Ayurveda the Science of Life
Getting sick ruins your vacation, so I strongly advise against it (of course, last time I checked, the bugs weren't listening to me any more than they probably listen to you). New York won't make you sick more than any other city, and the water is safe to drink. Beyond that, take this basic advice for keeping your health in tiptop shape.
An ancient healing tradition that draws on 3,000 years of Vedic culture, Ayurveda is the subcontinent's traditional science of life, vitality, health, and longevity or, to tap into a more contemporary buzzphrase, the science of well-being. Kerala has long been considered the home of Ayurveda, no doubt due to the abundance of herbal and medicinal plants that thrive in its tropical environment. You will find therapists, physicians, and commercial Ayurvedic shops selling roots, herbs, and bark throughout the state. Renowned for its curative and rejuvenating powers (and a gift from no other than Lord Brahma), Ayurveda works on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being by rectifying any imbalances in the three doshas vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (water) that are believed to make up the human constitution. In fact, in one ancient tome on Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita, it is stated that the mind, body, and soul are like a tripod, and that the world's continued existence relies on...
Ayurveda (eye-your-veda) is an ancient system of medicine that uses herbs, oils, metals and animal products to heal and rejuvenate. Heavily influenced by the system of the same name in India, Ayurveda is widely used in Sri Lanka for a range of ailments. Essentially, Ayurveda postulates that the five elements (earth, air, ether, water and light) are linked to the five senses and these in turn shape the nature of an individual's constitution - their dosha (life force). Disease and illness occurs when doshas are out of balance. The purpose of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore the balance and thus good health. Traditional Ayurveda clinics patronised by Sri Lankans are very inexpensive, while those facilities orientated towards tourists charge many times more. Therapeutic treatments often take some time the patient must be prepared to make a commitment of weeks or months. More commonly, tourists avail themselves of one of the Ayurvedic massage centres attached to major hotels. The full...
Chiraayu Ayurvedic Health & Rejuvenation Centre ( 25500855 6th block, 17th D Main, Koramangala Set on a 30-acre organic farm, Soukya ( 7945001 www.soukya.com Soukya Rd, Samethanahalli, Whitefield S 6am-8.30pm) is an internationally renowned place offering a variety of holistic health programmes, including Ayurvedic treatments and yoga. Packages for two days and one night start at Rs 8900 13,800 for a single double. Ayurvedic therapists from Kerala staff Spa ( 5217239 www.theleela.com Airport Rd S 6.30am-9pm), a sleek centre with a wide variety of rejuvenation and detox treatments. Prices kick off at Rs 1600 for an hour's massage.
You'll find a wide choice of restaurants at the Anse Vata shops including pizza, and Vietnamese and French cuisine. La Cr perie Bretonne ( 273714 5 rue Ange Berlioz cr pes 600-900CFP S lunch Tue-Sat & dinner) This cosy family restaurant in Trianon is decorated in typical Breton style. It serves gaiettes (thin, savoury pancakes) and crepes. You can sit outdoors on a covered veranda but if you sit indoors you can watch the chef preparing the crepes. Service is fast and friendly and the crepes are deliciously filling. It's just off route de l'Anse Vata. Oceania ( g 26 17 33 route de l'Anse Vata S 6am-7.30pm Mon-Fri, to 12.30pm & 3-7.30pm Sat & Sun) This small shop sells groceries, fruit and vegies, and wine. It is handy if you are staying in the area but is pricey compared to supermarkets. Snack Ulysse ( g 28 69 28 route de l'Anse Vata sandwiches 400-650CFP) This snack is popular, unpretentious and relaxed. You can eat in or take away. It has seating on a veranda off the pavement. It...
Bulgaria is a wonderful mix of both the Orthodox and the pagan. Besides kuk-eri, there is Enyovden, as the summer solstice is known At dawn families watch their shadows grow if the shadow is complete, good health is predicted. The night before is also considered the ideal time to pick certain herbs one, picked by feel, with closed eyes, is used to cure the half illness thought to afflict pale and listless youths who have unbeknownst to them been mesmerized by an invisible but love-struck dragon.
Best known as a pizzeria and burger house, PJ's serves a hearty breakfast with an eye toward good health. That being said, you can still order bacon and eggs without getting the evil eye. For lunch, the taco and Cobb salads are especially tasty. The battered cod is also quite good. We also like the pizzas, which
Ayios Panteleimon This church, dedicated to one of the physician saints, is a popular place to light a candle and say a prayer for good health. The church, all that remains of a large monastery on this spot, is usually closed, but its elaborate brick and stone work makes it a delight even to glimpse from the street. If you do get inside, note how the central dome is supported by four barrel vaults, a distinctive characteristic of Macedonian churches. Corner of Egnatia and iassonidou.
All this sounds fine but, although medical training is of a high standard in Greece, the health service is badly under funded. Hospitals can be overcrowded, hygiene is not always what it should be and relatives are expected to bring in food for the patient -which could be a problem for a tourist. Conditions and treatment are better in private hospitals, which are expensive. All this means that a good health-insurance policy is essential.
Good health care is readily available. For minor self-limiting illnesses pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. They can also advise when more specialised help is required and point you in the right direction. The standard of dental care in both countries is usually good however, it is sensible to have a dental check-up before a long trip.
Supplied by water from the Acqua Vergine aqueduct and a triumph of the baroque style, it was based on the design of Nicolo Salvi (who's said to have died of illness contracted during his supervision of the project) and was completed in 1762. The design centers on the triumphant figure of Neptunus Rex, standing on a shell chariot drawn by winged steeds and led by a pair of tritons. Two allegorical figures in the side niches represent good health and fertility.
The Kurents move from house to house in procession scaring off evil spirits with their bells and jezevke (wooden clubs,) topped with quills taken from hedgehogs. A hudic (devil), covered in a net to catch souls, leads each group. Young girls present the Kurents with handkerchiefs, which they then fasten to their belts, and people smash little clay pots at their feet for luck and good health.
And for those wanting to do more on land other than lounge in a deck chair, there may be horse-riding, badminton, archery, table tennis, squash or billiards. The hinterland offers a wide range of diversions including wildlife parks, gem mining, cinnamon plantations, ancient monuments, traditional carving and masked devil dancing. Many coastal resorts have Ayurveda spa facilities, as well as lively entertainment and restaurants featuring ocean-fresh seafood.
Around 2000 plant species are described in Ayurveda (traditional Indian herbal medicine) and a further 91 plant species are used in amchi (Tibetan traditional medicine). The Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions has a search engine for medicinal plants at www.medicinalplants.in. Travellers with a serious interest should pick up CP Khare's Encyclopedia Of Indian Medicinal Plants.
Massage & Ayurvedic Treatments Ashtaang (Map pp120-1 24111802 E-2 Anand Niketan S 9am-6pm) Opposite Delhi University (South Campus), come here for authentic Ayurvedic treatments such as sirodhara (warm oil drizzled on forehead 40 minutes Rs 1000). A heavenly head or foot massage is Rs 350 and there are also treatments for ailments such as arthritis.
A number of cheap hotels lie along Calicut's beachfront. Built as the Malabar English Club in 1890, the Beach Hotel (Beach Rd., Calicut 673 032 & 0495 276-2055 through -2057 fax 0495 236-5363 www.beachheritage.com) retains an air of history (it's where the likes of Somerset Maugham and Jawaharlal Nehru chose to stay), and the food is good (though service is a bit slow). You can get a beach-facing suite for Rs 1,400 ( 33) or a simpler room for Rs 1,200 ( 28), both air-conditioned. Slightly more expensive, but still relatively good value, Fortune Park Hotel (& 0495 2768888 www.fortunecalicut.com Rs 1,900-Rs 2,500 43- 57 double) is a pleasant low-rise hotel with central air-conditioning and clean and comfortable rooms with small balconies. A range of amenities includes a swimming pool on the third floor and a popular restaurant with live Indian music. If you want a double bed, reserve a Fortune Room. The hotel is on a noisy main road, so ask for a room on a higher floor. Taj Residency,...
Backed by UNESCO, Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural Centre charitable trust was founded in 1977 by a French artist named Louba Schild, who has been living in Kerala since the late 1960s. The center endeavors to preserve traditional Ker-alite arts and crafts, and to nurture the potential of young artists. The center also runs programs concerned with teaching such diverse cultural traditions as Ayurvedic medicine, local architecture, languages like Sanskrit, Indian cooking, and mural painting, as well as training in classical performance styles such as Mohiniattam, Bharatanatyam, and Karnatic vocal music. Around 200 foreign artists, researchers, and cultural tourists attend the center to learn about local arts and culture, and you are invited to enroll in short- or long-term programs. Vijnana Kala Vedi is situated 3 hours from both Trivandrum and Kochi the center will gladly make all arrangements for pickups from either airport. Six of the guest rooms have en-suite Western-style bathrooms, but...
The Shri Bhuvaneshwari Aushadhashram Ayurvedic Pharmacy ( 222445 www.bhuraneshwarip ith.com Ghanshyam Bhuvan Mahader Wadi) was founded in 1910 by the Royal Physician. The pharmacy manufactures medicines and it's possible to see all the weird machinery involved, as well as buy the result (for treating hair loss, vertigo, insomnia etc). The founding physician here first coined the title 'Mahatma' (Great Soul) for Gandhi.
Union Carbide financed the building of a multimillion dollar hospital, while charity Sambhavna Trust (Map p683 2730914 Bafna Colony, Berasia Rd) runs a clinic, treating more than 200 people a day using yoga, allopathic and Panchakarmic (an Ayurvedic procedure for detoxification through medicated oil massage, steam bath and medicinal enema) treatments, and Ayurvedic remedies prepared using herbs from its medicinal garden. Sambhavna volunteers also work in areas such as advertising, medical research and internet communications.
There, you can not only choose among numerous treatments and packages but, if you are feeling a little energetic, also take a session in the Pilates Exercise Studio. We expect most will want to partake of something more relaxing, however - perhaps a massage, either traditionally therapeutic, aromatherapy massage or neuromuscular therapy. Charges range between 60 and 75 for one hour, but you can choose either a 30- or 90-minute therapeutic for 40 or 90, respectively, or a 90-minute aromatherapy for 95. Or perhaps a Sea Salt Glow, a delightful exfoliating body scrub with sea salt and essential oils, at 40 for 30 minutes, will turn the tide. Or sweeten your disposition with a Milk & Honey richly conditioning exfoliation and total envelopment, at 79 for 75 minutes. Also check out the new Ayurvedic Body Treatments, well worth 95 for an ultra-relaxing experience the Shirodhara uses herbal-infused oils, lasts 50 minutes and will cost you 85, while the Bindi Herbal Bliss is a detoxifying...
The mountains of Friuli Venezia Giulia also mean health and wellness. Surrounded by a relaxing Alpine landscape, guests at Arta Terme enjoy the therapeutic effects of the mineral water of Fonte Pudia, springs that have been known and used since ancient times. The spa at Arta boasts large and relaxing areas for the most modern treatments. The array treatments with water rich in sulphur and in calcium and magnesium sulphates, as well as services offered by the kinesitherapy department, go hand in hand with facial body and wellness packages. At the AquaDea beauty and wellness centre, Ayurvedic techniques and Oriental philosophies are combined with innovative spa products, allowing guests to achieve complete harmony of mind and body during their pampered and relaxing stay.
Plages Loisirs (Map p228 s 26 90 00 plageloisirs mls .nc prom Roger Laroque per hr kayak 1500CFP, windsurfing board fun board 2000 2500CFP, hobby cat 4000CFP, mountain bike per hr half- fuII day 620 1250 1800CFP S 7.30am-5.30pm), beneath the tourist information are on the beach front at Anse Vata, hires water-sports equipment. It also operates taxi-boats to the nearby islets Il t Canard and Il t Ma tre. Some of the hotels at baie des Citrons and Anse Vata give guests an activities pass that entitles them to free use of snorkelling equipment at Plages Loisirs. PISCINE DE OUEN TORO The Olympic size Ouen Toro swimming pool (Map p228 26 18 43 adult child 180 90CFP S 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 11am-5pmSat,to4pmSun) is on promenade Roger Laroque, at Anse Vata. Green-line Karuia buses stop out the front.
Start exploring in Noumea - set aside four days. Go shopping at the craft stalls in its colourful market and purchase your presents to take home. Now you're free to enjoy yourself. Head off on a walking tour (p236) of the city, take an exhilarating jet-ski ride across the lagoon, go on a shopping spree at Noumea's fabulous designer wear outlets (p243) and treat yourself to an evening or four of fine wining and dining. Do a day trip to Amedee islet (p246), snorkel in its clear waters and sunbathe on its dazzling white beach. Squeeze in a trip to the Far South (p250) for a day of kayaking, mountain biking or abseiling. And when all that's done, relax and catch your breath at Anse Vata or baie des Citrons beaches.
The library regularly holds specialist workshops, exhibitions and talks on everything from origami to calligraphy, and admission is free. It's easy to escape from the rigours of Western life on the serene rooftop Japanese garden or at the Silk Road Cafe (pi26) on the ground floor, which serves delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.
The inaugural meeting of the 120 Club - an organization promoting healthy living for Cuba's most elderly citizens - was in February 2005. It was here that the Castro government, always keen to extol the benefits of its groundbreaking free healthcare system, declared that it had uncovered the world's oldest living person.
From Ban Lan Chanh continue east about 1km and turn right (south). Follow this good laterite road about 30km to the four-way junction at Ban Taleo Mai (a good place for lunch) and 4km further to Ban Don Daeng. In the centre of the village is Nong Luang (Turtle Lake admission US 0.30), where dozens of soft-shelled turtles have been living as long as anyone can remember. The oldest turtle (imaginatively known as 'Big One') is about 1m long and is thought to be more than 60 years old. These sacred turtles are quite a tourist attraction and local custom is to feed them unhealthy, radioactive-looking fried snacks. A healthier alternative (as recommended by the Wildlife Conservation Society) is to feed them small dried fish buy them in the market in Savannakhet before you leave.
Taking care of your health Medications and emergencies Using cellphones and e-mail in London Getting through airport security efore you depart for London to take that boat ride on the River Thames or visit the Tower of London, you need to take care of some final details. Do you have an up-to-date passport Have you taken steps to meet your health needs while you're on your trip Are you wondering how to use a cellphone or access e-mail while in London Do you think you need to rent a car This chapter gives you the information you need to answer those lingering questions.
Be very cautious about what is prescribed for you. Doctors are poorly paid, and many earn kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing expensive medicines. Antibiotics are handed out like candy indeed, dangerous and powerful drugs of all kinds can be bought over the counter at pharmacies. In general, the best policy is to stay as far away from Chinese healthcare as possible. Much of it is not good for your health.
Cheers (Part I) It's customary to clink glasses, accompanied by a heartfelt prost (cheers ) or zum wohl (to your health ) each time someone at the table gets a fresh beer, even if it's out of synch with yours. Cheers (Part II) You've probably already heard, but it's worth repeating that it's essential to look each person in the eye while clinking, or risk seven years of bad sex. Franconians take this very seriously and will be perturbed if you don't do it. (Well, seven years is a long time )
Drugs - particularly ganja (marijuana) -are readily available in Jamaica, and you're almost certain to be approached by hustlers selling them. Possession and use of drugs in Jamaica is strictly illegal and penalties are severe. Roadblocks and random searches of cars are common. If you do buy drugs in Jamaica, don't be foolish enough to take any out of the country. If you get caught in possession, you will not be getting on your plane home, however small the amount. A night (or a lengthy sentence) in a crowded-to-bursting Jamaican lock-up is dangerous to your health
In all likelihood, if you reside north of the tropics, the Caribbean sun is much more intense than what you are used to at home. Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to a bad case of sunburn, which can be highly uncomfortable in the short term and dangerous to your health and appearance in the long term. The main risk is skin cancer, which can prove disfiguring and sometimes fatal. For the sake of your skin, it's best to avoid basking in the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm - and particularly between noon and 3 pm - when harmful ultraviolet rays are at their peak. That said, if you can't imagine a Caribbean vacation without some prolonged sun-tanning and returning home with a golden glow, then be sure to use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen. Apply it liberally and often, especially after swimming. (Don't use baby oil for sun tanning - it will block your pores and make you feel hot, to the point where you might think your skin is frying.) Wear sunscreen and take other...
Check your existing insurance policies and credit card coverage before you buy travel insurance. You may already be covered for lost luggage, cancelled tickets, or medical expenses. The cost of travel insurance varies widely, depending on the cost and length of your trip, your age, your health, and the type of trip you're taking.
STAYING HEALTHY Unhealthy is the watchword here if you don't care about your heart or your waistline, you will do just fine in Vegas. (And really, what says vacation more than cream sauce ) But slowly, salads are making their way onto the menus, and some more health-conscious restaurants are opening. You just have to look for them. And we certainly don't mean to take away any enjoyment of those extravagant buffets heck, that's a major part of the fun of Vegas Excess is the other watchword here, and what better symbol is there than mounds of shrimp and unlimited prime rib
This 17th-century baroque monument belongs to the Discalced Carmelite order of nuns. The interior contains works by Caravaggio and his pupils. There's also a pharmacological oddity in the annexes associated with the building They include a modern pharmacy as well as a room devoted to arcane jars and herbal remedies that haven't changed very much since the 18th century.
Several hotels in Lhasa sell a Tibetan herbal medicine recommended by locals for easing the symptoms of mild altitude sickness. The medicine is known as solomano in Tibetan and hongjingtian (iljit C) in Chinese, though locals also recommend gaoyuanning (nijJfiT3) and gaoyuankang (iHjJKlii). A box of vials costs around Y20 to Y35 take three vials a day.
There is little to do in Tachileik apart from shop - the prices are about the same as on the Thai side and everyone accepts baht. Around 4000 people cross the bridge to this market town daily most of these are Thais shopping for dried mushrooms, herbal medicines, swords and daggers, antlers, X-rated DVDs, and other cheap and bootlegged imports from China that could get you loads of attention back home from customs. Shan handicrafts, fake designer bags, gems, CDs and DVDs are some of the other things on offer in this market. Be wary of cheap cartons of Marlboros and other Western-brand cigarettes, as many are filled with Burmese cigarettes instead of the real thing. Also, Thai police have been known to fine travellers in possession of these cigarettes.
A long-term healthy lifestyle is the goal at the Pritikin Center, where guests participate for one- , two-or three weeks in a program that includes nutrition workshops, exercise, lifestyle and stress management and medical supervision. With its location at the Yacht Club at Turnberry Isle, Pritikin guests also enjoy such resort amenities as golf, tennis and a private beach. 19735 Turnberry Way, Aventura s 305935-7131 or 800-327-4914, www.pritikinfl.com.
These days both towns are popular centres that boast everything you need to promote health and well-being, including fabulous foodie places. The local population is an interesting blend of alternative-lifestylers and old-timers there's also a thriving gay and lesbian scene here.
Neighbourhood massage parlours (recognisable by the pair of feet pasted on the door and reclining armchairs inside) offer a herbal medicine soak for your feet, an hour-long foot massage and a chance to catch up on all the local gossip. And all this from around Y50 an hour. Two things to remember Chinese massage is relaxing, but not necessarily gentle, and if the masseuse is only wearing a negligee, it's not going to be a foot massage. Alternatively, your masseuse might be wearing darkglasses- in China, it's traditionally a job for the blind.
Check your existing insurance policies and credit-card coverage before you buy travel insurance. You may already be covered for lost luggage, canceled tickets, or medical expenses. The cost of travel insurance varies widely, depending on the cost and length of your trip, your age, your health, and the type of trip you're taking. STAYING HEALTHY from low hygiene standards. Keep
Maroulas is home to Marianna's Herb Workshop ( 28310 72432 S 10am-2pm & 4.30-8pm summer) a treasure trove of alternative herbal remedies and concoctions. Marianna collects aromatic medicinal herbs from the mountainsto make her unique range of teas and oils from natural extracts using traditional methods. She has products for all manner of ailments, as well as skin products and herbs for cooking. Her teas in include Sarantovotano, a mix of 40 herbs that midwives used to boil up so that they might pass the baby through the steam for its first breath. Marianna's interest in alternative therapies took her back to her roots to ancient remedies and her hobby became a full-time obsession when she moved to Maroulas in the mid-1990s. She hit the mountains and consulted older locals about identifying Crete's various herbs. This knowledge shouldn't be lost,' she says. 'People should recognise every plant and know what it's for. Our medicine is our food, they used to say in ancient times.'...
Each time Nikos collects the honey, he is stung at least 10 times. 'I like the stings - they are merely honey, royal jelly and pollen and this is good for your health,' he says. (Spoken like a true Greek.) 'Besides', he adds, 'bees are among the most intelligent and creative living creatures on earth.'
The center also accepts dolphins from other marine research facilities, where the animals sometimes suffer from overcrowded conditions. Still more dolphins, burnt out from years of performing in aquariums, spend their retirement at the center and achieve a complete rejuvenation living in the warm waters of the Atlantic instead of in a tank. Examination of these dolphins reveals remarkable similarities to humans beset by stressful circumstances, from simple loss of appetite to a full-blown case of bleeding ulcers. But with human attention and kindness, the animals return to good health and good spirits.
Families often give more than they can afford (up to 30 of their income) to maintain their social standing. Some give and expect to receive back good health and other blessings since God answers prayers, and the pastor's prayers are particularly powerful. Not all denominations do this - the Mormons pay a levy depending on their income.
Is desalinated water good enough to drink If a desalination plant is working properly, it should produce, in effect, 100 pure distilled water. The island of Thulusdhoo, in North Male' Atoll, has the only factory in the world where Coca-Cola is made out of sea water. In most resorts, the water from the bathroom tap tastes just fine, but management advises guests not to drink it. One story is that the water is too pure and lacks the trace minerals essential for good health. Another is that the water is purified in the plant, but in the pipes it can pick up bacteria, which may cause diarrhoea. Usually, the resort and hotel management will suggest that guests buy mineral water from the bar, shop or restaurant, where it will cost between US 2 and US 4 for 1.5L. This water is bottled in the Maldives using purified, desalinated water.
Farther south, the Ayurvedic resorts that can still lay claim to the beach idyll that put Kovalam on the map dot the coast (see Where To Stay & Dine, below). Visitors staying at any of these should seriously consider a day trip that takes in Padmanab-hapuram Palace (see review below), on the way to Kanyakumari, India's southernmost tip, where you can enjoy one of the most interesting cultural experiences on the subcontinent (see box below).
The resort's Harmony Spa (S7am-8pm) at Le Meridian (see sleeping) offers a range of top-end massages, Ayurvedic treatments and wraps from staff trained in Thailand (try an hour's tamarind and oatmeal polish for US 25). US 20 gets you a day pass for the gym, pool, sauna and Jacuzzi on Saturdays you get a barbeque lunch thrown in for free. Half-day spa packages start at Rs 3000.
Not all activities in India involve hauling yourself up mountains. Travellers with an interest in spirituality or alternative therapies will find a host of courses and treatments that focus on healing body and mind - after all, this is the country that gave the world meditation, massage and mantras Meditation, Ayurveda (Indian herbal medicine) and yoga have gained respect even in mainstream circles and there are opportunities to practise and improve your technique all over India. Here are some good places to start.
Zero Garjia, Dhikuli 224 715. & 05947 28-4132 or -4134. Fax 05947 28-4133. www.corbetthideaway.com. 52 cottages. 210 standard double 230 executive suite, 350 family suite for 2 adults and 2 kids. 75 extra person. Includes all meals and 1 jungle safari.AE, MC,V. Amenities 2 restaurants bar pool kids' pool jeep, elephant, and coach safaris river rafting fishing archery table tennis badminton bird-watching indoor games billiards nature shop Ayurvedic massage laundry doctor-on-call. In room A C, tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Mahankali Jatra (Jun Jul statewide) A festival honouring Kali, with colourful processions in which devotees convey bonalu (pots of food offerings) to the deity. Secunderabad's Mahankali Temple goes wild. Mrigasira (Jun Jul Hyderabad, above) Also known as Mrugam, this event marks the start of the monsoon with a feast of local fish and a fascinating medical treatment administered to thousands of asthma sufferers. The treatment, more than 150 years old, involves swallowing live fish that have consumed a herbal remedy. It's believed that the remedy was revealed by a sage to the ancestors of the physicians who now dispense it. Batakamma (Sep Oct Hyderabad, above & Warangal, p951) Women and girls in the north of the state participate in this celebration of womanhood. There's dancing and feasting, and the goddess Batakamma is worshipped in the form of elaborate flower arrangements that women make and set adrift on rivers. Brahmotsavam (Sep Oct Tirumala, p956) Initiated by Brahma himself, the...
Traditional medicine in Korea is known as Oriental medicine and is based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Although Korean traditional medicine is heavily influenced by TCM, it has developed its own unique methods of diagnosis and treatment. Acupuncture techniques and herbal medicines are widely used. Be aware that natural' doesn't always mean 'safe', and there can be drug interactions between herbal medicines and Western medicines. If you are utilising both systems, ensure you inform both practitioners what the other has prescribed.
Drug Laws Penalties are severe and could lead to imprisonment or deportation. Selling drugs to minors is dealt with particularly harshly. Drugstores You'll find green neon crosses above the entrances to most farmacie (pharmacies). You'll also find many erborista (herbalist) shops, which usually offer more traditional herbal remedies (some of which are marvelously effective) along with the standard pharmaceuticals. Most farmacie of any stripe keep everything behind the counter, so be prepared to point or pantomime. Some help Most minor ailments start with the phrase mal di in Italian, so you can just say Mahl dee and point to your head, stomach, throat, or whatever. Pharmacies rotate which will stay open all night and on Sundays, and each store has a poster outside showing the month's rotation.
Good health care is readily available, and for minor illnesses pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. They can also advise when more specialised help is required and point you in the right direction. The standard of dental care is usually good, however it is sensible to have a dental checkup before a long trip.
North of Ayios Fokas is Atsitsa, another beach with pine trees along it, but it's a bit too rocky. It can be reached by road across the Olymbos mountains in the center of the island, and it has a few rooms to let. It is also the location of a holistic health-and-fitness holiday community for information on its activities, contact Skyros Holistic Vacations, 92 Prince of Wales Rd., London NW5 3NE (& 020 7284-3065 in England www.skyros.com). (This same British outfit runs the Skyros Centre at the edge of Skyros Town it differs from the one at Atsitsa in that it offers courses and a somewhat more conventional touristic
Lonely Planet's Healthy Travel - Asia & India is packed with useful information including pretrip planning, emergency first aid, immunisation and disease information and what to do if you get sick on the road. Other recommended references include Traveller's Health by Dr Richard Dawood, International Travel Health Guide by Stuart R Rose, MD and The Travellers' Good Health Guide by Ted Lankester, an especially useful health guide for volunteers and long-term expatriates working in the Middle East.
Despite its small population, Culebra has good health services. Some basic toiletries are carried in local shops, but it's wise to bring things like condoms, tampons, saline solution, contact-lens supplies and medicine for tummy troubles - not that you are more likely to get sick on Culebra than anywhere else, but you will want something at hand if you do.
Medical care in the Caucasus countries is pretty basic, so get decent insurance and, of course, be in good health when you set off. The most common form of public transport is marshrutkas (minivans), with limited room for luggage, so you'll thank yourself for packing light.
(They may charge you extra to do this.) Apply online at www.eta.immi.gov.au. There is a A 20 (US 13) charge, payable by credit card (Amex, Diners Club, MasterCard, or Visa). Assuming you do not have a criminal conviction and are in good health, your ETA should be approved quickly. You can also apply at Australian embassies, high commissions, and consulates (see below). Children traveling on their parent's passport must each be issued with their own ETA.
As you can see every morning in the parks throughout Hong Kong, t'ai chi is the most visible and commonly practised form of kung fu today. Not only is it a terrific form of exercise, improving your muscle tone, developing breathing muscles and promoting good health in general, it also forms a solid foundation for any other martial-arts practice. Its various forms are characterised by deep, powerful stances, soft and flowing hand techniques and relaxed breathing.
Gorilla-trekking permits cost US 360, including the park entry fee, payable in US dollars cash only. The trips leave at 8.30am daily, but aim to report to park headquarters by 8am. Note that children under 15 years old are not permitted to trek to the gorillas, and anyone with a cold or other illness is likewise excluded. Do not try to feign good health if you are unwell, as you could be endangering these rare creatures' lives. A full refund is given to anyone who withdraws due to ill health.
That said, there are some places that stand out and while they may have no frills, nor do their bathrooms give any indication of the good health or otherwise of previous occupants. Some places even treat you like a king even if you pay the price of the pauper. The happy (and most common) medium somewhere between these two extremes is usually a room devoid of character, but containing basic, well-maintained facilities.
By the time Cook got this far north, he was in a bad mood. A captain noted for keeping a ship with high morale, good health, and a happy crew, had suddenly turned mean. Maybe he was just tired. Over the past decade he'd explored more of the world than anyone before him. He had sailed a huge ship through the Barrier Reef in Australia, a navigation hazard previously unknown to western sailors. He'd been around the world twice, and he had an astounding record of keeping his sailors alive. For example, on his first trip to New Zealand (he was the first to map it) not a single member of his crew came down with scurvy on a ship in the same seas at the same time, more than 60 of the crew were affected.
Good health care is readily available and for minor illnesses pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. They can also advise when more specialised help is required and point you in the right direction. The standard of dental care is usually good however, it is sensible to have a dental check-up before a long trip.
Just about anyone in reasonably good health can sign up for an introductory dive, including children aged eight and over. There are various programmes on offer, including Discover Scuba, which takes place in a pool, and Discover Scuba Diving, which is a guided dive in open water.
Vailankanni is the site of the Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health and its associated sacred sites. Thousands of Christian pilgrims file through the impressive white neogothic structure, which was elevated to the status of basilica in 1962 during the Pope's visit.
MEDITATION, YOGA AND AYURVEDA Nepal provides the solitude and environment for meditation which is unparalleled in this part of the world. Nepal has much to offer to those interested in meditation, yoga and Ayurveda. There are guided and residential courses for meditation and yoga and the effects are far-reaching and cumulative. Kathmandu, in particular, is where most of these activities happen.
If you just want to enjoy the healing effects without the study, there are spas over all India, from Ayurvedic hospitals to luxurious health centres at five-star resorts. However, be cautious of one-on-one massages by private operators, particularly in tourist towns. Paying more for a massage in an established centre is better than getting a groping by a dodgy masseur. Recommended spots for indulgence include the following Delhi Get the full Ayurvedic treatment at Delhi's Ashtaang (p138). Goa There are numerous beach resorts offering massages and other spa services at Calangute and Baga (p856), Anjuna (p861), Colva and Benaulim (p872), Arambol (p866) and other locations. Gujarat The are upmarket hotel spas in Ahmedabad (p724), and massages, steam baths and mud therapies at the Ayurvedic University in Jamnagar (p755).
If you are looking for a specific type of vacation experience, especially in the areas of health, wellness, or alternative healing, check out The Call to Hawaii A Wellness Vacation Guidebook by Laura and Betsy Crites, published by Aloha Wellness Publishers, 2333 Kapiolani Blvd. no. 2108, Honolulu, HI 96826 (& 808 223-2533 www. alohawellnesstravel.com). This great resource details everything from Hawaiian sacred healing to psychospiritual therapy. Included are practitioners (listed by island) of massage, qigong, holistic medicine, kinesiology, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, craniosacral work, energy medicine, sound therapy, yoga, and many other modalities.
Spices are integral to Sri Lanka's cuisine and Ayurvedic traditions. A visit to a spice garden is an excellent way to discover the alternative uses of familiar spices. You'll see cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla beans, cardamom and black pepper, to name just a few. You can buy the pure products, oils or Ayurvedic potions, although the prices are often extortionate check in local markets beforehand to get an idea of costs.
It seems like every man and his dog has an Ayurvedic-related product to sell, from treatments, to massage, to Ayurvedic tea and even Ayurvedic toilets. Most people aren't qualified practitioners - it's best to ask for recommendations before you go get herbalised (see opposite). Women should always be treated by a female practitioner.
Kumarakom has by far the best accommodations, but unless you're a keen birder, there's not a great deal to do here. Idle away the hours on a houseboat cruise, indulge in Ayurvedic therapies, and laze under the tropical sun that's about as busy as your day is likely to get. Between November and March, the local Bird Sanctuary becomes home to numerous migratory flocks, many of which fly in from Siberia. Regularly seen here are little cormorants, darters (or snake birds), night herons, golden-backed woodpeckers, tree pies, and crow pheasants. Given its exclusivity and sublime setting, Kumarakom does not offer accommodations for budget-oriented travelers for that you'll need to look farther south to Alleppey (or Alappuzha), also the focal point of backwater cruises.
Swarg Ashram is the place to go for bookshops, Ayurvedic herbal medicines, clothing, handicrafts and tourist trinkets such as jewellery and Tibetan singing bowls, though there are also plenty of stalls around Lakshman Jhula. Many stalls sell strings of beads, rudraksh mala, made from the nuts of the rudraksh tree, which originally grew where Shiva's tears fell. Beads with different faces (mukhi) confer different blessings on the wearer.
0m Beach Resort (www.ombeachresort.com s d from USS55 80 Igl) Many Om Beach regulars aren't happy about this new resort, which will likely have opened by the time you arrive. As resorts go, though, you couldn't find a better location. Accommodation is in cottages set back from the beach, and the focus is on Ayurvedic treatments.
In Kerala, pepper is still referred to as karuthu ponnu, or black gold, and represents the backbone of the state's international spice trade. Although the furious trade around spices has subsided considerably these days, the sorting houses, warehouses, and auction houses from which these valuable products find their way to the rest of the world still operate in much the same way they have for centuries (though given the current crises surrounding many of the traditional cash crops, there is a possibility that these side-street sights will not be around forever). Ask your guide or auto-rickshaw driver to take you to the ginger, black pepper, betel nut, and Ayurvedic medicine warehouses, reminiscent of Salman Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh or head for the Kochi International Pepper Exchange (Jew Town Rd., Mattancherry), which you can visit from Monday to Saturday (10am-5pm) to see Kerala's black gold being furiously sold off to the highest bidder. Call & 0484 222-4263 to organize a pass.
Park Village Hotel (fa) 4375280 www.kghhotels.com r USS60-90, discounts of 50 ) If you need to escape Kathmandu, this peaceful midrange retreat just downhill from the Vishnu image may fit the bill. The villa-style accommodation is set in a five-acre garden, with a health club, spa, sauna and pool, and most rooms come with some sort of balcony. The excellent standard rooms are as good as the deluxe, so save yourself US 10 for an Ayurvedic massage or drinks by the pool. The hotel is run by the Kathmandu Guest House (pi35) and you'll often get the best discount (and maybe free transport) by booking there.
This small resort is, confusingly, not at Om Beach but on the headland, about 2km out of Gokarna off the Om Beach road. Accommodation is in nicely decorated rooms in brick cottages with views out to the coast. Rates include taxes. There's a professional Ayurvedic centre on site with various treatment packages available.
Meant a week rejuvenating at one of Kerala's Ayurvedic refuges, but the term now includes travel to India in search of relatively low-cost, world-class medical treatment of visitors with heart conditions, cataracts, and orthopedic problems. You may have heard about the well-publicized case of 14-year-old U.K. resident Elliot Knott, who came to India in 2005 for complex spine surgery because the NHS had asked him to wait 17 weeks to see a consultant and 9 months for surgery However, we figure that most of you are still coming to India simply to de-stress and revitalize yourselves physically and spiritually. To this end we have increased the amount of information in our section, Discovering Spiritual India, in chapter 2. So whether you're looking to learn more about yoga or meditation or are ready to commit to an ashram, we've provided comprehensive suggestions (and cautions). Kerala, of course, remains the haven for Ayurvedic treatments, and never more so than now. Eco-conscious...
Hotel Malligi ( 228101 www.malligihotels.com Jabu-natha Rd r from Rs 300-3000 g ) This is only worth it if you opt for the more expensive AC rooms, some of which are decorated in a vaguely contemporary style. Amenities including a couple of decent restaurants, a pool (Rs 35 for nonguests and guests in the cheapest rooms closed Monday), a gym and Ayurvedic masseurs.
Rishikesh is very New Age you can learn to play the sitar or tabla on your hotel roof try laughing yoga practise humming or gong meditation experience crystal healing and all styles of massage have a go at chanting mantras and listen to spiritually uplifting CDs as you sip Ayurvedic tea with your vegetarian meal.
A different experience can be had at Indian Ayurvedic Massage ( 955 9078 www.nithi .com.my), in an unassuming hut 200m off the main road in Pantai Cenang. Try traditional Indian massages such as shirodhara, where a continual flow of warm herbal oil is poured over your forehead as your head and shoulders are massaged.
Luxury tents (far nicer than many hotel rooms ) are the latest addition to Orange County Resort ( 08274-258481 www.orangecounty. in Siddapur d cottages tents Rs 8500 10,500 ), a fine resort on a 120-hectare plantation, 32km south of Madikeri. Some of the villas have private swimming pools. Rates include taxes guided treks, boating and Ayurvedic massages are available for extra cost. Make bookings through Trails India ( 080-25325302 www.trailsindia .com 2nd floor, St Patrick's Business Complex, Museum Rd) in Bengaluru.
Taika (Map p885 206-209 The Pavilion, 62-63 MG Rd S 12.30-3pm & 7.30-11.30pm) This so-called spa lounge offers Ayurvedic food, although it wasn't available when we visited. Really it's just a cool place to twizzle your cocktail stick in a slick rooftop setting. There's a disco at the back.
Next head northwest to Anuradhapura (p247), an even older ex-royal capital with an extensive, well-preserved historical park containing the ruins of monasteries, palaces and dagobas (stupas). Stop off in Mihintale (p255), just 13km east of Anuradhapura, to view its small yet impressive collection of monastic ruins and dagobas, and the remains of an ancient Ayurvedic hospital.
A sealed road winds up this 132m hill (Map p228) above Anse Vata. Two WWII guns stand sentinel at the summit from where there are excellent views over Anse Vata and The palm-lined promenade of Pierre Vernier (Map p228), which runs around baie de Sainte Marie southeast of Anse Vata, is popular with walkers, joggers, Rollerbladers and cyclists. It's a relaxing place to do some evening exercise.
Cort'o Maltese (Map p228 26 27 25 134 prom Roger Laroque admission free)This nightclub is one of the places on the jetty at Anse Vata. It attracts a crowd in their 30s and 40s. For discos or cabaret at Anse Vata, head to promenade Roger Laroque where you'll find Mister Swing ( 24 03 93 115 prom Roger Laroque) beneath Lantana Beach H tel, L'Acropole ( 24 19 38 119 prom Roger Laroque) next to the Nouvata Park H tel or Startruck La Guinguette ( 26 17 54 prom Roger Laroque) near Le Surf Noumea. They all attract people in their 30s and over.
The main taxi rank is on rue d'Austerlitz opposite Galerie Noumea Center. You can also hail one of the green Radio Taxis de Noumea (SS 28 35 12) from virtually anywhere around Noumea. Taxis operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Below is a list of fares from Anse Vata based on a maximum of four passengers
The changing summer exhibits complement the permanent collection and give voice to the artifacts. We want to show there's more to this than just stone, explains Ellen Barcel, the museum's vice president. Recent exhibits have featured Indian medicine, baskets, music and dance.
Prana Dewi Mountain Resort ( 732032 www .balipranaresort.com bungalows from US 40) Just past the village of Wangayagede and signposted to the left off the main Pura Luhur Batukau road, this resort is set among rice paddies and coursing waterways. The eight rustic, beautifully furnished bungalows have thick slab timber floors and hot water. The restaurant (dishes 15,OOORp to 3 5,OOORp), surrounded by low, terraced red-rice fields and a bamboo
Until the 10th century, Al-Quseir was one of the most important exit points for pilgrims travelling to Mecca. Later it became an important entrepot for Indian spices destined for Europe. These days, its long history and sleepy present lend it a charm absent from Egypt's other Red Sea towns.
Mauritian cuisine is very similar across the island, a rich and delicious mix of Indian spices and local fresh seafood and fish prepared with strong influences from Chinese, French and African cuisine. The cuisine of Rodrigues is quite different, less spicy but with more fresh fruit and beans used as ingredients.
Not surprisingly, a particular emphasis on fish occurs in Kuwaiti cuisine. It is often baked or stewed with a particularly Kuwaiti blend of Indian spices, such as coriander, turmeric, red pepper and cardamom, but without the chilli hit. Parsley, onions and dill are used to stuff hammour orpomphrey, two white-fleshed fish, similar to cod, while pine nuts, cashews and almonds are added to the stuffing on special occasions. Late
Agencies around town arrange all-day 4WD Jungle Safaris (per person Rs 1500 S 5am-6pm), which cover over 40km of trails in jungle bordering the park. Tours include meals as well as a paddleboat trip. You can arrange elephant rides (per 30 min Rs 250) at Indian Spices ( 222868 Thekkady Rd).
Penny Savers Supermarket in Canaan, just outside of Crown Point, has all the basics - food staples like coffee and sugar, but also wonderful New Zealand cheese, Irish powdered milk (which rivals the taste of fresh milk, no matter where you're from), terrific Indian spices, a wide selection of beers, liquors and wines, and a few fresh fruits and vegetables. They also have lots of candy bars and some other home-away-from-home foods.
Where to go in Slovenia To feel better and healthier, you can go almost anywhere. Fifteen thermal health spas with certified status as natural health resorts comprise some of the most important and most well-known attractions of Slovenia. Slovenia's thermal spas boast a multiplicity of indoor and outdoor pools and a wide variety of massage, beauty, and recreation-relaxation programs. Natural healing elements such as mineral drinking water, thermal and mineral water for bathing, saltwater from the sea, soothing mud and peat compresses, aerosols, and beneficial climate conditions are complemented by first-class services in the form of massages, relaxation therapies, and numerous programs for beauty, slimming, and well-being along with simultaneous courses in healthy living. Everywhere you can choose among various types of comfortable accommodations from the best hotels to apartments and private rooms and in many places you can choose to stay at an excellent campground. Bathing in spring...
Canadian Kim Beddall, a marine mammal specialist since 1983 and the pioneer of the whale-watching industry in the Dominican Republic, has devoted herself to maintaining a healthy environment for the whales and a healthy living for the people of Samana. How many North Atlantic humpbacks come to these waters every year The estimated population is 10,000 to 12,000 and almost all these whales spend part of the winter in Dominican waters. During the peak months here from January to March, there are maybe 200 to 300 whales in the bay itself but they don't hang out in large groups, they're spread out and others are in transit.
If your health insurance does not cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider supplemental insurance. (Check the Travel Links section of the Lonely Planet website at www.lonelyplanet.com travel_links for more information.) Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures. (In many countries doctors expect payment in cash.) Really serious illness or injury may require evacuation, eg to Auckland make sure that your health insurance has provision for evacuation. Under these circumstances hospitals will accept direct payment from major international insurers but for all other health costs cash up-front is the usual requirement.
Most hotels and other accommodations in Sweden maintain contact with a nearby doctor who can be summoned quickly in case of illness. Municipal authorities supply emergency medical care and hotel staff can direct guests to local emergency centers or hospitals. Citizens from North America and other countries from outside the EEA countries must pay for the medical treatment. Make sure that you are covered by your health insurance and bring necessary documents on your trip.
Whether you're drinking in a bar or with a meal, you should always toast with the first drink (it's terrible manners not to). Clink glasses and say 'na zdraviUna zdravie ' (to your health). Before eating, you should wish your compatriots 'dobrou chuffdobri'i chuf (good appetite).
STAYING HEALTHY strongly advised because New Zealand's public and private medical hospital facilities are not free to visitors, except as a result of accident. Make sure your health insurance covers you when you're out of the country if it doesn't, get temporary medical coverage for the duration of your trip (see Travel Insurance, above). Be sure to carry your identification card in your wallet.
Despite their ubiquity and cultural eminence, drugs are strictly illegal and penalties are severe. Roadblocks and random searches of cars are common, undertaken by well-armed police in combat gear (professionalism is never guaranteed, and 'dash' - extortion - is often extracted to boost wages). If you do buy drugs, don't be stupid enough to try to take any out of the country. If you're caught, you will not be getting on your plane home, however small the amount. A night (or a lengthy sentence) in a crowded-to-bursting Jamaican lockup is bad for your health
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