Photo Of The Day: Find The Odd One Out

She’s pretty obvious. Striped shirt. Green pants. A stance that says, “Hey! Pay attention to me!”

This classic scene of monks outside a temple in Paro, Bhutan, is interrupted by the presence of a small, sassy little girl. Captured by Bangalore-based Flickr user Arun Bhat, the image is a powerful reminder of the modernity that is slowly seeping into Bhutan, a geopolitically isolated Central Asian nation surrounded by Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Do you have travel photos that juxtapose tradition and change? Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

Marriage Traditions Of Morocco’s Berber Tribes

Every fall the indigenous Berber people of northern Morocco gather in the mountain village of Imilchil, about four hours from Fez, for the traditional Imilchil Marriage Festival. While the dates shift based on the lunar calendar, the three-day event will take place this year September 23 to 25.

At the Imilchil Marriage Festival, youths from different tribes get the opportunity to meet potential spouses. Hosted by the Ait Hdiddou tribe, families from neighboring villages and their children of marrying age will meet to socialize around traditional rituals including singing, storytelling and dancing. Twenty-five thousand people participate in the festival, which includes an engagement ceremony followed by up to 40 marriages that take place around the tomb of a patron saint.

The reason the Imilchil Marriage Festival came to be is an interesting but sad story. Two young lovers from enemy Berber tribes killed themselves after their families prevented them from marrying because inter-tribal marriage was forbidden. Following this tragedy, the families granted freedom of choice to their children to marry whom they choose.

If you’re interested in attending yourself, you can fly to Casablanca and take a connecting flight to Fez. From there, you’ll take a four-hour drive to Imilchil. Sarah Discoveries and Journey Beyond Travel also offer tours.

For a more visual idea of the festival, check out the video above.

Photo Of The Day: Locks Of Love

Today’s Photo of the Day was taken on Paris‘ Pont des Arts bridge, where it is tradition to write your name and your lover’s on a padlock and attach it to the railing to symbolize your unbreakable bond. It’s a tradition popular all over the world, from Florence to Taiwan (check out Gadling’s gallery from Cologne, Germany. Over the years, many cities have tried to remove the locks or limit new additions, but true love prevails and it remains a fun way to leave a symbol of your beloved. Thanks to Flickr’s Luke Robinson for the photo, we hope some of that lovey doveyness followed you home from France!

Seen any sweet traditions on your travels? Add your photos to the Gadling Flickr pool for our Photo of the Day.

Tranquil travel hits Bali as the entire island falls silent during Nyepi

While many cultures around the world celebrate their New Year with fireworks, parades, and loud parties, the island of Bali in Indonesia takes a different approach. In fact, travelers looking to enjoy some peace and quiet in a beautiful setting should consider taking a trip to the island on March 23 to take part in the Balinese New Year, or Nyepi, “Day of Silence”.

During Nyepi, the entire island of Bali falls silent in an effort to cleanse and purify. In fact, shops aren’t allowed to open, vehicles and machinery may not be used, work is forbidden, electricity must remain off, and even the Bali airport closes down.

Just because the island falls silent, however, does not mean you shouldn’t visit. In fact, an array of cultural activities and package deals are offered in honor of Nyepi, making it the perfect time to visit Bali.

AYANA Resort and Spa

For those who would like to experience Nyepi for themselves, the luxury, cliff-top AYANA Resort and Spa allows guests to stay on the property and continue to use the restaurants, spa, and other facilities during the event as long as noise is kept to a minimum. They also take part in the festivities that lead up to the day of silence, including creating a giant paper mache figure called ogoh-ogoh (shown above). On the night before Nyepi, locals from all over the island come out to show off their own ogoh-ogohs, which tend to resemble skeletons and monsters, while live bands play in the background. It is believed that those taking part in this cultural ceremony confront their own negativity and purge it from their souls.

Rates start at $239 per night plus taxes and gratuities. Email or click here to book. The Radiant Hotel and Spa

The Radiant Hotel and Spa is a 5-star boutique hotel that sits on 50-acres of pools, palm trees, tropical gardens, and magnificent fountains. In honor of the Balinese New Year, the hotel is offering a 3 day/2 night Nyepi Package which includes two nights in a Superior room, daily breakfast for two, an evening at the buffet, unlimited soft drinks, a 45-minute foot and shoulder massage, and 10% off beverages. And to help you enjoy the tranquility a little more, you can add-on one of their relaxing spa packages, like a 30-minute Jacuzzi soak followed by a 70-minute full-body natural oil massage, shower, and snack, or a combination that includes a sauna session, massage, body scrub, and facial.

Package rates start at $154 plus taxes and gratuities for the dates of March 22-24. E-mail or click here to book.

Conrad Bali

This contemporary designed, beachfront property is all about creating unique and worthwhile experiences for their guests, from cooking classes to brunches on the beach to tennis lessons. For Nyepi, the Conrad Bali is helping guests cleanse their souls by hosting an array of holistic and healing activities, like yoga and meditation. They are also keeping their spa open so that guests can enjoy treatments like a tea-infused aromatherapy bath followed by a marine mud and sea salt body wrap, or a full-body massage and natural yogurt body mask.

Rates start at $168 per night plus taxes and gratuities. Click here to book.

Sun Boutique Hotel

The Sun Boutique Hotel is a modern hotel with enjoyable features like spacious rooms, soothing wall art, a delicious bistro, and a beautiful rooftop garden. In honor of Nyepi, they are featuring a Sun Nyepi Package which includes a welcome drink, daily buffet breakfast for two, daily tropical fruit basket, two water bottles each day, coffee and tea, and lunch and dinner for two on March 23.

Package rates start at about $174 for a standard room. E-mail or click here to book.


If you love being surrounded by nature in a peaceful setting, this is your perfect hotel. From March 22-March 24, Komaneka will be offering a Nyepi Package, which includes two nights in a Bisma Suite room, a 60-minute Balinese massage, two lunches and dinners, welcome drink, daily breakfast and afternoon tea, daily en-suite cookies, fruits, and flowers, daily entrance and return transfer to Neka Art Museum, free mineral water each day, free activities like cultural offerings, dance lessons, and wood carving, and free shuttle service to and from central Ubud.

Package rates vary depending on when you book. E-mail or click here to book.

Ramazan pide: a Turkish tradition

We’re halfway through the month of Ramadan (called Ramazan in Turkish), an important time for religious Muslims but also a time of many celebrations. Turkey is a largely secular country, thanks to founder Ataturk, who brought the country out of the Ottoman Empire into the modern world 90 years ago, and many Turks do not observe the fasting but do enjoy many of the traditions associated with Ramazan. Each day’s sunrise-to-sunset fast is broken with the iftar meal, a feast anyone can enjoy and typically started with consuming a few dates.

In Turkey, a large flat loaf of Ramazan pide bread is a specialty only made during this month and a must for any iftar. Last year, during my first Ramazan in Istanbul, I tried a few supermarket Ramazan pides and was mostly underwhelmed, it tastes similar to a pizza crust. This year I got wise and joined the many locals standing in line for a fresh hot pide and now I’m hooked. Bakeries all over the city make pides in the afternoon and evening to be fresh for sunset call-to-prayer and it’s one time you want to show up at a bakery at the end of the day. Look for a bakery with the longest line, get your lira ready (they generally cost around 1.50 TL or $1 USD), and grab a piping hot loaf wrapped in a paper sleeve. Pides are usually covered in sesame seeds and make a great sandwich base with cheese or spread with tahini and Nutella, that is if you can wait that long. Many Turks tear into their pide on the way home from the bakery, while it’s still hot and crusty from the oven. Enjoy them while you can, Ramazan will be over August 29, when the national bayram holidays begin and pides disappear until next year.