Celebrating holidays and memories

  • Because staring at the photos of exotic destinations does not compare with actually being there.
- Tsering Ngodup Lama, Kathmandu

Dec 25, 2015-

This year may not have been the best one for Nepalis but it has also taught us that life is too unpredictable to not follow your heart and give into a case, or two, of wanderlust. As we prepare to draw 2015’s curtains to a close, three known personalities share their favourite holiday destinations to Tsering Ngodup Lama, and boy, did it have us salivating over some of these exotic locales. Of course, the reality-check came in the form of a not-so-lofty bank account. Relive the travel accounts of a beauty queen, décor expert and the director of a museum, and maybe plan?

The sun, the sea and the sand

More than a holiday, an editorial shoot for a magazine took me to Tenerife in Canary Islands this summer. As I was only shooting for a day, I had the next couple of days to myself, giving me enough time to explore the beautiful island. Having grown up in the south coast of England, I had missed the beaches and mostly the seafood! So I thoroughly indulged myself with sun and the bounty of sea— I lived on king prawns, mussels, crab and all the seafood that I could get my hands on!

One day, I took a scooter up to 'Las Teresitas', it was a beautiful beach with palm trees and aquamarine water! I went for a quick snorkel and after swimming for a while I retired myself on the beach, sunbathing, reading a book. 

My team took me to 'Castillo San Miguel', it's a big castle where they hold a medieval show. The highlight of the evening was when the knight, I was rooting for, not only won the tournament but handed me with the winning rose, it was just magical! It really felt like I was transported back in the medieval era. 

If I have to pick one favourite moment from the trip, it has to be walking barefoot on the beach as I shopped for souvenirs. It was a relaxed treat, which I'm grateful for!

- Shristi  Shrestha

Miss Nepal 2012, is a model and an actor

The Jaipur splendour

Every year, my husband Rishi and I try to take a vacation to an exciting destination. This year, understandably, we decided to go on a relatively low-key trip and explore Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, a part of India we haven't been to yet.

The highlight of the trip was the magnificent Amer Fort and Amer Palace that sits on top of the Aravalli range of hills, the residence of the monarch at that time, Raja Man Singh I and his many queens. The red stone ramparts encircle the fort, from where you can get spectacular views of the Maota lake and beyond. As we walked the cobbled paths towards the exquisitely inlayed famous Diwan-e-Aam, Hall of Public Audience, and the Diwan-e-Khas, Hall of Private Audience, we were reminded of the glorious past, of legends that still live on and a reflection of the opulent lifestyle of the maharajas of old! 

A memory that will remain forever etched in our hearts during this journey through royal India heritage, is the enchanting evening spent at the elegant Polo Bar of the Taj Rambagh Hotel, a majestic palace turned into a hotel. From the beautifully manicured gardens wafting with the delicate rose, to gleaming black and white marble corridors, lit by tinkling chandeliers, and adorned with black and white photographs of royals - it's an experience that transports you back to a bygone era. We felt like royalty as the liveried white-gloved waiters hovered at our beck and call, while we sipped the perfect cocktails and devoured the most delicious chicken malai tikka, and hor d’oeuvres. The hotels grandeur and tasteful décor ensured a wonderfully relaxed evening.

That was our vacation in a nutshell - a relaxed holiday in a heritage city, amongst a vibrant culture, friendly people and lip-smacking cuisine.

- Sunaina Saraf is the design coordinator at Innovations, a multidisciplinary design house providing comprehensive design for interiors and complete fabrication services on turnkey basis.

Marvelled by the mountains

In early November, I went back on The Yeti's Trail, a boutique Everest region experience designed by the Yeti Mountain Home, which is located in Lukla, Phakding, Monjo, Namche, Thame and Kongde. Having done the trail five times, I can say it is an exceptional way to be in the Himalayas. When I went there after the earthquake in May, the town (region) was void of tourists. So this trip was also a post-quake assessment of sorts. When I landed in Lukla, the airport was busy and all the towns to Thame were bustling with tourists! In Thame, at the monastery (3,800 meters above sea level), I met the new three-year old Rinpoche  before having soencha (butter tea) and conversations with an 80 year old monk in their sunroom. The 500-year old monastery was a subject of an anthropology paper I had written in 2011. While up in Khumbu, I recommend spending time looking out at the night and dawn sky for stellar star gazing and often shooting star spotting.

The most memorable moment of the trip was an unplanned quick stop at Yeti Mountain Home in Kongde (4,250 metres above sea level), my 6th time there. The weather and view were characteristically crisp and the exceptional view of the Khumbu valley, and one of my favourite peaks Khumbila, never gets old. 

- Kashish Das Shrestha is an independent Sustainable Development policy advisor, international collaborator for Stanford University and the Director of the City Museum Kathmandu

Published: 25-12-2015 15:50

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