Hong Kong will be witnessing a spectacular series of summer extravaganzas. Topping the list is the Dragon Boat Carnival (23-25 July). Starting from East Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour, the 640m race course will see the world’s leading paddlers compete in multiple dragon boat races, amid much colour, costumes and revelry. Don’t forget to sample the rice-and-meat dumplings that are an intrinsic part of the festival.
There’s also the International Arts Carnival (9 July-15 August), the Lan Kwai Fong Beer and Food Festival (17-18 July), the Hong Kong Book Fair (21-27 July)—not to mention special deals at the Hong Kong Disneyland and at Ocean Park through the end of August. None of that appeals to you?
Dance of the dragon: The Dragon Boat races are the highlight of the summer fiesta. Mike Clarke/AFP
Then consider online portal Travel Chacha’s steal-deal: Three nights/four days in Hong Kong—inclusive of return airfare, three nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast, city tours and transfers—all for Rs26,999 per person. For more information, log on to www.travelchacha.com or call 011-45080808.
Just 400km short of Bangalore lie the forests of Agumbe, one of the wettest places in India. In the heart of the Western Ghats, it’s also home to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, the country’s first investigation centre for tropical flora and fauna. Set up by Romulus Whitaker, popularly known as the snake man of India, the centre’s flagship species is the king cobra.
Join wildlife photographer Amoghavarsha and biodiversity researcher Gowrishankar as they guide you through the pristine forests. Be ready to shoot—only on camera, of course—several rare and endemic bird and animal species, fabulous landscapes and dense forests. And happily, they have none of the SLR-snobbery so common today: Even if you are comfortable using a point-and-shoot, you’re welcome to join in—but a basic familiarity with the camera is a prerequisite.
Regal: A king cobra at Agumbe. Amoghavarsha
Besides photography, you’ll be exposed to life at the research station and first-hand experience of the rainforests, so you’d presumably be keen on wildlife as well, and be ready to rough it out with the basic facilities. The two-day expedition, over 10-11 July, costs Rs9,600 per head, inclusive of Bangalore-Bangalore travel, the service of a guide, all food, accommodation and permits. Only 10 seats are available, so call Amoghavarsha on 09901044344 to register.
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