Friday, January 22, 2016

Vegetarian delights in Korea

Vegetarian delights in Korea

Sandeep Narang

If you are a traveller packaged in a group tour, your travel agent will certainly fix up the dinners for you at an Indian restaurant. And there are plenty of them! Seoul ranks eighth in the top 25 global cities, so it does not come as a surprise that a quick search on TripAdvisor nets 106 Indian restau-rants with ubiquitous names –  Taj, Ganga, Om, Bombay Grill, New Delhi, Shanti ...  with the Jyoti restaurant (www. jyotifood.com), near Sinchon station being ranked #12 of 12,969 listed restaurants.

If you are yearning for that Naan, or missing your post- meal papad, Seoul has it all. And it will all be below $25 per person (probably with a beer thrown in). Almost all Indian restaurants serve North Indian or Punjabi food. Most of them have multiple branches, so check out the one closest to your hotel. Chances are wherever you might be in Seoul, you will not be a few blocks away from Indian food. The Indian res taurants are run either by a Nepali, or a Pakistani capitalising on the brand name India. Some are run by Indians.

Here’s your daal-roti check area-wise in Seoul:
Gangnam: Ganga Gangnam (ganga.co.kr), Luna Asia, Durga

Itaewon: Agra Indian Dining Restaurant, Ashoka and Chakra (chakra.co.kr) — serves South Indian food too.

Jongno-gu: Durga (durga.co.kr) , Himalayan (hirnaloyanrest. corn) — yes, you have to walk up three floors, Taj Palace (tajpalace.co.kr), Om (omfood.kr)


Sinchon: Namaste (narnasterestaurant. co.kr), Manokamna, Amma

Other: Shanti (shanti , Taj (taj.co.kr) , Everest(everes corn)





Kimchi
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has documented 187 varieties of kimchi. Some kimchi facts googled:

• During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops, reportedly “desperate” for the food, could obtain it in the field; South Korean President Park Chung-hee told US President Lyndon B Johnson that kimchi was “vitally important to the morale of Korean troops.”

• Kimchi was sent to space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with Yi So-yeon after a multi- million dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odour without affecting taste.

• South Koreans consume 40 pounds (18 kg) of kimchi per person annually, and many credit their industrious energy, and its impact on their nation’s rapid economic growth, in part to eating the dish.

• Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fibre while being low in calories. One serving also provides over 50 per cent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and carotene.

• Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top five World’s Healthiest Foods’ for being rich in vita mins, aiding digestion and even possibly reducing cancer growth.

• A study conducted by the Seoul National University found that chicken infected with the H5N1 virus recovered after eating food containing bacteria found in kimchi.

We got Kimchi with every meal, and sometimes we did not even realise it was kimchi!


Jeoneun chaeshikjooeeja imnida (I’m a vegetarian)

Coming to Korea as a vegetarian is a little disconcerting, the concept is quite foreign to most Koreans. But, relax. Indian food is not a problem; there are plenty of vegetarian dishes in Indian restaurants: aloo gobi, dal bukhara, palak paneer sarnosa, mango lassi.... But if you are one of those who wouldn’t touch a diner that serves meat even with a barge pole, then you have a serious issue.

Temple Food

A highlight of my visit to Seoul was a dinner hosted by RI Director Sangkoo Yun and his gracious wife, Eun Sun a Buddhist temple meal at the Barn Gongyang. Korean temple food is a 1,700 years old tradition to a Buddhist monk, eating is more than enjoying good taste and nutrition; it is also a process of seeking the truth. The food is distinguished by the philosophy that all living things depend on each other for existence. Non-veg ingredients are prohibited, and also banned are pungent vegetables green onions, garlic and chives. Temple food is nature- friendly, healthy, simple and light, bringing out the natural flavour of the ingredients. The grand- daddy of temple food is Sanchon, a decades-old mainstay of Seoul’s tradition-focused Insadong neighbourhood — a must-do vegetarian gastro nomical experience.

Barn Gongyang is operated by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Located on the fifth floor of the landmark Templestay Information Centre across the Jogyesa Temple, the place offers the urban diner a superb chance to experience first class Buddhist temple food without having to trek to a temple on some distant mountainside. The decor is appropriately Zen, and if you’re lucky you may get to sit in the Korean-style floor sitting section. The food is 100 percent vegetarian. Prices: $20 —$40. Getting there: Exit 2, Jonggak Station, Line 1. Walk 70m to Jogyesa Temple. The Temple Stay Information Centre is across the street.

There are plenty of temple food spots in Seoul (you may even consider temple stay options for lodging).

Check out the website www.happycow.net for veg restaurant options in Seoul or Loving Hut (www.lovinghut.kr), the international chain of vegan restaurants opened by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai. Oh Se Gae Hyang in Insadong; PLANT in Itaewon; So True in Gangnam-gu and Veggie Holic Bakery (wwwveggieholic.co.kr) are few more. The Store Sajik-dong in Jongno-gu serves only vegetarian and vegan Tibetan and Indian style curries and dosa and chai including soy milk options.

If this does not help there are plenty of fruits available or look at opening a Haldiram in Seoul— great business opportu nity there. And, of course come loaded with plenty of theplas, acchar khakara, bhujia, burfi — I will be looking out for you.

At the Seoul Promotion meeting the issue about avail ability of vegetarian Indian food at the venue, Kintex was discussed at large. The Korean Host Organising Committee has assured that there will be Indian food aplenty, not only for the 4,000 targeted Indian delegates, but also for delegates from other countries who might go in for Indian food.

(The writer is D 3250 PDG and Regional Convention Promotion Coordinator.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

3Day / 2Nights and Leisure fun in Macau

Day 01 :-

After arriving in Hong Kong international Airport, take a direct ferry to Macau and check into the hotel. Freshen up and set out to explore the city.macau

Begin with A-Ma temple, which is dedicated to the worship of Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. Head over to the Rusins of St. Paul’s, where only the church’s front facede and grand stone stairs remain, and Senado Square. Next, stop at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf to smaple Macau’s world –class cuisine or good Indian Food.

Catch The house of Dancing Water, a breathtaking water-based show at the City of Dreams, and the Performance Lake featuring a cornucopia of water, light and fire elements in the open area in front of Wtnn Macau. Families can dine and shop at The Venetian Macao, while adults can try their luck at the casinos.


Day 02:-

Start the day on a high note with a visit to the 228m Macau Tower, the worlds 10th highest free standing tower. Here, adrenaline junkies can climb 100m up the mast’s vertical ladder to the summit, free fall from a 223m platform – deemed the worlds highest bungee jump – or take a thrilling walk around the main outer rim of the tower sans hand rails ( safety is guaranteed via an overhead rail system ). And whilst the adventure seekers are having fun, the women can go for a relaxing spa session.

In the afternoon, visits to the Macau Museum, Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum are highly recommended. Come evening, visit MGM Macau, which boasts European – inspired facades, a dramatic skylight dome, myriad terraces invoking an old-world Portugal feel, and a light and some show each evening.


Day 03:-

Depart for Hong Kong.  

For Packages write us on adler-tours@hotmail.com or visit us at www.adler-tours.com

Thursday, May 8, 2014

OPENING OF KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 2 (KLIA2)

We are pleased to inform you that the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) will fully replace the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Terminal (KLLCCT) on May 9, 2014.

Its opening, not only dubbed as the right time in lieu of Visit Malaysia Year 2014, but also marks as a strategic move by the country to become one of the global aviation hub and to offer our famous “Selamat Datang” welcome to passengers worldwide.

The huge size of KLIA2, with the size of at least 257,000 square metres (sqm) is able to handle up to 45 million passengers annually. It is also equipped with 60 gates, 8 remote stands, 80 aero-bridges, a third runway as well as a new air traffic control tower dubbed as Tower West.

It also has a built-in retail space of 32,000 sqm, which accommodates 225 retail outlets. That will surely keep the passengers lingering around in the airport to enjoy the services available and to shop.

KLIA2 FLOOR PLAN
KLT2(1)
KLIA2 MAP 
KLT2(2)

KLIA EKSPRES SERVICES FOR KLIA2
The same high-speed train service will connect KLIA-KLIA2 and the city. The non-stop train service will take 33 minutes between the airport (KLIA & KLIA2) and KL Sentral in the city.

Convenient Inter-terminal Transfer
Inter-terminal (KLIA & KLIA2) journey will only take 3 minutes.

Note: Our transfer rates to/from KLIA2 will be the same as that of KLIA as the 2 terminals are inter-connected, and in the same location.

For Packages please write to us on adler-torus@Hotmail.com 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Walking in the wild

A valley to soothe your soul
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks ( Uttarkhand )

Trekkers, naturalists, artists and poets love to map the glaciers, rivers and streams of the Nanda Devi and Valley of flowers National Park, with its gentler landscape and placid alpine meadows, beautifully complements the rugged, inaccessible, high-mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi. Both parks are ripe with flora and fauna, with a sizeable population of the elusive Himalayan musk deer and even the snow leopard. For bird watchers, the place is an absolute treat.
Tip:- The trek can be arrange through the DMVN Mountaineering and Trekking division in Rushikesh
Highlight:- During and post monsoons, the floor of valley of flowers us covered with a carpet of rare flowers like brahmakamal and blue poppy!

Best time to visit: - July to October. (Valley of flowers) and April – October (Nanda Devi National Park).

Spot the Elusive snow leopardHemis High Altitude National Park ( Jammu and Kashmir )

The high – altitude park derives its name from the Hemis Gompa, a famous Buddhist monastery situated near Leh ( India ). The confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers cordons the park and is a treat for the eyes. “ While the park is most sought – after for its snow leopard sight – seeing, it’s also home to bharal or the blue sheep, Ladakhi urial, Himalayan Marmots and Tibetan Wild ass,” says seasoned trekker and photographer Neelima Vallangi. The fact that these areas are protected makes them pristine minus any litter. However, there is a high chance of coming down with Acute Mountain Sickness ( AMS ) on this trek, if not acclimatized enough. The only place to stay during these treks is in campsites by pitching your own tents.
Tip: - Light crampons might be useful in crossing snow – ridden sections;
Highlight: - The trek offers some of the most rugged landscapes in the country that keeps changing color and form every few hours;
Best time to visit: - July to September

Waterfall of hope
Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary ( Himachal Pradesh ) 

Virtually explored, the Kugti wildlife Sanctuary leads you through steep slopes, rough terrain, snow and glaciers. The mountains on this trek are replete with greenery and the slopes are lined with many waterfalls making for beautiful scenery along the way. High – altitude Himalayan fauna species have made this sanctuary their home, including the endangered goat called Himalayan Thar. It also houses the famous Manimahesh Temple that is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims.
Tip:- Ensure all your supplies for the trek are bought at Bharmour since you don’t get much beyond rice and dal at the Kugti village
Highlight :- The trek has medicinal plants along the way with some rare floral species as well.
Best time to visit:- September is a good time as the snow melts and the pass is open for crossing.

A view of Mt. EverestSingalila National Park ( West Bengal, India )

steal a look at the Everest on this trek located in the higher ridges of Darjeeling Himalayas. One can reach the start of the trel at Moneybhajan by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and further from there in vintage Land Rover jeeps. The trek can be done in three days or more with an option of a side trip of Phalut, through the ridge where one gets unrivalled panoramic views of Mr. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest! As you trek, you will pass through areas full of oaks, ferns, silver firs, bamboo and flowering plants like rhododendrons, wide range of orchids, magnolias and a lot more.
Tip :- there are government – run trekkers’ hut that provide basic accommodation. One can also stay at government – run lodges in Ghoom, Darjeeling or Siliguri
Highlight:- Home to exotic red panda and Himalayan black bear
Best time to visit:- March – April 
For Trekking Packages contact us on adler-tours@hotmail.com or visit us at www.adler-tours.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 Guide

1)       MUMBAI AIRPORT (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport)


Level 1
  • Pick-up Area
  • Lost & Found Baggage
  • Ground Transportation Lobby
  • Direct access to Multi-Level Carpark (MLCP) level 4 & Bus Gates


Level 2
  • Arrivals & Transit
  • Immigration, Baggage Claim & Customs
  • Duty Free & Meet/Greet Area
  • Direct access to MLCP level 6

Level 3
  • Boarding Gates
  • Connectivity to MLCP level 7
  • Retail, Duty Free, F&B

 

 

Level 4

  • Departure Concourse & Check-in Islands
  • Departure Immigration, Customs & Security Screening
  • Retail, Duty Free, F&B and Departure Lounges
  • Direct access to MLCP terrace level 10

Transportation
  • Elevated Road direct from/to Western Express Highway (WEH).
  • Access from Andheri-Kurla Road.
  • Access by Car, Taxi, Coach, BEST Buses & Autos.
  • Taxi/Car Rentals: Prepaid taxis available at Ground Transportation Lobby at PTB Level 1.
mumbai t2 map
2)       DEPARTURE FORMALITIES
  • After check-in, proceed to Security Screening, Immigration & Customs on PTB Level 4.
  • Beyond the Departure control area:
    -        Lounge guests proceed to Lounge Entrance near Gate 86, on Level 4.
    -        Proceed to boarding gates on Levels 3 or 4.
  • Approximate Distance/ Walking Time:
    -        Check-In counter to Departure Concourse – 150m (5 mins’ walk).
    -        Departure Concourse to furthest Gate 75  – 450m (15 mins’ walk).
3)       AIRPORT LOUNGES (LEVEL 3)
  • Guests can access the lounge on Level 3 (near Gate 86) of the Departure Hall by taking the elevator from Level 4 Departure Hall.
4)       ARRIVING INTO MUMBAI & TRANSFERS TO ONWARD FLIGHTS
  • Passengers arriving into Mumbai proceed to Arrival Immigration & Baggage Claim (Level 2).
For Transfer Passengers:
  • Connecting Domestic-to-International Flights - Arriving passengers on domestic flights proceed to collect their checked baggage at Mumbai Domestic Airport, and board the Inter-Terminal Coach to Mumbai International Terminal 2, Level 4. Check-in at Level 4. 
  • Connecting International-to-International Flights - International Transit passengers proceed to International Transfer counter on Arrival Level, PTB Level 2 to check-in. Please remember to present checked baggage receipts (if any) to counter staff.
  • Connecting International-to-domestic Flights - Upon collection of checked baggage, arrival passengers proceed to re-check area on Level 2 (if airlines have the facility). Otherwise, passengers must check-in for onward flights at Domestic Terminal. Proceed to the Inter-Terminal Coach area on Level 2 for onwards transfer to Domestic Terminal.

5)       LAND TRANSPORTATION FOR ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES



Departure
Arrival

 

Private Vehicles

Using the elevated road, drop off at PTB Departure Level 4 Kerb side.
Park at the MLCP in front of PTB. The Carpark is linked to PTB Level 4 via walkway.
Pick up at PTB Arrival Kerb side on Level 2 or through MLCP Level 5.

Taxis#
Using the elevated road, drop off at PTB Departure Level 4 Kerb side.
Ground Transportation Lobby located at PTB Level 1. Fleet Taxis pick-up is through MLCP Level 4.
Private Coaches/ Buses
Using the elevated road, drop off at PTB Departure Level 4 Kerb side.
Pick up at PTB Level 1 west side of terminal.
Auto Rickshaws
Drop off through grade level road.
Pick-up through grade level road.
# TAB Cab (+91-22-63636363), City Cool Cabs (+91-22-22164466) and MERU (+91-22-44224422) 

6)       AIRPORT INFORMATION

  • Airport Information desks are located at PTB Departure Level 4 Kerb side and PTB Arrival Level 1/2.
  • CSIA Airport Information Call Centre at Tel:  91-22-66851010 & www.csia.in
**Above all is just for information and are indicative, for further assistance contact on Airport Numbers mentioned above. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

3 bird species in state still under threat

Are on IUCN’s ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) latest red list of 15 most Endangered Indian Avian s
The latest ‘red list’ of endangered bird species released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) includes 15 Indian bird species, three of which are found mainly in Gujarat. These include the Great Indian Bustard, the Indian Vulture and Siberian Cranes. All three are in the ‘critically endangered’ ( CR ) category.
GIB
Several migratory birds that come to Thol and Nalsarovar ( Gujarat ) have also been listed in the ‘vulnerable’ and ‘nearly threatened’ bird species.
Officials said the IUCN red list is the list on the basis of which several countries and states form their strategies for conversation of birds.
Officials said that the ‘International Union for Conversation of Nature Red List of Birds – 2013’ shows that 15 birds species in India continue to be in the ‘critically endangered’ category. Of these, three bird species are now in greater danger than before.
The decline in the population of these species is because of the growing human interference in areas where bird nesting and colonies exist, said the officials.
Studies by the Bombay Natural History Society ( BNHS ) and other organizations, including Wildlife Institute of India, of factors most responsible for the failing numbers of several bird species reveal that like wetlands, most other habitats such as grasslands and forests, also face severe threat due to development pressures.
florican1
The drastic loss of grassland habitat over the past decades has severely threatened species such as the Great Indian Bustard, Siberian Crane, Bengal Florican and Jerdon’s courser.
While the extensive use of diclofenac by farmers for treatment of their cattle, had led to the fall in the number of Indian Vultures, the destruction of deciduous forest had lead to the decline in the numbers of Forest owlets. The presence of chemicals in the carcass of animals on which scavenging birds feed has affected their population adversely.
BNHS – India Director, Dr. Asad Rahmani, said that on the basis of insightful scientific field research, there is an urgent need to conserve the remaining habitats and the species dependent on them.
“Policies that ensure this through sustainable development should be framed and implemented at the earliest,” Rahmani said. 

Flying Away
Critically endangered species: This category in India includes migratory birds. 
Wetlands species: Baer’s Pochard, Siberian crane and Spoon – billed sandpiper
Grassland Species: Bengal Florican, Great Indian Bustard, Jerdon’s courser and Sociable lapwing.
Scavengers: Indian Vulture, Red – headed vulture, White – backed vulture, Slender – billed vulture, Himaliyan quail & Pink – headed duck
Non – migratory wetland species : White – bellied heron
Forest Species: Forest owlet
Courtesy:- Times of India 

Lion territory doubles in three years

Big cats now rule 20,000 sq Km area
The king of the jungle has conquered new territories. About one – third of the Saurashtra region has been marked as Asiatic Lion inhabited areas by the state forest department. A recent study based on frequent ion kills and compensation given to farmers says the big cats rule over a huge 20,000 sq km of area – almost double the 10,500 sq km recorded in the May 2010 census.
A detailed analysis reveals that there are about 1,500 villages in Saurashtra where lions regularly venture out to kill domestic as well as herbivorous animals. Most of these villages are located in Junagadh ( Gujarat, India ), Amreli ( Rajkot, Gujarat, India )and some even in Bhavnagar ( Gujarat, India ).
Experts say this is a result of good conservation efforts put in by the state government. The Gir National Park ( Sasan Gir, Gujarat, India ) and sanctuary is unable to contain the growing population of the lions – the numbers have constantly grown from 284 in 1990 to 304 ( 1995 ), 327 ( 2000 ), 359 ( 2005 ) and 411 according to the last census held in 2010. The first census of independent Gujarat state conducted in 1968 had put the lion population at 177.
The next census, due in 2015, will be carried out over an area of 20,000 sq km.
Forest department officials believe that out of 411 lions recorded in the last census, 114 have started into newer areas. Since the big cat can live close to friendly human habitations, It has moved out of forest corridors where is feeds on domestic cattle.
Sandeep Kumar, deputy conservator of forests, who conducted the study says, “The study does not take into account stray kills. We have identified areas where the lion presence has been continuous over longer periods”.
Courtesy:- Times of India