Here’s How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals

Do you change your wardrobe with the season? I guess you do. Perhaps, you donate your old clothes of the passing-by season and buy new ones. But, do you do the same thing with your shoes and sandals also? If not, you’re missing the latest trends in footwears.

And, do you know what is trending in shoes and sandals this summer. Yeah, these are super comfortable and uber cool flip-flops. Besides these, there’s something even more unique has come up in the market in the range of summer shoes and accessories.

Recently, during a handicraft exhibition, I spotted something pretty amazing for my summer feet. And, without thinking for a second, I bought it. Can you guess what’s that? These are hand-made eco-friendly barefoot sandals.

Here's How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals, barefoot sandals, www.mariyamhasnain.com

From shoes to no shoes, barefoot sandals define the current craze of the season. With celebs sporting their open-toe shoes everywhere, going barefoot might be the next style statement, especially for those who love sunbathing and enjoying the summer heat on the beach like me.

As flip flops are the new fashion trend this summers, barefoot sandals seem to be the perfect beach wear this season. Be it beach wedding, poolside party, or any other occasion, you can either team them up with shoes or just go bare feet with these boho style sandals decorating the top of your feet.

The sandals are just perfect for any barefoot activity, for instance, yoga, dancing, pilates, sunbathing, hippie wedding or beach wedding. These hand-made fashion sandals are made up of 100% cotton yarn with decorative beads. The anklet sandals stretch to fit around your ankle and toe and beautifully complement your bare feet. These sandals are the perfect foot jewelry for summers and one size fits all, so you need not worry about the size if you order them online.

Go crazy this summer. Flaunt your style and oomph with your favorite pair of barefoot sandals.

~MH

20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture

Just in case you didn’t know, Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the Southeast Asia. People come here from different parts of the world eager to experience the “Complex Thai Charm” that they have only heard of before…  Something that has drawn them for a long time and then they get fascinated by the hospitality, beauty, and friendliness of this amazing exotic country. So much so that they keep coming back if not making the Land of Smiles their permanent abode some day. Besides the picturesque beaches, hospitality, and affordability, it’s the Thailand nightlife that attracts visitors from across the world.To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

Living in Thailand is an exotic dream for many westerners which they can live without even burning a hole in their pockets or breaking their banks.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a long stay in the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that can help you not just have a great time but also minimize the culture shock.

20 Interesting Facts about Siam, its people, and culture

  • In the Thai language, the country is named as Prathet Thai. The English meaning of the term Prathet Thai is the land of the free which exactly defines the origination and history of the country. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that had never been colonized by any of the European nation.
  • The highly practiced religion in Siam is Buddhism with 94.6% of the population following the teachings attributed to Lord Buddha.

Thailand Meditation

  • Thai is the national and widely spoken language of the region. Like Chinese and Vietnamese, Thai is also a very tonal language with 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
  • Millions of tourists visit the land of smile every year and their number approximates to around 16 million. Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations among people from developed countries across UK, US, and Europe.
  • Sex tourism was at its peak in the country during the 1960 and 70s when Vietnam War American troops were directed to R&R site, not attached to military bases.
  • The country was first time hit by the human immunodeficiency virus in 1984. Today, Thailand has the highest occurrences of AIDS cases than any other Asian country.
  • Child sex trafficking incidents are the common occurrence here, and the country has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.
  • Siam is known for its sexual tolerance and is a safe place for same-sex couples and transgenders – famous with a street name of ladyboys, seen commonly in the mainstream society.
  • Thais are humble, polite, and fun loving people, so raising your voice is completely unacceptable in Thai culture. One should never lose his or her cool in public. The best way is to avoid confrontation and let things go.
  • Thais always seem so happy and relaxed. Happiness is in their attitude and comes from within. This explains the hospitable and carefree nature of the land of smile.
  • Thai people are really obsessed with two things. The first is white skin and the second is taking selfies.
    20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
    Thai way of Greeting People
  • Thailand is a constitutional monarchy much like England where the King is considered to be the head of the country. Thai people are seriously sensitive about their king and can’t accept any rude behavior or remarks towards the dignity of their king.
  • Putting feet or stepping on Thai currency is considered equivalent to disrespecting the monarch because it carries the king’s image on it.
  • Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the country, and the penalty of the crime is as severe as death or life imprisonment if the accused is found guilty in the court of law.
  • The national and official symbol of Thailand is Garuda, a half man and half eagle, from the Indian epic Ramayana.
  • Thailand’s culture is highly influenced by China’s traditional and Indian religious values and teachings.
  • The country’s capital city Bangkok is the highly populated city of the country and stands atop the list of world’s most visited cities.
20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
Buddhist Monks Walking the Streets of Bangkok
  • Siam has always been the hotbed for world trade and had ancient business links to Asia, Middle East, and Europe. In the past, the ancient city of Ayutthaya was the most powerful city in terms of economic stability and international trade.
  • Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of orchids and the second largest exporter of rice.
  • Thailand’s tourism industry that suffered some minor setbacks after the recent bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok has started to pick up and the country hopes that it will bounce back.

As you can see Thailand is a whole new experience and is very different from visiting any South Asian country. For you who loves intrigue, awakening and a whole new world, I would recommend reading Camouflage: The Racing Romantic Suspense Set In Exotic Thailand.

***

Camouflage - Lost and Found, www.mariyamhasnain.comIf you are already smitten by Thai charms, You would love to read my new romantic suspense thriller Camouflage. The best part is I’m giving away first few chapters totally free. You don’t want to miss this amazing “Quick read with a fantastic blend of romance and intrigue” that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire time – Click here to get it now.

Camouflage is a story of Mark, a corporate executive, who migrates to Thailand in search of happiness, freedom, and most importantly to feel alive and ends up falling in love with his next-door neighbor, a Thai Girl, Sheina.

Rich in vivid description, full of intrigue, thrill and lots of passionate romance, Camouflage explores the truth hidden behind the glittering and wild nightlife of Thailand. The book sneaks into the darker areas of the country’s thriving sex industry, drug trafficking, and gang violence.

All in all this would be an edge of the seat entertaining read…assured!

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FREE BONUS TO LUCKY WINNERS

Grab your copy of Camouflage in any format and you are eligible to receive this surprise gift worldwide.

No, you’re not getting another book free but something that has a genuine connection to Thailand. So I am giving away 5 of these retro-style open Thai rings to 5 lucky winners every month.

Thai Vinatage Open Ring
5 Lucky Winners Will Get This Amazing Vintage Thai Ring Every Month.
Thai Open Ring[1]
Goes nicely with your style.
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5 Unique Indian Beverages that will make you swoon

I love traveling and ever since my marriage, I’ve been constantly hopping state after state.

First, Andhra Pradesh, then Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, and finally circling back to Karnataka.

Roaming across the Indian subcontinent tasting popular cuisines of the North to the little-known delicacies of the South, I often wondered what kind of beverages are made in the rustic kitchens of various Indian states.

And, to my surprise, my quest of knowing more about Indian beverages especially Indian home-made wines and beers opened an altogether different chapter of exploration.

There is a quite a number of beverages Indian people make at their homes. From Chang of Sikkim to the Kallu of Kochi, from the delicious thandai of Varanasi to the Rice Beer the Naga people make, Indian home-made beers and wines have their own unique tastes and ways of making.

My little research about Indian beverages yet again reminded me of the distinct and diverse cultures of Indian subcontinent. In this multicultural multiethnic country where each state and region have its language and cuisine, beverage making and drinking add more to the diversity of the nation. And, as their preparation methods and tastes differ from state to state, the rituals involved with wine or beer drinking are also quite peculiar and distinct to each region.

Indian beverages, mariyamhasnain, 5 Unique Indian Beverages that will make you swoon

Be it’s crushing the cashew apples or tapping the todi from the palms, the fermentations of the main raw produce or the traditions and cultures involved with drinking Indian homemade beers and wines, the Indan beverages boast the homely taste, ethnicity, and diversity. There’s an unsophisticated appeal to Indian wine and beer drinking, something that’s hard to find in the multitude of beverages served in the sophisticated bars and restaurants of all modern cities across the world.

  • Goan Feni: Goa is known for its white sand beaches, hospitality, and picturesque towns and villages. The one more thing that’s synonymous with Goa is Goan Feni. While cashew feni is made up of cashew apples, coconut feni is made by distilling the fermented toddy from the coconut palm. Being classified as country liquor, Goan feni is not allowed to be sold outside Goa, so if you want to taste the spirit of Goa, you have to visit this Western state of India.
  • South India’s Kallu: Also known as palm wine, Kallu is made and drank all across Southern India. Made typically by fermenting the toddy tapped from coconut and lala palms, Kallu is one of the mostly consumed Indian alcoholic drinks in all Southern states of the subcontinent. This traditional Indian drink is famous in the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. However, the sale of Kallu is currently banned in Tamil Nadu.
  • Sikkim’s Chaang: Chaang is the drink of Northeast India, popular in parts of Eastern Himalayas and typically prepared by Lepcha tribe of Sikkim. A relative of beer, this hot drink is typically sipped from a bamboo tumbler. The semi-fermented seeds of millets are stuffed in a bamboo barrel. Boiling water is then poured onto them. The drink is then consumed using a narrow-bore bamboo tube or can be poured into bamboo mugs before serving.
  • Zutho: Usually consumed by the Naga people in the rural terrains of Nagaland, Zutho is also called the rice beer. Known for its fruity smell, the drink is considered to be the Naga version of Japanese sake. The rice beer contains approximately 5% ethanol and is very subtle, natural, and unique in taste. There is a unique tradition that Nagas follow before tasting the beverage. Nagas wrestle in the mud before they have their drink. It’s a major part of their tradition.
  • Varanasi Bhang Thandai: Thandai is a North Indian cold drink made up of milk, saffron, sugar, cardamom, rose petals, almonds, and fennel seeds. Thandai is a famous drink of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. When whole milk and groundnuts mixture is mixed with a small amount of bhang (cannabis leaves and buds), it results into a mildly intoxicated milk beverage that is called bhang thandai. Bhang thandai is often consumed during Indian festivals of Holi and Shivratri.

In India, beverage drinking is associated with cultures and traditions of the Indian soil, typically in rural India. Indian indigenous tribes and communities are preserving the Indian heritage of wine making and drinking by passing the unique legacy from one generation to the other.

Indian home-made wines and beers are known for their natural taste and rusticity. Despite modern technological advancements, Indians still practice the old methods of wine making at home. This explains the very existence of age-old methods of wine making and drinking in the rustic kitchens of rural India.

I hope you like what you read. If you’re a country wine lover, please do leave a comment about your favorite beverage. I would love to know if you’ve ever witnessed the actual process of wine making or tasted the fresh brew. Share your experiences and suggestions in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Image: Kshitij

Goa – How to Have a Fun-Filled Romantic Holiday on the Beach

A couple of years ago we were in Goa. That was the first time when I was so close to the ocean. I got to spend a lot of time with the beautiful and alluring Arabian Sea, gazing at it sitting on the shore.

I enjoyed each and every moment of my time spent there. It’s such a beautiful and romantic place, and I think every couple should visit the sea city once in a lifetime.

There’s something so peculiar about the rustic towns and villages of the state. The Konkani culture, the flavor bursting coastal cuisine, tourists flooded bright and charming streets, roadside restaurants serving all kinds of mouthwatering delicacies, both Indian and continental are the main Goa tourist attractions that shouldn’t be missed, not if you’re living in or visiting India.

So, guys if you love traveling and exploring the new culture, food, and lifestyle, I bet you won’t regret. In fact, you would be amazed seeing people drunk with the sheer spirit of fun and loads and loads of it. It’s in the air.

Goa – Lover’s Paradise, the Best Holiday Destination

Though the union territory is a hub spot of all sorts of fun activities and a romantic holiday destination for tourists from across the world, if you’re visiting the place for the first time, you need to do your homework and check for hotels in Goa. There is quite a lot of information available on the Internet. You can browse through any Goa travel guide.  You can even google – Goa tourist places or Goa trip package or something like Goa sightseeing or Goa tourism hotels for more information about lodging and boarding.

It’s better you plan your holidays in advance and keep things easy. It’s good if you make a hotel reservation in advance if you’re planning a trip during the peak season, i.e., somewhere from November to January. There are many affordable and luxurious resorts in Goa. You can check their packages and deals and any complimentary offers like breakfast in bed or ferry tour before making any reservations.

Goa hotelsGoa tourism industry has seen a tremendous boom in the recent years because the city serves as an affordable yet luxurious holiday destination for backpackers, honeymoon couples, families, and folks looking for some water sports.

The climate of the sea city is a year-round temperate climate, and days get really hot during summer months of April and May, so better you plan accordingly and pack your baggage depending on the season.

Since the state is known for its picturesque white sand beaches, the best thing to do once you’re in the coastal city is to spend as much time as you can near the ocean, soaking in the sun.

In my opinion, the best month to visit the romantic hot spot is December when there’s a little chill in the sea breeze. The two benefits of visiting the city in December is that you can leisurely spend plenty of time on the beach without getting sunburned plus you can be a part of the festive activities of Christmas and New Year that bustle every year during the months of December and January.

I visited the tiny town of Varca during the month of December, just after Christmas. We celebrated New Year there. Though it’s a different thing that instead of partying hard all night, we preferred to go for a candlelit dinner.

A few memories of my days spent in the tiny coastal state of India are still fresh in my mind, especially those I spent along the coast. And, now since I’ve started writing a blog, there wouldn’t be any better place to share those cherished reminiscences with my friends. So, here goes the poem that really makes me nostalgic about my visit to lover’s paradise.

The sun is going down. The sea is shimmering brown

If there’s any light – Your eyes shine so bright.

The depth of the ocean is great. The waves try to communicate.

If there’s any sound – Your heartbeat profound.

I hear it amidst the murmuring, collapsing waves

The dancing waves, the singing waves.

I hear it amidst the chirps of the birds and insects

The chattering sparrows and the serenading crickets

Soon, The wind blows hard and the sky turns red

But, I stand still on the wet sand bed

The trees kiss each other. The moonlight spreads its milky glow

Oh! dear wind please blow slow

For I want to freeze the moments in my eyes as the sea’s song is sung,

A salty taste lingers on my tongue as my day at the sea is done

But, with you baby – I’m still undone.

By

Mariyam

Hope you like what you read. If you do, please Leave a reply. I love to hear from you. 🙂