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Friday, January 30, 2009

The International Mountain Museum

The International Mountain Museum (IMM) is a one of a kind museum, which is located at the gateway of mountain range in Ratna Paira, Gairi Patan Pokhara. It is spread in an area of 100 Ropanies (5.10 Hectares, 12.58 Acres) where collection, documentation and display of the natural history and culture of the Himalayas and the world mountains are orchestrated in a pristine way.
Currently, it is run under the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) with the theme to raise awareness about mountains and its overall habitat.

The museum was first opened in May 29, 2002 by the famous climbers Junko Tabei and Appa Sherpa, graced by the then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bal Bahadur K.C. where as the Grand Opening was done in February 05, 2004 by the present Prime Minister of the time Surya Bahadur Thapa.

Basically, the museum is categorized in four sections.

1. Mountain People Gallery: This gallery gives brief introduction of the customs, traditions, heritage, culture and life style of mountain people. It is divided into two sub sections Mountain people of Nepal and Mountain People of the world. A. The mountain people of Nepal section: This segment focuses on the customs, traditions and cultures of the mountain people of Nepal. Similarly, it’s also focuses on their dresses, ornaments, musical instruments, household utilities and other cultural activities.
B: The Mountain people of the world section: This segment focuses on the cultural and traditional aspect of people living in countries like Taiwan, Slovenia, and Japan. Moreover, this section also exhibits photographs of people living in the Alpine Mountains of Europe from the past 50yrs.

2. World Mountain Gallery: This gallery holds the geological facts about the origin of world mountain system, highest summits, geological information, flora and fauna of the Himalayan region, research on mountain etc. This section is also divided into fours sub section like Mountain section, Geological section, Flora and fauna section and Corner of dedication
3. Mountain Activities Gallery: This section is dedicated to mountaineers as it holds the presences of equipment of different world famous mountaineers, their cloths and photographs of the different expedition at different intervals of times. It also displays the development of the climbing gears and required equipments for mountaineering, climbing and other mountain activities.
4. Associates' Gallery: Focusing developments of the different local NGOS and INGOS at the Himalayan region, this section focuses on the development work performed by different agencies like ACAP, ICIMOD, IUCN, WWF etc.

The museum is equipped with various amenities of modern day technology in facilitating the need of the work group; like such it encompasses a conference hall with a capacity of 150 people, an Audio Visual hall, mountain viewing platform, ramps and other necessary equipments.
The IMM is an educational center for research on anthropology, sociology, mountaineers, ecology for the researchers, tourists, students and general public which serves in giving knowledge for people where it gives a new perspective to see the growing trend of mountaineering and the civilization.

Compiled by Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Dwarika's Himalayan Shangri-La Village Resort, Dhulikhel

Excluded and serrated in the explicit natural vegetation of abstract scenic views, the Dwarika's Himalayan Shangri-La Village Resort is an enduring hotel property that resides within 30KM from the valley at 1700m height in Dhulikhel. The hotel property is distributed among the rough terrain of 68 ropnies, which marvel nature from every point. Located in the distinct location facing north to the Mahabharat range, the scenic views of the valley and the different mountain range assumes as an illusion captured in a pictorial canvas which can be viewed from most of the rooms. Perhaps the delighting factor about Dwarika’s can be seen through its sense of architectural essence of authentic Nepali culture and tradition which is incorporated with in its vicinity.

From the entrance, with passage passing through the steps in the pristine forest of Pine and Rhododendron simulates it as a natural amphitheater. Similarly, the running water brooks, cascade pool and a host of species of birds, butterflies and animals sanctifies your vision. Apart from the scenic views, focusing more toward the traditional building style, currently the resort has thirty six rooms with all modern amenities of which sixteen rooms are housed in four traditional Newari architectural style units and five units built in traditional Gurung architectural style. Perhaps, the pathways wind up between the bushes and trees that lead to the various types of accommodations. The rooms are uncluttered and stylish with traditional soft furnishings and decorative items; wooden flooring with throw rugs on the floors and each room has its own garden space with hammocks and lounge chairs. The bathrooms offer bathtubs replacing it with an outdoor feeling shower stall and with the large windows offer fantastic views. Each room has tea/coffee making facilities with a choice of normal and herbal teas and coffee. The identifying charter in the basic design of the rooms is that the living space is differentiated according to the need of the customer. Hence, the accommodation stresses on the theme “ones own outside space”.

The north niches upon which most of the rooms are faced gives enthralling and breathtaking views of mountain range that seems like a timeless illusion through the screen window from the dawn till the dusk.

The property also includes recess points like:
The Himalayan restaurant located in the central block is open all day and offers multi cuisine as well as specialized set of menus and is facilitated by a fireplace and terrace where occasional BBQ's in wild are catered seasonally.
Shangri-La Bar, Lounge & Library also located in the central block below the restaurant opens mid-morning and offers a full service bar with a very wide choice of cocktails, hard / soft beverages including its own wine cellar and has two fireplaces. Specialized BBQ’S every day during winter months with bon fires in the terrace is a schedule program. Perhaps, the live traditional folk music and “Himalayan Happy Hour” offers the customer to enjoy the stay.
Conference and Meetings
Located above the restaurant can capacitate 60 guests and is equipped with a wide range of modern conference aids.

Moreover, the personalized check-in and escort to rooms welcome drink, masseurs and cold/hot towels on arrival are some of the fast points of the resort which certainly helps a customer relate him/her to the service provided.

Likewise, a host of activities is on offer like hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting and kayaking in the Bhote Koshi, bungy jumps, bird watching trips and visits to the old Newari town of Dhulikhel and religious centers in and around according to the choices and interest of the arrivals. The sunrise and sunset view point is located within the Village Resort and is just a short walk from the guest accommodations which stand live for its experience. Seeking interest of the guest, the resort adapts to the needs of arrivals in accordance to their feasibility. The destination has lucrative packages understanding the needs of the customers where they can stay for an extended period and maintain their health regimen while enjoying the diversity offered through resort activity programs.

The Dwarika’s Himalayan Shangri-La Village Resort provides vast arrays of services and amenities for entire families, groups, and singles couples with varying tastes.

Though modern but static the Dwarika’s Himalayan Shangri-La Village Resort stands as a craftsmanship of relaxation and rejuvenation within the vivid natural habitat highlighting the cultural heritage of describing Dwarika’s as a heritage hotel property.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Fulbari Resort & Spa- A Brilliant Destination

The Fulbari Resort & Spa is situated within the lap of mystic hills of Pokhara acclimatizing the traditional decor of Newari architecture in an enthralling way. It offers an unparallel panoramic view of Fishtail and Annapurna mountain range to the north and the breathtaking Seti River Gorges to the South creating an exhilaration of nature at its best.

Traditional but complementing the Newari architecture of Nepal’s golden age stands live as a testament of the beauty and richness of Newari culture promoted by ancient Newari kings of Kathmandu Valley.

Spread out in 100 acres of land, the Fulbari is an unparalleled and most explicit Hotel property in Nepal. Being the biggest and largest hospitality service provider, it replete with various befitting facilities, utilities and outlets thorough its well-trained and friendly professionals.

Currently there are seven different wining and dining outlets where Masala Bazaar offers spicy Asian cuisine against musical backdrop, Komagane is a gourmet’s delight for authentic Japanese teppenyaki food. Perhaps other unique style of service can be experienced at Hanging Garden, Gurkha Bar, Base Camp Discotheque, Café Fulbari & Rainbow Lounge.

Another attraction is the Yeti’s Golf Course, it is a 9 Hole Executive Golf Course designed to be Nepal’s most iconic and unique course that challenges not only amateurs but also pros.

Moreover, the Casino and a full-fledged Spa adds flavor to the taste of luxury.
Additional recreation activities in both onsite and offsite are available. Onsite Recreational Activities: Outdoor ozonated and heated swimming pool with attached Jacuzzi and swim-up bar, Children’s splash pool and playground, Pony ride trail, Shopping Arcades, Jogging trail, Tennis court, clay and grass, Traditional Dances, Snooker, Table Tennis and Meditation/Yoga (by request) where as Offsite Recreational Activities: Day hikes around the several hills surrounding Pokhara valley, Gorge-walk, explore the gorges that surround the Fulbari, white-water rafting/kayaking, Canyoning and Fresh-water fishing.

Different packages like School Excursion Package, Honeymoon Package, Casino Package, Summer Package, Golfing Package and Recreation Package are available for both domestic and foreign tourist.

Perhaps, the 165 exquisitely appointed super deluxe accommodations are the primary equipped with exuberant views, each north-facing niche offers panoramic views of the mighty Annapurna Range, dominated in the middle by the "Fish Tail" peak of Mount Machhapuchhre. The southern enclaves open up to the grand vista of the Green Canyon and the Seti Gorge. The other 151 deluxe rooms are configured into single, double, King- and Queen-sized niches, all luxuriously appointed with all amenities and facilities in place.

The Fulbari offers nine landmark suites, each named after the ethnically and culturally diverse districts of Nepal. The Kantipur, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur suites represents the Newar civilization of Kathmandu Valley where as the Helumbu and Namche suites reflect the Northeast Sherpa Region, Jomsom represents the Northwestern Nepalese-Tibetan region, similarly, The Palpa suite reflects western Nepal, while the Dhankuta and Ilam suites reflects the near-eastern and far-eastern portions of Nepal. In addition to the royal amenities listed above, the landmark suites offer much larger rooms with wider views of the surrounding gardens/landscapes and all suites are luxuriously appointed with all amenities and facilities in place. Moreover it also offers 4 junior suites, each named after legendary universal beauties Nepal’s Rajamati, India’s Mumtaj, Greece's Helen, and Egypt's Cleopatra.

The rooms offer incomparable style and elegance, decorated with traditional Hindu and Buddhist artworks. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies to allow breathtaking views of the resort’s landscaped gardens and the Himalayas.
Each room has a private bath, hairdryer, mini-bar, cable T.V., international telephones, air-conditioning, and fire protection systems.

Likewise the facility of Meeting / Banquet Hall is also available with a capacity of 200 people to conduct a small meeting or conference.

Moreover, it is an ideal location for vacation, conclusive conferencing or relaxation for any type of business, leisure and pleasure. The exclusive traditional decor with perfect natural ambience rejuvenates and gives the essence of beauty and relaxation. In fact, it can be categorized as an ideal place free from city hustle with the main mantra of rejuvenation and discovering the diverse aspect of nature and beauty.

As said beauty lies in the eyes of beholder like such Fulbari Resort & SPA is a brilliant destination created with human wonder acclimatizing the modernity and cultural ethnicity in the most profound way.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thamel congestion eased :Thanks to the traffic volunteers

Due to lack of proper management, Thamel suffered the consequences of being a tourist hub with in its petite streets and corners where tourists are bound to face the risk of noise pollution, traffic congestion and other irregularities.

Like such, one of the impeding problems in Thamel is vehicle congestion which to an some extent seems to have been managed. Though, the past Vehicle Regulated Zone seemed as a better option, due to lack of funds its existence took its toll. Now talking about the recent activities Thamel these days is pretty much well managed with in the coordinated effort of Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC), Community Police and Community Service Society (CSS). The new traffic system was inaugurated by Hisila Yami, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation on the World Tourism Day, 27 September 2008.

Jaya Prakash Shrestha, Executive Member and a volunteer of the Community Service Society said, “This is just an effort where we have tried to use the local source. When we started, we had to face a lot of problems where we lacked various resources but now looking at those days seems like a dream. These days it’s much easier to do the job as the people and taxi drivers, they obey us. Basically, the problem is the numbers of Vehicles are growing but the roads are limited where they have less scope or no scope of expansion but still if they can be managed with alternative routes then the traffic problem could be solved. If only the divers and motorcyclists could be in discipline then the congestion problem could be sorted out.”

“The best option for Thamel traffic management is VRZ which has shown its result but due to lack of funds it died out so now the question here is about making Thamel a better place where we all should do an effort from our side.”

Currently there are eight volunteers who are working to manage the traffic in peak hours. These volunteers are trained by the traffic police and are instructed to manage the traffic with in the stipulated time. Adapting the need of the time the Himalayan Bank Ltd has extended financial support for the cause.

Ramesh Giri, Head Constable at the Community Police said, “We have tried to manage the traffic of Thamel and surely TTDC and Himalayan bank have certainly played a crucial role in today’s improving traffic management in the area.
From the last one year, we have tried to regulate the traffic and today to some extent we are able to control it. The first thing that we need to understand is traffic congestion can be controlled by trained personnel so traffic authorities should increase the number of traffic police.”

“Perhaps for the sustainable management, all the stake holders should work together where the locals and the clubs in house should further put their effort. Currently, we lack resources and if the related organization could financial support us, then we could further work in giving prominent results,” added he

Though, the new traffic system seems to have well addressed the traffic congestion problem for the time being but a relative question has been raised by experts that even the well managed system like VRZ could not acclimatized Thamel so this new system is not a better option where the authorities should further labor to find a permanent solution for Thamel and its congestion.

Surrendra Kumar Shrestha, President of TTDC said, “TTDC has been working for the betterment of Thamel and it is due to our efforts that Thamel is current more managed. We are further planning to make a separate taxi stand where it would be managed by iron railing. Further more, we have also devised a controlling mechanism to counter other problems of Thamel integrating different stake holders and we are further moving to make Thamel a better tourist hub where a tourist could feel safe. We are further planning to make information centers and properly channelize tourist police in Thamel where necessary works are being done.”

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

NTB completes 10 th year

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 18, 2008 at its abode at Brikutimandap. NTB was established under the Public Private Partnership in 1998 seeking the opportunity and scope to promote and establish Nepal as a prominent tourist destination worldwide by maintaining, improving and diversifying the available tourism products and services.

With the different tourism campaigns like Destination Nepal Campaign, Festival of Life, Naturally Nepal Brand Campaign, Regional Tourism Campaign, Visit Pokhara Year 2007 and Send Home a friend campaign bagged under its belt, it is moving towards future achievement showing the commitments and efforts.

The Chief Geust, Hisila Yami, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) inaugurated the program.

Speaking at the program Minister Yami said, “NTB is a Successful example of the Public Private Partnership with a concerted effort of Promoting Nepal as a popular tourist destination in the global travel market. Operating with various constraints from financial to human resource is obvious an arduous and challenging work which NTB has been undertaking over this decade. But every challenge has opportunity which this institution has to further explore and expand. The present favorable situation in the country’s politics is the strongest base for the development of tourism industry of Nepal. In addition, government of Nepal has placed tourism in the priority list of the national income resource. It has already taken initiative by declaring this year, the year of infrastructure development and 2011 as the Nepal Tourism Year. Moreover, we have already committed to build second international airport, two regional airports, upgrading and expanding other domestic airport and development of Nepal’s tourism industry.”
“Improving the management of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) into fully equipped airport are further in pipeline which show the government‘s sincere policy and action towards the development. Likewise, we are also working in improving the management of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and starting the process of purchasing at least two wide body aircraft articulate government’s policy and action towards the development of Nepal’s tourism industry,” Minister Yami added.

The minister unveiled the new ‘In Focus 2008’ the publication of NTB, where she also felicitated the different NTB employees and distributed awards to the winners of the sports activities of the organization. Moreover, this year the best employee award was awarded to Raj Bhandari where as the support staff was given to Gautam Lal Darshandhari. Similarly, National Forum of Photo Journalists (NFPJ) was awarded the award for Partnership in tourism promotion.

Ranan Lurie, an international painter presented his presentation on Uniting painting.

During the program the Sadhana Kala Kendra performed different ethnic dances where Megh Ale, President of the Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) presented concept paper of tourism for peace and prosperity 2008 to the minister.

Prachanda Man Shrestha, Chief Executive Officer of NTB said, “Personally, I have a strong emotional attachment with this institution. I have seen this organization grow and mature every year with greater responsibility. This decade of NTB has been the decade of hardship and challenges. It has witnessed both international and national upheavals, uncertainties and condition which obviously have had detrimental impact on industry. Therefore NTB has to continuously strive for the overall tourism promotion of Nepal to enhance its image as a safe, secure and pleasant holiday destination for the tourist in various segments from all over the world. But now we feel like a day break in Nepal’s tourism industry due to the improving political stability, peace and aspirations of the stake holders in this field. Government is fully committed to build infrastructure and to encourage investment and private sector is all set and energized to take up the enterprise with vigor and confidence. NTB as a promotional body of Nepalese tourism is fully aware of the upcoming opportunities and is vigilant of the possible challenges in its future course of action.”

Ram Chandra Man Singh, General Secretary at the MoCTCA said, “NTB from its past has been a pillar of support to the tourism industry. Its role and effort during the conflicting situation is highly appreciable to manage the countries tourism. NTB is a spirit of public private partnership which was established to promote tourism and it should work in that spirit adapting all the stakeholders’ aspirations.”

Apart from all the celebration, the tourism journalists’ fraternity expressed their discontinuation of journalist award and for not recognizing their contribution by NTB despite immense role in helping NTB’s tourism promotion campaign both nationally and internationally.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Nepalese Tourism finally revived

The numbers of arrivals during September and October 2008, have certainly brought smiles to tourism entrepreneurs where their expectations are met with good tourist turnouts.
Ram Shrestha, a tourism entrepreneur in Thamel said, “Thamel certainly looks crowded these days. Perhaps, the authorities should focus on regulating Thamel in a more systematic and coordinated way where Vehicle regulated Zone should come in effect. The priority today is to establish information centers in Thamel where tourists can access quality information. We need to create better environment where they can feel at home”

Currently the tourist hubs like Thamel, Chitwan , Pokhara, Sauraha etc are fully booked, the situation have crossed the limits where the hotels are charging high prices to the arrivals due to the congestion.

Likewise, Yaubraj Basnet, Manager at the Candle Inn, Pokhara said, “In comparison to last year, this year the tourist turnout certainly look promising. The current on going peace process has certainly benefited the flow, though we are fully booked for the month of December but still the recent untoward incidents in the capital certainly have created a stir, we don’t know the future but we expect it to be better. Moreover, the government should react to such happening and should create a mechanism to deal with the situation.”

Pravesh Lamichhane, Trekking Manager at the Tenzing Asian Holidays said, “The numbers of arrivals in the October was good where the Free Individual Tourist (FIT) had surely increased but now the numbers have dropped but in comparison to last years data its surely good. First thing what we need to understand is Nepal’s tourism is based on repetitive and individual marketing where the role of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) is very much limited.”

“We just need to give better services and the numbers would soar. Perhaps if the current government could focus on easy VISA procedures and could give better facilities to the arrivals then we can certainly expect more. As currently from the time they enter Nepal they face problem right from TIA.”

Adapting the government declaration to celebrate the year 2011 as the “Nepal Tourism Year” experts have already predicated it to be more ambitious and impractical as in current scenario when we are not been able to cater the normal growth then talking about the 1 million tourists seems unpractical in situation where we lack proper infrastructures and airseats to meet the rising demand.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feel free with Linen

Feeling free with comfort is the real expression which defines Linen. Tagged with high prices and luxury and adapting the commercial market, Linen defines its value with in the comfort of its customers.
Linen is a natural fabric produced from fibers of the flax plant which is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat. Linen fabric feels cool to the touch and is 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton.

Whether its casual, leisure wear, party wear or corporate formals, Linen Fabrics have always been preferred by the trend setters for creating a difference.
Linen fabrics have a high natural luster; their natural color ranges between shades of ivory, ecru, tan, or grey. Pure white Linen is created by heavy bleaching where the linen softens on further wash. Typically, Linen has a thick and thin character with a crisp and textured feel to it but it can range from stiff and rough, to soft and smooth. When properly prepared, Linen fabric has the ability to absorb and lose water rapidly. It can gain up to 20% moisture without feeling damp.

The plant of Linen is sown in April where it produces blur flowers in June and is harvested in August. After pulling, the crop is laid out in the fields to ret, a process where the woody bark of the plant is naturally rotted so that the fibers come loose from the main stem and then it’s further processed to turn it into a cloth.

Looking back to the history, Ancient Egyptians believed that linen was a gift of the God and regarded it as sacred. Linen was used in holy ceremonies and it was the only fabric which leaders of worship were allowed to wear as it symbolized cleanliness and purity. It was also used extensively in the mummifying process, beside gold, as it helped to preserve the dead body, thus ensuring that the deceased’s remains remained immortal.
Legend has it that queen Cleopatra, after her daily aromatic bath would rest in a bed full of Linen pillows filled with flaxseed. Since, it would not aggravate her delicate, alabaster-like skin and body.

The production of linen continued through the middle ages, but it was not until the 17th century that the industry started to develop in structured way, initially under the guidance of Earl Stafford and the Duke of Ormond.

In 1949, Jaya Shree Textiles, a unit of Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd., and Aditya Birla Group Company took the first initiative to bring this nature’s gift of spinning into a world class weaving and finishing plant. The yarn is spun, woven and processed by importing French and Belgian flax fiber. The plant is still the only facility for Linen spinning in the sub-continent with state-of-art-technology.

Compiled by Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Wedding to remember

Adapting the rich culture and tradition of Nepal, Kate Wharton a British citizen and Alexandre Wahart a French citizen tied knots of marriage in a traditional Nepalese style here at the Thamel House Restaurant on November 20, 2008. The duo got their paper certification of marriage a few weeks ago from France and came to Nepal to make their wedding more special by tying knot in authentic Nepalese style.
Making a round trip of Thamel, the duo enjoyed their marriage procession moving with the Panche baja towards the marriage venue on a rickshaw. The duo came here under a group of 16 member dental doctors team where they conducted dental camps at different parts of the country like Pharping, Bungamati, Jawalakhel Refugee camp and Tahachal from November 9 to 16. Dressed up in the traditional attire, the groom was suited in Daura Surwal where as the bridge was in a beautiful Banarasi sari. After reaching the venue, the priest conducted various rituals and karmas of the traditional marriage.
According to the bridge and groom, “Nepalese culture is very rich that stands firm for its high values and traditions. Since, we visited the country and worked with Nepalese so we wanted to feel the culture and tradition from inside where marriage gave us a chance to know and be a part of Nepal and Nepalese society."
"The experience was beautiful and we will cherish this for our whole lives,” added the couple.

Sunil Joshi, Manager of the Himalayan Dolpo Natural Trekking (P) Ltd said, “This is our first experience of conducting foreign marriage in Nepalese style. We have tried our level best to put this marriage as rich and cultural as any Nepalese wedding could possibly happen. Today the cultural tourism is booming where tourists want to feel the real culture and tradition of the foreign land. Moreover, this kind of events certainly helps them to feel and remember Nepal in a new and a different way.”

The marriage lauded the message of traditional and eco-friendly concept where the duo idealized the use of rickshaw and traditional Panche Baja. Moreover, adapting the trend Anne Lelong, Director of the Himalayan Dolpo Natural Trekking (P) Ltd said, “It’s just the new way of celebration where the couple, they wanted it to be memorable for their lifetime. They are basically volunteers and living with the Nepalese community, where they wanted to feel and experience the real taste of culture, so they tied knots in a traditional Nepali style.”

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

The Royal Orchid Holidays : A unique set of holiday package of Thai Airlines

The Royal Orchid Holidays (ROH) is a brand holiday package managed by the Thai airways world wide facilitating travelers and tourists in indulging themselves with the best travel services available. Currently, the ROH is following different tourists’ destination like Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Greece, Bhutan, Lijiang, Maldives, India, Sweden and South Africa among others.

The packages focus on different quality services like sightseeing, golf package, spa treatment etc commemorating the amenities available according to the will and interest of the travelers and tourists. Moreover, the ROH packages adapt quality of standards where they have linked themselves to a chain of hotels with the status of their quality and reputation around the world.

In Nepal the ROH is managed by Yeti Travels Pvt Ltd where the agency is well known for its operation and standards.
According to Uttam Karki, Dy. Manager-Travel at the Yeti Travel, “ROH are the best holiday packages, which guarantees the benefit of quality services and standards. It’s a broad concept of qualitative service that comforts you in indulging to the best travel services of what are available in the following destinations. You just choose the package and everything is set in and every penny is worth spending. When you take the package, you don’t need to worry about anything it’s us the partner agencies who take care of everything including from airport pick up to accommodation.”

“Currently, we are selling packages for Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia where the services and facilities are based according to the places and customer’s pocket size,” added Karki.

The quoted tour price includes transportation, transfers, accommodation, some meals, service charge, government tax, tours etc, as outlined in each tour description. Tour price is based on a minimum participation of two members. For one person traveling alone a surcharge as detailed in the price list will be levied.
Expenses other than those specified in each tour itinerary e.g. airport taxes, meals, sightseeing, cost of passport, visas or other documentation, laundry, liquor, excess baggage charges, tips, personal or baggage insurance, cable, telephone or communications charges, or any items of a personal nature are not included in the price quoted. In the accommodation, the standards are maintained according to the choices made in by the customers. Accommodation is in a shared twin-bedded room, with a supplementary charge for single occupancy. For a third occupant sharing the same room, a roll-away bed will be provided.

In larger cities and major beach resorts the quality of every aspect of highest international standards, are met, but in more remote locations and adventure destinations first class hotels are provided with moderate facilities. In these situations, Royal Orchid Holidays will arrange the best standards of accommodation available in each category. All ROH include American breakfast. Some itineraries also include other meals, as shown in each description. Meals are indicated in the text by: B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner.

Private cars, microbuses or motor coaches are used for passengers awaiting commencement of the tours and transfers depending on number of participants traveling on the same day. In all major destinations tours and transfers are on a seat-in-coach/car basis. The ROH are pre-arranged packages and no individual program changes or modifications can be made. THAI reserves the right to rearrange the order of any tour itinerary, to cancel or to substitute elements of any plan without notice when local conditions force such changes.

ROH are not usually accompanied by a tour escort. All sightseeing tours and most transfers are operated on a seat-in-coach basis, including the services of a local English-speaking guide.

For further information click on to www.royalorchidholidays.com
(Compiled by Shreedeep Rayamajhi)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thamel transcending to a Red Light Area

Today, Thamel has developed itself as an epicenter of entertainment and glamour. From its origin, it was established with the theme to satisfy the needs of tourists in every desired way, in-fact it caters all sort of entertainment from visual to physical to mental giving the stance of it being a hub. Likewise, today it has transcended itself to a new hub of glitter and glamour where it wakes-up in the night showcasing a new exhilaration and excitement in satisfying sexual needs and wants.

To be precise the growing numbers of Massage Centers and Cabin Restaurants in the periphery have created an attraction for young men and teenagers from around the valley in habituating a craze of sexual activities in its abode.
Namgyal Lama, President of Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC) said, “Thamel is a tourist hub, the way it is expanding and exploited with such social hazard activities has been a question to all. It has become a red light zone acclimatizing all its sexual activities in name of commercialization.”

Currently, there are more than 30 Dance Restaurants and 200 Massage Centers in Thamel where majority of such involve in sexual activities highlighting and giving stance to its audacity. On one hand it is against the law to sell or buy sexual activities whereas on the other it is directly creating a social menace.

In same view Lama stated that the issue is very sensitive and outsiders cannot help it, in-fact the Thamel residences should initiate an effort, which would be worth and effective. “In a tourist hub like Thamel where more than 2400 businessmen pay taxes, the government should give priority and security”, he added. We have formed a committee named Thamel Reform Committee (TRC) to channel the local bodies to clean such harzards. We are in the process of action.

He suggested, “Firstly, the activities of massage center and dance restaurants should be limited to professional level having no alternative for sexual activities and secondly there is no scope of dance restaurants in Thamel, as it does not interest the tourists and foreigners so it should be controlled. Moreover, the people of Thamel should be aware that just by paying an extra buck they should not rent their houses to such dance restaurants and massage centers.”

In today’s context when the sexual activities are openly run in such hub, the social scientists have already predicted a dramatic impact in the socio culture status of the society. In view of Tapan Kumar Dahal, Inspector of Sorkhutta Police Station said, “We are very trapped in situation of dilemma as when we raid on Massage Centers and Dance Restaurants the pressure groups like NGOs, INGOs and other women oriented organization gives us pressure and when we don’t take action, the public blame us saying we are working in hand with such group.”

Just few days back, during a raid in 8 major massage centers at Thamel, 26 girls and 9 guys were caught red handed in sexual activities. The girls caught aged from 18 to 35 where on investigation they reasoned poverty, lack of employment and illiteracy as their prime reason for involvement, according to Dahal. “This is just a beginning as we have initiated a full house operation where we do detail investigation,” he said.

Focusing on the professional ethics, he said that it is the duty of the Police to clean out such social menace and we are fulfilling it with a proactive and progressive approach. Moreover the public and police department should work together in such issues, which directly affects the societal values, norms and law.

From few days the Massage Center and Dance Restaurant issue have been raised, creating a media sensation of sex tourism and it effect but still the question of its legalization and implication lies hidden and un-addressed.

Similarly, Prof. Dr Rudra Pd. Updhayay, Central Dept of Economic and rural Development T.U Kirtipur said, “Sex tourism is a part of tourism which cannot be denied but sex industry is such controversial issue that it cannot be bypassed. From it origin sex industry has coherently adapted the culture and society. So the question of totally eradicating is impossible rather it can be controlled and regulated in a specified form.”

“The increase in sexual activities in Thamel and other hubs are the direct effect of inflation, violence and displaced situation. Moreover, women and sex industry is a sensitive issue which needs to be addressed with higher priority where women exploitation should be well address,” said Dr Updhayay.

Though Thamel has totally adapted the modern theme of tourism and entertainment, it lacks effective measures of monitoring and controlling which has resulted in such social deteriorating state. Perhaps the question of sex and sex tourism in tourism industry stands as a question seeking an answer.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

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