Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 39, Tuesday May 16, 2006




Summer getaway 2006

With your kid's exams ending, all the pangs and skidding of the heartbeat coming to an end, you will have a few days to breathe at ease. Make the gulp of air in your lung the fresh crispy air of the mountains. Moist your skin with the clouds, dip in the sparkly waterfalls. It is time for a summer getaway. Your destinations…

To the land of clouds
Cherrapunjee, where the rain is measured in feet, not inches. Offering a splendid view of Bangladesh, it is the world's wettest destination. Situated in Meghalaya, India, it is a town of waterfalls, shiny green ravines, and mysterious limestone caves that nature has decorated with ardent admiration. It is also a market centre for the Khasi people. The main Cherra bazaar is famous for its colourful variety of goods including unusual tribal jewellery, orange-flavoured honey. These might be a few attraction of this Indian town but the most appealing of all is its rain. People every year visit the town just to experience the moisture in the air; the foggy morning and it could be your destination too.

Sensational Shillong
The romantic city of Shillong is a fascinating tourist spot in north-eastern India. It is the capital city of Meghalaya. It has a number of beautiful sites like, Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Polo Ground, Museum, Elephant Falls and the Shillong Peak that overlooks the city golf course. Lying in the cradle of the tall pine conifers and pineapple shrubs, Shillong's undulating terrain is a constant source of attraction for tourists. Rainy season is the best time to visit.

Dreamland Darjeeling
Surrounded by lofty mountains and lovely tea plantation, Darjeeling is another dreamland for tourist. The lucky ones among them occasionally behold the sight of Kanchanjangha peak. The peak can be seen embossed in the horizon far away if the weather is good. Down below in the valley, flows the rivers, swollen by rain water or melting snow. Darjeeling is a fascinating sight surrounded all over by Buddhist monasteries. It is rainy season in Darjeeling during the June and July. It is also the season for landslide. The hotel rate at this season is almost half. So braving the slippery mud you might as well take the risk and feel all the adrenalin rush.

There are plenty of tour operators around the city, who offer attractive packages. Make your trips more comfortable by assigning one of the following tour operators.

Guide Tours Limited is situated at Darpan Complex (1st Floor), Plot #2, Gulshan Circle 2. Their phone no is 9862205 and 9886983.

Amazing Holidays situated at house no 424, road no 30, New DOHS, Mahakhali. Phone no 8857679 or 0173 034454.

South Asian Tourism is situated at Ahmed Plaza, 819 Begum Rokeya Shwarani, Shewrapara, Mirpur. Their phone no is 9004096, 8031402.

Galaxy Holidays is situated at Taj Marriot, 5th floor, 25, Gulshan Avenue. Their contact no is 9888055 and 9885871.

Prime Tourism Network at room no 506, Motaleb Mansion, 2, RK Mission Road. Their phone no is 9562430 and 7111990.

Bengal Tours is situated at house no 45, road no 27, block a, Banani. Their phone no is 8820716 and 9885940.

Saint Martin Tourism 37/B, Purana Paltan lane. Their phone no is 9338431.

Trip to Shilong-Cherapunjee with three nights stay will cost around Tk8000-10,000. A three night Darjeeling trip will cost around Tk7500. Darjeeling-Thimpu trip, three nights each would cost around Tk11, 500. If you arrange the trip on your own then you will save around Tk1500. Most operators arrange road trips. The route to Shilong-Cherapunjee is Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil border-Shilong-Cherapunjee with one night stopover at Sylhet. And to reach Darjeeling you will have to follow Dhaka-Burimari (Kurigram)-Shiliguri-Darjeeling route.

Take your pick, and give yourself a treat you'll never forget!

By Shahnaz Parveen

Where should you be this summer?

Summertime is upon us! The sun is high and it is time to get off the usual workaholism, pack your bags and take a vacation. Over the last five years, South-east Asia has surfaced as one of the prime holiday spots.

A wide range of packages are available this summer- places to see, have fun in the sun…and of course, relax. The prices of these packages depend on a number of factors: the hotel, the type of room (single/ twin sharing), and the age range of the tourists (adult/ child). So, it would be wise to provide a price range, rather than pinpointing a particular price. For details and verifying what particular package suits your need/affordability, please contact the airlines offices or a tour operator. All prices are quoted in Us Dollars.

Malaysian Airlines
Malaysian Airlines is offering "Super Savers Holidays", a very impressive and affordable range of packages, till the 31st of May.

One of the most popular vacation destinations with the Bengali people is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The home of the Malaysian twin towers, a 3 days/ 2 nights (3D/2N) package is valued between $ 325- 391 for adults, and $259- 273 for children.

For virgin white sandy beaches, there is Langkawi (3D/2N). Prices: $339- 420 (adult) and $268- 291 (child).

Penang also tops the popularity list, with the Penang Hill (821 metres above the sea level), the Butterfly Farm and Spice Gardens. Prices (3D/ 2N): 326- 366 (Adult) and $355- 362 (Child).

Kota Kinabalu (3D/2N) does not lag behind. With its spa islands and diving resorts, the word "relaxing" would take a Whole new dimension. Prices: $371- 436 (Adult) and $ 296 (Child).

For more extended packages, the Airlines is offering a 6D/5N trip to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Pricing here is slightly more complex, varying with where you decide to stay in each of the countries. However, a rough range would be $ 466- 607 (Adult) and $393- 408 (Child).

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines is providing tour packages to four places: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Bali. There are two types of packages: Early Bird packages (3rd May- 10th May) and Summer Holiday Packages (3rd May- 31st July).

The Early Bird offers are- Singapore (3D/2N): $376; Kuala Lumpur (3D/2N): $395; Bangkok (3D/2N): $ 399; and Bali (4D/3N): $414.

The Summer Holiday offers are- Singapore (3D/2N): $396; Kuala Lumpur (3D/2N): $415; Bangkok (3D/2N): $420; and Bali (4D/3N): $437.

Thai Airways
Thai Airways is providing Early Bird Packages till June 30, to Bangkok, Krabi Island and Phuket. All the packages are 3D/2N.

Bangkok, also known as the "Shopper's paradise", can be on your list (3D/2N) for $ 348- 727 (Adult) and $267- 301 (Child). Phuket is famous for its awe-inspiring beaches and mouth-watering sea food. Price: $462- 684 (Adult) and $ 318- 330 (Child).

Another location endowed with natural splendour is Krabi, 40 miles away from Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands. Prices: $ 462- 684 (Adult) and $ 318- 330 (Child).

By Saadi

On the cover

It’s all sunshine this week as we bring you the finer points of this hot season. Travel with us to exotic locations in our holiday special on Page 2, and then take the plunge into the centrefold for the looks that smoulder this season.
Model: Emi
Photos: Zahidul I khan


With the days getting longer, and the school days coming to an end, this is the perfect time to start planning your holiday. Spreading your wings and dashing off to some exotic location is one option; unfortunately, if wishes were horses, we'd all ride. Travel costs, the difficulties of getting time off work, the enormous homework list staring ominously from Junior's assignment diary all work together to make the long trip a long shot. Nevertheless, here are a few tips on how you can take a break from real life for a day.

Movie Mania
With cool new movies coming in at the Star Cineplex, a day at the Bashundhara City with friends is a day well spent. The latest attraction to hit the screens is King Kong. Grab all your friends, head to the mall an hour early, take the kids to Togi World (the indoor theme park) to get them properly tired out so that they won't interrupt the movie, and then grab the late-afternoon show.

Wet 'n Wild
There's nothing like a day frolicking in the water with friends and family to take your mind off all your troubles. Pack a change of clothes and head to Ashulia, where you can swim and slide to your heart's content at Water Kingdom (or try out the awesome rides at the neighbouring Fantasy Kingdom), or go a little further up to Savar, where you can splash away at Nandan Park. Whichever option you choose, we recommend you try the slides!

For the homebodies
If you're not really in the mood to suffer the traffic jams and dented wallets by going someplace, you can still have a great time right at home. Throw a rooftop party. Put up a large umbrella, toss some mats and cushions on the floor, set up a mini juice stand/refreshment bar where you can serve home-made ice-cream and smoothies, and call your friends for a nice relaxing time. Whether it's a languid adda, or an animated card game, or even a sing-along session if someone has a guitar handy, this is a wonderful way to while away a day.

A day's programme needn't be elaborate to be enjoyable. All it takes is a take-charge attitude and you're on your way to making some wonderful summer memories.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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