Seven days of Maldivian Sun.

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My dear Readers,

You are welcome to the page wherein lie, the memories of one of our  our best holiday till now.

We had two weeks of vacation at hand, with sub zero temperatures and ‘no show’ by sun. We were more than eager to trade in some sunshine, in exchange. Therefore, we started googling sunny spots on earth. And our first choice (which luckily turned out to be the last one) was Maldives.

 

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That’s me, sulking by Lake Geneva under kilos of wool.

 

We had been cooking our plans about Maldives since we got engaged but owing to our ‘Monsoon Wedding’, it wasn’t the best time to be by the beach. But now my weather man (Read: Husband) gave clearance, so IT HAD TO BE MALDIVES!!!

Since we’ve had a fair share of travel earlier in the same year, we just wanted to be flat on our backs this time and not be on our toes or standing in queues, holding in tickets and much excitement and anxiety. This needed to be, how my husband puts it – ‘tranquil’.

That was the aim. To have ‘nothing’ on our  TO DO list. Soak enough sun for the greater part of winter ahead.

Eat. Play. Love.

Since our main aim was to relax, we obviously wanted a good resort with due respect to privacy. After some research we picked out North Male Atoll, as ‘the’ place. And started looking for places to stay. Well, that was easy. We searched trip advisor for their best ranked hotels. Baros Maldives was first in line. We saw their pictures, on their website, oohed and aahed. They had us at that.

Because it was too good to be true. (I hereby forewarn you that you will be hearing this line several times and probably frequently in further text)

There was just one ‘Water Villa’ that was still available. Just one. As if it was waiting for us.

We gave it a thought (oh, but you have to) – which lasted like about 30 sec and clicked – BOOK NOW.

Twenty Twelve was the year of travel for us. Not that thirteen is any different 😛 We had stayed in enough hotels to know that they didn’t necessarily always look like their pictures.

But after being to Baros Maldives, our holidays were never the same. Because it was just as they had let us dream and imagine with their pictures. It was even better because pictures don’t extend the warmth of hospitality.

All the vacations hereafter are compared to it and though its a bit unfair on the rest out there but this one stands as our gold standard. The place was just too good to be true.

We booked our to and fro flight from India via Bangalore through Air India. Which nearly  ‘dropped’ us on the ground in the name of landing. (I just want to skip the flight part and straight away open the scene to Baros – the paradiso!!)

 

This is what Maldives looks like from the plane.

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Maldives has some 1,190 islands!! We picked one out of them.

 

Just let me add that we were picked up by the Baros crew at the airport, without a second of delay, before we knew it our luggage had been taken care of and we were being escorted to a luxury speed boat. They offered us towels to refresh ourselves and drinks to rehydrate. Just what you need to wipe out weariness of four flights that took us from Geneva to Male.

But the ‘real’ refreshment was the first step on the Baros Island, the taking in of first sight and smell of the place. Turquoise water and white sand.

 

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This was most refreshing!!

 

I still relive this moment with my husband. When our gaze moves away from each other into empty space, where our minds are projecting that captured beautiful scene from its archives of unforgettable memories. We are lost for words. There is silence. Followed and broken, only by sighs. For it was a beauty that stuns you, that disrupts all your thoughts. Beauty that is too overpowering for any words or expressions, that descends on you like silence and sweeps you off.

 

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The beautiful Indian Ocean!

 

I don’t have any idea or definition or photographic evidence of the word ‘Paradise’. I use this word to describe a place, that feels ‘too beautifully out of place, to be on earth’. If I call my home in Switzerland, a paradise in mountains then, this is the seaside counterpart, for sure.

I’m thinking you can trust these words coming from a person who spent eight years of life in a coastal city, sea, therefore held no charm, no promise for me, whatsoever. This was certainly different experience. I loved being by the sea here.

On arrival we were met by our ‘villa guest manager’ Shazil, a real pleasant and polite man, who was ready to be disturbed anytime of the day during our stay. He showed us around the island and though it was cloudy, it wasn’t still bringing my spirits down. Everything was so beautiful. I was thinking ‘man!, this one is going to be a dream holiday’. Perfect.

He then took us to our villa, over this wooden jetty.

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Jetty leading to water villas!

We had, one of these, over water villas, entirely to ourselves for seven sunrises and seven sunsets of pure bliss. Away from honks, beeps, bleeps, taps, rings, knocks and clicks.

Instead we had lapping waves, shoal of fishes, flying fishes, gusts of wind, grains of sand under bare feet, heat of sun making our skin ‘brownie’ brown. A dip-a-day in ocean and devouring books after books on deck. This was our cup of  tranquili-‘tea’ !!!

While the best things in our lives were free at that moment, the paid ones were no less. I generally don’t care much about the room if it has a comfy bed and clean nice bathroom. That works for vacations. But this was perfect to the T. Just see.

 

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It had such a nice feel to it, as it was just wood and water and whiteness.

 

Baros is a part of small luxury hotels of the world. Nevertheless, luxury they give you is BIIIIG! We were extremely happy (for having chosen it and for Baros of course) to see it stand 5th in the ‘Best Romantic Hotels in the World’ by Travelers Choice! of the year 2013.

 

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Not only I loved the comfort of the bed but what I saw above me!

 

The room and the closet and the bed were all kings size. I loved the high ceiling. The bath faced the sea. All the amenities were of highest standards and had all one could ask for.

We had a nice deck with a private access to the lagoon for ourselves, with out-dining facility and sun loungers.

 

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That’s on the deck..you will see a lot of it in coming pictures!

 

The villas are maintained impeccably despite surrounded by sand and water, day in and day out. Baros Maldives, offers you privacy (as if being on a tiny island in Indian Ocean isn’t being private enough 😉 ) from the speed boat/motor boat noises and children exercising their vocal cords.

 

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My DIY beach pedicure feet! 🙂 You’ll be seeing them often too, for all the effort I made ;)

Well, our first day as I said was a cloudy one and it drizzled for a while. But as the night drew, the clouds were rarer and it became more and more beautiful.

 

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The moon shines through…

 

We had a lovely dinner by the sea, at Lime Restaurant.

 

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Lime Restaurant at dusk

 

Well I don’t look too happy here as it was day two and sun wasn’t out yet.

 

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come on…sunny don’t be lazy!

 

But there was forecast of a sunny day!

 

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Well well sunny, we all have to our job in this world!

 

It had to come. I couldnt’t be happier 🙂

 

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Some island exploration is certainly called for…

 

Its a green island, with tall, neatly combed coconut trees. Pink bougainvilleas, red and yellow hibiscus adds all the colours and stands bright against the white sand.

 

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A Yellow Hibiscus

 

Meet Gits- the ‘girgit‘ (hindi word for chameleon). Don’t be alarmed to see them scurry across your paths, they are pretty harmless and pretty busy among themselves.

 

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Gits

 

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Pausing and posing all the way along.

 

You can cover the entire island in a 15 min walk.

A view of the Lighthouse Lounge and Restaurant from Cayenne, a perfect place to grab a light lunch.

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Perfect location for a bar!

 

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This is the main jetty at the entrance, that leads to the reception area.

 

Time to test the waters…

 

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It’s okay…you can come in! :D

 

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I can still feel the glow of this sunset!

 

And there walks in another night in beauty…

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oh the lovey breezy nights

 

Baros also makes sure that you have a kingsize, king like routine too!! No hurries to jump out of the bed for a quick shower and grab a fleeting breakfast to catch the last bus….Oh! that was miles and miles away. 😀

One has the luxury to get out of bed at ease and have a long bath listening to sea waves and then head for breakfast and break your bread with fishes swimming by. And, just so that you know, it will be a whole lot variety of bread to try out a different one each day.

 

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Another good sunny morning!

 

When we book hotels we preferably look for places that serve breakfast so that we don’t have to go hunting for a proper breakfast place first thing in the morning.

My best breakfast experiences have been at Hilton London Green Park hotel and at a local place in OakPark in Chicago. But the breakfast was amazing at Baros, climbing up this list. Elaborate, delicious, wholesome and varied (I’m trying to recall more adjectives from the cereal ads for healthy breakfast, cause those jingles ran in my mind when we came for breakfast here). You had enough options to suit yourselves. Wherever you come from.

 

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Good Morning! That’s where we had breakfast.

 

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Having breakfast at this place with no agendas for later in day is an aristocratic luxury!

 

Let me also say about personalization of service. They hold a ‘PhD’ in it!! They know you not by ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ not by your villa ‘number’ but by your names. They address you by your name (and I love it!). They plan some activities everyday for their guest, about which we were informed by a letter in our room  and also by our villa manager…It is entirely your take, to partake in activities or give it a pass. But you have loads of options in this bite-size island. They have mastered personalization to an extent that I saw the French guest being spoken to in French, the Russian guests in Russian. They just wouldn’t cease to amaze.

 

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Boooo!

 

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We could lounge here, whole day long!

 

Or…

 

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Take the road less travelled

Either ways, anyways,  it was too good to be true!!!

Back when I was doing my masters, I used to have my study table by the window and late into the night when I lifted my head, bent into the book, to look outside, I used to say to myself, ‘one day and soon, I’m going to finish all this and lie under the stars and talk into the depths of night without a thought of another day’.

I got my wish. I got my moment. It was here, in Baros, Maldives.

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The lights at another island like ambers at night!

 

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Morning coffee on the deck!

 

While I enjoyed gazing the beautiful blue ocean,

 

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The ‘Hypnotic’ Waters

 

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The neighbouring Island as I saw in the picture above!

 

a bookworm was deep into devouring books!

 

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Hooked to book! ;)

 

If you aren’t really into reading, you could probably enjoy a game of tennis? Yes you can. Yeah, we did enjoy a game of ping pong in the evenings. They also have a gym where you could have a sweat-out session. Also if you are a yoga person, then you would love to practice a session of yoga with a trained yogi on the beach or your villa, private or in group. You can take your pick.

And if you still want more there is a library where you can rent DVDs (free) and enjoy a movie together. They have a good collection in many languages.

 

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After a game of tennis. If you can read smiles then this one says ‘I won!!’ ‘I won!’

 

 

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Shot that went blooper! :P

 

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The thinker…

 

And…

 

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The poser…

 

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I loved this curve of the beach…

 

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Off to Spa…

 

Once we booked the place we also decided to get  a private couples spa treatment session. And I highly highly recommend it. Two thumbs up. They have very efficient Thai masseuse, in a very exotic setting. They also do a mani and pedi. Since I was quite content with my self pedi, I got a mani!

The sun sets in the same direction the same way, almost at the same time everyday. Yet, everyday it looked different, everyday it looked so beautiful. It was new kind of sunset each time.

 

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The sun sets like a golden tear…

 

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Could you please help me with a superlative here. Amazing, Awesome…don’t seem adequate anymore.

 

When you’re in Baros, let down your hair, put your feet up, taking a deeeeep breath and capture the sights in your memory.

 

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Happy Feet! :)

 

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No work at hand! Empty hands, happy hands!

 

Leave all your worries…

 

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and hats and sunglasses…

…. off the shore and…

 

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Step into the water…

 

Among the activities organised by Baros Maldives, we opted for a day trip to Male, the capital. There was another Russian couple with accompanying us. Having traveled a bit, I know the staples for a day trip by now (like a water bottle and a bag (especially for shoppers) and was ready for it…

 

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When you head to Male, be sure to cover your shoulders and knees

 

People at Baros were so considerate to hand us water bottles and a shoulder bag. A guide per couple waited for us at Male who would take us around the city.

 

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Why such a grin? Its a sightseeing AND shopping trip!

 

I loved their speed boat rides.

 

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Playing with the waves

 

To be frank I didn’t find anything interesting in Male. Being on the island is good enough. As of shopping, I had chosen my picks at the souvenir shop in Baros, which is pretty complete. The only fun thing was this…

 

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The unmanned entrance to the house of the President of Maldives!!

 

While the city wasn’t much to look at, I enjoyed the ride and coming home to another breathtaking sunset.

 

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I wish to be here again!

 

 

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Looking forward to another breakfast!

 

Oh! Look ….

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If you are lucky (they are harmless) you would encounter these sting rays.

 

They are harmless unless you step on them or try to harm them, then they would surely return the favour.

We enjoyed some of the best lazy days on our deck. Talking over a cup of coffee, watching fishes chase food and friends, watching sunsets, having splendid lunches on the deck. Or just have some  F(ree) U(ninterrupted) N(onsence).

These are some more glimpses of the same.

 

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This is one of my favourites from Baros Maldives!

 

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Being lazy on the deck and taking narcissistic delight in my feet :)

 

 

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:)

 

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Gone snorkeling!

 

The have some beautiful coral reefs that you can go exploring by renting the snorkeling equipment. They will direct you to the best places to snorkel and what fishes you can expect to see.

 

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Or…..

 

 

 

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Another spectacular sunset!

 

Baros organised a Maldivian evening for its guests. Traditional cooking and food and drinks. Folk music and dance. The guests were given a Maldivian sarong as a gift, to wear to make one feel more in tune with the event. No hard and fast rules though to wear it.

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Maldivian folk music in a re-created Maldivian hamlet setting.

 

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Well, the highlight of our stay at Maldives was the New Year’s celebration. And as if it wasn’t already enough, it looked more beautiful.

 

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Catching the last gleams of sun…

 

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New Year’s Eve

 

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Phew….Had to fight hard to keep up with Baros, to get my husband’s eyes back on me

 

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A gorgeous moonrise at New Year’s Eve

 

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Shazil was really sweet to picture us at this moonrise.

 

The New Year’s party was the best I had ever attended. Live music and awesome food at such an elaborate buffet. Take my word, they have the most amazing chefs.

Pictures? Are you kidding me?? If only I had four hands. I couldn’t wait to savour it, the sight of it and how delicious it smelled and looked and  just taste, eat as much as I could. It still makes my mouth water. How on earth could we be holding a camera?? Being vegetarian, as it happens, is not easy on holidays. But this challenge makes our vacation more interesting, at times. This quest for good vegetarian food adds nuances of excitement to it.

And this was the best holiday meal, we had. It was simply irresistible.

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Well I have one, after the food was over…Cheers to Baros and all the travels to come.

 

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Hearing to the live band and lounging after a divine dinner, till the countdown begins.

 

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:)

 

 

This was the best spent new year’s eve of my life.

 

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Bidding good by to a good year.

 

It was my birthday on January 1st. Although off late, it feels a bit sad to know you are a year older. But getting older, filling life with such memories makes it worth while.

 

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To me!

 

It was the best and most beautiful birthday.  This is an instagram image of first day of this year. You can catch more of me on Instagram here.

 

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I simply love the moment captured here! I couldn’t ask for a better start of the year

 

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Cheers to us and our wanderlust spirit!

 

‘My Day’ went in a very special way, this birthday brunch by the sea, a sunset dolphin cruise with champagne and canapés.

 

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On lookout for dolphins…

 

And they came…

 

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and flipped over! There’s a second one close behind the flipping one.

 

 

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First sunset of first day of this year!

 

January second was our last day in this ‘paradise’.

 

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Bye bye bougainvilleas
:(

 

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A walk to remember!

 

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We had been saving a visit to Lighthouse, for our last day.

 

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The King and The queen

 

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Lighthouse has the perfect location to have a sundowner!

 

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The Sundowners

 

Albeit one feels naturally pampered on this island. People at Baros added the cherry on the cake. At their turndown service, they would leave us these little surprises. We not only enjoyed stepping out, but coming back to our villa felt equally rewarding.

 

 

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Little treats by Baros Maldives

 

 

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Bed looked very inviting after the turndown service ;)

 

Well, this was one of the best trips ever. And this is also my way to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Baros Maldives for taking such good care of us. I think we can pat our backs too, for picking this place, out of all.

 

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I want to hold this hand and return there and relive it. Once more…

 

It  is hands down our best vacation so far. And I think, its going to stay like that for a long long time. May be, until we go back to Baros once again 😉

All along this post I have been feeling jittery for the fear of doing injustice to the beauty of the place. This is also the reason why it took all this while to write about this holiday. Owing to my limitation with words, I have taken much help from our third eye – our camera, thinking – where words fall short, these pictures will speak. Even so this might not be the complete picture of its exquisiteness, its allure.

Because, it was too good to be true. 🙂

 

Comments

  1. Luv it…beautifully described n lovely pictures…could not resist reading till the end…:-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ahh!! simply gorgeous..thats my dream destination.no wonder my wud be have to pass another test i call it “MALDIVES TEST” :P.and nikita really wow !!i luv ur blogs..keep it up 🙂

    • pastlifeseamstress says:

      Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy your ‘dream destination’ soon. Keep coming back for more ‘test’ ideas 😉 🙂

  3. beauty,beauty n more beauty .no other word for all this.seems to be a real paradise.really aTRUE VALUE VACATION .beautiful write up.

  4. loved the pics…:) its a really beautiful place……

  5. Akanksha says:

    Beautiful would be an understatement, especially for the pictures! 🙂

  6. excellent review and loved the pics!

  7. Dikshit says:

    Truly a dream vacation spot.
    And too beautiful pickchars dear!!