UAE & India 2015
- Make Tomorrow Today, Please
- Hello Tomorrow
- Top of the World
- Feasting Like Camel Nomads
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- Saadiyat Rhymes with India
- Fifty Shades of Brown
- Yes They Do!
- The End Is A New Beginning
- UAE & India Extras
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi was inconveniently located on Sadiyaat Island for accessing any of the tourist sites that we visited, but it did have a few beautiful pools and a fantastic beach, which we wanted to take advantage of. Considering the Middle Eastern summer heat, we asked the mighty Internet for the coolest time of the day. Next, we set the alarm clock for 5am.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi’s iconic infinity / reflection pool.
At about five minutes after sunrise, the entire beach was ours! The temperature was also surprisingly bearable.
Can you spot the third wheel in this picture?
The hotel in the distance.
Please don’t mind us feeding children leftover McDonald’s fries first thing in the morning.
Leaving our footprint on the beautiful Sadiyaat Beach.
After the nice stroll, we headed inside for breakfast. Hong raved about how the breakfast buffet here was the best in the world. Yes it was indeed, and it even surpassed what we had at Radisson Blu Downtown Dubai. I would consider it within expectation, though. The price tag was equivalent to a top-tier Las Vegas dinner buffet!
This very nice ambiance was no match to our fussy kids when it came to setting the tone for the enjoyment of our breakfast.
Perhaps five-star hotel patrons were expected to have the sophistication to understand the purpose of this honeycomb. I was not one of them. It just looked cool.
After the meal, we were on the run again. This time, we took a car back to DXB in order to fly to our final destination.
Xuan had a good nap during this desert trip. Ting continuously did her back flips.
There wasn’t much to see in the desert, other than the occasional mosques.
Having arrived at the airport with plenty of time left, we took advantage of our Priority Pass memberships and chilled at one of the Marhaba Lounges. The Indian food buffet and the unrestricted access to alcohol was awesome.
DXB was far inferior to the likes of SIN, ICN, and HKG in terms of overall quality, but Emirates had a very nice touch here with its installation of stroller stations. It made the hike through the long terminal not only bearable for parents, but also enjoyable.
These were scattered from the airport entrance all the way to the gates.
The strollers were MacLaren, a premium brand for baby gears.
And, from there, we headed to Hyderabad, India.
This might sound weird: my fondness of India is mainly attributable to a white guy in rural Virginia. John “the Plaid Avenger” Boyer, the most popular professor at Virginia Tech, introduced me to both Indian food (India Garden, the only of its kind in Blacksburg) and movies (Mission Kashmir and Monsoon Wedding). Over the years, both grew on me. Without that geography class in the giant auditorium, there would have been far less vindaloo and
Bollywood Tollywood flicks in my life.
On one hand, India didn’t have the best reputation for hygiene or personal safety. On the flight from DXB, we already got a glimpse of how some people were used to a different living standard – one dude entered the lavatory bare foot, and then left with water splashed all over his shirt. On the other hand, however, news media and the Internet tend to exaggerate the negativities from foreign places, and those negativities tend to skew our perception. It would be ignorant to judge 1.3 billion people based on a couple of sensational stories. It is, after all, a country with incredible history, diversity, and an unparalleled passion for colors, music, and spices.
With modestly cautionary paranoia, we landed in HYD and could not wait for the morning to arrive.
Taj Deccan, the hotel where Dr. J’s wedding was about to take place.