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Lounging on the lake

Lounging on the lake
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First Published: Fri, May 14 2010. 09 15 PM IST

Mobile house: Apsara on the Vembanad Lake, Kerala. The Park
Mobile house: Apsara on the Vembanad Lake, Kerala. The Park
Updated: Fri, May 14 2010. 09 15 PM IST
Mobile house: Apsara on the Vembanad Lake, Kerala. The Park
If you’ve been putting off Kerala for the longest, now is the time to reconsider the destination. The Park Group of Hotels has launched its first leisure getaway, comprising The Park on Vembanad Lake, a 10-room luxury resort that will act as a docking station for the first luxe lake cruiser in the state, the Apsara. The 28m-high boat has eight cabins, besides a galley, a saloon and a dining area, as well as a sun deck and a forward viewing area. Styled to combine Kerala’s architectural heritage with the sophistication of the European yachting tradition, the boat offers local and international cuisine, cultural tours and educational talks. Till 23 May, the Apsara has a three-night/four-day deal (inclusive of airport transfers, accommodation, all meals, daily cruising, sightseeing and taxes) for Rs99,000 on double occupancy. The cruiser next sails on 17 May and 20 May. The boat can also be hired on an exclusive basis for personalized itineraries. At The Park on Vembanad, deluxe lake-view rooms start from Rs12,000 (till 31 August). If you want to hop on board, email resv.vl@theparkhotels.com
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Mongolia on my mind
Oriental lure: Experience the steppes. Ibex
In our imaginations it’s a vast, barren, windswept place of weathered warriors and fiery horses. It’s all that and more—and here’s your chance to find out. Ibex Expeditions launches the first Indian operator-led tour through the Gobi desert and the high steppe regions of eastern Mongolia. The 14-day tour starts from Ulan Bator, the national capital, and takes you to the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in the eastern Gobi on Day 2. Thereafter, be prepared for the stark landscapes of the steppes, where you’ll live in tents, meet local nomads and get up close with a Mongolian horse-training family in a ger camp. Keep your eyes peeled for the Siberian ibex and Argali sheep, the biggest wild sheep in the world.
Return to Ulan Bator and then get set for exposure to a completely different part of the country: the green meadows of the upper Tuul river. Trek through Khan Khentii, a wilderness area three times the size of Yellowstone National Park, and the Jalman Meadows. You’ll be escorted by a botanist and a local guide throughout. The trip can be extended/customized through summer (excluding mid-July), but the base price is $2,660 (around Rs1.20 lakh) per person on double occupancy, exclusive of airfares, visa fees and beverages. The adventure starts on 6 June from Ulan Bator. For more on the trip, email ibex@ibexexpeditions.com or call 011-26460244/26460246.
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First Published: Fri, May 14 2010. 09 15 PM IST