Actress Shalu Kurian has won appreciation for her significant roles in many popular television serials. Shalu is known to give full justice to any character she enacts. Her return to the mini screen after her wedding to Melvin also proved to be highly successful.
Even while busy with her shooting assignments, Shalu finds time to undertake trips with Melvin. As both love travelling, they eagerly look forward to each trip.
Melvin belongs to Ranni in Pathanamthitta, but is settled in Mumbai. However, since the marriage he lives with Shalu in Kochi.
Shalu was much busy after her wedding and could not undertake any long trip with Melivin for some time. However, recently, they got an opportunity to embark on a dream journey. Shalu shares details of the engrossing trip with Onmanorama.
The couple's journey covered Thailand, Pattaya, and Phuket. "It was a very enjoyable trip. Another highlight was that it for the first time I was holidaying abroad," says Shalu.
Thrills all the way
Shalu and Melvin booked a tour package to travel to Thailand, Pattaya, and Phuket. "Thailand is the best place to visit for relaxation. It was selected as the world's finest relaxation destination," says the actress.
There are several amazing sights in the country, points out Shalu. "Another thing that strikes you is the similarity between Thailand and our state, Kerala," she adds.
"We thoroughly enjoyed the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes at the beaches, shopping centres, and food outlets," according to Shalu.
"The place is indeed a traveller's paradise with streets that do not sleep and non-stop song and dance," she explains.
Shalu loved the beaches at Pattaya too. "They are so beautiful that we spent hours there," she says.
The facilities for water sports at Pattaya attracted her the most. "There are so many activities there. The parasailing carried out with a speed boat was really thrilling," she says.
"Flying like a bird was a magical experience," reveals Shalu.
She was also thrilled by the sights at the Coral Island while engaging in paragliding.
The amazing Sriracha Tiger Zoo
Thailand offers something for tourists of all ages. It has beautiful scenery, historical sites, and numerous fun factors, says Shalu.
Among the major crowd-pullers in the country is the Sriracha Tiger Zoo. "No visitor will leave the place without being astonished," says Shalu.
The tiger zoo is about 97 km from Thailand's capital Bangkok. Several special shows with titles like 'Tiger show,' 'Elephant show,' 'Pig race,' and 'crocodile show' await visitors at the spot.
The best part of visiting the zoo is that visitors will get a chance to feed a tiger cub. "But don't be shocked. You can indeed place a tiger cub on your lap, pet it, and feed it milk!" explains Shalu, evidently thrilled by the experience.
"You need not worry that a tiger is on your lap. A tiger cub is so sweet and lovable that it will cuddle up to you like a kitten," says Shalu.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo offers numerous other unique experiences too. Though most of the inmates of the zoo are Bengal tigers, there are several crocodiles and kangaroos, too, among the 200 animals housed there.
In addition, visitors can enjoy viewing a variety of bird species.
A heaven for food lovers
Shalu loves trying all kinds of dishes. "The food we tasted during the Thailand trip was excellent," she says.
The actress liked the street food the most. "The barbecue offered with a Thai twist offered a different experience. I noticed that Thais preferred to add plenty of vegetables in each dish. They seem to love vegetables," exclaims Shalu.
Restaurants and street-side stalls offer much variety in their menu. "Savouries made of scorpions, snakes, and cockroaches are available from the street stalls. But I did not try them," says the actress.
Restaurants displaying live fish and shrimps can be seen at many places in Thailand. "We can choose the fish we want and the chefs will prepare the ordered dish with that fish," adds the actress.
Shalu loved the fish dishes of Thai cuisine.
A metre gauge trip
Another journey that Shalu loves to remember is the train trip from Kollam to Tirunelveli. "The Kollam-Shencottah metre gauge track is the first railway line laid in old Travancore," she informs.
The trip presented many interesting sights and experiences. "People who travelled by the metre gauge train did so mainly to enjoy the scenery. The last metre gauge train plied in September 2010," says Shalu.
Enjoying short trips too
Often, Shalu finds very little time for herself after shoots. But she prefers not to idle away at home and plans short trips with Melvin. Even a day's break between shoots is not wasted, says the actress. "Sometimes, we get only a few hours' free time but we set out on a journey to some nearby place," she discloses.
On many occasions, Shalu could travel only within Ernakulam. "But even that makes us happy. We start in the morning and go around Ernakulam. By evening, we'll head to some friend's place, have dinner together and reach home by night," says the actress.
"We seek thrill in every trip, be it a long or a short journey," Shalu winds up.