed by civilization or a view of the Mount Everest. To experience spirituality in hilltops, stop & meditate at the ages-old Ghoom monastery with promises of future. A ride in the cute toy train, watching hills while crossing them slowly is another great way to relax and rejuvenate.
The glamorous shining star of the middle-eastern desert, Dubai speaks of the good life. But recently, it's been in the news more for building glitzy towers - like the Burj, and islands - like the Palm Jumeirah and the World (under construction) than the things it was previously known for - oil and Dubai shopping festival, better known as the DSF.
For being a nation that used to earn a major part of its revenue selling crude oil to becoming a nation that made use of its capabilities and resources to bring the world together to its doors with full wallets and topped up credit cards only to make it spend in a hurry, Dubai has come a long way.
'Dream of something and we'll make it come true' is the attitude that the leader of this glamorous metropolis, Sheikh Muhammad lives by but beneath the garb of all the glitter & glam, there's a Dubai which takes pride in its traditional values while respecting traditions which foreign visitor bring along. They sing, dance, fast in the month of Ramadan and urge everyone to maintain the sanctity of the Emirate. The nation lives as a closely knit group and urges visitors to do the same. Welcome to Dubai!
Far on the southeast coast of China, Macau has a long-standing reputation of being Vegas of the East. This dream villa that balances both Eastern and Western cultures is a towering paradise of gambling, women and sky-high living. Oodles of grandeur, lip-smacking delights, glitz and glamour, the city offers its visitors an experience that is unmatched.
Lose yourself in Barra Square, where the Portuguese first landed way back in the 16th century. The A-Ma-Gao Temple here is the oldest Taoist temple in Macau. The locals, who built the temple in 1488, named it A-Ma-Gao, after a goddess. But when Portuguese settlers first landed and asked locals about their land, they mistook the name A-Ma-Gao for 'Macau', and thus the city that flourished came to be known as it is today, and the temple, that marked its birth, the centre of present day Macau.
If you want to enjoy a stroll in the morning, head to Largo Senado Square's central stretch or grab some coffee in one of the sophisticated cafés that dot the streets. The Leal Senado (Loyal Senate) sits regally at one end of the square and attracts hordes of tourists all year round. Macau's Outer Harbour area and the outlying islands of Taipa and Coloane are a break from the peninsula. Other fascinating sights like the cream-coloured Santo Domingo Church with its perky green doors and windows, and the Lou Kau Mansion are splendid reminders of how many influences lie layered in Macanese culture and co-exist within the populace.
Try the Bacalhau, tossed in parsley and potatoes or the crumbly Portuguese style Egg Tart; you can never quite have enough! The Monte Fort, the ruins of St Paul's, and Museum of Macau are great sights along the way. Try your luck and experience the grand splendour of The Venetian at night. Every year this is exactly what brings Macau its millions of tourists: the belief that this might be their chance to get lucky. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel is not just a fantastic casino but has famous gondola rides that let you relive the beauty of yesteryear Venice. The indoor artificial sky above is beautifully speckled with puffy white clouds against a stretch of azure blue and will take your breath away. It is another world, time and place here. To many, being in Macau is like taking refuge from reality. Or as other's simply say, this is where life is one party that never ends.
There’s no place in the world like Sydney. A global city bursting with character, it’s not difficult to see why Australia’s harbour hotspot consistently rates highly among the world’s most livable cities. With a world famous harbour and dozens of surf beaches on the doorstep, the city is blessed with remarkable natural beauty and an inclination towards the great outdoors.
When it comes to lifestyle, Sydneysiders are renowned for their friendly natures and their love of a casual barbecue or a beer. They might be famous for healthy outdoor pursuits like surfing, but Sydneysiders have developed discerning tastes and demands, which have seen the city explode with a vibrant culinary scene and on-trend cocktail bars. There’s plenty to explore and see in the ever-evolving neighbourhoods, from the golden sands of the eastern suburbs beaches to the edgier urban atmosphere of the inner west.
Places To See:
Head to ‘The Rocks,’ at the northern end of George Street for a real sense of Australia’s colonial history. The cobblestone side streets, stone heritage buildings and charming pubs are full of life. Have a beer at the Lord Nelson, Sydney’s oldest pub, with its own boutique brewery, and go on a Rocks Walking Tour.
Sydney Tower Skywalk
Harnessed onto a moving, glass-floored viewing platform that extends out over the edge of Sydney Tower, see Sydney from a breathtaking 260 metres above the street. Admire famous landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and all the way to the Blue Mountains on a clear day.
Scale the city’s much-loved icon, known affectionately as ‘The Coathanger.’ Climbing the bridge while the sun is setting over the horizon is awe-inspiring. The Bridge Climb has become one of the city’s most popular tours so book well in advance.
Children and young families love Darling Harbour. Visit the National Maritime Museum and Chinese Gardens, take in a movie at the IMAX cinema or recharge at Cockle Bay or King Street wharves. Close by is the Powerhouse Museum, Wildlife Sydney, Sea Life Sydney and Sydney’s bustling Chinatown.
Get acquainted with Australia’s famous furry critters at Sydney’s harbour front zoo. It’s not just kids who love Taronga Zoo – even getting there on a short ferry ride from Circular Quay provides stunning views of the city’s icons. There are koalas and kangaroos, a chimpanzee enclosure, regular wild bird displays and a nocturnal animal house.
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
Located on the edge of Sydney Harbour at Circular Quay, the MCA exhibits Australian and international artists with solo and group exhibitions. With a continually changing program of exhibitions and stimulating events, there’s always something new and inspiring to see.
The sweeping lawns of Centennial Park, in the eastern suburbs, are the perfect place for a stroll and a picnic beneath giant Moreton Bay fig trees. Sydneysiders come out to run, cycle, play on rollerblades, go horseback riding or enjoy a picnic in this green space.
Sydney Opera House
Perched on the eastern headland of Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, and offers a variety of cultural performances, tours and dining options.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Sydney during convict times at the Hyde Park Barracks, one of the finest works of the accomplished colonial architect, Francis Greenway. Built with convict labour between 1817 and 1819, it is a popular landmark in the historic precinct of Macquarie Street and Queens Square.
The Powerhouse Museum has a collection of 385,000 objects spanning social history, music, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, transport and space exploration.
Museum of Sydney
Journey through the past to discover Sydney from 1788 onwards at the Museum of Sydney, on the corner of Philip and Bridge Streets. Exhibitions, films and state-of-the-art technology spin stories of colonial life, Aboriginal culture, environment, trade, law and everyday dramas and dreams.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Wrapped around Farm Cove on the edge of the beautiful Sydney Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens are an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city. The gardens, established in 1816, are the oldest scientific institution in the country. Rich in history, they form a living link with the beginnings of European settlement in eastern Australia and have an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Art Gallery of New South Wales holds significant collections of colonial and 19th century Australian works and European old masters, along with contemporary works. There are also dedicated galleries celebrating the arts of Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The gallery presents nearly 40 exhibitions every year, including flagship annual exhibitions such as the Archibald Prize and ARTEXPRESS.
Fondly called KL by most regular visitors, Kuala Lumpur proudly flaunts its East Meets West lifestyle with a little arrogance and oodles of attitude. This shining concrete paradise was once a humble tin-mining centre in the 1850s ravaged after the Selangor Civil War, and two World Wars. Yet, with the steady inflow of Indian Chettiars (money-lenders), Muslim traders, Chinese merchants and the slow but constant development process, KL rose to prominence as the capital of the Federated Malay States.
Although Kuala Lumpur means muddy confluence (as it was at the muddy confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers), there is hardly a trace of any mud in the city. High-tech modern buildings, skyscrapers and glitzy hotels so much so meet and greet you with a 'welcome to the future' vibe than anything else. Temples, mosques and little pieces of history, however, are carefully hidden behind this facade for those who want to take a stroll down time.
The gleaming lights of Petronas Twin Towers with its museums, shops and eateries; the drowning vigour of Chinatown; sprawling Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana); the Central Market with its brimming handicraft stalls, artistry and colours; the National Museum, a perfect place to brush up on your history; and the beautiful depths of Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur asks you to live and let live without pushing you to the limits.
Get wild at a ritzy lounge or shop all day at one of the city's magnificent malls. There is no end to things you can do here. To get a feel of the city, climb the giddying heights of the Menara Kuala Lumpur Observation Deck, after snacking on some tasty Curry in Petaling Street. Here, heaven-high and foreboding, you can see the city lie before you as a sparkling treasure chest. The view encapsulates the feel of one of the greatest cities in Asia, and there is no denying it.
Christchurch is perched on the coast of South Island, is the doorway to the various bounties of nature on the island, such as the Canterbury Plains. The city is best known for the Christchurch Cathedral, which stands in the heart of the city. You can climb its spire to get a stunning view of the city. The Cathedral Square is a lively spot, with various performances and open-air concerts. Also check out the Canterbury Museum, International Antarctic Centre, the superb Natural History Discovery Centre, and the quaintly Victorian Canterbury street.