Monday, April 18, 2011

Raffles Singapore

The small island of Singapore is an assortment of contrasting cultures. It's easy to be overwhelmed by Orchard Road's wall-to-wall shopping malls, but you also can take a break at Chinatown's immense Buddha Tooth Temple or Hindu shrines draped with marigold garlands in little India.

Raffles Grill for Holiday Dinner
A great place to stay if one is lucky enough to be in Singapore is the Raffles Hotel. It’s a colonial-style hotel and is one of the world's most famous. Opened in 1899, it was named after Singapore's founder Sir Stamford Raffles. It is a hotel that is loaded with history and is more legend than hotel after having been immortalized in the novels of Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling.

Long Bar
After going through hard times in world war II, Raffles was closed in 1989 and with careful repair, reopened in 1991. Raffles was restored to the grand style of its heyday and all rooms were converted to suites with teakwood floors, handmade carpets, and 14-foot ceilings. The storied Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling cocktail drink was invented was reopened at the same time. It was patronized over the decades by a host of VIP’s, including Ernest Hemingway and Jackie Kennedy among others.
Boat Quay
A great place to go is Boat Quay a historical quay that is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River. It once was the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, handling three quarters of all shipping business during the 1860s. Though serving maritime trade is no longer Boat Quay's main role, the shophouses and go-downs have been carefully preserved and now house various bars, pubs and restaurants. It’s a good place to have some fun.
Singapore is one of the most enjoyable cities in Southeast Asia. It's a fascinating place that will draw you back time and again to experience the divergent cultures, a wonderful metro system, Sentosa Island, wonderful food- hawker’s stalls and so much more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Romani Tinsmith in Rajasthan

The Rom people (Gypsies) originated in the Northwestern region of India and have since moved around the world. They were called "Gypsies" because they were mistakenly believed to have come from Egypt. Many Rom people traditionally work as craftsmen and are blacksmiths, cobblers, and tinsmiths. They are all over the world now but are genetically related to tribes in the Himalayas, Pakistan and India.