Celebrating the Holi Festival

Celebrating the Holi Festival

Holi or 'Fagu', the festival of colors, is being celebrated in Nepal on Tuesday 26th March 2013.
Especially, youngsters and kids pelting water balloons and pouring coloured water on each other is a common sight in the streets of Kathmandu today. Now a day tourist also are celebrating the festival in Thamel, Durbar Marga. It's a government holiday today. Holi begins on the eighth day of the new moon and ends with the burning of the "Chir', a wooden pole draped in flags that is considered pious, on the full moon day later today. The festival is celebrated in hilly areas of the country including Kathmandu valley today 26th March and tomorrow 27th March in Terai areas. The government of Nepal give holiday in Tarai areas on 27th march.

Visitor Increased in February

Holi FestivalThe number of foreigners visiting Nepal in the month of February has increased by 6 percent compared the same period last year. According to the figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), 45,123 foreigners visited Nepal via the aerial route in February.

There was a growth of 135 percent in the Chinese sector while visitor arrivals from Malaysia and Singapore registered a robust growth of 288.1 percent and 119 percent respectively. However, arrivals from Japan, South Korea and Thailand registered a negative growth of 20.1 percent, 29.4 percent, and 0.3 percent respectively. The arrivals from South Asian region have recorded negative growth of 15.2 percent with Pakistan (44.3 percent) and Sri Lanka (35.3 percent) registering positive growth.
Visitor arrivals from India, which is the largest source market for Nepal witnessed decline by 18.2 percent and arrivals from Bangladesh declined by 5.3 percent. European markets registered negative growth of 5.5 percent with major destinations showing mixed reaction in terms of visitor arrivals. Tourist arrivals from the US, Canada and New Zealand increased by 11.2 percent, 42.2 percent and 44.8 percent respectively. However arrivals from Australia have decreased by 5.5 percent.
A total of 48,783 foreign tourists departed from TIA in February. The number of Nepalis arrivals stood at 58,379 while 70,635 departed from TIA last month.

Kathmandu 4th cheapest city in world

Kathmandu has been ranked fourth on the list of least expensive cities to live in, according to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit. While South Asian locations dominated the cheapest cities to live in, East Asian now now make up 11 of the world's 20 most expensive cities. No U.S. city made the top 20.

Tokyo bagged the title of most expensive city as it overtook over from the Swiss city of Zurich, which dropped to seventh from the top last year. Australian cities were among the biggest movers in the top 10 most expensive cities.The Venezuelan city of Caracas rose 25 places to ninth, making it the most expensive city across the Americas. According to the survey, the Canadian city of Vancouver is the most expensive location in North America, at position 21. Los Angeles and New York City tie at 27th as the most expensive U.S. cities. The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is released twice a year by the EIU and compares hundreds of prices across 160 products and services, including items such as food, drink, rentals, utility bills, schooling costs and household supplies.

Top 10 expensive cities:1. Tokyo, Japan (+1 place), 2. Osaka, Japan (+1), 3. Sydney, Australia (+4), 4. Oslo, Norway (+1), 5. Melbourne, Australia (+4),6. Singapore (+3), 7. Zurich, Switzerland (-6), 8. Paris, France (-2), 9. Caracas, Venezuela (+25),10. Geneva, Switzerland (-7),
Top 10 least expensive cities: 1. Karachi, Pakistan, 2. Mumbai, India, 3. New Delhi, India, 4. Kathmandu, Nepal, 5. Algiers, Algeria, 6. Bucharest, Romania, 7. Colombo, Sri Lanka, 8. Panama City, Panama, 9. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 10. Tehran, Iran, Source : Nepal News

How to call Home from Abroad

If you are set for a multi-day vacation spree outside the country, finding a way to call home could be a struggle if you are not prepared. Many countries still do not have widespread Internet access, sometimes even no Internet (or phones) at all. There are many ways to call loved ones at home while you are out of the country that are not only convenient, but also cost close to free.

Skype – This software can be installed easily on your laptop and can be spotted in many Internet cafes around the world. Skype allows you to make calls through the Internet for as little as 2 cents a minute, depending on where you call. It is very advisable to bring your own headset so you do not have to worry about broken or dirty headsets on Internet cafes. Also, look for Internet cafes during off-peak hours and make sure you log off of Skype before leaving.

Localphone – This service works similarly to Skype, enabling you to call family and friends via the Internet. The difference with www.Localphone.com is that it offers much cheaper international call and text rates. Calls to United States costs just half a cent per minute, regardless where you are calling from. Students even get a bonus for funding their account. It is available on both iPhone and Android smart phones.

Calling cards – Many countries offer prepaid calling cards that allow you to call home using a local landline or smartphone. Although its basic rates are low, check if they provide even lower rates on off-peak hours. Also, certain phones require specific cards and check whether rates are increased if calls are made from mobile phones and pay phones. These can be bought in convenience stores.
The callback trick – This calling service is one of the oldest tricks in the book. First, call the callback service such as GlobalTel, using a unique provided number, and let it ring one time before hanging up. Once the phone rings back, answer it and call the usual way. Note that callback services are banned in some countries.

Mobile phones – Making calls from your smartphone, through your usual wireless carrier, can be very expensive. This is why many travelers opt to buy simpler, unlocked, cell phones packed with local prepaid SIM cards. Load your SIM cards conveniently through phone credit stores and call home using international call rates imposed by the card’s carrier, which is usually cheaper.

Source: StartBackpacking.com

Conrad Algarve Europe Award Ceremony 2012

World Travel Awards (WTA) has announced that the new Conrad Algarve will host its Europe Ceremony 2012 on 6 October 2012.

Senior representatives from Europe’s finest travel brands are scheduled to attend the gala evening as they vie to win the most coveted accolade in the industry. The red-carpet ceremony is being held in partnership with Truism do Algarve and Conrad Algarve, and will include a gala dinner, top entertainment as well as the presentation of the most coveted awards in the industry. Guests also have the opportunity to participate in the WTA Europe Golf Classic tournament which will be played on the region’s finest championship course.

Set on a dramatic stretch of Portugal’s Atlantic coastline, the palatial Conrad Algarve combines exquisite style and contemporary luxury with all the conveniences of a sophisticated modern retreat in a stunning location. The WTA organizers highlight the contribution the significance of hosting the event in the Algarve.

Graham E Cooke, President & Founder, WTA, says: “We are delighted to host our first ceremony in the Algarve, a decision that reflects the crucial role that tourism plays in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy.”

He adds: “The Algarve is also one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, and the new Conrad Algarve will set a new precedent for luxury in the region. Our Europe Ceremony will provide a perfect forum to showcase its facilities to travel’s top decision-makers.” The five-star resort enjoys a prime location at Quinta do Lago, the home of world-class golf courses and beautiful beaches, and on the doorstep of the famous Ria Formosa Natural Park. Joachim Hartl, Hotel Manager, Conrad Algarve, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with World Travel Awards and showcasing our wonderful luxury property. Conrad Algarve, opening this summer, is a highly anticipated luxury hotel opening – both in Portugal and wider Europe. The hotel will offer a premium luxury experience with a spectacular range of services and amenities, specifically designed to provide guests with remarkable and truly unforgettable luxury experiences.” António Pina, Algarve Promotion Bureau and Algarve Tourism Board President, said: “It is with enormous pride that the Algarve hosts such a prestigious event as World Travel Awards. This will provide a unique opportunity to promote the region as a first-class destination, with its exceptional facilities and an enviable climate like no other country in Europe.” “The Algarve boasts a beautiful coastline, a selection of the world’s finest golf resorts and luxury hotels, all supported by a wealth of leisure facilities and high-class restaurants. We are delighted and grateful to the organization, to have chosen the Algarve for such a memorable event.”

The Europe Ceremony 2012 will mark the fourth leg of WTA’s Grand Tour, a global search for the world’s finest travel brands, which also includes regional heats in Dubai, Turks & Caicos, Nairobi and Singapore. The winners of these regional heats will progress to the Grand Final, which will take place at The Oberoi,

Gurgaon, and New Delhi, India on 12 December 2012.

Source - WTA