The Lady Boys of Thailand

The Lady Boys of Thailand are sure to surprise you with their hot looks and unmatched talent. They give the beauty queens a run for their money.

They have flawless skin, a perfect figure, luscious lips, silky hair, long legs, beautiful gait, melodious voice, and everything else a woman would die for and a man would ever desire. These are the Lady Boys of Thailand.
When I was holidaying in Pattaya – Thailand, I was thrilled about my visit to the Alcazar Show, the second biggest cabaret in the world after Moulin Rouge. Little did I know that the gorgeous women on stage, the women with their perfect assets and awesome figures, the women whom the men were going gaga about, were actually men; in fact they are the famous Lady Boys of Thailand.

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The men were just going crazy to pose with these girls. For a few hundred Baht, you get a dream picture with these ladies.

Costume Drama: Apart from the ladyboys, the Alcazar Show is a visual treat, with music and voices to match, the performances are very thrilling, coupled with graceful dance steps and synchronized formations.

The stage is a riot of colors and the audiences is in for a thrill with the lighting and effects on offer. There are stories to tell and emotions are stirred with the ballets. The cost of the show pales in comparison to the entertainment provided.

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Ladyboys as they are called have a different life altogether. Theirs is a life of hardship, brickbats, struggle and survival. Behind those entertaining eyes and a life of glamour there is a lot of melancholy, which I shall leave for another day
This article has been republished here from my earlier one at triond.

Cool Places to Chill Out in Hot UAE

Discover the outdoors of the United Arab Emirates, where there is more than the desert, beaches and shopping. It is an adventurer's delight.

As the mercury soars in the UAE (united arab emirates), it is time to discover some cool getaways and relax in the untamed outdoors of the country. The best way to do this is to escape to the Wadis that are tucked away from the hustle bustle of the cities.

Wadis, as they are called in Arabic are dry riverbeds, but some of them contain a copious amount of water all year through, making them natural pools to indulge in the hot summer season. These pools are surrounded by mountains giving a fortress like feeling. Here is a list of some of the best Wadis to chill out, during this time of the year.

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Wadi Wurayah, Fujairah
At about a distance of 170km from Dubai is the beautiful Emirate of Fujairah. It is well known for its natural beauty, beaches, and wild life. Here lies the 130 sq. km water body of Wadi Wurayah, nestled in between the protected mountain range of the Hajjar Mountains. One can choose to relax or swim near the waterfall at the beginning of the Wadi or at the various large and quiet pools within the mountain range.  Carrying swim gear and wearing trekking shoes is advised. A vehicle with a four wheel drive is a must during this trip, as off-roading is involved. The visitors can also choose from a range of hotels, spas and resorts to stay in during their visit.

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Wadis of Hatta
Located at the border between Dubai, UAE and Oman, the Wadis of the Hatta Mountains are stunning and can be easily accessed. There are various water bodies here, which can be ideal picnic or camping spots for the whole family. During summer especially, these pools which are below a waterfall can be easily accessed by foot. To get here is easy by road from Dubai at about 120 km distance. Ample number of road signs and directions can be found on the way.
Wadi Mudbah, Al Ain

The Arabian Tahr, caught on camera at wadi wurayah, Image credit
Towards the east of UAE bordering Oman is the Emirate of Al Ain, home to another of nature's beauty, the Wadi Mudbah. The view from the top of the river bed offers some good shots for the camera. The greenery around this place with its waterfall, streams and pools make it an ideal location for a weekend outing. Camping, barbequing and exploring the place by foot are the must do activities around here.
These are few of the many less explored places in the UAE where the sun can't spoil the fun. The wadis offer adventure and excitement for friends and families in the outdoors during the summer months.

My Iran Experience

Iran! Well, the name can evoke mixed thoughts on one's mind. I too had some apprehensions about visiting Iran. 'Is it a place for tourists?' was one of my many concerns.

But finally after all the discussions and reading up, we started for our trip to, Shiraz' the cultural capital of Iran. We came across a few Iranians in the Sharjah airport (UAE) and they gave us a rough idea on what to expect there. The most important thing while travelling to Iran is women must cover their head with a scarf at all times, except in the privacy of your own home/hotel room. Also sleeveless, short sleeves, short tops, shorts, etc are strictly not allowed. Both men and women are supposed to be fully covered.

This was ok by me, I picked up some full length trousers, Jeans and long & full sleeves tops along with a scarf for the trip. For my 1yr old we carried along Gerber, cerelac, and other baby foods. This proved to be a good decision as we did not find stores in Shiraz selling the same. Fruits and vegetables are found in plenty here.

We came across many fast food joints selling pizzas and burgers. But we preferred digging into the local Iranian Cuisine. For chicken and meat eaters there is quite a lot of choice, the tandoori delights are a must try. But for vegetarians like me it can be a bit tough. Adas, made of lentil was a good vegetarian choice and of course the Iranian breads are very soft and delectable. The pilaf rice or saffron rice is also available everywhere. 'Faluda' is another must try. There is a place serving faluda exclusively in front of the 'argh khan fort' and is open till late in the night.

While waiting for my faluda in front of the 'argh khan fort' I was approached by some friendly Iranian female students, studying at the Shiraz university of technology. What I found good to see, is both men and women are free to roam around with each other and there seemed to be no restrictions as such, except for the clothing bit. The students chatted with me about where I came from and how we were liking Iran. They said their byes later with a 'welcome to Iran, have a good trip' line. Later I realised that most locals you come across are so friendly and almost all of them say 'welcome to Iran' and other niceties.

The Iranian people are very found of poetry and have a keen interest in the fine arts. Iranian movies have always found critical aclaim around the world. At the Hussain Tomb (a very famous Iranian poet/philosopher), one can witness the Iranian people's love for poetry. This place is peaceful and a source of inspiration for many.

For shopoholics, the vakil or wakeel market is an ideal place to be. It is a huge market in typical souq style with lanes and bylanes of shops selling all kinds of traditional Iranian things. The persian carpets and rugs are a riot of colours and a delight to own. The prices were also quite cheap I must say. Lot of collectables of persepolis (the ancient historic city) are available as well. And while here it is a good idea to pick up some ceramic Iranian art. Buying some local dresses was on my list too. Vakil market is huge and requires more than a day to explore. Friday is a holiday.

A visit to Shiraz Iran is not complete without visiting the ancient city of persepolis, plenty of history and a long tradition of tourism can be seen here. It is 70km away from Shiraz. This place attracts both foreigners and locals in equal numbers. People from all over Iran come to visit Shiraz, the city of gardens and culture. I was amused to find over 200 tents put up in parks and other such places, this is the typical way in which most local visitors prefer to stay as it saves up on hotel rents.

Language is not a problem here. Most can manage english and the guides especially are good at explaining things in English. The tourism companies employ guides who are educated and trained in this field. Even french speaking guides are available on request. In fact I heard a local Iranian friend say that 'merci' and merci beaucoup' are persian words :-)

There are many other places of interest in shiraz, but I have time only to talk about the above for now. Overall Shiraz Iran was a good experience, I learnt so much about this beautiful country.