Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Goa marriage on the rocks

November 11-17, 2013

Team GS

Bangkok and its nearby beach resorts and islands are host to over 200 big, fat Indians weddings this year alone.  Throw in seminars and company meets, this figure could swell to 300!  Clearly the Thais have gotten clever, very clever.  They can arrange everything for a baraat or bridegroom's ceremony, ranging from hiring a pandit to a ghori to the fire ceremony in which the bride and groom walk around a flame, to serving Indian cuisines.

Most of the resorts offer cheap honeymoon packages, which include free chopper and limousine ride and speedboat charters to islands off Phuket to the couple.  Go get married there, it’s really cheap.  It works like this: Wedding planner costs between 5,000 and 10,000 baht.  A room in a five-star hotel in Bangkok between 3,500 baht and 4,000 baht.  A buffet in a posh Bangkok hotel or restaurant around 800 baht.  A dinner buffet at the Sky Hotel's 78th floor restaurant in Bangkok costs 850 baht.  A two-hour boat ride in Bangkok and dinner on board costs around 1,400 baht.

Akbar ready to huff & puff

On October 26, at the Delhi Cantonment station, a huge steam engine was made ready to begin a proud and successful re-run of one of the last surviving steam engines in the country.  It was even named Akbar after the 16th-century Mughal emperor.
The steam engine will chug along the mainline throughout the year, pulling luxury tourist trains from Delhi to Alwar (in Rajasthan), and bring steam engine heritage tourism in India.  There are around 30 similar steam locomotives in the country, some built by the Lancashire-based British locomotive builder Vulcan Foundries and others by Chittaranjan Loco works.
Way back in 1998 the first bid to restore steam locomotives in India was made, when the world’s oldest steam locomotive built in England in 1855 (top speed: 40 km per hour) was restored.  But the Railways which lacked the vintage technology (in modern times) to maintain the steam locomotives required vintage technology, could not take this great idea forward.  Just to revive the steam locomoties, the Railways had to first restore the 120-year-old Rewari (in Rajasthan) Steam Loco Shed, which could be achieved with the help of steam railway experts from across the world.  Next, it equipped the Amritsar locomotive workshop with the technology needed to restore these engines.
The route for those interested is Delhi - Alwar - Rewari - Alwar – Delhi.
One-way train journey between Delhi & Alwar + sightseeing/stay (price per adult Rs. 8,965/ child Rs. 4,620).
One-way train journey between Delhi & Alwar only (Rs. 3,795/Rs. 2,035).
Two-way train journey between Delhi & Alwar & back (Rs. 7,315/Rs. 3,795).
One-Way train journey between Delhi & Rewari (Rs. 2,245/1,260).
One-Way train journey between Rewari & Alwar (Rs. 2,275/Rs. 1,275).
Your ticket includes all meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner with tea/coffee provided on board or in hotels.  All meals in the hotel are on buffet arrangement.  Go for it.

Abu Dhabi gets Best Family Destination award from India

Abu Dhabi got the Best Family Destination Award from India’s International Tourism Conclave & Travel Awards (ITCTA) based on industry feedback and market visibility of the destination.  In the first eight months of this year 1,07,223 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi hotels - a 23 per cent hike over the same period in 2012.  That meant 4,34,554 guest nights, up 34 per cent year-on-year with the Indian visitor staying, on an average, just over four nights.