J&A

Our Wedding

Since we love to travel and explore the world, we thought that the best way to celebrate this milestone in our lives would be to take our friends and family with us. And with family spread out in multiple locations, we know everyone cannot join us, so we aim to bring the party to you. Our wedding is designed to bring together, globalize, and modernize the traditional, multi-part celebrations familiar to the Indian, Chinese, and American cultures in a way that reflects our own lives and experiences.

As is traditional, we will celebrate certain pre-wedding traditions from Chinese and Indian culture (and, in some cases, both) with our own modern twist as is customary at the home of the bride, Hong Kong. These traditions include the "Baraat" (the groom's procession to the home of the bride in both Indian and Chinese traditions) and the Chinese Tea Ceremony.

We chose Bagan as the main location for our wedding because it was the first place that we traveled to together, and we fell in love with it as we fell in love with each other. For us, Myanmar represents a sense of adventure, spirituality, and hope for a better future, and it is symbolically nestled between China and India. While the logistics of organizing a wedding in Bagan have proven to be extremely challenging, we persevered (we think).

After the wedding, we will travel to Andhra Pradesh where the family of the groom will welcome the couple through games, a Satyanarayana Puja, and a reception.

How We Met

Jasmine and Ashwin first met on the Fourth of July in 2012 at a rooftop barbeque celebrating America’s Independence Day. According to Ashwin, it was love at first sight. According to Jasmine, Ashwin had crashed the Yale barbecue but made at least a bit of an impression. Thus began a courtship and friendship based on a shared love for travel, adventure, Game of Thrones, and most importantly, a shared worldview.

After six months of dinners and gatherings together as “friends,” Jasmine decided the time was right on December 31, 2012 to make the relationship official. They were at a combined New Year’s Eve party they threw for their close friend Connie, at a Sanlitun venue filled to the brim with 300 gold and silver helium balloons that Ashwin procured from a street seller. Five years later to the day, they will celebrate again, this time their lifelong commitment to each other, with close family and friends gathered from around the world.

The Proposal

Ashwin proposed to Jasmine at sunset on September 15, 2016 -- the date of the Mid-Autumn Festival -- on a secluded section of the Great Wall of China. Jasmine did not suspect anything as they began a weekend retreat near the Wall. As they checked in on September 14, the hotel handed them an envelope inviting them to a complimentary photo shoot on the Wall the next evening. Luckily, they mused, they were given the sunset time slot.

Meanwhile, our friends were demonstrating as always their incredible selflessness and creativity. Yan was leading a fierce operation to pull together all of the logistics for the proposal while Mikael was pulling out all the stops to actualize a deeply meaningful culinary experience.

Jasmine and Ashwin spent the 15th leisurely strolling around the campus of Commune by the Wall in beautiful weather, taking breaks for meals and a visit to the spa. As they enjoyed themselves, their friends were working furiously to set things up (with plenty of minor crises to overcome). Every aspect was epic, from Mikael climbing the wall and setting up with his broken foot to Freddie running laps up and down the mountain to transport equipment. Jasmine and Ashwin’s leisure was interrupted periodically when Ashwin had to answer “urgent work emails” during which he coordinated with the team and stalled Jasmine to avoid close calls with friends who had arrived to set up.

As sunset approached, Jasmine and Ashwin made their way up to the Great Wall for the “complimentary photo shoot.” When they arrived, they were greeted by a photographer and videographer who took photos as expected. Afterwards, they ascended a tower on the wall that was lined with candles, flowers, and nine bottles, each containing a message. Naturally, Jasmine did not realize that this was a proposal until the sixth bottled message. After the ninth message, Jasmine turned to Ashwin and he got down one knee to propose to her. After carefully considering the consequences, Jasmine said yes.

Jasmine and Ashwin watched the sunset together and were later joined by their friends and, surprising even Ashwin, their families who had flown all the way to Beijing from the US and Hong Kong. The rest of the evening consisted of an amazing dinner organized by Mikael, with each drink and each dish from or representing a different milestone in their relationship. Jasmine and Ashwin then spent the rest of their first weekend as an engaged couple enjoying Beijing with their families and friends.

HONG KONG

DECEMBER 28, 2017
Baraat, Tea Ceremony, and Celebration

(Open to immediate family, wedding party, and Hong Kong family and friends)

BAGAN, MYANMAR

DECEMBER 30-31, 2017
Upanayanam, Wedding, and New Year Eve's Festivities

HYDERABAD, INDIA

JANUARY 6-7, 2018
Welcoming the Couple, Puja, and Reception

HONG KONG

DECEMBER 28, 2017
BARAAT, TEA CEREMONY, AND CELEBRATION

Baraat (3 PM)
Tsim Sha Tsui Pier
*Meet at the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier Clock Tower at 2:30 PM

Tea Ceremony & Photos (5 PM)
Ritz Carlton Sky100
One Austin Road West

Banquet Dinner (6:30 PM)
Ritz Carlton Sky100
One Austin Road West

Dress Code: Cocktail (colors and cultural attire encouraged)

(Open to immediate family, wedding party, and Hong Kong family and friends)

The festivities will begin with an adaptation of the baraat procession, during which the groom and his entourage (having picked up the bride from her home, after overcoming challenges and tests set out by her bridesmaids) will travel in style to Sky100. Guests who wish to join the bride and groom are invited to come along for the baraat, which will take place on a boat in the Hong Kong harbor.

At Sky100, the bride and groom will serve tea to their family members in a Chinese tea ceremony. The ceremony will be followed by a banquet dinner, celebrations, and merriment.

About Hong Kong

Hong Kong (香港, meaning Fragrant Harbour) is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. It's a place with multiple personalities as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and having been under British colonisation. Today, the former British colony is a major tourism destination for China's increasingly affluent mainland population. It's an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world's cities. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from places as diverse as Vietnam and Vancouver and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia's World City. (Wikitravel)

Travel

Hong Kong's international airport code is HKG. It is a major international airport and probably the easiest way to get in. Alternatively, guests may consider flying into Shenzhen, China (or, further, Guangzhou) and then taking a bus or train to Hong Kong. Note that traveling via China would require a transit visa for most travelers.

If you need assistance with international travel arrangements, please feel free to reach out to Loulu Lima from Book Here Give Here, who is serving as the overall travel coordinator for our wedding.

Accommodations

There is a range of hotel and hostel options in Hong Kong, an easy city to get around via subway and other public transportation. For those who would like to stay close to the venue, Ritz Carlton and W Hotel are excellent luxury options. Jasmine's family lives in Kowloon Tong. Ashwin, his family, and some of the the wedding party will stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mongkok, which is conveniently located in a bustling neighborhood with access to great local food and sights. Feel free to also reach out to Loulu for assistance with accommodation.

Visa

Most tourists (from over 160 countries) do not require a visa to visit Hong Kong. USA citizens, Canadians, and most European nationals may enter for 90 days without a visa. Indian nationals will need to apply for and successfully complete an online pre-arrival registration before they can enter Hong Kong visa-free (for up to 14 days). Details of Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals can be found at the Immigration Department's website: http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/pre-arrival_registration_for_indian_nationals.html

Note that although Hong Kong is a part of China, as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), it has its own entry regulations. This means the normal Chinese visa does not work for Hong Kong and vice versa, and you may not be able to enter mainland China from Hong Kong without the proper Chinese visa. Chinese passport holders will need to obtain an “Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao.”

For more information about the visa requirements by country, click on the link below.

Eat/Drink/Play

Eats

Breafast/Brunch
- Yum Cha: dimsum so cute you almost don't want to eat it. yummy, contemporary take
- Tim Ho Won: baked bbq buns = michelin star. order takeout and eat from the roof of IFC (avoid the roof on Sundays. it will be packed with helpers on their day off)
- Australia Dairy Company: best scrambled eggs ever! complete the meal with a steamed egg white dessert. super local, no frills and hurried/rude service (you better know what to order before you sit down)
- Lung King Heen: 3 michelin star dim sum, but must book in advance!
- Fook Lam Moon: dimsum, Cantonese cuisine
- Lin Heung Kui: another great dimsum spot
- Catch on Catchick: Aussie-style, hearty brunch fare. Mama Malouf next door is also amazing for Lebanese food

Dinner
-ChaChaWan: northern Thai food that tastes even better than what you can find in Chiangmai. you can't go wrong with anything from the menu
-22 ships: inventive tapas that are as much a delight to eat as they are to behold. don't leave without trying the suckling pig, bone marrow, or dessert. the wait can be long (up to 2 hours) if you don't get there by opening time, 6pm. can grab a drink at the Pawn or hop over to sister restaurant Ham & Sherry for more traditional fare that's equally good
-Deng G / Qi-House of Sichuan: both solid places for sichuan food
-TokyoLima: japanese and peruvian fusion. delicious ceviches
-Ho Lee Fook: best for contemp Chinese. must order the wagyu short ribs
-Fu Lu Shou: speakeasy restaurant with al fresco dining. chinese dishes catering to western taste
-La Vache!: Steakhouse

Other Hong Kong Specialities

Wonton Noodles
-Mak’s Noodles: 77 Wellington St, Central
-Tsim Chai Kee:  98 Wellington St, Central


Beef noodles
-Kau Kee: 3 Gough St, Central
-Sister Wah: G/F, 13A Electric Road, Tin Hau 


Egg Tart
-Hoover Cake Shop: 136 Nga Tsin Wai Rd, Kowloon City


Cha Can Teng (Teahouse)
-Capital Café
- Honolulu Coffee Shop

Coffee
- Elephant Grounds
- Fuel Espresso
- Knockbox
- Coffee Academics - quiet cafe, good for working

Drinks

Foxglove: speakeasy with live jazz
Stockton: fantastic cocktail spot
Origin/Pingpong Ginoteria: awesome bars that specialize in gin
Brickhouse: really good margaritas and other Mexican drinks/food

Activities/Sights

Usual suspects: Victoria Peak, Star Ferry, Big Buddha

Hikes
- Stanley: grab some German beer at the Murray House to enjoy an awesome ocean vista. can be the ending spot for a hike from Violet Hill to Tai Tam (easy) /Twin Peaks (challenging)
- Saikung: hiking MacLehose trail (reservoir, beaches, waterfall cliff diving) starting from saiwan pavilion and ending at ham tin wan (second beach), where you can take a speedboat back to town. There, you can have a seafood feast from tanks of options
- Mui Wo to Pui O: hiking that takes you to a beach with Cali vibes. can dine at Mavericks as you watch the sunset
- Lion Rock: convenient hike in Kowloon of a local iconic moutain

Islands
- Cheung Chau, Lamma Island (half or full day trip)

Others
- Ham tasting: tucked into a corner in Sheungwan, best iberico ham imported from Spain. Pair with a bottle of Cava
- Afternoon tea: Peninsula is the go-to spot for tourists, but there is usually a ridiculous line. Good alternatives include Cafe 103 at Ritz Carlton for views from the 103rd floor, Four Seasons, and Upper House.
- Picnic at IFC roof or Tamar Park: there is a Citysuper (Wholefoods equivalent) to buy cheese and other essentials inside IFC/Times Square
- Chi Lin nunnery: beautifully landscaped gardens with bonsai trees and temples. very serene and perfect for strolling
- Hong Kong Park: city park
- Tamar Park: great views from Admiralty across to TST

BAGAN, MYANMAR

DECEMBER 31, 2017
WEDDING AND NEW YEARS FESTIVITIES

December 30: Upanayanam [Groom's Thread Tying Ceremony] (10:30am) & Welcome Drinks (8:30pm)
December 31: Wedding Ceremony, Reception Dinner, and New Year's Eve Festivities (3:30pm until late)
January 1: Morning-After Brunch (11am)
January 2: Send-off Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
January 2-5: Unwinding at Inle Lake

Dress Code: Cocktail for Ceremony, Reception, and New Year's Eve Festivities
Casual for other events

*Please note that our wedding events take place outdoors, so choose your footware accordingly! Bagan is a conservative place, so we encourage you to cover up your shoulders, knees, and front chest, or bring a shawl or scarf.*

We chose Bagan as the main location for our wedding because it was the first place that we traveled to together, and we fell in love with it as we fell in love with each other. For us, Myanmar represents a sense of adventure, spirituality, and hope for a better future, and it is symbolically nestled between China and India.

Our wedding will take place this New Year’s Eve (December 31), exactly five years from the day we started our journey together as a couple. We will conduct the ceremony in a unique location amongst the temples within Bagan’s archaeological zone. After that, we will have a formal dinner and then celebrate the arrival of 2018 together. Each of these three parts will take place in a separate location,
with transportation between locations provided.

We encourage friends and family to arrive on the evening of December 29 so they can settle in, explore, and participate in our pre-wedding activity/gathering on December 30. We will also be holding a Hindu Upanayanam ceremony at one of Bagan's only remaining Hindu temples on the morning of December 30.

All are also welcome to join Jasmine and Ashwin for a send-off sunrise hot air balloon ride on the morning of January 2. *Hot air balloon spots are limited, so please let us know ASAP if you would like to book a spot. See more information about ballooning over Bagan below.*

Following these events, the newly married couple will spend a few days unwinding and relaxing at Inle Lake (January 2-5) before they head to India. All are welcome to join.

Note that upon arrival, all guests will need to pay a US$25 entrance fee for the archaeological zone. This can be done at the Bagan airport or through EXO Travel if you are booking through them (see below). We will have more information on the events and logistics as the events draw nearer.

About Bagan

The town of Bagan is in central Myanmar (Burma). It is situated on the left bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and approximately 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Mandalay. It contains ancient Buddhist shrines that have been restored and redecorated and are in current use. Ruins of other shrines and pagodas cover a wide area, and create a beautiful visual backdrop.

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.

TIME SENSITIVE: Ballooning (January 2 Send-Off Sunrise Ballooning, Other Dates)

In Bagan, balloon rides offer a magical way to experience the panoramic views of the temples and pagoda landscape. We are working to organize a send-off balloon ride at sunrise on January 2.

If you are interested in booking a balloon flight on January 2, please click the button below and fill out the form BY OCTOBER 18 to secure the lowest available rates. You should also indicate interest in balloons in your RSVP.

The price for balloons on January 2 is US$315-400 per person. You can learn more about the ballooning experience by visiting the Balloons Over Bagan website linked to below. Note that we may use other companies, so their website is for reference purposes only.

If you would like to learn more about balloon options and pricing on another date, feel free to contact EXO Travel (myomyatthu@exotravel.com). More information about EXO Travel can be found in the Travel Assistance section below.

Accommodations

BAGAN LODGE HOTEL
(4 Stars; Jasmine and Ashwin will stay at this hotel)

The Bagan Lodge Hotel is a fairly simple but comfortable hotel located close to the wedding venue. It is also close to the Amata Garden Resort Bagan mentioned below. Jasmine, Ashwin, and their families will be staying at this hotel, and would love for you to join them there!

To book a room at Bagan Lodge Hotel, please contact:
Ms. Myo (EXO Travel)
Email: myomyatthu@exotravel.com
Tour Code: YGMI146652

$198 per night

AMATA GARDEN RESORT BAGAN
(4 Stars)

This is a brand new hotel that is currently under construction and will open in November, just in time for our wedding. It is located very close to the hotel where Jasmine and Ashwin will be staying. We have secured a good rate for a limited number of rooms at Amata. Unfortunately, the new property is not yet listed on the group's website, so the link below will send you to a temporary listing for the hotel on Booking.com which includes some renderings of the planned hotel.

To book a room at the Amata Hotel, please contact:
Thet Mar
Tel :+95 1 657689 ,+95 9 73242536
Email: sales@amataresort.com

$100 per night

KUMUDARA HOTEL
(Guesthouse)

Kumudara is the cozy, low-cost hotel that Jasmine and Ashwin stayed at (together with Sumanth and Connie) when they first visited Bagan in January 2013. It is located in the archaeological zone, giving it great access by bike or even foot to Bagan's most famous landmarks. There are even small pagodas on or near the property. It's nothing fancy, but it does the job (there is no official rating for this hotel, as far as we are aware).

To book a room at Kumudara Hotel, please contact:
Ms. Myo (EXO Travel)
Email: myomyatthu@exotravel.com
Tour Code: YGMI146652

$60 - $85 per night

AUREUM PALACE
(5 Stars)

This is definitely the fanciest hotel in Bagan. It also has beautiful views of the temples from its tower, though the tower is frankly an eyesore for everyone not standing on it.

To book a room at the Aureum Palace, please contact:
Jamie Aung
Tel: +95 9 762 026 394
Email: jamie.aung@htoohospitality.com

$180 - $950 per night

Unwinding at Inle Lake

JANUARY 2-5

Following the events in Bagan, Jasmine and Ashwin will travel to Inle Lake to relax and unwind. If you are available, feel free to join! The couple will be taking a hiatus from planning things during this time, so brownie points to anyone who wants to lead a group outing. There are a number of fun activities to do at Inle Lake, such as boat tours, hiking, cycling, visiting local markets and wineries, taking a cooking class, etc.

EXO Travel (see Travel Information page for more information) is coordinating this excursion. Please contact Ms. Myo (myomyatthu@exotravel.com) if you would like to join us on our flights, transfer to Inle Lake (~1 hour from airport), and/or hotel.

Accommodations: Sanctum Inle Resort
(Jasmine and Ashwin will stay at this hotel)

Jasmine and Ashwin plan to stay at the Sanctum Inle Resort during the visit to Inle, and welcome friends to join them there or nearby. Contact Ms. Myo at EXO Travel to book your rooms here.

Accommodations: Inle Resort

For alternative accommodation options, we recommend Inle Resort, which is ~7 min drive away from Sanctum Inle Resort, where Jasmine and Ashwin are staying.

Other Accommodations

There are also more budget options both by Inle Lake and in the city of Nyaungshwe, which is around 25 minutes from the lake. All hotels should be able to reserve transportation to/from the lake. Feel free to contact Ms. Myo at EXO Travel for assistance.

Travel Assistance

DOMESTIC TRAVEL (EXO TRAVEL)

EXO Travel is a travel agency with locations across east and southeast Asia. They have been instrumental in helping us put together our wedding logistics on the ground in Bagan. They have offered to assist our guests in making travel arrangements. Among other things, they can help book domestic flights between Yangon (or Mandalay) and Bagan or elsewhere in Myanmar.

For assistance with booking domestic flights, airport transfers, or any other travel needs within Myanmar, please contact:
Ms. Myo at EXO Travel.
myomyatthu@exotravel.com
Tour Code: YGMI146652

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL (LOULU LIMA, BOOK HERE GIVE HERE)

Loulu Lima, through her own travel company called Book Here Give Here, is serving as the overall travel coordinator for our wedding -- particularly focusing on international travel arrangements. If you need assistance with international travel arrangements, please feel free to reach out to her. If you need assistance with only domestic travel within Myanmar, then you may directly contact EXO Travel (see above).

Flights

The closest airport to Bagan is in Nyaung U (Airport Code: NYU). It is very close to Bagan and the hotels listed in the Accommodations section. Many flights to Bagan may not be offered through online services like Kayak, so we recommend looking at flights to Yangon (Airport Code: RGN) or Mandalay (Airport Code: MDL) and then booking domestic flights to and from NYU separately via a local travel agency such as EXO Travel (see above).

Our flight information in Myanmar is below, in case you would like to book the same flights:

Dec 29
- Hong Kong to Yangon (UB 8028 2:50pm-4:20pm)
- Overnight at Wyne Hotel with airport transfer

Dec 30
- Yangon to Bagan/Nyaung U (7Y161 6:15am-7:45am)

Jan 2
- Bagan/Nyaung U to Inle Lake/Heho (K7240 12:35pm-1:15pm)
- Transfer to Inle Lake

Jan 5
(Inle Lake/Heho to Hyderabad, with layovers in Yangon and Bangkok)
- Inle Lake/Heho to Yangon (UB 414 2:25pm-3:10pm)
- Yangon to Bangkok (UB 017 5:45pm-7:15pm)
- Bangkok to Hyderabad (TG 329 8:10pm-12:25am)

For assistance with booking domestic flights, contact EXO Travel. For international flights, contact Loulu Lima. See more information in the Travel Assistance section below.

Myanmar Visas

Visitors from 100 countries (including the United States, China, and India) can enter Myanmar for tourist purposes by applying for an e-visa at following website: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm. The website says that applicants will receive their approval letter within three days (it can be as quick as a few hours). Be sure to submit a passport photo that meets the requirements stated on the site.

Please note, the validity of the eVisa approval letter is 90 days from the issued date. It is important not to apply too soon.

Sample Myanmar Itinerary

Myanmar is a fascinating, diverse, and sometimes challenging country with much to explore. Here is a sample itinerary similar to what Jasmine and Ashwin experienced on their first trip to the country together:

(1) December 27-29: Yangon

(2) December 29-January 2: Bagan

(3) January 2-5: Inle Lake

(4) January 6-7: Mandalay

Recognizing the Tragedy in Rakhine State

Jasmine, Ashwin, and their families are deeply saddened and angered by the state-sponsored violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Guests should know that the latest developments in Rakhine do not pose safety concerns for the wedding events/locations. However, we join the international community in expressing outrage at the situation and and continue to seek ways to address it. Among other things, 20% of monetary gifts made through the wedding registry will be donated by the couple to victims of the tragic situation. Please also know that the couple has worked hard even before the recent escalation of violence to organize events and choose venues in as ethical a way as possible. If any guests would like to learn more, contribute more, or get more involved, please feel free to reach out to the couple.

30 December 2017

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM | Upanayanam, Nathlaung Kyaung Temple

We will hold an Hindu Upanayanam (thread-tying ceremony for the groom) at one of Bagan's only remaining Hindu temples. Light vegetarian lunch will be served after the ceremony.
Dress Code: Casual

Shuttles depart from Bagan Lodge at 10:10 AM.

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM | Reception Dinner, Thazin Garden

Celebrate the couple with a formal dinner on the lawn of the Thazin Garden Hotel.
Dress Code: Cocktail (Outdoors)

Shuttles depart from Bagan Lodge, Amata Garden Resort, and Kumudara Hotel at 6:45 PM.

31 December 2017

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM | Kickoff, Bagan Lodge

Gather at Bagan Lodge for a kick-off drink and transportation to the wedding ceremony location.

Shuttles depart from Kumudara at 1:45 PM and Amata Garden Resort at 2:00 PM

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Wedding Ceremony

Our wedding takes place exactly five years from the day we started our journey together as a couple. We will conduct the ceremony in a unique location amongst the temples within Bagan’s archaeological zone.
Dress Code: Cocktail (Outdoors)

9:00 PM- 1:00 AM | New Year’s Eve Festivities (Reception Part II), Sharky’s

First dance, drinks, and merriment as we welcome the new year.
Dress Code: Cocktail

Shuttles leave from Bagan Lodge, Amata Garden Resort, and Kumudara Hotel at 8:30 PM.

1 January 2018

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM | Morning-After Brunch, Bagan Lodge

Continental breakfast
Dress Code: Casual

Shuttles depart from Kumudara at 10:15 AM

2 January 2018

Predawn | Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Send-Off

Exact time to be confirmed via email

HYDERABAD, INDIA

JANUARY 6-7, 2018

January 6: Reception Dinner (Chowmahallah Palace)
January 7: Gruhapravesam [Welcoming the Couple], Puja, and Casual Lunch (The Park Hyderabad)
January 8-10: Visit to Tadimalla [Ashwin's Father's Village]

Dress Code: Cocktail for Reception Dinner, Business Casual for Puja (colors and cultural attire encouraged)

Contacts #s in Hyderabad: Sudhakar: 92480-01248; Rayudu: 94906-49544; Ajay: 99668-18666; Mutyam: 92464-93511; Ramesh: 76748-63339
(Use the following format for Whatsapp calls: '+91')

Andhra Pradesh is the home state of Ashwin's parents. On the evening of January 6, we will host a reception outdoors on the grounds of the Chowmahalla Palace in the old city of Hyderabad, close to the iconic Charminar tower. The next morning (January 7), we will play games traditionally organized by the groom's family to welcome the couple (gruhapravesam), participate in a puja, and then have a casual lunch.

After the events in Hyderabad, guests will be welcome to join the couple and their families to visit Tadimalla, the village of Ashwin's father. Activities will include visiting the village school and the sugarcane fields. Visiting Tadimalla will require a short flight to Rajahmundry (RJA). Train tickets or private cars/buses can be arranged as well.

Accommodations

THE PARK HYDERABAD
(4 Stars; Jasmine and Ashwin will stay at this hotel)

Jasmine and Ashwin will be staying at The Park Hyderabad, which is located adjacent to the Hussain Sagar lake. The January 7 events (welcoming the couple traditions, puja, and casual lunch) will be held at this hotel.

To book a room at The Park Hyderabad, please contact:
Mrinalini Dutta
email: madutta@theparkhotels.com
Reference: N.M. Sudhakar, Jan 7th Event

INR 7000 per night - double or triple occupancy - price includes all taxes and breakfast

ALEKHYA RESIDENCY

Guests looking for a budget option may consider booking a room at the Alekhya Residency, which has set aside some rooms for our group. The rooms are basic, but should cover the essentials. It is located roughly between the two venues for our events (Chowmahallah Palace and The Park Hyderabad). Pricing will be approximately ~US$30/night.

See this listing for sample photos: https://www.goibibo.com/hotels/alekhya-residency-hotel-in-hyderabad-6086943127198867622/.

If you are interested in booking a room at the Alekhya Residency, please contact Ashwin's father, Sury Kaja, by clicking the button below.

Post-Event Village Visit

JANUARY 8-10, 2018
TRIP TO TADIMALLA (VILLAGE OF ASHWIN'S FATHER)

Ashwin's father grew up in a village called Tadimalla, near the city of Rajahmundry (RJA). Ashwin's mother grew up a couple of hours away in the town of Nuzvid, near the city of Vijayawada.

Following the events in Hyderabad, guests will be welcome to visit Tadimalla in order to get a glimpse of village life in India. Join us and meet more of our relatives, visit the village school, and traipse through the sugarcane fields!

Travel & Accommodations for Village Visit

GETTING THERE
Visiting Tadimalla will require a short flight to Rajahmundry (RJA). It is recommended that guests book the same flights (or similar flight times) as Jasmine and Ashwin in order to facilitate transportation. Train tickets or private cars/buses can be arranged as well.

WHERE TO STAY IN TADIMALLA
We will try to help arrange simple accommodations in the village to the extent available. Guests are welcome to stay nearby in Rajahmundry for somewhat more modern accommodations. Please let us know if you have a preference.

Visas

India offers e-visas to travelers visiting from the following countries and territories:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameron Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda,Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Additionally, longer-term visas may be available to American citizens and citizens of other countries.

About Hyderabad

Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana and de jure capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad remained under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before the Mughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nizam's dominions became a princely state during the British Raj, and remained so for 150 years, with the city serving as its capital. The city continued as the capital of Hyderabad State after it was brought into the Indian Union in 1948, and became the capital of Andhra Pradesh after the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Since 1956, Rashtrapati Nilayam in the city has been the winter office of the President of India. In 2014, the newly formed state of Telangana split from Andhra Pradesh and the city became joint capital of the two states, a transitional arrangement scheduled to end by 2025.

Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today; the Charminar—commissioned by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah—has come to symbolise Hyderabad. Golconda fort is another major landmark. The influence of Mughlai culture is also evident in the region's distinctive cuisine, which includes Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi haleem. The Qutb Shahis and Nizams established Hyderabad as a cultural hub, attracting men of letters from different parts of the world. Hyderabad emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century, with artists migrating to the city from the rest of the Indian subcontinent. The Telugu film industry based in the city is the country's second-largest producer of motion pictures.

Hyderabad was historically known as a pearl and diamond trading centre, and it continues to be known as the "City of Pearls". Many of the city's traditional bazaars remain open, including Laad Bazaar, Begum Bazaar and Sultan Bazaar. Today, Hyderabad is best known for its tech industry, located in a part of the city referred to as "Cyberabad."

About Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of the country. The state is the seventh largest state in India covering an area of 162,970 km2 (62,920 sq mi). As per 2011 Census of India, the state is tenth largest by population with 49,386,799 inhabitants. It has a coastline of 974 km (605 mi) with jurisdiction over nearly 15,000 km2 territorial waters, the second longest among all the states of India after Gujarat.

On 2 June 2014, the north-western portion of the state was bifurcated to form a new state of Telangana. Andhra Pradesh's longtime capital, Hyderabad, was transferred to Telangana as part of the division. However, in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Hyderabad will remain the de jure capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states for a period of time not exceeding 10 years. The new riverfront proposed capital in Guntur district is Amaravati.

Andhra Pradesh is composed of two regions: Coastal Andhra, located along the Bay of Bengal, and Rayalaseema, in the inland southwestern part of the state. These two regions comprise 13 districts, with 9 in Coastal Andhra and 4 in Rayalaseema. Visakhapatnam, located on the Bay of Bengal in North Coastal Andhra is the largest city and commercial hub of the state with a GDP of $26 billion, followed in population and GDP by Vijayawada, which is located on the Krishna River and which has a GDP of $3 billion as of 2010. (Wikipedia)

Travel Agencies

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: Loulu Lima, Book Here Give Here

Loulu Lima, through her own travel company called Book Here Give Here, is serving as the overall travel coordinator for our wedding -- particularly focusing on international travel arrangements. If you need assistance with international travel arrangements, please feel free to reach out to her. If you need assistance with only domestic travel within Myanmar, then you may directly contact EXO Travel (see below).

MYANMAR TRAVEL: EXO Travel

EXO Travel is a travel agency with locations across east and southeast Asia. They have been instrumental in helping us put together our wedding logistics on the ground in Bagan. They have offered to assist our guests in making travel arrangements. Among other things, they can help book domestic flights between Yangon (or Mandalay) and Bagan or elsewhere in Myanmar.

For assistance with booking domestic flights, airport transfers, or any other travel needs within Myanmar, please contact:
Ms. Myo at EXO Travel.
myomyatthu@exotravel.com
Tour Code: YGMI146652

HONG KONG AND INDIA TRAVEL

Feel free to contact Loulu for travel arrangements to, from, and within Hong Kong and India.

Ashwin & Jasmine's Itinerary & Flights

Dec 29
- Hong Kong to Yangon (UB 8028 2:50pm-4:20pm)
- Overnight at Wyne Hotel with airport transfer

Dec 30
- Yangon to Bagan/Nyaung U (7Y161 6:15am-7:45am)

Jan 2
- Bagan/Nyaung U to Inle Lake/Heho (K7240 12:35pm-1:15pm)
- Transfer to Inle Lake

Jan 5
(Inle Lake/Heho to Hyderabad, with layovers in Yangon and Bangkok)
- Inle Lake/Heho to Yangon (UB 414 2:25pm-3:10pm)
- Yangon to Bangkok (UB 017 5:45pm-7:15pm)
- Bangkok to Hyderabad (TG 329 8:10pm-12:25am)

Jan 8
- Hyderabad to Rajahmundry (Jet Airways 2795 10:25AM-11:25PM)

Jan 10
- Rajahmundry to Hyderabad (Jet Airways 2760 3:25PM-4:40PM)

If you want to book these flights/hotels, please let Loulu (loulu@bookheregivehere.org) know as soon as possible.

Flights

BAGAN, MYANMAR

The closest airport to Bagan is in Nyaung U (Airport Code: NYU). It is very close to Bagan and the hotels we have reserved. Many flights to Bagan may not be offered through online services like Kayak, so we recommend looking at flights to Yangon (Airport Code: RGN) or Mandalay (Airport Code: MDL) from abroad and then booking domestic flights to and from NYU separately via a local travel agency such as EXO Travel. Note that guests can also book cars and trains to Bagan from Yangon/Mandalay.

Contact Loulu Lima for assistance with international travel. Contact EXO Travel for more information on domestic travel arrangements within Myanmar.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong's international airport code is HKG. It is a major international airport and probably the easiest way to get in. Alternatively, guests may consider flying into Shenzhen, China (or, further, Guangzhou) and then taking a bus or train to Hong Kong. Note that traveling via China would require a transit visa for most travelers.

For flights to and from Hong Kong and related travel arrangements, feel free to contact Loulu.

HYDERABAD/ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA

The international code for Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is HYD. There are direct flights from a number of international locations, as well flights via major Indian hubs including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. To get to the Tadimalla (Ashwin's father's village), one can fly to the nearby city of Rajahmundry or travel by car, train, or bus.

For assistance with travel to, from, and within India, feel free to contact Loulu.

Visas

MYANMAR

Visitors from 100 countries (including the United States, China, and India) can enter Myanmar for tourist purposes by applying for an e-visa at following website: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm. The website says that applicants will receive their approval letter within three days (it can be as quick as a few hours). Be sure to submit a passport photo that meets the requirements stated on the site.

Given the simplicity of the eVisa process, we do not think that using a visa agency is necessary for most travelers. However, feel free to contact Loulu to be connected with the CIBT visa agency.

HONG KONG

Most tourists (from over 160 countries) do not require a visa to visit Hong Kong. USA citizens, Canadians, and most European nationals may enter for 90 days without a visa. Indian nationals will need to apply for and successfully complete an online pre-arrival registration before they can enter Hong Kong visa-free (for up to 14 days). Details of Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals can be found at the Immigration Department's website: http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/pre-arrival_registration_for_indian_nationals.html

Note that although Hong Kong is a part of China, as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), it has its own entry regulations. This means the normal Chinese visa does not work for Hong Kong and vice versa, and you may not be able to enter mainland China from Hong Kong without the proper Chinese visa. Chinese passport holders will need to obtain an “Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao.”

For more information about the visa requirements by country, click on the link below.

INDIA

India offers e-visas to travelers visiting from the following countries and territories:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameron Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda,Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Additionally, longer-term visas may be available to American citizens and citizens of other countries.

(Note that none of the travel and visa information provided on this page is authoritative. Please be sure to refer to the official sources for complete and up to date information.)

Vaccinations

Make sure that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations. There are also some recommended travel vaccines and medications – you are encouraged to consult with your doctor prior to your trip.

Accommodations & Local Travel Information

See location page for accommodation and local travel information.

Weather

December and January are dry months in Myanmar and India. The average temperature for Bagan and Hyderabad for December and January is around 26°C (78°F), with highs of around 29°C (84°F). Nights can get cooler in Bagan, with temperatures dropping to around 15°C (60°F) pre-dawn (bring some warmer clothes if you are going on a balloon ride).

The average temperature in Hong Kong in December is 17°C (63°F).

Recommended Reading

Myanmar:
· Glass Palace by Amita Ghosh (Fiction)
· The Trouser People by Andrew Marshall (Nonfiction)

Hong Kong:
· Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang (Fiction)

India:
· India after Gandhi (especially the Hyderabad section) (Nonfiction)

Future Home Fund

RSVP

Dear favourite people, please let us know if you will join us in celebrating our marriage.

I am attending

Contact Details

Accommodations and certain activities may require advanced booking, especially because it will be the high season. Let us know if you would like assistance from supporting travel agencies.

ACCOMMODATION

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