As a traveler, I explored quite a lot of Asia including Hong Kong, Bangkok, Colombo and Macau and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the local culture there. But I have predominantly seen that Non-vegetarian cuisine is the norm here and vegetarians face a lot of trouble in getting decent food apart from maybe few salads. Of course there are few Indian restaurants but they are few and far in between and quite expensive too. In my recent trip to Singapore on formal invitation from Singapore Tourism Board & Tigerair, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Singapore has a vast variety of vegetarian options (not just Indian!) which probably makes it the Vegetarian Paradise of South East Asia!

One of the torch bearers of the vegetarianism in Singapore is probably Real Food – which calls itself as a grocer and cafe with books. It also has an amazing restaurant which serves healthy, organic vegetarian food which many Singaporeans and tourists alike are warming up to. The address is 110 Killiney Rd but they also have 2 other branches across Singapore at Eu Tong Sen St and Sinaran Drive.

I tried the Grilled Veg Sandwich which costs around 9.8 Singapore dollars. Though a Sandwich, it was served like a burger which had inside it assorted grilled organic vegetables, mozzarella, cheddar and homemade tomato sauce. It was served with a side of fresh herb salad and boiled sweet potatoes. All the vegetables were really fresh and I enjoyed the healthy combination though the bun was a bit hard to bite into.

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BlogAdda always comes up with some unique campaigns like the Tata Bolt campaign, Tata Zest campaign, Colgate Black Toothbrush campaign and Renault Lodgy Campaign apart from many book reviews. So when recently I got an invite from them for a #SniffSniff campaign targeted towards Male bloggers, I was curious and took up the challenge. We were supposed to get a series of packages at our homes which would contain clues towards the final product.

The first package we got in the #SniffSniff campaign was a picture of a man with a clip blocking his nose. I realized that this would be something to do with smell sense. Various thoughts came to my mind that the product could be room freshener, car freshener or toilet freshener. I was waiting for the next clue to understand it more.

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Having traveled to many countries like USA, England, Scotland, South Africa, Hong Kong, UAE (Dubai), Sri Lanka and Thailand for travel and food blogging; I was looking forward to visiting the city-country Singapore. What better time to do it than during the 50th anniversary celebrations of “The Red Dot”! Thanks to Singapore Tourism Board & Tigerair, my dream of experiencing Singapore like a tourist and a local, is going to be true from 17th June to 21st June 2015!

The entire city-country is celebrating the Golden Jubilee this year, specifically this June. There are some very exciting deals on flights, hotels, restaurants and more. But it can get overwhelming sometimes to gather all the information. How do we go about getting the most accurate and verified information very quickly and at one place?

YourSingapore.com is the site which comes to your rescue! It is one of the best tourism sites I have ever seen which gathers all the information required in one place. You have information on what to “See & Do”, “Festivals & Events” which might be happening when you are there, where to “Eat & Drink”, where to “Shop” & “Stay” and of course an entire section on “Know Singapore” before you arrive so you can familiarize yourself!

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Singapore has always been on top of my mind for a wonderful vacation as it is a boiling pot of all Asian cultures like Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Japanese and yet retains a very cosmopolitan approach. But I used to be always under the impression that flight tickets to Singapore are very expensive especially when you don’t plan well in advance. But boy was I going to be proven wrong, and how!

I had been hearing about Tigerair which has been offering very competitive pricing from India to Singapore and beyond. But I had also heard that they had stopped services temporarily from Bangalore around 2010. But luckily they restarted the services from the ever efficient Bengaluru International Kempegowda airport couple of years back. I checked out Tigerair website and was pleasantly surprised to know that they fly to more than 80 destinations worldwide via connecting flights from almost all the major metros in India!

The Tigerair website is very easy to use and cuts down the flak which is seen in many airways websites. You can put the origin and destination airports, select round trip or one way and of course the dates, and you will be presented with all the available options with their prices. There are no hidden charges as everything is inclusive of taxes and fees. I liked the way they had 2 prices – “Light” pricing which has no frills like meals but still gives access to 10KG of baggage and “Combo” pricing which is more effective as it includes meals and preferred seating apart from 10KG baggage of course.

Tigerair cuts all the frills related to Air travel which generally increases the cost of your tickets. Lot of times many people are traveling just for tourism or business purposes. They wouldn’t be carrying a lot of luggage but still we end up paying premium for the tickets because of lot of surcharges like baggage and meals. Tigerair does away with these frills but still allows you to buy extra baggage allowance online itself in case you have done more shopping on your way back. If you are a person who has not been able to have a bite before boarding the flight, you can always pre-order a specific meal in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. I liked the simplicity in which all these can be chosen with no hidden charges.

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Sharjah – just the name reminds you of amazing cricket matches between India and Pakistan played since the ’80s! The city in the middle of the desert had the unique distinction of hosting maximum number of Cricket One Day Internationals in the world! Now Sharjah has become the gateway to the Arab world and it’s main tourist attraction too! If you are ever around Sharjah either for transit or for visit, you must absolutely visit Centro Sharjah which is one of the best and affordable hotels in the area.

If you alight in Sharjah International Airport, either to catch a transit flight or to go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it would be worth your while to have a layover stay at Rotana’s Centro Sharjah hotel just adjacent to the airport. What I liked as soon as I entered was the huge atrium which was very inviting and spacious. It had lot of elements of the Arab world like palm trees, exquisite paintings and was really cool even in the hot Arab summer.

Perched in close proximity to the Sharjah International airport and the SAIF zone business hub, the hotel is the perfect haven for the next generation traveller offering style, sophistication and value. Centro by Rotana won the Best Budget Hotel in 2012 during the Business Travellers Award Middle East. It’s not too tough to understand why. The rooms are spacious for 1 or 2 travelers who are primarily traveling on business or are going via transit. The rooms were very tastefully done with artistic decor and drapes.

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Bengaluru International Airport fondly called as the Kempegowda International Airport has become the hub of International travel in South India and slowly catching up to be in the top 5 in India. It’s wonderful to see that millions of foreigners also pass through this airport along with Indians and NRIs who travel abroad. Nuance Duty free store in Bengaluru International Airport showcases a touch of tradition along with best of duty free shopping for one of the busiest airports in South India!

The design you see in the above picture of the light is inspired by “Jhumka” (Ear Ring) worn by most Indian Traditional women, specially South Indians. It has got elegance and grace written all over it. I like the fact also that Top 10 items are placed at the starting of the store itself. It gives passengers who are in a hurry a quick chance to pick up the most in-demand merchandise.

The ceilings are nicely decorated with Rangolis (Kolams) which are mainly seen outside many traditional South Indian houses. This is a welcome change to many boring Duty free shops across the world which just focus on the product.

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Dubai is the hub of tourism right now in Asia. Considering that it has one of the busiest transit airports in the world, many are taking time out for a couple of days in between their transit from West to East by enjoying a couple of days in Dubai. With some wonderful things to do like Ski in a snow world inside a mall and dune bashing in deserts, Dubai is definitely the hottest tourist attraction in the world right now!

If you are looking for accomodation in Dubai, look no further than Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha. Set in the heart of New Dubai, Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha is a perfect blend of contemporary design and classic elegance. The hotel has 309 rooms including 54 suites. Each room is equipped with the latest facilities, tastefully decorated to meet every guest’s needs and comfort. It is just 2 minutes walk from Saraf DG metro station which connects you to Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha is just 1 metro stop/ 5 minutes walk away from the Mall of Emirates which has got some amazing entertainment and dining options. You could enjoy Ski there in an artificial snow world or catch latest movies too.  If you don’t want to move away from your hotel, you can experience the award winning restaurants “The Royal Budha” (Fine Dining -Thai), “Gharana” (Casual Dining – Indian) and “Xennya Terrace” (Rooftop Terrace) as well as bars, banquet facilities and impeccable service.

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Bangalore is slowly becoming the top hospitality hub of India if not Asia. Some of the top international hotel chains are opening their branches out here to cater to Indians who have traveled abroad and of course expats and foreigners who come here for long stretches of stay. One such hotel chain which has recently opened in Bangalore is the Howard Johnson hotel which has opened near Hebbal very close to the popular Manyata Tech Park.

On one lazy Sunday afternoon, we were invited to the carefuly curated set Lunch prepared by Chef Dev Bose and hosted by Food & Beverages Manager Mahinder Rawat. It was an amazing menu which showcased the best of the cuisines available at HoJo Bangalore. We started with White Wine as we were waiting for Amuse bouche to be served.

The Amuse bouche was traditional yet contemporary. It was dry panipuri served with sour curd and mint. It provided the right start to a gastronomical feast that we are going to indulge ourselves in!

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Recently I was invited to the “Too Maach!” Bengali Food Festival at the hub of great food in Whitefield, Bangalore – Four Points by Sheraton Bengaluru. As I’m a lover of Bengali food, I grabbed this opportunity to be one of the select few to try out the delicacies!

The decor was excellent and reminded me of the hospitality of the East Indian folks specially Bengalis and Oriyas. The hospitality of Four Points by Sheraton Whitefield Bengaluru is also very good which adds to the flavor of the entire event!

We started with a Panipuri (or Puchka in Bengali) making and eating competition which was a huge hit with all the bloggers. Everyone loved making their own Puchkas and then having it at one go! It was a welcome break for bloggers who generally are bored at sit down reviews!

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One of my favorite restaurants of all time, Shiro had a Vietnamese pop-up kitchen from 23rd March on wards. Some of Vietnam’s most renowned culinary offerings were on offer there.

I started with a refreshing Vietnamese cocktail called “Pearl of the orient” which is a luxurious concoction of blood orange, fresh giner, campari, sake and basil. It was perfect for a sunny afternoon. I enjoyed this drink very much.

One of the most interesting appetizers was the Summer Rolls which are rice paper rolled with chicken & prawn or vegetables. This was served with tangy peanut sauce which was a perfect accompaniment.

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